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EPA says it’s on track to publish 2019 and 2020 RVOs soon

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 06/18/2018 - 7:00pm

In Washington, Platts reports that the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed it is close to announcing renewable volume obligations for 2019 advanced biofuels and ethanol and 2020 requirements for biodiesel. The interagency review process should be finalized this week and the announcement will be made shortly thereafter. The agency is keeping to the established timetable in order to have the final blending volumes in place by the November 30 deadline. The agency met its deadline last year as well.

Categories: Today's News

Back to business: G20 energy minsters affirm drive towards renewables, innovation, cooperation

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 06/18/2018 - 1:02pm

The cold snap that invaded the Patagonia resort town of San Carlos de Bariloche in recent days is fading now as the G20 Energy Ministerial wraps up and heads home.  A light rain cleared the slush off the streets, and a brilliant sunset greeted those who delayed their departure until the weekend. A handful turned to golf and braved the cool weather and the persistent wind off the eastern slopes of the Andes. Everywhere the cold reminds us of energy demand and the Alpine forests of the abundance of renewable biomass.

Trump Administration energy officials feel right at home here — Bariloche’s connection to energy is really grounded in being home to Argentina’s nuclear energy R&D efforts. Of the Argentine nuclear R&D, our friend Lionel scoffs, “It’s packed, packed with people doing nothing. Of 1400 people there, I’d say 800 of them do nothing except collect a salary,” he theorized.

Unstable times

This year, as it happens, Argentina holds the G20 Presidency and the outgoing Germans and incoming Japanese worked with Argentine energy minister Juan Jose Aranguren to broker an ambitious re-affirmation of renewable energy goals, if expressed with cautious timelines and with deep understanding of the different energy mixes and starting points for G20 nations. The G20 meet-up was the first major international gathering since the disastrous G7 meeting in Canada, and was remarkably free of histrionics.

The G20 energy ministers affirmed here that “we live in challenging energy times” with Aranguren stating that “he need for persistent actions to address global challenges, including climate change and energy security. We recognize that energy transitions are essential for the development of long-term strategies that combine economic growth and the reduction of greenhouse gases.”

And, it has also been affirmed for us that we live in strange political times where the will to achieve the hard yards of renewable energy commercialization may be hard to come by, with the news that Argentina’s recently-embattled President Mauricio Macri sacked Minister Arenguren in a weekend political shake-up that owes it’s urgency more to the plunging Argentine peso than the state of renewable fuels adoption. But they are inextricably linked. 

The energy shake-ups and the machinations of a G20 Ministerial meeting are probably attracting more attention in Argentina and Germany this week than expected, not because of drama at the G20 but because Mexico pipped Germany and unheralded Iceland tied Argentina in the World Cup. Nations that expected to be charting a path towards soccer supremacy appear to be grasping for a distraction. The misfortunes of the peso and the imperatives of renewable energy are supplying some.

Uncertainty over the near-term fortunes of the cash-strapped Argentines are at the heart of the almost-40 percent drop in the peso’s value since April. Uncertainty fueled in part by a rapidly expanding global trade dispute which is hitting commodities from steel to soybeans. A successful appeal to the International Monetary Fund for a credit line came with a proviso that the Argentine Central Bank would not intervene to shore up the peso. Hence the plunging currency, and more political uncertainty for energy. 

The view of the G20

On renewable energy, the Ministers affirmed:

The progress achieved with regard to the development and deployment of renewable energy has been remarkable, benefitting from innovation and in part from significant cost reductions (notably for solar and wind, which are now cost competitive in many cases), but much more progress will be needed, not only in G20 member countries, but also worldwide. 

We encourage G20 members that opt to enhance their renewable energy strategies considering national circumstances, needs and priorities to accelerate their implementation, where appropriate.

We encourage increased investment and financing in renewable energy production, including through barrier reduction and risk mitigation initiatives, which is particularly important for developing countries.

On bioenergy the Minsters said:

Renewable energy progress should be accelerated beyond the power sector. We acknowledge that some renewable energy sources, such as bioenergy (including biofuels), solar and geothermal energy, can play an important role in some G20 countries in reducing emissions in the transportation, heating and cooling, and industrial sectors worldwide, depending on national circumstances and conditions.

On innovation, the Minsters stated:

We will foster innovation as one of the key drivers of the energy transitions processes. We will encourage and facilitate research, development, demonstration and deployment (RDD&D) of innovative, cleaner and efficient energy technologies, recognizing the need for these to be competitive and commercially viable. We will encourage greater cooperation in developing, sharing and applying best available technologies, and will also encourage multilateral development banks and finance institutions to facilitate investment, and technology transfer. We will support flexible energy systems and distributed generating capacities.

In these tough times for trade liberalization, the Ministerial view was a refresher:

We acknowledge energy security as one of the guiding principles for the transformation of our systems, and will continue to promote policy options that facilitate open, flexible, transparent, competitive and reliable markets for energy commodities and technologies. We stress the importance of diversification of energy sources, suppliers and routes, and the need to facilitate the proper conditions for continued and increasing investments to ensure sustainable, affordable, reliable, resilient and cleaner energy systems. Investment in infrastructure is essential, but a persistent financial gap remains. We encourage increased contributions from both public and private financial resources.

At the end of the G20 Meeting of Energy Ministers, representatives of the troika (Germany, Argentina and Japan) announced that consensus had been reached and a communiqué agreed upon. The G20 affirmed the group’s commitment to energy transitions that move towards cleaner, more flexible and transparent systems.

From consensus to action

“We would like to continue building on this achievement next year and have deeper discussions on the role of innovation in energy transitions,” stated Japanese Minister Muto, whose government will hold the G20 presidency in 2019.

“Now we have to move from consensus to action,” concluded Minister Aranguren at the end of negotiations late Friday, as the communique was released and the energy minsters gathered for a group photograph. Then, on Saturday the news broke that Argentine’s governmental crisis had led to the toppling of Aranguren.

The instability of inequity — of development and growth that becomes unstable because its blessings are not shared evenly — or in the eyes of many, equitably — was on the mind of Argentina’s president Macri at the outset of the G20 year. “We have decided on the slogan for our presidency” he said, “building consensus for fair and sustainable development.” We will lead the G20 based on the principle of putting people first, with a focus on equality and sustainability. During the 2008 crisis, the G20 proved its effectiveness. It prevented an international economic depression and strengthened financial framework. By contrast, today’s growth is firm; however, we must remain cautiously optimistic. This growth has not benefited everyone and this has breached many people’s confidence in globalization. The level of inequality is a daily reminder that implores us to ensure that growth reaches all.”

The Bottom Line

The equitable sharing in growth — whether it is developing nations seeking a bigger slice of development investment, or nations such as the United States seeking better trade terms — it appears to be the driving force in Sustainability at the moment, trumping climate change, if you’ll forgive the pun.

The G20 meets for its full session in November in Buenos Aires. If this energy ministerial has been any indication, the G20 will proceed with far less theatrics than the G7 and may accomplish far more — but even here, the sustainability of growth and the impact on governmental stability is having impact on renewable energy development at the most fundamental level — and equity of the equitable sharing type and not so much of the Silicon Valley type is the issue that will likely determine many of the faces of the people at these ministerial tables who will be putting people first.

 

Categories: Today's News

Agriculturally advantaged traits: The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to Calyxt

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 06/18/2018 - 12:49pm

Calyxt is pioneering a paradigm shift to deliver both healthier specialty food ingredients, such as healthier oils and high fiber wheat for consumers as well as agriculturally advantageous traits, such as herbicide tolerance to farmers.

The technology enables Calyxt to precisely and specifically edit a plant genome to elicit the desired traits and characteristics, resulting in a final product that has no foreign DNA. The company recently went public and recently offered this illuminating overview of its technologies’ promise and progress.

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Maine Developments – bio news mounts from the Pine Tree state

Biofuels Digest - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 10:34am

The stories are mounting and coming in from the North with the latest news from the Maine Technology Institute and Jackson Laboratory. And while super bullet proof wood is being created in another state by removing lignin and increasing wood’s density threefold and its strength elevenfold, the latest news is making us think how amazing these mountains of Maine really are and how it’s a state that has much more to offer than lobster and blueberries – though that certainly fills our appetites.

First, let’s start with the latest from the Maine Technology Institute, which just announced a request for information regarding emerging forest industry technologies, with the goal of accelerating matchmaking to connect the most viable, commercially-relevant forest industry technologies with Maine. A precursor to MTI’s forthcoming Forest Industry Innovation Challenge, the project seeks to connect the most viable technologies with Maine’s forest industry.

MTI seeks to solicit publicly available information on all types of emerging forest industry technologies, including technologies to manufacture solid wood products, energy products, engineered wood products, advanced products, construction materials, mass timber, wood composites, biobased chemicals, bioplastics, advanced biofuels, and nanocellulose.

RFI Specs

Submissions are due by July 20, 2018 and should be submitted to Biobased Maine via email at info@biobasedmaine.org. MTI has contracted Biobased Maine to help collect information on forest industry technologies and help evaluate them. Questions about this RFI should also be directed to Biobased Maine at info@biobasedmaine.org. For detailed submission guidelines, visit www.biobasedmaine.org/blog.

A precursor to MTI’s upcoming Forest Industry Innovation Challenge in Fall 2018, companies must submit basic information in response to this RFI in order to qualify for the innovation challenge. Submitted information will be included in MTI’s Forest Industry Emerging Technology Database, which is currently under development.

Seeing the progress through the trees

“MTI has a strong track record of accelerating the development of new technologies in Maine,” said Brian Whitney, MTI’s President. “We anticipate that this RFI and the resulting Forest Industry Innovation Challenge this fall will result in more timely MTI investments in emerging forest industry technologies and enterprises that will add quality jobs in rural Maine regions that are enthusiastic for the new opportunities.”

“This project is critical to bridging the gap between Maine’s still strong forest industry, emerging technologies, and communities eager to host new manufacturing that can create good jobs making value-added products,” said Charlotte Mace, executive director of Biobased Maine.

“Leveraging MTI’s leadership in innovation and project development and Biobased Maine’s network of technology companies, this project will identify emerging technologies that represent the most viable investments,” Mace continued. “And this isn’t a one-time thing. We’re developing a process to continuously fill Maine’s pipeline with promising technologies in a coordinated, well-organized way.”

The Maine Idea

Over the past several years, Maine’s forest industry has come together to chart a course for the future of the industry. The industry remains strong and robust, contributing an estimated $8.5 billion annually to the state’s economy, according to the Maine Technology Institute.

The industry is also poised to embrace new opportunities and there have already been success stories. In just the past two years, $253.5 million in investment has been made in Maine’s forest industry, including investments in pulp and paper equipment, wood processing equipment, energy production, and new facility construction.

MTI contracted with Biobased Maine, a mission-driven trade association promoting the sustainable use of renewable biomass from forests, farm, and sea, to help with the RFI process. Biobased Maine’s mission is to achieve a sustainable biobased manufacturing industry in the state of Maine and members include manufacturers, raw material suppliers, landowners, farmers, consultants, research institutions, private equity and non-governmental organizations.

Read more about Biobased Maine and their future plans at the Digest’s “4 Minutes with…” interview from February 2018 with Charlotte Mace, Executive Director of Biobased Maine.

Leading the way

While the MTI news is quite exciting for Maine, there are also other exhilarating happenings in the biobased sector for the Northern state with a very appropriate motto – “Dirigo” which is a Latin word that means “I Lead.”

And leading the way they are – Jackson Laboratory, headquartered in Bar Harbor, Maine, recently created a new 3D bioprinting technique that creates a platform for precision immunotherapy. Going beyond biomass, these pioneers are using biobased innovations for progressive medical uses.

According to Jackson Laboratory, it’s now possible to 3D-print an exact copy of a patient’s tumor, right down to the various immune and other cells that surround it (known as the tumor’s microenvironment) and the capillaries that supply blood to it. The new platform will enable the researchers to observe, in action and in 3D, some of cancer’s tricks, such as co-opting immune cells in the microenvironment to suppress an anti-tumor immune response, thus tricking the body into ignoring a foreign invader.

Here at the Digest, we’ve heard more about Fiberight than any other company in Maine though so it’s only fair we give a shout out to the recent developments there. In May, the Digest reported that although Fiberight tried to get its MSW processing facility up and running by April to begin receiving waste from 115 of the state’s communities, the facility should be up and running by year’s end even if it’s not ready to produce biofuels by then. The company secured $70 million in financing in January but wasn’t able to make progress as planned due to winter weather.

It’s also worth noting that in May 2017, the Digest reported that Biofine was seeking investors to help it scale up the wood-based biofuel technology developed by the Forest Bioproducts Research Institute. The company invested $200,000 in an old small-scale biofuel plant that was converted to run on the technology and demonstrate its viability. It was ready to scale up at the Old Mill facility where it is being tested or at other mill sites across the state that have shut down in recent years due to a decline in the pulp and paper industry, but no updates since then have been announced.

Sappi has also been getting involved in Maine with their Sappi North America Maine Forestry Program, as well as inspiring others by having leaders like Laura Thompson, director of sustainable development and policy initiatives who was named the 2018 Woman of Distinction by Girl Scouts of Maine for her work in encouraging girls to pursue activities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In February, Sappi North America joined national nonprofit The Recycling Partnership as a new funding partner, demonstrating its commitment to a better future.

In April, the Digest’s NUU reported that Maine’s craft breweries are getting innovative too and not letting wood pulp and spent grain go to waste. With over 100 breweries in Maine, Maine Coasters + Bio Boards teamed up with the University of Maine Process Development Center and started producing beer coasters made from the spent grain, vegetable dyes, and pine and spruce wood pulp.

Bottom Line

The Pine Tree State sure has lots of trees – in fact, about 90 percent of Maine is forested, the highest percentage of any state. But what it has even more of is innovation. From MTI and Jackson Laboratory to Fiberight, Sappi, and beer coasters paving the way of the future, we see Maine as a leader among the Northern states and expect to see more exciting news from them in the coming months.

Categories: Today's News

Braskem launches new recycled resin concept

Biofuels Digest - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 10:26am

In Canada, Braskem launched its latest concept in recycled plastic resins at a recent Sustainable Brands conference in Vancouver. The recycled resin is said to have a higher quality and a high percentage of recycled materials derived from household post-consumer thermoformed packaging made from polyethylene. Its main characteristics include resistance to stress cracking similar to that of virgin resins and tensile stress S mechanical properties that are 70% higher than the recycled resins currently used in the market. The next step is to identify partners to test the solution in finished goods (small volume thermoformed packaging), which will use the recycled resin as a raw material, according to Sustainable Brands.

“Sustainable development is one of the core pillars of Braskem’s activities and we believe it is very important to foster discussion on the topic with other companies in the industry in order to strengthen our initiatives and to see what the other large players are doing,” said Fabiana Quiroga, Head of Digital Manufacturing at Braskem. “We brought to the event our main products, concepts and programs focusing on sustainability, seeking to influence the entire chain to think the same way.”

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Fuel Delivery Services Switches to Neste MY Renewable Diesel

Biofuels Digest - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 10:25am

In Texas, Fuel Delivery Services, Inc., a bulk transporter of refined petroleum products based in Stockton, CA, recently switched their Stockton based fleet of trucks to Neste MY Renewable Diesel. FDS provides transportation services seven days a week, 365 days a year to a variety of clients, from small jobbers to major oil companies.

FDS performed a test of Neste MY Renewable Diesel in 20 of their trucks beginning in March of 2017, using more than 100,000 gallons of the fuel. These vehicles experienced an overall increase in fuel economy, less maintenance of their emissions systems and an increase in engine power, reported FDS President David B. Atwater. After the test, the company is looking to switch its entire fleet of trucks to renewable diesel at all of their locations.

“It was an easy decision for us to switch to this cleaner burning fuel because we didn’t have to make any additional investments or modifications to our equipment,” said Atwater. “Beyond the performance benefits, we’ve reduced our carbon footprint and significantly reduced the emissions from our vehicles which benefits both our drivers and the communities we work in.”

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“Future Protein Award” applications open until end of June

Biofuels Digest - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 10:20am

In Germany, the products and concepts of alternative proteins participating in the “Future Protein Award” will be presented during the two-day REFAB conference in Cologne. The prize will be awarded by the German nova-Institute to those companies that present their products and concepts of future proteins, from CO2, insects, algae, bacteria and cell-cultured meat, in the most compelling way at the accompanying exhibition. Applications for participation in the competition will be accepted until end of June.

During the two-day conference, the expected 500 participants can examine the concepts, taste the new proteins and vote for their favorite candidates – in the categories best taste and best concept. At the end of the conference the votes will be counted and the winners will be presented to the international press.

Five producers of insect products and one hemp protein producer have already expressed specific interest. A producer of so-called “Solar Protein” from Finland, who uses bacteria to make proteins from CO2, has already entered the competition.

 

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Dr. Paul Bryan joins Sandia National Lab

Biofuels Digest - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 10:19am

In California, Dr. Paul Bryan joined Sandia National Laboratories as the Senior Scientist and Program Manager of SNL’s Biomass/Bioenergy Programs. Paul will lead Sandia’s programs in Biomass/Bioenergy R&D and serve as Laboratory Relations Manager with DOE EERE/BETO. He will also have oversight of JBEI/SNL and serve as the primary liaison with other key external sponsors including DOE (BER, and ARPA-E), DoD, CA State, industry, non-profit foundations, and others.

Paul is an internationally recognized expert in the field of biofuels and biotechnology with a distinguished 30-year R&D career in the chemicals and fuels industry, with the past 12 years as an executive and independent consultant in the biofuels/biotechnology industry.

“I am delighted to be joining the Biomass/Bioenergy Team at Sandia National Lab. I have already had some opportunity to work with these researchers through advisory and other assignments with Sandia itself and with JBEI, where Sandia is one of the key partners. The Team has an extraordinary group of people, projects, and partnerships already, but also tremendous potential for growth to help drive the burgeoning Bioeconomy and the Industrial Biotechnology Revolution.”

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EU sunflower production expected lower than last year

Biofuels Digest - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 10:15am

In Germany, UFOP reports that although the sunflower area has remained constant in the EU-28, the EU Commission anticipates a sharp drop in sunflowerseed production. Yields, especially in Romania and France, could be disappointing.

According to figures just published by the EU Commission, the 2018 EU-28 sunflower area of 4.2 million hectares has remained virtually unchanged from the previous year. While Spain and Hungary each expanded their sunflower areas by around 4 per cent, Italy, Bulgaria and France reduced theirs. Growing sunflowers on more than 1 million hectares, Romania is the most important producer of sunflowerseed within the European Union. The country once more expanded its production area by 2 per cent. Nevertheless, the EU Commission anticipates a decline in output. The estimate of 9.7 million tonnes is down just less than 2 per cent from the April outlook and more than 6 per cent below the 2017 level. The reason for the lower yield expectations is the wet weather at the beginning of April 2018, which caused substantial delays in sowing in Southeast Europe and around the Mediterranean Sea.

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Ethanol production up 5.1% from this time last year

Biofuels Digest - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 10:12am

In Washington, D.C., ethanol production averaged 1.053 million barrels per day (b/d)—or 44.23 million gallons daily, according to government data released this morning and analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association. Output gained 12,000 b/d over the week before, running 5.1% above this time last year. However, the four-week average for ethanol production eased to 1.041 million b/d for an annualized rate of 15.96 billion gallons.

Stocks of ethanol were 22.2 million barrels. That is a 1.4% buildup from last week and the largest supply in 10 weeks. There were zero imports recorded for the 27th week in a row.

Average weekly gasoline demand ballooned with a 10.1% gain over last week, reaching a new record high of 414.9 million gallons (9.879 million barrels) daily. This is equivalent to 151.45 billion gallons annualized. Refiner/blender input of ethanol jumped 5.1% to 947,000 b/d, equivalent to 14.52 billion gallons annualized and a 41-week high. The ethanol content in gasoline supplied to the market averaged 9.59%, paring back from 10.04% the previous week and below the year-ago blend rate. Expressed as a percentage of daily gasoline demand, daily ethanol production decreased to 10.66%.

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Researchers create artificial leaf that converts carbon dioxide into energy and fuel

Biofuels Digest - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 10:10am

In India, researchers at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore are taking a queue from companies like LanzaTech and found a new way to create energy using carbon dioxide. By using sunlight, along with Copper Aluminum Sulphate and Zinc Sulphide, they were able to convert carbon dioxide salts into a fuel source.

According to Crazy Engineers, the researchers mimicked plant leaves and how they use photosynthesis to produce energy and oxygen using carbon dioxide and sunlight. They looked for elements that could mimic photosynthesis with the highest efficiency and found Copper Aluminium Sulphate and Zinc Sulphide did the trick. Those elements are conductive, biocompatiable and inexpensive, and were able to improve the energy converstion process by up to 20% compared to a natural leaf that can only convert 1% of the energy.

Researchers were also able to synthesize a Sulphate based biofuel using this method which supports 100% combustion with recyclable carbon dioxide emission, according to Crazy Engineers.

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Bosnian government reaches deal with fuel distributors

Biofuels Digest - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 10:08am

In Bosnia, fuel distributors in Bosnia’s autonomous Bosniak-Croat Federation agreed a deal with the regional government to cut fuel prices after drivers repeatedly blocked roads in protest against rising prices, a government minister told Reuters. The Federation government decided to take action after traffic jams disrupted life in several Bosnian cities after prices were first increased in February after an increase in biofuel excise taxes. Since the average monthly pay is about 400 Euros, protestors are asking the government to keep fuel prices under 1 Euro per liter.

“We have reached a consensus there will be no further hikes of fuel prices,” Federation Trade Minister Zlatan Vujovic was quoted as saying by Fena news agency after his meeting with oil distributors in the southern town of Mostar.

“Fuel will be cheaper at some oil stations even from tomorrow,” said Vujovic, adding the government and the distributors had agreed on the rationalisation of operations and lower costs for distributors so that the prices could go down.

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Strategic Intent: The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to The Andersons

Biofuels Digest - Sat, 06/16/2018 - 2:49pm

The Andersons operate four ethanol plants for respective LLCs in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Iowa that are collectively capable of producing over 475 million gallons of ethanol.  The company’s Ethanol Group provides facility operations, risk management, ethanol and distiller dried grains marketing.

The Andersons’ recently provided this illuminating overview of its progress towards its strategic goals, and promise.

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Scania to introduce B100 busses in Buenos Aires

Biofuels Digest - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 7:53pm

In Argentina, Scania has teamed with local bus line Linea 132 to introduce 100% biodiesel-fueled buses by year’s end in the capital, Buenos Aires. Already the company ran trials with higher biodiesel blends in the towns of Cliba and Quilmes, where the Cliba B100 results showed greenhouse gas reductions of 80%. The Quilmes results were not reported. The number of buses that will be part of the B100 rollout were not indicated in the article published by the local press.

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South Korean May ethanol imports flat on year but down 5% from April

Biofuels Digest - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 7:52pm

In South Korea, Platts reports that ethanol imports fell nearly 5% in May compared to April at 29,020 metric tons. Imports were slightly higher compared to May 2017, however. More than 40% of the undenatured ethanol came from Australia, followed by Pakistan, while imports from Brazil aren’t expected until Q3. Australia accounts for 47% of all undenatured ethanol imports so far during 2018. Nearly all of the 19,903 tons of denatures ethanol came from the US, accounting for more than 88%.

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Indian mills want 25% higher prices for cane juice-based ethanol

Biofuels Digest - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 7:51pm

In India, sugar mills say they want 25% higher ethanol prices for ethanol from sugarcane juice in order to make enough money to justify supplying to oil marketing companies for the national blending mandate. Mills are suffering from low sugar prices and high cane prices, leaving to look at any opportunity to boost profitability. Ethanol is traditionally produced from molasses but if ethanol is to be made straight from juice as is now allowed after the recent deregulation, mills say they want a higher price.

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South Dakota takes to the street to protest EPA administrator’s ethanol attacks

Biofuels Digest - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 7:50pm

In South Dakota, farm, biofuel, and community leaders hosted a tractor rally in Sioux Falls this week where participants voiced their concerns about attacks on homegrown biofuels led by the chief of the U.S. EPA, who is passing through the state this week.

The event was moderated by South Dakota broadcasting titan Jim Woster and featured Troy Knecht, president of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association, and South Dakota Rep. Kent Peterson, R-Salem. Other speakers included Doug Berven, vice president of corporate affairs for Poet, and Dusty Johnson, former South Dakota Public Utilities Commissioner.

“Farm income is down by 52 percent over the last five years, and the destruction of demand for South Dakota grains under Administrator Pruitt’s refinery waivers has to stop,” said Knecht. “We have 12,500 corn farmers in South Dakota who depend on stable ethanol markets for their livelihood. We would welcome Administrator Pruitt to give South Dakotans good news about allowing E15 sales year-round, but his track record shows that our concerns have fallen on deaf ears at the EPA.”

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Boating industry applauds isobutanol approval

Biofuels Digest - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 7:49pm

In Washington, earlier this week, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt approved the registration of bio-isobutanol as a fuel additive.

May’s American Boating Congress featured a special question-and-answer session with NMMA President Thom Dammrich and Pruitt.

“We applaud Administrator Pruitt’s approval of bio-isobutanol as a biofuel additive, which will provide consumers a safe, efficient, and environmentally-friendly E15 alternative that is highly compatible with marine products,” Dammrich said. “This decision will promote an innovative fuel supply, with direct benefits to American boaters and consumers.

As Congress continues to discuss potential reforms to the Renewable Fuel Standard, it is absolutely critical that all stakeholders remember the threat posed by fuel blends exceeding 10 percent ethanol, Dammrich added.

While additional steps by EPA are needed to break down other regulatory impediments to the full-scale commercialization of bio-isobutanol, EPA’s recent actions are very encouraging, Dammrich said.

In addition to increased fuel options, the boating industry needs a comprehensive public education and awareness campaign in place prior to any E15 expansion.

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Enogen to be used at more than 30 ethanol plants this year producing 3 billion gallons

Biofuels Digest - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 7:48pm

In Delaware, Syngenta announced June 12 that it has agreements in place with more than 30 ethanol plants with a combined production capacity of approximately 3 billion gallons. As new plants come on board, Syngenta expects ethanol produced with Enogen corn enzyme technology to be approximately 2.5 billion gallons during 2018 alone.

Farmers who grow Enogen corn are eligible to earn an additional premium per Enogen bushel. During 2018, Enogen corn is expected to generate approximately $28.5 million of additional revenue for local growers contracting with plants using Enogen grain through per-bushel premiums. Numerous trials have shown that Enogen hybrids perform equal to or better than other high-performing corn hybrids.

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Purdue researchers develop engineered proteins to improve biomanufacturing

Biofuels Digest - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 7:47pm

In Indiana, Purdue University researchers have developed a series of engineered proteins that could improve biomanufacturing processes for the production of biofuels, pharmaceuticals and commodity chemicals.

The buildup of toxic materials during the production process can damage cell health and typically lowers the overall amount of product that is made. Few tools are available to broadly address this issue.

The regulators are easily tailored to different biomanufacturing processes by selecting an appropriate transition setpoint for a given production pathway. They provide a generic tunable platform with clear design rules that can be developed for any process. Current approaches are product-specific and difficult to adapt.

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