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Today's News

India’s ethanol blend could reach 3.2% this year

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 10/03/2018 - 4:15pm

In India, although far from its 10% ethanol blending goals, the USDA estimates the country will achieve 3.2% ethanol blending this year at around 1.25 billion liters, the second-highest ever behind 3.3% in 2016. Total production capacity is could reach 6.5% blending if all ethanol was used for blending, which it is not. Last year only saw blending only reach 1.9%. Biodiesel blending remains very low as well at just 0.14% this year but policy goals want it to reach 5% by 2030.

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Australian researchers manipulate plant walls in hopes of easing biofuel production

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 10/03/2018 - 4:14pm

In Australia, researchers from the University of Melbourne show how plant walls could be manipulated in the future to change the way we produce biofuels, bioplastics and other biomaterials. In particular, understanding how to control the production of flexible primary walls, which support cell growth, has been an important goal for biologists.

The sugar-based polymers in these walls could be used for a range of applications—like converting them into biofuel, providing new types of green nano-materials or developing bioplastics.

In the new study, they have identified ‘master switches’ that can turn on primary wall production. Astonishingly, these switches can make cells producing thick primary walls that can even be used to replace secondary walls.

The capacity to combine the ease of breaking primary wall sugar polymers apart, with the secondary walls’ ability to grow thickly, means we can potentially completely change the content of the biomass of plants, from something that is strong but difficult to break apart to something that is more plastic and easy to dissolve.

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Biofuels left behind in major Federal Transit Administration bus grant program

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 10/03/2018 - 4:13pm

In Washington, of the $366.2 million in grants awarded last week by the Federal Transit Administration to improve America’s bus systems, only one project associated with biofuels was awarded. The nearly $6.4 million grant was awarded to the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority who will receive funding to expand its biodiesel bus fleet. The project will improve the on-time performance of the system and increase service in key corridors. On the other hand, 15 projects dealing with electric and electric-hybrid buses were awarded nearly $60 million.

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NATSO launches new RIN management service with Alternative Fuels Council

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 6:41pm

In Virginia, NATSO Inc. and the Alternative Fuels Council launched a new RIN Management Service designed to help fuel retailers that blend and sell renewable fuels to more efficiently participate in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program and manage their Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs).

The Alternative Fuels Council’s RIN Management Service will help those who buy, sell and blend biodiesel, ethanol, renewable diesel, and renewable CNG to manage the complex compliance requirements under the RFS. Under the RIN Management program, participants will: (1) consult with experts on the RFS and Low Carbon Fuel Standard compliance; (2) get help registering for EPA’s RFS program as well as for the IRS Blenders License; (3) access sources for fuel supply options; (4) secure advice and assistance for state incentive programs; and (5) monitor the status of impending IRS Blender’s Tax Credits.

Program participants also gain access to an exclusive software program that provides real-time RIN management, a system of record for all RIN transactions, as well as RIN account reconciliations. Through this software, blenders and marketers can reduce the staff time that it takes to comply with the RFS by as much as 75 percent. In addition, knowledgeable Alternative Fuels Council staff will perform EPA-required quarterly reporting as well as end-of-year third-party CPA audits.

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Bipartisan group of 46 Congressmen ask House for multiyear biodiesel tax credit renewal

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 6:40pm

In Washington, a bipartisan group of 46 Congressmen sent a letter to House leadership last week asking them to push through a multiyear renewal of the biodiesel tax credit that was approved in March retroactive for 2017 but not implemented for 2018.

“Biodiesel and renewable diesel producers are putting investments on hold in the face of the uncertainty created by the off-again, on-again nature of tax incentive eligibility. A multi-year extension of the biodiesel and renewable diesel incentives will provide the industry the certainty it needs to continue to generate the economic and environmental public benefits,” the group said in the letter.

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Brazilian hydrous ethanol demand reaches all-time record in August

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 6:39pm

In Brazil, Platts reports that ANP data shows hydrous ethanol demand reached a record high in August of 1.81 billion liters, up 49% on the year thanks to the fuel’s competitiveness with gasoline. It was the highest since October 2015. Roughly 92% of the demand came from the center-south region. Hydrous represented 29% of total fuel consumption in the region during August. Overall demand for the year is up 42% over 2017 at 11.5 billion liters.

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Trump to visit Iowa next week to announce year-round E15

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 6:38pm

In Washington, Reuters reports that President Trump is set to visit Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Oct. 9 where after months of promising to implement year-round  E15 he is expected to announce the policy will finally go through. The expectation is that approving the policy now will help Midwestern senators in tight races keep their seats come November but similarly senators in tight races in oil states such as Texas could be in jeopardy as a result.

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Eni teams with Rome on UCO collection for biodiesel production

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 6:36pm

In Italy, Eni and AMA, a public company of Roma Capitale, signed an agreement to launch collection points for waste cooking oil produced in the homes of its employees at Eni’s Rome offices in Piazzale Mattei and Via Ribotta, which will then be converted into high quality biofuels.

In addition to the twelve AMA collection centers currently available in the city, AMA will install dedicated containers at the sites, while Eni will give each of its 1,800 employees a special oil tank to facilitate collection and transport. An internal information campaign was also launched as part of Eni’s program to spread and consolidate the message of the benefits of a circular economy in all its business areas, with the aim of greater efficiency and sustainability around energy production and use.

The collected waste cooking oil will be purified and sent to the Eni Biorefinery in Venice, the first example in the world of an oil refinery that has been converted into a biorefinery, which will convert the oil into high quality biofuel, Enidiesel +, which contains 15% of the renewed product and is available in over 3500 of Eni’s petrol stations.

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South Africa to launch blending mandate at last in March 2019

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 6:35pm

In South Africa, Creamer’s reports that after a decade of planning, the country is finally ready to implement its 2% blending mandate in March 2019 in an effort to provide a stable market for the burgeoning industry that hasn’t been able to get off the ground without regulated demand. The 2% mandate equates to only about 400,000 liters per year. Oil companies will be required to purchase minimum amounts of biofuel as part of the rule, while feedstocks will also be regulated to ensure there are no negative impacts on food security. Crops that are rain-fed will also be prioritized. The government is developing fuel standards to go along with the new policy.

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Rutgers researchers discover algae species that could survive climate change

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 6:34pm

In New Jersey, green algae that evolved to tolerate hostile and fluctuating conditions in salt marshes and inland salt flats are expected to survive climate change, thanks to hardy genes they stole from bacteria, according to a Rutgers-led study.

These Picochlorum single-celled species of green algae provide clues to how nature can modify genomes, and suggest ways in which scientists may someday engineer more robust algae to serve as biofuels and provide other benefits. The study appears in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution.

The findings reveal how the miniaturized genomes of green algae have evolved from the larger genomes of their freshwater ancestors to become resilient primary producers of organic compounds that support ecosystems. This transition to a saltier and more hostile environment achieved by Picochlorum occurred over millions of years but parallels what is happening on a more rapid scale now due to climate change.

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European Biodiesel Board calls on Member States to push for duties against Argentine biodiesel

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 6:32pm

In Belgium, during Wednesday’s TDI meeting Member States’ representatives are going to discuss a recent Commission document that, in spite of clear evidence of distortive practices and strong injury for the EU economy, the European Biodiesel Board says fails to announce provisional Anti-Subsidy (AS) duties vs. Argentina. The Commission investigation found evidence the Argentinean Differential Taxes (DETs) mechanism is a price distortive and an unfair subsidization practice. It also demonstrated the existence of an injury for our industry, with the EU biodiesel market literally flooded by unfair Argentinean exports and huge consequential economic damages for EU industry, farmers and employment. Surprisingly, however, the proposal of the Commission is not to set a provisional duty, and wait for more time, in order to clear all doubts that a potential duty will serve EU interests.

EBB is making clear that if no provisional duties are fixed within the next days, the EU Biodiesel industry will again be severely impacted by unfair trade flows, with a potential for catastrophic consequences for the EU green economy, European agriculture and jobs. While the Commission is also proposing to cancel previously existing Anti-Dumping duties vs. Argentina, for the EU biodiesel industry it is already impossible to compete with Argentinean exports that are sold in Europe at unfairly low prices and even lower than the cost of biodiesel raw materials –which is, per se, a clear proof of unfair trade practice.

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The world’s first commercial light on fuel made from waste carbon gases: now, will policy get the framework right for global deployment?

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 3:07pm

From left, LanzaTech CEO Jennifer Holmgren, Virgin Atlantic CEO Craig Kreeger and LanzaTech CSO Freya Burton discussing the historic first commercial flight on waste carbon gases, in Orlando, prior to boarding VS 16 to London Gatwick.

In Florida, Virgin Atlantic CEO Craig Kreeger, LanzaTech CEO Jennifer Holmgren, a cadre of Virgin Atlantic and LanzaTech team members, industry stakeholders and a group of pleasantly surprised transatlantic passengers have boarded a Boeing 747 for Virgin’s fVS16 light to London Gatwick — in an historic first for aviation, its the first commercial light on fuel made from waste carbon gases.

We had reported on the news of the impending flight, last month, here.

Passengers on the historic flight will be welcomed upon landing by a familiar face on arrival as the airline’s founder Sir Richard Branson will marshal the aircraft into stand. This flight follows hot on the heels of a £410K UK government Future Fuels for Flight and Freight grant to determine the feasibility of building a 40-50million US gallon jet fuel plant in Britain.  

Virgin Atlantic CEO Craig Kreeger said, “I called this technology the coolest recycling I’ve ever heard of, and It’s somsrhing we think is amazing. Other companies are pursiuing other alternatives. We like this one, because we see it as commercially viable and scalable, with plentiful resource to do good with. There’s been an awful lot of ghelp from government, but we think that the UK government has a great opportunity., We want the next plant to be in the UK, and we encourage the UK government to make sure through its work on alternative fuels  to make sure this fuel is made close to hand so that we are one of the first airlines to benefit from. For the UK in a post-Brexit world this is a no-brainer.”

LanzaTech CEO Jennifer Holmgren added, “Who would ever imagijne that a steel mill could make the steel for the plane and with its waste gases make the fuel for that flight? This fuel started in a steel mill in China and it was converted to jet fuel in Georgia. They tell us that climate change is a problem thta is too big for us for solve. It takes innovation, will and regulation. Today the plane is fueled by innovation. But also by strong will.”

LanzaTech plans to have 125 million gallons in annual production at three UK-based facilities by 2025. Part of what is becoming a sprawling portfolio of projects in the EU, India, China and the US to produce Lanzajet, Lanzanol, and ultimately what we might one day be calling LanzaChems. More about the latest in the LanzaTech story, here.

And here’s a LanzaTech Multi-Slide Guide. And some perspective on why Virgin loves LanzaTech and vice-versa, here.

Reaction from the stakeholders

Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group commented:

“Long haul travel is more important than ever for connecting people around the world and it’s our responsibility to ensure we’re doing that in the most sustainable way possible. Working with LanzaTech will enable us to greatly reduce our carbon emissions and at the same time, help support UK industry. That’s why we’re excited to showcase this fuel on its first commercial flight as we plan for the world’s first full scale jet fuel plant using this amazing new technology. The LanzaTech process is important because this fuel takes waste, carbon-rich gases from industrial factories and gives them a second life – so that new fossil fuels don’t have to be taken out of the ground. This flight is a huge step forward in making this new technology a mainstream reality.” 

Energy and Clean Growth Minister, Claire Perry said:

“Congratulations to Virgin on this brilliant project, applying innovative solutions like this to real-world climate change challenges will help us transition to a greener, cleaner economy.

“As part of our modern Industrial Strategy we’re backing this kind of outside-the-box thinking by investing £100 million in low carbon industrial innovation to ensure we modernize our industries and accelerate the shift to low carbon transport.”

Sheila Remes, Vice President of Strategy, Boeing Commercial Airplanes commented:

“We’re proud to see our longstanding collaboration with LanzaTech and Virgin Atlantic reach this momentous milestone. Not only does this project demonstrate how air transport can grow sustainably, it sets the stage for expanding commercial availability of new sustainable aviation fuels.”

Rolf Hogan, Executive Director, Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials said:

“Watching the sustainable bioeconomy quite literally take off, in the shape of this flight from Orlando to London, is a major boost for the organisations worldwide that are working so hard to develop the new technologies which will change our world. Lanzatech’s commitment to building a low carbon future serves as a model for all parts of the bioeconomy. As a community, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials is thrilled to see two of its members, LanzaTech and Virgin Atlantic, see their many years of hard work in developing this technology reach a commercial scale.  We are also proud to provide ongoing support to LanzaTech’s ground-breaking Alcohol to Jet (ATJ) initiative as a sustainability partner, ensuring that environmental and social sustainability are built into the foundations of this innovative project.”

Kai Sorenson, Director of Commercial Sales for EPIC Fuels added:

“As a fuel provider, EPIC Fuels recognizes the need to find alternatives to petroleum-only based jet fuel,” said Kai Sorenson, Director of Commercial Sales for EPIC Fuels. “We’ve participated in multiple demonstration flights to identify and fast track technologies that can improve the environmental performance of aviation and gained unmatched experience with blending fuels. We are looking forward to playing a key role more programs in the future to help the aviation industry address a critical need in securing alternative fuels.”

Now to the big questions: Should We, Can We, Will We?

Should we?

The answer came perhaps a decade ago, when airlines, customers, policymakers and technologists, looking at the climate data and the opportunities in technology, concluded that aviation should be decarbonized. The airline association, IATA, set an internal goal for the industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by half from 2005 levels, by 2050. Some of that is accomplished through efficient engines, some by revised on-ground procedures. But a lot has to come from alternative fuels, and that’s inspired a lot of technology development.

There have been limits placed by working with existing infrastructure that have been sub-optimal — such as limiting most pathways to a 50/50 blend with petroleum. No matter. 

But aviation has been a special case, because the targets set by IATA are not a case of industry greenwashing but, in many ways, the spearhead of an urgent mission to avoid country-by-country airline emissions regulations. You can imagine the nightmare of taking off under one regulatory regime, flying over three others and emitting therein, and landing in a fifth. The paperwork alone, and the juggling of feedstocks, technology, data reporting and so forth would be a complete nightmare.

And, alternatives to alternative fuels do not abound. Solar or wind-energy driven, wide-body, long-haul commercial jets. Forget about hem for decades, if ever. Electric batteries that are lightweight enough to sustain flight over long distances? Not even on the drawing boards, really.

So, stakeholders from national governments to the fuel-consuming airlines have been pushing for sustainable aviation fuels, and that’s the Should We, answered.

Can we?

Technically, we know that we can. Whether we use plant- or residue-based oils and hydrotreat them to make a qualifying jet fuel, or upgrade alcohols produced from plants or residues to jet fuel, we know we can do it. There have been hundreds of successful flights on sustainable aviation fuel blends.

And today’s flight was another historic first in that respect. Making ethanol from carbon dioxide generated by steel mill waste gases is tough enough — but developing a process to upgrade those alcohols to a finished jet fuel is quite another. LanzaTech is among the very few that have developed and demonstrated such a process at scale — and it opens up a world of feedstocks to jet fuel. Suddenly, off-gases from mills become available as a carbon source for jet fuels, and there are as many as 30B gallons of jet fuel that could be made were all the off-gases to be captured and utilized, according to LanzaTech. Not to mention the vast resources of landfilled MSW or terrestrial biomass that can be utilized by this process (and others, including Fulcrums’, and Red Rock’s which we wrote about here and here).

10 years ago there were positive answers to the Should We? and almost no answers available to the Can We? 

But now, we know that the answer is yes.

But, Will We?

Ahem, the “will we?” comes down to a couple of very specific problems that need to get solved, and they won’t get solved by the same answers and strategies that helped us through Should We? and Can We?.

And, unfortunately, we have to begin with some hard and unpleasant facts which have little to do with the efficacy or performance of the fuels or the urgency that we use them to solve widely-agreed air transport decarbonization challenges.

We can summarize them in four We Will of Will Nots.

1. We will (or will not) establish financial risk mitigation strategies that work for new air transport technologies. 

2. We will (or will not) establish a global air transportation decarbonization policy that unlocks  sustainable, affordable, reliable available feedstocks, and establishes a viable market for low-carbon fuels — so that polluters pay for technologies that vent excessive emissions compared to emerging technologies.

3. We will (or will not) invest in deploying these technologies at scale and remove pointless obstacles that prevent same.

4. We will (or will not) bring consumer pressure to bear by distinguishing between sustainable flights and non-sustainable flights, the same way we distinguish between organic and non-organic foods, fair trade coffee and its alternative, and so on.

The 4 Ws of decarbonizing air transport

You could (or might not) call them the 4 Ws of decarbonizing air transport.

Let’s chat about these for a moment.

1. It is not enough to have a reliable technology and a business plan that models out a favorable return for investors. Leaving aside first-of-kind technology risk, there’s operational risk (it rusts or becomes obsolete more quickly than expected), policy risk (absence, reversal, churning modification), commodity risk (upside down economics), supply chain risk (you can’t find feedstocks near to the plant, because conditions change), consumer risk (fickle customers, the advent of new technology, bankrupted or impoverished customers), incumbent risk (disruptive anti-change messaging, policy manipulation, “buy and kill” M&A policy, predatory price manipulation), and so on. A project thrives only when all of the variables come in at favorable levels, and the uncertainty alone can skyrocket the cost of capital.

2. The US Renewable Fuel Standard and the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard, as originally enshrined, offered a (in today’s market) a $2.70 or so financial incentive in RINs and CARB credits for cellulosic ethanol, and nothing for sustainable aviation fuels. So, considering that it takes around 2.1 gallons of cellulosic ethanol to make a gallon of jet fuel, US policy is currently offering ethanol producers an incentive NOT TO MAKE JET FUEL that totals around $5.40 per gallon right now. That’s completely backwards. Airlines want these fuels more than oilcos do. Environmentalists support sustainable aviation fuels to the extent that they support aviation at all. They’re drop-in replacements that require no infrastructure change. So why are we offering a $5.40 per gallon incentive not to make it? 

I think you are about to remark that this situation pertains only to the US market and jet fuels are global, so they could simply be made elsewhere and shipped to the US and claim credits in another regime. And there’s something in that. Except to say that none of Canada, the EU, India, Brazil or China have an effective policy that solves this problem of killing two carbon credits (ethanol) to make one carbon credit (jet fuel), either. Carbon credit destruction is a big problem, and needs to be addressed through international treaty with ratifying parties pledging to enact enabling legislation at home. And it probably needs to be a separate regime from road transport, because air transport is too fantastically different from road in almost every important aspect, like volumes, use cases, fuels types and the need for intermediates.

3. There are too many pointless obstructions in the financing of renewables, compared to financing almost anything else. The unavailability of master limited partnerships as an investment structure. The inability to count renewable assets in assessing a company’s balance sheet. The lack of credit default swaps. The lack of trained people to assess projects from a financing and engineering POV. The lack of public commodity-buying vehicles for institutionals to invest in. Just to name a few. There ’s $200 trillion in available finance worldwide and it’s a joke what goes into renewables and much of that has to do more with financing structures and personnel.

4. Why can’t we simply see if a flight is sustainable when it comes time to book a ticket. We know this is important to flying customers. And other concerns of theirs are reported — safety record, on-time arrival, availability of connecting flights, meal service, cabin layout, seat cost, upgrade availability, and on and on and on. You can find out more about the chain of custody of a plum, than you can know about the chain of custody of the fuel that powers us around the world. We’re addressing conflict diamonds — why can’t we address sustainable fuels?

The Bottom Line

Should We? 10 years ago, Virgin was a leader in shouting Yes. Can We? Today, Virgin and the host of partners who have built a sustainable  aviation fuel community — LanzaTech and many, many others — they have shown us that the answer is Yes.

But Will We? The hard yards of commercialization are now beginning and the solving of the technology problem and the willing customer is just the beginning of it. Sir Richard Branson personally marshaling in this historic first flight — if that’s not consumer pull of the first magnitude, we don’t know what is. Meanwhile, industry is pushing hard.

What will policymakers do this time — as once again they have the choice between a clean, sustainable future and a darker, more suspect past. 

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New algae/fungi biofuels system, breakthru on sugar yields, biodegradable clothes, Beyond Burger’s monster GHG benefit, Indigo Ag’s $250M, robotic precision harvest: The Digest’s Top 10 Innovations for the week of October 3rd

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 5:44am

The pace of bioeconomy invention and change continues at a frenetic pace.

In today’s Digest, a new algae/fungi biofuels system, breakthru on sugar yields, biodegradable clothes, Beyond Burger’s monster GHG benefit revealed, Indigo Ag raises $250M, robotic precision harvest, biotech labs made from shipping boxes — here are the top innovations for the week of October 3rd.

#1 MSU researchers harness algae and fungi to create new biofuel system

In Michigan, Michigan State University scientists found a solution using two species of marine algae and soil fungi to enhance oil production and harvest using what many consider sea sludge. The new proof of concept is a biofuel production platform that lowers cultivation and harvesting costs and increases productivity.

The species of alga, Nannochloropsis oceanica, and fungus, Mortierella elongata, both produce oils that can be harvested for human use; for example, they are components in products like biofuels that power cars, and in omega-3 fatty acids that benefit heart health.

When scientists place the two organisms in the same environment, the tiny algae attach to the fungi to form big masses that are visible to the naked eye. This aggregation method is called bio-flocculation. When harvested together, the organisms yield more oil than if they were cultivated and harvested each on their own.\

The new approach feeds the algae with ammonium, one source of nitrogen that algae can quickly use for growth. However, the ammonium supply is controlled so the algae produce the maximum cell density and automatically enter nitrogen starvation. The closely monitored nitrogen diet can increase oil production and lower costs.

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Eni’s Versalis wins Biochemtex and Beta Renewables at auction

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 10/01/2018 - 6:29pm

In Italy, Eni’s Versalis won the bidding process ordered by the Court of Alessandria for Mossi & Ghisolfi’s Group’s “green” activities including Biochemtex and Beta Renewables. The transfer of the related business units will be formally agreed in the coming weeks, in compliance with legal procedures and deadlines.

The operation includes assets and resources related to development activities, industrialization, licensing of technologies and bio-chemical processes based on the use of renewable resources, especially biomass, of the four companies Biochemtex, Beta Renewables, Ipb (Italian Bio Products) and Ipb energia.

The innovative aspect of these processes is the Proesa® technology, which is used to convert biomass into second generation sugars and the subsequent production of biofuels or, potentially, other biochemical intermediates. The industrial plant at Crescentino (Vercelli) produces bio-ethanol, as well as green electricity thanks to the enhancement of lignin.

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US ethanol exports hit record in 2016/17 at 1.4 billion gallons

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 10/01/2018 - 6:27pm

In Washington, partnering with the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy and USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service—and with support from the Market Access Program funds and state check-off contributions—the U.S. Grains Council has been able to help promote corn ethanol sales globally for a new export record in marketing year 2016/2017 of nearly 1.4 billion gallons.

Calendar year 2017 saw Council ethanol promotion programs in China, Japan, South Korea, Colombia, Peru, Canada, Mexico, India, the Philippines and Taiwan.

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Australia funds feasibility study for biorefinery to produce renewable fuels from sawmill residues

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 10/01/2018 - 6:26pm

In Australia, Mid North Coast of New South Wales could become home to the world’s first biorefinery turning sawmill residues into renewable diesel and renewable bitumen.

On behalf of the Australian government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has announced up to A$500,000 in funding to Boral Timber, a subsidiary of Boral Ltd., to investigate the feasibility of building a second-generation biofuels refinery using the waste sawmill residues from the Boral Timber Hardwood Sawmill at Herons Creek near Port Macquarie.

Under the A$1.2 million study, Boral will explore the technical and financial viability of establishing a biorefinery using innovative technology, which would be located near the Herons Creek sawmill.

If the study is successful, the proposed biorefinery, which would cost an estimated A$50 million to build, could convert up to 50,000 metric tons of waste sawmill residue produced each year into transport-grade renewable diesel and bitumen.

The sawmill residue—which includes sawdust, remnant woodchips, shavings and offcuts—is currently used for lower value uses such as landscaping and boiler fuel.

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Cavitation Technologies sees positive revenue on back of successful biodiesel trial

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 10/01/2018 - 6:25pm

In California, with the successful completion of our biodiesel system trial unit in Colombia, Cavitation Technologies, Inc. recorded revenue in the first quarter of fiscal 2019. The biodiesel production system trial unit has gone through vigorous testing over the past year, with final results meeting the customer’s demand and expectations.

“We have successfully completed the biodiesel system trial in South America. We were able to achieve positive results by reducing catalyst consumption as high as fifteen percent, while maintaining a good quality of biodiesel, provided consistent stability of operations. flexibility in various usage of feedstock, glycerin separation and reduction of monoglycerides in the final product. Our expectations are to monetize on a new commercial application for production of biodiesel by providing the industry with an innovative technology and look forward to install new systems in our fiscal 2019,” concluded Roman Gordon, Global Technology Manager at CTi.

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Indonesian biodiesel production seen rising 40% in 2019

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 10/01/2018 - 6:24pm

In Indonesia, Malaysia’s Star newspaper reports that Indonesia’s biodiesel production could soar 40% to 7 million metric tons in 2019 thanks to increased demand spurred by the government’s push to 20% blending mandate from the previous 15%. Palm oil production is seen topping 40 million tons next year, up from more than 39 million tons in 2018. While the country plans to significantly boost its demand, it is still seeking to increase exports as well by asking countries to facilitate trade, including India who in March raised its import taxes on both crude and refined palm oil.

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CARB approves changes to LCFS

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 10/01/2018 - 6:23pm

In California, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved changes to the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) last week designed to make the program a more versatile, comprehensive tool in the fight against climate change.

Since 2011, the LCFS has been a cornerstone of California’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions and has spurred innovation in low-carbon transportation fuels such as hydrogen, electricity and biodiesel. Last year, the LCFS resulted in more than two billion gallons of petroleum and natural gas being replaced with cleaner, renewable transportation fuels.

The standard currently requires a 10 percent reduction in the “carbon intensity” of California’s transportation fuels by 2020. Carbon intensity is determined by the amount of carbon emitted throughout a fuel’s entire life cycle, from extraction or production to combustion.

The amendments approved by the Board require a 20 percent reduction in carbon intensity by 2030, the most stringent requirement in the nation. The new requirement aligns with California’s overall 2030 target of reducing climate changing emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, which was set by Senate Bill 32 and signed by Governor Brown in 2016.

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Russian researchers find way for pyrolysis to heat itself

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 10/01/2018 - 6:22pm

In Russia, pyrolysis can be organized automatically for heat generation out of the most common type of biomass such as peat and straw. That is, it is sufficient to heat biomass to a certain temperature and then the process proceeds in the autothermal mode due to its own heat release. This technology was studied by scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University in the article published in the Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry.

The development of research in this domain will make energy generation out of biofuel more resource efficient and feasible.

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