Major Stories

A Yield Revolution in Row Crops Cometh

A Yield Revolution in Row Crops Cometh

May 23, 2018 |

Yield10’s Brave New World of Metabolic Engineering, Benson Hill’s cloud biology and CRISPR/Cas9 from Purdue and the Chinese Academy of Sciences? Crop yield may never be the same. And developers using crops for bioindustrials or nutrition stand to reap the benefit via bigger refineries and lower input costs. Yield, yield, yield. Just about everyone thinks […]

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The Digest’s Top 10 Innovations for the week of May 23rd, 2018

The Digest’s Top 10 Innovations for the week of May 23rd, 2018

May 22, 2018 |

The pace of invention and change is just too strong, we’ve realized, to highlight annual or even quarterly or monthly rankings and summaries of significant product and service advances. For now, we’re going to be tracking these on a weekly basis to keep pace with the changes. Here are the top innovations for the week […]

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Banking on the bacterium bad guy: Sandia tailors E. coli to convert plants into renewable chemicals

Banking on the bacterium bad guy: Sandia tailors E. coli to convert plants into renewable chemicals

May 19, 2018 |

In California, Sandia National Laboratories scientists have demonstrated a new technology based on bioengineered bacteria that could make it economically feasible to produce things like jet fuel, pantyhose, and plastic bottles from renewable plant sources. Economically and efficiently converting tough plant matter, or lignin, has long been a stumbling block for wider use of the […]

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Breaking News: attack on farm bill clean energy programs

Breaking News: attack on farm bill clean energy programs

May 17, 2018 |

Breaking news arrives from the Ag Energy Coalition regarding the 2018 Farm Bill. Green Capiltol’s Lloyd Ritter writes: Rep. Biggs farm bill amendment was made in order by the Rules Committee last night to eviscerate the clean energy title programs of the farm bill.  It will be voted on as early as this afternoon. This is […]

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From the Dump to the Pump: Fulcrum BioEnergy breaks ground on landmark trash-to-jet fuel project

From the Dump to the Pump: Fulcrum BioEnergy breaks ground on landmark trash-to-jet fuel project

May 16, 2018 |

Long before the advent of renewable jet fuels, we learned about how choice works at the fuel pump from the 1980 classic The Blues Brothers: Elwood Blues: What kind of music do you usually have here? Cocktail Waitress: Oh, we got both kinds. We got Country AND Western! Yes, until recently you could have any […]

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8-Slide Guides

One commercial, two commercial, three commercial, four: The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to Clariant’s sunliquid cellulosic ethanol technology

One commercial, two commercial, three commercial, four: The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to Clariant’s sunliquid cellulosic ethanol technology

May 23, 2018 |

Clariant’s sunliquid technology for the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into sugars, followed by fermentation to cellulosic ethanol, is flexible to be used to convert different feedstocks on a regional basis, for example corn stover in North America, bagasse in South America or wheat straw in Europe and can be adapted to various plant concepts. The […]

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The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to Fulcrum BioEnergy

The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to Fulcrum BioEnergy

May 22, 2018 |

Fulcrum BioEnergy has developed a “game-changing process for converting municipal solid waste that would otherwise be landfilled, into renewable transportation fuels including syncrude, jet fuel and diesel”. The company recently broke ground on its first commercial project in Nevada, and more about that here. Fulcrum’s innovative business model combines large volume MSW feedstock agreements with […]

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Waiver Wire: Why is the biofuels industry up in arms about oil refinery waivers?

Waiver Wire: Why is the biofuels industry up in arms about oil refinery waivers?

May 21, 2018 |

It’s baseball season and the waiver wire and easy outs are the talk of ESPN and other sports outlets. But they’re part of the Washington dialogue this month, waivers and easy outs, since reports surfaced in media that the US Environmental Protection Agency granted a Renewable Fuel Standard hardship waiver for CVR Energy’s Wynnewood, Oklahoma oil […]

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Hot tech for fuels: The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to the Joint BioEnergy Institute

Hot tech for fuels: The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to the Joint BioEnergy Institute

May 20, 2018 |

JBEI’s mission is to convert biomass to biofuels. The goal is to provide the nation with clean, renewable transportation fuels identical to gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. Inside JBEI’s Emeryville laboratories, researchers are using the latest tools in molecular biology, chemical engineering, computational and robotic technologies, and pioneering work in synthetic biology to transform biomass […]

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Industrial Enzyme Frontiers: The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to MetGen

Industrial Enzyme Frontiers: The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to MetGen

May 20, 2018 |

MetGen’s MetZyme enzymatic solutions cover the entire bio-based value chain from feedstock to high-value chemicals and enable the use of cellulosic feedstocks as well as the creation of entirely new bio-based materials. Alex Michine and the MetGen team developed this illuminating, presentation-based explanation of their breakthoughs in “dramatically increasing the efficiency and economics of renewable chemicals […]

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The Latest World News

Bioindustrial Innovation Canada to fund Benefuel FEED study

Bioindustrial Innovation Canada to fund Benefuel FEED study

May 23, 2018 |

In Canada, Bioindustrial Innovation Canada approved a COMM SCI project with Benefuel, a renewable energy company that utilizes their patented ENSEL® catalyst technology to produce a low carbon intensity biodiesel from a variety of food and agriculture waste streams, with high yields. The purpose of this COMM SCI project is to support a Front-End Engineering […]

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Marathon seeking hardship waiver for smallest refinery

Marathon seeking hardship waiver for smallest refinery

May 23, 2018 |

In Washington, Reuters reports that despite all of the heat on the Environmental Protection Agency for issuing hardship waivers under the Renewable Fuel Standard that have so far represented a loss of 1.8 billion gallons of ethanol demand, the country’s second-largest oil refiner—Marathon—has applied for a waiver for its 93,000 barrel per day plant in […]

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E.ON, H&M Group, Scania and Siemens team up to achieve fossil-free commercial transport by 2050

E.ON, H&M Group, Scania and Siemens team up to achieve fossil-free commercial transport by 2050

May 23, 2018 |

In Sweden, E.ON, H&M Group, Scania and Siemens are forming a coalition to accelerate decarbonization of heavy transport brought together by The Pathways Study: Achieving fossil-free commercial transport by 2050. The study initiated by Scania argues a fossil-free commercial transport system in the timeframe of the Paris Agreement target is not only possible, but also […]

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Brazilian March biodiesel production breaks 10-year record

Brazilian March biodiesel production breaks 10-year record

May 23, 2018 |

In Brazil, the country broke a 10-year biodiesel record in March with a whopping 452 million liters, bringing the total for the quarter 1.13 billion liters, up nearly a third on the year thanks to the higher B10 mandate brought in ahead of time. Roughly two-thirds of the production during Q1 came from soybean oil, […]

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DOE meeting with USDA and EPA again over RFS proposals

DOE meeting with USDA and EPA again over RFS proposals

May 23, 2018 |

In Washington, Reuters reports that yet another meeting will be held by top officials from the departments of energy and agriculture—but not necessarily the Secretaries—together with the Environmental Protection Agency—but maybe not the Administrator—on Thursday to try to move forward proposed reforms to the Renewable Fuel Standard. With the White House yet to finalize its […]

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R&D News

Panjab University center scores more than $376,000 to support food and agri start-ups

Panjab University center scores more than $376,000 to support food and agri start-ups

May 23, 2018 |

In India, the Tribune reports that Panjab University’s Bioincubators Nurturing Entrepreneurship for Scaling Technologies has been awarded more than $376,000 to support five start-ups food and agriculture processing. One of the five projects is to scale up a technology to produce biodiesel from algae following successful smaller-scale trials that demonstrated the fuel has a lower […]

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Malaysian and UK researchers develop new technology to process POME

Malaysian and UK researchers develop new technology to process POME

May 22, 2018 |

In Malaysia, engineers at the University of Nottingham Malaysia have developed new technology to help the global palm oil processing industry reduce CO2 emissions and create renewable energy from its waste. Now University researchers, in collaboration with Malaysian industry partners, have built a unique integrated zero-waste management system for the mills. The pilot plant, called […]

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Chalmers University finds gasification the way forward after 10 years of research

Chalmers University finds gasification the way forward after 10 years of research

May 21, 2018 |

In Sweden, a chance to switch to renewable sources for heating, electricity and fuel, while also providing new opportunities for several industries to produce large numbers of renewable products. This is the verdict of researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, who now, after ten years of energy research into gasification of biomass, see an […]

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Researchers find a way to increase biofuel from algae by 30%

Researchers find a way to increase biofuel from algae by 30%

May 18, 2018 |

In India, a team of 14 scientists from Korea, Spain, and India found a way to increase biofuel from algae by 30% by unearthing a “gatekeeper” that regulates biofuel yields in algae. “This metabolic gatekeeper in algae is akin to what Heimdall does in the Avengers, regulating who enters Asgard,” said Rishiram Ramanan, the lead […]

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Sanda researchers demo bioengineered bacteria to reduce cellulosic biomaterial production costs

Sanda researchers demo bioengineered bacteria to reduce cellulosic biomaterial production costs

May 17, 2018 |

In New Mexico, Sandia Lab asks, what does jet fuel have in common with pantyhose and plastic soda bottles? They’re all products currently derived from petroleum. Sandia National Laboratories scientists have demonstrated a new technology based on bioengineered bacteria that could make it economically feasible to produce all three from renewable plant sources. Piecing together […]

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Policy & Policymakers

Indonesia preparing for B25 in 2019

Indonesia preparing for B25 in 2019

May 23, 2018 |

In Indonesia, the Jakarta Post reports that the government plans to boost its current 20% biodiesel blending mandate to 25% early next year in an effort to save $1 billion in fossil fuel imports as well as to absorb more of its domestic palm oil production. Currently, the energy ministry is working to develop the […]

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RFA wants Brazil to ensure fair calculations of ethanol GHG emissions

RFA wants Brazil to ensure fair calculations of ethanol GHG emissions

May 22, 2018 |

In Washington, Brazil’s RenovaBio program establishes national annual emissions reduction targets for transportation fuels that will likely require a significant increase in biofuels consumption. Therefore, the program must accurately reflect the carbon intensity for all ethanol pathways, including imports, the Renewable Fuels Association wrote in comments to Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy submitted Sunday. […]

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Jamaica looking to boost ethanol blend to 15%

Jamaica looking to boost ethanol blend to 15%

May 21, 2018 |

In Jamaica, the government is exploring an increase of its ethanol blend to 15% from the current 10% in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to slow down increasing gas prices. The country’s fuel industry is in favor of the move, saying that E15 is proven to not have negative impacts on vehicles. […]

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Algae is on a roll in Congress

Algae is on a roll in Congress

May 19, 2018 |

In Washington, the Algae Biomass Organization said that supporters of algae are putting their imprint on policy with several big moves in the first few months of 2018. The February spending deal came together as one of the winners with the algae industry’s long-time interests in carbon capture and use. The agreement included a provision to […]

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Renewable fuel credits changed little in April

Renewable fuel credits changed little in April

May 18, 2018 |

In Washington, D.C., the Environmental Protection Agency said that the U.S. generated similar numbers of renewable fuel blending credits in April compared with March. Some 1.24 billion ethanol (D6) blending credits were generated in April, little changed from March, and 314 million biodiesel (D4) blending credits were generated in April, compared with 310 million a […]

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Other Recent Articles

Pennsylvania offering $5 million under Alternative Fuel Incentive Grant

Pennsylvania offering $5 million under Alternative Fuel Incentive Grant

May 23, 2018 |

In Pennsylvania, the application system for the Alternative Fuel Incentive Grant is now open through December 15. Approximately $5 million in grants is made available for school districts, municipal authorities, political subdivisions, nonprofit entities, corporations, limited liability companies or partnerships incorporated or registered in the Commonwealth to support: Incremental cost expenses relative to retrofitting vehicles […]

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Ethanol may be key to helping restore China-US trade imbalance

Ethanol may be key to helping restore China-US trade imbalance

May 22, 2018 |

In Washington, Reuters reports that the ethanol industry got good news from China who is seeking to reduce its trade imbalance with the US and is looking to ethanol as well as LNG to offset the disparity. With the country set to implement a 10% ethanol blending mandate from 2020 and refiners already ramping up […]

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Biodiesel RIN prices nosedive to 2.5-year lows on lack of buying interest

Biodiesel RIN prices nosedive to 2.5-year lows on lack of buying interest

May 22, 2018 |

In Washington, Platts reports that with obligated parties finding ways out of compliance with the Renewable Fuels Standard, prices for RINs are falling, like biodiesel RINs that fell to 2.5 year lows earlier this week at 45.50 cents/RIN. Prices fell in April as well as news that hardship waivers were being granted to far more […]

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Transition to Enogen slow for some but fast for others

Transition to Enogen slow for some but fast for others

May 22, 2018 |

In Illinois, when it comes to integrating Enogen into the supply chain, some ethanol producers in the Midwest are jumping in whole hog, like Tharaldson who did a six-month trial with the 2017 crop and will go 100% Enogen 2018-2020, while others like Midwest AgEnergy have done much smaller trials running 15% Enogen twice so […]

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European ethanol producers suffer from seriously negative crush margins

European ethanol producers suffer from seriously negative crush margins

May 22, 2018 |

In the Netherlands, Platts reports that T2 ethanol margins are at the lowest seen in three years at negative $48 per metric ton as European wheat prices soar to $208/mt due to dry weather conditions that have many concerned about yields from the upcoming harvest. Corn ethanol producers aren’t having a great time either although […]

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UK’s shift to E10 held up by a lack of initiative

UK’s shift to E10 held up by a lack of initiative

May 22, 2018 |

In the UK, ICIS reports that the shift to E10 has been held up primarily due to neither the government nor the oil industry wanting to take the first step in implementation with both sides waiting for the other to take the initiative. If the oil industry leads the shift, some are concerned that the […]

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