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THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Biomass

Unread postby dashster » Fri 21 Nov 2014, 21:40:25

When renewables are talked about, or when all energy sources are listed or graphed, there is always a category for "biomass". What are some examples of biomass in use other than burning wood in your fireplace or stove?
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Re: Biomass

Unread postby pstarr » Fri 21 Nov 2014, 22:13:33

dashster wrote:When renewables are talked about, or when all energy sources are listed or graphed, there is always a category for "biomass". What are some examples of biomass in use other than burning wood in your fireplace or stove?
Here in timber country our electricity is produced both by natural gas and wood-waste generation. Wood chips from the mills are delivered by truck.

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Re: Biomass

Unread postby dashster » Sat 22 Nov 2014, 00:18:10

pstarr wrote:
dashster wrote:When renewables are talked about, or when all energy sources are listed or graphed, there is always a category for "biomass". What are some examples of biomass in use other than burning wood in your fireplace or stove?
Here in timber country our electricity is produced both by natural gas and wood-waste generation. Wood chips from the mills are delivered by truck.

Image


Thanks for the info. That is something the way they lift that truck.
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Re: Biomass

Unread postby Karle » Sat 22 Nov 2014, 12:10:50

In Germany there is a guy who is heating his house with biomass, and plans to heat a greenhouse as well.

He uses heat from the composting process, and puts in everything biomass, even kitchen waste and all sort of weeds. The whole process is controlled by an Arduino.

On his website there is only limited info in German http://autark-heizen.blogspot.de/ , however, I am in contact with him and I know that things are working really well. He had a lot of people who were interested to use his technology for the greenhouses, however, it seems they are too sceptical when it comes to spend money, and he is working low key for the time being.

He said there are three advantages:
Recyle biomass waste
Generate heat, be it water or air
And the end product is garden compost which he improves with worm castings
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Re: Biomass

Unread postby Loki » Sat 22 Nov 2014, 12:51:35

Here's an older chart showing biomass/biogas in Oregon in 2004:

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A couple food waste digesters have been built recently---I believe they mostly use municipal waste---as well as at least one large biomass plant (18.8 MW) that uses wood waste.
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Re: Biomass

Unread postby pstarr » Sat 22 Nov 2014, 14:02:06

Pulping liquor comes from paper mills, stuff that is no good for paper, lignin, hemicelluloses, is often called 'Black Liquor' or something and considered pollutants. They probably burn it to get rid of it, the energy-cost to dry it, fluff it, etc. has to be prohibitive and I doubt it has a good eroei.
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Re: Biomass

Unread postby Loki » Sat 22 Nov 2014, 18:56:55

pstarr wrote:Pulping liquor comes from paper mills, stuff that is no good for paper, lignin, hemicelluloses, is often called 'Black Liquor' or something and considered pollutants. They probably burn it to get rid of it, the energy-cost to dry it, fluff it, etc. has to be prohibitive and I doubt it has a good eroei.

Didn't you hear? EROEI is nonsense (warning: profoundly stupid content). :lol:

A quick google of the EROEI of black liquor didn't reveal much. Devil would be in the details. Even if <1, it's a way to get rid of something that used to be discharged directly into rivers. Regardless, biomass only makes up 0.54% of Oregon's electricity generation.

Black liquor does apparently make an excellent bio-methanol feedstock (p. 42).
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Re: Biomass

Unread postby Loki » Sat 22 Nov 2014, 19:10:41

Forgot to add this piece from Wikipedia on black liquor. Sounds like the gasification process would increase EROEI. Even so, black liquor is pretty marginal as energy sources go. Even in Oregon--God's timber country--it only accounts for a quarter of a percent or so of our electricity.

New waste-to-energy methods to recover and utilize the energy in the black liquor have been developed. The use of black liquor gasification has the potential to achieve higher overall energy efficiency than the conventional recovery boiler while generating an energy-rich syngas from the liquor. The syngas can be burnt in a gas turbine combined cycle to produce electricity (usually called BLGCC for Black Liquor Gasification Combined Cycle; similar to IGCC) or converted through catalytic processes into chemicals or fuels such as methanol, dimethyl ether (DME), or F-T diesel (usually called BLGMF for Black Liquor Gasification for Motor Fuels)....

Used for biofuels production the black liquor gasification route has been shown to have very high conversion efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction potential.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_liquor#Gasification
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Re: Biomass

Unread postby pstarr » Sat 22 Nov 2014, 19:38:40

Our last pulp mill shut down several years ago, yet the county is still straddled with the black-crap and trying to deal with it. So we have biomass electricity generation, yet the black-crap sits in a tank awaiting 'remediation'.

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THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sun 01 Feb 2015, 16:42:26

pstarr wrote:Not according to this.

Image


That graph is gallon of gas equivalent measured in BTU of energy. Ethanol has about 65 percent of the energy of gasoline per unit f volume so that is hardly a fair comparison.
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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 5 (merged)

Unread postby pstarr » Sun 01 Feb 2015, 17:00:11

why isn't it a fair comparison? Doesn't the chart essentially measure miles per fuel dollars spent. I'd rather get more bang (inside the cylinder :) ) per buck on gas.
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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 5 (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sun 01 Feb 2015, 21:22:04

pstarr wrote:why isn't it a fair comparison? Doesn't the chart essentially measure miles per fuel dollars spent. I'd rather get more bang (inside the cylinder :) ) per buck on gas.


But it is not that simple, because ethanol has a very high octane rating you can add turbochargers to the engine and recapture some of the energy difference by using more efficient fuel air and compression ratio combinations compared to low compression gasoline engines burning that 86 octane stuff many stations sell these days.
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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 26 May 2015, 19:52:20

This Chart Shows How Oil Is Losing Its Total Grip on American Transportation

The U.S. Energy Information Administration just published a great chart that shows how oil—once pretty much the only transportation fuel we used in America—is losing its grip at a nontrivial rate.

The chart shows the changing amount of BTUs (British thermal units) consumed across all modes of transportation by energy source. And for much of the past half-century, the picture was rather simple. It was pretty much all petroleum (gasoline/diesel), and it rose pretty much every year.

But several years ago, we started to see the beginnings of the slow-motion disintermediation of petroleum as a transportation fuel. No, gasoline, isn’t quite going the way of whale oil. But it has been losing market share at an alarming rate—and at the same time as the need for energy throughout the system has been declining.


First, other fuels are slowly gaining traction. Especially biofuels—chiefly ethanol, the controversial, subsidy- and mandate-aided gasoline substitute made from plants like corn. From a tiny base, 135 trillion BTUs in 2000, ethanol consumption rose eightfold to 1.092 quadrillion BTUs in 2014. Add in the small amount of biodiesel, and these renewable biomass fuels in 2014 accounted for 4.7 percent of the transport sector’s energy consumption—up from .5 percent in 2000. They have increased their market share tenfold in 14 years.


slate

And you should know that this is the current trend but the situation is changing toward introduction of other biofuels. We've been discussing this for a long time so the biofuel market will change. Watch this thread.
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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby pstarr » Tue 26 May 2015, 20:07:19

2000 was the year GW Bush granted subsidies to his best friend Michael Andreas at Archer Daniel Midland, the corn company.
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That is why ethanol production spiked. Not because it does any good for engines. It ruined my chainsaw.
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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 27 May 2015, 17:12:59

The US is now looking for other feedstocks besides corn for production of biofuels:

Transferring Dead Trees from Source of Wildfire Fuel to Biofuel

Trees killed by bark beetles have, for years, been a source of fuel for forest fires. Now, those very trees are being turned into biofuel and biobased products.

This vast bioenergy resource—approximately 46 million acres—requires no cultivation, circumvents food-versus-fuel concerns, and may have a highly favorable carbon balance compared other forestry feedstocks. The problem, however, is that beetle-killed biomass is typically located far from urban industrial centers in relatively inaccessible areas, which means transportation costs are a key barrier to widespread utilization of this vast resource.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) supports seven regional integrated Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAPs) that develop regional systems for the sustainable production of advanced biofuels and biobased products. The regional systems focus on non-food dedicated biomass feedstocks such as perennial grasses, sorghum, energy cane, oilseed crops, and woody biomass.

One such program, the Sustainable Bioenergy Alliance Network of the Rockies (BANR), is led by Colorado State University. BANR brings together scientists, educators, and extension specialists from universities and government agencies to work with industry partners to address the major challenges that impact economical and sustainable utilization of insect-killed trees for the production of biofuels and biochar.


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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 18 Jun 2015, 18:04:01

Mould unlocks new route to biofuels

Scientists at The University of Manchester have made an important discovery that forms the basis for the development of new applications in biofuels and the sustainable manufacturing of chemicals.

Based at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB), researchers have identified the exact mechanism and structure of two key enzymes isolated from yeast moulds that together provide a new, cleaner route to the production of hydrocarbons.

Published in Nature, the research offers the possibility of replacing the need for oil in current industrial processes with a greener and more sustainable natural process.


In this particular study, published in the journal Nature, researchers focussed on the production of alpha-olefins; a high value, industrially crucial intermediate class of hydrocarbons that are key chemical intermediates in a variety of applications, such as flexible and rigid packaging and pipes, synthetic lubricants used in heavy duty motor and gear oils, surfactants, detergents and lubricant additives.


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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 01 Jul 2015, 17:35:11

United Airlines investing $30 million in biofuels producer

United Airlines says it is investing $30 million in a biofuels company to reduce its vulnerability to oil-price shocks and limits on carbon emissions from planes.

United officials said Tuesday that they expect to begin receiving fuel from Fulcrum BioEnergy Inc. in 2018 and could be taking 90 million gallons a year by 2021.

That’s enough fuel for 20,000 flights a year but just a drop in United’s fuel bucket. The nation’s second-biggest airline burned 3.9 billion gallons last year, including United Express flights.

United officials declined to disclose the airline’s ownership stake in privately held Fulcrum, but the investment is a tiny fraction of United Continental Holdings Inc.’s $1.1 billion profit last year.

Still, Chicago-based United touted the deal as the biggest single investment in biofuels by a U.S. airline so far. Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific announced an investment in Fulcrum last year.


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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Thu 02 Jul 2015, 00:00:50

Graeme wrote:The US is now looking for other feedstocks besides corn for production of biofuels:

Transferring Dead Trees from Source of Wildfire Fuel to Biofuel

Trees killed by bark beetles have, for years, been a source of fuel for forest fires. Now, those very trees are being turned into biofuel and biobased products.

This vast bioenergy resource—approximately 46 million acres—requires no cultivation, circumvents food-versus-fuel concerns, and may have a highly favorable carbon balance compared other forestry feedstocks.
Thank you, bark beetles.
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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby Graeme » Fri 03 Jul 2015, 22:30:34

Study: even with high LDV electrification, low-carbon biofuels will be necessary to meet 80% GHG reduction target; “daunting” policy implications

A study by researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Michigan State University colleague has concluded that even with a relatively high rate of electrification of the US light-duty fleet (40% of vehicle miles traveled and 26% by fuel), an 80% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050 relative to 1990 can only be achieved with significant quantities of low-carbon liquid fuel. The paper is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.

For the study, the researchers benchmarked 27 scenarios against a 50% petroleum-reduction target and an 80% GHG-reduction target. They found that with high rates of electrification (40% of miles traveled) the petroleum-reduction benchmark could be satisfied, even with high travel demand growth. The same highly electrified scenarios, however, could not satisfy 80% GHG-reduction targets, even assuming 80% decarbonized electricity and no growth in travel demand.


Their findings included:

None of the 9 reference scenarios met the 80% GHG reduction target, although 4 were below the 50% petroleum target and one was only slightly above.

In the petroleum-targeted scenarios, they substituted a hypothetical RFS-compliant advanced biofuel (i.e., advanced cellulosic biofuel) for gasoline on an energy basis, if needed, until the petroleum reduction target is exactly met—(i.e., to the point where gasoline and diesel consumption is reduced to 50% of 2011 levels).

Thus, petroleum requirements for all scenarios exactly meet, or are otherwise below, the 50% reduction target. None of the 40%-electrified cases required any contributions from cellulosic biofuel, as the electrification alone provided sufficient petroleum displace- ment.

No cellulosic biofuel was required under low growth and 20%-electrified conditions. The remaining five scenarios required widely varying contributions of cellulosic biofuel, from 316 to 8638 PJ. For comparison, they team estimated the RFS goal for cellulosic fuels to be equivalent to 1289 PJ.

The climate-targeted scenarios included cellulosic biofuel substitution to reduce GHG from light duty transportation to 20% of the reference GHG. The team also assumed that electricity is largely “decarbonized”, reducing GHG intensity by 80%.

No scenarios achieved the 80% GHG reduction without contributions from RFS-compliant advanced cellulosic biofuel. Only three scenarios actually met the GHG target of 294 MT. The remaining six scenarios exceeded the target even while replacing all petroleum with low GHG cellulosic biofuel (at 60% lower GHG intensity).


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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby pstarr » Sat 04 Jul 2015, 00:55:12

Wow. Another idiot post from the greencarcongress. Need I remind sentient peakoil-forum participants: there are no, and have never been, any remotely commercial/substantial/probable/possible/foreseeable/remotely-existent cellulosic biofuels.

The very phrase cellulosic biofuels is a perfect example of an oxymoron. As in moron. or a fine mess, jumbo shrimp, a just war, a little pregnant, marijuana initiative. You get the idea.
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