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UK ADBA Calls for Anaerobic Digestion Industry Support (Int'l.)
Anaerobic Digestion
Date: 2019-11-11
In the UK, the UK Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) is calling on national party leaders to support the anaerobic digestion (AD) industry to help the UK meet its Net Zero emissions target. With the right support, the AD industry could deliver its full potential and cut emissions by 5 pct by 2030 and contribute to the development of a long-term sustainable circular economy for the UK by treating organic wastes and recycling them into green energy, natural fertilisers, Biofuels and other valuable bioproducts, according to the ADBA release.

ADBA notes that food waste must be collected separately and diverted to AD plants for recycling, so the current commitment to mandatory separate collections for households and businesses must be put into effect as soon as possible, l ocal authorities must be funded to meet set-up and infrastructure development costs, and . Government must commit as soon as possible to additional support for AD beyond 2021 as all current support is due to end by this date.

Supporting R&I could help supercharge the AD industry and put it at the cutting edge of biorefining science. and the other renewable industries, such as wind and solar, have enjoyed consistent support and are now extremely cost-effective and established as part of our renewable energy mix. AD and biogas should be given the same fair treatment now so that it can realise its huge potential towards decarbonising the UK economy by 2030. (Source: UK Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA), PR, 11 Nov., 2019) Contact: UK Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association , Charlotte Morton, CEO, +44 (0) 20 3176 0503, enquiries@adbioresources.org www.adbioresources.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Anaerobic Digestion news,  


NATSO Urging Biodiesel Tax Credit Extension (Opinions & Editorials)
NATSO
Date: 2019-11-08
NATSO, the trade association of America's travel plaza and truckstop industry, issued the following statement with regard to a letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA), urging Democratic leadership to support extending the biodiesel tax credit and other clean energy tax extenders:

"This letter is an extraordinary showing of support for the biodiesel tax credit and other clean energy tax policies. What is especially significant is the ideological and geographic diversity of the Democrats who signed this letter. Many of them have very difficult re-election campaigns ahead of them next year. The fact that lawmakers representing places such as Oklahoma City, Upstate New York, Salt Lake City, and Southern California -- areas far from the farming Midwest -- strongly support biofuels incentives underscores the economic and environmental benefits that these clean energy tax extenders bring to their communities. NATSO is grateful to Representatives Abby Finkenauer and Kendra Horn for their continued leadership on this important issue." (Source: NATSO, PR, The Central Virginian, 6 Nov., 2019) Contact: NATSO, David Fialkov, VP Gov. Relations, Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman, 703-739-8578, www.natso.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News NATSO,  Biodiesel,  Biodiesel Tax Credit,  


Notable Quote -- Sen. Chuck Grassley Comments on EPA, RFS
Grassley,RFS
Date: 2019-11-08
"As the number one producer of corn, ethanol, biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol, the renewable fuels industry is an important sector of Iowa's economy. It generates nearly $5 billion of Iowa's GDP, over $2.4 billion in household incomes and supports 47,000 jobs across Iowa.

"President Trump made a commitment to Iowa and other biofuels producing states, and I look forward to seeing this promise fulfilled. The EPA shouldn't undercut President Trump's support of the Renewable Fuels Standard. I urge EPA to adjust the proposed supplemental rule to account for actual waived gallons using hard data from past practice to provide certainty to the marketplace." -- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) in a letter to EPA Dir. Wheeler this week on the EPA's proposed supplemental rule on the Renewable Fuel Standard. Contact: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), www.grassley.senate.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Grassley,  RFS,  Ethanol,  


China, India, Indonesia Account for 40 pct of Future Biofuel Production, says IEA (Int'l., Ind. Report)
IEA
Date: 2019-11-06
China, India and Indonesia will account for 40 pct -- 15 billion litres -- of biofuel production growth between 2019 to 2024, according to the International Energy Agency's (IEA) Oct 21, report. The report also notes crude oil import dependency was also set to increase in the three countries in the forecast period due to higher vehicle ownership, with fuel demand from petrol vehicles rising by 32 billion litres in China and by over 12 billion litres in India, and with Indonesian fuel demand for diesel vehicles increasing 2 billion litres.

In energy terms, biodiesel consumption in Indonesia already resulted in a notably higher share of domestically produced fuel supplies in 2017. By 2024, its contribution could expand to offset 17 pct of diesel demand. In 2017, ethanol use had only a minor effect on domestic fuel supplies in China and India. However, if nationwide E10 was achieved, its contribution would be much more visible in 2024, replacing 6 pct of petrol demand.

Nevertheless, the IEA said the countries would still remain reliant on imported oil to meet transport fuel demand.

Replacing imported oil with domestically produced biofuels also improved national trade balances. Blending E10 with petrol in 2024 would improve China's trade balance by $$4.9 billion and India's by $1.2 billion, while meeting 20 pct of road transport diesel demand with biodiesel would improve Indonesia's trade balance by $1.3 billion, the report notes. (Source: IEA, Oil & Fats Int'l., 5 Nov., 2019)Contact: International Energy Agency, Dr. Fatih Birol, Exec. Dir., +33 1 40 57 65 00, www.iea.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  IEA,  


Rail Upgrades to Service Red Rock Biodiesel Plant (Ind. Report)
Red Rock Biofuel
Date: 2019-11-04
In Oregon, Lake County reports it has secured $5.6 million in grant funding for railroad line upgrades in Lake County in anticipation of Red Rock Biofuels beginning operations next spring.

The CRISI grant requires a $5 million match, $1.4 million of which is dedicated from construction of a new rail spur connecting to the main line at the currently under construction Red Rock Biofuels facility on the south end of Lakeview.

The State of Oregon has already invested heavily in the Red Rock Biofuels project, approving $245 million in bonds last year for construction of the plant which is expected to ship roughly 15 million gpy of biofuels on the Goose Lake line when fully operational in April, 2020. Red Rock is expected to produce 10 rail cars per week of biodiesel processed from locally sourced ag waste, forest-thinning and other bio materials. (Source: Red Rock Biofuel, Herald & News, 3 Nov., 2019) Red Rock Biofuels, Terry Kulesa, CEO, (970) 223-6766, tkulesa@redrockbio.com, www.redrockbio.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Red Rock Biofuel,  Biodiesel,  


Indonesia Eying Chinese Palm Oil for Biofuels Market (Int'l.)
Indonesia Palm Oil
Date: 2019-10-30
In Jakarta, the Indonesian Office of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy reports it is anticipating a boost in palm oil exports to China, taking advantage of an opportunity opened up by the escalating trade war between Beijing and Washington.

The move also presents the country with a respite from its planned phase-out of palm oil biofuel in the European Union, its second-biggest export market, and a likely increase in duties by India, its top export customer.

To meet the expected Chinese market demand, Indonesian producers will increase yields through better technology and seeds, rather than more deforestation for palm cultivation. Currently there are 162,000 square-kilometers of palm oil plantations across Indonesia.

As previously reported, the European Commission passed a measure in March to phase out palm oil-based biofuels by 2030, over environmental degradation concerns that palm production, often on land cleared of rainforest, contributes to global carbon emissions and thus exacerbates climate change. The Rainforest Foundation Norway estimates an area larger than the Netherlands might be destroyed to make way for oil palm plantations to feed biofuel demand through 2030. This, it warns, would result in the release of 7 billion tons of CO2 emissions over the next 20 years. (Source: Indonesian Office of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mongabay, 28 Oct., 2019) Contact: Indonesian Office of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, www.devex.com/organizations/coordinating-ministry-for-economic-affairs-indonesia-132480

More Low-Carbon Energy News Palm Oil,  Biodiesel,  Biofuel,  


SIMEC Acquisition Expands Biofuel CHP Venture (Int'l, M&A)
SIMEC
Date: 2019-10-28
In the UK, SIMEC reports it is acquiring Fleetsolve, and its sister company Fuelsolve -- developers and operators of biofuel-powered combined heat and power (CHP) generation equipment ranging from 250kW to 18MW.

SIMEC plans to target end-of-life waste oils and residues as feedstock for the production of International Sustainability Carbon Certification (ISCC) certified biofuels. Fuelsolve will manage the supply and logistics of the biofuels required to power the generators. (Source: SIMEC, Biofuels, 24 Oct., 2019) Contact: Fleetsolve and Fuelsolve, Keith O'Connor, CEO, +44 151 353 2870, www.fleetsolve.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News SIMEC,  Biofuel,  


United Airlines Invests $40Mn in SAF, Decarbonisation (Ind. Report)
United Airlines,Fulcrum Bioenergy
Date: 2019-10-28
Following up on our Sept. 19th coverage, US air carrier United Airlines is reporting a $40 million commitment to accelerate the development of sustainable aviation biofuels and other technologies to decarbonize the aviation industry.

As previously reported , United agreed to purchase up to 10 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) over the next two years. United also invested over $30 million in Fulcrum Bioenergy, a producer of SAF. The airline's option to purchase almost one billion gallons of sustainable fuel from Fulcrum represents the largest offtake agreement for SAF in the airline industry. (Source: United Airlines, Biofuels Int;l., 28 Oct., 2019) Contact: United Airlines, ;F ulcrum Bioenergy, Rick Barraza, VP Administration, (925) 224-8244, rbarraza@fulcrum-bioenergy.com, www.fulcrum-bioenergy.com, www.facebook.com/fulcrumbioenergy

More Low-Carbon Energy News SAF,  Aviation Biofuels,  Jet Biofuel,  United Airlines,  Fulcrum,  Bioenergy,  


Biofuels Coalition Challenges EPA's "Hardship Waivers" (Ind Report)
Growth Energy, U.S. Grains Council,Renewable Fuels Association
Date: 2019-10-25
Previously this week in Washington, a coalition of the American Coalition for Ethanol, Growth Energy, National Biodiesel Board, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and Renewable Fuels Association filed a petition with the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, challenging the process by which the U.S. EPA issue economic "hardship waivers" to over 30 small refineries from their respective Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) biofuel blending obligations for 2018.

The coalition's brief noted, "Even as the Trump Administration indicates it is taking steps to account for future small refinery exemptions, the coalition remains concerned that EPA's abuse of the small refinery exemption program diverges from the spirit and letter of the Clean Air Act. From a substantive and procedural perspective, this is not the way for a federal agency to make such a momentous decision." (Source: Growth Energy, U.S. Grains Council, and Renewable Fuels Association , 23 Oct., 2019) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, Elizabeth Funderburk, (202) 545-4000, EFunderburk@GrowthEnergy.org, www.growthenergy.org; U.S. Grains Council, Tom Sleight, Pres., (202) 789-0789, (202) 898-0522, www.grains.org; Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Growth Energy,  U.S. Grains Council,  Renewable Fuels Association,  


More RFS Mandate Frustration -- Notable Quote
RFS
Date: 2019-10-21
"All along, I've said what farmers and biofuels producers want is what was promised by Congress. And that's adhering to the biofuels blending targets in law. Ultimately, this will come down to trust and implementation at EPA. The ethanol and biodiesel industries have a lot of cause to distrust EPA and that is understandable. But President (Donald) Trump brokered this deal and any attempt to undermine it from EPA would represent a betrayal of the president. I expect EPA would not do that after all the work that's gone into this issue." -- Sen. Chuck Grassley, (R-Iowa) www.grassley.senate.gov

"We're incredibly frustrated and very disappointed." -- Emily Skor, CEO, Growth Energy, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Chuck Grassley,  Emily Skor,  RFS,  


Suncor Invests $50Mn in Biofuels Producer Enerkem (Ind. Report)
Enerkem,Suncor Energy
Date: 2019-10-18
In Canada, Montreal-based chemicals and waste-to-biofuels specialist Enerkem Inc. is reporting closure of a $50 million (Cdn) equity investment from Calgary, Alberta-based Suncor Energy.

Along with its investment, Suncor will provide technical resources to support the operations of Enerkem's Alberta Biofuels (EAB) plant in Edmonton. The plant is the first commercial-scale plant in the world to turn non-recyclable, non-compostable mixed municipal solid waste into cellulosic ethanol. (Source: Enerkem, Biofuels News, Oct., 2019) Contact: Enerkem, Dominique Boies, CEO and CFO , 514) 875-0284, dboies@enerkem.com, www.enerkem.com; Suncor Energy, www.suncor.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Cellulosic Ethanol,  Enerkem,  Suncor Energy,  


Manchester Univ. Exploring Biofuels From Seawater (R&D, Int'l.)
University of Manchester
Date: 2019-10-18
In the UK, the University of Manchester reports researchers led by Professor Nigel Scrutton, Director of the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB) and supported by the U.S. Office of Naval Research Global (ONR), is using synthetic biology to help identify a more efficient and sustainable method to make biofuel using synthetic biology to explore a more efficient way to produce the next generation of bio-based jet fuels -- partly made from seawater.

The Manchester research group, has discovered that the bacteria species called Halomonas, which grows in seawater, provides a viable "microbial chassis" that can be engineered to make high value compounds. This in turn means products like bio-based jet fuel could be made economically using production methods similar to those in the brewery industry and using renewable resources such as seawater and sugar. The breakthrough behind this approach is the ability to re-engineer the microbe's genome so to change its metabolism and create different types of high value chemical compounds which could be renewable alternatives to crude oil, according to the release.

Dr Benjamin Harvey and his team of researchers at the ONR facilities in China Lake, California, have pioneered this exciting work on converting biological precursors to relevant jet fuels.

Following on from this research, Professor Nigel Scrutton explained, "Effective biofuels strategies require the economic production of fuels derived from a robust microbial host on a very large scale -- usually cultivated on renewable waste biomass or industrial waste streams -- but also with minimal downstream processing and avoids use of fresh water. With Halomonas these requirements can be met, so minimizing capital and operational costs in the production of these next generation biofuels. In the case of the jet fuel intermediates we are bio-producing, they are chemically identical to petrochemical derived molecules, and will be able to 'drop-in' to processes developed at China Lake." (Source: University of Manchester, PR, Oct., 2019) Contact: University of Manchester, Professor Nigel Scrutton, Director of the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, +44 (0)161 306 5200, mib@manchester.ac.uk, www.mib.ac.uk; U.S. Office of Naval Research Global, 703-696-5031, 703-696-5940 - fax, onrpublicaffairs@navy.mil, www.onr.navy.mil/en/Science-Technology/ONR-Global

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  


Growdiesel Supporting Indian Biofuel Industry Growth (Int'l.)

Date: 2019-10-16
Indian renewable fuels major Growdiesel, a provider of turn-key Bio-CNG, bio-PNG (Piped natural gas), green biodiesel and bio-fertilizer solutions to more than 20 state and federal government organizations, reports it is currently an advisor to the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise and the Skill Council for Green Jobs and will provide funds, equipment, and mentorship to help Indian students and business advance in the biofuels industry.

The company holds more than 50 patents and has issued over 150 research papers on Biofuels. (Source: Growdiesel, PR, Digital Journal, 15 Oct. 2019) Contact: Growdiesel Ventures Ltd., +921 284 4166, www.instagram.com/growdieselventures, www.growdiesel.com


Another "EPA Bait and Switch" (Opinions, Editorials & Aside)
NATSO
Date: 2019-10-16
Alexandria, Virginia-based NATSO, representing America's travel plazas and truckstops, today issued the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency's plan to implement the RFS deal that President Trump negotiated less than two weeks ago:

"Unfortunately, EPA's plan does not stay true to the President's promise to account for gallons that are waived as part of the RFS's small refinery exemption program.

"Specifically, today's plan would provide accounting relief for just a fraction of the gallons that have actually been waived and base that relief on the far smaller number of gallons that the DOE recommended be waived.

"When the deal was first announced on Oct. 4, many champions in the biofuels industry lauded the President because they thought that EPA received and understood the President's message. Apparently this is not the case.

"In the deal President Trump negotiated, EPA was supposed to ensure that it would account for all of the gallons that are waived as part of the small refinery exemption process. Today's plan simply does not do that. It is another 'EPA bait and switch' where the White House announces a deal that, at a high level, is favorable for the biofuels community, and EPA later decides to bail out refiners at the expense of farmers. I've seen this movie before.

"The math here is simple. In 2016, EPA waived 790 million gallons under the small refinery exemption program. In 2017, it waived 1.82 billion gallons, and in 2018 it waived 1.43 billion gallons. This averages out to 1.346 billion gallons waived per year over the past three years. To provide the accounting relief that President Trump negotiated in his deal just two weeks ago, EPA would need to ensure that 1.346 billion gallons are added to the 2020 renewable fuel obligations.

"Instead, the proposal EPA Administrator Wheeler issued today would provide accounting relief for just 580 million to 770 million gallons -- far less than the 1.346 billion gallons that President Trump promised. The irony in all of this is that by basing accounting relief on DOE's recommendations, rather than the actual volume waived, this proposal shines a bright light on the damage that EPA has directly inflicted on the biofuels community in recent years by disregarding DOE's recommendations and waiving more gallons than was recommended. It will undoubtedly generate the same level of opposition that the most recent round of small refinery exemption announcements generated, at a time when this Administration has enough on its plate already."

NATSO is the trade association of America's travel plaza and truckstop industry. Founded in 1960, NATSO represents the industry on legislative and regulatory matters; serves as the official source of information on the diverse travel plaza and truckstop industry; provides education to its members; conducts an annual convention and trade show; and supports efforts to generally improve the business climate in which its members operate. (Source: NATSO, PR, 15 Oct., 2019) Contact: NATSO, David Fialkov, VP Gov. Affairs, Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman, (703) 739-8578, www.natso.com

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


IRFA Dumps on Trump EPA's RFS Proposal (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Iowa Renewable Fuels Association
Date: 2019-10-16
"The (Trump EPA) proposal today essentially asks Iowa farmers and biofuels producers to trust that EPA will do the right thing on SREs in 2021 when they have spent the last two years weaponizing SREs to unfairly undermine the RFS.

"It is unreasonable and counter productive to expect Iowans to put their faith in EPA to fix the SRE problem when they (EPA) were the ones who created the crisis in the first place." -- Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

Last week Shaw commented: "We welcome the (Trump RFS) proposal to restore integrity to the RFS. We will work with our champions and the White House to make sure the EPA's final rules ensure that a 15 billion-gallon RFS will actually be a 15 billion-gallon RFS. If that is accomplished, the integrity of the RFS will have been restored and President Trump's promise to protect and uphold the RFS will have been redeemed." Contact: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., (515) 252-6249, www.iowarfa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Trump,  Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  


French Regulators End Palm Oil Diesel Fuel Incentives (Int'l.)
Palm Oil
Date: 2019-10-14
In Paris, France's highest constitutional authority has ruled in favor of excluding palm oil from the list of biofuels that enjoy tax incentives, effective 1st January, 2020. According to the French oil giant Total, the affected palm oil is valued at between &euro:70 million and €80 million per year.

As previously reported, the European Commission ruled palm oil is not a "green" fuel and should not be promoted because it causes deforestation. The use of palm oil in diesel in the EU will be gradually reduced as of 2023 and should reach zero in 2030.

The EU is the world's second largest importer of crude palm oil. In 2018 more than half of all palm imports were used to make biodiesel transportation fuels. (Source: European Commission, Green Car Congress, Oct., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Palm Oil,  Biodiesel,  


ExxonMobil, IIT Madras Ink Biofuel Research Collaboration (Int'l)
IIT Madras,ExxonMobil
Date: 2019-10-14
India's IIT Madras is reporting a five-year joint-research agreement with Houston-headquartered oil industry giant ExxonMobil Research in Energy and Biofuels (EMRE). The agreement is focused on biofuels, data analytics, gas conversion and transport. EMRE is the research and engineering arm of ExxonMobil Corporation.

The project aims to deconstruct rice straw effectively, bagasse and other biomass varieties of Indian origin to produce sugars, which will directly feed into ExxonMobil's bio-conversion platform; convert the lignin present in biomass to valuable phenols using novel catalysts, and evaluate the environmental and economic implications of performing such conversions at scale.

India is the world's 3rd largest agro-residues producer with the surplus potential of over 230 million tpy after China and Brazil. India's huge biofuel potential is expected to be realized shortly with the Government of India's plan to grow the biofuel industry into a $15.6 billion economy, according to the release. (Source: IIT Madras, Exxon Mobil, Contact: IIT Madras, Dr. R. Vinu, Associate Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, www.che.iitm.ac.in

More Low-Carbon Energy News IIT Madras,  ExxonMobil,  Biofuel,  


Scania Inks Australian Biodiesel Distribution Agreement (Int'l.)
Scania,Refuelling Solutions
Date: 2019-10-11
In the Land Down Under, Scania Australia reports the inking of a biodiesel distribution Memorandum of Understanding Under the terms of the MOU, Refuelling Solutions will support Scania's effort to expand sales of trucks, buses and industrial and marine engines that can run on biofuels.

The company has similar agreements with Just Biodiesel, Ecotech Biodiesel, ethanol fuel supplier Wilmar Bioethanol Australia, and biogas infrastructure suppliers and consultantsthe ENGV Group.

Refuelling Solutions is a 30-year-old Australian-owned and run business that began supplying fuel through its Mini-Tankers operation to onsite equipment in 1987. (Source: Scania Australia, Fleet Owners Network, 10 Oct., 2019) Contact: Scania Australia, +61 3 9217 3300 www.scania.com; Refueling Solutions, www.rfs.com.au

More Low-Carbon Energy News Scania,  Biodiesel,  


NBB Poll Finds Voter Support for RFS and Biodiesel (Ind. Report)
National Biodiesel Board
Date: 2019-10-11
According to a recently released National Biodiesel Board (NBB) poll of registered U.S. voters, 81 pct of respondents indicated that a candidate's position on renewable fuels is important, 86 pct said a candidate's position on clean energy is important or very important and 85 pct agreed that it is important that Pres. Trump keep his promises on the RFS.

Nearly 80 pct expressed support for existing federal advanced biofuels programs, 78 pct support the federal tax incentive for biodiesel, and 79 pct support the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) while 79 pct would encourage local communities and governments to promote use of biodiesel. (Source: NBB,Oct., 2019) Contact: NBB, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board,  RFS,  Biodiesel,  Ethanol,  Biofuel ,  


ANL Assessment Center Releases 2019 GREET® (Ind. Report)
Argonne National Laboratory
Date: 2019-10-09
The Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) Systems Assessment Center is reporting the release of the updated suite of Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation (GREET®) models -- a life-cycle analysis tool to examine the energy and environmental effects of various vehicle technologies and transportation fuels, including bio-products and biofuels.

GREET.Net provides an easy to use and fully graphical toolbox to perform life cycle analysis simulations of alternative transportation fuels and vehicle technologies. The tool includes the data of both fuel-cycle and vehicle-cycle of the GREET Excel models.

GREET Excel is the traditional multidimensional spreadsheet model that provides a comprehensive, life-cycle-based approach to compare the energy use and emissions of conventional and advanced vehicle technologies. It includes two sub-models named Fuel-Cycle Model (GREET 1, contains data on fuel cycles and vehicle operations) and Vehicle-Cycle Model GREET 2, evaluates the energy and emission effects associated with vehicle material recovery and production, vehicle component fabrication, vehicle assembly and vehicle disposal/recycling). (Source: Argonne National Lab, Oct., 2019) Contact: ANL. GREET, greet@anl.gov, www.greet.es.anl.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Argonne National Laboratory,  Transportation Fuel,  


GEVO CEO Comments on RFS Announcement (Opinions & Asides)
Gevo
Date: 2019-10-09
"Friday's (renewable fuels standard) announcement by the EPA is a step in the right direction and will hopefully put the RFS back on track after 31 oil refineries received exemptions back in August. I'm glad President Trump supported this step. A robust renewable fuel standard is important for our farmers, the biofuel industry, and reducing greenhouse gases. Every drop of biofuel we get into the market is a win and helps to change the conversation about what is possible from low carbon, sustainable biofuels.

"With Gevo it is possible, for example, to replace an entire gallon of transportation fuel with fuels that are renewable with net zero, or even carry a negative, GHG profile. That is a game changer. Good for farmers, good for consumers, good for the environment." -- Patrick Gruber, CEO, Gevo, 8 Oct., 2019 Contact: Gevo, Patrick Gruber, CEO, 303-858-8358, pgruber@gevo.com, www.gevo.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Gevo,  RFS,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  


WSU Research Contributes to Aviation Biofuel Project (Ind. Report)
Washington State University,GEVO
Date: 2019-10-07
Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels, LLC (NWABF) reports it is working with Washington State University's Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA), a project that established the availability and sustainability of woody biomass/forest residues as a feedstock for the production of aviation biofuels using Boulder, Colorado-based GEVO technology, The planned biorefinery, which is expected to go into production in 2023, would be constructed at Aberdeen, Washington.

As previously reported, Delta Air Lines, in partnership with NWABF, is investing $2 million to assess the biofuel refinery project's feasibility. Additionally, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture funded NARA with $39.5 million over 5-years. (Source: Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels, LLC (NWABF), Washington State Univ. Evergreen, 3 Oct., 2019) Contact: Washington State University, NARA, Ralph Cavalieri, (509) 335-5581, cavalieri@wsu.edu, www.nararenewables.org; Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels, LLC Chris Whitworth,Dir. Project Dev., www.facebook.com/NWABiofuels; Gevo, Patrick Gruber, CEO, 303-858-8358, pgruber@gevo.com, www.gevo.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News GEVO,  Aviation Biofuel,  Woody Biomass,  


US DOE Awards $73Mn for Bioenergy, Biofuel R&D Projects (Funding)
US DOE EERE
Date: 2019-10-04
The U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) this week announced $73 million in R&D funding for 35 bioenergy projects aimed at producing affordable biofuels including renewable-gasoline, -diesel, and -jet fuels that are compatible with existing fueling infrastructure and vehicles.

According to the DOE, the US has the potential to create 1 billion dry tonnes of non-food biomass without disrupting existing agricultural markets. It is an underutilized resource with the potential to produce up to 50 billion gallons of biofuels -- roughly 25 pct of U.S. transportation fuels. (Source: US DOE, DEI, 3 Oct., 2019) Contact: US DOE EERE, www.energy.gov/eere

More Low-Carbon Energy News Bioenergy,  DOE EERE,  Biofuel,  


SkyNRG Touts Sustainable Aviation Fuel Programme (Ind. Report)
SkyNRG
Date: 2019-10-04
Amsterdam-based aviation biofuel specialist SkyNRG reports the launch of its Board Now programme that allow companies to reduce their business air travel emissions while contributing to the development of a new sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production facility.

By signing up to Board Now, organizations will commit to the purchase of SAF for a period of five years. Investment made through the programme will be used by SkyNRG to cover the price difference between SAF and conventional jet fuel. The renewable fuel will be produced by Europe's first dedicated 100,000 tpy SAF production plant in Delfzijl, the Netherlands. (Source: SkyNRG, PR, Biofuels Int'l, 3 Oct., 2019) Contact: SkyNRG, Maarten van Dijk, Director, Merel Laroy, +31 6 3083 3505, merel@skynrg.com, www.skynrg.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Sustainable Aviation Fuel,  SkyNRG,  Aviation Biofuel,  


EIA Data Questions RFS "Hardship" Waivers Effect on Ethanol Demand (Ind. Report)
EIA
Date: 2019-10-04
As previously reported, ethanol industry proponents have petitioned the EPA to cease issuing Small Refinery "Hardship" Exemptions (SREs) allowable under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The ethanol industry is trying to convince the EPA that the waivers are hurting their business and, therefore, the agency should stop issuing them.

Month-over-month, official government data tells a very different story. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the ethanol blend rate has remained within normal statistical variation, despite the flood of "hardship" waivers. EIA data shows:

  • The overall physical ethanol consumption for Q1 2019 (the most recent, complete data available) is higher than it was in 2018.

  • The average ethanol blend rate was higher in Q1 2019 (10.21 pct) than in Q1 2018 (10.09 pct).

  • In February 2019, the ethanol blend rate was 10.53 percent -- the highest in the 12 months preceding. And the March 2019 ethanol blend rate was 10.18 percent -- higher than the March 2018 blend rate of 9.75 percent.

    These blend rates have been stable for the past few years, underscoring the truth that ethanol demand is premised partially on the RFS, partially on demand for clean octane and partially on other factors -- not SREs.

    Similarly, when it comes to mid-level ethanol blends like E15, there is no data indicating that SREs are reducing demand. E15 and other mid-level ethanol blend sales have been growing all year and, in the case of E15, sales are higher at this point than they were last year, according to the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association.

    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: American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), EIA, Business & Industry Connection, 3 Oct., 2019) Contact: AFPM, Derrick Morgan, Snr, VP, (202) 586-8800, www.afpm.org; EIA, www.eia.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  "Hardship" Waiver,  Ethanol.Ethanol Blend,  EIA,  


  • EPA Halts RFS "Hardship" Waiver Changes (Ind. Report)
    RFS,"Hardship Waivers"
    Date: 2019-10-02
    It is being widely reported by Fox News and others that the EPA has stalled on updates to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) biofuels policy regarding biofuel blending "hardship" waivers (exemptions) that have been issued at near wholesale levels.

    The EPA appears to be acting on instructions from Trump who is no doubt preoccupied with his own whistleblower and impeachment worries.

    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: Fox News, Various Other Media, 2 Oct., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  RFS,  "Hardship" Waiver,  Biofuel Blend,  


    TechnipFMC, BTG-BTL Plan Swedish Bio-oil Facility (Int'l. Report)
    BTG-BTL,TechnipFMC
    Date: 2019-09-27
    In the Netherlands, BTG-BTL reports it has teamed up with TechnipFMC to design and construct a production facility in Sweden to convert wood residues such as sawdust into bio-oil which will then be processed into a transportation biofuel for blending with other fuels.

    The facility will use pyrolysis technology to process approximately 35,000-40,000 tpy of wood residues into oil. The end fuel product will European REDII directive compliant.

    TechnipFMC and BTG-BTL have already been awarded an order to construct a similar production facility in Finland, with the option to extend to four. Construction of the facility is scheduled to begin in 2019, with production slated for 2021. (Source: BTG-BTL, Biofuels Int'l, 26 Sept., 2019) Contact: BTG Bioliquids BV, +31 (0 )53 486 2287, office@btg-btl.com, www.btg-btl.com; TechnipFMC, +31 (0)79 3293 600, tpbenelux@technipfmc.com, www.technipfmc.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News BTG-BTL,  TechnipFMC,  Bio-oil,  Biofuel,  


    Alberta Univ. Reports Renewable Jet Biofuel R&D (Ind. Report, R&D)
    University of Alberta, Forge Hydrocarbon
    Date: 2019-09-27
    Prof. Dr. David Bressler, researcher at the University of Alberta reports development of a hydrocarbon fuel from lipid wastes that could allow renewable biofuels to be used as jet fuel.

    Unlike ethanol and other biofuels, this technology can use lower quality oils in its production, allowing it to not only release an estimated 85 pct less carbon emissions than petroleum-based fuels, according to Bressler.

    Bressler's lab is considering two options for producing jet biofuel -- a low-risk approach which requires giving their hydrocarbon biofuel another treatment and adding in hydrogen or to continue work on already partially developed chemistry which would keep the fuel stable, even at lower temperatures.

    The University of Alberta spin-off company Forge Hydrocarbons is working on commercializing the product as airlines and both the Canadian and American militaries are increasingly investing in the renewable option. Currently, Forge runs a pilot plant near Edmonton's Waste Management Centre that is expected to produce around 19 million lpy of biofuel. (Source: University of Alberta, 26 Sept., 2019) Contact: University of Alberta in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences, Prof. Dr. David Bressler, 780-492-4986, dbressle@ualberta.ca, www.ualberta.ca; Forge Hydrocarbons, 905-815-7786, thaig@forgehc.com, www.forgehc.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Jet Biofuel,  Forge Hydrocarbons,  


    Dow, UPM Biofuels Partner on Bio-Based Plastics (Ind. Report)
    Dow Chemical, UPM Biofuel
    Date: 2019-09-25
    Chemicals giant Dow Chemical Company rports it is partnering with advanced biofuels producer UPM Biofuels for the commercialization of a plastics offering for the packaging industry made from a bio-based renewable feedstock.

    Dow is integrating wood-based UPM BioVerno renewable naphtha -- a key raw material used to develop plastics -- into its slate of raw materials, creating an alternative source for plastics production. Dow is using this feedstock to produce bio-based polyethylene (PE) at its production facility in Terneuzen, The Netherlands, for use in food and other packaging applications.

    Following a successful year-long trial program, Dow is now planning to scale production and address the increasing global demand for renewable plastics.

    UPM BioVerno naphtha is produced at UPM's biorefinery in Lappeenranta, Finland, from crude tall oil, which is a residue of paper pulp production. (Source: Dow Chemical Co., PR, 24 Sept., 2019)Contact: Dow CHemicals, www.dow.com; UPM Biofuels, Sari Mannonen, VP . +358 45 265 1345, sari.mannonen@upm.com, www.upmbiofuels.com, www.upm.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UPM BioVerno,  UPM Biofuel,  Dow Chemical,  Woody Biomass,  


    Clariant, ORLEN Seal Polish Plant Sunliquid Deal (Int'l. Report)
    Clariant, ORLEN
    Date: 2019-09-23
    Basel, Switzerland-based specialty chemicals company Clariant reports it has inked a licensing agreement for its sunliquid cellulosic ethanol technology with Polish company PKN ORLEN Group's member ORLEN Poludnie.

    ORLEN Poludnie will use the technology to design, construct and operate a new commercial scale cellulosic ethanol from agricultural plant in Jedlicze , southeastern Poland where it will produce cellulosic ethanol from agricultural residues. (Source: Clariant, Sept., 2019) Contact: Clariant, Markus Rarbach, Biofuels and Derivatives, Clariant, Markus Rarbach, Hariolf Kottmann, CEO, +41 61 469 5111, www.clariant.com; PKN ORLEN, Armen Artwich, Member of the Management Board, www.orlen.pl

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Clariant,  ORLEN,  cellulosic ethanol,  


    Van Oord Testing Marine Biofuels (Int'l. Report)
    Van Oord
    Date: 2019-09-20
    Netherlands-based marine dredging firm Van Oord reports it is working with Shell to test the use of biofuels for its fleet of dredgers during a dredging project in Germany. The biofuel being used in the pilot is made from used cooking oil and other wastes and reduces CO2 emissions by more than 40 pct compared with conventional marine fuel. The biofuel also enables Van Oord to comply with sulfur emission regulations.

    Other maritime shipping firms, including Maersk and Finnish shipowner Meriaura , have recently undertaken similar biofuels tests and limited use. (Source: Van Oord, PR, 19 Sept., 2019) Contact: Van Oord, Ronald Schinagl, Director Business Unit Netherlands, www.vanoord.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Van Oord,  Marine Biofuel,  Biofuel,  


    WIU Funded for Pennycress Biofuel Research (Ind. Report, Funding)
    Western Illinois University
    Date: 2019-09-18
    Western Illinois University (WIU) reports agriculture professor Win Phippen has been awarded a $10 million USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant to investigate the use of pennycress as a new cash cover crop and biofuels feedstock.

    Researchers from Illinois State University, the Ohio State University, the University of Wisconsin at Platteville and the University of Minnesota will join Phippen's team.

    The integrated pennycress crop program will focus on improving pennycress genetics for plant breeding and preservation, agronomic management, ecosystems and supply chain management for post-harvest seed control, with the goal of commercially launching pennycress as a cash cover and biofuels crop in 2021. St. Louis-based CoverCress Inc. is working closely with Phippen and his team for some of the breeding and post-production side of the research.

    The end goal is to produce 50 billion gallons of biofuel in the next 25 years. (Source: Western Illinois University, Journal-Courier, 18 Sept., 2019) Contact: Western Illinois University, Prof. Win Phippen, (309) 298-1251, WB-Phippen@wiu.edu; CoverCress Inc., Funded for www.covercress.com; USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, https://nifa.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Pennycress news,  Biofuel news,  


    Minnesota Governor's Biofuels Council Launched (Ind. Report)
    Minnesota Ethanol
    Date: 2019-09-18
    In St.Paul, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) has announced the signing of an executive order creating the 15-member Governor's Biofuels Council. The council will include representatives from the agriculture, biofuels and transportation industries, as well as from environmental and conservation groups.

    The Council will be commissioned to create a report advising Walz -- chairman of the national Governors' Biofuels Coalition -- and his cabinet on to how to expand the use of biofuels and increase their carbon efficiency. The Council will also look at using biofuels as part of the state's goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in transportation. Walz's executive order mandates that the biofuels report be completed by November 2020. (Source: Office of Gov. Tim Walz, Star Tribune, 16 Sept., 2019) Contact: Office of Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, 651-201-3400, https://mn.gov/governor

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Gov. Tim Walz,  Ethanol,  Minnesota Ethanol,  


    Delta Invests $2Mn in Forest Biomass Biofuel Study (Ind. Report)
    Delta Air Lines,Northwest Advanced Bio-fuels
    Date: 2019-09-18
    U.S. air carrier Delta Air Lines reports it is partnering with Northwest Advanced Bio-fuels (NWABF) for a $2 million study to determine the feasibility of building a facility in Washington State to produce sustainable aviation fuel and other biofuel products.

    The facility would utilize forestry waste and wood "slash" to produce sustainable fuels. The result would qualify under an approved carbon-reducing pathway recognized by the American Society of Testing and Materials.

    Delta expects the study to be completed by the middle of 2020, at which time it will "evaluate the next steps in moving forward with the project's development" with the expectation that the project would be in production by the end of 2023. Biofuels produced at the facility could provide around 10 pct of the airline's annual jet fuel consumption in the West Coast region.

    As previously reported, Delta operated its first carbon-neutral delivery flight, using biofuels on a new A321. The airline also purchases offsets for domestic flights into and out of seven high-traffic airports. (Source: Delta, Air Travel, Sept., 2019) Contact: Delta, Graeme Burnett, VP Fuel Management, www.delta.com; Northwest Advanced Bio-fuels, Dave Smoot, www.nifa.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  Biofuel,  Aviation Biofuel,  Delta Air Lines,  


    Trump Plan Would Boost Biofuel Quotas 10 pct in 2020 (Reg & Leg)
    Teump
    Date: 2019-09-16
    Reuters is reporting U.S. Pres. Trump has tentatively approved a plan to increase the amount of biofuels that oil refiners are required to blend each year to compensate for the large number of financial "hardship" exemptions granted to "small" -- 75,000 bpd or less -- refiners by the EPA.

    Under the plan, the EPA will calculate a three-year rolling average of total biofuels gallons exempted under its Small Refinery Exemption program and add that figure to its annual biofuel blending quotas each year -- about 1.35 billion gallons in 2020. That would come in addition to a tentative agreement to boost 2020 blending volumes by 1 billion gallons, including 500 million gallons for conventional biofuels like corn-based ethanol and 500 million gallons for advanced biofuels like biodiesel, according to the Reuters report.

    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: Reuters, Various Media, 16 Sept., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  "Hardship" Waiver,  Ethanol Blend,  


    Associations Call for Canadian Clean Fuel Strategy (Ind. Report)
    Wood Pellet Association of Canada
    Date: 2019-09-13
    Advanced Biofuels Canada, Canadian Biogas Association, Canadian Gas Association, Electric Mobility Canada and Wood Pellet Association of Canada are forecasting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions of over 50 million metric tons (Mt) per year by 2030 through greater production and use of renewable energy in Canada.

    Collectively, the associations say they represent technologies that can, with the right policy measures in place, exceed the proposed federal Clean Fuel Standard's objective of 30 Mt of annual GHG emission reductions by 2030.

    To that end, the associations are calling on the Canadian federal government to adopt a Clean Fuel Strategy by 2020. The strategy would include setting a clear path to clean and renewable fuel use by 2030 by: establishing clear market signals for clean fuels and electric vehicles; aligning clean and renewable fuel regulations to meet targeted clean fuel and EV use; establish clean fuel program funding to support clean and renewable fuel production capacity and infrastructure investments, and support EV adoption; and Support research and development programs to maintain Canadian leadership in clean fuel technologies and innovation. (Source: Wood Pellet Association of Canada, Biomass Mag., Sept., 2019) Contact: Wood Pellet Association of Canada, www.pellet.org; Canadian Biogas Association, (613) 822-1004, www.biogasassociation.ca; Advanced Biofuels Canada, Ian Thompson, Pres., (604) 947-0040, ithomson@advancedbiofuels.ca, www.advancedbiofuels.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Advanced Biofuels Canada,  Canadian Biogas Association,  Wood Pellet Association of Canada,  Clean Fuel,  Biofuel,  


    Trump Asked to Honor RFS Pledge (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    NBB,National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2019-09-11
    "DearMr.President,

    "We are writing to express dismay at your recent decision to grant 31 waivers from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. Plainly stated, that decision is putting U.S.biodiesel producers out of business and worsening the year's outlook for soy farmers. And while you have expressed concern to save small petroleum refineries, you should also understand that small U.S. biodiesel producers need a positive signal.

    "Within a week of your decision on the 31 waivers, one U.S. biodiesel producer announced plans to close three plants -- in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Mississippi. Other producers have announced closings and laid off workers. More than 200 million gallons of domestic biodiesel production has been idled this year, due to instability in federal policy. We anticipate that additional facilities will close over the next several months if you do not take quick action to restore RFS volumes for biodiesel and renewable diesel.

    "Every small refinery waiver issued by the EPA has the potential to put a U.S.biodiesel producer out of business. A small oil refiner processing 75,000 barrels of oil per day can produce nearly 1 billion gallons of fuel in a year. The RFS program requires that oil refiner blend about 20 million gallons of biodiesel or renewable diesel during the year -- a very small fraction of overall fuel production. However, there are dozens of biodiesel producers who produce 20 million gallons of fuel or less each year; three-fifths of U.S. producers are small, non-integrated facilities.

    Small refinery waivers destroy demand for all biofuels across the board, with a significant impact on domestic biodiesel and renewable diesel producers. According to University of Illinois economist Scott Irwin, the exemptions especially harm biodiesel and renewable diesel producers because of the way the RFS is constructed. The 1.4 billion gallons of renewable fuel eliminated from the 2018 RFS through the 31 waivers includes hundreds of millions of gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel in the biomass-based diesel, advanced and overall volumes.

    "The small refinery exemptions are compounding the policy headwinds our industry is facing. Biodiesel producers have waited more than 20 months for Congress to address expired tax incentives. Additionally, your U.S. Department of Commerce is proposing to virtually eliminate countervailing duties on unfairly subsidized Argentine biodiesel. Those duties were put in place to counteract years' worth of unfair trade practices by Argentina. Soy farmers have faced closed markets, depressed crop prices, and weather-related challenges. Those forces have reduced soy planting by 15 percent for the current marketing year. Biodiesel is a value-added market driver for America's soybeans, at a time when markets have been shut or diminished.

    "The biodiesel industry continues to rely on the RFS to incentivize growth. Biodiesel and renewable diesel can be used in any existing diesel engine without special equipment for blending or dispensing. Producers therefore rely on a positive signal and support from federal programs to continue opening the transportation market to higher volumes.

    "Biodiesel producers and soy farmers rely on the RFS program. Growth in the biodiesel market is the only way to keep domestic producers operating and protect U.S. workers' jobs. Unfortunately, EPA is proposing zero growth for biomass-based diesel. We have asked the agency to do two things: first, properly account for the small refinery exemptions handed out over the past few years and going forward; and second, provide growth in the biomass-based diesel market for 2020 and 2021.

    "We ask that you continue to support the RFS and save small biodiesel producers. (signed) National Biodiesel Board (NBB)" (Source: NBB, 9 Sept., 2019) Contact: NBB, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NBB,  Biodiesel,  RFS,  


    Ethanol Fastest Growing US Agricultural Export (Ind. Report)
    US Grains Council
    Date: 2019-09-11
    According to recent research by the Washington, DC-headquartered US Grains Council (USGC), non-beverage ethanol has been the fastest growing US agricultural export at 18 pct over the past five years.

    In 2018, American ethanol export totaled over 6.1 billion litres (1611449519.385 gallons) worth roughly $2.7 billion. In total, exports increased by over $330 million year-on-year. (Source: US Grains Council, Various Media, Biofuels Int'l, 10 Sept., 2019) Contact: U.S. Grains Council, Tom Sleight, Pres., (202) 789-0789, (202) 898-0522, www.grains.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US Grains Council ,  Ethanol,  Ethanol Export,  


    WPA Takes Canadian Clean Fuel Standard to Task (Ind Report)
    Wood Pellet Association of Canada
    Date: 2019-09-09
    Since 2017, the government of Canada has been developing the Clean Fuel Standard (CFS), a low carbon fuel standard-type policy, to reduce the life-cycle carbon intensity of fuels and energy used in Canada. The CFS aims to achieve 30 million tonnes CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) of annual reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 2030.

    The Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC) has been providing input to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) as it works to design and shape the CFS. And, upon review of ECCC's proposed regulatory approach, WPAC is seriously concerned that the government will not allow end-use fuel switching in the buildings/stationary fuel use sector.

    WPAC believes it is unfair for ECCC to recognize fuel switching from gasoline to electricity or hydrogen in transportation, but not to recognize switching from heating oil to solid biofuels -- wood pellets or chips -- for Canada's second largest renewable energy product -- solid biomass heating. To that end, WPAC made the following representations to ECCC:

  • One of the three primary objectives of the CFS is low-cost compliance. By prohibiting recognition of fuel switching for stationary applications, ECCC will actually significantly increase the cost of CFS compliance, exclude the forest sector from participation in the short-term, and inhibit investment in the most proven commercial technology for displacement of heating oil -- wood pellet and chip boilers.

  • Canada consumes approximately three billion lpy of heating oil, the majority of which is consumed by Canadians in rural and Atlantic Canada. The latter accounts for 44 pct of heating oil consumption in the residential sector and 50 pct of heating oil consumption in the commercial/institutional sectors. Rural and Atlantic Canada also have among the lowest per capita income. ECCC's proposed regulatory approach will make CFS compliance for these low-income areas significantly more expensive than for those living in cities.

  • Under ECCC's proposed regulatory approach, the principal mechanism for ensuring compliance from heating oil primary suppliers will be to blend renewable diesel with heating oil. Since heating oil has low carbon intensity (CI) relative to other liquid fuels and much of the crude used to produce heating oil is sourced from outside of Canada, there is less opportunity for upstream reductions than with other liquid fuels. The 2030 target of 74 g CO2e/MJ is less than heating oil combustion emissions, meaning upstream efficiency improvements will be insufficient to meet the requirements. The only heating oil-miscible fuel that can also be stored outside in winter, as is often the case with heating oil, is renewable diesel.

  • Renewable diesel has a useful heat fuel cost of $65-82 per gigajoule (GJ) ($234-295 per MWh. In contrast, wood pellets, at $300-350 per tonne for residential sales, have a useful heat fuel cost of $20-24 per GJ. Wood pellets also have half the of default renewable diesel (29 g CO2e/MJ). Wood chips are half the carbon intensity of wood pellets which means, on an implied carbon price basis and assuming wholesale $0.75 per litre for heating oil, blending renewable diesel with heating oil has a fuel cost of $630/ per tonne CO2e to 884 per tonne CO2e. Switching from heating oil to wood pellets saves money on a fuel basis, in addition to avoiding taxes on heating oil. In this case, there is little reason to implement a complex policy such as the CFS.

  • Despite the billions of dollars invested in lignocellulosic liquid transportation biofuels, all technologies are still pre-commercial -- especially forest feedstock-based liquid transportation biofuels due to the recalcitrant structure of wood fibre. Co-processing of pyrolysis oil or biocrude in existing oil refineries at a meaningful volume will not occur before 2030. The forest sector represents over 75 pct of annually-available biomass resources in Canada and its exclusion from participation in the liquids class will dramatically increase the cost of fuel, especially in rural communities where wood chips and bioheat are a cost efficient and convenient source of energy. (Source: WPAC, Canadian Biomass, Environment and Climate Change Canada, 26 Aug., 2019) Contact: Wood Pellet Association of Canada, Gordon Murra, Exec. Dir., ; Environment and Climate Change Canada, www.canada.ca › environment-climate-change

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Environment and Climate Change Canada,  Wood Pellet Association of Canada,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet ,  


  • NEXT Renewable Fuels Planning Oregon Biodiesel Plant (Ind. Report)
    NEXT Renewable Fuels
    Date: 2019-09-09
    In Oregon, the Port of Columbia County has approved a long-term ground lease for NEXT Renewable Fuels to develop a $1 billion Advanced Green Diesel biodiesel production facility on 90 acres at Port Westward.

    NEXT Renewable Fuels' planned facility will convert used cooking oil and similar organic feedstocks into renewable diesel at the rate of of 37,500 bpd. The biofuels facility which could be increased to 50,000 bpd capacity, is expected to begin commercial operations in 2022. (Source: NEXT Renewable Fuels, Port of Columbia County, Biofuels News, 9 Sept., 2019) Contact: Port of Columbia County, 503-397-2888, www.portofcolumbiacounty.org; NEXT Renewable Fuels, Lou Soumas, Pres., info@nextrenewables.com, www.nextrenewables.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NEXT Renewable Fuels,  Biodiesel,  


    NBB's EPA RFS "Hardship" Waivers Challenge Nixed (Reg & Leg)
    NBB,National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2019-09-09
    In the nation's capitol, the US Court of Appeals has announced it will not review the Trump administration US EPA's refusal to account for its granting of numerous retroactive Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) "hardship" waivers, as challenged by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).

    The Court nixed the NBB's appeal on the grounds that the biofuel industry did not comment on the topic or give the EPA sufficient opportunity to address those comments. (Source: NBB, Biofuels News, 9 Sept., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NBB,  Biodiesel,  RFS,  "hardship" Waivers,  


    PetroBio Converting Tomato Grower from Nat Gas to Bioenergy (Int'l.)
    PetroBio,Maartens
    Date: 2019-09-06
    Goteborg, Sweden-based engineering company PetroBio reports it has been commissioned to convert the energy production at the Dutch tomato grower Zonnekreek Tomato in Groningen from natural gas to renewable bioenergy. The project is expected to be completed and commissioned by the year end.

    According to PetroBio, its "traditional market has been mainly the Nordic countries but since merging with the Belgian biofuel company VYNCKE in January 2018 the opportunities to take market shares in Europe have increased significantly." Via VYNCKE's European customer base PetroBio were able to establish contact with the Dutch pellet manufacturer Maartens and the tomato grower Zonnekreek Tomato. Maartens is responsible for funding and contracting the entire combustion equipment. The project is partly financed by the Dutch government as part of the incentive programme to encourage businesses to switch from combusting natural gas to biofuels. The plant in Holland is planned to be up and running at the end of 2019. (Source: PetroBio, Energy Global, 4 Sept., 2019) Contact: PetroBio AG, +46 31 335 49 50, www.petro.se

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Maartens,  PetroBio,  Natural Gas,  Biogas,  Wood Pellet,  


    Neste Opens Calif. Renewable Diesel Fueling Stations (Ind. Report)
    Neste
    Date: 2019-09-04
    Helsinki-headquartered renewable diesel producer reports the opening of three new cardlock renewable diesel commercial fueling stations in Northern and Central California' Neste's first California fueling station opened earlier this year, bringing the total number of commercial fueling stations to four.

    Neste MY Renewable Diesel is a cost competitive, low-carbon fuel produced from 100 pct renewable and sustainable raw materials that cuts greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 pct compared to petroleum diesel. (Source: Neste, Various Trade Media, Biofuels Int'l, 29 Aug., 2019) Contact: Neste, +358 10 458 4128, www.neste.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Neste,  Renewable Diesel,  


    Cielo Reports Alberta Renewable Diesel Refinery Progress (Ind. Report)
    Cielo Waste Solutions
    Date: 2019-09-04
    Following up on our 5th August coverage, Vancouver-based Cielo Waste Solutions is reporting receipt of a $250,000 joint venture (JV) fee from Renewable U Lethbridge, following a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement. The full fee secures the territory of Lethbridge, Alberta and the surrounding 100km radius. Cielo and Renewable U Lethbridge plan to construct a renewable diesel refinery at the location.

    Under the deal, Renewable U will be responsible for financing the costs associated with the refinery, including site acquisition, construction and commissioning of the renewable diesel facility. Cielo will manage the refinery, overseeing its construction, commissioning and operation, for which it will receive a management fee equal to 7 pct of the JV costs, and will continue to receive management fees once operations begin. (Source: Cielo, Biofuels News, 2 Sept., 2019) Contact: Cielo Waste Solutions Corp., Don Allan, President & CEO, (403) 348-2972 Ext. 101, donallan@cielows.com, www.cielows.com; Renewable U Energy, Lionel Robins, CEO, www.motivateu.ca/renewableu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cielo,  Renewable Diesel,  


    Brazil Ups Tariff-Free Ethanol Imports Quota (Int'l Report)
    Ethanol, Brazil
    Date: 2019-09-04
    Reporting from Sao Paulo, the Brazilian government reports it has renewed and increased the size of its tariff-free ethanol imports quota to a limit of 750 million lpy (198 million gpy) for a one year period. Imports above the quota are subject to a 20 pct import duty.

    In 2018 Brazil imported 1.7 billion liters of ethanol, primarily from the U.S., surpassing that years quota. Imports this year have also surpassed the quota, reaching 991 million liters from January to July, according to Brazil's National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP) oil and fuels regulator. (Source: ET Auto, ANP Brazil, Brazil Reuters, 3 Sept., 2019) Contact: ANP Brazil, www.anp.gov.br

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Brazil Biofuel,  Ethanol,  Unica,  


    Clariant Completes Miscanthus Grass Biomass-to-Ethanol Tests (Int'l)
    Clariant
    Date: 2019-09-04
    Basel, Switzerland-based specialty chemicals company Clariant reports the completion of tests of technology that converts miscanthus biomass into lignocellulosic sugars and ethanol at its pre-commercial "sunliquid" plant in Straubing, Germany.

    Approximately 30 tons of miscanthus provided by Croatian oil and gas company INA was tested with funding from the Growing Advanced Industrial Crops on Marginal Land for Biorefineries (GRACE) project -- of which INA is a consortium member. GRACE is supported by the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

    The project aims to optimize various miscanthus grass value chains in order to produce sustainable products and to develop miscanthus as a sustainable feedstock resource for cultivation on marginal, contaminated and abandoned land. Clariant tested miscanthus as a feedstock for the production of lignocellulose sugars and ethanol. (Source: Clariant, Business Standard, 3 Sept., 2019) Contact: Clariant, Markus Rarbach, Biofuels and Derivatives, Clariant, Markus Rarbach, Hariolf Kottmann, CEO, +41 61 469 5111, www.clariant.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Clariant,  Miscanthus,  Ethanol,  Biofuel,  


    Notable Quote
    POET, EPA
    Date: 2019-08-30
    "The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was designed to increase the use of clean, renewable biofuels and generate grain demand for farmers. Our industry invested billions of dollars based on the belief that oil could not restrict access to the market and EPA would stand behind the intent of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Unfortunately, the oil industry is manipulating the EPA and is now using the RFS to destroy demand for biofuels, reducing the price of commodities and gutting rural economies in the process." -- Jeff Broin, CEO, POET Contact: POET, Jeff Broin, CEO., (605) 965-2200, www.poet.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News POET,  EPA,  "Hardship" Waivers,  RFS,  


    Crown Oil Invests £4Mn to Encourage Alternative Biofuels (Int'l.)
    Crown Oil
    Date: 2019-08-30
    In Bury, UK, fuel, oil and lubricant's supplier Crown Oil reports it has invested £4 million in an initiative to encourage customers to switch from petroleum fuels to synthetic biofuels as an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels.

    According to Crown Oil managing director Matthew Greensmith, "We are always looking to reduce our footprint in every way we can and we're aware that the current supply of biofuels cannot sustainably match that of fossil fuels in a large economy such as the UK. We believe renewable sources are part of the solution to the current climate crisis, and we want to encourage businesses to switch to this versatile fuel. For that reason, we have invested in an industrial-sized supply of HVO fuel, as we expect demand for greener fuels to increase as businesses become more environmentally-conscious and we want to be able to cater to that demand."

    The company is also set to lobby Whitehall to give more concessions to producers of TVO and similar fuels. To that end, the company is calling for sufficient incentives for businesses and domestic customers to use biofuels, as aside from environmental concerns, there is little reason to choose renewable fuels. (Source: Crown Oil, Bury Times, 29 Aug., 2019) Contact: Crown Oil UK, Matthew Greensmith, +44 0 845 130 9777, Fax -- +44 0 0845 130 6888, www.crownoiluk.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  


    Sonny Says Trump Will Take Action on Ethanol Waivers -- Whatever That Means? (Ind. Report)
    RFS,Sonny Perdue
    Date: 2019-08-30
    Speaking Wednesday in Decatur, Illinois -- corn country -- U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said President Trump will "take action to soften the effects of oil refinery exceptions for blending corn-based ethanol in motor fuel." It is "disappointing" that the Trump EPA granted the waivers, Sec. Perdue added.

    Perdue either couldn't or wouldn't say what action the president will or might take, but noted that Trump believes the EPA waivers were "way overdone." Ethanol advocates contend that oil refinery waivers have reduced ethanol production by 2.6 billion gallons since Trump moved into the White House.

    When grilled on the Trump administration's biofuels, trade and Renewable Fuel Standard and related policies Perdue replied "EPA will continue to consult with our federal partners on the best path forward to ensure stability in the Renewable Fuel Standard. The president will always seek to engage with stakeholders to achieve wins for the agriculture and energy sectors." So sayeth Sonny!(Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, CBS, Various Media, 28 Aug., 2019) Contact: Office of US Sec of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, (202) 720-2791, feedback@oc.usda.gov, www.usda.gov, twitter.com/SecretarySonny

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  "Hardship" Waivers,  Ethanol,  Sonny Perdue,  Trump,  


    Woodland Biofuels Wins $4.7Mn NRC Investment (Funding)
    Woodland Biofuels
    Date: 2019-08-30
    In Ottawa, the Canadian government reports it will invest $4.7 million in Toronto-headquartered Woodland Biofuels. The company uses gasification and a series of catalytic reactions to convert biomass into renewable fuels.

    Of the total investment, $1.9 million, funded by Natural Resources Canada's (NRC) Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program, will support the company's development of a technology to produce cellulosic ethanol from wood and agricultural waste. A second investment of more than $2.8 million, funded by NRC Clean Growth Program, will be used to increase the efficiency of the company's cellulosic ethanol demonstration plant and support detailed engineering activities, enabling Woodland's first commercial-scale ethanol plant in Sarnia, Ontario. (Source: Woodland Biofuels, PR, Ethanol Producer, 28 Aug., 2019) Contact: Woodland Biofuel, Greg Nuttall, CEO,(647) 494-5553, www.woodlandbiofuels.com; NRC, www.nrcan.gc.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cellulosic,  Natural Resources Canada,  Biofuel,  

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