December news

21.12.07 Merry Christmas

On behalf of the biofuel cities partners we would like to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

There will be no news updates over the holidays. We will be back to supply you with the latest developments and interesting innovations on biofuels on 7 January 2008.

20.12.07 Worldwide database of biofuel plants

Frustrated by the difficulty of trying to gain information on biofuel production plants throughout the world, Dutch entrepreneur Carlo Bakker has started a database of bioethanol and biodiesel plants worldwide.

Being promoted as “the easiest way to find bio-ethanol and bio-diesel plants around the world”, has been compiled and is constantly updated by a team of researchers in the Netherlands.


(sources: Engineering News, October 2007; WorldBioPlants, December 2007)

19.12.07 Around the world in 65 days

The environmentally-friendly speedboat Earthrace aims to do 26,000 miles in 65 days running on biofuels in order to break the present circumnavigation record which stands at 74 days, 23 hours and 53 minutes by Cable and Wireless Adventurer, a British boat which ran on conventional fuel in 1998.

"The record is just a small part of the package," skipper Pete Bethune from New Zealand said. "We need to make people aware that biofuels need to be part of our transport energy mix and people should support them should they become available."


(source: The Guardian, 19 December 2007)

18.12.07 Joint venture to grow marine algae for conversion into biodiesel

Shell and Hawaii-based algal biofuels company HR Biopetroleum have formed a joint venture to grow marine algae for conversion into biodiesel.

The joint venture, Cellana, will construct a pilot facility on the Kona coast of Hawaii Island. This will grow non-modified, marine microalgae species in open-air ponds using proprietary technology. Once the algae is harvested, the vegetable oil will be extracted, and the biodiesel produced will be used for testing purposes.


(source: Biofuels International, 14 December 2007)

13.12.07 Fuelling doubts over biofuels at UN Climate Convention

Unveiled at the UN climate convention meeting in Bali, the results of a survey carried out by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) reveal that decision-makers in the climate change field have little faith in biofuels as a low-carbon technology.

"Technology must be at the heart of the future response to climate change," UNFCCC executive secretary Yvo de Boer declared at the talks. But which technology? In a survey of 1,000 professionals in 105 countries, IUCN attempted to gauge which technologies inspired the most confidence.


(source: BBC News, 11 December 2007)

12.12.07 New EU renewables law takes shape

An early draft of an upcoming proposal from the European Commission to increase the use of renewables in final EU energy consumption includes guidelines for establishing individual national targets, provisions for mandatory use of certificates for renewables trading and sustainability criteria for biofuels production.


(source: Euractiv, December 2007)

11.12.07 Relationship between termites and biofuels?

A process termites use to turn wood into food could be used to transform wood into fuel for transport as an alternative to crops such as corn.

The potential is considerable, given the sheer efficiency of the termite's intestines, which can theoretically turn one sheet of paper into two litres of hydrogen, according to Andreas Brune of the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg, Germany.


(source: Biofuels International, December 2007)

10.12.07 China and the US could sign an agreement on biofuels

China and the US are drafting a biofuels agreement that could be signed as early as December. The agreement will focus on sharing knowledge and technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If signing goes ahead, China would become the first Asian country to enter into a biofuel agreement with the US.


(source: Biofuels International, December 2007)

07.12.07 Sustainable production of biodiesel with Jatropha one step closer

The Dutch company BioFuel Projects International (BFP International) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Cosmo Biofuels Group from Malaysia to conjointly develop Jatropha plantations. The cooperation initially aims to the development of Jatropha plantations in Asia but can be extended to other continents and alternative energy crops.

According to the CEO of BFP International, Marc de Boer, the agreement "is a big step forward to produce truly sustainable ground materials in Asia for the fabrication of biofuels". BFP International focuses on the sustainable production raw materials for second-generation biofuels.

For more information: Contact Marc de Boer:

(source: Press release from Biofuel Projects International, 27 Nov 2007)

06.12.07 Palm oil industry signs up to green labelling scheme

A certification process designed to allow palm oil producers that meet environmental standards to label their products as eco-friendly was launched on the 22 November at the industry-led Round table on sustainable palm oil (RSPO) in Kuala Lumpur.


(source: Guardian Unlimited, 22 November 2007)