Friday, March 30, 2007

Company develops compressed air storage for wind power

This looks like it could be a viable alternative to batteries for storing energy. Wind turbines compress air rather than making electricity directly. -- Jeff g.
"The high-pressure pipeline network collects and stores 6-12 hours of energy. If the project is sited near a geologic feature such as a salt dome, aquifer, limestone cavern, or depleted gas field, energy storage times can exceed a month."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

China reports major offshore oil find

China reports major offshore oil find - International Herald Tribune:
AP -- March 28, 2007
"Daily production could reach 200,000 barrels within three years, Xinhua said. But that still would be equal to just a fraction of China's imports of 2.9 million barrels per day."

Biofuels demand will increase, not decrease, world food supplies argues scientist

Interesting take on the food vs. fuel topic. -- Jeff G.
Biofuels demand will increase, not decrease, world food supplies argues scientist

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hong Kong Engineers Develop Micro-Wind Turbine

This looks like it might be a true affordable micro-turbine that could be installed almost anywhere without the problems of mounting, vibrations, etc. Importantly, they say it generates electricity in winds as low as 2 meters per second (about 4.47 miles per hour). Units can be linked to produce greater amounts of electricity. Conventional wisdom says wind generators must grow ever bigger to become more competitive. Perhaps microturbines can be competitive by going smaller, with more of them. Every homeowner could have one in most areas, especially where net metering is available. Cumulative power production could be considerable -- Jeff G.
Hong Kong Engineers Develop Micro-Wind Turbine:
March 25, 2007
"Unlike conventionall wind turbines with 50-meter-diameter rotor blades, the compact micro-wind turbines are equipped with specially designed plastic gearwheels with a rotor diameter of just 26 centimeters."

Ethanol boom creates water use dilemma

Water use might be the biggest dilemma for dry areas like western Kansas when it comes to corn ethanol. This article points out that the extra water for irrigating corn may be more critical than water use at ethanol biorefineries. The best solution would be tapping cellulosic ethanol crops like grasses and wheat straw that take much less water. Even starch and sugar crops like wheat grain, barley, grain sorghum, sweet sorghum, and Jerusalem Artichokes take much less water than corn does. Some of them are high yielding as well. -- Jeff G.
Ethanol boom creates dilemma for farmers and small towns | "“That’s what’s really going to kill the water situation here,” says Brakey, a businessman from nearby Dodge City. “The amount of water it will take to irrigate all that corn.”"

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Proposed wood-fired ethanol plant in Wisconsin

This biorefinery will convert wood liquor into ethanol, using wood waste as the process fuel. -- Jeff G.
The Daily Press - Ashland, WI
: Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Let's stop nay-saying and get behind ethanol

Kansas City Star | 03/19/2007 | AS I SEE IT: Let's stop nay-saying and get behind ethanol: "...The lesson is twofold. One, if we truly want an alternative to petroleum-based fuels, the public needs to back the use of cellulosic ethanol or the plan will fail."

Saturday, March 17, 2007

DuPont's biobutanol strategy could deliver multiple benefits

If DuPont and BP can perfect a viable production process, it's hard to see how it would not make sense to switch from ethanol to biobutanol production and use in most cases. The ability to mix at higher levels with gasoline and greater ease in pipeline shipping alone would be huge advantages. -- Jeff G.
DuPont Leader Reviews Strategy to Bring Next Generation Biofuels to Market : "It resolves fuel stability issues in that
biobutanol-gasoline blends can potentially be distributed via the existing
fuel supply infrastructure; it improves blend flexibility allowing higher
biofuels blends with gasoline; it improves fuel efficiency (better miles
per gallon) compared to incumbent biofuels; and, it enhances
ethanol-gasoline blends by lowering the vapor pressure when co-blended with
these fuels. Biobutanol is targeted for introduction later this year in the
United Kingdom."

Friday, March 16, 2007

Kentucky considers biofuel production incentives

Cellulosic Ethanol Could help put states like Kentcuky in the Ethanol game without the need for importing corn. States in the southeast U.S. have as much potential for biomass yield per acre as anywhere in the nation. -- Jeff G.
Fletcher backs help for alternative fuels : "Fletcher said he also believes the incentives could help 'seal the deal' for cellulosic ethanol plants in Eastern Kentucky when that technology becomes commercially feasible."

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

800 gallons/acre of ethanol from corn within 10 years

DuPont Innovations to Help Agriculture Meet Global Challenges:
Press Release -- March 1, 2007
"'By applying cutting-edge science across the biofuel value chain, we will be able to help farmers more than double the gallons of ethanol produced from an acre of corn -- 600 gallons from grain and 200 gallons from stover -- within the next 10 years,' said Niebur."

Friday, March 02, 2007

New Vehicle Design Surpasses State Global Warming Standards

New Vehicle Design Surpasses State Global Warming Standards:
Union of Concerned Scientists -- March 1, 2007
"The Vanguard is designed to run on either pure gasoline or a mixture of gasoline and as much as 85-percent ethanol. Using 85-percent corn-based ethanol can reduce global warming pollution from 10 percent to 30 percent. Using 'cellulosic' ethanol could cut global warming pollution by as much as 90 percent. There are currently 32 types of flex-fuel vehicles on the road."

Thursday, March 01, 2007

DOE announces cellulosic ethanol grants

Six projects were awarded funding. -- Jeff
Ethanol Producer Magazine
by David Niles -- Feb. 28, 2007