Major Stories

An Energy Insurance & Security Act: Looking behind “Mend it and End it”.

An Energy Insurance & Security Act: Looking behind “Mend it and End it”.

September 18, 2014 |

In today’s Digest, we published an important column by longtime contributor Douglas Faulkner, the former acting Undersecretary of Agriculture and a former Assistant Secretary of Energy, titled “The Renewable Fuel Standard:  Mend It AND End It.” In his column, Faulkner begins by citing the competing and buffeting political winds around the RFS — from the […]

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The Renewable Fuel Standard:  Mend It AND End It

The Renewable Fuel Standard:  Mend It AND End It

September 18, 2014 |

By Douglas L. Faulkner, “The Cleantech Conservative” President Clinton gave a major speech in defense of affirmative action in 1995 entitled, “Mend It, Don’t End It”, an easily-remembered and clear summary of his policy approach.  So, to borrow a pitch and reformat the goal, my recommendations for fixing the current Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) work […]

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Up in the Air: Can aviation save the Renewable Fuel Standard?

Up in the Air: Can aviation save the Renewable Fuel Standard?

September 17, 2014 |

Declining gasoline demand, blend walls, lack of blender pumps, a fight over E15 ethanol, food vs fuel — it all looks pretty dire for the US Renewable Fuel Standard target of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel by 2022. Or does it? Does the key to making everyone happy lie 8 miles high, in the aviation sector? […]

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4 Rules for Becoming an Investment Winner in industrial biotech

4 Rules for Becoming an Investment Winner in industrial biotech

September 16, 2014 |

It’s hard to make a valuable molecule out of low-value biomass. And even harder to make money out of it. What are the rules of the road, as understood by those who have dared, and done it, and lived to tell the tale? So, the Biofuels Digest Index is up 10 percent since May, but it’s […]

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Producer News

US ethanol stocks hit five-week high as production soars

US ethanol stocks hit five-week high as production soars

September 18, 2014 |

In Washington, the Energy Information Agency says that ethanol stocks reached 18.81 million barrels during the week ending Sept. 12, up 4.3% and the highest in 18 months. Ethanol production reached 931,000 barrels during the week, the third week in a row where production increased. Cheap corn thanks to a bumper harvest as most production […]

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Biodiesel blending factor seesawing as market waits for better D4 RIN prices

Biodiesel blending factor seesawing as market waits for better D4 RIN prices

September 18, 2014 |

In New York state, the biodiesel blending factor rose to its highest level since Aug. 8 at minus 28.43 cents/gal despite lackluster demand as buyers wait to see if D4 RIN prices improve. Fifteen straight sessions saw the factor climb eight times, but never rose for more than two days in a row.  

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Brazil approves 10% farnesene in diesel blends

Brazil approves 10% farnesene in diesel blends

September 18, 2014 |

In Brazil, the ANP is now allowing diesel to be blended with 10% of Amyris sugarcane-based farnesene along with 6% biodiesel, reducing the fossil component of diesel to 84%. The biodiesel component will increase to 7% from Nov. 1. Amyris Brasil is required to submit monthly reports of fuel quality and every six months submit […]

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Data on small used cooking oil supplies falling through the cracks in Taipei

Data on small used cooking oil supplies falling through the cracks in Taipei

September 18, 2014 |

In Taipei, the national environmental protection agency says it can only monitor roughly half of the used cooking oil produced domestically during the past two years, or just 38,000 metric tonnes. Policy only requires facilities of a certain size to report its used cooking oil supplies, meaning about half of the facilities are too small […]

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5-Minute Guides

4 Minutes With…Hans Keuken, CEO, Process Design Center

4 Minutes With…Hans Keuken, CEO, Process Design Center

September 18, 2014 |

Tell us about your organization and it’s role in the Advanced Bioeconomy. Process Design Center owns and applies PROSYN, the largest (petro)chemical process expert system in the world, to develop better & cheaper bio-based processes. Inventing new processes or improving state of the art processes for the leading companies is a challenging and rewarding job. […]

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4 Minutes With…Blake Simmons, CSTO, VP-Deconstruction Division, Joint BioEnergy Institute

4 Minutes With…Blake Simmons, CSTO, VP-Deconstruction Division, Joint BioEnergy Institute

September 17, 2014 |

You have to cheer on a guy who uses part of his entry on “favorite mentors” to cheer on the team behind the Large Hadron Collider (who found the famed Higgs boson in 2013), who hails from one of the most enthusiastic small towns in the entire Advanced Bioeconomy (Blair, Nebraska), and is a Navy […]

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4 Minutes With…Bill Radany, CEO, Verdezyne

4 Minutes With…Bill Radany, CEO, Verdezyne

September 16, 2014 |

If you’ve seen Bill Randany’s face lately, it’s probably in a photo opp recently in Malaysia with the Malaysia prime minister Najib Razak and US President Barack Obama — at the time the company was announcing an investment of $48 million led by Malaysian multinational conglomerate, Sime Darby Berhad that included BP Alternative Energy Ventures, […]

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4 Minutes With…John M. May, Managing Director, Stern Brothers & Co, industry financier

4 Minutes With…John M. May, Managing Director, Stern Brothers & Co, industry financier

September 15, 2014 |

Innovative finance? We think that’s John May’s middle name; it’s certainly his trademark. Stern Bothers rolled up a tremendous clientele in the Advanced Bioeconomy — primarily on its innovative bond financing approach to first commercial projects backed by USDA (and DOE) loan guarantees. For his clients, he’s been a steady counselor in getting new companies […]

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R&D News

FAPRI study shows lower prices for corn and soybeans

FAPRI study shows lower prices for corn and soybeans

September 18, 2014 |

In Missouri, the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri says larger corn and soybean crops translate into lower projected 2014/15 prices for many grains and oilseeds. Corn prices drop to $3.50 per bushel, soybeans to $9.92 per bushel and wheat to $5.91. In all three cases, these projected prices […]

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University of Wyoming research looks at metal catalysts for biofuel production

University of Wyoming research looks at metal catalysts for biofuel production

September 17, 2014 |

In Wyoming, researchers at the University of Wyoming are exploring the use of platinum on nickel and platinum on cobalt as catalysts to speed up biofuel production from lactose at low temperatures. Research has shown that the metal combinations are effective catalysts to convert lactose to liquid fuel. In fact, the combinations are essentially creating […]

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Brazil launches first ethanol-powered rocket

Brazil launches first ethanol-powered rocket

September 16, 2014 |

In Brazil, the country’s first rocket powered by ethanol and oxygen was tested earlier this month at the Alcântara Launch Center in Maranhão. Led by the Institute of Aeronautics and Space, the launch lasted 3 minutes and 34 seconds, collecting data for the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte’s space-based GPS system as well […]

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S&W Seed expects to file patents for stevia varieties with improved taste and higher yield

S&W Seed expects to file patents for stevia varieties with improved taste and higher yield

September 15, 2014 |

In California, S&W Seed Company reports that it expects to file patent applications in October or November of 2014 for its stevia varieties. The company is compiling data from its most recent field trials, during summer and fall of 2014. Its R&D effort, headed by Dr. Clinton Shock, has successfully crossed certain lines that have produced improved taste profiles and plant mass that the company […]

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Policy & Policymakers

Senate finance committee chair wants level playing field for alternative fuels

Senate finance committee chair wants level playing field for alternative fuels

September 18, 2014 |

In Washington, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. told a Senate finance committee hearing on energy tax reform that energy efficiency, affordability, pollution and sustainability should be taken into account when deciding how to tax various forms of energy. He insisted that a level playing field must be set for renewables and fossil fuels, rather than the […]

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Iowa hoping Biden hasn’t switched sides on RFS in favor of Carlyle Group

Iowa hoping Biden hasn’t switched sides on RFS in favor of Carlyle Group

September 17, 2014 |

In Iowa, the state’s renewable fuels association so hopes that reports of vice president Joe Biden turning his back on biofuels at the behest of a Pennsylvania congressman loyal to the Carlyle Group and their refinery in his district are untrue that it has published a full page ad asking the question in the Des […]

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USDA chief says Obama administration still behind 15 billion gallon ethanol goal

USDA chief says Obama administration still behind 15 billion gallon ethanol goal

September 16, 2014 |

In Washington, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the Obama administration is set on getting ethanol production to the 15 billion gallon mark laid out by Congress, which could only be done with more gas stations offering higher blends. He figures the final RFS for 2014 will be higher than the 13 billion gallons the EPA […]

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Harper Government invests in Canada’s bioproducts sector

Harper Government invests in Canada’s bioproducts sector

September 15, 2014 |

In Canada, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Member of Parliament Mike Wallace announced an investment of $7 million to Bioindustrial Innovation Canada for a first-of-its-kind national bioproducts cluster. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientists will work with industry partners on adding value to the agriculture sector and responding to global demand for environmentally-friendly bioproducts. This will […]

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Columnists

Editor’s Sketchbook: DuPont cellulosic ethanol project, Nevada, IA

Editor’s Sketchbook: DuPont cellulosic ethanol project, Nevada, IA

September 11, 2014 |

It towers above the surrounding central Iowa countryside like the Launch Assembly Building lords it over Cape Canaveral — it’s the new DuPont cellulosic ethanol project, on the outskirts of the town of Nevada. Functional yet inspiring, imposing yet accessible — when it opens before year end 2014 it is sure to be a monumental addition […]

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Life in the Slow Lane: Conversion Technologies at a Standstill in California

Life in the Slow Lane: Conversion Technologies at a Standstill in California

August 28, 2014 |

By Jim Stewart, Chairman, BioEnergy Producers Association The momentum leading to the introduction of new technologies for alternative energy production has become increasingly evident during 2014. The year has brought a steady stream of announcements from the industry regarding equity infusions, strategic alliances and commercial demonstration projects. However, as far as the use of conversion […]

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White Lists: A Proactive Approach to Risk Reduction for the Bioenergy Industry

White Lists: A Proactive Approach to Risk Reduction for the Bioenergy Industry

August 25, 2014 |

By Dr. Doria Gordon, The Nature Conservancy  Cultivation of bioenergy crops is predicted to increase to between 27 and 120 million acres by 2022 in order to meet the renewable energy needs of the U.S. and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard. These crops may be used for production of ethanol, biodiesel or heat through […]

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In Defense of the Bio-Skeptic

In Defense of the Bio-Skeptic

August 24, 2014 |

By Todd Taylor, partner, Fredrikson & Byron Skeptic: from the Greek “skeptikos” meaning “to consider, examine” “Skeptic does not mean him who doubts, but him who investigates or researches as opposed to him who asserts and thinks that he has found.” [Miguel de Unamuno, "Essays and Soliloquies," 1924] “Trust, but Verify” – President Ronald Reagan […]

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Other Recent Articles

Cellufuel plans to start woodwaste-to-fuel pilot in Nova Scotia by March

Cellufuel plans to start woodwaste-to-fuel pilot in Nova Scotia by March

September 18, 2014 |

In Canada, Cellufuel expects to receive equipment from Europe in January to start building its woodwaste-to-fuel pilot project in Brooklyn, Nova Scotia. The facility should then be up by February or March with plans to develop a commercial-scale facility in the town of Clare once 2,000 hours of operating time at the pilot site works […]

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Aventine secures $40 million loan for working capital and increased borrowing

Aventine secures $40 million loan for working capital and increased borrowing

September 18, 2014 |

In Illinois, Aventine Renewable Energy announced that on Sept. 17 the company secured a $40 million loan and security agreement in partnership with AloStar Bank of Commerce in Birmingham, Alabama, and MidCap Financial LLC in Bethesda, Maryland. The new loan replaces a previous agreement and adds over $10 million of increased borrowing capacity while providing […]

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Biofuels Digest Index drops to 76.78 as ethanol equities continue to fall

Biofuels Digest Index drops to 76.78 as ethanol equities continue to fall

September 18, 2014 |

The Biofuels Digest Index, an index of publicly traded biofuels stocks, dropped 0.35 percent to 76.78 as ethanol equities continued to fall. For the day, Pacific Ethanol (PEIX) dipped 1.31 percent to $16.61, while Green Plains (GPRE) dumped 3.40 percent to $38.04. Among other equities, Gevo (GEVO) plunged 14.70 percent to $0.35. Overall, declines and […]

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Gevo says isobutanol batch times reduced 50%, production set to rise at Luverne

Gevo says isobutanol batch times reduced 50%, production set to rise at Luverne

September 18, 2014 |

In Colorado, Gevo reported an update on the progress of the Side-by-Side operational mode of its plant in Luverne, MN. In the beginning of June, Gevo commenced the co-production of isobutanol and ethanol, with one fermenter dedicated to isobutanol production and three fermenters dedicated to ethanol production. With the completion of the last phase of […]

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Biofuels Digest Index drops 1.12 to 77.05 as ethanol equities tank anew

Biofuels Digest Index drops 1.12 to 77.05 as ethanol equities tank anew

September 17, 2014 |

The Biofuels Digest Index, an index of publicly traded biofuels stocks, dropped 1.12 percent to 77.05 as ethanol equities tanked anew. For the day, Aemetis (AMTX) fell 4.69 percent to $8,54, while Pacific Ethanol (PEIX) sank 10.29 percent to $16.83. Among other equities, Green Plains (GPRE) fell back 5.36 percent to $39.38. Overall, declines led […]

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Chevron’s biofuel search explored 100 feedstocks and 50 processes

Chevron’s biofuel search explored 100 feedstocks and 50 processes

September 17, 2014 |

In Minnesota, Chevron says having invested sizeable sums in finding economically viable biofuels at scale having investigating more than 100 feedstock types and 50 processing technologies have failed. The company’s chairman and CEO also questioned the viability of the corn-based ethanol blending mandate.  

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