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Neste Project Slashes Palm Oil Mill Methane Emissions (Int'l)
Date: 2018-03-09
According to a Helsinki-headquartered Neste release, Neste has long been exploring ways to reduce greenhouse gas emission from palm oil production.

In 2015, the company initiated a two-year study project to verify the methane emission reduction for a newly applied effluent treatment method. The project, which was conducted by Meo Carbon Solutions in Indonesian palm oil mills in collaboration with Dutch palm oil company KLK. The project used a belt filter press to remove organic matter such as degrading parts of the oil palm fruit in the mill effluent, the source of the methane emissions. The Neste-lead project verified 50 pct reduction in methane emissions at palm oil mills, as validated by Neste.

In Indonesia and Malaysia, approximately 70 pct of palm oil is produced without methane reduction methods. If all the producers in these countries were to adopt the studied new method, greenhouse gases would be reduced by approximately 4.5 million tpy, better than the 50 pct greenhouse gas emission reduction requirement defined in the Renewable Energy Directive (EU RED) for all biofuels, according to the Neste release. (Source: Neste Oyj, PR, 2 Mar., 2018) Contact: Neste, Annamari Enstrom, Senior Researcher, +358 10 458 7658, annamari.enstrom(@),

More Low-Carbon Energy News Neste,  Palm Oil,  Methane,  GHGs,  Methane Emissions,  

ExxonMobil, Synthetic Genomics Tout Algae Biofuels R&D (R&D)
Synthetic Genomics ,ExxonMobil
Date: 2018-03-09
Following up on our June 21, 2017 coverage, Houston-headquartered oil giant ExxonMobil and Synthetic Genomics Inc. are reporting an outdoor field study that will grow naturally occurring algae in several contained ponds in California. The research will enable the partners to better to understand fundamental engineering parameters including viscosity and flow, which cannot easily be replicated in a lab. The joint research program could lead to the technical ability to produce 10,000 bpd of algae biofuel by 2025.

In 2017, ExxonMobil and Synthetic Genomics announced breakthrough research published in Nature Biotechnology that resulted in a modified algae strain that more than doubled oil content without significantly inhibiting growth, a key challenge along the path to commercial scalability. (Source: ExxonMobil, PR, 6 Mar., 2018) Contact: Synthetic Genomics, Oliver Fetzer, CEO,; ExxonMobil, Vijay Swarup, VP, R&D, (972) 444-1107,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Algae,  Algal Fuels,  Biofuel,  ExxonMobil,  Synthetic Genomics ,  

ExxonMobil, Synthetic Genomics Bullish on Algae Biofuel (Ind. Report)
ExxonMobil, Synthetic Genomics
Date: 2018-03-07
ExxonMobil and La Jolla,California-based Synthetic Genomics report they are collaborating to produce up to 10,000 bpd of algae biofuel every day by 2025. The pair have been collaborating to create oil from algae since 2009.

"The progress we are making in the lab toward engineering highly efficient algae strains that convert sunlight and CO2 into renewable high energy density biofuel is exciting and warrants continued research about how our technology will scale. Our (California) outdoor algal facility creates a perfect stepping stone from our labs to the greenhouse and to the outdoors to lay the foundation for a large scale commercial deployment of our technology in the future," Synthetic Genomics CEO Oliver Fetzer notes. (Source: ExxonMobil, Synthetic Genomics, innovators, 6 Mar., 2018) Contact: ExxonMobil,; Synthetic Genomica, Oliver Fetzer, CEO, (858) 754-2900,

More Low-Carbon Energy News ExxonMobil,  Synthetic Genomics ,  Algae,  Algae Biofuel,  

Vertimass Wins New Uses for Field Corn as Feedstock for Sustainable Chemicals Challenge (Ind. Report)
Vertimass, NCGA
Date: 2018-03-07
The National Corn Growers Association named Irvine, California-headquartered Vertimass LLC as one of six awardees of the Consider Corn Challenge: New Uses for Field Corn as Feedstock for Making Sustainable Chemicals Competition.

Vertimass believes their technology of converting sustainable ethanol into fungible gasoline, diesel, jet fuel blend stocks and the chemical building blocks benzene, toluene, and xylene (BTX) can substantially increase corn demand in the US. This innovative technology eliminates the ethanol blend wall that currently limits ethanol use and allows for further expansion of renewable fuels and chemicals while maintaining a low greenhouse gas footprint.

According to Vertimass, "This innovative technology will be fully applicable to conversion of ethanol from cellulosic biomass such as agricultural residues and dedicated energy crops and sugars into BTEX and hydrocarbon fuels as it is to corn ethanol." (Source: Vertimass LLC, PR, 5 Mar., 2018) Contact: Vertimass, Charles Wyman, CEO, John Hannon, COO, (949) 417-4307,; : NCGA, (202) 326-0644,

More Low-Carbon Energy News NCGA,  Vertimass,  Corn,  Ethanol,  Biofuel Feedstock,  

BioNB Touts Bioscience, Biotech Sector Growth (Ind. Report)
Date: 2018-03-05
In its just released annual report, Fredericton, New Brusnwick-based biotechnology advocacy group BioNB is reporting healthy growth in the province bio technology and bioenergy sector and its impact on the province economy.

According to the report, more than 100 New Brunswick-based companies ranging from startups to established firms have participated in international accelerator programs and won international pitch competitions and are presently active in the province's biotech-bioenergy sector. Some of the ventures have raised millions of dollars in private investment. (Source: BioNB, PR, 1 Mar., 2018) Contact: BioNB, Meaghan Seagrave, Exec. Dir., (506) 444-2444,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News BioNB,  Bioscience,  Bioenergy,  Biofuel,  

Notable Quote
Date: 2018-03-02
"President Trump stands with corn and biofuels -- and he stands for the RFS. I stand with him, and I stand with you. I have not, I will not support any policies that diminish RFS and our producers.

"I am a farmer first, and a farm businessman next. I know the value of demand. The demand structure is vital to the economy today." -- Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture at the Commodity Classic in Anaheim, California, 27 Feb., 2018

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  RFS,  Trump,  

CARB OKs Targray's NOx Mitigating Biodiesel Additive (Ind. Report)
Targray,California Air Resources Board
Date: 2018-03-02
In Sacramento, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) reports it has certified CATANOX, a NOx mitigating biodiesel additive developed by BQ-9000 biofuels marketer Targray to help meet the Golden State's latest Low Carbon Fuel Standard requirements. The additive was tested in accordance with the Alternative Diesel Fuel regulation and demonstrated NOx emissions equivalent to standard diesel, as well as particulate matter emission reductions of more than 20 pct when compared to the benchmark CARB diesel.

Kirkland, Quebec-headquartered Targray, one of the largest biofuels marketers and distributors in California, is now the second company in the state to offer a CARB-certified NOx mitigation solution for biodiesel blenders. Beginning in March, Targray will offer its CATANOX additive as part of a fully blended, B20- ready turnkey solution at five fuel terminal locations in Stockton, Fresno, Bakersfield and Los Angeles. (Source: Targay, PR, 28 Feb., 2018) Contact: Targray, (514) 695-8095,; California Air Resources Board,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Targray,  Biodiesel,  California Air Resources Board,  

Aussies Touting Queensland Agave Biofuel Project (Int'l Report)
MSF Sugar
Date: 2018-03-02
In the Land Down Under, MSF Sugar has proposed a $60 million "world-first" biorefinery complex that will produce sugar, renewable baseload electricity and ethanol biofuels from locally-grown sugarcane fibre and potentially agave, a succulent plant that grows year-round on marginal land.

Powered by an onsite bagasse and potentially agave fueled 24 MW Green Power Station, the MSF Sugar complex is expected to produce 110,000 tpy of raw sugar, green electricity for the grid and 55 million lpy of ethanol.

The project is being supported by the Queensland State Government's Biofutures Acceleration Program and the Queensland Biofutures Commercialization Program. (Source: MSF Sugar, PR, Feb., 2018) Contact: MSF Sugar, Mike Barry, CEO, +61 7 4043 3333,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Bioethanol,  Agave,  Biofuel,  Sugarcane Bagasse,  

EC Approves €4.7Bn Support for Italian Biofuels (Int'l)
European Commission
Date: 2018-03-02
The European Commission (C) reports it has approved Italy's planned €4.7 billion public support for the production and distribution of advanced biomethane and other second and third-generation biofuels for use as transportation fuels.

Under the Italian scheme, which will run until 2022, producers of advanced biomethane and biofuels receive a premium to compensate for the higher biofuel production costs. Farmers will also be incentivized to produce biofuel and biomethane from manure and other residues and use them to power their agricultural machines and vehicles. (Source: EC, EU News, Mar. 1 3018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biomethane,  Biogas,  Methanne,  

IATA Committed to Sustainable Aviation Biofuels (Ind. Report)
Date: 2018-02-28
In a statement, airline industry group The International Air Transport Association (IATA) rays it foresees over one billion passengers having taken flights powered by a biofuel blend -- aka sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) -- by 2025. Biofuels are a key to IATA's goal of cutting the airline industry's net carbon emissions by 50 pct compared to 2005 by 2050.

According to IATA, SAF powered flights could reduce the life-cycle carbon emissions of that flight by up to 80 pct. The aviation industry has also vowed to use non-food, sustainable biofuel feedstocks. To that end, the IATA sees government incentives, grants, loan guarantees, support for SAF demonstration plants and supply chain R&D for the production of aviation biofuels as a key to getting the aviation biofuels industry off the ground. (Source: IATA, PR, 27 Feb., 2018) Contact: IATA, +41 22 770 2967,

More Low-Carbon Energy News IATA,  Jet Biofuel,  Aviation Biofuel,  

Chinese Shougang LanzaTech JV to Produce Ethanol from CO2 (Int'l)
LanzaTech,Shougang Group
Date: 2018-02-28
Chinese steel and iron producer Shougang Group is reporting the upcoming March opening of a facility that can convert industrial waste gas to sustainable biofuels in the city of Caofeidian.

The facility will utilize equipment from the joint venture company Shougang LanzaTech to convert industrial waste gas to liquid ethanol with a purity of 99.5 pct and compressed natural gas.

The facility, which is the world's first commercial project of its kind, uses the technology developed by the U.S. biotech company LanzaTech, and is expected to produce 46,000 tpy of ethanol fuel, 76.5 million tpy of animal feed and 3.3 million cubic meters of compressed natural gas per year. (Source: Shougang Group,, 27 Feb., 2018) Contact: Shougang Group,; LanzaTech, Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO, (630) 439-3050,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News LanzaTech,  Ethanol,  Carbon Emissions,  

84 Mn LPY Ethanol Plant Proposed in Nigeria (Int'l)
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation
Date: 2018-02-28
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Kogi State Government have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a fuel-ethanol plant that will produce 84 million litres of biofuel annually.

The project would be an integrated feedstock plantation and process plants complex and include a cane mill and a raw and refined sugar plant of 126,000 tonnes annually. The Bagasse co-generation plant would generate 64 megawatts of power, and include a 2,000 tpy carbon dioxide recovery and bottling plant as well as approximately produce 63,000 tpy of livestock feed from locally grown sugarcane and/or cassava. (Source: NAN Leadership Ng., , 27 Feb., 2018) Contact: NNPC Group, Dr Maikanti Baru, Managing Dir.,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol news,  Bio-Ethanol news,  Biofuel news,  Casava news,  

Oil Majors Commit to Low-Carbon Energy (Ind. Report)
British Petroleum,Royal Dutch Shell,Low-Carbon Energy
Date: 2018-02-26
UK-headquartered petroleum giant British Petroleum plc (BP) has announced it is investing $500 million a year in a push for low-carbon energy. The oil company says it sees "significant commercial potential" in solar power and is becoming more active in trading carbon credits. It also plans to set targets for emissions from operations, according to Bloomberg.

As previously reported, Royal Dutch Shell plc recently announced it would spend as much as $1 billion a year on renbewable through its New Energies division. According to the report, Shell sees opportunities in hydrogen fuel-cells, liquefied natural gas, and next-generation biofuels for air travel, shipping and heavy freight. (Source: BP, CS News, Bloomberg, Various Media, 21 Feb., 2018) Contact: BP,

More Low-Carbon Energy News British Petroleum,  Royal Dutch Shell,  

Mitsubishi, ICM Tout ZEBREX Marketing Collaboration (Ind. Report)
Mitsubishi Chemical,ICM Inc
Date: 2018-02-26
Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. and Colwich, Kansas-headquartered grain ethanol technology specialist ICM Inc. are reporting a strategic marketing collaboration to provide ZEBREX to the fuel ethanol industry in the U.S.. ZEBREX will improve production capacity and reduce energy costs through the use of proven state-of-the-art zeolite membrane dehydration technology. MCC and ICM including Matheson Tri-Gas Inc., who has been MCC's ZEBREX marketing partner in the U.S., will collaborate to market, engineer and provide turnkey solutions for ZEBREX within the U.S.

ZEBREX is specifically designed for ease of use, energy efficiency, and has a smaller carbon footprint than traditional pressure swing adsorption or organic membranes, according to Mitsubishi Chemicals. . Multiple ethanol production facilities have reportedly expressed interest in ZEBREX since the announced collaboration. (Source: Mitsubishi Chemical Corp., 23 Feb., 2018) Contact: ICM, Dave VanderGriend, CEO, Issam Stouky, Global Business Development, (316) 796-0900,; Mitsubishi Chemical,; ZEBREX,

More Low-Carbon Energy News ICM Inc,  Ethanol,  Biofuel,  Mitsubishi Chemical,  

Neste Renewable Diesel Cut 8.3 Mn Tons of CO2 in 2017 (Ind. Report)
Date: 2018-02-26
According to a Helsinki-headquartered Neste release, replacing fossil fuels with Neste's renewable fuels reduced global climate emissions altogether by 8.3 million metric tons or 8.3 billion KG in 2017 -- equivalent to removing 3 million passenger cars from the roads for a full year.

The emission reduction is calculated by comparing the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of the renewable fuels that Neste produces in a year to the life cycle emissions of the equivalent amount of conventional diesel. Neste MY Renewable Diesel is refined from waste and residue raw materials, such as meat processing wastes, used cooking oils, and residues from vegetable oil processing, Neste MY Renewable Diesel provides up to 80 pct reduction in carbon emissions as well as improving local air quality by reducing exhaust emissions, nitrogen oxides, particulates, and carbon monoxide, according to the Neste release. (Source: Neste, PR, 21 Feb., 2018) Contact: Neste Corporation, Jeremy Baines, VP sales, Neste US Inc., Kaisa Hietala, VP Renewable Products , +358 10 458 4128,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Neste,  Biofuels,  Carbon Emissions,  

Hawaiian Legislators Mulling B10 Biofuels Blend (Reg & Leg)
Biofuel Blend
Date: 2018-02-23
In January,In the Aloha State, the Hawaiin legislature is reported to be considering Senate Bill 2019 (SB2019), and several amendments to the original bill, requiring transportation fuel sold in the state to contain no less than 10 percent biofuel by volume.

Originally, SB2019 called for a percentage of the biofuel used in the blending be produced in Hawaii and defined biofuel as ethanol and biodiesel. The bill includes stiff penalties for distributors or others that violate the blend requirement. Violators would be subject to a fine of $2 or more per gallon of nonconforming fuel up to a maximum of $1 million per infraction. The legislation is now awaiting state Senate approval. (Source: Biodiesel Mag, Various Media, 21 Feb., 2018)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel Blend,  B10,  

Greenbelt's BioEthanol Test Facility Conversion to Commercial-Scale Near Completion (Ind. Report)
Date: 2018-02-23
Paso Robles, California-based Greenbelt Resources Corp reports the first phase of its California BioEthanol Project that will convert its Commercial Scale Testing Facility into a commercial-scale production biorefinery is well underway and expected tb be completed in Q2, this year.

The biorefinery will produce approximately 1.37 million ppy of protein concentrate and 75,000 gpy of bioethanol. The total estimated investment for the California BioEthanol Project is $3.25 million. Additional capacity will be added in the project's secomd and third phases.

Greenbelt Resources Corp. is an award-winning designer and supplier of sustainable energy production systems focused on delivering modular solutions that enable the localized processing of locally generated waste into locally consumed products. Greenbelt's small-scale, end-to-end modular systems convert food, beverage and other cellulosic wastes into commercially viable advanced biofuels, animal feed, fertilizer and filtered water. (Source: Greenbelt Resources, PR, Daily Telescope, 22 Feb., 2018) Contact: Greenbelt Resources, Darren Eng, CEO, (888) 995-4726 x 101,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Greenbelt,  BioEthanol,  

Watsonville, California Biodiesel Plant Reopens (Ind. Report)
Agron Bioenergy,Western Iowa Energy
Date: 2018-02-23
Follwing up on our Novemebr 17, 2017 coverage, Agron Bioenergy is reporting the reopening of the former Northstar Biofuels biodiesel plant in Watsonville, California. Agron Bioenergy is owned by Wall Lake, Iowa-based Western Iowa Energy, LLC, which produces approximately 45 million gpy of biodiesel.

The plant, which was opened by Northstar Biofuels in 2012 and shuttered in 2016, was acquired by Western Iowa Energy, LLC in 2017. The reopened plant is expected to produce an estimated 15 million gpy of biodiesel for the California market. (Source: Western Iowa Energy, 22 Feb., 2018) Contact: Western Iowa Energy , Brad Wilson, Pres. GM, Agron Bioenergy, (831) 728-1300,; Western Iowa Energy LLC, (717) 664-2173,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Agron Bioenergy,  Biodiesel,  Western Iowa Energy,  

Former INEOS Bio-Refinery Site becoming "Eco-District" (Ind. Report)
Frankens Energy,INEOS
Date: 2018-02-23
In the Sunshine State, a consortium of investors and project developers led by Frankens Energy reports it plans to convert its recently acquired former INEOS New Planet BioEnergy LLC plant in Vero Beach, Indian River County, into one of Florida's largest integrated "eco-districts." The aim is to integrate a series of businesses, all focused on nurturing and supporting environmental sustainability, employment and education within the local community.

The Indian River Eco-District is being developed at an enviable location, in that over $200 million of infrastructure capital was recently deployed at the site to build an industrial biofuels production plant, including on-site power generation equipment and a physical interconnection to Florida's electricity grid.

Frankens Energy is an investor, owner and manager of a portfolio of renewable power generation assets, including the associated land and real estate, across the states of Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Florida.(Source: Frankens Energy, PR, 21 Feb., 2018) Contact: Frankens Energy, David Frankens,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Frankens Energy,  INEOS,  Bioenergy,  

POET Lauds Portland Resolution Backing RFS (Ind. Report)
POET Biorefining – Portland
Date: 2018-02-23
In the Hoosier State, POET Biorefining-Portland has applauded passage of a City of Portland resolution urging Indiana lawmakers to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The RFS ensures that Indiana farmers and biofuel producers can continue to compete against fossil fuel companies that seek to monopolize consumer options at the fuel pump, POET says.

POET Biorefining-Portland began operations September 18, 2007. The biorefinery processes approximately 25 million bpy of locally-grown corn to produce 68 million gpy of biofuels. (Source: POET, Hoosier Ag Today, 20 Feb., 2018) Contact: POET Biorefining-Portland, Matt Tomano, General Manager,(260) 726-7154,

More Low-Carbon Energy News POET,  RFS,  Biofuel,  Biofuel Blend,  Ethanol,  

Kitsault Touts Waste-to-Energy "Green Solution" (Ind. Report)
Kitsault Energy
Date: 2018-02-21
Canada-based Kitsault Energy (KE) is touting its patented process to convert pulp and paper plant wastes, food, municipal solid and various other bio-wastes into power.

KE's proprietary process produces high-energy, water-repellent solid biofuel which burns with no residual ash and is ideal for replacing coal in the steel and cement industries. The company claims its patented process is a "green solution" for landfills and holding ponds, which transform the energy of decaying bio-waste into viable coal alternatives. (Source: Kitsault Energy, Power Technology, 20 Feb., 2018)Contact: Kitsault Energy, Krishnan Suthanthiran, CEO, Pres.,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Waste-to-Fuel,  Biofuel,  Waste-to-Energy,  

IGL, Mahindra Partner on Indian Crop Stubble Fuels Project (Int'l)
Mahindra Waste to Energy Solutions
Date: 2018-02-21
The Times of India is reporting New Delhi-headquartered Indian automobile natural gas fuel supplier Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) and Mahindra Waste to Energy Solutions (MWESL) , a subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra, are partnering to design and develop biofuels from crop stubble production in Delhi and other Indian centers.

In related developments, public sector power generation company National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) began using crop stubble biomass pellets to fuel its Dadri power plant with the aim of giving farmers a profitable alternative to burning crop residue and opening up a new market for rural entrepreneurship. (Source: Rural Marketing, 20 Feb., 2018)Contact: Mahindra Waste to Energy Solutions,; Indraprastha Gas Ltd.,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Mahindra,  ,  Biomass Pellet,  

Ellex Helps Establish Danish Biofuel Exchange (Int'l)
Date: 2018-02-19
The Lithuanian law firm Ellex Valiunas reports it has consulted the Lithuanian Energy Exchange operator BALTPOOL on launching the BiomassPool Aps biofuel exchange in Denmark with Kenneth Lykkedal, a Danish energy entrepreneur.

According to BALTPOOL, Denmark consumes approximately 4 million tpy of woody biomass wood-chips and 1.5 million tpy of straw. Baltpool also notes that the Baltic States are among the key biomass suppliers in the Danish market, and Lithuanian companies are therefore expected to become active participants of the Danish biomass exchange. BALTPOOL also notes that the Danish biomass market is expected to grow by an additional 50 pct in the near future.

BALTPOOL is the operator of the Lithuanian Energy Exchange entitled to organize trade of solid biofuel products. The company also acts as the administrator of public service obligations (PSO) funds and is engaged in the collection, payment and administration of PSO funds. (Source: BALTPOOL, CEE Legal Matters, 14 Feb., 2018) Contact: Ellex Valiunas, +370 52681888, contact@ellex.lti,; BALTPOOL, +370 5 239 3157,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Biomass,  

"More Biofuels Vital to Energy Outlook" - Growth Energy (Ind. Report)
Growth Energy
Date: 2018-02-19
According to Chris Bliley, Growth Energy VP for regulatory affairs, the US Energy Information Administration's (EIA) just released Annual Energy Outlook 2018 demonstrate a clear and growing need for U.S. biofuels. The report predicts an 18 pct increase in miles traveled by U.S. motorists in traditional light-duty vehicles -- an increase from 2.8 trillion miles in 2017 to 3.3 trillion miles in 2050.

"Blending more homegrown, cost-efficient biofuels into the fuel supply is the ready-made solution to lowering prices at the pump while also dramatically reducing emissions.

"Federal experts agree that ethanol slashes emissions by 43 pct over the full energy life-cycle-from farm to engine but that the level of carbon savings is rising with each passing year, thanks to innovations in biofuel production and precision agriculture. We must reduce emissions in the transportation sector and that means deploying higher ethanol blends like E15 and E85 as well as mid-level ethanol blends like E30 alongside advanced and cellulosic biofuels. A strong Renewable Fuel Standard is vital to that effort, and we urge the Environmental Protection Agency to reject calls from a few fossil fuel advocates who want to hold back the rapid growth of ethanol production in rural America," Bliley says.

(Source: Growth Energy, 15 Feb., 2018) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, (202) 545-4000,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy,  Biofuel,  Biofuel Blend,  

Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center Refocuses (Ind. Report)
Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center
Date: 2018-02-19
The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, reports it has embarked on a new mission develop sustainable alternatives to transportation fuels and products currently derived from petroleum.

GLBRC originally focused on corn stover ethanol production and developing perennial plants like switchgrass and miscanthus as biofuel feedstocks. Now, GLBRC goal is centered on designing advanced biofuels, such as isobutanol. These "drop-in" fuels could be used to replace gasoline without engine modification. By engineering bioenergy crops to enhance their environmental and economic value, and conducting research to generate multiple products from plant biomass, these advancements could optimize the bioenergy field-to-product pipeline.

GLBRC scientists and engineers are also improving the yield and processing traits of dedicated bioenergy crops for cultivation on marginal, or non-agricultural, land. With smart management, these crops have the potential to benefit the ecosystem, help mitigate climate change, and provide farmers with an additional source of revenue.

GLBRC is focused on enabling a new and different biorefinery, one that is both economically viable and environmentally sustainable. Realizing this goal will mean increasing the efficiency of biomass conversion and generating a mix of specialty biofuels and environmentally-friendly bioproducts, from as much of a plant's biomass as possible. One such discovery, breaks down lignin's six-carbon rings -- the "aromatics" -- into individual components. Traditionally sourced from petroleum, aromatics are used in a wide variety of products, including plastic soda bottles, Kevlar, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals, and are essential components of jet fuel. (Source: University of Wisconsin Madison, GLBRC, PR, 18 Feb., 2018) Contact: Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, Tim Donohue, Dir., John Greenler, Dir. Outreach, (608) 890-2444,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center,  University of Wisconsin Madison,  Biofuel,  Biochemical,  Ethanol,  Bioplastics,  

Aviation Biofuel Emissions, Contrail Studied (Int'l Report)
Max Planck Institute ,NASA,German Aerospace Center
Date: 2018-02-19
A joint project between the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Johannes Gutenberg University (JGU) and the US National Aeronatics and Space Administration (NASA) is aiming to determine the effects alternative aviation fuels have on the formation of contrails and whether aircraft emissions are reduced by using biofuels.

In their joint effort, the scientists performed eight test flights at varying altitudes to compare traditional aviation fuels against biofuels. In each test, a DLR Airbus A320 was fueled with a different blend of kerosene and Camelina-based biofuel. NASA's DC-8 flying laboratory followed a few kilometres behind an measured the pollutants in the Airbus' exhaust plume. Among the instruments on the flying laboratory were the ERc Instrument for Chemical composition of Aerosols (ERICA), from the Max Planck Institute and JGU Mainz.

NASA and DLR have been researching whether aviation biofuels are more eco-friendly for some time. According to a statement from the University of Mainz, previous studies have shown that 50 pct and 70 pct less soot particles form from a 50 pct biofuel mixture with 50 pct normal kerosene. "At altitudes of eight kilometres, soot particles and water vapour form ice crystals at -50 degrees C, which can be seen in the sky as contrails. Among other things, the ice crystals prevent heat from escaping the atmosphere into space, meaning that every contrail creates its own small greenhouse effect." (Source: German Aerospace Center, NASA, Various Media, Biofuels Int'l, 15 Feb., 2018)Contact: NASA,; Max Planck Institute,; German Aerospace Center,

More Low-Carbon Energy News NASA,  Aviation Biofuel,  Max Planck Institute,  

Honeywell's Aviation Biofuel Powers 13,000km Flight (Ind. Report)
Honeywell UOP.
Date: 2018-02-19
Global technology company, Honeywell tests first trans-Pacific flight using a new biofuel made from Carinata seeds, a non-edible mustard seed. The company says that the 15-hour 13,000km journey marked the debut of Honeywell UOP Green Jet fuel.

According to Honeywell, the new fuel can replace as much as half of the petroleum jet fuel used in flight, without changing the aircraft technology and still meet emission standards established by the ASTM, resulting in a potential 65 to 85 pct cut in greenhouse gas emissions compared to standard petroleum jet fuel. The Carinata oil engineered by Quebec-based Agrisoma is intended for industrial use in the production of bio and jet fuels. When pressed, this seeds yield half their weight in oils that is then refined into jet fuel by AltAir, at the world's first commercial-scale renewable jet fuel plant in Paramount, California. (Source: Honeywell, AutoCar news, 19 Feb., 2018) Contact: Honeywell UOP, Rebecca Liebert, Pres.,CEO,; Agrisoma Biosciences Inc., Steve Fabijanski, CEO,,; Altair Fuels, Bryan Sherbacow, CEO, (843) 720-8920,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carinata,  Honeywell UOP,  Aviation Biofuel,  Agrisoma,  AltAir,  

API Opposes Small Refinery RFS Exemptions (Ind. Report)
American Petroleum Institute
Date: 2018-02-19
In a letter to the US EPA, the American Petroleum Institute (API) -- an oil industry lobby group -- has come out against a campaign by small refineries to avoid their obligations under the US Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) biofuel blending requirements. The EPA is empowered to issue the requested exemptions based on "severe economic harm" as claimed by the governors of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Texas. The governors have been pressing the EPA for a nationwide waiver to the biofuel mandate.

"The ongoing issues with the RFS program are structural in nature, apply to all regulated parties, and need to be addressed on a nationwide basis, according to the API. API recommends that EPA deny the state waivers and should not approve any small refinery exemptions. "The RFS needs comprehensive reform," API says. (Source: API, Platts, SPGlobal, Various Media, Contact: API, Frank Macchiarola, Dir., (202) 682-8114,

More Low-Carbon Energy News American Petroleum Institute,  EPA,  RFS,  Biofuel Blend ,  

Can DOE ARPA-E Survive The Donald's Budget Cuts? (Ind. Report)
Date: 2018-02-16
An addendum to President Trump's proposed budget submitted a $1.5 billion increase to the DOE budget -- $1.2 billion of which is earmarked for research into the country's "energy future." Unfortunately, only $120 million of that "energy future" funding is earmarked for research into sustainable transportation, renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies while the absurdity of clean coal will receive $200 million in funding.

While the administration's 2018 proposal ensures the DOE's overall budget remains unchanged, it would cut the $305 million required to keep the DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) afloat.

Since its founding in 2009, ARPA-E has provided funding for projects that develop solar cells, wind turbines, biofuels, energy storage, carbon capture and other crucial technologies and projects. (Source: Various Media, Futurism, 13 Feb., 2018) Contact: US DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy,

More Low-Carbon Energy News ARPA-E,  Trump Budget,  Renewable Energy,  

Eco-Energy Opens NC Ethanol Unit Distribution Facility (Ind. Report)
Date: 2018-02-16
Following up on our November 6, 2015 report, biofuel supply chain company, Eco-Energy Distribution Services, reports operations are underway at an ethanol unit train distribution facility in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The facility, which connects to Kinder Morgan Southeast Terminals LLC's Charlotte 3 Terminal, is is equipped to receive 96 tank cars via the CSX railway, has ethanol distribution capability via pipeline connection and/or tank truck delivery to all area gasoline blending locations. This new facility in is Eco-Energy's ninth ethanol distribution terminal to open since 2012. (Source: Eco-Energy, Hydrocarbon Engineering, 13 Feb., 2018) Contact: Eco-Energy Distribution Services, Joshua Bailey, CEO, Chad Conn, VP, (615) 786-0401,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol.,  Eco-Energy,  

Notable Quote
Renewable Fuels Association
Date: 2018-02-14
"The bottom line is this: There is no reason for the ethanol industry or its champions in Washington to accept demand destruction as a necessary or legal path to the future to accommodate the failed business plans of a few independent refiners. The facts are on our side. The success of the RFS is on our side. And the president is on our side." -- Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen, 13 Feb., 2018 Contact: RFA, Bob Dinneen, Pres., (202) 289-3835,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  Biofuel,  Renewable Fuels Association,  RFS,  

Sylvatex, Valicor Tout Blendstock Development Agreement (Ind. Report)
Date: 2018-02-14
Green nano-chemistry company Sylvatex and Dexter, Michigan-headquartered Valicor are reporting a new joint development agreement (JDA)for the development, construction and commercialization of Sylvatex's MicroX technology to convert distillers corn oil (DCO) and other plant-based oil feedstocks into the company's proprietary renewable blendstock.

Sylvatex creates renewable nanoscale emulsion systems that can be used in fuels and other specialty chemical applications. Valicor specializes in the recovery and repurposing of byproducts from a range of production facilities including corn oil extraction for ethanol production. (Source: Sylvatex, Various Media, Biofuels Int'l, 13 Feb., 2018) Contact: Sylvatex, Virginia Klausmeier, CEO, (415) 667-3835,; Valicor, (734) 659-0244,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel,  Corn Oil,  

Great Green Fleet Farm-to-Fleet Biofuel Program Sinks (Ind. Report)
Date: 2018-02-12
As reported in the Federal on Register on 1 Feb., the USDA Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) has withdrawn support for the Farm-to-Fleet Biofuel Production Incentive (BPI) program due to its falling on the Navy's priority list and limited available funds.

The BPI program was launched by the USDA and the U.S. Department of Navy (Navy) in 2013 to provide incentive funds to companies refining biofuel in the United States from certain domestically grown feedstocks converted to drop-in biofuel for delivery to the Navy under the then "Great Green Fleet" initiative.

As we reported on Dec. 21, 2016, In 2009, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus launched the Navy's "Great Green Fleet" of ships. In its 2012 demonstration, the Green Fleet used biofuels that cost $27 per gallon, compared to about $3.50 per gallon for conventional fuels. The Navy eventually scaled back its ambitions and the Green Fleet's 2016 Mediterranean voyage used a blend that was 95 pct conventional fuel to 5 pct biofuels at a cost of $14.60 per gallon compared to the $1.60 per gallon price of conventional fuels. (Source: Federal Record, 1 Feb., Nat. Law Review, Various Media, Bergeson & Campbell, Feb. 2018) Contact: USDA, Farm-to-Fleet Biofuel Production Incentive Program,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Great Green Fleet,  US Navy,  Drop-in Biofuel,  USDA,  

Saskatchewan Biodiesel Producer Bites the Bullet (Ind. Report)
Milligan BioFuels
Date: 2018-02-09
On the Canadian prairies, Foam Lake, Saskatchewan-based biodiesel producer Milligan BioFuels has been forced into receivership by its secured creditors, including ATB, a Calgary-based energy firm, where the chair of the Milligan board appears to be a principal, and several smaller equipment providers.

A pioneer in Canadian biodiesel, Milligan was developed through local initiatives and technologies from the University of Saskatchewan and Agriculture Canada. The company produced more than 20 million lpy of biodiesel, using more than 50,000 tpy of canola. (Source: Western Producer, 8 Feb., 2018) Contact: Milligan Biofuel, (306) 272-6284,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Milligan BioFuels news,  Biodiesel news,  

Japanese Companies Develop New Biomass Pellet Fuels (Int'l)
Idemitsu Kosan,Nippon Steel & Sumikin Engineering
Date: 2018-02-09
According to the Nikkei Asian Review, Japanese companies are developing biofuels that can be blended with coal and burned to cut power plant CO2 emissions.

Oil distributor Idemitsu Kosan has developed a new type of pellet fuel made from compressed wood waste carbonized at a low temperature that can be mixed with at the rate of 30 pct and burned in coal-fired plants. The company plans to produce the pellets in Thailand and market them to Japanese power companies.

In other related developments, Nippon Steel & Sumikin Engineering Co. Ltd has developed equipment that can process biomass waste at Southeast Asian palm plantations into biofuel. It employs steel-rolling technology to squeeze impurities out of plant matter, creating a solid fuel that -- like Idemitsu's pellets -- can replace up to 30 pct of coal at a thermal power plant. The engineering company plans to begin selling the equipment to plantation operators in Indonesia and Malaysia in fiscal 2018. (Source: Idemitsu Kosan, Nikkei Asian Review, 7 Feb., 2018) Contact: Idemitsu Kosan,; Nippon Steel & Sumikin Engineering Co Ltd.,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Idemitsu Kosan,  Coal,  Biomass,  

Advanced Biofuels "Not Yet Viable", Study Warns (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Ethanol Europe Renewables Ltd
Date: 2018-02-09
Research conducted by Ireland-based Ethanol Europe Renewables Ltd. has found that less than 1 pct of projected capacity for advanced biofuel production worldwide has become reality, and warns policy makers against placing "too much hope in the fledgling technology."

"Advanced biofuels are not yet viable, are not rising at all, and have accumulated losses of billions in failed projects," the research says, adding that the "myth of the advanced biofuel industry survives on a long-run campaign of misinformation by promoters of advanced biofuels technologies. Contrary to statements from promoters of advanced biofuels, in the European Union, advanced biofuels production capacity is not growing steadily and there are not several examples showcasing this development," the report adds.

European Renewable Ethanol Assoc. (ePIRE) Secretary General Emmanuel Desplechin has called for an analysis of the "real data" from the International Energy Agency (IEA) which says biofuels consumption in the transport sector must triple by 2030 in order for the world to keep global warming well below 2 degree C, the target in the Paris Agreement. "It stressed that two-thirds of that increase should come from advanced biofuels and notably from cellulosic ethanol, and also points out that first-generation biofuels also have an important contribution to make while the massive scale-up of advanced technology is underway," Desplechin concluded. (Source: Ethanol Europe Renewables Ltd., Euractiv, 7 Feb., 2018) Contact: Ethanol Europe Renewables Ltd.,,; (ePURE), Emmanuel Desplechin, Sec. Gen., +32 2 657 6679,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News ePURE,  Ethanol Europe Renewables Ltd,  Advanced Biofuel,  Cellulosics,  Biofuel,  ePure,  

GEVO Inks Texas Isobutanol Right to Supply Agreement (Ind. Report)
GEVO,Muskat Corp
Date: 2018-02-09
Englewood, Colorado-based ethanol and isobutanol producer GEVO, Inc.reports it has inked an exclusive "right to sell" agreement with the Houston-Headquartered national fuel distributor Musket Corporation. Under the terms of the agreement,Musket sell GEVO's renewable isobutanol within a 300 mile radius of Houston, including Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Oklahoma, Louisiana and much of south and east Texas.

Houston is classified as a Reformulated Gasoline (RFG) market under Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines.(Source: GEVO, Various Media, 8 February, 2018) Contact: Musket Corp., JP Fjeld-Hansen, VP,; GEVO, Pat Gruber, CEO, (303) 858-3358,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News GEVO,  Isobutanol,  Biofuel,  Musket Corp,  

LSB Lobbies for 2021 EU Advanced Biofuels Mandate Start (Int'l)
Sustainable Biofuels
Date: 2018-02-09
In a move to bolster advanced biofuels investor confidence, Leaders of Sustainable Biofuels (LSB), a coalition of 12 advanced biofuels producers and technology developers, is calling on EU institutions to set its new advanced biofuels blend mandate -- Annex IX part A of the Renewable Energy Directive -- to begin in 2021. The coalition is chaired by UPM Public Affairs director Marko Janhunen.

According to a LSB statement, the European Commission and European Parliament are aligned with the request for the advanced biofuels mandate to come into effect in 2018. However, the European Council is proposing for the mandate to kick off in 2025. LSB argues that if the Council gets its way, there would be significant political insecurity for sector, jeopardizing the swift uptake of advanced biofuels in the EU. Conversely, a binding Annex IX part A based target would "set a strong framework for investments in sustainable, novel and innovative technologies and production facilities," according to the LSB statement. (Source: Leaders of Sustainable Biofuels, Biofuels Int'l.,Others, 6 Feb., 2018) Contact: Leaders of Sustainable Biofuels,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Advanced Biofuel,  Sustainable Biofuels ,  

Novozymes Intros Yeast for Ethanol Producers (New Prod & Tech)
Date: 2018-02-07
Danish enzymes and microbes specialist Novozymes reports the unveiling of its new yeast platform for starch-based ethanol production. designed to help ethanol producers ‘get more’ from their raw materials. The first product in the new yeast platform is Innova Drive, a new yeast strain designed to reduce fermentation time by up to two hours compared to current yeasts, according to Novozymes.

Novozymes claims that during fermentation, Innova Drive produces a higher-performing glucoamylase enzyme. Apparently, this enzyme is twice as effective as glucoamylases produced by other yeast products when it comes to converting sugar into ethanol. (Source: Noovozymes, Feb., 2018) , Contact: Novozymes, Peder Holk Nielsen, CEO, Michael Burns, Biorefining Business Development North America, Peter Halling, VP Biofuel, (919) 496-6926,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Novozymes,  Yeast,  Enzymes,  Biofuel,  

UPM Considers New Finnish Woody Biomass Biofuel Plant (Int'l)
Date: 2018-02-07
In Finland, Helsinki-headquartered pulp and paper maker UPM reports it is considering construction of a new renewable fuel -- biofuel plant in Kotka, southern Finland. The proposed plant would produce approximately 500,000 tpy of advanced biofuels for the transport sector. Details of possible construction and plant startup dates have not been annoinced.

In 2017, UPM began evaluating the potential of building a smaller biorefinery in Germany to convert woody biomass into materials that can be used in textiles, bottles, composites and plastics. (Source: UPM, Various Media, Reuters, 5 Feb., 2018) Contact: UPM Biofuels, Liisa Ranta, Manager Sustainability, +358 40 582 9338,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News UPM,  Biofuel,  UPM Biofuel,  Woody Biomass,  

MagnaGas JV to Acquire German Biodiesel Maker InfiniteFuels (M&A)
Date: 2018-02-07
Tampa, Florida-headquartered MagneGas Corporation reports it intends to form an Ireland-based Joint Venture holding company for the acquisition of of Infinite Fuels, GmbH, an emerging biofuels producer based in northern Germany.

Initially, MagneGas will hold a 40 pct stake in the joint venture, with the possibility of increasing its equity stake to 70 pct with the balance held by the current principals of Infinite Fuels. Following formation of the joint venture, the new entity will assume 100 pct ownership of Infinite Fuels.

The joint venture will operate in two renewable energy segments. First, Infinite Fuels will launch its biodiesel operations at an existing facility based in northern Germany, currently operating through a public-private partnership. The purpose of this project will be to pilot a government-backed initiative to convert bio-waste to energy. The second initiative will be to launch the first MagneGas2® production facility in Europe. Operations under the new joint venture are expected to launch prior to March 31, 2018. (Source: MagnaGas, StreetInsider, 6 Feb., 2018) Contact: MagnGas, Ermanno Santilli, CEO, (727) 934-3448,; Infinite Fuels GmbH,

More Low-Carbon Energy News MagnaGas,  InfiniteFuels,  

Enerkem Raises $280Mn for Expansion (Ind. Report, Funding)
Date: 2018-02-07
Montreal-based biofuels and renewable chemicals from wastes specialist Enerkem Inc. reports it has raised an investment of $280 million which will be used for new facilities.

As previously reported, Enerkem's first commercial plant in Edmonton began producing ethanol in September, 2017 The new investment funds will support construction of a second facility in Varennes, Quebec. Construction is slated to get underway this Spring for completion in 18 to 24 months. Enerkem is also developing a project in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Enerkem's process turns solid waste into methanol.(Source: Enerkem, Montreal Gazette, 6 Feb., 2018)Contact: Enerkem Inc. Vincent Chornet, Pres., CEO, (514) 875-0284 X 251,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Enerkem,  Waste-to-Fuel,  Methanol,  Ethanol,  

Univ. of Illinois Launches Bioenergy, Bioproducts Innovation Center (Ind. Report)
University of Illinois
Date: 2018-02-05
In Urbana, the University of Illinois is reporting the inauguration of the new Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI), a $115 million, US DOE-funded research center. CABBI is a collaboration between Illinois' Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment, the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, and 17 partner institutions.

CABBI researchers will focus on: feedstock development, conversion of plants into fuel and the economic and environmental costs of turning plants into fuel. "CABBI seeks to harness the latest technologies in genomic biology, synthetic biology, and crop sciences to create breakthrough discoveries for sustainable, cost-effective biofuels and bioproducts," according to IGB Director Gene Robinson. (Source: The Daily Illini, 30 Jan., 2018) Contact: Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, Gene Robinson, Dir., (217) 284-2999,; CABBI, Evan DeLucia,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Bioenergy,  Biofuel,  Bioproducts,  

BP Verenium's La. Biofuels Plant Under the Hammer (Ind. Report)
BP Verenium Biofuels
Date: 2018-02-05
Chicago-headquartered Aaron Equipment Co., in conjunction with Reich Brothers and Phoenix Equipment Corp., is reporting its recently acquired former BP Verenium Biofuels plant, including more than 40 acres of real estate and equipment in Jennings, Louisiana, is being offered for sale. The facility will initially be offered as a complete plant and then in individual pieces is not sold as a unit.

The 1.4 MMgy demonstration-scale facility opened in 2008 and was acquired by BP Biofuels North America in mid-2010. The facility was initially designed to validate cellulosic ethanol technology.

Sale details are available HERE. (Source: Aaron Equipment Co., Jan., 2018) Contact: Aaron Equipment Co., (630) 350-2200,; BP,; Verenium Biofuels,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Verenium,  Biofuels,  

Thoughts from EPA Admin. Scott Pruitt (Notable Quotes)
EPA Scott Pruitt
Date: 2018-02-05
"Congress has put into play mandates that a certain percentage of our fuel has ethanol ... producing about 15 billion gallons of ethanol and exporting about 1 billion to 1 billion and a half [gallons]. So, we're doing very well in the ethanol sector and we're exporting that as well.

"We need to get some accountability in the RIN market. There is a lot of speculation that goes on with respect to RINs, there are enforcement issues, fraud that occurs ... there is a lot to be done to get accountability and reform in the RIN market.

"Whether or not the EPA can take action to allow sales of E15 year-round. In the past, the EPA has said they could not issue a Reid Vapor Pressure, or the tool used to measure the evaporative emissions of fuel, for E15 for the summer months. Meaning, the fuel couldn't be sold during that time." -- US EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt commenting on Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) associated costs and their impact on a recent Philadelphia refinery bankruptcy.

More Low-Carbon Energy News Scott Pruitt,  RFS,  RINs,  Ethanol,  Biofuel,  

Woody Biomass Center Slated for Shuttered Old Town Maine Pulp & Paper Mill (Ind. Report)
OTM Holdings LLC
Date: 2018-02-05
In the Pine Tree State, OTM Holdings LLC, a joint venture by a Maine-based group is reporting the purchase of the long troubled Old Town Pulp and Paper mill complex. Terms of the acquisition have not been released.

OTM plans to redevelop the shuttered mill into a wood-fiber-based complex comprised of multiple tenants, including the University of Maine's Forest Bioproducts Research Institute Technology (FBRI), which presently occupies 40,000 square feet.

Last May, FBRI conducted a 100-hour demonstration of its continuous processing of 1 tpd of woody biomass into bio chemicals that can be used for biofuels, biochemicals and other advanced materials.

OTM's redevelopment foresees a fully integrated fiber-based campus capitalizing on the mill's energy platform and the region's plentiful woody biomass fiber supply. According to the OTM release, "This redevelopment is the beginning of what many see as the newest market for Maine's wood fiber, which transforms the cellulose-based, non-edible fiber and wood waste into clean and affordable high-value fuels, chemicals and milled and engineered wood products." (Source: FBRI, MaineBiz, Feb., 2018) Contact: University of Maine Forest Bioproducts Research Institute Technology,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  Wood Pulp,  

Simplified Biowaste-to-Biofuels Conversion Touted (New Prod & Tech)
University of Calgary, Canadian Light Source
Date: 2018-02-02
On the Canadian prairies, Researchers at the University of Calgary are reporting a simple and clean way to produce biofuel from biowaste such as sewage.

According to a university release, currently biomass is converted into a biocrude oil with a two-step energy-intensive chemical and thermal process. The second stage is refining, where hydrogen is added under high pressure and heat, serving to remove contaminants such as sulphur, nitrogen and oxygen. The University of Calgary have process "simultaneously produces and upgrades bio-oil in one step and without the need for high pressures." The process uses methane instead of hydrogen for the purification process. The uses methane directly in the crude stage, then removes the hydrogen from the methane during the purification process, as hydrogen is still required for removing impurities in the crude oil.

Key to the breakthrough is a catalyst the researchers developed at Canadian Light Source, which reacted with the methane causing it to release hydrogen. The researchers then coated the catalyst, dubbed HZSM-5, with different materials to improve its ability to react with methane.

Initial tests with the new catalyst have apparently shown it is more efficient and lower cost method of producing biofuels from waste, which also leads to better quality, more stable biofuel with significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions. The research has been published in the journal Fuel. (Source: Canadian Light Source, FUEL, Biofuels Int'l, 30 Jan., 2018) Contact: Canadian Light Source, Director, Dr. Dean Chapman, (306) 657-3535,,; University of Calgary, Assoc. Prof. Hua Song, (403) 220-3792, (403) 284-4852- fac.,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Methane,  Biowaste,  

EPA Extends PES Refinery's Biofuel Compliance Date (Ind. Report)
Philadelphia Energy Solutions, EPA
Date: 2018-02-02
Following up on our 24 January coverage, Reuters is reporting the US EPA has agreed to extend the deadline for Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) to comply with its biofuel credit obligation to May 1, according to a bankruptcy filing.

As previously reported, PES' plan to exit it Chapter 11 bankruptcy is dependent upon its shedding existing biofuel "point-of-obligation" biofuel blending costs under the US DOE Renewable Fuels Standard. The company claims its 2016-17 biofuels obligation totaled $185 million, and the cost of RINs in 2017 alone was $218 million, according to Reuters. (Source: PES, Reuters, Various Media, Feb., 2018) Contact: Philadelphia Energy Solutions,

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Point-of-Obligation,  RINs,  Ethanol,  Ethanol BlendPhiladelphia Energy Solutions,  RFS,  Point of Obligation,  EPA,  

LLNL Funded Biofuel-Producing Algae R&D (Funding, R&D)
General Automation Lab Technologies,Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Date: 2018-02-02
The US DOE reports it has awarded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) a three-year, $1.5 million grant to improve the growth and efficiency of biofuel-producing algae through the alteration of their microbiomes. LLNL will collaborate with San Francisco-based startup General Automation Lab Technologies (GALT) whose novel technology will help the researchers to better understand how algae grow and function in different microbial conditions. This is essential to being able to increase algal production for alternative fuels.

The project is being funded by Funded by the DOE Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). BETO works with industry, academia and national laboratory partners on a balanced portfolio of research in algal biofuels technologies. (Source: US DOE, LLNL. Feb., 2018) Contact: LLNL, Xavier Mayali, (925) 423-3892,; Ty Samo, (925) 423-5837,,; BETO,; US DOE EERE,; General Automation Lab Technologies, (917) 332-7230,

More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE EERE,  DOE BETO,  General Automation Lab Technologies,  Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory,  Algae,  Algae Biofuel,  Biofuel ,  

Petrobras Joining Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (Int'l)
Petrobras,Oil and Gas Climate Initiative
Date: 2018-01-31
In Brazil, Rio de Janeiro-headquartered Petrobras to is reporting it is joining the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), a CEO-led group of oil and gas companies that intends to lead the industry's response to climate change and reduce greenhouse emissions. OGCI existing members include BP, CNPC, Eni, Pemex, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Statoil and Total.

The OGIC's billion-dollar investment arm -- OGCI Climate Investments -- supports the development, deployment and scale-up of low emissions technology. Taken together, oil and gas production by OGCI member companies represents more than a quarter of the world’s oil and gas production.

Petrobras, headquartered in Brazil, is a publicly-held company active in exploration and production, refining, marketing, transportation, petrochemicals, oil product distribution, natural gas, electricity, chemical-gas and biofuel segments. It has a presence in 19 countries and employees around 70,000 people. (Source: Petrobras, MarEx, Others, 28 Jan., 2018) Contact: Petrobras , Pedro Parente, CEO,,; Oil and Gas Climate Initiative,

More Low-Carbon Energy News GHGs,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  Petrobras,  Oil and Gas Climate Initiative ,  

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