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Call to Action for a Truly Sustainable Renewable Future
August 8, 2013 – 5:07 pm | No Comment

-Include high octane/high ethanol Regular Grade fuel in EPA Tier 3 regulations.
-Use a dedicated, self-reducing non-renewable carbon user fee to fund renewable energy R&D.
-Start an Apollo-type program to bring New Ideas to sustainable biofuel and …

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Home » Aggregation, Agriculture/Food Processing Residues nonfield crop, Algae/Other Aquatic Organisms/Seaweed, Atmosphere, Business News/Analysis, Feedstocks, Field Crops, Forestry/Wood, Infrastructure, Not Agriculture, Opinions, Precursors/Biointermediates, Sugars

Energy as Easy as Waffles

Submitted by on September 26, 2013 – 3:04 pmNo Comment

by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest)  … Long-term, there are numerous opportunities for developing the right kind of renewable feedstocks based on careful development of agricultural markets and gaining grower adoption. But anyone who has been through the wringer in trying to gain adoption for crops like jatropha, camelina or switchgrass can tell you that grower adoption is tough, and slow.

And that establishing the data trail and end-user markets that powers adoption — well, that’s tough too. There aren’t that many staple, bulk-production crops around the world. They’ve been introduced, since the dawn of agriculture, at a rate of about one per century.

And, in using existing crops and the wood basket — ell, there’s fearsome competition for limited resources, which plays havoc with the prices and stable policy.

Parsing out the feedstock assets

So — where are the short-term answers? In residues, of course. They fall into three categories.

1. Already aggregated, “demonstrated at scale” processing technology available.
2. Already aggregated, no “demonstrated at scale” technology.
3. Limited or no aggregation, but (increasingly) “demonstrated at scale” technology.
4. No aggregation, no proven technology, R&D underway.

You could consider, as examples of the above: animal residues, municipal solid waste, forest and industrial gas residues, agricultural residues, atmospheric gases. As for companies, think: Diamond Green Diesel, Dynamic Fuels and Neste Oil; Enerkem, INEOS Bio, UPM, Fulcrum, LanzaTech, Coskata; POET-DSM, GranBio, Beta Renewables, Abengoa, DuPont, and the algae companies.

Harvest needs?

1. In-field or local pre-processing. Lot cheaper to transport sugars than the whole biomass. Lower cost means larger affordable feedstock footprint for the plant, which means scale. Right now, we have proven technology to separate cobs from stalks — but not yet to separate sugars from the cobs, or algae oils from the water, carbs and proteins that surround them.

2. Fast, single-pass systems — aggregating residues in the same pass that aggregates, for example, corn or wheat. One of the great advantages of sugarcane bagasse is that it is aggregated along with the sugars in the field and separation occurs at the plant. Currently, separation takes place in the field for crops like corn — meaning that residues are just left in the field to rot.

The bottom line

If there was one area of R&D that has been left relatively unattended — it is aggregation of already abundant resources in order to make them affordable.  READ MORE and MORE (Ethanol Producer Magazine)

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