September 2009

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Business Briefs

Virent earns Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award



In Pursuit of Loot

By Anna Austin and Lisa Gibson

Biomass projects encounter many of the same challenges as other businesses, including obtaining adequate capital. Biomass Magazine talks with industry experts about the current financial situation, and funding opportunities for biomass projects.

Researchers at the Qteros lab in Massachusetts study the Q Microbe?s ability to produce ethanol in one step. PHOTO: JIM GIPE, PIVOT MEDIA, INC.

Mighty Microbe

By Lisa Gibson

The Q Microbe, found in the soil near a Massachusetts reservoir, can produce unprecedented amounts of ethanol in a single step. Supported by a company devoted to its process and improvement, it could lead the way to commercial production of cellulosic ethanol and the achievement of renewable fuel standard mandates.

What can be done with the millions of U.S. forestland acres devastated by the mountain pine beetle? Biomass power applications are an attractive option, but action must be taken before the trees lose their value.


Biomass' Role in the Energy Future

By Anna Austin and Lisa Gibson

The current state and future challenges of the biomass industry were addressed at the Energy & Environmental Research Center's Biomass '09: Power, Fuels, and Chemicals Workshop.


Future Destinations

By By Nicholas Zeman

The U.S. coastal regions and population centers are hot spots for biodiesel project development as more companies look to locate their operations near consumption markets. Armed with their own process technologies, medium-sized production plans and creative models, dozens of new players are populating the Biodiesel Magazine proposed plant landscape.

A Need for Discovery

By By Nicholas Zeman

There have been complaints that the only way to find the rolling spot price for biodiesel is to check with individual distributors, a tedious process at best. Some say those who lack price discovery expertise lack experience, so as the industry growsand more market players look to purchase the fuel, a legitimate discovery mechanism will be needed.


The View from Big Oil's Height

By Susanne Retka Schill

The time is coming when Big Oil will have to figure out how biodiesel fits into its plans, but at the moment the oil industry is taking a wait-and-see stance.

Crimson Renewable opened its plant at Bakersfield, Calif., in July. PHOTO: CRIMSON RENEWABLES

New Systems and Strategies

By Susanne Retka Schill

Biodiesel Magazine speaks to new producers about their systems and strategies for being successful in the biodiesel industry.


The key to raising money for biomass power projects is developing a good solid business plan that lets investors and lenders know that the projects' fundamentals are secure enough to ensure that financial returns are met.

Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach to protecting biomass/cleantech intellectual property, there are some general attributes of many cleantech efforts that should be considered when assessing possible strategies.

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