Major Stories

Big Data, robotics and synth bio: Driving “The New Agriculture”

Big Data, robotics and synth bio: Driving “The New Agriculture”

May 30, 2016 |

The Malaysian Life Sciences II fund closed its capital raise around a year ago, and The Digest stopped by the Limited Partners meeting last week to check on the latest in the BioGreenTech space from what is shaping up as the most interesting and dynamic investment portfolio we have seen in quite a long time. […]

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Licella, Canfor form JV for low-cost, drop-in biofuels from wood residues and biomass

Licella, Canfor form JV for low-cost, drop-in biofuels from wood residues and biomass

May 29, 2016 |

Licella and Canfor will form a joint-venture under the name “Licella Pulp Joint Venture” to integrate Licella’s unique Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor upgrading platform into Canfor Pulp’s kraft and mechanical pulp mills to economically convert biomass, including wood residues from Canfor Pulp’s kraft pulping processes, into biocrude oil, to produce next generation biofuels and biochemicals. This […]

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Evolva, Wageningen and Algae.Tec advance on high-margin bio-opportunities

Evolva, Wageningen and Algae.Tec advance on high-margin bio-opportunities

May 26, 2016 |

Sweeteners, acrylic, and nutraceuticals led the news at the end of this week, with key announcements out of Evolva, Wageningen and Algae.Tec. Over at Evolva: major patent win on sweeteners In Switzerland, the European Patent Office granted Evolva a patent that the company deemed “pivotal to the commercial expansion of and broader access to the […]

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Why does biology take so long to make commercial products? A Job for BOB

Why does biology take so long to make commercial products? A Job for BOB

May 25, 2016 |

The profusion of government-based Three-Letter Acronyms got so out of hand at one stage that the Navy’s Director of Operational Energy Chris Tindal began a meeting not long ago with a slide that said, simply, EYA. Explain Your Acronym. But there’s one TLA that was so friendly and promising that it forms the exception to the […]

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Sub-$2/gallon biobased hydrocarbon fuels head for diesel-hungry India

Sub-$2/gallon biobased hydrocarbon fuels head for diesel-hungry India

May 24, 2016 |

India’s SunLight Fuels licenses IH2 Technology for hydrocarbon transportation fuels from agricultural waste In India, Sunlight Fuels has signed a Front End Loading license agreement for IH2 Technology with CRI Catalyst, a division of Shell. Project details The Sunlight Fuels agreement is the first IH2 FEL-2 license granted in India for a commercial scale plant. […]

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8-Slide Guides

Getting it Right: The Digest’s Multi-Slide Guide to Iogen

Getting it Right: The Digest’s Multi-Slide Guide to Iogen

May 30, 2016 |

Iogen says it has has “one of the world’s largest and most experienced teams in developing, designing, de-bugging, scaling-up and deploying cellulosic biofuel technology. We’re using innovative thinking and disciplined engineering to transform cellulosic biofuels into real, reliable and cost-effective fuels for today’s cars and trucks.” The first commercial cellulosic ethanol facility based on Iogen […]

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The Wonder from Down Under: The Digest’s Multi-Slide Guide to Licella

The Wonder from Down Under: The Digest’s Multi-Slide Guide to Licella

May 29, 2016 |

Licella produces drop-in biofuels from a wide range of biomass and uses a supercritical water-based technology and catalysts to break up biomass and reform it into a drop-in fuel hydrocarbon. The compelling features of supercritical are several: 1. It uses all of the biomass, including lignin. So, higher yields, fewer discussions on how to monetize […]

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The SynBio Foundry: The Digest’s 2016 8-Slide Guide

The SynBio Foundry: The Digest’s 2016 8-Slide Guide

May 26, 2016 |

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Ames National Lab, Argonne National Lab, Idaho National Lab, Los Alamos National Lab, the National Renewable Energy Lab, Oak Ridge National Lab, Pacific Northwest National Lab, and Sandia National Lab seek to build an agile biomanufacturing platform for biological approaches to produce advanced biofuels, renewable chemicals, and materials that represent low […]

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After 40 years: The Digest’s Multi-Slide Guide to Toxic Substances Control Act reform

After 40 years: The Digest’s Multi-Slide Guide to Toxic Substances Control Act reform

May 25, 2016 |

Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform has been a “work in progress” for years. House and Senate passage in 2015 of substantive TSCA reform measures considerably improved the odds that Congress would enact TSCA-reform legislation in 2016. Which appears to be happening with news that the US House and Senate have agreed on a TSCA […]

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Liquid fuel from the Sun: The Digest’s 2016 8-Slide Guide to Joule Unlimited

Liquid fuel from the Sun: The Digest’s 2016 8-Slide Guide to Joule Unlimited

May 24, 2016 |

Joule is advancing a production platform for Liquid Fuel from the Sun, expected to eclipse the scale, productivity and cost efficiency of any known alternative to fossil fuel today. Its transformative Helioculture platform directly and continuously converts sunlight and waste CO2 to infrastructure-ready diesel, ethanol or commodity chemicals with no dependence on biomass feedstocks, downstream […]

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The Latest World News

Agrisoma doesn’t yet need Plains farmers to producer carinata

Agrisoma doesn’t yet need Plains farmers to producer carinata

May 30, 2016 |

In Canada, Agrisoma is able to supply European demand for carinata oil as a feedstock for HVO through farmer contracts in the Southeastern US but it doesn’t yet need to scale up to Western Canada, North Dakota or Montana this as demand hasn’t picked up enough. The company is also talking to farmers in Brazil […]

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Chief Industries buys Cornhusker Ethanol plant in Nebraska

Chief Industries buys Cornhusker Ethanol plant in Nebraska

May 30, 2016 |

In Nebraska, Chief Industries has bought the 50 million gallon per year Cornhusker Ethanol plant in Lexington that the company hopes it will be able to expand to take advantage of growing opportunities for ethanol. It’s looking to create jobs and further support the local corn and livestock industries. Chief already owns the state’s first […]

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Indian PM points finger at oil lobby for slowing down ethanol uptake

Indian PM points finger at oil lobby for slowing down ethanol uptake

May 30, 2016 |

In India, the country’s prime minister has blamed the oil lobby for interfering with plans to boost ethanol production and consumption, especially in key sugarcane states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. That lobby has in turn negatively impacted sugarcane farmers who aren’t able to get their dues from mills as a result of poor […]

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USDA investing $8.8 million on advanced biofuels

USDA investing $8.8 million on advanced biofuels

May 30, 2016 |

In Washington, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $8.8 million to boost the production of advanced biofuels and sustain jobs at renewable energy facilities in 39 states. USDA continues to lead the way in promotion of advanced biofuel production, from implementing the revised Farm Billbio-refinery program to the […]

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New York state county to supply collected FOG to Buffalo Biodiesel

New York state county to supply collected FOG to Buffalo Biodiesel

May 30, 2016 |

In New York state, Tompkins County Solid Waste Division has opened a new fats, oils and grease (FOG) collection station at its Recycling & Solid Waste Center where the public can drop off its waste rather than dumping the FOG down the sink. The FOG will then be collected by Buffalo Biodiesel to produce fuel. […]

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R&D News

Swedish researchers find tree stumps make good cellulosic biofuel feedstock

Swedish researchers find tree stumps make good cellulosic biofuel feedstock

May 30, 2016 |

In Sweden, findings from an eight-year long research program financed by SLU, the Swedish Energy Agency and a number of forest companies have been published in a special issue of the journal Forest Ecology and Management. Some conclusions are that biofuel from stumps are considerably better from a climatic point of view than burning of […]

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Expert panel gives thumbs up to Taurus Energy’s XyloFerm

Expert panel gives thumbs up to Taurus Energy’s XyloFerm

May 29, 2016 |

In Sweden, an expert panel convened by Taurus Energy has issued a favorable opinion regarding XyloFerm®as a feed component. It remains for the panel to assess and issue a statement regarding the final feed product. The panel members have, individually and collectively, determined that the genetic modifications made to create XyloFerm strains do not form […]

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MIT researchers develop biodiesel from CO2

MIT researchers develop biodiesel from CO2

May 26, 2016 |

In Massachusetts, new research from the Stephanopoulos group at MIT reports engineered microorganisms that can generate sustainable biofuel from carbon dioxide emissions. Their research was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This conversion process starts with mixtures of carbon dioxide and either carbon monoxide or hydrogen, The gas is bubbled into […]

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Researchers find fertilizer runoff from soy and corn not as high as thought

Researchers find fertilizer runoff from soy and corn not as high as thought

May 25, 2016 |

In Iowa, IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering researchers Chris Jones, Keith Schilling, and Kung-Sik Chan, along with colleagues at the Iowa Soybean Association, evaluated water monitoring results from more than 7,000 water samples collected in the Raccoon River watershed of Central Iowa from 1999-2014. The team also had access to fertilization data for 700 fields in the […]

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ASU gets DOE funding for algae and cyanobacteria research

ASU gets DOE funding for algae and cyanobacteria research

May 24, 2016 |

In Arizona, two Arizona State University biofuel projects are among six nationwide receiving $10 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to explore innovative solutions in bioenergy. ASU’s research projects approach the question from two different angles: • Algae: This project will develop mixotrophic algae that can consume both CO2 and cellulosic sugars and significantly improve […]

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Policy & Policymakers

Urban Air Initiative tells California Air Resources Board midlevel ethanol blends helps state achieve goals

Urban Air Initiative tells California Air Resources Board midlevel ethanol blends helps state achieve goals

May 30, 2016 |

In California, in comments recently filed with the California Air Resources Board, the Urban Air Initiative made a case for higher octane, lower carbon fuels like midlevel ethanol blends to help the state meet its carbon reduction goals. Specifically, CARB had requested comments on its efforts to deal with brown and black carbon through what the […]

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EPA sets June 9 for national hearing for Renewable Fuel Standard program

EPA sets June 9 for national hearing for Renewable Fuel Standard program

May 29, 2016 |

In Washington, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency  is announcing a public hearing to be held in Kansas City, Missouri on June 9, 2016, for the proposed rule “Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2017 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2018.” The hearing will provide an opportunity for the public to comment on the proposal. All […]

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EU refers Poland to Court of Justice for law banning biofuel and feedstock imports

EU refers Poland to Court of Justice for law banning biofuel and feedstock imports

May 26, 2016 |

In Belgium, the European Commission has decided to refer Poland to the Court of Justice of the EU for establishing restrictions in Polish law against certain imported biofuels and raw materials for biofuel. Polish law is not fully in line with EU law. Firstly, fuels can only be marketed if specific fuel requirements are in place, […]

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California biofuel industry calls on support for $210 million for biofuels fund

California biofuel industry calls on support for $210 million for biofuels fund

May 25, 2016 |

In California, the state’s biofuel industry is calling on state legislators to allocate $210 million in the Governor’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to incentivize in-state production of low carbon biofuels. For the first time, biodiesel, ethanol and biomethane trade associations and companies are united by the common goal of getting the biofuel initiative passed as […]

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USDA unveils 2016 BCAP funding program

USDA unveils 2016 BCAP funding program

May 24, 2016 |

In Washington, USDA Farm Service Agency Administrator Val Dolcini announced that incentives resume this month for farmers and foresters who grow and harvest biomass for renewable energy and biobased products. The funds come through the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), which was reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Facilities seeking to be qualified by USDA […]

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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

Ghana commissions sugar mill with an eye on ethanol exports

Ghana commissions sugar mill with an eye on ethanol exports

May 30, 2016 |

In Ghana, the president has re-commissioned the country’s first sugarcane mill with an eye to participating in the global ethanol industry through exports. The mill will crush 1,250 metric tons of cane per day and will cut the country’s sugar import bill by $200,000. Between ethanol exports and offsetting sugar imports, the country expects to […]

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GBB, Stern Brothers & Co. Announce Renewable Energy from Waste Agreement

GBB, Stern Brothers & Co. Announce Renewable Energy from Waste Agreement

May 29, 2016 |

In Virginia, Gershman, Brickner & Bratton and Stern Brothers & Co. will enter into an agreement for Waste-to-Energy, infrastructure and alternative energy sector projects. Under the advisory relationship agreement, GBB will support Stern’s execution of specific transactions by providing strategic industry consulting, industry research, project due diligence, financial analysis and other functions related to the […]

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Diesel prices rally substantially

Diesel prices rally substantially

May 29, 2016 |

In Germany, UFOP is reporting that prices for partially taxable agricultural diesel are on a firm trend, moving closer to those for biodiesel and almost reaching the level of rapeseed oil. The trend is driven by a massive rise in crude oil prices. The nearby futures price on the NYMEX currently stands at just under […]

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US ethanol production dips to 14.489 billion gallon annual clip

US ethanol production dips to 14.489 billion gallon annual clip

May 29, 2016 |

According to EIA data as analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association, US ethanol production averaged 946,000 barrels per day—or 39.73 million gallons daily. That is down 2,000 b/d from the week before. The four-week average for ethanol production stood at 945,000 b/d for an annualized rate of 14.49 billion gallons. Stocks of ethanol stood at […]

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Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative turns 10, tots up the successes

Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative turns 10, tots up the successes

May 29, 2016 |

In Washington, the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative turned 10 last week, and is “looking ahead to solving the challenging issues that remain for broad use of alternative jet fuel.” The group said in the next 10 years it will focus on enabling industry production of SAJF volumes that help aviation achieve carbon neutral growth […]

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AVA-CO2 develops new interfaces for FDCA oxidation

AVA-CO2 develops new interfaces for FDCA oxidation

May 29, 2016 |

In Switzerland, AVA-CO2 has developed a new interface allowing for the use of different solvents which are tailored to the oxidation processes for producing 2,5-Furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) on an industrial scale. This development enables a more flexible implementation of industrial 5-HMF and FDCA production, paving the way for using polyethylene furanoate (PEF) in competitive application […]

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