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Biofuel from desert plants grown with seawater

Aerospace giant Boeing and its research partners in the Middle East said Wednesday they would start field trials after recording progress in making biofuel from desert plants fed with seawater. The Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium, affiliated with the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi, will plant two hectares (five hectares) of the saltwater-tolerant plants called halophytes in the region's sandy soil and the plants will be fed with waste water from a fish and shrimp farm.

Biofuel from desert plants grown with seawater

Aerospace giant Boeing and its research partners in the Middle East said Wednesday they would start field trials after recording progress in making biofuel from desert plants fed with seawater. The Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium, affiliated with the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi, will plant two hectares (five hectares) of the saltwater-tolerant plants called halophytes in the region's sandy soil and the plants will be fed with waste water from a fish and shrimp farm.

Fire rages at Mississippi biodiesel plant after explosion

By Robert Gibbons NEW YORK (Reuters) - A fire raged at a biodiesel complex after an explosion that was felt miles away in northern Mississippi on Wednesday, the Highway Patrol said, but to its knowledge, all workers at the plant had been accounted for. The fire at the plant, some 3-4 miles north of New Albany, the Union County seat, broke out at about 5:30 a.m. CST (1130 GMT) after an explosion that was felt and heard miles away.

Abu Dhabi plans aviation biofuel project with Boeing and Total

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi's state-owned carrier Etihad Airways is joining with French energy firm Total and U.S. aircraft maker Boeing to develop biofuels in the emirate, company officials announced on Sunday. With its huge oil reserves, Abu Dhabi has ample access to cheap jet fuel, but it has said it wants to develop sustainable energy sources to diversify its economy. Biofuels could also help Etihad meet targets in the aviation industry for curbing emissions of greenhouse gases.

Global food prices steady in December: FAO

ROME (Reuters) - Global food prices were almost unchanged in December after staying flat the month before, but prices on average declined 1.6 percent in 2013 versus the previous year, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday. The Food and Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) price index, which measures monthly price changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, averaged 206.7 points in December, a slight rise from a revised 206.4 in November.

Farmers in Central Africa need urgent aid

The UN food agency on Monday estimated 40 percent of the rural population in the Central African Republic -- or around 1+.29 million people -- are in urgent need of assistance because of the conflict ravaging the country. "Farmers need urgent help to prepare for the upcoming planting seasons," the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in a statement. It said the number of farmers affected was about double the estimated level from February, adding that the numbers would increase "dramatically" next year if farmers are not able to sow their crops.

Renewable fuel backers try to change EPA's mind at hearing

By Cezary Podkul WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Supporters of the renewable fuels industry turned out en masse on Thursday, desperate for the U.S. government to change course after last month announcing a plan to lower the amount of biofuels that must be added to the fuel supply in 2014. About 300 people attended a public meeting held by the Environmental Protection Agency on the Renewable Fuel Standard, proposed changes which have become one of the most divisive policy issues of the year.

World food prices stable in November, drought in west Africa raises worries of famine

ROME, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- World food prices were flat in November, as prices remained stable overall, with lower sugar prices pushing the main index lower amid a rise in cooking oil prices, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said. FAO also estimated worldwide production of grain and cereals, including rice, would reach a new all-time high this year, likely guaranteeing price stability for that food sector as well.

Governments seek to raise the EU cap on food-based biofuels

By Charlie Dunmore BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union governments are trying to raise a planned limit on the use of transport fuels made from food crops, despite warnings that the fuels can harm the environment and push up food prices. Last year in response to such warnings, the European Commission, the EU executive, proposed capping the bloc's use of crop-based biofuels at 5 percent of total transport fuel demand.

Japan prices excluding food, energy at 15-year high, industrial output rises

TOKYO - Japan's economy is gaining momentum, data for October showed, with consumer prices excluding food and energy rising 0.3 per cent from a year earlier, the biggest gain since 1998. However, household spending remained tepid, as incomes slipped from the same month a year before. The slew of indicators released Friday suggests that the ultra-loose monetary policy and stimulus strategy of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is helping end a long bout of deflation for the world's No. 3 economy.
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