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Updated: 17 min 28 sec ago

A spirit of Kuleana: renewable fuels ventures strive for new geographies, feedstock, products

3 hours 25 min ago

Nothing rang clearer as an industry imperative at ABLC Next last week than the theme of diversification in a Year of Living Dangerously, and we saw it in the news this week from Velocys, Pacific Biodiesel and ICM. Respectively, these are feedstock, product and geographic diversification — done with a goal of building enterprise resilience, reaching new customers, but doing so in harmony with the land and community.

There ought to be a word for it, and it turns out that Hawaiian has one: kuleana. “In Hawaiian, kuleana means a personal sense of responsibility,” noted Pacific Biodiesel’s Marketing Director Joy Galatro.

Today, let’s look at Kuleana and responsible diversification in more detail.

Product diversification: Pacific Biodiesel

From Hawaii we hear that Maiden Hawaii Naturals, a subsidiary of fuels pioneer Pacific Biodiesel, has launched Kuleana, a new collection of natural beauty oils and facial cleansers made with locally grown ingredients. This handcrafted skincare line currently includes three blends for different skin types – Soothe, Nourish and Rejuve – made with plant-based oils including macadamia nut, kukui, coconut, avocado and green coffee oils, all produced by Maiden Hawaii Naturals.

The new Kuleana products are now available for purchase at www.KuleanaBeauty.com and on Amazon.com. As the company expands its sales operation, the products will also be available for purchase at resort spas, day spas, and specialty boutiques statewide. Recently named the #1 Spa in America by USA Today, the ʻAwili Spa and Salon located within the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort is the first spa customer in the state to use our Maui sunflower oil for massage and other spa treatments. Kuleana beauty oils will also be offered for sale at the spa.

“This value, Kuleana, inspires our company’s mission to practice sustainability, support local farming and fight climate change,” said Gulatro, ” which makes it the ideal name for our new brand of beauty oil products made as part of our company’s sustainable agriculture and energy operation that’s helping Hawaii achieve a clean energy future.”

Oils are grown at Pacific Biodiesel’s Maui sunflower farm, which also produces feedstock for the company’s signature biodiesel opeations. It;’s for sale locally, through the company’s website and through Amazon.com.

Feedstock diversification: Velocys

From Mississippi comes the news that Velocys has signed a site option agreement with Adams County in the State of Mississippi for its first U.S. biorefinery to be located in Natchez. The company’s previous commercial-scale refinery — the ENVIA project in Oklahoma — had utilized natural gas as a feedstock.

Velocys has been offered economic development incentives from Adams County estimated to be worth the equivalent of $42 million. The project expects to qualify for additional incentives worth up to $15 million, provided via Mississippi’s Advantage Jobs Act and other statutory tax incentives. These incentive packages would reduce the company’s future tax liabilities and are subject to Velocys meeting certain minimum requirements for capital investment and local employment opportunities.

Velocys has also received commitments from Adams County worth approximately $4 million (relating to the land and upgrades to the site) and $1 million site upgrade commitments from local utility suppliers, further increasing the attractiveness of the site.

The 100-acre Natchez site was confirmed after the Company analysed a broad set of operational and tax considerations at twelve possible sites in four States in the Southeast United States. Due diligence, including site visits, was completed at each of these sites and incentive offers were received from each State in question.

The analysis lays the foundation for future biorefineries: Velocys is maintaining its list of other advantaged sites in the region, which could host plants with capacities totalling 100 million gallons over the next 10 years. Velocys remains in close contact with the economic development officials in these other States regarding the locations and timing of future renewable fuels facilities.

This announcement completes one of the work packages required for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loan guarantee application announced in June 2017. Site permitting activities have now begun for the Natchez site.

Geographic diversification: ICM

From Brazil we have news that ICM has completed startup and commissioning of Brazil’s first standalone dry-mill corn ethanol plant.  The plant is FS Bioenergia, a joint venture between U.S. – based Summit Agricultural Group and Fiagril Ltda of Brazil.  ICM has completed a huge number of corn ethanol projects, but this is the company’s first in Brazil — and a first corn ethanol project for Brazil, as well.

The ICM-designed ethanol plant is located in the middle of Mato Grosso, Brazil’s Corn Belt, near the city of Lucas de Rio Verde, enabling the region to benefit from the alternative use of local corn production.  ICM’s scope of work included technologies, engineering, proprietary equipment, and services. Technologies comprised the corn to ethanol process and two patent-pending processes to increase ethanol and oil yields, Selective Milling Technology and Fiber Separation Technology.

“We value the opportunity to collaborate and to revolutionize the biofuels industry,” stated Dave VanderGriend, CEO of ICM, “ICM looks forward to continued collaboration with FS Bioenergia to promote the economic growth of the region and Brazil by providing our process technologies and services to advance renewable energy.”

 

 

 

Categories: Today's News

Sustainable Chemistry’s Drivers: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to Capricorn Venture Partners Sustainable Chemistry Fund

4 hours 13 sec ago

Changing expectations, changing demographics in a fragile world. Those are just some of the drivers for sustainable chemistry. Performance or sustainability? Consumers demand both. Those drivers are behind a surge in sustainable chemical venture investing, and Capricorn Venture Partners has been a leader in raising and deploying capital as well as focusing strategic attention on the opportunities that technology brings.

CVP’s Babette Pettersen gave this illuminating presentation at ABLC Next 2017 in San Francisco.

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Protected: ABLC Next 2017: The Complete Presentations

12 hours 51 min ago

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Keeping yeast fit and healthy: combating organic acids in fermentation

13 hours 16 min ago

By Amanda Moser, Senior Scientist, Novozymes
Special to The Digest

It’s harvest time, and that means organic acids—a common stressor for yeast—are a top-of-mind concern for ethanol producers. But while some yeasts are more resilient than others, most still require constant attention; after all, each stressor can potentially reduce performance, and those reductions can quickly add up.

A yeast that is less susceptible to stressors is the best way to create a solid foundation for your fermentation. It also helps, however, to have a strategy for keeping your yeast fit and healthy. In our last article, we discussed common ways to effectively deal with temperature stress and avoid premature yeast death. So today, let’s look at another stressor plants routinely deal with: organic acids.

The effect of organic acids on yeasts

The two major organic acids that are detrimental to yeast metabolism are lactic and acetic acids. Both are products of fermentation by bacteria and/or wild yeast, and both become more of a problem over time due to the use of other wastewater streams in the recycling backset..

Acetic acid is the more potent inhibitor of yeast. However, acetic and lactic acid have different inhibition mechanisms, and together those mechanisms can exponentially worsen conditions.

Thankfully, due to faster growth rates, yeast typically overtake the contaminating bacteria or wild yeast, which suppresses the organic acid production. If contamination levels are high, however, the yeasts will not be able to outcompete for nutrients, resulting in sluggish or stopped fermentations.

Methods of combating organic acids

A key element of controlling organic acids is to maintain a low amount of infection in incoming mash as well as a pH that will inhibit the bacteria more than the yeast—this is typically <pH 6. Higher initial yeast counts can also reduce the effect of organic acids on the yeast population.

The most fundamental way to control infection, though, is to control the fermentation environment. Here are a few key ways to do so:

  • Avoid dead legs in the lines in the process.
  • Avoid filling multiple fermenters with the same mash train heat exchanger, and ensure they are cleaned between each fermentation.
  • Implement and follow proper cleaning programs.
  • Clean the fermenters on a regular basis.
  • Control fermentation temperatures and maximize yeast growth.
Technological next steps

Again, when it comes to dealing with organic acids, having a yeast with organic acid tolerance is always best. But don’t forget to have a tried and true strategy that will help create the ideal environment for your yeast to thrive. As simple as it sounds, this is a big piece of the fermentation puzzle.

To learn more about yeast and many other aspects of ethanol production, such as enzyme functionality, laboratory practices and process troubleshooting, Novozymes customers can access Bioenergy University, an online platform offering webinars, course modules and videos.

Categories: Today's News

Growing the African Biofuel Sector: What’s Not to Like?

Sun, 10/22/2017 - 9:44am

Doug Faulkner

Gerard Ostheimer

By Gerard Ostheimer and Doug Faulkner

Special to The Digest

Lost in all the wrangling in Europe and the U.S. over the benefits of biofuels and whether or not they can mitigate climate change is the recognition that in Sub-Saharan Africa a thriving indigenous bioenergy industry can play a positive and productive role in modernizing economies and improving the quality of human life.

One challenge for African bioenergy development though will be for Africans themselves to forge their own path to sustainability and identify their most relevant feedstocks and products. African policymakers, investors and entrepreneurs would do well to circumvent the West’s increasingly bitter sustainability battles and adopt their own approaches.

To support a young and growing population, Africa must modernize its agricultural sector and end its addiction to hardwood charcoal and imported petroleum products, like diesel. A thriving bioenergy sector making renewable fuels and electricity from crops, like native palm and sugar cane, grown and harvested by farmers increasingly using best world practices would be critical to that effort.

Noted academics have pointed out that Africa has the most arable land and the lowest yields per acre in the world; and, as such, Africa is the region with the most potential for agricultural growth. Bioenergy demand for sugar, starch and/or cellulosic feedstock could foster stable markets that drive the investment needed to realize this potential. Savings from lower food and energy imports would create a virtuous cycle helping to power economic growth and environmental improvement – – essentially, the Brazilian model.

While critics in the West assail biofuels in general for their alleged damage to food production and question their ability to mitigate climate change, a growing number of academics, international and non-governmental organizations take the opposite view. For example, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), IEA Bioenergy and the International Renewable Energy Agency see the potential for symbiosis between sustainable agriculture and bioenergy production. In addition, FAO and the International Energy Agency developed a Bioenergy How2Guide. It really calls into question the presumption of competition between food and bioenergy when the global agency responsible for promoting agriculture and food security supports the thoughtful deployment of bioenergy in developing countries. To foster modernization of bioenergy in developing countries, the Global Bioenergy Partnership developed its Indicators of Sustainable Bioenergy, which emphasize the importance of national context in considering sustainable bioenergy production and use. African institutions, including the New Partnership for African Development, the African Union Commission and the UN Economic Commission for Africa all embrace bioenergy as a driver for rural development.

Given the available resources and the groundswell of international support for African agriculture and bioenergy, one might expect that Africa is fast becoming an exemplary engine of the global bioeconomy. Unfortunately, African agriculture development has been disrupted by outside interests pursuing their own parochial agendas, like campaigns against biotechnology. Policy debates in Brussels and persistent criticism of biofuels’ sustainability dilute and distort the pro-bioenergy message coming out of international organizations. Moreover, Europeans are increasingly leery of bio-sourced diesel replacements, especially in the wake of the Volkswagen debacle, and they are increasingly vocal about an all-electric future for transportation. Given their proximity, shared history and the persistent role of European aid agencies, discussions in Europe have an outsized impact on African policy development. But, to state the obvious, the African reality is quite different than the European situation. It ignores the fact that sustainable bioenergy gives Africa the biggest bang for the buck given their circumstances. For example, renewable diesel from sustainable feedstocks, including vegetable oils, is an attractive option for their transportation system, as electric vehicles just don’t make much sense for many reasons at this time.

 

African leaders should heed the debates of the West and avoid the tar-pit of political wrangling over quotas, mandates and standards. They should instead focus on demonstrating publicly their priority of lifting the standard of living of their peoples and giving them hope for a cleaner, more prosperous future. Likewise, they should develop their own science-based approach to enforcing sustainable bioenergy production and use that is tailored to their specific feedstocks and agronomic contexts.

Africans should strive for sustainable fuels from native feedstocks in a modern infrastructure and thriving economy- – and not replicate the U.S. experience of slow growth from first-generation to advanced fuels. Renewable diesel would fit right into existing fuel systems without the need for the whole blending investment – – and would give them greater reductions in pollution and carbon. Feedstocks could include endogenous croton nut, sustainable palm and woody biomass. A prosperous African bioenergy sector would also provide alternatives to charcoal for clean-cooking, co-generation and gasification for electricity and ultimately, advanced jet fuel for their growing aviation demand. This would be the agriculture-bioenergy equivalent of the African telecommunications revolution in which they skipped deploying land-lines and instead went straight to cellphones.

Admittedly, there is still much we just don’t know and need more on-the-ground information for businesses and governments, like personal use of biomass for energy at the national level. Nevertheless, an Africa that can feed itself would have numerous positive add-on effects and would be the cornerstone of a prosperous continent as its population continues to grow. It is clear to us that growing a strong, diverse and sustainable agricultural sector will go hand-in-hand with an advanced, sustainable bioeconomy. And, that’s good news for Africa and the world!

Categories: Today's News

Novel and Bio-based Chemicals: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to Elevance

Sun, 10/22/2017 - 9:39am

Elevance Renewable Sciences is a world leader in natural oil metathesis, with a commercial-scale biorefinery in Gresik, Indonesia and a group of collaborators including Stepan, P&G, Wilmar, Materia and Clariant.

In 2015, the company introduced Elevance Clean 1200, what it describes as “a superior-performing degreasing and VOC-exempt solvent that outperforms traditional and bio-based solvents for industrial degreasing applications targeted toward heavy manufacturing, transportation maintenance and repair operations (MRO), and industrial food processing.”

Here’s a recent slide deck from Elevance on Novel and Bio-based Chemicals Enabled by Natural Oil Metathesis.

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BASF to Buy Bayer’s Seed Assets for Billions

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 3:05pm

In New Jersey, BASF agreed to buy almost all of Bayer’s seed assets including LibertyLink seeds and chemistry for $7 billion, assuming the Bayer acquisition of Monsanto goes through. If all goes as planned, BASF will gain 1,800 Bayer employees, 700 of them in North America and 81 Bayer sites. This is BASF’s first time going into the seed business but would complement BASF’s current products and projects.

According to Western Producer, the deal includes canola, accounting for 45 percent of the total, followed by cotton at 25 percent, soybeans at 20 percent and the LibertyLink license and related global glufosinate-ammonium business making up the remainder. BASF told Western Producer that it will spend $956 million annually on agricultural research and development once the Bayer assets are in the fold.

The Backstory

As reported in the Digest in September 2016, the extended courtship between Bayer and Monsanto, which saw the dowry offer raised four times by Bayer, resulted in a $127.50 per share all-cash offer for Monsanto, which Monsanto’s board accepted last year. A whopping $66 billion in all — one of the largest all-cash acquisitions, ever.

But just because Bayer is acquiring Monsanto, doesn’t mean all activity stops. In fact, we also reported in the Digest in November 2016, that Bayer established a research collaboration with Primordial Genetics to focus on technology and performance of Bayer’s crop protection solutions.

We also reported in the Digest just a month ago about Bayer and Ginkgo Bioworks creation of a new company focused on the plant microbiome — specifically, improving the microbes’ ability to make nitrogen fertilizer available for plants offers a major potential benefit to sustainable agriculture. The deal provides a Series A investment of $100 million by its parent companies and Viking Global Investors LP. The new company will focus on technologies to improve plant-associated microbes with a major focus on nitrogen fixation. The endophytic microbes to be developed by the company aim to provide a platform to flexibly deliver new agronomic advantages.

Now with Bayer’s selling off of their seed assets, it looks like BASF is in a good position for growth beyond its core chemical business and into seeds and herbicides.

In March, the Digest reported that BASF reached a global licensing agreement with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for the use of CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing technology to improve products in agricultural and industrial microbiology applications. The technology advances genome editing because it has the potential to be a simpler and more precise tool for making targeted changes to a cell’s DNA. This means that with Bayer’s seed business, BASF can now use its genome-editing technology to improve seed traits faster and less expensively than other genome-editing methods.

Scott Kay, vice president of BASF’s U.S. Crop Protection business, told the Triangle Business Journal that domestic facilities that will be transferred to Bayer include sites in both Research Triangle Park and Morrisville, as well as footprints in Michigan, Texas and Alabama. “I think it’s really important to remember that we bought a running, functioning business that was growing, and we plan to continue to do what we can to let that business grow. Should we have any strategic changes, that would come later.”

Check out the Digest’s Slide Guide to BASF.

The Reactions

Paul Rae, BASF’s head of North American Business told AgWeb even though the company will sell cotton, canola and soybean seeds for the first time, Bayer’s business compliments BASF’s current pipeline. “We’ve had an existing and successful traits business for many years, and we’ve had a strong seed treatment business. [It’s] important to recognize that we have been active in the seed industry in a different way.”

“Interesting to see this sale on the table as it in essence will create a third ‘genetics and chemistry’ company,” Bob Young, American Farm Bureau Federation chief economist told AgWeb. “While the scale will be at a different level than other companies, it adds a significant third company for our farmers to look to for new technologies and innovative production tools. We look forward to working with all three companies in the future.”

It is probably good for U.S. farmers,” Dean Cavey, managing partner at Verdant Partners told AgWeb. “I look at it in two ways, first, farmers like and benefit from competition, and now we have another significant player entering the picture. Second you have another major player that is dedicated to R&D and creation of new products.”

So while the consensus is that this deal could be a good thing for those in agriculture, only time will tell. While BASF and Bayer have an integration team working through 2019, it still depends on the approval of Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto.

The Future

When asked about future plans to enter the corn seed market, Paul Rea, senior vice president of BASF Crop Protection told Farm Futures, “We are open to expand and grow our portfolio long-term,” adding that BASF is entering the seed market in a “meaningful way” and any future expansion would need to be a strategic fit, customer focused and fiscally responsible. He also emphasized that their intent is to “avoid customer interruption” during the process. Rae also sees more investment in Bayer’s LibertyLink technology long-term.

Scott Kay, BASF’s vice president of Crop Protection North America told Farm Futures that there won’t be any name changes right now as they respect the brand reputation Bayer has already built. Kay also told Farm Futures that Bayer’s InVigor canola hybrids have performed well, but they will continue to look for ways to improve seed quality, traits and yields as their ultimate goal is to help “canola perform better in farmers field.”

BASF already has an herbicide portfolio, but Rea told Farm Futures that the deal with Bayer “adds a new mode of action to our portfolio. It provides a new method for us to help farmers fight resistant weeds.”

So as we wait for the Bayer acquisition of Monsanto to move forward, we also wait to see what developments will come of BASF’s big buy.

Categories: Today's News

Canadian government developing new clean fuel standard

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 2:44pm

In Canada, the government is looking at potential low-carbon fuels and liquid drop-in biofuels to replace fossil fuels through their clean fuel standard that could require 10 to 15 percent decrease in fuels’ carbon intensity. Their goal is to cut carbon emissions by 2030 by 30 million tons. Canada currently imports biodiesel to meet their 2 percent renewable content in diesel fuel requirement. The government is looking at costs, potential and barriers for available technologies to meet their goals and plans on publishing a clean fuel standard framework later this fall.

“Biofuels will likely play a role in helping to meet this target, notably in the transportation sector,” reads one of the procurement documents according to The National Post. “Renewable drop-in fuels appear to be a promising option for short-term biofuels development and deployment.”

Categories: Today's News

China begins construction on ethanol plant and plans 5 more

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 2:42pm

In China, China’s State Development & Investment Corporation began construction of its first ethanol plant in the Liaoning province with 300,000 tons of capacity and is planning on building another five ethanol plants in other provinces as well as buying additional facilities. SDIC also plans on processing corn in the northeast China. SDIC is hoping to become China’s top producer of biofuel, especially after the government said last month that it plans on increasing the use of ethanol in gasoline across the country by 2020 in an effort to curb the country’s air pollution. SDIC is aiming to produce 4 million to 5 million tons of ethanol per year in the next three to five years.

Categories: Today's News

Pulpwood biofuel being looked at in Revelstoke as replacement for propane

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 2:41pm

In Canada, Revelstoke, a city in British Columbia, is looking at replacing its propane consumption with biofuel from pulpwood. A study from Canadian Biomass Energy Research was presented at a recent council meeting showing how Revelstoke could convert its own wood waste into energy and replace the more than $12 million used annually on imported fossil fuels.

Hemlock timber is abundant in the area but it is unprofitable due to high incidences of rot. This makes the hemlock timber useless for lumber and makes it more expensive to transport the hemlock to pulp mills than what forest holders sell the hemlock for, thus making it a great contender for wood to fuel bioenergy. One option being looked at is the development of a wood to fuel plant next to a boiler plant at Downie Timber so the fuel would be locally made. Their next step is to look into conducting a feasibility study for building the plant.

Categories: Today's News

Renewable fuel credits trade at highest level in months

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 2:39pm

In Maryland, the Oil Price Information Service said the price of renewable fuel D6 credits are trading at the highest level since August upon news from the EPA that they are abandoning the proposed cuts and lowered mandates to the RFS. On Friday, the D6 credits were being traded between 87 and 90 cents in early trading which was up from 81.5 and 82 cents each on Thursday. Just a few weeks ago in September, they were as low as 66 cents as rumors of and opposition to the EPA’s cuts to biofuel mandates grew.

Categories: Today's News

Ethanol production hits four-week high

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 2:38pm

In Washington, D.C., the Renewable Fuels Association reports that according to EIA data, average ethanol production expanded by 5.4% to 1.019 million barrels per day (b/d)—or 42.80 million gallons daily. That is up 52,000 b/d from the week before and a four-week high. The four-week average for ethanol production dropped to 998,000 b/d–the first time in 23 weeks to fall below a million b/d, for an annualized rate of 15.30 billion gallons. Stocks of ethanol remained at 21.5 million barrels for the third straight week. Imports of ethanol remained flat at zero b/d for the fifth week in a row.

Average weekly gasoline demand decreased 3.6% to a 33-week low of 383.7 million gallons (9.136 million barrels) daily. This is equivalent to 140.1 billion gallons annualized. Refiner/blender input of ethanol decreased 1.6% to 922,000 b/d, equivalent to 14.13 billion gallons annualized. This means gasoline contained an average of 10.09% ethanol for the week. Expressed as a percentage of daily gasoline demand, daily ethanol production increased to 11.15%.

Categories: Today's News

Larger legume harvest coming for spring

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 2:36pm

In Germany, UFOP reports that legume harvests were satisfactory due to the expansion of land devoted to growing legume crops which set the course for a larger legume harvest in Germany already in spring. Consistently higher yields than 2016 also contributed to the rise in harvests.

In 2017, average yields of feed peas and field beans exceeded the 2016 figures considerably. However, yields of sweet lupins declined. The total harvest of 43,600 tonnes was down 13 per cent from 2016, because per-hectare yields shrank by 14 per cent. By contrast, the soybean harvest rose 41 per cent from the previous year, although the total quantity remained relatively small at 61,000 tonnes. The surge was based on a 21 per cent boost in area planted and a 16 per cent increase in yields. The German Federal Statistical Office estimated the total feed pea harvest at 298,400 tonnes, 3 per cent higher than 2016. The 5 per cent increase in per-hectare yields more than offset the 2 per cent drop in area planted.

The field bean crop is set to be a thorough success this year. The expansion in area alone amounted to 20 per cent from 2016, Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft mbH (AMI) reported. Yield was estimated at 40.1 decitonnes per hectare, up 1 per cent from the previous year and exceeding the long-term mean by as much as 5.5 per cent. Consequently, the total field bean harvest would amount to 186,100 tonnes, which would be 32,400 tonnes more than 2016.

Categories: Today's News

EPA ditches changes to RFS, says biofuel mandates will remain same or even increase

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 2:33pm

In Washington, D.C., the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in a letter to lawmakers that they are abandoning the proposed changes to biofuels policy after Midwestern GOP Senators, the White House, and others in the biofuels industry pushed them to reconsider. The letter from Pruitt states that the “EPA has not taken any formal action to propose this idea, nor will EPA pursue regulations,” referring to the rumored EPA ideas of lowering biofuel mandates and allowing ethanol exports to count towards the mandate. In fact, the letter from Pruitt states that the EPA will keep total renewable fuel volume mandates at or above previously proposed levels and that they will “actively explore” the sale of E15 year-round.

Categories: Today's News

Pandas and beavers digestion of bamboo and trees can help biofuel production

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 2:32pm

In Canada, scientists in Ottawa with Agriculture Canada are looking at how pandas digest bamboo to better understand the fungi and microbes that help them digest the branches and twigs. This builds on another recent study about how beavers digest trees and how the enzymes in their gut help break down the material to get nutrients. The hope is that the digestion and microbiomes of beavers and pandas can help researchers apply that knowledge to ruminant digestion and help with biofuel production from plant cellulose.

Wen Chen told Western Producer, “What we’re seeing in the lab is really exciting. Imagine the possibilities that exist in reducing our reliance on petrochemicals by improving the way we make biofuel.”

Categories: Today's News

Southeast Queensland’s Unitywater looking for renewable energy consultants

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 8:23pm

In Australia, as part of a broader energy and resource recovery strategy, Southeast Queensland’s Unitywater is inviting expressions of interest from suitably qualified parties with an interest in:

•           Providing proven technology solutions at a cost

•           Commercialising technology solutions and developing jointly owned intellectual property, or

•           Developing joint venture arrangements and new business opportunities with a proven, established statutory authority.

Innovative technology providers who are interested in the following renewable energy processes and resource recovery alternatives are encouraged to contact Heather Bone, Resource Recovery Project Manager heather.bone@unitywater.com:

•           Biogas

•           Waste to energy

•           Biomass

•           Energy efficiency

•           Solar

•           Wind

•           Hydrogen

•           Micro turbines

•           Battery storage

•           Other demonstrable renewable energy solutions

Invitations close 28 February 2018.

Categories: Today's News

Four Swedish NGOs write MEPs demanding a shift in biofuels policy

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 8:22pm

In Sweden, a group of four NGOs have written an open letter to members of European Parliament urging them to rethink the proposals for the second version of the Renewable Energy Directive, claiming that Swedish forests are already in dire straights and that the RED proposals will only further diminish their quality. They want no targets for biofuel blending, a complete phase out of crop-based biofuels by 2030, including ILUC in GHG calculations and a list of more policy suggestions.

Categories: Today's News

Vietnam’s E5 blending mandate will be a challenge for smaller fuel retailers

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 8:20pm

In Vietnam, although the government is confident domestic ethanol production will be sufficient to supply the E5 blending mandate coming into force in January, and that major fuel retailers have put measures in place to sell the blend, it is concerned that smaller fuel retailers don’t have the financial capacity to invest in the additional infrastructure required. Consumer concerns about the fuel continue to persist in the market as shown by E5 sales only accounting for about 9% of current consumption.

Categories: Today's News

Croda inaugurates $170 bio-based chemicals plant in Delaware

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 8:19pm

In Delaware, Croda International inaugurated its new $170 million plant producing bio-based non-ionic surfactants, the first of its kind in North America to use bio-based ethanol rather than petroleum products as feedstock. The governor praised the project during the ribbon cutting for demonstrating the state welcomes innovative companies that bring good jobs and create sustainable business. The company has previously invested in CHP from landfill gas and installed solar panels at another of its Delaware facilities.

Categories: Today's News

T2 ethanol prices slump to 11-month low ahead of flood of beet-based supplies

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 8:18pm

In the Netherlands, T2 ethanol prices have slumped to an 11-month low of $542/cu m on the back of increased supplies from sugarbeet-based ethanol following the de-regulation of the European Union’s sugarbeet market. Spanish and South American cargos have also recently arrived in Rotterdam, helping to further bring down the price. Most beet-based ethanol is expected to arrive on the market in November. Demand is typically weak during Q4 which may see prices fall further.

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