Meghan Sapp – Biofuels Digest The world's most widely-read advanced bioeconomy daily Thu, 17 Sep 2020 22:15:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Novozymes launches Fiberex corn fiber-to-ethanol platform Thu, 17 Sep 2020 22:15:07 +0000

In Denmark, Novozymes announced the launch of Fiberex, a comprehensive platform based on novel enzymes and yeast strains to convert corn fiber into ethanol. Fiberex is specifically aimed at breaking down tough fibers in the corn, providing producers with greater operational flexibility. The technology converts a low-value by-product into high-value, low-carbon fuel while also enabling the production of significantly more corn oil.

The cellulose is rigid and partially crystalline in form while the hemicellulose is highly branched and amorphous. Novozymes’ Fiberex enzymes are specifically designed to break down this complex matrix – resulting in more corn oil and converting the fiber into simple sugars that are easily converted into ethanol.

As part of the platform announcement, Novozymes is also launching the first Fiberex products: Fiberex R1, a technology specifically designed to provide maximum ethanol in separate fiber-to-ethanol processes, and Fiberex F1, a cellulase enzyme designed to provide fiber conversion for in-process technologies. Additional solutions, to launch in 2021, are in proof-of-concept trials now.

Construction at $33M Ohio RNG project launched Thu, 17 Sep 2020 22:14:11 +0000

In New York state, Fortistar and Rumpke Waste & Recycling announced commencement of construction of the Noble Road Landfill Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) Project, a $33 million transportation decarbonization project in Shiloh, Ohio.

The project will extract and capture waste methane from the Noble Road landfill in Ohio and transform it into Renewable Natural Gas (RNG). The RNG will be distributed through a key partner, Chesapeake Utilities Corporation affiliate Aspire Energy’s pipelines. The fuel will be dispensed in fueling stations for natural gas vehicles via Trustar Energy, a Fortistar portfolio company.

The Noble Road Project will capture 20,323 tons of methane emissions, the equivalent of 49,940 tons of carbon dioxide, per year and produce RNG. Instead of simply flaring or burning the methane, the naturally occurring gas will generate sustainable energy and jobs in the community. It will produce 6.9 million gallons of gasoline gallon equivalents (GGE) per year, which is enough to fuel 725 biofuel trucks—displacing diesel fuel for those vehicles—and creating approximately 35 to 40 construction jobs and three permanent green operations jobs to ensure the ongoing production of this sustainable energy source.

ACE launches Flex Check E15 tool for fuel marketers Thu, 17 Sep 2020 22:12:54 +0000

In South Dakota, the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) launched a tool on its fuel-marketer focused website to provide retailers with a free way to check if their equipment is already E15 compatible. Available 24/7, the “Flex Check” E15 compatibility tool will arm retailers with the confidence and information they need to make a conversion all in one place.

With USDA set to announce Higher Blend Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) grant recipients any day now, ACE’s focus turns to marketers who have fueling equipment already E15 compatible but may not be aware of that fact.

The Flex Check compatibility tool uses National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) studies and ACE’s research with equipment companies to give retailers a place to enter the manufacturer or model of tanks, piping, and other equipment they have on site, and find out if they are already E15 compatible.

LanzaTech eyeing two possible additional spin-offs Thu, 17 Sep 2020 22:11:47 +0000

In New Zealand, TechCrunch reports that LanzaTech’s CEO expects to spin out two additional businesses in the future following the June spin-off of its technology to produce aviation biofuel. One of the future spin-offs is likely to focus on synthetic biology to produce biomaterials for automobile interiors, as an example. The other would look to use its “skinny bacteria” that is a byproduct of its current technology producing ethanol from waste gases to sell the protein that makes up most of the bacteria. No timeline was announced for either spin-off, however.

Gulfstream extends SAF contract with World Fuel Services Thu, 17 Sep 2020 22:10:46 +0000

In Georgia, Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. announced it has extended its contract with World Fuel Services to continue providing the business-jet manufacturer with a steady supply of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) produced by World Energy.

This contract extends Gulfstream’s original multiyear purchase agreement, which was the first of its kind in business aviation when it was signed in 2015. Since March 2016, Gulfstream has used SAF for its Savannah-based fleet, which comprises corporate, demonstration, completion, Customer Support and flight test aircraft. The company has made more than 650 flights with an SAF-JET A fuel blend, flying more than 1.3 million nautical miles and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 1,700 metric tons.

Bioenergy Australia welcomes new federal $1.18B funding for ARENA Thu, 17 Sep 2020 22:09:18 +0000

In Australia, Bioenergy Australia welcomes the Federal Government announcement for investment in new and emerging technologies, including A$1.62 billion (US$1.18 billion) for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), and the expansion focus of ARENA and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to back new technologies that will cut emissions in agriculture, manufacturing, industry and transport. Bioenergy Australia’s CEO said the Federal Government’s commitment to a new A$74.5 million Future Fuels Fund, which includes hydrogen, electric, and bio-fueled vehicles, is hugely positive to see.

Researchers strengthen natural fiber-reinforced plastics Thu, 17 Sep 2020 22:08:23 +0000

In Germany, natural fiber-reinforced plastics (NFRP) become more resilient when the natural fibers are encased in a special coating. This has been determined by researchers at the Fraunhofer WKI. Through the application of a resin layer and pressing to form a composite material, the NFRP exhibit improved mechanical, thermal and hygric properties and greater chemical stability. In the future, NFRP can consequently be utilized in considerably expanded areas of application, for example in the interior of vehicles.

Until now, standard thermoplastics such as polyethylene and polypropylene, which are suitable for utilization and processing at low temperatures, have been used in the production of NFRP. In collaboration with the University of Guelph in Canada, the researchers at the Fraunhofer WKI have taken technical thermoplastics made from polyamide and combined them with coated natural fibers to create novel NFRP. The NFRP exhibit enhanced mechanical properties and better chemical and thermal resistance. Through the application of a protective layer comprised of a thermosetting polymer on natural fibers, processing at temperatures of over 200 °C can be achieved. The protective layer forms a thermal barrier and prevents thermal degradation at higher processing temperatures. As a result, the resilience of the natural fibers is improved. The coated natural fibers were subsequently integrated by the scientists into chemically and thermally higher-melting polyamide by means of hot pressing.

Trump looks at USDA-funded $300M small refinery bailout plan Thu, 17 Sep 2020 22:07:10 +0000

In Washington, Reuters reports that in response to the Environmental Protection Agency rejecting the pending “gap-year” requests through 2018, President Trump is looking at a potential $300 million bailout for refineries denied SREs for 2019 even though the EPA hasn’t yet announced which of those requests will be rejected. The idea of the USDA funded bailout did not please the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers who want to see the Renewable Fuel Standard reformed rather than piecemeal payoffs.

Cooking oil futures supported by increased online shopping deliveries Wed, 16 Sep 2020 23:58:51 +0000

In Illinois, Bloomberg reports cooking oil futures have been supported since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic by increased demand for online shopping delivery in light of scarce UCO due to fewer restaurants remaining open and lower animal tallow supplies due to challenges at meatpacking plants. Biodiesel production is expected to increase by 3%, according to USDA estimates, with increased blending for truck transport seen as the main driver. On the other hand, ethanol production and consumption have been hit hard by the pandemic.

ECB signs contract with government for Paraguayan Omega Green project Wed, 16 Sep 2020 23:57:46 +0000

In Brazil, Brazilian businessman Erasmo Carlos Battistella, president of ECB Paraguay, an ECB Group company, signed a contract with the government of Paraguay that authorizes a Free Zone regime for the Omega Green project, an advanced biofuel plant in the district of Villeta, on the banks of the Paraguay River. The contract was signed on September 11 by three Paraguayan ministers of State: Finance, Benigno Lopez, Industry and Commerce, Liz Cramer, and Public Works and Communication, Arnoldo Wiens Durksen. The installation of the Free Zone was authorized by Presidential Decree No. 3269, of the President of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benítez, signed on January 20, 2020.

The engineering project is estimated to be completed by the end of the year, which allows maintaining the forecast of compliance with the schedule with the start of works for the beginning of next year, following the global recovery of the economy, with an estimated execution time of 30 months.

Launched in February 2019, the Omega Green project contemplates the construction of the first advanced biofuel plant in the Southern Hemisphere. The Villeta region has a strategic position, as it is a port and industrial district, just 45 kilometers from Asunción. It will produce HVO green diesel, an acronym in English for hydrotreated vegetable oil, renewable aviation kerosene, or SPK, in English, and Naphtha Verde, which is used in the chemical industry to manufacture green plastic and other sustainable products. HVO and SPK are biofuels that emit less greenhouse gases than fossil diesel.

Barclays and UBS banks are responsible for the financial structuring of  $800 million project. Among the project’s suppliers is Honeywell UOP, holder of UOP Renewable Jet Fuel Process ™ renewable fuel refining technology, Crown Iron Works, an American technology company that produces advanced biofuels from the processing of vegetable fats and non-animal fats edible, and Acciona, a Spanish company that is among the largest in the world in the area of engineering and construction.