European airlines are turning to biofuels to reduce their carbon emissions writes the Shanghai Daily. They are very interested in biofuel resources in China, including waste cooking oil and certain fruit nuts. Waste cooking oil contains a large amount of animal fat that can be processed into bio aviation fuel after refining and chemical reactions. Aircraft using biofuels generate about 40% less CO2 emissions.

Bloomberg says cellulosic biofuel production in the US will surge next year. “Cellulosic biofuel companies will boost production almost 20-fold in 2013 as the first high-volume refineries go into operation, signaling a shift from an experimental fuel into a commercially viable industry.”  Production will come from waste food crops, wood chips, household trash and other non-food organic sources. The US Energy Information Administration forecasts almost 10 million gallons (36 million liters) will be produced in 2013 compared with less than half a million gallons this year. The boom is due to the opening of the first commercial cellulosic biofuel operations with 5 plants in operation by the end of 2013 and another two planned to open in 2014. TriplePundit notes that Dupont has started construction on one of the world’s largest cellulosic biorefineries in Nevada, Iowa. The facility will produce 30 million gallons annually of cellulosic ethanol using corn stalks and leaves.

ecgeneration tells how the rural community of Mureck, Austria has become energy self-sufficient using biomass, biodiesel (from waste cooking oil) and pig manure.

The UK now has buses running on biogas produced from biodegradable waste materials reports TRL. 6 buses are on the road now with 7 more scheduled to be running in early 2013.

Waste Management World tells us that the city of Glasgow, Scotland is getting a new waste to energy facility. The plant will process residual waste left after recycling to generate up to 20 MW of electricity for export to the national grid – equivalent of powering 38,000 homes.

The Financial Channel notes there will be a new waste to energy facility in the city of Aktau, in western Kazakhstan. The plant will produce “green” electricity out of waste that has been going to landfills.

Lagos, Nigeria has initiated a waste-to-energy project in response to the prevalent power outage in the state. The electricity is generated from public waste in the area. Lagos, with an estimated 18 million populace and a 12,000 MW electricity demand, receives less than 1,000 MW from the country’s national grid.

Paradise, California has a 2.2 MW waste landfill gas to electricity facility reports Waste Management World. The electricity generated will be sold to utility company Alameda Municipal Power through a 20 year power purchase agreement. There are plans to double the capacity to 4.3 MW in the near future.

CTV says the Canadian city of Fredericton is now using landfill methane gas to generate electricity. Using this local resource the city expects the electricity will be able to power more than 2,000 homes for the next 50 to 70 years.

Not all waste to energy plans turn out well.  The Deccan Chronicle posts that 4 planned waste-to-energy plants in Hyderabad, India are not producing any power. The goal was to generate electricity from city garbage. Selco, RDF, Sri Venkateshwara and Ramky are the four firms that had contracted with the city to generate nearly 80 MW of electricity over the past 5 years. It is hoped they will start doing so at some future date.

Biomass Magazine mentioned that the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) talked about biomass power in 2040. The EIA projects a  2% annual growth rate of renewable power production from a current a level of 8.8 quads to 14.6 quads by 2040. Biomass is second to solar as the main driver of this production with about an 8% annual growth rate. The increasing use of biomass in the US is expected as a result of the closing of high CO2 emitting coal plants. Biomass can be mixed with coal (co-firing) in coal-fired plants or can be used by itself such as wood pellets. See also Biomass Power Consumption Projected to Grow Through 2040 in the U.S.

Utility Products informs us that biomass currently produces 16% of Austria’s electricity. The nation’s biomass association hopes that the share of biomass in the total consumption of energy will grow to 20% by 2020.

Woodworking NETWORK focuses on US wood pellet exports. Growing wood pellet production capacity in the southern US has made the country the largest exporter of this product in the world. Export volumes are forecast to increase fourfold from an estimated 1.5 million tons this year to 5.7 million tons in 2015, says the North American Wood Fiber Review. North American wood pellet exports come mostly from the US South and the Canadian province of British Columbia. Most of the pellets are being used in European coal fired plants to replace coal and reduce the impact of CO2 emissions and to transition Germany from nuclear power to renewable energy sources.

The US state of Louisiana is one of the areas where pellet plants are locating. 33 News reports Drax Biomass International Inc.has announced plans to build a wood pellet facility in Bastrop and a storage-and-shipping facility at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge. Construction will start in 2013 and the plant, capable of producing 450,000 metric tons per year, is expected to start operating in 2014. The plant will use logs and residual forest products from the surrounding area as input for the pellet production process. The pellets will be shipped to the UK. Drax is also building a similar sized wood pellet plant in Gloster, Mississippi we learn from the Clarion Ledger.

Biomass Magazine notes that a wood pellet plant will be constructed at a paper mill in Laurens County, Georgia. The wood pellets will be used to provide steam required for the paper mill’s daily operations and will also generate 56 MW of electricity for the state’s electrical grid under a 20 year agreement. Construction is scheduled to begin in May 2013, with commercial power plant operations beginning in 2015.

 

 

 

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