At Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, scientists are using CO2 to drastically reduce the cost of pretreatment in the cellulosic ethanol production process. Meanwhile, a Florida-based lab has found a way to produce an advanced, military-grade aviation fuel. Keep reading for these and more stories making waves in the biofuel industry this week!


Scientists harness CO2 to consolidate biofuel production process

The addition of carbon dioxide may represent a big step forward in the streamlining of the cellulosic ethanol production process. In a study published online this month in the journal Energy and Environmental Sciences, scientists reported that this innovation could substantially reduce the cost of pretreatment by 50 to 65%. And, since microbes generate CO2 as a byproduct of fermentation, harnessing that gas for use in the pretreatment phase leads to an even greener source of energy. Learn more about the study at EurekAlert!


India could be the next big thing in the Asian ethanol market

There’s been more and more talk recently about Indian buying interest for seaborne, imported ethanol. The USDA, for instance, has projected that the country’s ethanol imports will reach at least 440,000 cubic meters this year, and even 600,000 cubic meters next year, which would make India the second-largest ethanol import in Asia. Recent cargoes leaving U.S. ports also support the notion that there is a bigger need to be met. But is India on pace to be the global ethanol player that China is? Get a more in-depth analysis at Platts.


Coffee shop blend: New company turns coffee grounds into biofuels

London-based Bio-bean can process 50,000 tons of coffee grounds per year into fuel for cars, homes and appliances—that’s equivalent to the grounds of about 1 in every 10 cups of coffee drank in the UK in total. The key, their CEO says, is to develop products that can replace fuels—from wood pellets to mineral diesel—without requiring additional infrastructure. Now, the start-up has won the Grow category at Virgin Media’s Voom competition. Read more at the Business Reporter.


Florida scientists develop a military-grade aviation biofuel

A team of scientists at West Palm Beach, Florida-based Alliance BioEnergy Plus Inc.’s subsidiary Ek Laboratories has developed a pathway to produce JP-8, an advanced military grade aviation biofuel. JP-8 is similar to the commercial aviation fuel, Jet A-1, except with the addition of corrosion inhibitors and anti-icing additives in order to meet the stringent US and British defense standards. The team is reportedly continuing to refine its cellulose-to-sugar process for dry distiller’s grain and other various cellulose biomass. Learn more at Renewable Energy 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.