Major Stories

US slaps Argentine, Indonesian biodiesel producers with huge anti-dumping penalties

US slaps Argentine, Indonesian biodiesel producers with huge anti-dumping penalties

August 23, 2017 |

In Washington, the US Commerce Department issued a preliminary countervailing duty determination from the Commerce Department regarding subsidized biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia. The Commerce Department found that Argentina and Indonesia provide subsidies to their biodiesel producers in violation of international trade rules. In addition, Commerce found “critical circumstances” to address the post-petition surge […]

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Vertibirds are GO: DOE OKs Vertimass drop-in biofuels technology, clears path to demo scale 

Vertibirds are GO: DOE OKs Vertimass drop-in biofuels technology, clears path to demo scale 

August 22, 2017 |

In California, Vertimass gained its intermediate technology validation with the US DOE’s Bioenergy Technology Office, which verified performance against negotiated milestones, provided progress on scale-up, and reviewed Vertimass’ estimated cost for their transformative catalytic technology. BETO verification effectively opens the door for Vertimass to move to demonstration scale of its technology for converting ethanol into gasoline, diesel, […]

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Advances in carbon fiber and graphene tech: The higher purpose in higher value carbon products

Advances in carbon fiber and graphene tech: The higher purpose in higher value carbon products

August 21, 2017 |

Today we’d like to highlight advances in the production and use of higher-value forms of carbon as examples of a society slowly moving away from a hunter-gatherer culture in energy and materials and towards a pastoral and agricultural approach. Specifically we’ll look at clean, cost-efficient approaches of producing carbon fiber from biomass — including applications […]

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Major study says “Cut cellulosic ethanol out”, RFA says “No Way Jose”

Major study says “Cut cellulosic ethanol out”, RFA says “No Way Jose”

August 20, 2017 |

In Iowa, a new tractable multi-market model study finds that the RFS has substantially benefited the U.S. economy by lowering gasoline, crude oil prices, and crude oil imports, while increasing prices and benefits for corn and soy farmers and reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. But in their ‘what if there was no RFS?’ scenarios and […]

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Transformation time for Brazilian energy, agriculture

Transformation time for Brazilian energy, agriculture

August 17, 2017 |

There he goes again. Bruce Rastetter, that is. It wasn’t enough to be one of the transformers of the US ethanol industry with the development of Hawkeye Renewables and its 450 million gallons of capacity. When Thomas H. Lee Partners bought 80% of the company in 2006 for a reported $312 million (some sources put […]

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8-Slide Guides

Crossing the 3K threshold: The Digest’s Multi-Slide Guide to Sapphire Energy’s algae biofuels productivity

Crossing the 3K threshold: The Digest’s Multi-Slide Guide to Sapphire Energy’s algae biofuels productivity

August 23, 2017 |

Back in 2014, Sapphire Energy and the US Department of Energy embarked on a project to advance Sapphire’s (then) biomass production technologies across three priority areas to meet a target of 2,500 gallons of oil per acre per year by 2018. Productivity is directly related to the economics of algal biofuels production. By improving average […]

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The Leadership Challenge: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to building world-class bioeconomy teams

The Leadership Challenge: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to building world-class bioeconomy teams

August 22, 2017 |

Great process? Great target economics? Great feedstock? That’s super. But no one will ever build a world-class business without competing effectively to build world-class team, so consider that Job #1. Each year, in partnership with the executive search firm Kincannon & Reed, the Digest conducts an extensive survey on leadership, team-building and companies. And at ABLC […]

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DOE, DOD aim for take-off: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to Biofuels in Defense and Aviation

DOE, DOD aim for take-off: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to Biofuels in Defense and Aviation

August 21, 2017 |

In June 2011, the Secretaries of Agriculture, Energy, and Navy signed MOU to commit $510M (up to $170M from each agency) to produce hydrocarbon jet and diesel biofuels in the near-term. This initiative sought to achieve multiple, commercial scale integrated biorefineries, cost-competitive biofuel with conventional petroleum (w/o subsidies), domestically produced fuels from non-food feedstocks, and […]

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Case Studies of Funding Bioeconomy Projects: US vs Around the World

Case Studies of Funding Bioeconomy Projects: US vs Around the World

August 21, 2017 |

Structuring and financing an International Bioeconomy Project is not for the neophyte or the faint of heart — =so advises Kilpatrick Townsend’s massively-experienced partner Mark Riedy. Where is it best to build? In this illuminating presentation from ABLC 2017, Riedy looked at regulatory uncertainty, returns, available supply chains and the risk therein, among many other factors that […]

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Value Days at the Landfill: The Digest 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to unlocking polylactic acid from waste biogas

Value Days at the Landfill: The Digest 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to unlocking polylactic acid from waste biogas

August 20, 2017 |

Methane in biogas offers a renewable alternative to natural gas as a feedstock and intermediate in bioprocesses. The US DOE is supporting a development effort led by NatureWorks in collaboration with Calysta to develop a commercially viable, disruptive fermentation process using methane in biogas and engineered methanotrophic bacteria for the production of lactic acid (HLA). Such a […]

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The Latest World News

Czech water authorities blame increased biofuel production for higher pollution levels

Czech water authorities blame increased biofuel production for higher pollution levels

August 22, 2017 |

In the Czech Republic, the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMU) has called out increasing demand for biofuels and the resulting increase in corn and rapeseed production as the cause of growing pollution levels in waterbodies across the country. In its annual report looking at 249 pollutants in 675 wells and springs, the institute questions the environmental […]

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Malaysian oil palm producer offers $175.1 million for 11,600ha in Sabah

Malaysian oil palm producer offers $175.1 million for 11,600ha in Sabah

August 22, 2017 |

In Malaysia, oil palm producer Boustead Plantations has made an offer to buy 11,600 ha in Sabah for $175.1 million from Pertama Land & Development that has been accepted. The company’s Q2 results improved thanks to higher fresh fruit bunch production as well as improved palm oil prices but it expects prices to fall back […]

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USTDA awards South African company grant for LanzaTech feasibility study

USTDA awards South African company grant for LanzaTech feasibility study

August 22, 2017 |

In South Africa, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency awarded a grant to Swayana (Pty) Ltd, a Pretoria-based energy project developer, for a feasibility study that will use innovative U.S. technologies to convert waste gas – also known as off-gas – into a valuable commodity at a plant in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province.  The project […]

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Oshawa Port Authority must pay FarmTech C$4.2 million for canceling ethanol project

Oshawa Port Authority must pay FarmTech C$4.2 million for canceling ethanol project

August 22, 2017 |

In Canada, an arbitrator mandated the Oshawa Port Authority pay FarmTech nearly C$4.2 million after it decided to cancel the company’s proposed ethanol plant project following an agreement made in 2012. The local city council as well as environmental groups opposed the project. The arbitration award has thrown the port into the red, seeking ways […]

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EPA awards Al-Corn Clean Fuel with right to produce D6 RINs

EPA awards Al-Corn Clean Fuel with right to produce D6 RINs

August 22, 2017 |

In Minnesota, the Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Al-Corn Clean Fuel with the efficient producer designation, allowing it to generate D6 RINs using a dry mill process at its Claremont facility. The designation is awarded when the lifecycle emissions analysis of the fuel produced demonstrates greenhouse gas emissions reductions to be 20% or higher. The […]

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R&D News

UC San Diego researchers create epidermal biofuel cell to power electronics from sweat

UC San Diego researchers create epidermal biofuel cell to power electronics from sweat

August 22, 2017 |

In California, a team of engineers has developed stretchable fuel cells that extract energy from sweat and are capable of powering electronics, such as LEDs and Bluetooth radios. The biofuel cells generate 10 times more power per surface area than any existing wearable biofuel cells. The devices could be used to power a range of […]

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Sandia lab working with HelioBioSys to scale up cyanobacteria production

Sandia lab working with HelioBioSys to scale up cyanobacteria production

August 21, 2017 |

In California, a Bay Area company has patented a group of three single-celled, algae-like organisms that, when grown together, can produce high quantities of sugar just right for making biofuels. Sandia National Laboratories is helping HelioBioSys Inc. learn whether farming them on a large scale would be successful. HelioBioSys founders say they chose to grow […]

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New approach for potato waste to ethanol conversion

New approach for potato waste to ethanol conversion

August 20, 2017 |

In Pennsylvania, researchers from Penn State found a more efficient and less expensive way to convert potato waste into ethanol, which is good news for the more than 20 potato chip manufacturing companies located in the region. By adding a bioreactor of mold and yeast while breaking down potato peels and residuals from complex carbohydrates […]

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Illinois to demo biofuel production from grasses collected from highway roadsides

Illinois to demo biofuel production from grasses collected from highway roadsides

August 17, 2017 |

In Illinois, the Illinois Department of Transportation has approved implementation of a renewable energy demonstration project using grasses collected from mowing highway rights-of-way (ROW). The work will implement the findings of a three-year study by a multi-disciplinary team including the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center at the Prairie Research Institute of the University of Illinois. The […]

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University of British Columbia researcher boosts methane production 172%

University of British Columbia researcher boosts methane production 172%

August 16, 2017 |

In Canada, new research from a professor of engineering at UBC’s Okanagan Campus might hold the key to biofuels that are cheaper, safer and much faster to produce. Starting with materials commonly found in agricultural or forestry waste—including wheat straw, corn husks and Douglas fir bark—she compared traditional fermentation processes with their new technique and […]

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Policy & Policymakers

New New Zealand fuel standards to allow higher biofuel blending

New New Zealand fuel standards to allow higher biofuel blending

August 22, 2017 |

In New Zealand, new fuel standards set to come in October 2 will boost maximum volume of methanol blends to 3% from the current 1% and to 7% for biodiesel from the current 5%. The shift is expected to result in an increased demand for biofuel. The new rules will also bring sulfur limits in […]

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Department of Commerce postpones biodiesel anti-dumping investigation until October 19

Department of Commerce postpones biodiesel anti-dumping investigation until October 19

August 21, 2017 |

In Washington, the Department of Commerce is postponing its preliminary determinations regarding antidumping duty (AD) investigations on biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia to October 19 following a request from the National Biodiesel Board Fair Trade Coalition and its individual members on July 6. Section 733(b)(1)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), […]

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Algae derived biofuel in the works for Serbia thanks to NATO funding

Algae derived biofuel in the works for Serbia thanks to NATO funding

August 20, 2017 |

In Serbia, scientists are using a three year research project supported by the NATO Science for Peace and Security Program to commercially produce algae-derived biofuel as a way to improve their energy security. They are working with Belgrade’s Institute for Multidisciplinary Research, Manchester University in the United Kingdom and Baylor University in the United States. […]

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Nebraska’s governor touts future of E15 at AEC annual convention

Nebraska’s governor touts future of E15 at AEC annual convention

August 17, 2017 |

In Nebraska, the governor waved the flag for higher ethanol blends during the American Ethanol Coalition’s annual conference in Omaha, saying the value addition that come from ethanol not only creates jobs but attracts investment to rural communities that in turn keep them strong. He says ethanol is at the heart of the state’s “golden […]

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Philippine industry seeking green light for palm oil as biodiesel feedstock

Philippine industry seeking green light for palm oil as biodiesel feedstock

August 16, 2017 |

In the Philippines, the leading industry association is calling on the government to expand permitted biodiesel feedstocks to include domestic palm oil instead of just coconut oil. Palm oil currently costs less than half as much as coconut oil at $725 per metric ton. The current blending mandate is for 2% but coconut oil producers […]

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Other Recent Articles

DOE’s Bioenergy Technology Office validates Vertimass technology as intermediate

DOE’s Bioenergy Technology Office validates Vertimass technology as intermediate

August 22, 2017 |

In California, Vertimass LLC announced completion of intermediate technology validation from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technology Office (BETO), which verified performance against negotiated milestones, provided progress on scale-up, and reviewed Vertimass’ estimated cost for their transformative catalytic technology. Vertimass believes this BETO verification paves the way for Vertimass to move to the demonstration […]

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Market Value pivoted Algae biomass productivity for oil to other high value products – is oil still on the horizon, somewhere?

Market Value pivoted Algae biomass productivity for oil to other high value products – is oil still on the horizon, somewhere?

August 22, 2017 |

By Dr. Anju D. Krivov, Lee Enterprises Consulting, Inc. Special to The Digest Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s vision of an algae oil machine fed with a bucketful of algae soup from a pond at one end spits out oil at the other – that must have amused the NOVA Science television viewers back in 2009 – […]

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Icahn resigns from presidential advisory position

Icahn resigns from presidential advisory position

August 21, 2017 |

In New York state, while denying any wrongdoing or conflict of interest, Carl Icahn has resigned from his informal regulatory advisory role to the president in the wake of controversy that his influence on the White House could favor his refining company CVR that sought to change the point of obligation under the Renewable Fuel […]

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Reuters finds Valero at the heart of push to change RFS point of obligation

Reuters finds Valero at the heart of push to change RFS point of obligation

August 21, 2017 |

In Washington, Reuters has uncovered a behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign led by Valero to build a stable of supporters in its efforts to have the point of obligation under the Renewable Fuel Standard shifted away from refiners in order for the policy move to be seen as more palatable by policymakers. Valero was apparently part of […]

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Yoghurt maker suing Johnstown Renewables for $20 million for breach of contract

Yoghurt maker suing Johnstown Renewables for $20 million for breach of contract

August 21, 2017 |

In New York state, yoghurt maker Fage is suing Johnstown Renewables for more than $20 million in damages because the company didn’t lift the acidic whey from the production facility as agreed to in 2015. Johnstown Renewables is perhaps 75% complete with the construction of its $12.4 million whey-based ethanol plant but the recent death […]

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Metsä launches next-gen bioproduct mill

Metsä launches next-gen bioproduct mill

August 21, 2017 |

In Finland, Metsä Group’s next-generation bioproduct mill in Äänekoski came into operation as planned August 15 with pulp deliveries from the new mill to customers set to begin in early September. The construction project was carried out as planned, in accordance with its schedule and its EUR1.2 billion budget. Before the bioproduct mill started up, […]

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