USDA Announces Investments in Bioenergy Research and Development
In the frame of President Obama’s strategy to spur innovation of clean bioenergy in the United States and reduce dependence on foreign oil, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $25 million to fund research and development of next-generation renewable energy and high-value biobased products from a variety of biomass sources.Four projects have been selected for funding through USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA):
Grant recipients are required to contribute a minimum of 20 percent matching funds for research and development projects and 50 percent matching funds for demonstration projects.
Results from NRC's 100% biofuel flight reveal reduction in emissions
Results from the world's first flight powered by 100 percent biofuel that met petroleum fuel specifications without blending were released by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). Information collected in-flight on October 29, 2012 and analyzed by a team of National Research Council experts revealed a 50 percent reduction in aerosol emissions when using ReadiJet® biofuel compared to conventional fuel. Additional tests from the static engine show a significant reduction in particles (up to 25 percent) and in black carbon emissions (up to 49 percent) compared to conventional fuel. These tests also show comparable engine performance, but an improvement of 1.5 percent in specific fuel consumption during the steady state operations.
Neste Oil to produce renewable aviation fuel as part of the EU-funded ITAKA project
Launch of European ITAKA project to support the use of sustainable biofuels in aviation
Progress announced for the British Airways and Solena GreenSky London project
US Senate supports military use of aviation biofuels
Qatar University reveals progress of aviation biofuels project.
Aviation Biofuels - IFAD Calls for Sustainable Pro-Poor Development and Small Farmers Engagement in Developing Countries
Joint venture between Airbus, EADS and ENN in China to develop algae-based jet fuel
Airbus, EADS Innovation Works and the Chinese bio-energy company ENN have signed a memorandum of understanding on algae-based jet fuel during the China International Air Show in Zhuhai. The scope of the collaboration includes an assessment of algae technology, technical qualification of aviation fuels based on algae oil and the promotion of their use for aviation in China.Established in 2007, ENN is working on the development of biodiesel from microalgae. After a two years’ trial since 2010, ENN has recently established a 5,000 Tons Microalgae-Biodiesel Demonstration Project in Inner Mongolia for recycling use of CO2 from coal-fired power plants and chemical plants as well as bio energy production. Up to now, ENN has announced 70 technologies with proprietary intellectual property rights in the fields of biomass energy, such as light bio-reactor and bio diesel production.In the initial first phase of the project, the partners will work together on a maturity assessment of algae oil technology, on oil testing and analysis, and on the development of tools to assess the environmental, economic and societal impact of the technology. An objective is after a technical assessment to plan test flights to take place in 2013 using oil supplied by ENN and afterwards look to scale up the alternative fuel production process to achieve sustainable quantities of aviation fuel for flight use. Airbus will support the necessary fuel tests and qualification activities leading to the deployment of the sustainable alternative fuels for commercial flights and will coordinate the participation of external partners such as engine manufacturers and airlines.
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ENN's press release
European Union suspends the inclusion of aviation in the EU ETS
On 12 November 2012, EU Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard has announced that EU was suspending the inclusion of aviation in the EU ETS to and from non-European countries until after the ICAO General Assembly next autumn.The European Union believes that there is a chance to get an international regulation for addressing international aviation emissions at the next ICAO Assembly in 2012 and wants to deliver a positive gesture for the negotiation. The decision entails that the EU would not require allowances to be surrendered in April 2013 for emissions from flights to and from Europe during the whole of 2012. The EU ETS will however continue to apply to intra-European traffic.The EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) was established in 2003 and started operation on 1 January 2005 for land based industrial installations. From 1 January 2012 aviation activities of aircraft operators that operate flights arriving at and departing from Community aerodromes were to be included. The decision raised strong opposition from countries including United-States, China and India. The application of the EU ETS to aviation includes an incentive for airlines to use biofuels which qualify for zero emissions provided that they comply with the sustainability criteria of the European Directive for Renewable Energy.
UE press release
Kior opens its first major Wood-to-Oil plant
First civil aircraft flight using neat biofuels
The first flight of a civil jet aircraft powered by a neat biofuel was undertaken on 29th of October by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) from Ottawa International Airport. The flight was achieved in the frame of a cooperation between Applied Research Associates (ARA) and Chevron Lummus Global (CLG) with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), and Agrisoma Biosciences Inc., a Canadian firm with a growing presence in the biofuel feedstock market.The fuel used for the flight has been produced from a non-food oil-seed, from the mustard family, developed by Agrisoma, using the Isoconversion process developed by CLG and ARA. This process combines a catalytic hydrothermolysis process (ARA), which convert plant oil into a crude oil intermediate, with a catalytic upgrade (CLG) to obtain a fully drop-in jet fuel.Currently, only the hydroprocessed plant oils (known as Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids - HEFA) are approved by ASTM for aviation use but with a maximum blending ratio of 50% with conventional kerosene. This is because hydroprocessed oils do not contain aromatics, a component of conventional jet fuel which is required for compatibility with existing aircrafts and infrastructure. According to ARA and CLG, the Isoconversion process could overcome this limitation.
Agrisoma's press release