ENI goes green. Oil giant reached an agreement with labour unions and Sicilian authorities on upgrading its oil refinery near the town of Gela to make it environmentally friendly. Under the deal ENI will invest 2.2 billion euros in the 60-year-old refinery to make it eco-friendly.
Finnair, a pioneer in sustainable flying and the first airline listed in the Leadership Index of the worldwide Carbon Disclosure Project, operated its flight from Helsinki to New York on 23 September with an Airbus A330 using environmentally sustainable biofuel, coinciding with the UN Climate Summit taking place in New York on the same day. As a leader in the sustainable development of commercial aviation, the airline believes strongly in proactive measures to manage environmental performance.
Poet-Dsm’s Project Liberty will open its doors to the public at its Grand Opening celebration on Wednesday, September 3 in Emmetsburg, Iowa, showcasing first-of-its-kind technology that is poised to dramatically expand world’s resources for transportation fuel.
EU energy ministers agreed a deal on Friday to limit production of biofuels made from food crops, responding to criticism these stoke inflation and do more environmental harm than good. The ministers’ endorsement of a new compromise overcomes a stalemate hit late last year when European Union governments failed to agree on a proposed 5 percent cap on the use of biofuels based on crops such as maize or rapeseed.
“At the moment focus in European policies is to endorse biomass utilization for the energy applications. This is short-sighted, as on those applications biomass does not bring the best added value. Also there is not enough biomass in Europe to meet up all energy and climate target in EU-level. Biomass is more valuable on chemical and material applications”. To say it, in this exclusive interview with Il Bioeconomista, is Jukka Kantola, CEO of NISCluster, a Finnish private bioeconomy company with a focus on the woody biomass. With Kantola we talk about the bioeconomy in Finland, the EU policies and the different uses of biomass.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso
“Removal of corn residue for biofuels can decrease soil organic carbon and increase CO2 emissions because residue C in biofuels is oxidized to CO2 at a faster rate than when added to soil. Net CO2 emissions from residue removal are not adequately characterized in biofuel life cycle assessment”. A $500,000 study – paid for by the U.S. federal government and released last Sunday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change – concludes that biofuels made with corn residue release 7% more greenhouse gases in the early years compared with conventional gasoline.
The 53.2 billion gallon a year (BGY) biofuel industry is poised for a huge slowdown in capacity growth, to a 3.2% annual rate from 2013 to 2017 – reaching 60.4 billion gallons – off from 19.6% annually from 2005 to 2013, according to Lux Research. The sharp decline is on account of a significant industry transition to novel fuels and feedstocks, to enable long-term growth in the face of impediments like the food vs. fuel debate and the imminent blend limits for biodiesel and ethanol. Next-generation biofuels – such as renewable diesel and butanol – that can offer higher blends, in contrast, are not quite mature.
An Iowa ethanol plant that will be one of the first producers of biofuels made from crop waste will be operating by June, Steve Hartig, General Manager for Licensing of POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels, said at the National Ethanol Conference in Orlando, Florida.
POET-DSM, a joint operation between leading U.S. ethanol maker POET LLC and Dutch food and chemicals group DSM, will be among the largest to make so-called advanced biofuels on a commercial scale. The $250 million facility in Emmetsburg, in the north-central part of the No. 1 corn-growing state, will produce 7 million to 12 million gallons of ethanol this year using cobs and other corn “stover”.
Canadian corporation Iogen has developed and patented a new method to make drop-in cellulosic biofuels from biogas using existing refinery assets and production operations. The company estimates there is refining capacity in place to incorporate 5-6 billion gallons per year of renewable hydrogen content into gasoline and diesel fuel. Iogen will initially commercialize the approach using landfill biogas, and then expand production using biogas made in the cellulosic ethanol facilities it is currently developing.
Researchers from the Department of Chemistry at York University have discovered a family of enzymes that can degrade hard-to-digest biomass into its constituent sugars.