Thursday, February 28, 2008

Biofuel of the Future: Cellulosic Ethanol

I have recently highligted a great number of studies showing problems with biofuels. From competition with food crops for land and water to encouraged deforestation, fertiliser usage and ecological impacts from pesticides. However, there are reasons for optimism that biofuels have potential, this is perticularly true when we talk about vehicles with 100mpg rather than 20-30. Perticulalry cellulosic ethanol seems to be the way to go, this is a process development challenge.
Chris Somerville [Director of the EBI, UC Berkeley]

The earth receives approximately 4000 times as much energy from the sun each year as the total projected human energy use in 2050. Because plants can be deployed on a large scale to capture and store solar energy, I am interested in exploring the degree to which it may become possible to use photosynthesis for sustainable production of renewable carbon-neutral energy. In considering this possibility, the Secretary of Energy of the US has called for the replacement of 30% of the liquid fuels used in the US with biofuels by 2030. I will outline some of the technical issues that must be addressed in order to understand if it is possible to reach this and related goals. I will also discuss some of the areas in which I envision significant technical advances may enable evolution of the biofuels industry.
The video bellow is from CITRIS at UC Berkeley.

  • All Climate Change Action posts on Biofuels.
  • Christian Aid talk covering biofuels in Brazil including labour standards and land ownership.

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At 12:36 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Cellulose is a tough substance that is built up over a long period in the life of the plant. Many animals cant even digest it. It will be a technological marvel that can extract the energy trapped in it...!

At 12:40 PM, Blogger Calvin Jones said...

A technological marvel that is elucidated in the video...

At 6:22 PM, Blogger fpteditors said...

He admits that it currently takes a net energy input of 45% to produce biofuel.
Then, all the solutions he mentions are "research opportunities."
According to him energy demand is growing at the rate of 1 nuclear plant every 2 days.
He is being paid to prolong the life of the autosprawl system because there is no profit for his funding sources in reducing energy demand.
We need free public transit.

At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’m sure you have heard about the upcoming Next Generation Bio-Ethanol, which is to be held on 22-23 April at the Westin Grande Sukhumvit in Bangkok.

Next Generation Bio-Ethanol, a conference on the ethanol value chain, will give executives from all over the world the inside edge on the myths that prevail in the ethanol markets. The event aims to set itself apart by being objective and separate fact from fiction in the myriad of issues surrounding Ethanol production and processing.

But why attend Next Generation Bio-Ethanol? Here are my TOP TEN REASONS!
1.Gather actual economic and project analysis for your financial tie-ups
2.Analyze the scope for large scale versus small scale ethanol production models
3.Zoom into real investments in Asia and Africa
4.Receive updates on the latest Biotechnology Findings on Cellulosic Ethanol.
5.See first-hand a fully operational Cassava Farm and Starch factory.
6.Identify the best Cassava variety that gives the highest ethanol yield.
7.Evaluate incentives for implementing Cellulosic Ethanol.
8.Learn about latest developments in Enzyme technologies and the Membrane technologies for Ethanol dewatering
9.Learn methods for earning a Sustainable Profit from your Ethanol Project through Certification along the ethanol logistics chain
10.Enjoy over 10 hours of Business Networking with global investors and industry players for potentially lucrative joint venture partners.

The Next Generation Bio-Ethanol experience does not end with mere theoretical knowledge sharing.
We believe strongly in experiential learning, which is why we have arranged for course attendees to participate in a full day site visit to the Rayong Fields Crop Research Institute.
This optional visit will give attendees a complete overview of the latest research into Cassava planting and ethanol production.
Next Generation Bio-Ethanol is for industry executives, investors and project financiers who need to be aware of the ethanol markets. With the industry’s top researchers helming this program, the event will attract top executives from the oil, gas and biofuels industries in the region and world.

Register for Next Generation Bio-Ethanol today.

Tel: +65 6346 9113
Fax: +65 6345 5928
Click Here - Web Registration

If you or your associates have any further enquiries about Next Generation Bio-Ethanol, please contact me at Tel: +65 6346 9113, Fax: +65 6345 5928 or email me at

Yours sincerely
Injleep K (Ms.)
Centre for Management Technology
DID: +65 6346 9113
Fax: +65 6345 5928
80 Marine Parade Road, #13-02,
Parkway Parade, Singapore 449296


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