Once again aviation made the news. Australian airliner Qantas will operate its first biofuel flight according to biofuels international. The flight from Sydney to Adelaide later this month by an Airbus A330 will be powered by biofuels made from used cooking oil (50%) and conventional jet fuel (50%). Canada’s Porter Airlines is also testing biofuels says the same source. Recently it flew a Bombardier Q400 turboprop powered by a 50/50 blend of biofuel and Jet A1 fuel. The biofuel is produced from Camelina sativa (49%) and brassica carinata (1%). The Q400 aircraft successfully undertook several manoeuvres including engine-out climbs, rapid engine accelerations and cruising to verify the performance of the aircraft while using the bio derived fuel. Meanwhile US firms Virent and Virdia are working on producing a jet fuel made from pine tree waste. The Wisconsin State Journal says that pine tree wood chips are turned into sugars and the sugars are converted into jet fuel. The project is funded by the US and Israel. See also Renewable Energy Magazine, From pine forests to blue skies, new jet biofuel passes rigorous testing.

This is Grimsby discusses the pivotal role of ports in the biomass chain. The focus is on the potential for the port of Selby, UK where biomass such as wood pellets is being used to replace coal at the Drax electrical power station. An investment of £200 million in port facilities, docks, wood pellet storage and transportation and logistics infrastructure would be a major boost for the local economy including new jobs.

TheBioenergySite talks about how food waste is being converted to fuel and fertilizer in Norway. The city of Oslo’s new biogas plant will take 50,000 tonnes of food waste annually and convert it into biofuel to power 135 municipal buses as well as produce enough biofertilizer for 100 medium-sized farms. Already, 65 Oslo buses are powered by biogas produced from sludge from the city’s sewage treatment plant. When the new biogas plant reaches its full capacity in 2013, the local bus company will have enough biogas for at least 200 buses.

ieee spectrum says that Europe is looking to North America’s forests to meet its renewable energy goals. North American trees are fast becoming a crucial energy supply for European power producers seeking to meet the European Union’s goal for renewable energy use and carbon emissions reductions. Blending in biomass to coal-fired power stations is an increasingly popular strategy to meet the European targets, which call for renewable sources to meet 20% of energy demand by 2020. Research suggests that trees harvested expressly for electrical power generation will provide at least two-thirds of European utilities’ biomass supply needs through 2030. As a result the biomass industry in quickly growing in the eastern US and Canada where wood pellet plants are being built to supply ready to burn pellets for Europe and reduce CO2 emissions from coal. Yet, while the biomass power industry booms, many are concerned that this process is not carbon neutral because removing trees reduces the ability of the remaining forest to absorb CO2.

Constructech reveals how the Denver zoo will use a biomass gasification system to turn human trash and animal waste into energy. The gasification system will convert 98% of the waste stream into 85% of the usable energy needed to power an exhibit that will house Asian elephants, Indian rhinos, Malayan tapirs, clouded leopards, white checked gibbons, and several other Asian species.

The Philippine city of Davao has approved a waste-to-energy proposal to address the city’s looming waste disposal problem reports the Sun Star. The approval gives Secura International Corp the go ahead to construct a plant with the capacity to produce at least 8,000-16,000 kiloliters of high-grade fuel or heating oil from about 23,000 to 46,000 tons of biomass. The fuel can be used for various purposes including powering vehicles, fishing boats, ships, and facilities such as sugar mills and asphalt plants, as well as for electricity generation.

The Sacramento Business Journal says that a co-digestion facility is being constructed which will use food waste and sewage to produce biogas at the Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant. The food waste includes fats, oils and grease from local restaurants. The biogas will then be used to generate renewable electricity for up to 2,000 California homes.

Cogeneration & On-Site Power Production noted that a biomass heating plant has opened in northern Norway. Norwegian state-owned utility Statkraf opened its first biomass-fuelled district heating facility last week. 90% of combustion at the Harstad facility is based on bioenergy, mainly wood chips. The plant will have the capacity to supply some 80 GWh of heating per year.

Waste heat from a natural gas pipeline in Western Canada will generate electricity for Albertans reports the Whitecourt Star. The 3,700-kilometre Alliance Pipeline transports natural gas from northeastern British Columbia and northwestern Alberta, through Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa to Chicago. The engines used to compress the natural gas to move it down the pipeline produce a lot of waste heat and the pipeline owner is building a new facility to take this heat and convert it into electricity to supply 14,000 homes in the Canadian province of Alberta. The new facility, named the Chickadee Creek Generating Station, will generate 14 MW of electricity per hour.

The News reveals that Punjab industries in Pakistan are converting to alternative energy due to ongoing power and natural gas outages of six to eights hours daily. To avoid blackouts and brownouts firms are moving to biomass (agricultural waste), solid municipal waste, coal gasifiers, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), used tyres and rejected leather soles as alternative fuels to natural gas, furnace oil and diesel. For example, Nishat Group has established a 12 MW biomass and solid municipal waste-run power plant at its textile processing unit in Lahore. At its cement factory in Kalar Kahar, it is using solid municipal waste, used tyres, rubber chappals, rice husk, wheat straw, and corn cob as fuel for heating purposes.

Uruguay wants agricultural and industrial waste to generate 30% of its energy by 2030 reports Renewable Energy Magazine. The South American country will focus on transforming waste generated through wool washing, dairy operations, pig breeding and cattle fattening into clean energy. Uruguay’s goal is for renewables to reach 50% of the overall energy mix by 2015, while hydropower, wind and biomass would account for 90% of the electricity mix.




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