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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Renewable Diesel Projects

As of this 2022 writing, it appears to be a boom time for renewable diesel projects. The Energy Information Administration estimates that renewable diesel production capacity in North America will surge by up to 500% in a few short years.  The question facing the industry is whether there are enough feedstock fats, oils, and greases…

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Renewable Diesel Challenges

Renewable diesel (RD) is a hot renewable energy topic.  Produced by converting cooking oil, animal fat, and other waste products into renewable fuel, RD doesn’t rely on fossil fuels and it burns cleaner than either petroleum-based diesel or biodiesel. (The cetane rating of renewable diesel is 75 – 90 vs 48 – 52 for petroleum…

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Net-Zero By 2050?

Last year’s UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) revealed that reaching net-zero will require 4 trillion to 5 trillion dollars in annual investment for decades to come. It also revealed that over 450 companies from 45 countries have committed to the decarbonization of the world economy. By the end of the conference, 136 countries, 115 regions,…

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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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Biomass-Fed Chemical Process Projects, 2016

This is a review of the biomass-fed chemical process projects to renewable chemicals which were published in Chemical Engineering Progress (CEP) and Chemical and Engineering News (C&EN) from 1/1/16 to 10/31/16, including activity in bioplastics, biopolymers and biochemicals. It is based on a spreadsheet database of published information from CEP and C&EN, which has been…

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