Mongabay, a leading resource for news and perspectives on environmental and conservation issues related to the tropics, has launched Tropical Conservation Science - a new, open access academic e-journal. It will cover a wide variety of scientific and social studies on tropical ecosystems, their biodiversity and the threats posed to them.
Tropical Conservation Science - March 8, 2008.
At the 148th Meeting of the OPEC Conference, the oil exporting cartel decided to leave its production level unchanged, sending crude prices spiralling to new records (above $104). OPEC "observed that the market is well-supplied, with current commercial oil stocks standing above their five-year average. The Conference further noted, with concern, that the current price environment does not reflect market fundamentals, as crude oil prices are being strongly influenced by the weakness in the US dollar, rising inflation and significant flow of funds into the commodities market."
OPEC - March 5, 2008.
Kyushu University (Japan) is establishing what it says will be the world’s first graduate program in hydrogen energy technologies. The new master’s program for hydrogen engineering is to be offered at the university’s new Ito campus in Fukuoka Prefecture. Lectures will cover such topics as hydrogen energy and developing the fuel cells needed to convert hydrogen into heat or electricity. Of all the renewable pathways to produce hydrogen, bio-hydrogen based on the gasification of biomass is by far both the most efficient, cost-effective and cleanest.
Fuel Cell Works - March 3, 2008.
An entrepreneur in Ivory Coast has developed a project to establish a network of Miscanthus giganteus farms aimed at producing biomass for use in power generation. In a first phase, the goal is to grow the crop on 200 hectares, after which expansion will start. The project is in an advanced stage, but the entrepreneur still seeks partners and investors. The plantation is to be located in an agro-ecological zone qualified as highly suitable for the grass species.
Contact us - March 3, 2008.
A 7.1MW biomass power plant to be built on the Haiwaiian island of Kaua‘i has received approval from the local Planning Commission. The plant, owned and operated by Green Energy Hawaii, will use albizia trees, a hardy species that grows in poor soil on rainfall alone. The renewable power plant will meet 10 percent of the island's energy needs.
Kauai World - February 27, 2008.
Tasmania's first specialty biodiesel plant has been approved, to start operating as early as July. The Macquarie Oil Company will spend half a million dollars on a specially designed facility in Cressy, in Tasmania's Northern Midlands. The plant will produce more than five million litres of fuel each year for the transport and marine industries. A unique blend of feed stock, including poppy seed, is expected to make it more viable than most operations.
ABC Rural - February 25, 2008.
The 16th European Biomass Conference & Exhibition - From Research to Industry and Markets - will be held from 2nd to 6th June 2008, at the Convention and Exhibition Centre of FeriaValencia, Spain. Early bird fee registration ends 18th April 2008.
European Biomass Conference & Exhibition - February 22, 2008.
'Obesity Facts' – a new multidisciplinary journal for research and therapy published by Karger – was launched today as the official journal of the European Association for the Study of Obesity. The journal publishes articles covering all aspects of obesity, in particular epidemiology, etiology and pathogenesis, treatment, and the prevention of adiposity. As obesity is related to many disease processes, the journal is also dedicated to all topics pertaining to comorbidity and covers psychological and sociocultural aspects as well as influences of nutrition and exercise on body weight. Obesity is one of the world's most pressing health issues, expected to affect 700 million people by 2015.
AlphaGalileo - February 21, 2008.
A bioethanol plant with a capacity of 150 thousand tons per annum is to be constructed in Kuybishev, in the Novosibirsk region. Construction is to begin in 2009 with investments into the project estimated at €200 million. A 'wet' method of production will be used to make, in addition to bioethanol, gluten, fodder yeast and carbon dioxide for industrial use. The complex was developed by the Solev consulting company.
FIS: Siberia - February 19, 2008.
Sarnia-Lambton lands a $15million federal grant for biofuel innovation at the Western Ontario Research and Development Park. The funds come on top of a $10 million provincial grant. The "Bioindustrial Innovation Centre" project competed successfully against 110 other proposals for new research money.
London Free Press - February 18, 2008.
An organisation that has established a large Pongamia pinnata plantation on barren land owned by small & marginal farmers in Andhra Pradesh, India is looking for a biogas and CHP consultant to help research the use of de-oiled cake for the production of biogas. The organisation plans to set up a biogas plant of 20,000 cubic meter capacity and wants to use it for power generation.
Contact us - February 15, 2008.
The Andersons, Inc. and Marathon Oil Corporation today jointly announced ethanol production has begun at their 110-million gallon ethanol plant located in Greenville, Ohio. Along with the 110 million gallons of ethanol, the plant annually will produce 350,000 tons of distillers dried grains, an animal feed ingredient.
Marathon Oil - February 14, 2008.
The Drax Group, which runs Europe's largest coal-fired power station, has revealed it is ahead of schedule with plans to improve efficiency of its 4000 MW power plant and cut carbon emissions by co-firing biomass. Drax set a target of producing 10 per cent of its output from biomass fuels by the end of 2009, equivalent to the output of around 500 wind turbines, and with it a reduction in CO2 emissions of CO2 by over two million tonnes each year.
The plant, which supplies 7 per cent of the United Kingdom's electricity, had made an early start to turbine upgrades and would see the installation of its first high-pressure turbine this month.
The site at Selby in North Yorkshire is the UK's biggest producer of CO2. The Drax Group has therefor begun to cut CO2 output by replacing much more of the coal it burns with renewable biomass both from agricultural residues as well as from dedicated, fast growing energy crops such as willow and elephant grass (Miscanthus x giganteus). Biomass is carbon-neutral, in that it absorbs as much CO2 while growing as it produces during burning. In the future, biomass energy will become carbon-negative when power plants are coupled to carbon capture and storage systems.
Drax's chief executive Dorothy Thompson said the station had recently been burning sunflower and olive waste and had briefly taken the level of biomass to 4%. The company also revealed half-year profits up 21% to £288m as it continued to benefit from supply deals agreed when electricity prices were higher.
But the company warned that margins had tightened as coal prices rose amid increased demand from China and India. This trend strengthens the case for more biomass co-firing: energy :: sustainability :: climate change :: coal :: greenhouse gas emissions :: biomass :: bioenergy :: co-firing :: energy crops :: Drax also aims to reduce its environmental footprint through improving the thermal efficiency of iuts power station. Such improvements rely on recent advances in technology and tend to be capital intensive. Current technology options range from upgrading the turbines to retrofitting supercritical boilers.
Drax has committed to a £100 million capital investment programme to upgrade its high pressure and low pressure turbines. The result will be an improvement in overall baseload efficiency of 5%, taking it towards 40%, and an annual saving of one million tonnes of CO2.
This way, Drax hopes to contribute to the UK Government’s discussions on how best to achieve emissions reductions through existing policy mechanisms, such as the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.
Image: Miscanthus x giganteus, a fast-growing, high yielding energy grass used at the Drax power plant. Credit: Drax Group.
China unveiled a two trillion yuan (€194/US$265 billion) plan to increase its use of renewable energy by 15 percent or the equivalent of 600 million tons of coal by 2020. The plan is meant to reduce the country's green house gas emissions while sustaining its economic growth. Bioenergy and biofuels take a large share in the proposed energy mix.
In 2005 China derived only 7.5 percent of its total energy consumption from renewable sources, roughly the equivalent of 160 million tons of coal. Now, Beijing says the People's Republic will develop hydropower, biomass and biofuels, wind power, solar energy, geothermal, tidal and biogas energy to replace 15 percent of the nation's coal, oil and natural gas consumption.
The plan was created by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's macroeconomic management agency, which studies and formulates policies for economic and social development and guides the overall structuring of the economic system.
Under the renewables plan, 1 trillion yuan is slated for spending on pollution reduction and energy efficiency goals for 2010, 80 percent would come from companies and just 10 percent from central government with local authorities and others making up the rest.
Over half the proposed investment will go into large dams, which environmentalists criticise and some scientists believe are a significant source of methane, a most potent greenhouse gas.
Table 1 shows the share of the different renewables in China's new plan:
Geothermal and tidal energy are included in the plan but will make marginal contributions. Besides utilizing biomass for electricity generation, China will also cut its use of 10 million tons of oil per year and instead use 10 million tons of bio-ethanol and two million tons of biodiesel from non-food forestry and agricultural crops. The plan says that by 2020, 300 million people from rural areas will be using biogas as their main household fuel: energy :: sustainability :: climate change :: renewables :: wind :: solar :: hydropower :: biofuels :: biomass :: ethanol :: biodiesel :: biogas :: China :: Tax and fiscal policies will support the shift to cleaner energy, together with new rules for companies, which are expected to come up with most of the cash.
Power firms with over 5 GW of generating capacity have to get at least 3 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2020, Chen said, when asked about the role of large companies.
And China's central bank has already added the energy consumption and pollution records of over 12 million firms to a nationwide credit database as part of a push for greener growth, state media said on Tuesday.
Short-term reforms to China's system of state-set power prices have been rejected because higher tariffs would encourage construction of more coal-burning plants, rather than foster development of renewables.
The country is struggling to stop illegal construction of new plants, most of them coal-burning, as the national grid cannot always meet booming demand.
A new report [*.pdf] by New Energy Finance shows 2006 was another record year for Venture Capital (VC) and Private Equity (PE) investment in the clean energy sector, with $18.1bn invested in companies and projects. This represented a 67% increase on 2005 ($10.8bn), and beat New Energy Finance’s original forecast.
However, this rapid growth in VC & PE investment only tells half the story: a significant amount of money ($2bn) resides in funds and has yet to be invested. During 2006 clean energy VCs invested only 73% of the total money available to them – a symptom of a competitive market where demand for deals is outweighing supply, thereby driving up company valuations.
During 2006 more investors sought out opportunities in clean energy, in response to high oil prices and the need for action climate on change. New Energy Finance has identified 1,859 VC/PE investors who have either made investments or stated their intention to do so. The analysts recorded 193 funds that invest in clean energy, and analysed 521 VC and PE deals in 2006, totalling $8.6bn for companies and $9.5bn for projects. This trend has continued, with a total of $10.6bn invested in the first half of 2007 (see Figure 1, click to enlarge).
Out of the total VC & PE investment of $18.1bn, 61% ($11.1bn) represented new money into the clean energy sector, as investors provided capital for technology development, company expansion and project construction. The remaining money, $7.0bn, was used to finance company buy-outs, and re-finance and acquire projects. All regions experienced significant growth in 2006 (see Figure 2, click to enlarge).
$7.1bn was invested in the Americas (AMER) - an increase of 83% on 2005 – as mainstream investors woke up to the opportunities in clean energy, especially in biofuels. Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) saw $9.2bn invested (67% increase), mainly driven by PE investment in companies and projects. Companies and projects in the Asia & Oceania region (ASOC) received $1.8bn in investment (26% increase), driven by pre-IPO PE investments in Chinese solar companies and clean energy activity in other developing countries such as India.
At a sector level wind ($8.4bn), biofuels ($4.7bn) and solar ($2.3bn) attracted the majority (86%) of VC/PE investment (see Figure 3, click to enlarge). Mature technologies, such as on-shore wind and first generation/cornbased ethanol, attracted PE money for expansion and roll-out of production capacity. Solar raised a significant amount of money via the public markets, but also attracted the highest level of classic VC investment ($428m) typically into thin film and non crystalline silicon technologies. VC investment in in second generation biofuels technologies, including cellulosic ethanol, also increased ($235m): energy :: sustainability :: renewables :: biomass :: bioenergy :: biofuels :: wind :: solar :: Encouragingly the average VC deal size has increased in the past year at almost each development stage (see Figure 4, click to enlarge). Average series C/third round investment rose 29% to $14.8m and average series D/fourth round deal size almost doubled to $20.7m indicating investor confidence in companies with technologies closer to commercialisation.
The annual report of VC/PE activity in clean energy technologies, companies and projects examines the investment trends in 2006 and the first half of 2007. The analysts divide deals into the following investment types:
Venture Capital describes the funding of development and commercialisation of new technologies, products and services. Of the $8.6bn total investment into companies 2006, classic venture capital for technology and expansion accounted for $1.6bn, with the US based companies receiving $1.3bn (81%).
Private Equity for Companies is investment in later-stage companies which have sufficiently mature businesses to allow some leverage, or which require capital to fund business assets. $3.2bn of private equity investment into companies was recorded, as European and Asian companies geared up for further fund raising via the public markets. A further $1.8bn changed hands through buy-outs and corporate spin-offs.
Private Equity for Projects defines investment in individual renewable energy or biofuels projects, or portfolios of such projects. A massive $9.5bn worth of renewable energy projects were financed in 2006 by PE investors (utilising significant leverage), with wind the dominant sector ($6.7bn), then biofuels and biomass ($1.7bn).
Private Investment in Public Equity (PIPE) is a transaction in which a PE-type investor takes a significant stake in a company quoted on the public markets. New investors drove PE investment in over-the-counter (OTC) markets and PIPEs to a total of $1.9bn, more three times the investment in 2005.
The outlook is positive, as an increasing number of investors seek out VC/PE investment opportunities across a range of sectors and countries. A healthy pipeline of 866 development stage pure-play clean energy companies is complemented by proven exit routes.
The leading investors are establishing successful track records and experiencing traditional venture style returns. All stages of VC and PE have seen a continued growth in investment activity in the first half of 2007, with VC investments already putting on a strong show (see Figure 5, click to enlarge). Based on industry-standard levels of leverage, we estimate that the amount of equity deployed during 2006 was $9.4bn. This represents 9% of the total transaction volume in clean energy in 2006 ($100.4bn).
New Energy Finance has updated its forecast of VC/PE investment from 2007. It now estimates that the total VC and PE invested in clean energy will grow at an annual compound rate of approximately 17% through to 2013 (see Figure 6, click to enlarge). During this period, the analysts expect over $262bn worth of VC and PE funded deals to be completed, absorbing over $146bn of equity. This will be leveraged in terms of later stage deals, buyouts and project financings, although the recent squeeze in the credit markets has yet to have an impact, and may slow down growth in some areas.
Catalyzing an entire new industry for North Carolina is the long-term task of the newly established Biofuels Center of North Carolina, which moved to reality this week following its first board of directors meeting.
Funded with a US$5 million initial appropriation from the 2007 General Assembly, the non-profit corporation will in coming years implement North Carolina's Strategic Plan for Biofuels Leadership [*.pdf]. The plan was mandated by the General Assembly in 2006 and presented to its Environmental Review Commission in April of this year.
The plan offers a challenging goal: by 2017, 10 percent of all liquid fuels sold in North Carolina will come from next-generation biofuels grown and produced within the state. At current usage rates, production of almost 600 million gallons will be required.
Meeting this bold goal will require enormous commitment, new resources, and untold acres of energy crops across the state. Meeting the goal will also yield a sector of impact statewide, particularly for rural and agricultural communities. How often does a state have opportunity to create a large new industry with widespread benefit? - W. Steven Burke, chair of the Biofuels Center's board of directors
The strategic plan was shaped by a 24-member steering committee and more than 80 public and private participants from across North Carolina. Six months of discussion and ideas yielded 9 strategies to ensure that the state gains biofuels capabilities and benefit over the next 10-15 years.
The plan focuses the state's biofuels future on products made not from important food and feed crops such as corn, but rather from cellulosic feedstocks such as wood waste, animal wastes, and high-yield plants and grasses. With its rich forestry and agricultural resources, North Carolina is well suited to develop and grow such biomass: energy :: sustainability :: biomass :: bioenergy :: biofuels :: ethanol :: cellulose :: North Carolina :: Key among the strategies was establishment of a neutral catalyzing and assisting agency to work with researchers, growers, production facilities, educators, and policy-makers.
Establishment of the Biofuels Center of North Carolina moves that key strategy to quick reality. The non-profit corporation will be headquartered at the newly established North Carolina Biofuels Campus in Oxford. The site is the former U.S. Department of Agriculture tobacco research facility that was turned over in 2005 to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler and his department see biofuels as an increasingly important sector for the state's agricultural economy and have designated the campus for biofuels development activities.
The Biofuels Center is the right idea at the right time It's valuable for Granville County and people in Oxford but also for people across North Carolina. After all, we all need more biofuels. - Rep. Jim Crawford, representing House District 32 and Granville County and a lead advocate for the Center
Though many states are aggressively pursuing biofuels development, North Carolina is believed to be the first to establish both a central targeted agency and a central campus for support and activities. The catalyzing agency is patterned on the state's bold leadership move in 1984 to establish the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in nearby Research Triangle Park.
The Board will rapidly gain an executive director and small staff for the Biofuels Center. Programs will be established to fund research on crops strategically important across the state, to strengthen growing and production capacity, to initiate workforce training programs, and to address public awareness, policies, and federal funding.
The growing biofuels industry offers enormous opportunities for creating new jobs and decreasing America's dependence on foreign energy. It also provides the potential for strengthening our farms and rural communities by offering them a strong, sustainable and important long-term stake in America's energy strategy. The Biofuels Center of North Carolina will help to ensure that these possibilities and opportunities become realities. - Congressman G.K. Butterfield.
The strategic plan, led by five co-conveners, was mandated by legislation enacted in August 2006 – Senate Bill 2051 – written by Sen. Charlie Albertson and Rep. Dewey Hill.
Clean technology chemistry company Reaction Design today announced that it has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for a two-year study of the chemical and transport phenomena that take place during biofuel combustion.
Reaction Design will lead a team of researchers from Chevron and the University of Southern California (USC) to create computer simulation tools that will speed the development process for engine designers and fuel manufacturers as they strive to integrate biofuels into their products. The development and validation of the detailed chemical mechanisms that govern biofuel combustion will focus on US domestic alternatives that show promise in reducing dependence upon foreign petroleum.
Project funding comes from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies (OFCVT) with a mission to develop more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly highway transportation technologies that enable America to use less petroleum.
Specific goals of the FreedomCAR program are to identify fuel formulations optimized for use in 2007- and 2010-technology diesel engines that incorporate non-petroleum-based blending components, with the potential to achieve at least a five percent replacement of petroleum fuels. An additional five percent replacement is targeted for 2010 engine designs.
The U.S. Department of Energy is interested in advancing the characterization, understanding, and use of biodiesel fuels. There is growing evidence that fuel additives originating from biomass reduce soot formation in diesel engines during the combustion process by providing more efficient oxidation of hydrocarbon fuel fragments: energy :: sustainability :: ethanol :: biodiesel :: biomass :: bioenergy :: biofuels :: Fischer-Tropsch :: particulate emissions :: combustion :: Reaction Design’s work will focus on the detailed chemical mechanisms and simulation tools that enable accurate simulation of the combustion process. Armed with these simulation tools, fuel manufacturers can fully understand how various fuel components impact combustion behavior in current and future engine designs.
The results of this study will provide critical insight into the chemical behavior of biofuels. We are especially interested in biofuel combustion behaviors as well as their effects on emissions. Ultimately, the goal of our research is to aid our nation’s energy security by speeding the development and integration of US-based biofuels into the market and reducing our dependence on foreign petroleum. - Bernie Rosenthal, CEO of Reaction Design.
Earlier, Reaction Design was selected by NASA to develop fuel models for simulating the operation of jet engines with alternative fuels. The project will focus on providing needed tools for accurate simulation of combustion of Fischer-Tropsch fuels and biofuels in jet engines, with applications for both commercial and military jet engines.
The project's key objective is to develop a comprehensive set of fundamental data on the combustion of alternative jet fuels, using a surrogate fuel approach. The results will provide guidance to the planning and design of optimal fuel-production processes. Fischer-Tropsch fuels are produced from hydrogen and carbon monoxide, which can be developed from either coal or biomass fuel stocks. Combining large American coal reserves with clean technology processes such as Fischer-Tropsch, that convert the coal into liquid fuels that take advantage of abundant coal and agricultural resources increases U.S. independence from foreign oil.
Both the understanding of detailed chemistry and the processing power of computers have greatly increased in the last decade, enabling accurate simulation of combustion for enhanced, clean-technology design. Petroleum fuels, such as kerosene, contain hundreds of different hydrocarbon species that all contribute in specific ways towards ignition, flame propagation and pollutant formation. The traditional technique of simulating these fuels using empirically derived chemistry parameters does not provide the accurate emissions predictions nor the necessary detail required for use in design and optimization. Thus, the development of accurate surrogate fuel models for use in chemical kinetic simulations is a critical step toward enabling computer-aided engine and fuel design for petroleum and alternative fuels alike.
The two-year project will be led by Reaction Design with experimental support from researchers at the University of Southern California . Detailed chemical kinetics models will be developed and validated with experimental data to allow prediction of important parameters related to ignition, extinction, and pollutant formation for Fischer-Tropsch fuels and biofuels.
Reaction Design also leads the Model Fuels Consortium (MFC) to address the emerging challenges experienced by the automotive and fuel industry. The MFC engages industry luminaries in accelerating the development of software tools and databases to enable the design of cleaner burning, more efficient engines and fuels. Current members include Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Cummins, Dow Chemical Company, Ford Motor Company, Honda, L'Institut Francais du Petrole, Mazda, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citroen, and Toyota.
Reaction Design helps transportation manufacturers and energy companies rapidly achieve their Clean Technology goals by automating the analysis of chemical processes via simulation and modeling solutions.
Reaction Design is the exclusive developer and distributor of CHEMKIN (illustration showing a modelling sample), the de facto standard for modeling gas-phase and surface chemistry that provides engineers ultra-fast access to reliable answers that save time and money in the development process. Reaction Design also offers the KINetics software package, which brings detailed kinetics modeling to other engineering applications, such as Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) programs. Reaction Design’s world-class engineers, chemists and programmers have expertise that spans multi-scale engineering from the molecule to the plant. Reaction Design serves more than 350 customers in the commercial, government and academic markets.
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation seeking to improve federal coordination, dissemination and investment in green chemistry research and development. The Green Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2007 (H.R. 2850, *.pdf) aims to provide safer, more sustainable technological options to replace traditional products and processes.
Green chemistry can be defined on the basis of a few strong principles, such as the design of processes to maximize the amount of raw material that ends up in the product; the use of renewable, bio-based feedstock; the design of energy efficient processes; avoidance of waste and sustainable forms of waste disposal.
The use of renewable feedstock makes green chemistry a pivot of the emerging post-oil bioeconomy. Renewable raw materials are obtained from agriculture and forestry, from byproducts and biomass wastes of other processes; fossil fuels (petroleum, natural gas, or coal) or mined resources have no place in green chemistry.
The Green Chemistry bill was introduced in the House on June 25, 2007, by Reps. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), and David Wu (D-Ore.). On July 11, 2007, the House Committee on Science and Technology passed the bill by unanimous consent, and the bill yesterday passed the full House of Representatives by voice vote. Similar legislation was passed overwhelmingly by the House in each of the last two Congresses, but was not acted on in the Senate.
The world's largest scientific organisation, the American Chemical Society (ACS), today praised the vote as a 'smart step'.
Green chemistry is the ultimate proof that environmental and economic benefits in chemistry can be optimized simultaneously. The technologies that spin out of this novel research are the seeds that can sustain small business ventures and green corporate practices. From reducing and improving pharmaceutical processes, reinventing the home and construction business, to over-coming our climate and energy challenges, green chemistry is proving that economics and environment are not mutually exclusive. - Catherine T. Hunt, Ph.D., ACS President.
The bill dedicates resources at a number of federal agencies towards green chemistry R&D and improves interagency coordination. Under the new legislation, the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Department of Energy would work together to fund and coordinate green chemistry R&D. The interagency program would support merit-reviewed grants to individual researchers, university-industry partnership, R&D and technology transfer at federal laboratories, and the education and training of undergraduate and graduate students in green chemistry science and engineering: energy :: sustainability :: petrochemistry :: green chemistry :: biomass :: renewable :: efficiency :: bioeconomy :: By concentrating on sustainable economic practices in the chemical industry, we can move towards a more sustainable vision of the future, Hunt said. In a letter to lead sponsor Gingrey, Hunt praised the interagency program set up by the legislation because it would strengthen the government's role as a true partner in promoting greener technologies.
ACS, through its Green Chemistry Institute, supports improving the environment through chemistry. ACS works closely with policymakers to encourage environmental decisions that promote sustainable resource usage and waste prevention in an economically viable chemical enterprise.
The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.
Researchers at the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute (TFRI) and North Carolina State University in the U.S. have developed genetically modified Eucalyptus trees that store far more carbon dioxide and contain less lignin. - Biopact Sept. 17, 2007
The International Eucalyptus Genome Consortium's sequencing effort has been taken up as a project under the U.S. Dept. of Energy's Joint Genome Project for the year 2008. - Biopact June 12, 2007
Brazilian state of Acre intends to make cattle ranchers reforest land which they have cleared for grazing. The sustainable forestry policy is based on replanting economic tree crops such as mahogany, acai, Brazil nut and palms - BBCNews Sept. 27, 2006
Illegal deforestation of acacia for charcoal is becoming a serious problem in Kenya's Naivasha area. Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai's Green Belt Movement re-afforests with acacia but needs more support to win fight against illegal loggers - Kenya Times Sept. 5, 2006
Australian scientists are conducting a 'time-machine' experiment to see how eucalyptus trees cope with increased levels of CO2 and global warming. - University of Western Sydney Aug. 28, 2006
Cassava has one of the highest rates of CO2 fixation and sucrose synthesis for any C3 plant. With this in mind, researchers from Ohio State University develop transgenic cassava with starch yields up 2.6 times higher than normal plants by increasing the sink strength for carbohydrate in the crop. This means cassava makes for a 'super crop' when it comes to both CO2 fixation and carbohydrate production, i.e. sugars, the feedstock for ethanol - Plant Biotechnology Journal - Volume 4/Issue 4 - July 2006
Vietnam's Institute of Tropical Biology to invest in Jatropha research - Le courrier du Vietnam - Sept. 6, 2006
Genetic study proves humans have pushed orangutans to the brink of extinction; genetic decline coincides with establishment of oil palm plantations in Malaysia/Indonesia since the 1950/60s- Public Library of Science / Biology, Volume 4/Issue 2 - February, 2006
Synthetic Genomics and the Asiatic Centre for Genome Technology Sdn Bhd (ACGT) have created a multi-year research and development joint venture to sequence and analyze the oil palm genome. In-depth genomic analyses will be followed by subsequent studies that will analyze the oil palm’s root and leaf microbial communities, to identify biomarkers and metabolic pathways that affect the plant's growth and viability. Biopact - July, 2007
Researchers at the International Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics have developed a sweet sorghum for the production of ethanol. The new variety has a very high sugar content in its root. Average yields in trial fields in the Philippines were between 95 to 125 tons, considerably higher than those of sugarcane - ICRISAT - Feb. 28, 2007
Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania, develops sorghum and millet processing technologies suitable for local conditions in effort to empower small farmers - IPP Media - Sept. 6, 2006
South Africa blocks GM Sorghum project for fears over contamination of local wild sorghums - Kruger Park - Aug. 26, 2006
Brazilian authorities have given their fiat for field trials with genetically modified sugar cane plants. The Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira (Cane Technology Center - CTC) will test three genetically modified varieties that are expected to yield 15% more sugar - GMO Compass
Bamboo planting can slow deforestation, scientists from the International Center for Research in Agroforestry in Nairobi, Kenya, say. Bamboo rapidly becoming economically beneficial crop with large potential for energy, bioremediation, and afforestation - Chosun (S.Korea) Aug. 30, 2006
"The beauty of miscanthus is that you only have to sow it once...Because of the way it grows, there is no need for fertilisers or chemicals", an English entrepreneur talks about his experience with Miscanthus as an energy crop - Grantham Today Aug. 8, 2006