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Facing Opposition
Posted March 19, 2010



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Researchers discover furan-degrading bacterium

Researchers at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands have discovered that the bacterium Cupriavidus basilensis breaks down furans and other harmful byproducts generated when sugars are released from wood. The discovery holds the potential to remove harmful compounds during the production of second-generation chemicals and fuels from waste wood, avoiding the current expensive and environmentally unfriendly production methods.READ MORE

U of Toronto researches bark biorefinery process

The University of Toronto will use a portion of an $8.2 million award from the Ontario Research Fund's Research Excellence Program to develop a bark biorefinery that will produce green adhesives and biobased foams from tree bark.READ MORE

Researchers study miscanthus, switchgrass pest

Miscanthus and switchgrass, two of the leading cellulosic ethanol feedstock contenders, like any other crops, are threatened by pests that need to be studied and carefully mitigated. Researchers at the University of Illinois Energy Biosciences Institute have recently identified potential pathogenic nematodes-microscopic, wormlike organisms-of both crops and at what levels they are present in different areas.READ MORE

Metabolix, ADM begin bioplastic production

Massachusetts-based bioscience company Metabolix Inc. and agri-giant Archer Daniels Midland Co. have begun producing Mirel bioplastic at their $300 million commercial facility in Clinton, Iowa, and expect to make initial deliveries to customers within the next month. Through their joint venture, the companies are working up to the plant's full production capacity of 110 million pounds per year, according to Metabolix.READ MORE

OPG contracting biomass for conversion

Ontario Power Generation is moving forward with plans to repower its 211-megawatt (MW) coal-fired Atikokan Generating Station with biomass and has issued a call for potential wood-based biomass fuel suppliers.READ MORE

Florida city terminates consideration of biomass plant

A 55-megawatt biomass power plant that would have called Gretna, Fla., home will not be built, as city officials announced March 16 that they have terminated consideration of the facility.READ MORE

University of Florida study downplays RPS potential

A recently-released University of Florida study indicates that increased woody biomass use for power generation through implementation of a 7 percent renewable portfolio standard (RPS) in Florida would bring about a modest increase in the state's gross domestic product, employment and state government revenues, but suggests that a more ambitious RPS would require significant forest management practices and could have negative implications on the forest products manufacturing sector.READ MORE

Mass. coalition publicizes initiative's negative impacts

Proponents of renewable energy in Massachusetts have formed a coalition to educate the public about the detriments of a proposed ballot initiative that would unreasonably limit carbon emissions. The initiative is slated to appear on the Nov. 10 ballot and will mandate that biomass power plants, along with other renewable facilities, emit no more than 250 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour in order to qualify for the state renewable portfolio standard of 20 percent by 2025. Without that qualification, plants will not generate renewable energy credits, a key portion of their revenue.READ MORE