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Alternative Fuel Watch:

Tulare Algae Farm Expansion

The company that is experimenting on four acres near the Tulare wastewater treatment plant to grow algae for fuel wants to enlarge the test plot to 20 acres. Pacific Algae,backed by Texas investors already leases four acres in the old industrial wastewater treatment ponds. This site was selected because of the availability of nearly pure CO2 in the exhaust from the fuel cells that would be used to grow algae for the production of oil as a base for synthetic fuels says city Public Works director Lew Nelson.

The company has identified a number of providers of technology for various parts of the process, for growing seed algae, for growing the algae to maturity, for harvesting and drying the algae and for processing the oil in preparation for production of synthetic fuel.  Many of the technologies are currently bench scale or small pilot processes and would benefit from use at the large commercial pilot scale that is being proposed at the treatment plant says Nelson.

One huge target market – bio-aviation fuel.

Tulare Firm Wants To Make Biofuel

Harvest Container who has a composting facility on Lovers Lane near Tulare is working on an EIR with the county and published this notice recently.The Harvest-Tulare composting facility currently holds operating permits to compost green material, food, and dairy manure. The proposed project will increase and shift types of materials and quantities accepted at the facility. Harvest Power California LLC is proposing to add an anaerobic digester to the existing Harvest-Tulare composting operations to process organic materials into fuel and digestate that will contribute to soil amendment production. Both a high solids digester (processing food and green material) and a low solids digester (processing primarily food material) alternatives will be evaluated in the environmental document. The proposed project will increase total tonnage at the site from 86,000 tons per year to a potential 216,000 tons per year. The increase includes both the proposed anaerobic digester and increasing tonnages at the composting facility. The facility will produce transportation fuel either through a compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling station or by injecting directly into a nearby natural gas pipeline. Therefore, both a CNG refueling station and direct injection to the natural gas pipeline will be evaluated.

Cap & Trade To Start In California

California’s cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is set to launch  January 1, 2013, when emission permits that can be traded will be issued. Emitting firms can use the permits that they receive from the state government, buy permits, or buy offsets for their emissions from projects that remove carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

AB 32 aims to reduce California’s emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, a reduction of about 30 percent.

Biodico and Navy Sign Renewable Fuel Agreement

PORT HUENEME, California – This month Biodico announced signing a new agreement with the U.S. Navy for the development and evaluation of advanced biofuels and bioenergy.  The goal is to jointly develop renewable fuel and energy technologies that are appropriate for use at U.S. Naval and DoD facilities worldwide.  The collaboration between the Navy and Biodico will optimize the operation of sustainable biorefineries producing renewable petroleum diesel equivalent liquid fuels, bio-based products and energy using renewable resources at Department of Defense (DoD) facilities.  The optimization will allow production at the lowest possible cost.  The production process will also benefit the commercial sector by providing a cost-effective process to produce renewable fuel and energy in a sustainable manner.  The collaboration is partially supported by grants from the California Energy Commission.

Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, has directed the Navy to reduce its dependence on petroleum by 50% by 2020.  By producing petroleum diesel equivalent liquid fuels, bio-based products and energy on site, the Navy can help meet this objective and provide better security for its energy supplies.  Work under the new contract will include a range of technologies including but not limited to transesterification, gasification, gas to liquids, hydrogenation, anaerobic digestion, catalysis, and the production and processing of feedstocks and co-products.

California State Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) remarked, “This announcement is an exciting outcome of the collaboration between Biodico, the Navy and the California Energy Commission. This work is a direct result of California’s commitment to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.  The collaboration between Biodico, the Navy and the California Energy Commission will enhance our national security, provide new jobs and improve the environment.  It will demonstrate and commercialize advanced biofuel and bioenergy technologies that will be utilized throughout the world.  The integration of sustainable agriculture with renewable combined heat and power produced on-site will produce inexpensive advanced biofuels.”

According to Biodico’s President and Founder, Russell Teall, “As part of this agreement we are building a sustainable biorefinery at Naval Base Ventura County that will produce biofuel and bioenergy at prices competitive with unsubsidized conventional fuel and power.  The facility is privately funded, with some of the innovations supported by grants from the California Energy Commission. Sen. Pavley’s landmark initiatives have helped make this project possible. ”



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