The future of biogas will be modular and small-scale. For British company QUBE Renewables, dealing with the kinds of materials nobody else wants to handle is all in a day’s work. “We’ve digested a lot of wild and wacky stuff” says Mark Clayton, QUBE’s Technical Director. He reels of a list that includes human waste, cow’s udders, granulated sugar, seaweed, biodegradable cutlery, and what he will only refer to as things that “we’re sworn to secrecy about by our clients.” QUBE are in the business of creating small-scale modular anaerobic digestors to produce fuel for cooking, electricity, and even transportation. They’ve developed a line of products with names like BioQUBE, LagoonQUBE, QuickQUBE and DryQUBE, all of which allow their customers to produce biogas from unwanted waste materials. Anaerobic digestion is of course nothing new. In Asia, anaerobic digestion has also been around for a while, but is typically carried out on a much smaller scale.
Plug-and-play QUBE’s idea was to combine the advantages of both worlds. Semi-artificial photosynthesis: turning sunlight into hydrogen fuel. A paper published on 3 September in Nature Energy has outlined a proof-of-concept for using sunlight and other biological ingredients to split water molecules into their constituents ― hydrogen and oxygen ― in a process known as semi-artificial photosynthesis. A similar method is used by plants during natural photosynthesis, the well-known process through which plants convert sunlight into energy. Hydrogen is the lightest and most abundant element on earth, accounting for nearly one-sixth of the atoms in the Earth’s crust, mostly found in seawater. But because it is so light, it makes up less than one per cent of the Earth’s crust by weight.
Hydrogen would become extremely useful as clean fuel and renewable fuel source if it could be cleanly extracted from water as it does produce greenhouse gases or other pollutants when used as a fuel ― the only byproducts of hydrogen fuel cells are water and heat. (1) Sokol, K.P. et al. Like this: Like Loading... Stoves • Worldstove. As the clean cookstoves movement has grown, so too, have the number of companies that produce efficient cookstoves. We firmly believe that any cookstove that reduces emissions and decreases the dependency on trees for cooking fuel or charcoal is a significant and important contribution. Our stoves are one of these contributions. What set ours apart from others are our proprietary processes that help assure the production of a consistent, high-quality, biochar.
In 2009, our company became the world’s first to be certified as fully carbon negative. We have created 16 different stove models to date, each specifically adapted to local cooking traditions and available waste biomass. We firmly believe that it is important to adapt our stoves to people’s needs so that our stoves become useful to households around the world. Our cultural adaptations are both a question of aesthetics and cooking. Originally, we assumed that fuel savings and lower emissions would be the most desired result. ‘Reverse Photosynthesis’ Process Discovered | Biology, Technologies. A team of scientists from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden has discovered a natural process it describes as reverse photosynthesis. Fungi use reverse photosynthesis to access sugars and nutrients in plants.
This image shows the rust fungus Aecidium magellanicum growing on the bush Berberis microphylla. Image credit: Jason Hollinger / CC BY-SA 3.0. “This is a game changer, one that could transform the industrial production of fuels and chemicals, thus serving to reduce pollution significantly,” said Prof. Claus Felby from the Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management at the University of Copenhagen, who is senior author of a study published this week in the journal Nature Communications. In the process of reverse photosynthesis, the energy in solar rays breaks down — rather than builds plant material — as is the case with photosynthesis.
“Everything is mixed in a test tube and exposed to sunlight. D. tBJ:The 55 uses of biochar. It turns out that the stable carbon matrix that biochar is made of has all kinds of interesting properties. This carbon matrix can hold on to things – water, air, metals and organic chemicals. And it also has unique thermal and electrical properties that are still being explored.
Finally, the highly porous physical structure of biochar provides habitat for microorganisms. With so many different properties, biochar is bound to have a lot of different uses, but one function that all biochar applications (other than burning it for fuel) share is carbon sequestration. By fixing easily degradable plant carbon into long-lasting charcoal, carbon dioxide is slowly but surely removed from the atmosphere. The biggest drawback to the application of biochar in soil is the cost. Does it really make sense to work biochar into fields? Example of Terra Preta Cultures The many uses of biochar The following list of 55 possible uses of biochar is by no means complete. 1. Use as a soil conditioner 7. 12. 17. EDITORIAL: Biofuels paper something to brag about | Editorials. IN A matter of weeks a brand new industry could be born in South Africa. Last week the government published the long awaited and rather innocuous-sounding Draft Position Paper on the South African Biofuels Regulatory Framework.
But don’t let its title fool you. This is an important document, and the last hurdle in the way of the creation of a potentially R15bn-a-year biofuels industry. Mabele Fuels, which plans to build a R2.4bn greenfields plant at Bothaville in the Free State, is ready to start turning soil almost as soon as the regulations are published. It hasn’t been an easy journey to get to this point. It has been nearly nine years since the Cabinet directed the Department of Energy to come up with a strategy for the biofuels industry, and six years since it endorsed that strategy.
So it is no surprise that the various role players have described the publication of the draft regulations as a seminal moment. Also, the government has its own deadline to meet. Picture: THINKSTOCK. Rwanda's deadly methane lake becomes source of future power. Plans are in place to pump out enough gas for power that would nearly double Rwanda's current electricity capacity, as well as reducing the chance of what experts warn could be a potentially "catastrophic" natural disaster. The glittering waters of the inland sea, which straddles the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, contain a dangerous and potent mix of the dissolved gases that if disturbed would create a rare "limnic eruption" or "lake overturn", expert Matthew Yalire said. Levels of carbon dioxide (Co2) and methane are large and dangerous enough to risk a sudden release that could cause a disastrous explosion, after which waves of Co2 would suffocate people and livestock around, explained Yalire, a researcher at the Goma Volcano Observatory, on the lake's DR Congo shore.
"Right now the lake is stable, but for how long? " asked Yalire, who believes that extracting potentially explosive methane is one way to help "stabilise" the lake. Agave fuels global excitement as a bioenergy crop. Scientists found that in 14 independent studies, the yields of two Agave species greatly exceeded the yields of other biofuel feedstocks, such as corn, soybean, sorghum, and wheat.
Additionally, even more productive Agave species that have not yet been evaluated exist. According to bioenergy analyst, Sarah Davis, "We need bioenergy crops that have a low risk of unintended land use change. Biomass from Agave can be harvested as a co-product of tequila production without additional land demands. Also, abandoned Agave plantations in Mexico and Africa that previously supported the natural fiber market could be reclaimed as bioenergy cropland. More research on Agave species is warranted to determine the tolerance ranges of the highest yielding varieties that would be most viable for bioenergy production in semi-arid regions of the world.
" The special issue of Global Change Biology Bioenergy in which this article appears focuses on the potential of agave as a bioenergy feedstock. Sarah C. Www.ecosmagazine.com/print/EC152p31.htm. Www.industrygrowthforum.org/pdfs/26th_igf_heliobiosys.pdf. Exclusive report - Boeing reveals “the biggest breakthrough in biofuels ever” Oil companies watch out. Biofuels are on the verge of a breakthrough that will transform the oil market.
Not only that: it will also green the planet. In an exclusive interview with CleanTechnica.com and Energy Post, Darrin L. Morgan, Director Sustainable Aviation Fuels and Environmental Strategy at Boeing, reveals that researchers at the Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi, funded by Boeing, Honeywell and Etihad Airways, may have achieved “the biggest breakthrough in biofuels ever”. Alarmed by the poor quality of fuel made from shale oil and tar sands and frustrated by the blunt refusal of oil companies to provide fuel of better quality, Boeing and its partners have over the past four years sponsored research into alternative fuels that has led to spectacular results. They found that there is a class of plants that can grow in deserts on salt water and has superb biomass potential.
Morgan is not some green dreamer. But before we come to that, Morgan tells the story of how it got that far. Www.eugcc-cleanergy.net/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=pNru9_ouRzQ=&tabid=296&mid=1026. Wood could bring power to those without electricity | News | Environment. The largest renewable source of energy being used in South Africa is one that has been used for millennia – wood. More than 10% of households use this as their primary source of energy supply, with 80% of these relying on firewood and charcoal to cook and warm their houses. A fifth of urban households and half of rural households are still not connected to the grid. This equates to over three-million households. The two million in rural areas are especially problematic because they are far from the main grid so connecting them is very expensive.
The white paper on renewable energy identified biomass as an important source of renewable energy. But the problem is that biomass is currently collected in an unsustainable manner – mostly from people chopping down whatever trees at nearest for firewood. Several reports have investigated the pros and cons of biomass as a source of energy. It did however warn, "Biomass is a renewable resource only if production is sustainable. " High-Yield Production of Dihydrogen from Xylose by Using a Synthetic Enzyme Cascade in a Cell-Free System - Martín del Campo - 2013 - Angewandte Chemie International Edition. Microalgae Lamp Absorbs 150-200 Times More CO2 than a Tree! OK, first of all, this CO2-absorbing street lamp looks super cool! Secondly, it absorbs CO2! Thirdly, 150-200 times more than a tree! OK, I’m calming down, and I realize it has a ways to go to get to actual widespread use in the real, physical, CO2-filled world. French biochemist Pierre Calleja looks pretty serious about it.
I don’t know much about the details of all this, but it looks pretty promising to me. h/t Grist Tags: geoengineering, how to absorb co2, lamps absorbing co2, microalgae, microalgae absorbs co2, microalgae lamps, quickies About the Author Zachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site.
This Micro-Algae Lamp Absorbs 150-200 Times More CO2 than a Tree! (Video) CleanTechnica/via French biochemist and Shamengo pioneer Pierre Calleja has invented this impressive streetlight that is powered by algae which absorbs CO2 from the air. We have featured algae-powered lamps before but this one takes out 1 ton (!) Of CO2 per year. This is as much CO2 as as a tree absorbs on average during its entire life. It seems to me that this is a pretty amazing idea that could really work and clean the air pollution from urban areas (like parking lots, tested in the video above) and at the same time look good.
That said, reducing is still better than restoring, but in the meantime- let's get this lamp working! See also: Favorite Nature Spots of the TreeHugger Team (Part 1 of 2) ‘Wired microbes’ generate electricity from sewage. Stanford scientists have developed a “battery” that harnesses a special type of microbe to produce electricity by digesting the plant and animal waste dissolved in sewage (credit: Xing Xie, Stanford Engineering) Interdisciplinary team creates ‘microbial battery’ driven by naturally occurring bacteria that evolved to produce electricity as they digest organic material. Engineers at Stanford University have devised a new way to generate electricity from sewage using naturally occurring “wired microbes” as mini power plants that produce electricity as they digest plant and animal waste.
Yi Cui, a materials scientist, Craig Criddle, an environmental engineer, and Xing Xie, an interdisciplinary fellow, call their invention a microbial battery. Design of a microbial battery The tubular growth depicted here is a type of microbe that can produce electricity. The microbial battery is a simple yet efficient design that puts these exoelectrogenic bacteria to work. References: A Dream of Glowing Trees Is Assailed for Gene-Tinkering. The project, which will use a sophisticated form of genetic engineering called synthetic biology, is attracting attention not only for its audacious goal, but for how it is being carried out. Rather than being the work of a corporation or an academic laboratory, it will be done by a small group of hobbyist scientists in one of the growing number of communal laboratories springing up around the nation as biotechnology becomes cheap enough to give rise to a do-it-yourself movement.
The project is also being financed in a D.I.Y. sort of way: It has attracted more than $250,000 in pledges from about 4,500 donors in about two weeks on the Web site Kickstarter. The effort is not the first of its kind. A university group created a glowing tobacco plant a few years ago by implanting genes from a marine bacterium that emits light. But the light was so dim that it could be perceived only if one observed the plant for at least five minutes in a dark room.
Dr. Dr. Exclusive: Pioneering scientists turn fresh air into petrol in massive boost in fight against energy crisis - Home News - UK. Air Fuel Synthesis in Stockton-on-Tees has produced five litres of petrol since August when it switched on a small refinery that manufactures gasoline from carbon dioxide and water vapour. The company hopes that within two years it will build a larger, commercial-scale plant capable of producing a ton of petrol a day. It also plans to produce green aviation fuel to make airline travel more carbon-neutral. Tim Fox, head of energy and the environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London, said: "It sounds too good to be true, but it is true. They are doing it and I've been up there myself and seen it. The innovation is that they have made it happen as a process. It's a small pilot plant capturing air and extracting CO2 from it based on well known principles. It uses well-known and well-established components but what is exciting is that they have put the whole thing together and shown that it can work.
" New biofuel process dramatically improves energy recovery. Planes of the future could fly on sawdust or straw. How to Make Biodiesel at Home With Supermarket-Procurable Substances. Teen's biofuel invention turns algae into fuel. Biofuel breakthrough: Quick cook method turns algae into oil. Biofuels offer sorghum new growth hopes | Land & Agriculture. Food versus Fuel: Native Plants Make Better Ethanol.