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Brazilian researchers studying where biomass and sucrose accumulate in sugarcane

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 04/03/2019 - 7:36pm

In Brazil, researchers at the University of São Paulo’s Bioscience Institute have focused on studying the genes involved in sugarcane root cell separation with the aim of developing transgenic varieties of sugarcane in which the process occurs in other parts of the plant, such as the stem, where biomass and sucrose accumulate. The cell walls in these varieties would be as soft as in a papaya—hence the nickname “papaya sugarcane”—and could more easily be degraded to produce second-generation bioethanol (obtained from biomass) on a large scale.

Categories: Today's News

Japan gives Indonesia two more years to demonstrate palm oil sustainability

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 04/03/2019 - 7:34pm

In Japan, Reuters reports that the national trade and industry ministry has pushed back the requirement for palm oil used in biomass power plants to have Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil certification until 2021 rather than the previously planned March 31, 2019 deadline. The extension came as part of bilateral cooperation negotiations with Indonesia. Japan also agreed to accept other certification schemes in addition to RSPO. The country’s use of biomass and other fuels for power generation came in the wake of the Fukishima disaster.

Categories: Today's News

Low Carbon Jet Fuel: The Digest’s 2019 Multi-Slide Guide to LCFC

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 04/03/2019 - 7:06pm

Low Carbon Fuels Coalition (LCFC) is a technology neutral trade association dedicated to the support and expansion of market-based low carbon fuel policies. The LCFC tracks and analyzes developments in low carbon fuel policies, advocates for the expansion of sound low carbon fuel policies, and assists on policy design issues worldwide.

Graham Noyes, the Executive Director of the Low Carbon Fuels Coalition, gave this illuminating overview of the 2018 expansion of alternative jet fuel policies and plans for 2019, California’s LCFS, the Clean Fuels Program, and more, at ABLC Global 2018 in San Francisco.

Categories: Today's News

Finland to invest EUR100 million in BTG-BTL bio-oil technology

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 04/02/2019 - 5:34pm

In the Netherlands, Finland will invest EUR100 million in several stages in a new and sustainable Dutch technology that makes it possible to produce oil from various waste materials including wood waste. This technology was developed by a successful spin-off from the University of Twente and is used to convert waste sawdust from sawmills into fuel.

The initial investment of EUR25 million will be used for the purchase of a single production facility, but the client intends to purchase three more such facilities, bringing the total order to EUR100 million. A striking feature of the order is that the components of the prefab facilities will first be built in the Netherlands and then assembled in Finland on location. The construction of one facility in Finland generates 100 full-time jobs in the Netherlands.

The project is being implemented by TechnipFMC’s office in Zoetermeer, a company listed on the NYSE stock exchange in New York as well as the stock exchange in Paris. The technology was originally developed at the University of Twente, and the commercial production facilities are supplied by the firm of BTG-BTL based in Enschede. The firm of Zeton, also based in Enschede, is responsible for manufacturing the core unit of the production facility.

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USDA study says corn-based ethanol reduces GHG emission 39%

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 04/02/2019 - 5:29pm

In Washington, a new study released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) finds greenhouse gas emissions from corn-based ethanol are about 39 percent lower than gasoline. The study also states that when ethanol is refined at natural gas-powered refineries, the greenhouse gas emissions are even lower, around 43 percent below gasoline.

The study, led by Dr. Jan Lewandrowski of USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist, and published in the journal Biofuels, supports findings of other research that ethanol has a significantly better greenhouse gas profile than previously estimated.

The study, titled “The greenhouse gas benefits of corn ethanol—assessing recent evidence,” attributes much of these additional benefits to revised estimates of the impacts of land-use change as a result of demand for ethanol. Where previous estimates anticipated farmers bringing additional land into production as a result of increased corn prices, recent analysis finds only modest increases in crop acreage. Additional improvements at ethanol refineries, combined with on-farm conservation practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as reduced tillage and cover crops, have further decreased emissions associated with corn ethanol. The study projects that with added improvements in refineries and on farms, a reduction of over 70 percent in lifecycle emissions is possible by 2022.

Categories: Today's News

Pacific Biodiesel to export biodiesel to California due to lack of federal policy support

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 04/02/2019 - 5:28pm

In Hawaii, Maui News reports that Pacific Biodiesel is looking to take advantage of the premiums offered by California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard and will begin exporting its biodiesel to the West Coast state. Although diesel fuel is very expensive in Hawaii and comparatively cheap in California, at the moment there isn’t a fuel market for the company’s biodiesel apart from the PUC that buys it to produce electricity. The lack of biodiesel tax credit at the federal level and waning local incentives have also taken their toll on the company’s profitability.

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Quantafuel teams with Geminor on its first plastic waste-to-fuels plant in Scandinavia

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 04/02/2019 - 5:26pm

In Norway, since 2007 Quantafuel has developed and tested its own patented catalyst solution that converts plastic waste into low emission fuels and products for the petrochemical industry. The Norwegian company has previously opened a test production facility in Mexico, and in the third quarter of 2019 the first Scandinavian plant, located in Skive in Denmark, will be ready for production of diesel. The new cooperation sees Geminor as a main supplier ensuring that the optimal volume and quality of plastic waste is delivered to Quantafuel’s plants.

Categories: Today's News

Biocom scores $3.5 million ethanol export deal to Europe for 8,500 cu m

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 04/02/2019 - 5:25pm

In Angola, Biocom has secured a contract to export 8,500 cubic meters of ethanol to Europe for $3.5 million, the first time it has ever exported the fuel. The company produces 17,000 cubic meters of ethanol annually in addition to 75,000 metric tons of sugar on 24,000 ha of sugarcane and first came online in 2014. It is expected to reach full production capacity of 33,000 cubic meters in the 2020/21 season. The receiver nor the destination port for the ethanol were reported in the DevDiscourse article.

Categories: Today's News

Comet Bio puts Sarnia plans on hold

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 04/02/2019 - 5:24pm

In Canada, local press reports that Comet Bio has halted plans to co-locate a cellulosic sugar production plant in Sarnia despite plans that the project was meant to come online this year because of a strategic shift to focus on fiber and high-fiber sweeteners instead. Bioindustrial Innovation Canada said Comet Bio was running into trouble securing the nearly C$80 million required to build the facility that would have used wheat straw and corn trash as feedstock.

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DOE researchers look at circadian clock of fungi, algae, and cyanobacteria

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 04/02/2019 - 5:23pm

In Washington state, fungi, algae, and cyanobacteria might not complain about jet lag. But like humans, their physiologies adhere to a roughly 24-hour cycle of behavioral patterns in the absence of external cues. Organisms that experience recurring day and night cycles have evolved a biochemical oscillator or circadian clock. This clock determines which activities, from sleep to cellular metabolism, occur at biologically advantageous times.

Since nearly all organisms share a circadian rhythm, biologists have a plethora of genetically tractable opportunities to study it in the laboratory. Research has focused on how changes in transcribed genes can lead to expressions of different proteins throughout the 24-hour cycle. Cyclical or ‘rhythmic’ expression dictated by the circadian clock allows organisms to anticipate regular environmental changes by optimizing the complement of proteins present at any given time.

Unique capabilities offered by EMSL, the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, a DOE Office of Science user facility at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Wash., provide biologists with the opportunity to study with unprecedented detail how proteins and metabolic pathways change over the course of a day. The DOE’s Office of Biological and Environment Research (BER)’s interest in improving the robustness and resilience of biofuel plants and fungi has motivated several recent investigations into drivers of circadian rhythm.

Categories: Today's News

EPA says 2018 hardship waiver approval process held up by DOE delays

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 04/02/2019 - 5:22pm

In Washington, the Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator has thrown the spotlight on the Department of Energy, blaming them for delays in approving hardship waiver applications from 2018. The approvals were meant to be announced by the end of March but the DOE is yet to send the EPA its input. The administrator expects the delays on DOE’s side will only be for a few more days and then the agency can get moving on approvals.

Categories: Today's News

2019 ABLC preview

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 04/02/2019 - 5:18pm

It’s morning time in the advanced bioeconomy.

The bioeconomy today is strong and growing stronger. It’s a $2.7 trillion global sector, as big as France and growing as fast as China. Reuters reports that “oil prices are chasing $70 a barrel”, stocks like Amyris and Renewable Energy Group have been on a surge, there are projects underway to increase operating advanced biofuels production capacity to more than 14 billion gallons by 2022. More than two dozen commercial-scale projects are underway or open to make advanced foods, feeds, flavors, fragrances, speciality chemicals, nutraceuticals, sustainable materials and high-performance new materials — and more.

The work you are doing is changing the world and attracting its attention along the way.

The State of the Industry and New Fortunes 2019

Where is the overall industry, and where are the golden opportunities looking ahead? The State of the Industry and New Fortunes 2019 presentations, 25 key trends for 2019 and 24 Key Opportunities in the Bioeconomy, will take place on Wednesday evening, April 3rd at 6pm and 7pm Eastern time, respectively.

BioChannel.TV coverage

The Digest’s streaming service, BioChannel.TV, will live stream all the main stage activity from 8am through 6pm on April 4th and 5th. Coverage of April 3rd sessions and the live streams coverage will be available on a recorded basis via BioChannel.TV On Demand.

ABLC preview

ABLC — the Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference — opens April 3rd against a backdrop of commercial deployment, a hunt for more sustainable feedstocks and supply-chain optimization, a drive on costs, higher yields in farming and aquaculture, and in bioconversion, new applications, and a surge in new R&D efforts designed to deliver all of the above. At the same time, opponents of renewables are launching more efforts to blunt, reverse, or slow the transition toward a more sustainable economy.

ABLC 2019 kicks off with an opening keynote by former Navy Secretary Ray Mabus at 12:00pm Eastern time and at 2:25pm Eastern time the US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will make his ABLC debut with the ABLC 2019 keynote address. Both Secretary Mabus and Secretary Perdue are expected to highlight the capacity of United States growers and technologists to increase both the supply and sustainability of raw materials, and the opportunities and imperatives to open new markets through innovative technology and competitive prices.

On April 4th, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa will be at ABLC for the William C Holmberg Lifetime Achievement Award at 9am. POET CEO Jeff Broin will accept the Global Bioeconomy Leadership Award and ABLC will also feature also have LanzaTech CEO Jennifer Holmgren, DSM Biobased president Atul Thakrar, Fulcrum CEO Jim Macias and Praj CEO Pramod Chaudhari later in the morning of April 4th.

We have our secret speaker right before the luncheon break. Who will it be? At 6:15pm Eastern time, the Digest will announce the 50 Hottest Companies in the Advanced Bioeconomy.

Don’t mess with the RFS: The Domestic Policy Forum

A rare gathering of the top DC officials at six major trade associations will take the state at 8am April 4th for the Domestic Policy Forum. ABFA president Mike McAdams, ABBC executive director Brooke Coleman, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor and the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas’ Anne Steckel will return to the ABLC stage, while NBB VP Kurt Kovarik, and RFA’s new CEO Geoff Cooper are making their ABLC debuts.

On the Docket? RFS, demand destruction, E15, pathway approvals, LCFS, intermediates, trade policy, the Green New Deal, expected action (or not) in the Congress, courts and agencies this year, tax credits, Farm Bill implementation and more.

Global scale and deployment

The AltAir division of World Energy has been much in the news because of its transformative role in bringing the cost of sustainable aviation fuels from $25 a gallon in 2012 to under $2.00 a gallon in 2018, while increasing the biobased blend portion from 10 percent to 30 percent. Aviation fuel is just one aspect of this remarkable company story – the story of World Energy, and World Energy CEO Gene Gebolys will be joining us on stage on April 4th to look at the spectacular growth in biomass-based diesel and jet fuel.

Open innovation and partnership

The Digest interviewed as amazing leader in the European chemical industry some time ago, Peter Nieuwenhuizen when he was CTO of AkzoNobel Speciality Chemicals and launching Imagine Chemistry, one of the most ambitious Open Innovation efforts taking place anywhere in the world. Big changes have since occurred at AkzoNobel, which spun off its Specialty Chemicals unit as Nouryon this year. Open Innovation is changing that company, and changing many others around the world, and at ABLC 2019 we’re pleased to have a special address from Peter Nieuwenhuizen to reflect on the re-shaping of R&D, and to tell us about Imagine Chemistry and how it has brought companies such as White Dog Labs into close partnership with Nouryon, and the promise it has for accelerating and directing innovation in the future.

Looking back, looking forward

We have quite a few first-timers on the ABLC stage this week. Not long ago we observed that John Melo at Amyris, Pat Gruber at Gevo and Vincent Chornet at Enerkem are just about the only CEOs still in the same role at the same company as when the Digest was founded 11 years ago. That’s a lot of change – what does it mean, what should we take away, what are the lessons learned? Gevo CEO Pat Gruber will join us on the ABLC main stage to explore those themes in a special address.

The Bottom Line

When 500 leaders come to one place at one time for real dialogue on the real opportunities, it’s a special moment. We’ll look forward to bringing you all the action on the Floor throughout this ABLC Week.

Categories: Today's News

The Overlooked Giant of Renewables: The Digest’s 2019 Multi-Slide Guide to IEA’s Bioenergy

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 04/02/2019 - 5:14pm

International Energy Agency is an autonomous organization that works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 30 member countries and beyond.

Dr. Paolo Frankl, Head of the Renewable Energy Division, gave this illuminating overview of why modern bioenergy is the overlooked giant of renewables, is set to lead renewables growth, the largest consumers, how competition is accelerating cost reductions, how to get to accelerated deployment and more, at ABLC Global 2018 in San Francisco

Categories: Today's News

The Compelling Case for Biojet Fuel

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 04/01/2019 - 4:07pm

By Jess Hewitt and Jonathan Lewis, Lee Enterprises Consulting

Special to The Digest

Biojet is in the news a lot lately, with one carrier after another announcing a test flight. But widespread use by most airlines just does not seem to be happening. Why? Let’s look at the case for Biojet and determine its real status in today’s jet fuel marketplace.

Many people are confused by the term “biojet,” and the many other terms used to describe this “new fuel”. There is a standard specification that describes this product. Turbine (jet) fuels are covered by the American Society of Testing Materials Standard, (ASTM) D-7566. Actually, the title of this specification is: “Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons”. Specifically, D-7566 refers to two types of Aviation Turbine Fuel: “Jet A” and “Jet A1”. (Note that there are several different aviation turbine fuels available (e.g. “Jet B”) of which the above are only two).

The ASTM standard focuses on synthefirsized hydrocarbons, and not all synthesized hydrocarbons can be considered “biojet” or “Renewable Jet (RJ)” fuels. The specification allows for synthesized hydrocarbons produced from renewable as well as non-renewable feedstocks, such as natural gas and coal, both of which are fossil fuels. There are also different production processes, including, but not limited to: Fischer-Tropsch [F-T] processing and Hydrotreated Esters and Fatty Acids [HEFA] processing. There is also Alcohol to Jet (ATJ). All of these produce synthesized hydrocarbons for Aviation Turbine Fuel.

In Section 6 – “Materials and Manufacture” – the Standard specifies that the maximum blend ratio of petrojet to biojet is 50/50:

“6.1.1 Conventional blending components or Jet A or Jet A-1 fuel certified to Specification D 1655; with up to 50 % by volume of the synthetic blending component defined in Annex A1.”

Most, if not all, airlines testing or using biojet have decided to blend at much higher ratios of petrojet to biojet.

Gulf Hydrocarbon has worked with air carriers and jet fuel suppliers to determine optimal blend percentages and to determine how to realize the maximum economic benefits from biojet utilization.

In general, biojet can is considered to be “synthesized hydrocarbons from renewable sources”, such as biomass – or products produced from biomass. Feedstocks might include organic oils from plants and animals as well as gasified biomass. It is important to note that most renewable synthesized hydrocarbons (biojet fuels) are covered by D-7566, Annexes 2 and 5.

ADVANTAGES OF BIOJET FUELS

Biojet fuels offer several advantages over petro-jet fuels:

  1. When biojet fuel is used for aviation, the Green-House Gas (GHG) emissions can be reduced by 90%, relative to petrojet, a huge environmental benefit. (NREL)
  2. Biojet tends to have significantly higher “Net Heats of Combustion”, another way of saying that the fuel has a higher energy density. Here’s what ASTM D-7566 says about Net Heat of Combustion:

“X1.5.2 Net Heat of Combustion—The design of aircraft and engines is based on the convertibility of heat into mechanical energy. The Net Heat of Combustion provides a knowledge of the amount of energy obtainable from a given fuel for the performance of useful work; in this instance, power. Aircraft design and operation are dependent upon the availability of a certain predetermined minimum amount of energy as heat. Consequently, a reduction in heat energy below this minimum is accompanied by an increase in fuel consumption with corresponding loss of range. Therefore, a minimum net heat of combustion requirement is incorporated in this specification.”

We can therefore infer that the inverse is also true, i.e. that an increase in heat energy above this minimum is accompanied by a decrease in fuel consumption with corresponding increase in range. Moreover, less fuel means less fuel weight, allowing for more profitable (increased) utilization of Payload/ZFW. Thus, we can immediately see the financial benefits of going farther with a lower fuel consumption rate.

  1. Renewable jet fuels, in conformity with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), are eligible for RIN credits which significantly impact fuel expenses.

DISADVANTAGES OF BIOJET FUELS

There are disadvantages to the use of biojet fuel (or any jet fuel containing synthesized hydrocarbons), mostly relative to the logistics surrounding its utilization:

  1. Most synthetic hydrocarbons are produced in relatively small amounts and represent a very small quantity in comparison to their petrojet counterparts. For example, Diamond Green indicates that their St. Charles facility in Louisiana can produce around 275 mmgpy of Renewable Diesel (RD)/Renewable Jet. By contrast, note that Valero’s, Houston refinery (by most standards “a mid-sized plant”) has a daily throughput of 235,000 barrels, which, generally speaking, would be a production of about 3.29 mm gallons per day of petro-diesel and petrojet fuels.

To put the above numbers in their proper perspective, note that U.S. airlines alone consumed 17.3 billion gallons of jet fuel in 2017, with worldwide consumption of about 90 billion gallons. Broken down, this indicates that U.S. airline fuel consumption averages about 47 million gallons daily. Thus, even if all of its daily production were jet fuel, a refinery like Valero’s could only produce about 7% of the airlines’ daily consumption, and the Diamond Green plant would be more like 2%. Of course, at maximum blending percentages, these amounts would double, but that would imply an equal utilization of petrojet vs biojet. At the maximum blend percentage of 50/50, we would need over thirty plants with capacities similar to the Green Diamond plant, and as of 24 October, 2018, there were only three.

  1. The next issue is transporting the new biojet fuel. Even at miniscule amounts, biojet fuel must be transported to airports’ fuel storage facilities. In the case of petrojet, virtually all major airports have pipeline access. Thus, petrojet refineries can simply inject the various pipelines with their petrojet fuels for delivery to airports around the country. This is by far the most cost-effective means of transporting fuels. But many, if not all biojet producers are located close to their feedstock sources as it is much more cost-effective to transport the commodity with the highest energy density; i.e., the biojet fuel. Often these biojet production facilities are far away from pipelines and other petroleum infrastructure, necessitating transportation by truck, rail or ship (in order of descending transport expenses). Assuming good access and the necessary infrastructure, loading rail cars and ships is relatively efficient. But trucks are a different story. Normally, a large over-the-road tanker truck can carry around 7,500 gallons (depending on the density of the fuel transported). Thus, if it didn’t have rail, seaport or pipeline access, even the facilities like Diamond Green would need 106+ truckloads per day to transport their fuels. The logistical nightmare and infrastructure needed to refuel 106 trucks per day would be overwhelming.

A major hurdle for pipeline access is likely to be receiving permission for biojet to be shipped via pipeline. While biojet is much more widely accepted today, the necessity to prove that the biojet molecules are the same as the petrojet molecules still exists. This same problem may appear at airports also, as in many of the airport fuel communities, biojet may still be viewed as a “contaminant”. (Biojet has its own ASTM Fuel Standard because aircraft engine warranties are based upon ASTM fuel specifications). If D-7566 fuel is not expressly covered in the warranty, an airline will likely not want to risk possible warranty invalidation by using this biojet.

  1. The last and biggest hurdle facing widespread commercial utilization of biojet is price. Airlines are particularly vulnerable to fuel pricing. In January 2019, the Gulf Coast Spot Price for [petro] jet fuel averaged $1.79/gallon. At this writing (second week of March 2019), the price is $1.92, a $0.13/gallon increase. Assuming average fuel consumption of 2900 gallons per hour and 4000 hours per year of flight time, the fuel cost increase for one year amounts to more than $1.5 million dollars for one aircraft. Last week, petro-jet fuel was selling for about $1.86 per gallon. Yellow Grease (a common renewable biomass feedstock for RJ production) was selling for about the same price, before production and refining to biojet fuel. (The NREL estimates production costs at about $5.00/gallon, all in.)
HOW CAN BIOJET COMPETE?

Can biojet ever compete with petro-jet economically? Why would any carrier want to spend more for the biojet option? The first part of the answer lies with the RINs (credit for transportation fuels blending). Biojet (like Renewable Diesel) can qualify for non-ester renewable fuel RINs with equivalence values of 1.6-1.7. With today’s cellulosic fuel RINs at about $1.80, a gallon of this fuel could qualify for a total [cash] credit of $3.06. Furthermore, if the fuel is eligible for the CARB LCFS credits, depending on the fuel’s energy density and CO2 reduction, at today’s LCFS price of about $192, biojet could qualify for another $0.99/gallon credit. Now, even at $5.00/gallon, biojet then becomes much more interesting at its net cost of $0.95/gallon – especially given the increased range and payload capabilities with less overall fuel consumption.

The second part of the answer involves the enhanced performance characteristics of a fuel with an increased energy density. More energy per kilo means less fuel weight and more capacity available for paying passengers or cargo.

Taken together, the advantages of biojet fuel utilization are compelling, especially today when fuel prices for both are virtually at parity, and in an era where airlines have been forced to the point where every single service is an additional cost, the advantages of biojet fuel could have very positive impacts on operating expenses.

Biojet is the fuel of the future and there are experts available to work with carriers and engine manufacturers to determine optimum blend percentages for optimal performance and maximum economic advantages.

About the Authors: Jess Hewitt and Jonathan Lewis are independent consultants and member of Lee Enterprises Consulting Group. Hewitt is the President and CEO of Gulf Hydrocarbon, and Lewis is Gulf Hydrocarbon’s technology associate. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Lee Enterprises Consulting.

Lee Enterprises Consulting is the world’s premier bioeconomy consulting group, with over 100 highly qualified experts serving in all these areas. We can assist show clients in obtaining maximum advantages performance-wise and economically from biojet fuels that appear to cost more at first glance. Take a look at our experts and the services we provide. In smaller projects, we have just the right expert. In larger projects, we have the advantage of assembling full service, interdisciplinary teams with one point of contact. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for more information.

 

Categories: Today's News

Flooded railcar axels latest challenge for flood-impacted Midwest ethanol producers

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 04/01/2019 - 3:53pm

In Nebraska, DTN reports that in addition to as much as 20% of the country’s ethanol production suffering from direct or indirect impacts of flooding across the Midwest as plants are shut down or scaled back due to inability to transport finished ethanol, receive feedstock or transport DDGS, it now appears that thousands of rail cars owned by or used by ethanol plants will have to have their axels replaced due to water rising above them. The cost to replace those axels and further delays to get the rail cars back online so ethanol plants may once again transport product when the rail lines have been repaired will further hinder their ability to bounce back.

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SVPGlobal closes on White Energy’s Russell, Kansas ethanol business

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 04/01/2019 - 3:52pm

In Connecticut, Strategic Value Partners Global announced that it has officially closed on its purchase of White Energy’s food ingredient and ethanol business in Russell, KS. The sale includes two integrated plants — the largest vital wheat gluten manufacturing facility in North America and one of the nation’s most cost-efficient ethanol production facilities.

SVPGlobal will now operate the following facilities as a standalone enterprise:

  • Russell Gluten: With an annual production capacity of 56 million pounds, this is the nation’s largest producer of vital wheat gluten, a plant-based protein used as an ingredient in a number of attractive and high-growth food markets including baked goods, pet foods, and vegetarian and vegan foods. The new company will continue to market premier food ingredient products under the Heartland brand name, trusted by leading brands in the food and beverage industry.
  • Russell Ethanol: This facility produces over 50 million gallons of ethanol per year — at some of the lowest unit costs in the industry and with the best carbon footprint of any facility of its kind in the United States. The low-carbon fuel is sent to premium clean fuel markets where the company receives attractive carbon credits. These achievements are made possible by the plant’s unique design, which enables it to consume starch by-products generated at the adjacent gluten facility.

White Energy will continue to operate ethanol production facilities in Hereford and Plainview, TX, with the capacity to produce 260 million gallons of biofuel a year.

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Panalpina Singapore launches new biodiesel trucks to serve L’Oréal

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 04/01/2019 - 3:50pm

In Singapore, Panalpina Singapore has launched new biodiesel trucks to serve its global customer L’Oréal Travel Retail Asia Pacific in alignment with their sustainability program – Sharing Beauty with All. By 2020, 100 percent of L’Oréal’s strategic suppliers will be participating in their supplier sustainability program, and Panalpina has reached this milestone ahead of schedule. The use of these new trucks, owned and managed by Panalpina’s transport provider, is one of the initiatives that will enable the global leader in beauty to reduce CO2 emissions from transportation of their personal care products by 20 percent against their 2011 baseline. This is also in line with Panalpina’s science-based target for subcontracted transport to reduce CO2 emissions by 25 percent by 2030 (baseline 2017).

The new trucks currently comprise a prime mover (40ft container) and a 24ft truck run on biodiesel, a fuel that is derived from vegetable oil or animal fat. The biodiesel that powers Panalpina’s trucks comes from waste cooking oil collected from restaurants across Singapore. On average, 4,000 liters are collected daily, 90 percent of which is converted to usable fuel.

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Minnesota opens RFP for $150,000 bioenergy pilot project grant program

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 04/01/2019 - 3:49pm

In Minnesota, a Request for Proposals (RFP) has been launched by the state’s agriculture department under the AGRI Bioenergy/Biochemical Pilot Project Grant program providing funding that would advance a bioenergy or biochemical production technology beyond the bench scale/proof-of-concept scale toward commercial scale, through construction and operation of a pilot plant.

A total of $150,000 will be awarded in Fiscal Year 2019. Up to 50% of project costs can be covered by the grant program with a maximum possible award of $150,000. Applications are due no later than 4:00 p.m. CDT on Friday, April 26, 2019.

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Construction set to begin on biofuel-powered iron ore pilot project

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 04/01/2019 - 3:48pm

In Sweden, construction will soon begin on a world-unique test facility which is a key component of HYBRIT, a joint initiative of LKAB, SSAB and Vattenfall. In the plant, fossil fuels will be replaced with biofuel to achieve fossil-free production of iron ore pellets. The aim of the HYBRIT initiative, which is supported by the Swedish Energy Agency, is to develop a process for fossil-free steelmaking by 2035.

As part of the HYBRIT initiative a biofuel-based plant is to be built at LKAB’s Malmberget site. This project will cost in the region of SEK80 million. Testing a bio-oil system is part of the pilot phase and the objective is to convert one of LKAB’s pelletizing plants from fossil fuel to 100-percent-renewable fuel. This means that fossil-generated carbon dioxide emissions from the Malmberget operation will be reduced by up to 40 percent during the test period, which corresponds to about 60,000 tonnes per year. Eventually, LKAB hopes to achieve totally carbon-dioxide-free pellet production.

In 2016 LKAB, SSAB and Vattenfall joined forces to create HYBRIT in an effort to revolutionize iron and steel production. The aim is to develop the world’s first fossil-free steelmaking process, in which carbon dioxide emissions are virtually eliminated, by 2035. In 2018 the Swedish Energy Agency announced that it would contribute funding amounting to more than SEK500 million towards the pilot-scale development of an industrial process, with three owners, LKAB, SSAB and Vattenfall, each contributing a third of the outstanding capital for the project.

Categories: Today's News

Eni teams with Italian Biogas Consortium to push for more advanced biomethane

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 04/01/2019 - 3:47pm

In Italy, Eni and the Italian Biogas Consortium (CIB) signed an agreement to promote the production of advanced biomethane from animal waste, agro-industrial byproducts and dedicated winter crops for use in the transport sector. The agreement also involves new opportunities for Consortium member companies by launching business initiatives which will be developed in partnership. A taskforce will be established and will meet periodically to assess and define the most efficient and appropriate opportunities for collaboration. The agreement is a central component in Eni’s efforts to promote the principles of the circular economy in energy production

Part of the agreement is in-depth examination with the members of commercial and industrial initiatives through a system that starts from biogas, which is produced currently and already used to generate electricity and thermal energy, being refined so that it can be used as a fuel for road transport, in the form of compressed gas or liquefied natural gas.

Eni is targeting the collection of around 200 million cubic meters of biomethane, which can be produced by CIB members, through the consolidation of methane generated and produced in agricultural and livestock farming processes. The benefits will be lower atmospheric emissions and a more competitive primary sector.

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