August 2009

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Business Briefs

Interior Department invests in woody biomass projects



U.K. island uses gasification technology to turn municipal solid waste into power , bringing it closer to energy independence.

Utilizing a technology developed at the U.S. DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Utah-based Genifuel Corp. is working to gasify aquatic biomass into natural gas for use in pipelines and power generation.

A gasification technology developed for railroad ties will provide a clean way to dispose of the creosote-treated materials, and create jobs and energy for aboriginal communities.

A Colossal Conversion

By Anna Austin

Xcel Energy is converting the last coal-fired boiler at Bay Front Power Plant in Ashland, Wis., to run solely on biomass. Through the implementation of a gasification technology, it will become the largest biomass-fired power plant in the Midwest.

Cleaner, Faster, Stronger

By Nicholas Zeman

New diesel technologies offer consumers high-performance, excellent fuel economy and the biodiesel industry a chance to sell its fuel into a market sector that has historically been elusive. New production efforts, new models and favorable government programs are setting the stage for an expansion of the diesel presence in the United States. It's mostly European companies, however-and not domestic producers-who are hoping to bring consumers into the diesel fold.

Sometimes the world is reminded that despite its massive mechanics, its constant change, its tendency to obliterate anything that opposes its will, a single life-or death in this case-can change it all. When Rudolf Diesel disappeared from a ship in the English Channel en route from Antwerp to London to attend the annual meeting of Consolidated Diesel Manufacturers, much more was expected of him.

There have been significant advancements in technology since the late 1800s when Rudolf Diesel invented the engine bearing his name. Here is an overview of the diesel engine's evolution.

California Carbon Counting

By Susanne Retka Schill

Soy biodiesel's carbon score came in disappointingly low for preliminary scoring done for California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard, but California's new regulation may not all be bad news for the biodiesel industry.


Enerkem's gasification technology provides a solution for some of the challenges facing cellulosic ethanol producers, including high manufacturing cots and the volume of feedstock required.

This 24-month-old stand of Eucalyptus sp. trees is being grown in Florida./PHOTO: RONALDS GONZALEZ

Filling a Need: Forest Plantations for Bioenergy in the Southern US

By Ronalds Gonzalez, Dr. Jeff Wright and Dr. Daniel S

The growing number of renewable energy projects in the Southern U.S. utilizing woody biomass will require the development of short-rotation bioenergy plantations.

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