TOP TEN UNSOLVED PROBLEMS IN PHYSICS. Top 50 VC-Funded Greentech Startups. Venture capital firms have invested almost $20 billion into hundreds of greentech startups since 2005.
All of these firms are looking to launch a disruptive force into their target markets, scale rapidly and grow quickly. Very few of these firms will actually make it. We put our energy analysts, reporters and editors to the task of picking fifty VC startups in greentech that have at least a fighting chance of succeeding as VC-funded start-ups and making an impact on our energy-intensive lives. Selection criteria: Technological edge Potential to severely disrupt the market Great management team Massive market opportunity Substantial war chest Feasible exit strategy Sheer hype power Only venture-backed private firms Methodology: We spread the names of 500 VC-funded firms on the Greentech Media dance floor and cut the head off of a chicken. Solar. BP Oil Disaster. Facts about gasification.
Modern life depends upon energy and with each passing day it becomes more evident that clean, climate-friendly, and affordable energy technologies must be deployed as rapidly as possible.
To that end, the United States and other nations are striving to make wind, solar, geothermal, hydrogen, and other “green” technologies a larger part of their overall energy mix. However, for technical and economic reasons, it will be many decades before these resources can meet more than a fraction of the world’s energy demand. In the meantime, developed countries such as the United States and developing nations such as China and India will continue to rely upon hydrocarbons (natural gas, petroleum, and coal) for electricity generation and transportation fuel. So, it is fair to ask: What are our hydrocarbon options? Natural Gas. Petroleum. Coal. About Gasification and Wood Gas.
Gasification is a process where substances such as wood, corn cobs, coal, cow manure, peach-pits, and other dried biomasses are reacted (burned).
The process takes place in a device called a gasifier or gas producer, which can range in size, shape, and design, depending on application or design year. Instead of burning fast and bright like a campfire, the fuel in the gasifier has limited oxygen and separates the combustion of the fuel in multiple stages. The lack of oxygen and slow burn rate encourage the fuel to release flammable gases like methane, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen. Yes that's right, Hydrogen. Biomass Energy Foundation: Gasification.
2.4 Gasification fuels. 2.4.1 Need for selection of the right gasifier for each fuel 2.4.2 Energy content of the fuel 2.4.3 Moisture content of the fuel 2.4.4 Volatile matter content of the fuel 2.4.5 Ash content and ash chemical composition 2.4.6 Reactivity of the fuel 2.4.7 Particle size and size distribution 2.4.8 Bulk density of the fuel 2.4.9 Charring properties of the fuel 2.4.10 Assessment of the suitability of various types of biomass as gasifier fuel 2.4.1 Need for selection of the right gasifier for each fuel Biomass fuels available for gasification include charcoal, wood and wood waste (branches, twigs, roots, bark, woodshavings and sawdust) as well as a multitude of agricultural residues (maize cobs, coconut shells, coconut husks, cereal straws, rice husks, etc.) and peat.
Thus it follows that the "universal" gasifier, able to handle all or most fuels or fuel types, does not exist, and in all probability will not exist in the foreseeable future. 2.4.2 Energy content of the fuel. Gasification - What is Gasification - Gasification systems. Gasification is a thermo-chemical process in which carbonaceous (carbon-rich) feedstocks such as coal, petro-coke or biomass are converted into a gas consisting of hydrogen and carbon monoxide (and lesser amounts of carbon dioxide and other trace gases) under oxygen depleted, high pressure, high-heat and/or steam conditions.
The resulting gaseous compound is called Syngas. Carried out under proper conditions, gasification is an efficient energy extracting process that can return double benefits as a waste stream disposal system. Israeli desalination technology creates green energy in China - April 2011. Energy efficient desalination – not a pipe dream (Media Release) Water Benefits Accounting considers the different ways in which we value water.
The delivery of energy efficient desalination received a boost today (Friday 18 May) with the establishment of a major new research collaboration between CSIRO and nine of Australia’s leading universities. The research aims to dramatically increase efficiency, and reduce the financial and environmental costs of producing desalinated water. The research will help advance water desalination as an alternative water supply option for Australia.
The research addresses one of the biggest challenges currently facing Australia, the delivery of sustainable water supplies. It will focus on energy efficient and environmentally sound desalination and water recycling programs. CSIRO, through the Water for a Healthy Country Flagship, and in partnership with nine Australian Universities, has established the Advanced Membrane Technologies for Water Treatment Research Cluster. Everyday grass could provide green fuel. A five-year research project has come up with a way of generating green energy from a humble everyday grass.
Researchers at Teesside University's Contaminated Land and Water Centre began the project in 2004 to see which plants could best be grown on brownfield sites as a way of improving unsightly blots on the landscape. Now, the research by the BioReGen (Biomass, Remediation, re-Generation) project team has revealed that reed canary grass can be turned into an excellent fuel for biomass power stations and, on a smaller scale, boilers in buildings like schools. The native British grass is turned into bricks and pellets. These not only burn well but also don't add to greenhouse gases or contribute to global warming. Switch Grass: Fuel for the Future? NPR has a good, quick introduction to switch grass, which snuck its way into this week's State of the Union address as an example of a new energy technology available to help replace oil imports.
Thus far, it has been far enough under the radar that TreeHugger hasn't covered it; so what is it, and how does it work? David Bransby, a Professor of Energy Crops at Auburn University, enlighted us. Here are the highlights: it grows eight or nine feet tall, native to the US. "Grass Gas" Shows Promise as Superefficient, Clean Fuel. Ethanol made from a prairie grass shows promise as a viable fuel that could be much more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient than corn ethanol, a new study says. Ethanol is often touted as a cleaner-burning gasoline alternative that lessens dependence on oil. ( Get the basics on greenhouse gases and global warming. ) Turning Seaweed into the Fuel of the Future. Seaweed holds promise as more than an ingredient in a purifying face mask or a maki roll.
So say researchers at E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., which alongside Seattle-based Bio Architecture Lab (BAL) has secured $9 million from the Department of Energy to explore seaweed's potential as a feedstock for biobutanol, an advanced biofuel. Their venture appears to have largely cornered the current market. Though more than 200 companies have looked into algae-based biofuels, DuPont and BAL say most others have shied away from using macroalgae, like kelp.
"We're in the vanguard here on this technology. There are other people who have talked about changing microalgae -- green algae that floats in the water -- into advanced biofuel, but [using] seaweed is unique," said DuPont's Nathan Danielson, a program manager who oversaw the companies' DOE grant application. Seaweed in the Fuel Tank? Turning seaweed into a fuel source could help ease competition on land for growing crops.
Kelp and other seaweeds could be used for biofuel production. Kelp grows quickly and doesn't compete with food production like land-based biofuel crops do. So far, the difficulties of cultivating and harvesting kelp make it cost ineffective. Kelp and other seaweed could be biofuels of the future, avoiding competition with food crops for land and scarce freshwater resources -- limitations that plague land-based biofuel prospects. Researchers envision fast-growing cultivated kelp forests growing downward into the water, anchored on webs of rope, or porous sheets of material that roll with the waves. So far, the process is not economical, but rising oil prices, or the possibility of first extracting higher-value products from the seaweed such as food additives or protein for fish food before converting the remainder to fuel, could change that.
Seaweed farms 'could fuel future' Pilot seaweed and algae farms are needed to assess Scotland's marine biomass potential, experts have urged. The recommendation comes in a report on using biomass for heating and fuel while avoiding the use of valuable agricultural land. Scientists want to see pilot farms and research into the most energy-rich types of seaweed. The report was carried out by the Scottish Association for Marine Science for The Crown Estate.
Let's use seaweed as fuel. Clean and green: A Californian kelp forest. Credit: iStockphoto The dream of tackling climate change with biofuels has been tarnished by the rush to produce them on land. Not only are there serious environmental costs, including deforestation, water use, production of greenhouse gases, and energy-efficiency limitations, but there are also rising concerns about the effects on the world’s poor. Already the price of food is being driven up as land is taken away from food production, increasing the cost of food and nutrition for those who can least afford it. 'Green fuel' from seaweed could help solve energy crisis. Scottish Seaweed Offers Bio-Fuel Solution. Seaweed may fuel future energy demands › News in Science (ABC Science) News in Science Friday, 15 July 2011 Jessica MarshallDiscovery News Aquatic biorefinery Kelp and other seaweed could be biofuels of the future, avoiding competition with food crops for land and scarce freshwater resources, say researchers.
Researchers gathered at the Society for Experimental Biology meeting in Glasgow, Scotland heard how fast-growing cultivated kelp forests attached to offshore wind farms could provide the biofuels of the future. So far, the process is not economical, but rising oil prices, or the possibility of first extracting higher-value products from the seaweed, such as food additives, could change that. Waste Management squeezes fuel from landfills. Trash collection giant Waste Management and the Linde Group petroleum engineering firm have partnered to create a plant that makes liquefied natural gas (LNG) from landfill gas, both companies announced this week. Linde designed and operates the plant which is located close to Waste Management's Altamont Landfill near Livermore, Calif. "The opening of the world's largest landfill-gas-to-LNG plant right here in California is a milestone and a testament to our commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Now that the technology has been proven, we look forward to seeing its adoption spread so more vehicles can run on garbage," Linda Adams, secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, said in a statement. Contrary to what might be inferred from Adams' enthusiastic sound bite, the project is not the utopistic dream of incinerating any old trash in a DeLorean for fuel, nor has either company claimed this. Demand grows for natural gas waste hauling. Waste-to-Biofuels plant to make gas from garbage. Gas From Trash: Waste Management’s Big Biofuel Play. Last Updated Feb 25, 2010 11:13 AM EST Waste Management (WM) has once again poured money, and its trash,into a rubbish-to-energy venture -- an investment that cements the garbage collectors' role in biofuels and highlights how the industry has evolved to include more companies outside of the traditional renewable energy realm.
From trash to gas: Waste gasification trumps incineration in Finland — Nordic Energy Solutions. An ultramodern facility in the city of Lahti maximises the energy recovered from municipal solid waste. A render of the KYVO2 plant currently under construction. Gas Waste Incinerators, Gas Flaring. Methane Fuel Gas from Livestock Wastes. The Uniter: Winnipeg’s Weekly Urban Journal. Melody Morrissette Amid growing concern with the feasibility of conventional ethanol, a new type of biofuel is emerging onto the Canadian scene – and sweeping prairie provinces by storm. Scotch whiskey waste fuels biomass plant. SPEYSIDE, Scotland, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Grain waste produced by a Scotland whiskey distillery will be converted into energy under a $9.7 million project announced by beverage maker Diageo.
WASTE PLASTIC TECHNOLOGY. From Waste Biomass to Jet Fuel. Low-carbon aviation fuel comes from industrial waste gases. 17 October 2011. City power plant waste heat fuels district heating. CAMBRIDGE, Mass. --To modernize a 1940s power plant for better efficiency, its owner turned to an underground steam pipe system designed in the 19th century. Waste to Energy. U.S. Backs Plant to Make Fuel From Corn Waste. InSource Energy Blog. Food waste: a new fuel for CHP in the US. Mayor unveils plans to turn London's food waste into eco-fuel. Fast Fuel from Food Waste in Six Days at New Tech Centre. Britain turning food waste into fuel. Fuel From Food Waste: Bacteria Provide Power. New facility to turn sludge into fuel for vehicles, speed up Lime Lake cleanup - Local. Israeli startup transforms sewage sludge into fuel.
Piedmont Biofuels, Novozymes will turn sludge to fuel - Technology. From sludge to fuel. Sewage Sludge Biodiesel Costs Just 10¢ a Gallon More Than Petrol. BioPetrol Website. Sewage Sludge Turned into Biomass Fuel / Asia Biomass Energy Cooperation Promotion Office - Asia Biomass Office. Algae Could Solve World's Fuel Crisis. 15 Algae Startups Bringing Pond Scum to Fuel Tanks — Cleantech News and Analysis. Magnetic Algae Will Reduce the Price of Biofuel. Ancient algae could become future biofuel source. Exploring Algae as Fuel. Oozing Biofuel: Algae Could Solve World's Fuel Crisis - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International. MIT persuades algae to make hydrogen fuel. Cultivating Algae for Liquid Fuel Production.