Waste Management World has a video on how plasma gasification works to convert waste to energy.

Bioenergy Insight says demand for biomass will increase significantly in Europe by 2020. In particular, demand will soar for wood pellets as electrical utilities substitute away from coal. Global management and consultancy business Bain predicts European pellet demand will rise to 29 million tonnes by the end of the decade, up from 8 million from 2010. Unlike coal, pellets produce no net carbon emissions when burnt for electric power generation. Wood pellets are made from compressed sawdust, shavings and other unsellable lumber byproduct that less than 20 years ago was burned as waste. Two-thirds of these pellets will be imported, primarily from North America and Brazil. Europe currently accounts for 84% of world pellet demand. See also The Globe and Mail Europe is hot for this form of renewable energy and Bioenergy Insight North American wood pellet export to Europe rises. The three major European pellet import countries are the UK, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

From the above Bioenergy Insight article we learn that biomass is expected to generate 9% of global electricity by 2020.

Biomass Magazine reports a 13 MW wood pellet co-generation facility is under construction in Estrées-Mons, France. The project will be in operation by the end of 2014 and will produce 100,000 MWh of electricity per year (equal to the electrical consumption of 25,000 homes). In addition it will produce 25 tons of steam per hour for a nearby factory that produces canned and frozen vegetables.  Currently the factory is being heated by natural gas.

environmentalresearchweb suggests citrus fruit could fuel cars and power stations. Researchers say biorefineries could turn the world’s vast amount of citrus waste into ethanol and biomethane. Currently, most citrus waste is sent to waste-disposal facilities or dumped in the ocean. Some is dried and used as animal feed. Scientists believe the citrus waste could be converted to ethanol for use as a petrol replacement, biomethane for burning in gas-fired electric power stations, limonene that can replace acetone in solvents, and digestate that can be employed as a fertilizer.

From The Columbus Dispatch we learn that the Alaska Brewing Company is turning beer waste into energy. The beer-maker has installed a unique boiler system to cut its fuel costs: a furnace burns the company’s spent grain — the waste accumulated from the brewing process — to produce steam that powers most of the brewery’s operations. The company expects to cut its annual energy costs by 70% as well as save to transportation costs for shipping the waste to other parts of the US where it is used for animal feed.

The Monterey County Herald writes about a marina waste-conversion plant that changes food waste into biogas. (with video)  The Monterey Regional Waste Management is converting food waste from hotels, restaurants and universities in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties into biogas. The “dry anaerobic digestion” process can take up to 5,000 tons of waste a year and will be able to produce enough electricity to sell 100 kilowatts daily to the nearby wastewater treatment plant operated by the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency.

Sauerkraut is making biogas in northern France we learn from Bioenergy Insight. A European water treatment plant is being powered by the juice of this vegetable in Bassin de l‘Ehn. The biogas produces electricity which is then sold on the national grid to power 1500 homes.

 bdaily posts that an anerobic digestion facility is near completion in Durham, England. The renewable energy project that will use 50,000 tonnes of food waste each year to provide heat and electricity to 2,000 homes. The facility, to be fully operational by July, will produce 1.56 MW of electricity.

FORESTRY news tells us biofuels have become a disappointment in Asia.  The article discusses how fossil fuel subsidies and a series of environmental concerns are limiting the use of biofuels (palm oil, sugarcane and jatropha) in this part of the world. A recent study by The Center for International Forestry Research reviews the development of the bioenergy sector in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. The paper finds that targets set by the four countries have not been met although Thailand leads the region in bioethanol production.

“…rising crude oil prices prompted most countries to maintain or increase fossil fuel subsidies to preserve political and social stability. While there is concern that production of biofuels may threaten food security, this does not seem to be a major issue, at least in the near future. However, international civil society groups are concerned with the environmental and social impacts of expanding oil palm plantations and are increasingly critical of biofuel production in Southeast Asia.”

Environmentalists are concerned that forests are being cleared and that the production and use of oil palm, sugarcane and other land intensive crops for energy could threaten global food security. To date, a very small proportion (less than 5%) of all oil palm grown in Indonesia is used as a biofuel feedstock.

 

 

 

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