Oct 23, 2009
Second-generation biofuels on the brink of commercial breakthrough, says studyBack
Engines|Automotive|Energy|Gasification Technologies|Power Generation|Power-generation|Environmental|Phani Raj Kumar Chinthapalli|Power|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 (150 word limit)
Other Renewable Energy News
Article contains comments
Article contains comments
Updated 17 minutes ago The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has called on interested parties to lodge written representations in relation to Vodacom’s proposed R7-billion buy-out of converged communications network operator Neotel within 21 days. Icasa outlined...
Updated 1 hour 9 minutes ago Industry body, the Wireless Access Providers’ Association (Wapa) has released a draft position paper on licenced and licence-exempt spectrum, the former of which allows service providers exclusive access to certain spectral frequencies, enabling them to deliver...
Updated 2 hours 26 minutes ago The board of construction and engineering group Group Five announced on Tuesday that it had appointed Eric Vemer as the company’s new CEO. Vemer will start work on December 1, taking over from Mike Upton, who had approached the JSE-listed group’s retirement age.
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 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 road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
While Ekurhuleni-based transformer manufacturer Reliable Transformers currently designs, manufactures and tests its products according to the SANS 780 specifications for distribution transformers and other applicable transformer specifications, it is working towards...
Global endpoint security solutions company Kaspersky Lab has introduced new measures to prevent cyber criminals from accessing sensitive data, alongside its malware-signature and heuristic device analysis detection methods. Threats to mobile devices have increased...
To ensure uptake and a positive impact, Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) networks in cities must be provided at schools, community centres and commercial centres to enable citizens and government to access information that will improve access to and delivery of services....
Eco-estate Monaghan Farm, located near Lanseria airport, north-west of Johannesburg, has taken a new approach to modern living and sustainability with its 517 ha development, dedicated to farm living.
Forklift and lift-truck distributor Goscor Lift Hi-Reach launched the Genie SX-180, the tallest self-propelled super boom in Africa, in Johannesburg last month. “As the official distributor of the well-known Genie range of equipment in Southern Africa, we are pleased...