Biofuel technologies under the spotlight

Ready to go and emerging wood-based biofuel technologies are under the spotlight at a conference in Rotorua today.

Forest owners, harvesters and processors as well as scientists, marketers and financial advisers are among those attending the conference to tap into the latest information on biofuel options that could complement traditional wood products.

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ABIC 2014 speaker discussions

The Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference (ABIC 2014) was held on October 5-8, 2014 in Saskatchewan, Canada, attended by delegates from over 60 countries who discussed the benefits of agricultural biotechnology. The conference was hosted by Ag-West Bio, Saskatchewan’s Bioscience Industry Association.

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New income streams from biofuel

The development of a wood-based biofuel industry will open up new income opportunities for farm foresters and other forest owners, the Bioenergy Association says.

A recently completed study has confirmed the technical feasibility of producing biofuels from forestry waste. There is also a growing interest in using wood residues to replace coal or gas for heating at processing plants.

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How Revolution Foods Made a Business of Healthy Food for Healthier Students

Kristin Richmond and Kirsten Tobey faced a fundamental design constraint when they launched Revolution Foods on the site of a former McDonald’s near Oakland, Calif.:  About $3 for each lunch served. The UC Berkeley Haas Business School graduates were designing a line of healthy, nutritionally balanced meals for California’s primary and secondary school students, and had to innovate radically to stay within school systems’ tight budgets.

They made a virtue of necessity, using high-quality foods, basic recipes, and a limited range of ingredients. Eight years later, Richmond and Tobey are bringing quality, natural foods to more than 1,000 school lunchrooms.

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New income streams from biofuel

A recently completed study has confirmed the technical feasibility of producing biofuels from forestry waste. There is also a growing interest in using wood residues to replace coal or gas for heating at processing plants.

Association executive officer Brian Cos said getting enough raw material would be crucial.

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Potential for forestry biofuel confirmed

The government met half the cost of the $13.5 million Stump to Pump project, led by pulp and paper processor Norske Skog and fuel company Z Energy.

It identified the potential to develop a biofuel industry from sawdust, bark and other forestry residue.

Meanwhile, the Bioenergy Association said organising a guaranteed supply of raw material is a key part of getting a wood-based biofuel industry up and running.

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Editorial: Government right to stoke innovation

Trade Me founder Sam Morgan has had a go at the Government’s big “innovation” fund.

Callaghan Innovation, named for the late scientist Sir Paul Callaghan, gave out $270 million last year to encourage hi-tech companies to spend more on research and development.

When it announced its latest grants this week – another $32m for 22 businesses – Morgan let rip about the “stupid” scheme.

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Analysis – Plant-based vaccines challenge big pharma for $3 billion flu market

Two tiny companies are preparing to challenge some of the world’s largest drug makers in the battle for dominance in the $3 billion global market for influenza vaccines, armed with little more than tiny tobacco plants.

The use of plants to produce life-saving pharmaceuticals captured global attention when it was revealed that the Ebola drug ZMapp is produced in the leaves of tobacco plants.

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Lanzatech is now truly global

Here is the latest from LanzaTech, which is now describing itself as a company that is recycling greenhouse gas emissions into low carbon fuel and chemical production.

In a nutshell the company is now headquartered in Illinois and it has just been judged the North American Company of the Year in the 2014 Global Cleantech 100.
It got to that from 5995 companies being shortlisted to 327 and then to a finalist list of 100.

Over the past three years the Top North American companies have been SilverSpring Networks, OPower and Nest. All these companies are building industries. Dr Jennifer Holmgren, LanzaTech’s CEO, says LanzaTech too is leading the building of an ecosystem – the gas fermentation industry.

This is the fifth time LanzaTech has been successful and it was the Asia Pacific Company of the Year in a prior awards. The company now is truly global. Although it is headquartered in the US, it still is proud of its NZ roots.

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