rilpoint_mw113

VATIS Update New and Renewable Energy . Jan-Mar 2016

Register FREE
for additional services
Download PDF
New and Renewable Energy Jan-Mar 2016

ISSN: 0971-5630

VATIS Update New and Renewable Energy (formerly Non Conventional Energy)* is published 4 times a year to keep the readers up to date of most of the relevant and latest technological developments and events in the field of New and Renewable Energy. The Update is tailored to policy-makers, industries and technology transfer intermediaries.

———————
* This update has been renamed as 'VATIS Update: New and Renewable Energy' from Jan-Mar 2015 onwards.

Editorial Board
Latest Issues
New and Renewable
Energy
VATIS Update Non-conventional Energy Apr-Jun 2017
Bio
Technology
VATIS Update Biotechnology Apr-Jun 2017
Waste
Management
VATIS Update Waste Management Oct-Dec 2016
Food
Processing
VATIS Update Food Processing Oct-Dec 2016
Ozone Layer
Protection
VATIS Update Ozone Layer Protection Sep-Oct 2016
Tech
Monitor
Asia-Pacific Tech Monitor Oct-Dec 2014

Contents

__NOTOCNUM__


IN THE NEWS

India sets record in renewable energy sector

Global investors and renewable energy project developers have responded with optimism to the change in regulatory and financial environment in India. International private equity investors poured in over $1 billion in renewable energy companies in India in 2015. Just the top 5 deals in the renewable energy sector crossed a cumulative volume of $1 billion. The investments poured in as the Indian government announced ambitious capacity addition targets for 2022. India aims to have 100 GW of solar power, 60 GW of wind energy, and 15 GW of other renewable energy capacity by 2022. This means that over the next 7 years around 140 GW capacity needs to be added across the country.

The largest investment deal involved GE Energy Financial Services (GE-EFS), the United States, and Welspun Renewables Energy, India. ReNew Power Ventures, India, another private sector renewable energy project developer, raised $265 million from various investors. The company roped in a new investor – Abu Dhabi Investment Authority – which poured in $200 million. The balance invest-ment was made by Goldman Sachs, the United States, and Global Environment Fund, the United States. After these investments, the total private equity investment in ReNew Power increased to $655 million.

GIC, Singapore, signed an agreement with Greenko Group Plc, India, for the $253 million acquisition of Greenko Mauritius, believed to be the direct owner and developer of several renewable energy and power assets in India. Greenko owns several power plants in India based on wind, hydro, biomass, and natural gas power technologies, with its largest footprint in the wind energy sector. Another wind energy project devel-oper, Ostro Energy, India, raised $230 million from Actis Advisors Limited. Ostro Energy aims to in-crease its footprint in India’s wind energy market, and the company plans to add 800 MW capacity over the next few years.
Source: http://www.cleantechnica.com

ADB lends India $1 billion to boost green energy

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has provided $1 billion loan for India’s Green Energy Corridors project. ADB announced that it will provide $500 million in government-backed loan and an additional $500 million in non-sovereign loan, which will be provided to Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL), which is implementing a national-level project to set up transmission lines dedicated to carrying electricity from renewable energy projects.

These transmission lines will be spread across the country to supply electricity from states rich in renewable energy potential to those with low potential. The entire program is critical for India to achieve its target of increasing the share of renewable energy in electricity consumption to 15% by 2022, which includes a target for increasing the share of solar power to 3% by 2022, which the government is considering to increase to 10%.
Source: http://www.cleantechnica.com

Sri Lanka aims long-term plans in renewable energy

The Ceylon Electricity Board’s (CEB) Long-Term Generation Plan aims for wind power and other forms of renewable energy in Sri Lanka. “The Plan has made provision for 925 megawatts of new capacity addition from non-conventional renewable energy power plants between 2020 and 2034,” said Bandula Tilakasena, at CEB. The CEB has also proposed 400 megawatts of wind power and 600 megawatts of “pumped storage power plant” to the system during that period.

The Generation Plan was developed to a “least cost principle”, said Mr. Tilakasena. Non-conventional renewable energy was encouraged and initiated through master plans done in the late 1980s and is now a “relatively proven source for energy delivery”, he explained. The main sources are wind, solar, mini hydro and dendro. The overall renewable energy share will, in future, stand at 35% to 40% of the country’s energy needs between 2015 and 2034.
Source: http://www.sundaytimes.lk

Pakistan cuts solar power tariff by 25%

Pakistan’s National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has announced tariff reduction for solar power projects by around 25% w.e.f. 1 January 2016. At present, the tariff of US¢14.15-15.02/kWh is available to solar power projects based on their size, which can vary be-tween 1 and 100 MW.

The applicable tariff has been reduced to US¢11.35-11.53/kWh for various sizes and projects lo-cated in the northern part of Pakistan. For projects located in the southern part of the country, the tariffs have been reduced to US¢10.72-10.89/kWh. The new tariffs are sharply lower than the very first tariffs announced by NEPRA, which were US¢16.30-17.00/kWh.

Foreign investors had voiced their concerns about NEPRA’s plans to significantly reduce the tariffs. Several Chinese companies are believed to be planning large-scale solar power projects in Pakistan. The current tariffs are significantly higher than the tariffs seen in the other countries. Neighboring India recently saw tariffs fall to US¢7.12/kWh in competitive auctions.
Source: http://www.cleantechnica.com

Biogas gaining foothold in Nepal

The Nepal Police and Alternative Energy Promotion Board have agreed to install biogas plants in vari-ous units of the security agency across the country. According to Nepal Police, the initiative is aimed at re-ducing dependence on Liquefied Petroleum Gas and promoting environment-friendly, and safe and clean renewable energy.

Under the terms of the agreement, Nepal Police will install biogas plants in district-based units, and battal-ions, brigades, and training centres. The Alternative Energy Promotion Board will provide technical support and subsidize the security agency for installing the biogas plants. The board earlier signed a similar agree-ment with Nepal’s Armed Police Forces.
Source: http://www.renewableenergymagazine.com

China to raise surcharge on coal-fired power

China is planning to raise the renewable energy surcharge on coal-fired power by more than a quarter for non-residential and non-agricultural users. According to the National Development and Reform Commission, the surcharge, which is used to support renewable power generation, will rise 0.004 yuan per kilowatt-hour, to 0.019 yuan from 0.015 yuan. The charge will be assessed mainly against industrial users such as aluminium smelters and steel mills. Heavy industry consumes roughly 60 percent of China’s electricity. The head of the country’s National Energy Administration said that nearly a third of the 5.7 trillion kwh of electricity China is expected to consume in 2016 will come from renewables, with more than 20 gigawatts of wind and 15 GWs of photovoltaic solar capacity being added in 2016.
Source: http://www.articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com

China reduces FITs over two-year period

China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) has cut its onshore wind feed-In tariff (FIT) rates to aid healthy and orderly development. Rates for category I, II and III wind regions will be cut by CNY0.02/kWh ($0.003/kWh) in 2016 and by CNY0.03/kWh ($0.005/kWh) in 2018. The FIT for category IV low-wind region projects will be cut by CNY0.01/kWh in 2016 and CNY0.02/kWh in 2018. The cuts were announced in December, and came into affect from 1 January. China’s FIT was cut by a similar amount last year.

China’s wind regions are divided into four categories. Areas I, II and III are mainly in northwest, north central, and northeast China, where wind resources are comparatively good, in descending order. Category IV refers to all other regions of the country. China introduced its onshore wind benchmark FIT scheme in July 2009. In December 2014, the NEA announced the first revisions to the rates. Under the current scheme, projects approved before the end of 2015 would have FIT rates of CNY0.49/kWh, CNY0.52/kWh, and CNY0.56/kWh for categories I, II and III, respectively.

The wind power price for Category IV region is slightly higher at CNY0.61/kWh because of the lower wind resources. For a given wind project, the FIT price usually lasts 20 years. The latest reductions affect wind projects approved after the first day of 2016 and then 2018. The change is aimed at directing the onshore wind sector towards healthy and orderly development, for balancing the growth of new energies in various regions, and for enhancing the efficiency of renewable power subsidy payout, the NEA said.
Source: http://www.windpowermonthly.com

Iran set up growth plan for renewable energy

The Islamic Republic of Iran has set up an aggressive growth plan to boost green energies as a key sustainability factor as part of the economic diversification goal under its sixth Development Plan. The environmental and economic sustainability issues in Iran’s Economy Mission 2025 have led to incentive plans to attract the private sector to renovate obsolete power technologies and develop renewable and biomass energies across the country. Based on Iran’s energy road map, the Government plans to embrace green technologies to increase nominal capacity of power plants from 74 GW to over 120 GW by the end of 2025.

The government has called for new investments, which require technology, engineering, and know-how and to reach this capacity (120 GW), as the country requires investments of more than $60 billion. The power generation plants in Iran are the main consumers of natural fuel resources and consume over $30 billion per annum of various fuels including Natural Gas (36 billion cubic metres), gas oil (12 billion litres), and fuel oil (15 billion litres). Poor efficiency in the power generation and transmission infrastructure results in a huge loss to the economy that needs to be urgently addressed through new investments.
Source: http://www.albawaba.com

Indonesia levy on fuel to fund strategic oil reserves

Indonesia plans a levy on fuel sales to fund building a strategic oil reserve and to develop renewable power, as the OPEC member seeks to improve its energy security. “The government may levy 300 rupiah per liter ($0.02) on sales of diesel and 200 rupiah per liter for other petroleum products including gasoline and jet fuel,” said the Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said. The levy will be applied to retailers including state energy company PT Pertamina, Total SA and Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

The ministry is finishing the details on the levy and plans to propose it in a revised 2016 state budget, with a special agency to be set up to manage the funds. It will also consider extending the levy to coal, to allocate part of the royalty paid by coal miners to the energy fund. “Companies have margins between 5 percent to 10 percent. They can use it” to pay the levy, said Said.
Source: http://www.bloomberg.com

Viet Nam to launch wind power projects

In order to promote wind power projects progress, Viet Nam Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT) pre-pares to launch some of the wind projects call for public bids. Government requires MIT to relaunch the auditing and evaluation on the wind projects that have been abandoned by the investors. The renewable energy division will recalculate the project real cost so that the proper electricity price purchasing preferential support policy will be issued.Viet Nam MIT may first study the postponed wind power projects in Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan and start to launch those projects and call for public bids.

The government will apply the electricity generation equipment price in Europe, USA, or nearby countries to determine the relative purchasing electricity price so that all the different investors will be treated fairly. At the same time, Vietnam MIT has submitted to Vietnam Prime Minister the national renewable energy development strategy Preliminary report. It is estimated that in the future few years’ national renewable energy development strategy will be issued by the beginning of next year.

At present, there are 52 wind power projects have been established with a total capacity of 4252 MW. It is estimated that by the year 2030, the renewable energy will be accounting about 6% of the total electricity in that country.
Source: http://www.jeccomposites.com

Philippines gets lending support for renewables

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced it issued its first-ever bond initiative to help back geo-thermal energy in the emerging Philippines market. The ADB helped establish a local-currency bond valued at $225 million, on top of a direct loan of $37.7 million, to help support regional development of geothermal energy facilities.

The bank, which has headquarters in Manila, last year committed to doubling its finance for climate change and the bond represents the first such initiative of its kind in Asia. “The transaction is highly innovative, representing the first project bond ever issued in local currency in the power sector,” Reginaldo Cariaso, managing director at the Bank of Philippines, said in a statement

The Philippines aims to boost its renewable energy capacity in an effort to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Last year, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said the country was among the regional economies expected to account for the bulk of the growth in new oil demand. The government of the Philippines set a goal of installing about 2,870 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2030.

Last year, the ADB signed a $20 million finance assistance agreement with an international consortium of banks and the local EDC Burgos Wind Power Corp. to help with the development of the company’s 150 megawatt wind farm on the northern Philippines island of Luzon. The bank said bonds would offer an attractive alternative to bank financing for long-term renewable energy investment in the country.
Source: http://www.upi.com

SOLAR ENERGY

New world record for converting solar energy

Scientists at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the United States, and at the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM), Switzerland have jointly set a new world record for converting non-concentrated (1-sun) sunlight into electricity using a dual-junction III-V/Si solar cell. The newly certified record conversion efficiency of 29.8 percent was set using a top cell made of gallium indium phosphide developed by NREL, and a bottom cell made of crystalline silicon developed by CSEM using silicon heterojunction technology. The two cells were made separately and then stacked by NREL.

A new design for the dual-junction solar cell and the contributions from CSEM were key to setting the rec-ord. These first collaboration results further indicate that even greater efficiency can be achieved by the combination of NREL and CSEM cells.

The funding for the research came from the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy SunShot Initiative, which aims to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources, and from the Swiss Confederation and the Nano-Tera.ch initiative.
Source: http://www.phys.org

Solar cells from recycled car batteries

Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the United States, have developed a simple process for making perovskite solar cells with lead recovered from old car batteries. According to the team behind the discovery, perovskite solar cells made with recycled lead work “just as well as those made with high-purity, commercially available starting materials,” which means that recycling the lead from car batteries could help support the production of these next-generation cells, and could be an important bridge for perovskites until lead can be replaced by a less toxic but just as efficient material.

This discovery may also prove to be an important element of dealing with obsolete car batteries in the near future, when lead-acid batteries will be eventually replaced by newer and more efficient versions, and existing lead batteries will need to be dealt with safely, economically, and in an environmentally sound manner. It also suggests that the process could have significant potential economic benefits, and could be a key element in scaling up production of perovskite solar cells.
Source: http://www.treehugger.com

Diagnosing better efficiencies for solar cells

A new diagnostic imaging technique developed by a University of Maryland (UMD), the United States, led team of researchers promises to boost efficiencies of solar cells by making it possible to find and correct previously undetected ways that solar cells fall far short of theoretical efficiencies. Theory indicates that current solar cell technologies should able to convert solar energy to electrical energy with at least 30 percent efficiency, but the actual efficiencies of current cells is only around 20 percent. Thus solar panels produce one third less power than the theoretical maximum of these devices.

“With the new imaging technique our team has developed, academic and industry researchers will be able to diagnose where solar cells lose efficiency and close the gap between theory and the actual effi-ciencies experienced by consumers who install solar panels on their homes and businesses,” said Marina Leite, at UMD. The new, ambient temperature imaging technique presented by Leite and her team is a variation of illuminated Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy, which is a non-contact, non-destructive imaging technique used to determine the composition and electronic state of a surface.

Traditionally, this technique uses a laser diode to scan the surface of a solid and measure the potential dif-ference between the tip of the probe and the surface of that material. Researchers take this conventional imaging method further to demonstrate a “direct correlation between Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy measurements (light- minus dark-KPFM) and the open-circuit voltage of photovoltaic devices through the measurement of the quasi-Fermi level splitting”. This indirect measurement allows the UMD-led team to observe precisely [at nanoscale resolution] where the open-circuit voltage is changing.
Source: http://www.phys.org

Breakthrough in boosting solar cell power

A new light trapping technique developed by Ben-Gurion University (BGU), Israel, and Technion - Israel Institute of Technology researchers has enabled more than 30% power enhancement of an ultrathin solar cell. The method was developed for hematite (iron-oxide, Fe2O3) cells meant for hydrogen production via water splitting, but could achieve its goal for other types of cells as well. In addition, only simple optical materials were used, adding to the sustainability and cost effectiveness of this approach. Research was conducted by a joint team headed by Prof. Avner Rothschild of the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, and by Dr. Avi Niv at BGU.

One of the ways of increasing the cost effectiveness of solar cells is by reducing the thickness of their active light absorbing layers, the part of the cell that turns light into electricity. The challenge is therefore to have a thinner absorber but to sustain significant overall absorptivity. To meet this challenge, optical trapping methods were devised. Trapping the light within the interior of the cell causes a longer effective beam path through the active layer, which in turn raises the absorptivity. For more than four decades now, improvement in light trapping went hand in hand with thinner cells that were cheaper and more efficient.

For the next generation of solar cells, however, more power at lower costs is expected. While impressive progress has been made in the field, none of the results so far rival ray optics when it comes to utility. Thus, the researchers developed a new method that combines ray-based trapping with wave optics absorption. This goal was achieved by structural separation of the trapping and absorption sites within the cell. Light is first trapped in a lossless thick substrate layer that later feeds the absorption in a deep sub-wavelength active hematite layer. Enhancements of more than 30% in the power production of the cell were shown using this approach.
Source: http://www.energyharvestingjournal.com

New plastic solar cell

Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science (CEMS), Japan, and Kyoto University, Japan, have shown that a newly developed polymer can minimize energy loss as well as silicon-based solar cells when converting photon energy from sunlight to electricity. Solar cells work because photons from the sun strike electrons and move them into a position where they can create an electric current. Photon energy loss – the amount of energy lost when converting photons energy from sunlight into electric power – was greater in polymer-based solar cells than in silicon-based ones.

The group began working with the new polymer, where oxygen rather than sulfur atoms are located at key positions, and found that the new material was able to overcome some of the key obstacles to extracting and utilizing greater energy from sunlight.

An efficiency of 15% is usually seen as a breakthrough level that will allow polymer-based cells to be commercialized. “By achieving both a high short-circuit current and a high open-circuit voltage, achieving a power conversion efficiency of 15% in single-junction cells is a realistic goal. This would have huge implications for the solar energy sector,” added Osaka.
Source: http://www.energyharvestingjournal.com

Electron transport layer for perovskite solar cells

A team of scientists from the School of Science and Engineering, China, have developed a multi-functional inverse opal-like TiO2 electron transport layer (IOT-ETL) for a cost-efficient perovskite solar cell with high power conversion Efficiency. Organometallic halide perovskite based solar cells have recently attracted much attention. These solar cells have excellent photovoltaic performance and are cost-efficient. In their recent publication, scientists X.Chen, S.Yang, Y. C. Zheng, Y. Hou, X. H. Yang and H. G. Yang introduced an IOT-ETL, which was produced by a simple polystyrene-assistant method.

It was created to replace the traditional compact layer and mesoporous scaffold layer in perovskite solar cells. The new devise improved the light harvesting efficiency by enhancing the light scatting property in the devices. For further improvement the thickness of electron transport layer (ETL) films and charge recombination between electrons holes were studied.

The thickness of ETL films is closely related to the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of solar cells. By changing the speed of spin-coating with the same concentration of precursor solution the thickness was optimized. The highest PCE was found at 4000 rpm.

The performance of IOT-ETL films with and without bottom based perovskite solar cells were also com-pared. It was found that the bottom of IOT-ETL film could prevent the direct contact between perovskite and fluorine-doped thin oxide (FTO) glass, which inhibits the light recombination of electrons and holes at the surface.
Source: http://www.materialsviews.com

WIND ENERGY

Offshore wind generation

The world’s largest operational offshore wind farm, London Array, has set a new record for the amount of clean electricity produced by an offshore project in a single calendar month. December 2015 saw its 175 turbines generate 369,000 MWh of electricity – considerably above target and well above the previous best of 317,000 MWh set last November. The capacity factor for the month, which saw average wind speeds of 11.9m/s (27mph), was 78.9%.

“Both the monthly and annual figures are excellent results for London Array and show the contribution we are making to the country’s energy supply as well as the UK’s renewable energy targets. Above average winds this winter has helped push production higher but that is only part of the story: we have a great team of people who support the operation and maintenance of the wind farm,” said Jonathan Duffy, at London Array.

“We have pushed very hard over the past year to build on our earlier successes and develop our approach to turbine maintenance and repair. Together with key contractors DONG Energy and Siemens, we have focused on operational efficiency and expanding the amount of time our technicians are able to work offshore. This has helped ensure we extracted the maximum power from the wind and kept turbine availability above 98% over the winter,” added Duffy.
Source: http://www.windpowerengineering.com

Low wind models of 2MW and 4MW range

Enercon, Germany, has launched new 4.2MW low wind turbine with a record onshore blade length of 141 metres. The E-141 EP4 is the second model to be detailed in the EP4 platform announced in December 2014. It will generate 13GWh annual energy production at sites with mean wind speeds of 6.5 metres per second, said Enercon. Two hub heights will be offered at 129 and 159 metres.

Enercon’s new 4MW turbines were designed for cost-effective manufacture, simple logistics and easy site assembly, Windpower Montly reported in December. A prototype of the medium-wind speed E-126 EP4 model is being prepared now, and full serial production is set for late 2016. The blade uses the company’s recently introduced load-reducing design, created in two parts and with improved aerodynamics, resistance to dirt and reduced sound.

A further 2MW model was also announced, rated at 2.35MW, and again suitable for low wind speeds, using a 103 metre rotor. The E-103 EP2 will offer a potential increased annual energy yield of up to 10% more than the existing E-92 model, 2.3MW medium wind speed model. It will be available with hub heights of 98 or 138 metres. A prototype of the 4MW model is planned for late 2016.
Source: http://www.windpowermonthly.com

Low-cost offshore wind turbine

Researchers at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Spain, have designed and patented a floating platform for offshore wind turbines that can reduce energy costs to 12 euro cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) through a more efficient design and cheaper building materials. The prototype, WindCrete, is a cylindrical structure with a large float and a ballast base that makes it self-stabilising. According to the researchers, the main innovations of this model compared to similar ones on the market are the seamless, monolithic structure and the use of concrete for its construction.

By using concrete instead of the more expensive steel that has been used previously, the construction cost is reduced by 60%. In addition, concrete is more resistant in the marine environment, so the structure has fewer maintenance requirements and a life of about 50 years. The absence of joints in the platform in-creases its durability against the effects of wind and sea and avoids the damage that normally appears in transition areas.

The WindCrete includes a 5-megawatt (MW) wind turbine that can carry rotors of up to 15 MW with a minimum increase in the cost, making it far more economical. The new system reduces the cost of wind energy to 12 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). This is half the price per kWh of this type of energy (about 24 cents) in the Canary Islands, one of the regions where wind power is to be promoted. Given the long useful life of this prototype, the possibility of replacing the turbine with a more powerful and more profitable one has been considered.
Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com

Portable wind turbine

National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), Taiwan (Province of China) has introduced a portable wind power turbine that can fold for portability and is less than one meter in height when fully assembled. “In sharp contrast to the huge size of wind turbines typically used by power suppliers, the mini device is convenient for consumers to carry outdoors for activities such as going to a picnic,” said inventor Chen Yu-jen. The generator looks like an electric fan and it applies aerodynamics when it operates.The fans of the generator are made of soft umbrella cloth which can reduce centrifugal force while turning, thus maintaining safety, Chen said. He said that users just need one or two minutes to set it up to make the de-vice ready to operate. Chen said that capacity of the wind turbine is 10 watts and the device can connect to a solar power generator to expand its output. He said that users can install one or two more fans to the wind power generator to increase its capacity beyond 10 watts.
Source: http://www.focustaiwan.tw

Novel clean energy device

Two Iceland brothers Einar and Agust Agustsson have developed ‘Trinity’, a new light-weight portable wind turbine that generates enough power for multiple phone charges. From camping trips to at-home installations, this new technology provides another method for people to “go green.” This is the world’s first truly portable wind turbine and their design holds the potential to significantly reduce the cost and hassle of harvesting wind energy.

Einar and Agust Agustsson, were inspired to make clean energy accessible to everyone after having grown up with the privilege themselves. The wind turbines come in four different sizes. The Trinity 50 model weighs 1.4 pounds and can fit in your backpack. After a single charge, its 50-watt battery can provide power to one’s cell phone three or four times over. The wind turbine itself can generate power in winds as low as 4 mph. With changing wind speeds the Trinity wind turbines are designed to switch along either a vertical or horizontal axis to harvest the most wind.

Additional larger Trinity models can provide power outputs of 400, 1,000 and 2.500 watts, with overall size and weight increasing respectively. They hope to develop larger models in the future and just started another Kickstarter campaign, which recently reached its goal of $50,000. To make using the Trinity turbines easier, the company developed a smartphone app that allows users to turn the system on and off, and breaks down how much energy the turbine generates each day.
Source: http://www.natureworldnews.com

WAVE/TIDAL ENERGY

Tests for 1.5MW tidal turbine

Scotland’s biggest tidal energy developer Atlantis Resources announced a six week test pro-gramme as part of its final push to assess the reliability and performance of its tidal turbine power train. Testing of Atlantis’ 1.5MW tidal turbine – known as the AR1500 – will be undertaken at the National Renewable Energy Centre (NREC), the United Kingdom, alongside tidal energy researchers Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult. The project will use the government-backed Catapult’s 3MW power train test rig to simulate the types of forces the turbine will experience during real-life operation.

The system will be the second tidal turbine Atlantis has tested at the NREC, following testing of its 1.5MW AR1000 turbine at the same site in 2012. The developers said the testing is crucial to minimise the risk of early complications after the tidal turbines are installed and should help boost investor confidence in the scheme. The tidal turbine is ultimately set to be deployed at the MeyGen tidal turbine array, located in the Pentland Firth off the Scottish coast, which plans to supply up to 398MW of capacity to the National Grid by 2020.
Source: http://www.businessgreen.com

Giant tidal turbine placed on seabed for testing

Developed by Tidal Energy Ltd (TEL), the United Kingdom, has settled ‘DeltaStream’ a giant tidal turbine on the seabed between Ramsey Island and the mainland near St David’s Head, Pembrokeshire. The 12m (39ft) DeltaStream device could produce enough power for between 400 and 600 homes. It was transported by an offshore construction vessel which usually works in the North Sea oil fields. According to TEL, there would be a two-week testing period before the unit would be operational.

The £16m project was devised by local engineer Richard Ayers in 2002 and since 2008 has had grants from the Welsh government and Europe, as well as the involvement of renewable energy investment company Eco2, the United Kingdom. However, the turbine had been sitting on the quayside at Pembroke Dock for over a year and has earned itself the nickname of the Daffodil during its extended stay.

One generator will produce enough power for between 400 and 500 homes and rests on a triangular base which, when testing is completed, could be extended to take three generators. This is all part of an ongoing project to prove the possibility of power from strong tidal currents like those in Ramsey Sound.
Source: http://www.bbc.com

‘Momentum reversal lift’ tidal turbine

Recently a ‘Momentum Reversal Lift’ (MRL) tidal turbine concept designed by the Univer-sity of Exeter, the United Kingdom, has completed 11 days of testing at the University of Edinburgh’s FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility. Up to 15 scale models of the IP-protected MRL concept were tried in a range of array configurations to determine the optimal set-up for maximum energy capture.

The FloWave tests come at the end of a 42-month £1.1m Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council-funded collaborative project led by Exeter University in partnership with Edinburgh and Manchester universities. The prototypes have been designed to operate on the seabed in estuaries, with long horizontal blades in a cylindrical ‘combine harvester’ design.

Each blade has an aerofoil cross-section which changes its orientation as the machine rotates in order to maximize energy capture from the estuary flow. As part of the project the MRL concept was initially tested in a French laboratory, courtesy of support from the EC-FP7 MaRINET programme. However, conducting a second set of testing at FloWave has enabled considerably larger array layouts to be tested and a higher quality dataset to be captured, not least due the very large test section of the FloWave tank.
Source: http://www.renews.biz

FUEL CELLS

Cleaner fuel cells

An international group of scientists from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), Russia, the Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics, Russia, Moscow State University, Russia, Institut de Sci-ences des Matériaux de Mulhouse (IS2M), France, and DWI – Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials, France, have developed ion-exchange synthetic membranes based on amphiphilic compounds that are able to convert the energy of chemical reactions into electrical current. The new development de-scribed in the journal Physical Chemistry, Chemical Physics could potentially be used in fuel cells, and in separation and purification processes.

Scientists have learned how to form pores from certain molecules for membranes of a fuel cell so that the opening is exactly the diameter required for the optimum functioning of the cell. The molecules in question with the working names A-Na and Azo-Na are promising substances that are classified as benzenesulfonates. They are wedge-shaped and can independently assemble themselves into supra-molecular structures – complex organized groups of multiple molecules. Depending on the condi-tions set by the scientists, the molecules form discs, which, in turn, form columns with ion channels inside.

The team was able to predict the formation of these discs with pores and cylinders based on information on the structure of the benzenesulfonates their geometry and physical and chemical properties. Using this in-formation, they made a mathematical model based on the properties of complex supramolecular structures formed by A-Na and Azo-Na. During these experiments, they obtained various different forms of ion chan-nels maintaining the substances at a certain humidity and temperature, and then irradiating them with UV light for polymerization. The polymers created with this method have enabled the scientists to identify which conditions of the synthesis of polymer membranes are best suited for making potential fuel cells.
Source: http://www.eurekalert.org

Prototype hydrogen fuel cell developed

Intelligent Energy, the United Kingdom, has announced that it has developed a hydrogen fuel cell range extender for drones. The range extenders can not only offer longer flight time to drones but it will also bring fast re-fuel ability. Hydrogen fuel cell prototypes can give drones longer flight time. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), or more commonly known as drones, are gaining a lot of popularity since the last few years. Drones can be used commercially in many industries and at the same time it can also be used for recreational purposes. 1

The company explained that the range extender combines an ultra-light fuel cell with a battery. The extender developed by Intelligent Energy can offer drones several hours of flight time in comparison to just 20 or 30 minutes as offered by regular drones. Currently, all drones need one or two hours of recharge time between flights. However, Intelligent Energy boasts that its prototype fuel cells need just a few minutes to re-fuel. The company explained that swift re-fuel and long flight time enhances the commercial abilities of drones when in a rescue mission, delivering a parcel and more. The new technology developed by Intelligent Energy has the potential to revolutionize the drone industry.
Source: http://www.techtimes.com

Biogas fuel cell system

In the European DEMOSOFC project, Convion Ltd., Finland, and VTT Technical Research Centre of Fin-land Ltd., demonstrated fuel cell systems for high-efficiency cogeneration of heat and power from biogas produced in connection with waste water treatment in Italy. Fuel cell systems enable the generation of electricity from biogas that would otherwise remain unused or be burned for heat. The fuel cell plant will be the first of its kind in Europe in terms of size and technology, and the fuel cells at the core of the operation are made by Convion.

Waste water treatment consumes large quantities of heat and power, but at the same time the process produces significant amounts of methane-containing biogas. Treatment plants are thus good application sites for local cogeneration of heat and power, and fuel cells are an excellent technological alternative for the purpose. At best, waste water treatment can become fully energy self-sufficient with the help of fuel cells. The biogas-fed fuel cell system being developed in the DEMOSOFC project will satisfy 30 percent of the electrical needs of the waste water treatment and 100 percent of the normal thermal needs of the treatment process.
Source: http://biomassmagazine.com

HYDROGEN ENERGY

‘Nano-reactor’ for hydrogen biofuel

Scientists at Indiana University (IU), the United States, have created a highly efficient biomaterial that catalyzes the formation of hydrogen – one half of the “holy grail” of splitting H2O to make hydrogen and oxygen for fueling cheap and efficient cars that run on water. A modified enzyme that gains strength from being protected within the protein shell – or “capsid” – of a bacterial virus, this new material is 150 times more efficient than the unaltered form of the enzyme. The pro-cess of creating the material has been reported in the journal Nature Chemistry.

The genetic material used to create the enzyme, hydrogenase, is produced by two genes from the common bacteria Escherichia coli, inserted inside the protective capsid using methods previously developed by these IU scientists. The genes, hyaA and hyaB, are two genes in E. coli that encode key subunits of the hydrogenase enzyme. The capsid comes from the bacterial virus known as bacteriophage P22. The resulting biomaterial, called “P22-Hyd,” is not only more efficient than the unaltered enzyme but also is produced through a simple fermentation process at room temperature.

The material is potentially far less expensive and more environmentally friendly to produce than other mate-rials currently used to create fuel cells. The costly and rare metal platinum, for example, is commonly used to catalyze hydrogen as fuel in products such as high-end concept cars. In addition, P22-Hyd both breaks the chemical bonds of water to create hydrogen and also works in reverse to recombine hydrogen and oxygen to generate power. “The reaction runs both ways – it can be used either as a hydrogen production catalyst or as a fuel cell catalyst,” said Douglas at IU.
Source: http://www.news.indiana.edu

Catalyst to replace platinum for hydrogen fuel

HyperSolar, Inc., the United States, the developer of a breakthrough technology to produce renewable hydrogen using sunlight and any source of water, has developed a new, inexpensive catalyst material that the Company believes will significantly reduce the cost of producing hydrogen fuel using its completely renewable water-splitting process. Over the past three months, the team at the University of Iowa (UI), the United States, led by Dr. Syed Mubeen Hussaini has engineered a sulfide-based photocatalyst using only earth abundant, non-toxic and inexpensive materials.

Initial experimental data suggested this new photocatalyst can outperform platinum, the primary and very expensive catalyst material used in water splitting reactions. The Company believes these findings represent a significant achievement, as it moves closer to reaching its goal of producing low cost renewable hydrogen. “Although we are still testing, we believe the stability of this new catalyst will allow for long term operation and integration within our high photovoltage solar cells. This development has the potential to significantly drive down overall system costs, which is a critical factor in achieving market adoption upon commercialization of our technology,” said Tim Young, at HyperSolar.

HyperSolar’s research is centered on developing a low-cost and submersible hydrogen production particle that can split water molecules under the sun, emulating the core functions of photosynthesis. Each particle is a complete hydrogen generator that contains a novel high voltage solar cell bonded to chemical catalysts by a proprietary encapsulation coating. Contact: Eric Fischgrund, Fischtank Marketing and Pr, USA. Tel: +1-646-699-1414.
Source: http://www.marketwired.com

Hydrogen fuel from manganese oxide

Florida State University (FSU), the United States, has developed a new artificial photosynthesis method that uses less material to capture sunlight and produces hydrogen fuel faster. Plants use sunlight to convert water and carbon dioxide to carbohydrates and oxygen. The compounds in FSU’s process can do the same but break down water into hydrogen and oxygen – the generated fuel is hydrogen gas. Other research teams around the world are investigating different approaches to mimicking nature’s photosynthesis process.

“We found a material that with electricity converts water into oxygen, and it can also absorb sunlight effectively when taking only one layer of it,” said Jose L Mendoza-Cortes at FSU. An energy source that sustains itself Indeed, the new method only uses a single layer of manganese oxide material, potentially making the solar energy it produces less expensive. Furthermore, mirroring nature, the theoretically self-sustaining process does not generate carbon dioxide (CO2). The novel system uses manganese, oxy-gen and salt – all Earth-abundant elements.

“With some tweaking, like changing the salt, it can also convert water into oxygen. This then can be used to generate hydrogen gas, which can be used as a fuel,” said Mendoza-Cortes. Making the process less expensive by only using one layer of manganese oxide was not the researchers goal initially. The experiment at first involved more expensive procedures, but when they scaled back the number of bir-nessite layers, the device processed light at a speedier rate. Turns out, a less dense cell used the light more efficiently. Less materials, of course, would mean lower manufacturing costs at scale.
Source: http://www.solarnovus.com

Breakthrough in 100% clean hydrogen fuel

Scientists Percival Zhang and Joe Rollin at Virginia Tech University (VTU), the United States, have in-vented an inexpensive biological process using corn stover that creates hydrogen. In other words, they’ve invented a much cheaper way to make hydrogen fuel from cast-off plant products that as the University puts it, “…greatly reduces the time and money it takes to produce zero-emission fuel.” The second hydrogen fuel breakthrough has to do with H2O, which of course is water.

HyperSolar, the United States, has invented a way to create renewable hydrogen using sunlight and water. According to HyperSolar, “For over a century, splitting water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen using electrolysis has been well known. Theoretically, this technology can be used to produce an unlimited amount of clean and renewable hydrogen fuel to power a carbon-free world. By optimizing the science of water electrolysis, our low cost photoelectrochemical process efficiently uses sunlight to separate hydrogen from any source of water to produce clean and environmentally-friendly, renewable hydrogen.”
Source: http://www.yourstephenvilletx.com

Optimizing hydrogen fuel for fuel cells

Recently Iranian researchers studied the application of Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) to improve and facilitate the production of hydrogen as the fuel for fuel cells, INIC reports. According to Iran Nanotech-nology Initiative Council (INIC), the study proves the positive effect of MOFs and its results can help the production of green energies and decrease the cost of production of fuel cells. Hydrogen storage in high pressure capsules is a big challenge. A suggestion to overcome this problem is the electrochemical production of hydrogen in the entrance of fuel in a fuel cell.

However, this process has slow electron transfer kinetics at the surface of normal electrodes. The aim of the research was to modify the electrode surface by using nanomaterials to increase the kinetics of hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). In fact, when the electrode surface is modified, the rate of electron transfer in-creases on the surface. In this research, the objective has been fulfilled by using the nano-composite of copper/nanoporous carbon derived from MOF-199.

Based on the results, the presence of the nanocomposite on the surface of the modified electrode improves electron transfer in hydrogen evolution reaction. In other words, the modified electrode enables the faster and simpler electrochemical production of hydrogen as a green fuel to be used in hydrogen/oxygen fuel cells. In addition, this electrode reduces production cost due to the lack of the use of the expensive platinum metal in the electrode structure.
Source: http://www.en.mehrnews.com

Eco-friendy way to produce hydrogen

Researchers at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, have found an eco-friendly way to produce hydrogen gas, which can be used as fuel. First, a chemical is added to a culture of E. coli bacteria to produce electricity. Such bacteria are commonly found in the environment, in the intestines of people and animals and some strains that can cause diarrhoea and food poisoning. Under sunlight, the electricity helps to break up water into its components of hydrogen and oxygen.

“Not only are we able to use bacteria to clean water and to break down waste, we can also use the electrons that are produced by the bacteria to feed into a system that can help us to produce 70 times more hydrogen gas. Currently there are actually products out there that use bacteria to produce electricity, but these are all stand-alone systems. At the same time, we are also working in the area of solar fuels, where we actually use sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, but these have always been stand-alone sys-tems. So for the first time, we are showing that a hybrid system of combining both together, we get a more efficient production of hydrogen gas,” said Joachim Loo at NTU.
Source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com

BIOFUEL/BIOMASS ENERGY

Alternative fuel from ethanol

Researchers at the University of Rochester (UR), the United States, have developed a more efficient way of converting ethanol to a better alternative fuel without creating unwanted byproducts. Ethanol, which is produced from corn, is commonly used as an additive in engine fuel as a way to reduce harmful emissions. However, since ethanol is an oxygenated fuel, its use results in a lower energy output, as well as increased damage to engines via corrosion. Led by William Jones at the UR, researchers have developed a series of reactions that results in the selective conversion of ethanol to butanol, without producing unwanted byproducts.

“Butanol is much better than ethanol as an alternative to gasoline. It yields more energy, is less vola-tile, and doesn’t cause damage to engines,” said Jones. In fact, Jones was able to increase the amount of ethanol converted to butanol by almost 25 per cent over currently used methods. Converting ethanol to butanol involves creating a larger chemical molecule with more carbon and hydrogen atoms. Alt-hough both molecules have a single oxygen atom, the higher carbon-to-oxygen ratio in butanol gives it a higher energy content, while the larger size make it less volatile.

One method of converting the ethanol to butanol is the three-step Guerbet reaction, which involves tempo-rarily giving up hydrogen atoms in an intermediate step, then adding them back in to create the final product. Jones modified the Guerbet reaction by using iridium as the initial catalyst and nickel or copper hydroxide, instead of potassium hydroxide, in the second step. While the best current conditions for the Guerbet reaction convert ethanol to butanol with about 80 per cent selectivity, Jones’ reaction produced butanol in more than 99 per cent selectivity. No undesirable side products are produced.
Source: http://www.financialexpress.com

Biofuel from plant matter

A team of researchers led by Bin Yang, an associate professor at Washington State University (WSU), the United States, have developed a means to convert lignin, one of the previously wasted components of biomass, into something that could replace petroleum-based energy sources, including jet fuel. The group’s research has been supported by several federal agencies including the U.S. departments of Defense and Energy and the National Science Foundation. Yang also holds a patent for the process and the equipment needed to complete it.

“The ability to process lignin into something useful as a biofuel could solve a lot of challenges, namely the need for a clean, domestic source of energy,” said Yang. That includes the development of new bio-based jet fuels. Jet fuel is markedly different from gasoline and diesel, partly in that it doesn’t convert to a gel at cold temperatures typically seen at high altitudes. Some biofuels are a component of jet fuel, but require some petroleum-based components to meet requirements.
Source: http://www.tri-cityherald.com

Fuel based on coconut oil

SCMS College of Engineering and Technology (SSET), India, has developed a coconut oil-based biofuel that promises to be more eco-friendly by reducing emmision of carbon and sulphur. SSET has even successfully tested the biofuel. “We have been working on developing the biofuel for the last two years in our bid to ensure a zero carbon society. After two years of successfully testing it on diesel engine, we have now applied for patent,” said Mohan Kumar, at SSET. They have applied for patent in India and US. Kumar said the new biofuel has been successfully tested on Tata Motor Ace magic, a four- wheeler public transport vehicle, for two years without hassles.

“We developed this biofuel as part of the college’s initiative of ‘Zero carbon, zero pov-erty’ that aims at developing biofuels as an alternative to carbon-based fuels. To use the biofuel, automobile makers needn’t modify their diesel engine but they only need to remove the residual diesel from the fuel tank. The sulphur and carbon content of the biofuel is very low when compared to fossil fuels,” said Kumar. The makers claimed the biofuel provided increased mileage and was fuel efficient. “Using the biofuel, the auto gave a mileage of 22km/litre, which is 30% higher than what was promised by the company,” Kumar added.
Source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Biofuel from roadside weed

A team of researchers at University of Nevada (UNR), United States, have developed a technology, which converts roadside weed into usable biofuel, eliminating the competition for land or food resources. The team has explored the possibilities of producing biofuel from the unpretentious, overgrowing gumweed, found along the roads of Nevada. It all began when Glenn Miller, in UNR, was approached by the mining engineer Darrell Lamaire, back in the 1980s with secured funding. For the next 10 years, the two scientists grew gumweed in Lamaire’s lab, aiming to solve the issue of biofuels competing with food resources.

Since then, Miller and a team of researchers at UNR, have managed to successfully extract hydrocarbons from the plant oil, and produce biofuel. Currently, the feasibility and the viability of using the new liquid is under testing. Using gumweed to make biofuel captured the interest of many scientists withing the UNR, purely because it addresses the issues of competition for resources. They are trying now to perfect the biomass conversion, by testing innovative means.

An interesting approach is taken by Hongfei Lin, a collaborator in UNR’s College of Engineering, who is testing the process of oxidation instead of addition of hydrogen to the biomass. According to Lin, gunweed can grow on as little as 10% of the thousands of square miles of land by roads across Nevada. The amount of biomass that is produced could give between 400 and 600 million gallons of biofuel per year.
Source: http://www.greenoptimistic.com

New process to produce renewable fuel

Luleå University of Technology (LTU), Sweden, for the first in the world has produced renewable fuels from pyrolysis bio-oil. Pyrolysis bio-oil is produced by rapidly heating the forest residues in an oxygen-free environment and then rapidly cooling the products formed. By co-gasification with black liquor, a renewable fuel is produced. “We have made a breakthrough developing the new process and managed to get 1 + 1 to be equal to 3. Black liquor makes it possible to gasify pyrolysis oil at a lower temperature, which provides better yield than if the raw materials were gasified separately,” said Erik Furusjö, at LTU.

By converting forest residues into a liquid, called bio-oil or pyrolysis oil, energy density is increased and transportation facilitated. The conversion of the pyrolysis oil to a renewable transportation fuel is made through a process called gasification. It is performed in combination with black liquor that is a by-product from pulp and paper production and available in large volumes in Sweden and elsewhere. The project “Catalytic gasification” is financed by the Swedish Energy Agency and an industry consortium.

LTU Green Fuels is one of the world’s most advanced pilot plants for gasification of various types of biomass into synthesis gas and green fuels. The focus is to replace fossil oil with green fuels. Operations are running around the clock. Through previous research, black liquor has been gasified more than 26,000 hours in the LTU Green Fuels pilot plant. The objective of the current program is 1,000 hours of co-gasification of pyrolysis oil and black liquor, which makes a total of about 125 tons of the biofuel dimethyl ether (DME), popularly known as green diesel.
Source: http://www.phys.org

Algae biofuels

At the University of Delaware (UD), the United States, scientist Jennifer Stewart is working to create sustainable algae-based biofuels that could reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) and other harmful emissions in the atmosphere. Algae can produce 12 times more biodiesel per acre than plants, such as corn or sugarcane, and can be grown in arid areas, like deserts, where it doesn’t take up land used to grow food. Marine algae can be grown using seawater, saving freshwater supplies for more pressing purposes like drinking water. But using algae to produce biofuels hasn’t been all that easy – or cheap.

As a doctoral student at UD, Stewart studied Heterosigma akashiwo, a species of algae that thrives in Delaware waterways and worldwide. Stewart discovered that H. akashiwo contains a special enzyme with the unique ability to convert nitric oxide gas into a form of nitrogen it can use for food. So instead of dying in the presence of toxic emissions, H. akashiwo thrives. This discovery may help push algae into the major leagues of biofuel sourcing.

The tiny, plant-like algae starts out as a single-celled organism, invisible to the naked eye. When it comes in contact with sunlight, water and a food source (such as carbon or nitrogen), it reproduces faster than other plants and can grow from a few cells to millions of cells in just one liter of water over a matter of days. Once harvested, the golden-brown colored algae can be transformed into algae-based biofuels, bioplastics and even algae-based, omega-3 supplements.
Source: http://www.biomassmagazine.com

Nanoparticles to achieve high biodiesel yield

A research team from National Taiwan University (NTU), Province of China, have formulated a synthetic nanoparticle that is able to extract oil from algae and turn it into biodiesel. The team, led by NTU chemistry professor Wu Chia-wen, synthesised a magnetic nanoparticle for harvesting microalgae, extracting algae oil, and converting the oil’s fatty acids into a methyl ester, which is used in biodiesel.

“The team used iron oxide and silicon dioxide to form nanoparticles, which, when applied to algae solution, magnetically attract algae and convert their fat into biodiesel with an alkaline-based catalyst,” said Wu. Traditional algae-harvesting methods require large amounts of energy to break down cell walls, but the team’s nanoparticles effectively convert algae oil to biodiesel with a maximum yield of 97.1% of the oil’s fatty acid methyl esters, compared with existing methods which yield less than 60%.

Microalgae contain the highest fat content among biomaterials commonly used to produce biofuel, so microalgae has replaced corn and barley as a favoured source for the industry. The innovation was the result of the NTU’s cooperation with Japan’s National Institute for Materials Science, a long-term project in the fields of energy, biomedicine, photonics and nanotechnology
Source: http://www.biofuels-news.com

Biofuels from waste biomass

A team of researchers at University of Maryland (UMD), the United States, has been awarded a patent for a process that uses natural microorganisms to ferment biomass or gases into hydrocarbons. In short, they’ve figured out how to brew gasoline naturally. The inventors, Professor Richard Kohn and Dr. Seon-Woo Kim, at the UMD, had been awarded a patent for microorganisms that are ethanol-tolerant and which produce ethanol from biomass materials. The team has now been awarded a similar patent for the same process, but producing hexane and octane, the core ingredients of gasoline. In both cases, the fuels separate from the biomass and rise to the surface of a fermentation broth.

The two have worked to isolate and breed microorganisms that convert cellulostic biomass or gaseous carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen (H2) into biofuels that include ethanol, 1-butanol, butane, or hexane. Cellulostic biomass can be any of a number of leftovers from living plant resources (trees, grain production, etc.) and are common biodegradable byproducts in manufacturing. The production of corn, for example, produces many tons of corn stalks and the production of lumber produces many tons of chips and sawdust.

The UMD team developed microorganisms that thrive on carbon dioxide, which is a byproduct of many agri-industrial processes. The fermentation process for producing fuel has been difficult to develop, but is much more energy-efficient and cost-effective over the long term than is the more common process currently used to distill corn grain and other feedstocks into ethanol. In the process created by the UMD team, microorganisms feed on hydrogen and CO2 (or biomass) and excrete hexane or octane.
Source: http://www.gizmag.com

One-pot process for cellulosic ethanol

Led by Seema Singh and Blake Simmons, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) researchers have developed a “high-gravity” one-pot process for producing ethanol from cellulosic biomass that gives unprecedented yields while minimizing water use and waste disposal. The process utilizes a combination of ionic liquid pretreatment, enzymatic saccharification, and yeast fermentation for the production of concentrated fermentable sugars that result in high-titer cellulosic ethanol. “High gravity” means high biomass loading — the higher the biomass loading, the lower the costs for converting it to fuels.

“Our new one-pot process for making cellulosic ethanol was enabled by the discovery and use of a renewable ionic liquid derived from amino acids that commercially available enzyme mixtures and organisms can tolerate,” says Simmons, a chemical engineer who is JBEI’s Chief Science and Technology Officer and heads the institute’s Deconstruction Division. “This eliminates the need for separations, recoveries and other operational steps, generating significant cost savings.”

Ionic liquids are powerful solvents that can be used to deconstruct (dissolve) cellulosic biomass into sugars for the production of fuels. The renewable ionic liquid to which Simmons refers is one made from lignin and hemicellulose, two by-products of biofuel production from biorefineries. The discovery of the unique properties of this “bionic” liquid was also led by Singh and Simmons.

“Using bionic liquids in our new one-pot high-gravity process we were able to increase biomass digestibility and obtain ethanol titer yields of 41.1 grams/liter, which exceeds the production distillation required for industrial ethanol production,” says Singh, who directs JBEI’s biomass pretreatment program. Details on this one-pot process for producing ethanol from cellulosic biomass have been reported in Energy and Environmental Science. This research was supported by the DOE Office of Science.
Source: http://www.ethanolproducer.com

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2015

The report assesses these trends in the electricity, transport and heat sectors, identifying drivers and challenges to deployment, and making projections through 2020.

It also assesses the potential impacts of enhanced policy actions under an accelerated case for renewable power, which would put the world more firmly on a path to a more sustainable and secure energy system.

Renewables Information 2015

The report provides a comprehensive review of historical and current market trends in OECD countries, including 2014 preliminary data. It provides an overview of the development of renewables and waste in the world over the 1990 to 2013 period.

The publication encompasses energy indicators, generating capacity, electricity and heat production from renewable and waste sources, as well as production and consumption of renewables and waste. It is one of a series of annual IEA statistical publications on major energy sources; other reports are Coal Information, Electricity Information, Natural Gas Information and Oil Information.

Energy Technology Perspectives 2015

The report examines innovation in the energy technology sector and seeks to increase confidence in the feasibility of achieving short- and long-term climate change mitigation targets through effective research, development, demonstration and deployment (RDD&D).

It identifies regulatory strategies and cooperative frameworks to advance innovation in areas like variable renewables, carbon capture and storage, and energy-intensive industrial sectors.

For the above three books, contact: International Energy Agency. Tel: +33-1-4057-6500; Fax: +33-1-4057-6509, E-mail: info@iea.org


ASIAN AND PACIFIC CENTRE FOR TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGY

This website is optimized for IE 8.0 with screen resolution 1024 x 768
For queries regarding this website, contact us
Copyright © 2010 APCTT | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Feedback