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Biofuel

New research stirs corn-ethanol debate
 Photo: Noel McKeegan

A team of researchers from the University of Washington researched the impact on soil fertility and effects on food supply when fuels based on crops such as corn and soybeans are mixed with fossil fuels. They discovered that the large amounts of energy required to grow corn and then convert it to produce ethanol had a net energy gain that was modest and that corn-based ethanol was the worst offender amongst the alternative energy fuels.  Read More

OrignOil patents technology for large scale algae oil production

Los Angeles-based OriginOil has developed breakthrough technology that it believes will enable the transformation of algae oil into a true competitor for petroleum. The company has filed a patent to protect its invention of a scalable system that is critical to achieving high volume algae production required to replace petroleum.  Read More

Airbus commits to biofuel

Virgin Atlantic and Boeing launched the world's first commercial airline flight on biofuel earlier this year, then Continental Airlines joined the push towards alternative fuels and now Airbus has announced that it will partner with Honeywell, IAE and JetBlue in order to develop a sustainable second-generation biofuel for use in commercial aircraft.  Read More

Continental to conduct biofuel test

Continental Airlines, in conjunction with Boeing and GE Aviation, has announced plans to conduct a biofuel demonstration flight in the first half of 2009. Continental will be the first major U.S. carrier to undertake such a flight in an effort to identify sustainable fuel solutions for the aviation industry.  Read More

Steve Hutcheson and Ron Weiner from University of Maryland

A new process developed by two professors at the University of Maryland could mean the ability to convert large volumes of all kinds of plant products, from leftover brewer's mash to paper trash, into ethanol and other biofuel alternatives to gasoline. When fully operational, the process could potentially lead to the production of 75 billion gallons of carbon-neutral ethanol each year.  Read More

Virgin Atlantic biofuel test flight

Dubbed a “scam” and a “stunt” by environmental groups and sections of the media, the fact remains that Virgin Atlantic has become the world's first airline to fly one of its commercial planes on biofuel. A mix of standard jet fuel, coconut and babassu oils powered the Boeing 747 jumbo jet from London Heathrow to Amsterdam.  Read More

AEBiofuels Montana site

Construction has begun on an integrated cellulose and starch ethanol commercial demonstration facility in Montana, USA. The plant is being built by AE Biofuels, an energy company focused on developing next-generation ethanol and biodiesel production from both non-food and traditional materials.  Read More

Alternative aircraft fuel test flight
 Photo: Airbus S.A.S. 2008

February 5, 2008 The Airbus A380 has become the first commercial aircraft to complete a flight using liquid fuel processed from gas. GTL involves converting natural gas, which emits the least carbon of all the fossil fuels, to a liquid fuel oil, which can be used as a fuel substitute, or mixed with regular fuel. The three-hour flight from the UK to France was the first stage of a test flight program to evaluate the environmental impact of alternative fuels in the airline market.  Read More

Lord Rooker at the opening of the new bioethanol plant

November 23, 2007 A new, state of the art plant that will produce bioethanol from locally-grown sugar beet has been opened in the U.K. The British Sugar facility at Wissington, Norfolk, has an annual production capacity of 70 million liters.  Read More

Range Fuel will produce cellulosic ethanol from wood materials

November 9, 2007 The production of ethanol as a cleaner alternative to fossil fuel throws up a number of challenges - in particular it has been argued that the amount of land required to produce crops for ethanol fuel production is too great, taking away land that is needed for food production. The use of cellulosic biomass to make commercial ethanol has been seen as a possible solution to this problem and now Range Fuels has now announced plans for the first commercial ethanol plant in the U.S. to use cellulosic biomass.  Read More

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