Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Biofuel

In the near future, genetically-altered Ralstonia eutropha bacteria could be used to conve...

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have succeeded in genetically altering Ralstonia eutropha soil bacteria in such a way that they are able to convert carbon into isobutanol, an alcohol that can be blended with or even substituted for gasoline. It is hoped that once developed further, this technology could help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and lessen the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by smoke stacks.  Read More

A diagram of the process utilized by the Endurance Bioenergy Reactor

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) have created a device called the Endurance Bioenergy Reactor (EBR) that can produce bioenergy on location, using waste from kitchens and latrines. The fuel can go directly into engines and generators without any need for refining, avoiding the complications of distribution and supply chains associated with fuel production. The researchers say the EBR can produce 25 to 50 gallons (94.6 to 189.2 liters) of biofuel a day from waste streams or processed cellulosic materials.  Read More

Researchers have developed a new lignin-solvent process to separate cellulosic biomass int...

In order to improve the sustainability credentials of biofuels, experts have been trying to figure out ways to produce them from non-food sources, such as cellulose – the material that makes up the cell walls of plants. Now, researchers from the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology (WIST) at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point have patented a process that they say paves the way for the creation of biofuels from cellulosic plant material.  Read More

Austrian company See Algae Technology is going to debut its algae production and harvestin...

The state of Pernambuco in Brazil’s northeast is going to become home to the country’s first algal biomass plant, thanks to an agreement between See Algae Technology (SAT), an Austrian developer of equipment for the commercial production of algae, and JB, one of Brazil’s leading ethanol producers. The plant will produce algal biomass from natural and genetically modified strains of algae.  Read More

B9 Shipping's sailing cargo ships would feature a Dyna-rig sail system

Ireland-based B9 Shipping has started work on a full-scale demonstration vessel as part of its goal to design the modern world’s first 100 percent fossil fuel-free cargo sailing ships. Unlike most conventional large cargo vessels, which are powered by bunker fuel, B9 Shipping’s cargo ship would employ a Dyna-rig sail propulsion system combined with an off-the-shelf Rolls-Royce engine powered by liquid biomethane derived from municipal waste.  Read More

An Air Canada Airbus A319 (Photo: BriYYZ)

This Monday, Air Canada became the latest in a lengthening list of airlines – including Lufthansa and KLM – that have experimented with running their airliners on biofuels during regular passenger flights. In this case, the aircraft in question was an Airbus A319, traveling from Toronto to Mexico City. It was tanked up with a 50/50 mix of regular aviation fuel and biofuel made from recycled cooking oil.  Read More

Locomotive 3463, the 75 year-old test bed locomotive for CSR's Project 130

You might think that a coal-burning locomotive built in 1937 had nothing left to offer the modern rail industry, short of being a nice museum piece. In the case of Locomotive 3463, however, that appears to be far from true – now in the hands of engineers from the Coalition for Sustainable Rail (CSR), it is set to become the world’s first carbon-neutral higher-speed locomotive. It won’t be electric, however. Instead, it will run on steam generated by the burning of biocoal.  Read More

One of OriginOil's 75 GPM (300 LPM) flocculation units

OriginOil and Algasol, two companies working to develop algae into renewable fuel, have announced a collaboration on growth and harvest technology. The companies hope the partnership will help them reduce cost and improve performance, therefore increasing commercial prospects for algae as fuel source. Harvesting algae is one of the main cost drivers associated with this type of raw material. Algae are microscopic and live in suspension on liquid. When the time comes to harvesting it, the water/algae ratio can be as high as 1,000/1. In order to make it suitable for commercial applications, that ratio needs to be reduced to around 10/1.  Read More

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner has made the first biofuel-powered aircraft crossing of the Pacifi...

Boeing made headlines last June, when its new 747-8 Freighter crossed the Atlantic Ocean running partially on biofuel. Yesterday, one of the company's 787 Dreamliners set a similar milestone – it crossed the Pacific Ocean using a biofuel mix. It was not only the first time that such fuel has been used in a 787, but also marked the first biofuel-powered aircraft crossing of the Pacific.  Read More

Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Jim Albaugh, Embraer Commercial Aviation Pre...

Three of the world’s biggest aircraft manufacturers have set aside their differences in an effort to accelerate the development of biofuel for commercial aviation. In a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed this week, Boeing, Airbus and Embraer say they have agreed to work together on the development of drop-in, affordable aviation biofuels that will help the aviation industry reduce its carbon footprint.  Read More

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