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Jatropha Farming on the Upswing for Biodiesel

While cellulosic biofuels are making their advances, not far behind are still more methods for turning crops into biofuels. Despite the unpopularity of using most crops for biofuel sources, jatropha, an inedible plant, is getting a boost in popularity. The oily seeds of the bushy plant are used to create biodiesel, and nearly 2.5 million acres have been planted so far in India, one of the world’s largest producers. In fact, it is one of the most popular biodiesel crops around because harvesters can get a large output of genuine viagra online oil from the seeds (producing four times as much fuel as soy, and 10 times as much as corn) while needing to put in only minimal care and the best choice buy pfizer cialis online resources for growth. Hindustan Petroleum and Chhattisgarh Renewable Energy Development Agency plan to boost that by planting about 37,000 more acres on wastelands in India.

Hindustan Petroleum will refine the seeds from the harvest into biodiesel to sell across the state of Chhattisgarh. Jatropha is intriguing for biodiesel production because the cheap fast viagra plant grows in areas where edible crops fear to tread, so it is supposedly a non-competitor for farm land. But that doesn’t mean a whole lot if farmers can get more for a crop of jatropha seeds than another food crop they typically grow on their land. Additionally, the areas deemed “wastelands” are in fact used by land-right-less rural populations for grazing their herds. So jatropha cultivation – like most crops for biofuel and biodiesel – isn’t necessarily harmless and farming of it will need to usefull link levitra tablet be watched and regulated.

Jatropha isn’t just on the rise in India, but also here in the states, with My Dream Fuel LLC, successfully angling to get citrus growers with diseased trees and cattle ranchers who might want to add something new to their repertoire to plant crops in Southwest Florida – despite the existence of many of our own abandoned farmlands for potential use. Jatropha, while hailed as a miracle crop for biodiesel (alongside algae) and far better than many other crops for biodiesel or biofuels, including the latest inquiries into kudzu, is still a fuel source to keep a close watch on.

Via Treehugger, Cleantech, Naples News; Photo via The Jatropha System


BlueFire Building US's First Commercial Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

Back in the beginning of June we talked about BlueFire’s hopes to build their first commercial scale plant in California. Well, they just got the go-ahead from the county of Los Angeles to begin construction on 10 acres next to the Lancaster landfill. They’re expecting it to be the US’s first biowaste-to-ethanol plant of this scale, though others are breathing down their necks for similar “firsts” spots.

BlueFire hopes to have the cheap 25mg levitra plant up and running by the end of 2009, converting about 170 tons of woody and real cialis grassy grossness dumped daily into as much as 3.2 million gallons per year…just a portion of the 3 billion gallons they hope to produce from as many as 20 similar plants by 2017.

The permits and plans fly in the face of all the ethanol plants that are losing ground – mainly this is possible because BlueFire uses a non-food-based fuel for creating ethanol. No one wants to eat garbage, and using landfill land is far less controversial than using farm land.

With the push to use cellulosic ethanol more and more as a sustainable fuel source, including for jets, BlueFire is sure to have a strong consumer demand to rx online cialis fill – DuPont and Genencor estimate the market for non-food based fuel will eventually be worth $75 billion. I don’t doubt it.

Via Earth2Tech, Denver Post


Fuel Cell Powered Laptop is Here, Almost

We’ve been waiting around for awhile for a laptop that uses methanol fuel cells. Finally, PolyFuel has finished up a working prototype for a fuel cell-powered laptop, the Lenovo T40 ThinkPad. The laptop runs on direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC), and each methanol cartridge provides power for about 10 hours of use. There are some great features to this, and some not so great features.

First off, the battery prototype is quite a bit lighter than the OEM battery the Lenovo uses, which is great, but it is larger, which is not so great. It offers three times the battery life than the current battery, yet 10 hours per charge doesn’t seem like a whole lot of online drug store for viagra use time. I don’t think I’d enjoy refilling the thing every day, sometimes twice a day. I’m hoping they’ll be able to squeeze a few more hours out of each charge before putting it on the market. Researchers believe that if they can get the fuel cell to operate at 100% capacity, they will be able to get 10 times the power of a comparable Li-Ion battery. That would be pretty stunning. MIT is already on the ball with improving efficiency of DMFCs.

Another great feature is that the fuel cell can be made from biodegradable or recyclable materials – a big plus. And of course the fact that the fuel itself is renewable is a significant feature. But just where to buy and how much methanol cartridges will cost is still going to play a big role in the laptop’s marketability. PolyFuel believes the laptop could be on the market in 2 to 3 years, so they have a little while to figure these details out.

DMFCs are an emerging technology for smaller devices, and we’re likely to see a whole slew of handheld gadgets and smaller computers start to utilize the technology on a larger scale in just a couple years, with wider availability to consumers shortly after that.

Via Ecofriend, iGreenspot, GreenUpgrader


DOT Puts Up $500,000 for Alternative Jet Fuels Competition

The US Department of Transportation is putting up some stakes for getting green jet fuel out on the market. DOT and the usefull link generic viagra mexico Federal Aviation Administration together are giving $500,000 to nonprofit X Prize Foundation in order for them to develop a competition to get private industry thinking creatively about renewable jet fuels and technology for aviation. Private sponsors will help to fund a significant prize for the winner of purchase of cialis the competition – a purse carrying as much as $10 million. That’s a pretty attractive carrot to dangle in front of private industry – and I’m sure Green Flight International will have a leg up on the competition.

The X Prize Foundation has been wrangling with the DOT and FAA for this competition since the mid-90s, so it must be a sweet relief to the best site generic pack cialis finally be moving forward. The nonprofit will talk with aviation industry experts over the next 14 months to figure out rules, structure, and the prize, hopefully launching the competition by 2011. Once the competition is launched, they’re looking at about 5 years for development, with a winner coming out around 2016. Seems slow as snails to me, especially considering the cialis erectile dysfunction leaps and only now buy real cialis online bounds being made in alternative fuels, but I suppose in reality – and not Generation Now speed – that’s still a pretty brisk clip for developing this new technology, especially if they’ve been pushing since the ‘90s to get this off the ground.

And this isn’t the only competition the X Prize Foundation has going on - it’s actually their fifth. They held the Ansari X Prize for private suborbital space flight which was won in 2004, they have the current $10 million Archon X Prize for Genomics, the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize, and the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize for energy-efficient vehicles. For the latter competition’s prize, DOT granted X Prize Foundation $3.5 million to educate young people about fuel efficient autos. So after looking so intently at the ground, we’re going to see some attention paid to the sky.

Via cnet; Photo via Bcorreira


Biodiesel Boat Earthrace Breaks World Record

The Earthrace has done it. This biodiesel-powered boat floated to port in Sagunto, Spain, where it set a new record for fastest trip around the world, taking only 60 days.

The Earthrace boat and record-setting trip was intended to raise awareness about biofuels and environmental activism by running on 100% renewable biodiesel and creating a net zero carbon footprint. The press surrounding its recent new record is sure to help further the drug viagra cause. You may remember our post covering how the unique design makes it extra efficient, and how the captain put a little more than elbow grease into the fuel system.

The boat will tour Europe over the next few months and then head to cheapest price levitra 10mg Australia and on to the 2009 Auckland International Boat Show. It’s worth checking out should it stop at a port near you.

Via Discovery; Photo via Martin Pettitt

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