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Biofuels News

Biofuel ready for commercial-scale production

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th September 2010 Process technology supplier Honeywell UOP is ready to move its green jet fuel into commercial-scale production within the next two or three years, and has started the certification and licensing processes. 

Biofuels technology firm seeks partners for cellulosic ethanol plants 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     2nd July 2010 Biofuels technology provider Stellenbosch Biomass Technologies (SBMT) is seeking both private and public investment partners to assist in the rollout of commercial cellulosic ethanol production plants in Southern Africa. SBMT, which was launched on Friday, holds the exclusive rights to... 

Sugar price volatility fears eased

By: Eleanor Seggie     2nd July 2010 Finance was a significant concern at the recent Kingsman Asia Pacific sugar conference in Singapore, reports market analyst and broker in the world sugar and biofuels markets Kingsman. 

University unveils custom-made algal biomass reactor

By: Jacqueline Holman     11th June 2010 The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s (NMMU’s) institute of chemical technology, InnoVenton, has launched its custom-made algae biomass liquefaction reactor, which successfully converts alga biomass into a bio-oil and other products. 

SA urged to weigh fuel import benefits as refinery investment decision approaches 

By: Terence Creamer     11th May 2010 South Africa would only need to secure about 2% of net exports of refined oil products from the newly-built refineries of the Middle East, India and South Korea to ensure security of supply, while diversifying its supply mix beyond its existing refinery fleet, BP chief economist Christof Ruehl... 

Algal biofuels seen as having potential, but much research still needed 

By: Jacqueline Holman     23rd April 2010 Is the large-scale production of algal biofuels a viable alternative and should South Africa be pursuing it as a liquid- fuels option? Proponents suggest that it could indeed be a viable endeavour, and estimate that an industry could emerge within five to ten years, or sooner, should there be an... 

Algal biofuels seen as having potential, but much research still needed

By: Jacqueline Holman     23rd April 2010 Is the large-scale production of algal biofuels a viable alternative and should South Africa be pursuing it as a liquid-fuels option? Proponents suggest that it could indeed be a viable endeavour, and estimate that an industry could emerge with in five to ten years, or sooner should there be an... 

Work said to be under way on $600m Zimbabwe ethanol venture

By: Barnabas Thondhlana     23rd April 2010 The Zimbabwe government – in partnership with two investors – has embarked on a $600-million ethanol project at Agricultural and Rural Development Authority-owned estates about 200 km south-east of the capital, Harare. 

Zim hopes to implement commercial-scale ethanol blending plan

By: Barnabas Thondhlana     23rd April 2010 The Zimbabwe government has set up a team of experts to finalise modalities on full-scale commercial blending of petrol and ethanol produced from sugar cane at Triangle, in south-east Zimbabwe, in a bid to cut back on fuel imports.

The Triangle ethanol plant resumed production in 2008 following... 

Global technology group extends energy efficiency offering to SA

By: Petronel Smit     23rd April 2010 The recently launched local branch of ABB Global Consulting’s energy efficiency consultancy service guarantees industrial energy savings of between 5% and 20%, depending on the current state of a company’s energy management practices. 

$320m ‘soft’ Japanese loan for Kenyan geothermal project

By: John Muchira     12th March 2010 Kenya has received a $320-million soft loan from Japan to boost investments in the energy sector. 

Ingérop Africa has been appointed by HCB to provide technical support and project management for the Refurbishment of the Cahora Bassa dam Spillway Gates - Mozambique

6th November 2009 Ingérop Africa (in association with its subsidiary Ingérop Moçambique) has been awarded the "REABDESC PROJECT MANAGEMENT - TECHNICAL CONSULTING SERVICES" regarding the repairs and refurbishment of 8 spillway gates and one surface gate with the associated equipment installed at Cahora Bassa Dam in... 

Global body launches alternative-fuels service

By: Leandi Kolver     23rd October 2009 A dramatic growth is expected worldwide in the use of compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and hybrid vehicles, more than doubling their use in the next decade in helping address the issues of climate change and energy security, according to the International Fuel Quality... 

Second-generation biofuels on the brink of commercial breakthrough, says study

By: Leandi Kolver     23rd October 2009 Pretreatment and gasification technologies are on the verge of making second-generation biofuels a commercial reality, according to new analysis from Frost & Sullivan, entitled ‘Worldwide Market Analysis of Second Generation Biofeedstock’. 

Global slowdown curbing African biofuels exports

By: Leandi Kolver     16th October 2009 The financial crisis is hindering African biofuels exports, Hart Energy Consulting’s (Hart) Global Biofuels Centre (GBC) director for Biofuels Europe and Africa Maelle Soares Pinto tells Engineering News (EN). 

SA has signficant bioenergy production capability – academic

By: Leandi Kolver     9th October 2009 South Africa has the intellectual capital and natural resources to produce renewable bioenergy to power cars, contribute to the national power grid and create thousands of jobs, according to Stellenbosch University’s Professor Johann Görgens. 

Biogas recovery project 
to reduce fossil fuels 

2nd October 2009 Brewing company SABMiller’s Alrode plant has developed a biogas recovery project to reduce dependence on fossil fuels to provide energy for the plant. 

Work advancing on commercialisation of algal biofuels

By: Leandi Kolver     11th September 2009 The technical maturity and commercial viability of algal biofuels is a much debated topic, with estimates ranging from three years to multiple decades, says US alternative and renewable energy company Diversified Energy president and CEO Phillip Brown. 

Waste vegetable oil biodiesel refineries planned for KwaZulu-Natal

By: Carla Thomaz     11th September 2009 Biodiesel production company First In Spec (FIS) Biofuels has issued an initial public stock offering (IPO) to raise funds for the first of its three waste vegetable oil (WVO) biodiesel refineries in South Africa. 

Critical for Africa to be part of the biofuels revolution

By: Carla Thomaz     11th September 2009 Africa’s low productivity of existing farming systems, combined with the large stretches of suitable cropland, is making it the world’s highest energy crop-production potential for the burgeoning global biofuels market; and it is critical to the continent’s future to be part of this revolution,... 

Local company commits to renewable energy in Africa

11th September 2009 Equipment design, project management and engineering specialists Bosch Projects, is committed to developing and implementing renewable energy solutions in Africa. 

Biofuels now at a crossroads as 
maize shortfalls are highlighted

By: Leandi Kolver     4th September 2009 Biofuels production today can be more harmful than helpful, says the Worldwatch Institute’s ‘Red, White, and Green: Transforming US Biofuels‘ report co-author Jane Earley.

She explains that concerns about energy security and climate change, as well as a range of US government incentives, fuelled... 

'Maize-based ethanol can reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 50%'

By: Leandi Kolver     28th August 2009 Newer corn ethanol facilities show that modern processes can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by about 50% compared to petrol, according to the ‘Improvements in Life Cycle Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Corn-Ethanol’ analysis. 

Biofuels forecast to account for 46,1% of ‘unconventional fuel’ growth in next 20-odd years

By: Leandi Kolver     28th August 2009 The world’s liquid fuels supply will grow 22% from 86,2-million barrels per day (mbpd) in 2007 to 105,4 mbpd in 2030, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) projections in the 2009 Annual Energy Outlook. 

SA academics taking part in global bioenergy initiative

By: Leandi Kolver     21st August 2009 A new project has been launched at the University of Stellenbosch in response to the growing uncertainty about whether the world should look to bioenergy, such as biofuels, heat and electricity, to play a prominent role in the future. 

IDC, Brazil bank deal augurs well for local bioethanol production  

By: Darren Parker     21st August 2009 South Africa edged one more step towards a fully fledged ethanol-from-sugar regime earlier this month with the signing of a cooperation agreement by the Brazilian State-owned development bank Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social (BNDES) and South African independent development... 

Absence of incentives hindering development of an ethanol-from-sugar industry

By: Darren Parker     14th August 2009 Significant potential exists for a sugar cane-based renewable energy market in South Africa, but a lack of government incentives continues to hinder the market’s development, said Tongaat Hulett MD Peter Straude at the company’s results presentation, in Johannesburg, last week. 

How SA could liberate power and fuel from its sugar cane fields 

By: Darren Parker     7th August 2009 If South Africa’s sugar industry is to grow, it has to keep an eye on new markets and opportunities, one of which may, once current restrictions are overcome, manifest in sugar cane-based energy. Based on revenue generated through sugar sales in the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) region... 

The production of biofuels could 
adversely affect water supply

By: Leandi Kolver     3rd July 2009 American scientists, in a recently released report, are cautioning that water consumption and agrochemical use during biofuels production can have an adverse impact on both the availability and quality of water resources. 

R1,8bn ethanol-from-sugar plant planned for KZN 

By: Darren Parker     12th June 2009 Private investors have reportedly put up R1,8-billion to build a new sugar processing facility in the rural Makhathini area, in KwaZulu Natal, to possibly produce ethanol and other sugar products. Trade and Industry DG Tshediso Matona said that the project, for which the Department of Trade and... 

Power rental group has big plans for Africa

By: Leandi Kolver     12th June 2009 The grandson of former UK prime minister and Nobel Prize-winning author Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill recently stepped onto South African soil to open the African hub for power rental and regulation company Aggreko. 

Do emerging biofuel technologies offer a way around food-vs-fuel dilemma?

By: Leandi Kolver     8th May 2009 In the struggle to eliminate the possibility of creating a food supply crisis by producing an alternative fuel source from biofuels, scientists and biologists are seeking other sources, so-called ‘second- and third-generation’ biofuels. The development of first-generation biofuels from food... 

US firm develops ‘simpler, more efficient’ algae oil extracting process

By: Leandi Kolver     8th May 2009 American bioenergy company OriginOil has developed what it has described as a “breakthrough oil extraction technology” that may help transform algae into a competitive transport fuel. In addition to integrating the process into its own production system, OriginOil also plans to commercialise the... 

Do the emerging biofuel technologies offer a way around the food-versus-fuel dilemma?

By: Leandi Kolver     8th May 2009 In the struggle to eliminate the possibility of creating a food supply crisis by producing an alternative fuel source from biofuels, scientists and biologists are seeking other sources, so-called ‘second- and third-generation’ biofuels. 

Economic diversification seen as key to mitigating global economic crisis

By: Leandi Kolver     24th April 2009 African countries should use the global economic downturn as an opportunity to rapidly transform their economies through diversifying sources of growth, reforming policies and strengthening governance, says World Bank vice-president for Africa Obiageli Ezekwesili. 

Africa needs to comply with sustainable criteria to supply biofuels

By: Chanel de Bruyn     17th April 2009 If African countries wanted to supply biofuels to the EU or the US, they would have to comply with the applicable region’s sustainable criteria, said ProBEC Mozambique Biofuels programme officer Anna Lerner. She noted that certification under these criteria would come at an initial cost, but... 

Combine clean fuels and biofuels roadmaps, fuels technologist argues

By: Leandi Kolver     17th April 2009 The biofuels industry needed to develop a roadmap to blend with the fossil fuels roadmap being created to meet South Africa's future fuel demands, PetroSA fuels technologist Christo Cloete said recently at the Biofuels conference held at Vodaworld in Midrand. 

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