Tag Archive | "italy"

Agricultural engineer says tobacco could be used to produce biofuels

Good news this week for tobacco growers, especially in emerging nations, worried that the health risks from smoking might one day affect their business following the revelation that their plants could help power the next generation of motor cars.

Research from the Public University of Navarre in Spain has reportedly shown that genetically modified tobacco plants are viable as raw material for producing biofuels.

Ruth Sanz-Barrio, an agricultural engineer at the university and a researcher at the Institute of Biotechnology, revealed this month that specific tobacco proteins – known as thioredoxins – as biotechnological tools in plants, which can be used to produce biofuels.

Specifically, she has managed to increase the amount of starch produced in the tobacco leaves by 700% and fermentable sugars by 500%.

“We believe these genetically modified plants could be a good alternative for producing biofuels,”Sanz-Barrio told European journalists .

“With these sugars, according to the theoretical calculation provided by the National Centre for Renewable Energies, one could obtain up to 40 litres of bioethanol per tonnes of fresh leaves.”

China is the world’s largest tobacco grower producing four times more than the second biggest India with Brazil and the USA in third and fourth place.

Thirteen countries in Europe grow tobacco including Spain, home to the university, the largest producer Italy and neighboring France, which has produced its unique dark tobacco cigarettes for more than a century. Tobacco production in the EU has fallen dramatically in the past two decades as farming subsidies were withdrawn and fewer people took up smoking and now accounts for just 4% of world production.

 

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Availon wins full maintenance contract for Vattenfall’s wind farm

Availon, a leading wind farm service provider, announced today that it was awarded a complete maintenance contract for Vattenfall’s 12MW Jänschwalde wind farm, located near Cottbus in the German federal state of Brandenburg.

Availon was already in charge of maintaining three of the turbines since 2012, and it has now taken over the responsibility for all of the wind farm’s 2MW Vestas V90 turbines, through a full maintenance service agreement known as WindKeeper Complete. In addition to comprehensive maintenance services and the provision of numerous upgrades, the WindKeeper Complete maintenance package developed by Availon also includes the replacement of major components, and an availability guarantee.

“We have worked with Vattenfall on this project since 2012. The partnership resulted in great success, and we are very pleased that Vattenfall has decided to hand us over the responsibility for servicing their entire 12 MW wind farm”, commented Markus Spitzer, Managing Director of Availon.

Since its founding in 2007, today’s Availon GmbH has established itself as a leading provider of multi-brand wind turbine services. In addition to focussing on its core market of Germany, the company is also steadily expanding its global strategic position. This Rheine-based company currently employs a workforce of around 290 employees in Germany, Spain, Italy and the US. Availon GmbH looks after more than 1,800 MW on an international level. Its proactive, all-inclusive service for wind turbines covers the entire operational value creation chain, ranging from remote monitoring, maintenance and spare part supply through to troubleshooting and turbine optimization. Availon GmbH is the first independent wind turbine service provider which has been fully certified by Germanischer Lloyd for all processes required for service provision.

 

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