On the back of the government initiative to drive biofuels production in the country, sugar mills have lined up fresh investment to the tune of INR 60 billion (US$840 million) to upgrade for producing ethanol from sugarcane, according to local press reports.
One of India’s top sugar companies Balrampur Chini Mills is investing in a new ethanol plant that will increase its capacity from the current 115 million litres to 18 million litres.
Public anger in France over increasing fuel prices, which gave rise to the anti-government “yellow vest” movement, has further boosted demand for crop-based ethanol fuel from motorists seeking cheaper deals, according to industry representatives, reported Reuter.
Imports of ethanol to Brazil more than doubled to 172.36 million litres in December ‘18, compared with 83.57 million litres during the same month of 2017.
Last December, construction began on a demonstration plant producing jet fuel from wood biomass. This was supported by a Japanese consortium, led by Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd., with partners Chubu Electric Power Co (CEPCO), Toyo Engineering Corp. and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and support from the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).
Supercomputer use greatly advances molecular-level breakdown of lignocellulosic feedstock [Full subscriber]
Using supercomputers, a team from the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has made several fundamental discoveries related to the challenges associated with breaking down lignocellulosic feedstock prior to the production of cellulosic biofuels.
Brazil – Technical and legal hurdles addressed by GranBio for its cellulosic ethanol plant [Full subscriber]
The first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant built in Brazil with investment by GranBio in São Miguel dos Campos, Alagoas was briefly operational in 2014 but had to shut down a couple of months later as a result of a variety of operational problems. According to Valor Economico, process conversion technology problems were exacerbated by legal issues underpinning access to latest technology.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered oil companies to blend more renewable fuel into gasoline and diesel next year — but it could be the last increase for years to come, as the government starts to make sweeping changes to the US biofuel mandate, reported Bloomberg and Reuters.
An international team of researchers has discovered that gribbles (termites of the sea) that hemocyanin proteins, which transport oxygen through the bodies of invertebrates, play a major role in the crustacean’s ability to extract sugars from wood. This discovery is likely to support the production of cellulosic biofuels where breaking down the lignocellulosic feedstock is the key crucial step.
Brazilian sugar companies are increasing their capacity to produce ethanol in the face of depressed global sugar prices and government policies expected to boost demand for the biofuel, reported Reuters.