Archive for the ‘#biofuel’ Tag

United Completes First Commercial Biofuel Powered Flight   Leave a comment

United Airlines just announced that Flight 1403, scheduled to take off today, Monday November 7th will be powered by Solazyme’s algae-derived biofuel. This will be the world’s first commercial biofuel powered flight. The flight’s route, from Houston to Chicago, is significant in several ways. First, the departure from Houston can be taken to symbolize a departure from the  ”big oil” that Houston has come to represent. Second, it represents a full merging of United and Continental. The flight will be traveling from Continental’s hub in Houston to United’s hub in Chicago. Continental pilots will be manning the cockpit of the United 737-800 Eco-Skies aircraft.The fuel, branded Solafuel, is a 40/60 blend of algae-based fuel and traditional petroleum-based jet fuel that was produced by a partnership between Solazyme and UOP.Back in February, Solazyme announced a partnership with Qantas to provide biofuel to the Australian carrier, but United has beaten them to the punch with the first commercial flight. Solazyme was also the first company to produce an algae-derived jet fuel that met FAA specifications. In what is certain to become a major new industry, a major competitor has emerged in Sapphire Energy, which was named one of the top ten green startups of 2010, receiving more than $100 million in venture capital funding.Other players in this new field that were also spotlighted at last week’s Algal Biofuels Organization ABO Summit in Minneapolis include Phycal, BioProcess Algae, Heliae and Algenol.Two years ago, Continental Airlines launched the first US biofuel test flight, also from Houston, burning a blend of 50 percent standard aviation fuel, 3 percent algae-based fuel from Sapphire also partnering with UOP and 47 percent jatropha oil. A month earlier, Air New Zealand ran a test flight using 50/50 jet fuel and jatropha oil. Some consider jatropha, a tropical succulent, a promising jet fuel alternative, but concerns have been raised about the amount of water required to grow it, which is said to be five times more than corn or sugar cane.Meanwhile, Solazyme is producing not only oil, but also food, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Last month they announced an expanded agreement with Unilever to produce algae-derived oils for making soap and other personal care products, presumably, to cut back on the use of palm oil and petroleum-derived components.A week later, their Solazyme Roquette Nutritionals subsidiary announced that it will begin producing its microalgae derived food ingredient, Whole Algalin Flour, at Roquette’s commercial production plant in Lestrem, France.Writing about the ABO conference, biofuels analyst Jim Lane says, “It could be that biofuels, renewable chemicals and materials have an overly complicated and wrongly-told story. What investors have been trained to think is that “green” equals “higher costs,” [meaning it] is a luxury, requires subsidies, and is currently unaffordable. Their belief: carbon mitigation is a cost that will be saddled on the hard-pressed and possibly unemployed consumer. They have come to believe that renewables equal subsidies… The message of the industry’s current investors to the world: the military should provide the capital for renewable diesel, that airlines should build out aviation biofuels, that governments need to provide incentives, tax credits, mandates and tariffs for the development at scale of everything else. And that anything not already paid for by any of the above should be paid for by oil companies, who apparently should be delighted at the opportunity to invest in putting themselves out of business.”RP Siegel, PE, is the President of Rain Mountain LLC. He is also the co-author of the eco-thriller Vapor Trails, the first in a series covering the human side of various sustainability issues including energy, food, and water.  Like airplanes, we all leave behind a vapor trail. And though we can easily see others’, we rarely see our own.

via United Completes First Commercial Biofuel Powered Flight.

Posted November 12, 2011 by arnoneumann in aerospace, Biofuel, Environment, Green

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As Jet Fuel Prices Soar, a Green Option Nears the Runway   Leave a comment

Aviation biofuel…avant garde and a positive direction in curbing costs and ensuring sustainability.

 

“But aviation is making an important step in breaking free of its petroleum dependence through biofuel.

The ethanol that is typically used in cars—fuel alcohol refined from grain or sugar cane—would not work in aviation, at least with today’s jet engines, because its energy density (the power it packs per gallon or liter) is too low. But numerous start-up companies around the world have been working with a very different fuel derived from oils that have been extracted from plants, animal fat, or grease. The oils are treated with hydrogen to produce HRJ, synthetic kerosene that is chemically the same as jet fuel. Only carbon dating would reveal that it is not made from fossil fuel.”

via As Jet Fuel Prices Soar, a Green Option Nears the Runway.

Posted July 3, 2011 by arnoneumann in aerospace, Biofuel

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KLM, First Commercial Biofuel Flight   Leave a comment

Getting there…

June 30, 2011

KLM, First Commercial Biofuel Flight

By Glenn Pew, Contributing Editor, Video Editor

“A Boeing 737-800 carrying 171 passengers out of Amsterdam for Paris Wednesday moved KLM to say it was “the first airline in the world” to operate a commercial flight on biokerosene (a used cooking oil, Jet-A mix), with more to come. KLM said that by September, 2011, it will begin 200 more flights, flying the same route, and using the same 50-50 blend of fuel. Details regarding regulatory issues are not yet clear. The biofuel portion of the fuel mixture that KLM used for this latest flight was not derived from the camonila or jatropha plants. (The plants have earned attention for their high oil content and low agricultural impact.) KLM used a cooking-oil-based fuel produced by Dynamic Fuels, a joint venture between Syntroleum and Tyson Foods.”

KLM’s biokerosene was created from non-food grade animal fat supplied as a byproduct of Tyson Food’s meat processing plants. That product was refined into biofuel by dynamic Fuel at that company’s facility in Louisiana. KLM first made a biofuel-powered flight roughly 18 months ago, taking forty VIP’s on a 90-minute flight. That particular trip only fed the biofuel mix to one engine. Virgin Atlantic, Birtish Airways and Continental have all flown commercial airliners fueled, at least in part, with biofuels. European airlines are particularly motivated to find a fossil fuel alternative due to a limit set by the European Union. That limit calls for airlines to cut their carbon emissions by three percent in 2012. The flights show progress for biofuels, but according to KLM managing director Camiel Eurlings, “The costs of biofuels need to come down substantially and permanently.” Said Eurlings, “This can be achieved through innovation, collaboration and the right legislation that stimulates biofuel in the airline industry, but with an eye on honest competition.”

via KLM, First Commercial Biofuel Flight.

Posted June 30, 2011 by arnoneumann in aerospace

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Bacteria enzyme to produce biofuel from woody biomass – Technology – Ecoseed Information Network   Leave a comment

The use of a different feedstock source for biofuel production will remove the competition for biofuel from foodstock sources. As the technology becomes more feasabile ( such as through the bacterial enzyme in the article ), the economics for such biofuel production , as in woody / tree biomass extraction , becomes more feasabile to sustain.

“Researchers from the University of Warwick in Britain and the Canada-based University of British Columbia have teamed up in a study that successfully identified an enzyme that could produce more biofuel from woody biomass.

The researchers identified a gene for breaking down lignin in a soil-living bacterium called Rhodococcus jostii. Though similar enzymes have been discovered before in fungi, this is the first time one has been identified in bacteria.

Through the discovery, fast-growing woody plants and inedible by-products of crops could both become sources of biofuels. The researchers hope that through this innovation, production of biofuel could be scaled up in a way that is economically viable and that does not compete with food production.”

via Bacteria enzyme to produce biofuel from woody biomass – Technology – Ecoseed Information Network.

Posted June 26, 2011 by arnoneumann in Biofuel

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Gulfstream G450 crosses the Atlantic on 50/50 biofuel-jetfuel blend   Leave a comment

The use of biofuel in aerospace is reaching viability. The ideal situation will be when biofuel feedstock does not have to complete with foodstock.

 

Honeywell’s biofuel is derived from camelina, a dedicated energy crop that grows in rotation with wheat, which reduces competition with the food market. According to Honeywell, the biofuel offers up to an 85 percent reduction in net emissions compared to petroleum-based fuels. Additionally, it is manufactured using the same hydro-processing technology already used for the manufacture of today’s transportation fuels, and can be mixed with petroleum-based fuel. Furthermore, tests have shown that it can be used for military or commercial applications without need for aircraft or engine modification.

The initial technology was driven by a 2007 contract from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to produce renewable military jet fuel. Honeywell has experimented with biofuels made from camelina, jatropha and algae in sixteen biofuel test flights so far, and have produced more than 700,000 U.S. gallons (264,979 liters) of Honeywell Green Jet Fuel to date. The feedstock for the transatlantic flight was grown and harvested by Sustainable Oils, a U.S.-based producer of camelina-based technology.

via Gulfstream G450 crosses the Atlantic on 50/50 biofuel-jetfuel blend.

Posted June 26, 2011 by arnoneumann in aerospace, Innovation, Sustainability

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Biofuels boom in Africa as British firms lead rush on land for plantations | Environment | The Guardian   Leave a comment

“The revelation of the central role of UK companies in biofuels coincides with a report from Oxfam forecasting that the price of staple foods will more than double in the next 20 years. The report identifies biofuels as a factor and demands that western governments end biofuel policies that divert food to fuel for cars. “We are sleepwalking towards an age of avoidable crisis,” said Oxfams chief executive, Barbara Stocking. “One in seven people on the planet go hungry every day despite the fact that the world is capable of feeding everyone. The food system must be overhauled.” ”

via Biofuels boom in Africa as British firms lead rush on land for plantations | Environment | The Guardian.

“Liquid fuels made from plants – such as bioethanol – are hailed by some as environmentally-friendly replacements for fossil fuels. Because they compete for land with crop plants, biofuels have also been linked torecord food prices and rising hunger. There are also fears they can increase greenhouse gas emissions.

A market has been created by British and EU laws requiring the blending of rising amounts of biofuels into petrol and diesel, but the rules werecondemned as unethical and “backfiring badly” in April by a Nuffield Council on Bioethics commission. In the UK, only 31% of biofuels used meet voluntary environmental standards intended to protect water supplies, soil quality and carbon stocks in the source country. “

Posted May 31, 2011 by arnoneumann in Africa, agriculture, UK

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