Major Stories

Trump forms Interagency Task Force on agriculture and rural prosperity

Trump forms Interagency Task Force on agriculture and rural prosperity

April 27, 2017 |

In Washington, the Trump Administration released its “Presidential Executive Order on Promoting Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in America” — and a report from the Interagency Task Force, something this order creates, is due in 180 days. For fans of the White House Rural Council — this replaces that. It aims at regulatory, policy and legislative […]

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Consortiapalooza: TWB points a way towards the new industrial biotech consortium

Consortiapalooza: TWB points a way towards the new industrial biotech consortium

April 26, 2017 |

In the past month, the Digest pointed towards a tipping point in the underlying technology that powers the industry — and a convergence in the technologies of genetics, Big Data and robotics that is rapidly and radically re-shaping the bioeconomy and the to an increasing extent the general economy. We noted that the tip of […]

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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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8-Slide Guides

Skybound: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to Sustainable Aviation Fuels

Skybound: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to Sustainable Aviation Fuels

April 27, 2017 |

This week, we hosted a webinar what is universally agreed to be the single largest new application of advanced industrial biotechnology — this is the Big Kahuna, or sustainable aviation fuel. Sustainability is critical to airlines, and manufacturers are in close collaboration. Alternatives are not abundant: an electric plane for heavy-duty air transport is decades away. Joining us […]

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Super Food, Super Feed: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to Advanced Nutrition

Super Food, Super Feed: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to Advanced Nutrition

April 26, 2017 |

In Tennessee this week, NouriTech and its lead investors, Calysta, Inc. and Cargill, officially broke ground on a 37-acre Memphis feed production facility. The plant will be home to the world’s largest gas fermentation operation that will produce Calysta’s FeedKind® protein, a nourishing and sustainable feed ingredient for fish, livestock and pets, using its proprietary technology. […]

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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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The Latest World News

Fiberight hopes to close financing for Maine project in June

Fiberight hopes to close financing for Maine project in June

April 27, 2017 |

In Maine, Fiberight hopes to close on its financing for the planned MSW-to-biofuel plant planned in Hampden that is meant to process the waste of more than 100 communities in the state. Project promoters believe they can get the plant up and running within a year. The town’s Municipal Review Committee agreed to this week […]

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Dartmouth College looking to transition to biomass and UCO biodiesel energy

Dartmouth College looking to transition to biomass and UCO biodiesel energy

April 27, 2017 |

In New Hampshire, Dartmouth College is exploring a transition from coal to biomass and potentially biodiesel from used cooking oil to produce part of its energy needs, integrating with solar, wind and other technologies as well. The plan is under development partially with its host city as well, some of whose schools have already transitioned […]

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Rabobank revises down Malaysian palm oil price estimates due to production recovery

Rabobank revises down Malaysian palm oil price estimates due to production recovery

April 27, 2017 |

In Malaysia, Rabobank has revised down its estimate for palm oil prices to $574.85/mt during the second quarter as oil palms recover from the impacts of drought and begin to return to normal production levels. March production was higher than expected, weighing on prices to lower than the bank had estimated, as an example of […]

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NATSO slams biodiesel producers credit bill saying it will cost more for drivers

NATSO slams biodiesel producers credit bill saying it will cost more for drivers

April 27, 2017 |

In Washington, NATSO, the national association representing truckstops and travel plazas, denounced The American Renewable Fuel and Job Creation Act of 2017 introduced by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that seeks to extend the $1 per gallon biodiesel tax credit but transfer it upstream to a producers’ credit. “In previous years, NATSO has worked together with […]

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E0 turning into a cult as drivers look for ethanol-free “pure gas”

E0 turning into a cult as drivers look for ethanol-free “pure gas”

April 27, 2017 |

In Washington, the Washington Times says E0, known as “pure gas” is gaining a cult-like following like buying local eggs or antibiotic-free meat and milk with consumers willing to drive well out of their way to buy gasoline without ethanol content. Websites like pure-gas.org and others track the more than 12,000 gas stations in the […]

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R&D News

Iowa State researcher looking at how to balance stover demand with soil needs

Iowa State researcher looking at how to balance stover demand with soil needs

April 27, 2017 |

In Iowa, the phrase “a double-edged sword” describes something that is beneficial in some ways but problematic in others. One example is removing maize stover (the husks, stems and leaves of corn plants) from fields. Maize stover is used to make cellulosic ethanol, a renewable biofuel. And renewable biofuels are beneficial to the environment. However, […]

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Texas A&M researchers sequence genome of green microalgae

Texas A&M researchers sequence genome of green microalgae

April 26, 2017 |

In Texas, the genome of the fuel-producing green microalga Botryococcus braunii has been sequenced by a team of researchers led by a group at Texas A&M AgriLife Research. The report, in Genome Announcements, comes after almost seven years of research, according to Dr. Tim Devarenne, AgriLife Research biochemist and principal investigator in College Station. In […]

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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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Policy & Policymakers

DuPont teams up with Apple and others asking Trump to stick with Paris climate agreement

DuPont teams up with Apple and others asking Trump to stick with Paris climate agreement

April 27, 2017 |

In Washington, with the future of its cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa in mind, DuPont is among major companies across the economy urging President Trump to keep the United States in the Paris Agreement on climate change. In a letter to the president organized by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, C2ES, 16 companies say […]

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Sen. Grassley introduces bill for biodiesel producer credit

Sen. Grassley introduces bill for biodiesel producer credit

April 26, 2017 |

In Washington, Senator Chuck Grassley introduced his biodiesel producers credit again, in hopes that the current attention on potentially damaging imports from Argentina and Indonesia will help attract support for his proposed legislation. The $1 per gallon biodiesel blenders credit expired the end of last year and has been widely expected for renewal, but as […]

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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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Other Recent Articles

EU partially financing biomass heating projects in 235 Moldovan communities

EU partially financing biomass heating projects in 235 Moldovan communities

April 27, 2017 |

In Moldova, 235 communities are benefiting from European funding to install biomass heating in buildings such as schools where beforehand heating wasn’t available to the extent required due to high costs. The use of biomass is meant to create a market the local industry to grow into, reducing the need to import heating energy while […]

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Green Plains to buy two cattle feedlots from Cargill

Green Plains to buy two cattle feedlots from Cargill

April 26, 2017 |

In Nebraska, Omaha-based Green Plains Inc., with existing feed yards at Kismet, Kansas, and Hereford, Texas, will purchase Cargill’s beef cattle feed yards at Leoti, Kansas, and Yuma, Colorado. The transaction will be finalized once a definitive agreement and regulatory review are complete. Green Plains will supply cattle to Cargill through a new multiyear agreement. […]

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Malaysia and Indonesia to sent ministerial delegation to Brussels over palm oil report

Malaysia and Indonesia to sent ministerial delegation to Brussels over palm oil report

April 26, 2017 |

In Malaysia, the government will send a high level joint ministerial mission including counterparts from Indonesia to Brussels next month in order to head off further negative policy moves following the European Parliament’s nearly unanimous opinion looking to bad palm oil for biodiesel by 2020. Malaysia’s prime minister is concerned about the shift in sentiment […]

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China’s March ethanol imports slow down to a trickle at just 33 cubic meters

China’s March ethanol imports slow down to a trickle at just 33 cubic meters

April 26, 2017 |

In China, March ethanol imports were just 33 cubic meters, compared to 99,661 cu m during March 2016, in response to the government’s implementation of import tariffs on ethanol to support its attempts to work through 20 million metric tons of spoiled corn reserves in the next five years. Imports came from the US, Germany […]

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POET ethanol plant may start construction on efficiency projects ahead of summertime E15

POET ethanol plant may start construction on efficiency projects ahead of summertime E15

April 26, 2017 |

In South Dakota, construction could begin this year on a new fermenter and other improvements for the POET ethanol plant near Groton that should see production increase by up to 3 million gallons per year, though the state air quality permits the company applied for would allow for up to 13 million additional gallons indicating […]

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Proposal submitted for Mexico to implement E10

Proposal submitted for Mexico to implement E10

April 26, 2017 |

In Mexico, the national association for sustainable transportation has submitted a proposal seeking an increased ethanol blend to 10% from the current 5.8% in an effort to reduce pollution and support rural jobs from increased sugarcane and sorghum production with investments of up to $2 billion. Critics however say that MTBE does a better job […]

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