August 2007

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Business Briefs

Stoel Rives moves national energy practice into Midwest



Editor's Note

By Tom Bryan

EERC Update

By Chris J. Zygarlicke

Tom Bryan

Editor's Note

By Tom Bryan

Donnell Rehagen

NBB In Sight

By Donnell Rehagen, NBB Chief Operating Officer


A nationwide movement to capitalize on the energy producing power of garbage is driven by a strong market for renewable energy, a desire to clean up the environment and to generate a revenue stream.

High-priced petroleum brings the finite nature of this resource to a striking reality. Out of necessity comes research into alternative fuels and the myriad of materials made from petroleum. Since the mid-1990s, succinic acid has garnered interest as a petroleum alternative for the manufacture of everything from de-icers to pesticides.

Pictured is an artist's rendering of the biomass gasification plant that Biomass Gas and Electric is building as part of the company's power production agreement with the city of Tallahassee, Fla.

Harnessing the Power of Biomass

By Susanne Retka Schill

Biomass power producers aren't pausing while current U.S. federal policies favor renewable fuels development in an effort to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil. Renewable power will play a vital role in the world's attempts to reduce greenhouse gases. Now that the first-generation technology has matured, work continues on developing new technologies based on lessons learned.

The biomass boiler at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center will require 16,000 tons of wood per year to provide one megawatt of heat and power.

Fuels for Schools and Beyond

By Anduin Kirkbride McElroy

Fuels for Schools was started in Vermont as a statewide initiative to promote and encourage the use of renewable, local natural resources to provide reliable heat for schools. It has since grown into a multistate program, and has recently expanded its scope beyond schools.

Hydoxyproprionic Acid (HPA) is one chemical feedstock already being produced from biomass. This star diagram shows the potentially valuable chemical derivatives that can be made from HPA.

The Elusive Biorefinery

By Jerry W. Kram

Replacing fossil fuel-based products such as plastics and solvents with biomass-based equivalents has long been a goal of the biobased industry. The vision is a biorefinery-the equivalent of an oil refinery-producing many chemicals with hundreds of end uses. So, why aren't such facilities being built?

The 2007 Challenge X: Crossover to Sustainable Mobility competition enables today's students to shape tomorrow's vehicles.

A partnership between Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP and Green Earth Fuels LLC literally places biodiesel production within the petroleum distribution network, right next to the pipelines. Kinder Morgan believes this would be effective in taking biodiesel out of its niche fuel status.

Automakers across the globe have been retooling their passenger diesel powertrains-tweaking fuel injection, timing and combustion specs while adding sophisticated advanced emissions control gear-to meet new U.S. and global regulations on particulate matter and nitrogen oxides.

Motor City Methyl Esters

By Nicholas Zeman

DaimlerChrysler Corp., NextEnergy Center and Biodiesel Industries Inc. are cleaning up a brownfield site in Detroit to grow feedstocks for biodiesel production. Developing future fuels in Michigan is critical as it's the U.S. automobile manufacturing hub. Furthermore, if the project is successful it could serve as a model for the "greening" of hazardous waste sites nationwide.

Shaver, left, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue, and graduate student David Snyder discuss how to modify a commercial diesel engine with a new technology.

The Ideal Engine

By Jessica Ebert

An engine that produces near-zero emissions, gets great fuel economy and runs on fuels produced in the homeland is the dream of environmentalists, engineers and those who seen an energy-independent economy. Scientists across the globe are close to taking this concept from the realms of REM sleep and wishful thinking to plunking it into reality.

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