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Circular Economy Mapping Tool for Wales launched

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 5:44pm

In UK, commissioned by WRAP Cymru, Anthesis has developed this user-friendly Circular Economy Mapping Tool for Wales – a useful resource for those operating within the Welsh bioeconomy; particularly food and drink producers and processors. It provides an interactive, visual representation of the extent of Wales’ thriving bioeconomy, plotting where different types of businesses are located across the country and where there are clusters. There are also multiple options to find out much more.

Users can:

  • • Explore the number of businesses by industry, region and employee band size
  • • Get an understanding of major waste types and quantities, according to business activity
  • • See the economic projections for employment, Gross Value Added (GVA) and turnover to 2030 for the sector.

The tool is intended to assist WRAP Cymru in driving greater collaboration between the many organisations that Wales’ bioeconomy is comprised of.  It is hoped that it will act as a starting point for facilitating synergies that will allow for more efficiencies to be achieved; ultimately, increasing the circularity of the Welsh bioeconomy.  It provides businesses with the ideal opportunity to further enhance their understanding of the space that they are operating in, and to build useful connections.  For example, bakeries could look to establish relationships with breweries that might want to turn excess bread into beer.

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McGill University researchers produce methanol from ethanol using sunlight

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 5:43pm

In Canada, Science magazine reports that researchers from McGill University have developed a method of producing ethanol from methanol by using sunlight. Using gallium nitride nanowires “spiked” with magnesium as a catalyst, following successful results producing benzene from methane gas using the same technology, they were able to absorb UV rays from sunlight, negatively charging their coils that rips water molecules from methanol, creating methyl carbene. Those methyl carbene molecules then combine with methanol to create ethanol.

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Republicans furious EPA chief rejected proposal to cut ethanol blending

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 5:42pm

In Washington, Reuters reports that the acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency rejected a staff proposal last December that would have cut the biofuel blending mandate, a move that has enraged Republicans and threatened their votes in the Senate confirmation hearing that would make the acting administrator the permanent one. The proposal sought to cut ethanol blending to 14.3 billion gallons per year through 2023 when the Renewable Fuel Standard expires from the current 15 billion gallons.

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Risks in the Climate Finance Markets

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 5:40pm

By Michael Newman, Chief Operating Officer, Parhelion Underwriting Inc.

Special to The Digest

Risks often act as barriers to investment and trading in the climate finance market – the systems designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), California’s Cap & Trade and Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) – because Federal and State programs have created areas of uncertainty. The risk of invalidation of credits and the political pressures that threaten to repeal the legislation worry market participants – but insurance risk capital can be used to mitigate these concerns and in fact already works successfully in several markets. One example of this is in the California program, where “buyer liability” has created a price differential between carbon offsets depending on the level of risk associated with them. By removing this risk from both offset buyers (typically refineries and utilities) and sellers (project developers), insurance adds certainty to the market because it’s a guarantee with investment-grade A+ security.

Similar solutions are available in Federal RFS and State LCFS markets, allowing refiners, producers, marketers and other parties that assume RIN invalidation risk in sales contracts to offer clear title. For refiners incurring significant RFS compliance costs as regulated parties, RIN insurance reinforces their due diligence programs at relatively small additional expense. For biofuel producers, using insurance adds liquidity to the market, leveling the playing field and facilitating deals that might not otherwise be possible.

But the role of insurance in Climate Finance Market isn’t limited to the risk of invalidation and revocation. Buyers of long-term, fixed price offtake of RINs and LCFS credits often look for a “reg out” clause – they want to be able to cancel their purchases of RINs if the RFS2 or LCFS is repealed.  There is a common risk factor: the fear of buyers that the programs will not be in place when credits are delivered to them, leaving a worthless commodity at a later date; and the seller being unable to truly represent their cash flows as dependable, and a significantly lower likelihood of raising the debt capital needed to build out large, efficient projects.

The revenue generating capability of many renewable fuel facilities would be negatively affected if one of these programs is eliminated, but if both happened to be eliminated at the same time it would mean certain death to the industry – so we have created a pool of insurance capital that underwrites the continued existence of the RFS and LCFS markets.

The climate finance markets are big (the size of the RIN market is $6 billion while the LCFS market currently sits at $2.3 billion and is expected to grow to $10.5B by 2030), but the insurance industry is even bigger. It takes that level of capital to ensure market liquidity and at Parhelion, we use the capital in the global insurance and reinsurance industry to take the risks that other forms of capital (debt and equity) can’t or won’t take.

The Problem of Invalidated RINs in the Renewable Fuel Standard

Under the Renewable Fuel Standard, the EPA imposed a “buyer beware” approach to the purchase and sale of RINs. This creates a liability for any buyer of RINs, making them responsible for purchases of invalid RINS, even if it’s done inadvertently.   The liability includes the replacement cost of invalidated RINs as well as civil fines and penalties imposed by the EPA. The EPA has prosecuted millions of US$ worth of fraudulent RIN transactions, yet fraud continues to be a significant risk – and it’s a risk that is not covered by standard property and liability insurance policies; neither are RINs considered “goods” under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), so the Code’s warranty provisions do not apply.

The EPA sought to address the potential for fraudulent RIN transactions by encouraging third-party verification of the generation of RINs, the Quality Assurance Program (QAP) under which third-party auditors evaluate producers of renewable fuel to certify they were in fact producing the required product in compliance with RFS regulations.

The success of the QAP, though, has been limited. Only about 12% of all RINs are Q-RINs because the process is expensive and numerous administrative steps are required for any party replacing RINs, claiming an affirmative defense to an alleged civil violation, requesting corrective action, and notifying EPA of the existence of a potentially invalid RIN (PIR) – so market participants have relied on other risk management strategies: only purchasing RINs from parties who have long established and trusted trading relationships; implementing their own auditing processes or only purchasing ethanol-based RINs. This development hurt smaller renewable fuel producers and reduced the RIN market’s overall liquidity.

A recently-introduced solution to this problem is to insure the risk, creating a risk-free RIN known as a Platinum-RIN. The insurance can be bought by any of the parties in the transaction, enabling biofuel producers to increase the number of buyers they can sell to; and allowing marketers that assume RIN invalidation risk in sales contracts to offer clear title. For refiners incurring significant RFS compliance costs as obligated parties, Platinum RIN insurance reinforces their due diligence programs at relatively small additional expense.

The beneficiary of the insurance is the owner of the RIN, the policy Loss Payee. First-party fraud is excluded – so a fraudulent party will not be able to make a claim – but the policy has a ‘Multiple Insured Clause’ which means that even if the original insured is responsible for the fraud, a separate and unrelated third party (usually the obligated party) can still benefit from the coverage and be paid as the Loss Payee.

The pricing reflects the relative exposure to loss: firstly, between RINs and Q-RINs (a Q-RIN can be insured at a reduced cost); and secondly, between fuel types (D3 to D7).

The policy is underwritten by first-class insurers, so it’s a guarantee with investment-grade AAA security, completely removing the invalidation risk and the associated civil fines and penalties. The coverage matches the invalidation triggers defined in the RFS regulations, eliminating the invalidation risk over a three-year period by replacing the insured RINS at future market prices. The program, managed by Parhelion Underwriting, is flexible: policies can be purchased by any participant and the coverage travels with the covered RIN and, although Q-RINs can be insured at a discounted rate, there’s no requirement for a QAP and the Platinum-RIN can be a cost-effective alternative to a Q-RIN.

Parhelion Underwriting is a Lloyds, London-backed risk finance company specializing in risks impacting investment in clean energy and climate finance markets.

 

Categories: Today's News

Biogas Business: The Digest’s 2019 Multi-Slide Guide to Biogas Conversion

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 5:38pm

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, a member of Lee Enterprises Consulting offers this illuminating overview of biogas, what it’s good for, scale, bio-methane, what to do with it, key players, and more

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Hot 50 PhotoVote: LanzaTech

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 7:14am

This is an official photo vote submitted for the 2019 Hot 50 by LanzaTech. Photo Votes are distributed via the Digest, Twitter and LinkedIn (subject to review for taste and originality) and each Like for each photo vote counts for 1 additional vote in the Hot 50.

Notes on PhotoVotes. This year, you may submit Photo votes in support of your candidate company. Each Photo Vote will count as five votes, and should be submitted between between February 11, 2019 through March 15, 2019 to hot50@biofuelsdigest.com. The photo must be an original creative work — substantially created for the competition — and must contain the name of the company you are voting for and the words “Hot 50”. Repetitive photos (e.g. a photo of every employee in the company, holding a “Hot 50” sign), will not be counted.  The Digest retains the right to reject any photo on the grounds of lack of originality — e.g. repetitive photos for the same company, images that are from the public domain simply with a “Hot 50” inserted. Images from the public domain can be used if they are used as a springboard for an original creative effort representing an original idea.

Categories: Today's News

Hot 50 PhotoVote: Licella

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 7:12am

This is an official photo vote submitted for the 2019 Hot 50 by Licella. Photo Votes are distributed via the Digest, Twitter and LinkedIn (subject to review for taste and originality) and each Like for each photo vote counts for 1 additional vote in the Hot 50.

Notes on PhotoVotes. This year, you may submit Photo votes in support of your candidate company. Each Photo Vote will count as five votes, and should be submitted between between February 11, 2019 through March 15, 2019 to hot50@biofuelsdigest.com. The photo must be an original creative work — substantially created for the competition — and must contain the name of the company you are voting for and the words “Hot 50”. Repetitive photos (e.g. a photo of every employee in the company, holding a “Hot 50” sign), will not be counted.  The Digest retains the right to reject any photo on the grounds of lack of originality — e.g. repetitive photos for the same company, images that are from the public domain simply with a “Hot 50” inserted. Images from the public domain can be used if they are used as a springboard for an original creative effort representing an original idea.

Categories: Today's News

Hot 50 PhotoVote: Sierra Energy

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 7:10am

This is an official photo vote submitted for the 2019 Hot 50 by Sierra Energy. Photo Votes are distributed via the Digest, Twitter and LinkedIn (subject to review for taste and originality) and each Like for each photo vote counts for 1 additional vote in the Hot 50.

Notes on PhotoVotes. This year, you may submit Photo votes in support of your candidate company. Each Photo Vote will count as five votes, and should be submitted between between February 11, 2019 through March 15, 2019 to hot50@biofuelsdigest.com. The photo must be an original creative work — substantially created for the competition — and must contain the name of the company you are voting for and the words “Hot 50”. Repetitive photos (e.g. a photo of every employee in the company, holding a “Hot 50” sign), will not be counted.  The Digest retains the right to reject any photo on the grounds of lack of originality — e.g. repetitive photos for the same company, images that are from the public domain simply with a “Hot 50” inserted. Images from the public domain can be used if they are used as a springboard for an original creative effort representing an original idea.

Categories: Today's News

Hot 50 PhotoVote: LanzaTech

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 7:08am

This is an official photo vote submitted for the 2019 Hot 50 by LanzaTech. Photo Votes are distributed via the Digest, Twitter and LinkedIn (subject to review for taste and originality) and each Like for each photo vote counts for 1 additional vote in the Hot 50.

Notes on PhotoVotes. This year, you may submit Photo votes in support of your candidate company. Each Photo Vote will count as five votes, and should be submitted between between February 11, 2019 through March 15, 2019 to hot50@biofuelsdigest.com. The photo must be an original creative work — substantially created for the competition — and must contain the name of the company you are voting for and the words “Hot 50”. Repetitive photos (e.g. a photo of every employee in the company, holding a “Hot 50” sign), will not be counted.  The Digest retains the right to reject any photo on the grounds of lack of originality — e.g. repetitive photos for the same company, images that are from the public domain simply with a “Hot 50” inserted. Images from the public domain can be used if they are used as a springboard for an original creative effort representing an original idea.

Categories: Today's News

Hot 50 PhotoVote: Sierra Energy

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 7:07am

This is an official photo vote submitted for the 2019 Hot 50 by Sierra Energy. Photo Votes are distributed via the Digest, Twitter and LinkedIn (subject to review for taste and originality) and each Like for each photo vote counts for 1 additional vote in the Hot 50.

Notes on PhotoVotes. This year, you may submit Photo votes in support of your candidate company. Each Photo Vote will count as five votes, and should be submitted between between February 11, 2019 through March 15, 2019 to hot50@biofuelsdigest.com. The photo must be an original creative work — substantially created for the competition — and must contain the name of the company you are voting for and the words “Hot 50”. Repetitive photos (e.g. a photo of every employee in the company, holding a “Hot 50” sign), will not be counted.  The Digest retains the right to reject any photo on the grounds of lack of originality — e.g. repetitive photos for the same company, images that are from the public domain simply with a “Hot 50” inserted. Images from the public domain can be used if they are used as a springboard for an original creative effort representing an original idea.

Categories: Today's News

Hot 50 PhotoVote: LanzaTech

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 7:06am

This is an official photo vote submitted for the 2019 Hot 50 by LanzaTech. Photo Votes are distributed via the Digest, Twitter and LinkedIn (subject to review for taste and originality) and each Like for each photo vote counts for 1 additional vote in the Hot 50.

Notes on PhotoVotes. This year, you may submit Photo votes in support of your candidate company. Each Photo Vote will count as five votes, and should be submitted between between February 11, 2019 through March 15, 2019 to hot50@biofuelsdigest.com. The photo must be an original creative work — substantially created for the competition — and must contain the name of the company you are voting for and the words “Hot 50”. Repetitive photos (e.g. a photo of every employee in the company, holding a “Hot 50” sign), will not be counted.  The Digest retains the right to reject any photo on the grounds of lack of originality — e.g. repetitive photos for the same company, images that are from the public domain simply with a “Hot 50” inserted. Images from the public domain can be used if they are used as a springboard for an original creative effort representing an original idea.

Categories: Today's News

Hot 50 PhotoVote: Sierra Energy

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 7:05am

This is an official photo vote submitted for the 2019 Hot 50 by Sierra Energy. Photo Votes are distributed via the Digest, Twitter and LinkedIn (subject to review for taste and originality) and each Like for each photo vote counts for 1 additional vote in the Hot 50.

Notes on PhotoVotes. This year, you may submit Photo votes in support of your candidate company. Each Photo Vote will count as five votes, and should be submitted between between February 11, 2019 through March 15, 2019 to hot50@biofuelsdigest.com. The photo must be an original creative work — substantially created for the competition — and must contain the name of the company you are voting for and the words “Hot 50”. Repetitive photos (e.g. a photo of every employee in the company, holding a “Hot 50” sign), will not be counted.  The Digest retains the right to reject any photo on the grounds of lack of originality — e.g. repetitive photos for the same company, images that are from the public domain simply with a “Hot 50” inserted. Images from the public domain can be used if they are used as a springboard for an original creative effort representing an original idea.

Categories: Today's News

Hot 50 PhotoVote: LanzaTech

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 7:04am

This is an official photo vote submitted for the 2019 Hot 50 by LanzaTech. Photo Votes are distributed via the Digest, Twitter and LinkedIn (subject to review for taste and originality) and each Like for each photo vote counts for 1 additional vote in the Hot 50.

Notes on PhotoVotes. This year, you may submit Photo votes in support of your candidate company. Each Photo Vote will count as five votes, and should be submitted between between February 11, 2019 through March 15, 2019 to hot50@biofuelsdigest.com. The photo must be an original creative work — substantially created for the competition — and must contain the name of the company you are voting for and the words “Hot 50”. Repetitive photos (e.g. a photo of every employee in the company, holding a “Hot 50” sign), will not be counted.  The Digest retains the right to reject any photo on the grounds of lack of originality — e.g. repetitive photos for the same company, images that are from the public domain simply with a “Hot 50” inserted. Images from the public domain can be used if they are used as a springboard for an original creative effort representing an original idea.

Categories: Today's News

Hot 50 PhotoVote: Sierra Energy

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 7:03am

This is an official photo vote submitted for the 2019 Hot 50 by Sierra Energy. Photo Votes are distributed via the Digest, Twitter and LinkedIn (subject to review for taste and originality) and each Like for each photo vote counts for 1 additional vote in the Hot 50.

Notes on PhotoVotes. This year, you may submit Photo votes in support of your candidate company. Each Photo Vote will count as five votes, and should be submitted between between February 11, 2019 through March 15, 2019 to hot50@biofuelsdigest.com. The photo must be an original creative work — substantially created for the competition — and must contain the name of the company you are voting for and the words “Hot 50”. Repetitive photos (e.g. a photo of every employee in the company, holding a “Hot 50” sign), will not be counted.  The Digest retains the right to reject any photo on the grounds of lack of originality — e.g. repetitive photos for the same company, images that are from the public domain simply with a “Hot 50” inserted. Images from the public domain can be used if they are used as a springboard for an original creative effort representing an original idea.

Categories: Today's News

Hot 50 PhotoVote: LanzaTech

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 7:02am

This is an official photo vote submitted for the 2019 Hot 50 by LanzaTech. Photo Votes are distributed via the Digest, Twitter and LinkedIn (subject to review for taste and originality) and each Like for each photo vote counts for 1 additional vote in the Hot 50.

Notes on PhotoVotes. This year, you may submit Photo votes in support of your candidate company. Each Photo Vote will count as five votes, and should be submitted between between February 11, 2019 through March 15, 2019 to hot50@biofuelsdigest.com. The photo must be an original creative work — substantially created for the competition — and must contain the name of the company you are voting for and the words “Hot 50”. Repetitive photos (e.g. a photo of every employee in the company, holding a “Hot 50” sign), will not be counted.  The Digest retains the right to reject any photo on the grounds of lack of originality — e.g. repetitive photos for the same company, images that are from the public domain simply with a “Hot 50” inserted. Images from the public domain can be used if they are used as a springboard for an original creative effort representing an original idea.

Categories: Today's News

Drax BECCS pilot captures one ton of CO2 a day

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 02/18/2019 - 6:05pm

In the UK, the demonstration plant at the Drax power station near Selby in North Yorkshire is using innovative technology, developed by Leeds-based C-Capture, to capture a ton of CO2 a day, during the pilot.

It is the first-time carbon dioxide has been captured from the combustion of a 100% biomass feedstock anywhere in the world.

If the BECCS pilot can be scaled up to deliver negative emissions, Drax Power Station would be helping to remove the gases that cause global warning from the atmosphere at the same time as electricity is produced.

Engineers began commissioning the pilot plant in November with the first carbon now being captured, proving that the proprietary solvent developed by C-Capture can be used to isolate the carbon dioxide from the flue gases released when biomass is used to generate electricity.

Data being obtained about the CO2 capture process will continue to be analysed throughout the pilot to fully understand the potential of the technology and how it could be scaled up at Drax. Part of this will include identifying and developing ways to store and use the carbon dioxide being captured.

Drax has invested £400,000 in the pilot, which could be the first of several projects undertaken at the power station to deliver a rapid, lower cost demonstration of BECCS.

Categories: Today's News

Rising biodiesel blends sees production rise and prices fall

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 02/18/2019 - 6:03pm

In Brazil, Platts reports that data from the energy ministry shows increasing the biodiesel blending mandate to 10% with an eye to further increases in the mandate has encouraged increased production which in turn has reduced prices, falling recently to an 18-month low. Biodiesel production rose 25% on the year in 2018 to 5.35 billion liters. The aim is to raise the mandate by 1% annually to 2023 when it would reach 15%. The increase to 11% is set for June.

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AB InBev supplying residual alcohol from 0% beer for ethanol production

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 02/18/2019 - 6:02pm

In Belgium, AB InBev has teamed with Alcogroup to produce ethanol from the residual alcohol produced in the manufacturing process for alcohol-free beer. Three tanker trucks per week transport about 75,000 liters of residual alcohol for processing, or roughly one liter for every 85 cans of alcohol-free beer. That comes to about 8,500 cans of beer result in enough residual alcohol to produce 18 liters of ethanol. In Australia, the company uses the residual alcohol for making vinegar.

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NatureWorks to certify bioplastics and chemicals with ISCC PLUS

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 02/18/2019 - 6:01pm

In Minnesota, a new initiative at NatureWorks will ensure that by 2020 100 percent of the agricultural feedstock for Ingeo biopolymers and Vercet performance chemicals will be certified by ISCC to the ISCC PLUS standard of best practices in agricultural production.

The ISCC PLUS certified crops are grown within 50 miles of the NatureWorks’ Blair, Nebraska, production facility, which has an annual production capacity of 150,000 metric tons of Ingeo biopolymer. Every farm entering the program receives training in adhering to the ISCC PLUS certification’s principles, which are the following:

  • • Protect highly biodiverse and high carbon stock areas.
  • • Implement best agricultural practices for the use of fertilizers and pesticides, irrigation, tillage, soil management, and the protection of the surrounding environment.
  • • Promote safe working conditions.
  • • Comply with human, labor, and land rights.
  • • Comply with laws and international treaties.
  • • Implement good management practices and continuous improvement.
Categories: Today's News

Alliance Dairies demonstrating Renovare Fuels biogas-to-liquid fuel technology

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 02/18/2019 - 5:59pm

In Florida, Alliance Dairies is demonstrating biogas-to-liquid fuel technology developed by UK firm Renovare Fuels where using a Fischer-Tropsch process biogas is converted into a middle distillate fuel. The company estimates a 97% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels and at commercial scale the fuel could be sold at 50 pence per liter. The company was recently awarded funding to trial its fuel in the UK for aviation through the Sustainable Aviation Fuel for Clean Growth program.

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