November 2008 news

27.11.08 NREL and Petrobras to Collaborate on advanced 2nd generation biofuels

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) announced end of last week (20 Nov) that they have signed an agreement that could accelerate the development and international commercialization of advanced second-generation biofuels.

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(source: Green Car Congress / NREL)


25.11.08 Deep talks on sustainable energy cooperation between EU and Brazil

The EU's Commissioner for Energy, Andris Piebalgs, met Brazil's Energy Minister in São Paulo last week (20 November) to discuss closer energy relations with the world's most important producer of biofuels (mainly ethanol) amid concerns from developing countries that recent calls from the EU for strict biofuel sustainability criteria could strangle global trade for plant-based fuels.

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(source: EurActiv 24/11/08)


24.11.08 Visit the Biofuel Cities European Partnership stand at the upcoming Energy and Environment 2008 Expo & Conference

27 - 29 November, International Exhibition Centre, Riga, Latvia

The event will address key issues on energy policy making and implementation, particularly regarding the Baltic States and the EU.

More information on the event..

If you are not able to visit our stand at the event, be sure to check our website to keep up to date on biofuels news, exchange views and opinions on our discussion forum or to see if you feature in our 'Who's who and where in the Biofuels Field' report!

Not a participant of the Biofuel Cities European Partnership yet? Join by simply registering here

(source: Biofuels Cities European Partnership)


21.11.08 Ecolabelled fuel now on the market

As the search for alternative fuels continues, the Nordic Ecolabel has announced the first ecolabelled fuel. Methane from the Swedish company FordonsGas Sverige AB is the world's first ecolabelled fuel, having fulfilled the rigorous criteria of the Nordic Ecolabel.

The interest in methane-powered cars has risen exponentially in Sweden. 15,000 cars and buses in Sweden use methane, an increase of 60 percent over the past few years. In Sweden, methane for fuel is a 50/50 mixture of fossil natural gas and biogas from digestion plants.

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(source: Nordic Swan Ecolabel)


19.11.08 Ethanol predicted to reach 30 billion gallons by 2012

The ethanol market is set to swell to 27.7 billion tonnes over the next four years, a report by Global Industry Analysts finds.

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(source: Biofuels International)


18.11.08 Turning olive stones into bioethanol

The Spanish olive oil industry discards around four million tons of olive stones (pits) every year. According to their recent article in the Journal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology, researchers from Jaén and Granada have calculated that it is possible to produce 5.7 kg of bioethanol from 100 kilograms of olive stones.

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(source: GAVE-news / Renewable Energy World)


17.11.08 IEA raises alarm on oil, climate

In this year's World Energy Outlook, the International Energy Agency (IEA) breaks with its tradition of allaying concerns about the availability of oil. Instead, it calls for an urgent transition to a more sustainable global energy system to avert a potential climate catastrophe.

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(source: EurActiv 13 Nov 08)


14.11.08 France to phase out excise duty exemption more slowly

The French government decided on Friday 24 October to reduce a planned tax increase for biofuels from next year.

The current exemption for excise duty on biodiesel amounts to 22 eurocent - this will be reduced in 2009 to 15 eurocent, in 2010 to 11 eurocent, and in 2011 to just 8 eurocent, before being phased out entirely in 2012.

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(source: GAVE-news / Biofuels International)


13.11.08 More biofuels via Rotterdam

The transshipment of biofuels in the port of Rotterdam increased in the first half of 2008 from 1 million to 2.5 million tonnes. The ratio of ethanol to biodiesel was almost 50/50 and manufacturing mainly took place overseas: ethanol in Brazil and biodiesel largely in the United States.

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(source: GAVE-news, 4 Nov 08)


12.11.08 Biofuel-powered aircraft in three years, says Boeing

Biofuel-powered aircraft could be carrying millions of passengers around the world within three years, according to Boeing.

Darrin Morgan, an environmental expert at the US jet manufacturer, said the group was expecting official approval of biofuel use in the near future.

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(source: Guardian, 27 Oct 08)


06.11.08 GreenFuel announces first commercial algae plant in Spain

The promise of commercial algae fuel is getting closer to reality with the announcement from GreenFuel Technologies of a $92 million deal to build algae greenhouses. The project will capture CO2 emissions from a cement plant in Jerez (Spain) and use them to grow algae for food, fuel, and feedstock.

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(source: GAVE-news / GreenFuel)


04.11.08 Germany exempts environmentally friendly vehicles from motor vehicle tax

On Thursday 30 October, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety announced that environmentally friendly vehicles (EFVs) will be exempt from the German motor vehicle tax. All EFVs, including natural gas vehicles, registered in Germany from 1 January 2009 will profit  from this law.

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(source: NGVA Europe / German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation & Nuclear Safety)


03.11.08 Vapour pressure of biofuels for transport

The 'vapour pressure' of transport biofuels looks set to become a new battleground in the EU's fuel quality directive.

The European Commission wants to relax a limit on the maximum vapour pressure allowed in transport biofuels to encourage greater use of fuels such as ethanol, and the French  EU Presidency has now supported this, subject to an environmental assessment. But European environmental groups are calling for caution, as more vapour pressure is likely to mean more air pollution from petrol stations.

(source: Transport & Environment Bulletin, October 2008)