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Biofuels Coalition Challenges 2018 RFS Hardship Waivers (Ind. Report)
Renewable Fuels Association
Date: 2020-12-09
A coalition of the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association, National Biodiesel Board, American Coalition for Ethanol, and National Farmers Union have filed a brief to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals challenging EPA's August 2019 decision to exempt 31 small refineries from their obligations to comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in 2018.

The filing argues the EPA was not authorized to issue the exemptions and that it acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner in its decision.

As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance.

Download the coalition's brief HERE. (Source: Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association, National Biodiesel Board, American Coalition for Ethanol, National Farmers Union, 8 Dec., 2020) Contact: National Farmers Union, Rob Larew, Pres., (202) 554-1600, www.nfu.org; Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS Hardship Waiver,  Renewable Fuels Association,  RFS,  National Farmers Union,  


Aemetis Biogas RNG Digester Project Scores $7.8Mn (Funding)
Aemetis
Date: 2020-12-07
Cupertino, California-headquartered advanced renewable fuel and biochemicals producer Aemetis, Inc. has reported its wholly-owned subsidiary, Aemetis Biogas LLC, has been awarded $7.8 million in matching grant funding through the 2020 California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Dairy Digester Research and Development Program (DDRDP).

The DDRDP provides financial assistance for the installation of dairy digesters for the production of renewable natural gas (RNG) for transportation fuel in California.

In December 2020, Aemetis will begin construction of its biogas upgrading facility that will allow the company to inject RNG into PG&E's natural gas pipeline by the end of the first quarter of 2021. The company expects to offer truck fleet RNG fueling fueling at the Aemetis Advanced Fuels Keyes ethanol biorefinery in Q2, 2021. (Source: Aemetis Inc., Website, PR Nov., 2020)Contact: California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Dairy Digester Research and Development Program, (916) 654-1393, www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/ddrdp; Aemetis, Eric McAfee, CEO , Todd Waltz, (408) 213-0940, emcafee@aemetis.com, www.aemetis.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Aemetis,  RNG,  Anerobic Digestor,  Biogas,  


Iowa Renewable Fuels Grants Approved (Ind. Report)
Iowa Dept. of Agriculture
Date: 2020-12-04
In Des Moines, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig reports 101 ethanol projects and 137 biodiesel projects at 167 fuel retail locations in the Hawkeye State have been awarded grant funding from the $7 million Renewable Fuels Retail Recovery program administered by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

The program offers relief funds to help gas stations, truck stops, co-ops, and other renewable fuels retailers recover from the business disruptions and lost demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the release.

Iowa is home to 43 ethanol refineries totaling 4.5 billion gpy capacity and 11 biodiesel facilities totaling 400 million gpy capacity, according to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. (Source: Iowa Dept. of Agriculture, PR, Dec., 2020) Contact: Iowa Dept. of Agriculture, Mike Naig, www.iowaagriculture.gov/grants

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel,  Ethanol,  Biodiesel,  Iowa Biofuel,  


EPA Misses 2021 RFS RVO Announcement (Opinions & Asides)
Renewable Fuels Association,National Farmers Union
Date: 2020-12-02
Commenting on the US EPA's again missing the annual statutory deadline for the release of the RVOs, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper said:

"It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that EPA is missing its statutory deadline for publishing the final rule for 2021 RVOs, given that we still haven't even seen a proposed rule. And even if a proposed rule was released today, it would be next to impossible to have a final rule done by the end of the calendar year, or even by inauguration day.

"At this point, it likely makes more sense to let the new administration handle the 2021 RVO rulemaking process entirely. President-elect Biden has correctly noted that the RFS waivers granted by the current EPA have severely cut ethanol production, costing farmers income and ethanol plant workers their jobs. Thus, we are confident that the new EPA administrator, whoever that may end up being, will stop doing secret favors for oil refiners and ensure the RFS is implemented in a way that is consistent with the law and Congressional intent. We know it may take a few months for the new administration to get a final 2021 RVO rule done, but in the meantime, the statute is crystal clear that refiners must blend at least 15 billion gallons of conventional renewable fuel in 2021.

"So, while there may be some uncertainty around where the final advanced and cellulosic volume requirements may end up, the marketplace should be able to enter 2021 with some level of confidence around the conventional renewable fuel and biomass-based diesel requirements."

National Farmers Union President Rob Larew added, "By punting a decision on 2021's RVOS to the next administration, EPA is introducing yet more uncertainty to the biofuels industry -- uncertainty that most farmers and biofuels producers can't afford right now. Despite promising again and again to uphold RFS, the Trump administration has consistently undermined the program with its misappropriation of small refinery exemptions, preferential treatment of oil corporations, and disregard for its legal responsibility to restore lost demand, all of which has cost America's farmers and biofuel producers dearly. To add insult to injury, fuel use -- and, consequently, ethanol use -- has dropped significantly during the pandemic, cutting deeply into profits.

"Trump's EPA has almost invariably fallen short in its handling of biofuels, and today's decision, or lack thereof, is no different. We sincerely hope Biden's EPA learns from their mistakes and takes biofuels policy in a much more promising direction." (Source: National Farmers Union, Renewable Fuels Association, FencePost, 30 Nov., 2020) Contact: National Farmers Union, Rob Larew, Pres., (202) 554-1600, www.nfu.org; Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Association,  RFS,  National Farmers Union ,  


Quebec Supports Woody Biomass-to-Fuel Project (Ind. Report)
Neste
Date: 2020-12-02
The Government of Quebec has announced $5.943 million ($4.55 million US) in funding to a non-profit organization Bioenergie La Tuque (BELT) to develop and demonstrate the potential of producing advanced biofuels from locally-sourced forestry waste, woody biomass in La Tuque, Quebec, Canada. The funding will be used to continue project development and plant design, and the potential of building a renewable fuels plant in the area.

BELT, the Council of the Atikamekw Nation and renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel provider Neste have been jointly assessing the feasibility of utilizing sustainably-sourced forest-based biomass and residues for advanced sustainable biofuels production since 2017.

The BioEnergie La Tuque project would utilize 650,000 metric tpy of forest biomass and aligns with and supports Quebec's established forest product industry and commitment to sustainable forestry management and biodiversity, according to the release. (Source: Neste Corporation, Press Release, 30 Nov., 2020) Contact: Neste Corp., Thorsten Lange, Exec. VP, +358 10 458 4128, www.neste.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Neste,  Woody Biomass,  Advanced Biofuel ,  


H2PRO Green Hydrogen Tech Wins Shell Energy Challenge (Int'l.)
H2PRO
Date: 2020-11-27
Israeli green energy startup H2Pro reports winning the top prize at Royal Dutch Shell's annual New Energy Challenge competition for its cost effective Electrochemical-Thermally Activated Chemical (E-TAC) hydrogen production technology.

E-TAC uses renewable energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen in two separate phases. E-TAC is membrane-free, requires no precious metals and can operate at high pressure. The process, developed at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, reaches 95 pct efficiency with nearly 30 pct less renewable electricity than leading electrolysis technologies use to produce green hydrogen -- a viable and renewable fuel alternative to oil and natural gas.

H2PRO, which has an exclusive license to the technology, has raised funds from major firms like Hyundai, Sumitomo and Bazan, according to a company release. (Source: H2PRO, Jerusalem Post, 26 Nov., 2020) Contact: H2PRO, www.h2pro.co; Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, www.technion.ac.il/en

More Low-Carbon Energy News H2PRO,  Hydrogen,  Green Hydrogen,  Alternative Fuel,  


Aemetis Subsidiary Wins $24Mn Purchase Order (Ind. Report)
Aemetis
Date: 2020-11-23
Cupertino, California-headquartered advanced renewable fuel and biochemicals producer Aemetis, Inc. is reporting its wholly-owned subsidiary, Aemetis Health Products, Inc., has received a $24 million initial purchase order after signing a supply agreement for sanitizer alcohol and nitrile gloves with a California distributor of health safety products.

Aemetis Inc. owns and operates a 65 million gpy ethanol production facility near Modesto, California and owns and operates a 50 million gpy renewable chemical and advanced fuel production facility on the East Coast of India producing high quality distilled biodiesel and refined glycerin.

As we reported on 24 Aug., Aemetis is also building a biogas anaerobic digester network and pipeline to convert dairy animal waste gas to Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) and is developing a plant to convert waste orchard wood into cellulosic ethanol.

Aemetis holds a portfolio of patents and related technology licenses for the production of renewable fuels and biochemicals, according to a release. (Source: Aemetis Inc., Street Insider, 23 Nov., 2020) Contact: Aemetis, Eric McAfee, CEO , Todd Waltz, (408) 213-0940, emcafee@aemetis.com, www.aemetis.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Aemetis ,  Ethanol,  RNG,  


Cielo Announces Pre-Sale of Renewable Diesel (Ind. Report)
Cielo
Date: 2020-11-23
On the Canadian prairies, Alberta based Cielo Waste Solutions Corp. is reporting receipt of pre-payment in full for 60,000 litres of renewable diesel at $1.25/litre which is now being produced at the Company's Aldersyde waste to renewable fuel facility. The renewable diesel will be shipped to a third party of the purchaser's choice once Cielo reduces the sulphur content of its renewable fuel down to less than 15 PPM sulphur.

Cielo is also reporting its Aldersyde facility is seeing increased production rates as a result of previously reported design changes and improvements made to increase the distillate flow from the reactor. With the newly fabricated equipment installed late last week, Cielo was able to begin making renewable naphtha and diesel on a continuous-flow basis. The Aldersyde facility is engineered to run 24 /7 to produce approximately 800 lph of distillate for 18 hpd day and then undergo a cooling process for the remaining 8 hpd. (Source: Cielo, PR, 23 Nov., 2020) Contact: Cielo Waste Solutions, Don Allan, Pres., CEO, 403-348-2972, info@cielows.com, www.cielows.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Cielo,  Waste-to-Renewable Fuel,  


West Coast Reduction Supports B.C. Waste-to-Biofuels (Ind. Report)
West Coast Reduction
Date: 2020-11-23
Vancouver-based West Coast Reduction Ltd is western Canada's largest supplier of animal and other organic waste feedstocks for liquid renewable fuel production. In total, the company recycles roughly 1 billion ppy of raw material, which is turned into fats and protein meal products. Those fats and meals contribute to finished products used in various applications, including making ingredients for everything from pet and livestock feed to ingredients used in biofuel.

Co-processing involves taking a bio feedstock such as tallow -- which West Coast Reduction supplies -- and co-firing it in the system along with traditional crude oil to produce a blended, lower carbon fuel product.

Through its retail brand Redux, West Coast Reduction also collects food waste from other forms of food production, including collecting byproducts from the bakery industry, such as wasted dough or flour that is no longer consumable. Those products are then re-purposed into animal feed ingredients. (Source: West Coast Reduction. Website, PR BIV 23 Nov., 2020) Contact: West Coast Reduction, 866-337-3355, www.wcrl.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Biofuel Feedstock,  


More Refiners Seeking RFS Biofuel Hardship Waivers (Ind. Report)
EPA, RFS
Date: 2020-11-20
In Washington, the EPA is reporting over the past 30 days, US refiners added five requests for "hardship waiver" exemptions of 2020 renewable fuel blending requirements and one to exempt 2019 requirements . There are nine pending applications to waive Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requirements for 2020 and 32 pending applications to waive 2019 requirements.

EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler stated that the agency would not act on waiver requests for compliance years since 2019 until ongoing court challenges to prior decisions are settled.

As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. Under the now vanquished administrator Greg Pruitt's direction, the EPA handed out 54 exemptions over two years and not a single request for an exemption was denied.

On Sept 18 we reported Trump had suggested he'd provide $300 million to oil refiners and that those funds would come out of the USDA Commodity Credit Corp. (CCC) which is intended to provide farmers with Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments. Trump later denied suggesting cash payments to refineries whose waiver applications had been rejected. (Source: EPA, Various Media, 19 Nov., 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  ,  Hardship Waiver,  Biofuel Blending,  


SoCalGas Dispensing California Produced RNG (Ind. Report)
SoCalGas,Calgren
Date: 2020-11-18
Following up on our 15th Jan. report, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) reports it is for the first time dispensing California-produced renewable natural gas (RNG) at many of the natural gas fueling stations it operates across the Golden State.

The utility recently began purchasing RNG from Pixley-based Calgren Dairy Fuels (Calgren), the largest dairy biogas operation in the U.S.

To encourage the growth and use of RNG, SoCalGas has also proposed offering customers the option to purchase a portion of their natural gas from renewable sources. Additionally, California recently enacted legislation that expands the definition of renewable natural gas to include organic waste such as dead trees, agricultural waste and vegetation removed for wildfire mitigation which is typically converted to RNG by non-combustion thermal conversion.

In the next three and a half years, at least 160 RNG production facilities will produce more than 15.8 million therms of carbon-negative RNG every year and replace about 119 million gallons of diesel fuel -- enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 3.4 million tpy -- equivalent of taking more than 730,000 cars off the road.

A 2016 study by the University of California, Davis found California has the potential to produce approximately 90.6 billion cubic feet (bcf) per year of renewable natural gas from dairy, landfill, municipal solid waste, and wastewater treatment plant sources alone -- sufficient to meet the annual natural gas needs of around 2.3 million California homes. According to the U.S. DOE the U.S. currently produces 1 trillion cubic feet of renewable natural gas every year, and that number is expected to increase to 10 trillion by 2030. (Source: SoCalGas, PR, 17 Nov., 2020) Contact: SoCalGas, Jeff Walker, VP Customer Solutions, www.socalgas.com; Calgren Renewable Fuels, Walt Dwelle, Principal Owner , Lyle Schlyer, Pres., (559) 757-3850, lschyler@calgren.com, www.calgren.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News RNG,  SoCalGas,  Calgren,  


TOTAL Using Honeywell UOP to Produce Renewable Jet Fuel (Int'l.)
Honeywell UOP, UOP, TOTAL
Date: 2020-11-16
Des Plaines, Illinois-based Honeywell reports TOTAL will use Honeywell UOP Ecofining™ process technology to produce renewable fuels, primarily for the aviation industry, at its Grandpuits platform at Seine-et-Marne in France .

Honeywell UOP will provide technology licenses, basic engineering, specialty equipment, and catalysts for the biorefinery project that will process 400,000 tpy of feedstock to produce 70,000 tpy of sustainable aviation fuel, 120,000 tpy of renewable diesel and 50,000 tpy of renewable naphtha for production of bioplastics.

Honeywell Green Jet Fuel™produced by this process is 50/50 blended with petroleum-based jet fuel at commercial scale and requires no changes to aircraft technology. (Source: Honeywell, PR, 13 Nov., 2020) Contact: Honeywell , www.honeywell.com, UOP , www.uop.com/biofuels, Honeywell Process Solutions, www.honeywellprocess.com; TOTAL, www.total.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Honeywell,  UOP,  TOTAL,  Renewable Diesel,  


PREEM's Lysekil Refinery Begins Renewable Fuels Production (Int'l.)
Preem
Date: 2020-11-11
Stockholm, Sweden-headquartered PREEM is reporting renewable raw materials are now being converted to Swedish Environmental Class 1 diesel at its Synsat refinery in Lysekil which is being converted to produce 950,000 cubic meters of renewable fuel by 2024.

The plant conversion is part of a larger project that intends to convert the existing plant for the large-scale production of renewable fuels. To begin with, five pct rapeseed oil will be combined with the fossil raw material for a limited period. This test process is within the conditions of the existing environmental permit and represents an important basis for the refinery's conversion.

The increased renewable production will play an important role in ensuring Sweden achieves its climate targets. The conversion is estimated to reduce emissions in the entire value chain by between 1.2 and 1.7 million tpy of CO2 of which the largest reduction will take place in road traffic. At the same time, renewable fuel production will be accommodated within existing carbon dioxide emissions from the refinery. The plant is expected to be operational by 2024 at the latest, according to the release. (Source: PREEM, PR, 11 Nov., 2020) Contact: PREEM, Petter Holland, CEO, Pres., +46 (0) 10 459 1000, www.preem.se/en/in-english

More Low-Carbon Energy News Preem,  Renewable Fuel,  


Diamond Green Diesel Doubling Norco La. Plant Capacity (Ind. Report)
Diamond Green Diesel
Date: 2020-11-04
Diamond Green Diesel reports it will more than double its production of renewable diesel to 675 million gpy at its Norco, Louisiana plant with the completion of a second Honeywell Ecofining process unit with a capacity of 30,000 bpd The facility converts inedible oils and other waste fats into a high-quality renewable diesel fuel. When the second unit is expected to be completed in 2021.

Honeywell Green Diesel can be used as a drop-in replacement in diesel-powered vehicles with no engine modifications, and features up to an 80 pct lifecycle reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared with diesel from petroleum.

Diamond Green Diesel is owned by Valero Energy Corp. and Darling Ingredients Inc.(Source: Diamond Green Diesel, PR, GreenCar Congress, 2 Nov., 2020) Contact: Darling Ingredients, Melissa A. Gaither, VP IR , (972) 281-4478, mgaither@darlingii.com, www.darlingii.com; Diamond Green Diesel, sales@diamondgreendiesel.com, www.diamondgreendiesel.com; Valero Renewable Fuels, Joe Gorder, Pres., (800) 324-8464, www.valero.com; Honeywell UOP, Rebecca Liebert, Pres.,CEO, www.uop.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News UOP Honeywell,  Diamond Green Diesel,  


Growth Energy Comments on Biofuel Production (Opinions & Asides)
Growth Energy, USDA
Date: 2020-11-02
Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor recently submitted the following comments to the USDA's Agriculture Innovation Agenda regarding readily available technologies that enable our domestic agriculture sector to increase production while reducing its environmental footprint.

In her comments, Skor argued that biofuels like ethanol play a critical role in achieving the USDA's goals and called for building on current investments to expand renewable fuels role in the nation's transportation infrastructure. "Supporting programs like the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and initiatives to expand access to higher biofuel blends like E15, E30, and E85 can build on biofuels' environmental progress and expand the market for American agriculture,", said Skor. "USDA's Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) is a prime example how the agency can support the productivity of our farmers, while decreasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and encouraging further adoption of sustainable farming practices across our agriculture sector."

Skor also notes the biofuels industry's continued advancements to capture CO2 and the plant-based fuel's ability to replace harmful toxics and improve air quality. "We have a better option in ethanol, the single most affordable and abundant alternative to petroleum-based fuel additives that threaten air quality in communities across the globe. To expand on these benefits, USDA should continue to promote programs that boost biofuels access and use throughout the country.

As the department works to streamline programs and seek opportunities to improve sustainable farming across the country, Skor encouraged USDA to continue exploring the strong link between U.S. agriculture and our biofuels industry, and promote the increased use of biofuels so our nation's farmers can continue to rely on these markets as we work to reduce the environmental impact of the agriculture sector.

The organizations have asked the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to order the following: EPA should not withhold the name of the company submitting an application for an SRE nor the name and location of the refinery for which relief is requested; EPA should immediately produce the information that was unlawfully withheld for Renewable Fuel Standard compliance years 2015, 2016, and 2017, and; EPA should not withhold any of the five data elements identified in the proposed Renewables Enhancement and Growth Support (REGS) rule (Source: Growth Energy, Website PR , 28 Oct., 2020) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy,  USDA,  RFS,  Biofuel,  


ClearFlame Engine Technologies (New Subscriber Profile)
ClearFlame
Date: 2020-11-02
"There is a great need in heavy-duty applications (e.g. long-haul trucking, construction, agriculture, marine and back-up power generation) for technologies that provide diesel-like performance but which are decoupled from the dirty emissions of diesel fuel. ClearFlame's mission is to break the bond between diesel engines and their fuel to create the fastest path to a sustainable future, equitably distributed to all the places that might be initially under-served by alternative solutions.

Electrification is important, but it requires extensive infrastructure expansion. This is expensive and will take decades, and until that expansion is complete, little benefit is achieved in reducing climate change or improving air quality in the front-line communities that are harmed most by pollution. We cannot wait that long.

"We believe the solution is our technology allows climate-friendly, renewable, decarbonized fuels to be used at the highest possible efficiency. Our technology can be adopted quickly. It uses existing liquid refueling infrastructure, and operators get the performance they expect while also relying on the existing base of engine technicians for service. Our solution provides "near-zero" emissions that are an order of magnitude better than even the cleanest diesel-fueled engines and is the fastest way for reducing CO2 emissions from heavy-duty engines. "Low carbon, renewable fuels are generally characterized as low in reactivity as measured by cetane number. These alternative fuels have historically required use of spark-ignited engines which have lower efficiency and are bore-size limited compared to compression ignition (Diesel) engines. These fuels were thought to be incompatible with compression ignition engines which traditionally require easily ignitable fuels.

ClearFlame uses a high-temperature combustion system that overcomes cetane limitations. We are using insulation strategies and calibration changes like reduced charge air cooling and increased EGR to increase combustion temperatures just enough so that lower cetane fuels like alcohols will ignite reliably with short ignition delays. There is no fuel blending, no spark plugs and no petroleum. The ClearFlame combustion process leverages the no/low soot characteristics of alternative bio or e-fuels and produces engine-out exhaust with ultra-low PM levels that does not require a DPF. Further, because the engine is no longer smoke-limited, the air-fuel ratio is changed from lean to stoichiometric using "clean" EGR for dilution at lower loads, improving volumetric efficiency/power density, and leaving an exhaust stream suitable for 3-way catalysis. The SCR after-treatment system can be eliminated in favor of a 3-way catalytic converter allowing a substantial cost reduction and improvement in NOx reduction efficiency. DEF/AdBlue/urea is no longer required and system reliability is improved.

The value added by being able to change fuels is tremendous because a very high efficiency combustion process can now be paired with use of 100 pct renewable, clean fuels providing a combination that surpasses all other alternatives in terms of CO2 mitigation, reduced criteria emissions and lower costs.

ClearFlame Engine Technologies recognizes the importance of developing renewably-fueled combustion-based alternatives that complement electrification enabling sustainability in applications where liquid fuels will remain necessary.

"Technologies that integrate globally deployed, decarbonized fuels with high-efficiency combustion can be implemented faster and at lower cost than even current diesel technology, providing the immediate scalability needed for rapid carbon mitigation. Such solutions can support electrification by providing low-cost range extension power to otherwise electrified drivetrains (e.g. in a series hybrid configuration), relieving the need for complete charging/H2 infrastructure buildout before scalability can be achieved." (Source: Subscriber profile submitted by ClearFlame Engine Technologies, Oct.,2020) Contact: ClearFlame Engine Technologies, John Howell, Bus. Dev., 508-404-9398, JohnH@clearflameengines.com, www.clearflameengines.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News ClearFlame Engine Technologies,  Alternative Fuel,  


Pacific Ethanol Refocusing, Changing Name (Ind. Report)
Pacific Ethanol
Date: 2020-10-30
Sacramento, California-based Pacific Ethanol, Inc. is reporting a strategic realignment to focus on specialty alcohols and essential ingredients as well as its intent to change its corporate name. The company also announced the pricing of a $75 million equity offering and released certain preliminary results for the three months ended September 30, 2020.

Over the past nine months the company's production mix shifted from approximately 85 pct fuel grade ethanol and 15 pct specialty alcohols to approximately 50 pct each for the three months ended September 30, 2020. Going forward, the company will focus on specialty alcohols and essential ingredients for four key markets: Health, Home & Beauty; Food & Beverage; Essential Ingredients; and Renewable Fuels.

As previously announced, the company idled its Magic Valley, Stockton and Madera fuel-grade ethanol distilleries earlier this year while continuing to operate its Columbia distillery. As part of the company's strategic realignment and new business focus, it intends to sell or repurpose these assets. Asset sale proceed will be used to reduce debt, invest in core operations or general corporate purposes. (Source: Pacific Ethanol, PR, 26 Oct., 2020) Contact: Pacific Ethanol, Inc., Paul Kohler, CEO, (916) 403-2123, info@pacificethanol.com, www.pacificethanol.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  Pacific Ethanol,  


Growth Energy Touts Biofuels' Advantage to Meet Ag Innovation Goals (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Growth Energy, USDA
Date: 2020-10-30
In Washington, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor submitted comments to the USDA as part of the agency's Agriculture Innovation Agenda, regarding readily available technologies that enable the U.S. domestic agriculture sector to increase biofuel production while reducing its environmental footprint.

In her comments, Skor argued that biofuels play a critical role in achieving the department's goals and called for building on current investments to expand renewables fuels' role in the nation's transportation infrastructure.

"Supporting programs like the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and initiatives to expand access to higher biofuel blends can build on biofuels' environmental progress and expand the market for American agriculture. USDA's Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) is a prime example of how the agency can support the productivity of our farmers while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging further adoption of sustainable farming practices across our agriculture sector," Skor noted.

Growth Energy is the world's largest association of biofuel producers representing 89 U.S. plants that produce more than 7.5 billion gpy of renewable fuel, 96 businesses associated with the production process, and tens of thousands of biofuel supporters across the country, according to its website.

Download Skorr's full comments HERE. (Source: Growth Energy, Website PR, 28 Oct., 2020) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy,  Biofuel,  USDA,  RFS,  Biofuel Blends,  HBIIP,  


Pacific Ethanol Refocusing, Changing Name (Ind. Report)
Pacific Ethanol
Date: 2020-10-28
Sacramento, California-headquartered Pacific Ethanol, Inc. is reporting a strategic realignment to focus on specialty alcohols and essential ingredients as well as an intended corporate name change to reflect it's move away from ethanol transportation fuels. The company also announced a $75 million equity offering and released certain preliminary results for the three months ended September 30, 2020.

Over the past nine months, the company increased production of specialty alcohols used in consumer products and reduced fuel grade ethanol production. The company's production mix shifted from approximately 85 pct fuel grade ethanol and 15 pct specialty alcohols used in consumer products during 2019, to approximately 50 pct each for the three months ended September 30, 2020. Going forward, the company will focus on specialty alcohols and essential ingredients for four key markets: Health, Home & Beauty; Food & Beverage; Essential Ingredients; and Renewable Fuels, according to the release.

As previously reported, Pacific Ethanol idled its Magic Valley, Stockton and Madera fuel-grade ethanol distilleries earlier this year while continuing to operate its Columbia distillery. As part of the company's strategic realignment and new business focus, the company intends to sell or re-purpose these assets. Any proceeds from the sale of assets will be used to reduce debt, invest in core operations or for general corporate purposes, according to the website release. (Source: Pacific Ethanol, PR, 26 Oct., 2020) Contact: Pacific Ethanol, Inc., Paul Kohler, CEO, (916) 403-2123, info@pacificethanol.com, www.pacificethanol.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Pacific Ethanol,  Ethanol,  


IRFA Opposing Zero Emissions Vehicle Legislation (Reg, & Leg.)
IRFA
Date: 2020-10-26
In Washington, the Zero Emissions Vehicles Act Legislation recently introduced in the House and Senate calls for restricting the sale of passenger vehicles capable of utilizing biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel by 2025 with a complete ban in 2035.

Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw says the bill mandates electric cars but doesn't take into account electric cars don't have zero emissions. Shaw claims biofuels have a better carbon footprint with lower emissions than electric vehicles that are powered by coal and suggests the best way to cut emissions is to set reduction targets and let the fuel and vehicle market decide how to achieve those goals. (Source: IRFA, WNAX, 26 Oct., 2020) Contact: IRFA, Monte Shaw, Ecex. Dir., (515) 252-6249, (515) 225-0781 -- fax, www.iowarfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News IRFA,  Zero Emission Vehicle,  Transportation Emissions,  


National Biodiesel Foundation Grants to Support B100 (Ind. Report)
National Biodiesel Foundation,Optimus Technologies
Date: 2020-10-26
The Jefferson, Missouri-based National Biodiesel Foundation reports receipt of two DOE 2021 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program grants to support s the purchase of new vehicles equipped to run on 100 pct biodiesel (B100).

The first grant is in partnership with the District of Columbia (DC) Department of Public Works and DC Department of Water for the purchase of 24 short-haul utility replacement vehicles equipped with Selective Catalytic Reduction.

The Iowa project will replace a multi-purpose vehicle in both Ames and Des-Moines. All replacement vehicles will use Optimus Technologies' Vector system using 100 pct biodiesel supplied by Renewable Energy Group (REGI).

The projects include an educational and outreach component which will be provided by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and Greater Washington Regional Clean Cities Coalition and the Iowa Biodiesel Board and Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. (Source: National Biodiesel Foundation, PR, AgWires, 26 Oct., 2020) Contact: National Biodiesel Foundation, info@biodieselfoundation.org, www.biodieselfoundation.org; REGI, Katie Stanley, (515) 239-8184, Katie.Stanley@regi.com, www.regi.com; Optimus Technologies, Colin Huwyler, CEO, 412.727.8228, www.optimustec.com; Iowa Renewable Fuels AssociationI, Nathan Hohnstein, Policy Director , (515) 252-6249, (515) 225-0781 -- fax, www.iowarfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  National Biodiesel Foundation,  Biodiesel,  B100,  REGI,  Optimus Technologies,  


"Reject Industry Efforts to Derail Clean-Fuel Standard", Suzuki Says (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Canada Clean Fuels Standard,Suzuki Foundation
Date: 2020-10-23
"The UN's annual Emissions Gap Report 2019 found Earth is headed toward 3.2 degrees C warming based on current and estimated emissions trends and called on governments to increase efforts to limit global warming immediately. But Canada isn't even on track to meet its original 2030 emissions-reduction targets.

"Greenpeace recently obtained leaked strategy documents advising industry to push back against measures such as the federal clean fuel standard that prompts a switch to low-carbon fuels by setting limits on greenhouse-gas emissions from fossil fuels. To meet it, fossil-fuel suppliers can buy or generate credits by offering low-carbon alternatives, like biofuels from waste organics or electric-vehicle charging stations. The clean-fuel-credit market is expected to attract investment in low-carbon fuel production and distribution in Canada.

"It's a smart move as the government looks to support economic recovery. Clean-fuels investments generate employment. Clean Energy Canada estimates the regulation could spur the need for up to 31,000 skilled workers to build, operate, and supply new facilities.

Navigator, the PR firm engaged to develop an action plan to counter the clean-fuel standard, advises its unnamed clients to use a "counter-punch strategy" -- to pay lip service to government's climate agenda, wait for the clean-fuel-standard announcement, then orchestrate a hard push-back. Part of the scheme is to convince Canadians that "fighting climate change is a losing battle" by arguing action is too costly. It's dishonest. Energy companies -- and the politicians they're seeking to influence -- know Canada must decarbonize the fuel supply to reduce GHG emissions.

"All the major federal political parties have pledged to meet or exceed Canada's 2030 targets. The clean-fuel standard is projected to reduce annual GHG emissions by 30 million tonnes by 2030 -- equivalent to taking 7 million cars off the road and accounts for 15 pct of Canada's current emissions-reduction target -- more than can be achieved with any other single climate-policy instrument.

"B.C.'s (British Columbia) low-carbon fuel requirement has been in place since 2010 and is credited with delivering one-quarter of B.C.'s emissions reductions between 2007 and 2012 with limited impacts to consumers' pocketbooks. As part of its CleanBC plan, the province recently announced further reductions to the carbon intensity of transportation fuels over the next decade using this instrument. California, Oregon, and the EU have parallel policies. Their experience shows that a clean-fuel standard can reduce emissions, drive innovation, and increase renewable alternatives availability.

"Too often, industry opposition to environmental policies isn't driven by facts but by vested interests. Climate action is in everyone's interest. Government must stand firm on the policies needed to achieve timely emissions reductions. The sooner Canada adopts its clean fuel standard, the better."

Download the UN Emissions Gap Report 2019 HERE. (Source: David Suzuki, Suzuki Foundation, The Straight, 20 Oct, 2020) Contact: Suzuki Foundation, David Suzuki, 604-732-4228, www.davidsuzuki.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Fuel Standard,  Renewable Fuels,  Suzuki Foundation,  Environment and Climate Change Canada,  


CEC Earmarks $384Mn for Zero-Emissions Transport (Ind. Report)
California Energy Commission
Date: 2020-10-16
In Sacramento, the California Energy Commission (CEC) is reporting approval of a $384 million plan focused on closing gaps in zero-emission fuels and infrastructure to support Governor Gavin Newsom's executive order phasing out the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger vehicles by 2035.

The 2020-2023 Investment Plan Update for the CEC's Clean Transportation Program -- fka the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program -- prioritizes funding for zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure, related workforce development and manufacturing.

The plan approved the following: $132.9 million for light-duty EV charging infrastructure; $129.8 mn for medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs and infrastructure; $70 mn for hydrogen refueling infrastructure; $25 mn for zero-and near-zero-carbon fuel production and supply; $10 mn for COVID-19 recovery and reinvestment; $9 mn for ZEV manufacturing and $7.5 mn for workforce development.

The Clean Transportation Program has provided nearly $900 million in funding to California alternative fuels and related projects since 2008. (Source: California Energy Commission,15 Oct., 2020) Contact: California Energy Commission, www.energy.ca.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News California Energy Commission,  Transportation Emissions,  


ClearFlame Engine Technologies (New Subscriber Profile)
ClearFlame Engine Technologies
Date: 2020-10-09
"There is a great need in heavy-duty applications (e.g. long-haul trucking, construction, agriculture, marine and back-up power generation) for technologies that provide diesel-like performance but which are decoupled from the dirty emissions of diesel fuel. ClearFlame's mission is to break the bond between diesel engines and their fuel to create the fastest path to a sustainable future, equitably distributed to all the places that might be initially under-served by alternative solutions.. Electrification is important, but it requires extensive infrastructure expansion. This is expensive and will take decades, and until that expansion is complete, little benefit is achieved in reducing climate change or improving air quality in the front-line communities that are harmed most by pollution. We cannot wait that long. Further, developing economies and marginalized locations may not be able to afford electric equipment and its required infrastructure, and will therefore be forced to continue using aged diesel assets that compromise air quality.

"We believe the solution is our technology allows climate-friendly, renewable, decarbonized fuels to be used at the highest possible efficiency. Our technology can be adopted quickly. It uses existing liquid refueling infrastructure, and operators get the performance they expect while also relying on the existing base of engine technicians for service. Our solution provides "near-zero" emissions that are an order of magnitude better than even the cleanest diesel-fueled engines and is the fastest way for reducing CO2 emissions from heavy-duty engines.

"Low carbon, renewable fuels are generally characterized as low in reactivity as measured by cetane number. These alternative fuels have historically required use of spark-ignited engines which have lower efficiency and are bore-size limited compared to compression ignition (Diesel) engines. These fuels were thought to be incompatible with compression ignition engines which traditionally require easily ignitable fuels. ClearFlame uses a high-temperature combustion system that overcomes cetane limitations. We are using insulation strategies and calibration changes like reduced charge air cooling and increased EGR to increase combustion temperatures just enough so that lower cetane fuels like alcohols will ignite reliably with short ignition delays. There is no fuel blending, no spark plugs and no petroleum. The ClearFlame combustion process leverages the no/low soot characteristics of alternative bio or e-fuels and produces engine-out exhaust with ultra-low PM levels that does not require a DPF. Further, because the engine is no longer smoke-limited, the air-fuel ratio is changed from lean to stoichiometric using "clean" EGR for dilution at lower loads, improving volumetric efficiency/power density, and leaving an exhaust stream suitable for 3-way catalysis. The SCR after-treatment system can be eliminated in favor of a 3-way catalytic converter allowing a substantial cost reduction and improvement in NOx reduction efficiency. DEF/AdBlue/urea is no longer required and system reliability is improved. The value added by being able to change fuels is tremendous because a very high efficiency combustion process can now be paired with use of 100 pct renewable, clean fuels providing a combination that surpasses all other alternatives in terms of CO2 mitigation, reduced criteria emissions and lower costs.

ClearFlame Engine Technologies recognizes the importance of developing renewably-fueled combustion-based alternatives that complement electrification enabling sustainability in applications where liquid fuels will remain necessary.

"Technologies that integrate globally deployed, decarbonized fuels with high-efficiency combustion can be implemented faster and at lower cost than even current diesel technology, providing the immediate scalability needed for rapid carbon mitigation. Such solutions can support electrification by providing low-cost range extension power to otherwise electrified drivetrains (e.g. in a series hybrid configuration), relieving the need for complete charging/H2 infrastructure buildout before scalability can be achieved." (Source: Subscriber profile submitted by ClearFlame Engine Technologies, Oct.,2020) Contact: ClearFlame Engine Technologies, John Howell, Bus. Dev., 508-404-9398, JohnH@clearflameengines.com, www.clearflameengines.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News ClearFlame Engine Technologies,  


Marathon Planning Calif. Renewable Diesel Production (Ind. Report)
Marathon Petroleum
Date: 2020-10-07
Ohio-headquartered Marathon Petroleum reports it has applied for permits to convert its presently shuttered petroleum refinery in Martinez, California to produce 736 million bpy of renewable diesel from animal fat, soybeans, corn oil and similar feedstocks beginning in 2022.

Marathon's renewable fuels projects include ethanol production through a Midwest joint venture, investment in its biofuels subsidiary Virent and the conversion of a refinery in Dickinson, North Dakota, to renewable diesel. (Source: Marathon Petroleum, PR, 7 Oct., 2020) Contact: Marathon Petroleum Corp., 419.422.2121, www.marathonpetroleum.com; Virent Inc., Lee Edawards, CEO, Jeff Moore, Exec. VP, Operations, (608) 663-0228, www.virent.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Marathon Petroleum,  Renewable Diesel,  Alternative Fuel,  Virent ,  


US Biomass Pellet Assoc. Supports EU's Carbon-Neutral Goals (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
US Industrial Pellet Association
Date: 2020-09-21
In a release, the Richmond, Virginia-based US Industrial Pellet Association (USIPA) welcomed the European Commission (EC) proposal to accelerate the EU's transition to a climate neutral economy. Over the past decade, sustainable biomass has displaced millions of tons of coal in Europe and will play a critical role in helping achieve the EU's 2030 Climate Targets.

The EC's plan calls for a series of new climate targets to be met by the end of the decade on the path to achieving climate neutrality by 2050. Sustainable biomass is poised to make significant contributions to several of these, including reducing the 27-member trading bloc's greenhouse gas emissions by 55 pct compared to 1990 levels; increasing its share of renewable energy to 38-40 pct and cutting coal and gas consumption by 70 pct and 25 pct respectively, compared to 2015 levels.

As its largest single source of renewable energy, sustainable biomass is a cornerstone of the EU's low-carbon energy transition. We welcome the EC's recognition that in to meet its ambitious targets for 2030 and 2050 the EU will need more sustainable biomass to balance the grid and support a massive expansion of intermittent renewables like wind and solar.

According to the USIPA, sustainability is paramount to ensuring biomass delivers tangible benefits for the climate. US producers are leading in this area, thanks to our ability to provide substantial quantities of renewable fuel to EU Member States while supporting healthy forests and protecting biodiversity. (Source: USIPA, PR, 16 Sept., 2020) Contact: USIPA, 804.775.5894, JMarcus@theusipa.org, www.theusipa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Neutral,  Climate Change,  


MN Dem. Calls for EPA, RFS Waiver Transparency (Reg & Leg)
RFS Waivers
Date: 2020-09-18
In Washington, Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson (D), chair of the House Agriculture Committee, has introduced legislation that would set a deadline for refiners to request exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and require the EPA to publicly release the name of refiners requesting a waiver, the number of gallons requested to be waived and the number of gallons of biofuel that won't be blended as result of the waiver.

Peterson is calling for transparency to be achieved before the 2021 oil refinery renewable volume obligations are released by the EPA. (Source: Office of Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson, WNAX, Sept., 2020) Contact: Office of Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson, (507) 637-2270, collinpeterson.house.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Refinery Waivers,  Biofuel Blend,  


Could Trump Use USDA Funds for RFS Waiver Payoffs? (Ind. Report)
RFS Waivers
Date: 2020-09-18
Further to our 16 Sept. coverage, the Trump EPA denied 54 of the pending 99 small refinery exemption (SRE) requests from oil refiners to blend less ethanol under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). However, EPA still hasn't acted on 44 waivers, 14 of which are also gap-year waivers and 31 of which are for the 2019 and 2020 blending requirements.

In a blatant move to win support and placate the biofuels and refinery interests, Trump has suggested he'd provide $300 million to oil refiners and that those funds would come out of the USDA Commodity Credit Corp. (CCC) which is intended to provide farmers with Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments.

Commenting on Trump's possible cash payments to refiners scheme, former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he "strongly expects that no action will be taken on the remaining waivers until after the election." Vilsack was critical of the reports that the President indicated that he would offer $300 million through the CCC fund in lieu of the waiver approvals, as the CCC is designed specifically to be used by USDA for the purpose of helping farmers.

As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. (Source: EPA, Feedstuffs, 17 Sept., 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  RFS,  Refinery Waivers,  Biofuel Blend,  Tom Vilsack ,  


54 Pending RFS Biofuel "Hardship" Waivers Denied! (Ind. Report)
RFS Waivers
Date: 2020-09-16
In Washington, the Trump Administration's EPA has rejected 54 retroactive renewable fuel standard biofuel "hardship waiver" petitions that were pending review.

As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. Under the now vanquished administrator Greg Pruitt's direction, the EPA handed out 54 exemptions over two years and not a single request for an exemption was denied.

Interestingly, it is being widely reported that Trump is suggesting cash payments to refineries that have had waiver applications rejected, thus placating the biofuels and oil industries in a thinly-veiled move to win re-election in Nov. (Source: Various Media, OilPrice, 14 Sept., 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  RFS,  Refinery Waivers,  Biofuel Blend,  


Ethanol Industry Joint Statement On Brazil Ethanol TRQ Announcement (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Ethanol Tadiff
Date: 2020-09-16
The following is a joint statement from the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), Growth Energy, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). After expiring on August 31 and a 20 percent tariff was temporarily applied to all U.S. ethanol, Brazil's tariff rate quota (TRQ) has been extended for a further 90 days starting on Sept. 14.:

"The U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association and the National Corn Growers Association believe the 90-day extension of the TRQ serves neither Brazil's consumers nor the Brazilian government's own decarbonization goals, especially while Brazil's ethanol producers continue to be afforded virtually tariff-free access to the U.S. market. The extension falls during Brazil's annual inter-harvest period when U.S. ethanol exports to Brazil are traditionally low, causing greater uncertainty for U.S. exporters looking to make selling decisions now for the traditionally higher Brazilian demand in the winter months. While the Brazilian ethanol market has not been fully reopened to imports, we appreciate the continued support and efforts of the U.S. government as we use this 90-day period to aggressively pursue an open and mutually beneficial ethanol trading relationship with Brazil.

"The U.S. ethanol industry actively sought, through repeated dialogue with local industry and government, to illustrate the negative impacts of tariffs on Brazilian consumers and the Brazilian government's own decarbonization goals. However, it seems Brazil's government has left its own consumers to pay the price through higher fuel costs once again. While we would have preferred Brazil abandon its ethanol import tariffs entirely and resume its free trade posture on ethanol, which it held for several years before the TRQ, we view its decision to temporarily extend the TRQ on ethanol at the current level as an opportunity to continue discussions toward that end.

"The U.S. ethanol industry remains focused on expanding the global use of low-carbon ethanol, reducing barriers to trade and elevating its prominence in energy discussions. We remain eager to collaborate and cooperate with other nations that share in the vision of a free and open global ethanol market." (Source: U.S. Grains Council Website News, 14 Sept., 2020) Contact: USGC, Bryan Jernigan, 202-789-0789, bjernigan@grains.org, www.grains.org; Growth Energy, Leigh Claffey, lclaffey@growthenergy.org, www.growthenergy.org; RFA, Ken Colombini, kcolombini@ethanolrfa.org, www.ethanolrfa.org; NCGA, Liz Friedlander, (202) 326-0644, friedlander@ncga.com, www.ncga.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol Tariff,  Growth Energy,  RFA,  NCGA,  USGC,  


RFA Offers EPA Advisory Committee Recommendations (Ind. Report)
Renewable Fuels Association
Date: 2020-09-11
At a recent EPA Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Advisory Committee meeting Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) Pres. and CEO Geoff Cooper suggested the following steps the EPA needs to take immediately to support U.S. ethanol producers and rural America:

  • adopt the recent Tenth Circuit Court decision (Renewable Fuels Association et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency) nationwide;

  • deny all pending so-called "gap year" small refinery exemption (SRE) petitions;

  • decide the 31 pending SRE petitions for 2019 and 2020 according to the Tenth Circuit Court criteria;

  • publish the proposed rule for 2021 renewable volume obligations (RVOs);

  • as ordered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in ACEI v. EPA, restore the 500 million-gallon conventional renewable fuel volume that was illegally waived from the 2016 RFS requirements, (Source: RFA, AgWired, Sept., 2020 Contact: Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Advisory Committee, www.epa.gov/faca/farm-ranch-and-rural-communities-federal-advisory-committee-frrcc-membership; Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuels Association,  Ethanol,  Renewable Fuel,  Geoff Cooper,  


  • Trump Reportedly Denies Retroactive RFS Waivers (Ind. Report)
    RFS
    Date: 2020-09-11
    Reuters is reporting U.S. Pres. Trump has instructed the EPA to deny dozens of oil refiner requests for retroactive "hardship waivers" under the Renewable Fuels Standard.

    The president's could be seen as an effort to shore up his support in the Corn Belt states.

    As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. Under the now vanquished administrator Greg Pruitt's direction, the EPA handed out 54 exemptions over two years and not a single request for an exemption was denied.Under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, the nation's oil refineries are required to blend billions of gallons of biofuels such as ethanol into the fuel or buy credits from those that do. But the EPA can waive their obligations if they prove compliance would cause them financial distress. (Source: Chronicle Herald, 10 Sept., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  RFS,  Refinery Waivers,  Biofuel Blend,  


    Velocys Joining BIO, RTFA Trade Groups (Ind. Report)
    Velocys
    Date: 2020-09-11
    UK-based renewable fuels specialist Velocys Plc reports it will join the new Renewable Transport Fuel Association (RTFA) and the Washington, DC-headquartered Biotechnology Innovation Organisation's (BIO) Industrial and Environmental Section Governing Board.

    The UK-based RTFA is primarily comprised of greener transportation fuel producers and suppliers and supports rapid action to decarbonise transport through the uptake of low carbon fuels.

    BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centres and related organisations globally. (Source: Velocys, Sept., 2020) Contact: Velocys Plc, Henrik Wareborn, CEO, +44 1235 838 621, (713) 275-5840 -- Houston Office, info@velocys.com, [endlink]www.velocys.com[endlink]; BIO,
    More Low-Carbon Energy News
    Velocys,  BIO,  Biofuel,  Velocys,  BIO,  Biofuel,  Low-Carbon Fuel,  Biofuel,  Ethanol,  Biodiesel,  Biofuel Blend,  Clean Fuel Standard,  


    Cielo Waste-to-Renewable Fuels Plant Back in Production (Ind. Report)
    Cielo Waste Solutions
    Date: 2020-09-09
    Vancouver-headquartered Cielo Waste Solutions Corp. reports its first waste-to-renewable fuel commercial facility in Aldersyde, Alberta is back in production of distillate from wood waste following the installation of newly designed equipment and modifications to the flow process to resolve problematic production bottlenecks.

    Cielo's proprietary catalyst transforms multiple waste streams into renewable diesel and kerosene. CIELO's patent-pending technology is currently being deployed in the Company's Aldersyde, Alberta Facility, where wood waste is being converted into renewable fuels. (Source: Cielo, PR, Sept., 2020) Contact: Cielo Waste Solutions, Don Allan, Pres., CEO, 403-348-2972, info@cielows.com,www.cielows.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cielo,  Waste-to-Renewable Fuel,  


    ARPA-E Commits $16.5Mn for Biofuels Supply Chain Tech. (R&D)
    ARPA-E
    Date: 2020-09-04
    In Washington, the US DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) is reporting $16.5 million in funding for six projects as part of the Systems for Monitoring and Analytics for Renewable Transportation Fuels from Agricultural Resources and Management (SMARTFARM) program. These projects will develop technologies that bridge the data gap in the biofuel supply chain by quantifying feedstock-related GHG emissions and soil carbon dynamics at the field-level. These technologies will allow for improved efficiency in feedstock production and enable new ag-sector carbon removal and management opportunities.

    SMARTFARM teams will work to design and develop systems to quantify feedstock production life cycle GHG emissions at the field level reliably, accurately, and cost-effectively. Selected projects are capable of delivering a positive return on investment when field-level carbon emissions reductions are connected to associated biofuel carbon markets. The program also focuses on potential economic benefits to feedstock producers and future carbon management markets, potentially complementing yield-based revenues with incentives for input efficiency and restorative practices. This focus will also help to lay the groundwork for market structures to shift away from national averages and toward lower uncertainty field-based estimates for incentivizing efficiency and other services.

    Working to make the biofuel supply chain carbon-negative through the removal or sequestration of carbon would greatly improve biofuel's economic and environmental benefits. Achieving reductions in carbon emissions also encourages feedstock producers to adopt new technologies and practices to quantify their impact. SMARTFARM teams are working to develop robust quantification methods through these awards so that management practices can be linked to environmental and economic outcomes simultaneously.

    Download SMARTFARM projects funding recipients and details HERE (Source: ARPA-E, Website PR, Sept., 2020) Contact: ARPA-E, Lane Genatowski, Dir., www.arpa-e.energy.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ARPA-E,  Biofuel,  Renewable Fuels,  


    NCGA Helps Build Ethanol Blend Pumps, Infrastructure (Ind. Report)
    National Corn Growers Association
    Date: 2020-09-04
    In the Show Me State, the Chesterfield-headquartered National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) reports it is working with Austin, Texas-based Wayne Fueling Systems to produce and sell fuel pumps certified to deliver fuel containing up to 25 pct ethanol.

    As previously reported, NCGA also recently partnered with the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), assisting fuel retailers in applying for the USDA Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). The $100 million program included $86 million to expand the availability of higher blends of ethanol, like E15 and E85.

    NCGA support for this program helped deliver program awareness and technical assistance for applications representing more than 1,100 fuel dispensers across 21 states and 222 locations dispensing more than 250 million gallons of gasoline annually. (Source: NCGA, Sept., 2020) Contact: NCGA, PR, Wayne Fueling Systems, (512) 388-8311, www.wayne.com; National Corn Growers Assoc., Mark Palmer, Renewable Fuels Dir., (636) 733-9004, (636) 733-9005-fax, corninfo@ncga.com, www.ncga.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Corn Growers Association,  Ethanol Blend,  E15,  E85 ,  


    Gevo's IP Portfolio Value Set at $412Mn (Ind. Report)
    Gevo
    Date: 2020-09-02
    Englewood, Colorado-headquartered Gevo, Inc. is reporting Peak Value IP LLC has completed and set a $412 million valuation of intellectual property including trade secrets, know-how, patents and patent applications (collectively the IP) across the world that can be licensed and monetized by Gevo.

    Peak Value used an "income approach' to estimate the value, focusing on discounted projected cash flows from direct Gevo-sponsored projects and potential out-licensing within a renewable biofuel production market. Gevo paid Peak Value to perform the evaluation pursuant to an IP Valuation Engagement Agreement. (Source: Gevo, PR Website, 28 Aug., 2020)Contact: Gevo Inc., Patrick Gruber, CEO, 303-858-8358, pgruber@gevo.com, www.gevo.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Gevo,  Renewable Fuel,  Biofuel,  


    Iowa Announces Biofuel Aid Packages (Funding, Ind. Report)
    Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds
    Date: 2020-08-31
    In the Hawkeye State, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) has allocated approximately $100 million in relief funds from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act for a range of agricultural programs to offset the impact of COVID-19 on farmers, producers and agricultural industries.

    The $100 million is part of Iowa's share of the $2 trillion CARES Act, which Congress approved in March. Of the $100 million allocated the following biofuel related concerns will receive funding:

  • $15.5 million, State Biofuel Grant Program -- Biofuels producers were excluded from receiving aid under other parts of the CARES Act; this program will provide relief to those Iowa ethanol and biodiesel producers based on gallons produced. Grants will also be awarded through IEDA's existing small business relief program and are capped at a maximum grant of $750,000 per producer. IEDA administers the program.

  • $7 million, Renewable Fuel Retail Recovery Program -- This previously announced funding supports a program that helps expand retail fueling infrastructure for higher blend renewable fuels, including E15 or higher, and B11 or higher. IDALS administers the program.

    Producers can apply for IEDA-administered programs at www.iowabusinessrecovery.com beginning today, Aug. 31. Apply for IDALS-administered programs Aug. 24 at www.iowaagriculture.gov/grants. (Source: Office of Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Wallaces Farmer, 31 Aug., 2020) Contact: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, 515-281-5211, www.governor.iowa.gov/contact

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds,  Biofuel,  


  • Ethanol Ind. Stabilization Quotes from Growth Energy CEO
    Growth Energy
    Date: 2020-08-28
    "We have to make sure the (Trump) administration follows through on commitments that it has made. Last October, the administration made a series of commitments in terms of evaluating things like E15 labeling. An additional hurdle for us to have unfettered market access for higher blends is making sure the president has EPA follow through on its commitment to uphold a strong Renewable Fuel Standard.

    "We want to be building stronger global markets with free trade. We want expansion of E15. As drivers are hitting the road again as we are recovering from Covid, there's more opportunity to get higher blends like E15. We, ultimately, want to focus on that road to recovery conversation because that's what our future is going to be all about.

    "At this point, I think we may be okay. I think it will have different impacts in different areas regionally, and then certainly in the value chain. We're going to have to just wait and see. It's very disheartening to know what everybody has gone through." -- Emily Skor, Growth Energy, CEO , discussing ethanol industry stability.

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  Growth Energy,  


    NBB Launches RFS Support Ad Campaign (Ind. Report)
    National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2020-08-26
    The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) reports the launch of a two-week radio advertising campaign in six states including Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota urging Pres. Trump to direct the EPA to reject the gap small refiner waivers from the Renewable Fuel Standard.

    NBB wants farmers to go to their website and complete a pre-written request to the President and EPA administrator to reject those gap small refiner waivers, 85 bof which have been issues over the past three years.

    As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. Under the now vanquished administrator Greg Pruitt's direction, the EPA handed out 54 exemptions over two years and not a single request for an exemption was denied. (Source: NBB, WNAX 26 Aug., 2020) Contact: NBB, Paul Winters, Pres., Kurt Kovarik, VP of Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.nbd.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board,  NBB,  RFS Waivers ,  


    EPA Urged to Stop Penalizing Ethanol Blends ( Editorials & Asides)
    Urban Air Initiative,American Coalition for Ethanol
    Date: 2020-08-17
    In Washington, the Urban Air Initiative (UAI) -- a coalition of state corn grower organizations -- along with the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) and the Clean Fuels Development Coalition last Friday filed comments asking the EPA not to penalize ethanol's ability to reduce carbon emissions.

    The EPA is proposing to penalize the current Tier 3 test fuel that all automakers will use to meet CO2 emission standards because it contains 10 pct ethanol. This Tier 3 test fuel lowers CO2 emissions compared to the prior E0 test fuel from 1975. The EPA is creating this new penalty against ethanol by manipulating test procedures to inflate the tailpipe CO2 emissions of vehicles certified as using E10. Since the penalty would presumably increase with higher ethanol volumes, this rule would be a major disincentive for automakers to transition to higher ethanol blends.

    "Basically ethanol can't win. First EPA ignores ethanol's ability to reduce toxic aromatics, and now it wants to penalize ethanol for being a more efficient, lower-carbon fuel additive. The EPA is making this more complicated than it needs to be. It's creating rules based on older, non-representative fuels in its testing. Plus, EPA has no authority to penalize a particular fuel. Automakers can take advantage of high octane ethanol but not if they are penalized before they even start. In short, let the market work," Urban Air President Dave VanderGriend commented.

    "EPA's anti-ethanol bias is not limited to how it has badly mismanaged the Renewable Fuel Standard, it extends to the Agency's proposal to artificially inflate CO2 emissions from vehicles being tested on E10 blends for Tier 3 Test Fuel Procedures," ACE CEO Brian Jennings commented. (Source: Urban Air Initiative, PR, 17 Aug., 2020) Contact: Urban Air Initiative, Dave VanderGriend, Pres., www. fixourfuel.com; Clean Fuels Development Coalition, 301-718-0077, www.cleanfuelsdc.org; American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, (605) 334-3381, www.ethanol.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  American Coalition for Ethanol,  ACE,  Urban Air Initiative,  Ethanol,  Ethanol Blend,  


    Biofuels Industry Notable Quote
    Iowa Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2020-08-17
    "If we're going to keep this (biofuels) industry viable, we're going to need help from Congress." -- Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., Iowa Renewable Fuels Assoc., 17 Aug., 2020) Contact: IRFA, Monte Shaw, Ecex. Dir., (515) 252-6249, (515) 225-0781 -- fax, www.iowarfa.org

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


    Ontario Biofuels Producers Win FedDev Ontario Support (Ind. Report)
    FedDev Ontario,IGP Ethanol
    Date: 2020-08-14
    In Ontario, London West MP Kate Young is reporting FedDev Ontario has invested $10 million to support Ontario-based renewable fuel producers Forge Hydrocarbons and Aylmer-based IGPC Ethanol Inc.

    In addition to FedDev Ontario's repayable contribution, FORGE Hydrocarbons has leveraged $25.6 million from private investors. FedDev Ontario's repayable contribution to IGPC supports a $112 million project leveraging more than $107 million in other investments.

    The Province of Ontario's renewable energy industry and agricultural sectors produce 380 million lpy of high-octane fuel grade ethanol and 340,000 tpy of distillers' grains (DDGs) from 36 million bushels of Ontario corn.

    FedDev Ontario has invested over $123 million in 60 Ontario clean technology projects since 2015. (Source: FedDev Ontario, Website News, CTV News, 12 Aug., 2020) Contact: FedDev Ontario, www.feddevontario.gc.ca; IGPC Ethanol, 519-765-2575, www.igpc.ca; Forge Hydrocarbons, www.forgehc.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News FedDev Ontario,  IGPC Ethanol,  FORGE Hydrocarbon,  


    Phillips 66 Converting Calif. Refinery to Renewable Fuels (Ind. Report)
    Phillips 66
    Date: 2020-08-14
    US independent petroleum refining giant Phillips 66 reports it plans to convert its San Francisco refining complex to the renewable fuels production, making the site the largest renewable fuels production facility in the US.

    Over the next three year Phillips 66 will idle crude processing at its 120,000 b/d San Francisco refinery and convert units in its Rodeo plant to produce 52,000 b/d of renewable diesel, naphtha and jet fuel starting in early 2024, pending regulatory approval. (Source: Phillips 66, Argus, 12 Aug., 2020)Contact: Phillips 66, Brian Mandell, VP Marketing, Joe Gannon, 832-765-4547, joe.gannon@p66.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Phillips 66,  Renewable Fuels,  


    Indiana Landfill Gas-to-Energy Plant Breaks Ground (Ind. Report)
    Rumpke Waste & Recycling,Archaea Energy
    Date: 2020-08-14
    Ohio-headquartered Residential and commercial waste management services provider Rumpke Waste & Recycling reports it is partnering with Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania-based Archaea Energy LLC and has broken ground on a landfill-gas-to-energy plant at Rumpke's Medora Landfill in Southern, Indiana.

    Archaea Energy is a private-equity biogas developer aiming to source, build and manage projects for the entirety of an energy project's lifecycle. The company aims to build renewable high BTU projects to power the truck and bus fleets of the US with renewable fuels, according to its website. (Source: Rumpke Waste & Recycling, Hoosier Times, 13 Aug., 2020) Contact: Rumpke Waste & Recycling, 800-828-8171, www.rumpke.com; Archaea Energy, Nick Stork, CEO, info@archaea.energy, www.archaeaenergy.com <

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biogas,  Landfill Gas-to-Energy,  


    Biofuels Caucus Seeks Renewable Fuel Producers Aid (Ind. Report)
    Biofuel
    Date: 2020-08-10
    In Washington, U.S. House Representatives Collin C. Peterson (D-MN), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Dave Loebsack, (D-IA) and Rodney Davis (R-IL), co-chairs of the Congressional Biofuels Caucus, submitted the attached letter with 31 members of Congress to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, to request additional resources for the biofuels sector in the next piece of coronavirus relief legislation.

    As a result of state mandated closures and stay at home orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the biofuels industry has already seen a reduction in demand for corn by over 500 million bushels. As a result, many biofuels plants reduced production to curb losses, while others shut down entirely.

    A copy of the letter can be found HERE, (Source: Rep. Collin Peterson, PR, Aug., 2020) Contact: Rep Collin Peterson, (202) 225-2165, Fax: (202) 225-1593, collinpeterson.house.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Renewable Fuels,  


    RFA Report Details RFS Success (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    RFA
    Date: 2020-08-07
    Commemorating the 15th anniversary of Pres. George W. Bush's signing of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which created the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has released a report detailing how the industry has benefited the nation over the past decade and a half.

    "As you'll see in this report, the RFS has been a smashing success," said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. "In addition to decreasing reliance on imported petroleum, the RFS has reduced emissions of harmful tailpipe pollutants and greenhouse gases, lowered consumer fuel prices, supported hundreds of thousands of jobs in rural America, and boosted the agricultural economy by adding value to the crops produced by our nation's farmers." The report details how, since 2005:

  • Ethanol and co-product output has quadrupled, and the number of jobs supported by the industry has more than doubled;

  • Ethanol has contributed substantially to the agriculture sector, supporting corn prices and farm incomes;

  • Ethanol consumption has more than tripled, enhancing U.S. energy security while saving consumers money at the pump;

  • The use of ethanol has reduced greenhouse gas emissions and cleaned up air pollution;

  • "As ethanol production has increased, U.S. food price inflation has fallen and the number of people globally who are undernourished has declined.

    The report also includes historical perspective from RFA Senior Strategic Advisor Bob Dinneen, who led RFA through this important policy change. "We've probably all seen the Schoolhouse Rock version of 'How a Bill Becomes a Law', Dinneen writes. "It does a great job of explaining the legislative process. But it cannot capture the circuitous adventure and machinations that occur before an idea materializes into legislative language. That is particularly true when it comes to the 2005 Energy Bill and the Renewable Fuel Standard." (Source: RFA, 6 Aug., 2020) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFA,  RFS.Ethanol,  Renewable Fuels,  


  • Steeper, Calgary Ink Renewable Fuel-from-Sewage MoU (Ind. Report)
    Steeper Energy
    Date: 2020-08-05
    On the Canadian prairies, the City of Calgary and Denmark-headquartered Steeper Energy’s Steeper Energy Canada Ltd. unit are reporting a MoU for the transformation of the city's sewage sludge and other urban generated bio-organic wastes for the production of sustainable biofuels such as renewable diesel or jet fuel.

    Calgary and Steeper Energy are planning a demonstration plant at the Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in South-East Calgary. The plant will utilize Steeper's proprietary Hydrofaction® technology to produce renewable diesel or jet fuel from a small portion of the city's primary and secondary sewage sludge. (Source: City of Calgary, PR, Biofuel Digest, Aug., 2020) Contact: Steeper Energy Canada, info@steeperenergy.com, www.steeperenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel news,  RNG news,  Biodiesel news,  


    Red Rock Biofuels Receives Velocys Reactors (Ind. Report)
    Red Rock Biofuels, Velocys
    Date: 2020-08-03
    UK-based renewable fuels specialist Velocys plc is reporting delivery of four of its Fischer-Tropsch reactors to Red Rock Biofuels in Lakeview, Oregon. The reactors will be used to convert 136,000 tpy of waste woody biomass into more than 15 MMgy of renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel and naphtha fuels. Red Rock Biofuels has the option to purchase an additional two reactors from Velocys by the end of this year. (Source: Velocys, Aug., 2020) Contact: Veloys, Henrik Wareborn, CEO, +44 1235 838 621, (713) 275-5840 -- Houston Office, info@velocys.com, www.velocys.com; Red Rock Biofuels, Terry Kulesa, CEO, (970) 223-6766, tkulesa@redrockbio.com, www.redrockbio.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Red Rock Biofuels,  Fischer-Tropsch,  Velocys,  

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