June 2008

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Business Briefs

Essent Trading to buy green electricity from Electrawinds



Using the world's best farmland to grow biomass for fuel can lead to indirect land-use changes that accelerate global warming and increase competition for food worldwide-but that's only part of the story, said three experts at the International Biomass '08 Conference & Trade Show held in April in Minneapolis.

A collaboration of Colorado-based researchers is taking the next step toward the synthesis of carbon-negative biofuels.

Influential forces work quietly behind the scenes on Capitol Hill in favor of biomass power producers. These forces-organized people with an important message-are not often sensationalized in the newspapers, but their work is important and lawmakers know who they are.

Representatives from around the world came to Washington, D.C., to pledge their support for promoting and developing renewable energy sources. As part of the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference 2008, attendees committed their nations, organizations and businesses to make significant gains in supporting renewable energy. Many of these pledges are aimed at growing the role of biomass in the world's energy supply.

Japan's gorgeous cultural emblem has taken on a new level of meaning. It will help the resource-poor island nation generate more of its own energy.

The first McGyan process biodiesel manufacture system fit on a desk in the chemistry department of Augsburg College in Minneapolis.

A Column of Support

By Jerry W. Kram

What started as a student research project at Augsburg College may become a major change in the biodiesel industry. A team of scientists and engineers have turned a tool for purifying and separating chemicals into a six-second process for turning the poorest quality vegetable oil into biodiesel. The first commercial-scale plant using the process should come on line this year.

The mere mention of moving biodiesel through pipelines brings so many related aspects into question that Biodiesel Magazine decided it was time to address the totality of these interrelated concerns.


Multidimensional Moringa

By Susanne Retka Schill

The oil from the Moringa tree is considered to be a more sustainable biodiesel feedstock than jatropha oil by those who argue that sustainability is better served by feedstocks that can yield both food and fuel.

As relative newcomers to the industrial world, biodiesel producers, who are generally regarded as environmentally friendly, need to be good neighbors when it comes to properly disposing of byproducts. Although the scientific and regulatory communities have yet to agree on the toxicity of biodiesel byproducts, the industry should be prepared as the regulatory framework for the fledgling industry materializes.

Verry, right, and George Martin, United Soybean Board director, answer questions at the BioTrucker Fuel Card press conference on March 25 at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

Card-Carrying Biotruckers

By Timothy Charles Holmseth

A new breed of truckers is emerging among the ranks of the transportation industry and their numbers are increasing up and down the lanes of U.S. highways. The biotrucker has arrived. Although the moniker may sound like some kind of futuristic fictional character from another planet, these men and women are red-blooded Americans.

In an industry born from grease, oil and animal fat, men have traditionally led the opening and operating of biodiesel plants. In Tennessee, however, one woman is determined to make a difference for her children and the world by creating biodiesel communities.

Can a thriving industry collapse because of tax policy? That appears to be happening in Germany and perhaps elsewhere. If true-what does it mean for biodiesel worldwide?

Co-locating biodiesel and ethanol plants provides economies for both and helps a global ethanol leader meet biodiesel mandates.

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