Weekly News Roundup

Another “better late than never” post in this week’s news roundup! I guess one of my wish list this holiday is to have an elf or two helping me in my social media operations. I wonder if Santa has a twitter account…. = )

Lithium-ion in smart grids

Advanced lithium-ion battery maker EnerDel enters the utility-scale energy storage market, supplying batteries for a major new smart grid program by the US Department of Energy. EnerDel will build the batteries for five one-megawatt power systems that will be used by Portland General Electric (PGE)to help manage peak demand and smooth the variations in power from renewable sources like wind and solar.

Thermochem production of biofuels

Ceres is working with CHOREN to optimize energy crops for thermochemical conversion to advanced low-carbon biofuels. The process does not require enzymes or microorganisms; instead, the biomass is gasified producing synthesis gas, a carbon monoxide and hydrogen-rich gas that can be converted into high quality synthetic fuels, intermediate chemicals or electricity.

Algae biofuel collaboration

Endicott Biofuels and TransAlgae Ltd., an algal biotechnology company signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the development of algae as a potential transportation fuel and renewable chemical feedstock source.

German biofuel acquisition

Mercuria Energy has acquired 3B Biofuels Gmbh & Co. KG, a leading European bio-diesel refinery with 250,000 MT of fully operational production capacity. The plant is located in Brunsbuttel, Germany.

More GE wind farms

GE Energy Financial Services, in partnership with Horizon Wind Energy LLC, is investing $117 million in an Oklahoma wind farm. Horizon Wind Energy’s Blue Canyon V wind farm is a 99 MW expansion of a 225-megawatt wind farm near the small towns of Lawton and Elgin in Comanche County and Apache in Caddo County in southwest Oklahoma.

And in ICIS news (requires subscription):

Itochu Corp has signed a contract with Felda Palm Industries of Malaysia to form a joint venture in Kuala Lumpur to produce solid biomass fuel from empty fruit bunch (EFB).

The EU’s Renewable Energy Directive should drive the proliferation of long-term contracts for ethanol starting 2011, said an official at the Brazilian sugarcane industry association UNICA.

Polyvinyl chloride went into 42% of toys tested in 2009, a percentage that an environmental group said was too high given its concerns about the plastic, according to an annual consumer guide released by the Michigan-based Ecology Center.

Even 25 years after the Union Carbide chemical plant catastrophe in Bhopal, India, the global chemical industry needs to continue learning its lessons, the head of Germany’s federal environmental agency Umweltbundesamt (UBA) said.


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