Oct 23, 2009
Second-generation biofuels on the brink of commercial breakthrough, says studyBack
Gasification Technologies|Phani Raj Kumar Chinthapalli|BIOFUELS|Gasification Technologies
© Reuse this
Developments in the pretreatment and gasification of biofeedstock through discrete hydrolysis and fermentation, and gasification and catalytic synthesis have the potential to reduce the production costs of second-generation biofuels.
The use of second-generation biofeedstock, such as agricultural residue, forest residue and black liquor, is currently limited to power generation in combined heat and power (CHP) plants or regeneration units. Second-generation biofeedstock has, however, been extensively researched as a potential source of liquid fuels for transportation. Over time, technological advances are expected to make these second-generation biofuels commercially viable.
“The use of second-generation biofuels is expected to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG), particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), from combustion engines by 80% to 85% in comparison with conventional fossil fuels. The lifecycle emissions for second-generation biofuels are in the negative range, which implies consumption of CO2 rather than emission,” notes Frost & Sullivan senior research analyst Phani Raj Kumar Chinthapalli.
Major automotive companies are investigating the environmental benefits of second-generation biofuels. They are looking at reducing emission levels while remaining competitive with the use of corn or maize that can be deployed as biofeedstock for transportation fuels.
Climate change related to GHG emissions is a concern for many companies, and many industries are attempting to achieve sustainability across their value chains.
“In addition to supporting energy efficient processes in industries, second-generation biofeedstock and the technologies used to convert them into bio- fuels are expected to lower GHG emissions in the transportation sector,” he adds. “The commercial production of second-generation biofuels is poised to reach five-billion gallons a year by the end of 2015.”
Current demonstration second- generation biofuel plants are using single biofeedstock sources, which are either forest residue or agricultural residue, to name a few. However, it will take some time before the supply chains of these different feedstock sources are better established.
“The future of biofuel plants will lie in effectively converting multiple feedstock into biofuels. These multiple feedstock supplies must constantly be replenished and the technology should optimally convert the entire range of economically viable second-generation biofeedstock,” he cautions.
He notes that second-generation biofuels will slowly, but surely, have an impact on energy share globally; however, this impact may not be significant in the short term. Unless technology winners introduce large-scale plants at an affordable rate, such change is unlikely to occur until the end of 2017.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other Energy News
Updated 1 hour 5 minutes ago Western Europe remained the most popular geography for infrastructure investors, followed closely by North America and Australasia, while investor interest in markets such as India and China has dropped, a recent study by advisory firm Deloitte has found. Deloitte...
Updated 2 hours 4 minutes ago International freight volumes are expected to grow by 17% over the next five years, indicating a conservative recovery in global economic activity and world trade volumes, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) Airline Industry Forecast 2013-2017 revealed...
Updated 2 hours 15 minutes ago JSE-listed Hudaco Industries on Thursday announced that it had acquired the assets and liabilities of imported battery distributor Specialised Battery Systems (SBS). The final total consideration payable by Hudaco would depend on the company’s average profits over...
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
Road and Rail 2013: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2013 Report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move...
Liquid Fuels 2013 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Liquid Fuels report examines South Africa’s liquid fuels market, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing,...
Projects in Progress - Second Edition (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s second Projects in Progress supplement considers some of the major project developments under way, including high-profile energy and transport projects, as well as a few of the lower-profile public and private developments. What remains apparent is...
Water 2013: A review of South Africa’s water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2013 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Canadian Mining Roundup for June 2013 (PDF Report)
The June 2013 roundup includes details of the development of TSX-V-listed Aldridge Minerals’ flagship Yenipazar polymetallic project, in Turkey; the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s renewal of Cameco’s uranium mining licence pertaining to the Cigar Lake...
This Week's Magazine
Mitsubishi Motors South Africa (MMSA) has introduced a 4x2 derivative of its Pajero Sport sports-utility vehicle (SUV), which will give it access to a substantial slice of the full-size SUV market, where it will compete with the likes of the Ford Everest, Chevrolet...
South African Energy Minister Ben Martins has affirmed that the government wants the country to be globally competitive in the nuclear sector. "Our responsibility has always been ... to ensure that, in nuclear energy, South Africa can compete with the rest of the...
Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) president and CEO Dr Martin Zimmermann describes the new S-Class as “a special place to be”, with the car creating a sense of “wellness” once you are seated inside the German brand’s flagship model. It is difficult to argue...
Water scarcity and water-quality issues are broadly recognised and understood in most political, business and civil organisations in South Africa, but solving water issues will require wide and continuous action in catchments and municipalities by organisations and...
Work is well under way on the R212-million Imvutshane dam, 30 km north-west of Stanger, in KwaZulu-Natal, which is a key link in supplying people in rural Maphumulo with a reliable source of safe drinking water.