The Future of Algae Biofuels 

Researchers at Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech have assembled the draft genome sequence of a marine algae,  Nannochloropis gaditan, that may be capable of producing the lipid yields necessary for a viable fuel source.

Algae is an ideal alternative, renewable fuel source because it can use various water sources ranging from wastewater to brackish water and can be grown in small, intensive plots on denuded land.  Further analysis revealed that with genetic modification, N. gaditana should be capable of producing biofuel on an industrial scale, which may be the wave of the future in fuel research and production.

“Cow Power” Biogas Catching On In US

Third world ranchers have been using methane from manure to run electrical generators. And now, the U.S is also benefiting from this clean-burning biogas.

About 80% of the estimated 160 biogas energy projects in the U.S. are currently installed on dairy farms, which then combust the gas to generate electricity.  A large portion of the U.S.’ biogas energy projects are found in New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Among other states, Vermont has been a standout because Central Vermont Public Service, the state’s largest utility, has delivered over 47 million kWh of local “Cow Power” to some 3 percent of its 160,000 customers.

 Southern Company Test High Temperature-Pressure Power Generation Technology

Southern Company and Alstom has begun testing of technology to support development of advanced ultrasupercritical boilers. Advanced ultrasupercritical boilers use higher temperature and pressure to generate electricity with greater efficiency and reduced emissions of sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, particulates and carbon dioxide. The two-year project will gather data on the performance of alloy materials under advanced ultrasuperctritcal temperatures of about 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit.

ONEOK Partners to Invest for Additional Growth Projects in the Bakken Shale

ONEOK Partners, L.P. will invest another $140 million to $160 million to construct a 270-mile natural gas gathering system and related infrastructure in Divide County, N.D.  The new natural gas gathering system is expected to be completed in the second half of 2013. It will gather and deliver natural gas from producers in the Bakken Shale in the Williston Basin to the Stateline II natural gas processing facility in western Williams County, N.D.

Alliance Engineering Contractor for Rice Energy Natural Gas Pipeline

Wood Group’s Alliance Engineering will provide overall project management for Rice Energy’s proposed natural gas pipeline system in Washington County, Pa. These includes coordination of permitting, surveying, engineering, design, procurement and mapping, as well as construction management and inspection for the new facilities. The proposed natural gas pipeline system includes 6.5 miles of 16″ steel pipeline along with a 12″ clean water line, well connected lateral provisions and pipeline inspection facilities that will transport Marcellus Shale gas from locally drilled wells to others’ sales gas pipelines.