Major Stories

The Jenny Craig Problem and the Theory of Carbon Offsets

The Jenny Craig Problem and the Theory of Carbon Offsets

February 24, 2020 |

Decarbonization is all the rage again – you can almost set your watch by the response of corporates to climate protests. There’s been a rash of announcements that ‘we’re doing something’, and lately the trend has been to announce a plan to be net zero carbon by 2030, 2040, 2050, take your pick. Almost invariably, […]

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USDA targets 30% biofuels by 2050

USDA targets 30% biofuels by 2050

February 23, 2020 |

In Washington, D.C., U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the Agriculture Innovation Agenda, specifically, focusing on stimulating innovation so that American agriculture can achieve the goal of increasing production by 40% while cutting the environmental footprint of U.S. agriculture in half by 2050. Part of this plan is to achieve market-driven blend rates of […]

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The Competitive Edge: Catalyxx

The Competitive Edge: Catalyxx

February 20, 2020 |

Q: What was the reason for founding your organization – what was the open niche you saw that could be addressed with a new product or service? What was the problem, or gap, or opportunity? Catalyxx was formed with the purposes of owning the exclusive rights to a technology, originally developed by Abengoa Bioenergy, that […]

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Mayor Bloomberg’s take on agriculture

Mayor Bloomberg’s take on agriculture

February 19, 2020 |

“I could teach anybody even people in this room to be a farmer, even you,” says former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, currently running for US President. The remarks from 2016 surfaced this week, and can be viewed here. So, let’s take the Bloomberg course in agriculture, how does it work? “You dig a […]

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1st commercial-scale production of 5-HMF, 1st hydrogen-based residential area, largest fuel cell system ever on major ship, and more: The Digest’s Top 10 Innovations for the week of February 20th

1st commercial-scale production of 5-HMF, 1st hydrogen-based residential area, largest fuel cell system ever on major ship, and more: The Digest’s Top 10 Innovations for the week of February 20th

February 19, 2020 |

It’s fun to be 1st and this week is full of them…from the first hydrogen-based residential area in the Netherlands to the world’s first commercial-scale production plant of 5-HMF via AVA Biochem and Michelin Group’s new Joint Development Agreement. Times, they are a’changin’ and the news continues with the development of the largest fuel cell […]

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8-Slide Guides

Biomass Sugars to Hydrocarbon Biofuels: The Digest’s 2020 Multi-Slide Guide to Enzymatic Hydrolysis Development  Efforts

Biomass Sugars to Hydrocarbon Biofuels: The Digest’s 2020 Multi-Slide Guide to Enzymatic Hydrolysis Development Efforts

February 25, 2020 |

Reducing cost and improving manufacturability of the biomass sugar platform through Continuous Enzymatic Hydrolysis (CEH) technology is one of the goals for NREL. James D. McMillan from NREL shared the latest research developments at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) 2019 Project Peer Review on how CEH is essential to realize economical […]

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USDA Rural Development, BioPreferred Program and more: The Digest’s 2020 Multi-Slide Guide to USDA’s Bioproducts to Market Efforts

USDA Rural Development, BioPreferred Program and more: The Digest’s 2020 Multi-Slide Guide to USDA’s Bioproducts to Market Efforts

February 24, 2020 |

USDA made a big announcement recently on targeting 30% biofuels by 2050, but did you know there are many ways they have been adding value to agricultural products to help the rural economy? Did you know the USDA continues to collect royalties from McDonald’s sale of 65 million lbs/year of apples in the U.S.? How […]

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Plant-based PEF Plan to Commercialization: The Digest’s 2020 Multi-Slide Guide to Avantium’s Renewable Polymers

Plant-based PEF Plan to Commercialization: The Digest’s 2020 Multi-Slide Guide to Avantium’s Renewable Polymers

February 23, 2020 |

We may love our pet, but do we love fossil-based PET? Don’t worry, PEF is working on kicking PET out of the plastics space. PEF is one of the most interesting plant-based polymers right now and Avantium is looking to PEF for the future of packaging. Their market traction in high-value applications like multilayer packaging, enhanced […]

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Optimizing Co-Product Production: The Digest’s 2020 Multi-Slide Guide to Alkaline-Oxidative Pretreatment of Woody Biomass

Optimizing Co-Product Production: The Digest’s 2020 Multi-Slide Guide to Alkaline-Oxidative Pretreatment of Woody Biomass

February 20, 2020 |

Two birds with one stone – if you can get BOTH a clean sugar stream for the production of hydrocarbon fuels AND lignins that can feed multiple product streams, then you are talking economic viability. Eric L. Hegg from Michigan State University, shared the latest research developments at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies […]

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Algae, Lactic Acid, PLA: The Digest’s 2020 Multi-Slide Guide to Corbion’s Food and Biochemicals

Algae, Lactic Acid, PLA: The Digest’s 2020 Multi-Slide Guide to Corbion’s Food and Biochemicals

February 19, 2020 |

2019 was a good year for Corbion, with an organic net sales increase of 2.8% and food markets growing, but surprisingly biochemicals declined. Find out why, what the main drivers are behind their growth, what their future expectations are, the latest data on their business segments, innovation platforms, updates on the Total Corbion PLA JV, […]

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The Latest World News

Diamond Green Diesel agrees long-term logistics deal with International-Matex Tank Terminals

Diamond Green Diesel agrees long-term logistics deal with International-Matex Tank Terminals

February 25, 2020 |

In Texas, Darling Ingredients Inc. announced that its joint venture with Valero Energy Corporation, Diamond Green Diesel (DGD), has entered into a long-term lease agreement with IMTT. The agreement will allow DGD access and use of the St. Rose IMTT Terminal as a logistics hub for DGD’s existing and expanding renewable diesel facility located in Norco, […]

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ARENA grants nearly $700K to Yara and ENGIE for renewable hydrogen feasibility study

ARENA grants nearly $700K to Yara and ENGIE for renewable hydrogen feasibility study

February 25, 2020 |

In Australia, collaboration partners Yara International ASA and ENGIE have welcomed the announcement of nearly $700,000 (A$995,000) in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) towards their feasibility study, which is examining the potential to make renewable hydrogen technology work in industrial-scale facilities. Yara International is working towards making carbon-free fertilizer, and renewable hydrogen […]

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Pertamina wants Indonesian parliament to cap palm oil prices to secure feedstock supplies

Pertamina wants Indonesian parliament to cap palm oil prices to secure feedstock supplies

February 25, 2020 |

In Indonesia, Reuters reports that with Pertamina investing at least $600 million in one of its plants to produce biodiesel as well as in two others, it has asked the Parliament to cap palm oil prices on sufficient volume to cover its feedstock demand. The state-owned oil company wants to see a mandatory portion of […]

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Ocean Park says margins to blame for low North American biofuel M&A in 2019

Ocean Park says margins to blame for low North American biofuel M&A in 2019

February 25, 2020 |

In California, Ocean Park says North American biofuel M&A activity was slow in 2019 due to thin margins, but even so that there wasn’t a single large-scale operating biofuel plant that was sold was rare. It said three ethanol plants representing 226 million gallons of installed production capacity, four biodiesel plants totaling 99 million gallons […]

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Sunbird Bioenergy signs up 1,700 cassava farmers in Zambia during first month of recruitment drive

Sunbird Bioenergy signs up 1,700 cassava farmers in Zambia during first month of recruitment drive

February 25, 2020 |

In Zambia, the Lusaka Times newspaper reports that Sunbird Bioenergy has managed to sign up 1,700 farmers for its cassava-based ethanol plant of the 20,000 in total required to supply its ethanol plant. The country’s president kicked off the company’s farmer recruitment drive last month. Sunbird Bioenergy’s CEO said he was impressed by the speed […]

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R&D News

Researchers demonstrate plant-derived cellulose nanocrystals can be sustainable adhesive alternative

Researchers demonstrate plant-derived cellulose nanocrystals can be sustainable adhesive alternative

February 25, 2020 |

In Japan, in a study published in Advanced Materials, researchers at Aalto University, the University of Tokyo, Sichuan University, and the University of British Columbia have demonstrated that plant-derived cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) can form an adhesive that fully integrates the concepts of sustainability, performance, and cost which are generally extremely challenging to achieve simultaneously. Unlike […]

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University of Toronto researchers using McDonald’s UCO to produce 3D printing resin

University of Toronto researchers using McDonald’s UCO to produce 3D printing resin

February 24, 2020 |

In Canada, researchers at the University of Toronto Scarborough have, for the first time, turned waste cooking oil – from the deep fryers of a local McDonald’s – into a high-resolution, biodegradable 3D printing resin. Using waste cooking oil for 3D printing has significant potential. Not only is it cheaper to make, the plastics made from it break down […]

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Iodide salts make biocatalysts stable for fuel cells

Iodide salts make biocatalysts stable for fuel cells

February 23, 2020 |

In Germany, oxygen inactivates biocatalysts for energy conversion even under a protective film within a short time and researchers at the Ruhr University Bochum discovered that the addition of iodide salts to the electrolyte can prevent this and considerably extend the life of the catalysts. Biological and bio-inspired catalysts abound, and their catalytic performance is […]

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Wageningen University researchers analyze compostable plastic and other packaging

Wageningen University researchers analyze compostable plastic and other packaging

February 20, 2020 |

In the Netherlands, recent study by Wageningen University & Research (WUR) analyzed the fate of compostable packaging products in a full- scale industrial organic waste treatment facility. The results show that the tested EN13432 certified products break down within a maximum of 22 days. The project was commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs […]

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KU Leuven map out how wood could replace petroleum in chemical industry

KU Leuven map out how wood could replace petroleum in chemical industry

February 19, 2020 |

In Belgium, an interdisciplinary team of bioscience engineers and economists from KU Leuven has mapped out how wood could replace petroleum in the chemical industry. They not only looked at the technological requirements, but also whether that scenario would be financially viable. A shift from petroleum to wood would lead to a reduction in CO2 […]

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Policy & Policymakers

Nebraska governor writes to American automakers asking them to design vehicles that run on higher ethanol blends

Nebraska governor writes to American automakers asking them to design vehicles that run on higher ethanol blends

February 25, 2020 |

In Nebraska, Governor Pete Ricketts sent a letter to American automakers Fiat Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors, urging them to increase production of passenger vehicles designed to run on higher ethanol blends, such as E20, E30, E40, and E85. “If leading U.S. automobile companies take the bold action to design cars to run on higher […]

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Ernst and Grassley call on IRS to hurry up biodiesel tax credit claims processing

Ernst and Grassley call on IRS to hurry up biodiesel tax credit claims processing

February 24, 2020 |

In Washington, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) and her colleague Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), fought hard to include the biodiesel tax credit in the year-end funding package last year. Now, the two Iowa senators are calling on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to promptly process 2018-2019 biodiesel tax credit claims. In a letter to IRS […]

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Indonesia prepares for battle in Switzerland over RED and palm oil

Indonesia prepares for battle in Switzerland over RED and palm oil

February 23, 2020 |

In Switzerland, Indonesia and the EU met in Geneva last week for a WTO consultation over the revised Renewable Energy Directive (RED). The Palm Oil Monitor reports that the meeting is the culmination of a months-long public battle of words over the introduction of the measure and that the WTO consultations, are where the action […]

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USDA announces innovation agenda with eye on 30% biofuels for 2050

USDA announces innovation agenda with eye on 30% biofuels for 2050

February 20, 2020 |

In Washington, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the Agriculture Innovation Agenda, a department-wide initiative to align resources, programs, and research to position American agriculture to better meet future global demands. Specifically, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will stimulate innovation so that American agriculture can achieve the goal of increasing production by 40 […]

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Push to tie up India-US trade deal including DDGS access ahead of Trump visit

Push to tie up India-US trade deal including DDGS access ahead of Trump visit

February 19, 2020 |

In India, Bloomberg reports that ahead of US President Trump’s official state visit to New Delhi next week, the two countries are trying to tie up a long-delayed trade agreement that looks to include lowering of duties on Indian imports of some agricultural products, among them dried distillers grains and solubles. The two sides tried […]

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Other Recent Articles

Open-source simulation software package under development to analyze bioproduct viability

Open-source simulation software package under development to analyze bioproduct viability

February 25, 2020 |

In Illinois, perennial grasses can be converted into everything from ethanol to bioplastics, but it’s unclear which bioproducts hold the greatest potential. BioSTEAM, a new open-source simulation software package in Python developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, gives scientists, engineers, biotechnology companies, and funding agencies a fast, flexible tool to analyze […]

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USDA’s 30 Year Vision – No Need to Wander Like Moses

USDA’s 30 Year Vision – No Need to Wander Like Moses

February 25, 2020 |

By Douglas Durante, Executive Director of the Clean Fuels Development Coalition Special to The Digest As the U.S. biofuels industry struggles to regain the luster it had during the golden years of phenomenal growth, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) came out recently with a puzzling claim of a “bold new vision” for agriculture and […]

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Södra’s first pilot delivery of biomethanol goes to Danish biodiesel producer

Södra’s first pilot delivery of biomethanol goes to Danish biodiesel producer

February 24, 2020 |

In Sweden, Södra has built the world’s first plant for commercial biomethanol, a sustainable fuel from forest biomass, at Södra’s pulp mill in Mönsterås. Over the next few days, a first pilot delivery will go to Emmelev A/S, a customer that will be using biomethanol in its biodiesel production. Emmelev A/S is a Danish family-owned […]

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EQTEC to upgrade University of Extremadura’s syngas R&D facility

EQTEC to upgrade University of Extremadura’s syngas R&D facility

February 24, 2020 |

In Spain, EQTEC announced that the group has been awarded a contract for the upgrade of the existing syngas research and development facility at the University of Extremadura in Badajoz, Spain. The award of the Upgrade Contract follows a successful funding application by the University to the European Regional Development Fund (‘ERDF’) to secure funding […]

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Volvo CE switches to HVO for demonstration machines in Sweden

Volvo CE switches to HVO for demonstration machines in Sweden

February 24, 2020 |

In Sweden, Volvo CE Customer Center in Eskilstuna is paving the way for a sustainable future by running its demonstration machines on HVO. Using HVO means that Volvo can significantly reduce its CO2 emissions at the Customer Center, as well as demonstrating to guests how well the fuel works in practice. A key aspect of why […]

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Port of Rotterdam sees major jump in green bunkering demand in 2019

Port of Rotterdam sees major jump in green bunkering demand in 2019

February 24, 2020 |

In the Netherlands, the Port of Rotterdam reported that the first time, the sale of biofuel bunkers – bunker fuel to which a certain percentage of biofuel has been added – is clearly visible in its annual sales figures. Throughout 2019, 2% of sales of fuel oil and 0.5% of distillates (MGO – gas oil […]

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