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Adv. Biofuel Show Promise for Replacing Fossil Fuels (Ind. Report)
Advanced Biofuel
Date: 2020-08-31
A new study led by Colorado State University is predicting significant climate benefits stemming from the use of advanced biofuel technologies. Accounting for all of the carbon flows in biofuel systems and comparing them to those in grasslands and forests, the team found clear strategies for biofuels to have a net carbon benefit.

John Field, research scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Lab at CSU, said it has been a challenge for the biofuel industry to demonstrate commercial viability for cellulosic biofuels created from switchgrass and other non-edible plants.

The research team used modeling to simulate switchgrass cultivation, cellulosic biofuel production and carbon capture and storage (CCS), tracking ecosystem and carbon flows. Scientists then compared this modeling to alternative ways to store carbon on the land, including growing forest or grassland.

CCS technology is being used by at least one facility in Illinois that is processing corn to ethanol as a conventional biofuel to create ethanol, but these systems are not yet widespread. As part of the study, researchers created models to simulate what this would look like at a cellulosic biofuel refinery. "What we found is that around half of the carbon in the switchgrass that comes into the refinery becomes a byproduct that would be available for carbon capture and storage. The resulting byproduct streams of high-purity CO2 would not require much separation or clean-up before being stored underground," the study noted.

The research team analyzed three contrasting U.S. case studies and found that on land where farmers or land managers were transitioning out of growing crops or maintaining pastures for grazing, cultivating switchgrass for cellulosic ethanol production had a per-hectare mitigation potential comparable to reforestation and several-fold greater than grassland restoration.

Using switchgrass can be particularly helpful in parts of the country where planting more trees is not an option.

This research was partially funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the US DOE via the Center for Bioenergy Innovation, and the Sao Paulo Research Foundation in Brazil.

The study illustrates how deliberate land use choices support the climate performance of present-day cellulosic ethanol technology and how technological advancements and CCS addition could produce several times the climate mitigation potential of competing land-based biological mitigation schemes. These results affirm the climate mitigation logic of biofuels, consistent with their prominent role in many climate stabilization scenarios, the study concludes. (Source: Colorado State University, Green Car Congress, Aug., 2020) Contact: Colorado State University, Natural Resource Ecology Lab, John Field, (970) 491-1604, John.L.Field@colostate.edu, www.nrel.colostate.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Advanced Biofuel,  Cellulosic Biofuel,  Switchgrass,  


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

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

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

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


White House Confirms 2020 Biofuel RVO Plan (Ind. Report)
Renewable Fuel Standard
Date: 2019-12-20
Reuters is reporting the Trump administration plans to stick with its proposed 2020 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) biofuel blending requirements as proposed in October, despite the farming sector's complaint that the plan does too little for corn growers.

Under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) oil refiners are required to blend some 15 billion gpy of corn-based ethanol into their gasoline, but small facilities can be exempted if compliance would hurt them financially.

The October proposal was intended to placate corn growers and compensate the biofuel industry for the administration's expanded use of refinery exemptions, but which the industry has largely panned as insufficient, according to Reuters. The EPA's October plan would raise the biofuels volumes that some refineries must blend in 2020 based on DOE recommendations for volumes that should be exempted.

As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. (Source: Reuters, Various Media, 19 Dec., 2019)

For details see our Oct. 21 report as follows -- Proposed Volumes for 2020 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021. 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 BOE, 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 it calculates 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 RFS,  "Hardship" Waiver,  Ethanol.Ethanol Blend,  Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  Red Trail Energy,  


POET Temporarily Halting Project Liberty Biofuel Prod. (Ind. Report)
POET, Poet-DSM
Date: 2019-11-22
Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based POET-DSM Advanced Biofuel reports it is temporarily halting production of cellulosic biofuels at its Emmetsburg, Iowa, facility due in part to the uncertainties surrounding the EPA's Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) policies.

The company, a 50/50 joint venture between Royal DSM and POET, LLC., will now focus on R&D aimed at improving mechanical reliability, creating additional technological efficiencies and licensing technologies in countries that support the use of low carbon fuels from crop residue and other biomass, according to the company. (Source: Poet-DSM, Biofuels 20 Nov., 2019) Contact: POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels, Steve Hartig, General Manager, (630) 780-8171, steve.hartig@dsm.com, www.poetdsm.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Project Liberty,  POET,  Poet-DSM,  Cellulosic Biofuel,  Advanced 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,  


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,  


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,  


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,  


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,  


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 ,  


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,  


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,  


Is the Renewable Fuel Standard enough to spur progress in advanced Biofuels? Probably not. (Ind. Report)
International Council on Clean Transportation
Date: 2018-10-19
Production of cellulosic biofuel is expected to fall nearly 7 billion gallons short of meeting the statutory Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume for this type of advanced biofuel in 2018, which has forced the EPA to lower targets for the program. Although cellulosic biofuel production has lagged behind the ambitious RFS schedule, it has exhibited an overall upward trajectory, with year-over-year increases in output since 2011 and new cellulosic biofuel companies coming online. Given that other government support, such as grants and loan guarantees, also influence cellulosic biofuel development, we wanted to know if this modest success is due to the RFS or other forms of direct support.

Download the report HERE. (Source: International Council on Clean Transportation, Chelsea Petrenko and Stephanie Searle, 17 Oct., 2018) Contact: ICCT, www.theicct.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News International Council on Clean Transportation,  RFS.Biofuel,  Advanced Biofuel,  


Texas A&M Awarded $2.2 Mn for Biofuel R&D (R&D, Funding)
Texas A&M
Date: 2018-10-15
In College State, Texas A&M AgriLife Research is reporting receipt of $2.2 million in grant funding from grant from the U.S. DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office to support investigation of waste products used in lignocellulosic biofuel production, turning them into valuable agents used in producing commercial products such as biodiesel and asphalt binding agents.

According to Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist and project leader Dr. Joshua Yuan, "The conversion of lignocellulosic biomass has been around for many years, but many of the waste products can not be commercialized due to the configuration of these biorefineries. What we are trying to accomplish is developing a streamlined process where the biomass waste at these refineries can be fractionated to produce lipids for biodiesel, asphalt binder modifier and quality carbon fiber. All of these bioproducts can add great value to the economy and enhance their market value."

Yuan noted that lignocellulose bioconversion refineries burn off 60 pct of the lignin produced. Utilizing this lignin offers incentives such as improving the efficiencies of a biorefinery, reducing costs and lowering emissions. The work will include developing an integrated biorefinery program or "a blueprint for future biorefinery development," Yuan added. (Source: Texas A&M AgriLife Research, PR, Oct., 2018) Contact: Dr. Joshua Yuan, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Dr. Joshua Yuan, Dir. Synthetic and Systems Biology Hub, people.tamu.edu/~syuan, www.tamu.edu; US DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office, www.energy.gov/eere/bioenergy

More Low-Carbon Energy News Texas A&M,  US DOE BETO,  lignocellulosic ,  biofuel,  


NewEnergyBlue Set for Straw Biorefinery Ground Breaking (Ind. Report)
NewEnergyBlue
Date: 2018-09-24
NewEnergyBlue reports it soon break ground on the New Energy Spirit Biomass Refinery at the Spiritwood Energy Park near Jamestown, North Dakota.

The biorefinery is expected to process 280,000 tpy of North Dakota grown wheat straw into 16-million gpy of cellulosic ethanol that meets or exceeds California's rigorous air-quality standards.

New Energy Spirit Biomass Refinery, LLC will own and operate the plant which is partially funded by regional investors with a strong interest in the project's sustainability and its invigorating contributions to the area economy. (Source: NewEnergyBlue, PR, 24 Sept., 2018) Contact: NewEnergyBlue, Stephen Rogers, Pres., 717-626-0557 www.newenergyblue.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wheat Straw Biofuel news,  Cellulosic Biofuel news,  


Hawkeye State Secretary of Agriculture Comments on Proposed RFS Changes (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Renewable Fuel Standard
Date: 2018-08-13
In Iowa City, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Naig, has submitted the following comments on the proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) levels for conventional, advanced and cellulosic biofuels for 2019 and biodiesel for 2020, to the U.S. EPA

"A strong RFS that follows the law is critically important to ensuring market access for ethanol and biodiesel and to giving consumers additional choices at the pump. I will reiterate to acting Administrator Wheeler when he visits Iowa next week the need to support the RFS, allow year-round sale of E15 and end the small-refinery waivers that have cut ethanol demand by 1.5 billion gallons over the past two years."

Iowa has the capacity to produce 4.4 billion gpy of ethanol, including 55 million gpy of cellulosic ethanol and 400 million gpy of biodiesel, all from approximately 1 billion bushels of corn. The biofuels industry contributes about $5 billion to the state's DGP. (Source: Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Naig, CBC OnLIne, 12 Aug., 2018) Contact: Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Naig, www.iowaagriculture.gov/MichaelNaig.asp

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


Ethanol Giant POET Wins Biorenewable Deployment Consortium Achievement Award (Ind. Report)
Biorenewable Deployment Consortium,POET
Date: 2018-05-04
In Omaha, Nebraska, the Biorenewable Deployment Consortium (BDC) honored POET, a privately held corporation headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and the world's largest producer of ethanol and other biorefined products, with the organization's Spring 2018 Achievement Award at its spring meeting in Omaha on May 1, 2018.

POET is recognized for its leadership in remaining focused on reducing the reliance of the United States on foreign energy, to revitalizing global agriculture, and providing a cleaner, affordable alternative to fossil fuels.

Since 2006, C has worked to bring together like minded companies to share ideas and partner to deploy bio-processes that can be economic in the long run without government subsidy. BDC holds two symposiums a year for its members, where leading edge information from various bio-companies is shared and tours are made of bio-facilities. BDC acts as a resource to members, working to broker partnerships that can lead to the deployment of commercial facilities. The organization recognizes the need for low cost feedstock, cost effective measures such as integration of processes, high value products, and good management to achieve the economics needed for success.

POET, the world's largest biofuels producer, is a leader in biorefining through its efficient, vertically integrated approach to production. The 30-year-old company has a network of 27 production facilities. POET, through its joint venture with DSM, also operates a commercial-scale cellulosic biofuel plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa (Source: Biorenewable Deployment Consortium, PR, May, 2018) Contact: Biorenewable Deployment Consortium, Masood Akhtar, Pres.,(608) 332- 0189, Masood.Akhtar@biorenewabledc.org, www.biorenewabledc.org; POET. Matt Merritt, Public Relations, (605) 965-2225 / (605) 370-9959, matt.merritt@poet.com, www.poet.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biorenewable Deployment Consortium ,  POET,  Biofuel,  


Ethanol RINs Cap Would Cut Biodiesel Market, says NBB (Ind. Report)
National Biodiesel Board
Date: 2018-03-19
According to a new analysis by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) and the World Agricultural Economic and Environmental Services (WAEES), capping the price of conventional biofuels' Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) would lead to: a reduction of up to 300 million gpy in biomass-based diesel volumes -- in part, because these volumes would no longer be utilized for compliance with the conventional biofuels requirements; $185 million more in feed costs for livestock producers, likely leading to an increase in food costs for consumers; and $.16 less per bushel for soybeans.

Biomass-based diesel and cellulosic biofuels (advanced biofuels) can qualify for RINs for their advanced biofuel category, as well as conventional biofuels (which has a lower threshold of greenhouse gas emissions reductions). The interconnected nature of the program and how RINs can qualify for multiple categories is one reason that capping one type of RINs impacts other fuels. (Source: Kentucky Soybean Board , Dennis Clark, Marshall County Daily, 15 Mar., 2018) Contact: Kentucky Soybean Board, www.kysoy.org; National Biodiesel Board, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board,  RINs,  Ethanol,  

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