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Biofuel Quotas to Get Small Lift Under Draft of EPA Plan

Date: 2020-05-29
(Bloomberg) -- The Environmental Protection Agency has drafted a plan to slightly lift biofuel-blending targets next year, while so far skirting potentially controversial decisions about exempting refineries from U.S. mandates to use plant-based fuels, according to three people familiar with the matter. Under a proposed rule now undergoing White House review, the EPA would require refiners to use 5.17 billion gallons of advanced biofuels in 2021, up from 5.09 billion gallons this year, according to two of the people. That would include 670 million gallons of cellulosic renewable fuels, such as those made from crop residue, switchgrass and biogas harvested at landfills, up from 590 million gallons required this year. The EPA is expected to propose the quotas in coming months, and under federal law faces a Nov. 30 deadline to finalize the targets. Representatives of the EPA did not immediately respond to requests for comment. (Source: Yahoo, Bloomberg, 19 May, 2020)


IRFA Seeks Legislative Biofuel Tax Action (Ind. Report, Reg & Leg)
Iowa Renewable Fuels Association
Date: 2020-05-29
In the Hawkeye State, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) is calling for legislators to act on House File 2279 and Senate File 2403 that would extend and modernize fuel tax differentials for E15 and higher ethanol blends and B11 and higher biodiesel blends, which are set to expire on June 30, 2020.

With the passage of either bill, Iowa will not only continue to support renewable fuels but put millions of dollars back into the road use tax fund each year for vital infrastructure projects, according to IRFA. "If the legislature allows the biofuel tax differentials to expire, not only will it raise prices on consumers at the pump, it will also hurt Iowa's farmers and biofuels producers who are suffering as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and trade disputes. Since the implementation of the current tax differential, we've seen biofuel blend sales increase dramatically, but with June 30 just around the corner, it is imperative the legislature take action now. Iowa cannot afford to take a step backward in promoting the use of renewable fuels," according to IRFA Policy Director Nathan Hohnstein, (Source: Iowa Renewable Fuels Assoc., 27 May, 2020) Contact: IRFA, Nathan Hohnstein, Policy Director , (515) 252-6249, (515) 225-0781 -- fax, www.iowarfa.org

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


Irish ClonBio Reports €95Mn 2019 pretax Profit (Int'l. Report)
ClonBio,Pannonia Bio,
Date: 2020-05-27
Dublin-headquartered family-owned agribusiness company ClonBio Group Ltd. has reported a 143 pct rise in annual pretax profits to €95 million in 2019 after ethanol prices strengthened. A good performance by its biofuels and protein-rich animal nutrition products (DDGs) also boosted the performance of ClonBio, which saw its turnover rise 26 pct to €361 million, according to a company release.

The company's core operating company, Pannonia Bio, a corn-based biorefinery in Hungary. was recently designated as an "essential company" by the Hungarian government, with a significant proportion of its monthly ethanol output now in use in the fight against coronavirus. (Source: CloneBio, Irish Times, 25 May, 2020) Contact: ClonBio, Mark Turley, CEO, +353 1 538 4550, www.clnbio.com; Pannonia Bio, +36 1 696 1833, www.pannoniabio.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News DDGs news,  Ethanol news,  


Praj, Sekab E-Technology Partner on Advanced Biofuels (Int'l Report)
Praj Industries,Sekab E-Technology
Date: 2020-05-20
Praj Industries and Ornskoldsvik, Sweden-based Sekab E-Technology AB are reporting an agreement to cooperatively upgrade and commercialize technology to produce advanced biofuels and bio-chemicals from forest residue as feedstock. As a part of this cooperation,

The partnership will facilitate CO2 reduction by offering Bio-mobility solutions for the transportation industry in the form of advanced biofuels produced from softwood. Praj's Bio-Mobility platform promotes the use of renewable resources to produce low carbon transportation fuel modes of mobility, namely surface, air and water, according to Praj, a global process solutions company offering solutions to add significant value to bio-energy facilities, compressed biogas plants, wastewater treatment systems and others.

Sekab is a Swedish Chemistry and Cleantex company that refine ethanol into biofuels and chemicals and develops biorefinery technology for new sustainable product possibilities based on cellulose raw materials, according to the company website. (Source: Praj Ind., Business Standard, 18 May, 2020)Contact: Praj Industries Ltd., +91 20 7180 2000 / 2294 1000, Jayant Godbole, Pres., Praj Americas, info@praj.net, www.praj.net; Sekab E-Technology AB, +46 (0)660-793 00, info@sekab.com, www.sekab.com/en/products-services/biorefinery

More Low-Carbon Energy News Praj Industries,  Advanced Biofuel,  


EC to Release Broad Bioenergy, Woody Biomass Strategy (Int'l.)
EC,EU,Woody Biomass
Date: 2020-05-20
The European Commission (EC) reports it plans to "push a transformative approach to all forms of bioenergy -- including biofuels and woody biomass -- as part of a biodiversity strategy aimed at continuously assessing biomass supply and demand at EU and global level in order to "ensure that EU biomass-related policies are sustainable." The draft strategy plan, which includes the use of forest biomass for energy production, is expected to be released today, 20 May.

That strategy is expected to focus on the conservation of old-growth forests, which are considered the most valuable for biodiversity and climate protection. Under the strategy, at least 10 pct of land will have to be protected.

The EU's biodiversity strategy will not become legislation legislation until 2021, when the Commission revises key EU laws, such as the EU's Renewable Energy Directive, and the Regulation on land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF). (Source: European Commission, EURACTIV, 18 May, 2020) Contact: EC, Frans Timmermans, Climate Chief, www.ec.europa.eu/commission/commissioners/2019-2024/timmermans_en

More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission,  Forest Biomass,  Woody Biomass,  Biofuel,  Bioenergy,  


$2.25Bn for Biofuels Included in U.S. House Economic Pkg (Ind Report)
Iowa Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer
Date: 2020-05-15
In the nation's capitol, the office of U.S. Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa) reports the House's recently introduced $3 trillion economic aid plan includes $2.25 billion for the biofuels industry.

Under the plan, ethanol and biodiesel plants would get payments based on the gallons each produce. "At a rate of 45 cents per gallon for fuel produced between January and May of this year, and then for plants forced to shut down, the bill provides 22.5 cents per gallon on the amount produced during the same period last year in 2019," Finkenauer noted.

Congresswoman Finkenauer's congressional district hosts 8 biofuel plants. (Source: Office of Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer, Radio Iowa, 13 May, 2020) Contact: Office of Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer, (202) 225-2911, (319) 364-2288, finkenauer.house.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Abby Finkenauer,  Biofuel,  


Enerkem, NOVA Chemicals Announce Collaboration (Ind. Report)
Enerkem, NOVA Chemicals
Date: 2020-05-13
Montreal-based biofuels-renewable fuels from wastes specialist Enerkem and Calgary-headquartered NOVA Chemicals Corp. are reporting a joint development agreement to research advanced recycling technology to transform hard-to-recycle municipal waste, including items such as plastics, household waste, and construction materials, into ethylene at full commercial scale.

Enerkem is the world's first to produce renewable methanol and ethanol from non-recyclable, non-compostable municipal solid waste at full commercial scale. Enerkem's technology replace the use of fossil sources like petroleum and natural gas to produce sustainable chemicals and transportation fuels. Calgary-based NOVA Chemicals develops and manufactures chemicals and plastic resins. (Source: NOVA Chemicals, Enerkem Inc., May, 2020) Contact: NOVA Chemicals, Todd Karran, Pres., Jennifer Nanz, Communications, Jennifer.Nanz@novachem.com, www.novachem.com; Enerkem, Dominique Boies, CEO and CFO, 514-375-7800 communications@enerkem.com, www.enerkem.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News NOVA Chemicals,  Enerken,  Waste-to-Fuel,  


Sulzer Chemtech Announces Bio-Based Development Team (Int'l.)
Sulzer Chemtech
Date: 2020-05-13
Winterthus, Switzerland-headquartered chemical separation technology specialist Sulzer Chemtech has announced the creation of a new global bio-based and renewables application development team focused on the conversion of renewable feedstocks into biochemicals and biofuels. The new unit will also help create the technology and engineering solutions to enable a successful transition towards sustainable processing and manufacturing activities.

Sulzer notes it has participated in non-conventional biofuel production, plastics recycling and bio-based plastic commercial production projects. These include the Quantafuel (Norway) and Steelanol (Belgium) projects for the transformation of non-recyclable plastics and carbon rich waste gases into fuel. In addition, Sulzer's PLAnet venture offers turn-key production equipment and plants to obtain polylactic acid (PLA) from sugars or starches. (Source: Sulzer Chemtech, PR, BioMarkets, May, 2020) Contact: Sulzer Chemtech, Torsten Wintergerste, Division Pres., www.sulzer.com/en

More Low-Carbon Energy News Sulzer Chemtech,  Biofuel,  Biofuel Feedstock,  Biochemical,  


Trump Urged to Reject Waiver Requests (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
EPA,Renewable Fuel Standard
Date: 2020-05-11
In the nation's capitol, a bipartisan group of 24 U.S. senators -- including Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Tina Smith(D-Minn) Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich) have written the following to the White House:

"We are writing to urge you to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and immediately reject the requests for a waiver of the RFS under Section 211(o)(7) of the Clean Air Act recently received by the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) from five state governors.

"Across our states, biofuels lower fuel prices, create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the new energy economy, many of which are in rural areas, provide an important market for farmers, cut our reliance on foreign oil, reduce emissions and harmful air pollutants, and provide critical inputs to our food supply.

"Our nation is facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the global health pandemic caused by COVID-19, with the impacts being felt across all of society. Waiving the RFS would cause further harm to the U.S.economy, especially our most vulnerable rural communities. It would also exacerbate the effects experienced by the biofuel sector as a result of COVID-19, causing far-reaching detrimental impacts on employment, farmers, food security, fuel prices, and the environment. The resiliency of America's renewable fuel industry has already suffered as a result of the EPA's drastic expansion of the small refinery waiver program in recent years.

"The U.S. Department of Homeland Security identified the biofuels sector as an essential critical infrastructure workforce during the COVID-19 response. However, as motor fuel demand has plummeted, prices have slumped to record lows and producers are suffering heavy losses. At this point more than 70 ethanol facilities with an annual production capacity of 6.1 billion gallons have been fully idled, and approximately 70 more plants have reduced their operating rates by a combined amount of 1.9 billion gallons annualized. At least 46 pct of the ethanol industry's total production capacity is now idled, and eight biodiesel and renewable diesel facilities remain offline. Highly-skilled jobs across the country are being lost at an alarming rate.

"Biofuel plant closures have ripple effects through the U.S. economy. Farm income is directly linked to the health of the renewable fuel industry. Plant shutdowns are causing commercial CO2 supply shortages and inhibiting the ability of meat packers and other food sectors to refrigerate, preserve,and supply food and beverages at current, affordable rates. Ethanol plants also produce low cost, high-protein animal feed (distillers grains). Supply shortages as a result of biofuel plant closures are impacting livestock feed procurement, rations, and prices. Biodiesel producers provide value to surplus and waste oils, fats and greases from food, feed and other biofuel production. Without the biodiesel industry, excess feedstocks will clog the supply chain, causing livestock producers to potentially raise prices for consumers. Removing biofuels from gasoline and diesel will also lead to an increase of greenhouse gas emissions, particulate matter, and toxics-causing degradation to our air quality.

"Recent requests for a waiver of the RFS are unjustified and clearly do not satisfy the rigorous requirements necessary for EPA consideration. RFS waivers can only be granted by EPA if there is a demonstration of 'severe harm' to the economy or environment of a state, region or the United States that is directly caused by the RFS. None of these standards are met today and the following reasons clearly demonstrate the case for rejecting the waiver requests:

  • Challenging market conditions in the oil sector are the directresult of oversupply from international competitors combined with falling gasoline, diesel and jet fuel demand as a result of the COVID-19, not the RFS.

  • The RFS already accommodates demand reductions and provides flexibility to reflect the reality of motor fuel demand. EPA translates the annual RFS requirements into a percentage share of gasoline and diesel. Thus, the existing structure of the RFS regulations already results in an oil refiner's renewable volume obligations being proportionally reduced if overall motor fuel demand drops over the year

  • EPA has repeatedly found that RIN prices do not negatively impact refiners, a position reinforced by the 10th Circuit court in January 200. In addition, a record-large supply of RINs is available to refiners today, largely as a consequence of EPA's abusive expansion of the small refinery exemption program, so the threat of high RIN prices is currently non-existent.

    "We urge you to direct the EPA to reject all calls to waive the RFS. The RFS is more important now than ever as farmers, the biofuel sector, and rural America struggle to remain operational during the COVID-19 crisis." (Source: US Senate, 8 May, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  "Hardship" Waiver,  


  • Bankrupt Philly Refiner Offered Cap on RFS Obligation (Ind Report)
    Philadelphia Energy Solutions
    Date: 2020-05-11
    The Trump administration has offered to place a $10 million cap on bankrupt Philadelphia Energy Solutions' biofuel blending obligations, effectively cutting the refiner's regulatory liability by more than 70 pct and freeing more cash for the company's creditors. Under the deal PES will either surrender 161.8 million biofuel blending credits (RINs) valued at roughly $35 million or pay up to $10 million to meet its RFS obligations, according to Reuters.

    The Trump EPA previously waived $350 million in biofuels compliance costs for PES after its initial bankruptcy in 2018.

    As reported in Jan., Philadelphia-headquartered bioenergy developer SG Preston dropped its previously expressed interest in redeveloping the shut-down fire-damaged 335,000 bpd Philadelphia refinery, which is now being sold by creditors for $252 million and redeveloped under a bankruptcy court approved plan. (Source: Various Media,Reuters, May, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Philadelphia Energy Solutions,  RFS,  Biofuel Blend,  RINs,  


    EPA Aircraft GHG Rule Proposal in White House Hands (Reg & Leg)
    EPA
    Date: 2020-05-11
    In the nation's capitol, the EPA reports its first-ever proposed rule on aircraft greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have been sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review.

    The proposed rule builds on the EPA's 2016 finding that aviation emissions endanger public health and welfare. Unfortunately, the new rules proposal comes at a time when the airlines are struggling because of the COVID-19 crisis and can ill afford potentially expensive new obligations.

    Internationally, the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has set its own GHG emissions reductions calling for an emissions freeze to be met through more energy efficient aircraft, increased use of biofuels and other "low-carbon" fuels, improved airline operations or the purchase of approved offsets.

    The U.S., an ICAO member, has agreed to impose the freeze in 2021. The freeze, which becomes mandatory in 2027, is calculated on the average of 2019 and 2020, so the baseline is plummeting thanks to COVID-19. The industry now prefers that the baseline be based on 2019 alone, which is much more in line with their initial expectations.

    Environmental groups claim ICAO provisions as too weak and oppose the baseline adjustments requested by the airlines and call for "technology forcing" EPA measures that go beyond ICAO. (Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute, 8 May, 2020)Contact: ICAO, Secretary General Fang Liu, www.icao.in

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ICAO,  Aviation Emissions,  Carbon Emissiuons,  Climate Change,  


    Fraunhofer Touts Marine Biofuel Progress (New Prod & Tech, Int'l)
    Fraunhofer Institute
    Date: 2020-05-08
    In Oberhausen, Germany, Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT researchers are touting a new marine fuel made by converting bioethanol into diesel, gasoline or jet fuel that have nearly the same properties as fossil fuels and reduces soot emissions and other greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30 pct compared to fossil fuel.

    Lead researcher Dr. Andreas Menne, a mechanical engineer who heads up the Biorefinery and Biofuels department and his colleagues are aiming to mitigate marine diesel's adverse impact on the climate with a new technology.

    The UMSICHT researchers are producing up to 20 liters of the new biofuel a week in an experimental plant. The feedstock is bioethanol sourced from wheat straw. Although the synthetic diesel is still more expensive than diesel made of petroleum, it is ready to go to market, according to the release. (Source: Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology, 7-May, 2020 ) Contact: Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology, Dr. Andreas Menne, +49 208 85980 www.umsicht.fraunhofer.de/en.html

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Fraunhofer Institute,  Biofuel,  Marine Biofuel,  Maritime Biofuel,  


    IPPCA Supports Philippine Ethanol Blending Suspension (Int'l.)
    Independent Philippine Petroleum Companies Association
    Date: 2020-05-06
    In Manila, the Philippines, the Independent Philippine Petroleum Companies Association (IPPCA) has come out in support of the Philippine Department of Energy's suggested diversion of biofuel production into the creation of ethyl alcohol on the grounds that "diverting it [biofuels] to ethyl alcohol, or even as alcohol beverage, will be more beneficial for the economy."

    Under 2006 legislation, the Philippines mandates a 10 pct bioethanol-gasoline blend rate. The energy Department noted "Let's use the ethanol to produce alcohol and since the price of oil is low, we can use 100 pct gasoline." Under the country's Biofuels Act, prohibits the "diversion of biofuels, whether locally produced or imported, to purposes other than those envisioned in the Act." (Source: Independent Philippine Petroleum Companies Association, Business World, 5 May, 2020) Contact: Independent Philippine Petroleum Companies Association, www.facebook.com/pages/category/Nonprofit-Organization/Independent-Philippine-Petroleum-Companies-Association-IPPCA-120279771348470

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,   Ethanol Blend,  Philippine Ethano,  Biofuel Blendl Blend,  


    State-Owned Bank of ND Offers Ethanol Ind. Assistance (Ind Report)
    Bank of ND ,North Dakota Industrial Commission
    Date: 2020-05-04
    Reporting from Bismark, the North Dakota Industrial Commission has authorized the Bank of North Dakota to provide a financing program to help the state's ethanol secure working capital to maintain operations during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. The state's ethanol producers use 140 million bpy of corn to produce 400 million gpy ethanol and 1.3 million tpy of distiller’s grains (DDGs).

    The Industrial Commission will use the Partnership in Community Expansion program which offers buy-downs to to a maximum of $500,000 of a borrower's interest rate, in tandem with the legislatively authorized Fuel Production Loan Guarantee program for biofuels. Under terms of the program, ethanol producers may access up to $15 million or 50 cents per bushel of corn that would have normally been purchased in the first two quarters of 2020, whichever is less.

    The Bank of North Dakota is a state-owned, state-run financial institution and the only government-owned general-service bank in the United States. (Source: Bank of ND, Wahpeton Daily News, May, 2020) Contact: Bank of ND, 800.472.2166 , 701.328.5600, bnd@nd.gov, www.bnd.nd.gov; North Dakota Industrial Commission, www.dmr.nd.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  DDGs,  Corn,  Corn Ethanol,  


    Innogy Energo Plans Czeck BioCNG Tests (Int'l. Report)
    Innogy Energo
    Date: 2020-05-01
    In the Czech Republic, Innogy Energo s.r.o. reports it will offer biomethane-enriched compressed natural gas (BioCNG)vehicle transportation fuel through it network of 63 CNG filling stations by the end of June.

    When burned, BioCNG releases up to 80 pct less carbon dioxide emissions into the air than petrol or diesel, meets even the strictest limits of pure mobility and is certified by the International Biomass and Biofuels Certification System (ISCC EU). (Source: Innogy Energo, prazskypatriot.cz, NGV Global, 29 April, 2020) Contact: Innogy Energo, Zdenek Kaplan, CEO, +420 724 202 772, www.innogy-energo.cz; International Biomass and Biofuels Certification System, certifications.controlunion.com/en/certification-programs/certification-programs/iscc-certified-biomass-and-bioenergy

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CNG,  Alternative Fuel,  Biomethane,  BioCNG,  Alternatice Fuell,  


    Former Ag.Sec. Vilsack Comments on Biofuels Ind. -- Notable Quote
    Tom Vilsack
    Date: 2020-05-01
    "It (biofuels industry) is in very, very serious shape."

    "It provides a stable market for crops, an affordable supply of feed supplements for livestock producers, it supports exports, provides jobs -- as many as 400,000 Americans at one time -- and gives consumers a less-expensive fuel option that is cleaner burning than fossil fuels." -- Tom Vilsack, former Iowa governor and U.S. agriculture secretary, commenting on the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the biofuels industry and the Trump administration's understanding of the benefits of the ethanol industry.

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Tom Vilsack,  Biofuel,  


    Biorenewable Deployment Consortium Kicks Off 2020 Webinars Series (Ind Report, Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Biorenewable Deployment Consortium
    Date: 2020-04-29
    Reacting to the global COVID-19 pandemics effect on how we are doing business these days, the Biorenewable Deployment Consortium (BDC) is continuing to add value to its members by developing and providing a series of webinars once or twice a month on both short-term and long-term opportunities. The webinars will feature world-class speakers and be completed in 1-hour, including time for Q&A. With input from its advisors and members, BDC has selected some important key topics.

    The webinar series will kick off on Thursday, April 30 to address energy savings in the pulp mill and on the paper machines. BDC has assembled a team of Subject Matter experts to provide insight into energy reduction opportunities for pulp and paper mills.

    "During this unparalleled time of economic uncertainty, BDC, now more than ever, will do its best to continue to provide value to its members through this webinar series," said Masood Akhtar, President and Co-Founder of BDC.

    Upcoming confirmed webinars will focus on Alternative Fuels for Recauticizing Operations, Methanol Extraction and Purification, Bleach Plant Operations, and Converting Mill Sludge to Solid Boiler Fuel. BDC members have unlimited access to live and all archived webinars and events on the BDC website www.biorenewabledc.org.

    BDC, since 2006, has worked to bring together like-minded companies to share ideas and partner to deploy bio-processes that can be economic in the long run without government subsidy, by investigating new processes, being a resource, brokering partnerships, and holding two forums a year for its members, where leading edge information from various bio-companies is shared and tours are made of bio-facilities. BDC recognizes the need for low cost feedstock, cost effective measures such as integration of processes, high value products, and good management to achieve the economics needed for success. (Source: Biorenewable Deployment Consortium, 27 April, 2020) Contact: Biorenewable Deployment Consortium, Ben Thorp, 870-501-1836, Ben.Thorp@biorenewabledc.org, Masood.Akhtar@biorenewabledc.org, Harry.Seamans@biorenewabledc.org, www.biorenewabledc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biorenewable Deployment Consortium,  Biofuels,  Alternative Fuels ,  


    UK Biofuels Consumption on the Rise (Int'l. Report)
    Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
    Date: 2020-04-29
    In the UK, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is reporting biodiesel consumption set records in both 2018 and 2019 when liquid biofuel consumption reached 621.07 million gallons -- up 24 pct from 2018.

    According to BEIS data, ethanol accounted for 32 pct of the UK's liquid biofuels consumption in 2019 ewhile biodiesel accounted for 68 pct. (Source: Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Biofuel Int'l., 27 April, 2020) Contact: BEIS, +44 0 20 7215 5000, enquiries@beis.gov.uk, www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-business-energy-and-industrial-strategy

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Department for Business,  Energy and Industrial Strategy,  Biofuel,  Biodiesel,  Ethanol,  Alternative Fuel,  


    NWABF Taps B&V as Aviation BioFuel Project EPC (Ind. Report)
    Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels
    Date: 2020-04-29
    Scottsdale, Arizona-based Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels (NWABF) reports it has selected global engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firm Black & Veatch as its EPC of record for its sustainable aviation fuel project. Black & Veatch will also complete the FEL2 and Front-end Engineering and Design Study (FEED) for the Project and will assemble the technologies to process up to 3,000 dry tpd of woody biomass into approximately 60 million gpy of Sustainable Aviation Fuel.

    Black & Veatch's work includes: project feasibility / development; front end engineering; technology applications; procurement; construction; startup and plant improvements/ retrofit / remote monitoring. (Source: Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels, PR, EIN, 27 April, 2020) Contact: Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels, LLC, David P. Smoot, Chris Whitworth, Project GM, 602-753-8386, www.nwabiofuels.com; Black & Veatch, www.bv.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels,  Aviation Biofuel,  


    Governors Seeking RFS Refinery "Hardship" Waivers (Ind. Report)
    EPS, Renewable Fuel Standard
    Date: 2020-04-27
    ICIS is reporting the governors of Louisiana (D), Texas (R), Oklahoma (R), Utah (R) and Wyoming (R) have written to the US EPA asking for "hardship" waivers for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for refiners in their states. In their appeal, the governors noted plunging fuel demand as the reason for the request.

    According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) the states currently under the COVID-19 pandemic "stay at home orders" account for 95 pct of US fuel demand. Meanwhile, ethanol market producers and players say that it is a "convenient reason for them (oil refiners) to escape a US law", and that doing so would further harm ethanol demand.

    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: Various Trade Media, ICIS, 17 April, 2020)

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


    Romania Temporarily Suspends Biofuel Blending (Int'l Report)
    Romania
    Date: 2020-04-22
    In Bucharest, the Romanian government reports it has changed its mandatory biofuel blending to allow derogation until the COVID-19 crisis, which has interrupted biofuel imports which are used in the county's biofuel blending program.

    Romania is 100 pct dependent on imports for the biofuel used in the gasoline blend, but it only imports 30 pct of the biofuel used in diesel blends.

    As part of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and transport's decarbonisation push, EU countries are obliged to use 10 pct of renewables, basically biofuels, in the transport sector. (Source: Various Trade Media, Euractiv, 17 April, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel Blend,  


    Biofuel Producers Left in the Lurch on $19Bn Aid Pkg (Ind. Report)
    USDA
    Date: 2020-04-22
    . "We don't have a fundamental way to help that (biofuel) sector," responded USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to the Trump administration's announced $19 billion aid package to farmers.

    Biofuels producers were not included in the aid package, although the sector consumes approximately 40 pct of America's total annual corn crop.

    In the 2018/2019 crop marketing year, (Sept. 1- Aug. 31) the U.S. grew more than 14.42 billion bushels (366 million metric tons) of corn. (Source: USDA, nexstar, 21 April, 2020)Contact: USDA, Sonny Perdue, Sec., www.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Sonny Perdue,  USDA,  Corn,  Corn Ethanol,  


    Global Aviation Alternative Fuel Market Report Offered (Ind. Report)
    Aviation Biofuels
    Date: 2020-04-20
    The recently release Global Aviation Alternative Fuel market report from Report Hive is a comprehensive study focused on market influencing factors, competitive landscape, data, trends, information, and exclusive vital statistics of the market. The study investigates the Aviation Alternative Fuel industry competitors, distribution, Aviation Alternative Fuel growth potential, potentially disruptive trends, product innovations, market size value/volume on a regional, national and global level.

    The report identifies key industry and market players -- GE Aviation, Rolls-Royce, SkyNRG, Swedish Biofuels, UOP, Amyris, AltAir Fuels, Byogy Renewables, Fulcrum BioEnergy, Gevo, Sasol, Mobil, and Syntroleum Corporation -- their products and production capacity, market share and other relevant aviation alternative fuel data.

    Free Sample PDF (including full TOC, Tables and Figures) of the Global Aviation Alternative Fuel Market report HERE. Report purchase details HERE. (Source: Report Hive Research, April, 2020) Contact: Report Hive Research, 312-604-7084, sales@reporthive.com, www.reporthive.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aviation Biofuel,  


    Bioenergy 10 pct of World Total Primary Energy Supply (Int'l. Report)
    IEA
    Date: 2020-04-20
    Modern bioenergy is an important source of renewable energy, its contribution to final energy demand across all sectors is five times higher than wind and solar PV combined, even when the traditional use of biomass is excluded . In recent years, bioenergy for electricity and transport biofuels has been growing quickly, mainly due to higher levels of policy support. However, the heating sector remains the largest source of bioenergy.

    Modern bioenergy does not include the traditional use of biomass in developing countries and emerging economies for cooking and heating, using inefficient open fires or simple cook stoves, which has impacts on human health and the environment. (Source: IEA, Website, April, 2020)Contact: IEA, Dr. Fatih Birol, Exec. Dir., +33 1 40 57 65 00, www.iea.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bioenergy,  IEA,  


    Congressional Biofuels Caucus Seeking Direct Biofuels Industry Relief (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    USDA
    Date: 2020-04-13
    Iowa Congressman Steve King (R), a member of the Congressional Biofuels Caucus, reports he has signed the attached bi-partisan letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting that the USDA use "funds from the CARES Act to provide direct relief to the biofuels industry."

    Dear Secretary Perdue,

    "The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided USDA with additional resources to support farm income and prices during this economic downturn. The CARES Act included a reimbursement of $14 billion to the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), and $9.5 billion for the Secretary to respond to the economic impacts of COVID-19. As the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prepares to address financial hardship in agriculture, we urge you to use funds from the CARES Act to provide direct relief to the biofuels industry.

    "Demand for fuel is declining as states implement stay-at-home orders and discourage travel. This sudden shift in demand is worsening market conditions to the point ethanol plants are halting production. The biofuels industry is a vital market for the commodities our farmers produce, and USDA must take immediate action to ensure plants can retain skilled workers and continue production when market conditions improve.

    "The biofuels sector provides a direct and significant boost to the value of corn and soybeans. Ethanol plants purchase two out of every five bushels of U.S. corn and biodiesel producers use over 8 billion pounds of soybean oil a year. Ethanol plants produce dried distillers grains (DDGs) as a byproduct, providing livestock farmers with a low-cost, high-protein component of animal feed. To assist with the response to COVID-19, some ethanol and biofuels plants have volunteered to produce hand sanitizer and disinfectant products to address nationwide shortages. And, ethanol plants produce high purity carbon dioxide that is critical for medical facilities and food processing. The biofuels sector plays a large role in the livelihood of America's commodity and livestock producers, and biofuels plants are major employers in many rural communities.

    "USDA should take immediate action to stabilize the biofuels industry with resources provided by the CARES Act. We look forward to working with you on this issue as USDA assists producers through this challenging time. Thank you for considering this request." (Source: Congressman Steven King, KIOW Radio, 12 April, 2020) Contact: Rep Steve King, steveking.house.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  USDA,  


    Kuwait's KNPC Completes Biofuels Project (Int'l. Ind. Report)
    Kuwait National Petroleum Corp
    Date: 2020-04-10
    The Kuwait News Agency is reporting the Kuwait National Petroleum Corp (KNPC) has completed the addition of two biofuel production units at its Mina Al-Ahmadi oil refinery.

    The two new coal and naphtha hydro treating units will produce 37,000 and 8,400 bpd of oil equivalent respectively. (Source: Kuwait National Petroleum Corp., Reuters 8 April, 2020) Contact: Kuwait National Petroleum Corp., Waleed al-Badr, CEO, www.knpc.com


    LBNL Explores Cheaper Biofuels Production Costs (Ind. Report, R&D)
    Berkeley National Laboratory
    Date: 2020-04-10
    Scientists at the US DOE Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) report they have designed simulations to determine how much biofuel is needed for the whole bioproduct extraction process to be labeled as cost-efficient. Their results showed that the target levels are actually modest and within reach, according to a press release.

    The development of biofuels over the past years is part of the strategy to decrease the demand for petroleum-based gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels. However, biofuels are yet to reach the level where they can compete with petroleum-based fuels in terms of cost production. Conventional biofuel production often involves genetically engineered plants that can produce essential chemical compounds, or bioproducts. These bioproducts are extracted from the plant, and the remaining plant parts are converted into fuel. This led scientists from the Berkeley Laboratory to investigate exactly how much bioproduct does a plant need to determine if the whole extraction process to be determined efficient, and how much bioproduct should be produced to reach the target ethanol selling price of $2.50 per gallon.

    To do this, the researchers studied existing data of well-studied plant-based bioproduct production. They used this data to make simulations that will determine the factors involved in extracting bioproducts using the context of bioethanol refinery, which means that bioproducts will be extracted from the plant and the remaining plant materials will be converted to ethanol. Their results determined that the bioproduct levels needed to accumulate in plants to offset the production cost recovery is quite feasible. Using limonene as an example, they calculated that an accumulated 0.6 pct of biomass dry weight would already produce net economic benefits to biorefineries. To illustrate, it means harvesting 10 dry metric tons of sorghum mass from one acre will only need 130 pounds of recovered limonene from that biomass to say that the whole production process is efficient, according to the release.

    The BNL researchers note this new finding can provide new insights into the role of bioproducts to improve biorefinery economics and offer the first quantitative basis for implementation of this cost-saving strategy for future studies on plant-based biofuel breeding and engineering. The scientists also recommended that crops need to be engineered to produce a broad range of bioproducts in order to provide options and diversify products in the market. (Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, April, 2020) Contact: LBNL, Laurel Kellner, Media, 510-590-8034, LKellner@lbl.gov, www.lbl.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Berkeley National Laboratory,  Biofuel,  


    Alliance BioEnergy's Next-Gen CTS 2.0 Underway (Ind Report)
    Alliance BioEnergy
    Date: 2020-04-10
    In the Sunshine State, Palm Beach Gardens-based Alliance BioEnergy Plus Inc. reports construction is underway on its new 4th generation Cellulose-to-Sugar (CTS 2.0) prototype.

    CTS 2.0 can convert virtually any plant material -- grasses, wood, paper, farm waste, yard waste, forestry products, fruit casings, nut shells, and the cellulosic portion of municipal solid waste -- into sugars and subsequently into biofuels, and bioplastics, without the use of enzymes or liquid acids. CTS stands for Cellulose to Sugar. The cellulose is converted into sugar and lignin. The sugar is further converted into bio-ethanol and other biofuels; the lignin may be further converted into bioplastics. The company notes that biofuel originating from the CTS process will receive the generous D3 cellulosic Renewable Fuel Credits (RINs) which are currently $1.40/gallon of ethanol. (Source: Alliance Bioenergy, PR, 9 April, 2020) Contact: Alliance Bioenergy Plus, Inc., Ben Slager, CEO, Ben.slager@alliancebioe.com; www.Alliancebioe.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cellulosic,  Biomass,  Alliance BioEnergy,  Biomass,  Biofuel,  


    Ethanol Biofuel Crop Data Sought by USDA NASS (Ind. Report)
    USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service
    Date: 2020-04-08
    The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has requested a revision and extension of a currently approved information collection that, in part, provides data on the production of biofuels from agricultural commodities. Data collected is used in the agency's various agricultural industrial reports (CAIR).

    NASS collects crop data on acres planted and harvested, production, price and stocks for these crops, along with the data on livestock.

    Download details HERE. (Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, April, 2020) Contact: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, 800-727-9540, www.nass.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA,  Ethanol,  


    EU Biofuel Groups Concerned Over Possible Biofuel Blending Cutbacks (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    European Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2020-04-06
    The European Biodiesel Board, ePURE and several other European biofuel trade organizations have penned the following outlining their concerns that some EU countries were considering "derogations" to their blending operations:

    "If implemented, such derogations would exacerbate the negative effects already experienced by our sectors. The resulting reduction in demand would cause the shutdown of biofuel plants. It would also jeopardize the supply of products needed to produce hand sanitiser products, impact the proper function of the EU internal market for fuels and reduce the supply of animal feed. In addition, European renewable energy and climate commitments would be jeopardized."

    "The production of the European biofuels value chain is (already) severely affected by the strong drop in fuel consumption and the corresponding reduction for the demand for our products, accentuated by the drop in fuel prices. (Source: European Biodiesel Board, ePure, Various Trade Media, April, 2020) Contact: European Biodiesel Board, ; ePURE, Emmanuel Desplechin, Sec. General, +32 2 657 6679, info@epure.org, www.epure.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel Blending,  European Biodiesel Board,  ePure,  Biodiesel,  


    Mazda Invests in Algae Biofuels R&D (Int'l. Report, R&D)
    Mazda
    Date: 2020-04-01
    Further to our 2nd Nov., 2018 coverage, Japanese auto maker Mazda is reporting its "Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030" is continuing its participation in joint government and industry research aimed at adopting biofuels from microalgae. Mazda's interest in biofuels is part of its push to cut its CO2 emissions to 50 pct of 2010 levels by 2030 and 90 pct by 2050.

    Mazda's role in the R&D effort is to provide technical support to the research into genome editing by Hiroshima University and plant physiology by the Tokyo Institute of Technology. (Source: Mazda, ZigWheels, Mar., 2020) Contact: Mazda, www.mazda.com/en/inquiry

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Algae,  Algae Biofuel,  Mazda,  


    POET Temporarily Curtailing Corn Purchases (Ind. Report)
    POET
    Date: 2020-03-25
    On Monday, Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based ethanol producer POET reported it is evaluating its production levels and temporarily suspended corn purchases at several of its locations due to weak biofuel demand.

    Demand for motor fuels has fallen dramatically due to coronavirus pandemic "stay at home" and limited social interaction policies. (Source: POET, Reuters, 23 Mar., 2020) Contact: POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels, Steve Hartig, General Manager, (630) 780-8171, steve.hartig@dsm.com, www.poetdsm.com; POET, Jeff Broin, CEO., (605) 965-2200, www.poet.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News POET,  Poet-DSM,  Corn Ethanol,  Ethanol,  


    Renewable Fuels Coalition Urges EPA to NOT Appeal Court "Hardship" Waiver Decision (Ind. Report, Reg. & Leg.)
    American Coalition for Ethanol
    Date: 2020-03-20
    With the need for a decision only days away, the Renewable Fuels Association, National Corn Growers Association, American Coalition for Ethanol and National Farmers Union -- the coalition that scored a unanimous court decision against the U.S. EPA -- is now calling for the agency to not appeal the decision.

    The coalition took the EPA to court and won over several "hardship" exemptions the EPA granted to small refineries, releasing them from their renewable fuel obligations in 2016 and 2017. The Trump Administration sought and secured an extension of the appeal deadline until Tuesday, March 24, this year.

    "With the renewable fuels industry reeling from coronavirus, trade disputes and small refinery exemptions, now is certainly not the time for the Trump administration to take any action that would cause further pain for ethanol producers or the farmers that supply them. The best thing they could do to support our industry and keep ethanol plants open is to announce immediately that they will not appeal," the coalition wrote.

    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: American Coalition for Ethanol , Various Trade Media, 18 March 2020) Contact: 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; American Coalition for Ethanol, Brian Jennings, CEO, (605) 334-3381 ext. 3389, www.ethanol.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News American Coalition for Ethanol,  RFS,  "Hardship Wiver",  Renewable Fuel ,  


    Marine BioEnergy Seaweed Biofuels Project Tests Continue (R&D)
    Marine BioEnergy,DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E)
    Date: 2020-03-18
    Further to our 30 Nov., 2018 coverage, researchers at the University of Southern California Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies will carry out a project proposed by Marine BioEnergy Inc., a California-headquartered company focused on growing and developing Pacific kelp as a source of biofuel.

    The Marine Bioenergy plan includes submersible drones dragging lines seeded with kelp plants in deep, nutrient-rich waters during the night then floating it back up to shallow waters to take advantage of the sunlight during the day. The kelp would then be harvested at sea and processed into biocrude, the basis for biofuel.

    Under optimal conditions, giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera, which is used to generate a biofuel, can grow up to three feet per day without fresh water, fertilizer, pesticides or fertile land. These attributes make kelp a viable potential substitute for traditional fuels, as it can be sustainably farmed, harvested and converted into biofuel.

    Marine BioEnergy ran its first trial last year is tentatively scheduled to begin its next round of tests this April. (Source: DOE ARPA-E, Mar., 2020) Contact: DOE ARPA-E, Marc von Keitz, Program Dir., arpa-e.energy.gov; Marine BioEnergy Inc., Cindy Wilcox, Pres. Marine BioEnergy, www.marinebiomass.com; USC Wrigley Institute, Diane Kim, Associate Director , (310) 510-0811, www.usc.edu/wrigley

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Marine BioEnergy,  DOE ARPA-E,  


    Bio-based Dyneema Effort Announced (Int'l. Report)
    UPM Biofuel,SABIC, Royal DSM
    Date: 2020-03-13
    Royal DSM, SABIC, and UPM Biofuels report they are joining forces to help reduce the environmental footprint of Royal DSM's Dyneema -- "the world's strongest fibre" -- and see Dyneema transition to bio-based feedstock leveraging Saudi Arabia-based SABIC's TRUCIRCLE solutions for certified renewable products.

    The Dyneema bio-based material will be ISCC Plus certified and is expected to be available from April 2020.

    Finland-based UPM Biofuels produces bio-based feedstock UPM BioVerno from the residue of the pulping process. This is then processed by SABIC to make renewable ethylene. TRUCIRCLE includes certified renewable products, specifically resins and chemicals from bio-based feedstock that are not in competition with the food chain and help to reduce carbon emissions. By applying a mass balancing approach, DSM is then able to create bio-based Dyneema fibre, according to the DSM release. (Source: DSM, PR, EPPM, 12 Mar., 2020) Contact: RoyalDSM, www.dsm.com; SABIC, www.sabic.com/en; UPM Biofuels, www.upmbiofuels.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UPM Biofuel,  SABIC,  Royal DSM,  


    Neste Oyj Targets Carbon-Neutral Production by 2035 (Int'l Report)
    Neste
    Date: 2020-03-13
    Espoo, Finland-headquartered biofuels and sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) producer Neste Oyi reports it is committed to reaching carbon neutral production by 2035. The commitment complements Neste's other strategic climate commitment of reducing customers' greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 million tpy by 2030. To that end, the company:

  • Continues to focus on energy efficiency to optimize the use of fuel gas, electricity, hydrogen and steam in its production. The improvements in the turnaround at Porvoo refinery in 2020 will decrease production emissions by more than 100 kt CO2eq annually;

  • Increases the use of renewable electricity at its production sites. As an example of this, Neste has already agreed to start using wind power in Finland;

  • Increases the weight of greenhouse gas emissions in the investment calculations and business case evaluation;

  • Explores new, less emitting production methods, for example utilizing biogas or electrolysis for hydrogen production;

  • Has started a project for GHG emission reductions at the Porvoo production site, focusing on carbon capture and storage (CCS) and identifies reliable compensation models for the remaining part which cannot be achieved by emission reductions.

    Neste is working on rolling out the detailed plan and timeline for implementing the initiatives aimed at carbon neutral production by 2035. (Source: Neste Oyi, PR, Mar., 2020) Contact: Neste Oyi, Salla Ahonen, VP Sustainability, +358 50 458 5076, media@neste.com, www.neste.com

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


  • Cellulosic Biofuel Significantly Mitigate Climate Change (Int'l Study)
    Biomass. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
    Date: 2020-03-11
    A recent long-term field study by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Michigan State University (MSU) has found cellulosic biofuels derived from switchgrass, giant miscanthus, poplar trees, maize residuals, restored native prairie, and a combination of grasses and vegetation that grows spontaneously following field abandonment, could significantly mitigate global warming by reducing carbon emissions.

    The study found when compared with petroleum only emissions, cellulosic ethanol was "78--290 better in reducing carbon emissions; ethanol was 204--416 pct improved, biomass powered electric vehicles powered by biomass was 74--303 pct cleaner and biomass-powered electric vehicles combined with CSS was 329--558 pct superior." The research will next assess other environmental and economic aspects of bioenergy crops.

    The study was conducted at Michigan State University's (MSU) Kellogg Biological Station and the University of Wisconsin's Arlington Research Station which is part of the U.S. DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center. Financial support was provided by the U.S. DOE Office of Science, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. National Science Foundation and Michigan State University AgBioResearch. (Source: American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, PR, EurekaAlerts, 9 Mar.,2020) Contact: American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. (212) 302-6443, info@aabgu.org, www.aabgu.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cellulosic Ethnol,  Biomass ,  Climate Change,  Global Warming,  


    Viva Energy Joins Bioenergy Australia Trade Organization (Int'l)
    Viva Energy Australia
    Date: 2020-03-11
    In the Land Down Under, liquid fuel supplier and biofuel blender Viva Energy Australia Pty Ltd. reports it has joined BioEnergy Australia, the Australian national bioindustry trade association

    Viva, which operates biodiesel blending facilities in Qweensland, Victoria and New South Wales, has recently invested over $20 million, (AUS) in biofuels projects and established various supply agreements with local biofuels producers and the construction of a new biofuels blending facility in Queensland. (Source: Viva Energy Australia, PetrolPlaza, 8 Mar.,2020) Contact: Viva Energy Australia, www.vivaenergy.com.au; Bioenergy Australia, Shahana McKenzie, CEO, www.bioenergyaustralia.org.au

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Viva Energy Australia,  Biodiesel,  Biofuel,  


    Gevo, Viva Partnering on Aussie Renewable Hydrocarbons (Int'l.)
    Gevo,Viva Energy Australia
    Date: 2020-03-09
    Following up on our 28th Feb. coverage, Englewood, Colorado-based biobutanol producer GEVO Inc. reports it has inked an agreement with Australian fuel supplier and refiner Viva Energy Australia, exclusive supplier of Shell fuels and lubricants in Australia, to collaborate on a project to convert regionally sourced biomass into sustainable jet fuel (SAF) and renewable gasoline (RNG).

    Under their agreement, the two companies will "develop and enhance commercial and advocacy relationships to further foster the use of renewable hydrocarbons, including sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in Queensland and, more broadly, the country of Australia." The project is supported by the Queensland government Waste to Biofuels funding initiative. (Source: Gevo Inc., 5 Mar., 2020)Contact: GEVO, Patrick Gruber, CEO, 303-858-8358, pgruber@gevo.com, www.gevo.com; Viva Energy Australia, Scott Wyatt, CEO, www.vivaenergy.com.au

    More Low-Carbon Energy News SAF,  RNG,  Biomass,  Gevo,  Viva Energy Australia,  


    Wascon Blue Planing Four Mexican Biorefineries (Int'l Report)
    Wascon Blue
    Date: 2020-03-09
    Miguel Hidalgo, Mexico-based gasoline company Wascon Blue reports it will invest $720 million in four new "green" biorefineries to produce gasoline from byproducts of the process of refining crude oil and natural gas. The company's "innovative formula of BluePower® Biofuels , its Additive acts at the molecular level by increasing the octane in gasoline and cetane in Diesel", according to its website.

    Wascon will source the raw material from the state oil company Pemex, which currently exports the byproducts and later imports them after they've been converted to gasoline. The Wascon biorefineries will produce a gasoline with a lower concentration of aromatics, which are base components of gasoline that are a main source of octane and also one of the leading pollutants in the fuel. Conventional gasoline contains around 30 pct aromatics, but the goal of Wascon Blue is to reduce that to 20 pct an replace the remaining 10 pct with sustainably produced sugar cane and sorghum ethanol.

    The first of the 4 new biorefinery complexes will be constructed in Veracruz and will have 30,000 bpd capacity beginning in 2021. The company plans to supply 100,000 bpd of "green" gasoline by 2025. (Source: Wascon, Wascom Blue, El Financiero , 7 Mar., 2020) Contact: Wascon Blue, Enrique Olivera, Pres., contacto@wasconblue.com, +55 6385 5542 www.wasconblue.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wascon Blue,  


    FPT Industrial Investigating Macauba Palm Biodiesel (Int'l, R&D)
    FPT Industrial
    Date: 2020-03-06
    FPT Industrial a global engine and powertrain brand of CNH Industrial N.V. reports it is invested in and exploring the possible use of Macauba Palm, which is common to Brazil, the Caribbean and South Florida, for the production of biodiesel transportation fuel.

    FPT Industrial's research was conducted at the Technical Center in Betim, Southeast of Brazil, with the main focus on its application as a fuel for agricultural tractors. Tests for trucks and buses, as well as power generators, are planned for the future. The tests produced biodiesel that met the standards established by the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP).

    The testing project was carried out in partnership with the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais (PUC Minas), the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) and Bchem Biofuels, using a FPT Industrial N67 Tier 3 engine fitted to Case IH and New Holland Agriculture tractors. During the tests, mixtures of 10 pct and 20 pct of Macauba biodiesel were used. The results showed performance and consumption comparable to Brazilian commercial diesel, with a reduction trend in terms of carbon monoxide (CO) and particulate matter (PM) emissions. (Source: FPT, CNH Industrial, PR Mar.,2020) Contact: FPT CNH Industrial, www.fptindustrial.com/global/en, www.cnhindustrial.com/en-us/Pages/homepage.aspx

    More Low-Carbon Energy News FPT Industrial,  Palm Oil,  Palm Biodiesel,  


    FPInnovations Releases Solid Wood Bioheat Guide (Ind. Report)
    FPInnovations
    Date: 2020-03-04
    Pointe-Claire, QC, Canada-based is touting its newly released Solid Wood Bioheat Guide for Rural and Remote Communities in Ontario as a key source of information for using woody biomass for heating.

    According to the guide, the reliability, efficiency and versatility of modern bioheat systems allows for the supplementation or even replacement of current fossil fuel or electric heating systems. These systems can use local, sustainably sourced, economical, and renewable solid woody biofuels. Provincial laws require that Crown forests be sustainably managed following approved forest management plans that require harvested areas to be regenerated. This means that carbon emitted to create bioheat generated from solid woody biofuels is recaptured by the growing forest making bioheat a low-carbon heating system. Emissions from particles and volatile compounds are also low and on par with fossil fuel heating systems.

    Download the Solid Wood Bioheat Guide for Rural and Remote Communities in Ontario guide HERE. (Source: FPInnovations, Cdn, Biomass, 2 Mar., 2020, Contact: FPInnovations, Glen Prevost, Guide Author, (705) 358-4667, (514) 630-4100, glen.prevost@fpinnovations.ca, www.fpinnovations.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News FPInnovations,  Woody Biomass,  


    Brazil, India Announce Ethanol Cooperation MoU (Int'l. Report)
    Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association
    Date: 2020-03-02
    The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) reports Brazil and India have inked a technical cooperation Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote the use of Ethanol as an alternative fuel in India.

    The MoU calls for the exchange of information on the production and sustainable use of ethanol as well as encouraging and increasing investment in biofuels, bioelectricity, and biogas. I also aims to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help redirect the sugar surplus in India, which currently requires government subsidies to guarantee competitive prices in the international market.

    India has set an Ethanol blending target of 10 pct by 2022 rising to 20 pct by 2030. (Source: UNICA, EnergyInfraPost, 28 Feb., 2020) Contact: Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association, (202) 506 5299, (202)747-5836 - fax (Washington DC office), english.unica.com.br

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association,  India,  Etanol,  


    USDA Offers $100Mn Biofuels Infrastructure Grant Program, Increases Biofuels Fleet (Ind. Report, Reg. & Leg.)
    USDA
    Date: 2020-03-02
    In Washington,the USDA is reporting Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has directed the agency to acquire alternative fueled -- biodiesel, E85 -- vehicles (AFV) when replacing conventionally fueled vehicles. USDA owns and operates 37,000 vehicles and replaces approximately 3,000 every year.More specifically, the USDA will:
  • Acquire E85 or biodiesel-capable vehicles that meet USDA mission requirements;

  • Use station locator websites and applications to fuel with E15, E85, and biodiesel where available;

  • Prioritize the purchase of E15 for gasoline vehicles without E85 capability and the purchase of renewable diesel blends for diesel vehicles without B20 capability

  • For USDA locations that have in-house refueling pumps, coordinate with fuel vendors to acquire and provide biofuel blends, including E15, E85, B20 and higher biodiesel blends, and renewable diesel blends.

    These actions have the potential to increase USDA's annual consumption of E15 by up to 9 million gallons, E85 by 10 million gallons, and biodiesel and renewable diesel blends by up to 3 million gallons.

    The agency also announced it will offer $100 million in grant funding this year for the newly created Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) to help transportation fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities install, retrofit, and/or upgrade fuel storage, dispenser pumps, related equipment and infrastructure to be able to sell ethanol and biodiesel.

    Download HBIIP program details HERE. Download the USDA order HERE. (Source: USDA, 28 Feb., 2020) Contact: USDA, Sonny Perdue, Sec.,www.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA,  Biofuel Fleet,  Biofuel,  Biodiesel,  Biofuel Infrastructure,  


  • Finnish Airline Fine-Tunes Emissions Offset Scheme (Int'l. Report)
    Finniar
    Date: 2020-03-02
    Finland's national airline Finnair reports it is adjusting its voluntary "Push for Change" emissions offset and biofuel programmes which to date have offset nearly 6,900 tonnes of CO2.

    Going forward, instead of being voluntary, the company's carbon offset and biofuel purchase schemes will be sold to customers as they order tickets. The cost of offsetting a round trip domestic flight was €1 while European and international return flights cost €2 and €6 respectively.

    The collected funds support emissions reduction projects in Mozambique, Africa through the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (Nefco), a financial institution founded by governments of the five Nordic countries in 1990. The funds are applied to the purchase of biofuels and emissions reductions projects which support the use of fuel efficient stoves in Mozambique, according to the company. (Source: Finnair, Yle, 3 Mar., 2020) Contact: Finniar, www.finnair.com/fi/gb/pushforchange

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aviation Emissions,  Carbon Offset,  


    Advanced Biofuels -- Potential for Cost Reduction (Ind. Report Attached)
    IEA Bioenergy
    Date: 2020-03-02
    "Bioenergy already plays an important role in the global energy economy, and it's expanded use is a critical element in future low carbon scenarios, where it can especially play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transport sector. Decarbonising transport will require a range of bio-based transport fuels, and especially advanced low carbon fuels which are suitable for long-haul transport applications including aviation. A number of appropriate technologies to produce such fuels are being developed and commercialised. However so far, their production has only reached a limited scale.

    "The costs of these advanced Biofuels are currently higher than those of the fossil fuels which they can displace and of more conventional biofuels such as ethanol from sugar or corn, or biodiesel. It is therefore important to consider what scope there is to reduce the production costs of a range o advanced biofuels, and to identify under what conditions they could become affordable."

    Download the full IEA Advanced Biofuels -- Potential for Cost Reduction report HERE. (Source: IEA Bioenergy, Feb., 2020) Contact: IEA Bioenergy, www.ieabioenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News IEA Bioenergy,  Biomass,  Biofuel,  Bioenergy,  


    US Renewable Fuel Prices Up With RFS "Hardship Waiver" Program Announcement (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Fuel
    Date: 2020-02-28
    Reuters is reporting U.S. renewable fuel prices were up by 25 pct the week following a Bloomberg reports that the Trump administration has decided to cut back on "hardship waiver" exemptions for oil refineries from the renewable fuel standard biofuel blending laws.

    Following the Bloomberg report, renewable fuel credits for 2019 traded at 35 cents each , up 7 cents while credits for 2020 traded at 40 cents each.

    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: Various Media, Successful Farming, Reuters, 26 Feb., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel Standard,  RFS,  "Hardship" Waiver,  


    Nebraska Ethanol Board Newest Grains Council Member (Ind. Report)
    US Grains Council,Nebraska Ethanol Board
    Date: 2020-02-28
    The Washington-based US Grains Council (USGC) is reporting the Nebraska Ethanol Board has become its newest member.

    The Nebraska Ethanol Board serves and advocates for the state's 25 ethanol plants with a combined total capacity of over 2.5 billion gpy of ethanol.

    In addition to building consumer support for biofuels and guiding public policy, the Nebraska Ethanol Board helps market growth through targeted strategies and programmes. (Source: USGC, 26 Feb., 2020) Contact: Nebraska Ethanol Board, Roger Berry, (402) 471-2941, www.ethanol.nebraska.gov; U.S. Grains Council, Tom Sleight, Pres., (202) 789-0789, (202) 898-0522, www.grains.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US Grains Council,  Nebraska Ethanol Board,  


    Gevo Wins Australian Queensland Waste-to-Biofutures Funding (Int'l)
    Gevo
    Date: 2020-02-28
    Englewood, Colorado-based biobutanol producer GEVO Inc. reports receipt of part of The Queensland Waste to Biofutures (W2B) Fund to support the development of waste to biofutures projects in Queensland, Australia.

    The W2B fund provides targeted funding for pilot, demonstration or commercially scalable biorefinery projects in Queensland that use conventional waste streams or biomass to produce bioenergy, biofuels and high-value bioproducts.

    For this project, Gevo is evaluating the most likely 2G biomass to carbohydrate conversion process to use in conjunction with its proven carbohydrate to low carbon biofuel process. (Source: GEVO Website, PR, 27 Feb.,2020) Contact: GEVO, Patrick Gruber, CEO, 303-858-8358, pgruber@gevo.com, www.gevo.com; Queensland Waste to Biofutures Fund, www.qtic.grantguru.com.au/grant/queensland-waste-to-biofutures-fund-w2b-fund-/

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GEVO,  Biobutanol,  Biomass,  Biofuel Feedstock,  


    UPM Biofuels, INEOS Inks Supply Agreement (Int'l. Report)
    INEOS, UPM
    Date: 2020-02-26
    Helsinki, Finland-headquartered renewable fuels specialist UPM Biofuels is reporting a supply agreement with German chemicals giant INEOS under which INEOS will use UPM BioVerno, a sustainable raw material from a residue of wood pulp processing, to produce bio-attributed polyolefins "drop-in products at a plant in Germany.

    As previously reported, UPM Biofuels is touting "Forest Film", a new product developed with UPM BioVerno naphtha, a 100 pct wood-based solution originating from sustainably managed forests. The new product replaces traditional fossil-based virgin materials and offers an efficient way to reach sustainability goals without compromising on product performance, according to a release. (Source: INEOS, PR, BioMarket Insight, 24 Feb., 2020) Contact: INEOS, www.ineos.com; UPM Biofuels, Panu Routasalo, +358 45 265 1345, sari.mannonen@upm.com, Maiju Helin, Head of Sustainability and Market Development, +358 204 15 111, +358 204 15 110 - fax, www.upmbiofuels.com, www.upm.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News INEOS,  UPM,  Bioplastic,  Biofuel,  

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