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,
firstname.lastname@example.org; CFAES, (614) 292-6125, https://cfaes.osu.edu
More Low-Carbon Energy News Corn Stover, Ethanol, Cellulosic Ethanol,
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, ,
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,
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, ,
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, email@example.com, www.glbrc.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Great Lakes Bioenergy Science Center, Ethanol, Ethanol Feedstock, Switchgrass, Miscanthus, Cellulosic,
The cellulosic ethanol plant, which opened in 2015, uses corn cobs and stover as a feedstock. Verbio plans to install equipment to produce natural gas from corn stover and other cellulosic crop residue. (Source: Verbio, DowDuPont, PR 9 Nov., 2018)Contact: Verbio, +49 (0) 3493 747-40, www.verbio.de/en
More Low-Carbon Energy News Verbio, DowDuPont, Cellulosic Ethanol, Corn Stover,
GLBRC originally focused on corn stover ethanol production and developing perennial plants like switchgrass and miscanthus as biofuel feedstocks. Now, GLBRC goal is centered on designing advanced biofuels, such as isobutanol. These "drop-in" fuels could be used to replace gasoline without engine modification. By engineering bioenergy crops to enhance their environmental and economic value, and conducting research to generate multiple products from plant biomass, these advancements could optimize the bioenergy field-to-product pipeline.
GLBRC scientists and engineers are also improving the yield and processing traits of dedicated bioenergy crops for cultivation on marginal, or non-agricultural, land. With smart management, these crops have the potential to benefit the ecosystem, help mitigate climate change, and provide farmers with an additional source of revenue.
GLBRC is focused on enabling a new and different biorefinery, one that is both economically viable and environmentally sustainable. Realizing this goal will mean increasing the efficiency of biomass conversion and generating a mix of specialty biofuels and environmentally-friendly bioproducts, from as much of a plant's biomass as possible. One such discovery, breaks down lignin's six-carbon rings -- the "aromatics" -- into individual components. Traditionally sourced from petroleum, aromatics are used in a wide variety of products, including plastic soda bottles, Kevlar, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals, and are essential components of jet fuel.
(Source: University of Wisconsin Madison, GLBRC, PR, 18 Feb., 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, University of Wisconsin Madison, Biofuel, Biochemical, Ethanol, Bioplastics,
The plant incorporates six digesters using cattle slurry, corn stover and corn silage to produce 13.5 million Nm3 per year of raw biomethane to be used used as compressed natural gas (CNG) for transportation fuel.
(Source: EnviTec, Others, Bioenergy Int'l, 16 Dec., 2017)
Contact: EnviTec Biogas AG, +49 (0) 44 42 / 8016 - 8100, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.envitec-biogas.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News EnviTec Biogas , Biogas, Methane,
Merritt says by taking the cellulosic feedstock -- corn stover, cobs, leaves, husks -- and processing it so that enzymes and yeast can access the cellulosic sugars, it then ferments them into biofuel. The process benefits biofuel plants as well as farmers and the environment, according to Merritt. (Source: POET DSM, WNAX Radio, 6 Nov., 2017)Contact: POET LLC, Jeff Broin, CEO, Jeff Lautt, Pres., COO, (605) 965-2200, www.poet.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News POET DSM, Cellulosic, Ethanol, Corn stover,
The EPA predicted in 2007 that U.S. cellulosic ethanol production could hit 1 billion gpy by 2020, but output this year is expected to reach only 7 million gallons, according to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). (Source: DowDuPont, DesMoines Register, 2 Nov., 2017) Contact: DowDuPont,Dow Chemical, www.dow.com; DuPont Industrial Biosciences, William F. Feehery, Pres., www.biosciences.dupont.com; DowDuPont, (800) 422-8193, www.dow-dupont.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News DowDuPont , Cellulosic Etanol,
The studies reveal that with modest infrastructure investments, building even a single pellet facility can deliver economic benefits for power producers and across farm economies.
The studies, commissioned by Larksen LLC, Trestle Energy's affiliate for biomass supply, focus on Nebraska and Iowa, two leaders in U.S. ethanol production. Nebraska's ethanol industry produces roughly 8.32 million tpy of harvestable corn stover and Iowa's industry produces around 15.6 million tpy.
The economic impacts show that building a corn stover industry to complement ethanol production in Iowa could deliver over $1 billion in additional labor income and contribute $2 billion to Iowa's GDP by 2030. In neighboring Nebraska, the analysis shows the potential to generate $840 million in labor income and $1.5 billion in GDP over the same period. What is required is modest infrastructure investments to enable coal-fired power plants to blend biomass into their fuel mix. (Source: Trestle Energy LLC, PR, 21 Sept., 2017) Contact: Trestle Energy, James Rhodes, Pres., (858) 220-9529, email@example.com, www.trestleenergy.com; Larksen, LLC, http://larksen.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Trestle Energy , Ethanol, Corn Stover, Cellulosic,
Iowa hosts two large cellulosic ethanol plants (Emmetsburg and Nevada) that use corn stover -- stalks, husks and other corn crop residue -- as feedstock for cellulosic ethanol. The two plants are expected to produce approximately 25 million gallons of fuel in 2018. Yet the proposed level assumes only 17 million gallons of liquid cellulosic biofuel from the entire country.
Iowa and industry leaders also criticized the proposed biomass-biodiesel requirements that left the 2019 mandate at the 2018 level of 2.1 billion gpy.
(Source: Office of Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Wallaces Farmer, 7 Aug., 2017) Contact: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, www.reynoldsgregg.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Advanced Biofuel, Cellulosic, Ethanol, Renewable Fuel Standard, RFS, Ethanol Blend,
According to study senior author Shishir P. S. Chundawat, an assistant professor in the Rutgers Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering , "The bottom line is we can cut down the cost of converting biomass into biofuels." Typically, the enzymes tapped to help turn switchgrass, corn stover and poplar into biofuels account for 20 pct of production costs. Enzymes cost about 50 cents per gallon of ethanol, so recycling or using fewer enzymes would make biofuels more inexpensive.
"The challenge is breaking down cellulose (plant) material, using enzymes, into sugars that can be fermented into ethanol. So any advances on making the enzyme processing step cheaper will make the cost of biofuel cheaper. This is a fairly intractable problem that requires you to attack it from various perspectives, so it does take time," according to Chundawat.
(Source: Rutgers Univ., AAAS, EurekAlert, Public Release, 5 July, 2017)
Contact: Rutgers Univ., Prof. Shishir Chundawat http://www.rutgers.edu
More Low-Carbon Energy News Cellulosic, Biomass, Biofuel, Enzymes, Corn Stover,
The test involved continuous injection of MinFree woody biomass feedstock and production of BTX and other valuable chemical by-products.
Anellotech is developing the Bio-TCat process to produce cost-competitive renewable aromatic chemicals such as benzene, toluene and xylenes (BTX) from non-food biomass for use in the production of polyester, nylon, polycarbonate, polystyrene, or for renewable transportation fuels. Bio-TCat co-products, C9+ aromatics and carbon monoxide, can be used to make cellulosic jet and ethanol bio-fuels respectively, using third-party technology.
The Bio-TCat reactor outlet hydrocarbon product requires only mild hydrotreating to remove trace impurities using existing oil refining technology. By using renewable and readily available non-food materials, such as sustainably harvested wood, corn stover and bagasse, the process is less expensive compared to processes relying on sugar as a feedstock.
(Source: Anellotech, PR, Industrial Equipment News, June, 2017)
Contact: Axens, www.axens.net; Anellotech, David Sudolsky, (845) 735-7700, DSudolsky@anellotech.com, www.anellotech.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Anellotech, Biochemical, Biofuel, Bioplastic,
ANL has demonstrated success using biochar from gasification of both corn stover and woody sources. Anaerobic digestion usually creates biogas that is mainly a combination of CO2 and methane, and extra steps are required to upgrade the biogas to renewable natural gas by removing the CO2 and other contaminants. Adding biochar directly to the anaerobic digester sequesters the CO2 and creates a biogas stream that is more than 90 pct methane and less than 5 ppb hydrogen sulfide, thus reducing the need for upgrading steps.
ANL is preparing to scale up the technology with Roeslein Alternative Energy, a company experienced at operating large-scale digester facilities to produce renewable natural gas ecologically and economically. The company plans to perform field demonstrations during 2017 and drive the commercialization of the technology.
The project received $1.5 million funding from the U.S. DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) which supports the development of sustainable, cost-competitive biofuels and bioproducts from cellulosic biomass. (Source: Argonne National Laboratory, U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, March 01, 2017)
Contact: US DOE BETO, www.energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office; Roeslein Alternative Energy, Rudi Roeslein, Pres., Chris Roach, Proj. Dev., (314) 729-0055, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.roesleinalternativeenergy.com; Argonne National Laboratory, (630) 252-2000, www.anl.gov
More Low-Carbon Energy News Argonne National Laboratory, Roeslein Alternative Energy, Renewable Natural Gas, Methane, anaerobic digestion,
The equity financing was led by PM Equity Parnership, the corporate venture and private equity investment arm of Philip Morris International. Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC), a government-funded non-profit agency that helps companies develop renewable and bio-based technologies, and Sofinnova Partners also participated. The terms of the financing were not disclosed.
Design and engineering work is underway for a planned commissioning in 2018. The plant is expected to produce 60 million ppy of dextrose sugar.
(Source: Comet Biorefining, Sarnia Observer, Mar., 2017) Contact: Comet Biorefining, Rich Troyer, CEO, (519) 494-7514, email@example.com, www.cometbiorefining.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Comet Biorefining, Corn Stover, Cellulosic ,
New enzymes developed by DSM are also expected to improve effectiveness of the enzyme mix, further reducing costs for the process. CRB has been awarded the contract for the design, engineering and construction management. Basic engineering is complete, and construction is expected to begin in late spring or early summer.
POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels, LLC, is a 50/50 joint venture between Royal DSM and POET, LLC. Based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the company is a cooperative effort of two innovators that provides a key to unlocking the opportunity of converting corn crop residue into cellulosic bio-ethanol. an integrated technology package for the conversion of corn crop residue to cellulosic bio-ethanol. (Source: POET-DSM Various Media, EIN, 16 Feb., 2017) Contact: POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels, Steve Hartig, General Manager, (630) 780-8171, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.poetdsm.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News POET-DSM, Cellulosic Ethanol, Project Liberty,
With $1.5 million over three years funding from the U.S. DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) ANL has developed and "de-risked" the technology, which is now ready for scale-up.
Biochar, charcoal derived from plant material, is created in processes such as gasification and pyrolysis, which also produce energy in the form of syngas or liquid fuels. ANL has demonstrated success using biochar from gasification of both corn stover and woody sources. Anaerobic digestion usually creates biogas that is mainly a combination of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane, and extra steps are required to upgrade the biogas to renewable natural gas by removing the CO2 and other contaminants. Adding biochar directly to the anaerobic digester sequesters the CO2 and creates a biogas stream that is more than 90 pct methane and less than 5 ppb hydrogen sulfide, thus reducing the need for upgrading steps. The biochar also improves many of the operating conditions for anaerobic digestion, and can serve as a high-quality fertilizer.
ANL and Roeslein Alternative Energy preparing to scale up the technology to produce renewable natural gas ecologically and economically. The technology could dramatically improve the economics of anaerobic digestion projects. The reduction of upgrading steps alone could make many smaller biogas projects become profitable. The technology further reduces capital and operating expenses by improving digester conditions and producing fertilizer, which would provide even greater economic benefit.
(Source: U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, 12 Jan., 2017) Contact: US DOE BETO, www.energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office;
Roeslein Alternative Energy, Rudi Roeslein, Pres., Chris Roach, Proj. Dev., (314) 729-0055, email@example.com, www.roesleinalternativeenergy.com; Argonne National Laboratory, (630) 252-2000, www.anl.gov
More Low-Carbon Energy News Argonne National Laboratory, Roeslein Alternative Energy, BETO, anaerobic digestion , Energy, Biogas,
As suppliers to the facility, co-op members will also hold equity in the Sarnia plant. The co-op is aiming to have 55,000 acres of supply in place to provide 75,000 tpy of bio-mass to the plant.
Comet's cellulosic sugar process uses a low-cost two stage process to activate cellulosic biomass, followed by conversion to glucose at very low enzyme loading. Co-products are used for energy production or other applications. (Source: Comet Biorefining, 30 Nov., 2016) Contact: Comet Biorefining, Andrew Richard, CEO, (519) 494-7514, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.cometbiorefining.com; Cellulosic Sugar Producers Cooperative , Dave Park, Pres., www.ontario.coop/edirectory/cellulosic_sugar_producers_cooperative_ltd
More Low-Carbon Energy News Comet Biorefining, Cellulosic Sugar Producers Co-operative,
CSPC will supply 75,000 tpy of locally sourced corn stover and wheat straw for the facility, and has the support of BioIndustrial Innovation Canada, farmer grain handling and retail co-ops Agris Co-operative, the Wanstead Farmers Co-operative, and others.
In April, Comet Biorefining inked an offtake agreement with Montreal-based bio-succinic acid producer BioAmber which has a manufacturing facility in Sarnia, to supply high-purity dextrose.
Earlier this year, Sustainable Development Technology Canada awarded a $10.9 million grant to Comet Biorefining to help with the construction of its plant. (Source: Comet Biorefining, CanTech Letter,
November 11, 2016) Contact: Comet Biorefining, Andrew Richard, CEO, (519) 494-7514, email@example.com, www.cometbiorefining.com; BioAmber Inc., Jean-Francois Huc, CEO, Jim Hobbs, (763) 253-4480, www.bio-amber.com; Cellulosic Sugar Producers Cooperative , Dave Park, Pres., http://www.ontario.coop/edirectory/cellulosic_sugar_producers_cooperative_ltd
More Low-Carbon Energy News Cellulosic Sugar Producers Cooperative , Comet Biorefining, Cellulosics, Biomass, Corn Stover,
"The Biogenic CO2 Coalition supports science‐based recognition that agricultural biogenic CO2 emissions are not harmful greenhouse gases and opposes EPA's overreach in regulating sustainability on farms.
"Agriculture is key to the 21st century bioeconomy that includes feeding America and the expansion of bioproducts such as bioplastics, composites, and intermediates made from corn, oilseeds and other agricultural feedstocks. According to the federal government, the bioeconomy contributes approximately $50 billion and over a quarter million jobs to the U.S. economy.
"The benefits of agriculture as a renewable and sustainable resource are recognized worldwide. Likewise, biogenic CO2 emissions from agricultural feedstocks are accepted universally as carbon neutral by policymakers and scientists:
"Our Request: Biogenic CO2 emissions from the use or processing of agricultural crops should be
recognized as de minimis (or zero) under the Clean Air Act; and EPA should retract any attempt to regulate 'sustainable' farming practices as a condition
to feedstock eligibility under its Clean Power Plan (CPP) rulemaking."
(Source: Biogenic CO2 Coalition, Oct., 2016) Contact: Biogenic CO2 Coalition, John Bode, Chairman, Kyle Harris, (202) 534-3501, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.biogenicco2.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Biogenic CO2 Coalition news, CO2 Emissions news,