Destiny

4 05 2009

Appropriately named, the city just south of Orlando Florida, called Destiny, is poised to become America’s first environmentally-sustainable city.

Destiny, Fl

Destiny, Fl

The city would span 61,000 acres in central Florida, keeping 25,000 acres as open space. The development project would only build residential buildings on land that has been exhausted by citrus groves and can no longer sustain agriculture.

Destiny is still in its early stages. The first phase includes constructing a “Research and Development Campus housing a Technology Incubator, Distribution Center, and an Academic Village and Training Center” on a 500-acre plot..

Eco-Sustainability

Eco-Sustainability

Eventually, city developers of Destiny like Randy Johnson, plan to harvest sorghum and jatropha plants to make biofuels. More ideas, such as using pyrolysis (burning organic matter to speed up decomposition), gasification and other “waste-to-energy” facilities like converting methane into energy for turbines, are in the works.





Good News For Ethanol

8 04 2009

According to the American Clean Energy Act of 2009, financial support will be offered to companies if they promote biofuels and/or the use of electric cars. This is good news for ethanol because it is a type of biofuel.

Ethanol Producer Magazine

Ethanol Producer Magazine

Furthermore, the Environmental Protection Agency raised the renewable fuel standard, which designates the minimum requirement of renewable fuel per gallon of gasoline, to 10.21 percent for 2009. This is a 24 percent increase from the 2008 standard of 7.76 percent.

This initiative is not surprising considering President Obama’s recent nominations for two specific positions within the Department of Energy.

From left, Steven Chu and Steven Koonin at Berkeley

From left, Steven Chu and Steven Koonin at Berkeley

Steven Koonin was appointed to the position of Undersecretary of Science by President Obama on March 23. He had been the Chief Scientist at BP since 2004 where he researched renewable and alternative fuels.

Steven Chu was sworn in as Secretary of Energy in January by the Obama Administration. Chu won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997. “Both Chu and Koonin previously collaborated on biofuel research through a BP partnership with academia.”





Making Biofuels More Practical

24 03 2009
Switchgrass

Switchgrass

The basic argument against biofuels is that food sources like corn and wheat should not be used to make fuel. The substitutes for these crops are plants such as switchgrass and miscanthus, but these grasses take longer to break down than corn kernals, making the fuel production process more costly.

Miscanthus

Miscanthus

BUT, researchers at Cal Tech have synthesized several new enzymes that will break down cellulose plants quicker than the current method, ultimately making the process cheaper.

This is also good news for the Obama administration, which continues to advocate funding for alternative energy policies and research.

At the White House on Monday Obama said, “Speaking to entrepreneurs in the fields of energy…Your country will support you. Your president will support you.’ The administration’s $787 billion stimulus package includes $39 billion for the Department of Energy and $20 billion in tax incentives for clean energy.”

He plans to speak more about the stimulus package in a televised address Tuesday night.





Rate My Biofuel

4 03 2009

United States:
Switchgrass

Switchgrass

Switchgrass

Soybeans

Soybeans

Soybeans

Corn

Corn

Corn

Brazil:
Sugar Cane

Sugar Cane

Sugar Cane

Europe:
Sugar Beet

Sugar Beet

Sugar Beet

Wheat

Wheat

Wheat

China:
Cassava

Cassava

Cassava

Sorghum

Sorghum

Sorghum

Southeast Asia:
Miscanthus

Miscanthus

Miscanthus

Oil Palm

Palm

Palm

India:
Jathropa

Jathropha

Jathropha

Learn more about: switchgrass, soybeans, corn, sugar cane, sugar beet, wheat, cassava, sorghum, miscanthus, palm oil and jatropha.