Biofuels Digest The world's most widely-read advanced bioeconomy daily Sat, 23 Feb 2019 01:50:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mabus in two upcoming appearances to advance efforts on sustainable aviation fuels Fri, 22 Feb 2019 12:01:07 +0000

In Washington, former US Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus will be appearing as a keynote speaker at the Washington Sustainable Aviation Fuels Summit taking place March 7-8 in Seattle, and will also keynote the opening day of ABLC in Washington DC on April 3rd. The long-serving Navy Secretary was instrumental in backing a Great Green Fleet that would give the US Navy more operational flexibility in their fuel supply and conserve electrical energy as well. The Navy was instrumental through its demonstration and fuel purchasing program in driving down the cost of sustainable marine fuels from $25 per gallon (at the time of their first small, experimental testing buy) to $2.07 per gallon by the time he left office.

At the two-day Washington Sustainable Aviation Fuels Summit, you will hear from national leaders on engaging and aligning the entire sustainable fuels value chain as we bring Washington’s most innovative industries together to develop a local supply chain of clean and sustainable fuels for aviation. LanzaTech CEO Jennifer Holmgren and former Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy Tom Hicks are among other luminaries who will gather in Seattle for the session which is being driven by the Port of Seattle’s ambitions to green its fuel supply.

More on the Washington Sustainable Aviation Fuels Summit here.


Grow your own bioplastic home, avocado-pit bioplastic, Arla and UPM’s wood-based dairy packaging, PHA bioplastic water bottle and more: The Digest’s Top 10 Innovations for the week of February 20th Thu, 21 Feb 2019 22:37:04 +0000

The pace of bioeconomy invention and change continues at a frenetic pace. Here are the top innovations for the week of February 20th.

In today’s Digest, grow your own bioplastic home, avocado-pit bioplastic, Arla and UPM’s wood-based dairy packaging, PHA bioplastic water bottle — these and more, ready for you now at The Digest online.

#1 Arla to bring 40 million wood-based packages into supermarkets

In Finland, Arla has been the first company in Finland to use renewable wood-based bioplastics in gable top paperboard cartons for milk, yogurt and cooking products. The tall oil-based raw material is a Finnish innovation by UPM.

“When we have a liquid product such as milk, a thin plastic film is needed inside the carton for reasons of product safety and shelf life. In our new packaging, the source of plastic is now even more responsible because it is made of wood-based raw material,” says Arla’s Brand & Category Manager, Sanna Heikfolk.

Bioplastic is well suited to dairy product packaging as it has the same technical characteristics as the conventional plastic used in cartons. Like the old material, the new packaging can be recycled with cardboard.

UPM’s Lappeenranta biorefinery utilises tall oil that is a residue of pulp production in the raw material for the new bioplastic cartons. The packaging is made by Elopak, and the Dow Chemical Company is also involved in the collaboration. The use of wood-based bioplastics in Arla’s gable top cartons reduces the need for fossil-based plastics by 180,000 kilogrammes per year while also reducing the packaging’s carbon footprint by about a fifth.
More on the story, here.

S&P Global Platts looks to revise methodology for Chicago Argo ethanol prices assessments Thu, 21 Feb 2019 22:35:28 +0000

In Illinois, following a period of industry consultation, S&P Global Platts announced a proposal to revise the methodology for its Ethanol Chicago (terminal) price assessment to expand the delivery (offtake) options to include barge, rail and truck loading, effective May 1, 2019.

“By this proposal, we will expand delivery options for our Ethanol Chicago price assessment, reflective of the extensive feedback we received from market participants through our hosted events, in-person discussions and other dialogues. Ensuring the benchmark continues to evolve with the marketplace and providing the optionality that market participants need for logistics flexibility are key components of our active stewardship of the price assessment processes we conduct. An added benefit of the methodology changes will be the potential for enhanced market activity underpinning the price assessment,” said Ian Dudden, Global Content Director, Metals & Agriculture, S&P Global Platts.

The basis of the S&P Global Platts Ethanol Chicago Argo Ethanol price assessment would remain Intertank Transfer (ITT) at the Kinder Morgan (KM) Argo fungible system. Under the proposed change, the option to take delivery of product other than by ITT in the KM fungible system will be at the buyer’s option, and all incremental costs associated with the chosen offtake option would be borne by the buyer. A seller should not unreasonably withhold any offtake option and any associated costs for non-ITT offtake options must be demonstrably reasonable and typical.

S&P Global Platts is also proposing to revise the standards of incrementablity for its Ethanol Chicago (terminal) assessment during the Market-on-Close (MOC) price assessment process, to better reflect current trading and pricing granularity. Platts is proposing that effective May 1, bids and offers may be improved by a maximum of 10 points per 15 seconds, from the current 25 points per 30 seconds.

Liverpool’s giant 90-ton fatberg has a future as biodiesel Thu, 21 Feb 2019 22:34:22 +0000

In the UK, an 84-meter long, 90-metric ton fatberg has been found in the sewers of Liverpool which will be converted into biodiesel after removal and elimination of objects like wet wipes. After failing to remove it with high pressure water guns, it will now have to be removed manually using pickaxes and shovels, an operation that will cost $130,000 and eight weeks of work. The utility did not identify who would process the fatberg into biodiesel by Argent Energy.

Singapore’s USP Group sells Biofuel Research to JV Thu, 21 Feb 2019 22:33:17 +0000

In Singapore, USP Group Limited announced that it has entered into a non-binding term sheet with AJ Shanaya Venture Pte Ltd, a company jointly owned by the founders of AJ Jetting Pte Ltd and Shanaya Environmental Services Pte Ltd, to sell its subsidiary company, Biofuel Research Pte Ltd to them. Biofuel Research Pte Ltd is one of the first companies in Singapore to pioneer proprietary technology to convert waste oil to biodiesel. AJ Shanaya Pte Ltd is interested to acquire 100 per cent of Biofuel Research Pte Ltd for a consideration of S$6,000,000. As the Group holds 93.09% of Biofuel, the potential proceeds due to the Group is S$5,590,000.

SVPGlobal buys White Energy ethanol plant and gluten facility Thu, 21 Feb 2019 22:32:06 +0000

In Texas, Strategic Value Partners and its affiliates (“SVPGlobal”) announced an agreement to purchase food ingredient and ethanol businesses from White Energy. The purchase includes two integrated plants in Russell, Kansas: the nation’s largest vital wheat gluten manufacturing facility and one of the nation’s most cost-efficient ethanol production facilities.

With an annual production capacity of 56 million pounds, the Russell gluten facility is the largest North American producer of vital wheat gluten, a plant-based protein used as an ingredient in a number of attractive and high-growth food markets including baked goods, pet foods, and vegetarian and vegan foods. Russell’s premier food ingredient products, which will continue to be sold under the Heartland brand name, are purchased by many of the most iconic companies in the food and beverage industry.

The Russell ethanol facility, with a production capacity of 55 million gallons per year, is uniquely designed to consume the starch by-products generated at the adjacent gluten facility. As a result of that highly-efficient manufacturing process, the plant achieves some of the lowest unit costs in the ethanol industry, and is also rated as having the lowest carbon footprint of any facility of its kind in the United States by the California Air Resources Board. As a result, its production is sent to premium clean fuel markets where the plant receives attractive carbon credits.

Epitome Energy hopes to break ground on $150 million soybean complex in spring 2021 Thu, 21 Feb 2019 22:31:07 +0000

In Minnesota, local press reports that Epitome Energy could break ground on its proposed $150 million soybean crushing and biodiesel facility in spring 2021 should everything go as planned, with the build period seen at around 18 months. The project has received a $450,000 grant from the state’s department of transportation to improve rail infrastructure for the site. The project’s promoters are in talks with state legislators to secure additional state funding for the site.

India looking to ramp up aviation biofuel production to support air force Thu, 21 Feb 2019 22:30:01 +0000

In India, the Hindu newspaper reports that the government is trying to set up 1,000 liter per day aviation biofuel plants in five states across the country in part to help fuel a two-year testing program by the air force that will trial the fuel in all of its aircraft types such as helicopters, transport aircraft and fighter jets. To supply 10% biofuel blend to the country’s air force would require about 1 billion liters of fuel per day. The aim is to reduce the production cost to 84 cents per liter from the current $2.67.

Louisiana State University researcher optimizing E. coli to produce biodiesel better Thu, 21 Feb 2019 22:28:54 +0000

In Louisiana, a Louisiana State University Mechanical Engineering graduate student Is currently working on genetically engineering and optimizing E. coli bacteria to produce bioproducts, like biodiesel, in a cost-effective manner. The main goal is to create Malonyl-CoA bioproducts, such as biodiesel, plastics, polymers, and pharmaceuticals. Malonyl-CoA is found in bacteria from humans and has important roles in regulating fatty acid metabolism and food intake; it’s also an attractive target for drug discovery. She was one of four university-level researchers to present her work at the National Biodiesel Conference and Expo in San Diego last month.

EPA preparing several options for RIN reform Thu, 21 Feb 2019 22:27:46 +0000

In Washington, Bloomberg reports that the under orders from President Trump, the Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to propose a complete reform of RIN trading that would keep speculators such as banks out the market. There has been concern that speculation has led to higher RIN prices that have in turn burdened some parts of the oil industry. The agency plans to propose several options and then seek public comment before deciding on a path forward.