Industrial Plant to be Re-Developed into Mega-Indoor Vertical Farm Factory

AeroFarms, a leading commercial grower for vertical farming and controlled agriculture, together with property management firm RBH Group, a slew of investment partners along with the City of Newark and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced the intent to redevelop a former industrial site in Newark’s Ironbound district into a state-of-the art 69,000 square foot indoor vertical farm.

Source: archinect.com

>” […] Currently under construction, the first phases will open in the second half of 2015, creating approximately 78 jobs in a local community with an unemployment rate that is twice the national average. Additionally, AeroFarms has partnered with the Ironbound Community Corporation to create a recruiting and job training program targeting local residents.

The building is located on a 3-acre industrial site in the center of the Ironbound community in Newark, NJ. It is adjacent to elevated truck Route 1 and 9, a freight rail right of way, and to other industrial businesses along Rome and Christie Streets.

When completed, AeroFarms will have the capacity to grow up to 2 million pounds per year of baby leafy greens and herbs in an environmentally controlled, safe, and sanitary facility. It will provide healthy foods to the local community as well as to other markets. AeroFarms is a model for successful, sustainable farming offering 75 times more productivity per square foot annually than a traditional field farm while using no pesticides and consuming over 95% less water. […]”<

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Oil’s Price Drop Forces Lower Prices for Brazilian Biofuel (Ethanol) Makers

The plunge in oil prices to multi-year lows could have a sour aftertaste for Brazilian sugar processors.

Source: blogs.wsj.com

“> […] The drop in crude prices may spell even more trouble for one of the mills’ two chief products: ethanol. Processors have ramped up production of the biofuel as a way to generate revenue as sugar prices plunged. But now that alternative may lose its luster if cheap gasoline gets in the way. Ultimately, it may push more sugar on the market.

Raw sugar futures on ICE Futures U.S. recently fell 1.6% to a more than six-week low of 15.68 cents a pound. […]

Brazil is the world’s top producer of cane-based ethanol and cane processors have been dedicating more of their cane to produce the biofuel as an alternative to producing sugar, which has slumped in price.

Since Brazil’s cane harvest began in April, mills in the center-south – Brazil’s main cane-growing region – have dedicated 56.1% of their cane to make ethanol, and the rest to make sugar, compared with a 54.7%-45.2% split at the same point last year, according to sugar-industry group Unica.

“If gasoline gets cheaper, it affects ethanol’s competiveness in the blend,” said Jack Scoville, a vice president at Chicago brokerage Price Futures Group. […]”<

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European Airlines Contracts Biofuel Supplier For Biofuel Powered Flights

SAS has, along with the Lufthansa Group and KLM, signed an agreement with Statoil Aviation for a regular supply of 2.5 million liters (660,430 gallons) of biofuel at Oslo Airport, allowing the airport to offer a regular supply of biobased fuel.

Source: biomassmagazine.com

>” […] Via an agreement signed with Avinor and the above named airlines, Statoil Aviation is to supply 2.5 million liters (660,430 gallons) of biofuel to the refueling facility at Oslo Airport. With a 50 percent biofuel mix, this will fuel around 3,000 flights between Oslo and Bergen and make OSL the first major airport in the world to offer a regular supply of biofuel as part of daily operations from March 2015. […]

SAS aims to use synthetic fuel on an increasingly regular basis in the next few years, and expects biofuel to become competitive with the fossil fuel alternative. For this to happen, a general environment and tax policy will be required from governments, based on aviation being a form of internationally competitive public transport with thin profit margins.”<

 

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Synthesis of Butanol: Towards a Better Biofuel

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Researchers have developed a catalyst to convert ethanol into butanol with high selectivity, potentially allowing butanol to replace ethanol as a biofuel.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>[…] Because manufacturers can prepare ethanol from renewable sources, researchers consider the biofuel a good alternative to standard fossil fuels such as gasoline. Indeed, its production and use have increased remarkably in the last ten years; manufacturers now commonly add ethanol to gasoline fuels.

Despite this increased use, however, ethanol has several disadvantages. It has a lower calorific value than standard gasoline (19.6 vs. 32 MJ/liter); moreover, it is corrosive. For this reason, the maximum amount which can be added to standard gasoline is about 10 %; cars cannot use fuels with higher ethanol amounts without engine modifications.

Butanol: a Better Option

1-Butanol (CH3-CH2-CH2-CH2-OH), an alcohol with a longer chain, could be a better alternative to ethanol. Indeed, it has a higher calorific value (29.2 MJ/liter) and it is much less corrosive; because of this, manufacturers can add it to gasoline in higher proportions without engine modifications, and theoretically it could completely replace the gasoline. Moreover, its octane number is very similar to that of gasoline – 96 vs 91-99.

Despite these characteristics, however, we’re not yet using butanol in cars due to the difficulties in producing the alternative biofuel. […]<

See on www.decodedscience.com

Plan B Updates – 115: Peak Water: What Happens When the Wells Go Dry? | EPI

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Peak oil has generated headlines in recent years, but the real threat to our future is peak water. There are substitutes for oil, but not for water. We can produce food without oil, but not without water.

See on www.earth-policy.org

USDA Renews Dairy Energy Pact – Domestic Fuel

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Agriculture Secretary Vilsack today renewed a historic agreement with U.S. dairy producers to accelerate the adoption of innovative waste-to-energy projects and energy efficiency improvements on U.S. dairy farms…

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

USDA support for agricultural and waste-to-energy research has played a key role in the agreement’s success to date. Since signing the MOU, USDA has made nearly 180 awards that helped finance the development, construction, and biogas production of anaerobic digester systems with Rural Development programs, such as the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels, Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program, Value Added Producer Grants, amongst others. These systems capture methane and produce renewable energy for on-farm use and sale onto the electric grid. Additionally, during this period, USDA awarded approximately 140 REAP loans and grants to help dairy farmers develop other types of renewable energy and energy efficiency systems at their operations.

See on domesticfuel.com

Law Firms Plays Key Role In Green Deal

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The UK Top 100 firm [Ward Hadaway] has advised renewable energy company JFS & Associates on the latest in its series of joint ventures with farmers to install and build anaerobic digestion (AD) plants to generate green energy.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

The plant being built at Howla Hay Farm will be capable of generating 250kWh of electricity enough to power 250 homes.

Matthew Flint, director at JFS & Associates, which is based in Stokesley, North Yorkshire, said: “It is great news to be able to announce the second in what we aim to be a whole series of these developments which provide a win-win for both parties in the joint venture.

“The farmer gets to share in the proceeds of the electricity generated opening up a new revenue stream as well as getting the benefit of the by-products of the process, such as heat and bio-fertiliser to further improve the profitability of their existing business.

“We get a readily available source of feedstock for the AD plants and, by using our expertise and experience in the renewable energy sector, we can generate and sell electricity to feed back into the National Grid.”

See on www.power-eng.com

Biofuels Suffering from High Corn Prices and Dropping Demand | The Energy Collective

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Nearly 10 percent of the nation’s ethanol plants have stopped production over the past year, the drought having pushed commodity prices so high that ethanol has become too expensive to produce.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

The other half of this is falling demand for gasoline — a result of both the recession, and a renewed policy push for electric and hybrid vehicles and tougher fuel economy standards. […]

Globally, the combined effect of U.S. and European biofuel policy has been a massive divergence of corn crops into biofuel production, which in turn drove up the price of corn and contributed to global food insecurity. […]

Cellulosic biofuels, by relying on crops that don’t double as food, could provide a solution. But whether they can be widely commercialized without requiring high levels of water and land use remains an open question.

See on theenergycollective.com

Next-gen biofuels making slow, slow, slow progress in 2013

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Companies that are still looking to produce biofuels from plant waste (and not corn) are making slow, but steady progress on milestones in 2013.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

According to Bloomberg’s energy research arm New Energy Finance, ethanol made from plant waste could cost the same to produce as corn-based ethanol by 2016. Currently cellulosic ethanol costs 94 cents a liter to produce, or about 40 percent more than ethanol made from corn, says Bloomberg.

See on gigaom.com

Biofuels groups downplay ruling’s impact on investment – The Hill’s E2-Wire

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Biofuels groups are downplaying a Friday federal court decision that some believe could cut off investments in advanced green fuels.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

The rule requires refiners to blend 36 billion gallons of biofuel into traditional transportation fuel by 2022. Of that total, 21 billion gallons must come from cellulosic and “advanced” biofuels, which are made from non-edible feedstock.

But the court said EPA acted in “excess of the agency’s statutory authority” in projecting refiners could blend 10.45 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel in 2012, as only 22,000 gallons were produced.

[…]

In its lawsuit against the EPA, the American Petroleum Institute (API) argued refiners were forced to buy credits to fill the gap in the agency’s projections and actual production levels.

The court sided with API on that point, giving the oil-and-gas lobby its first victory in its full-court press to repeal the biofuel mandate.

API is pushing Congress to tear down the rule and is fighting the rule through the courts. It also has a lawsuit on file challenging EPA’s projections for 2011.

“We are glad the court has put a stop to EPA’s pattern of setting impossible mandates for a biofuel that does not even exist. This absurd mandate acts as a stealth tax on gasoline with no environmental benefit that could have ultimately burdened consumers,” API Group Downstream Director Bob Greco said in a Friday statement.

See on thehill.com