Biofuels Digest The world's most widely-read advanced bioeconomy daily Sun, 12 Jul 2020 21:25:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 5 Ways to Reduce Costs in Integrated Biorefineries: The Digest’s 2020 Multi-Slide Guide to Enabling Lower-Cost Biofuels Sun, 12 Jul 2020 21:25:22 +0000

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) just released a new report that outlines five specific, yet broadly applicable, areas of focus to reduce costs in an integrated biorefinery. This analysis builds upon ongoing R&D strategies to lower the minimum fuel selling price of biofuels to approach $2 per gasoline gallon equivalent, making it cost competitive with other liquid fuels.

Get the high-level research needs across the biofuel supply chain, including biomass production and collection, preprocessing, conversion, end use, and more in this just released slide guide.

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Scientists develop pilot scale pyrolysis tech for producing biofuel from wastes Sun, 12 Jul 2020 15:19:25 +0000

In India, The Daily Pioneer reports that scientists from Odia and Sardar Patel Renewable Energy Research Institute designed and developed a new pyrolysis plant to produce biofuels from saw-dust and agro residues.

A team led by Odia Scientist Dr. Karmee has demonstrated that biomass can be successfully converted into biofuels using both batch and pilot scale system. The newly developed pilot system has important industrial significance since it can operate at 15 kg/hr scale.

The plant was designed by the team at the Sardar Patel Renewable Energy Research Institute, Anand (Gujarat).

Bustos secures agriculture wins for rural America in $152B appropriations bill Sun, 12 Jul 2020 15:17:35 +0000

In Illinois, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL) helped pass a comprehensive Agriculture and Rural Development funding bill out of the powerful House Appropriations Committee that would deliver more than $152 billion in agriculture and rural support, including bolstering biofuels.

Congresswoman Bustos successfully secured a number of provisions for Illinois and rural America including:

  • Bolstering the use of biofuels to reduce emissions, by encouraging the USDA to work with the Environmental Protection Agency to update the Motor Vehicle Emissions Simulator (MOVES) system, which is used to estimate emissions for mobile sources of air pollutants, greenhouse gases and air toxins.
  • Provisions from Congresswoman Bustos’ America Grows Act that will support USDA research.
  • A future plan to incentivize the next generation of digitally sophisticated agricultural extension programs, through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the USDA will develop a framework to encourage schools to develop more advanced agricultural programs, which would help the University of Illinois’ Extension program.
  • Mental health support for farmers and ranchers, through a USDA study on farmer and rancher mental and behavioral health support, in coordination with the Rural Health Liaison, a position established last year, thanks to Congresswoman Bustos’ efforts.

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said, “We are thrilled to see language calling for the long-overdue update to the MOVES model in this year’s agriculture appropriations report and are grateful for the efforts of Congresswoman Bustos to secure this provision. Currently, the MOVES model uses flawed data that can stifle and unnecessarily penalize higher biofuel blends. It’s important that USDA and EPA share the most updated data and science, so that any updates to EPA’s MOVES model capture the full air quality benefits of cleaner biofuel blends. Biofuels are a cleaner burning, more affordable fuel designed to help combat pollution and reduce the harmful emissions in the air we breathe, and having a MOVES model that better reflects the real-world benefits of higher ethanol blends paves the way for greater access for American drivers.”

Feedstock-Conversion Interface Consortium Launches New Website Sun, 12 Jul 2020 15:15:37 +0000

In Washington, D.C., the Feedstock-Conversion Interface Consortium released their revamped website which features renovated content describing the FCIC’s eight main research areas. Each research area will enable the consortium to help biorefinery developers understand and mitigate biomass feedstock and process variability.

The FCIC develops science-based knowledge and tools to help biorefinery developers understand and mitigate biomass feedstock and process variability and their impacts on conversion performance and product quality across the biomass value chain. The goal of the consortium is to increase the chance of successful startup and operation of pioneer biorefineries.

New website features include:

  • Updated information about the consortium’s “quality by design” approach and revised scope
  • Details and links to capabilities and facilities of National Lab partners
  • A searchable and sortable publications database.


Maine Governor supports newly instated renewable chemicals tax credit Sun, 12 Jul 2020 15:14:17 +0000

In Maine, Governor Janet T. Mills released a letter about the newly instated renewable chemicals tax credit, saying “Maine boasts the most competitive renewable chemical tax credit in the nation” and COVID-19 “has also provided an opportunity to pause and reflect on our current systems, and to carve a path forward that supports growth and that puts people first while supporting energy and climate goals.”

The letter notes:

“At $0.08 per pound of renewable chemicals produced, this tax credit is competitive with existing renewable chemicals legislation, and reinstates a biofuel production tax credit at $0.05 per gallon. Our Pine Tree Development Zone program offers a tax credit for up to ten years when businesses create new, quality jobs in certain sectors, or move existing jobs in those sectors to Maine. And Maine is home to 32 Opportunity Zones, a community investment tool established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to encourage long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities.”

Download the full letter here.

Biomass can meet one-third of Turkey’s annual power needs Sun, 12 Jul 2020 15:12:53 +0000

In Turkey, Anadolu Agency reports that biomass energy has the potential to meet almost one-third of Turkey’s yearly electricity consumption, according to Professor Günnur Koçar, the manager of Ege University Biomass Energy Systems and Technologies Application and Research Center (BESTMER).

The Izmir-based energy company will help utilize this potential, she said. Speaking exclusively to AA, Koçar said biomass has a lot to offer Turkey as it can produce biogas, which can be used in the energy sector specifically to produce electricity.

A Biomass Energy Potential Assessment (BEPA) 2020 study showed that since Turkey has approximately 17 million cattle, it could procure almost 120 million tons of waste per annum, Koçar said.

She added that when this waste potential is fully utilized – although this is currently not practically possible – biogas production, equivalent to nearly 4% of Turkey’s annual natural gas production, is achievable in theory.

“When a variety of biomass sources are taken into accounts, such as agricultural and municipal waste along with cattle and poultry waste, biomass offers very high potential to meet one-third of Turkey’s annual electricity consumption,” she said.

Ethanol weekly production up 1.6%, but still down compared to same week in 2019 Sun, 12 Jul 2020 15:11:45 +0000

In Washington, D.C., ethanol production increased 1.6%, or 14,000 barrels per day (b/d), to 914,000 b/d—equivalent to 38.39 million gallons daily, according to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending July 3. Production remains tempered due to COVID-19 disruptions, coming in 12.7% below the same week in 2019.

The four-week average ethanol production rate rose 2.2% to 887,000 b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 13.60 billion gallons.

Ethanol stocks bounced higher for the first time in eleven weeks, expanding 2.3% to 20.6 million barrels and 10.4% below year-ago volumes. Inventories grew across all regions except the East Coast (PADD 1).

The volume of gasoline supplied to the U.S. market, a measure of implied demand, grew 2.4% to 8.766 million b/d (134.38 bg annualized). Gasoline demand was 10.1% lower than a year ago.

Refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol improved, up 2.5% to 850,000 b/d, equivalent to 13.03 bg annualized and 9.9% below the year-earlier level.

Imports of ethanol arriving into the West Coast were 36,000 b/d, or 10.58 million gallons for the week. This marks the first imports since the start of March, or seventeen weeks. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of May 2020.)

Two missing, two injured in south China biofuel plant blast Sun, 12 Jul 2020 15:10:38 +0000

In China, Reuters reports that two people were missing and two injured after an explosion on Sunday at a biofuel plant in China’s Fujian province. Longyan Zhuoyue New Energy processes gutter oil into biodiesel.

The blast occurred around 10:10 a.m. (0210 GMT) at Longyan Zhuoyue New Energy Co Ltd, a Shanghai-listed biofuel producer based in the southern city of Longyan, as workers were doing maintenance, CCTV said.

Video on state television showed thick dark smoke bellowing into the sky. The fire was continuing as of 0600 GMT Sunday, as more than 100 firefighters were dispatched to the site and nearby residents had been evacuated, CCTV said.

LanzaTech, White Dog Labs, others chosen by U.S. Dept. of Energy for 8 bioprojects totaling over $5M Sun, 12 Jul 2020 15:09:51 +0000

In Washington, D.C., the U.S. Department of Energy selected eight projects totaling over $5 million to conduct research and development needed to accelerate the U.S. biomanufacturing sector, including projects from C16 Biosciences, LanzaTech, White Dog Labs, Invaio and others.

DOE has selected the following projects:

  • C16 Biosciences, of New York, NY, will work with Pacific Northwest and Sandia National Laboratories to engineer fatty acid synthesis in Rhodosporidium toruloides to produce sustainable replacements for palm oil.
  • Clemson University, of Clemson, SC, will address common challenges in the reliability of industrial yeast fermentation, important for a wide range of products.
  • LanzaTech, of Skokie, IL, will advance the field of synthetic biology by building solutions to more efficiently and quickly engineer production hosts at a reduced cost.
  • White Dog Labs, of New Castle, DE, will elucidate the specific changes microbes undergo during the continuous, cell-retention process, using the isopropanol-producing strain, Clostridium ljungdahlii, as a model system.
  • Kalion, Inc, of Milton, MA, will use machine learning and artificial intelligence to lower growth media production costs, increase productivity, and increase the overall commercial feasibility of biomanufacturing, with glucaric acid production as their model.
  • Danimer Scientific, of Bainbridge, GA, will use ABF’s Learn tools and systems’ biology capabilities to produce tunable combinations of polyhydroxyalkanoates with different chain lengths, enabling new biodegradable plastics with novel properties.
  • Invaio, of Cambridge, MA, will develop an efficient bioprocess for the industrial production of an antimicrobial peptide, which could prove revolutionary for agriculture and add to ABF’s core capabilities.
  • Enduro Genetics, Inc, of Copenhagen, Denmark, will use its “product addiction” technology in industrial host organisms to demonstrate its ability to agnostically improve product titer, rate, and yield.


Part of the Agile BioFoundry (ABF) consortium, these projects will leverage National Laboratory capabilities to address challenges in biomanufacturing.

Each of the ABF Directed Funding Opportunity awardees will be invited to collaborate with National Lab research facilities to conduct their proposed research. Seed awards provide up to $500,000 in DOE funds to the labs for up to two years. Full awards are up to $2,000,000 and three years. This assistance by the National Laboratories will aim to develop novel microbial hosts and bioproducts, use cutting-edge artificial intelligence and machine learning in synthetic biology, and address the problem of production heterogeneity in industrial microbiology. Each of the awardees has committed to a minimum 20% cost-share contribution.