Biofuel Update

C&I Issue 6, 2007

  • BioAmber, a joint venture between US biotech concern, Diversified Natural Products and France’s Agro Industries Recherche et Developpement, is building what it says is the world’s first true biorefinery in Bazancourt-Pomacle, France. The facility, scheduled for completion in mid-2008, will produce 500 000 t/year succinic acid from CO2 produced in a new bioethanol plant using patented sucrose or glucose fermentation technology from the US Department of Energy (DoE) in collaboration with Michigan University.
  • The UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is providing a further £20m funding for green bioenergy, more than doubling the current budget, taking it to $36m over the next five years. BBSRC will also be looking at ways to speed the development of biorefineries through academic-industrial collaboration in key areas of research.
  • New legislation, the Ethanol Infrastructure Expansion Act, has been introduced in the US Senate that would direct the DoE to investigate the feasibility of a bioethanol pipeline from the Midwest to the East and West coasts.
  • Funding has been secured for the UK’s first large scale wheat bioethanol plant to be built on Teesside by new UK-based bioethanol producer Ensus. The 400 mL/year facility will use 1.2m t/year of wheat locally sourced by Glencore Grain and is scheduled to be operational in 2009.
  • Orange peel is the latest feedstock to be examined for biofuel production. The regional government of Valencia, Spain, is looking at using waste from a new orange juice plant to produce bioethanol using technology under development in Florida, US.
  • The city of Rome is planning to switch its municipal transport to a diesel blend containing 20% locally produced biodiesel by the end of 2008 to reduce air pollution.

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