The big news this week was in India, where government officials announced an ambitious expansion of the country’s bioenergy market. And in Brazil, Nissan used the global spotlight on Rio to unveil an ethanol-powered fuel-cell prototype. Catch up on these and other top stories you may have missed this week!


Nissan unveils ethanol fuel-cell prototype

After announcing in June it was developing the world’s first solid oxide fuel-cell-powered vehicle, Nissan is now testing a prototype on the roads in Brazil.


The vehicle runs on 100% ethanol to charge a 24-kWh battery. It offers a cruising range of more than 373 miles (600 km) and has carbon-neutral emissions, the company says. In addition, the “e-Bio Fuel-Cell” has low-running costs equivalent to an electric vehicle and can be used with existing infrastructure, making it easier to introduce to markets. See photos, videos and specifications of the cars in which the fuel cell can operate at Nissan.


India moves to expand its bioenergy market

Over the next six years, India is targeting a more than sevenfold expansion in its bioenergy market.


Blending 5% of biodiesel with regular diesel and 10% ethanol with gasoline could boost the market, which currently sits at about $1 billion, to $7.5 billion by 2022. India’s crude consumption growth is expected to top all other nations in the decades ahead, and it currently imports about 80% of its crude requirement. It is also aiming to reduce its overseas energy purchases by 10 percentage points by 2022, through increased domestic output and greater use of alternative fuels.


Read more on this development and learn about upcoming Indian bioenergy projects at Bloomberg Markets.


Researchers convert CO2 into building block for fuels

Using nanoengineering, University of Toronto researchers have developed a technique to convert climate-warming carbon dioxide (CO2) into carbon monoxide (CO), a building block for carbon-based chemical fuels like ethanol and diesel.


Unfortunately, CO is not useful as a fuel in itself, so this is not seen as a global warming solution. However the team’s next step—skipping the CO and producing fuels directly—could be the breakthrough the world is looking for. Learn more about the team’s research at the University of Toronto website.

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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.