Category Archives: Biofuels

Commercialising Cactus Pears – Free Online Information

If your community has large areas of cultivated cactus pears or if it is a good climate for cactus pears but little is grown, this manual could be of real value to you.

Commercialising Cactus Pears - Free Online Information

click image to visit site

This 150 page manual with 13 pages of reference, will surely give you all you need to know about the utilisation of cactus pear. You can then build your business by integrating this information with you knowledge of your community using you entrepreneurial skills, which you can learn with documents online which can be format in PDF files using software as sodapdf  online.

A quick scan through the chapters of the manual illustrates the breadth and detail of the information.

Chapters of   / Cactus Pears

The manual is available for free download, however, if you have problems please email me and I will make sure you get a copy.

Solving Factory Waste Through Extraction of Valuable Chemicals

At first sight it seems like a good idea to add value to waste strems in the food processing industry.

click the image to visit the website

However, as the project leader says this is not rocket science. The composition of waste streams is generally well known and the technology to extract valuable components already established.It's naive to think companies are paying to dispose of waste streams that contain valuable chemicals which they could be easily extracting and selling.

Many waste streams are actually sold for other purposes such as animal feed and compost while many are already the source of high value chemicals such as essential oils and nutritional supplements. Waste streams have also been used for centuries to produce alternate energy.

Manufacturing companies focus strongly on waste and are just as capable of investigating such opportunities as are researchers.The issue is the financial viability of any particular process and the potential to set up all the players in the supply chain to ensure its sustainable operation.

Cellulosic Ethanol . this year (para 2), this decade (para 3) or longer?

starBiofuels Digest» – Biofuels DIgest
01 January 2010 14:14
by Jim Lane

10 Biofuels Predictions for 2010: #9, Cellulosic ethanol “happens”

In 2010, look for:

In the US, ZeaChem’s semi works will , nearing completion at POET’s 25 Mgy project in Iowa, and the opening of Range Fuels’ 20 Mgy facility in Soperton, Georgia.  Internationally, look for LanzaTech’s 500,000 gallon project to open, he first cellulosic ethanol deal in China, and announcements that Brazilian, Vietnamese and Australian sugarcane bagasse will be utilized in advanced biofuels projects. Overall, 102 million gallons of advanced biofuels capacity by the end of the year, with 25 Mgy of it cellulosic ethanol at 17 facilities.

The hint from 2009:

The old saying is that “cellulosic ethanol is always and forever five years away.” If that’s true, then it’s time to party like its 2014, because commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol is just now upon us.

Companies that have been in the R&D phases for years — if not decades — are emerging with a set of technologies, and partners with strong balance sheets, that have every chance of making the 2010s the “Decade of Cellulose”.

In many ways, with solar and energy storage technologies still in the R&D or small commercial phase — biomass represents that “shovel-ready”, “fire when ready” technology for short-term reductions in fossil fuel intensity.

10 Biofuels Predictions for 2010: #9, Cellulosic ethanol “happens” is a post from: Biofuels Digest

News & Financial Analysis biofuels cellulosic ethanol

Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from DIGIVU Environmental

What Should I be Publishing?


Here is your opportunity to tell me what you would like me to be publishing here! Please email me here – or simply make a comment at the end of the post. Everyone who makes an input can supply me with information, which will be posted on – what about using this as an advert?

You will have noticed I’ve been posting a bit more of non food processing bits and a bit slower in the last while – but remember you can access the information in many ways.

1) Remember though you can look at particular types of posts by going down to the bottom left and clicking a category, or even by entering an expanded URL.

eg food processing –
African Businesses –
waste –
biofuels –

2) You can search the site/blog from the the “Search Just The Blog” google search box.

3) Scan bookmarks I make to interesting articles under “STORIES NOT POSTED” to the left or in more detail from News buttons in the top menu.

4) You can email for free assistance – see “Free Q&A Service” in the top menu.

5) You can also watch other of my channels like Facebook & twitter although I need more feedback on whether these are at all useful.



Alternate Energy Sector Under Real Pressure

The ongoing disagreement about whether biofuels were effecting food availability, which 2nd generation biofuels offered most, whether wind farms polluted, if nuclear was a better option etc have become somewhat less significant.


Alternative Energy Suddenly Faces Headwinds -

from: New York Times
(click image for full story online)


Now the economy is the unarguable brake on the development and implementation of alternate energies.

The economic downturn has forced the price of oil down which ends all investors and investees scrambling to the spreadsheet. It has further reduced the availability of capital in those cases where the venture capitalist is still interested in investing. The billions of dollars, euros etc of capital pumped into the banks to keep them afloat will inevitably lead to less money to be invested in subsidising alternate energy and probably more worrying into R&D.

The alternate energy movement runs the risk of faltering and again loosing momentum as it did after the fuel crisis in the 1980s.

Posting for EcoWorldly

Threatened White Lion Cubs Born in the Wild _ EcoWorldly-1.jpg

I have started writing posts for and environment focussed blog called EcoWorldly.

EcoWorldly brings you news on sustainable successes and ecological failures in other countries that offer lessons for green progress in America. Find perspectives and news on the environmental movement from around the world.

I will be putting links to these posts along with the total text here – otherwise you could visit the site or subscribe in your newsreader.

Africa Biofuel – Tanzanian biofuel company

Africa Biofuel and Emission Reduction Company is focussed on bringing a triple-bottom-line biofuel business model to Africa.



from: Africa Biofuels
(click image for full story online)


Africa Biofuels set out to find a biofuel process that did not compete for a food or use agricultural land. It looked for a product that could actually enhance the environment and benefit the people of the area.

It identified Croton megalocarpus, an indigenous tree, as its focus.

There is detailed discussion of the project under the explanatory and news section of the website that promotes its arguments in detail.

In a quick scan and search I was unable to identify how the byproducts (oil cake and glycerine) are to be used and what income they will generate. This “income” and the cost of manual collection from wild trees are critical to the viability of the process. In fact I not find any costing or economics on the site but am taking that up via email.

Biofuels in South Africa – Current Situation

Two recent stories are I think indicative of where South Africa is in the biofuel market.

Sasol recently discussed their succeeding in being listed in the Dow Jones sustainability world index and gave an overview of their focus.


Sasol studies ‘new energy’ technologies with lower environmental impacts-1.jpg

from: Engineering News
(click image for full story online)


On the biodiesel project they have been publicising with the Central Energy Fund for some years now they stated that “there is not a very certain government framework at this point in time, which makes finalising a decision not very easy” even though the crude price is multiples of what it was in the beginning!

A recent article highlighted the discontent of commercial maize growers with the South African Governments decision to only allow the production of ethanol from excess maize.

Business Day - News Worth Knowing-1.jpg

from: Business Day
(click image for full story online)


These two stories reinforce what was obvious at the time the Biofuels Strategy was being actively developed – no one was going to be able to make a profitable business out of it without significant subsidisation from government.

The concern is that South Africa can now move away from first generation biofuels, but Africa seems to be getting deeper involved although the constrains are obvious.

The article below by the US Department of Agriculture at the end of 2007 has a good overview, but concludes that maybe there is still room for government to adjust its position. This has apparently not happened to date.

Republic of South Africa Biofuels Situation Update – Get more Legal Forms

Exageration & Errors in Biofuels News

How well do we really know that what we read is real, especially in those sectors where everyone is optimistic and the opportunities are large. Here’s an example.

Biofuels Digest recently published a story entitled


17 Mgy CrowNek Energy cassava ethanol plant opens in Nigeria _ Biofuels Digest-2.jpg

from: Biofuels Digest
(click image for full story online)


which clearly did not follow up source material enough, which although ambiguous to varying degrees did admit to this being a plan and not the start of operations as the story indicates.


THISDAY ONLINE _ Nigeria news _ African views on global news.jpg

from: This Day Online
(click image for full story online)


Of course takes off sounds like goes into production, but in the African way project tells us that ita bigger thing and not an actual refinery that is taking off.


Guardian Newspapers-1.jpg

from: Nigerian Guadian
(click image for full story online)


“Establishes” and “owned by” implies something real has been built, but “is to be established” makes it clear this is a plan and not a plant.


NIGERIAN TRIBUNE - Business and Economy-1.jpg

from: Nigerian Tribune
(click image for full story online)



Global Warming Awareness Inc - Nigeria plans ethanol project-2.jpg

from: Global Warming Awareness
(click image for full story online)


This is the only clear and concise reporting of the event.

Is it just jounalists using different words to add to the interest, an enthusiasm for the subject or a purposeful attempt a hiding the reality

Little Logic in This Ethanol Support

In an interview with green2tech


10 Questions for Poet’s CEO Jeff Broin « Earth2Tech.jpg

from: Earth2Tech
(click image for full story online)


Jeff Broin of ethanol producer Poet said the following

8). In the great debate over how much corn ethanol is affecting food prices, what do you think about some newer reports that have said biofuels have affected food prices significantly?
Every study depends on the assumptions of its author, and the opponents of renewable fuels have been able to generate a few that say what they want. Almost every independent study I’ve seen has said that ethanol production has had a very small impact on the consumer’s price for food, especially in comparison to the impact of rising energy prices.

A study from the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M said, “The underlying force driving changes in the agricultural industry, along with the economy as a whole, is overall higher energy costs, evidenced by $100 per barrel oil.” Just do the math. A semi can haul 4,200 boxes of corn flakes at a time, and with 10 ounces of corn in each box, that’s a total of 46.9 bushels of corn. At a $6 bushel, the corn in all 4,200 boxes has a value of $281.40. To haul those boxes 1,500 miles, however, would cost $881.25 with diesel priced at $4.70 per gallon. That means it takes 21 cents of diesel per box to get it to the store, yet the value of corn in that box is less than seven cents. What do you think is the real driver of higher food prices?

But this study surely has nothing to say about biofuels not pushing up the price of food? In fact what would the fuel cost have been if the truck was run on biodiesel?

Its also flawed in that the calculation is for $100 crude & $ 4.70 / gallon diesel – even at $50 crude and the corresponding diesel price of $ 2.86 / gallon (extrapolated from GasBuddy data) the diesel cost is still 13 cents. This is a of food retail and consumer demands not fuel costs!


Gas Price Historical Price Charts -

from: GasBuddy
(click image for full story online)


Lets not even start calculating the packaging cost and the wholesale and retail margins!