This week Nippon Airways flew a Boeing 787 Dreamliner across the Pacific Ocean powered by biofuel says DesignNews. The flight from Everett, Washington to Tokyo used both biofuel (made mainly of used cooking oil) and jet fuel to make the journey. The Dreamliner flight showed the viability of using alternative fuels for long flights.
The Green Car Congress says that large scale forest bioenergy is not sustainable. A study published in the journal Global Change Biology/Bioenergy concludes that 60-70% of the global increment of woody biomass would be needed to produce 20% of current global primary energy supply. It argues that such an increase in biomass harvest would result in shorter rotations, younger forests, lower biomass pools, depleted soil nutrient stocks and a loss of other ecosystem functions. In addition many countries would be dependent on wood imports. Early suggestions that a large-scale forest biofuel industry would be greenhouse-gas neutral or even reduce greenhouse emissions “are based on erroneous assumptions,” according to the international group of researchers. They further suggest that a higher demand for biomass from forests will increase prices for the biomass, as in Germany where they have already increased in price 300-600% from 2005 to 2010. You can read the study here.
edieWaste says that waste to energy could power one-third of UK homes. New research suggests that energy from waste has the potential to meet one-third of Britain’s residential natural gas demand. This would effectively triple waste-derived renewable electricity from thermal combustion alone to 3.6 terawatt-hours, powering one million homes. By 2020 up to 3.5% of Britain’s electricity and half of the domestic natural gas demand could be generated from energy from waste plants. You can view the report here. See also This is Money Energy from waste? A ‘rubbish’ idea for producing gas and the Express Britain’s Energy Hope As Rubbish Is Turned Into Electricity.
We will soon see Caribbean landfills producing energy according to ipsnews. A United Kingdom-based waste to energy firm is partnering with some Caribbean countries to set up plants that will convert garbage into electricity and potable water, and in the process transform the region from its dependence on fossil fuel. Naanovo Energy Inc. is able to produce 7 MW of power and 36,000 litres of potable water from 180 tonnes of waste. The company is building a plant in St. Kitts and is in discussions with Jamaica and St. Lucia to set up similar projects. In the process they will help remove these countries from dependence on imported Bunker C heavy oil for electricity generation. Waste to energy is becoming more and more popular in many parts of the world because it represents a solution to landfills and offers excellent potential for combusting regular household trash into valuable energy such as in the form of electricity, steam or hot water.
TheBioenergySite tells us that prisons will be powering vehicles in New Zealand. The Department of Corrections has signed a deal with Biodiesel New Zealand so that it can supply the biofuels company with used cooking oil from 18 of its prison kitchens across the country. The 5,000 litres a month of used cooking oil will be converted into Biogold renewable diesel fuel. Every litre of cooking oil can be converted into one litre of biodiesel.
Bioenergy Insight reports that Oslo buses will be running on biomass. Norway’s capital city is planning to run all the city’s buses on biogas produced from food waste. Presently 65 buses are powered by biogas from the city’s sewage treatment plant but with this new development enough biogas will be produced to fuel at least 200 buses. Using 50,000 tonnes of food waste a year, a new biogas plant will produce the equivalent of 4 million litres of diesel fuel per year. It will also produce enough biofertiliser to be used on about 100 medium-sized farms in the local region. The plant will come on-stream next year.
The first commercial high-solid organic waste to biogas facility in the U.S. has opened in Sacramento, California reports Waste Management World. The waste recycling center is based on anaerobic digestion technology and converts food waste, agricultural residue and other organic waste into renewable energy, fertilizer and soil enhancements. Current plans are to convert 7.5 tons (6.8 tonnes) of food waste from Campbell Soup and other regional food producers each day. In addition, the facility will also process half a ton of unrecyclable corrugated material into natural gas. The gas will then be used to generate approximately 1.3 MWh of renewable electricity per day. Over 2900 tons (2630 tonnes) of waste will be diverted annually from landfill and 1000 tons (907 tonnes) of organic soil amendments will be produced per year for regional agricultural and horticultural applications. See also the Sacramento Press Nation’s first waste-to-energy facility debuts in Sacramento.
Waste Management World says a 22 MW waste to energy facility in Greatmoor, Buckinghamshire, UK has been approved. The facility will treat up to 300,000 tonnes of waste generated by households and businesses in Buckinghamshire each year when it comes online in 2014.
The Yorkshire Post informs us that waste treatment sludge will create electricity in the UK city of Sheffield. An anaerobic digestion (AD) plant will use sludge to generate up to 1.9 MW of renewable electricity which will be used to treat domestic and industrial waste from a local population of 830,000 people. The AD plant is expected to be operational by the fall of 2014.
A hospital in Superior, Montana will use biomass to heat and cool the buildings says KPAX. A new biomass system uses a combustion boiler that burns 180 tons of wood pellets per year and replaces the burning of fuel oil. It will create fewer emissions and lower heating and cooling costs by over $48,000 annually. The wood pellets for the system are produced at a local pellet mill.
hydrogenfuelnews reports that the Enertreg hybrid wind-hydrogen power station is supplying fuel to Berlin, Germany. The new power plant in Prenzlau combines hydrogen and wind energy. Wind turbines provide electricity to hydrogen fuel cells. These fuel cells produce hydrogen gas, which is then delivered to a Total Germany fuel station in Berlin. The Total station provides fuel for hydrogen-powered vehicles operating in Berlin. This effort is part of Germany’s plan to create hydrogen infrastructure throughout the country and promote hydrogen as a transportation fuel.