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DOE launches Lab Partnering Service

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 08/01/2018 - 5:40pm

In Washington, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) officially launched the Lab Partnering Service (LPS), an on-line, single access point platform for investors, innovators, and institutions to identify, locate, and obtain information from DOE’s 17 national laboratories. This tool will provide industry with a more efficient way to harness technical expertise and intellectual property housed at DOE’s labs.

The DOE Office of Technology Transitions’ (OTT) Lab Partnering Service gives energy investors and innovators direct access to the vast array of expertise, research, and capabilities across all 17 National Labs. LPS will allow users to submit inquiries to the Technology Transfer Office at each lab. This office can answer and/or direct questions from the users and provide an invaluable navigational assistance through the DOE R&D ecosystem.

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Indonesia to implement B20 for railroads and power plants by September 1

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 08/01/2018 - 5:39pm

In Indonesia, Bloomberg reports that as of September 1, railroads and power plants will have to use 20% biodiesel just like the road transportation sector as the country seeks to shore up its currency and reduce expenditure of US dollars for things like fossil fuel imports. As a result of the mandate’s extension, fossil fuel imports should fall by about $3.5 billion annually. Next year consumption could reach 6.2 billion liters from an estimate 4 billion liters this year.

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Unwinding the Perverse Arithmetic of Scott Pruitt’s Small Refinery Exemptions to the RFS

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 08/01/2018 - 4:52pm

By Jeremy Martin, Senior Scientist, Clean Vehicles, Union of Concerned Scientists

Republished by permission, the original is here.

Former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is gone, but the messes he created will be with us for a long time. His approach to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) took an already complicated policy and turned it upside down. Here, we untangle the opaque way Pruitt rigged the system for his fossil fuel friends and what this means for the ongoing RFS rulemaking.

Pruitt pulling strings for polluters

Last year Pruitt, acting on behalf of some oil refineries, tried to roll back the standard through a rulemaking process, but his efforts were blocked by the political power of the ethanol industry and its backers in the Senate. But when Pruitt was blocked through the normal administrative process, he did the administrative equivalent of slashing tires, abusing a previously obscure provision to hand out exemptions to individual oil refiners at an unprecedented pace, and claiming the details and the reasoning are confidential business information not subject to public comment or even Congressional oversight.

The specific mechanism Pruitt used to make this change is called the Small Refinery Exemption (SRE), which is a provision of the law that allows EPA to exempt a small refiner from compliance with the standard in cases of disproportionate economic hardship. Until Pruitt assumed control of EPA, this provision had been used sparingly, which makes sense because the cost of complying with the RFS applies to all refiners equally, so in general the economic impact is exactly proportionate. But with Pruitt at the helm, EPA approved most of the SRE applications it received, reducing the standard by more than 7% compared to the volumes EPA had mandated (See this excellent FarmDocDaily article for the details)

The impacts of these decisions are wide-ranging:

Free lunch for small refiners

Some refiners enjoyed windfall profits, since the waiver gives them a significant competitive advantage over other refiners, who were not exempted. The market price for gasoline and diesel includes the cost of complying with the RFS, so refiners that get a waiver still sell their product for this price, without bearing the cost of compliance, which basically amounts to free money, courtesy of Scott Pruitt. Some of the beneficiaries of this largess included Carl Icahn, friend of the President and former adviser on regulations. Others getting a break include Andeavor, one of the largest refiners, who apparently qualified based on individual refineries that are below the size cutoff. Exxon Mobil and Chevron have reportedly also filed applications to exempt some of their smaller facilities.

Cellulosic fuels and biodiesel take a hit

The immediate impact of SREs on the use of biofuels is complicated. It might seem that ethanol use would fall in line with the RFS standards, but for economic and technical reasons ethanol use is likely to remain very close to 10 percent of gasoline use, regardless of changes in the RFS, at least in the near term. Instead it is biodiesel that likely takes the biggest hit. This is because SREs includes reductions in advanced biofuels and bio-based diesel, and also because biodiesel has been filling the gap between the conventional ethanol mandate and the E10 blend wall, which would stop if the SREs push ethanol mandates below the blend wall.

The standard for non-food based cellulosic biofuels, which Pruitt had already reduced by more than 7% in 2018 compared to 2017, was effectively further reduced by about another 8% by SREs.

Long term ramifications for compliance and certainty

Much of the impact of the SMEs will be felt in future years. The RFS allows refiners to save extra credits for use in future years. In EPA’s proposal they revealed that banked credits increased by 38% last year, to more than 3 billion gallons worth. These banked credits will be used to reduce refiners’ compliance obligations for years into the future.

The big loser is fact-based policy-making

In the midst of the political train wreck that the RFS has become, it’s easy to lose sight of the basic goals the policy was meant to advance: to cut oil use and promote the development of low carbon biofuels. However, Pruitt left in the middle of a rulemaking process in which stakeholders were asked to comment on a proposal that claimed to be increasing the use of biofuels, when agency actions are actually decreasing biofuel use! Here’s the math:

  • EPA proposes a 590-million-gallon increase in biofuels use, about 3 percent more than 2018
  • However, if EPA continues to grant SREs at the same pace and without reallocating the volumes, the result will be to weaken the standards by about 8 percent
  • Therefore, reductions in the RFS targets through the use of SREs larger than the proposed increases of the targets

Despite the huge impact SRE’s have on the RFS program, EPA specifically states that any comments on accounting for SRE will be ignored (page 32057).

EPA is not soliciting comments on how small refinery exemptions are accounted for in the percentage standards formulas in 40 CFR 80.1405, and any such comments will be deemed beyond the scope of this rulemaking.

What is more frustrating is that the rulemaking docket reveals the agency almost did the right thing, which would have recognized the SREs in the rulemaking process and kept the RFS targets intact. A review of early drafts of the proposal by Reuters (here) suggests that after returning from a tour of the Midwest, Pruitt was prepared to do just that. The consequence of reallocating the SREs would be that the overall RFS standards would be unaffected by the SREs, and instead any windfalls enjoyed by individual refineries would be made up by other refiners. Of course, the refineries were unhappy with this proposal. Refiners prefer their free lunch to be paid for by the biofuels industry, and started lobbying EPA furiously, with refinery state Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania calling Scott Pruitt. After these calls, the proposal to reallocate the SMEs was removed, just three days after it had been written.

Cleaning up the mess

Biofuels is a complicated and politically divisive topic, and it’s not just the ethanol industry and oil refiners who have concerns about the RFS. But the starting point for legitimate policy making is to present the facts clearly and allow for public review and comment. In the case of the RFS, that means explaining the administration’s position on small refinery exemptions, and how the treatment of small refineries will affect the quantity of biofuels used in the United States. I have sent a letter to Acting Administrator Wheeler requesting that he do just that.

Acting Administrator Wheeler needs to clean up the mess left by former Administrator Pruitt. This requires not just arbitrating the disputes between the Texas and Iowa Congressional delegations, but also administering the laws as written and making policy decisions based on facts – can he rise to the challenge?

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Cutting bio-project costs via supply chain standards: The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to Biomass Supply Chain Risk Standards

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 08/01/2018 - 4:48pm

In March, EcoStrat CEO Jordan Solomon announced the US Standards for Biomass Supply Chain Risk (BSCR) this year. This has been an ongoing 3 year USDOE/BETO project  which we are leading with Idaho National Labs for the past year and a half and which has the participation and support of key players in S&P, Moody’s, Fitch, JP Morgan, Poet, Ensyn, Dupont, Pacific Ag, Agco, New Energy Risk, USDA, Chemtex, Georgia Biomass, Argonne National Lab, Raymond James, Stern Brothers, Kilpatrick Townsend, Hamilton Clark, Texas AM, UC Davis and about 25 more.

The BSCR Standards will be a huge impact on decreasing project debt cost and accelerating bio-project development in the US — pertaining to ways to De-Risk Biomass Supply Chains as gathered over the past 16 months though interviews with key participants in the industry.

Solomon gave this illuminating overview at ABLC 2018 in Washington, DC.

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The Digest’s Top 10 Innovations for the week of August 2nd: waste plastics for fuels and sneakers, eggs without the chicken, 3D printing, algae-based ketchup packaging, green funerals, biodegradable grills

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 08/01/2018 - 4:42pm

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 August 2nd.

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Indonesia looking to biodiesel as way to shore up FX shortage

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 4:41pm

In Indonesia, the president believes the country will be able to keep the national currency from continuing its nosedive if it immediately implements higher biodiesel blending and stops spending its scarce foreign currency on buying fossil fuels. Oil prices have risen sharply lately while vegetable prices remain low. The rupiah has fallen 6% in recent months and ministers believe that in addition to asking importers to bring their dollars in from offshore accounts, boosting biodiesel production will help reduce the currency’s slide.

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S&P Global Platts announces soybean price assessments

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 4:40pm

In the UK, S&P Global Platts announced that it has started publishing three daily soybean price assessments: SOYBEX CFR China, SOYBEX FOB Santos and SOYBEX FOB Paranagua.

The daily price assessment SOYBEX CFR China reflects the value of soybeans on a delivered basis into ports in North China.

The daily price assessments SOYBEX FOB Santos and SOYBEX FOB Paranagua reflect the value of soybeans on a Free on Board basis in those Brazilian ports.

The assessments will be published daily on a cent per bushel basis over the CBOT soybean futures contracts as well as a USD per metric ton flat price assessment.

The standard specification reflects Brazil origin soybean specification with oil content of 18.5% and a standard protein level of 34.5%, while other qualities may be considered but would be normalized back to the reference quality.

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May biodiesel production recovers slightly at 149 million gallons

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 4:39pm

In Washington, Reuters reports data from the Energy Information Agency shows May biodiesel production recovered from its losses in April to 149 million gallons from 140 million gallons the month prior. About 51% of the total production came from soybean oil, accounting for 581 million lbs compared to 520 million lbs used in April. US biodiesel production has varied widely since the failure to create a blenders credit for domestic producers failed to make its way through Congress but the industry hasn’t given up trying.

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Brazilian government rejigs biodiesel auctions to make room for smaller producers

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 4:37pm

In Brazil, the government is trying to provide space in its biodiesel tenders for smaller producers by including a tranche of 5%-10% of total volume contracted to go to those who produce 18.5 million gallons per year or less. The Ministry of Mines and Energy made the announcement on Monday when it also published rules for the tender that are streamlined and should make it easier for participation by a broader group of suppliers. The ministry wants to reduce market dominance by just a few players and help support rural development by supporting smaller producers.

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Auction of Tenaska Commodities’ Iowa biodiesel plant to close August 3

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 4:36pm

In Illinois, Aaron Equipment Company, on behalf of Tenaska Commodities, LLC, opened bidding on the assets of a Clinton, Iowa biodiesel plant on May 7. The auction has been taking place in conjunction with Reich Brothers, LLC, which specializes in complex asset dispositions and liquidity enhancements for companies undergoing structural changes. The sale marks Aaron Equipment Company’s second biofuels liquation this year and bidding is now in the homestretch. Interested buyers have until 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time this upcoming Friday, August 3, 2018, to get in their bids. An asset purchase and sales agreement can be downloaded from Aaron Equipment’s website.

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Residents already complaining about potential impacts of proposed Kansas biogas project

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 4:35pm

In Kansas, VNA Corporation is looking to set up a biogas plant using wheat straw as feedstock near the town of Wellington but neighbors are already getting upset about the increased traffic the plant will generate during harvest season as well as air quality and competition for water. State tests are underway to determine if there is enough groundwater for the proposed facility in addition to needs for local residents. A public hearing for the project will be held next month.

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New food security research from IIASA says global carbon tax a no-no

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 4:34pm

In Japan, new IIASA-led research has found that a single climate mitigation scheme applied to all sectors, such as a global carbon tax, could have a serious impact on agriculture and result in far more widespread hunger and food insecurity than the direct impacts of climate change. Smarter, more inclusive policies are needed instead.

The research, published in Nature Climate Change, is the first international study to compare across models the effects of climate change on agriculture with the costs and effects of mitigation policies, and look at subsequent effects on food security and the risk of hunger.

The new research shows that without careful planning, the burden of mitigation policies is simply too great. All the models showed that deploying measures such as a carbon tax raises the cost of food production. This can be directly, through taxes on direct agricultural emissions, and taxes on emissions resulting from land use change, such as converting forest to expand agricultural land, and indirectly, through the increased demands for biofuel, which competes with food production for land.

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NBB files opening brief objecting to EPA’s methodology for setting 2018 RVOs

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 4:33pm

In Washington, the National Biodiesel Board filed an opening brief July 27 in its lawsuit objecting to U.S. EPA’s methodology for establishing the 2018 Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS). NBB specifically disputes three issues with EPA’s final RFS rule for 2018, arguing:

-EPA must account for all small refinery exemptions in the annual percentage standard;

-the agency acted arbitrarily when it set the 2018 advanced biofuel volume below what it found to be “reasonably attainable;” and

-the agency set the 2019 biomass-based diesel volume based on impermissible considerations.

NBB’s brief is the first the courts will consider in arguing that EPA must account for all small refinery “hardship” exemptions—including retroactively granted exemptions—when it sets the annual RFS volumes and renewable volume obligations (RVOs).

NBB’s challenge is consolidated with other petitions to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in a case titled AFPM v. EPA (17-1258). EPA is scheduled to file a reply brief by Oct. 25, 2018.

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Carbon Capture, Solar Fuels, Fossil Bubble

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 4:15pm

In Spain, BIOCON-CO2, a new €7 million EU Horizon 2020-funded research project, has recently kicked-off with intentions of supporting EU leadership in carbon dioxide (CO2) re-use technologies. BIOCON-CO2 aims to re-use excess CO2 produced from the iron, steel, cement and electric power industries to create value-added chemicals and plastics. This will be achieved by developing a versatile range of conversion techniques using low-energy biological systems such as anaerobic microorganisms, aerobic microorganisms and enzymes to produce key chemical products including industrial acids and alcohols.

By capturing and using excess CO2 to produce commercially viable chemicals and plastics, the research not only aims to contribute to the reduction of EU dependency on fossil fuel resources, but also improve the energy efficiency of the chemical industry and provide support for EU leadership in CO2 re-use technologies. In this way, tackling the CO2 challenge provides possibilities for encouraging innovation and a more sustainable circular economy.

Technical coordinator Daniel Caudepón from LEITAT (Spain), which leads BIOCON-CO2, explained at the project kick-off meeting in Ghent (Belgium) in January 2018: “This is a very important and timely project, as solutions are needed to tackle the challenge of CO2 emissions within the iron and steel industries on a global scale. The combined expertise of leading researchers, scientific experts and industry partners from across Europe, as well as two industry partners from Chile and Israel, will allow BIOCON-CO2 to lead by example and achieve the project’s ambitious goal of utilizing CO2 as a commodity, in a way that can benefit both Europe’s economy and environment.”

Solar Fuels could become competitive in the 2030s

It’s good news that re-use projects are gaining traction in the EU, because researchers from  Universiteit van Amsterdam report that the industrial synthesis of renewable hydrogen, syngas, methanol and diesel could become competitive with respect to their fossil counterparts within the next two decades. This follows from a techno-economic analysis by researchers from the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) research priority area Sustainable Chemistry and TNO. 

Solar energy driven processes with H2O and CO2 as basic feedstocks can produce ‘solar fuels’, replacing their fossil-based counterparts. They can also provide fundamental ‘green’ building blocks for the chemical industry.

Remko Detz, Joost Reek and Bob van der Zwaan analyzed multiple technologies required to produce renewable hydrogen, syngas, methanol, and diesel. Following an optimistic scenario the three researchers conclude that all four renewable fuels can out-compete their fossil-based counterparts between 2025 and 2050.

For hydrogen production through electrolysis and diesel production by Fischer–Tropsch synthesis, even a more conservative scenario may result in break-even costs before 2040. Both processes use solid oxide electrolysis, which according to the researchers will profit from rapid cost reductions and a high efficiency. First author Remko Detz: ‘We consider solid oxide electrolysis an early winner. But to achieve its potential, current systems with a typical size of 150 kW must be scaled up to the MW level.’

Four common fuels

The study focused on four common fuels – hydrogen, syngas, methanol, and diesel – because these can be generated relatively easily through renewable energy pathways. In total, seven renewable fuels production routes were studied – four for hydrogen and one for each of the other three fuels. These show high technology readiness levels, or – in particular in the case of novel artificial photosynthesis – hold the promise for straightforward renewable fuel production.

According to Detz, ‘novel artificial photosynthesis approaches should definitely be pursued, since their novelty implies that they could learn rapidly and thereby yield fast cost reductions.’ As an example, he mentions the manufacturing of a fully integrated conversion device in which light harvesting, charge separation, and catalysis produce the desired renewable fuel in a single step. This has the potential to substantially reduce investment costs, which can be deduced from analogous integrated systems such as PV cells producing electricity.

Carbon Clean Solutions to conduct solvent testing at University of Kentucky advanced carbon capture pilot

The advent of more re-uses for CO2 means more emphasis on carbon capture — some good news on that front is that in Kentucky, Carbon Clean Solutions will test its carbon capture solvent at University of Kentucky (UK)’s Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) 0.7MW pilot system installed at Kentucky Utilities’ E.W. Brown Generating Station in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. This follows the US Department of Energy’s decision to award UK CAER with a research grant worth $940,000, to advance its world-renowned carbon dioxide (CO2) capture research and development. This test will be CCSL’s largest solvent test in the US to date.

CCSL will work with UK CAER’s project team – including LG&E and Kentucky Utilities, and Koch Modular Process Systems, among others –to conduct a pre-feasibility engineering study for an advanced CO2 capture system. If approved by the US Department of Energy, UK CAER and its partners will proceed to design and build a commercial scale 10 MW CO2 capture system integrated with an existing coal-fired power station.

Low-carbon energy transition requires more renewables than previously thought

We’re delighted to see the advances in carbon capture because, among other reasons, a study recently published in Nature Energy by Lewis King and Jeroen van den Bergh of the Institute of Science and Environmental Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) found that the transition to a low-carbon energy society will require more renewable energy sources than previously thought if current levels of energy consumption per capita and lifestyles are to be maintained. 

Following the Paris Agreement, several global energy transition scenarios have been presented. While these tend to be analyzed in terms of gross energy, the authors of the study consider the need to calculate energy requirements by distinguishing between gross (total energy yielded) and net energy (gross energy minus the energy used to produce it). Relevant in this context is the notion of ‘Energy Return on Investment’ (EROI), which represents the amount of useful energy yielded for each unit of energy input in the process of obtaining that energy. The lower an energy source’s EROI, the more energy input is required to produce a given energy output, resulting in less net energy available for consumption. According to researchers, coal and hydroelectricity have high EROIs, while nuclear energy, oil and gas have medium EROIs, and solar and wind power are characterized by medium to low EROIs.

“To maintain net energy per capita at current levels, renewable energy sources would have to grow at a rate two to three times that of current projections”, states Lewis King. The results further indicate a prioritization in phasing out fossil fuels, namely first coal, then oil and finally gas. This can be achieved by implementing a carbon price, which would discourage coal use more than oil, and oil more than gas.

Methodology to plan the optimal location of biomass plants

Help on efficiency may be on the way, though, as researchers from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid suggest via an innovative model to find the optimal location for biomass plants and that is respectful to the environment and ensuring long-term sustainability.

The selection of the location of a biomass plant is a critical issue precisely because of the potential for low EROI — that is, because the organic material is geographically dispersed. Two researchers from the School of Industrial Design and Engineering at UPM have developed a methodology to determine the optimal location of biomass plants. After its application in a case study, researchers highlight that numerous factors influence the selection of an optimal location for this type of industry, in addition, the decision making can be a complex process without a suitable tool.

The methodology proposed by Dr. Jin Su Jeong, from the research program Juan de la Cierva, and Dr. Álvaro Ramírez Gómez, a professor at UPM, also applied the model of Fuzzy Decision Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) to identify and prioritize the factors that influence the decision making of the problem.

This methodology was used to establish the most suitable location in terms of long-term sustainability of a biomass plant in the region of Valle del Ambroz in Cáceres (Extremadura). The criteria used in this study are divided into three categories: environmental criteria (vegetation cover, agricultural area, ecological conditions and hydrology), geophysical criteria (geomorphology, orientation, geology and soil and visibility) and socio-economic criteria (transport cost, potential demand, economic area and site access).

Researchers said, “after applying this methodology, results shown that from all the surface of the region of the study, just a 9% of the area met the requirements needed for a sustainable location of a biomass plant. This analysis also suggests that the most influential criteria for decision making are: vegetal cover, agricultural area, transport cost and potential demand”.

‘Carbon bubble’ coming that could wipe trillions from the global economy – study

The net result of all the carbon activity? New research suggests that the momentum behind technological change in the global power and transportation sectors has the potential to leave vast reserves of fossil fuels as “stranded assets”: abruptly shifting from high to low value sometime before 2035.

Such a sharp slump in fossil fuel price could cause a huge “carbon bubble” built on long-term investments to burst. According to the study, the equivalent of between one and four trillion US dollars could be wiped off the global economy in fossil fuel assets alone. A loss of US$0.25 trillion triggered the crash of 2008 by comparison.

Yikes.

Publishing their findings in the journal Nature Climate Change, researchers from Cambridge University (UK), Radboud University (NL), the Open University (UK), Macau University, and Cambridge Econometrics, argue that there will be clear economic winners and losers as a consequence.

Winners?

Japan, China and many EU nations currently rely on high-cost fossil fuel imports to meet energy needs. They could see national expenditure fall and – with the right investment in low-carbon technologies – a boost to Gross Domestic Product as well as increased employment in sustainable industries.

Losers?

Major carbon exporters with relatively high production costs, such as Canada, the United States and Russia, would see domestic fossil fuel industries collapse. Researchers warn that losses will only be exacerbated if incumbent governments continue to neglect renewable energy in favor of carbon-intensive economies.

The study repeatedly ran simulations to gauge the outcomes of numerous combinations of global economic and environmental change. It is the first time that the evolution of low-carbon technologies has been mapped from historical data and incorporated into ‘integrated assessment modeling’.

Prof Jorge Viñuales, study co-author from Cambridge University and founder of C-EENRG, said: “Our analysis suggests that, contrary to investor expectations, the stranding of fossil fuels assets may happen even without new climate policies. This suggests a carbon bubble is forming and it is likely to burst.”

“Individual nations cannot avoid the situation by ignoring the Paris Agreement or burying their heads in coal and tar sands,” he said. “For too long, global climate policy has been seen as a prisoner’s dilemma game, where some nations can do nothing and get a ‘free ride’ on the efforts of others. Our results show this is no longer the case.”

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High-yield hydrocarbons from ethanol: The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to Vertimass

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 3:58pm

Vertimass technology was originated at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where scientists discovered novel catalysts that convert a wide range of alcohols into various hydrocarbon blend stocks which can be used in existing gasoline, diesel and jet engines without modifications.

COO John Hannon gave this illuminating overview of the technology, the commercial rationale and the timelines at ABLC 2018 in Washington DC.

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European T2 ethanol prices near seven-month high

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 5:27pm

In the Netherlands, Platts reports that logistical problems along the Rhine due to dry weather and low river levels have squeezed European ethanol stocks sufficiently to push prices towards seven-month highs at $560/cu m. Stronger feedstock prices—such as milling wheat that recently hit a three-year high—have also contributed to the ethanol price increase but not sufficiently to keep margins from squeezing. DDGS sales as well as carbon dioxide sales are helping to offset some of the losses.

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President Trump says year-round E15 just around the corner

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 5:26pm

In Washington, The Hill reports that President Trump told an agricultural event in Iowa this week that he is very close to approving year-round E15 sales, indicating that the “complex process” is what is hoping up the policy change. Last week the acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency indicated that E15 was on its way but also RIN generation from exports, saying the biofuels industry was going to have to compromise on reforms of the Renewable Fuel Standard.

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Estonians rejecting ethanol-blended gasoline en masse

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 5:25pm

In Estonia, the local news agency reports that demand for ethanol-free 98 octane gasoline jumped 75% to 3.5 million liters per month in May when ethanol blending was introduced compared to the 2 million liters per month sold previously. Circle 98 gas stations are promoting the more expensive fuel for sports car owners and owners of classic cars as well as for outdoor equipment, claiming that fuel without biofuel is of higher quality than now-blended standard gasoline.

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German biodiesel and ethanol blending both jump in May

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 5:24pm

In Germany, Platts reports that biodiesel sales rose nearly 13% this year through May to 946,224 metric tons, even with fossil diesel consumption falling more than 4% during the period. May sales rose 5.5% over May as well to 204,937 tons, bringing the blending level to 6.4% on a volumetric basis compared 5.4% in May 2017. Ethanol sales also rose 7.6% on the year during the January-May period to 442,267 tons, with May’s blending rate reaching 6.2% compared to 5.5% last year.

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Brazilian hydrous ethanol sales rose nearly 40% during H1 July

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 5:24pm

In Brazil, hydrous ethanol sales rose nearly 40% on the year during H1 July at 767.48 million liters while anhydrous sales fell to 341.23 million liters compared to 407.08 million liters last year. Of the total 1.2 billion liters sold during the first half of the month, only 91.55 million liters was destined for export. Hydrous ethanol production continues to reign with 1.6 billion liters produced during the period while more than 790 million liters of anhydrous ethanol was produced.

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