Biofuels Digest The world's most widely-read advanced bioeconomy daily Thu, 03 Dec 2020 23:18:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Altair Paramount seeking fuel pathway approvals from CARB Thu, 03 Dec 2020 23:18:07 +0000

In California, Altair Paramount, LLC has applied for fuel pathways for renewable diesel, renewable naphtha and renewable jet fuels derived from rendered animal fat feedstock and processed at their facility in Paramount, California. Altair sources rendered inedible animal fat from an integrated meatpacking and rendering facility owned by JBS in Hyrum, Utah who is a joint applicant with Altair.

Staff has reviewed the application and has replicated the CI values calculated by the applicant using the modified version of the Tier 1 Simplified CI Calculator for Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel as well as the modified CA-GREET3.0 model. On the basis of this finding, CARB staff recommends that this application for a LCFS Tier 2 pathway stated in above table be posted for public comments as detailed in Section 95488.7(d)(5). After close of the public comment period, the applicant shall be required to address any substantive comments as determined by the Executive Officer. Any changes required based on comments received will be the responsibility of the applicant. Only after the Executive Officer has deemed responses to comments to be satisfactory, shall this pathway be deemed eligible for certification.

Concerns over potential deforestation resulting from French Guiana biofuel push Thu, 03 Dec 2020 23:17:18 +0000

In French Guiana, MongaBay reports BiofuelWatch and local environmentalists are concerned about potentially significant environmental damage to the country’s portion of the Amazon rainforest due to plans for soy oil-based bioenergy production to power the Latin American French overseas department. The French government has been investigating for the past two years how to upgrade the department’s aging energy infrastructure with several bioenergy facilities as the key choice. The largest planned facility would require up to 140,000 metric tons of soy annually, representing up to 892 square miles of land in a country with limited arable land and 98% forest cover.

Importers worried as Indonesia looks to raise palm oil levies to fund biodiesel mandate Thu, 03 Dec 2020 23:16:09 +0000

In Indonesia, Reuters reports there are concerns that planned increased to palm oil export levies to boost funding for its biodiesel blending program would in turn cut demand for the vegetable oil whose prices have been strengthening recently. At the moment levies are set at $55 per metric ton but a new sliding scale is proposed that would go as high as $255/ton, depending on the price of crude palm oil. The price spread between fossil fuel and palm oil is currently $400 per ton. 

Ethanol production slips during Thanksgiving holiday Thu, 03 Dec 2020 23:15:06 +0000

In Washington, Brownfield Ag News reports Energy Information Administration data shows production slipped slightly last week due to the Thanksgiving holiday and continued impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic to an average of 974,000 barrels. The figure was 16,000 barrels lower than the week prior and 86,000 barrels from a year ago. Stocks continue to build as blending levels remain low due to the pandemic’s impact on car journeys, reaching the highest stock level seen since mid-June at 21.24 million barrels. 

Maharashtra sugar mills plan to divert enough juice to ethanol to avoid sugar surplus Thu, 03 Dec 2020 23:14:08 +0000

In India, the Economic Times reports Maharashtra sugar mills are wasting no time to take advantage of the government’s deregulation of ethanol feedstock, aiming to divert as much sugarcane juice to fuel as possible to limit the possibility of an unwieldy sugar surplus. Oil marketing companies recently tendered for 3.5 billion liters of ethanol for blending with gasoline, with sugar mills offering 3.22 billion liters of supplies. How much ethanol Maharashtra plans to supply wasn’t reported nor how much of the sugarcane crushed by the 149 sugar mills that have already begun crushing this season will be diverted to ethanol.

Australian engineer looks to develop farmer-owned biodiesel plants across the country Thu, 03 Dec 2020 23:13:06 +0000

In Australia, Farm Online reports that an engineer-cum-entrepreneur has so far signed on 13 oilseed farmers in to his plans to develop farmer-owned biodiesel production facilities around the country. The idea is to pay farmers for part of their oilseed while in turn they receive biodiesel for their machinery and other fuel needs. His project Seed-2-Diesel aims to have the first replicable facility up and running in the next two years. He’s currently preparing to launch a crowdfunding campaign to secure the required equity. 

Researchers show how bacterial control the chemicals produced from consuming “food” Thu, 03 Dec 2020 23:12:05 +0000

In California, a new study reveals how bacteria control the chemicals produced from consuming ‘food.’ The insight could lead to organisms that are more efficient at converting plants into biofuels. 

The study, authored by scientists at UC Riverside and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, has been published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

In the article, the authors describe mathematical and computational modeling, artificial intelligence algorithms and experiments showing that cells have failsafe mechanisms preventing them from producing too many metabolic intermediates.

Advanced Biofuels Coalition calls on European Commission to stand behind biofuels Thu, 03 Dec 2020 23:10:56 +0000

In Belgium, a coalition of nearly 40 associations and producer companies have sent a joint letter to the European Commission asking it to recognize and include the renewable fuel dimension in the revision of the CO2 emissions standard regulation for vehicles. 

This recommendation aligns with the following principles, crucial to achieve a carbon neutral road transport sector in Europe:

Technology and fuel diversity towards 2050 – With increased climate targets there is added urgency for transport to accelerate its path towards net-zero emissions. To facilitate this acceleration, a broad portfolio of solutions is necessary to support the full spectrum of geographic, economic and vocational market demands. Considering the lack of a “one-size-fits-all solution”, it is imperative that all low carbon options, including alternative and renewable fuels, play a role in the energy transition not only on the existing fleet but also for new vehicles to curb the GHG emissions from the road transport sector across all the EU countries.

Coupling the efforts for the expansion of the sustainable renewable fuels market with further improvement of vehicle efficiency – Despite gains in fuel efficiency, increased demand for personal mobility and freight transport have led to increased CO2 emissions from road transport. It is necessary to leverage all available solutions to reverse this trend and accelerate the decarbonization of the sector. Accelerating the production of sustainable renewable fuels, accompanied by continued development of a range of new vehicles optimized for these fuels, can have a climate-positive impact today via the existing and future vehicle fleet for both passenger cars and heavy-duty vehicles.

Enabling a competitive, sustainable market till 2050 – Many publications1,2 have shown that relying on full electrification alone will not result in climate neutrality in 2050. Products and solutions need to be placed according to their mission profile, where they are more necessary and accommodating the market demand. Conventional fuels and engine technologies provide a stream of revenues for vehicle manufacturers that can continuously be invested into alternative powertrains and solutions, according to the mission segment. As global players, vehicle manufacturers will maintain a central role in delivering innovative products, also in other parts of the world.

Integrating a growing rate of renewables in the market to practice the circular economy while seizing industrial opportunities – Sustainable renewable fuels technologies offer sectorial integration with the waste management and the agricultural sectors. This enables a clever approach to treat waste materials, which would have otherwise been disposed with the consequent emissions, while producing sustainable energy and, at the same time, high quality by-products like bio-fertilizer. This is a landmark example of circular economy targeting emissions in agriculture and waste. At the same time, the production of sustainable renewable fuel technologies involves a long value-chain, from renewable energy systems to components, taking place mostly in Europe. Sustainable renewable fuels value chain can contribute to create many new jobs and to maintain industrial leadership, while strengthening the cooperation with third-countries on innovative energy projects to speed up the energy transition.

System affordability – It is key to avert mobility poverty and to avoid a two-speed Europe while heading towards a carbon neutral mobility system. Being based on proven engine technologies and an already structured distribution network, sustainable renewable fuels are the most cost-efficient way to contribute to the decarbonization process at the lowest possible cost to society. Besides the cost in relation to emission reductions, it is important to consider the impact on industrial competitiveness, innovation, affordability, and employment to ensure a fair transition for all European citizens.

Microbioreactors for Fermentation Optimization: The Digest’s 2020 Multi-Slide Guide to m2p-labs Thu, 03 Dec 2020 23:09:13 +0000

If you missed ABLC this summer, check out this illuminating slide guide from Jeff Thornton at m2p-labs where he shares how microbioreactors can be used to de-risk larger scale, more expensive systems, increase throughput data density at low cost which can help you modify high risk experiments and make them low risk at scale, and more.

Emissions-to-feed protein production, fermentation animal-free cheese, greener medical gloves, and more: The Digest’s Top 8 Innovations for the week of December 4th Thu, 03 Dec 2020 14:41:09 +0000

This week is filled with ‘Gouda ideas’ like San Francisco animal-free cheesemaker that uses precision fermentation to produce casein, a protein present in cow’s milk, or cell-based meat company that developed cultivated chicken mince that it hopes will address both an increasing appetite for chicken and concerns for the environmental impact of meat consumption.

In today’s Digest, we also look at an emissions-to-feed company’s new production facility to make protein for fish and animal feed from carbon dioxide emissions, KFC Canada switching to bamboo, corn and sugarcane bases cutlery, a medical glove maker developing greener option as pandemic rages, and more.