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Minnesota’s auditor suggests ending state ethanol subsidy

A few days ago the auditor in Minnesota suggested that the state’s use of subsidies to the ethanol industry may have outlived its purpose, since ethanol firms have been profitable. Also it is likely to cost $44m over the next three years. There are of course lots of votes in Minnesota’s ethanol plants, so it […]

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Novozymes in China biofuel project.

Novozymes and China National Cereals, China Oil & FoodstuffCorp (COFCO) and Asian refiner China Petroleum and ChemicalCorp (Sinopec) in February to develop anindustry chain to collect agricultural waste, process it intobioethanol and distribute the clean fuel through petrol stations, according to a report on Reuters. It is likely to need around $13bn to support the […]

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Times twigs that biofuel policies have environmental impacts too

This article in the Sunday edition of the Times understands that there are environmental costs to biofuel policies. 

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Holiday time again

It’s Easter and time for a break. I’ve been unable to devote as much time to the blog as I would like over the past couple of weeks as the other parts of my job have been clamouring for my time. I’m in the early phases of a really big project that will change the […]

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NPRA, lobbyists are against higher volumes of ethanol in fuel

An alliance of environmentalists, health groups and the US National Petrochemical Refiners Association is opposed to higher levels of ethanol in automotive fuel on the basis that it might endanger the environment, through changing land use, and people’s health, according to a report on ICIS news.(Disclosure: I work for ICIS. About ICIS) Representatives of the […]

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Scoping out biofuels

The Scientifc Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) has produced a report looking at the enviromental impacts of biofuels,. The group makes a number of recomendations for second generation feedstocks, and favours woody or grassy plants. As with the first generation biofuels, the environmental consequences of the next generation depend significantly on the type […]

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25×25 launching blog soon

25×25.org in the US is launching the 25x25blog on 1 April. I’ll be keeping an eye on it. 25×25 is an interesting organisation this is its vision: By 2025, America’s farms, forests and rancheswill provide 25 percent of the total energy consumed in the UnitedStates, while continuing to produce safe, abundant, and affordablefood, feed and […]

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“first economical way to produce biodiesel from algae oil”-researcher

A  study scheduled for presentation  at the 237th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society will show “the first economical way to produce biodiesel from algae oil,”according to lead researcher Ben Wen, Ph.D., vice president of UnitedEnvironment and Energy LLC, Horseheads, N.Y quoted in Science Daily. The key is that this is a solid catalyst […]

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Smart Choices for Biofuels

I missed this about a month ago, but it is worth looking at, The Sierra Club and World Watch Institute produced Smart Choices for Biofuels.It rounds up quite a lot of stuff we’ve gone over here. It is good to see the Ogallala aquifer getting a mention. Slightly disappointing that it doesn’t call for global […]

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Antibiotics at heart of corn ethanol

Some US corn ethanol producers are using penicillin and three other antibiotics in corn fermentation process says Minnesota Public Radio. Why? To ensure that the yeast they use in fermentation does not have to compete with naturally-occurring bacteria that wants the sugars in the fermenting mash itself.I think that this matters on two counts:One of […]

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