The  US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a reduction of the amount of ethanol to be blended with gasoline next year reports McClatchyDC. The EPA wants 15.21 billion gallons of renewable fuels blended into gasoline and diesel next year, down from 16.55 billion gallons this year. Most of it is corn-based ethanol. The reduction follows concerns from oil companies and some automobile makers  that more than 10% ethanol in motor fuel could cause damage to engines. Nearly all gasoline sold in the United States now has up to 10% ethanol. This is the first time the EPA has proposed a reduction in the amount of biofuel to be blended with petrol.

renewable energy focus says global biofuels production (bioethanol and biodiesel)  is expected to grow from 102,896 million litres in 2011 to 150,975 million litres in 2016. The countries showing the highest growth rates are Sweden (32.2%), Colombia (24.4%), India (19.7%), and Thailand (16.3%). The Markets and Markets study can be found here.

EcoSeed tells us Ireland’s first renewable biomass electricity plant will be converting straw into electricity starting in 2015.  Biotricity Ltd. will soon begin construction on the 16 megawatt biomass plant in the Irish midlands. The plant will use 90,000 tons of straw per year supplied by the Irish Farmers Association. Biotricity will sell the electricity to the Irish government under a 15-year renewable energy supply contract.

North America’s largest anaerobic digester” turns pizza crusts into energy according to Salon.  A facility built by Harvest Power in the Canadian city of Richmond, British Columbia,  has the capacity to convert up to 40,000 tonnes (that’s 88 million pounds) of food and yard waste per year from area homes, businesses, restaurants and supermarkets into electricity and compost.  The plant produces enough electricity to power 900 homes.

Harvest Power CEO Paul Sellew stated, “We see an organic cycle of energy and nutrients: a pizza crust from last night’s dinner gets turned into power today, and soil that grows tomatoes in tomorrow’s garden.”

Human waste is being turned into energy in Australia. From the Newcastle Herald we find Hunter Water’s Cessnock waste water treatment plant in Newcastle in the state of New South Wales transforms methane gas into electricity which is then used to power the treatment plant. Waste heat is also recovered and used in the treatment process.

Penn Energy says the Australian waste-to-energy market is poised for significant growth. A new study from research firm Frost & Sullivan assesses the potential for both the municipal-solid-waste to energy market as well as biomass and biogas power generation markets in Australia through to 2020.

A facility in Junction City, Oregon. will be the first in the Northwest US to process commercial food waste to generate electricity. The Portland Tribune says the plant uses an anaerobic digester to convert food waste and other biomass products into biogas that is then harnessed to produce electricity. Its 1.5 megawatt capacity is enough to power half the homes in Junction City.

The International Business Times writes about a dairy farm in California that converts cow manure into electricity. The Antonio Brasil Dairy, a 640-acre ranch in Dos Palos, 141 miles south of Sacramento, is expected to generate 18,000 gallons of liquid compost a day as well as 250 kilowatts of electricity. The generator is connected to the local power grid, and the heat and exhaust from the power unit is used to heat the manure.

In another part of California, food and green waste are going to produce Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for vehicles. environmental LEADER reports that a facility near San Francisco will turn 11,200 tons per year of food and green waste into more than 100,000 diesel equivalent gallons of CNG and compost. An anaerobic digester will transform the organic waste into CNG, produce heat to run the facility, and an in-vessel composting system that will mitigate odor issues and provide digestate that will be matured into compost.  The facility is scheduled to begin operation in the second quarter of 2014.

NGV Global News refers us to a new guide that instructs cities, towns and other waste generators on how to convert their local organic wastes into a renewable vehicle biofuel. The guide is entitled Turning Waste into Vehicle Fuel: Renewable Natural Gas; A Step-by-Step Guide for Communities and you can access it here.

Unlike the Europe and the US, Brazil, the second-largest producer of biofuels, does not foresee production or legislation to promote cellulosic or advanced biofuels in the next ten years. Nor does the government show any interest in going this route. theenergycollective finds this surprising since the South American country has the largest share of flex-fuel cars in the world, the highest ethanol blend percentage mandate, and consumer awareness of biofuels like ethanol derived from sugarcane.

LBC 93.7FM says heat from London’s Underground (subway system) will be used to reduce the heating bills of 500 homes in the suburb of Islington. The project is the first of its kind in Europe. Waste heat will be captured from two sources: a London Underground ventilation shaft and a sub-station owned and operated by UK Power Networks. If successful, this process could be replicated in other parts of the UK city.




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