All Biobased and Renewable Products News

July 21, 2017
EPA Announces Public Hearing On RFS Program
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a public hearing on the Renewable Fuel Standard [RFS] Program: Standards for 2018 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2019 proposed rule.  The hearing will take place at 9:00 a.m. on August 1, 2017, and will provide an opportunity for EPA to gather data, views, and arguments on the proposed rulemaking from interested stakeholders.  While EPA does not plan to respond to presentations, the Agency may ask clarifying questions.  EPA intends to use the information to inform a future rulemaking to reset the statutory volumes ... read more >
July 21, 2017
DOE Awards $40 Million In Funding For Bioenergy Research Centers
On July 17, 2017, the U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced that $40 million in Department of Energy (DOE) awards will be used to establish four DOE Bioenergy Research Centers (BRC) to be led by a DOE National Laboratory or top university.  Each BRC will focus on laying the scientific groundwork for a new biobased economy by providing scientific breakthroughs for a new generation of sustainable, cost-effective bioproducts and bioenergy.   The following BRCs were selected based on an open competition with external peer review:    The Great Lakes Bioenergy ... read more >
July 21, 2017
DOE Announces Up To $8 Million In Funding For Algae Biofuels Projects
On July 11, 2017, DOE announced the selection of three projects focused on reducing the costs of producing algal biofuels and bioproducts that will receive up to $8 million in funding.    The projects aim to generate high-impact tools and techniques for increasing the productivity of algae organisms and cultures and biology-focused breakthroughs.  The project winners include: Lumen Bioscience, which will work with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on the agricultural production of algae on otherwise non-productive land in rural eastern Washington State by rapidly ... read more >
July 21, 2017
RICanada Welcomes Quebec Renewable Fuel Volume Requirements
Renewable Industries Canada (RICanada), a principal stakeholder representing Canadian producers of clean-burning renewable fuels, announced that the Quebec Government’s 2017-2020 Action Plan under the 2030 Energy Policy included, for the first time, renewable fuel volume requirements for fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel.  The renewable fuel blending requirement was set at 5% for gasoline and 2% diesel and is expected to increase after 2020.  RICanada stated that the “announcement on renewable transportation fuels further entrenches Quebec’s position as a leader ... read more >
July 21, 2017
EIA Issues Short-Term Energy Outlook Report
On July 11, 2017, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) issued its June Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO).  EIA considered EPA’s recent rulemakings on the 2017 RFS volume requirements and proposed 2018 RFS volume requirements when developing its STEO for 2017 and 2018.    Biodiesel production averaged 101,000 barrels per day (b/d) in 2016, and, according to EIA, is expected to increase to an average of 105,000 b/d in 2017 and to 109,000 b/d in 2018.  Biomass-based diesel imports are expected to fall from 54,000 b/d in 2016 to 53,000 b/d in 2017 but rise to ... read more >
July 21, 2017
Don’t Miss The Bioeconomy Leaders And Innovators Reception At 2016 BIO World Congress
The BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology will take place on July 23-26, 2017, at the Palais des congrès de Montréal.  Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) will co-host a Bioeconomy Leaders and Innovators Reception with Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C. from 6:00-7:30 p.m. on July 25, 2017.  Enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while engaging with colleagues to exchange ideas and explore the prospect of establishing new partnerships.  Christine Lhulier, Corporate Counsel for DuPont Industrial Biosciences, will participate in a ... read more >
July 21, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Celtic Renewables, “World's First Car To Be Fuelled By Whisky Residue Biofuel Takes Its Inaugural Journey” Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants (UFOP), “Conducting Food/Fuel Debate Based On Facts” University of Dayton, “From Fish Tank To Gas Tank” University of British Columbia, “New Biofuel Technology Cuts Production Time ... read more >
July 14, 2017
Bipartisan Renewable Chemicals Bill Introduced In The House
On June 29, 2017, Representatives Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Ryan Costello (R-PA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Linda Sánchez (D-CA) introduced the Renewable Chemicals Act of 2017 to the House.  If enacted, the legislation would create a targeted, short-term tax credit for the production of qualifying renewable chemicals from biomass and for investments in renewable chemical production facilities.  The tax credit would be provided based on job creation, innovation, environmental benefits, commercial viability, and contribution to U.S. energy independence.  Numerous industry ... read more >
July 14, 2017
EPA Releases Proposed 2018 RFS Volume Requirements
On July 5, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued proposed volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel for 2018, as well as biomass-based diesel for 2019.  The proposal lowers the blending requirement for all renewable fuel with the exception of biomass-based diesel, which maintains the 2017 blending requirement.  The proposed volume requirements are: Cellulosic biofuel, from 311 million gallons in 2017 to 238 million gallons in 2018; Advanced biofuel, from 4.28 billion ... read more >
July 14, 2017
NAS Publishes Report On Preparing For Future Products Of Biotechnology
On June 30, 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) released the final version of its report Preparing for Future Products of Biotechnology, which is the result of a collaboration by a committee of experts convened by NAS.  The report provides an overview of the committee’s discussion on “the future products of biotechnology that are likely to appear on the horizon, the challenges that the regulatory agencies might face, and the opportunities for enhancing the regulatory system to be prepared for what might be coming.”  The ... read more >
July 14, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, “Cellulosic Biofuels Can Benefit the Environment If Managed Correctly” Euractiv, “MEPs Ask Commission to Distinguish ‘Good And Bad’ Crop-Based Biofuels” American Oversight, “American Oversight Sues EPA to Release Communications with Carl Icahn” Arizona State University, “ASU Scientists Harness the Trial-and-Error Power of Evolution to Coax Nature into Revealing Answer to Energy Challenge” Pennsylvania State University, “Research Progressing on How to Spur Wide Use of Aviation ... read more >
July 3, 2017
NAS Releases Final Report on Preparing for Future Products of Biotechnology
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Margaret R. Graham On June 30, 3017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) released its final version of its report Preparing for Future Products of Biotechnology, which it states “analyzes the future landscape of biotechnology products and seeks to inform forthcoming policy making [and] … identifies potential new risks and frameworks for risk assessment and areas in which the risks or lack of risks relating to the products of biotechnology are well understood.”  This report is a collaboration among a committee of ... read more >
June 30, 2017
DOE Announces $32 Million In Funding For Small Businesses Developing Clean Energy Technology
On June 21, 2017, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that 32 small businesses across 18 states will receive a total of $32 million in grants to develop clean energy technologies that have a strong potential for commercialization and job creation.  The funding was provided by DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.  The 32 projects were selected based on scientific and technical merit, as well as the commercial potential of the project.  Seven of the 32 proposed projects involve technology for bioenergy ... read more >
June 30, 2017
NBB Meets With Congress On Biodiesel Tax Incentive
On June 20, 2017, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) announced that nearly 100 biodiesel advocates from across the country visited Capitol Hill to urge Congress to bring back the biodiesel tax incentive as proposed in both chambers of Congress.  Industry participants consisted of biodiesel producers, distributors, and feedstock suppliers from over 24 states.  According to Anne Steckel, the Vice President of Federal Affairs at NBB, the bipartisan biodiesel tax incentive should be reinstated since it helps support tens of thousands of jobs nationwide and the proposed reforms address ... read more >
June 30, 2017
Synthetic Genomics Inc. Announces Breakthrough In Algae Biofuel Research
On June 19, 2017, Synthetic Genomics Inc. announced a breakthrough in its collaboration with ExxonMobil involving the modification of an algae strain that more than doubled its oil content to 40 percent without significantly inhibiting the strain’s growth.  Synthetic Genomics researchers identified a genetic switch that could be fine-tuned to regulate the conversion of carbon to oil in the algae species, Nannochloropsis gaditana, and established a proof-of-concept approach for the new process.  The achievement is a key milestone in the partnership that aims to demonstrate ... read more >
June 30, 2017
Don’t Miss The Bioeconomy Leaders And Innovators Reception At 2017 BIO World Congress
The BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology takes place July 23-26, 2017, at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, and features two new tracks on Flavors, Fragrances and Food Ingredients, and Agricultural Crop Technologies and Biomass Supply.  Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) will co-host a Bioeconomy Leaders and Innovators Reception on July 25, 2017, with Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C.  More details to come.  Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Senior Chemist with B&C, will be attending the conference and will be pleased to discuss ... read more >
June 30, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Platts, “Recent California LCFS Case Ruling Unlikely to Affect State's Market: Sources” UPM Biofuels, “Ecofys Study on Crude Tall Oil Markets and Availability: Sufficient Supply for Advanced Biofuels, Biomaterials and Energy Usage” University of Illinois, “Corn Better Used As Food Than Biofuel, Study Finds” Chemical & Engineering News, “Green Synthesized Biofuel Meets Auto ... read more >
June 23, 2017
Biofuel Industry Sends Letter On RVP To Senate Environment And Public Works Committee
On June 12, 2017, 28 companies representing the advanced and cellulosic biofuel industry sent a letter to the members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee  requesting their support for the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act (S. 517), which is scheduled to be marked up in the Environment and Public Works Committee before the August recess.  The letter claims that the Act, which would extend the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver to ethanol blends above 10 percent, is vital to the advanced biofuel industry since it would allow E15, a more environmentally-friendly and ... read more >
June 23, 2017
NCGA Launches The “Consider Corn Challenge”
On June 7, 2017, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), along with innovation facilitator NineSigma, announced the launch of a global competition to identify new and innovative uses for corn as a renewable feedstock for making sustainable chemicals with significant market demand.  The Consider Corn Challenge is intended to be a starting point to help industry realize the full potential of corn by inspiring new concepts, approaches, and technologies that will help drive innovation.  NCGA will select up to six winning proposals from industry, academia, and other research ... read more >
June 23, 2017
BIO Announces 2017 Rosalind Franklin Award Winner
On June 14, 2017, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) announced that biotech industry veteran Vonnie Estes would receive the 4th annual Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology. Estes, an independent business consultant, will be presented the Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology during a lunch plenary session at the BIO World Congress on July 25, 2017.  Each year, the award celebrates a pioneering woman in the industrial biotechnology sector who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the biobased ... read more >
June 23, 2017
Richard E. Engler Presents On TSCA And Its Effects On Renewable Feedstocks At 2017 GC&E
On June 15, 2017, Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Senior Chemist at Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), presented at Products as Solutions to Real-World Sustainability Challenges: Incentives & Barriers, a session at the 2017 Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference (GC&E).  Dr. Engler’s presentation, “TSCA, its effects on renewable feedstocks, and how TSCA reform has changed things,” provided an overview of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and aspects of TSCA reform that impact green chemistry, including both biobased materials and sourcing from ... read more >
June 23, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Advanced Biofuels Canada, “New Comprehensive Data Report Released on 2015 Canadian Biofuel Use, Greenhouse Gas Reductions, and Costs” Platts, “Norway Bans Public Procurement of Palm Oil-Based Biofuels” University of Minnesota, “U of M Wastewater Treatment Pilot Promises to Turn Scum into Profit” Cornell Chronicle, “Cornell Engineers Transform Food Waste into Green ... read more >
June 16, 2017
EPA Awards Green Chemistry Challenge Winners
On June 12, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the 2017 Green Chemistry Challenge Award winners at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in conjunction with the 21st Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference.  The award recognizes landmark green chemistry technologies developed by industrial pioneers and leading scientists that turn potential environmental issues into business opportunities, spurring innovation and economic development.  The American Chemical Society (ACS) Green Chemistry Institute convened an independent panel of technical experts to ... read more >
June 16, 2017
DOE Announces $9 Million In Funding For Biomass Research And Development
On June 5, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), announced that up to $9 million in funding will be available through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) in fiscal year (FY) 2017.  Projects funded by BRDI will focus on developing economically and environmentally sustainable sources of renewable biomass, increasing the availability of renewable fuels and biobased products, and diversifying the nation’s energy portfolio.  DOE and NIFA ... read more >
June 16, 2017
AkzoNobel Announces Imagine Chemistry Winners
On June 6, 2017, AkzoNobel, a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), announced the winners of its Imagine Chemistry challenge.  The following winners have been awarded joint development agreements with AkzoNobel’s Specialty Chemicals business to help bring their ideas to market: Ecovia Renewables was awarded for its fermentation technology to make polyglutamic acid, which can be used to make thickeners for personal care products and other uses; Industrial Microbes was awarded for its solution to use genetically modified microorganisms to turn ... read more >
June 16, 2017
Neste Announces Plans To Invest In Research On Waste And Residue Raw Materials
On June 6, 2017, Neste, a member of BRAG, announced that it would direct a large amount of its resources to researching waste and waste raw materials.  In the future, Neste aims to produce biofuels and bioplastics from waste and residues, as well as utilize waste plastics as a raw material.  Currently, waste fats and residues from meat and fish processing industries, as well as used cooking oil, account for nearly 80 percent of the raw materials in Neste's renewable products.  The aim of investing in the research venture is to find increasingly lower grade waste and residue ... read more >
June 16, 2017
SPARK 2017, November 6-7, 2017, Edmonton, Canada
Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) and Alberta Innovates are hosting SPARK 2017 to support game-changing solutions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and advance the bioindustrial sector.  The conference will take place November 6-8, 2017, in Edmonton, Canada.  SPARK 2017 aims to inspire, motivate, and support researchers and innovators by connecting them with others working to advance innovative technology across four key areas, including: Bioindustrial Development and Biological GHG Emissions; Industrial Processes and Energy Efficiency; Reducing GHG Footprint from Fossil ... read more >
June 16, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Senator Whitehouse, “Senators Call On Pruitt To Explain Icahn’s Role In Shaping RFS” Governor Ige, “Hawai‘i Becomes First State To Enact Law That Aligns With Paris Agreement” Biofuels International, “MEP Calls For Sweeping Changes To EU Biofuel And Bioenergy Legislation” University of Minnesota, “U Of M Helps Startup Resynergi Create Energy From Plastic Waste And ... read more >
June 9, 2017
BETO Announces Availability Of Project Peer Review 2017 Presentations
On June 2, 2017, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced the availability of Project Peer Review 2017 presentations.  The biennial event provides an opportunity for external stakeholders to evaluate rigorously the technical approach, progress, relevance, and overall merit of all the projects in the BETO portfolio.  The review was conducted across nine technology areas, including: Feedstock Supply and Logistics; Advanced Algal Systems; Thermochemical Conversion; Biochemical Conversion; Waste to Energy; Analysis and ... read more >
June 9, 2017
DOC Postpones Preliminary Determinations For Biodiesel AD/CVD Investigation
On June 5, 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (DOC) International Trade Administration (ITA) announced in the Federal Register that the preliminary determination in the antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations on biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia will be postponed.  The preliminary determination will be due by August 21, 2017, and the final determination will be due within 75 days of the issuance of the preliminary determination.  Pursuant to Section 703(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, a preliminary determination is due within 65 days of the ... read more >
June 9, 2017
Neste Issues A Statement On The U.S. Withdrawal From The Paris Agreement
On June 2, 2017, Neste, a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), released a statement in response to the decision by President Trump to withdraw the U.S from the Paris Agreement.  According to Neste, the U.S. withdrawal is “unfortunate” and “a saddening turn for the international battle against climate change.”  The decision, however, will not signal the downfall of the Agreement, which has been ratified by 147 of the 197 countries that signed it.  The statement highlights the fact that no changes have been made to the ... read more >
June 9, 2017
Deinove Announces Partnership With Flint Hills Resources For Biobased Animal Feed
On May 31, 2017, Deinove, a biotech company focused on producing high-value compounds from rare bacteria, announced the beginning of the second phase of a project with Flint Hills Resources to develop a nutritional supplement for animal feed.  Flint Hills Resources is a member of BRAG and a leading refining, petrochemicals, and biofuels company in the United States.  During the first phase of the project, which began in November 2015, several bacterial strains were selected from Deinove’s library to produce target compounds.  The second phase will ... read more >
June 9, 2017
UPM Announces RSB Certification For Wood-Based Biofuels
On May 29, 2017, UPM Biofuels announced that its BioVerno renewable diesel and BioVerno sidestream products, including naptha, turpentine, and pitch, received certification from the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB).  BioVerno renewable diesel is manufactured from crude tall oil, a residue of pulp production.  The RSB Certification evaluates the sustainability of biobased products against 12 principles that have been approved by non-governmental organizations (NGO), United Nations (UN) agencies, and other stakeholders and demonstrates compliance with the European Union ... read more >
June 9, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Bloom, “Vivobarefoot Partners with BLOOM to Make the First-Ever Moulded Shoe, Made from Algae” Airbus, “Airbus Demonstrates Regular Customer Delivery Flights with Sustainable Jet Fuel” University of California Santa Barbara, “From Guts to Glory?” Business Insider, “IIT-Kharagpur Develops Technology to Make Pollution-Free ... read more >
June 2, 2017
Trump Releases Proposed Budget For FY 2018
On May 23, 2017, President Trump released the Administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year (FY) 2018, which includes significant cuts to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) budgets.  According to the proposed budget, funding for DOE would be cut by 5.6 percent to $28 billion, with $636 million allotted for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and $56.6 million for the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO).  The proposed DOE budget aims to eliminate the Advanced ... read more >
June 2, 2017
DOE Seeks Nominations For Biomass R&D Technical Advisory Committee
On May 23, 2017, EERE published in the Federal Register a solicitation for candidates to fill vacancies on the Biomass Research and Development (R&D) Technical Advisory Committee.  The committee meets quarterly to advise DOE and USDA points of contact on the Biomass R&D Initiative and priority technical biomass R&D needs, and to make written recommendations to the Biomass R&D Board, while aiming to not duplicate efforts of other federal advisory committees.  Nominations are due to Dr. Mark Elless, the EERE Designated Federal Officer, by June 30, 2017.  The next ... read more >
June 2, 2017
DOE Announces $72 Million In Funding For Small Business R&D
On May 24, 2017, DOE announced that 68 small businesses across 24 states will receive a total of $72 million in grants to support innovative R&D.  The funding was provided by DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.  The 68 small businesses received Phase II R&D awards after demonstrating technical feasibility for innovations during their Phase I grants and competed for funding for prototype or process development during Phase II.  Two of the 73 proposed projects involve the production of biobased ... read more >
June 2, 2017
DOC Announces Renewable Energy Advisory Committee Meeting
On May 30, 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (DOC) International Trade Association announced in the Federal Register a public meeting of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee (REEEAC).  The meeting will take place in Washington, D.C. on July 27, 2017.  REEEAC is focused on export promotion for the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors.  During the meeting, REEEAC will discuss next steps for each sub-committee, consider recommendations for approval, and hear from officials from DOC and other agencies on major issues impacting the ... read more >
June 2, 2017
Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference June 13-15, 2017, Reston, Virginia
The 21st Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference (GC&E), hosted by the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Green Chemistry Institute, will be held in Reston, Virginia, on June 13-15, 2017.  GC&E is a gathering opportunity for over 500 academic, industrial, and government stakeholders to network and learn about the developments in sustainable approaches to chemistry, chemicals, processes, and products.  The event features over 40 technical sessions, a robust poster session, keynote lectures, workshops, social events, and a Green Expo.  Biobased and ... read more >
June 2, 2017
SPARK 2017, November 6-7, 2017, Edmonton, Canada
Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) and Alberta Innovates are hosting SPARK 2017 to support game-changing solutions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and advance the bioindustrial sector.  The conference will take place November 6-8, 2017, in Edmonton, Canada.  SPARK 2017 aims to inspire, motivate, and support researchers and innovators by connecting them with others working to advance innovative technology across four key areas, including: Bioindustrial Development and Biological GHG Emissions; Industrial Processes and Energy Efficiency; Reducing GHG Footprint from Fossil ... read more >
June 2, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
International Renewable Energy Agency, “Renewable Energy Employs 9.8 Million People Worldwide, New IRENA Report Finds” E&E News, “Are Advanced Biofuels Ready for Takeoff?” University of Pittsburgh, “Fueling the Future” Tomsk Polytechnic University, “How Gold Can Recycle Biofuel Waste into Useful Additive” GoodFuel, “‘Goodshipping Program’ Hands Cargo Owners Control of Their Carbon ... read more >
May 25, 2017
EPA Releases RIN Generation Data For April
On May 10, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released Renewable Identification Numbers (RIN) generation data for April 2017, reporting that nearly 1.5 billion RINs were generated during the month.      Nearly 17.3 million D3 cellulosic biofuel RINs were generated in April, bringing the total for 2017 to 49.9 million, including 1.3 million D3 RINs generated for ethanol, 17.9 million generated for renewable liquefied natural gas, and 30.7 million generated for renewable compressed natural gas.  Of the 49.9 million RINs, 44.7 million were ... read more >
May 25, 2017
DOE Extends Abstract Submission Deadline For Annual Bioeconomy Conference
On May 18, 2017, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that the abstract submission deadline for its tenth annual Bioeconomy 2017: Domestic Resources for a Vibrant Future conference has been extended.  Abstracts for the Bioeconomy 2017 Interactive Poster Session and Open Technical Session will be accepted until May 26, 2017.  All posters are required to feature an interactive element, such as voting or polling, social media, games and challenges, or other activity that involves the audience’s participation.   As reported in the Biobased and Renewable Products ... read more >
May 25, 2017
IBB Praises Iowa Governor’s Commitment To Funding Biofuels Infrastructure
On May 12, 2017, the Iowa Biodiesel Board (IBB) praised Governor Terry Branstad for signing into law the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund bill (HF 643), which provides $3 million in funding for the Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program.  IBB stated that it, along with industry partners, worked closely with legislature to ensure the funding language was included in Iowa’s budget, and acknowledged Branstad for being a steadfast supporter of funding renewable fuels and the infrastructure program, which is designed to encourage fuel retailers to offer biofuels.  Grant Kimberley, ... read more >
May 25, 2017
Fraunhofer UMSICHT Launches Project To Convert Biomass To Synthetic Fuel
On May 15, 2017, the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT (Fraunhofer UMSICHT) announced the launch of TO-SYN-FUEL, a project involving 12 industrial, scientific, and small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) partners focused on building up, operating, and demonstrating the production of synthetic fuels and green hydrogen from waste biomass.  TO-SYN-FUEL is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program and will utilize the TCR® technology developed by Fraunhofer UMSICHT to convert residual biomass into hydrogen-rich synthetic gas, ... read more >
May 25, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
University of Wisconsin, “Triple Play Boosting Value of Renewable Fuel Could Tip Market in Favor of Biomass” The Molding Blog, “Lego Tests Bricks Made from Wheat Bioplastic” Green Biologics, “Green Biologics Honored with Biorenewable Deployment Consortium’s Commercialization Achievement ... read more >
May 19, 2017
Senators Send SEC, EPA, Letter On Renewable Fuel Credit Market
On May 9, 2017, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), along with seven additional Democratic Senators, sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) requesting an investigation into the activities of Carl Icahn for potential insider trading, market manipulation, and other securities and commodities law violations in the renewable fuel credit market.  The letter states that the actions of and the massive profit earned by Icahn raise questions related to conflict-of-interest ... read more >
May 19, 2017
ITC Publishes Determinations On Biodiesel Antidumping, Countervailing Investigation
On May 12, 2017, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) published in the Federal Register its preliminary determinations regarding the antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia.  ITC confirmed that there is a reasonable indication that an industry in the U.S. is materially injured by imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia, which are alleged to be sold in the U.S. at less than fair value (LTFV) and to be subsidized by the governments of Argentina and Indonesia.  As a result, the U.S. Department of ... read more >
May 19, 2017
University Of Maine Launches Demonstration Of Biomass To Bioproducts Pilot Plant
On May 1, 2017, the University of Maine (UMaine) began a continuous 100-hour demonstration of a biomass to bioproducts pilot plant at its Technology Research Center (TRC).  The plant, which is the result of a partnership between UMaine and Biofine Technology, is capable of processing up to one ton of woody biomass per day into chemicals for the manufacturing of biofuels, biochemical, and advanced materials.  UMaine will use the plant to scale up the Forest Bioproducts Research Institute’s (FBRI) patented conversion technology to produce jet fuel from woody biomass.  Data ... read more >
May 19, 2017
Researchers Complete First EPA-Sanctioned GE Algae Field Trial
Researchers at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and Sapphire Energy completed the first EPA-sanctioned outdoor field trial for GE algae, which was focused on understanding how GE algae perform in outdoor cultivation.  The 50-day experiment studied algae (Acutodesmus dimorphus) that was GE with genes for enhanced fatty acid biosynthesis and recombinant green fluorescence protein (GFP) expression under real world conditions in parallel with non-GE algae strains.  The results demonstrate that GE algae can be cultivated outdoors while maintaining the GE traits, and ... read more >
May 19, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Platts, “White House Reviews US EPA's Proposed 2018-19 Biofuel Blending Volumes” U.S. Department of Energy, “Map Out Your Career in the Bioeconomy with BETO’s New Bioenergy Career Map!” Iowa Farm Bureau, “Perdue Pledges Support for Trade and Biofuels during Iowa Visit” Lancaster University, “New Breakthrough Makes it Easier to Turn Old Coffee Waste into Cleaner ... read more >
May 12, 2017
Senate Finance Committee Introduces Clean Energy For America Act
On May 5, 2017, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced to the Senate Finance Committee legislation focused on reducing carbon pollution over the next decade by incentivizing clean energy and promoting new technologies in the private sector.  The Clean Energy for America Act, which was co-sponsored by 21 Democratic Senators, provides a simplified set of long-term, performance-based energy tax incentives to promote clean energy production and storage.  The legislation would create a technology-neutral incentive for the domestic production of renewable transportation fuels based on the ... read more >
May 12, 2017
DOE Hosts Tenth Annual Bioeconomy Conference
The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is hosting its tenth annual Bioeconomy 2017: Domestic Resources for a Vibrant Future conference on July 11-12, 2017, in Arlington, Virginia.  As in years past, the conference will bring together government agency officials, members of Congress, industry leaders, national laboratory scientists, and academic researchers focused on moving the American bioeconomy forward.  Discussion will focus on: Innovative technologies for the emerging bioeconomy;         The ... read more >
May 12, 2017
EIA Publishes February Biodiesel Production Report
On April 28, 2017, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its monthly biodiesel production report for February 2017.  According to the report, U.S. biodiesel production increased by one million gallons between January and February of this year but production is 11 million gallons less than February 2016.  Production came from 95 biodiesel plants with capacity of 2.3 billion gallons per year.  The report also states that 37 million gallons of 100 percent biodiesel (B100) were sold, and an additional 46 million gallons of B100 were sold in biodiesel ... read more >
May 12, 2017
DOE Requests Comments On EERE Environmental Questionnaire
On May 1, 2017, DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) published a notice in the Federal Register regarding its intent to extend its use of the EERE Environmental Questionnaire, with changes, for three years.  The questionnaire allows EERE to collect project-specific information from federal financial assistance awardees to evaluate the potential environmental impact of projects that it is considering for funding, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969. EERE is also requesting comments on the questionnaire, specifically ... read more >
May 12, 2017
Maine Senate Approves Bill To Support Bioplastics
On May 2, 2017, the Maine Senate approved a bill to support Maine’s emerging biobased products industry.  An Act to Improve the Ability of Maine Companies to Manufacture and Market Bioplastics (LD 656) would provide the Maine Technology Institute with a $1.5 million grant to provide competitive grants for the development, production, and marketing of bioplastics.  The bill was introduced by Senator Jim Dill (D-Old Town) and endorsed by Senator Dana Dow (R-Waldoboro), Senator Tom Saviello (R-Wilton), and 17 Democratic Senators.  Following approval by the Senate, the ... read more >
May 12, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Singapore Air, “SIA and CAAS Partner to Operate First 'Green Package' Flights in the World” Air Canada, “Air Canada to Operate Biofuel Flights in Support of Environmental Research on Contrails and Emissions” Bloomberg, “Crooks Are after the Grease from Your French Fries” The Log, “Kelp Farming Project Could Come to Catalina ... read more >
May 5, 2017
Judges Hear Oral Arguments On The Petition To Review RVO For 2014-2016
On April 24, 2017, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys representing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the renewable fuels and petroleum industries presented oral arguments before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit regarding the petition to review the renewable volume obligations (RVO) for 2014-2016.  The petition, which was filed on January 8, 2016, by seven biofuel and agricultural groups, challenged EPA’s authority to set volume requirements for biofuel blending below standards put forth in the 2007 Renewable Fuel ... read more >
May 5, 2017
Bipartisan Bill Introduced To Reform The Biodiesel Tax Credit
On April 26, 2017, a bipartisan bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate to reform the biodiesel tax credit and extend the new policy for three years.  The American Renewable Fuel and Job Creation Act of 2017, which was sponsored by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and 14 other senators, transfers the $1 gallon tax credit from the blenders to the producers of biofuels to ensure that it incentivizes domestic production.  The bill also provides an additional $0.10 gallon credit for small biodiesel producers in the United States.  According to a ... read more >
May 5, 2017
DOE Workshop On Biobased Functional Replacement Chemicals
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is hosting a Workshop on Moving Beyond Drop-In Replacements:  Performance Advantaged Bio-Based Chemicals on June 1, 2017, in Denver, Colorado.  The purpose of the workshop is to solicit stakeholder feedback on what research and development is necessary for writing a functional replacements and novel biobased compounds strategic plan.  The discussion, which will be restricted to polymers, small molecules, and other building block chemicals, will center on the following questions:​ Would a ... read more >
May 5, 2017
USDA Seeks Comment On Revision To Information Collection For The Advanced Biofuel Payment Program
On April 25, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Business-Cooperative Service published in the Federal Register a notice that it is requesting approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of a revision to a currently approved information collection for the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program, which provides funding to eligible advanced biofuel producers to support the production of biofuel products.  The Rural Business-Cooperative Service is specifically seeking comments on the following topics: Whether the proposed collection of information is ... read more >
May 5, 2017
RFA Sends Letter To EPA On RVO Rulemaking
On April 24, 2017, Bob Dineen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt requesting that the 2018 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) rulemaking remain on schedule and maintain the conventional renewable fuel requirement at the statutory level of 15 billion gallons.  According to the letter, regulatory certainty and sufficient lead time for planning are required to allow regulated parties to adapt and comply with the RFS.    The letter states that ethanol producers are set to produce a ... read more >
May 5, 2017
Biobased and Renewable Chemicals Conference, May 10-11, 2017, In Wilmington, Delaware
The 2017 Biobased and Renewable Chemicals Conference, organized by the Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance (DESCA) and supported by the American Chemical Society (ACS) Green Chemistry Institute, is a two-day event that will focus on the emerging landscape of technologies that are replacing fossil fuel-based raw materials and the major challenges and opportunities facing the industry.  The event features interactive panel discussions, keynote speakers, workshops, and networking opportunities with industry experts and thought leaders, including:​ Mike Gudgeon, Technical Manager, ... read more >
May 5, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Wageningen University & Research, “Scientific Report on Facts Related to Biobased and Biodegradable Plastics” Texas A&M, “Dr. Tim Devarenne and Colleagues Publish Genome Sequence of the Fuel-Producing Green Microalga Botryococcus Braunii”  Phys.org, “Fast, Low Energy, and Continuous Biofuel Extraction from Microalgae” GreenBiz, “Levi’s, Method and Berkeley Students on a Safer Chemical ... read more >
April 28, 2017
DOE Announces 38 Partnerships Between National Laboratories And Small Businesses
On April 21, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the 38 small businesses that will collaborate with researchers from eight national laboratories under the Small Business Vouchers (SBV) pilot, which aims to foster a strong partnership between the labs and clean tech small businesses.  The 38 businesses represent the third round of SBV, which brings the total number of partnerships under the program to 114.  SBV provides small businesses with access to unique national lab facilities and experts to test, develop, and validate their innovative products.  The ... read more >
April 28, 2017
DOE Announces Open Teleconference Of The State Energy Advisory Board
On April 19, 2017, DOE announced an open teleconference of the State Energy Advisory Board (STEAB) in the Federal Register.  STEAB advises DOE and EERE on the operation of its energy efficiency programs, renewable energy programs, and grant programs for research and deployment in energy efficiency and renewable energy fields.  The tentative agenda includes: STEAB Task Force updates and objectives for fiscal year (FY) 2017;         Follow-up opportunities and engagement with EERE and other DOE staff as needed to keep Task Force work moving ... read more >
April 28, 2017
IRFA Concerned By Bill To Cap Iowa Biofuel Tax Credits
On April 13, 2017, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) released a statement regarding the passage of a bill, HSB 187, by the Iowa House Appropriations Committee that would cut the value of the Iowa biofuels tax credits and complicate the mechanism for receiving the credit.  According to the bill, the value of the tax credits would be determined based on annual sales, and the amount of the credits would be capped on an annual, statewide basis.  The purpose of the biofuels tax credits was to incentivize consumers to purchase higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel, such as E15, ... read more >
April 28, 2017
AkzoNobel Announces Finalists For Imagine Chemistry Start-Up Challenge
On April 21, 2017, AkzoNobel announced the 20 finalists for its Imagine Chemistry initiative.  The initiative, which was launched earlier this year as reported in the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group’s (BRAG®) blog post “AkzoNobel Launches Global Chemicals Start-Up Challenge,” aims to help solve real-life chemistry-related challenges and uncover sustainable opportunities for the Company's Specialty Chemicals business.  Of the 20 projects selected, four focus on cellulose-based alternatives to synthetics, three focus on biobased and ... read more >
April 28, 2017
nova-Institute Publishes Commentary on Renewable Energy Directive
On April 12, 2017, the nova-Institute announced the publication of its commentary on the European Commission’s proposal for a revised Renewable Energy Directive (RED).  The proposal, which is referred to as RED II, aims to raise renewable energy usage in Europe to 27 percent by 2030 and to require fuel suppliers to include a minimum share of advanced biofuels in their offering, which will increase steadily between 2021 and 2030.  In its commentary, the nova-Institute analyzed how the revisions presented in RED II would impact the biobased materials sector.  According to ... read more >
April 28, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
DOE, “BETO Launches Interactive Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Projects Map” Renewable Fuels Association, “U.S. Gasoline Contained More than 10% Ethanol in 2016, Shattering the ‘Blend Wall’ Myth Once and For All” American Chemical Society, “Degradable Electronic Components Created from Corn Starch” Kobe University, “Making Oil from Algae – Towards More Efficient Biofuels” Ford Motor Company, “What's Super Strong, Fast Growing, and Potentially Part of Your Next Car? ... read more >
April 21, 2017
DOC Initiates Biodiesel Antidumping, Countervailing Investigation
On April 13, 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announced that it was formally initiating antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia.  The decision follows a petition filed by the National Biodiesel Board Fair Trade Coalition, as reported in the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) blog post “National Biodiesel Board Fair Trade Coalition Files Antidumping, Countervailing Duty Petition.”  The National Biodiesel Board and U.S. biodiesel producers also provided testimony to ... read more >
April 21, 2017
BETO Hosts Algae Cultivation for Carbon Capture and Utilization Workshop
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is hosting an Algae Cultivation for Carbon Capture and Utilization Workshop on May 23-24, 2017, in Orlando, Florida.  The event will feature facilitated discussions focused on gathering stakeholder input on innovative technologies and business strategies for growing algae on waste carbon dioxide (CO2) resources.  Stakeholders will be encouraged to consider challenges and opportunities related ... read more >
April 21, 2017
EU Publishes Report on Progress of Renewable Energy Sources
On April 3, 2017, the European Environment Agency (EEA) announced the publication of the report titled “Renewable Energy in Europe 2017:  Recent Growth and Knock-On Effects,” which demonstrates that renewables have been a major contributor to the energy transition in Europe.  An analysis of the compound annual growth rate demonstrated that the use of biofuels in transport grew fastest between 2005 and 2014 at 18 percent per year.  Renewables provided six percent of the energy used for the European Union’s (EU) transportation sector in 2014, with biofuels ... read more >
April 21, 2017
IBB Announces Higher Blend Biofuels Dominate in Iowa
On April 4, 2017, the Iowa Biodiesel Board (IBB) announced that the Iowa Department of Revenue’s 2016 Retailers Fuel Gallons Annual Report demonstrated that more than half of Iowa’s fuel retailers carried biodiesel blends in 2016.  In 2016, 344.8 million gallons of on-road biodiesel blends were sold, which accounts for 54.7 percent of total on-road diesel fuel sales.  The report also showed that twice as many gallons of 11 - 20 percent biodiesel (B11-B20) were sold compared to lower blends.  IBB credits the growth in the use of higher biodiesel blends to ... read more >
April 21, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
■  Bioresources, “Bioeconomy Survey Results Regarding Barriers to the United States Advanced Biofuel Industry”    ■   Enerkem, “Enerkem Achieves All Production Milestones at its Edmonton Biofuel Facility”    ■  University of Wisconsin-Madison, “Renewable Plastic Precursor Could Grow Cellulosic Biofuel Industry”    ■  Michigan State University, “Better Together:  Harnessing Cooperating Microorganisms to Make Biodegradable Plastic ... read more >
April 13, 2017
EPA Awards $300,000 In Funding For Green Chemical Manufacturing
On April 5, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Industrial Microbes, Inc. (Industrial Microbes) has been awarded $300,000 in funding through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program to develop a green fermentation platform to replace carbon-emitting petrochemical production with newer methods that use methane and carbon dioxide to produce chemicals.  The project aims to improve the efficiency of chemical manufacturing while limiting pollution using a fermentation process based on engineered enzyme pathways within living cells, similar to the ... read more >
April 13, 2017
European Parliament Votes To Make Palm Oil Biofuels Sustainable
On April 4, 2017, Members of the European Parliament (MEP) approved a resolution calling on the European Commission (EC) to phase out the use of palm oil as a component of biofuels and advocating for a single certification scheme for palm oil entering the European Union (EU).  The resolution states that biofuels production accounts for 46 percent of the palm oil imported by the EU and requires about one million hectares of tropical soils.  To limit the deforestation and habitat degradation that comes from unsustainable palm oil production, the EU aims to phase out the use of ... read more >
April 13, 2017
Hawaii Senate Committee Passes Bill On Renewable Ground Transportation
On April 4, 2017, the Hawaii State Senate Committee on Ways and Means passed HB 1580, which sets a goal of having all ground transportation in Hawaii run on renewable fuel by 2045.  The bill, which does not contain an enforcement mechanism, provides a benchmark framework for achieving the ambitious target and establishes an intermediate target to reduce the sale of imported fuels by five percent in 2025.  The Senate Committee introduced amendments that clarify the bill does not create a mandate to move to 100 percent clean ground transportation, but it outlines a path to achieve ... read more >
April 13, 2017
UAI Challenges CRC Study On Vehicular Emissions
On March 29, 2017, the Urban Air Initiative (UAI) released a statement claiming that the Coordinating Research Council’s (CRC) study on fuel emissions was biased and flawed.  According to UAI, the match blending of test fuels in the study fails to recognize the performance of ethanol in real world fuels, including improving fuel quality and reducing toxic tailpipe emissions.  UAI stated that performing match blending in a lab using a custom test fuel rather than real world fuel discredits the study, and the inaccurate data would likely lead EPA to continue to limit the use of ... read more >
April 13, 2017
Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference June 13-15, 2017, Reston, Virginia
The 21st Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference (GC&E), hosted by the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Green Chemistry Institute, will be held in Reston, Virginia on June 13-15, 2017.  GC&E is a gathering opportunity for over 500 academic, industrial, and government stakeholders to network and learn about the developments in sustainable approaches to chemistry, chemicals, processes, and products.  The event features over 40 technical sessions, a robust poster session, keynote lectures, workshops, social events, and a Green Expo.  BRAG affiliate ... read more >
April 13, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
■  Minnesota Bio-fuels Association, “E15 Infrastructure Bill Would Add $35.9 Million to MN's GDP”   ■   Farmdoc Daily, “An Alternative View of Biodiesel Production Profits:  The Role of Retroactively Reinstated Blender Tax Credits”   ■  American Chemical Society, “A ‘Bionic Leaf’ Could Help Feed the World”   ■  Reebok, “Reebok ‘Growing’ Plant-Based Footwear”   ■  Ghent University, ... read more >
April 7, 2017
DOE Publishes Report On Alternative Aviation Fuels
On March 28, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced the publication of the report on the current state of alternative aviation fuels that was developed using findings from peer-reviewed studies, scientific working groups, and BETO stakeholder input from the Alternative Aviation Fuel Workshop in September 2016.  The four key topic areas include:   ■  Economic and technical competitiveness;   ■   Fuel conversion and scale-up;   ■  Environmental ... read more >
April 7, 2017
ITC Announces Preliminary Biodiesel Antidumping And Countervailing Duty Investigation
On March 29, 2017, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the commencement of the preliminary phase of a biodiesel antidumping and countervailing duty investigation into Argentina and Indonesia.  ITC must make a preliminary determination within 45 days regarding whether there is a reasonable indication that the U.S. biodiesel industry is materially injured or threatened with material injury by imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia.  ITC has scheduled a conference on the investigation for April 13, 2017.  ... read more >
April 7, 2017
California Approves 12 Biodiesel And Renewable Diesel Pathways
On March 23, 2017, the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Resources Board (ARB) announced the release of new carbon intensity pathways for fuels certified under the low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) using the CA-GREET 2.0 model.  Of the 18 pathways approved in March, eight are first generation biodiesel carbon intensity pathways and four are second generation renewable diesel carbon intensity pathways.  A pathway for biodiesel produced from used cooking oil has been provisionally certified, as well.  The approved pathways can be used for credit reporting ... read more >
April 7, 2017
California Announces Proposed Recipients Of $23 Million In Bioenergy Grants
On March 24, 2017, the California Energy Commission (CEC) published a notice on the proposed recipients of up to $23 million in Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) funding for applied research and development (AR&D) and technology demonstration and development (TD&D) activities focused on advancing bioenergy electricity generation.  The funding opportunity is focused on three main bioenergy applications, including:   ■  Efficient, Sustainable and Lower-Cost Bioenergy: Innovations to Improve Woody Biomass-to-Electricity Systems ... read more >
April 7, 2017
AkzoNobel Launches Tool To Monitor Biobased Materials In Products
On March 31, 2017, AkzoNobel, a member of BRAG, announced the launch of an online tool that uses e-certification to monitor the biobased content of products.  Companies that sign up to use the online platform will be able to exchange biobased material certificates for everything from base ingredients to finished products.  The online tool eliminates the need for separate, external biobased certifications at various points along the supply chain by allowing companies to transfer the certificates electronically.  According to AkzoNobel, tracking the exact amount of biobased raw ... read more >
April 7, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
■  International Renewable Energy Agency, “Eliminating Energy-Related Carbon Emissions Possible, New IRENA Study Finds”   ■   Biofuels Association of Australia, “BAA Rejects Productivity Commission Claims”   ■  South China Morning Post, “Woks Away: China’s Plan to Make Jet Fuel from Restaurant Leftovers”   ■  Cornell Chronicle, “Microalgae Could Play Key Role in Relieving Climate ... read more >
March 31, 2017
Senators Send Trump Letter On RFS Point Of Obligation
On March 16, 2017, 23 Senators, including Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), sent President Trump a bipartisan letter requesting that he maintain the point of obligation under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.  In the letter, the Senators remind Trump that the RFS program was adopted to provide stability for renewable fuel producers and that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined that, to meet this goal, the point of obligation should be placed on refiners and importers.  Shifting the point of obligation downstream would ... read more >
March 31, 2017
EPA Implements 2017 RFS Volume Requirements
On March 21, 2017, the renewable fuel volume requirements for 2017, which were issued in final by EPA on December 12, 2016, were implemented.  The effective date for the 2017 requirements was delayed following the Presidential directive to postpone the implementation of new regulations to allow for review by the new administration.  Although EPA has yet to publish an announcement on the matter, industry stakeholders have welcomed the 2017 biofuel volumes and 2018 biomass-based diesel volumes.  As reported in the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) blog ... read more >
March 31, 2017
ISO Publishes Revised Marine Fuel Specifications
On March 19, 2017, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) published the sixth edition of its specifications for marine fuels (ISO 8217:2017), which includes a redefined “class F” grade for biofuel blends in marine distillates.  Up to seven percent fatty acid methyl ester (FAME), which has similar physical properties to conventional diesel, is permitted in the new “F” grades, specifically DFA, DFZ, and DFB.  Additionally, the DMA specifications have been amended to permit 0.4 higher weight percent biodiesel, compared to the suggested level in ... read more >
March 31, 2017
National Biodiesel Board Fair Trade Coalition Files Antidumping, Countervailing Duty Petition
On March 23, 2017, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) announced that an antidumping and countervailing duty petition had been filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) claiming that Argentine and Indonesian companies are violating trade laws by saturating the U.S. market with dumped and subsidized biodiesel.  The petition was filed on behalf of the National Biodiesel Board Fair Trade Coalition, which represents the NBB and U.S. biodiesel producers.  According to NBB, Argentine and Indonesian producers are selling their ... read more >
March 31, 2017
Neste Welcomes Swedish Government’s Support For Renewable Fuels
On March 24, 2017, Neste, a member of BRAG®, announced its approval of draft proposals by the Swedish government regarding mandated reductions in traffic fuel emissions and the continued tax exemption for high-blended biofuels.  By 2030, the government aims to reduce carbon emissions from transportation by 70 percent.  In addition to reducing carbon emissions, the ambitious targets and long-term perspective will help support innovation and investments in biofuels.  Neste, which has a strong focus on developing cost-efficient technologies to convert forest residues into ... read more >
March 31, 2017
Don’t Miss The Biobased and Renewable Chemicals Conference, May 10-11, 2017, In Wilmington, Delaware
The 2017 Biobased and Renewable Chemicals Conference, which has been organized by the Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance (DESCA) and supported by the American Chemical Society (ACS) Green Chemistry Institute, is a two-day event that will focus on the emerging landscape of technologies that are replacing fossil fuel-based raw materials and the major challenges and opportunities facing the industry.  The event features interactive panel discussions, keynote speakers, workshops, and networking opportunities with industry experts and thought leaders, ... read more >
March 31, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
■  Renewable Fuels Association, “Veterans Encourage President to Include Ethanol, RFS in Energy Plan”   ■   Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, “State Ag Department Greenlights 16 Promising Industrial Hemp Research Projects”   ■  Brookhaven National Laboratory, “Study IDs Link between Sugar Signaling and Regulation of Oil Production in Plants”   ■  University of Manchester, “Bioenergy Gets Graphic with New Illustrated Guide to the ... read more >
March 24, 2017
NASA Confirms Biofuels Reduce Jet Engine Pollution
On March 15, 2017, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) published the results of a joint study with German and Canadian agencies on the impact of biofuels on jet engine pollution, including emissions and contrail formation.  The results demonstrate that the use of a 50-50 blend of aviation fuel and fuel of hydro processed esters and fatty acids from camelina plant oil reduced particle emissions by 50-70 percent.  Since soot emissions are a major driver of contrail formation, the particle reductions observed with the use of biofuel are expected to result in a ... read more >
March 24, 2017
European Parliament Plenary Votes Strengthen Biobased Economy
On March 14, 2017, European Bioplastics (EUBP) welcomed the outcome of the European Parliament’s plenary vote on the waste legislation proposal in which the Members of Parliament recognized the contributions of bioplastics to the European Union’s (EU) circular economy.  EUBP highlighted amendments to the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive that encourage Member States to support the use of biobased packaging and to improve market conditions for such materials and products, and amendments to the Waste Framework Directive that incorporates organic recycling in the ... read more >
March 24, 2017
National Farmers Union Passes Resolution On Higher Blended Fuels
On March 13, 2017, the South Dakota Farmers Union announced that the National Farmers Union had passed a resolution calling for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to open the market to higher blends of ethanol during its annual meeting in San Diego.  The resolution, which was brought forward by the South Dakota Farmers Union delegation, promotes the use of higher blended fuels, such as E30, as a way to expand the retail fuels infrastructure and support the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).   In addition to passing the resolution, the National Farmers Union filed legal ... read more >
March 24, 2017
Nominations Open For Annual Rosalind Franklin Award
On March 8, 2017, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), announced that nominations for the fourth annual Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology were being accepted.  The award, which recognizes an outstanding woman in the industrial biotechnology sector who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the biobased economy and biotechnology innovation, will be presented during the plenary session at the 2017 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology in ... read more >
March 24, 2017
Second Generation Ethanol More Cost-Effective In The Long Term
On March 14, 2017, researchers from the Brazilian Bioethanol Science and Technology Laboratory (CTBE) published a study focused on quantifying the economic and environmental impacts of second generation biofuels, based on current and future scenarios of sugarcane biorefineries that include consideration of improvements to the industrial process and biomass production systems.  Although costs were determined to be higher in the short term, the study demonstrates that second generation ethanol production is more competitive than first generation ethanol in the long run, and that it reduces ... read more >
March 24, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
■  Department of Energy, “New Process Being Tested for Biodegradable Plastics”   ■   VnExpress, “Vietnam Revives Biofuel Plan, Sets National Switch in 2018”   ■  University of Copenhagen, “Mustard Seeds Without Mustard Flavor:  New Robust Oilseed Crop Can Resist Global Warming”   ■  Faraday Discussions, “Developing New Platform Chemicals:  What is Required to a New Biobased Molecule to Become a Platform in the Bioeconomy?” ... read more >
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