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

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

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


Maersk, Partners Developing Lignin-Ethanol Marine Fuel (Int'l Report)
Maersk,Copenhagen University,
Date: 2019-11-01
Maritime shipping giant Maersk reports it is working with Copenhagen University, Wallenius Wilhelmsen, BMW Group, H&M Group, Levi Strauss & Co. and Marks & Spencer to explore a blend of lignin and ethanol (LEO) fuel for sustainable shipping.

Lignin is isolated in large quantities as a by-product of lignocellulosic ethanol and pulp and paper mills. Copenhagen University is currently running the laboratory-scale development of LEO marine fuel with the project aiming to move into phase II -- testing the fuel on actual vessel engines -- in the second quarter of 2020. Following a successful phase II, phase III will begin -- the scaling up of LEO fuel production. (Source: Maersk, Container Management, Oct., 2019) Contact: Maresk, Soren Toft, CEO, www.maerskline.com; Copenhagen University, www.ku.dk

More Low-Carbon Energy News Maersk,  Ethanol,  Lignin,  Biofoul,  Marine Biofuel,  


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,  


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

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

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


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,  


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

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

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


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,  


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 ,  


  • Praj Touts 2G Ethanol "Enfinity" Technology (Int'l. Report)
    Praj Industries,Omega Energy USA
    Date: 2019-09-09
    On the sub-continent, Mumbai-based sugarcane ethanol producer Praj Industries reports it has reached an important milestone in the commercialisation of its 2G ethanol "enfinity" technology, following successful performance and due diligence by a US-based oil and gas major.

    The company's proprietary "enfinity" technology will be used to produce ethanol and other co-products using sugarcane bagasse in the first bagasse-based biorefinery in the US. Miami-based Omega Energy USA will develop the biorefinery, while cane sugar producer Lasuca Sugar will supply bagasse feedstock. The proposed project will have a production capacity of 10-15 million gpy of cellulosic ethanol. (Source: Praj Industries, 5 Sept., 2019) Contact: Praj Industries Ltd., +91 20 7180 2000 / 2294 1000, info@praj.net, www.praj.net; Omega Energy USA, 786-245-0642, www.omegaenergyusa.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Praj Industries,  Ethanol,  


    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,  


    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,  


    Ameresco Advocates for Renewable Natural Gas (Ind. Report)
    Ameresco
    Date: 2019-08-02
    In testimony at recent EPA hearings on 2020 Renewable Fuel Volume Standards and Renewable Natural Gas (RNG), Framingham, Mass.-based RBG developer and renewables and energy efficiency specialist Ameresco, Inc. Senior Project Manager Jeff Stander noted -- "We strongly encourage the EPA to set the 2020 cellulosic biofuel RVO to account for at least 650 million gallons of RNG."

    Stander led the 2018 development of Ameresco's RNG production facility at the Woodland Meadows Landfill in Canton, Michigan and was one of several industry experts representing the RNG Coalition at the EPA public hearing on July 31 in Ypsilanti, Michigan, for the EPA's proposed Renewable Fuel Standards for 2020, according to the release.

    Ameresco has developed 39 beneficial use projects involving biogas at wastewater treatment plants and landfills, including three RNG facilities in Arizona, Michigan and Texas that participate in the RFS program. The RNG facilities generate D3 Cellulosic Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) and provide transportation fuel that is injected into the natural gas pipeline grid.

    Since 2014, the EPA has recognized the use of RNG to meet fuel volume standards under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). RNG makes up more than 95 pct of the renewable fuel used to meet the RFS cellulosic biofuel requirement, according to the Ameresco release. (Source: Ameresco, PR, 31 July, 2019) Contact: Ameresco, Jeff Stander, Senior Project Developer, (508) 661-2288, www.ameresco.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ameresco,  RNG,  RFS,  


    Alliance BioEnergy Plus Near Exiting Chapter 11 (Ind. Report)
    Alliance BioEnergy
    Date: 2019-07-31
    In the Sunshine State, West Palm Beach-based Alliance BioEnergy Plus Inc. reports U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida has approved its Chapter 11 Disclosure Statement to confirm the company's Chapter 11 Plan. Additionally, the company has deposited in escrow all the necessary funds to pay its creditors all payments required to confirm the Plan.

    Alliance has developed a new and improved technology system that converts any cellulosic material -- grasses, wood, paper, farm waste, yard waste, forestry products, nut shells, and the cellulosic portion of municipal solid waste -- into biofuels quicker, more consistently, and more energy efficient than the first generation process. Alliance’s CTS (cellulose-to-sugar) 2.0 process converts sugar into ethanol via a standard process that recycles water and catalysts used in the process, uses no toxic chemicals and has a near zero carbon footprint. When fully commercialized, Alliance's technology it will be the lowest cost producer in the ethanol and biofuel space, according to the Alliance release. (Source: Alliance Bioenergy Plus, Inc., PR, 30 July, 2019) Contact: Alliance Bioenergy, Ben Slager, CEO, (888) 607-3555, ben.slager@alliancebioe.com, www.alliancebioe.com

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


    EPA Releases 2020 RVOs Proposal (Ind. Report, Reg & Leg)
    EPA, RVO
    Date: 2019-07-24
    The US EPA's recently proposed 2020 and 2012 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) require 91 billion litres of renewable fuels to be blended into the US fuel supply in 2020, up from 90.5bn litres in 2019 -- 23 billion litres of advanced biofuels, 11 billion litres of biomass-based diesel - which was set last year and is the same for 2021, and 2.4 billion litres of cellulosic biofuel -- up 545 million litres from the 2019 figure.

    The proposed RVO would require biofuels to make up 10.92 pct of US transportation fuel, including 2.75 pct advanced biofuels, 1.99 pct biomass-based diesel and 0.29 pct cellulosic biofuel.

    The rule making also proposed amendments to the RFS regulations including: clarification of diesel RVO calculations; pathway petition conditions; a biodiesel esterification pathway; distillers corn oil and distillers oil pathways; renewable fuel exporter provisions allowing the production of biomass-based diesel from separated food waste; flexibilities for renewable fuel blending for military use; heating oil used for cooling; RFS facility ownership changes; additional registration deactivation justifications; a new Renewable Identification Number (RIN) retirement; a new pathway for co-processing biomass with petroleum to produce cellulosic diesel, jet fuel and heating oil; public access to information; and other revisions. The amendments came as part of the as yet finalized Renewables Enhancement and Growth Support rule. (Source: EPA, Oils & Fats Int'l., 22 July, 2019)

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


    EPA's RFS Obligations Another Setback for American Farmers, says NFU (Ind. Report)
    NFU,EPA,RFS
    Date: 2019-07-19
    The US EPA's recently proposed renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for the year 2020 would set required biofuel use at 20.04 billion gallons next year, a marginal increase over this year's 19.92 billion gallons. The difference is primarily attributable to an expansion of cellulosic biofuel, from 420 million to 540 million gallons. The rule maintains the current 15-million-gallon target for corn ethanol, according to a NFU release.

    In the face of the EPA's proposal, the National Farmers Union (NFU) has expressed its disappointment in the almost unlimited issuance of RFS refinery "hardship waivers", the newly released RVO's and the that the agency's failure not only to factor the lost demand into its proposed RVOs but to increase biofuel use at all. "At every turn, EPA and this (Trump) administration have undermined the intent of RFS and destroyed demand for billions of gallons of ethanol", NFU President Roger Johnson added. (Source: The Cattle Site, National Farmers Union, PR, July, 2019) Contact: National Farmers Union, Roger Johnson, Pres., (202) 554-1600, www.nfu.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS news,  NFU news,  National Farmers Union news,  "Hardship Waiver" news,  


    Are EPA's Proposed RFS 'Obligations' Actually Just Suggestions?" asks RFA (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    RFA, RFS
    Date: 2019-07-08
    By neglecting to prospectively reallocate small refinery exemptions and blatantly ignoring a court order to restore improperly waived gallons, the U.S. EPA's proposed 2020 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) completely betrays President Trump's commitment to uphold the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), according to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

    "As long as EPA continues to dole out compliance exemptions to oil refiners without reallocating the lost volume, the agency may as well start referring to the annual RFS levels as 'renewable volume suggestions' rather than renewable volume 'obligations'. It is a complete misnomer to call these blending volumes 'obligations' when EPA's small refinery bailouts have essentially transformed the RFS into a voluntary program for nearly one-third of the nation's oil refineries.

    "In its announcement today, EPA has proposed a total renewable fuel volume of 20.04 billion gallons, of which 5.04 billion gallons are advanced biofuel, including 540 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel. That leaves, on paper, a 15-billion-gallon requirement for conventional renewable fuels like corn ethanol, unchanged from 2019.

    "Most notably, EPA failed to prospectively account for any expected small refinery exemptions in the 2020 proposal, even though it is almost a foregone conclusion at this point that the Agency will continue to grant more exemptions.

    "Congress gave EPA the direction and tools necessary to ensure that the statutory RFS volumes are enforced, and that includes prospectively reallocating exempted volumes to non-exempt parties. Instead, EPA has chosen to continue its demand destruction campaign that has been crippling to both ethanol producers and the farmers who supply our industry. Enough is enough.

    "EPA approved 54 exemptions for 2016 and 2017 and an additional 38 requests for 2018 exemptions are pending. Not a single exemption request has been denied by EPA since 2015. The exemptions effectively lowered the total RFS requirement for 2017 by 1.82 billion gallons and cut the 2016 requirement by nearly 800 million gallons.

    "Making matters worse, EPA's proposal continues to flout the D.C. Circuit Court's 2017 order requiring the Agency to restore 500 million gallons of renewable fuel obligations that it inappropriately and illegally waived from the 2016 RVO. Unbelievably, the Agency is proposing to snub the court's ruling by refusing to restore the 500 million gallons remanded volume. EPA's stubborn refusal to obey a court order to restore lost demand is yet another kick in the teeth to U.S. renewable fuel producers and farmers already facing the worst market conditions in a generation. EPA's suggestion that following the court's directive would place an 'additional burden' on obligated parties is an insult and an affront to the farmers and ethanol producers who trusted this administration would follow the law. The RFS wasn't intended to make oil refiners comfortable; it was intended to change the status quo by guaranteeing renewable fuels would have access to a marketplace otherwise closed to competition.

    "EPA appears to be selling out to oil refiners -- again -- at the expense of rural America. The court found in favor of renewable fuel producers in 2017 because it was clear our industry had been harmed by EPA's illegal use of a general waiver -- now EPA is doubling down on that harm to the ethanol industry and farmers.

    "Today's proposal undermines the pledge President Trump made to farmers and renewable fuel producers that his administration would enforce the statutory RFS volumes. By failing to prospectively reallocate, failing to commit to a more judicious and restrained approach to refinery waivers, and failing to follow a court's order to restore lost demand, EPA is blatantly undercutting President Trump's commitment to ethanol, which he restated less than a month ago when he visited the Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy ethanol plant. We urge the President to resolve the disconnect between the oval office and EPA and get the RFS back on track." (Source: RFA, PR, 8 July, 2019) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFA,  RFS,  


    EPA's RFS Obligations Another Setback for American Farmers, says NFU (Ind. Report)
    RFS,EPA,National Farmers Union
    Date: 2019-07-08
    Last Friday, the EPA released its proposed renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for the year 2020. The proposal would set required biofuel use at 20.04 billion gallons next year, a marginal increase over this year's 19.92 billion gallons. The difference is primarily attributable to an expansion of cellulosic biofuel, from 420 million to 540 million gallons. The rule maintains the current 15-million-gallon target for corn ethanol.

    In the face of the EPA's proposal, the National Farmers Union (NFU) has expressed its disappointment in the almost unlimited issuance of RFS refinery "hardship waivers", the newly released RVO's and the that the agency's failure not only to factor the lost demand into its proposed RVOs but to increase biofuel use at all.

    "At every turn, EPA and this (Trump) administration have undermined the intent of RFS and destroyed demand for billions of gallons of ethanol", NFU President Roger Johnson added. (Source: The Cattle Site, National Farmers Union, PR, 8 July, 2019) Contact: National Farmers Union, Roger Johnson, Pres., (202) 554-1600, www.nfu.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News "Hardship Waiver",  RFS,  National Farmers Union,  Biofuel,  Ethanol Blend,  


    Finns Investigating Man-made Cellulose Fibre Production (R&D, Int'l)
    VTT
    Date: 2019-06-28
    The Helsinki, Finland-headquartered VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland reports receipt of €2.6 million funding from the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU)to improve wood-to-textile value chains to enable increased production of man-made cellulose fibres.

    VTT's Green Chemicals and Technologies for the Wood-to-textile Value Chain (CRETE) project, a partnership between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium, will tackle the bottlenecks of creating wood-to-textile value chains by developing innovative technologies for wood pulp modification, cellulose dissolution and fibre-quality generation. The issues to be solved in the project play a significant role in developing sustainable and green technologies for the European industry.

    The project is led and coordinated by VTT, alongside partners University of Helsinki, Universitat fur Bodenkultur Wien, Universidade de Aveiro, Metsa Fibre Oyj, Celbi SA, Material Connexion Italia SRL and Vertech Group. (Source: VTT, Canadian Biomass, 26 June, 2019) Contact: VTT Technical Research Centre, Nils-Olof Nylund, +358 400 703 715, nils.olof.nylund@vtt.fi, www.vttresearch.com

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


    Cellulose Fuel Ethanol Market Recent Developments & Emerging Trends to 2026 -- Report Available (Ind. Report)
    Cellulosic
    Date: 2019-06-26
    The recently released Global Cellulose Fuel Ethanol Market Report from Reports & Data offers market insights of the cellulosic fuels market and industry.

    The Cellulose Fuel Ethanol Market Report analyses key global geographies, technologies, leading players and production capacities, utilization ratio, consumer base, demand, and supply chain, profit margin, and merchants and related factors and data.

    Request a FREE sample copy report HERE. Browse full report description, TOC, Table of Figure, Chart, etc. HERE. (Source: Reports & Data, TheIndustryAnalysis June 25, 2019) Contact: Reports & Data, (212)710-1370, sales@reportsanddata.com, www.reportsanddata.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cellulose Fuel Ethanol,  Cellulosic,  Ethanol,  


    Attis Praises EPA's Approval of Year Around E15 Dales (Ind. Report)
    Attis Industries
    Date: 2019-06-21
    Milton, Georgia-headquartered corn ethanol producer and technology holding company Attis Industries Inc. is lauding the Trump Administration's May 30th approval of the expansion of 15 pct (E15) ethanol blends in on-road transportation fuels. Previously, the sale of E15 was restricted to just eight months of the year.

    The rule change has the potential to create a significant increase in market demand for corn-based ethanol as well as other advanced fuels such as cellulosic ethanol. Even so, the administration continues to undermine the enforcement of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) through its abuse of the small refiner "hardship" exemptions (SREs) which have had a drastic effect on renewable fuel demand over the past two years, according to Attis. "Attis encourages the Administration to continue its support of the nation's farmers and renewable fuel producers by limiting SREs to those refiners who truly have encountered hardships by complying with the Renewable Fuel Standard," the Attis release notes.

    Attis Biofuels, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Attis Industries Inc., currently operates a 100 million gpy corn-based ethanol facility in Fulton, NY and has plans to expand the production of renewable fuels to include cellulosic ethanol and various other advanced biofuels, according to the release. (Source: Attis Ind., PR, June, 2019) Contact: Attis Ind., David Winsness, President of Attis Innovations, Jeff Cosman, CEO, 678-580-5661, www.attisind.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Attis Industries,  Biofuel,  E15,  Ethanol Blend,  RFS,  


    Attis Creating NY Ethanol Plant Green Tech Campus (Ind Report)
    Attis Industries
    Date: 2019-06-07
    Following up on our previous coverage, Georgia-based Attis Industries Inc. reports its recently acquired Sunoco LP's nameplate 100-million gpy corn ethanol plant and grain malting operation in Fulton, New York, will become the centerpiece of its proposed Green Tech Campus. The company will focus on byproduct optimization of the corn ethanol plant and the new production of advanced biofuels and biobased products while also looking to generate "green" power, thus reducing the overall carbon footprint of the Fulton campus and taking advantage of valuable carbon credits to increase the site's profitability.

    Attis plans to immediately begin the process of deploying its patented biorefinery technology to further diversify the biofuel and biobased product manufacturing at the campus. Attis will convert extracted locally sourced woody biomass pulp into cellulosic fuels and lignin into bioplastics, carbon fiber and advanced biofuels like renewable diesel and jet fuel.

    Attis also aims to improve the quality and volume of co-products currently being produced at the Fulton ethanol plant by implementing its patented and licensed corn oil extraction technology that will almost double the current corn oil production yields at the plant and provide an augmented revenue stream. (Source: Attis Industries, DTN, June, 2019) Contact: Attis Ind., Jeff Cosman, CEO, 678-580-5661, www.attisind.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Attis Industries,  Ethanol,  Sunoco LP,  


    Ohio State Tests Ag Waste-to-Ethanol Process (R&D, Funding)
    Ohio State University
    Date: 2019-05-29
    In Columbus, Associate Professor Ajay Shah, an agricultural engineer with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) is testing a method that could cut the cost of collecting and delivering corn plant material corn stover) for ethanol production by up to 20 pct..

    Shah received $1 million in USDA grant funding to test the effectiveness of a new method that harvests and transports corn plants intact, the ears together with the stalks, and will work with farm equipment companies to develop machinery that could be commercialized.

    The system testing involves harvesting the corn plant so the ears and a portion of the stalks are not separated in the field but are transported as a single package to the biorefinery. Separating the corn kernels from the rest of the plant requires a combine, which is expensive and currently used in the field only a few months of the year. If, instead, farmers collected and baled the cobs and stalks at the same time, they could be stored and a stationary machine that separates the grain from the rest of the plant could operate throughout the year, maximizing its use. (Source: Ohio State Univ., AgCUE Online, 28 May, 2019) Contact: Ohio State Univ., College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), Assistant Prof., Ajay Shah, (330) 263-3858, shah.971@osu.edu; CFAES, (614) 292-6125, https://cfaes.osu.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Corn Stover,  Ethanol,  Cellulosic Ethanol,  


    CARB Certifies Edeniq Customers for Corn Fiber Ethanol (Ind Report)
    Edeniq,Siouxland Ethanol
    Date: 2019-05-15
    Visalia, California-headquartered cellulosic ethanol process specialist Edeniq, Inc. reports the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has approved Siouxland Ethanol and Elite Octane as its first two Intellulose 2.0 customers for cellulosic ethanol production from corn kernel fiber.

    Siouxland Ethanol, a 90 million gpy corn ethanol plant located in Jackson, Nebraska was certified on May 6 with a carbon intensity rating of 26.67 and Elite Octane, a 150 million gpy corn ethanol plant located in Atlantic, Iowa was certified on May 7 with a carbon intensity rating of 30.32. Using Intellulose 2.0, the two plants achieved average corn kernel fiber ethanol production of 3% of total production, nearly triple the average performance traditionally associated with the benefits of Intellulose 1.0 that regulatory agencies had approved.

    Edeniq's Intellulose 2.0 technology typically achieves between 2 and 4.5 pct cellulosic ethanol production from the corn kernel fiber at existing corn ethanol plants without any capex requirements. The technology measures the amount of ethanol produced from multiple different molecules present in corn kernels and quantifies the individual contribution of each component. The technology builds on Intellulose 1.0, which measures the cellulosic ethanol produced from a single corn kernel component.

    Seven Edeniq Intellulose 1.0 customers were previously approved by the U.S. EPA for D3 RIN generation and/or by CARB for low-CI corn kernel fiber ethanol production. (Source: Edeniq Inc., PR, 13 May, 2019) Contact: Edeniq Inc., Brian Thome, President and CEO, Lily Wachter, (559) 302-1777, lwachter@edeniq.com, www.edeniq.com; Siouxland Ethanol, LLC , Nick Bowdish, President and CEO www.siouxlandethanol.com; Elite Octane, www.eliteoctane.net; California Air Resources Board, Melanie Turner, Information Officer, (916) 322-2990, melanie.turner@arb.ca.gov, www.arb.ca.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News California Air Resources Board,  Corn Ethanol,  Edeniq,  Ethanol,  Siouxland Ethanol,  


    Woody Biomass Feedstock Logistics Study Funded (Funding)
    Woddy Biomass,USDA
    Date: 2019-05-13
    Researchers at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) are reporting receipt of $1 million in USDA grant funding to investigate the key parameters for high-quality, year-round woody biomass feedstock logistics systems for commercialized biorefineries in the Southeastern U.S.

    The 3-year study is intended to expedite the development of a commercialized cellulosic biofuel sector by improving the efficiency of the logistics systems of woody biomass feedstock required for biofuel production.

    The study will determine woody biomass quality in the Southeast and identify the relationship with conversion performance. Additionally, the cost and energy use for woody biomass feedstock size reduction through both conventional and advanced technologies will be obtained at an industrial scale, and the cost and quality of the feedstock will be incorporated to address the challenges of balancing cost and quality in feedstock logistics for scaling up biofuel production.

    The study includes the evaluation of alternative pre-processing technologies in feedstock logistics systems for hardwood logging residues and an energy crop -- hybrid poplar -- to supply biofuel production.

    The UTIA multidisciplinary research team includes agricultural economists, forest scientists, chemists, and biosystems engineers, with collaboration from a bioenergy company, Proton Power, Inc., and a biomass research and development company, Forest Concepts, LLC. (Source: University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, Bioenergy Insight, 13 May, 2019) Contact: University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, (865) 974-6756, https://ag.tennessee.edu/Pages/default.aspx

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  Biofuel,  


    Anellotech Bio-TCat Hits Commercially-Targeted Yields (Ind Report)
    Anellotech
    Date: 2019-05-08
    Pearl River, New York-based renewable chemicals, bioplastics and fuels from non-food biomass producer Anellotech reports its patented Thermal Catalytic Biomass Conversion technology -- Bio-TCat -- has achieved commercially-targeted yields in its TCat-8 pilot unit in Silsbee, Texas during six months of continuous process operations.

    Bio-TCat technology produces a mixture of benzene, toluene and xylene (AnelloMate BTX), which are bio-based and chemically identical to petroleum-derived counterparts. Bio-TCat technology also produces AnelloMate Distillate, a heavier aromatics product that can be upgraded into a high-quality biofuels blendstock for jet or diesel transportation fuel using conventional refinery processing. Cellulosic ethanol or hydrogen can be made from Bio-TCat's carbon monoxide co-product by using third-party technology.

    Anellotech is planning construction of its first commercial plant and is engaging in partnership and funding discussions with existing and new strategic partners. The plant will be capable of processing 500 bone-dry tonnes/day of loblolly pine wood into 40,000 tpy of products including benzene, toluene, xylenes, and C9+ aromatics to use as fuels or for production of bio-based plastics for packaging and consumer products. (Source: Anellotech, PR, GreenCar Congress, 7 May, 2019) Contact: Anellotech Inc., David Sudolsky, Pres., (845) 735-7700, DSudolsky@anellotech.com, www.anellotech.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Anellotech ,  


    Spero Renewables Announces DOE BETO R&D Funding (Ind. Report)
    Spero Renewables
    Date: 2019-05-06
    CORRECTION -- The following article appeared in our 22nd April editions with contact errors which are herein corrected. We regret any inconvenience our error may have caused.

    Goleta, California-based Spero Renewables LLC, a Green chemistry company, is reporting a $1.6 million cooperative agreement with the US DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to develop and scale-up production of the company's patented SPERLU technology that produces polymers from wood pulp and similar plant-based sources.

    The grant is part of a recently announced $80 million DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) initiative supporting 36 bioenergy R&D projects. In addition to biobased products, projects include renewable hydrocarbon fuels and power from non-food Biomass and waste feedstocks.

    Spero's SPERLU™ technology converts biomass lignin, a waste byproduct of cellulosic ethanol production that is expensive to remediate, into valuable, environmentally friendly polymers and plastics. The resulting polymers are renewable, free of off-gassing emissions, and formaldehyde-free as opposed to current polymers that come from petrochemicals and are manufactured with formaldehyde, according to the company's website.

    According to the company website, "Spero Energy is a technology developer for the production of high value renewable and natural molecules from biomass. The company's novel extractive technology for the manufacture of natural ferulic acid is a game changer for the production of natural vanilla. Spero's one-step lignin conversion (SPERLU™) is key to realizing a fully integrated biorefinery." (Source: Spero Renewables LLC, Spero Website, 19 April, 2019) Contact: Spero Renewables LLC, Mahdi Abu-Omar, Ph.D. Chemistry, Pres., Joe Ramelli, VP Business Dev., (805) 696-2199 x 2001, joe@sperorenewables.com, US DOE BETO, energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE BETO,  Spero Renewables,  


    POET CEO Broin Scores Bioeconomy Leadership Award (Ind. Report)
    POET
    Date: 2019-04-05
    On Thursday, April 4, POET CEO and Founder Jeff Broin was recognized with a Bioeconomy Leadership Award award for his vision and leadership in pioneering new technology and building POET into the world's largest biofuel producer. Previous award recipients are former Iowa governor and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (2013) and former Navy Secretary Ray Mabus (2015), recognized for his work in developing the Great Green Fleet, an initiative that demonstrates the Navy's efforts to transform its energy use.

    According to the POET release, in its more than 30-year history, POET has continually found ways to make biofuel production more efficient at its network of 27 bioprocessing facilities and to develop new co-products and new sources for biofuel. POET, through its joint venture with Dutch biotechnology company DSM, also operates a commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant, Project LIBERTY, in Emmetsburg, Iowa.

    The Global Bioeconomy Leadership Award was established by Biofuels Digest and Nuu Media to recognize individuals who offer a bold vision and have made a global impact in the biotechnology space. (Source: POET, Vital, 4 April, 2019) Contact: POET, Jeff Broin, Pres., (605) 965-2200, www.poet.com

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


    Chinese Researchers Claim Biomass Jet Biofuel Breakthrough (Int'l)
    Aviation Biofuel
    Date: 2019-03-25
    Researchers at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics in China report finding a way to convert plant waste from agriculture and timber woody biomass into high-density aviation fuel that can be used as either a wholesale replacement fuel or as an additive to improve the efficiency of other jet fuels. The research was published in the journal of Joule.

    Cellulose, an abundant polymer that forms the cell walls of plants is the main component in the new biofuel. Although the researchers produced the biofuel at a laboratory scale they believe that the process' cheap, abundant cellulose feedstock, fewer production steps, and lower energy cost and consumption mean it will soon be ready for commercial use. They also predict it will yield higher profits than conventional aviation fuel due to lower production costs. (Source: Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, ANI, Green Car Congress, Siasat Daily, 23 Mar., 2019) Contact: Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Ning Li, +86 411- 8437-9598, english.dicp.cas.cn

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


    Biofuels Contribute $5Bn to Iowa's GDP, says Report (Ind. Report)
    IRFA
    Date: 2019-03-22
    Contribution of the Renewable Fuels Industry to the Economy of Iowa, a recent study commissioned by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) has found that biofuels contribute over $5 billion to the Hawkeye State's GDP, equivalent to 3 pct. The report also found the biofuels industry supports over 48,000 jobs in the state and adds over $2.5 billion to Iowa household incomes.

    The report was authored by John Urbanchuck, managing partner at ABF Economics.

    As we reported on 23 Jan., 2019, 2018 was a record year for ethanol production in Iowa with the state's ethanol production facilities producing 4.35 billion gallons -- 150 million gallons more than 2017 and 150 million gallons short of capacity. The Hawkeye State produces about 27 pct of total U.S. ethanol production. Iowa's two cellulosic ethanol and 41 corn ethanol plants use more than 1.3 billion bpy of corn. Iowa also produced a record 365 million gallons of biodiesel in 2018 (Source: Iowa Renewable Fuels Assoc., Mar., 2019) Contact: IRFA, Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., info@IowaRFA.org, (515) 252-6249, www.iowarfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Iowa Biofuel,  Monte Shaw,  IRFA,  


    Global Cellulosic Ethanol Market 2019 Deep Analysis (Ind. Report)

    Date: 2019-03-18
    Global Markets is reporting the availability of Global Cellulosic Ethanol Market, a new elementary research study that analyzes market growth, risks, production volume, prices structure, market trends and other sellulosic ethanol related data along with forecast data from 2019-2024.

    The study offers a thorough understanding of market share, annual revenue, business methods, and contribution to Cellulosic Ethanol industry growth. Complete company profile of each player analysed in this report is covered for predicting the futuristic Cellulosic Ethanol scope and industry demand.

    Access report details and browse table of contents HERE. (Source: Global Market Biz, PR, 17 Mar., 2019) Contact: Global Amerket Biz, globalmarketers.biz@gmail.com; www.globalmarketers.biz

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cellulosic Ethanol,  


    European Commission Bans Palm Oil Biofuel Subsidies (Int'l Report)
    EU, Palm Oil
    Date: 2019-03-15
    This week in Brussels, the European Commission (EC) concluded that the cultivation of palm oil, primarily in Indonesia and Malaysia, results in excessive deforestation and accordingly should not be eligible for subsidies or count toward EU renewable transport targets for national governments. Such a ban on counting toward the target -- a 32 pct share of renewable energy by 2030 -- will likely occasion the phase-out the use of of palm oil-based fuel's in Europe.

    The EC concluded that 45 percent of the expansion of palm oil production since 2008 led to destruction of forests, wetlands or peatlands and resultant greenhouse gas releases.

    The EC has added a number of exemptions which mean some palm oil could still be promoted as a green fuel, under certain conditions including allowing additional palm oil production coming from yield increases or produced on unused land to still qualify as green.

    Although once seen as the main tool by which the EU could decarbonize road transport, and given generous subsidies under the 28-member trading bloc's Renewable Energy Directive over a decade ago, many environmentalists are reportedly pushing the EU to ban crop-based biofuels and move instead to incentivizing second-generation, cellulosic biofuels. (Source: EU, European Biodiesel Board, Successful Farning, Forbes, 14 Mar., 2019) Contact: European Biodiesel Board, www.ebb-eu.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission,  Palm Oil,  Biodiesel,  European Biodiesel Board,  


    Lignocellulose Conversion Bio-Saccharification Technology Touted (New Prod & Tech, Int'l)
    Chinese Academy of Sciences
    Date: 2019-02-27
    In China, the Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology (QIBEBT), Chinese Academy of Sciences, is touting "consolidated bio-saccharification (CBS)" a novel strategy for cost-efficient lignocellulose conversion. CBS combines cellulase production and hydrolysis while separating fermentation from the integrated process by taking fermentable sugar as the target product to couple various downstream fermentation processes. Construction of a pilot-scale CBS demonstration is now underway.

    The industrial conversion of biomass to high-value biofuels and biochemicals is mainly restricted by lignocellulose solubilization. Previously, three strategies had been reported for lignocellulose bioconversion -- separate enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation (SHF), simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF), and consolidated bioprocessing (CBP).

    Using the newly developed biocatalyst and optimal conditions, the CBS process was shortened by half using pretreated wheat straw as the substrate. Under such conditions, the sugar yield reached 0.795 g/g and the saccharification level was 89.3 pct .

    The QIBEBT study was published in Biotechnology for Biofuels on Feb 18th and was supported by the Transformational Technologies for Clean Energy and Demonstration program of the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Key Technology Research and Development Program of Shandong, and the Major Program of the Shandong Provincial Natural Science Foundation. (Source: Chinese Academy of Sciences , Public Release, Feb., 2019) Contact: Chinese Academy of Sciences, Prof. CUI Qiu, QIBEBT, Chinese Academy of Sciences, +86-532-80662622, +86-532-80662778-fax, chengjing@qibebt.ac.cn, english.qibebt.cas.cn

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cellulosic,  lignocellulose,  


    Mercurius Biorefinery Slated for Queensland, Australia (Int'l)
    Mercurius
    Date: 2019-02-20
    In the Land Down Under, the Queensland State government reports it has given the nod and has funded a biorefinery pilot plant in Gladstone. The 3-month pilot biorefinery will be the trail site for jet fuel and diesel production from agricultural and forestry waste. Construction is due to begin this month and will be carried out by Bellinham, Washington-based Mercurius Biofuels LLC.

    Depending on the pilots success, Mercurius plans to construct a larger demonstration plant, which would scale up production of biofuels and bio-chemicals, according to a company statement.

    Mercurius Biorefining is developing its novel REACH process, which converts cellulosic biomass to hydrocarbons in the renewable diesel, aviation, and marine fuel ranges. Valuable by-products include bio-char and a bio-plastic monomer, FDCA.

    REACH (Renewable Acid-hydrolysis Condensation Hydrotreating) is a novel application of proven technologies which is both feedstock- and product-flexible. Sources of potential feedstock include waste from municipalities (e.g. biogenic portion of MSW), forestry and agriculture. (Source: Mercurius, Various Media, Biofuel Int'l, 18 Feb., 2019) Contact: Mercurius , Karl Seck, Res., CEO, (360) 941-7207, www.mercuriusbiofuels.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Mercurius,  Cellulosic,  Aviation Biofuel,  


    USDA Commits to $125Mn Aemetis Riverbank Biorefinery (Funding)
    Aemetis
    Date: 2019-02-13
    Following up on our 24th January coverage, Cupertino, California-based Aemetis, Inc. is reporting the USDA has issued a Conditional Commitment under the 9003 Biorefinery Assistance Program to guarantee a $125 million, 20-year loan to company's cellulosic ethanol plant to be built in Riverbank, California. The Riverbank plant is designed to convert orchard, forest and other biomass waste into cellulosic ethanol with below zero carbon emissions.

    The Riverbank biorefinery project recently won a $12 million California state tax waiver and a $5 million California Energy Commission Notice of Proposed Award. Preliminary engineering for the project has been completed and construction is expected to get underway in mid-2019. (Source: Aemetis, PR, 12 Feb., 2019) Contact: Aemetis, Eric McAfee, CEO , Todd Waltz, (408) 213-0940, investors@aemetis.com, www.aemetis.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Riverbank ,  Aemetis,  USDA,  Cellulosic Ethanol,  


    RFS2 Emissions Reductions Beat EPA Expectations (Ind. Report)
    Renewable Fuel Standard ,Renewable Fuels Association, RFA
    Date: 2019-02-08
    A recently released Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) commissioned study claims the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) has been a tremendous success in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with nearly 600 million metric tons of GHG reduction since 2007 -- surpassing the EPA original expectations of 422 million metric tons, according to the study. The analysis was conducted by Life Cycle Associates, a California-based scientific consulting firm, and commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Foundation (RFF).

    The study credits the larger-than-expected GHG reductions to: the adoption of technology improvements in the production of corn-based ethanol, resulting in far greater GHG reductions than originally estimated by EPA; the GHG emissions of petroleum are higher than the baseline estimates originally projected by EPA; and advanced biofuels like biodiesel, renewable diesel, and renewable natural gas have contributed additional GHG reductions, even though actual cellulosic biofuel production has been lower than initially projected. The study also notes that the conventional ethanol consumed in 2018 reduced GHG emissions by 43 pct compared to EPA's initial projections that conventional ethanol would achieve only a 20 pct GHG reduction versus petroleum.

    Download the study HERE. (Source: RFA, 6 Feb., 2019) Contact: Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, Pres., CEO, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GHG Emissions,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  Renewable Fuels Association,  Climate Change,  RFA ,  


    Wheat Straw Isobutene Demo Scale Success Reported (Ind. Report)
    Global Bioenergies ,Clariant
    Date: 2019-02-08
    Evry, France-based Global Bioenergies is reporting the successful production of cellulosic isobutene using wheat straw hydrolysate provided by its partner Clariant at its Leuna Demo Plant. The initial demo plants runs were part of OPTISOCHEM (OPTimized conversion of residual wheat straw to bio-ISObutene for bio based CHEMicals), a 2017 project with €9.8 million in grant funding from the Bio Based Industry- Joint Undertaking (BBI-JU) as part of the H2020 program.

    The project aimed to demonstrate a new value chain combining Global Bioenergies bio-Isobutene process with technologies developed by Clariant and INEOS, two of Europe's leading chemical companies. OPTISOCHEM focuses on:

  • Conversion of straw into glucose- and xylose-rich hydrolysates by Clariant sunliquid technology:

  • Fermentation of the straw hydrolysates into bio-isobutene by Global Bioenergies;

  • Conversion of bio-isobutene into oligomers and polymers by INEOS;

  • Preliminary engineering of an hydrolysate-to-isobutene plant and overall integration with a straw-to-hydrolysate plant, by TechnipFMC and IPSB, (France), and

  • Assessment of the sustainability and environmental benefits by the Energy Institute at the JKU Linz (Austria).

    The BBI-JU, a public-private partnership between the EU and the Bio-Industries Consortium (BIC), is dedicated to realizing the European bio-economy potential, turning biological residues and wastes into greener everyday products through innovative technologies and bio-refineries expected to become the heart of the bio-economy. (Source: Global BioEnergies, 7 Feb., 2019)Contact: Global Bioenergies, Marc Delcourt, CEO, +33 (0)1 64 98 20 50, www.global-bioenergies.com; INEOS, www.ineos.com; Clariant, Markus Rarbach, Hariolf Kottmann, CEO, +41 61 469 5111, www.clariant.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Whest Straw,  INEOS,  Clariant,  Global Bioenergies ,  Isobutene,  


  • Aemetis Biofinery USCIS EB-5 Phase II Approved (Ind. Report)
    Aemetis
    Date: 2019-01-24
    Cupertino, California-headquartered Aemetis, Inc. reports the US Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) has issued an I-924 Exemplar Approval for its $50 million EB-5 Phase II funding related to the Aemetis Riverbank cellulosic biorefinery project in California.

    Three EB-5 investors filed with the USCIS and funded $1.5 million to the Aemetis project in December 2018 to launch the $50 million EB-5 Phase II funding round. I-924 Exemplar Approval allows foreign investors to utilize project approval for faster EB-5 processing

    The Aemetis Riverbank cellulosic biorefinery is designed to produce below zero carbon biofuels from agricultural waste that could otherwise be burned in the Central Valley. The USCIS I-924 Exemplar Approval is in addition to California state governmental support through the recent award of $12.7 million of sales and use tax waivers for equipment and other purchases for the construction of the Aemetis Riverbank plant. (Source: Aemet1s, PR, EIN, 24 Jan., 2019) Contact: Aemetis, Eric McAfee, CEO , Todd Waltz, (408) 213-0940, investors@aemetis.com, www.aemetis.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aemetis,  Cellulosic Biofuel,  


    ExxonMobil, REGI , Clariant Ink Cellulosics R&D JV (Ind. Report)
    ExxonMobil, REGI , Clariant
    Date: 2019-01-24
    Irving, Texas-headquartered oil giant ExxonMobil reports it is entering into a joint research agreement with Renewable Energy Group (REGI) and Muttenz, Switzerland-based Clariant AG to evaluate the potential use of cellulosic sugars from agricultural waste and residues to produce biofuel. The partners will also work on a conceptual engineering study to validate the feasibility of the integrated process comprising the technologies of all parties.

    The partners aim to combine Clariant's Sunliquid® and REGI's processes into a seamless cellulosic biomass-to-biodiesel technology.

    Clariant will conduct trials at its pre-commercial plant in Straubing, Germany, using different types of cellulosic feedstock that will be converted into sugars for conversion by REG and ExxonMobil into high-quality, low-carbon biodiesel. (Source: Exxon Mobil, Chemistry Views, 23 Jan., 2019) Contact:Clariant, Markus Rarbach, Hariolf Kottmann, CEO, +41 61 469 5111, www.clariant.com; REGI, Randy Howard, CEO, Katie Stanley, 515-239-8184, katie.stanley@regi.com, www.regi.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ExxonMobil,  REGI ,  Clariant,  Cellulosic,  Biodiesel,  Biouel,  


    Iowa Ethanol Production Breaks Record High (Ind. Report)
    Iowa Renewable Fuel Association
    Date: 2019-01-23
    In Iowa, 2018 is slated to go down as another record year for ethanol production with the state's ethanol production facilities producing 4.35 billion gallons -- 150 million gallons more than 2017 and 150 million gallons short of capacity. Iowa produces about 27 pct of total U.S. ethanol production. The Hawkeye State also produced a record 365 million gallons of biodiesel in 2018.

    Iowa's two cellulosic ethanol and 41 corn ethanol plants use more than 1.3 billion bpy of corn. (Source: Iowa Renewable Fuel Association, WHO13, 21 Jan., 2019) Contact: Iowa Renewable Fuel Association, Monte Shaw, info@IowaRFA.org, (515) 252-6249, https://iowarfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cellulosic,  Corn Ethanol,  Iowa Ethanol,  Iowa Renewable Fuel Association ,  


    Hunter Pilot Ethanol Biorefinery Launched in Australia (Int'l)
    Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources,
    Date: 2019-01-18
    In the Land Down Under, the Sydney-based University of Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER) and Ethanol Technologies (Ethtec), in partnership with the Muswellbrook Shire Council, reports the development of the Hunter Pilot Biorefinery (HPB), a bio-renewables research facility and an environmentally sustainable process to produce biofuels and other renewable chemicals from crop and forestry waste.

    The HPB will be a state-of-the-art facility containing biomass processing and fermentation equipment applicable to a range of biofuel and renewable chemical production technologies.

    The first phase of the project received $4.6 million from the New South Wales (NSW) Government under the Growing Local Economies fund to unlock long-term growth opportunities in regional NSW through targeted infrastructure investment.

    The foundation project of the Biorefinery is a $30 million cellulosic ethanol pilot plant project by Apace Research Limited (Apace), Ethanol Technologies Limited (Ethtec), the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Chinese engineering company JTL and the University of Newcastle. (Source: University of Newcastle, Australia, PR 17 Jan., 2019) Contact: NIER, Professor Alan Broadfoot, Executive Director, +61 2 4033 9000, www.newcastle.edu.au; Ethtec, + 61 7 4776 5300, +61 7 4776 5392 - fax, www.ethtec.com.au

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Ethanol,  Ethtec,  Biomass,  


    Attis, Novozymes Collaborate on Biorefinery Technologies (Ind. Report)
    Attis Industries,Novozymes
    Date: 2019-01-18
    Milton, Georgia-based Attis Industries Inc. reports it has inked an agreement with Copenhagen-headquartered Novozymes A/S under which Novozymes will supply enzymes to Attis' planned cellulosic ethanol biorefineries.

    Attis has successfully converted the pulp extracted from its patented biomass processing into high yields of sugar using Novozymes' proprietary enzyme cocktails.

    Initially, Attis and Novozymes will focus on optimizing the value of the biotechnology utilized in the Attis process. (Source: Attis Industries, Chemical Engineering, Jan., 2019) Contact: Attis Ind., Jeff Cosman, CEO, 678-580-5661, www.attisind.com; Novozymes, Peder Holk Nielsen, President and CEO, Tina Sejersgard Fano, VP Bioenergy, +45 44 46 00 00, www.novozymes.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Attis Industries,  Novozymes,  Biofuel,  


    Former INEOS Cellulosic Ethanol Assets Up for Grabs (Ind. Report)
    INEOS Bio Energy
    Date: 2018-12-10
    Following up on our 23rd February coverage, industrial auctioneer Maas Companies of Rochester, Minnesota, reports the former INEOS Bio Energy 8 MMGY Cellulosic Ethanol Plant and 6 MW Biomass Plant in Vero Beach, Florida will soon fall under the auctioneer's hammer.

    The sale includes INEOS' surplus land and equipment which will be offered first via a sealed bid auction process ending on Tuesday, January 8, 2019. If the equipment is not sold as an entirety with the real estate, the equipment will then be sold piecemeal via a timed online auction ending on January 15, 2019.

    The 2011 vintage, $230 million INEOS plant was a joint venture between Ineos Group LTD and New Planet Energy LLC. This first of its kind demonstration plant was designed to use an integreated biomass gasification and gas fermentation technology to convert cellulosic yard and vegetable waste into ethanol.

    The plant is adjacent to the Indian River County Solid Waste Disposal LandFill with an existing gas line in place enabling the use of the landfill waste gases on the site. The plant also owns an additional 74.5 acre tract of land to the south of the main site.

    Frankens Energy purchased the property earlier this year and has begun deploying its plans to convert the site into an industrial eco-district, the first of its kind on the eastern seaboard. Once complete, the Indian River Eco-District will support and nurture an innovative eco-system of industrial businesses, while fostering sustainable competitive advantages, growth and success of each of its members.

    (Source: Maas Companies, 6 Dec., 2018) Contact: Indian River Eco District, www.irecodistrict.com; Maas Companies, (507)285-1444, www.masscompanies.com, www.ethanolplantauction.com; Frankens Energy, David Frankens, info@frankensenergy.com, www.frankensenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cellulosic Ethanol,  Frankens Energy,  INEOS Bio Energy,  Maas Companies,  


    New Energy Blue Cellulosic Ethanol Plant Advancing (Ind. Report)
    New Energy Blue
    Date: 2018-12-10
    In Spiritwood, North Dakota, New Energy Blue LLC reports it is near completion of engineering and permitting on a $150 million plant project that would t plant would process 33 tph of biomass -- wheat straw, corn stover , barley straw -- into 16 million gpy of cellulosic ethanol for the California market. The plant will also produce also produce 110,000 tpy of lignin -- an organic polymer found in the rigid cell walls of plants. The New Energy Blue plant expects to build near the Spirit AgEnergy corn-ethanol plant, and to begin production in 2021. Midwest AgEnergy will manage to New Energy Blue plant.

    New Energy Blue is working through a firm in New York City to issue renewable bonds at the end of their development period. North Dakota has $300 million in tax-free renewable municipal bonds that could be used for projects that turn a "waste material," in this case residue, to a "special need renewable product," such as fuel and power, according to New Energy Blue. (Source: New Energy Blue LLC, AgWeek, 10 Dec., 2018) Contact: New Energy Blue LLC, Stephen Rogers, Pres., 717.626.0557, www.newenergyblue.com; Spiritwood,MidwestAgEnergy Group, www.midwestagenergygroup.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Spiritwood ,  Cellulosic Ethanol,  ,  


    Biofuel Players Comment on New RFS (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    RFS,Advanced Biofuels Business Council
    Date: 2018-12-07
    "Specifically, I'm glad levels for biodiesel are maintained and slightly increased. And although the levels for advanced biofuels and cellulosic biofuels don't represent the full potential of the industry, they are very promising and will help significantly." -- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R), www.grassley.senate.gov

    "It is time to get our America First fuel policy back on track, and we encourage the acting EPA administrator to hold oil refiners accountable and maintain the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard." -- Kyle Gilley, Snr VP External Affairs and Communications, POET, www.poet.com

    "The final targets open new possibilities for advanced and cellulosic biofuels, but without a check on abusive EPA waivers, we'll continue to see plants closing their doors or idling production. The agency cannot fulfill the president's commitments in the heartland without putting a lid on handouts to oil giants like Chevron and Andeavor." -- Brooke Coleman, Exec. Dir., Advanced Biofuels Business Council, www.advancedbiofuels.org

    "It reflects continued growth in the renewable natural gas industry. The growth in production of renewable natural gas and the completion of nearly 50 new production facilities from coast to coast since 2014 is proof positive that the RFS is working as intended for cellulosic and advanced biofuels." -- Johannes Escudero, CEO, Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas, www.rngcoalition.com

    "While the numbers are a positive step forward and they hold promise with a 15-billion-gallon commitment to starch ethanol and 418 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels, the billions of lost gallons due to excessive small refinery exemptions need to be accounted for." -- Emily Skor, CEO, Growth Energy, www.growthenergy.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Grassley,  POET,  RFS,  Growth Energy,  


    EPA 2019 Final Renewable Fuel Standards Quota (Summary Report)
    EPA,RFS
    Date: 2018-12-05
    On November 30, 2018, the US EPA finalized volume quotas under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for 2019 for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, total renewable fuel, and biomass-based diesel for 2020.

    In brief,the conventional renewable fuel quota, which is met primarily by corn-based ethanol, will be maintained at 19 billion gal in 2019, while required advance biofuel volumes will climb by 630 million gal from 2018 to 19.92 billion gal. The 2019 quota for cellulosic biofuels increased nearly 130 million gal to 418 million gal.

    Download the EPA RFS summary HERE. (Source: EPA, Dec., 2018) Contact: US EPA, www.epa.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Biofuel,  Biomass,  Ethanol,  Biodiesel,  Biofuel Blend,  


    Industry Comments on New RFS (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Iowa Renewable Fuels Association , National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2018-12-05
    "Without reallocation of small-refinery exemptions, the numbers released today may look good on the outside, but just like the chocolate bunnies my children open up on Easter morning, they are hollow on the inside. While any increase is better than a flatline, these modest increases vastly underrate the potential of advanced biofuels." -- Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, (515) 252-6249, info@irfa.org, http://iowarfa.org

    "EPA's failure to properly account for small refinery exemptions will continue to destroy biodiesel demand. EPA recognizes that the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry is producing fuel well above the annual volumes. The industry regularly fills 90 percent of the annual advanced biofuel requirement. Nevertheless, the agency continues to use its maximum waiver authority to set advanced biofuel requirements below attainable levels. The method is inconsistent with the RFS program's purpose, which is to drive growth in production and use of advanced biofuels such as biodiesel." -- National Biodiesel Board, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    "Of the 418 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel called for in the RFS, the vast majority, 388 million gallons, are requested from biogas and that represents a 45 pct increase in production from the 2018 volumes." -- American Biogas Council, Patrick Serfass, Executive Director, (202) 640-6595, www.americanbiogascouncil.org

    "When the EPA continues to grant waivers and does not account for those volumes in this rule, domestic demand for our crop is lost, impacting farmers' livelihood and the economy of rural America." -- National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), Lynn Chrisp, (202) 326-0644, www.ncga.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News American Biogas Council,  NCGA,  ,  RFS,  Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  National Biodiesel Board ,  


    EPA to Hold the Line on 2019 RFS Biofuel Blend Quotas (Ind. Report)
    RFS,Renewable Fuels Standatd
    Date: 2018-11-28
    Bloomberg is reporting the Trump administration will likely order refiners to use 15 billion gallons of corn ethanol and other conventional renewable fuels in 2019 despite oil industry pressure to lower the mandate, The slate of biofuel blending targets, which are expected to be released on Friday, are unlikely to placate biofuel and agricultural interests that have denounced the EPA's generous issuance of RFS "hardship" waivers to small refineries. To date, 15 refineries have reportedly applied for "hardship" waiver relief from the 2018 quotas.

    The EPA had proposed requiring refiners to blend 19.88 billion gallons of biofuels next year, a 3.1 pct increase over current quotas. That target included a 15 billion gallon quota for corn-based ethanol and other conventional renewable fuels, the maximum allowed under federal law and the same amount required in 2018. The agency also is set to finalize a 2020 requirement for using biodiesel, after proposing a 15.7 pct increase in the target.

    The EPA reportedly plans to establish new biofuel blending targets for 2020 through 2022 and is poised to lower congressional goals for cellulosic biofuels as part of the RFS "reset" process. (Source: EPA, Bloomberg, Farm Journal, 27 Nov., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS news,  Biofuel Blend news,  Cellulosic news,  


    DuPont Repaying $10.5Mn in Iowa Ethanol Plant Incentives (Funding)
    DuPont,Verbio
    Date: 2018-11-19
    Further to our Nov. 9th coverage, the Des Moines Register reports DuPont will repay $10.5 million in incentives it received in 2011 from the state of Iowa for its 30-million gpy, $400 million cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa.

    The DuPont plant produced ethanol from corn cobs, stalks and other crop residue before being shuttered in 2017. As previously reported Michigan-based Verbio North America is purchasing the facility and plans to invest $35 million to convert the plant to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) from corn stover. (Source: DuPont, Des Moines Register, AP, 16 Nov., 2018))Contact: Verbio, +49 (0) 3493 747-40, www.verbio.de/en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DuPont,  Verbio,  Corn Stover,  RNG,  Cellulosic Ethanol,  


    Diverse Biofeedstock Ethanol Yields Investigated (R&D Report)
    Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center
    Date: 2018-11-16
    Biorefineries are picky eaters. They only consume one or two types of plant matter. Researchers at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison processed and experimentally measured ethanol production from five different herbaceous feedstocks. They examined two annuals (corn stover and energy sorghum) along with three perennials (switchgrass, miscanthus, and restored prairie). They determined that a lignocellulosic ethanol refinery could use a range of plant types without having a major impact on the amount of ethanol produced per acre, or per land area.

    Many biorefineries consume one, or sometimes two, feedstocks grown and harvested nearby. The feedstock contains lignocellulose. That chemical is processed and fermented into biofuels or bioproducts. Accepting a variety of feedstocks could improve the refinery's environmental footprint, economics, and logistics. The team's study showed that a lignocellulosic refinery could be relatively agnostic in terms of the feedstocks used.

    Refineries to convert biomass into fuels often rely on just one feedstock. If the refineries could accept more than one feedstock, it would greatly benefit refinery operation. Scientists investigated how five different feedstocks affected process and field-scale ethanol yields. Two annual crops (corn stover and energy sorghum) and three perennial crops (switchgrass, miscanthus, and restored prairie) were pretreated using ammonia fiber expansion, hydrolyzed, and fermented separately using yeast or bacteria.

    Researchers found that both biomass quality and biomass yield affected the amount of ethanol each acre produces. However, the effect differed. Biomass quality was the main driver for the ethanol yields for high-yielding crops, such as switchgrass. Biomass yield was the main driver for the ethanol yields for low-productivity crops, such as corn stover. Therefore, to increase ethanol yield for high-yielding crops, focusing efforts on improving biomass quality or conversion efficiency may be prudent.

    For low-yielding crops, focusing on increasing biomass yield may be the best strategy. When measuring the amount of ethanol produced during fermentation, most feedstocks fell within a similar range, especially when scientists used bacteria to ferment the biomass. In total, the results of this study suggest that a lignocellulosic refinery may use a variety of feedstocks with a range of quality without a major negative impact on field-scale ethanol yields. (Source: Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, US DOE, 12 Nov., 2018) Contact: Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, Tim Donohue, Dir., John Greenler, Dir. Outreach, (608) 890-2444, www.glbrc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center,  US DOE,  Biofuel Feedstock,  ,  


    Cellulosic Ethanol Feedstocks, Production Strategies Explored (R&D)
    Great Lakes Bioenergy Science Center
    Date: 2018-11-14
    Researchers at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Science Center led by by the University of Wisconsin, Madison, are reporting the investigation of how the quality of different biomass feedstocks -- corn stover and energy sorghum, switchgrass and miscanthus -- affect both the quality and field-scale ethanol yields per acre.

    The research found biomass feedstock quality was the main driver for the ethanol yields for high-yielding crops such as switchgrass. Biomass yield was the main driver for ethanol yields from low productivity crops such as corn stover. The re[prt concluded that to increase ethanol yield from high-yielding crops, focusing efforts on improving biomass quality or conversion efficiency "may be prudent."

    For low yielding crops, focusing on increasing biomass yield may be the best strategy. When measuring the amount of ethanol produced during fermentation, most feedstocks fell within a similar range, especially when scientists used bacteria to ferment the biomass.

    In total, the study suggests that a lignocellulosic refinery can use a variety of feedstocks of varying qualities without a major negative impact on field-scale ethanol yields. (Source: Great Lakes Bioenergy Science Center, US DOE, Nov., 2018) Contact: Great Lakes Bioenergy Science Center, Tim Donohue, Dir., (608) 262-4663, tdonohue@bact.wisc.edu, www.glbrc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Great Lakes Bioenergy Science Center,  Ethanol,  Ethanol Feedstock,  Switchgrass,  Miscanthus,  Cellulosic,  

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