Biofuels Digest The world's most widely-read advanced bioeconomy daily Tue, 20 Aug 2019 23:50:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 New Catalysts, Improved Genetic Tools Bring New Opportunities: The Digest’s 2019 Multi-Slide Guide to ORNL’s Biomass to Bioproducts Tue, 20 Aug 2019 23:50:08 +0000

Organisms are interesting creatures and genetic tools and biochemical pathway knowledge is changing the way we look at them.

Brian Davison, Chief Scientist for Biotechnology at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, gave this knowledge-filled presentation on how to leverage organisms for biofuels and bioproducts, consolidated bioprocessing, barriers and solutions to enabling transformation, improved tools for gene identification for sustainable feedstocks, catalytic upgrading, accelerated feedstocks, and more at ABLC 2019 in Washington, D.C.

From Lignin to Value: The Digest’s 2019 Multi-Slide Guide to MetGen’s Enzymes Tue, 20 Aug 2019 23:46:27 +0000

MetGen are pioneers in industrial enzymes for lignocellulosic biomass and are trying to empower industries to get the most out of biomass with their enzymatic technologies.

Alex Michine, CEO of MetGen gave this enlightening overview of MetGen’s ‘how’, the Sweetwoods project and its integrated biorefinery flagship, enzymatic lignin valorization with MetZyme Pureco, enzymatic lignin fractioning, and more at ABLC 2019 in Washington, D.C.

Japanese biotech group launches largest tropical microalga facility in Malaysia Tue, 20 Aug 2019 23:21:43 +0000

In Japan, Chitose Group, a family of biotechnology companies, designed and supervised the largest microalga cultivation facility which is suitable to the tropical climate and established in the project jointly organized by Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC) and Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) in Sarawak, Malaysia.
The operation of the facility will be demonstrated on a ceremony arranged by SBC and MC on August 27th, 2019.

In October 2012, SBC, a state research institute of Sarawak, Malaysia, and MC started a joint project aiming for collecting and utilizing local microalgal strains. As a technical adviser for MC, Chitose Group joined the project in 2013 in order to manage and support the project through providing technical consultation and supervision to local SBC researchers both on and off site.

The facility Chitose Group designed and supervised is, unlike traditional pond/raceway types, a three-dimensional cultivation facility that is optimized for efficient cultivation of microalgae under tropical environment and is applicable to future scaling; the structure not only allows for the maximum utilization of sunlight, but for also scaling up using economical and locally procurable building materials. The construction was completed in November 2018. Since then, commissioning of the facility and the preliminary demonstration of the continuous cultivation were performed, and the technical feasibility for the commercialization of this technology was confirmed. In addition, microalgal biomass cultivated and harvested from this facility has been successfully applied to the local commercial production of shrimp as feed and water conditioner.

POET idles production at Cloverdale, IN plant on back of EPA’s hardship waiver decisions Tue, 20 Aug 2019 23:20:44 +0000

In Indiana, POET announced it will idle production at its bioprocessing facility in Cloverdale, IN due to recent decisions by the Administration regarding SREs. The process to idle the plant will take several weeks, after which the plant will cease processing of over 30 million bushels of corn annually and hundreds of local jobs will be impacted.

POET has reduced production at half of its biorefineries, with the largest drops taking place in Iowa and Ohio. As a result, numerous jobs will be consolidated across POET’s 28 biorefineries and corn processing will drop by an additional 100 million bushels across Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Missouri.

UK farmers group calling on government to introduce E10 by 2020 Tue, 20 Aug 2019 23:19:56 +0000

In UK, the NFU has written to Government ministers calling for E10 – a type of petrol which contains 10% renewable bioethanol – to be introduced by 2020 to help the UK reach its net zero targets.

Currently commonplace on UK forecourts is E5 which only contains 5% renewable bioethanol.

The NFU has sent letters outlining the economic and environmental benefits of a thriving British biofuel industry to all ministers involved in making policy decisions on renewable fuel. These ministers included Theresa Villiers, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Andrea Leadsom, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport.

Lufthansa launches app to support SAF through carbon offsets by passengers Tue, 20 Aug 2019 23:18:58 +0000

In Germany, CO2neutral, synthetic fuel is one of the most promising alternatives for making the future of aviation climate-neutral. Industry and nationwide deployment has failed so far due to limited quantity and high cost. With the launch of “Compensaid” (, the new sustainability platform, the Lufthansa Innovation Hub and the Lufthansa Group are now making it possible for travelers to offset their individual carbon footprint using so-called Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). This represents passengers an entirely new approach to offsetting CO2with SAF in a transparent way.

Nebraska Ethanol Bold to hold training to help fuel retailers take up E15 Tue, 20 Aug 2019 23:18:05 +0000

In Nebraska, the biggest hurdle that often stops fuel retailers from adding higher ethanol blends is cost, the administrator for the Nebraska Ethanol Board (NEB) said that might not actually be a hurdle at all. To help dispel these myths and to educate fuel retailers on the benefits and ease of offering E15, NEB will host a free workshop for fuel retailers Aug. 28 in Kearney, Nebraska. Attendees will hear best practices from fuel retailers who’ve seen success selling E15, a keynote from the American Coalition of Ethanol, and will learn about resources to make implementing and labeling infrastructure easy and affordable.

Thai government to support up to 300,000 farmers with palm oil price floor program Tue, 20 Aug 2019 23:17:19 +0000

In Thailand, the Vietnam News Agency reports that the Thai government decided at a National Oil Palm Policy Committee of Thailand meeting earlier this week to approve a minimum oil price for oil palm farmers of 13 cents per liter for a maximum of four hectares of production. About 300,000 farmers are expected to benefit from the program once it is approved by the cabinet, which could happen in about two weeks. At the same meeting was discussed the impact on higher palm oil prices on the implementation of the B10 policy through the end of the year.

University of Leeds researchers lead study using ‘superbugs’ resistance to build biopolymers of the future Tue, 20 Aug 2019 23:16:29 +0000

In the UK, the molecular machinery used by ‘superbugs’ to resist chemicals designed to kill them could also help produce precursors for a new generation of nylon and other polymers, according to new research.

Scientists from the University of Leeds have collaborated with Australian researchers to identify ancient protein pumps that make infectious bacteria tough to treat, but which could be key to developing new environmentally-friendly polymers.

Bacteria, called ‘superbugs’, that are unaffected by antiseptics and antibiotics are a growing problem, but exactly how they develop resistance is often not fully understood.

Previous research by the University of Leeds and Macquarie University, Australia, revealed how a bacterium called Acinetobacter baumannii resisted chlorhexidine, a powerful hospital-grade antiseptic listed by the World Health Organisation as an “essential medicine”.

A. baumannii’s secret weapon, they found, is a protein called AceI, which sits on its surface and pumps out any chlorhexidine that gets inside. That was a surprise to researchers, because the protein has existed for millions of years longer than the antiseptic.

President Trump on the backfoot following farm country backlash to EPA’s waiver decisions Tue, 20 Aug 2019 23:15:37 +0000

In Washington, Reuters reports that President Trump held a two-hour meeting with cabinet members on Monday that included representatives from the Department of Energy, USDA and Environmental Protection Agency in an effort to stem the blowback from angry farmers and their legislators following the approval of 31 hardship waivers by the EPA last week. The two sources who confirmed the meeting to Reuters said it wasn’t clear what measures Trump would take to try to ease the tensions over the further demand destruction for biofuels resulting from the hardship waivers which has already led to at least three biodiesel plants and a handful of ethanol plants closing as a result. Following news of the meeting, RIN prices jumped to as high as 15 cents for D6 RINs from 10.25 cents on Monday.