Return to Today's Publications

 

Newsletter:
Date Range (YYYY-MM-DD) -
Company, Industry or Technology:
  Search Tips


Planned Newfoundland Wood Pellet Plant Still Inactive (Ind. Report)
Active Energy
Date: 2019-11-06
Following up on our 24th May, 2017 coverage, London, UK-based Active Energy PLC's planned and long delayed proposed woody biomass-pellet plant on Newfoundland's Northern Peninsula is "far from a done deal but isn't dead in the water", according to Provincial Minister Gerry Byrne.

Active Energy's Newfoundland subsidiary Timberlands secured timber rights a year ago but to date no timber has been cut or delivered to the proposed project which has not yet broken ground. The provincial government issued two five-year commercial cutting permits to the company in November 2018 to harvest 100,000 cubic mpy of timber for the wood pellet plant in Hawke's Bay.

Active energy is best known for its CoalSwitch product which is made from woody biomass including pulp and saw mill by-products such as bark, sawdust and thinnings, and wood which is over-age, under-quality, blow-down, beetle-kill, forest-fire damaged, or industrial waste. CoalSwitch can be burned by old, coal-fired generation facilities without the need for a retrofit. (Source: Active Energy, CBC, Nov., 2019) Contact: Active Energy Group PLC, Richard Spinks, CEO, +44 (0)20 3021 1500, www.active-energy.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Active Energy,  Biomass,  


Restoration Fuels' Woody Biomass Torrifaction Plant Preparing for Production (Ind Report)
Restoration Fuels,
Date: 2019-10-30
Restoration Fuels, an Oregon benefit corporation, is reporting its woody biomass torrification plant in the community of John Day, Grant County, Oregon is expected to begin production in mid-November, 2020. The plant will turn forest waste, woody biomass into a product that can be burned for fuel.

At full capacity, the $17.5 million plant at the Malheur Lumber mill is expected to produce 80,000-90,000 tpy of torrefied wood. The plant is partially funded by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities with some development expenses provided by the Forest Service and air pollution-reducing equipment funded by the Governor's Strategic Reserve Fund.

Restoration Fuels is in discussions with utilities from Europe and Asia and several power plants in the United States as possible customers. (Source: Restoration Fuels, Blue Mountain Eagle, Bend Bulletin, 28 Oct., 2019) Contact: Restoration Fuels, Matt Krumenauer, CEO, info@restorationfuels.com, www.restorationfuels.com

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


SaskPower, First Nations Plan Woody Biomass Plant (Ind. Report)
Saskpower
Date: 2019-10-30
On the Canadian prairies, Discover Moose Jaw is reporting SaskPower and the Meadow Lake Tribal Council have signed a PPA for up to 8 MW of biomass power from the Flying Dust First Nations-owned Meadow Lake Tribal Council Bioenergy Centre. The Center will generate power from locally sourced forest residues, woody biomass and sawmill residuals.

The plant is expected to generate sufficient electricity to power more than 5,000 homes and to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by more than one million tonnes over 25 years. A plant construction and startup date has not been set. begin. (Source: DiscoverMooseJaw.com, 27 Oct., 2019) Contact: Meadow Lake Tribal Council, www.mltc.net; SaskPower, Mike Marsh, (306) 566-2121, www.saskpower.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Saskpower,  Woody Biomass,  


Forest-Woody Biomass Carbon Benefits Stressed (Ind. Report)
US Industrial Pellet Association
Date: 2019-10-28
The Richmond, Virginia-based not-for-profit US Industrial Pellet Association (USIPA) is lauding the National Association of University Forest Resource Programs (NAUFRP) for its letter signed by more than 100 scientists and researchers calling on policymakers to consider key fundamentals related to forest-woody biomass and the benefits of wood energy.

The letter, which noted that the "carbon benefits of sustainable forest biomass are well established", cites a report from UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) which notes: "In the long term, a sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fibre or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit. Demand for wood helps keep land in forest and incentivizes investments in new and more productive forests, all of which have significant carbon benefits."

Reviewing more than 30 years of scientific research on forest biomass utilization, scientists from Yale, Harvard, and Georgia to Washington, Idaho, Berkeley and others identified four fundamentals for science-based decision-making on biomass energy production:

  • The carbon benefits of sustainable forest biomass energy are well established.

  • Measuring the carbon benefits of forest biomass energy must consider cumulative carbon emissions over the long term.

  • An accurate comparison of forest biomass energy carbon impacts with those of other energy sources requires the use of consistent time-frames in the comparison.

  • Economic factors influence the carbon impacts of forest biomass energy. (Source: The US Industrial Pellet Association, 25 Oct., 2019) Contact: The US Industrial Pellet Association, Deth Ginter, Exec. Dir., J. Marcus, (804) 775.5894, JMarcus@theusipa.org, www.theusipa.org; National Association of University Forest Resource Programs, www.naufrp.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News IPCC,  US Industrial Pellet Association ,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet,  


  • US Wood Pellet Shipments to Netherlands €11.4Bn Subsidized (Int'l)
    Woody Biomass,Wood Pellet,Enviv,RWE
    Date: 2019-10-28
    Electricity power producer RWE and others will reportedly import thousands of tonnes of wood pellets from the US next year to burn in Dutch biomass power plants, with the help of a reported €11.4 billion of government subsidy. In total, 628 biomass installations in the Netherlands will receive subsidies, of which €2.6 billion is going to the RWE power plants in Geertruidenberg and Eemshaven, the paper said.

    One US wood pellet producer -- Enviva in North Carolina -- has a contract to ship at least 200,000 tpy of wood pellets to RWE between 2020 and 2024. As previously noted, the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) warns governments should stop subsidizing biomass power plants because it is unsustainable. In addition, "burning wood does not produce very much energy and the net amount of CO2 which is released is greater than when burning coal or gas," the researchers said. It also noted that CO2 released by burning the wood pellets in the Netherlands is registered to the US which is a misleading "book-keeping trick imperiling the climate," according to the Dogwood Alliance. (Source: DutchNews.nl, 28 Oct., 2019) European Academies Science Advisory Council, www.easac.eu; Enviva Holdings LP, Enviva Biomass, Dr. Jennifer Jenkins, VP and CSO, www.envivabiomass.com; RWE, www.rwe.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Enviva,  Wood Pellet,  Woody Biomass,  RWE,  


    Greenbacker Confirms Multi-state Solar Portfolio Acquisition (M&A)
    Greenbacker Renewable Energy
    Date: 2019-10-23
    New York-based Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company LLC reports the acquisition of the rights to 31.3 MW of commercial and industrial (C&I) portfolio solar projects including the rights to a 25.6-MW photovoltaic (PV) C&I portfolio from IGS Solar, consisting of projects in the states of California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Washington DC. All the project have off-take agreements in place and will be switched on between the last quarter of 2019 and third quarter of 2020.

    The acquisitions grow Greenbacker's power generation capacity to about 552 MW, including 172.3 MW of wind, 367.7 MW of solar and 12 MW of biomass. (Source: Greenbacker Renewable Energy, Renewables Now, 18 Oct., 2019) Contact: Greenbacker Renewable Energy, 888-292-3178, www.greenbackerrenewableenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Greenbacker Renewable Energy ,  


    RFS Proposed Volumes for 2020 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021 (Ind. Report)
    EPA, Renewable fuel Standard
    Date: 2019-10-21
    The Trump administration EPA has issued the attached supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking seeking additional comment on the recently proposed rule to establish the cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel volumes for 2020 and the biomass-based diesel volume for 2021 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.

    The notice does not change the proposed volumes for 2020 and 2021. Instead, it proposes and seeks comment on adjustments to the way that annual renewable fuel percentages are calculated. Annual renewable fuel percentage standards are used to calculate the number of gallons each obligated party is required to blend into their fuel or to otherwise obtain renewable identification numbers (RINs) to demonstrate compliance.

    Specifically, the agency is seeking comment on projecting the volume of gasoline and diesel that will be exempt in 2020 due to small refinery exemptions based on a three-year average of the relief recommended by the Department of Energy (DOE), including where DOE had recommended partial exemptions. The agency intends to grant partial exemptions in appropriate circumstances when adjudicating 2020 exemption petitions. The agency proposes to use this value to adjust the way we calculate renewable fuel percentages. The proposed adjustments would help ensure that the industry blends the final volumes of renewable fuel into the nation's fuel supply and that, in practice, the required volumes are not effectively reduced by future hardship exemptions for small refineries. Consistent with the statute, the supplemental notice seeks to balance the goal of the RFS of maximizing the use of renewables while following the law and sound process to provide relief to small refineries that demonstrate the need.

    Download the Renewable Fuel Standard Program -- Proposed Volumes for 2020 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021 HERE. Contact: EPA Renewable Fuel Standard, 800-385-6164, www.epa.gov/fuels-registration-reporting-and-compliance-help/forms/fuels-program-helpdesk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel Standard,  Biofuel,  Biofuel Blend,  


    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,  


    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,  


    Tobacco Giant PMI Aiming for 2030 Carbon Neutrality (Int'l)
    Philip Morris Int'l.
    Date: 2019-10-11
    Lausanne, Switzerland-based diversified international tobacco industry giant Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) reports it aims to have all of its manufacturing facilities worldwide become carbon neutral by 2030.

    At its first carbon neutral plant in Klaipeda, Lithuania, PMI implemented multiple projects to optimize its energy usage and reduce carbon emissions: upgrading utilities equipment, such as chillers and compressors, and facilitating heat recovery to optimize fuel use for heating purposes; installing a biomass boiler; procuring certified renewable electricity and offsetting natural gas carbon emissions with biogas certificates. To offset the remaining carbon emissions, PMI invested in Gold Standard certificates from climate protection initiatives.

    PMI is also pursuing initiatives to address the pressing climate challenge beyond its operations. For example, it is working with farmers and suppliers across its tobacco supply chain to lower the greenhouse gas emissions in the tobacco curing process by 70 percent by 2020 (vs. 2010) and to achieve zero-net deforestation of natural forest by 2025. PMI has also set and committed to science-based targets -- greenhouse gas emissions levels that science acknowledges as tolerable for the planet -- and to go beyond these in its operations by aiming for carbon neutrality by 2030.

    Among its diversified portfolio, Philip Morris purchased General Foods Corp. in 1985 for $5.7 billion and Kraft Inc. in 1989 for $13 billion. Despite its move into foods, Philip Morris' tobacco business reportedly still accounts for 65 pct of its operating profit and 40 pct of its operating revenue.(Source: Philip Morris International, PR, 10 Oct., 2019} Contact: Philip Morris Int'l., Huub Savelkouls , Chief Sustainability Officer, +41 (0)58 242 5502, www.pmi.com/sustainability, www.pmi.com, www.pmiscience.com

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


    Enviva Planning Alabama Wood Pellet Plant (Ind. Report)
    Enviva
    Date: 2019-10-11
    Bethesda, Maryland-based wood pellet supplier Enviva Holdings, LP, the world's largest producer of wood pellets, reports it will construct a new production plant in Livingston, Alabama. The facility would use a mix of locally sourced softwood and woody biomass scrap to produce more than 3.5 million metric tpy of wood pellets.

    Construction on the roughly $175 million plant is slated to get underway early next year for a mid-2021 commissioning and startup. Enviva owns and operates eight plants in the Southeastern US. (Source: Enviva, Oct., 2019) Contact: Enviva Holdings LP, Enviva Biomass, Dr. Jennifer Jenkins, VP and CSO, www.envivabiomass.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Enviva,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet,  


    Velocys, Oxy Agree On Woody Biomass-to-Fuels CCS (Ind. Report)
    Velocys,Bayou Fuels
    Date: 2019-10-11
    UK-headquartered landfill gas-to-liquid fuels and chemicals producer Velocys Plc and its subsidiary Velocys, Inc. is reporting an agreement with Occidental Petroleum subsidiary Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, LLC (Oxy) under which Oxy will capture and store CO2 from Velocys' planned Bayou Fuels waste woody biomass-to-fuels project in Natchez, Mississippi.

    According to OXY, it is uniquely positioned to transport and store the CO2 by leveraging Occidental's industry leadership in CO2 storage and utilization for enhanced oil recobery (EOR). (Source: Velocys, gasworld, 19 Oct., 2019)Contact: Velocys Plc, David Pummell, CEO, +44 1235 841 700, (713) 275-5840 -- Houston Office, info@velocys.com, www.velocys.com; Oxy Low Carbon Ventures LLC, www.oxy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Velocys,  Biofuel,  Biorefinery,  Waste-to-Fuel,  Bayou Fuels,  


    Trump administration reaches regulatory deal on Renewable Fuel Standard
    EPA,RFS
    Date: 2019-10-09
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that President Donald Trump is promoting a new Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Under the agreement, the following actions will be undertaken by EPA and USDA. In a forthcoming supplemental notice building off the recently proposed 2020 Renewable Volume Standards and the Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021, EPA will propose and request public comment on expanding biofuel requirements beginning in 2020. EPA will seek comment on actions to ensure that more than 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol be blended into the nation’s fuel supply beginning in 2020, and that the volume obligation for biomass-based diesel is met. This will include accounting for relief expected to be provided for small refineries; the EPA intends to take final action on this front later this year. In the most recent compliance year, EPA granted 31 small refinery exemptions. Building on the president’s earlier decision to allow year-round sales of E15, EPA will initiate a rule making process to streamline labeling and remove other barriers to the sale of E15; EPA will continue to evaluate options for RIN market transparency and reform; and USDA will seek opportunities through the budget process to consider infrastructure projects to facilitate higher biofuel blends. (Source: Talk Business & Politics , 7 Oct., 2019)

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


    Lyonsdale Biomass Facility Demolition Behind Schedule (Ind Report)
    ReEnergy
    Date: 2019-10-09
    Following up on our March 13th report of the closure of ReEnergy's former 22-mw woody biomass-to-electricity facility due to the loss of a contract to sell renewable energy certificates (RECs) to the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA), the 46-acre site and plant are still not completely demolished in preparation for the hand-over to the area development authority.

    ReEnergy was recently granted an extension until Dec. 31 for completing the demolition and site cleanup, transferring the property and paying $22,000 in lieu of taxes. Two solar companies and a company that uses the pyrolysis high temperature process to turn wood into other products, have reportedly shown interest in the property.

    ReEnergy owns and operates a biomass facility in Fort Drum, New York. (Source: Watertown Daily, NNY360, 7 Oct., 2019) Contact: ReEnergy Holdings, Sarah Boggess, Communications and Governmental Affairs, (518) 810-0200, sboggess@reenergyholdings.com, www.reenergyholdings.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ReEnergy,  Lyonsdale,  Biomass,  Woody Biomass,  


    Monarch Bioenergy Extends RNG Marketing Contract (Ind Report)
    Element Markets Renewable Energy,Roeslein Alternative Energy
    Date: 2019-10-09
    Element Markets Renewable Energy (EMRE) reports Monarch Bioenergy -- a joint venture between Smithfield Foods, Inc. and Roeslein Alternative Energy (RAE) -- has awarded it a 5 - year contract as exclusive marketer for the renewable natural gas (RNG) produced at Monarchs biomethane production facilities in Northern Missouri.

    Monarch converts hog manure collected from Smithfield Hog Production farms in that state into RNG, while simultaneously delivering ecological services and developing wildlife habitat. Through this joint venture, all Smithfield company-owned finishing farms in Missouri will have the infrastructure to produce RNG.

    Monarch's next-generation manure-to-RNG project incorporates restorative prairie grass planting and harvesting techniques, in combination with methane captured from covered manure lagoons or digesters to create a steady supply of RNG. (Source: Element Markets Renewable Energy, Canadian Biomass, 8 Oct., 2019) Contact: Smithfield Foods, www.smithfieldfoods.com; Roeslein Alternative Energy, Rudi Roeslein, Pres., Brian Gale, Bus. Dev., Chris Roach, Proj. Dev., (314) 729-0055, croach@roesleinae.com, www.roesleinalternativeenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Roeslein Alternative Energy,  Element Markets Renewable Energy,  


    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,  


    EPA, USDA Agree to 15Bn Gal. Ethanol Blend Minimum (Ind. Report)
    US EPA, USDA, Renewable Duel Standard
    Date: 2019-10-07
    On Friday in Washington, the Trump administration U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a long awaited agreement on the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and will now request public comment on expanding biofuel requirements beginning in 2020.

    The agreement will ensure the blending of 15 billion gallons of ethanol with fuel supplies starting in 2020 and will also ensure the biomass-based diesel volume is met. EPA will also start the process for streamlining labeling and removal of other barriers for the sale of E15 fuel.

    Among other changes, the EPA will begin to account for projected numbers of gallons exempted when coming up with Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) for refiners, which means greater certainty for farmers and producers. It will ensure that more than 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol are blended into the nation's fuel supply starting in 2020. Additionally, the USDA will invest in infrastructure projects to facilitate higher blends of biofuel, such as E85. (Source: US EPA, McDonough County Voice, Various Other Media, 4 Oct., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Biofuel,  Ethanol Blend,  USDA,  US DOE,  


    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,  


    OMV, AustroCel Hallein Seal Austrian Cellulosic Ethanol Deal (Int'l)
    AustroCel Hallein, OMV
    Date: 2019-10-04
    Vienna, Austria-headquartered oil and gas company OMV and AustroCel Hallein GmbH are reporting a multi-year agreement under which AustroCel will supply cellulosic "advanced" bioethanol derived from woody biomass -- spruce sawmill waste -- to OMV.

    AustroCel Hallein is committed to the cascading use of resources: High-purity cellulose is produced from spruce, which comes from the sawmill industry as scrap; this cellulose is predominantly processed in Asia to make fibres for textile applications.

    AustroCel is constructing Austria's first advanced bioethanol production facility in Hallein. The €42 million bioethanol plant is expected to begin production early in 2021. Source: AustroCel Hallein GmbH, Hydrocarbon Engineering, 3 Oct., 2019) Contact: AustroCel Hallein GmbH, Jorge Harbring, CEO, +43 6245 8900, www.austrocel.com; OMV, www.omv.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol.Bioethanol,  


    RWE Aiming for Climate Neutrality by 2040 (Int'l. Report)
    RWE AG
    Date: 2019-10-02
    Bloomberg is reporting the German utility giant RWE AG is aiming to cut carbon emissions by 70 pct by 2030 compared with 2012 levels and become climate neutral by 2040.

    To that end, the utility is decommissioning its last remaining coal-fired power plant in the UK next year, converting two other coal-fired power plants in the Netherlands into biomass facilities, and shuttering six remaining German coal-fired power plants by 2038. (Source: RWE AG, Carbon Brief, 1 Oct., 2019) Contact: RWE AG, Rolf Martin Schmitz, CEO, www.rwe.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RWE AG,  Coal,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Neutral,  


    Biomass Residues to Fischer-Tropsch Products Validated (Ind Report)
    Fischer-Tropsch
    Date: 2019-09-27
    The EU news agency CORDIS is reporting production of biofuel by gasification of biomass residues has been successfully validated in the EU's COMSYN project in September. The process performance was verified with bark in an 80 hour-long test run by the Helsinki-headquartered VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd (VTT) -- the project coordinator.

    The syngas conversion to Fischer-Tropsch (FT) products was conducted by Karlsruhe, Germany-based IneraTec GmbH. The test studied and verified the performance of the gas cleaning train and the entire synthesis process with real wood-derived gasification gas. (Source: CORDIS, EU COMSYN Project, 26 Sept., 2019) Contact: EU COMDYN Project, www.comsynproject.eu; VTT Technical Research Centre, Nils-Olof Nylund, +358 400 703 715, nils.olof.nylund@vtt.fi, www.vttresearch.com; IneraTec GmbH, +49 721 86484460, www.ineratec.de

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Syngas,  COMSYN,  VTT,  Fischer-Tropsch,  Syngas,  


    Stora Enso Addresses Construction CO2 Emissions (Int'l. Report)
    Stora Enso
    Date: 2019-09-25
    In Stockholm, Stora Enso reports it is participating in the World Green Building Week, the largest annual and global communication campaign on sustainable buildings organized by the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC).

    Stora Enso develops and produces solutions based on wood and biomass for a range of industries and applications worldwide, leading in the bioeconomy and supporting our customers in meeting demand for renewable eco-friendly products.

    "Stora Enso has helped us lead the change towards a building sector that meets the decarbonization goals of the Paris Agreement, addressing both operational and embodied emissions. As a campaign ambassador and advocate for new policies such as the EU's 'Level(s)' framework that seek to mainstream life-cycle assessment, they are evidence to politicians that the sector is ready to deliver net zero carbon," according to James Drinkwater, Director of WorldGBC's Europe Regional Network.

    Carbon dioxide emissions from construction materials -- mostly cement and steel -- account for approximately 11 pct of all global emissions. Stora Enso has also supported the creation of the WorldGBC's Bringing embodied carbon upfront report that highlights the importance of emissions from materials.

    The World Green Building Council (WGBC) is the world's largest international organisation promoting the practice of sustainable building. Stora Enso Wood Products joined WGBC in 2017. (Source: Stora Enso, PR, 24 Sept., 2019) Contact: Stora Enso Wood Products Div., Jari Suominen, Div. Head, +43-664-6183907, jari.suominen@stroaenso.com, www.storaenso.com; World Green Building Council, James Drinkwater, www.worldgbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  Building Sustainability,  ,  Stora Enso,  World Green Building Council,  


    MPOB Seeks Funding for Palm Oil Biojet Fuel R&D (Int'l. R&D)
    Malaysian Palm Oil Board
    Date: 2019-09-25
    In Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) could partner firms from Japan, China and the US to develop palm-based jet fuel using byproducts from the country's second-biggest export commodity, palm oil. The project, which is expected to get underway in early 2020, will include a pilot plant for the blended fuel.

    The Primary Industries Ministry is seeking roughly RM6 million ($1,453,000 US) in the upcoming budget to support the biojet fuel project. Potential project collaborators include Chinese, U.S. and Japanese firms.

    "The funding will be used for the initial setup to produce biojet fuel on a small scale and we will work from there on how to expand into commercial production. The project will also test the sustainability of using other renewable sources such as biomass in producing aviation biofuel," according to the release. (Source: Malaysian Palm Oil Board, PR, 23 Sept., 2019) Contact: Malaysian Palm Oil Board, Dr. Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir, www.mpob.gov.my

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Malaysian Palm Oil Board ,  Palm Oil,  Biofuel,  Aviation Biofuel,  


    Automaker Participating in Spanish Biomethane Fuel Project (Int'l.)
    European Commission,Strategic Research Institute
    Date: 2019-09-25
    With the goal of boosting the circular economy, energy efficiency and emissions reduction, Spanish auto maker SEAT S.A. reports it will participate in the Life Landfill Biofuel project which will obtain renewable gas from municipal landfills. The project, which was recently approved by the European Commission, is intended to produce biomethane from an indigenous, abundant biomass energy source. The 4-year project is budgeted at €4.6 million of which the European Commission will provide 55 pct.

    SEAT is currently working on the Life Methamorphosis project to obtain biomethane from previously selected waste and animal slurry from a farm in Lleida, Spain. The new Life Landfill Biofuel project is a step further as the raw material originates directly from the landfill, without prior separation.

    Other project participants include FCC, IVECO, The University of Granada, the CARTIF Foundation, SYSADVANCE and Gasnam. SEAT previously developed a similar project with Aqualia to convert waste water into biofuel. (Source: SEAT S.A. Website, Strategic Research Institute, 24 Sept., 2019) Contact: Universitat de LLeida, Departament de Produccie Vegetal, www.pvcf.udl.cat; SEAT, www.seat.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Landfill Gas,  Biomethane,  Waste-to-Fuel ,  


    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,  


    $2Bn Nfld. Biomass Storage, Alt. Fuel Plant Planned (Ind. Report)
    Synergy World Energy
    Date: 2019-09-23
    The Town of Lewisporte Harbour, Newfoundland, reports it is in talks with U.K.-based Synergy World Energy for the establishment of a roughly 289-hectare liquid fuels production and biomass storage facility.

    The $2 billion (US) project would include an 800 tpd plastics-to-fuel production facility, a 50-megawatt gasification steam turbine power plant a new deep-water cargo port with berths capable of handling up to three bulk carrier ships as well as a separate fuel loading dock, according to the company website. A sorting facility will be used for the separation of solid recovered fuel biomass (SRF). Solid recovered fuel is considered a high-quality alternative to fossil fuel and is produced from mainly commercial waste products, including paper, card, wood, textiles, and plastics. The $2 billion (US) with total power output planned at more than 235 megawatts by the end of the second phase, according to information found on the company website. (Source: Town of Lewisporte Harbour, Journal Pioneer, 23 Sept., 2019) Contact: Synergy World Energy, www.synergyworldwide.com › en-ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Synergy World Energy ,  


    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,  


    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,  


    Gevo, Leaf Resources Ink Joint Development Agreement (Ind. Report)
    Gevo,Leaf Resources
    Date: 2019-09-13
    Englewood, Colorado-based renewable fuels and chemicals manufacturer Gevo, Inc. and Queensland, Australasia-based Leaf Resources, a specialist in converting plant biomass into industrial sugars, are reporting a joint development and commercialization agreement under which Gevo will explore the potential use of cellulosic-derived sugars and glycerol from Leaf Resources and the ability to convert these to hydrocarbon molecules useful as fuels or chemicals.

    Leaf Resources' Glycell Process pre-treatment technology breaks down plant biomass to generate a higher yield of cellulose than conventional approaches. The pretreatment is followed by enzymatic hydrolysis which converts cellulose into cellulosic sugars. The process also yields lignin, hemicellulose and refined glycerol.

    Gevo has developed technology for producing isobutanol from renewable feedstocks using a yeast that has been developed to produce isobutanol and a product recovery technology that continuously removes isobutanol as it is formed. Gevo adds its proprietary yeast to fermentable sugars to convert the sugars to isobutanol. (Source: GEVO, Green Car Congress, 12 Sept., 2019) Contact: Leaf Resources, +61 7 3188 9040, www.leafresources.com.au; Gevo, Patrick Gruber, CEO, 303-858-8358, pgruber@gevo.com, www.gevo.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Isobutanol,  Leaf Resources,  GEVO,  Cellulosic,  


    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,  


    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 ,  


  • Valmet Announces BS Energy Biomass Boiler Order (Int'l. Report)
    Valmet, BS Energy
    Date: 2019-09-06
    Espoo, Finland-headquartered Valmet is reporting it will supply a biomass-fired boiler and a flue gas treatment plant to BS Energy's combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Braunschweig, Germany. The roughly €50 million boiler with its auxiliary equipment is in line with BS Energy's energy production strategy 2030 which aims to remove and replace coal-fired boilers by 2022.

    The biomass-fired CHP plant will produce approximately 20 MW of electricity and 60 MW of district heat. The CYMIC circulating fluidized bed boiler included in Valmet's delivery will use recycled wood as its primary fuels to generate 27 kg/s of high-pressure steam at a pressure of 75 bar and a temperature of 525 C. The flue gas cleaning system included in the delivery will enable fulfilling the tightening emission standards.

    BS Energy, a subsidiary company jointly owned by the City of Braunschweig, Veolia Deutschland GmbH, and Thuga AG, is the regional energy supplier in Braunschweig. (Source: Valmet, PR, Globe Newswire, 3 Sept., 2019) Contact: Valmet, Kai Janhunen, VP, www.valmet.com, www.twitter.com/valmetglobal; BS Energy, +49 531 3838000

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Valmet,  BS Energy,  Biomass,  Woody Biomass,  


    GEVO Touts New No Particulate Renewable Diesel (Ind. Report)
    GEVO
    Date: 2019-09-06
    Englewood, Colorado-based renewable fuels and chemicals manufacturer GEVO reports the development of a proprietary, breakthrough processes that converts

    either low-carbon isobutanol or low-value "fusel oils" -- a mixture of alcohols that are byproducts from fermentation processes -- into renewable diesel. This new renewable diesel is expected to compete head-to-head on price with natural and petroleum-based equivalents while reducing particulates and CO2 emissions.

    Low-carbon renewable diesel is biomass-derived transportation fuel suitable for use in diesel engines and has increased in demand since the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard came into effect. Additionally, the marine sector will have to reduce sulphur emissions to meet new international water regulations beginning in 2020. (Source: GEVO, PR, 4 Sept., 2019)Contact: GEVO, Patrick Gruber, CEO, 303-858-8358, pgruber@gevo.com, www.gevo.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GEVO,  Renewable Diesel,  isobutanol,  


    UNIDO, NUST Plan Pakistan's First Biomass Cluster (Int'l Report)
    National University of Science and Technology
    Date: 2019-09-04
    The US-Pakistan Centre for Advanced Studies in Energy at Pakistan's National University of Science and Technology (NUST) -- under the banner of U.N. Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) programme for promoting sustainable energy production and the use of biomass in Pakistan -- is reporting plans to develop that country's first Biomass Cluster.

    Participants in the planning process include: Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB), Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA), Punjab Bio Energy Company Limited (PBECL), SBP Banking Services Corporation (SBP-BSC), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL), Ministry of Food Security and Research, SAARC Energy Center (SEC), Asia Foundation, Punjab University, DESCON and Ali Engineering.

    The proposed cluster is intended to act as an easily accessed shared knowledge and data repository for biomass stakeholders and to promote biomass and green energy business opportunities. (Source: The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 20190 Contact: National University of Science and Technology, www.nust.edu.pk; US-Pakistan Centre for Advanced Studies in Energy, +92 91 9217480, www.uspcase.asu.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biomass,  Pakistan Biomass,  


    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,  


    USDA REAP Announces Rural Energy Grant Funding (Funding)
    USDA, REAP
    Date: 2019-08-30
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) reports it will award a total of $9.3 million in grant funding for energy costs reduction to farmers, ag producers, rural-based businesses and institutions in 49 states and Puerto Rico.

    Congress appropriated $50 million for REAP grants and loan guarantees in fiscal year 2019. REAP funding can be used for energy audits, renewable energy systems including biomass, geothermal, solar, hydropower biomass and others as well as energy efficiency upgrades such as HVAC energy efficiency improvements, insulation, lighting and refrigeration. (Source: USDA, Farm & Dairy, 29 Aug., 2019) Contact: USDA, (202) 690-4730, (f) 202-690-4737, www.rd.usda.gov; REAP, www.rurdev.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA,  Renewable Energy,  Energy Efficiency,  REAP,  


    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,  


    Shell Sinks $7.7Mn in Punjab Biomass Supply Business (Int'l Report)
    Royal Dutch Shell,Punjab Renewable Energy Systems
    Date: 2019-08-30
    Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell Plc reports is subsidiary Shell India has invested $7.7 million in the Indian biomass supply company Punjab Renewable Energy Systems Pvt. Ltd. which is backed by Neev Fund and responsAbility.

    Punjab Renewable, is involved in the collection, processing, storage and supply of paddy straw, cotton stalk, soya husk, maize cob and mustard stalk biomass for use in to power plants, biofuel production and various other applications.

    Punjab Renewable notes it can handle more than 1,000 tpd and plans to scale up to 10,000 tpd in the next few years. (Source: VCCircle, Royal Dutch Shell, 29 Aug., 2019) Contact: Shell India, www.shell.in; Punjab Renewable Energy Systems, +91 22 2757 0498, www.prespl.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Royal Dutch Shell,  Biomass,  


    UPM Raflatac Touts Wood-Based Polypropylene Film (New Prod & Tech)
    UPM Biofuels
    Date: 2019-08-28
    Helsinki-headquartered renewable diesel producer UPM Biofuels is touting "Forest Film", 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.

    At UPM Raflatac, UPM Biofuels converts woody biomass pulp pulp production residue into renewable naphtha, a drop-in raw material for the chemical industry. (Source: UPM Raflatac, UPM Biofuels, Labels & Labeling, 27 Aug., 2019) Contact: UPM Raflatac, +44 1723 583661, www.upmraflatac.com; UPM Biofuels, Panu Routasalo, +358 45 265 1345, sari.mannonen@upm.com, www.upmbiofuels.com, www.upm.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UPM Biofuels ,  


    More RFS "Hardship" Waivers! (Ind. Report)
    EPA,American Soybean Association
    Date: 2019-08-26
    On Friday the 23rd, the EPA announced it was granting 31 more Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) "hardship" waivers -- a whopping 31 of 38 total Small Refinery Exemption (SRE) applications for the 2018 compliance year.

    In July, EPA announced biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuels volumes for 2021 will remain stagnant but again failed to account for the significant gallons lost because of SRE, which makes the proposed volume, in effect, a reduction for biofuels.

    The waivers announced Friday evening combined with those issued for 2016 and 2017 RFS volumes brings the total number to more than 80 retroactive waivers, which significantly reduces biodiesel demand and results in billions of dollars in economic harm to the U.S. biodiesel industry, including soybean farmers.

    Kentucky soybean grower and American Soybean Association (ASA) president Davie Stephens responded to the latest round saying "Of course ASA is unhappy. These exemptions undermine President Trump's pledge to support the RFS and undermine the Administration's efforts to support farmers who are already bearing the brunt of trade disruptions. EPA's decision is another blow to yet another market for soybean farmers." (Source: American Soybean Association, Daily American, Various Media, 26 Aug., 2019) Contact: American Soybean Association, Dave Stephens, Pres., (314) 576-1770, www.soygrowers.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA,  "Hardship" Waivers,  American Soybean Association,  


    USDA Invests in Energy Efficiency Improvements ... Seven Businesses In New Mexico Among Recipients
    USDA Rural Development
    Date: 2019-08-25
    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Bette Brand has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding grants for projects in all states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to reduce energy costs for farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses and institutions. Under today’s announcement, USDA is investing $9.3 million through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects across the nation. Congress appropriated $50 million for REAP grants and loan guarantees in fiscal year 2019. USDA will make additional funding announcements in the REAP program in coming weeks. Recipients can use REAP funding for a variety of needs, such as conducting energy audits and installing renewable energy systems such as biomass, geothermal, hydropower and solar. Funds also can be used to make energy efficiency improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems; insulation; and lighting and refrigeration. This announcement includes, seven businesses in rural New Mexico that received funding to purchase energy saving systems. Listed below are the REAP investments made for seven rural businesses in rural New Mexico: • CIA Inc. an insurance company in Ruidoso will receive $9,236 to install a solar array system at that company's building, which will save $1,849 in the company's electric bill every year. • Conley's Lumber Mill in Española will receive $7,897 to install a solar array system at the lumber mill. By installing the solar power system, the company will save $1,857 per year in electricity, which is a 100 percent of the electricity used by the lumber mill for its business. • Four Peaks Energy LLC of Sunland Park will receive $20,000 to upgrade its lighting, HVAC system, and Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) (connected to motors) insulation upgrades, and an environmental shade screen at the Camino Real Landfill Facility. This project will save $17,638 per year in electricity costs. • Pamela N. MacArthur of Rancho De Taos will receive $2,811 to install a solar array system for her horse boarding facility. The solar array will save $529 per year in electricity costs, which is equal to 103 percent of the yearly energy usage for the business. • Joseph J. Mathieu of Deming will receive $7,500 to install LED lighting and energy efficient windows at his Denny’s Restaurant. By installing the energy efficient systems $9,987 in electricity will be saved yearly. • Roxie Properties LLC of Santa Rosa will receive $18,711 to install a solar array system at the El Rancho Motel. The new solar power array will save $5,122 per year in electricity costs for the business. • Taos Veterinary Clinic PC of Taos will receive $ 11,021 to install a solar array system. By installing the solar panels, the business will save $3,796 per year in electricity or a 103 percent of the electricity used by the veterinary clinic.

    To view the report in its entirety, view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB). USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. (Source: USDA, 25 Aug., 2019) Contact: USDA Rural Development, www.rd.usda.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News USDA Rural Development news,  Energy Efficiency news,  


    Irish Bio-coal Developer Raises £ 2Mn (Int'l. Report, Funding)
    Silform Technologies
    Date: 2019-08-23
    On the Emerald Isle, Belfast-based Silform Technologies reports it has raised £2 million ($2.5 million +-) from the Bank of Ireland to establish a pilot factory in Northern Ireland for its unique process that turns coal mine waste into industrial fuel.

    Silform's technology includes a formula and process that process coal mine waste into a water resistant pellet fuel. The company is also developing a pellet that mixes 30 pct biomass "biocoal" with 30 pct less CO2 emissions compared with traditional coal and 70 pct more calorific value compared to pure wood Biomass pellets.

    The Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Growth Fund (NI) fundg will establish the plant and also scale-up R&D on broader applications of the technology and products. (Source: Silform Technologies, PR, Irish Times, 22 Aug., 2019) Contact: Silform Technologies, +44 28 9446 3759, www.silform.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Silform Technologies,  Coal,  Bio-coal,  Biomass,  


    Univ. of BC Expanding Woody Biomass Power Plant (Ind. Report)
    University of British Columbia
    Date: 2019-08-21
    The University of British Columbia (UBC) reports it will invest $20.4 million to expand its 2012 vintage wood waste-to-energy power plant. The expansion will include installation of a new boiler and increasing the plant's capacity to generate 70 pct of the hot water needed in the university's district energy system and cutting its CO2 emissions by 14,500 tpy. The project, with $7.6 million in Canadian government support, is slated to be completed in 2020.

    UBC constructed its initial biomass-fueled research and demonstration facility in 2012 in partnership with Vancouver-based bioenergy firm Nexterra Systems and General Electric. (Source: Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver Sun Aug., 2019) Contact: UBC, David Woodson, Dir. Energy Services, (604) 822-2211, www.ubc.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biomass Power,  Woody Biomass,  


    Electro-Active Technologies Converts Organic Waste Into Hydrogen for Biofuels (New Prod & Tech)
    Electro-Active Technologies
    Date: 2019-08-19
    Tennessee start-up Electro-Active Technologies reports it has licensed two biorefinery technologies invented and patented by the company's founders to convert organic waste into renewable hydrogen gas for use as a biofuel.

    Electro-Active Technologies is developing a modular system that can be placed onsite or in a decentralized location to produce renewable hydrogen from organic waste. The system combines biology and electrochemistry to degrade organic waste such as biomass or food waste, to produce hydrogen which then combines the protons and electrons into hydrogen molecules.

    The company originally developed their processes to tackle the problem of liquid waste formed during biofuel production; however, the company will now focus on fighting food waste, according to its website. (Source: Electro-Active Technologies Contact: Electro-Active Technologies, Alex Lewis, CEO, https://electroactive.tech/contact.html, www.electroactive.tech/index.html

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Hydrogen,  H2,  


    Turkey Litter, Biomass Power Plant Bites the Dust (Ind. Report)
    Fibrominn,Xcel Energy
    Date: 2019-08-16
    Following up on our 21st February, 2018 coverage, Fibrominn's 2007 vintage 55 MW biomass plant in Benson, Minnesota, the country's first turkey manure and wood chips fired power plant, has been demolished by Xcel Energy to make way for a third-party proposed new dairy manure biogas facility. The plant had reportedly become too cost inefficient to continue running. Xcel acquired the plant for $24.5 million in 2017.

    The city of Benson is purchasing the site and reportedly has a letter of intent from a Californian company interested in constructing dairy manure biogas facility. (Source: West Central Trib., Aug., 2019) Contact: Xcel Energy, www.xcelenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  Turkey Litter,  Fibrominn,  Biogas ,  


    Atlantic Power Takes Ownership Interest in Biomass Plants (M&A)
    Atlantic Power,Fortistar,CMS Energy
    Date: 2019-08-16
    In the Bay State, Dedham-based independent power producer Atlantic Power Corporation reports completion of its $20 million acquisition of the equity ownership interests held by AltaGas Power Holdings in Craven County Wood Energy in North Carolina and the Grayling Generating Station contracted biomass plants in Michigan.

    The 48 MW Craven County Wood Energy facility has been in service since October 1990 . Atlantic Power acquired a 50 pct interest from AltaGas with the remaining 50 pct held by CMS Energy. Craven County burns wood waste, wood chips, poultry litter, forestry residues, mill waste, bark and sawdust, and has PPA with Duke Energy Carolinas.

    In Michigan, the 37 MW Grayling Generating Station has been in service since June 1992 . Atlantic Power acquired a 30 pct interest from AltaGas , leaving Fortistar with 20 pct and CMS Energy with 50 pct. Grayling has a PPA with Consumers Energy. The plant burns wood waste from local mills, forestry residues, mill waste and bark. Both plants are operated by an affiliate of CMS Energy. (Source: Atlantic Power Corp., CNW Group, 14 Aug., 2019) Contact: Atlantic Power Corporation, (617) 977-2700, info@atlanticpower.com, www.atlanticpower.com; , Mark Comora, CEO, (914) 421-4937, MComora@fortistar.com, www.fortistar.com; CMS Energy, www.cmsenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Fortistar,  Atlantic Power,  Biomass,  Woody Biomass,  CMS Energy,  


    "We've Had Enough!" -- NBB Comments on EPA's RFS Waivers (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    NBB
    Date: 2019-08-16
    "Here we go again. Last week, the U.S. EPA granted 31 out of 38 retroactive small refinery exemptions for 2018. I can't contain the frustration and utter disappointment I have with how this administration is handling its responsibility of administering the RFS.

    "Congress passed the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) back in 2007, signed into law by George W. Bush -- a lifelong oil and gas guy. The law was passed to encourage investment in advanced biofuels like biodiesel, renewable diesel and renewable jet fuel. Biodiesel producers responded, making the investments and building an industry that today produces more than 2 billion gallons of transportation fuel each year. This market also provides added value to feedstocks such as soybean oil, used restaurant oil and animal fats.

    "The oil industry feverishly insists that the ethanol industry isn't harmed by small refinery exemptions because production has grown. But what about biodiesel? They never mention us because they know that small refinery exemptions disproportionately affect biodiesel because of the way the RFS is constructed.

    "We have said again and again -- biodiesel is very different from ethanol. The president (Trump) was instrumental in clearing the path for higher blends of ethanol year-round when he lifted the RVP waiver this summer, which we were supportive of. He and his EPA administrator have mentioned E15 when they have spoken about what they believe to be the minor impact of exempting RFS gallons. It's as though they think we are dumb enough to not understand that they are giving with one hand but taking away with the other.

    "Now, back to biodiesel. E15 does nothing to expand demand for biodiesel. Ethanol is not biodiesel. In fact, the RFS recognized this by establishing its own category for biodiesel, separate from ethanol, called biomass-based diesel. Policymakers at the time recognized the need to segment biodiesel and renewable diesel within the bigger RFS pool so that growth in those products could be differentiated in the overall program and we would see advancements of biofuels in both the gasoline and diesel sector.

    "Fast forward to 2019 and we now have an EPA that, two months ago, proposed a draft rule to hold the biomass-based diesel category flat for 2020, keeping it at 2.43 billion gallons for the second year in a row and then, just last week, the same EPA grants nearly one-half billion gallons of biomass-based diesel waivers. To highlight the hypocrisy in this action, while filing the draft rule two months ago, the EPA documented, in writing, the fact that they expected to grant zero (that's zero as in none, zilch, nada) gallons of small refinery waivers in 2020. And we're supposed to understand and accept that move?

    "Biodiesel and renewable diesel year after year fill more than 90 percent of the RFS volumes reserved for advanced biofuels. But EPA complains that advanced biofuels have not materialized quickly enough to meet the goals of the RFS. Now -- as seen last week -- the agency is holding its thumb on the industry and blocking growth. Not only blocking growth, but helping to reduce demand through small refinery exemptions.

    "As the agency continues to hand them out to every refiner that asks, the damage could reach $7.7 billion or 2.54 billion gallons, according to Scott Irwin, an agricultural economist from the University of Illinois. A 'small' oil refinery, by RFS definition -- one that processes 75,000 bpd of oil and produces nearly a billion gallons of fuel a year -- would have an RFS obligation to use just 20 million gallons of biodiesel or renewable diesel. Many U.S. biodiesel producers are smaller than that -- just one small refinery exemption would eliminate their entire market. And the EPA granted 31 of them.

    "President Trump vowed to protect and defend American farmers. In fact, he calls them patriots. But his actions will put the biodiesel producers those same farmers depend on for their market, out of business. It's already happening, and it's having a devastating impact on rural communities across the nation.

    "President Trump and EPA Administrator Wheeler should clearly know what this means to the workers, producers, farmers and investors in the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry -- their new round of unwarranted RFS exemptions just destroyed jobs and a valuable marketplace for hardworking Americans, including those patriotic soybean farmers who Trump has called on to be his willing allies in the trade dispute with China. If this is how the EPA administrator treats the president’s allies, I'd hate to see how he treats his enemies. (Source: NBB, 15 Aug., 2019) Contact: NBB, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NBB,  Biodiesel,  


    Burning Sustainably Managed Forest Woody Biomass Increases CO2 Pollution for 40+ Years, SELC Report Finds (Ind. Report)
    Southern Environmental Law Center
    Date: 2019-08-14
    A new report by Spatial Informatics Group, LLC (SIG), commissioned by the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) and the National Wildlife Federation, takes a closer look at the carbon profile of wood pellets produced at Drax's three U.S. wood pellet mills.

    The report found that the accumulated emissions of burning wood pellets from these U.S. mills to produce electricity in the UK increases carbon pollution in the atmosphere for more than 40 years -- well beyond the time-frame identified by the IPCC as critical for carbon reduction.

    Download the report details HERE. (Source: Southern Environmental Law Center, 12 Aug., 2019) Contact: Southern Environmental Law Center, www.southernenvironment.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biomass,  Woody Biomass,  Carbon Emissions,  Southern Environmental Law Center,  


    NewEnergyBlue Licenses Inbicon Low-Carbon Fuel Tech. (Ind. Report)
    Inbicon,NewEnergyBlue
    Date: 2019-08-12
    NewEnergyBlue LLC reports acquisition of exclusive rights to Inbicon bio-conversion technology throughout the Americas and will first employ it to turn North Dakota wheat straw into a high-value, carbon-neutral automotive fuel. The technology license was purchased from Denmark-based Orsted which developed the technology over 15 years at a cost exceeding $200 million.

    NewEnergyBlue plans to construct a series of biomass refineries across grain belts and sugar-growing regions to process agricultural residues -- wheat straw, cornstalks, sugar bagasse and others -- into a high-octane advanced ethanol that's more than 100 pct below the carbon baseline of grain ethanol -- more than 140 pct below gasoline.

    Using Inbicon technology , NewEnergyBlue's refinery utilizes high-pressure steam followed by an enzyme bath to break down the biomass fibers into sugars and lignin that are valuable for making liquid and solid biofuels. The company expects groundbreaking for its Spiritwood, North Dakota refinery in 2020. (Source: NewEnergyBlue, PR, 12 Aug., 2019) Contact: NewEnergyBlue LLC, Thomas Corle, CEO, Roger Moore, Brand Manager, (717) 626-0557, www.newenergyblue.com; Inbicon, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inbicon

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Biomass,  Low Carbon Fuel,  


    Net-Zero Carbon "Achievable" says UK National Grid (Int'l Report)
    UK National Grid
    Date: 2019-08-09
    According to the UK National Grid's latest Future Energy Scenarios (FES) report, Great Britain could reach net-zero carbon in its electricity grid by 2050 -- if "immediate action" is taken across all key energy technology and policy areas, such as increased energy efficiency and carbon capture and storage (CCS), and "at a significantly greater scale than assumed."

    The report outlines five "credible pathways and scenarios for the future of energy" over the next 30 years. Two of the scenarios meet the country's old 2050 target of an 80 pct reduction in GHG emissions by 2050, and a new "standalone sensitivity analysis on how net-zero carbon emissions could potentially be achieved by 2050."

    The report notes that achieve net-zero, British homes would need to use at least one-third less energy for heating by 2050 than today, while the electricity system would need to operate using only zero-carbon generation, and the power sector would need to deliver negative emissions, using technologies like biomass and carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS).

    Report details HERE. (Source: UK National Grid, July, 2019) Contact: UK National Grid, Kayte O'Neill, Head of Strategy and Regulation, www2.nationalgrid.com/uk

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UK National Grid,  Net-Zero Carbon,  CCUS,  CCS,  CO2,  

    Showing 1 to 50 of 785.

    Go to page:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16