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Building the Biomass Power Grid
Posted April 23, 2009



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KL Energy expands to Brazil

Cellulosic ethanol developer KL Energy Corp. has announced it will expand into Brazil, as a result of a partnership with renewable energy business development company add blue Ltda. Through an exclusive cooperation agreement, the companies will construct a demonstration-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in Brazil to implement KL Energy's enzymatic process. KL Energy CEO Steve Corcoran told Biomass Magazine that the company began talks with add blue in mid-2008, when KL Energy executives visited several sugarcane mills, technology institutes and investors in Brazil.READ MORE

California adopts LCFS

Following months of consideration and public commentary sessions, members of the California Air Resources Board held a final day-long hearing April 23 to consider the adoption of a low-carbon fuel standard. Board members voted 9-1 in favor of the regulation, setting in motion a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the state by 16 million metric tons by 2020 and to require biofuel producers to meet "carbon intensity" standards, which include indirect land-use change (ILUC) considerations.READ MORE

Residents oppose proposed biomass power plant

Given the rough economic times, one would think that communities would welcome a company or business planning to bring new jobs to the area. Despite the potential for economic benefits, some residents are wary of new biomass projects. Residents of Russell, Mass., a town of about 1,650, have recently reiterated their long-standing opposition to the construction of a 50-megawatt woody biomass power plant on the banks of the Westfield River. The project has generated concerns since Russell Biomass LLC unveiled its plans in 2005.READ MORE

UCSF engineers microbes to produce methyl halides

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, have published a paper on their work with a bacteria and a yeast that have the potential to become a truly feedstock flexible process producing an intermediate chemical new to the biomass industry. Christopher Voigt, an associate professor in pharmaceutical chemistry at UCSF, was the principle investigator for the paper, "Synthesis of Methyl Halides from Biomass Using Engineered Microbes," published online April 20 by the Journal of the American Chemical Society.READ MORE

OriginOil achieves rapid algae oil extraction

OriginOil Inc. is making progress toward reducing the cost of harvesting algae and extracting the oil in a rapid, one-step process. In addition to integrating this process into its own algae production system, OriginOil plans to quickly commercialize the patent-pending process for use by others in the algae industry.READ MORE

Minnesota auditor: shift funds from corn to cellulose

The Office of the Legislative Auditor for the Minnesota state legislature has released a report titled "Biofuel Policies and Programs" that recommends the state eliminate the producer payment program for corn-based ethanol and redirect those funds to other programs designed to reduce fossil fuel energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, including to programs to develop cellulosic ethanol.READ MORE

JBEI to assess feasibility of biofuel microbes

Researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute, a California-based scientific partnership led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, have developed a new technique to complete metabolic studies that could greatly accelerate the search for new biofuel microbes.READ MORE

Omnibus bill funding supports ethanol research

The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, or H.R. 1105, was recently signed into law. The $410 billion legislative package contains appropriations bills that were not completed in the 110th congress. Several biofuel projects, including those in Michigan, Minnesota and Louisiana, received funding under the legislation.READ MORE

SMUD to purchase landfill gas from Texas

Landfill gas will be piped from Texas to California to help the Sacramento Municipal Utility District meet its renewable portfolio standard. SMUD announced April 20 it had signed a 15-year contract with Shell Energy North America for 6 billion British thermal units of gas per day. Most of that will be from a landfill near Dallas, supplemented by a variable amount of conventional natural gas. The gas will be used to fuel the SMUD Cosumnes Power Plant near Sacramento, Calif.READ MORE

Analysis finds benefits in clean energy bill

Cap-and-trade policies are part of many options being considered by Congress this spring as the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 is crafted. The House Energy and Commerce Committee launched a week of hearings starting April 20 taking testimony on options for climate and energy policy. At the beginning of the week, an economic analysis by national energy and environmental experts was released, countering industry claims that carbon-cap-and-trade legislation will be too costly for consumers.READ MORE