energy digital wonders if natural gas will threaten the growth of biofuels in the United States. With compressed natural gas coming on the market at a substantial price discount to diesel and gasoline and increasing interest in the fuel from large trucking fleets, some are questioning biodiesel’s ability to compete in the lucrative transportation market. 98% of natural gas in the US comes from North America. With the capability of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30% in light-duty vehicles, its use would also significantly lower fuel costs for users. Consequently, fleet operators are transitioning to natural gas power. Among their goals are reducing costs, adding fuel diversity to their fleets, curtailing C02 emissions and helping reduce America’s dependence on imported oil. The author concludes: “Biofuels technology lags behind the great potential of the natural gas industry as it takes aim at the truck market. It’s too soon to say, but for now, biofuels seem to lack the commercial technology to compete.”

The US state of Louisiana has wooed a company to build a biodiesel facility writes EnergyBoom. Sundrop Fuels will start construction in 2012 of the plant that will convert forest waste material and natural gas into transportation fuel. When the plant reaches commercial operation in 2014, it will have the ability to produce 50 million gallons of renewable biofuels annually.

A bioenergy plant will be built in the Dutch city of Delfzijl says TheBioenergySite.  Construction started last week on the 49.9 MW plant that wil annually convert 300,000 tons of wood chips from recycled waste wood into electricity. This can power 120,000 households when the plant is operational in 2013. The wood chips will come from the Netherlands and surrounding countries.

Mauritius is generating electicity from waste. Afrique en Ligne says that the tiny country in the Indian Ocean off of Africa has started a 2 MW plant that will use local waste to create power. The plant has the capacity to produce 110 million kWH over the next five years to supply about 5,000 households, or about 1% of the island’s electricity production.

NO CAMELS says that Israel has developed technology that turns sludge into electricity. Global Recycling Projects has developed a process that uses concentrated solar energy to convert human waste into methane gas that can be used to drive a turbine to generate electricity. The process is designed to complement a waste disposal site.

The Slovak Spectator reports that two biogas plants are to be built in the city of Ožďany, Slovakia. The plants are designed to produce electricity from renewable vegetation – maize silage and sorghum. A by-product will be a type of organic fertilizer. Each will produce 990 kW of electricity and 985 kW of heat energy. Construction work is set to begin in 2Q 2912 and is expected to be completed in 2Q 2013.

Peru is promoting bioenergy in rural areas we learn from the Latin American Herald Tribune.  Believing that the problem for human development in rural areas is access to green energy, the Peruvian government is promoting biomass as a means to close that energy gap.  This is being achieved by the introduction of bio-digesters into rural areas. Bio-digestion represents an improvement over traditional methods for capturing organic waste and converting it into bio-gas (energy) and biosol (organic fertilizers). Approximately 24% of Peruvians live in rural areas and 93% of rural homes use coal, firewood and dried manure for fuel. The government plans to change the fuel source to farm and livestock residue and crops specifically grown as energy sources. Bio-gas obtained from bio-digesters can provide almost 60% of a family’s fuel needs and prevent the emission of approximately 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide annually, equivalent to a 48% reduction in emissions compared to firewood.

CRENGLISH says that Chinese gutter oil will power European flight. Gutter oil is a type of recycled cooking oil. SkyNRG, a Dutch-based jet fuel supplier, has purchased 20 tons of gutter oil from Qingdao in east China’s Shandong province to be used on airlines in Europe. SkyNRG provides jet fuel for many European airlines, including KLM Royal Dutch Airlines which recently flew a flight powered by processed cooking oil mixed with jet fuel.

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