Major Stories

Yelp! 18 kelp wheps get $22M in ARPA-E help

Yelp! 18 kelp wheps get $22M in ARPA-E help

September 20, 2017 |

Yes, ARPA-E has unveiled its latest moonshot and is investing $22M in Macroalgae Research Inspiring Novel Energy Resources — also known as MARINER. The projects that comprise ARPA-E’s Macroalgae Research Inspiring Novel Energy Resources (MARINER) program seek to develop the critical tools to allow the United States to grow into a world leader in the […]

Read More

Catalytic Fuel Precursors with High Yields: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to THF Co-Solvent Biomass Fractionation

Catalytic Fuel Precursors with High Yields: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to THF Co-Solvent Biomass Fractionation

September 19, 2017 |

The US Department of Energy is supporting a project to advance transformative Co-Solvent Enhanced Lignocellulosic Fractionation to achieve high yield production of “drop-in” oxygenated liquid fuels from poplar wood. The project also aims at high yield co-conversion of C5 and C6 sugars directly to MF and DMF fuels in only two reaction steps directly from biomass. […]

Read More

Enviral licenses Clariant’s sunliquid technology for commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol project in Slovakia

Enviral licenses Clariant’s sunliquid technology for commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol project in Slovakia

September 19, 2017 |

In Slovakia, Enviral has acquired a license to use Clariant’s sunliquid technology as part of its goal to realize a full scale commercial cellulosic ethanol plant for the commercial production of cellulosic ethanol from agricultural residues. The new plant will be owned and operated by Enviral and is planned to be integrated into the existing […]

Read More

Geneva Aéroport: We’re going with aviation biofuels, so there.

Geneva Aéroport: We’re going with aviation biofuels, so there.

September 18, 2017 |

In Switzerland, Geneva Airport has partnered with Neste to introduce sustainable and renewable jet fuel for aircraft operations, with a target of at least one percent of the annual jet fuel consumption starting late 2018. This collaboration marks Geneva’s transition into the implementation phase of the Carbon War Room/SkyNRG-initiated project. CWR and SkyNRG first brought […]

Read More

Deere and Cargill say “Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto” –  Artificial intelligence infiltrating agriculture and farming

Deere and Cargill say “Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto” – Artificial intelligence infiltrating agriculture and farming

September 16, 2017 |

While the 1983 Styx song “Mr. Roboto” led us to imagine robots roaming the planet at some far-off time in the future, that time might be here. Artificial intelligence seems to be everywhere nowadays and not just in high tech labs, science centers, or nerdy dark basements. They are now in our agriculture industry and […]

Read More

8-Slide Guides

Takin’ out the oxygen with electro-deoxygenation: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to upgrading bio-oil

Takin’ out the oxygen with electro-deoxygenation: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to upgrading bio-oil

September 18, 2017 |

The US Department of Energy is supporting a project to demonstrate the techno‐economic feasibility of upgrading biomass derived pyrolysis oil using electro-deoxygenation process. A ceramic membrane that selectively transports oxygen under an applied electric potential is integrated with a fast pyrolysis unit for in-situ removal of oxygen to stabilize bio-oil. Overall, the research team led by Elango […]

Read More

Moving into markets: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to engine/fuel transformation

Moving into markets: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to engine/fuel transformation

September 17, 2017 |

The US Department of Energy is supporting a project to identify and mitigate the challenges of moving new fuels and vehicles into markets.  Including but not limited to: facilitating new fuel standards needed for introduction into the marketplace; identifying vehicle, distribution, and infrastructure compatibility of new candidate bio-blendstocks; interacting with all market sector stakeholders for […]

Read More

You Wascaly Lignocellulose, deconstruct: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to Catalytic Conversion of Biomass to Hydrocarbon Fuels

You Wascaly Lignocellulose, deconstruct: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to Catalytic Conversion of Biomass to Hydrocarbon Fuels

September 14, 2017 |

The US Department of Energy is supporting a project led by Pacific Northwest National Lab to develop a new deconstruction technology to provide low ash and low impurity sugars and sugar-derived intermediates from lignocellulosic feeds for use in catalytic and biochemical conversions. As the researchers note, “catalysis and biochemical conversions of sugars and sugar-derived compounds can produce open-chain hydrocarbon […]

Read More

Depolymerizing that dang lignin: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to biochemical lignin deconstruction

Depolymerizing that dang lignin: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to biochemical lignin deconstruction

September 13, 2017 |

The US Department of Energy is supporting a project to develop a biological approach to depolymerize lignin for upgrading of aromatic compounds to co-products. Lignin valorization is key for meeting the DOE’s hydrocarbon fuel cost and sustainability targets in integrated biorefineries. Principal investigators Gregg Beckham at NREL and John Gladden at Sandia National Laboratory and […]

Read More

Plug-and-play: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to Enzyme Engineering and Optimization

Plug-and-play: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to Enzyme Engineering and Optimization

September 12, 2017 |

The US Department of Energy is supporting a project led by Michael Himmell at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to develop technology to meet or exceed the target of 10 mg/g cellulose on pretreated feedstocks and feedstock blends. Attainment of this overall enzyme cost is consistent with BETO’s techno-economic evaluations for the 2022 biomass conversion […]

Read More

The Latest World News

New T&E/BirdLife Europe report attempts to reopen food vs fuel debate

New T&E/BirdLife Europe report attempts to reopen food vs fuel debate

September 19, 2017 |

In Belgium, despite industry’s efforts to deny the impact of biofuels on food prices, a new study shows there is wide scientific consensus that biofuels policies increase global food prices. The analysis, conducted by consultancy Cerulogy for BirdLife Europe & Central Asia and Transport & Environment, reviews over 100 economic modelling studies of the impact on […]

Read More

Australian timber industry says incentives needed to enter power sector

Australian timber industry says incentives needed to enter power sector

September 19, 2017 |

In Australia, the timber industry says the government has stymied its potential growth as a green option for replacing coal-fueled power plants by not putting in place needed incentives to drive the transition. About 100MW of baseload power from a million metric tons of annual wood waste is being lost, the industry claims. Sawmills are […]

Read More

Argent Energy to convert 250-meter long fatberg into 10,000 liters of biodiesel

Argent Energy to convert 250-meter long fatberg into 10,000 liters of biodiesel

September 19, 2017 |

In the UK, the monster 250-meter long Whitechapel fatberg will be converted into around 10,000 liters of biodiesel, Thames Water has confirmed. The congealed mass of fat, oil, grease, wet wipes and sanitary products discovered blocking an east London sewer will create enough environmentally-friendly energy to power 350 double-decker Routemaster buses for a day.  So far around […]

Read More

European Union confirms reopening of market to Argentine biodiesel

European Union confirms reopening of market to Argentine biodiesel

September 19, 2017 |

In Belgium, the European Commission confirmed it would reduce anti-dumping import duties on Argentine biodiesel in line with the World Trade Organization ruling two years ago that said the duties were too high. The European biodiesel industry has voiced concerns that a return to Argentine imports will hurt their industries, while the Argentine industry is […]

Read More

European T2 ethanol prices jump to one-month high despite October bringing more supplies

European T2 ethanol prices jump to one-month high despite October bringing more supplies

September 19, 2017 |

In the Netherlands, European T2 ethanol prices are seeing some recovery thanks to maintenance season that took some production capacity offline, bringing prices back up to one-month highs. Beet-based ethanol producers are expected to ramp up production come October after the European beet sugar quota system ends, but the higher prices have taken that increased […]

Read More

R&D News

NREL finds CelA could be key to unlocking cellulosic biofuel viability

NREL finds CelA could be key to unlocking cellulosic biofuel viability

September 19, 2017 |

In Colorado, an enzyme discovered at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) proves adept at breaking down cellulose fibers regardless of whether their crystalline structure is simple or highly complex. No other enzyme has shown that ability. The enzyme, called CelA, comes from Caldicellulosiruptor bescii, and NREL scientists reported three years […]

Read More

German researchers boost metabolism of baker’s yeast to improve yields

German researchers boost metabolism of baker’s yeast to improve yields

September 18, 2017 |

In Germany, currently, making products such as fuels, synthetic materials or pharmaceuticals from renewable raw materials lacks efficiency because the microorganisms process the raw materials very slowly and generate many unwanted by-products. Biotechnologists at Goethe University Frankfurt have now succeeded in optimizing sugar utilization in baker’s yeast. Researchers from the Institute of Molecular Biosciences at […]

Read More

International consortium uses bio-engineering and mutations for improving biofuel producing bacterial enzymes

International consortium uses bio-engineering and mutations for improving biofuel producing bacterial enzymes

September 16, 2017 |

In Washington, DC, the American Institute of Physics reported that CellulosomePlus, an international research consortium that includes researchers from Spain, Poland and Ireland, developed a way to re-engineer the bacterial enzyme complexes, called cellulosomes, which serve as catalysts in the degradation process. Helping bacteria become more efficient in this process could result in more affordable […]

Read More

Indian researchers produce biodiesel from waste carbon using local bacteria

Indian researchers produce biodiesel from waste carbon using local bacteria

September 14, 2017 |

In India, researchers from New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University have discovered that by bringing together species of bacteria from Aravalli marble mines near Alwar and from brackish waters in the high-altitude Pangong Lake in Ladakh on the border with China can create biodiesel. The bacteria from the marble mines can sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide into organic […]

Read More

EU project seeks to produce biomass fuels using gasification and synthesis process

EU project seeks to produce biomass fuels using gasification and synthesis process

September 13, 2017 |

In Finland, the EU project COMSYN aims to develop a production concept for competitive bio-based fuels by means of a compact gasification and synthesis process. The target reduction for biofuel production is up to 35 percent compared to alternative methods, which translates to less than EUR0.80/liter production cost for diesel. The production concept is based […]

Read More

Policy & Policymakers

Senator Grassley leads group urging USTR to stand up to Brazilian ethanol import policy

Senator Grassley leads group urging USTR to stand up to Brazilian ethanol import policy

September 19, 2017 |

In Washington, Sen. Chuck Grassley, a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, led a bipartisan group of senators, including Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), urging U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to […]

Read More

Renewable fuel standards seen as key for future of low carbon fuels in Canada

Renewable fuel standards seen as key for future of low carbon fuels in Canada

September 18, 2017 |

In Canada, the government’s existing ethanol blend mandate has played a key role in reducing the carbon intensity in gasoline, while providing market access and economic stability for Canada’s ethanol industry. Maintaining Renewable Fuel Standards can be an integral part of Canada’s transition to a low-carbon future, according a new Conference Board of Canada report. […]

Read More

Policy changes needed in India for a bright biodiesel future

Policy changes needed in India for a bright biodiesel future

September 16, 2017 |

In India, calls for policy changes to help the biodiesel industry are being voiced and if implemented, could help biodiesel’s future role in the country. While jatropha, agricultural waste and other feedstocks show promise in India, they have some policy challenges for biodiesel producers. Former professor Bharat Jhunjhunwala told the Free Press Journal in India, […]

Read More

Judge grants temporary injunction against Mexico’s new E10 policy

Judge grants temporary injunction against Mexico’s new E10 policy

September 14, 2017 |

In Mexico, the country’s new E10 policy has been temporarily limited to the previous 5.8% due to one of several court cases currently active in contra to the new policy approved by the energy regulator in June. A judge granted the temporary injunction as a result of the case brought by a former presidential candidate for […]

Read More

China to implement E10 by 2020 in big push to plow through corn stocks

China to implement E10 by 2020 in big push to plow through corn stocks

September 13, 2017 |

In China, the government announced it will implement an E10 blending mandate by 2020 as part of its strategy to work through 200 million metric tons of corn stocks, giving the country just three years to ramp up production and get the infrastructure in place to supply nationwide. With 10 new 300,000 ton ethanol factories […]

Read More

Other Recent Articles

UK sets out policy to raise biofuels blends through 2032

UK sets out policy to raise biofuels blends through 2032

September 19, 2017 |

In the UK, following years of policy uncertainty and market stagnation, the U.K.’s Department for Transport has announced its intention to raise the target under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation, paving the way for future growth of the U.K. biofuels industry. The government response to its consultation on proposed amendments to the RTFO order has […]

Read More

Green Biologics’ renewable chemicals granted Kosher and Halal certification

Green Biologics’ renewable chemicals granted Kosher and Halal certification

September 19, 2017 |

In the UK, Green Biologics has achieved kosher and halal certification for the 100 percent bio-based n-butanol and acetone, produced at the company’s commercial facility in Little Falls, Minnesota. These certifications enable Green Biologics’ chemicals to serve as ingredients for personal, homecare and food products. “The kosher and halal certifications that have been granted to our Little […]

Read More

Nigerian sugar council wants E10 to buffer from global oil demand shifts

Nigerian sugar council wants E10 to buffer from global oil demand shifts

September 18, 2017 |

In Nigeria, the National Sugar Development Council wants the country to develop an E10 blending mandate in line with China’s in an effort to boost the agricultural economy and reduce dependence on its oil imports. The government has voiced concerns about China’s shift to E10, which will have an impact on demand for oil imports […]

Read More

Brazil to boost to B10 for March 1, 2018

Brazil to boost to B10 for March 1, 2018

September 18, 2017 |

In Brazil, the country will boost its biodiesel blending mandate to 10% from March 1, 2018 but formalization of the policy won’t likely come until the end of the year when the National Energy Policy Council is expected to approve it, either at its scheduled meeting in December or an earlier special session if required. […]

Read More

BA chooses Velocys for MSW-to-biojet 2.0

BA chooses Velocys for MSW-to-biojet 2.0

September 18, 2017 |

In the UK, British Airways is jumping back into the MSW-to-aviation biofuel game with a new partnership, this time with Velocys who is already producing fuel with the proposed technology in the US. The project’s aim is to use hundreds of thousands of metric tons of household waste including diapers and plastic food containers to […]

Read More

Fuel retailer launches E10 price war in Queensland to kick-start demand

Fuel retailer launches E10 price war in Queensland to kick-start demand

September 18, 2017 |

In Australia, United Petroleum has dropped the price of E10 by A$0.06 per liter in southeast Queensland in an effort to start a price war, forcing other fuel retailers to drop their E10 prices as well and in exchange boost demand for the ethanol blended fuel. Demand has been low in part due to a […]

Read More