Major Stories

The Competitive Edge: Homestead Engineering Inc.

The Competitive Edge: Homestead Engineering Inc.

April 9, 2020 |

Q: What was the reason for founding your organization – what was the open niche you saw that could be addressed with a new product or service? What was the problem, or gap, or opportunity? Great underutilization of local biofuel, waste vegetable oil from local restaurants. As the commodity yellow grease, no prior retail use […]

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Biodiesel, Renewable Diesel Industries’ Vision Sees Hope Amongst COVID-19

Biodiesel, Renewable Diesel Industries’ Vision Sees Hope Amongst COVID-19

April 8, 2020 |

By Donnell Rehagen, Chief Executive Officer, National Biodiesel Board Special to The Digest Before the COVID-19 pandemic became the primary focus of our industry, and the world, the National Biodiesel Board and our industry leadership spent much of 2019 assessing our longer-term future. Once our nation gets through the current uncertainty that is ahead of […]

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The Straw Man: Looking critically at claims about EV emissions

The Straw Man: Looking critically at claims about EV emissions

April 7, 2020 |

A completely interesting example of what is known as the Straw Man fallacy appeared in coverage of a study that appears in this month’s Nature Sustainability, on electric vehicle emissions. The lead author of the study, University of Nijmegen’s Dr Florian Knobloch told the BBC: “The idea that electric vehicles could increase emissions is a […]

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Super clear, super thin, super durable: Zymergen bends it like Beckham, electronics-wise 

Super clear, super thin, super durable: Zymergen bends it like Beckham, electronics-wise 

April 6, 2020 |

Move over, Impossible Whopper. Zymergen has made an impossible material, and something almost as rare in the biobased world, you can actually order it the day you first hear about it. Yep, Zymergen’s running the best play that you’d ever find in the Steve Jobs playbook, the “it’s insanely great, and call now to order” […]

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How badly is COVID-19 slamming biofuels industry? 30% reduction of ethanol production capacity, nearly half offline in coming weeks?

How badly is COVID-19 slamming biofuels industry? 30% reduction of ethanol production capacity, nearly half offline in coming weeks?

April 5, 2020 |

COVID-19 is creating a rocky road for everyone but is it all gloom and doom? RFA told The Digest that about 4.4 billion gallons of capacity has come offline since March 1, plus what was already idle, the total is about 5.2 billion gallons idle – that’s approximately 30% of the industry’s total. Growth Energy […]

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8-Slide Guides

Great Plains Institute’s Latest Report: The Digest’s 2020 Multi-Slide Guide to A Clean Fuels Policy for the Midwest

Great Plains Institute’s Latest Report: The Digest’s 2020 Multi-Slide Guide to A Clean Fuels Policy for the Midwest

April 9, 2020 |

The Midwestern Clean Fuels Initiative, facilitated by the Great Plains Institute, is a broad coalition of fuels producers and marketers, nonprofit and research organizations, scientists and engineers, and agriculture and industry stakeholders. The coalition works to create economic benefits for the region through policy, research, and education on the production and use of cleaner fuels.

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Hydrogen Production’s Synthesis Gas Process with 20% Less Feed and Fuel Gas: The Digest’s 2020 Multi-Slide Guide to ENGlobal

Hydrogen Production’s Synthesis Gas Process with 20% Less Feed and Fuel Gas: The Digest’s 2020 Multi-Slide Guide to ENGlobal

April 8, 2020 |

Based in good ‘ole Texas, ENGlobal has been around for almost 35 years but about a year ago shifted their focus to modular process systems and partnering with process technology firms to execute and implement their technology. They are about to begin supplying construction modules for a hydrogen production facility using a synthesis gas process that consumes […]

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Biobased Alternative for Nylon, Polyester, PET and Cellulose Acetate: The Digest’s 2020 Multi-Slide Guide to Chips Board’s Food Waste to Bioplastic

Biobased Alternative for Nylon, Polyester, PET and Cellulose Acetate: The Digest’s 2020 Multi-Slide Guide to Chips Board’s Food Waste to Bioplastic

April 8, 2020 |

Research and development has been Chips Board’s focus but now they are looking for investment to get their products from lab to the marketplace. Last year they unveiled their Cubitts eyewear prototype based on Parblex coffee composite bioplasticand this year they’ve added new team members to get the gears going faster. Check out the their most recent […]

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PEF Joint Venture to Renewable Polymers and All In Between: The Digest’s 2020 Multi-Slide Guide to Avantium

PEF Joint Venture to Renewable Polymers and All In Between: The Digest’s 2020 Multi-Slide Guide to Avantium

April 7, 2020 |

“2019 was in many ways a pivotal year for Avantium,” writes their CEO, Tom van Aken. We couldn’t agree more, and this 2019 Annual Report recently released by the company delves into the what, why, when, where and more. From the end of their PEF joint venture with BASF, to the acquisition of 100% ownership […]

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How It All Ties Together – LCFS, Biobased Fuel, Zero Emission Vehicles, ICEV Bans: The Digest’s 2020 Multi-Slide Guide to The Big 3 Policies for Fuels

How It All Ties Together – LCFS, Biobased Fuel, Zero Emission Vehicles, ICEV Bans: The Digest’s 2020 Multi-Slide Guide to The Big 3 Policies for Fuels

April 6, 2020 |

Few countries blend ethanol beyond 10% right now but are targets moving? What about biodiesel targets, mostly set below 7% volume in some countries? How about the 18 countries that plan to ban of phase out ICEVs and more than 45 countries have set or are setting national targets for EVs by 2030 – how […]

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The Latest World News

USDA lowers corn usage for ethanol estimate by 375M bushels

USDA lowers corn usage for ethanol estimate by 375M bushels

April 9, 2020 |

In Washington, ICIS reports that the USDA has lowered its estimate of corn usage for ethanol to just 5.05 billion bushels for 2019/20 in the most recent WASDE report, 375 million bushels lower than it predicted last month. With COVID-19 keeping people across the country at home and off the roads, fuel consumption has dropped […]

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Alliance BioEnergy finalizes design for 4G “Cellulose-to-Sugar” prototype thanks to angel investors

Alliance BioEnergy finalizes design for 4G “Cellulose-to-Sugar” prototype thanks to angel investors

April 9, 2020 |

In Florida, Alliance BioEnergy Plus Inc announced that it has finalized the design and is building its new 4th generation “Cellulose-to-Sugar” (“CTS 2.0”) prototype. The company has received funding from a couple of angel investors that are more than sufficient to pay for the upgraded prototype of the Company’s revolutionary green renewable energy technology. This […]

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EPA settles two cases with Coleman Oil Company over biodiesel spill

EPA settles two cases with Coleman Oil Company over biodiesel spill

April 9, 2020 |

In Washington state, Environmental Protection Agency has settled two federal Clean Water Act cases with Coleman Oil Company, LLC, located in Lewiston, Idaho, owner and operator of a former oil bulk terminal in Wenatchee, Washington, adjacent to the Columbia River. The cases, resolved in the Fall of 2019, were connected to an underground oil spill […]

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Brazil ethanol imports reached 23-month higher in March as quota reset

Brazil ethanol imports reached 23-month higher in March as quota reset

April 9, 2020 |

In Brazil, Platts reports that Secretariat of Foreign Trade data shows ethanol imports into the center-south region reached an eight-year high in March at 210 million liters, up from just 1.98 million liters in March 2019. Total Brazilian imports in March reached a 23-month high of 276 million liters following the opening of an import […]

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Wood Mackenzie sees green hydrogen project pipeline doubling in five months

Wood Mackenzie sees green hydrogen project pipeline doubling in five months

April 9, 2020 |

In the UK, Wood Mackenzie says green hydrogen project pipeline more than doubled in five months. As of March 2020, almost 8.2 GW of electrolyzer capacity is now in the proposed pipeline for new projects. The outlook for hydrogen is getting more and more attractive. Larger integrated energy, industrial and financial players are advancing innovative […]

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R&D News

UCSD and Cambridge researchers develop 3D coral-inspired structures for algae production

UCSD and Cambridge researchers develop 3D coral-inspired structures for algae production

April 9, 2020 |

In California, researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, and the University of Cambridge, U.K., have 3D printed coral-inspired structures that are capable of growing dense populations of microscopic algae. The work, published April 9 in Nature Communications, could lead to the development of compact, more […]

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University of East Anglia researchers make gene-editing breakthrough to understand ocean microbes

University of East Anglia researchers make gene-editing breakthrough to understand ocean microbes

April 8, 2020 |

In the UK, researchers have made a major breakthrough in developing gene-editing tools to improve our understanding of one of the most important ocean microbes on the planet. The international project, co-led by scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK, unlocks the potential of the largest untapped genetic resource for the […]

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NREL leads research yielding new insights into how bacteria breaks down lignin

NREL leads research yielding new insights into how bacteria breaks down lignin

April 7, 2020 |

In Colorado, collaboration between the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and three other national laboratories has yielded new insight into the ability of bacteria to break down the hardy part of a plant known as lignin. The additional understanding of the process could open a path to industrial applications. The newly published research builds upon […]

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Berkley Lab and JBEI find key to bioproduct economic feasibility

Berkley Lab and JBEI find key to bioproduct economic feasibility

April 6, 2020 |

In California, one strategy to make biofuels more competitive is to make plants do some of the work themselves. Scientists can engineer plants to produce valuable chemical compounds, or bioproducts, as they grow. Then the bioproducts can be extracted from the plant and the remaining plant material can be converted into fuel. When produced in […]

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Researchers look for solutions to irreplaceable phosphorus for agriculture

Researchers look for solutions to irreplaceable phosphorus for agriculture

April 5, 2020 |

In Germany, German-Chinese Research Training Groups at the University of Hohenheim and the China Agricultural University in Beijing are looking for solutions for sustainable phosphorus use using the example of maize cultivation systems. If it is not possible to use the resource phosphorus more sustainably, mankind is heading for a serious crisis: phosphorus is irreplaceable […]

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Policy & Policymakers

11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upholds conviction of Florida biodiesel scammer

11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upholds conviction of Florida biodiesel scammer

April 9, 2020 |

In Florida, Law.com reports that the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has upheld a 2017 conviction against Lee John Maher who through his company Clean Fuel LLC falsely received a $2.2 million federal grant funneled through a state energy grant meant to be used for building a biodiesel facility. He was convicted on charges […]

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Bipartisan group of 14 Senators asks USDA to allocate CCC funding to biofuel industry

Bipartisan group of 14 Senators asks USDA to allocate CCC funding to biofuel industry

April 8, 2020 |

In Washington, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and 12 of their Senate colleagues today sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requesting additional funds be allocated to the biofuel industry through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) during the unprecedented economic circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. […]

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Group of 34 bipartisan Senators asks USDA to support farmers during COVID-19 crisis

Group of 34 bipartisan Senators asks USDA to support farmers during COVID-19 crisis

April 7, 2020 |

In Washington, 34 bipartisan Senators wrote a letter to Secretary of Agriculture urging the Administration to ensure the continuity of our country’s food supply and to support rural areas during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by providing needed relief to farmers. “We write to ask that you take action to ensure the continuity of our country’s […]

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Switzerland regretting move to dump emergency ethanol reserves in 2018

Switzerland regretting move to dump emergency ethanol reserves in 2018

April 6, 2020 |

In Switzerland, Reuters reports that local press said the country shed its 10,000 metric ton emergency ethanol reserve in 2018 when it was privatizing its alcohol industry, but the move has left the country without needed supplies to produce disinfectants to battle COVID-19. Switzerland keeps emergency reserves of a wide range of food commodities. MPs […]

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U.S. biofuels industry asks for USDA funds to survive decreased demand from coronavirus

U.S. biofuels industry asks for USDA funds to survive decreased demand from coronavirus

April 5, 2020 |

In Washington, D.C., Reuters reports that a letter addressed to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue from representatives in the biofuels industry asked the Trump administration for funds to help survive the decreased demand prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. The letter asks for funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corporation to help the biofuels […]

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Other Recent Articles

USGC says ethanol exports available despite COVID-19

USGC says ethanol exports available despite COVID-19

April 9, 2020 |

In Washington, the US Grains Council says that while U.S. ethanol exports are up by three percent year-over-year according to new data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the outbreak of COVID-19 will have structural impacts on demand for the rest of 2020. The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) is working to keep end-users around […]

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The Latest Developments on Powering Our World with Grass, Twigs, and Other Green Waste

The Latest Developments on Powering Our World with Grass, Twigs, and Other Green Waste

April 9, 2020 |

By Michael Timko, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute Special to The Digest The sound of scraping your plate of un-eaten food is a familiar one to all of us. For most people in the U.S., this food winds up in the local landfill. In some locations, composting options are available. But, the […]

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BR Distribuidora asking for ANP to reduce biodiesel sales at next auction by at least 25%

BR Distribuidora asking for ANP to reduce biodiesel sales at next auction by at least 25%

April 8, 2020 |

In Brazil, Reuters says BR Distribuidora told the news agency the company has proposed to reduce by a quarter the minimum mandatory percentage of biodiesel withdrawal to be contracted from producers in the next biofuel auction, claiming that it is not possible to predict the consumption of the product in the coming weeks and months […]

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Clariant and CropEnergies team on disinfectant production in Germany

Clariant and CropEnergies team on disinfectant production in Germany

April 8, 2020 |

In Germany, Clariant together with CropEnergies has started monthly production of 2 million liters of disinfectant at Clariant’s facilities in Gendorf, Germany. This disinfectant is then directly or via repacking partners provided to regional hospitals and other vital institutions in Bavaria, who are currently facing limited availability of this critical product during the COVID-19 outbreak. […]

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10th Circuit District Court rejects request for rehearing of SRE case

10th Circuit District Court rejects request for rehearing of SRE case

April 8, 2020 |

In Washington, Reuters reports that the 10th Circuit District Court has rejected the request for a rehearing filed by HollyFrontier and CVR Energy to the court’s January ruling that has turned the Environmental Protection Agency inside out trying to figure out how to change the way it approves small refinery exemptions under the Renewable Fuel […]

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Indian Sugar mills asking for third tender to supply OMCs ethanol

Indian Sugar mills asking for third tender to supply OMCs ethanol

April 8, 2020 |

In India, the Business Standard newspaper reports that with falling fuel demand and therefore ethanol demand due to the lockdown called to slow the spread of COVID-19, sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh want oil marketing companies to call a third ethanol tender after the first two tenders failed to secure sufficient quantities of pre-coronavirus demand. […]

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