According to Growth Energy, "Higher ethanol blends can be immediately deployed in existing vehicles to achieve immediate greenhouse gas reductions, reduce harmful air toxics, and reduce consumer costs at the pump. In fact, biofuels like ethanol have generated more than 75 percent of LCFS credits. Additionally, even with room to further improve greenhouse gas lifecycle modeling, CARB recognizes the significant improvement in ethanol's carbon intensity. As has been researched by the University of California -- Riverside and the University of Illinois, the use of more ethanol and ethanol-blended fuel reduces air toxics such as carbon monoxide, benzene, and other harmful particulates.'
Download Growth Energy's full comments HERE. Source: Growth Energy,CStore Decisions, Aug., 2020) Contact: Growth Energy, Chris Bliley, Senior VP Regulatory Affairs, www.growthenergy.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy news, Biofuel news, CARB news,
The Electrical and Computer Engineering Building was cited for: sustainable site development; construction and waste management; water savings; energy efficiency; materials selection; a $3 million rooftop solar array with 950 panels; stormwater storage system; passive heating and cooling features; and various other energy efficient features.
(Source: University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette, 18 Nov., 2019) Contact: US Green Building Council, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News US Green Building Council, LEED Certification, Energy Efficiency,
"We are writing to express dismay at your recent decision to grant 31 waivers from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. Plainly stated, that decision is putting U.S.biodiesel producers out of business and worsening the year's outlook for soy farmers. And while you have expressed concern to save small petroleum refineries, you should also understand that small U.S. biodiesel producers need a positive signal.
"Within a week of your decision on the 31 waivers, one U.S. biodiesel producer announced plans to close three plants -- in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Mississippi. Other producers have announced closings and laid off workers. More than 200 million gallons of domestic biodiesel production has been idled this year, due to instability in federal policy. We anticipate that additional facilities will close over the next several months if you do not take quick action to restore RFS volumes for biodiesel and renewable diesel.
"Every small refinery waiver issued by the EPA has the potential to put a U.S.biodiesel producer out of business. A small oil refiner processing 75,000 barrels of oil per day can produce nearly 1 billion gallons of fuel in a year. The RFS program requires that oil refiner blend about 20 million gallons of biodiesel or renewable diesel during the year -- a very small fraction of overall fuel production. However, there are dozens of biodiesel producers who produce 20 million gallons of fuel or less each year; three-fifths of U.S. producers are small, non-integrated facilities.
Small refinery waivers destroy demand for all biofuels across the board, with a significant impact on domestic biodiesel and renewable diesel producers. According to University of Illinois economist Scott Irwin, the exemptions especially harm biodiesel and renewable diesel producers because of the way the RFS is constructed. The 1.4 billion gallons of renewable fuel eliminated from the 2018 RFS through the 31 waivers includes hundreds of millions of gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel in the biomass-based diesel, advanced and overall volumes.
"The small refinery exemptions are compounding the policy headwinds our industry is facing. Biodiesel producers have waited more than 20 months for Congress to address expired tax incentives. Additionally, your U.S. Department of Commerce is proposing to virtually eliminate countervailing duties on unfairly subsidized Argentine biodiesel. Those duties were put in place to counteract years' worth of unfair trade practices by Argentina. Soy farmers have faced closed markets, depressed crop prices, and weather-related challenges. Those forces have reduced soy planting by 15 percent for the current marketing year. Biodiesel is a value-added market driver for America's soybeans, at a time when markets have been shut or diminished.
"The biodiesel industry continues to rely on the RFS to incentivize growth. Biodiesel and renewable diesel can be used in any existing diesel engine without special equipment for blending or dispensing. Producers therefore rely on a positive signal and support from federal programs to continue opening the transportation market to higher volumes.
"Biodiesel producers and soy farmers rely on the RFS program. Growth in the biodiesel market is the only way to keep domestic producers operating and protect U.S. workers' jobs. Unfortunately, EPA is proposing zero growth for biomass-based diesel. We have asked the agency to do two things: first, properly account for the small refinery exemptions handed out over the past few years and going forward; and second, provide growth in the biomass-based diesel market for 2020 and 2021.
"We ask that you continue to support the RFS and save small biodiesel producers. (signed) National Biodiesel Board (NBB)" (Source: NBB, 9 Sept., 2019) Contact: NBB, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News NBB, Biodiesel, RFS,
"Congress passed the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) back in 2007, signed into law by George W. Bush -- a lifelong oil and gas guy. The law was passed to encourage investment in advanced biofuels like biodiesel, renewable diesel and renewable jet fuel. Biodiesel producers responded, making the investments and building an industry that today produces more than 2 billion gallons of transportation fuel each year. This market also provides added value to feedstocks such as soybean oil, used restaurant oil and animal fats.
"The oil industry feverishly insists that the ethanol industry isn't harmed by small refinery exemptions because production has grown. But what about biodiesel? They never mention us because they know that small refinery exemptions disproportionately affect biodiesel because of the way the RFS is constructed.
"We have said again and again -- biodiesel is very different from ethanol. The president (Trump) was instrumental in clearing the path for higher blends of ethanol year-round when he lifted the RVP waiver this summer, which we were supportive of. He and his EPA administrator have mentioned E15 when they have spoken about what they believe to be the minor impact of exempting RFS gallons. It's as though they think we are dumb enough to not understand that they are giving with one hand but taking away with the other.
"Now, back to biodiesel. E15 does nothing to expand demand for biodiesel. Ethanol is not biodiesel. In fact, the RFS recognized this by establishing its own category for biodiesel, separate from ethanol, called biomass-based diesel. Policymakers at the time recognized the need to segment biodiesel and renewable diesel within the bigger RFS pool so that growth in those products could be differentiated in the overall program and we would see advancements of biofuels in both the gasoline and diesel sector.
"Fast forward to 2019 and we now have an EPA that, two months ago, proposed a draft rule to hold the biomass-based diesel category flat for 2020, keeping it at 2.43 billion gallons for the second year in a row and then, just last week, the same EPA grants nearly one-half billion gallons of biomass-based diesel waivers. To highlight the hypocrisy in this action, while filing the draft rule two months ago, the EPA documented, in writing, the fact that they expected to grant zero (that's zero as in none, zilch, nada) gallons of small refinery waivers in 2020. And we're supposed to understand and accept that move?
"Biodiesel and renewable diesel year after year fill more than 90 percent of the RFS volumes reserved for advanced biofuels. But EPA complains that advanced biofuels have not materialized quickly enough to meet the goals of the RFS. Now -- as seen last week -- the agency is holding its thumb on the industry and blocking growth. Not only blocking growth, but helping to reduce demand through small refinery exemptions.
"As the agency continues to hand them out to every refiner that asks, the damage could reach $7.7 billion or 2.54 billion gallons, according to Scott Irwin, an agricultural economist from the University of Illinois. A 'small' oil refinery, by RFS definition -- one that processes 75,000 bpd of oil and produces nearly a billion gallons of fuel a year -- would have an RFS obligation to use just 20 million gallons of biodiesel or renewable diesel. Many U.S. biodiesel producers are smaller than that -- just one small refinery exemption would eliminate their entire market. And the EPA granted 31 of them.
"President Trump vowed to protect and defend American farmers. In fact, he calls them patriots. But his actions will put the biodiesel producers those same farmers depend on for their market, out of business. It's already happening, and it's having a devastating impact on rural communities across the nation.
"President Trump and EPA Administrator Wheeler should clearly know what this means to the workers, producers, farmers and investors in the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry -- their new round of unwarranted RFS exemptions just destroyed jobs and a valuable marketplace for hardworking Americans, including those patriotic soybean farmers who Trump has called on to be his willing allies in the trade dispute with China. If this is how the EPA administrator treats the president’s allies, I'd hate to see how he treats his enemies.
(Source: NBB, 15 Aug., 2019) Contact: NBB, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News NBB, Biodiesel,
There are several ways in which the energy stored in bonds of the hydrocarbon fuel is freed. However, the easy conventional method of combustion ends up producing more CO2 -- which is counterproductive to the notion of harvesting and storing solar energy in the first place, according to research tem leader Prof. Prashant Jain,
Plants use sunlight to drive chemical reactions between water and CO2 to create and store solar energy in the form of energy-dense glucose. In the new study, the researchers developed an artificial process that uses the same green light portion of the visible light spectrum used by plants during natural photosynthesis to convert CO2 and water into fuel, in conjunction with electron-rich gold nanoparticles that serve as a catalyst.
"The goal is to produce complex, liquefiable hydrocarbons from excess CO2 and other sustainable resources such as sunlight. Liquid fuels are ideal because they are easier, safer and more economical to transport than gas and, because they are made from long-chain molecules, contain more bonds and pack energy more densely," according to Jain.
The research was supported by
The Energy and Biosciences Institute, through the EBI-Shell program.
Download the paper Plasmonic photosynthesis of C1–C3 hydrocarbons from carbon dioxide assisted by an ionic liquid HERE.
(Source: University of Illinois, PR, June, 2019) Contact: University of Illinois,
Prof. Prashant Jain, (217) -333-3417; email@example.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News University of Illinois news, CO2 news,
The 4 year project would study the effectiveness and cost efficiency of the CWLP's method of capturing CO2 emissions, would be 100 pct grant funded through a U.S. DOE, and would break ground in 2021.
The DOE grant requires that all proposed projects be undertaken in cooperation with a coal-fired power plant producing at least 10 MW of electricity. CWLP meets the requirement.
(Source: Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, Univ. of Illinois, State Journal Register, 10 Dec., 2018) Contact: Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, Kevin O'Brien, Dir., (217) 333-8940, www.istc.illinois.edu; City Water, Light and Power, www.cwlp.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News University of Illinois , CCS, Carbon Capture,
The two projects will be managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). The University of Illinois will focus on reservoirs and residual oil zones in the Illinois Basin in three states. The university received $3.4 million in federal funds and will provide $917,881 in matching funds.
The University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (UNDEERC) will establish the Williston Basin CO2 Field Laboratory in the South Central Cut Bank oilfield in Montana. The NDEERC received $3.4 million in federal funds and will provide $873,926 in matching funds.
Since 1997, DOE's Carbon Storage program portfolio includes industry cost-shared technology development projects, university research grants, collaborative work with other national laboratories, and research conducted in-house through the NETL Research & Innovation Center. The Carbon Storage program incorporates: Core Storage Research and Development; Storage Infrastructure; and Strategic Program Support to address significant technical challenges in order to meet program goals that support the scale-up and widespread deployment of CCS.
Download details on the US DOE Carbon Storage Program HERE. (Source: DOE Office of Fossil Energy, Kallanish Energy, Others, 30 Aug., 2018)
Contact: DOE Office of Fossil Energy, 202-586-6660, www.energy.gov/fe/office-fossil-energy; University of Illinois, (217) 333-1000, https://illinois.edu; NETL, www.netl.doe.gov; UNDEERC, (701) 777-5000, www.undeerc.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News UNDEERC, Office of Fossil Energy , Carbon Storage, NETL,
Gevan Behnke, research specialist and doctoral candidate in University of Illinois' Department of Crop Sciences, compared greenhouse gas emissions from fields that had been maintained as continuous single crop planting, rotated corn-soybean or rotated corn-soybean-wheat planting and no-till management, for 20 years.
Comparing the corn phase of a corn-soybean rotation to continuous corn showed an increased yield and a cumulative reduction in nitrous oxide emissions of approximately 35 pct.
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is an extremely potent greenhouse gas, with a global warming potential almost 300 times higher than carbon dioxide.
Tillage did not impact greenhouse gas emissions.
(Source: University of Illinois, Farm & Field, 22 June, 2018)
Contact: University of Illinois - Urbana, University of Illinois' Department of Crop Sciences, Gevan Behnke, (217) 333-3420, https://cropsciences.illinois.edu
More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2, Nitrous Oxide , GHGs, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, University of Illinois,
The selected projects are intended to promote sustainable efforts among fossil resources and cut down on the cost of advanced fossil energy technologies -- permanent geologic storage for carbon dioxide to coincide with the predicted use of transformative carbon capture technologies beginning around 2025.
This marks the second phase of an effort which has already seen approximately $15.4 million distributed among 13 projects. The latest round will be managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and include projects run by the Battelle Memorial Institute, the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois and the University of Wyoming. (Source: US DOE, Energy Insider, 29 May, 2018)
Contact: Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise, www.researchfunding.duke.edu/carbon-storage-assurance-facility-enterprise-carbonsafe-storage-complex-facility; DOE Office of Fossil Energy, www.energy.gov/fe/office-fossil-energy
More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS, Carbon Storage, DOE Office of Fossil Energy,
This FOA will address the cost and operational challenges associated with current CO2 capture technologies that are commercially available for industry, providing for additional development to these technologies at coal-fired power plants. Some of the challenges that will be addressed include a need to improve the reliability and operational flexibility; reduce high capital costs; and reduce the high-energy penalty associated with operating existing technology.
The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage the selected projects, which will concentrate on transformational technologies focused on: developing transformational materials and processes for CO2 capture that will enable step-change reductions in the capital and energy cost; and enabling technologies that facilitate improved performance of transformational CO2 capture processes to reduce capital cost and energy penalties, and improve operational reliability and flexibility. Funding recipients include:
Development and Bench-Scale Testing of a Novel Biphasic Solvent-Enabled Absorption Process for Post-Combustion Carbon Capture University of Illinois -- DOE: $2,999,941; Non-DOE: $750,052; Total: $3,749,993;
Bench-Scale Development of a Transformational Graphene Oxide-Based Membrane Process for Post-Combustion CO2 Capture -- Institute of Gas Technology dba Gas Technology Institute (GTI) -- $2,914,074; Non-DOE: $728,738; Total: $3,642,812;
Development of Self-Assembly Isoporous Supports Enabling Transformational Membrane Performance for Cost-Effective Carbon Capture -- Membrane Technology and Research, Inc. (MTR) (Newark, CA) DOE: $2,907,219; Non-DOE: $726,805; Total: $3,634,024;
Mixed-Salt-Based Transformational Solvent Technology for CO2 Capture -- SRI International -- ; DOE: $2,999,922; Non-DOE: $782,817; Total: $3,782,739
A Process with Decoupling Absorber Kinetics and Solvent Regeneration Through Membrane Dewatering and In-Column Heat Transfer – University of Kentucky Research Foundation -- DOE: $2,998,293; Non-DOE: $750,642; Total: $3,748,935;
Flue Gas Aerosol Pre-Treatment Technologies to Minimize Post-Combustion CO2 Capture Solvent Losses -- Linde, LLC -- DOE: $2,787,742; Non-DOE: $696,936; Total: $3,484,678. (Source: US DSOE, 22 Feb., 2018) Contact:
US DOE Office of Fossil Energy, www.energy.gov/fe/office-fossil-energy; National Energy Technology Laboratory , www.netl.doe.gov
More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2, Carbon Capture, CCS, US DOE,
The new research project Renewable Oil Generated with Ultra-productive Energycane (ROGUE) will engineer energycane, a bioenergy crop derived from sugarcane, and Miscanthus to produce the oil for the production of biodiesel and biojet fuel. Their work is guided by computer models, which project that these crops can achieve 20 pct oil content in the plant -- a dramatic increase from natural levels of less than a tenth of one percent.
Previous work, funded by the DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), achieved 8 pct oil accumulation, and now ROGUE will further increase oil production and target oil accumulation in the stem where it can be accessed more easily with ROGUE's patented extraction technologies.
ROGUE will also improve the efficiency that these crops can turn the sun's energy into plant energy to fuel their biological oil production. Improving these crops' photosynthetic efficiency will ensure that the production of energy-dense oil will not lower yields or suppress plant defenses.
ROGUE is a collaboration amongst researchers from Illinois as well as Brookhaven National Lab, University of Florida, and Mississippi State University, with support from the DOE Office of Science (Office of Biological and Environmental Research).
(Source: US DOE, University of Illinois, Feb., 2018)Contact: Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign,
Stephen Long, ROGUE Director, (217) 244-2999, www.igb.illinois.edu
More Low-Carbon Energy News Biodiesel Feedstock, US DOE, Energycane, Miscanthus , University of Illinois,
CABBI researchers will focus on: feedstock development, conversion of plants into fuel and the economic and environmental costs of turning plants into fuel.
"CABBI seeks to harness the latest technologies in genomic biology, synthetic biology, and crop sciences to create breakthrough discoveries for sustainable, cost-effective biofuels and bioproducts," according to IGB Director Gene Robinson.
(Source: The Daily Illini, 30 Jan., 2018) Contact: Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, Gene Robinson, Dir., (217) 284-2999, www.igb.illinois.edu;
CABBI, Evan DeLucia, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://cabbi.bio
More Low-Carbon Energy News Bioenergy, Biofuel, Bioproducts,
The University is considering expanding the 21-acre solar farm to help meet renewable-energy goals outlined in the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP)underwhich the campus is expected to be "carbon neutral" by 2050.
The university has a 10-year PPA with Phoenix Solar LLC, which built and operates the farm. In 2016, the university paid almost $1.4 million to Phoenix Solar for the farm, when it produced almost 7,300 MWh hours of electricity.
The university hopes to eventually produce 25,000 MWh of solar power under iCAP. (Source: Univ. of Illinois, PR, AP, St.Louis Post Dispatch, 2 Jan., 2018) Contact: University of Illinois, Morgan Johnston, Assoc. Dir. of Sustainability, (217) 333-1000, www.illinois.edu; Phoenix Solar LLC, www.phoenixsolar-group.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Phoenix Solar, University of Illinois, Solar,
Over the next five years, the research team will work with Midwestern universities, hospital industrial facilities and others to analyze and identify potential CHP systems markets, conduct outreach to promote the benefits of the technology and provide technical assistance to organizations interested in CHP systems for their facilities.
The grant will also be used to help make local power grids more resilient to the potential damage caused by natural disasters. (Source: University of Illinois , Energy Resource Center, WTTW, 11 Dec., 2017)
Contact: University of Illinois-Chicago Energy Resources Center, Cliff Haefke, Dir., (312) 996-4490, www.erc.uic.edu
More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency, CHP,
The U.S. DOE is footing 68 pct of the cost of the $208 million project with the remaining $66 million split among other participating agencies. The federal money came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, which was intended to help the economy recover following the 2008 recession. The DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory manages the project which was developed by scientists at the University of Illinois.
(Source: ADM, Herald & Review, Others, Oct., 2017)
Contact: ADM, Alison Taylor, VP, Chief Sustainability Officer, Juan Luciano, CEO, (312) 634-8100, www.adm.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS, Carbon Storage, Archer Daniels Midland,