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Today's News

Brazilian hydrous ethanol prices hit record high as rains hamper cane crush

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 6:34pm

In Brazil, Platts reports that rains in the main center-south sugarcane growing areas have created a tight supply situation for ethanol, pushing hydrous ethanol prices 18% higher during the first 11 days in April to $604.21 per cubic meter, a record high. One trader told Platts that he couldn’t source either hydrous or anhydrous for immediate delivery as a result of the supply shortage brought on by the lack of cane crushing. Typically ethanol is favored by sugar mills during the early part of the crush that officially kicked off on April 1.

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Fortum invests in Infinited Fiber Company to manufacture cotton-like fibers from cellulosic materials

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 6:33pm

In Finland, Fortum has complemented its biorefining value chain by investing in the Finnish start-up Infinited Fiber Company Ltd. (IFC). The company develops and will license technology that is used to manufacture cotton-like fiber for the textile industry from recycled fiber and cellulose. After the investment Fortum has approximately four per cent ownership of the company.

One of Fortum’s four strategic priorities is to build options for significant new businesses. Bioeconomy is a natural option due to its synergies with the company’s current business and the mission to improve resource efficiency.

The technology provided by IFC processes fiber from biomass and recycled material in a manner similar to cotton. The resulting fiber is ready for use in the textile industry and can replace environmentally harmful virgin cotton and viscose cost-efficiently and using considerably less water and chemicals in the process. The process can be done repeatedly without compromising the quality of the fiber.

In turn, Fortum has piloted fractioning technologies that separate cellulose and other components from biomass for further refining, resulting in higher purity of fractions than in the traditional pulp and biofuel processes. The investment in IFC offers Fortum natural access to sustainable fiber and also textile manufacturing partners, the next steps in the industry value chain.

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Neutral Fuels one of 7 to win a spot in Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund Accelerator

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 6:32pm

In the UAE, Neutral Fuels, the Dubai-based company that converts locally sourced waste into locally consumed biofuel, has won a place on the Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund Accelerator (MBRIFA). The program was established under the UAE Ministry of Finance to accelerate the expansion of pioneering, innovative businesses.

The company was one of just seven companies chosen from 159 applications representing 29 countries. Applicants underwent a rigorous process of screening, assessment, evaluation and shortlisting before the final cohort was chosen.

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Red Trail Energy moving ahead with CCS project after 3D geological survey

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 6:31pm

In North Dakota, following a geological survey of the eight miles surrounding the facility, Red Trail Energy has decided to move forward with its carbon capture plans. The move is meant to reduce the carbon footprint of the ethanol produced at the facility so it may be able to supply more lucrative ethanol markets like California where low carbon fuel standards reward lower carbon fuels. The 3D seismic survey around the facility used the vibroseis technique where vibrations sent into the earth by large trucks with vibrator pads are measured.

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China says it is reviewing the need for anti-dumping measures on US-origin DDGS imports

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 6:30pm

In China, Reuters reports that the government has started to review its tariff policy on US-origin DDGS as requested by the US Grains Council and others. Tariffs were first set in 2016 at 33.8% but were later raised to as high as 53.7% in addition to up to 12% anti-subsidy tariffs but the commerce ministry has pledged to review whether the need for anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs still exists. China has said that it will start importing US agricultural products again following the US-China trade war that has been raging for several months.

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South Korea and Japan looking to switch to Brazilian ethanol but crush getting in the way

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 6:29pm

In Brazil, Platts reports that South Korea and Japan are looking to switch imports to B-grade ethanol from Brazil now that the crushing season has kicked off and should help to push prices lower. Typically, early in the year the two countries buy ethanol from Pakistan whose availability winds down around the time that Brazilian picks up. Pakistani ethanol prices have already started rising, however, while traders are reluctant to secure deals for Brazilian product due to the rains that have significantly tightened supplies.

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Spain’s CENER working on valorizing organic MSW through EU-funded projects

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 6:28pm

In Spain, Biomass Department of CENER (National Renewable Energy Centre of Spain) is convinced of the need to move towards a circular bioeconomy, in which the society is capable of valorizing the wastes produced in an integral and cascade mode. On that regard, CENER is involved in 4 specific initiatives in order to develop the most adequate management and valorization routes of organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) and sewage sludge, such as:

  • • Designing a new concept of integral and cascade valorization of the different fractions that make up the OFMSW to obtain bioproducts with greater added value. CENER is developing processes for OFMSW fractionation, and carbohydrates, protein/lipid/lignin fractions valorization through a variety of biochemical and chemical processes, subsequent optimization and upscaling, and upstream/downstream processes for the separation and purification of fractions. (“Circular Urban Biorefinery in Navarra” Project, financed by the Government of Navarra).
  • • To exploit OFMSW as feedstock to develop intermediate chemical products at high yield and low impurity level with huge industrial interest, such as lactic acid, succinic acid and biosurfactants. In particular, CENER is leading the research line of biosurfactants production by valorizing the fermentation by-product remaining after bioethanol, succinic acid and lactic acid production. The hydrolysis and extraction of both protein and lipid fractions contained in the fermentation by-product and their use for the synthesis of the biosurfactant, which it is validated by the industry, are the main pillars of the research. (H2020 – BBI “PERCAL” Project).
  • • To close the gap between technological feasibility and industrial applications of urban biowaste valorization by enhancing strategic cooperation between sectors. In the framework of this initiative promoting the valorization of different biowaste fractions such as OFMSW, sewage sludge or HORECA wastes, CENER leads the pathway related to OFMSW valorization; executing the enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation in its BIO2C demonstration plant (Biorefinery and Bioenergy Centre) (TRL7), for a later production of biopesticides and biobased polyesters. (H2020 SCALIBUR Project).
  • • To prove the hydrothermal liquefaction technology pathway as a viable, sustainable and efficient route for production of liquid drop in fuels for road transport using such low value aggregated urban wastes as feedstock. CENER leads the research line related to the challenge of handling feedstocks with high organic nitrogen content. To overcome this barrier, firstly a pretreatment of feedstock using a mild & low temperature enzymatic hydrolysis with enzymes is executed. Secondly an extraction & purification processes are undergone for protein-derived amino acid and peptides valorization. (H2020 NextGenRoadFuels Project).
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Aviation industry puts weight behind biodiesel credit extension thanks to biojet inclusion

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 6:27pm

In Washington, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) led a coalition of top aviation organizations in penning a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley and Ranking Member Ron Wyden in support of an extension of the biodiesel tax incentive under Section 40A included in the Tax Extender and Disaster Relief Act (S.617). The letters were jointly issued by the Air Line Pilots Association, Airlines for America, the Cargo Airline Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the National Air Transportation Association, the National Business Aviation Association, and the Regional Airline Association. A companion letter was sent to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal and Ranking Member Kevin Brady.

Sustainable alternative jet fuels (SAJF) are eligible for the now-expired biodiesel credit, and the industry has leveraged the credit to make important advancements in fuel efficiency. The letter states that “an extension of this credit will provide the industry with the stability necessary to continue investing in technology that will generate economic and environmental benefits with globally significant impacts.”

Included in those positive advancements, the coalition notes examples of commercial and business aviation companies already implementing SAJF. Because it is a “drop-in” fuel, it can be delivered to the common storage and fuel distribution systems at an airport and blended seamlessly with petroleum-based jet fuel to power all turbine aircraft. The extension of the tax incentive would further this advancement and growth.

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Beyond beef with no cow, sunflower crop waste for phone cases and binders, BASF’s bioactives from rambutan tree, repurposing wastewater algae, Nouryon’s biopolymer for hair care, and more: The Digest’s Top 10 Innovations for the week of April 17th

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 6:25pm

The pace of bioeconomy invention and change continues at a frenetic pace. Here are the top innovations for the week of April 17th.

In today’s Digest, beyond beef with no cow, sunflower crop waste for phone cases and binders, BASF’s bioactives from rambutan tree, repurposing wastewater algae, Nouryon’s biopolymer for hair care — these and more, ready for you now at The Digest online.

#1 Beyond beef without the baggage offers ground beef alternative

In California, Beyond Meat introduced a new plant-based food innovation called Beyond Beef which is made from a combination of pea, mung bean and rice proteins that mimics the texture, chew and juiciness of ground beef.

Using a process that recreates the basic structure, and thus texture, of meat using only plant-based ingredients, Beyond Meat was able to create this complete protein source that is free of gluten, soy and GMOs. This is a third beef product launch for Beyond Meat.

What’s the difference between Beyond Beef and the Beyond Burger? According to their announcement, “Beyond Beef has more neutral flavor and aroma than the Beyond Burger that better allows it to serve as a blank canvas for any seasoning or dish! It also has a unique binding system that provides for the culinary versatility expected with ground beef, allowing it to perform in a variety of dishes such as tacos, dumplings, Bolognese, sliders and more.”

Beyond Beef will be hitting stores in 2019 and will be sold in the fresh meat case, just like the Beyond Burger and Beyond Sausage.
More on the story, here.

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Sustainable Super JET Fuels: The Digest’s 2019 Multi-Slide Guide to High Performance Fuels

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 6:24pm

Researchers from several labs and universities like Georgia Tech, Sandia National Labs, University of Dayton, and others are working together on Engine Optimized Sustainable Drop-in JET High Performance Fuels (HPF).

Anthe George manages the Biomass Science and Conversion Technologies department at Sandia National Laboratories and gave this illuminating overview of how there is a price disparity between alternative jet fuels and conventional fuels, defining HPFs and what performance increases can be achieved with HPFs, which molecules can perform as HPFs, and more, at ABLC Global 2018 in San Francisco

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Spero Renewables signs $1.6 million deal with DOE to scale up SPERLU™ technology

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 6:52pm

In California, Spero Renewables, announced a $1.6 million cooperative agreement with the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable energy division of the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop and scale-up production of the company’s SPERLU technology.

Spero’s proprietary SPERLU technology produces polymers from plant-based sources, like wood pulp. The resulting polymers are renewable, much more environmentally friendly than current polymers, free of off-gassing emissions, and formaldehyde-free vs. current polymers that come from petrochemicals and are manufactured with formaldehyde. Polymers are used in huge quantities for many industrial applications, including to make the particleboard that is used to manufacture furniture and laminate flooring. Through these greener polymers, the SPERLU technology is a game changer, enabling economically viable biofuels made from the cellulose byproduct of SPERLU.

The grant is part of a recently announced $80 million DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office initiative supporting 36 projects in bioenergy research and development. In addition to bio-based products, projects include renewable hydrocarbon fuels and power from non-food Biomass and waste feedstocks.

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WPP Energy enters into deal to buy 90% of BioPower

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 6:51pm

In Switzerland, WPP Energy announced that its Board of Directors has approved, and that the Company has entered into a Binding Memorandum Of Understanding with BioPower Operations Corporation, a Nevada corporation, to acquire a 90% interest in the BioPower, OTCMKTS Symbol “BOPO”. Pursuant to the MOU the parties agreed to negotiate and enter into a definitive agreement to set the terms of the Transaction in accordance with the MOU.

WPP is interested in licensing to BioPower its technologies, for the purpose of BioPower becoming the manufacturer of the technology units, distributor and providing the necessary Operations and Maintenance as required.

WPP is also interested in licensing its Blockchain technology and deploying WPP TOKEN to restart the Entrade Exchanges, first introduced at Exelon in 1997 by Robert Kohn, President of WPP’s Green Energy Rebate Program. WPP’s Blockchain technology will significantly enhance the capabilities of each exchange as it comes online.

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RIN prices rise on the back of expectation EPA won’t approve some waiver applications

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 6:50pm

In Washington, Reuters reports that RIN prices rose last week on the back of statements from the administrator of Environmental Protection Agency’s that the agency may reject some applications for hardship waivers due to RIN prices being so low. RINs for 2018 compliance rose on Thursday to 13 cents from 8 cents while RINs for 2019 compliance rose to 19 cents from 16 cents. He said that with RIN prices much lower than they were last spring, companies shouldn’t have a hard time complying with the Renewable Fuel Standard.

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McDonald’s could boost UCO biodiesel production 20% in the UK with new upgrades

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 6:49pm

In the UK, edie reports that McDonald’s is set to boost its biodiesel production thanks to a partnership with German appliance manufacturer Miele who will update its washing machines at more than 1,300 restaurants around that country to increase grease collection. Miele says that upgrading its washers will allow McDonald’s to boost its biodiesel production by 20% per year while keeping FOG out of the local wastewater treatment systems, reducing the chance of fatbergs building up in sewers.

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Advanced Biofuels Canada pushing for biodiesel demand to replace Chinese canola exports

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 6:48pm

In Canada, Western Producer magazine reports that Advanced Biofuels Canada is calling for increased use of canola for biodiesel in an effort to reduce the negative impact resulting from China’s canola import ban. Achieving biodiesel mandates at the federal and provincial levels in 2017 would require 443,000 metric tons of seed but the Chinese used to buy nearly 10 times that volume before it fell to zero. ABC estimates that to achieve the proposed Low Carbon Fuel Standard could require 3.17 million tons of canola, going a long way to relieve the pressure from the lack of Chinese demand.

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United Riverhead Terminal throws in the towel over biodiesel storage expansion

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 6:47pm

In New York state, local press reports that a surprise move by United Riverhead Terminal to withdraw its application for a special use permit allowing it to expand biodiesel storage has caught local authorities off guard because they expected the proposal to be voted upon and passed this week. The company has been trying to get permission to install six biodiesel tanks that would allow it to blend 5% biodiesel into heating oil to comply with state regulations instead of bringing in already blended fuel but the project ran into significant public opposition.

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Alabama governor awards Auburn University grant to study carinata viability

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 6:45pm

In Alabama, a $39,757 grant awarded by Gov. Kay Ivey will enable Auburn University to determine if an oilseed crop can be successfully grown and marketed in Alabama as a biofuel and become another cash crop for the state’s farmers.

The study will determine not only if carinata can be successfully grown in the state, but if farmers are willing to grow it and if there is a suitable market for the product. Also to be considered is if there is available transportation and processing facilities.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the program from funds made available to the state from the U.S. Department of Energy.

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Indonesia starts B100 trials in face falling palm oil demand from Europe

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 6:44pm

In Indonesia, the Antara news agency reports that the agriculture minister is pushing for the use of B100 as a way to counteract the strong likelihood that palm oil demand from Europe will fall off as a result of anti-indirect land use rules. On Monday, the minister launched a B100 trial in a four-wheeler tractor that will eventually expand to 50 vehicles and tractors owned by the ministry. The research agency leading the trial produces up to 1,600 liters of biodiesel per day using a reactor it developed.

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The Latest on Biogas: The Digest’s 2019 Multi-Slide Guide to Biogas

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 6:42pm

Lee Enterprises Consulting is the world’s largest bioeconomy consulting group with over 100 subject matter experts (SME’s) in all areas of the bioeconomy.

Terry Mazanec, Principal of T-MAZ LLC and Executive Vice President at Lee Enterprises Consulting gave this illuminating overview of biogas production, treatment and utilization, potential, and more, at ABLC Global 2018 in San Francisco

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Yeast strain can increase ethanol production by 15.5%

Biofuels Digest - Sun, 04/14/2019 - 7:10pm

In India, researchers from the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, DBT-ICGEB Centre for Advanced Bioenergy Research discovered that a robust yeast strain can produce up to 15.5% more ethanol when glucose or lignocellulose biomass — rice and wheat straw — is fermented and has been isolated.

With India’s biofuel target going from the current 5% to 10% by 2022, researchers are looking at ways to get more ethanol from rice and wheat straw to meet the growing requirement.

“The team led by Dr. Naseem A. Gaur from the Yeast Biofuel Group at ICGEB isolated 500 yeast-like colonies from different natural habitats — distillery waste, dairy waste, hot springs, sewage and algal bloom,” according to The Hindu. “After screening, 25 yeast-like colonies were chosen and an additional nine yeast strains from the National Culture collection of Industrial Microorganisms (NCIM), Pune, were included for evaluation. Of these, one strain was found to suitable for fermenting rice and wheat straw.”

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