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Hydrogen Gas from Corn Stover may fuel Cars Soon

All the sugars present in the corn stover can be converted into hydrogen gas without any net increase in the greenhouse gas emissions a new study funded by Shell Oil suggests. Corn stover means the post-harvest leftover of corn in the field comprising of stalk, leaf, husk, and cob.

The process involves the mixing of a mixture of 10 different hydrolysing enzymes with the corn biomass. This is being considered a remarkable achievement as previously only 30-60% conversion of sugars to hydrogen gas could have been achieved.

The next challenge is to scale up the process. According to Professor Percival Zhang of Virginia Tech if supported by funding in a few years they can succeed in building a bioreactor able to produce 200 kilos of hydrogen fuel per day. About 40 or 50 cars can be refuelled from such a bioreactor.

Click to read the full story http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/Soon-hydrogen-from-corn-may-fuel-cars/articleshow/46844673.cms

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Karnataka to get $50 million dollars for biofuel

In India the Karnataka States’ Biofuel Development Programme  is set to get a boost in the form of  $50 million dollars from International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD). The loan can be utilized in various activities such as plantation of biofuel crops and production. Biofuel Development Board of Karnataka has been active in promoting biofuels and  has established biofuel information and demonstration centres with about 100 l per day capacity in each district. These centres are being scaled up to 150-200 l capacity. The Board also owns a 500 litre biodiesel production plant at Hatti Gold Mines. The loan conditions include 1% interest with a 50-year repayment period.

China’s first commercial flight powered with biofuel was successfully completed

China's first commercial flight powered with biofuel was successfully completed between Shanghai and Beijing. The privately owned Hainan Airlines flight used biofuel made up from used cooking oil collected from the restaurants. The biofuel was supplied by China National Aviation fuel company and energy giant Sinopec. It was a Boeing 737 plane which used 50% biofuel blended in conventional jet fuel and carried more than 100 passengers to their destination.

India achieved only 1.4% ethanol blending this fiscal year

Problems between sugar mill owners and oil marketing companies have resulted in only 1.4% ethanol blending through february this fiscal year which is way less than the blending target of 5% and lesser than the last year's achieved blending level of 2%.The National Policy on Biofuels of India identifies the sugar cane molasses as the feedstock suitable under Indian conditions for ethanol production for blending purpose and that makes the sugarcane mills as the biggest suppliers of bioethanol. The high state-level levies on the biofuel and the requirement of obtaining permits from authorities have been sited as the major impediments for producing bioethanol by Sugar Mills. The government has set the selling price of ethanol for sugar mills @  Rs. 48.50/litre  if the depo of the oil marketing company is within 100 km from distillery and  @49.50/ litre  if the depo is beyond 300 km. The producers claim that the long distance transportation also reduces their margin. India needs approximately 115 crore litres of ethanol to meet the 5% target. Read more at http://www.financialexpress.com/article/markets/commodities/less-than-a-third-of-ethanol-blending-target-may-be-met/55503/