Major Stories

As petroleum prices, demand soars, US, EU dither on biofuels

As petroleum prices, demand soars, US, EU dither on biofuels

April 25, 2018 |

Petroleum is on the rise again and this week IHS said that refined product demand growth has averaged 1.2 million barrels per day over the last five years and that global total liquids oil demand growth is at similar levels to what was recorded during the 2003 to 2007 commodity super-cycle, referred to as the ‘golden […]

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The Digest’s Top 10 Innovations for the week of April 25th, 2018

The Digest’s Top 10 Innovations for the week of April 25th, 2018

April 23, 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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Tapping biogas for the renewable hydrogen that we really, really need

Tapping biogas for the renewable hydrogen that we really, really need

April 23, 2018 |

I don’t suppose that anyone actually dreams of hydrogen, but in the bio-economy there just isn’t quite enough of it and we read about it and sometimes think about it so much that we might as well be dreaming about it. For those newer to the field, one of the problems of using biomass to […]

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Making it to Market – Global Bioenergies and SkyNRG team up to make it happen

Making it to Market – Global Bioenergies and SkyNRG team up to make it happen

April 22, 2018 |

In France, Global Bioenergies and Amsterdam-based SkyNRG are collaborating on ASTM-certification of a bio-isobutene feedstock and conversion process for the production of sustainable aviation fuel. You may know Global Bioenergies for their breakthrough process converting renewable resources into isobutene, and SkyNRG as a global leader in sustainable aviation fuel, but this new collaboration is quite […]

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Bill Gates and CowTech: Fix or replace our friends in the pasture?

Bill Gates and CowTech: Fix or replace our friends in the pasture?

April 19, 2018 |

We think the world is entitled to know if Bill Gates is for the cow or against the cow. Add or Modify? Cow-lovers can take heart in this report from TheWeek.com about the Bill Gates Super Cow, which begins: BBC reported Friday that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will invest millions of dollars to […]

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8-Slide Guides

India’s Biofuels Horizons: The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to Praj Industries

India’s Biofuels Horizons: The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to Praj Industries

April 25, 2018 |

Praj is an India-based process solutions specialist with continued leadership in ethanol & brewery space over many years — aiming to emerge as a significant water company within 5 years. The company is expanding its new technology pipeline, with 16 patents granted, and 79 patents at various stages of approval. Dr. Prahmod Kumbhar gave this […]

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The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to Renewable Chemicals Axioms and Provocations

The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to Renewable Chemicals Axioms and Provocations

April 23, 2018 |

ABLC featured  a well-received session on renewable chemicals moderated by longtime Digesterati David Dodds. His initial overview on issues and opportunities in renewable chemicals is well worth some intense focus in its own right. Dodds also joined the ABLC Wolfpack this year, but this illuminating introduction focused on his longstanding championing an expertise in green […]

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Next generation forest company: The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to Conifex

Next generation forest company: The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to Conifex

April 23, 2018 |

Conifex’s business is the harvesting of timber and the manufacture and sale of lumber, primarily for North American and Asian markets. Its sawmills process high-quality SPF logs into higher-grade and commodity-grade lumber, wood chips that are sold externally and used for pulp production, and other residual products for sale to wood pellet manufacturers, finger joint lumber […]

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The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to Prairie Catalytic, LanzaTech, Synvina, Fulcrum BioEnergy, POET-DSM, Cargilla/Calysta, Enerkem, and REG Geismar

The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to Prairie Catalytic, LanzaTech, Synvina, Fulcrum BioEnergy, POET-DSM, Cargilla/Calysta, Enerkem, and REG Geismar

April 23, 2018 |

ABLC 2018 wrapped up with the ABLC Wolfpack including James Iademarco from Strategic Avalanche, David Dodds with Dodds & Associates, Ron Cascone from NEXANT, independent consultant Paul Bryan, and Joel Stone from ConVergince. While they didn’t howl at the moon, they were voracious, vicious wolves analyzing 8 major projects with points and counter-points, otherwise known […]

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Going Our Way: The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to Amyris

Going Our Way: The Digest’s 2018 Multi-Slide Guide to Amyris

April 23, 2018 |

For many people, the key question is — what is Amyris becoming, and when, and where and how? We reported on Amyris’ progress most recently in “The New Colossus aims to unlock its Golden Door” and in Two Up: Amyris, Queensland gamble on farnesene for SE Asia. Meanwhile, Amyris’ Jim Iacoponi gave this illuminating overview […]

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The Latest World News

COFCO sees Brazilian sugar mills reneging on sugar contracts to produce more ethanol

COFCO sees Brazilian sugar mills reneging on sugar contracts to produce more ethanol

April 26, 2018 |

In Brazil, COFCO told Reuters that demand for ethanol could be strong enough to even encourage the sector to cancel contracts for sugar so that the sucrose could be transformed into ethanol instead. COFCO, as an example, already sold all of its anticipated sugar production for the season that began April 1 and plans to […]

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Mexico-EU trade deal includes 25,000 ton annual TRQ for ethanol

Mexico-EU trade deal includes 25,000 ton annual TRQ for ethanol

April 26, 2018 |

In Mexico, an agreement in principle has been reached for a free trade deal between it and the European Union that will include among other products a tariff rate quota of 25,000 metric tons of annual ethanol exports to EU countries that will be phased in over five years. More than 85% of trade lines […]

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China’s March ethanol imports soar more than 20,000% on year

China’s March ethanol imports soar more than 20,000% on year

April 26, 2018 |

In China, Platts reports that ethanol imports in March rose more than 20,000% to 176,468 cu m, compared to just 2,457 cu m in March 2017. As a result, quarterly imports hit a whopping 494,823 cu m thanks to US ethanol that is so cheap, traders are making money importing ethanol despite a 30% import […]

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Brazilian sugar mills go whole hog on ethanol production during H1 April

Brazilian sugar mills go whole hog on ethanol production during H1 April

April 26, 2018 |

In Brazil, Reuters reports that sugar mills went gung ho on ethanol production during the first half of April, with 993 million liters produced during the two week period, taking up a whopping 68.5% of the more than 22.21 million metric tons of sugarcane crushed during the period. The volume includes 26.8 million liters of […]

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UK says waste and crop-based biofuels aren’t mutually exclusive

UK says waste and crop-based biofuels aren’t mutually exclusive

April 26, 2018 |

In Switzerland, Platts reports that the UK will prioritize waste feedstocks under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation but in a way that will be complimentary with crop-based fuels. The new amended law that came into effect on April 15 sees a cap on crop-based fuels phased in through 2032 while new sub-targets for advanced and […]

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R&D News

Mexican researchers ID high oil-yielding pine nut varieties for biodiesel

Mexican researchers ID high oil-yielding pine nut varieties for biodiesel

April 26, 2018 |

In Mexico, researchers from the National Institute of Forestry, Agriculture and Livestock Research are making headway on the production of biodiesel from pine nuts with three high oil yielding varieties have been selected from clones sourced from the national germplasm bank. The three varieties will be promoted to farmers seeking to develop pine plantations where […]

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EU-funded project develops nanocatalysts for biofuel production

EU-funded project develops nanocatalysts for biofuel production

April 25, 2018 |

In Germany, an EU project developed innovative nanocatalysts to create an integrated modular and highly efficient process for producing fuels from renewable energy sources. Fifteen partners across eight countries joined efforts in the EU-funded project BIOGO-FOR-PRODUCTION to radically transform production processes and realize these essential improvements. The project focused on developing an integrated, coherent and […]

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Stanford researchers lead work on leveraging BECCS for ethanol producers

Stanford researchers lead work on leveraging BECCS for ethanol producers

April 24, 2018 |

In California, researchers at Stanford and other institutions have found new hope for cost-effective carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). Their study, published April 23 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, runs the numbers on different options for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in the U.S. and finds opportunities where it is not […]

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North Carolina State University researchers develop model that mimics wood formation

North Carolina State University researchers develop model that mimics wood formation

April 23, 2018 |

In North Carolina, new systems biology model that mimics the process of wood formation allows scientists to predict the effects of switching on and off 21 pathway genes involved in producing lignin, a primary component of wood. The model, built on more than three decades of research led by Vincent Chiang of the Forest Biotechnology […]

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Researchers improving wood properties, lignin biosynthesis, for biofuels

Researchers improving wood properties, lignin biosynthesis, for biofuels

April 22, 2018 |

In North Carolina, researchers at the Forest Biotechnology Group at North Carolina State University are speeding up the process of engineering trees for specific needs in timber, biofuel, pulp, paper and green chemistry applications. Scientists can now predict the effects of altering 21 pathway genes involved in producing lignin a component of wood that needs […]

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Policy & Policymakers

Former Senators who helped develop RFS call for investigation into waivers

Former Senators who helped develop RFS call for investigation into waivers

April 26, 2018 |

In Washington, former Senators Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Jim Talent (R-MO), who played key roles in developing the RFS, called for Congress to investigate the EPA’s recent waivers to major refiners and failure to follow the law. ‘Who better to help clarify the intent of these small refinery exemptions than those who helped write the […]

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Central European countries call on Europe to set biofuel blending at minimum 12% by 2030 without 1G cap

Central European countries call on Europe to set biofuel blending at minimum 12% by 2030 without 1G cap

April 25, 2018 |

In Belgium, “Long term sustainable solution in line with market realities” – is the message from the Visegrad 4+3 group representing the biofuel industry in seven Central European countries in a joint declaration to the RED 2 Directive trilogue process published Wednesday. The group represents biofuel associations and 31 biofuel companies from Poland, Czech Republic, […]

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Indonesia to take US to WTO over biodiesel anti-dumping duties

Indonesia to take US to WTO over biodiesel anti-dumping duties

April 24, 2018 |

In Indonesia, Xinhua news agency reports that the country is ready to take the US to the World Trade Organization over anti-dumping duties lobbed on its biodiesel exports that have all but closed trade. Already, Indonesian exporters have submitted an appeal to US courts against the decision taken by the U.S. International Trade Commission to […]

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Ireland announces 10% biofuel blending from January 1, 2019

Ireland announces 10% biofuel blending from January 1, 2019

April 23, 2018 |

In Ireland, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, T.D., has published a draft order increasing the biofuel obligation rate to 10% (by volume) from 1 January 2019. The Minister also published a Policy Statement outlining the proposed future development of the Biofuels Obligation Scheme. The Policy Statement is intended to provide certainty […]

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Agriculture Energy Coalition Comments on Farm Bill Markup

Agriculture Energy Coalition Comments on Farm Bill Markup

April 22, 2018 |

In Washington, D.C., the House Committee on Agriculture held a hearing to mark up the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 – draft farm bill legislation. Lloyd Ritter, director of the Agriculture Energy Coalition, released this statement in reaction: “The House Agriculture Committee has a long history of working in a bipartisan manner to support […]

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Other Recent Articles

UK diplomatic telegram telling of Malaysia’s intentions to hit back at EU over palm oil ban

UK diplomatic telegram telling of Malaysia’s intentions to hit back at EU over palm oil ban

April 26, 2018 |

In the UK, Greenpeace’s Unearthed reports that a diplomatic telegram sent on December 19, 2017 to the UK’s Foreign Office from the British high commission in Kuala Lumpur show Malaysia was looking to develop countermeasures against the European Union if they chose to ban palm oil as proposed by the European Parliament in a January […]

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EPA refinery waivers created demand destruction of at least 1.6 billion gallons of ethanol in 2016-17

EPA refinery waivers created demand destruction of at least 1.6 billion gallons of ethanol in 2016-17

April 25, 2018 |

In Washington, the EPA’s recent actions in exempting small refineries from their Renewable Fuel Standard blending obligations for 2016 and 2017 have effectively lowered the volumetric obligations by at least 1.6 billion gallons, according to an analysis of the agency’s own monthly compliance data by the Renewable Fuels Association. The Secretary of Agriculture told the […]

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Universal Biofuels produces biodiesel from lower quality, high Free Fatty Acid waste feedstock

Universal Biofuels produces biodiesel from lower quality, high Free Fatty Acid waste feedstock

April 25, 2018 |

In California, Aemetis, Inc. announced that its Universal Biofuels subsidiary completed the production of high quality distilled biodiesel from lower quality, high Free Fatty Acid (FFA) waste feedstock using the recently constructed pre-treatment unit at the biorefinery located on the East Coast of India. Using the lower cost, high FFA waste feedstock, the pre-treatment unit allows […]

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Brazilian sugar mills likely to see smaller premiums for anhydrous ethanol this season

Brazilian sugar mills likely to see smaller premiums for anhydrous ethanol this season

April 25, 2018 |

In Brazil, thanks to anticipated increased demand for hydrous ethanol as mills take advantage of higher returns compared to sugar while also keeping prices at the pump low enough to encourage demand, Platts reports that mills also expect to earn smaller premiums for anhydrous ethanol than in previous years as a result of the focus […]

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EPA seeking candidates for Mobile Sources Technical Review Subcommittee

EPA seeking candidates for Mobile Sources Technical Review Subcommittee

April 25, 2018 |

In Washington, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invites nominations from a diverse range of qualified candidates to be considered for appointment to its Mobile Sources Technical Review Subcommittee (MSTRS). Vacancies are anticipated to be filled by Fall, 2018. Sources in addition to the Federal Register Notice may also be utilized in the solicitation of nominees. […]

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Small Indonesian oil palm farmers union sues government for misuse of subsidies

Small Indonesian oil palm farmers union sues government for misuse of subsidies

April 25, 2018 |

In Indonesia, small oil palm farmers have had enough of the subsidy for oil majors to blend biodiesel with no knock on effects for them, so as a result the main oil palm farmers union SPKS said it is going to sue the government for failing to invest part of the more than $1 billion […]

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