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UCO biodiesel picking up in Turkey and could double in a few years to 70,000 tons

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 05/20/2019 - 6:19pm

In Turkey, Prensa Latina reports that the biodiesel industry from used cooking oil is finally picking up in the country. Last year’s fledgling production saw about 35,000 metric tons being turned into about $35 million worth of biodiesel, a figure the national biodieisel association said could double in just a few years as production tries to match growing ethanol demand. Total biodiesel for the country is expected to reach 140,000 tons while demand could ramp up to 250,000 tons by 2021.

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Imperial County agrees to extend loan to California Ethanol & Power

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 05/20/2019 - 6:18pm

In California, local press reports that Imperial County has agreed to extend the deadline for the $600,000 loan it provided to California Ethanol & Power with interim interest payments to be made due to circumstances that lead to delays in getting the project up and running. The company has had challenges securing sufficient finance to get the project operating but it expects to have all of its financing in order by fall. Some county commissioners voiced concerns about the lack of collateral behind the loan.

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HAM Group brings online third biomethane refueling station from wastewater in Spain

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 05/20/2019 - 6:17pm

In Spain, HAM Group has designed, installed and commissioned its third HAMikro refueling station, which allows the refueling of biomethane obtained from wastewater treatment. The installation is located in the facilities of the municipal water service of Lleida and is formed by a fuel compression system, using a low flow compressor, a structure that allows the storage of biomethane in bottles high pressure and a pump that is responsible for supplying this source of energy to vehicles.

The HAMikro service station is part of the innovative SMART Green Gas project, co-financed by the European Union, with the aim of generating renewable biofuels, of national origin, for compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles. The wastewater reaches the sewage treatment plant from the drains, dishwashers, washing machines, etc., of the homes of the Lleidans, and is treated to end up turning a by-product into a valuable resource, where CO2 is selectively eliminated “Well to Wheel “(from its production to its consumption) and the H25, reaching a quality that can be used as fuel for the automotive industry, with beneficial effects such as the reduction of the carbon footprint.

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Argonne releases updated version of water analysis tool for bioenergy developers

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 05/20/2019 - 6:16pm

In Illinois, U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory recently released an updated version of an online computer model meant to help bioenergy developers preserve critical resources.

The model, called Water Analysis Tool for Energy Resources or WATER, has users from more than 35 U.S. states and can be found here:

It provides an in-depth analysis of water consumption used in the development of bioenergy, allowing industry leaders to make better informed decisions about what types of feedstock — meaning the raw materials that bioenergy is made of, including soybeans, grasses, corn grain, corn stover, forest wood residues and algae — are most appropriate for use in water-limited areas.

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Argentina trying to push US to end anti-dumping tariffs faster

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 05/20/2019 - 6:15pm

In Argentina, Reuters reports that the government is pushing the US to hurry up its process reviewing whether or not Argentine biodiesel negatively impacts the US’s domestic biodiesel industry so biodiesel exports can resume as quickly as possible. Before tariffs were imposed, biodiesel accounted for about a quarter of the US’s imports from Argentina. The US Secretary of Commerce told the country’s production and labor minister that his hands were all but tied on the matter, however.

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Innovative Foundation in Iowa

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 05/20/2019 - 4:18pm

By Debi Durham, Director, Iowa Economic Development Authority

Special to The Digest

In Iowa, we work tirelessly to maintain our reputation as a bioscience epicenter with a continuous focus on innovation and collaboration. By capitalizing on our agricultural roots and research capabilities in plant, animal and human biosciences, the bioscience industry is thriving in our Midwest state. From startup companies to globally respected industry leaders in research and development, Iowa’s bioscience enterprises are discovering leading-edge solutions that will spur future economic growth for the state and the entire nation.

Many of the industry’s greatest contributions in biosciences have originated in Iowa. In the last decade, Iowa has made significant progress in building the industry, with employment growing 8 percent between 2008 and 2014. A critical mass of bioscience companies and research institutions in Iowa are pushing for progress; today, more than 1,200 entities are working to commercialize Iowa’s bioscience innovations in the fields of agriculture, medical devices, precision and digital ag, vaccines, immunotherapy and renewable chemical subsectors. Innovation can often be a buzzword, but the strides our companies and institutions are making in the industry – growing bigger, smarter, more efficient and more diversified – serve as proof points that the future of industrial biotechnology has a firm foundation in Iowa.

Businesses Making Breakthroughs

Coupled with business-minded incentives and a skilled workforce, many companies have found success because Iowa gives them the freedom to explore. To provide room for exploration, our legislation created America’s first Renewable Chemicals Production Tax Credit in 2016, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) calls the “strongest existing incentive package for the global bio based chemical industry.” Other tax incentives have alleviated risk for Iowa companies, improving their potential for profitability.

Among the many entities at work in Iowa, two examples of companies that attribute their competitive advantage to their Iowa locations are Renewable Energy Group (REG) and POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels.


Based in Ames, REG has been advancing the biodiesel industry for more than 20 years since its operations began under the umbrella of West Central Cooperative in Ralston, Iowa. REG leaders advocated for the biodiesel industry in its earliest stages to transform the niche market into the driving force of sustainable fuel that it is today. Now, REG is the largest biodiesel producer by volume in the United States, and along with supplying many other products, the company continues to contribute resources and industry leadership worldwide.

Iowa cultivates the pioneering and transformative spirit of REG. Iowa’s business-friendly environment has allowed REG to take calculated risks that have paid off for their company and the industry.


POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels is a cooperative effort between two innovative companies with one shared vision – to make cellulosic bioethanol competitive with grain ethanol, the most competitive renewable liquid transportation fuel on the market today. To do this, the joint venture relies on POET’s ongoing bioethanol effort, Project LIBERTY, taking place in Emmetsburg, Iowa. With this project, the company has solved a critical challenge in pretreatment, overcoming what has been a major hurdle to commercialization for producers around the world. Establishing Project LIBERTY in a location with such strong agricultural roots and access to necessary resources, the company has been able to make proven advancements in biofuels and has shared this positive impact with the entire industry.

Lofty company visions take a lofty amount of support, especially as the ag industry evolves. Companies benefit from those aforementioned tax credits and pro-business legislation. Additionally, our research institutions are continuously transferring breakthroughs to the private market and educating our concentration of engineers, scientists and American farmers.

Research Institutions Are Reaching New Heights

Iowa is home to three public universities – the University of Iowa, Iowa State University (ISU) and the University of Northern Iowa – that are world-renowned for dynamic research capabilities in plant, animal and human biosciences. This network leverages more than $1 billion in external funding, including research grants, on an annual basis.

ISU – Efforts That Go Above and Beyond

At first glance, ISU’s leadership in animal health science is apparent. The university is a cornerstone of the world’s largest concentrations of animal health professionals including the USDA’s National Animal Disease Center, the National Veterinary Services Laboratories and the Center for Veterinary Biologics in Ames. However, the university’s efforts extend beyond animal health and dive deeper into the biosciences arena in other ways as well.

Bioeconomy Institute

The Bioeconomy Institute (BEI) at Iowa State seeks to advance the use of biorenewable resources to produce fuels, energy, chemicals and materials. The Institute builds on a five-year initiative that has brought the university national recognition in the fields of biofuels and bioenergy. The campus-wide effort to create the Institute spurred from the curiosity behind how renewable resources such as sustainable feedstocks could be used more in different ways. Curiosity continues today and has helped to provide the necessary cohesion among the diverse efforts in this arena on campus, throughout the state and amongst the whole region.

NSF Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals

Another effort by ISU’s College of Engineering can be seen in the work that is conducted by the Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC). Founded in 2008 with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the subsequent Engineering Research Center focuses on advanced manufacturing for sustainable bio-based chemicals. Multidisciplinary research efforts have revealed new ways to capitalize on enzyme engineering and microbial production. Seeing as how advanced manufacturing is the No. 1 business sector in the state, research and innovative solutions by institutions like CBiRC provide the support these industries need to achieve productivity and improve processes throughout the state and beyond.

Taking Reins in the Revolution

These efforts made by ISU and other research institutions, along with the leadership from Iowa companies both large and small, have assured the state’s prominence in the revolution that is changing the way we develop consumer products. Even as the industry landscape changes and intertwines between different business sectors, Iowa remains committed at all levels to driving the industry forward and maintaining an environment suitable for innovative expansion in the bioeconomy.

 The companies that work here and the research that is developed here speaks volumes, and we’re excited for what we’ll uncover next. We look forward to bringing new, innovation-minded partners into our mix as we advance, and are excited to share our expertise. A perfect opportunity to further connect with us in this space is to attend the 2019 BIO World Congress, coming this July to our capital city. For the first time being held in the Midwest, Des Moines will host hundreds of innovative thinkers, gathering together to share ideas, technologies and research. We think attendees will be pleasantly surprised to learn of our bioscience foundations and how we are enhancing contributions to this industry.




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