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Nouryon partners with Unilever, investment companies and startup networks to accelerate innovation in chemistry

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 3:34pm

In the Netherlands, Nouryon (formerly AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals) has officially launched the third edition of its Imagine Chemistry collaborative innovation challenge. Through this program, the company invites startups, scale-ups, university spin-outs, and other potential partners to tackle chemistry-related challenges and uncover new ways to create value for customers.

Unilever on board this year

To increase the focus on developing business opportunities from this year’s edition, Nouryon has expanded the number of Imagine Chemistry partners to include Unilever; seed investor High-Tech Gründerfonds; and the Green Chemistry & Commerce Council (GC3), a collaboration that drives the commercial adoption of green chemistry. Also, it’s supported by venture capital firm Icos Capital; research and advisory firm Lux Research; UK innovation agency Knowledge Transfer Network; Dutch accelerator StartupDelta; the European Commission’s Enterprise Europe Network, and S/park, the chemical technology-focused open innovation center located at Nouryon’s RD&I site in Deventer.

“Innovative solutions that help our customers improve their products, become more competitive and sustainable, and uncover new business opportunities are central to how we work,” said Charlie Shaver, CEO of Nouryon.  “As partnership is the key to success, we are very pleased to add more organizations to our Imagine Chemistry network, including Unilever, one of our key customers.”

This year’s five targets

For the 2019 edition of Imagine Chemistry, Nouryon is looking for solutions in five areas – and take note that #5 is an “open challenge” relating to sustainable chemistry which is, um, pretty wide open, to coin a phrase. “Essentially we are active in 25 different technologies,”Nieuwenhuizen noted. “if you have a solution, we are open to your ideas.”

So here are the five:

The Open Innovation backstory

A new and powerful wave in R&D these days is grouped under the term “open innovation”, which needs a little explanation. The idea of a distributed community of researchers around the world working collaboratively towards market-facing goals has been easier to articulate than to achieve.

Here’s the problem: smaller companies can be highly effective in developing technologies that big organizations need — but they don’t always know exactly what to focus on. Big companies have the focus, but don’t always have the resources to do everything, and there are the well known big-company bottlenecks to contend with, as well.

In the venture world we’ve seen some forward-thinking firms forming advanced development partnerships with small R&D firms and with academics, aiming to leverage the substantial flows of government funded research and steer them in the general direction of technologies that fit the venture model. The hope is to bring technologies in a more advanced development stage to the venture model or possibly to limit the number of technologies that need funding for, for example, proof of concept — thereby directing venture funds more towards the later development stages, and possibly reducing venture timelines to meet the daunting VC return on investment hurdle rates.

Nouryon — until a few weeks ago, known as Akzo Nobel Specialty Chemicals — has been the most visible and successful practitioner of open innovation in the chemicals business, because of the Imagine Chemistry program. Directly, it’s bringing Nouryon closer to smaller organizations that have technologies of interest. Indirectly, it’s raised Nouryon’s profile around the world as a forward-thinker. We noted that the European Commission’s Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) initiative nominated the most active corporate firms in open innovation and in 2018’ lauded 36 companies – Nouryon was the only chemical firm in the ranking.

The targets in depth

Let’s look at the four named targets for this year’s Challenge.

Surfactants. “We had an analogous challenge last year,” Nouryon CTO Peter Nieuwenhuizen told The Digest.. “That was biobased hydrophiles and phobes, and this area is not exhausted – there are more ideas out there, not least the interest of Unilever. Now we can say, if you have an idea that fits, we have the supply chain lined up all the way to the retailer.”

Performance-boosting nanoparticles. “We had nano particles last year,” Nieuwenhuizen said. “We have a broader business, including silica particles, some carbon black. This is an area we have a bit of a strength, and looking for other particles we can bolt on. We had a very interesting few ideas last year, and we want to signal the world about our continuing interest.”

Sensing in demanding chemical environments. This year is distinctly different, Nieuwenhuizen told us. “Last year, we were looking for digital 4.0 kind of robots and drones, that’s actually a lot around gathering data. Now, we’re also looking at analyzing data that we have in our plant, and to do so we need to generate data from our sites, and some of the these have very high pressure, high temp, can be very corrosive. It’s not always easy to have the right probes, in order to feed the AI we want in coming years. So, we need to have the tools. and in this case it is almost not a chemistry thing, but a hardware instrumentation need.”

Label-free chemistries. “increasingly, we see customers who want chemicals that are hazard-free, and have hazard labels. We’ve limited that clearly to an area we are very strong in, kelates, viscosity modifiers, surface chemistries, looking for those where we have the strength.”

Success stories

Last year, 150 innovative ideas arrived from startups, scale-ups, scientists and others. Four overall winners received joint development awards with AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals to help bring their ideas to market.

FiliGrade, one of the winners of last year’s challenge, recently started supplying watermark technology to AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals. The technology provides an invisible watermark for packaging that identifies both the material used and details about the manufacturer and contents. This helps with the challenge of sorting of plastics and therefore enhances the recycling of packaging, and also to confirm the authenticity of the packaged product to prevent counterfeiting.

Rahul Dahule and Ranjeet Utikar from Dutch start-up Water Knight were awarded for their advanced oxidation reactor technology, which is used for intensifying wastewater treatment in industries with complex effluents.

Fergal Coleman and Alexander Grous from UK startup Green Lizard Technologies, working in partnership with Dixie Chemical, were recognized for their bio-based route to glycidol, which can be used in the production of nonionic surfactants.

Gaurab Chakrabarti and Sean Hunt from US firm Solugen were recognized for their green process to make hydrogen peroxide that has the potential to replace technology that has remained unchanged since the 1930s.

Another US firm, Fero Labs – represented by Berk Birand and, Alp Kucukelbir, were awarded for their machine learning software, which can be used to predict quality issues and production bottlenecks and improve key process parameters.

In addition, the following groups were awarded prizes including expert advice and support at AkzoNobel’s S/park open innovation center at Deventer, the Netherlands.

Research agreement with AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals:

University of Nottingham (UK) – Ifty Ahmed and Belinda Good; porous microspheres from glass and glass ceramic materials.

Chemical research support from AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals:

Edinburgh Napier University (UK) – Mark Dorris and Dominic O’Rourke; Cellulose nanofibrils derived from seaweed

Partner support by KPMG:

Invert Robotics (the Netherlands) – Hans Prein, James Robertson and Robert Mandjes; robotic inspection for tanks and other equipment.

Partner support by ICOS:

Semiotic Labs (the Netherlands) – Gerben Gooijers and Simon Jagers; smart asset monitoring service for motors and rotating equipment.

Partner support by LuxResearch:

Fraunhofer UMSICHT  (Germany) – Axel Kraft and Martin Peters; catalytic process for making alcohols from more sustainable raw materials.

Partner support by Chalmers Ventures:

FineCell (Sweden) –  Kloce Dongfang Li, Monica Ek and Jonatan Henschen; process for the production of nanocellulose.

Case in point: Nouryon and Itaconix

Nouryon (formerly AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals) will expand its offering to customers in the detergents market through a supply agreement with bio-based polymers maker Itaconix. Under terms of the agreement, Itaconix will produce and supply polymers with chelating properties that Nouryon will market to customers in household, institutional, and industrial detergent and cleaner applications. In addition, the companies will work together to transition many of Itaconix’s current detergent customers to Nouryon.

It is the first supply agreement resulting from a joint development agreement signed by the companies in 2017 to explore opportunities for polymers made from bio-based itaconic acid using Itaconix’s technology.

Peter Kuijpers, General Manager Chelates and Micronutrients at Nouryon, said: “We are excited to expand the bio-based solutions we deliver to our customers by adding Itaconix’s proprietary polymers to our industry-leading product offerings in detergents. These polymers will generate new opportunities for our customers in key detergent applications, enabling greener formulations without compromises on technical performance.

Nouryon’s waste-to-chemistry’s advances

Nouryon has been on the move. A consortium of companies comprising Air Liquide, AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals, Enerkem and the Port of Rotterdam has signed a project development agreement covering initial investments in an advanced waste-to-chemistry facility in Rotterdam.

The facility will be the first of its kind in Europe to provide a sustainable alternative solution for non-recyclable wastes, converting waste plastics and other mixed wastes into new raw materials. The initial investments, which cover detailed engineering, the setup up of a dedicated joint venture and completing the permitting process, will be worth €9 million. The consortium aims to take the final investment decision (FID) for the estimated €200-million project later in 2018 and has appointed Dutch Rabobank as the lead advisor for the financing process.

Realization of the project is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs & Climate policy, which have agreed to develop mechanisms and regulation that will help bring this new technology to full scale to support the low-carbon transition of the Dutch economy. The waste-to-chemistry project is also supported by the City of Rotterdam, the Province of Zuid-Holland and InnovationQuarter, the regional development agency. The facility will convert up to 360,000 tons of waste into 220,000 tons (270 million litres) of ‘green’ methanol. As an equivalent, this represents the total annual waste of more than 700,000 households and represents a CO2 emission savings of about 300,000 tonnes.

The facility will be built within the Botlek area of the Port of Rotterdam using Enerkem’s proprietary technology, and will convert non-recyclable mixed waste, including plastics, into syngas and then into clean methanol for use in the chemical industry and for the transportation sector.

Today, methanol is generally produced from natural gas or coal. The plant will have two production lines, or twice the input capacity of Enerkem’s commercial-scale plant in Edmonton, Canada. It will benefit from the state-of-the-art infrastructure available within the Port of Rotterdam, as well as synergies with Air Liquide (large industries) for supplying the required oxygen and together with AkzoNobel, the raw material hydrogen. AkzoNobel also acts as a customer for the methanol.

Getting involved

Participants can submit their ideas from today via a dedicated online community and receive expert feedback until March 8, when submission closes. In May 2019, 20 finalists will be invited to an intensive three-day event at the company’s RD&I center at Deventer, the Netherlands, where they will work with experts and business leaders to further develop their ideas into a joint value case.

Peter Nieuwenhuizen, Chief Technology Officer at Nouryon said: “Imagine Chemistry stands out in the industry due to its collaborative approach. It is a platform that helps bring great innovative solutions to the next level, contributing to our customer needs. I’m looking forward to seeing who we might be working with this year.”

More on the story.

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Renewable Diesel: The Digest’s 2019 Multi-Slide Guide to Neste MY

Biofuels Digest - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 3:32pm

Neste produces a drop-in renewable diesel fuel that is refined from a mix of more than 10 different wastes and residues and various vegetable oils.

Matt Leuck, Technical Manager, North America at Neste MY Renewable Diesel gave this illuminating overview of how renewable diesel is different than biodiesel and the benefits of renewable diesel in transportation at ABLC Global 2018 in San Francisco

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Biofuels and Energy’s Colorado project site location selection

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 01/29/2019 - 5:12pm

In California, Greenbelt Resources Corporation (Greenbelt), announced that Biofuels and Energy, LLC (B&E), a New Mexico based project development company planning to leverage and advance Greenbelt’s proprietary ECOsystem model for its SLV Biopro Project, has selected a site location in the San Luis Valley region of Colorado –  Center, Colorado –  on which to locate project operations.

Both Greenbelt and B&E appreciate the support solicited by regional economic development authorities who assisted in the distribution of the Request for Proposal, including but not limited to the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade, Saguache County Sustainable Environment & Economic Development and the San Luis Valley Development Resources Group.

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EU gives thumbs up for US soybean imports as biodiesel feedstock

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 01/29/2019 - 5:11pm

In Belgium, Reuters reports that the European Commission has approved US-produced soybeans under its low ILUC policy, opening the door for imports of soybeans as biofuel feedstock. It’s good news for US farmers who have suffered from the US’s ongoing trade war with China but upset others in Europe. Already since a temporary agreement in July allowed soybean imports from the US which saw volumes jump 112% on the year during the second half of 2018, with US origin soybeans now accounting for 75% of the European market.

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Ethanol crush margins fall further into negative territory

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 01/29/2019 - 5:09pm

In Texas, Platts reports that crush margins of corn-based ethanol in the US continues to be in negative territory, estimating a loss of 9.63 cents for every gallon produced. That’s 77 cents lower than a week prior. Ethanol production has been going in a seesaw movement in recent weeks, dropping and increasing from one week to the next as it tries to find a spot where margins can run positive but stocks continue to rise.

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EPA still pretty confident it can get year-round E15 done by summer

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 01/29/2019 - 5:08pm

In Washington, Reuters reports that the Environmental Protection Agency is still pretty confident that it can get the rulemaking done for year-round E15 before the summer driving season despite the government shutdown and the delays caused by it. The language used by the deputy administrator when pressed by reporters at an event in Washington last Friday wasn’t a 100% guarantee for getting the rules in place, however. A deal reached last Friday to end the government shutdown could see EPA workers back on the job soon.

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Plans underway to develop soybean biodiesel facility in northwest Minnesota

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 01/29/2019 - 5:07pm

In Minnesota, a local entrepreneur is fundraising to secure $10 million in order to take the first steps in developing a biodiesel production facility in Crookston that would absorb some of the area’s soybean surplus that once went to China or is processed far away. The proposed $150 million project in the northwest part of the state would crush beans from an 11-county radius, including organic and non-GMO soybeans that would be crushed as part of an smaller, specialty facility.

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PMCI rebrands as FUELIowa

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 01/29/2019 - 5:06pm

In Iowa, the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa (PMCI) is launching a new brand, name, and logo. Effective immediately, PMCI is now FUELIowa.

The statewide association represents fuel distributors, cooperatives, convenience and grocery stores, refiners, biofuel producers and other industry firms. According to association representatives, the new branding strategy succinctly captures the important role played by their members, which provide fuel for vehicles, equipment and heating.

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University of Minnesota researchers find prairies could provide high GHG savings as bioenergy feedstock

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 01/29/2019 - 5:05pm

In Minnesota, in an ongoing effort to discover the ideal conditions to grow alternative biofuels that offer more environmental benefits, University of Minnesota scientists applied their research on native prairies in the Upper Midwest to understand marginal lands—particularly abandoned and degraded agricultural fields.

In the 10-year study published in Nature Sustainability, researchers utilized 36 plots at an abandoned agricultural site in the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve to plant 32 species of prairie and savanna plants that are native to Minnesota. In 2007, researchers divided the plots into several groups and assigned them a combination of two treatments: water addition (i.e., irrigated or non-irrigated) and nitrogen fertilization (i.e., 0 g/m2, 7 g/m2, 14 g/m2).

Over the last decade, researchers found that:

  • • moderate treatments (irrigation and 7 g/m2 of nitrogen) had the best biomass yields and soil carbon storage, while having negligible effects on the stability, diversity and nutrient loss to groundwater;
  • • compared with the control (non-irrigated and no additional nitrogen), moderate treatments resulted in almost twice the yield and soil carbon storage and—if the plants were converted into bioenergy to displace fossil fuels—it would result in twice the greenhouse gas savings;
  • • compared with the moderate treatment, the more intensive treatment (irrigation and 14 g/m2 of nitrogen) had 30 percent lower greenhouse gas savings, 10 times greater nitrate leaching and 120 percent greater loss in plant diversity.
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ACE sends letter to Senators wanting confirmation of year-round E15 and reallocation of RINs

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 01/29/2019 - 5:04pm

In South Dakota, American Coalition for Ethanol sent a letter to U.S. Senators Tuesday encouraging they secure tangible documentation on two critically important ethanol issues from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler before casting their confirmation vote: finalizing a legally-defensible Reid vapor pressure (RVP) rule to allow E15 use year-round before the summer driving season, and reallocating ethanol blending obligations waived for 2016 and 2017 through the Small Refinery Exemption (SRE) provision of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

“There is no better way to guarantee the RVP rule and reallocation of refinery waivers are addressed than by insisting Mr. Wheeler provide tangible evidence of his intentions on these issues prior to voting to confirm him,” the letter stated.

The government shutdown is not a credible excuse for a delay in the E15 rulemaking the letter explains, providing the example of how in eight days the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) put forward a new food stamp work requirement proposal as a time in recent history that proves the Trump Administration can expedite high priority rulemakings.

“It has been more than 100 days since the President directed EPA to initiate a rulemaking to allow E15 use year-round,” the letter stated. “What is taking EPA so long to act?”

The RVP rule is particularly time-sensitive. Under EPA’s existing regulations, E15 cannot be sold in most areas of the country from June 1 to September 15, leaving just four short months from today to complete the rulemaking process. Unfortunately, EPA needlessly plans to combine the RVP rule with reforms to the way Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) are handled under the RFS. The letter concludes by advising Senators that “Acting Administrator Wheeler should be encouraged to decouple RIN reforms from the RVP rule to ensure E15 can be offered for sale by June 1.”

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Green guns, poop plastic, kenaf cars, wildflower jacket insulation, leaf extracts that fight blue light damage and more: The Digest’s Top 10 Innovations for the week of January 30th

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 01/29/2019 - 5:01pm

The pace of bioeconomy invention and change continues at a frenetic pace. Here are the top innovations for the week of January 30th.

In today’s Digest, green guns, poop plastic, kenaf cars, wildflower jacket insulation, leaf extracts that fight blue light damage — these and more, ready for you now at The Digest online.

#1 Guns go green with biobased bullet wadding

In Texas, an ammunition company has launched a biodegradable bullet material that is even beneficial for soil. RIO Ammunition says the wadding, which is the term for the cylinder between the lead and the powder, is of vegetal origin. It biodegrades into CO2, mineral salts, and biomass, essentially turning into fertilizer.

“The hydrosoluble wad is a testament to RIO’s commitment towards innovation. We continuously work to make our shotshells more precise, more reliable and also reduce its impact on the environment. Now we can offer a shotshell with the two elements that are expelled from the shotgun—the shot and wad—having a limited, even positive impact on the environment,” Eduardo Baeza, RIO Ammunition General Manager, tells AmmoLand. The new material will be used in the company’s steel-shot BlueSteel line of ammunition. It will be introduced at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas this week.

The company says the innovation will improve the help reduce the environmental impact of shotshells.
More on the story, here.

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Year-Round E15: The Digest’s 2019 Multi-Slide Guide to POET

Biofuels Digest - Tue, 01/29/2019 - 5:00pm

POET has over 28 ethanol plants in the U.S. with more than 2,000 team members, 2.0 billion gallon production capacity, and $8 billion in annual revenue.

Doug Berven, Vice President of Corporate Affairs at POET gave this illuminating overview of POET, the impact of year-round E15 for grain growers and others, new market opportunities for ethanol, and more at ABLC Global 2018 in San Francisco

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Bio-based lingerie? Of course, in Paris!

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 01/28/2019 - 5:57pm

In Tennessee, Naia, Eastman’s cellulose acetate yarn, showcased its sustainability and versatility at Interfilière Paris, the international event for lingerie, activewear materials and accessories, Jan. 19-21. At the show, Naia partnered with Jos Berry, founder and CEO of Concepts Paris, to present a session on consumer insights and emerging opportunities for apparel manufacturers in the bio-economy.

“Sustainable activism in the fashion world is finally coming out of the shadows and entering the mainstream dialogue,” said Eastman Market Insights Leader Justin Coates, who co-hosted the conference entitled Empowering Lingerie’s Uniqueness. “Our latest research into the minds of sustainably-minded consumers reveals a large demand for more sustainable material education across the consumer shopping journey.”

At the forefront of sustainable activism is Calida, the Swiss underwear, sleepwear, loungewear and lifestyle brand, which adds styles to its MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® label every season. Calida chose Naia cellulosic yarn for its new velour line because of the yarn’s environmentally friendly manufacturing process and resource-efficient methods as well as its inherent attributes.

In addition to the new Calida line featured at Interfilière, JETS Australia selected Naia as a primary ingredient in breathable, moisture-wicking fabrications for its spring line of swimwear cover-ups. Both Calida and JETS collections are currently available in stores.

Due to the hypoallergenic nature of the yarn, fabrics made of Naia are skin friendly, quick drying and soft, with wrinkle recovery and pilling resistance. Naia blends well with other fibers and these combinations afford almost unlimited possibilities.

The bio-based yarn is developed with sustainably sourced wood pulp from managed pine and eucalyptus plantations and forests, resulting in no deforestation of ancient and endangered forests. Naia is produced in a closed-loop production process where safe solvents and water are recycled and reused, ensuring that Naia has a low tree-to-yarn carbon and water footprint.

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Gevo develops proprietary catalytic process to produce renewable isoprene

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 01/28/2019 - 5:56pm

In Colorado, Gevo announced that it has developed a proprietary, breakthrough catalytic process that transforms low-cost commercially available, or even waste by-product, renewable alcohols into renewable isoprene that would be expected to compete head-to-head on price with natural and petroleum-based chemical equivalents while reducing CO2 emissions.

Isoprene is predominantly used in the production of synthetic-based rubber.  The market for isoprene is estimated to be approximately $4 billion by 2025, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 7% or greater driven by growth in the automotive sector.

Gevo recently developed a chemical-based catalytic process to convert low-value “fusel oils,” a mixture of alcohols that are byproducts from fermentation processes such as ethanol production, into renewable isoprene. Fusel oils from the ethanol industry alone equate to about 2.5 million tons of potential bio-based waste feedstock.

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Avantium retakes full ownership of plants-to-plastics technology

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 01/28/2019 - 5:55pm

In the Netherlands, Avantium has retaken full ownership of its YXY plants-to-plastics technology through the purchase of BASF’s shares in the Synvina joint venture. Avantium has appointed Marcel Lubben as Managing Director of Synvina to lead the commercialization of the YXY technology, effective February 1, 2019.

Synvina has become a new business unit of Avantium, alongside the existing Catalysis and Renewable Chemistries business units. Avantium’s renewable chemistry programs include Dawn Technology, which converts non-food feedstock to industrial sugars and lignin, and the Mekong technology, which transforms sugars into plant-based monoethylene glycol (MEG) used in the production of materials including renewable plastics and polyesters.

Avantium and BASF were in a dispute about the future of their Synvina joint venture. The companies disagreed on the timing for the fulfilment of the criteria to invest in the commercial-scale plant for FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid). On December 18, 2018, BASF notified Avantium of its exit from their Synvina joint venture, effective January15, 2019. Avantium continued to disagree with BASF’s interpretation of the joint venture agreement.

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Analyst says China’s big R&D push for electric vehicles could erode future ethanol demand

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 01/28/2019 - 5:53pm

In Illinois, an S&P Platts analyst told AgDay that with $150 billion earmarked by China in electrical vehicle R&D over the next several years, demand for 10% ethanol blending from China could be eroded in the longer term. As such, the Chinese market shouldn’t be seen as a “savior” for the US ethanol industry. In the shorter term, the country doesn’t have the production capacity to produce the ethanol required by the 2020 mandate nor to process imported corn, meaning that it must import ethanol for now.

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Delaware ethanol transshipment project gets challenged again

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 01/28/2019 - 5:52pm

In Delaware, the Associated Press reports that the saga over the proposed 10,000 bpd ethanol transshipment project along a protected part of the Delaware coast continues after the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board decided to allow Delaware Audubon Society and the League of Women Voters of Delaware to challenge the project’s permit application from 2016. The board vote was split 4-3 and follows on a Superior Court ruling more than a year ago that said the two groups hadn’t shown enough cause to challenge the project’s permit from the board.

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Chinese December ethanol imports slide 73% from November

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 01/28/2019 - 5:50pm

In China, Platts reports that December 2018 ethanol imports hit 25,178 cu m, a far cry from just the 33 cu m imported in December 2018 but also a 73% slide from November but the reason for the major swing was not reported. More than 19,000 cu m of the volume was undenatured ethanol from Pakistan but molasses shortages in the country will likely lead to fewer imports in the coming months. Most of the undenatured ethanol imports came from Indonesia, followed by South Africa.

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Researchers find corn ILUC to be minimal

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 01/28/2019 - 5:43pm

In Illinois, since 2007 corn ethanol production has doubled and there was also a sharp upturn in corn prices between 2008 and 2012. However, a newly released article in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics finds no evidence to support earlier concerns about large indirect land use change effect of corn ethanol causing expansion in cropland and reduction in grasslands and forests.

Three AAEA members from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Auburn University, analyze the effects of corn ethanol expansion on land-use in a recently published paper in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics ‘Effects of Ethanol Plant Proximity and Crop Prices on Land-Use Change in the United States.’

The study finds that the overall impact of corn ethanol production on increasing total crop acreage was very negligible. Despite producing almost 15 billion gallons of corn ethanol in 2014, total crop acreage in 2014 increased by less than 1% due to the change in ethanol production capacity as compared to 2008 and by about 0.5% due to a change in crop price over this period.

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Growth Energy says EIA 2019 outlook underscores importance of higher ethanol blends

Biofuels Digest - Mon, 01/28/2019 - 5:42pm

In Washington, Federal forecasts in the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) newly released Annual Energy Outlook 2019 underscore the importance of delivering cleaner, lower cost options to the fuel pump, said Chris Bliley, vice president of regulatory affairs at Growth Energy.

“America’s thirst for clean, affordable fuel options is set to remain strong for decades to come,” said Bliley. “Consumers deserve cleaner, more affordable options, and that’s exactly what higher ethanol blends like E15 can deliver. Regulators at the EPA must act quickly on the president’s pledge and open the door to competition at the fuel pump all year long.”

The EIA report predicts that “motor gasoline and diesel fuel retail prices increase by 76 cents per gallon and 82 cents per gallon, respectively, from 2018 to 2050, largely because of increasing crude oil prices.” The report also finds that light-duty vehicle miles traveled will increase by 20 percent, “growing from 2.9 trillion miles in 2018 to 3.5 trillion miles in 2050 as a result of rising incomes and growing population.” In addition, the EIA reports that “consumption of transportation fuels grows considerably in the reference case between 2018 and 2050.”

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