Major Stories

Where’s butanol, or other substitutes for gasoline besides ethanol?

Where’s butanol, or other substitutes for gasoline besides ethanol?

August 25, 2016 |

A reader writes: I’d hoped that the biofuels crowd would have gotten beyond ethanol by now.   The industry has made progress creating all kinds of specialty chemicals from renewable sources and more or less successfully brought them to market.  There’s jet and diesel in commercial use whether or not they’re yet profitable. However they […]

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Microbeads. Reviled, yes. Useful, yes. What’s the alternative?

Microbeads. Reviled, yes. Useful, yes. What’s the alternative?

August 24, 2016 |

In the UK, MPs from the Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee say they will pursue a ban on microplastics used in everyday household products from toothpaste to shower gels and cosmetics. “Trillions of tiny pieces of plastic are accumulating in the world’s oceans, lakes and estuaries,” said the committee’s chairwoman, Mary Creagh, adding that they harm […]

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Abengoa plants go to Green Plains: Ethanol’s Jolly Giant gets bigger

Abengoa plants go to Green Plains: Ethanol’s Jolly Giant gets bigger

August 23, 2016 |

In Nebraska, word has arrived from Green Plains that it will purchase the Madison, Ill., Mount Vernon, Ind. and York, Neb. ethanol facilities from Abengoa Bioenergy with combined annual production capacity of 236 million gallons per year, for approximately $237 million in cash, plus certain working capital adjustments. The company said it was the successful […]

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After the lightning strikes: The Bioeconomy’s effort to learn from fire

After the lightning strikes: The Bioeconomy’s effort to learn from fire

August 22, 2016 |

Lightning strikes often in the Advanced Bioeconomy. The Magic catalyst, the miracle microbe, the super strain, the wonder feedstock, the peerless process. But it’s after the lightning strikes that we begin what former BP Biofuels chief Phil New called “the hard yards of commercialization” and learn not only what is exciting, but what is needed. […]

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A breakthrough in algae harvesting

A breakthrough in algae harvesting

August 21, 2016 |

One of the more perplexing problems of the advanced bioeconomy is getting algae out of the water or the water out of the algae. It simply isn’t a problem in traditional, land-based agriculture and most of the nutraceutical applications of algae that were developed early on featured such high price points that it almost didn’t […]

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8-Slide Guides

Biorenewables Megatrends: The Digest’s 2016 Multi-Slide Guide to the advanced bioeconomy’s progress

Biorenewables Megatrends: The Digest’s 2016 Multi-Slide Guide to the advanced bioeconomy’s progress

August 25, 2016 |

This week, we conducted a webinar on Biorenewables Megatrends with NEXANT principal Ron Cascone, who gave these incisive slides on the state of commercialization in fuels, chemicals, biomaterials and nutrition.

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Strategic Intent: The Digest 2016 Multi-Slide Guide to Bayer, Bunge and Monsanto

Strategic Intent: The Digest 2016 Multi-Slide Guide to Bayer, Bunge and Monsanto

August 24, 2016 |

This season, we are conducting Strategic Intent, our 19 webinar series on major companies and their partnerships, progress and plans in the Advanced Bioeconomy. In this edition, we explored Bayer, Bunge and Monsanto in the interactive webinar format. Here are the slides from our Digest presentation, focusing on the innovations, M&A activity, target molecules and more for […]

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Vertically-integrated ethanol producer, and more: The Digest’s 2016 Multi-Slide Guide to Green Plains

Vertically-integrated ethanol producer, and more: The Digest’s 2016 Multi-Slide Guide to Green Plains

August 23, 2016 |

Green Plains is a vertically-integrated ethanol producer based in Omaha, Nebraska. They currently have an ethanol production capacity of approximately 1.5 billion gallons per year with 17 plants located in Nebraska; Indiana; Minnesota; Iowa; Tennessee; Michigan; and Virginia. CEO Todd Becker recently gave these slides as part of a Green Plains investor overview.

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Strategic Intent: The Digest’s 2016 Multi-Slide Guide to ADM and ArcelorMittal

Strategic Intent: The Digest’s 2016 Multi-Slide Guide to ADM and ArcelorMittal

August 22, 2016 |

This season, we are conducting Strategic Intent, our 19 webinar series on major companies and their partnerships, progress and plans in the Advanced Bioeconomy. In this edition, we explored Archer Daniels Midland and ArcelorMittal in the interactive webinar format. Here are the slides from our Digest presentation, focusing on the innovations, M&A activity, target molecules and more […]

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A successful supply chain strategy: The Digest’s 2016 Multi-Slide Guide to Equinox

A successful supply chain strategy: The Digest’s 2016 Multi-Slide Guide to Equinox

August 21, 2016 |

In developing a bioconversion project, the steps are numerous, interconnected and complex. Conducting a feasibility study, feedstock supply & market analysis, developing a business plan, funding initial development, choosing process technology, selecting a design/builder, selecting a site, applying for air permit, raising the balance of equity, negotiating marketing agreements, utility and transportation agreements, selecting risk management options, obtaining debt financing, hiring a […]

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The Latest World News

Chinese ethanol imports fall 78% in July

Chinese ethanol imports fall 78% in July

August 25, 2016 |

In China, July ethanol imports fell to by 78% on the year to 24,639 cu m, following in line with the lower imports also seen in June that were 111,651 cu m. Total exports for the year through July reached 644,221 cu m. July denatured ethanol imports were about 20% of the volume imported in […]

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India’s oil marketing companies give up on jatropha biodiesel definitively

India’s oil marketing companies give up on jatropha biodiesel definitively

August 25, 2016 |

In India, the joint ventures owned partly by three oil marketing companies that sought to produce biodiesel from jatropha have been shut down due to unviability. Many believed that jatropha could be successfully grown in dry wastelands without irrigation. The three companies had planned to grow jatropha on 180,000 hectares across Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and […]

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Nebraska Ethanol Board develops Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures for agriculture

Nebraska Ethanol Board develops Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures for agriculture

August 25, 2016 |

In Nebraska, the Nebraska Ethanol Board recently partnered with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Engineering’s Partners in Pollution Prevention program to develop a Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) plan for agriculture producers who maintain their own fuel storage. To assist producers in becoming compliant with the regulations, multiple tools and documents were developed […]

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ICM successful bidder for Abengoa Colwich plant at $3.1 million

ICM successful bidder for Abengoa Colwich plant at $3.1 million

August 25, 2016 |

In Kansas, ICM was the successful bidder of the Abengoa plant in Colwich located just a few hundred yards from the company’s headquarters. The company bought the facility that has been mothballed since November for $3.1 million. The ethanol plant was bought by Abengoa in 2001 and had been operating for 20 years before then. […]

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Brazilian hydrous ethanol sales down 15% on year in July but still high for 2016

Brazilian hydrous ethanol sales down 15% on year in July but still high for 2016

August 25, 2016 |

In Brazil, the National Petroleum Agency ANP said domestic hydrous ethanol sales were down 15% on the year in July at 1.31 billion liters but the volume was 4% higher than in June and the second-highest volume of sales so far in 2016 following May’s record of 1.32 billion liters. Of the total, 93% of […]

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R&D News

University of Michigan study says biofuel worse than fossil fuels while Growth Energy hits back

University of Michigan study says biofuel worse than fossil fuels while Growth Energy hits back

August 25, 2016 |

In Michigan, new study from University of Michigan researchers challenges the widely held assumption that biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel are inherently carbon neutral. Contrary to popular belief, the heat-trapping carbon dioxide gas emitted when biofuels are burned is not fully balanced by the CO2 uptake that occurs as the plants grow, according to […]

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Brazilian researchers develop vehicle that runs 300km+ on one liter of ethanol

Brazilian researchers develop vehicle that runs 300km+ on one liter of ethanol

August 24, 2016 |

In Brazil, researchers at Parana Technological University have developed a prototype vehicle that can run more than 300km on a single liter of ethanol. The prototype vehicle can only carry a single passenger weighing less than 45kg, however. The fuel efficiency partly comes from not going very fast, so the team says it needs to […]

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Department of Energy’s Small Business Vouchers program awards vouches to five bioenergy companies

Department of Energy’s Small Business Vouchers program awards vouches to five bioenergy companies

August 23, 2016 |

In Washington, the Department of Energy’s Small Business Vouchers program awarded $8 million worth of research vouchers to 43 small businesses, of which five were related to bioenergy: Avatar Sustainable Technologies, Syracuse, New York Avatar Sustainable Technologies will work with the with National Renewable Energy Laboratory to develop a method to economically use waste from […]

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Texas A&M to hold practical short course on biofuel facility plant operations

Texas A&M to hold practical short course on biofuel facility plant operations

August 22, 2016 |

In Texas, the Process Engineering R&D Center, a part of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station at Texas A&M, is offering a short course, entitled “Practical Short Course on Plant Operations and Process Engineering for Solvent and Biofuel Facilities,” Oct. 16-19 at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. The course objectives are to receive comprehensive […]

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More Yeast Beasts for Biotech? JGI marks more strains for production possibilities

More Yeast Beasts for Biotech? JGI marks more strains for production possibilities

August 20, 2016 |

Yeast, they’re so small that they probably all look like twins, all work the same, do the same things. Not so, says DOE Joint Genome Insitute’s Robert Riley, who tells The Digest, “We might think of yeasts as simple unicellular, creatures similar to each other, but in fact their genetic diversity is like the difference […]

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Policy & Policymakers

Brazilian government to drop PIS/Cofins tax breaks in December for good

Brazilian government to drop PIS/Cofins tax breaks in December for good

August 25, 2016 |

In Brazil, the government has decided to not renew PIS/Cofins tax breaks at the pump for ethanol following their expiry in December. The effect will be to encourage mills to produce more sugar because ethanol will be less attractive at the pump. The country’s lack of financial strength is the reason for ending the tax […]

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California Assembly barely approves bill to cut GHG emissions 40% against 1990 levels by 2030

California Assembly barely approves bill to cut GHG emissions 40% against 1990 levels by 2030

August 24, 2016 |

In California, the Assembly approved a Senate bill seeking to extend the climate change laws by ensuring a 40% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030, compared to current legislation that requires achieving 1990 levels by 2020. The vote came following a hot debate and was only passed with a one-vote margin […]

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Indian prime minister sees 10% ethanol blend as part of country’s transformation

Indian prime minister sees 10% ethanol blend as part of country’s transformation

August 23, 2016 |

In India, the prime minister continues to push for increased ethanol blending towards 10% despite the sugar industry’s lack of production capacity to achieve the goal. About 4% blending is expected for 2015/16 through September. The challenge is the $10 billion in investments expected for the oil and gas industry, but the prime minister recognizes […]

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Environmentalist privately funds anti-RFS campaign

Environmentalist privately funds anti-RFS campaign

August 22, 2016 |

In Michigan, a local environmentalist has launched the website www.rethinkethanol.com in an attempt to convince people that the Renewable Fuel Standard is a farce that must be ended. Having made his fortune partly by selling the family business that was the state’s go to point for heavy machinery such as Caterpillar, he is personally funding […]

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Sustainable Biodiesel Conducts National Auditor Search

Sustainable Biodiesel Conducts National Auditor Search

August 21, 2016 |

In Hawaii, the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance is seeking third party professionals to perform sustainability audits and is requesting CVs from qualified auditors. Recognizing the need for objective environmental and sustainability standards within the US Biodiesel Industry, the SBA has created an independent third-party certification process and branding system for the production, distribution and sale of […]

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5-Minute Guides

Rho Renewables: The Digest’s 2015 5-Minute Guide

Rho Renewables: The Digest’s 2015 5-Minute Guide

October 18, 2015 |

Rho Renewables, Inc. is using both classical yeast genetic engineering and modern molecular biology tools to develop powerful fermentation systems for the high-yield production of monocyclic aromatic compounds that have significant market potential. Rho’s lead compounds are high value specialty chemicals, biofuels, and flavors and fragrances including Meta-cresol, Rhoctane, Vanillin and Orsellinic acid and derivatives […]

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Glucan Biorenewables: The Digest’s 2015 5-Minute Guide

Glucan Biorenewables: The Digest’s 2015 5-Minute Guide

August 23, 2015 |

Glucan Biorenewables is producing furan derivatives from biomass.  The furfural platform will be used to launch other value-added co-products: 5-hydroxyl-methyl furfural (HMF) and downstream derivatives The company’s TriVersa Process meets the need for a renewable, environmentally friendly process to deconstruct aggregated agricultural residues created from existing 1st generation industries, into high-end chemicals and advanced materials. […]

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Red Rock Biofuels: The Digest’s 2015 5-Minute Guide

Red Rock Biofuels: The Digest’s 2015 5-Minute Guide

July 20, 2015 |

Red Rock takes waste biomass from forests and sawmills, and using a proprietary process, transforms it into domestically produced jet, diesel and naphtha fuels. The company’s process begins with the gasification of woody biomass to produce syngas, which is then cleaned and sent to a Fischer-Tropsch unit where it is converted to a high grade, […]

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Corbion: The Digest’s 2015 5-Minute Guide

Corbion: The Digest’s 2015 5-Minute Guide

July 15, 2015 |

Corbion has over 80 years of experience in fermentation and downstream processing, is the global market leader in lactic acid, lactic acid derivatives and lactides, and a leading company in functional blends containing enzymes, emulsifiers, minerals and vitamins. The company delivers high performance biobased products made from renewable resources and applied in global markets such […]

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Pacific Ag: Biofuels Digest’s 2015 5-Minute Guide

Pacific Ag: Biofuels Digest’s 2015 5-Minute Guide

June 6, 2015 |

Founded in 1998 in the Pacific Northwest, Pacific Ag is the largest, most experienced agricultural biomass supply company in the US.  Today, Pacific Ag provides biomass supply chain solutions from six locations across the nation and works with more growers, owns and operates more equipment, has more personnel, and harvests more biomass tons per year […]

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Other Recent Articles

Canada’s ethanol market seen steady through 2017

Canada’s ethanol market seen steady through 2017

August 25, 2016 |

In Canada, ethanol imports this year through May have led the USDA to estimate slightly lower imports for 2016 at about 1 billion liters, 83,000 liters less than in 2015 due to shifts in discretionary ethanol blending. The industry has been at full production capacity since 2009 and that is expected to remain the same […]

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Early-stage, Breakthrough Technologies: Biofuels, 10 of the Best

Early-stage, Breakthrough Technologies: Biofuels, 10 of the Best

August 25, 2016 |

By Lorenz Bauer and Gerald Kutney, Lee Enterprises Consulting Special to The Digest The concept of early stage, breakthrough technologies is a bit of an oxymoron: at an early stage how do you determine if it is a breakthrough technology? The only way is for experts to give their opinion, and, usually, they are wrong, […]

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Digest Bioeconomy Index gains 0.50 percent to 56.66 as chemicals rebound

Digest Bioeconomy Index gains 0.50 percent to 56.66 as chemicals rebound

August 25, 2016 |

The Digest Bioeconomy Index, an index of publicly traded advanced bioeconomy stocks, gained 0.50 percent to 56.66 as chemicals rebounded. For the day, BioAmber (BIOA) jumped 6.85 percent to $3.59, while Gevo (GEVO) lost 3.00 percebt to $0.51. Among other equities, Metabolix (MBLX) rose 6.00 percent to $0.44. Overall, advances led declines by a 3 […]

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Judge upholds exclusive grain supply contract between Chippewa Valley Ethanol and Glacial Plains Cooperative

Judge upholds exclusive grain supply contract between Chippewa Valley Ethanol and Glacial Plains Cooperative

August 24, 2016 |

In Minnesota, a district judge has ordered Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company to comply with a contract that says Glacial Plains Cooperative is its exclusive grain handler, which the ethanol company had broken in June 2014 when it started buying grain from other suppliers. The cooperative has sought 26 months’ worth of damages for not being […]

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Green Plains holds ribbon cutting at Hopewell ethanol plant

Green Plains holds ribbon cutting at Hopewell ethanol plant

August 24, 2016 |

In Virginia, Green Plains continued its big week with the ribbon cutting of its newly acquired and renovated ethanol plant in Hopewell. Local elected officials as well as senior representatives from GPRE were present at the event celebrating the October 2015 acquisition from Future Fuels LLP for $18.25 million. Inclusion of corn oil extraction technology […]

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Enerkem receives ISCC sustainability certification

Enerkem receives ISCC sustainability certification

August 24, 2016 |

In Canada, Enerkem Inc. announced it has obtained certification from the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification system for the biomethanol production of its Enerkem Alberta Biofuels full-scale facility in Edmonton, Canada. This biorefinery therefore becomes the first ISCC certified plant in the world to convert municipal solid waste into biomethanol. Under the RED Directive, all […]

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