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Today's News

University of Florida see cellulosic ethanol production at $1.50 per gallon

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 06/06/2018 - 6:56pm

In Florida, University of Florida scientists wondered how cheaply fuel ethanol can be made from inedible plant material—called biomass—using currently available technology. Their goal is to make this form of ethanol less expensively than gasoline and help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

But a UF bio-refinery pilot plant in Perry, Florida, uses crushed sugarcane and sweet sorghum stalks—also known as bagasse—to produce fuel ethanol. Study results showed that the lowest break-even price for producing cellulosic ethanol is still higher than the price of gasoline. At their most optimistic, UF/IFAS researchers say cellulosic ethanol could be produced for about $1.50 a gallon, which is still higher than the price that would make it cost-competitive with gasoline—about $1.29 per gallon.

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Trump backs off of RFS reforms as farm states say “no way”

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 06/06/2018 - 6:55pm

In Washington, Reuters reports that President Trump has backed off his proposed reform of the Renewable Fuel Standard expected for this week following pressure from farm states like Iowa who saw RIN generation from ethanol exports as a way to collapse the farm economy. As a result of the pushback that sent Trump back to the drawing board, RIN prices spiked 40% on Wednesday after crumbling over the past weeks and months in anticipation of a much different RIN market.

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Top 10 Biodiesel Trends 2018: what’s up with the world’s favorite advanced biofuel?

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 06/06/2018 - 2:54pm

It’s been a year of chop and change for biodiesel, the world’s favorite advanced biofuel. The quest for energy security, domestic jobs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions has felt like a Monte Carlo car rally: the pace has been fast, the turns have been dizzying, just when you feel that biodiesel is on top there’s been tough news, and yet the fuel and its stakeholders have kept rebounding, and overall the trends have been good. 

We’ve organized the state of biodiesel into 10 areas of vital interest ranging from the development of markets to the entry of ancillary products and new feedstocks.

#1 Tax & Trade

Free trade vs fair trade: Dumping and tax credit issues continue to mezmerize the industry, as the US-Europe-Indonesia-Argentina struggle continues

Argentina to raise biodiesel export tax to 15% as of July 1

In May, we reported that the country’s export tax on soybean oil-based biodiesel will nearly double to 15% as of July 1 from the current 8% level. The move is in part to help boost tax receipts to compensate for the president’s elimination of export taxes on corn and wheat shortly after taking office in December 2015 while also working to narrow the gap between taxes on soybean and soy oil exports, currently 27% and 25% respectively, and taxes on biodiesel exports.

Argentina to raise biodiesel export tax to 15% as of July 1

NBB disappointed omnibus spending bill didn’t reinstate biodiesel tax credit

In March, we reported that the U.S. Congress passed an omnibus spending bill to fund the government that did not include a reinstatement of the biodiesel tax credit.

“The National Biodiesel Board is again disappointed that Congress has failed to provide pro-growth tax certainty for a domestic energy industry that has broad, bipartisan support. The lack of urgency by Congress to extend this expired tax credit continues to frustrate the producers, blenders and marketers of biodiesel,” said Kurt Kovarik, vice president of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board (NBB). “We will work to educate members of the economic and environmental benefits of increased use of biodiesel, so that Congress is poised to drive investments in this American energy industry.”

In February 2018, Congress passed a retroactive extension of the biodiesel tax incentive for 2017 only. But producers continue to operate in 2018 without a tax credit, which is forcing biodiesel producers nationwide to carry the risk of the uncertainty caused by the lack of the tax credit. For some small biodiesel producers, that can be the difference between keeping the lights on or shuttering down.

NBB disappointed omnibus spending bill didn’t reinstate biodiesel tax credit

Indonesia to take US to WTO over biodiesel anti-dumping duties

In April, we reported that the country is ready to take the US to the World Trade Organization over anti-dumping duties lobbed on its biodiesel exports that have all but closed trade. Already, Indonesian exporters have submitted an appeal to US courts against the decision taken by the U.S. International Trade Commission to apply duties of between 126.97 to 341.38 percent. While awaiting the appeal decision, the government will file directly with the WTO in an effort to get the duties dropped.

Indonesia to take US to WTO over biodiesel anti-dumping duties

European Commission to begin registering Argentine biodiesel imports

In May, we reported hat as part of the European Commission’s most recent trade investigation into potential dumping of Argentine biodiesel on the European market, the EC will begin registering imports of Argentine biodiesel as of Friday in an effort to better track potential increases in import volumes and be able to respond quicker.  The EC says it has sufficient proof that the Argentine government is subsidizing production of biodiesel in a number of ways.

European Commission to begin registering Argentine biodiesel imports Friday

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New Jersey’s Fuel Bio One pleads guilty for dumping 45,000 gallons of wastewater

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 5:31pm

In New Jersey, an Elizabeth, New Jersey, biodiesel fuel company admitted discharging more than 45,000 gallons of wastewater from its commercial biodiesel fuel production facility into the Arthur Kill, a narrow waterway that separates New Jersey from Staten Island, New York, U.S Attorney Craig Carpenito and Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood announced.

Fuel Bio One LLC pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark 3rd to an information charging it with one count of violating the Clean Water Act, a statute that was enacted to prevent, reduce, and eliminate water pollution in the United States.

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Targray sets up Twin Cities biodiesel distribution center to boost supplies

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 5:29pm

In Minnesota, Targray announced the opening of its Minnesota Biodiesel distribution center, serving the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area. Strategically located in the heart of Saint Paul, the new biodiesel terminal will help address the rapid growth in regional demand for biodiesel in the Twin Cities area, stemming from recent updates to Minnesota’s Biofuels mandate.

On May 21st 2018, the Minnesota Commerce Department announced a temporary suspension of the B20 requirement through June 30th, citing an insufficient supply of biodiesel in the state. Diesel sold during the temporary suspension must meet the biodiesel minimum content requirement of ten percent (B10) that was in effect prior to May 1st, 2018.

Targray’s Minnesota Biodiesel Terminal helps alleviate recent supply issues while also addressing long-standing concerns over the regional fuel blending infrastructure’s ability to support a B20 mandate. It provides immediate relief to state blenders, which have struggled to secure adequate supplies of biodiesel fuel in recent months.

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Koole to expand biodiesel storage and block train facilities at Rotterdam port

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 5:28pm

In the Netherlands, Koole announced it will further expand its biodiesel storage portfolio and block train rail facility at Koole Tankstorage Minerals. This new development will enable customers to centralize their biodiesel and diesel storage portfolio at one site with  “high end” logistics.

This expansion will increase the rail capacity to a level unprecedented in the Rotterdam harbor.  Koole Terminals CEO John Kraakman says: ‘KTM will be the first terminal operator in ARA to offer block train capabilities of this magnitude and could become a serious competitor to the Hamburg port, which is currently the only high-throughput diesel block train distribution location amongst the larger ports in North West Europe.’ The new facility will be operational in the second half of 2018.

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Fiat says it’ll go all electric in Europe for 2022 but ethanol will still dominate in Brazil

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 5:27pm

In Italy, Fiat says that it is looking to invest $10.5 billion on electric vehicles through 2022 as it shifts its fleet in Europe to comply with emissions regulations, but not in Brazil. In Brazil, the company says ethanol will continue to be the dominant fuel used for reducing carbon emissions so the switch to electric won’t be necessary. It anticipates that only 40% of the company’s powertrains in the EMEA region will be non-electric by 2022 with diesel dropped completely by 2021.

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Bipartisan Senators seek expanded renewable fuels in next Farm Bill

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 5:26pm

In Washington, as the Senate prepares to begin work on the 2018 Farm Bill, U.S Senator Tina Smith told the leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee that expanded use of renewable fuels and increased investment in rural energy programs will be key to creating jobs and reviving the nation’s lagging farm economy.

In a letter Monday to Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS), and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sen. Smith, led a bipartisan group of  a committee members in calling for improvements and strong funding in the program’s that make up the Energy section of the Farm Bill when the legislation is taken up in the coming days.

Renewable electricity, biomanufacturing, and energy efficiency programs have been core parts of the Farm Bill for nearly two decades. These important programs represent only a small fraction of the bill’s costs, but they generate large returns—more than $5 billion since their introduction.

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Scania appears to be pulling out of India

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 5:25pm

In India, the Times of India reports that Scania appears to be closing up its bus manufacturing operations as well as its various projects operating ethanol and biogas buses as well as projects investing in biogas production, but the company didn’t respond to requests for comments by the newspaper. Instead, partners of Scania said the company has either notified intention to withdraw from projects or have stopped operating vehicles in recent months as well as laying off hundreds of employees at its ethanol and biogas bus manufacturing facility.

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Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences teams with Stora Enso on R&D program

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 5:23pm

In Sweden, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Stora Enso. Through the agreement SLU and Stora Enso intend to establish a long-term collaboration in research and development, education, competence building, and innovation within the fields of forestry and bio-based materials.

The main objective of the collaboration is to jointly drive research projects to develop new knowledge within sustainable forestry and wooden biomaterials. Special focus areas include bio-based materials, forest and ecosystem management, forest technology and plant- and forest production. Moreover, the collaboration will act to strengthen competence development of staff members at Stora Enso and SLU.

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RICanada and Advanced Biofuels Canada demonstrate significant positive impacts from Clean Fuel Standard

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 5:22pm

In Canada, the country’s two largest biofuels stakeholders—Renewable Industries Canada (RICanada) and Advanced Biofuels Canada (ABFC), together representing almost 50 member companies—have released the results of a new study on the economic impact of Canada’s upcoming Clean Fuel Standard.

The study demonstrates that biofuels could be responsible for as much as 21.3 megatons (MT) per year of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions by 2030—approximately 70 percent of the 30 MT target set by the federal government. On this basis, study author, Doyletech Corp., concludes that meeting the increased demand for biofuels with domestic production would have a one-time construction phase impact of C$9.6 billion and 47,100 job-years during the build-out period; and bring an increase of $21.3 billion per year in economic activity and 12,614 permanent jobs.

All levels of government would benefit from increased tax revenues, including: C$1.69 billion per year for the federal government; C$1.47 billion per year for provincial governments; and C$107 million per year for municipal governments.

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The Protein Engineers: The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to Codexis

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 3:27pm

Codexis is a leading protein engineering company that applies its technology to the development of biocatalysts for the commercial manufacture of pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals. Codexis’ proven technology enables implementation of biocatalytic solutions to meet customer needs for rapid, cost-effective and sustainable manufacturing.

The company gave this illuminating update on the company’s progress, promise, and most recent milestones as part of its Q1 2018 reporting package.

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Innovating Below Zero Carbon Renewable Fuels: The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to Aemetis

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 3:25pm

Aemetis owns and operates 110 million gallons per year of ethanol and biodiesel facilities in the US and India, and is upgrading the plants using patented technology to produce lower carbon, higher value advanced biofuels and chemicals using lower cost, non-food energy sources and feedstocks. Of special interest is the Aemetis cellulosic refinery using agricultural waste to generate cellulosic ethanol in a technology partnership with LanzaTech among others.

The company provided this illuminating update on its recent progress and promise as part of its Q1 2018 reporting package.

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The Digest’s Top 10 Innovations for the week of June 6th, 2018

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 8:54am

The pace of invention and change is just too strong, we’ve realized, to highlight annual or even quarterly or monthly rankings and summaries of significant product and service advances. For now, we’re going to be tracking these on a weekly basis to keep pace with the changes. Here are the top innovations for the week of June 6th.

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Maximizing Crop Yield: The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to Yield10 Bioscience

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 8:23am

Yield10 Bioscience is an agricultural bioscience company focusing on the development of disruptive technologies to produce step-change improvements in crop yield for food and feed crops to enhance global food security. Experts forecast that food production must be increased by over 70% in the next 35 years to feed the growing global population, which is expected to increase from 7 billion to more than 9.6 billion by 2050.

Yield10 is focused on new agricultural biotechnology approaches to improve fundamental elements of plant metabolism through enhanced photosynthetic efficiency and directed carbon utilization. Yield10 is working to develop, validate and commercialize new traits and identify gene editing targets in several key crops including canola, soybean and corn. Yield10 was launched by Metabolix, Inc. in 2015 and is traded on Nasdaq (YTEN). Yield10 is headquartered in Woburn, MA and has an additional agricultural science facility with greenhouses in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Here’s the latest from the company on its promise and progress.

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Attis Industries to produce grocery bags from biobased products

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 6:28pm

In Georgia, Attis Industries unveiled the first of its planned new ecosystem of biobased products – biodegradable multi-use grocery bags. Through its recent investment in Genarex, the Company is able to reduce the cost of expensive compostable bags by introducing its biobased additive packages. The formulations pass the ASTM D6400 biodegradability testing for industrial compostability and have been proven to not interfere with end of life considerations when paired with existing bioplastics. The new formulations can be used in grocery bags, lawn and leaf bags, pet waste bags, and other film solutions, providing the convenience and end of life performance at a price consumers are willing to pay.

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Total to use 10% rapeseed at La Mede biorefinery to appease farmers

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 6:27pm

In France, Reuters reports that Total plans to appease protesting French farmers by using 50,000 metric tons of rapeseed as feedstock at its La Mede biorefinery, around 10% of the facility’s total production capacity, despite the company’s CEO saying it wasn’t the “most profitable” feedstock for the plant. Original plans were for 100% imported palm oil but protests forced the company to include as much as 30% animal fats, used cooking oil and lower grade wastes from palm oil production.

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German Q1 biodiesel exports jump 30% on year

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 6:24pm

In Germany, during the first three months of 2018, German exports of biodiesel rose strongly. Above all, demand from the U.S., Belgium and Austria saw sharp increases.

In the first quarter of 2018, biodiesel exports increased more than 30 percent from same period last year to 428,620 metric tons (128.67 million gallons). Around 84 percent of these exports were shipped to EU-28 countries. This was up 16 percent from the previous year.

The top purchaser of German biodiesel continued to be the Netherlands, with imports rising 6 percent to 156,860 tons (47.1 million gallons). Belgium moved up to second place, outstripping Poland and doubling its imports to 47,650 tons (14.3 million gallons). Nevertheless, Poland’s biodiesel purchases from Germany went up around 18 percent.

The U.S. recorded the biggest growth in imports, absorbing 42,651 tons (12.8 million gallons). In the same period last year, U.S. imports were very low at 24 tons (7,205 gallons). According to Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (mbH), Austria, Sweden and Switzerland also imported considerably more German biodiesel than in the 2017 reference period.

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Eni begins UCO collection program amongst employees

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 6:23pm

In Italy, Eni will begin collecting used cooking oils from the homes of its employees, which will then be converted into high-quality biofuels. This pioneering initiative is part of Eni’s commitment to adopt a circular economy program across all of its business areas, with the aim of maximizing efficiency and the sustainable use of energy. The project is being launched in the Eni Bio-Refinery in Venice following an agreement between Eni and Veritas, the multi-utility company responsible for the collection and treatment of waste in the Venice area. Over the course of the next few weeks, the project will be extended to the Porto Marghera petrochemical plant where Eni’s subsidiaries Versalis and Syndial also operate.

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India to provide $655.25 million in subsidies to boost ethanol production

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 6:22pm

In India, as part of a wider package to bailout the flailing sugarcane industry, LiveMint reports that a whopping $655.25 million will be destined to helping sugarcane mills invest in ethanol production capacity that will allow them to reduce sugar production surpluses. The country has traditionally only allowed ethanol production from molasses but the long-awaited ethanol policy that was passed last month by the cabinet deregulates the industry allowing from production straight from cane juice or bagasse.

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