The UK Government’s quarterly Energy Trends publication reveals a record contribution from bioenergy to the nation’s energy supply reports The Crop Site. In 2014 Q2, bioenergy accounted for a record 5.6 TWh (7%) of electricity generation. This is an increase of 8.8% compared with a year earlier, due mainly to the conversions at the Drax and Ironbridge electric power plants, which have started burning biomass fuel instead of coal. Over the same period, biofuels such as biodiesel and bioethanol accounted for 4% of vehicle fuel used in the UK.

The same source updates us on the deployment of anaerobic digestion facilities in the UK. The full report is available here. There are over 130 operational AD plants in the UK outside of the sewage treatment sector, with more than 340 projects currently under development. These developments are taking place despite a reduction in government subsidies. Over the past six months there has been a noticeable shift towards the development of plants intending to use agricultural feedstock as input to the generation of electricity; the number of farm-fed plants under development has increased by a total of 70 while the number of waste-based projects has increased by just four.

A US company will soon have nearly 350,000 tons of wood pellet production capacity reports BIOMASS Magazine. Northeast Wood Products LLC will be producing the pellets from operations in the states of Ohio, Indiana and Virginia. The company’s plan is to supply pellets to the European heating market.

Canfor Corp. plans to collocate a wood pellet plant at each of the company’s sawmill sites in the Canadian province of British Columbia. BIOMASS magazine says the two facilities combined will have a capacity of 175,000 metric tons of pellets per year. The project will also include electrical self-generation capacity of 3 MW that will be generated from a combined-heat-and-power (CHP) plant at one of the sites. This in turn will displace 19.1 GWh of Canfor’s electricity consumption per year for 20 years. The plants are scheduled to commence production in late 2015.  The pellets will be sold on the international market out of the port of Vancouver. The feedstock for the plants will come primarily from the sawmill at each site, though some additional material will come from other Canfor mills and the open market.

Giant King Grass will be powering a sugar mill in the Philippines. Biofuels International informs us Sagay Central, a sugar milling and sugar growing company, will use the renewable grass to generate electricity for its sugar mills.  Any excess electricity will be delivered to the national grid. The company crushes 4,000 tonnes of sugarcane daily and produces 150,000 tonnes of sugar per year.

Clean Technica reports the first industrial-scale municipal solid waste to biofuel facility opened in the Canadian city of Edmonton on June. (with video) Enerkem’s waste-to-biofuels and chemicals facility will convert 100,000 tonnes of sorted municipal waste per year into biofuels and chemicals. Once the facility is up to full capacity in 2016, the city will be able to divert 90% of its residential waste from landfills. Edmonton will produce 38 million litres of clean fuels and biochemicals from waste that used to end up in landfills, which will initially be used to produce methanol. The facility will eventually produce enough ethanol to fill the tanks of 400,000 cars with a 5% (E5) blend. The company says its process breaks down the waste using heat and converts it into a gas that is as clean as natural gas. Then it converts the gas to liquid methanol — and all of this happens in just three minutes.

Brazil has opened it first cellulosic ethanol plant. Bioenergy Insight says the facility, in Alagoas, is the first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in the southern hemisphere. It has the capacity to produce 82 million litres per year of ethanol from sugarcane waste.

The Eurasia Review examines how the Central American country of Nicaragua is turning sugarcane waste into electricity. Being the second largest exporter of sugar in Central America, the country is taking advantage of its bagasse (biomass from sugarcane waste) to produce power for its citizens. The government recently granted a 30 year license to Green Power company for the establishment of a 38 MW co-generation plant which will use the bagasse to power the plant and send all additional electricity to the national grid.

The US has its first carbon-neutral wastewater treatment plant according to Axis of Logic. Located in Victor Valley, California,  Biogas produced from food waste and sewage powers the plant while diverting tons of garbage from landfills. The facility is expected to operate independent of the power grid by 2015, diverting more than 1,400 tons of waste from landfills. The Omnivore Biogas Renewable Energy Project mixes high solids (such as solid food) with sludge (sewage) and uses anaerobic digestion technology to convert the waste into biogas. That biogas is harnessed and turned into low-carbon fuel will be used to generate electricity to run the wastewater plant and reduce its $1 million annual electric bill.

Logan Olds, general manager of the high desert city, told the Daily Press. “It’s a demonstration project and has not been done anywhere else. There are currently no other installations of this technology in the U.S.”

The Gulf Times tells us that the middle east country of Qatar is generating electricity from waste. The government-owned Domestic Solid Waste Management Centre in the capital city of Doha is generating 30 MW a day which is used around the country, although it has the capability to produce 42 MW. The plant can treat at least 2,300 tonnes of a total of 2,700 tonnes of waste generated in Qatar daily. 95% of the country’s waste is now converted to energy or recycled instead of being sent to a landfill. This is the first integrated waste management facility in the Middle East and features one of the largest composting plants in the world.






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