[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
New HPAC lignocellulose pretreatment method could accelerate cellulosic biofuel production
December 28, 2015
A team from Chonnam National University in Korea has developed a new pretreatment method for lignocellulosic biomass that is more efficient and effective for the downstream biocatalytic hydrolysis of various lignocellulosic materials. This, they suggest, will accelerate bioethanol commercialization.
The new hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-acetic acid (CH3COOH) (HPAC) pretreatment removes lignin without the use of high temperatures or strong acids. It can be applied to multiple lignocellulosic materials; reduces enzyme loading and downstream enzymatic hydrolysis time; and lowers generation of fermentation inhibitors during the process. An open-access paper on the process is published in the journal Biotechnology for Biofuels.
FuelCell Energy pathway for hydrogen from digester gas has negative carbon intensity for CA LCFS
December 23, 2015
Connecticut-based FuelCell Energy (FCE) has applied for a prospective pathway for California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) for the production of hydrogen fuel produced from biogas derived from the mesophilic anaerobic digestion of wastewater sludge at a publicly owned treatment works (POTW).
The biogas is cleaned, then internally reformed in an integrated hydrogen energy system (Tri-Gen DFC) that produces hydrogen fuel for transportation; electric power for plant operations and export; as well as thermal energy for plant use. Once the internal energy demands of the pathway have been met, any energy not utilized for process is considered to be surplus to the system boundary and is credited to the FCE pathway.
UPS to use biomethane for Memphis and Jackson alternative fuel fleet
December 21, 2015
UPS will supply its fleet in Memphis, Tenn., and Jackson, Miss., with an estimated 15 million diesel gallon gas equivalents of renewable natural gas (RNG)—biomethane—as part of a multi-year agreement with Memphis Light, Gas and Water and Atmos Energy Marketing, LLC.
Atmos will secure landfill gas and provide it to MLGW for conversion to LNG, which will be delivered to the UPS facility by tractor-trailer. The deal is part of an initiative announced earlier this year by UPS to significantly expand its use of renewable natural gas in UPS’s alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet. The company has a goal of driving one billion miles with its alternative fuels fleet—known as the Rolling Laboratory—by the end of 2017.
Hydrogen from biomethane; gasoline & diesel from tree residue; cellulosic ethanol among new proposed California LCFS fuel pathways
December 18, 2015
California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff posted 32 new Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) fuel pathway applications for comments at the LCFS website. Among the multiple applications for different processing pathways of corn or sorghum ethanol are four pathways from LytEn for hydrogen produced from biomethane; four pathways for renewable gasoline and diesel produced from tree residue from Ensyn; and one application for cellulosic ethanol using corn stover feedstock from POET.
The LCFS is a regulation to reduce the carbon intensity (CI) of fuels sold in California by 10% by 2020. The LCFS applies to liquid and non-liquid fuels. If a product is above the annual carbon intensity target, the fuel incurs deficits. If a product is below that target, the fuel generates credits which may be used later for compliance, or sold to other producers who have deficits. So far, fuel producers are over-complying with the regulation. (Earlier post.)
Audi highlights its range of electrification efforts; Q7 diesel PHEV, A7 fuel cell PHEV, BEV, 48V and more; 750 Wh/l by 2025
November 17, 2015
Audi presented a range of its ongoing work on electromobility and efficiency—from fuels and systems to full vehicles—under the “Future Performance Days 2015” banner.
On the full vehicle side, Audi put forward the Audi Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI quattro plug-in hybrid (earlier post); the Audi A7 h-tron quattro fuel cell vehicle (earlier post); the Audi e-tron quattro concept battery-electric SUV (earlier post); the Audi TT clubsport turbo concept (earlier post); the Audi RS 5 TDI competition concept (earlier post); and the Audi R18 e-tron quattro (earlier post). On the systems and fuels side, Audi discussed battery technology; wireless charging; 48 V electrification (earlier post); Audi fuel cell technology; and Audi e-fuels (earlier post).
Ryder to fuel natural gas fleets in California with 100% biomethane from Clean Energy Fuels
November 12, 2015
Ryder System, Inc. and Clean Energy Fuels Corp. announced an agreement for Ryder to switch the fuel at their stations in Orange and Fontana, CA, to Clean Energy’s Redeem renewable natural gas (RNG)—i.e., biomethane. (Earlier post.) The fuel at the two stations will be available in both compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) to individual and public fleet vehicles.
Clean Energy’s renewable natural gas vehicle fuel is derived from biogenic methane or biogas—methane that is naturally generated by the decomposition of organic waste. The methane gas is then processed, purified and sent into the interstate natural gas pipeline and made available exclusively to Clean Energy customers.
Audi e-gas plant qualified to participate in balancing market to stabilize grid
July 15, 2015
The Audi e-gas plant in the city of Werlte in Lower Saxony (earlier post) produces CO2 neutral-fuel (synthetic methane from water, renewable electricity and CO2); it now also contributes toward stabilizing the public power grid. After successfully completing a test sequence, the plant is now qualified for participating in the electricity balancing market.
In the German electrical energy mix, the share of renewable energies is growing rapidly, reaching 33% in the first half of 2015. However, regional expansion of wind and photovoltaic generation plants leads to increasingly larger load fluctuations. It is therefore important to have flexibly available consumers such as the Audi e-gas plant to buffer load peaks and thereby stabilize energy grids.
UPS enters agreement with Clean Energy Fuels for renewable natural gas (biomethane) in the US
May 05, 2015
UPS has entered into an agreement to purchase renewable natural gas (RNG) for its delivery vehicle fleet from Clean Energy Fuels Corp. RNG (biomethane) can be derived from many abundant and renewable sources, including decomposing organic waste in landfills, wastewater treatment and agriculture.
The deal signifies UPS’ plan to expand significantly its use of renewable natural gas for its alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet. The company has a goal of driving one billion miles using its alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet by the end of 2017. Clean Energy Fuels, co-founded by T. Boone Pickens, is the exclusive producer of Redeem, the first RNG made available in commercial quantities.
E3 study finds low-carbon gas fuels option for meeting Calif GHG reduction goals
January 28, 2015
A new study by Energy Environmental Economics (E3) consulting suggests that low-carbon gas fuels are a viable option for meeting California’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals and can simultaneously help achieve pollution emission reduction targets.Low-carbon gas fuels or “decarbonized gas” refers to gaseous fuels with a net-zero, or very low, greenhouse gas impact on the climate. These include fuels such as biogas, hydrogen and renewable synthetic gases produced with low lifecycle GHG emission approaches.