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Biomass in the State of the Union
Posted January 29, 2010



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Cellulosic ethanol demo plant opens in Tennessee

Leaders from DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol LLC, the University of Tennessee, Genera Energy and Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen cut the ribbon on one of the world's first cellulosic ethanol demonstration facilities, located in Vonore, Tenn. The 74,000-square-foot plant has started producing ethanol and will deliver low-cost, fully-integrated technology for commercial production of ethanol from agricultural residue and bioenergy crops, including corncobs and switchgrass.READ MORE

Construction job fair attracts hundreds

A job fair in Nacogdoches, Texas, in search of construction workers for a biomass power plant resulted in about 330 completed job applications and almost as many job interviews, according to Bill King, president and CEO of the Nacogdoches Economic Development Corp. NEDC held the fair in conjunction with Fagen Inc., which is managing construction of the 100-megawatt Nacogdoches Power LLC plant near Sacul, Texas.READ MORE

Company to optimize energy crops

A company in Indiana aims to streamline Miscanthus giganteus and Arundo donax (giant reed) production by offering growers plantlets resulting from a micropropagation technology. Both crops are high-yielding perennial grasses that have been studied as potential biomass feedstocks for quite some time, but their use as a commercial-scale energy crop has been slow to fruition due to their sterile nature and above-average labor intensity involved in harvesting the plants.READ MORE

Study: Biomass crops attract beneficial insects

A study recently published by Michigan State University has found that diverse biomass crop plantings such as switchgrass and native prairie grasses attract a higher number of beneficial insects than nondiverse crops such as corn.READ MORE

Biomass-based fertilizers enhance growth

Fertilizers made mostly from pine tree biomass and produced by Washington-based EcoTrac Organics have been shown to enhance growth in conifers and pine trees, and can reduce water requirements of treated lawns and plants, according to the company. Since its establishment in 2007, the company has sought to manufacture and market environmentally-friendly products and has come up with three so far, with some patents pending.READ MORE

Bill will boost biomass in Wisconsin

Wisconsin biomass advocates are requesting active support from the public to secure the passage of Gov. Jim Doyle's Clean Energy Jobs Act (SB450 and AB649), which was introduced in early January. The bill, which largely endorses biomass energy, will increase the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency and cleaner fuels in Wisconsin.READ MORE

Biomass project potential in Montana

Montana holds potential for two biomass projects, both in very early stages of development, but one is at a standstill after the local utility declined to enter into a power purchase agreement. The other, involving the Conservation District of Chouteau County and the Research Conservation and Development Board, is trying to find a use for an abundance of wheat straw.READ MORE

Biofuel industry reacts to Obama's address

Alternative fuel supporters listening eagerly to President Barack Obama on Jan. 27 heard the word they were listening for: biofuels.READ MORE