Wednesday, 15 February 2012 13:33

Bringing sustainability to struggling industries

Aurecon, a leading global group, is providing its engineering, management and specialist technical services to small-scale sugar cane growers in a project where sugar cane residual will be converted to charcoal.
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 09:35

Plant oil beneficiation in rural Limpopo

The Nkowankowa Demonstration Centre, a plant oils and extracts facility, recently launched in Tzaneen Limpopo. The centre resulted from a partnership between the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Sasol ChemCity Limpopo in an effort to create sustainable livelihoods in the area.
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 09:34

Opportunities in Algae research

Written by Nichelle Lemmer

Research on the development of algae as feedstock for biofuel seemed far-fetched decades ago. Today, the concept is more than just a stretch of our imagination. The constant search by the science community to find solutions for climate change is just one of the reasons for research done into algae as a viable feedstock. The shortage of petroleum and the expansion of biofuels into the energy market also fuel scientists to take a closer look.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011 09:01

New discovery could improve ethanol production

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) BioEnergy Science Centre (BESC) in the US have made a discovery that could increase the production of ethanol and lower its costs.
Waste management in South Africa, as in most countries, was historically heavily reliant on the knowledge of landfilling.
Tuesday, 27 September 2011 08:59

Growing fuel: biomass plantations

Biomass-generation plants primarily burn waste wood, but as their role in clean energy is expanding, more wood will be needed. Where will it come from?
In June, Honeywell announced that its green jet fuel has successfully powered the first transatlantic biofuel flight, which landed at Paris Le Bourget Airport.
Algal biofuels have been suggested as possibly playing an increasing role in future alternative energy/transportation fuel scenarios because of their apparently inexpensive and basic requirements of sunlight, CO2 and low grade water. However, there continues to be considerable debate about the technical and engineering challenges that have yet to be resolved, the overall economics of any of the various algal biofuel options and the overall sustainability of any of the proposed processes.
The South African government’s current biofuels strategy envisions 2% of national petrol and diesel usage coming from biofuels such as bioethanol and biodiesel by 2013. While bioethanol can be produced most economically from large sugar cane plantations, there is considerable scope for producing biodiesel from small producers – if the quality of this biodiesel can be assured.
Agribusiness, investment funds and government agencies have been acquiring long-term rights over large areas of land in Africa over the past few years. Together with applicable national and international law, contracts define the terms of an investment project and the way risks, costs and benefits are distributed.

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