Biofuels Digest The world's most widely-read advanced bioeconomy daily Thu, 17 Sep 2020 22:26:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Competitive Edge: ChainCraft’s technology converts waste into medium chain fatty acids Thu, 17 Sep 2020 22:26:08 +0000

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?

Three key needs were the basis behind development of ChainCraft:


  1. Valorization of organic waste streams. Food waste is estimated to cause an economic loss of 1 trillion USD annually {Lux Research, 2020}. Furthermore, only 16% of biowaste in Europe is to an extent re-used, much of which is converted to biogas, an imperfect and currently not profitable solution {BIC & Zero Waste Europe, 2020}. We developed a solution to use this feedstock for products of higher environmental and economic value.


  1. More sustainable supply of medium chain fatty acids (MCFA). MCFA of chain length C4 up to C8 are typically produced from petroleum or palm kernel oil. Both feedstock processes result in many environmental problems, including high carbon footprint and risk of land use change by deforestation. We felt the need for more sustainable supply of these MCFA.


  1. Low availability and high prices of the C6 MCFA (caproic acid), which has substantial added value for various applications.

Q: Tell us about your organization. What do you do?

We develop biobased chemicals from organic waste streams by use of biotechnology. Current commercial examples are our Medium Chain Fatty Acid products from food residues. Our product is a mixture of the C2 up to C8 linear fatty acids, unique in its high concentration of caproic acid (C6) and butyric acid (C4). For the coming years we plan to add fractionation and derivatization to our production processes.

The production process of our MCFA’s is based on mixed open culture fermentation and chain elongation. Please contact us in case you are interested in hearing more about this. Furthermore, we have various other projects in the pipeline, all driven by biotechnology, organic waste stream valorization and market needs for more sustainable solutions.

Q: What stage of development are you?  Choose one:

Commercial stage – have mature products or services on the market.

Q: What do your technologies, products or services do and accomplish – how does it (they) work, who is it (they) aimed for?

Our production process is all about natural (non-GMO) fermentation. It resembles the situation in your stomach, where a mixture of microorganisms is helping you digest all type of foodstuff. We have found the optimal conditions for our process to yield an attractive mixture of fatty acids. This exact mixture of fatty acids provides great benefits to livestock farmers in terms of gut health and productivity improvement of their animals, when added to the feed in dosages of 0.2-0.5% weight. The mixture also holds value for other industries, for instance in agrochemicals, plasticizer and food applications. Naturally, the fractionated and derivatized products will open up even more new markets for our technology in the future.

Q: Competitively, what gives your technology, product or service set an edge in cost or performance, sustainability, or any other aspect, that makes it stand out from the crowd, In short, what makes it transformative?

The cost advantage we can provide our customers is based on 2 elements: low-cost feedstock and efficient process technology.

Our feedstock comes from other organizations, which often have to pay a gate-fee to dispose it. Therefore, we can create value with these partners and are able to source constantly at low cost. Availability is not a concern as the annual volume of organic residual waste in Europe alone is estimated at 60 mln tons {BIC & Zero Waste Europe, 2020}.

Our technology is resilient and low-cost as we utilize a non-GMO, open/mixed culture fermentation at mild process conditions. Therefore, there is less need to sterilize our equipment and our process is less sensitive compared to single culture fermentations.

Besides these cost advantages, our process is substantially more sustainable compared to current production processes of MCFA’s as our carbon footprint and energy need is lower and there is no risk of land use change effects.

Q: What are the 3 top milestones you have accomplished in the past 3 years?

  1. Successful commissioning and start-up of our 2,000 tons/year MCFA plant in the Port of Amsterdam in 2019.
  2. Successful introduction of our unique MCFA based product in the animal feed market.
  3. Development of novel applications for our MCFA portfolio in cooperation with various partners.

Q: What are the 3 top milestones you will accomplish in the next 3 years?

  1. Increasing utilization of our MCFA plant to 100%.
  2. Engineering and construction of our flagship plant, ~10x the size of our current facility.
  3. Launching our MCFA based products in various other markets.


  1. Where can I learn more about ChainCraft?


Click here to visit ChainCraft’s website.

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.

CO2 Solutions and Implications for Biofuels: The Digest’s 2020 Multi-Slide Guide to E100 Ethanol Group Thu, 17 Sep 2020 18:16:45 +0000

CO2 levels are a problem. But why is this important? What does it have to do with bankruptcy and food security? What is a proposed solution and how would it impact the biofuels industry? Could we even really do it?

Don Siefkes, Executive Director of the E100 Ethanol Group, shared this illuminating presentation that tackles some of these questions, talks about gasoline as largest emitter of new CO2, what biofuels leadership can do, and more.