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Thu12182014

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Ethanol

Cuba makes biodiesel from ‘bellyache bush’ seed oils

A new biodiesel plant in Cuba will make "green" fuel from seed oils rather than the traditional edible vegetable oils, The China Post reported. The seeds of the jatropha or “bellyache bush” have traditionally been used to fight intestinal parasites and to lower fevers, but only in small doses due to its toxicity. However, jatropha seed have also been found to be rich in oil and has the capacity to produce more than 100 tons of biofuel per year.

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U.S. Air Force completes Alcohol-to-Jet fuel test flight

The United States Air Force announced that they have flown the first aircraft that runs on a new fuel blend based on alcohol. The fuel, known as Alcohol-to-Jet or ATJ, is the third alternative fuel to have been evaluated by the U.S. Air Force as a potential replacement for standard petroleum-derived JP-8 aviation fuel for the organization’s fleet.

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Denmark can triple biomass production with better cropping systems – report

A study from the University of Copenhagen and Aarhus University shows how Denmark can increase the production of biomass by more than 200 percent in an "environmentally friendly" way to replace oil-based products with “bio-friendly” ones.

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New landfill gas power plant completed in Michigan

Around 12,000 homes in Michigan are going to be using renewable power derived from waste with the recent completion of the Pine Tree Acres Renewable Energy Facility in Lenox. The newly completed energy plant from Waste Management is designed to generate 12.8 megawatts of electricity using landfill gas. It can use up to 4,800 cubic feet per minute of landfill gas to produce electricity.

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Benefits of biofuels overestimated – study

The environmental benefits of using biofuels tend to be overestimated due to some omissions in calculations of the fuel's greenhouse gas emissions, a scientific paper claims. The study led by University of Edinburgh Professor Keith Smith refers to biofuel production’s Life Cycle Analysis, a technique which measures and compiles all factors relating to the production, usage and disposal of a fuel or product.

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Ethanol reduced gas prices by $1 per gallon in 2011 – research

The use of domestically produced ethanol as a fuel additive by Americans has reduced wholesale gasoline prices by an average of $1.09 per gallon in 2011, according to research from the University of Wisconsin and Iowa State University. The researchers say higher oil and gasoline prices, increased ethanol inclusion, and ethanol having larger discounts to gasoline were the primary factors for the price drop last year.

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30% of liquid transportation fuels from biofuel achievable – report

Recent technological advances mean that plant-derived biofuels could meet about 30 percent of the global demand for liquid transportation fuels without having an impact food production. According to Chris R. Somerville and Heather Youngs of the Energy Biosciences Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, research shows that non-edible biofuel crop plants can be engineered or bred to grow on the almost 600 million hectares of abandoned farmland worldwide, without significant effects on food production or the ecosystem.

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E.P.A. approves E-15 ethanol for model year 2001 vehicles

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has approved applications for registration of E-15, gasoline containing up to 15 percent ethanol. Ethanol, a renewable fuel that can be mixed with gasoline, has been blended into the fuel for over 30 years. But the law limited it to 10 percent by volume for use in gasoline-fueled vehicles.

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Jet fuel developed from high-quality cellulosic sugars

Virent and Virdia announced that they have converted cellulosic pine tree sugars to drop-in hydrocarbon fuels that can be used as gasoline and jet fuel, the latter reportedly having completed the United States Air Force Research Laboratory’s tests. “This fuel passed the most stringent specification tests we could throw at it (such as thermal stability) under some conditions where conventional jet fuels would fail,” said Tim Edwards of the the AFRL. “This fuel is definitely worth further evaluation.”

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Researchers complete genetic map of miscanthus

Researchers from American energy crop company Ceres, Inc, and Aberystwyth University have completed the first high-resolution, comprehensive genetic map of the perennial grass known as miscanthus. Miscanthus is considered a promising source of biomass for the production of alternative fuels and clean energy. It is fast growing, tough and capable of growing on marginal land. However, it is difficult to establish the crop as it is planted from cuttings or rhizomes.

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