Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ford E85 Direct Injection Boosting Study

Keep an eye on this one. Direct injection ethanol boosting could revolutionize driving and the ethanol industry.
Green Car Congress: Ford E85 Direct Injection Boosting Study: A Less Expensive Alternative to Diesel: "Improved engine efficiency leverages the effect of the limited supply of E85, compared to simply displacing gasoline as in an FFV [flexible fuel vehicle]...this leveraging can be very substantial, and has the effect of dramatically improving the net energy balance of ethanol, and therefore its beneficial impact on reducing petroleum consumption.
—Stein et. al. (2009)"

Institute researches Jerusalem Artichokes for ethanol

Jerusalem artichoke stems contain lots of simple sugars. Also, it is a perennial, so it would not need to be planted every year as with corn. Researhcers are working on Jerusalem Artichokes at the Institute for Advenced Learning.
Institute the backbone of regional efforts to go green | GoDanRiver: "“Jerusalem artichoke is a really cool plant,” said John Kennedy, director of research and innovation. “It has a lot of soluble sugar in it, and you need sugar to make ethanol.”"

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Solar power captured in space, beamed to Earth

They say radio waves would be beamed to earth where they would then be converted to electricity. Cost has been the obstacle until now. PG&E thinks they have lowered costs sufficiently.
Solar power captured in space, beamed to Earth "PG&E wants to put solar cells above the clouds, where they don't need to worry about anything blocking their view of the sun."

Biogas from industrial wastewater

Here is an example of energy production that helps solve a problem--wastewater treatment.
GRAINNET News and Information for the Grain, Milling, Feed, Seed and BioFuels Industry: "Ken's Foods Utilizes Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor to Generate Biogas to Power Wastewater Treatment Plant Operation"

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ethanol from Duckweed

This "duckweed" is a fast-growing aquatic weed that would grow in wastewater. It would clean up the water from municipal wate treatment or livestock production. At the same timw, researchers say it would produce more starch per acre than corn. The starch could be a feedstock for ethanol in existing biorefineries.
GRAINNET News and Information for the Grain, Milling, Feed, Seed and BioFuels Industry: "North Carolina State University Researchers Find High-Starch Duckweed Could Be Utilized to Produce Ethanol More Quickly and Efficiently Than Corn"

Friday, April 03, 2009

Engines can retrofit to run on half ethanol and half water

Perhaps the most significant advantage of using dilute ethanol (aka hydrous ethanol) is that it shoul dbe less expensive to make. It takes a lot of energy to remove the last bit of water from ethanol.
GRAINNET News and Information for the Grain, Milling, Feed, Seed and BioFuels Industry: "Sand Point, ID—An Idaho company is developing an internal combustion steam engine that will run on 50% water and 50% ethanol."

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Bacteria for cellulosic biofuels from poor soil

A successful crop involves the cooperation of numerous microbes. Scientists have found that adding specific bacteria to poplar trees accelerates their growth considerably, even when they are growing on poor soils. These are soild that would be next to useless for row crops such as corn.
Scienceline » Bacteria for Better Biofuels: "Adding the right kind of bacteria, scientists find, can boost plant growth on poor quality soil."