Forecasters are predicting big up-ticks in production and demand for ethanol in Colombia, as well as for the global biomass pellet market as a whole. Plus, researchers in the Yukon are putting ethanol to work directly to clean up water pollution caused by mining. All this and more ahead in our weekly news roundup!


Study: Biomass pellet market to grow nearly 11% annually until 2020

The global biomass pellets market, valued at $4.52 billion in 2014, is forecast to reach $8.34 billion in 2020, according to a new market study by Zion Research.


The study forecasts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.9% between 2015 and 2020.


Biomass pellets are mainly used as a heating fuel, and their use in different residential and industrial applications such as pellet stoves or boilers over old-style wood-fired equipment has increased significantly over the past few years. The pellets are normally obtained from various sources including the timber industry, sawdust, sugarcane crop, woody plants, and switch grass, among others.


Read the full story at Bioenergy Insight.


Yukon researchers use ethanol with molasses and bacteria to clean mine-contaminated water

Researchers in Canada’s Yukon Territory are using molasses mixed with ethanol to treat water in contaminated mines.


When the mixture is introduced to the water, sulfate-reducing bacteria feed on the carbon that is present, stimulated in part by the high sugar content. In the process, the metal dissolved in the water is turned back into a solid state.


Currently, mining companies use lime to treat contaminated mine water, but that comes at a higher cost—both financially and for the environment. If successful, the new treatment could have large-scale applications; there are 40 mines in the pilot project’s region alone.


For more information on the project and the science behind it, visit Yukon News.


Ethanol production and demand both expected to grow in Colombia

Colombia’s annual biofuels report notes that although ethanol capacity has increased to 1.65 million liters (435,883.89 gallons) per day, the country is unable to meet its current E8 blending mandate. As a result, ethanol imports may be authorized by the government.


Last year, Colombian sugarcane-based ethanol production reached 1.65 million liters per day, up 32 percent when compared to 2014. For the full year 2016, production is expected to reach 465 million liters, increasing to 565 million liters next year due to the opening of another new ethanol plant. According to the report, Columbia currently has six ethanol plants, all of which take in sugarcane as feedstock.


Learn more at Ethanol Producer Magazine.

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Geoff Hayward

Communications Advisor at Novozymes
Geoff writes about Bioenergy for the Communications team at Novozymes. When he isn’t advocating for an industry that’s changing the world for the better, he can be found on a North Carolina bike path or playing slide guitar.