Cellulosic ethanol archive
2010 Cellulosic ethanol-related events
For upcoming events, see the events section of the BioenergyWiki page on Cellulosic ethanol.
- 27-29 April 2010, Washington, D.C., USA: Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference. (Themes: algae, biobutanol, camelina, cellulosic ethanol, jatropha, renewable diesel, renewable jet fuel)
- 14-17 June 2010, St. Louis, Missouri, USA: International Fuel Ethanol Workshop and Expo. (Themes: cellulosic ethanol, co-products/distillers grains, corn ethanol, feedstocks, technology)
- 22-23 June 2010 , Alexandria, Virginia, (Washington, D.C. area) USA: Global Advanced Biofuels Scale Up Summit 2010. (Themes: algae, biobutanol, BioDME, cellulosic ethanol, feedstocks, markets, technology)
2009 Cellulosic ethanol-related events
- 16-19 November 2009, Washington, D.C., USA: Cellulosic Biofuels Summit 2009. (Themes: cellulosic biofuels, feedstocks, finance, supply chain, technology)
2010 Cellulosic ethanol-related news
2009 Cellulosic ethanol-related news
- DOE and USDA Award $24 Million in Biomass Grants, 18 November 2009 by EERE News: "DOE and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on November 12 more than $24 million in grants for the research and development (R&D) of biofuels, bioenergy, and high-value biobased products."
- "Six projects involve R&D in biomass conversion technologies, including...develop[ing] kinetic models of biomass gasification" and "develop[ing] a yeast fermentation organism that can cost-effectively convert cellulosic-derived sugars into isobutanol, a second-generation biofuel that balances high octane content and low vapor pressure".
- "Three grants will support biomass feedstock development" including "develop[ing] a form of switchgrass with new traits that eliminate the need for both expensive pretreatment equipment and enzymes".
- (China) Biofuels: learning from Obama, 21 August 2009 by China Dialogue: "China already has the foundation it needs to commercialise cellulosic ethanol production. [For instance,] China was previously a world leader in acid and enzyme hydrolysis."
- "In accelerating the development of biofuel energy, China must coordinate on a national level and concentrate on two aspects....First, while commercialising mature technology as soon as possible, China should also strengthen basic research in key fields."
- Biofuel-Run Limousines to Deliver Leaders at UN Climate Summit, 29 June 2009 by Bloomberg News: "World leaders attending the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen will arrive in limousines powered by plant waste, the first public use of second- generation biofuels [cellulosic ethanol], according to organizers."
- "The Danish foreign ministry, official host of the Dec. 7-18 event, agreed to buy 3,000 liters (793 U.S. gallons) of biofuel from four Nordic companies that will produce it from plant chaff at an experimental facility".
- "'This will show the world that second-generation biofuel is a technology that's very close to entering the market,' Bjarne Adamsen, director at Danisco, the world’s second-largest producer of biofuel enzymes, said in an interview in the Copenhagen-based ministry."
- Stress-Testing Biofuels: How the Game Was Rigged, 12 May 2009 by Time Magazine: "An outgrowth of the 2007 energy bill, [U.S. government evaluation "tests"] were supposed to document whether corn ethanol and other biofuels designed to replace fossil fuels would accelerate or alleviate global warming overall."
- "The draft conclusions...were that cellulosic ethanol and other next-generation renewables will dramatically reduce greenhouse-gas emissions over their entire life cycle, but that in some scenarios, corn ethanol (as well as lesser-used soy biodiesel) can produce even more emissions than gasoline."
- Bacteria for Better Biofuels, 30 March 2009 by Scienceline: Scientists "have found a unique way to increase the growth of one promising biofuel source on marginal land: just add bacteria."
- "'If we have bacteria that can help plants to grow better, then these plants will be able to get established [on marginal land], and we can then use these soils for the economic production of biofuels,' says Daniel van der Lelie, a microbiologist at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, NY and lead author of a study published in the February 1 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology."
- "In the study, the researchers focused on improving the growth of poplar trees. These trees are known for their rapid growth and ability to survive in many different types of climates, both ideal traits for biofuel production. The Brookhaven group found that adding the right kinds of naturally occurring bacteria to the roots of poplar trees increased their biomass production by up to 80 percent over ten weeks, according to van der Lelie."
- Worldwatch & Sierra Club Outline Smart Choices for Biofuels, 19 February 2009 by RenewableEnergyWorld.com: "The Sierra Club and Worldwatch Institute have released a new report, "Smart Choices for Biofuels" (PDF file), that highlights the need for policy reforms to increase the use of biofuels in the U.S."
- Cellulosic Ethanol May Benefit Human Health And Help Slow Climate Change, 3 February 2009 by ScienceDaily: "Filling our fuel tanks with cellulosic ethanol instead of gasoline or corn-based ethanol may be even better for our health and the environment than previously recognized, according to new research from the University of Minnesota."
- "The study finds that cellulosic ethanol has fewer negative effects on human health because it emits smaller amounts of fine particulate matter, an especially harmful component of air pollution."
- "The study is the first to estimate the economic costs to human health and well-being from gasoline, corn-based ethanol and cellulosic ethanol made from biomass. The authors found that depending on the materials and technology used in production, cellulosic ethanol's environmental and health costs are less than half the costs of gasoline, while corn-based ethanol's costs range from roughly equal to about double that of gasoline."
- "The paper also points out that other potential advantages of cellulosic biofuels, such as reducing the amount of fertilizer and pesticide runoff into rivers and lakes, may also add to the economic benefit of transitioning to next-generation biofuels."
- See the Open Access study, "Climate change and health costs of air emissions from biofuels and gasoline" in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
- GM voices commitment to biofuels as study touts possibilities, 10 February by Kansas City Star:
- "A top General Motors executive said Tuesday his company remains committed to the use of biofuels, including cellulosic ethanol, even with such options as electric cars becoming available."
- "The comment coincided with the release of a study reporting that the U.S. eventually could produce enough ethanol to meet one-third of the country’s demand for gasoline. The study by Sandia National Laboratories, a federal research lab assisted by GM’s technical staff, concluded that 90 billion gallons of biofuel — mainly cellulosic ethanol — could be produced annually by 2030."
- "The study assumed that cellulosic energy would be the principal biofuel and said it would take 48 million acres to grow such necessary feedstock as wood and switchgrass. The study also said those products should not be land now used to grow food." 
- Range Fuels gets $80M loan commitment, 19 January 2009 by Denver Business Journal.
- "Range Fuels Inc. said Monday it’s received a conditional commitment for an $80 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help build the company’s commercial cellulosic ethanol plant near Soperton, Ga."
- "Range Fuels uses a proprietary, two-step conversion process using heat and chemicals to convert biomass — such as wood chips, switchgrass and other carbon-based waste items — into ethanol. The Georgia plant will use wood and wood waste from that state’s pine forests and mills as its feedstock and is expected to have the capacity to produce more than 100 million gallons of ethanol a year." 
2008 Cellulosic ethanol-related news
- Obama, Vilsack and Salazar: The Ethanol Scammers’ Dream Team, 29 December 2008, by Energy Tribune:
- "The math is straightforward: to produce 32 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol would require the annual harvest and transport of 320 million tons of biomass. Assuming each trailer holds 15 tons of biomass, that volume of biomass would fill 21.44 million semi-trailer loads. If we further assume that each trailer is 48 feet long, the column of trailers holding that quantity of feedstock would stretch almost 195,000 miles – that’s nearly the distance from the earth to the moon."
- "The corn ethanol industry is a scam. Cellulosic ethanol is a sham. And yet Obama and his appointees continue to promote the false notion that these fuels are the answer to America’s energy challenge." 
- Wind, Water and Sun Beat Biofuels, Nuclear and Coal for Energy Generation, Study Says, 17 December 2008 by RenewableEnergyWorld.com: A study by Prof. Mark Jacobson of Stanford University, entitled "Review of solutions to global warming, air pollution, and energy security", published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science, has assessed energy options in a comprehensive manner.
- "The raw energy sources that Jacobson found to be the most promising are, in order, wind, concentrated solar (the use of mirrors to heat a fluid), geothermal, tidal, solar photovoltaics (rooftop solar panels), wave and hydroelectric. He recommends against nuclear, coal with carbon capture and sequestration, corn ethanol and cellulosic ethanol, which is made of prairie grass. In fact, he found cellulosic ethanol was worse than corn ethanol because it results in more air pollution, requires more land to produce and causes more damage to wildlife."
- 25x'25 Offers Congress, New Administration Recommendations To Spark Economic Recovery, 15 December 2008 Press Release:
- "The National 25x'25 Alliance Steering Committee today presented to Congress and the incoming Obama administration a wide-ranging package of new recommendations that will bolster the U.S. economy, create new jobs and insure a clean energy future."
- "The 12 recommendations boost federal renewable energy programs by calling for additional investments totaling some $4.14 billion, an outlay that could ultimately help generate hundreds of billions in new annual revenues and millions of new jobs."
- "The package also calls for a renewed look at government support for advanced biofuel production, including increased funding in the form of grants specifically aimed at the construction of commercial-scale, cellulosic production facilities. The proposals underscore the critical role USDA and its programs can and will play in the promotion of a clean energy future and a robust economy." 
- U.S. needs environmental standards for biofuels, 2 October 2008 by mongabay.com: "The U.S. lacks criteria to ensure that cellulosic ethanol production will not harm the environment, warn scientists writing in the journal Science. The researchers say that with proper safeguards, cellulosic ethanol can help the U.S. meet its energy needs sustainably."
- Read the original article here (subscription required)
- Crop Residue May Be Too Valuable to Harvest for Biofuels, 15 July 2008 press release by Washington State University: "In the rush to develop renewable fuels from plants, converting crop residues into cellulosic ethanol would seem to be a slam dunk. However, that might not be such a good idea for farmers growing crops without irrigation in regions receiving less than 25 inches of precipitation annually, says Ann Kennedy, a USDA-Agricultural Research Service soil scientist".
- "If residue were harvested, she said, soil fertility would drop and farmers would have to find other ways to increase the amount of organic matter in their soils."
- "'We need to constantly replenish organic matter—so removing valuable residue, especially in areas with low rainfall, may not be the best practice.'"
- Shell boosts stake in Iogen cellulosic ethanol, 15 July 2008 by Reuters: "Oil major Royal Dutch Shell Plc said on Tuesday it will make a 'significant investment' in a venture it has with Canadian cellulosic ethanol maker Iogen Corp."
- "Iogen, which is also backed by Goldman Sachs Group Inc, has run a demonstration plant in Ottawa since 2004 that can produce about 2.5 million liters of ethanol a year from the plant stalks that are left behind after farmers harvest crops."
- "It is planning to open a C$500-million ($500 million) commercial-scale plant in Saskatchewan, Canada's largest wheat-producing province, in 2011. That plant would produce about 90 million liters (23.78 million U.S. gallons) of ethanol a year.
- "Cellulosic ethanol costs about twice as much to produce as corn-based ethanol, and has not yet been produced on a commercial scale."
- The race for nonfood biofuel, 4 June 2008 by the Christian Science Monitor: With "gas now at $4 a gallon and critics hammering corn ethanol for helping to pump up global food prices, it is clear that the holy grail of biofuels – cellulosic ethanol – needs to make its entrance soon."
- "A big step forward came last week with the opening of the nation’s first demonstration-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in Jennings, La. The facility, built by Cambridge, Mass.-based Verenium Corp., will use high-tech enzymes to make 1.4 million gallons per year of ethanol from the cellulose in sugar cane bagasse, a waste product."
- "Still, some environmentalists are hesitant about endorsing cellulosic technology without qualification, since there could be 'good cellulosic and bad cellulosic,' says Nathanael Greene, senior policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council in New York."
- Green Star secures algal biodiesel license, 31 January 2008, from Biofuel Review. A license was granted to use the process developed by Green Star to convert algae biomass to biodiesel, and to use cellulose sugars to produce ethanol.
- Xethanol increases Cellulosic Ethanol Production Rates, 16 January 2008, from Renewable Energy Access, new developments have increased yields by as much as 21%.
2007 Cellulosic ethanol-related news
- Genencor launches first ever commercial enzyme for cellulose ethanol. "Genencor, a division of Danish company Danisco A/S, announced the launch of Accellerase 1000, the first ever commercially available biomass enzyme developed specifically for second generation biorefineries. "
- Cellulosic Ethanol Takes Off! Engineering commences for the first US pulp mill based biorefinery 23 January 2007 from American Process, Inc. Flambeau River Biorefinery, LLC of Wisconsin has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with American Process Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia to provide project management and engineering services for its cellulosic ethanol project at Park Falls, Wisconsin.
- Sunopta Updates on Cellulosic Ethanol Projects 18 January 2007 from Greencarcongress.com. SunOpta Inc. provided an update on the status of four cellulosic ethanol projects using a variety of cellulosic biomass including woodchips, corn stover, sugar cane bagasse, and wheat straw. The projects are in China, Spain, Canada and Louisiana.
2006 Cellulosic ethanol-related news
- Are We There Yet? Not quite, but cellulosic ethanol may be coming sooner than you think 11 Dec 2006 from Grist. This piece examines trends in the development of cellulosic ethanol and suggests we may have a commercial industry within 5 years.
- Mascoma Corporation Inches Closer to Commercially Producing Cellulosic Ethanol 12 December 2006 from Biofuels Journal.
- Company brings in High-Yield Trial Rice Straw Harvest; Targets Cellulosic Ethanol Production for 2007 20 November 2006, from greencarcongress.com. Colusa Biomass Energy Corporation has completed its first ever rice-straw harvesting operation in California, the US' second-largest rice producer. It collected 6,800 tons of rice straw with an average yield per acre harvested of over 4 tons/acre, compared to previous assumptions of 2.5 tons/acre. The higher yields significantly reduced the amount of acres necessary to be harvested in order to reach CBEC’s target volume of rice straw. Colusa will turn the rice straw into ethanol at its plant, which is due to be finished in 2007.
- Stover to Fill Part of Ethanol Goal for US 22 November 2006 from the Des Moines Register. A report issued by the Biotechnology Industry Organization on Tuesday estimated that it was "realistic" to harvest 30 percent of the available stover nationwide to yield 5 billion gallons of ethanol. Most of the stover would continue to be left in the field for environmental reasons as the decaying plant material prevents soil erosion and adds ground nutrients. The US DOE has set a goal of 60 billion gallons of ethanol by 2030. However that goal assumed the use of 70% of stover for ethanol.
- First Commercial-sized Cellulosic Ethanol Plant in US to be built in Iowa 21 November 2006 from the Des Moines Register. The Broin Cos. plant will be converted from a 50 million-gallon-a-year conventional corn dry mill facility into a 125 million-gallon-a-year commercial-scale biorefinery producing ethanol not only from corn but also corn stalks, leaves and cobs. The $200 million plant expansion is scheduled to begin in February and take about 30 months to complete. Iowa already has 25 ethanol plants producing about 1.6 billion gallons of ethanol, more than any other state.
- Texas Mesquite Trees Considered for Cellulosic Ethanol October 20, 2006 by MSNBC. "The Texas A&M Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Lockett is working on a project dubbed the "Mesquite Alternative Fuel Project," which will study the feasibility of harvesting mesquite and turning it into cellulosic ethanol." There are 52 million acres of mesquite in texas and it is considered perfect for harvesting because of its high regrowth rate.
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