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European Commission says no palm oil ban currently in place

Biofuels Digest - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 5:52pm

In Belgium, Euractiv reports the European Commission believes it is not going against World Trade Organization rules with the recast of the Renewable Energy Directive that seeks to drastically cut the amount of crop-based biofuels used in the EU by 2030, and says the ban against the use of palm oil for biodiesel post-2020 isn’t a ban at all but remains a proposal. Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand believe they can win a fight against the WTO against a ban on palm oil if there is one actually in place.

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N.C. Bioenergy Research Initiative awards $1 million to research grants

Biofuels Digest - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 5:48pm

In North Carolina, N.C. Bioenergy Research Initiative recently awarded $1 million in grants for 11 research projects to boost bioenergy opportunities and production in the state.

Below is a list of grant amounts, recipients and projects:

$91,944 to the N.C. State University Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources for a “Loblolly Pine Biomass Genetics/Cropping Study, 2016-2019.”  The project will continue genetic evaluation of loblolly pine varieties with high potential as an energy source.

$149,660 to the NCSU Department of Crop and Soil Sciences for a project titled “Nutrient Dynamics and Production of Bioenergy Crops in Swine Effluent Sprayfields.”  Funding will continue research on the nutrient requirements and uptake of proposed biomass crops grown in a sprayfield environment.

$57,061 to Carolina Land & Lakes RC&D for “Pellets for Plants Expanded.” This expands a previously funded project focused on wood pellet heating systems, aimed at cost savings, reducing fossil fuel by-products, improving market products, and utilizing a carbon-neutral sustainable and renewable domestic fuel.

$32,717 to the NCSU Department of Crop and Soil Sciences for the second year of the two-year project, “Weed Management in Miscanthus and Switchgrass Bioenergy Cropping Systems.”  This builds on a previously funded herbicide project, but focuses more on weed management while establishing Giant Miscanthus and switchgrass, two bioenergy feedstock crops.

$147,093 for the second and third years of the three-year project, “Predicting Short Rotation Woody Crops (SRWC) Productivity and Economic Feasibility.” This collaboration between the NCSU Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources and the N.C. A&T State University Department of Economics, will use previously funded SRWC projects to refine and validate a forest productivity and economic model.  This model will aid in decision-making for SRWC production and procurement and provide best land management practices to landowners via a publicly-available, web-based interactive tool.

$149,115 to the NCSU Department of Horticultural Science for the project “Intergeneric Hybridization of Advanced Bioenergy Grasses” project.   This project will focus on developing intergeneric hybrids between Miscanthus and Tripidium. Combining unique traits from these two genera will allow for new hybrids with broad genetic diversity and novel combinations of desirable traits ideally suited for production in North Carolina.

$62,702 to the NCSU Department of Crop and Soil Sciences for “Developing Industrial Hemp in North Carolina.”  This work will investigate the feasibility of industrial hemp for food, fiber and fuel by evaluating varieties and developing best management practices such as planting dates and response to plant growth regulators.

$132,512 to the NCSU Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources for the project, “Intercropping Populus for Bioenergy & Veneer.”  This three-year project will evaluate the profitability of intercropping biomass Populus clones with clones suitable for veneer production.

$98,599 to the Appalachian State University program of Sustainable Technology and The Built Environment for its “Biochar with Anaerobic Digestion: Enhancing Crops” project. This study will investigate the viability of biochar combined anaerobic digestion to enhance biogas production and improve soil quality to increase bioenergy and vegetable crop yields on marginal lands.

$51,405 to the NCSU Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources for the project, “Loblolly Pine Plantations to Maximize Bioenergy Production.” This study builds on previously funded work, and uses two established experimental stands of loblolly pine. The results from this novel design will provide a better understanding of superior genotypes, crown forms, spacing and silviculture practices to optimize loblolly pine for bioenergy production.

$27,192 to Carolina Land & Lakes RC&D for “Pellets for Pullets.”  Funding will be used to install an additional wood pellet heating system on an existing farm to increase accuracy of data collection. These heating systems have been shown to offer cost savings, reduction in moisture and fossil fuel by-products and delivery of a better product to market, while using a renewable domestic fuel.

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Malaysia seeks to export 1 million tons of CPO in three months by dropping export taxes

Biofuels Digest - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 5:47pm

In Malaysia, the government dropped export taxes on crude palm oil as of January 8 for a period of three months in an effort to reduce the 2.6 million metric tons of palm oil stocks that are currently weighing on the market. The target is to reduce the stocks by 1 million tons but analysts say the government’s plan is too ambitious, doubting the likelihood of exporting such volumes in such a short period of time. Palm oil production is expected to increase by half a million tons to 20 million tons this year.

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The story of Red Rock Biofuels and the bond market breakthroughs

Biofuels Digest - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 2:49pm

In the world of drop-in military biofuels, two major updates appeared this week.

In Oregon, Red Rock Biofuels got good news on Monday when the governor approved $245 million in bonds that will allow the company’s planned aviation biofuel plant thanks to overwhelming support by state level legislators and business groups. The facility set for Lake County intends to use 175,000 tons of forestry waste as feedstock via a Fischer-Tropsch process and then later hydro-processing to produce up to 16 million gallons of aviation biofuel annually – approximately 7.2 MMgal jet fuel, 7.2 MMgal diesel fuel, and 3.6 MMgal naphtha.

RRB has eight-year offtake agreements for 100% of the jet fuel with Southwest Airlines and FedEx. Diesel and naphtha output will be sold through the either future offtake agreements with major refiners or on the spot market.

Meanwhile from Washington DC came news by mid-week that a proposed $55 million award for another drop-in military fuels project, one of four originally envisioned under a program of the Defense Production Act (DPA) Title III office — has been cancelled without further explanation. The timing on the cancellation is mystifying, since the original application due date was back in mid-May 2017 (then extended to early June). Whether the cancellation reflects project proposal quality or a change of heart at DoD on priorities remains to be seen. Selected awardees were required to share at least 50% of the total project cost.

Government bonds again.

We’ve seen the structure now a number of times. Government-backed bonds appear to be the hot financing approach for those refineries that most closely resemble state infrastructure projects.

The problem? Too many first commercials that are struggling to get financed because of unguaranteed debt. Even government loan guarantee programs — designed to accelerate the adoption of new technologies by shifting risk to the public sector — don’t guarantee 100% of the debt. As Faegre Baker Daniels partner John Kirkwood told The Digest, “it doesn’t fit anywhere but in the institutional debt markets.”

The Oregon project costs

The $245 million bond amount reported is somewhat mystifying. That’s because the project always featured to this point what Red Rock described as “balanced project funding and robust equity returns” with a $200+ million project cost that would be covered by a $70M DPA Title III grant and “130M+ private funds”.

Fulcrum BioEnergy

Recently, Fulcrum BioEnergy raised $150 million in bond financing for its Sierra BioFuels project, which will convert  up to 175,000 tons of municipal solid waste per year into more than 10 million gallons of low-carbon synthetic crude oil, beginning in early 2020.

We profiled how they got it done here in I Don’t Like Losses, Sport: The invention of bioeconomy risk insurance and Fulcrum BioEnergy’s leap to scale.

Prairie Catalytic

On November 29, 2017, Prairie Catalytic, a subsidiary of Greenyug, closed on the sale of project bonds to finance its first commercial production facility to develop a 50,000 metric tons per year urethane grade ethyl acetate production facility that is located adjacent to the Archer-Daniels-Midland Company ethanol production facility in the City of Columbus, Platte County, Nebraska. It had been a long time coming. At one stage, there were hopes to commence construction a year ago and start production bin early 2018.

The financing was provided by means of an institutional placement of limited-recourse project bonds, partially secured by a loan guarantee issued by the United States Department of Agriculture under its Business & Industry Guaranteed Loan Program, which provided both construction and permanent financing for the project.  This first commercial scale biochemical production facility is the second financed by Stern Brothers using a B&I loan guarantee coupled with institutionally-placed project bonds.  The Project Finance Group at Faegre Baker Daniels served as counsel for Stern Brothers and Heartland Bank and was headed up by John Kirkwood, a partner in FBD’s Indianapolis offices. Kilpatrick Townsend represented the bond buyers.

The complete Prairie Catalytic backstory is here, in Of Esters and Investors: The story of Prairie Catalytic’s leap to scale.

And we profiled the technology here, in Bolting chemicals onto ethanol plants: The Digest’s 2016 8-Slide Guide to Greenyug

More about Red Rock

We most recently profiled the technology here: Jet and diesel from the sticks: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to Red Rock Biofuels

The DPA project rationale

Here’s what the Navy had to say about its advanced military biofuels program (this was in the original Funding Opportunity Announce, before they, ahem, cancelled.)

A robust advanced drop-in biofuels market is an essential element of our national energy security and requires unrestricted, uninterrupted access to affordable energy sources to power our economy and our military. Traditional fossil-fuel based petroleum is derived from crude oil that has increasingly challenging market and supply constraints. Chief among these is limited, unevenly distributed, and concentrated global sources of supply. America’s growing dependence on foreign sources of crude oil undermines foreign policy objectives and comes at an ever increasing impact to the Nation’s trade imbalance. In recent years, the cost of imported oil has exceeded $300 billion per year. Advanced biomass-derived transportation fuels that use a domestic, renewable feedstock provide a secure alternative that reduces the risks associated with petroleum dependence. 

Enhanced reliability of fuel supplies through diversification to advanced drop-in biofuels is also essential to sustain the U.S. military’s mission capabilities, which are at risk due to potential disruptions of crude oil supplies. Accordingly, the Department of the Navy has adopted a goal of, by 2020, replacing one-half of conventional petroleum-based fuel use with domestically sustainable fuel alternatives. Only a handful of production facilities for renewable jet fuel and diesel will operate in the foreseeable future. Current processes for producing advanced drop-in biofuels are expensive, and the resulting high cost of the end product continues to limit demand. Military and civilian end users of fuel have clear strategic incentives to adopt renewable drop-in fuels, but adoption is only possible when those fuels become cost-competitive. 

Given the current economic environment, significant start-up risks, and competitive barriers posed by the firmly established crude oil markets, industry will not assume all of the uncertainty and risk associated with providing a commercially viable production capability for advanced drop-in biofuels. Therefore, it is necessary the federal government cooperates with industry to create a strong demand signal and to make targeted investments to achieve the necessary production capacity required for a robust domestic advanced drop-in biofuels industry. Without these efforts, adequate production capability would not otherwise be established in a timely manner. The principal objective of this initiative is to incentivize the construction of a domestic commercial- scale advanced drop-in biofuel refinery with the capability to produce ready drop-in replacement advanced biofuels meeting military specifications in support of the Navy’s strategic 2020 goals and the Nation’s overall energy security needs. 

The Bottom Line

Red Rock becomes the third to get a greenlight through government-backed bonds to help push an advanced technology through to commercial scale.  Some of the reasons this approach is working we tipped quite a long time ago, back in 2010, in The Name is Bond: New concepts in bond financing may break biofuels finance logjam, here.

And that article dated back in some ways to our multi-part series Benjamins for Biofuels, in which we speculated that “the answer to the financing freeze would be most likely found in  the bond market.”

It’s been a long time coming, but three projects in the space of two months represents something of a wave trend, so we’ll be on the lookout for more.

Categories: Today's News

The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to jet fuel from biorefinery waste

Biofuels Digest - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 2:08pm

Back in 2016, researchers at Washington State University Tri-Cities landed a National Science Foundation I-Corps grant to explore the market potential of their biojet fuel research. The team had successfully demonstrated a new, water-based process for deconstructing and recovering lignin from biomass and converting it into jet fuel-range hydrocarbons. These could be certified as jet fuel in the future. Lignin, a polymer that makes plants woody and rigid, is a waste product in the biofuels production process.

Bin Yang, WSU Tri-Cities associate professor of biological systems engineering and principal investigator for the grant, holds a patent on the process.

“Our ultimate goal is to demonstrate a flexible catalytic process that selectively converts all the carbon in the lignin into jet fuel-range hydrocarbons at minimal cost,” Yang said at the time. Dr. Yang gave this illuminating update and overview of the technology’s progress and promise at ABLC Next in San Francisco.

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CHS agrees to use Enogen at its Rochelle ethanol plant

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 5:18pm

In Illinois, Syngenta has announced an agreement with CHS Inc. to use Enogen corn enzyme technology at its 130-million-gallon ethanol plant in Rochelle. Several million dollars in premiums are expected to be paid annually to growers raising Enogen corn, locally, for the CHS plant in Rochelle. The Rochelle plant is an 81-acre, dry mill corn-based operation and was acquired by CHS in June 2014. “CHS is focused on helping its farmer-owners grow,” said Mike Van Houten, CHS Rochelle facility manager. “The Enogen program provides benefits for our plant, but is also a big win for our local community with the premium to be paid on every bushel of Enogen corn brought to us.”

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Celtic Renewables founder awarded an honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 5:17pm

In the UK, Professor Martin Tangney – founder of Celtic Renewables – has been awarded an honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE). The Queen makes honorary awards to non-British citizens on the advice of the UK Foreign Office. The Edinburgh based scientist hails from County Cork in Ireland, and he joins a select list of previous Irish OBE recipients that includes F1’s Eddie Jordan and the Hollywood actor Pierce Brosnan.

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CropEnergies concerned EU biofuel policy will kill the market post-2020

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 5:16pm

In the UK, CropEnergies is concerned that European policymakers will destroy a decade’s worth of climate action by killing the ethanol market going into the 2020s, in turn hitting the communities where it produces ethanol, such as in northeast England where it recently restarted the Ensus ethanol plant bringing prosperity to local wheat farmers. The company’s CEO says the lack of a specific target for transportation in the post-2020 Renewable Energy Directive doesn’t go far enough to helping reduce GHG emissions.

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Japan opens public comment period regarding US and Brazilian GHG levels

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 5:15pm

In Japan, the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry has opened a public comment period through January 18 regarding proposed policy changes that would allow the import of US-produced corn-based ethanol for ETBE by setting the greenhouse gas emissions for that ethanol at 43.15. US ethanol must be blended with Brazilian ethanol. The proposed changes also include revising GHG emissions for Brazilian ethanol imports at 33.61 from the previous 32.7 and boosting its greenhouse gas emissions reductions target to 55%.. Comments can be submitted (in Japanese) to METI via the following website (Japanese language only).

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Fiji offering crop-based biofuel investments 10-year tax holiday

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 5:13pm

In Fiji, the Xinhua news agency reports that whereas governments in Europe are trying to discourage biofuel production from agricultural crops, the Fijian government is offering a 10-year tax holiday for those investing in crop-based bioenergy projects. The policy is part of the country’s wider push to tackle climate change with its Green Growth Framework including a transition to renewable energy to help increase its overall, long-term sustainability, and through climate resilient agricultural practices as part of its 2020 ag sector policies.

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Brazilian hydrous ethanol reaches highest level since 2014 putting competitiveness in doubt

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 5:12pm

In Brazil, Platts reports that hydrous ethanol prices have soared to the highest level since April 2014 as supplies tighten during the January-April inter-harvest period. Most mills have sold the majority of the season’s production, leaving low supply levels in the hands of the few. Despite stronger prices, hydrous ethanol has remained competitive to gasoline since July when Petrobras raised prices but reaching these new levels may be that competitiveness in doubt as the inter-harvest season progresses.

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Salk Institute scientists find how a plant protein makes plants less resistant to infection

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 5:11pm

In California, Salk Institute scientists studying a plant protein called SOBER1 recently discovered one mechanism by which, counterintuitively, plants seem to render themselves less resistant to infection.

The work, which appeared in Nature Communications, sheds light on plant resistance generally and could lead to strategies to boost plants’ natural immunity or to better contain infections that threaten to destroy an entire agricultural crop.

Further tests showed that the activity and function of SOBER1 is not restricted to the weed Arabidopsis thaliana, but also exists oilseed rape demonstrating that the findings could be applied to agricultural crops and biofuel resources.

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Vermont congressman continues push to remove ethanol from RFS

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 5:10pm

In Vermont, the state’s only member of the House of Representatives continues to push for the removal of ethanol from the Renewable Fuel Standard, this time snowmobiling with the state’s snow travellers association to demonstrate how small engines can allegedly be damaged by ethanol. He refers to the law as being a flop despite its good intentions, pointing to negative environmental impacts from producing and using corn-based ethanol as well as on food prices and the livestock industry.

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On value, and values: Fairness, the disadvantaged, and California’s renewables policy

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 3:26pm

Back in the 1940s when my father and his folks lived on Garcia Avenue in San Francisco, in a part of town the upwardly mobile might refer to as Forest Hill and everyone else called West Portal, around the corner lived the San Francisco County district attorney, Edmund G. “Pat” Brown, and his young family.

The middle sister was my father’s age, and they spent enough time together that, in later life, he would mention her with a smile, even though Democrats and their kin were about as plentiful as Martians around our home and in his universe. Father never cured himself of a life-long and not admirable habit of referring to the little brother, (now California governor) Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown Jr. as “Snot-Nose”, but he always had a regard for Pat Brown, and when Father was grown and I was young, he gave his highest political praise in describing Brown as “tough as nails”.

(Left) former California Governor Pat Brown and (right) current California governor Jerry Brown.

Brown was progressive and inclusive and his stand against WWII-era Japanese-American internment was something that, very slowly, Father came to see as right and fair and in the American grain. He expressed his regard for Brown after they renewed their acquaintance, so I was told, on the occasions in the 1960s when politics would bring them into the same ballroom.

But I am getting ahead of myself. In the late 1940s, San Francisco was beset with transport policy problems, and Mayor Roger D. Lapham was in a world of hurt over it. There were battles over the preservation of cable cars, public ownership of transport, infrastructure spending, and ultimately an unsuccessful recall election over a hike in the streetcar fares. His grandson, Lewis H. Lapham, was editor of Harper’s when I was just starting out in my career, and he usually stopped by my weekly staff cocktail party.

Former San Francisco mayor Roger D. Lapham

There was nothing that an editor of Harper’s could have to say to a 24-year old media cub about literary or world affairs, but I had the most affordable, accessible Stolicihnaya anywhere near New York’s Bleecker Street and Broadway at 5 o’clock on a Friday afternoon. Sometimes, he would reminisce about his San Francisco childhood and his grandfather’s imbroglios.

It’s always fairness, in the end, isn’t it? The world would be a lot farther along on a raft-full of issues if we could agree — in the sphere of transportation or anything else — who should bear the cost, and how benefits are allocated. In the advanced bioeconomy, we see the problem of fairness in carbon policy, in the debate over public spending, mandates, incentives, rebates and so forth. But it’s everywhere — from allies brawling over military allocations, to the debate over health care, safe bridges, taxes for corporations, or pensions for the aged. What do we want and who’s going to pay for it? What’s fair?

Here in the late 2010s. California is beset with transport policy problems, and Governor Jerry Brown is about to be in a world of, if not hurt, some discomfort over it. Sigh. Not much changes.

The particulars are the subject of a white paper from a team at Propel Fuels — Rob Elam, Will Faulkner, Chris LaPlante, Parker Chase — and available here.

Un-Penalizing the Poor

The topics include regressive taxes that penalize the poor, non-inclusion of the disadvantaged, and hand-outs aimed at wealthy elites. My, oh my. Something you’d expect to hear support for in the Bohemian Grove of an older time or at the “right tables” at the Pacific-Union Club — rather than a charge leveled at Governor Brown and a left-leaning California legislature. But that’s the case that Propel is making, and it’s well worth a read.

The quartet writes:

Through the flagship Clean Vehicle Rebate Program, Californians have received $448 million in state rebates for purchases of EVs (hybrids too), with a very large portion going to the wealthiest Californians…the trickledown effects hoped for have not materialized as residents of low-income, high-pollution neighborhoods, otherwise known as Disadvantaged Communities, do not purchase EVs. Even though California’s Disadvantaged Communities suffer the worst air quality in the entire nation, they are the group most likely to vote for the complete repeal of AB 32, due to the inequity of “carbonomics” policy design – an unfortunate, rational choice for short term economic relief at the expense of long term health.

How might this outcome be avoided? Low-carbon fuels provide one solution…[they] are not a premium product that only wealthy, coastal elites can buy today; they are affordable to mainstream populations, including middle- and low-income individuals of all races and age groups. It is inherently progressive, providing relief and inclusion for the state’s most vulnerable citizens, rather than regressive energy taxes and a promise of brighter, cleaner, affordable future.”

Progression, inclusion, relief. Terms that we might consider to be bundled up in the general subject of fairness, and the allocation of burden.

Who will (really) Bear Any Burden?

in 1961 John F. Kennedy opined, “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

Whether we will find such clarity in carbon policy, as in the defense of liberty, remains to be seen, but this Propel white paper ties he success of  political support for change to ideas of fairness. A fair deal is something everyone can get behind, and stay behind.

In 1775, Patrick Henry gave his famous “Liberty or Death” speech in support of a resolution to raise a Virginia militia, and the merits of the measure, seen against the backdrop of the opening maneuvers of the Revolutionary War, seem obvious now, but it passed by the barest of margins. The opposition was led by Robert Carter Nicholas, the colonial treasurer, and among the primary issues was the levy for money that was expected. Who pays, who benefits? It was then, as now.

Pay any price? Bear any burden? It was stirring but empty Kennedy rhetoric. Because no one will pay any price for anything, or bear any burden for it, either. Otherwise, Ronald Reagan wouldn’t have been at the Berlin Wall in the 1980s asking Gorbachev to tear it down — the Army Corps of Engineers could have done the job in two shakes, if there was no burden that could not have been borne. And, today, there is an obvious path to solving the geopolitical problems posed by North Korea if anyone were really interested to “pay any price” whatsoever in assuring the success of liberty.

The debate over energy, or security in the Far East, will come down to the “how much” and “who” of the burden and the price — and, in the case of energy, the Propel team is focusing more attention on that “who”.  From fairness flows policy endurance, from endurance flows stability, and from stability flows the technologies that feed transformation. So let us talk about the “who” as well as the “how much”.

That’s right and fair, and in the American grain.

You can read the Propel white paper here.

Categories: Today's News

The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to unlocking value via California low-carbon policy

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 3:11pm

In this extraordinary white paper on value and values, a team at Propel Fuels — Rob Elam, Will Faulkner, Chris LaPlante, Parker Chase look at the problem of fairness in carbon policy. They write:

Through the flagship Clean Vehicle Rebate Program, Californians have received $448 million in state rebates for purchases of EVs (hybrids too), with a very large portion going to the wealthiest Californians…the trickledown effects hoped for have not materialized as residents of low-income, high-pollution neighborhoods, otherwise known as Disadvantaged Communities, do not purchase EVs. Even though California’s Disadvantaged Communities suffer the worst air quality in the entire nation, they are the group most likely to vote for the complete repeal of AB 32, due to the inequity of “carbonomics” policy design – an unfortunate, rational choice for short term economic relief at the expense of long term health.

How might this outcome be avoided? Low-carbon fuels provide one solution…[they] are not a premium product that only wealthy, coastal elites can buy today; they are affordable to mainstream populations, including middle- and low-income individuals of all races and age groups. It is inherently progressive, providing relief and inclusion for the state’s most vulnerable citizens, rather than regressive energy taxes and a promise of brighter, cleaner, affordable future.”

Categories: Today's News

New Myanmar sugar mill to produce 35,000 liters of ethanol per day

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 7:48pm

In Myanmar, Myanmar Sugar Development has secured $20 million for the first phase of its sugar mill project in Kathar township, Sagaing Region that will produce 35,000 liters of ethanol in addition to 500 metric tons of white sugar daily. The second phase will require another $20 million in investment and the development company is currently in talks with international banks to secure the funding. The first phase is expected to be online in about 18 months.

Categories: Today's News

E-Fuel launches new hydrous ethanol-based gensets for homes and offices

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 7:47pm

In California, E-Fuel Corporation released for preorder sales the new Personal Energy System (PES) that will begin shipping second quarter of 2018. The PES is the industry’s first hydrous fuel combustion powered generator (genset) that can power and use the excess waste energy to heat homes or offices without the local power and heating fuel establishment. The PES objective is to eliminate reliance on the energy grid, lower escalating energy costs and aggressively reduce global warming emissions. PES can accomplish these goals for less than the purchase price of solar and battery backup systems, at $2 dollars per watt without tax credits. The electrical setup is similar to solar, but instead of feeding the power grid to reduce the monthly bill, the PES disconnects the utility power and heating completely from the facility. In the event the PES goes down, the PES control system instantly reconnects power to the utility.

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Red Rock Biofuels scores $245 million state bond for Oregon plant

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 7:46pm

In Oregon, Red Rock Biofuels got good news on Monday when the governor approved $245 million in bonds that will allow the company’s planned aviation biofuel plant thanks to overwhelming support by state level legislators and business groups. The facility set for Lake County intends to use 175,000 tons of forestry waste as feedstock as feedstock via a Fischer-Tropsch process and then later hydro-processing to produce up to 16 million gallons of aviation biofuel annually.

Categories: Today's News

India may lower GST on biodiesel vehicles

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 7:45pm

In India, the biodiesel industry be able to breathe a sigh of relief come January 18 when the Goods and Services Tax Council is set to meet to discuss lowering GST for a number of categories including biodiesel vehicles. Those vehicles are currently taxed at 28%, a level seen a frustrating the growth of the national fleet rather than promoting the consumption of biofuels as is in line with the rest of the government’s transportation policy.

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Argentina’s biodiesel exports broke record in 2017 but 2018 looks rough

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 7:44pm

In Argentina, despite challenges in the biodiesel export market with the US and European Union, the country still managed to break its export record in 2017 at 1.68 million metric tons, according to data from Centro de Estudios del Sistema Agroalimentario (Ceagro) at the Universidad Nacional de Lomas de Zamora. However, more than 1 million tons went to the US, a market that will shrink almost entirely. An increase on export taxes to 8% in 2018 is expected to hit export this year as well as the ongoing blockade by the US.

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