Major Stories

Unstash that Trash: Material(s) progress in making fuels, chemicals from Municipal solid waste

Unstash that Trash: Material(s) progress in making fuels, chemicals from Municipal solid waste

April 25, 2017 |

News this week arrived from Canada that Enerkem has received the lowest carbon intensity value ever issued by the British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines for its ethanol product under the Renewable and Low Carbon Fuel Requirements Regulation. The confirmed carbon intensity is a shocker. Where gasoline check in at the testing center at […]

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NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE: tech innovators stalk a stealthy WMD

NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE: tech innovators stalk a stealthy WMD

April 24, 2017 |

You may be familiar with the story-telling factoid couplets of the Harper’s Index, and here’s an interesting set in that magazine’s iconic style: Concentration of sarin (nerve gas) required for fatal human toxicity: 0.0028% Concentration of deadly chemicals in the earth’s lower atmosphere if all the world’s stockpile of chemical weapons were simultaneously released: 0.0000000000013240774% […]

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Virent Aspirant: a new CEO, and revving towards commercialization

Virent Aspirant: a new CEO, and revving towards commercialization

April 20, 2017 |

From Wisconsin we have huge news from Virent, which has appointed one of Shell New Energies’ gurus, Stacey Orlandi, as Virent CEO, succeeding Lee Edwards who is headed into retirement after a distinguished 8-year run. Most recently, Orlandi was Shell’s VP, Technology for Novel Processes and New Energies. Orlandi’s mission? To commercialize Virent’s technology for the large scale […]

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TerraVia in the Wilderness Years

TerraVia in the Wilderness Years

April 19, 2017 |

Over at our sister publication Nuu, we reported this week that TerraVia got a “generally recognized as safe” OK from the FDA for its long-awaited algae butter. It’s a palm-free, non-hydrogenated, vegan solution for bakery, spreads and confectionery applications. Algae Butter will be produced by the TerraVia and Bunge joint venture, SB Oils, and marketed […]

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Here comes BioChina: Amyris, others bypass the 4 Myths of Business in the Middle Kingdom

Here comes BioChina: Amyris, others bypass the 4 Myths of Business in the Middle Kingdom

April 18, 2017 |

From California arrives the very interesting news that Amyris has entered into an agreement with Blue California whereby its affiliates will provide access to its fermentation manufacturing in China and provide the necessary capital to produce No Compromise ingredients for Amyris.  Turns out that China sales have been doubling. Blue California might seem an unlikely […]

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8-Slide Guides

The 4C-able Future: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to butanol and other 4C molecules

The 4C-able Future: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to butanol and other 4C molecules

April 25, 2017 |

In our March Madness webinar series, a popular entry has been the session on “butanol and other 4C molecules: prospects and progress”. We looked at a number of companies in depth here, including slides from Green Biologics, Global Bioenergies, BioAmber, Reverdia and Gevo. The webinar slides range far beyond butanol and into succinic acids, BDO […]

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The King of Biofuels: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to pyrolysis’ progress and prospects, Pt 2

The King of Biofuels: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to pyrolysis’ progress and prospects, Pt 2

April 24, 2017 |

Not long ago, George Huber and Robert Brown wrote in a special issue of Energy Technology of their desire to “highlight recent advances in pyrolysis technologies and to discuss the critical research needs of this field. We think innovations in pyrolysis will advance more rapidly with improved understanding of the fundamental chemical, physical, and catalytic […]

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The King of Biofuels: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to pyrolysis’ progress and prospects, Pt 1

The King of Biofuels: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to pyrolysis’ progress and prospects, Pt 1

April 23, 2017 |

Not long ago, George Huber and Robert Brown wrote in a special issue of Energy Technology of their desire to “highlight recent advances in pyrolysis technologies and to discuss the critical research needs of this field. We think innovations in pyrolysis will advance more rapidly with improved understanding of the fundamental chemical, physical, and catalytic […]

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Commercializing biobased chemicals: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to Reverdia

Commercializing biobased chemicals: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to Reverdia

April 20, 2017 |

Reverdia is a joint venture between Royal DSM, the global Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company, and Roquette Frères, the global starch and starch-derivatives company. Reverdia is dedicated to be the global leader in the market for sustainable succinic acid, focusing on market development by establishing partnerships with direct and indirect customers, building on customer […]

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Crude Volatility: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to the oil and gas price outlook

Crude Volatility: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to the oil and gas price outlook

April 19, 2017 |

In our March Madness series, we’ve been covering emerging markets and technological pathways and market access – what about market pricing? Specifically, the price of the incumbemt that’s oil and gas. That was the subject of this slide presentation by Dr. Paul Bryan, former DOE Biomass Program manager and a before that VP for Biofuels at Chevron […]

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The Latest World News

U of Iowa contracts 800 acres for miscanthus to replace coal in energy production

U of Iowa contracts 800 acres for miscanthus to replace coal in energy production

April 25, 2017 |

In Iowa, researchers at the University of Iowa have contracted about 800 acres of land from 15 nearby farms to grow miscanthus for replacing coal in its energy supply. The university aims to eliminate coal use by 2025, using 10% miscanthus and the remainder from other biomass fuels. The project allows the university’s energy budget to […]

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Scottish researchers moving forward with commercial seaweed production

Scottish researchers moving forward with commercial seaweed production

April 25, 2017 |

In the UK, following the Scottish government’s approval of regulations for growing seaweed commercially last month, researchers from Scottish Association for Marine Science at Oban are moving forward with a one acre trial site to produce cold water seaweed species for biofuel, animal feed and beauty products. Most of the projects surrounding the trials are […]

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Kwik Trip offered new lot and perks for $1 to build biofuel blending depot

Kwik Trip offered new lot and perks for $1 to build biofuel blending depot

April 25, 2017 |

In Iowa, following rejection of a plan to build a biofuel blending depot last fall, Kwik Trip has been offered a four-acre lot in a new industrial zone in Waterloo for just $1, along with sewer access for the facility. The proposed biofuel blending facility will start with four 30,000-gallon tanks along with an indoor […]

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Brazil looking to boost biofuel consumption via RIN-type program

Brazil looking to boost biofuel consumption via RIN-type program

April 25, 2017 |

In Brazil, the government is looking to implement a program similar to RINs to help boost fuel retailers’ purchasing of biofuels for blending. The carbon emissions reductions certificates would be issued by biofuel producers including sugar mills and would be purchased by retailers to demonstrate they had bought a required amount of biofuels. The plan […]

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Argentine president may beseech Trump to ease up stance on biodiesel

Argentine president may beseech Trump to ease up stance on biodiesel

April 25, 2017 |

In Washington, although Bloomberg is reporting that it’s not the case, the Argentine press says its president will use his forthcoming meeting with President Trump to push for the reestablishment of exports of lemons and biodiesel to the US market. The two presidents have known each other for more than 30 years and have had […]

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R&D News

Researchers look at altering tools cyanobacteria use to capture light for photosynthesis

Researchers look at altering tools cyanobacteria use to capture light for photosynthesis

April 25, 2017 |

In Washington state, a recent study by researchers from the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory and Washington University investigated effects of altering large cellular complexes called phycobilisomes, which cyanobacteria use to efficiently capture light energy for photosynthesis, to guide development of optimal strategies for biofuel production. The findings revealed changes to phycobilisome structure indirectly affect critical, […]

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University of Nevada researchers looking at ice to better develop biofuel feedstocks

University of Nevada researchers looking at ice to better develop biofuel feedstocks

April 24, 2017 |

In Nevada, the unassuming ice plant could become an ingenious weapon in the fight against a warming climate that threatens to limit regions suitable for growing biofuel crops. Biochemist and molecular biologist John Cushman at the University of Nevada, Reno will create a gene atlas for the common ice plant that will help find ways […]

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US wood pellet exports are sustainable, despite growth: report

US wood pellet exports are sustainable, despite growth: report

April 23, 2017 |

In Tennessee, officials at Oak Ridge released a report on an ongoing debate about costs and benefits of wood-pellet based bioenergy production in the southeastern United States (SE US) requires an understanding of the science and context influencing market decisions associated with its sustainability. Production of pellets has garnered much attention as US exports have […]

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Research: aging fuels performance as hybrid electric drives change fuel storage times

Research: aging fuels performance as hybrid electric drives change fuel storage times

April 23, 2017 |

In Germany, UFOP writes that “the still largely unknown interactions between fuel-carrying vehicle components and (ageing) fuel in PHEV vehicles is to be determined within the framework of a research project under close-to-real-life conditions (storage duration, storage conditions of the fuel). The Transferzentrum Automotive at Coburg University, Oel-Waerme-Institut GmbH and TEC4FUELS GmbH are conducting research […]

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POET uses ingenuity from ND State University students to solve feedstock challenges

POET uses ingenuity from ND State University students to solve feedstock challenges

April 20, 2017 |

In South Dakota, POET worked with College of Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering students at South Dakota State University to solve a major challenge that has impeded the use of some of its corn stover in its cellulosic ethanol production facility. Turning netwrap and twine intermingled with corn stalks, tree branches and chunks of debris into […]

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Policy & Policymakers

EPA under fire in appeals court hearing over cuts to advanced biofuels RVO during 2014-2016

EPA under fire in appeals court hearing over cuts to advanced biofuels RVO during 2014-2016

April 25, 2017 |

In Washington, an appeals court judge said that the Environmental Protection Agency may have overstepped its bounds by reducing the Renewable Volume Obligations for advanced biofuels between 2014-2016. In response to oral arguments held Monday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on the petition for review of the Renewable […]

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India’s reinstatement of excise tax on biodiesel seen hitting OMCs hard

India’s reinstatement of excise tax on biodiesel seen hitting OMCs hard

April 24, 2017 |

In India, oil marketing companies are getting hit hard with a new 6% excise duty on biodiesel along with a slew of other taxes that they say will make the mandated biodiesel blending unviable. Biodiesel was excise duty-free for 10 years. The mandate’s implementation has been delayed to at least May 1 from the planned […]

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Iowa Legislators OK approves $3M in new State Blender Pump funding

Iowa Legislators OK approves $3M in new State Blender Pump funding

April 23, 2017 |

In Iowa, the Iowa Legislature voted to secure another year of funding for the state’s blender pump program – which has successfully led to millions of dollars worth of investment in new pumps and equipment that offer the choice of higher ethanol and biodiesel blends to consumers. House File 643 include funding for RFIP at […]

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Iowa bill puts biofuel blending at risk by changing tax credit program

Iowa bill puts biofuel blending at risk by changing tax credit program

April 20, 2017 |

In Iowa, a proposed amendment to HSB 187 seeks to cap the biofuel tax credit scheme by issuing credits only after annual sales figures for fuel retailers were calculated, at which point the per gallon figure for the tax credit would be determined. Petroleum marketers are concerned that the policy shift, after the tax credit […]

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Petrobras turns its back on biofuels now that it has divested

Petrobras turns its back on biofuels now that it has divested

April 19, 2017 |

In Brazil, now that Petrobras has divested from biofuels in its attempt to raise funds to pay off massive $100 billion debt, it has come out against the government’s new RenovaBio program meant to raise biofuel production and consumption, claiming that biofuels negatively impact forests and threaten food production. It continued by saying that biofuel […]

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Other Recent Articles

Canadian canola damaged by winter snows may head to biodiesel market

Canadian canola damaged by winter snows may head to biodiesel market

April 25, 2017 |

In Canada, biofuel is expected to be a key market for the more than a million acres of canola across the western part of the country that have spent the winter under snow because winter arrived earlier than expected and is only now beginning to thaw. As much as 900,000 metric tons of oilseed may […]

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Popularity of Pacific Biodiesel’s sunflower crop taking its toll

Popularity of Pacific Biodiesel’s sunflower crop taking its toll

April 24, 2017 |

In Hawaii, Pacific Biodiesel’s sunflower crop intended for trialing biodiesel production on the island has become so popular that people are regularly trespassing and sometimes even stealing the flowers that are currently in bloom despite obvious signage about the farm being private property where no trespassing is allowed. The state police has been recruited to […]

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Midwest corn infected with vomitoxin negatively impacting ethanol producers

Midwest corn infected with vomitoxin negatively impacting ethanol producers

April 24, 2017 |

In Indiana, ethanol producers across the US are facing not only low ethanol and DDGs prices but further concerns resulting from the high levels of vomitoxin present in much of last year’s record corn crop with supplies from Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa and Indiana all reporting levels above maximum levels allowed for human and animal […]

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Mozambique giving up on the “promise” of jatropha biodiesel

Mozambique giving up on the “promise” of jatropha biodiesel

April 24, 2017 |

In Mozambique, the government has at last given up on jatropha as a potential biodiesel feedstock as the economic viability of the program dwindled in line with falling fossil fuel prices. The program was first launched with $130 per barrel oil but with current levels, the project the develop commercial-scale jatropha production with the assistance […]

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Calgren Renewables scaling up use of methane from nearby dairies

Calgren Renewables scaling up use of methane from nearby dairies

April 24, 2017 |

In California, Calgren Renewables is scaling up its methane replacement program by tapping into several nearby dairies, connected through 20 miles of pipeline, in order to power its ethanol plant. The company has been sourcing methane from one nearby dairy, and satisfied with the results, is scaling up the program. In addition to reducing the […]

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February Argentine ethanol sales and production rise was consumption slips

February Argentine ethanol sales and production rise was consumption slips

April 24, 2017 |

In Argentina, February ethanol sales rose to 84.87 million liters, up more than a quarter on the year but 6% lower than the month prior. Cordoba province absorbed 35% of the demand followed by Tucuman, whereas the other provinces registered must smaller volumes at 10% or below. Consumption in February was down 11% on the […]

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