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Energy Newsbriefs Blog

This current awareness service is prepared by the WSU Energy Program Library with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program. This information is provided for energy professionals and interested members of the public to highlight recent energy-related news, articles, and reports that discuss energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable sources of energy in engineering and policy circles.

 

Category: Bioenergy

Bioenergy or Biopower


Research Aims to Help Dairy Farmers Generate Sustainable Energy

Nevada Today, University of Nevada, Reno, Oct. 1, 2014, by Kirstin Swagman.
http://www.unr.edu/nevada-today/news/2014/sun-grant

"A new, collaborative grant at the University of Nevada, Reno will further research into biomass conversion by developing a cost-effective process for large-scale dairy farmers to generate energy from manure.

The University's new grant, "Sun Grant: Power/Waste Biomass," totals more than $600,000 over two years, with the bulk of the funds coming from the U.S. Department of Agriculture."


Role of Codigestion: Power Positive Resource Recovery

BioCycle, Aug. 2014, by David Parry.
http://www.biocycle.net/2014/08/14/power-positive-resource-recovery/

"Using laws of thermodynamic analysis to evaluate the energy and power characteristics of wastewater and beneficial uses of biogas offers greater insight into best business practices and what is achievable."

USDA, DOE and EPA Release Biogas Opportunities Roadmap

Biomass Magazine, Aug. 2014, by Erin Voegele.
http://biomassmagazine.com/articles/10761/usda-doe-and-epa-release-biogas-opportunities-roadmap

"The USDA has published its Biogas Opportunities Roadmap, a document that builds on progress made to date to identify voluntary actions that can be taken to reduce methane emissions through the use of biogas systems. It outlines strategies to overcome barriers limiting further expansion and development of a robust biogas industry in the U.S. The USDA also noted that the roadmap supports the U.S. dairy industry’s 2008 goal to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25 percent by 2020."

Pass the Mustard: Why Carinata is Taking Root as Biofuel

North American Clean Energy, Jul/Aug 2014, by Don Konantz.
http://www.nacleanenergy.com/articles/18236/pass-the-mustard-why-carinata-is-taking-root-as-biofuel

"This new kid on the biofuel block taking root is the carinata seed. Carinata is a leafy plant, originating in Ethiopia. Also referred to as Ethiopian mustard and Abyssinian mustard, it produces oil seeds that can be (and have been) used as a biofuel, which mimic the attributes of its petroleum-derived counterpart. The oil seeds also work in ground and air transportation engines, and without engine modifications or blending. To date, carinata has demonstrated agronomic success across 60 commercial sites and farms in the Canadian and the US prairies."

How Sweet It Is: New Tool for Characterizing Plant Sugar Transporters Developed at Joint BioEnergy Institute

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory News Release, July 28, 2014, by Lynn Yarris.
http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2014/07/28/new-tool-for-characterizing-plant-sugar-transporters-developed-at-joint-bioenergy-institute/

"A powerful new tool that can help advance the genetic engineering of “fuel” crops for clean, green and renewable bioenergy, has been developed by researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), a multi-institutional partnership led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The JBEI researchers have developed an assay that enables scientists to identify and characterize the function of nucleotide sugar transporters, critical components in the biosynthesis of plant cell walls."

Building Farm And Food Scrap Digesters (Part I)

BioCycle, June 2014, by Nora Goldstein.
http://www.biocycle.net/2014/06/16/building-farm-and-food-scrap-digesters/

"A steady stream of anaerobic digestion facilities are coming on line, most equipped to process food waste. This first of a two-part series profiles several farm digesters. Part I"

Biofuel Technology Goes Mobile [Pyrolysis]

WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS), Press Release, Jun. 2014.
http://news.cahnrs.wsu.edu/2014/06/11/biofuel-technology-goes-mobile/

"Scientists like Manuel Garcia-Perez and his graduate students, who study biosystems engineering at Washington State University, are helping to nurture the emerging biofuels industry by developing pyrolysis technologies. Garcia-Perez and Geraldo Ferreira-David of Brazil calculate material entering and exiting the pyrolysis system."

When Woody Biomass Brings Music to Your Ears!

TimberWest, Mar./Apr. 2014, by Barbara Coyner.
http://www.forestnet.com/TWissues/2014_march_april/biomass.php

"...did you know that a [Alaska] school district that utilizes woody biomass has saved enough money on heating and energy costs to hire a full-time music teacher AND build and heat a commercial greenhouse?"

2013 Peer Review Report [DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office]

U.S. Department of Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office, Feb. 2014.
http://www1.eere.energy.gov/bioenergy/pdfs/2013_peer_review.pdf


Reports on the results of a comprehensive external review of the DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office's research, development, demonstration, and deployment portfolio. The review was "designed to provide an external assessment of the projects in BETO's portfolio and collect external stakeholder recommendations on the overall scope, focus, and strategic direction of the Office. Results from the peer review process are used to inform programmatic decision making; to enhance active project management; and to modify, expand, or discontinue existing projects."

The key technology areas reviewed were: 1) Algae; 2) Analysis and Sustainability; 3) Biochemical Conversion; 4) Biodiesel; 5) Bio-Oil; 6) Feedstock Production and Logistics; 7) Gasification; 8) Heat and Power; and 9) Integrated Biorefineries.

Arid Anaerobics: Colorado Cattle Managers Spurred to Consider Anaerobic Digestion

Manure Manager, Jan./Feb. 2014, by Tony Kryzanowski.
http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/publication/index.php?i=0&m=1559&l=1&p=3&pre&ver=flex (article begins on page 10)

"Anaerobic digestion of cattle manure has not taken off in the arid western United States like it has in other parts of the country. The main reason it hasn’t taken hold in this part of the United States is water scarcity. Water is a critical factor in anaerobic digestion.
Researchers at Colorado State University believe this method of manure disposal might still work under the right circumstances. For that reason, they have created an online decision tool for use by both cattle feedlot and dairy farmers to help them determine if anaerobic digestion of their manure could be a viable optio
n."
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The Energy Newsbriefs Blog is a continuation of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs. Please bookmark this site and return frequently. Although we will not be accepting comments from within the Blog, we would be happy to hear from you by email at library@energy.wsu.edu

Archives of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs, from Oct. 2012 – Jan. 6, 2014, may be found on the WSU Energy Library web page.