http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 17.88Change: -0.10
R/$ = 15.88Change: -0.04
Au 1237.82 $/ozChange: 0.47
Pt 955.50 $/ozChange: -4.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters About Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Oct 05, 2012

Potential biofuels market could kick-start bioenergy industry

Back
Agriculture|Africa|CoAL|Cogeneration|Diesel|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|SECURITY|Solar|Sustainable|Technology|Training|Turbines|Africa|Cogeneration|Energy|Products|Cogeneration|Turbines|Diesel
Agriculture|Africa|CoAL|Cogeneration|Diesel|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|SECURITY|Solar|Sustainable|Technology|Training|Turbines|Africa|Cogeneration|Energy|Products|Cogeneration|Turbines|
agriculture|africa-company|coal|cogeneration|diesel-company|renewable-energy|renewable-energy-company|security|solar|sustainable|technology|training|turbines-company|africa|cogeneration-industry-term|energy|products|cogeneration-person|turbines-person|diesel
© Reuse this



South Africa has not yet embraced bioenergy, which comprises biofuels, biogas and bioelectricity, in earnest, says Stellenbosch University senior chair of energy research in biofuels Professor Emile van Zyl.

“Biogas produced from anaerobic digesters using sewage, manure or other readily degradable organic residue is used on a small scale on farms or village-like settlements as an energy source, but it hasn’t really taken off.

“Several companies and start-ups had considered burning biomass for electricity generation purposes; however, on its own this is not a very sensible practice,” he states.

Van Zyl suggests that using a combination of excess plant residues and residue streams from biobased industries, such as sugar and paper and biofuels plants can be more effectively used for the cogeneration of electricity than simply burning biomass.

He notes that this makes more economical sense, as organic materials, such as plant residue, have a higher value when converted into biofuels or other commodity products, thus replacing fuels at about ten times the monetary value than the conversion from coal to electricity.

Biofuels Market
Van Zyl says the recent announcement in the Government Gazette by the Department of Energy regarding the mandatory blending of biofuels with petrol and diesel could lead to the creation of a vibrant biofuels market, which, in turn, could kick-start a bioenergy industry in South Africa.

In addition to creating a biofuels market, it is important that South Africa’s fuel standards be upgraded in the near future as this creates incentives for the blending of biofuels with petrol and diesel during production to meet fuel standards.

Further, Van Zyl recommends that less intervention from government in terms of who may produce biofuels and from which feedstocks, the simplification of the licensing of biofuels production and the encouragement of more start-ups in this new field, might help expedite the development of bioenergy and biofuels in South Africa.

He hopes this will have a spillover effect into neighbouring countries, some of which have greater potential for biofuel feedstock production.

Van Zyl reiterates that bioenergy will not, in the long run, be a viable option for grid electricity generation, as it does not make sense to compete with coal by using valuable biomass.

“Why use highly evolved molecules that are produced by nature as part of plant structures and simply burn them through combustion to generate electricity with a low value?

“I would rather promote the use of biomass as a replacement for fossil fuel in the future, thereby developing a new green chemistry industry and economy and replacing crude oil as the basis for the production of liquid fuels and other higher-value chemicals,” he comments.

Further, he says bioenergy production can be integrated into agriculture and forestry if it is approached in a sustainable way and best practices are followed. He says this can be synergised with food production and actually guarantee food security.

An integrated approach, where bioenergy is produced from nonfood residue and crops, creating alternative markets for farmers, is integral to food security.

Bioenergy could also create jobs through the expansion of the agricultural and forestry sectors.

However, Van Zyl notes that one of the shortfalls of bioenergy is its complexity.

“It is not a simple standalone technology, such as wind turbines and solar energy units. Because of the complexity of bioenergy and its integration into agriculture and forestry, coupled with fears around food security, people are hesitant to get involved and politicians prefer rather to play it safe and conservative in this debate,” he says.

He also reveals that South Africa does not have a skills pool large enough to implement bioenergy to its fullest, using advanced technologies.

To deal with this problem, Stellenbosch University runs programmes through the senior chair of energy research: biofuels, which offers postgraduate training towards Masters and Doctoral degrees in advanced biofuels or bioenergy technologies.

Another postgraduate programme in renewable and sustainable energy studies includes postgraduate courses in different renewable energy areas, including bioenergy.

The programme is run by the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy studies, under the leadership of Professor Wicus van Niekerk.

Stellenbosch University also focuses on new and advanced second-generation technologies for the conversion of nonfood residues and crops for bioenergy production.

Van Zyl says these technologies should allow for the integration of bioenergy production into existing biobased industries, such as the pulp and paper, as well as sugar industries.

In turn, this will ensure the complete use of plant material and the development of products and energies from these materials.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
© Reuse this

To subscribe email subscriptions@creamermedia.co.za or click here
To advertise email advertising@creamermedia.co.za or click here
 
Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Energy News
The South African Marine Research and Exploration Forum (Samref) was recently launched by Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor. The Forum is a joint initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Offshore Petroleum Association of South...
JOHN THOMSON The focus on training at the CIS will provide useful networking platforms for employers, government, training organisations and other stakeholders
Having identified the lack of training opportunities as a rising concern in the oil industry, the biennial Cape Industries Showcase (CIS), scheduled to take place from July 13 to 15 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, will focus on skills development...
Incoming joint Sasol CEO Bongani Nqwababa
Incoming joint Sasol CEO Bongani Nqwababa believes “simplistic” correlations of the company’s performance to the oil price will become less relevant in coming years as the revenue and profit contribution of its chemicals business rises in line with its large North...
More
 
 
Latest News
The Competition Tribunal on Friday gave a conditional go-ahead for mobile operators Cell C, MTN and Vodacom to buy out their respective subscriber bases, as South Africa’s last independent service provider Altech Autopage calls it a day. The Allied Electronics...
The drought in Southern Africa could become one of the worst on record should the current below-normal rainfall continue, the United Nations (UN) World Food Programme said this week. The El Niño conditions presently being experienced in the region had resulted in a...
Kelibone Masiyane has been appointed the new MD of PPC Zimbabwe, succeeding Njombo Lekula, who had recently been redeployed as MD of PPC’s international operations. Masiyane would be supported by new PPC commercial director Iain Sheasby and new PPC GM of finance...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Construction 2016: A review of South Africa's construction industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2016 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; key participants; local demand; geographic diversification; corporate activity; black economic...
Energy Roundup – February 2016 (PDF Report)
The February 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for December 2015 and January 2016 and includes details of a Government Gazette notice that confirms Cabinet’s decision to move ahead with the 9 600 MW nuclear procurement programme; State-owned power...
Energy Roundup - December 2015 (PDF Report)
The December 2015 roundup includes details of State-owned utility Eskom’s application to claw back R22.8-billion; South Africa’s ranking as an investment destination for renewable energy; and a nuclear expert’s thoughts on reactor designs for South Africa’s nuclear...
Water 2015: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2015 Report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context but also in the African and global context in terms of supply and demand, water stress and insecurity, and access to water and sanitation, besides others.
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
WIDENING FLEXIBILITY The trailers have a 3-m-wide (2-file) and 4.3-m-wide (2-file) configuration
Lifting, transporting, installing and ballasting solutions provider Ale has expanded its global fleet of trailers and invested in the latest range of widening trailers that can be mechanically widened from 3 m to the desired width for any project. Ale ordered 48 axle...
The market for the BMW 7 Series in South Africa differs quite significantly from the rest of the world. China, the US and the Middle East almost exclusively buy the long-wheel-base version, using the German manufacturer’s luxury high-end sedan as a chaffeur-driven...
January new-vehicle sales fell by 6.9%, to 48 615 units, compared with the same month last year. Statistics released by the Department of Trade and Industry show that the domestic new passenger-car market declined by 6.1%, to 34 936 units, compared with 12 months ago.
Information technology (IT) equipment and infrastructure multinational Dell is providing open infrastructure systems for clients so that they can use any systems, including innovative new systems, that suit their business needs, says Dell Europe, Middle East and...
South Africa’s State-owned defence industrial group, Denel, has set up another international partnership, based in Hong Kong. This new subsidiary is Denel Asia and it is a joint venture (JV) with South African private sector company VR Laser.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $149 Close
Subscribe Now for $149