Anaerobic Digesters: Methane Formation

Anaerobic Digesters: Methane Formation. The inter-microbial distances influence the biodegradation rates and specific growth in the formation of Methane. The microorganisms that form methane are physiological. They can grow only with a few specific substrates, such as H2 and CO2, formate, methanol, and acetate, and they, therefore, depend on others. Therefore, a syntrophic relationship is…

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More Rubber Extraction Refineries Coming?

Are more rubber extraction refineries in our future?  In 2004, the History Channel broadcast a Modern Marvels Special on Natural Rubber. My favorite quote from that special is “Our four most important natural resources are air, water, petroleum, and rubber.” (I would have argued for soil to be part of the list.) Nonetheless, while most…

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Organic Acids: Key Facilitators of the Bio-economy

Organic Acids: Key Facilitators of the Bio-economy? Recent declines in oil prices and the failure of start-up biofuel processes to meet production cost targets have increased the interest in producing value added chemicals from biomass as coproducts. The vision is that these products can leverage the production of fuel by providing revenue to supplement the…

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Early-stage, Breakthrough Technologies: Biofuels, 10 of the Best

The concept of early stage, breakthrough biofuels technologies is a bit of an oxymoron.  At an early stage how does one determine if it something is a “breakthrough” biofuels technology? This article, first published in 2016, is still relevant today. The only way to determine if something is truly a “breakthrough” technology is for experts…

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Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Funds

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, a federally funded program designed to encourage research to meet national needs, aims to spark technological innovation, encourage creative ideas and participation by women and socially or economically disadvantaged people, and increase commercialization within the private sector or innovations created from federal research and development funding. It is…

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Hazards and Operability (HAZOP)

What do HAZOP experts in the bioeconomy do?  HAZOP (Hazards and Operability Study), a widely used process hazards analysis methodology, use professionally qualified team brainstorming to identify and resolve process safety hazards by considering unusual occurrences. It focuses early on the more probable failure scenarios, including human factors. It poses questions about possible deviations from…

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Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS)

Congress created the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) Program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and expand the nation’s renewable fuels sector while reducing reliance on imported oil. This program was authorized under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (RFS) and expanded under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (RFS2). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency…

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What is TEA?

What is TEA in the renewable industries? Very simply, it is the acronym for techno-economic analysis.  Bringing new technology to the market is a commitment.  It’s expensive and normally takes quite some time.  Uncertainty is a normal complication because a technology’s economic value often depends strongly on unknown results of future research and development, and…

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