Major Stories

Energy Destiny? Think Energy Density.

Energy Destiny? Think Energy Density.

November 22, 2017 |

ARPA-E has been working hard on feedstock diversity — so much so that we kid them about changing their name to ARPA-Agriculture — yes, from time to time they work on fuels, but not so much on energy density. Too bad — because a moonshot-oriented mission aimed at transforming energy density sets up really well […]

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The Digest’s 2017 Guide to the 20 Top European biorefinery projects

The Digest’s 2017 Guide to the 20 Top European biorefinery projects

November 22, 2017 |

You won’t hear it from the NGOs orbiting Brussels who have long figured out that bashing biotechnology is good for the fund-raising cash register, but Europe has become the hottest geography on the planet for deploying advanced bioeconomy projects. What was once a great place to develop R&D (and still is) is becoming a great […]

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Big Australia is back: Oz’s ARENA, China’s JTL go big with a cellulosic biofuels bet

Big Australia is back: Oz’s ARENA, China’s JTL go big with a cellulosic biofuels bet

November 21, 2017 |

This season in the United States, Outback Steakhouse has been running a series of promotions on the theme of “The Big Australia is Back”, but we think that a far better demonstration is the news that the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has made its single largest direct investment in second-generation biofuels via $11.9M in funding support […]

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Amyris’ Sweet-‘N-High: Biotech pioneer sells farnesene plant to DSM, focuses on next-gen sweetener

Amyris’ Sweet-‘N-High: Biotech pioneer sells farnesene plant to DSM, focuses on next-gen sweetener

November 20, 2017 |

The nine month and Q3 2017 results are in for Amyris, and there’s reason for the long-suffering shareholder to take some near-Christmas cheer. YTD revenue is up more than 1/3 and product revenue has more than doubled. Guidance for year-end revenues was upped. The company has found a new deep-pocketed champion in DSM. But there […]

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Farm to flight – Carinata crop commercialization takes off

Farm to flight – Carinata crop commercialization takes off

November 19, 2017 |

In Australia, Qantas will operate the world’s first biofuel flight between the United States and Australia early in the new year in collaboration with World Fuel Services and Altair Fuels. Qantas’ new Dreamliner is being powered by Brassica Carinata (carinata), a non-food, industrial type of mustard seed that has been around for years but is […]

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8-Slide Guides

Speed, baby, speed: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to DMC

Speed, baby, speed: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to DMC

November 22, 2017 |

DMC’s technology enables reproducibility and robustness to scale; Production of a diversity of targets using a single bioprocess; HTS approaches that translate to full scale performance — and the company says, “50X improvement in speed and cost of product development.” The business model? Specialty chemicals, nutrition products, and pharmaceuticals, with a focus on partner agreements to quickly generate revenue […]

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The Digest’s Multi-Slide Guide to Sofinnova and renewable chemicals venture investment

The Digest’s Multi-Slide Guide to Sofinnova and renewable chemicals venture investment

November 22, 2017 |

Sofinnova. If you’ve been raising capital in the renewable chemical space you’ve probably knocked on their door. And, like a box of British candy, found a bunch of Smarties within. How do they look at the chemical space, and the opportunities? Sofinnova Partners managing partner Denis Luquin gave these illuminating slides on renewable chemical private […]

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European Bioeconomy Stakeholders Manifesto: The Digest’s Special Guide

European Bioeconomy Stakeholders Manifesto: The Digest’s Special Guide

November 22, 2017 |

“We, representatives from large and small companies, NGOs, biomass producers, regions, and academia from all over Europe as members of the European Bioeconomy Stakeholders Panel, have prepared this manifesto based on the Building Blocks document, prepared as outcome of the Bioeconomy Stakeholders Conference under the auspices of the Dutch Presidency of the European Council in […]

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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil Scale-Up: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to building industrial fermentation for world scale

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil Scale-Up: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to building industrial fermentation for world scale

November 21, 2017 |

At ABLC Next, we invited Genomatica’s Jeff Lievense as part of a special session focused on the scaling-up of fermentation technologies — from the pitfalls to the pratfalls. Genomatica is a widely-recognized technology leader for the chemical industry, delivering new manufacturing processes that enable its partners to produce the world’s most widely-used chemicals from alternative feedstocks, […]

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Microorganism Factories: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to Verdezyne

Microorganism Factories: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to Verdezyne

November 20, 2017 |

Verdezyne is a privately held industrial biotechnology company that is developing and commercializing novel genetically engineered microorganisms for use as “factories” to manufacture renewable chemicals. Verdezyne’s unique microorganisms permit greener, cleaner and more cost effective production of chemicals compared with traditional methods. The Company is commercializing its technology through partnerships with leading chemical manufacturers. Verdezyne […]

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The Latest World News

University of Kentucky to use leftover oil from Thanksgiving turkeys for research

University of Kentucky to use leftover oil from Thanksgiving turkeys for research

November 23, 2017 |

In Kentucky, the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (UK CAER) and other community partners will once again be taking a Thanksgiving leftover and giving it new life as a renewable fuel. Fayette County’s annual Gobble Grease Toss will be held Friday, November 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Redwood Cooperative […]

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SE Asia ethanol prices fall to near seven-year lows

SE Asia ethanol prices fall to near seven-year lows

November 23, 2017 |

In Singapore, SE Asia ethanol prices fell to near record lows during the week ending Wednesday since ICIS started tracking prices in January 2011 at $465-469/cu m basis cost and freight, down as much as $8/cu m on the week. Chicago Board of Trade ethanol futures fell slightly this past week as well, so SE […]

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Environmental groups and researchers remain skeptical about ADM CCS project

Environmental groups and researchers remain skeptical about ADM CCS project

November 23, 2017 |

In Illinois, environmental groups and researchers remain skeptical at best about the possibilities of success at ADM’s carbon capture and storage projects co-located at its ethanol plant in Decatur that was expanded earlier this year after a successful pilot project. The scaled up project can inject up to 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide […]

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Swedish HVO sales soar in Q3

Swedish HVO sales soar in Q3

November 23, 2017 |

In Sweden, the national bioenergy association says sales of hydrotreated vegetable oil diesel rose 24% during Q3 while HVO100 sales soared 111%, more than ethanol, biomethane and FAME consumption combined. During Q3, the renewable content of fuels topped 20%, up from more than 18% during the same period last year. With policy potentially switching to […]

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French haulage company become the first in the country to deploy a Scania ethanol truck

French haulage company become the first in the country to deploy a Scania ethanol truck

November 23, 2017 |

In France, Transports NJS Faramia has taken the bold decision to become France’s first haulage company to deploy a Scania ethanol truck. The truck will be used for temperature-controlled deliveries in the Marseille area. Faramia will have its own ED95 filling pump at their main depot in Vitrolles. The ED95 fuel will be produced from […]

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R&D News

Dutch researchers create maps of GHG emissions from biofuel production

Dutch researchers create maps of GHG emissions from biofuel production

November 23, 2017 |

In the Netherlands, a team of scientists charted greenhouse gas emissions resulting from biofuel production, presenting them as global maps. Dedicated crops grown on grasslands, savannahs and abandoned agricultural lands could provide around 30 exajoules per year (i.e. a third of current global energy consumption for transport) with relatively low CO2 emissions measured over the […]

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Kansas and Chinese researchers make breakthrough with wheat straw ethanol production

Kansas and Chinese researchers make breakthrough with wheat straw ethanol production

November 22, 2017 |

In Kansas, thanks to an international and interdisciplinary collaboration, faculty at Kansas State University’s Institute of Computational and Comparative Medicine and bioenergy researchers at Yangzhou University in China have marked a significant milestone for the production of ethanol fuel from wheat straw. Their study, “Predictive temperature modeling and experimental investigation of ultrasonic vibration-assisted pelleting of […]

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University of Washington researchers find younger poplar trees could be viable alternative to fossil fuels

University of Washington researchers find younger poplar trees could be viable alternative to fossil fuels

November 21, 2017 |

In Washington state, a University of Washington team is trying to make poplar a viable competitor to fossil fuels by testing the production of younger poplar trees that could be harvested more frequently—after only two or three years—instead of the usual 10- to 20-year cycle. These trees, essentially juveniles compared with fully grown adults, are […]

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UAE researchers produce biodiesel from date pits

UAE researchers produce biodiesel from date pits

November 20, 2017 |

In the UAE, a group researchers led by UAE University found that date pits hold nearly 12% oil that is suitable for biodiesel production at about 90% efficiency. The study Biodiesel Production from Oils Extracted from Date Pits, appears in the journal Green and Sustainable Chemistry. “It’s a waste material. It’s not a valuable material we’re looking […]

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Russian scientists discover method to convert food waste into biofuels

Russian scientists discover method to convert food waste into biofuels

November 19, 2017 |

In Russia, scientists from Skoltech and the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Joint Institute for High Temperatures proposed a new way to convert food waste into biofuel via hydrothermal liquefaction – a thermal depolymerization process used to turn wet biomass into oil. Other researchers use carbohydrates fermentation or fat transesterification for biofuel production but since only […]

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Policy & Policymakers

Indian oil marketing companies to sign 15-year offtake agreements for 2G ethanol

Indian oil marketing companies to sign 15-year offtake agreements for 2G ethanol

November 23, 2017 |

In India, during the release of the new draft biofuels policy this week would, the oil minister said that oil marketing companies must be required to offtake 2G ethanol ensure the viability of production, secure sufficient supplies and reduce pollution. OMCs have agreed to sign 15-year offtake agreements with second-generation ethanol producers to provide the […]

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India to allow grain-based ethanol during surplus years

India to allow grain-based ethanol during surplus years

November 22, 2017 |

In India, with an eye on 20% ethanol blending and 5% biodiesel consumption for 2030, the government’s upcoming biofuel policy is expected to allow grain-based ethanol production during surplus years. Damaged grains unfit for consumption will also be allowed as biofuel feedstock. Currently the country only consumes 2% ethanol despite a 10% blending policy and […]

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Katter’s Australian Party offers A$400 million to North Queensland Bioenergy Corp if it wins election

Katter’s Australian Party offers A$400 million to North Queensland Bioenergy Corp if it wins election

November 21, 2017 |

In Australia, Katter’s Australian Party has offered an A$400 million loan towards the A$640 million North Queensland Bioenergy Corp. project proposed nearly a decade ago if it’s able to keep its balance of power in the upcoming state elections through the successful bid of a local candidate. The project’s promoter welcomed the prospect of the state-led […]

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Indonesia ready for court and WTO if US doesn’t cancel biodiesel anti-dumping duties

Indonesia ready for court and WTO if US doesn’t cancel biodiesel anti-dumping duties

November 20, 2017 |

In Indonesia, the government is considering filing a suit in US courts and a complaint with the World Trade Organization’s dispute settlement body over the anti-dumping duties lobbed onto its biodiesel exports to the US if they aren’t canceled. On December 21, the US International Trade Commission is set to announce whether the 34.45 to […]

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U.N. COP23 closes with 19-country announcement for biofuel targets

U.N. COP23 closes with 19-country announcement for biofuel targets

November 19, 2017 |

In Germany, the United Nations Climate Conference (COP23) wrapped up on Friday in Bonn, with 19 Member countries of the ‘Biofuture Platform,’ including Brazil, China, Egypt, France, India, Morocco, Mozambique, announcing a formal agreement on the development of targets for biofuels and to construct an action plan to achieve them. The U.S. is no longer […]

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Other Recent Articles

Roxal Bioenergy ordered to shut down while it sorts out pollution from wastewater treatment pond

Roxal Bioenergy ordered to shut down while it sorts out pollution from wastewater treatment pond

November 23, 2017 |

In the Philippines, Roxal Bioenergy has been issued a cease and desist order by the provincial government to stop ethanol production following emissions of a foul odor coming from the wastewater treatment pond over three days in October. In April, the company was slammed for a fishkill that was the result of some of its […]

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New EU research shows latest data for bioenergy and biofuel pathways

New EU research shows latest data for bioenergy and biofuel pathways

November 23, 2017 |

In Italy, some bioenergy and biofuel pathways have higher (GHG) savings than others, according to the latest data published by the European Commission’s Joint Research Center. For example, electricity produced from maize in biogas plants can result in 80% GHG savings compared to fossil fuel alternatives, provided that gas-tight tanks are in place and agricultural […]

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Ethanol diverted from Argo for third time this year

Ethanol diverted from Argo for third time this year

November 22, 2017 |

In Illinois, Kinder Morgan’s ethanol storage terminal in Argo is full yet again so trucks are being diverted to the Stony Island terminal for the third time this year. Even though Energy Information Administration data showed that Midwest stocks fell last week, but they were still 1.391 million barrels above last year’s levels. Typically the […]

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Sunbird Bioenergy sourcing elephant grass from farmers to power boiler

Sunbird Bioenergy sourcing elephant grass from farmers to power boiler

November 22, 2017 |

In Sierra Leone, Sunbird Bioenergy will buy $10 million worth of dry elephant grass from local farmers to power the boiler at the former Addax ethanol facility it purchased late last year. Only 25,000 metric tons of sugarcane bagasse were produced this year to power the boiler due to wildfire that destroyed much of the […]

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EPA rejects proposal to shift RFS point of obligation

EPA rejects proposal to shift RFS point of obligation

November 22, 2017 |

In Washington, the Environmental Protection Agency said in an 87-page report that it doesn’t believe proposals put forward by Valero and other refiners to change the Renewable Fuel Standard including changing the point of obligation for compliance with the RFS would result in net benefits, saying that changing it would cause disruption to the market […]

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Argentina backtracks on ethanol price cuts after farmers complained

Argentina backtracks on ethanol price cuts after farmers complained

November 22, 2017 |

In Argentina, although the government significantly cut ethanol prices earlier this month, it has backtracked on those cuts to 7.5% for sugarcane-based ethanol from a previous cut of 15% and 10.5% from a 21.1% cut on corn-based ethanol. Ethanol producers complained about the drastic price cuts and demonstrated additional cost factors that had not been […]

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