All Biobased and Renewable Products News

November 9, 2018
Call For Candidate Chemicals For Equivalency Determinations
Is your company engaged in Class 2 chemistries that are similar to existing Class 2 chemicals but are derived from an innovative bio-source? We are looking for pioneering companies working on new biobased Class 2 chemicals to assist in advancing an important project with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).   ISSUE:  While EPA sustainability goals would seemingly include adoption of improved biobased technologies, EPA’s policies under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) mean that many novel, sustainable technologies are considered “new chemicals” ... read more >
December 7, 2018
DOE ARPA-E OPEN 2018 Program Announces Funding For New Projects
On November 15, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced the latest open funding opportunity for 40 new projects (OPEN 2018).  The funds add up to $98 million and are designed to support research and development (R&D) innovators’ projects to transform the U.S. energy system.  Solicitations for ARPA-E OPEN funding are available for scientists and engineers focused on transformational technologies across ARPA-E’s mission.  The projects fall into nine categories: Centralized ... read more >
December 7, 2018
DOE Announces Novel Process For The Conversion Of Biomass Into Gas
On November 27, 2018, DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) announced the discovery of a new process that uses biomass gasification.  Developed by the Bioenergy Technologies Office and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the process converts solid biomass into gas under high temperatures, creating a new blendstock that is low on aromatic compounds.  The blendstock consists of high-octane gasoline that can be produced in a few efficient and accelerated steps.  “This success provides a path for industry to scale up this novel ... read more >
December 7, 2018
EPA Announces Final RFS Volumes For 2019 And Biomass Volumes for 2020
On November 30, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the final renewable fuels volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2019 and the biomass-based diesel volumes for 2020.  The final rule establishes that the 15-billion gallon targets originally set by Congress for 2019 will be maintained and primarily met by corn ethanol.  Additionally, in 2019, advanced biofuel volumes will increase by 630 million gallons and cellulosic biofuel volumes by 130 million gallons over the 2018 standard.  The biomass-based diesel volumes for 2020 will increase ... read more >
December 7, 2018
DOE Announces Two New Manufacturing Innovator Challenge Prizes
On December 4, 2018, as part of its efforts to crowdsource solutions to increase energy productivity, DOE announced it will issue two new prizes as part of its Manufacturing Innovator Challenge.  The first new prize focuses on Biobased Additive Manufacturing (BAM) and will be distributed to three winners.  BAM involves the production of rapid prototyping of complex structures through biobased three-dimensional printing.  To qualify for the BAM prize, candidates are required to identify new materials that are made from at least 90 percent plant matter or algae, and that can meet ... read more >
December 7, 2018
Green Chemistry Challenge Awards Call For Nominations
On December 4, 2018, EPA announced that it is accepting nominations for the 2019 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards.  Sponsored by EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) in partnership with the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute (ACSGCI), these awards promote the development and use of novel green chemistry for environmental and economic benefits. There are five award categories for which eligible candidates can be nominated: Greener Synthetic Pathways (Focus Area 1); Greener Reaction Condition (Focus Area 2); The Design of Greener ... read more >
December 7, 2018
EC Announces Strategic Plan On Achieving A Climate Neutral Economy
On November 28, 2018, the European Commission (EC) published a document called “A Clean Planet for all: A European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy.”  Due to EC’s expressed concerns about climate change, part of this new long-term vision includes new rulings that facilitate the production of bio-fertilizers, encourage the production of biogas from manure treatment, and increase biomass imports.  Emphasizing the crucial role of biomass in a world with a 30 percent higher population in 2050, the report ... read more >
December 7, 2018
Ontario Government Submits Proposed Environment Plan
On November 29, 2018, the Government of Ontario, Canada, submitted for public comment the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan (Plan).  The Plan outlines the government’s commitment to addressing climate change through the protection of land, air, water, and reduction of waste and greenhouse gas emissions.  Posted by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, the Plan would increase ethanol use in gasoline by 15 percent in 2025, increase the use of renewable gas and fuels, establish emission performance standards for large emitters, and provide financial ... read more >
December 7, 2018
BCCM Biobased Podcast:  Coming Soon
BCCM is pleased to announce that Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.’s (B&C®) podcast “All Things Chemical™” will release an episode on biobased equivalency determination.  The podcast will be presented by B&C’s Director of Chemistry, Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., who is a 17-year veteran of EPA and is one of the most widely recognized experts in the field of green chemistry.  It will provide an overview of the term “biobased” and what it means, the current nomenclature issue surrounding the biobased industry, and how BCCM’s Biobased ... read more >
December 7, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Chemical & Engineering News, “To Fulfill Biofuels’ Promise, Scientists Boost Plant Oils with Gene Editing” Ethanol Producer Magazine, “New Tax, Oversight Bill Aims to Extend Biofuel Tax Credits” MuscaDaily.com, “Omani Woman Scientist Wins UNESCO Fellowship for Research in Biofuels” The Times of India, “CSIR Working on Developing Biofuels on a Commercial Scale” Biofuels International, “Biodiesel By-product Has Potential as Clean Burning Fuel Additive” FDA News, “Aziyo’s Bioscaffold Cleared by FDA for ... read more >
November 30, 2018
USDA Awards Two DOE National Laboratories
On November 19, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), in New Mexico, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), in California, received the Excellence in BioPreferred Procurement Awards for Fiscal Year 2018. Both LANL and LLNL are U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratories and have been awarded for the testing and adoption of biobased products within their operations. The awards reflect the laboratories’ achievements in advancing the objectives of USDA’s BioPreferred Federal Purchasing ... read more >
November 30, 2018
DOE Delays SBIR/STTR Phase I Release 2 Funding Opportunity Announcement
As some may recall, on October 29, 2018, DOE announced the topic areas for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) for research and development (R&D) proposals for funding by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) in fiscal year (FY) 2019. The original timeline for the nine topics proposed by EERE intended for the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) was scheduled to be released on November 26, 2018. On the aforementioned date, however, instead of the FOA, DOE announced a delay in the original schedule pending the ... read more >
November 30, 2018
G20 Brown To Green Report 2018 Published
Climate Transparency, a global partnership of international organizations to stimulate G20 climate action and empower zero carbon technologies through transparency, published in early November 2018 their annual “G20 Brown to Green -- The G20 Transition to A Low-Carbon Economy” report. The report summarizes carbon-reducing activities across all G20 countries, utilizing 80 indicators. In an assessment of the climate policy and efforts performance of each G20 country, the report identifies gaps and highlights the financial flow necessary for the renewable sector to succeed. The ... read more >
November 30, 2018
Hydrochar—From Human Waste Into Renewable Biofuel
On November 16, 2018, scientists at the Israeli Ben-Gurion University (BGU) of the Negev announced the discovery of a new technique to produce biofuel from human excrement. In an attempt to reduce carbon footprint and address poor sanitation in Global South countries, scientists at BGU developed a technique called hydrothermal carbonization. By hydrothermally carbonizing raw solid human waste biomass, hydrochar, a coal-like sterilized substance, can be produced and used for household cooking and heating. Given energy scarcity and lack of basic sanitation in parts of the world, this new ... read more >
November 30, 2018
Lapland Airports Announce Switch To Neste Renewable Diesel
On November 13, 2018, Neste, a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), announced that the Finish airport operator Finavia has decided to adopt Neste’s MY Renewable Diesel in its vehicles at four airports. Neste MY Renewable Diesel is a low-carbon biofuel produced 100 percent from renewable raw materials. Finavia’s switch to this renewable biofuel is part of its goal to reach carbon neutrality within its airports by 2020. The use of Neste’s MY Renewable Diesel is not new in Finland. The biofuel has been in use at Helsinki airport for over a ... read more >
November 30, 2018
DOE EERE Webinar
On December 6, 2018, DOE EERE will host a webinar on “Biomass Production and Water Quality in the Mississippi River Basin” at 8:00 a.m. (EST). The webinar will be presented by Argonne National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, who will delve into the “modeling and analyses of potential implications of biomass production on nutrients and sediments in each of the six tributaries of the Mississippi River Basin.” Discussions will be held on methodology, data sources, water quality estimates, and system boundary. Register ... read more >
November 30, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Biofuels International, “Biogas-to-Biofuel Technology Accepted for Testing” Biofuels International, “Prospects Raised for Large Scale Algae Biofuel Production” Reuters, “Biofuel Groups Ask Federal Judge to Freeze U.S. Refinery Waiver Program” Packaging Gateway, “Leaf Resources Extends Leafcoat License to Europe” Reuters, “Iowa Senator Says Expect Fewer Biofuel Waivers from Wheeler’s EPA” Fronteras, “Food Biotechnology Added on New Trilateral Deal” City Press, “Biofuel from Castor Oil: How Thabang ... read more >
November 16, 2018
DOE Announces Phase II Topics For FY 2019
On November 13, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the topic areas for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) for research and development (R&D) proposals for funding by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) in fiscal year (FY) 2019.  The topics include:  advanced manufacturing; bioenergy; buildings; fuel cells; geothermal; solar; vehicles; water; and wind.  They also include the following joint topics:  advanced manufacturing and solar energy technologies offices; advanced ... read more >
November 16, 2018
DOE Announces New Director For NETL
On November 9, 2018, DOE’s Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, Steven Winberg, announced the new director of the DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL): Brian J. Anderson, Ph.D.  Dr. Anderson will serve, as of November 11, 2018, as the new director of NETL.  Dr. Anderson founded and headed the West Virginia University Energy Institute prior to taking the role of NETL director.  Winberg highlighted that Dr. Anderson’s background in fossil fuel energy and chemical engineering will be assets to his role at NETL, which focuses on coal, natural gas, and oil ... read more >
November 16, 2018
EPA Submits ICR To OMB On RFS Recordkeeping And Reporting
On November 13, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the submission for review of an information collection request (ICR) on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  83 Fed. Reg. 56319.  The Federal Register notice states that purpose of this submission is to obtain OMB approval of an ICR that consolidates some existing collections.  By consolidating the existing collections and recordkeeping updates, EPA is aiming to create a new, consistent, and easily understandable format to report burden and cost ... read more >
November 16, 2018
European Parliament Sets Targets On Renewables And Energy Efficiency
On November 13, 2018, the European Parliament (EP) announced its approval of new targets for renewables and energy efficiency rates to be achieved by 2030.  According to the press release, “by 2030, energy efficiency in the [European Union (EU)] has to have improved by 32.5%, whereas the share of energy from renewables should be at least 32% of the EU’s gross final consumption.”  Highlighting the crucial role of second generation biofuels rather than first generation biofuels which lead to land use changes, the EP declared that the latter will no longer count ... read more >
November 16, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Phys.org, “New Method Enables Large-Scale Production of Bio-Based Plastic Bottles” Mercom India, “India Joins the Club for Collaboration on New and Alternate Fuels” Biofuels Digest, “University of Delaware Start-Up Creates Renewable Oil that Can Be Used from Cosmetics to Lubricants” Reuters, “Britain’s Renewable Electricity Capacity Overtakes Fossil Fuels -- Report” Renewable Energy Magazine, “APPA Claims Biofuel a Key Ingredient in Spain’s Energy Plan” Just-Drinks, “Jimmy’s Iced Coffee Adopts Bio-Based ... read more >
November 9, 2018
FDA Submits A Collection Of Information Proposal To OMB
On November 5, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that a proposed collection of information on the Biosimilars User Fee Program was submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. FDA’s Biosimilars User Fee Program was established under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCI Act), which amended the Public Health Service Act through the addition of Section 351(k). The BPCI Act also amended the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to include Section 351(k) under ... read more >
November 9, 2018
Neste Partners With Clariant In A Joint Effort To Develop Biobased Solutions
On November 6, 2018, Neste, a BRAG member, announced its partnership with Clariant to develop new sustainable material solutions. While Clariant concentrates on specialty chemicals, Neste consists of one of the leading companies providing renewable diesel and drop-in chemical solutions. In the announcement, Neste outlined the phases of the partnership, as follows:   Phase 1: The companies will start to replace fossil-fuel based ethylene and propylene with monomers from renewable feedstock.   Phase 2: The companies will develop alternative sustainable solutions from renewable raw ... read more >
November 9, 2018
Canada National Energy Board Releases Report On Energy Future
On October 31, 2018, the Canadian National Energy Board released its 2018 report on energy supply and demand projections to 2040: “Canada’s Energy Future 2018: An Energy Market Assessment.” Based on a set of assumptions about technology, energy, climate, human behaviors, and the structure of the economy, the assessment identifies five key findings as follows: Canada’s energy demand growth is slowing, while the sources to meet these demands are becoming less carbon intensive; With greater adoption of new energy technologies, Canadians use over 15 percent less total ... read more >
November 9, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Reuters, “Update 1 – Brazil’s Bolsonaro Backs Ethanol Industry, Pledges Partnership” Palo Alto Daily Post, “Hydrogen Fueling Station Opens” Plastic News, “Bio-on Deal Bringing Bioplastics to Russia” Bio-Based World News, “Thyssenkrupp-commissioned Bio-Plastic Plant Starts Production in China” FoodBev Media, “Plant-based Collagen Company Geltor Receives $18.2m in Funding” Bio-Based World News, “Bio-based a Possible Solution to Mastercard’s Search for More Sustainable Bank Cards” Global Cosmetics ... read more >
November 2, 2018
Green Groups Petition EPA To Monitor Prairies For Biofuels
On October 30, 2018, Earthjustice and the Clean Air Task Force submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a petition “to amend its ‘aggregate compliance’ approach to the definition of biomass under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) … to prevent the conversion of native grasslands.”  The petition was filed on behalf of 11 organizations, including the National Wildlife Federation and the Sierra Club, and urges EPA’s Administrator Andrew Wheeler to amend regulations related to land permissibility for renewable biomass production. ... read more >
November 2, 2018
DOE Announces Fiscal Year 2019 Funding Opportunities
On October 30, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the topics for 2019 funding opportunities.  Amongst the program offices that are participating in this solicitation, is the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, who will be hosting an informational webinar on November 6, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. (EST) as an opportunity to ask the DOE Program Managers any questions about DOE funding opportunities.  The 90-minute webinar requires registration and allows for the submission of questions prior to the event.  Important upcoming dates regarding the submission ... read more >
November 2, 2018
DOE Publishes Summary Report: Cell-Free Synthetic Biology and Biocatalysis
In October 2018, DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) published a report called “Cell-Free Synthetic Biology and Biocatalysis:  Prototyping and Conversion Platforms.”  The report consists of a summary from discussions held on a listening day by BETO in Denver, Colorado, in 2017.  The public meeting was intended to discuss research and development opportunities related to cell-free synthetic biology and biocatalysis, and how these techniques could be leveraged in the production of biofuels and bioproducts. Attendees of the meeting included representatives ... read more >
November 2, 2018
FDA Releases Statement On A New Plant And Animal Biotechnology Innovation Action Plan
On October 30, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a statement by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., and FDA Deputy Commissioner Anna Abram regarding FDA’s new action plan to advance plant and animal biotechnology innovation.  Aimed at ensuring the safety of plant and animal biotechnology products and avoiding unnecessary barriers to future innovation, the Action Plan focuses on three key priorities: Advancing public health by promoting innovation; Strengthening public outreach and communication; and Increasing engagement with domestic and ... read more >
November 2, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Ames Tribune, “Dept. of Energy Grant Helps Fund Iowa State’s Biobased Chemical Study” Chemistry World, “Waste Vegetable Oil Turned into Valuable Chemicals for Drugs and Plastics” The Hill, “Oil Industry:  Voters Worried about Trump’s Ethanol Plan” The Hill, “New Technologies Can Turn Timber Abundance into Sustainable Solutions” Phys.org, “Growing Algae More Sustainably for Biofuel Production” Automotive World, “Mazda Backs Carbon-Neutral Biofuel Research” Modern Materials Handling, “Sealed ... read more >
October 26, 2018
EPA Issues Final TSCA Fees Rule In Federal Register
On October 17, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its final fees rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in the Federal Register.  83 Fed. Reg. 52694.  The final rule largely tracks the proposed rule.  EPA is establishing fees applicable to any person required to submit information to EPA; or a notice, including an exemption or other information, to be reviewed by EPA; or who manufactures (including imports) a chemical substance that is the subject of a risk evaluation.  This final rulemaking describes the final TSCA fees and fee ... read more >
October 26, 2018
Trump Administration Releases Its Fall 2018 Agenda
On October 16, 2018, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs released the Trump Administration’s Fall 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (Agenda). The Agenda aims to report on actions that administrative agencies, such as EPA, plan to put forward in the near- and long-terms. As its name implies, the Agenda includes both regulatory and deregulatory actions and attempts to justify any burden associated with these actions. According to its announcement, it should reflect four broad regulatory reform priorities: advancing regulatory reform, public notice of ... read more >
October 26, 2018
EC Announces BioWatch
The European Commission (EC) announced on October 16, 2018, the launch of a new web-based tool called BioWatch. Developed by BIOWAYS, a project funded by the European Union (EU), this new tool expands BIOWAYS’ efforts in raising awareness of biobased products and their social, economic, and environmental benefits. BioWatch consists of “an interactive online platform that provides projects in the bioeconomy sector with a free service to position themselves alongside one another and provide direct access to industry, political stakeholders, the media, and the general public.” ... read more >
October 26, 2018
AuNCs: Gold Nanoclusters
In the beginning of October 2018, researchers from the University of California – Berkeley published a paper in Nature Nanotechnology that explains how a new bacterium can produce fuels through artificial photosynthesis upon being fed gold. The formerly undiscovered bacterium, Moorella thermoacetica, allows for the development of photosynthetic biohybrid systems (PBS), linking inorganic light with preassembled biosynthetic pathways. The addition of gold nanoclusters, AuNCs, is used to circumvent electron transfer for existing PBSs through its addition to M. thermoacetica, which is a ... read more >
October 26, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Eureactiv, “EU Bioeconomy Strategy and IPCC – Planets Apart” Dentristry.co.uk, “First Bio-based Plastic Toothbrush Launched” Automotive World, “First Biobased Coating Hardener for Lightfast Polyurethane Coatings” Chemical Engineering, “Anellotech Announces Scaleup Plans for Bio-Based BTX Production” Renewables Now, “BNDES Grants USD 13m to Brazilian Ethanol ... read more >
October 19, 2018
EU Sets New Standards For Fuel Marking
On October 12, 2018, the EC announced new requirements for labeling fuel. As of the aforementioned date, European Union (EU) Member States must use set fuel labels on newly produced vehicles, at vehicle dealerships, and at gas stations that dispense hydrogen, diesel, compressed natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, petrol, and liquefied natural gas. Given the growing variety of fuels on the market, the EC’s new requirements address the greater need for transparency of information to consumers. The labels are to be put on the nozzles of gas filling pumps, on the pumps themselves, and in ... read more >
October 19, 2018
Presidential Determination:  Alane Fuel Cells
On October 11, 2018, President Trump issued a Presidential Determination that the development and purchase of equipment and materials needed for alane fuel cells are essential to the national defense.  Alane fuel cells are, essentially, comprised of aluminum hydride and are possible alternatives to hydrogen fuel cells.  According to manufacturers, the only byproducts are water and aluminum, the latter of which can be recycled.   Issuing the determination under Section 303 of the Defense Production Act of 1950, the President stated that “United States industry cannot ... read more >
October 19, 2018
Democrats Express Concern Over RFS Waivers
On October 15, 2018, U.S. Representatives Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) and Danny Davis (D-IL) submitted a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expressing concern over President Trump’s issuance of waivers to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Particularly worried about EPA’s recent actions to waive RFS blending requirements, the letter, signed by 19 members of Congress, urges EPA “to halt the issuance of additional RFS waivers and to reallocate waived gallons in the 2019 Renewable Volume Obligations.” According to the letter, the issuance of these waivers ... read more >
October 19, 2018
European Commission Announces New Bioeconomy Strategy
On October 11, 2018, the European Commission (EC) released a statement announcing its new action plan for a sustainable bioeconomy in Europe. The new action plan, originally announced by President Juncker and First Vice-President Timmermans in their letter of intent, aims to “improve and scale up the sustainable use of renewable sources to address global and local challenges such as climate change and sustainable development.” In his remarks, EC Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, Jyrki Katainen, emphasized the need for systemic changes as key drivers ... read more >
October 19, 2018
ACS Green Chemistry Challenge Awards
On October 15, 2018, the American Chemical Society (ACS) held the 2018 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards Ceremony at the National Education Association in Washington, D.C. This year, five awards were given to academics, scientists, and business innovators across the biobased industry sector. Promoting environmental and economic benefits of developments in green chemistry, the ACS Green Chemistry Institute hosts this event on an annual basis. Of particular interest in this year’s ceremony was the “Greener Reaction Conditions Award” presented to Mari Signum Mid-Atlantic, L.L.C. ... read more >
October 19, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
The Detroit News, “UM Researchers Get Algae Biofuel Grant” The Hill, “Oil Industry, Green Groups Join to Oppose Trump’s Ethanol Plan” AgriNews, “Investing in the Future of Agricultural Innovations” Renewable Energy Magazine, “Neste and Air BP Collaborate to Support Sustainable Aviation Fuel” The Economic Times, “Plant to Convert E-Waste into Bio Fuel to Be Made Operational Soon: Harsh ... read more >
October 12, 2018
DOE Announces Collaborative Project On Hydrogen And Fuel Cells
On October 9, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Army on a collaborative project designed to develop hydrogen and fuel cell technologies for civilian and military use. The MOU was signed by the U.S. Department of Army’s Tank & Automotive Research Development and Engineering Command (TARDEC) and the DOE’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO). It aims to facilitate the research and development of innovative hydrogen and fuel cell technologies portfolios. The research will include studies on hydrogen production ... read more >
October 12, 2018
Trump Talks Biofuels; BIO Applauds
On October 9, 2018, during a rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he will order the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to expand its sales of corn ethanol. This action, which farmers across the U.S. have been waiting for, will allow for year-round sales of 15 percent biofuels (E15) ethanol blends. Currently, E15 sales are restricted during the summer months in certain states, limiting the expansion of the market space for biofuels. Well received by many in the industry, the announcement was particularly appreciated by the Biotechnology Innovation ... read more >
October 12, 2018
EPA Issues TSCA User Fees Final Rule
On September 27, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the user fees final rule for the administration of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the fourth and remaining framework rule to be issued in final under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg). This final rule, that amends 40 C.F.R. Parts 700, 720, 723, 725, 790, and 791, “describes the final TSCA fees and fee categories for fiscal years 2019, 2020, and 2021”; “explains the methodology by which the final TSCA fees were determined”; ... read more >
October 12, 2018
What “Bio-based” Means Across The Globe
In September 2018, researchers Harmen Willemse, from The Netherlands Standardization Institute (NEN), and Dr. Maarten van der Zee, from the Wageningen Food & Biobased Research Center, published a White Paper on “Communicating the bio-based content of products in the EU and the US.” Analyzing how bio-based content information is exchanged between businesses, consumers, and government, the paper aims to address the significant challenges associated with the various methods used for the determination of bio-based carbon content in bio-based products. The paper further explores ... read more >
October 12, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Des Moines Register, “In Iowa, Trump Says He Kept His E15 Promises, Claims Democrats Would ‘End Ethanol’” Bloomberg, “Gene-Edited Foods Are Coming to Your Plate but Aren’t Being Regulated” inhabitat, “Nuatan Is the Bioplastic That Could Answer the Plastic Pollution Crisis” UPROXX, “This ‘Bio Plastic’ Is 100% Compostable and Poised to Change the World” BiofuelsDigest, “Novozymes’ Yeast Beast in New Release; Innova Lift’s Yield Revealed” Biomass Magazine, “Norway to Implement ... read more >
October 5, 2018
U.S. Government Funds Project On Biofuel Development
In late September 2018, Northwestern University announced a new bioengineering project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) under their joint program called the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI). Led by Michael Jewett, professor of chemical and biological engineering, the project aims to combine innovative bioengineering and biotechnology to develop biofuels and bioproducts. It is expected that through the capture of syngas from industrial manufacture companies, before they are released into the atmosphere, biofuel ... read more >
October 5, 2018
California Air Resources Board Approves Changes To Low Carbon Fuel Standard
On September 27, 2018, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced its approval of amendments to the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The LCFS has been in place since 2011, in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Under the original program, the standard required a ten percent reduction in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels in California by 2020. In 2017 only, the LCFS has successfully led to the replacement of billions of gallons of petroleum and natural gas with renewable and sustainable transportation fuels. Despite its success, however, the approved ... read more >
October 5, 2018
February Orchids And An Environmentally Friendly Lubricant
Scientists at Indiana University -- Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) partnered on the publication of a study with researchers at Huazong Agricultural University in Wuhan, China, and researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  The study focuses on formerly undiscovered properties of a flower known as Orychophragmus violaceus. Also known as the February orchid, O. violaceus differs from other plant seeds in that it contains unusual fatty acid compounds that had not previously been identified. Bioorganic chemist Robert Minto and researcher Alisen Teitgen, at IUPUI, discovered ... read more >
October 5, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
CompositesWorld, “Bio-based composite bridge in The Netherlands” Reuters, “South Africa Looks to Kickstart Its Biofuels Industry” Bioenergy International, “GoodFuels Marine to Supply First Offshore Wind Project with Advanced ... read more >
September 28, 2018
EPA Aims To Increase Transparency Through RFS Website Updates
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has included a new data portal on its website to promote greater transparency on small refineries exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Criticized in the past for its lack of transparency, EPA’s new RFS data portal also provides previously undisclosed information on Renewable Identification Number (RIN) transactions, renewable fuel volume production, average RIN prices, and RIN transaction volumes. The data available dates back to July 1, 2010, which is when EPA started collecting the information provided. EPA intends to update ... read more >
September 28, 2018
House Passes Pandemic And All-Hazards Preparedness And Advancing Innovation Act of 2018
On September 25, 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives passed without objection the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness And Advancing Innovation Act of 2018. Introduced on July 16, 2018, by Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN), this Act reauthorizes certain programs under the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act, and amends the Public Health Service Act and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Amongst these reauthorized programs are the federal biodefense programs and agencies which include the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, as well as ... read more >
September 28, 2018
Join BRAG Today!
Borrowing from William Shakespeare … WHAT’S IN A NAME? That which we call a biobased chemical. By any other name would stand as sustainable. And yet, it is the mere name of the biobased chemical that hinders its ability to go to market! Did you know that the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is interpreted and applied in ways that often cause new biobased chemicals and their derivatives to be subject to stringent premarket review by EPA? This review often results in the application of restrictions that are not applicable to older chemical substances already in commerce. This ... read more >
September 28, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Biofuels Digest, “Enerkem Produces a New Clean, Renewable Alternative Solution to Diesel Fuel for the Transportation ... read more >
September 21, 2018
Bergeson & Campbell’s Insight On TSCA
On September 11, 2018, Bloomberg Environment Insights published a three-part article series, written by Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), on the impact of the new Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Section 5 and its implementation. Despite the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) overall timely and balanced efforts in the implementation of TSCA, EPA’s approach to TSCA Section 5 implementation has proved itself less successful. With emphasis on how EPA’s approach to Section 5 has impeded the commercialization of sustainable chemical technologies, this ... read more >
September 21, 2018
USDA Proposal: “Guidelines For Designating Biobased Products For Federal Procurement”
On September 14, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of Procurement and Property Management announced a proposal to amend the Guidelines for Designating Biobased Products for Federal Procurement. Under this amendment, 30 sections will be added to determine categories within which biobased products “would be afforded procurement preference by Federal agencies and their contractors.” These categories include products that are made from intermediate ingredients that were formerly proposed for designation for federal procurement preference. In its proposed ... read more >
September 21, 2018
Converting CO2 Into Electrofuels
On September 17, 2018, scientists at Columbia University published findings of a study on carbon dioxide (CO2) electrocatalysis as the first step in converting CO2 into renewable fuels. The results of the study are key in developing conversion points for CO2 to be used as a feedstock and renewable electricity in the synthesis of different types of fuel. For further details on the groundbreaking progress discovered by Columbia University’s scientists, the published article can be found in its entirety ... read more >
September 21, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
gasworld, “Bacteria that Turn Sugar into Hydrogen Being Engineered by Researchers” The Sydney Morning Herald, “Shell-backed Startup Creates Fuel from Carbon Dioxide and Fake Sunlight” Plastics in Packaging, “Dutch Supermarket Launches Bio-based Milk Container” Biofuels Digest, “Agrisoma, United Airlines and World Energy Complete Longest Transatlantic Biojet Flight” Aalto University School of Science, “Bio-based Carbon Improve Biogas Yield” Scientific American, “The Environment’s New Clothes: Biodegradable Textiles ... read more >
September 14, 2018
Restoring The Commitment To Renewable Fuels
By Lynn L. Bergeson On September 7, 2018, U.S. Congressman David Young (R-IA) introduced, in a bipartisan effort with U.S. Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN), the Restoring Our Commitment to Renewable Fuels Act. Under this bill, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would be required “[t]o provide for reallocation of the renewable fuel obligation of exempted small refineries under section 211(o) of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7545(o)) to other refineries, blenders, distributors, and importers, and for other purposes.”  As a response to EPA’s 2019 Renewable ... read more >
September 14, 2018
BETO To Host Webinar On An Estimation Tool To Aid Commercialization And R&D For Catalytic Materials
On September 11, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced it would be presenting a Chemical Catalysis for Bioenergy Consortium (ChemCatBio) webinar entitled “CatCost: An Estimation Tool to Aid Commercialization and R&D Decisions for Catalytic Materials” on Wednesday, September 26, 2018, from 2:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. (EDT).  CatCost is a catalyst cost estimation tool developed by DOE to more accurately estimate costs early in the catalyst development process prior to commercialization.  DOE states that the webinar ... read more >
September 14, 2018
5th Biotechnology World Congress Announced For 2019
The 5th Biotechnology World Congress has been scheduled to take place in Bangkok, Thailand, from February 13-15, 2019.  The Welcome Letter states that the conference will “feature a variety of lectures in a number of key sessions in biotechnology, including a commercial exhibition and poster sessions” and the sessions given will include “strategic alliances in biotechnology, pharmaceutical biotechnology, medical biotechnology, plant and environmental biotechnology, bioprocess engineering, and industrial biotechnology.”  A list of the speakers and ... read more >
September 14, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Agence de Presse Africaine (APA News), “Nigeria: Government to Support 1000 Cotton Farmers” Forbes, “Trump’s Relationship with American Farmers Is Soiled Because of Biofuels Stance and Trade War” Brisbane Times, “Biofuels Successfully Trialled in Flights from Brisbane Airport” PackagingNews, “PepsiCo Joins Danone and Nestlé Waters in Bio-based Bottles R&D ... read more >
September 7, 2018
DOE Announces Funding For Bioenergy Research And Development Projects
On September 4, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced its support for projects in Bioenergy Research and Development. The projects total about $80 million and address early-stage research and development in the hopes of achieving DOE’s goal of reducing biobased costs in fuels by 2022. Funding for these projects comes from four different programs:  BioEnergy Engineering for Products Synthesis, Efficient Carbon Utilization in Algal Systems, Process Development for Advanced Biofuels and Biopower, and Affordable and Sustainable Energy Crops. U.S. Secretary of Energy, Rick ... read more >
September 7, 2018
Repurposing Methylene Blue In Flow Batteries
Methylene blue consists of a blue dye used in the textile industry. A new study, published in mid-August 2018, reveals that the dye can be repurposed for use in redox flow batteries. After establishing that the chemical compound has electrochemical properties, chemists at the University of Buffalo divulged that, as an active ingredient, it can be used to store energy. In the textile industry, only about five percent of methylene blue is absorbed by fabrics and the rest produces large amounts of waste water that can be toxic to the environment. According to the University of Buffalo chemists ... read more >
September 7, 2018
Polyamides From Wood Creates Building Blocks For Biobased Plastics
On August 30, 2018, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (Fraunhofer IGB) published an article announcing the latest advances in using 3-carene as a building block to produce biobased plastics. The aforementioned substance, 3-carene, “is a component of turpentine oil, a waste stream of the production of cellulose from wood.” This substance can be found in pine, larch, or spruce and is usually a byproduct that ends up being incinerated. The research project’s name -- “TerPa – Terpenes as building blocks for biobased ... read more >
September 7, 2018
Biofuel Production From Bacteria
On August 24, 2018, researchers from the University of Kent, UK, published a study on a new technique developed to use bacteria as cell factories to produce biofuels. Working in partnership with scientists from University College London, the University of Bristol, and Queen Mary University of London, Matthew J. Lee et al., uncovered a biotechnical approach to redesign bacterial structures called organelles. The latter, also known as bacterial microcompartments (BMC), carries out metabolic pathways through chemical reactions in the cell. Although these reactions are difficult to control, the ... read more >
September 7, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Food Business News, “New Pet Food Packaging Initiative Utilizes Sustainable Sugarcane” Environmental Leader, “Government Regs and Consumer Awareness Drive Bioplastic Packaging Market” Spring Wise, “Biotechnology Solution Turns Waste into Valuable ... read more >
August 31, 2018
Bipartisan Group Of U.S. Senators Fight For Increased Renewable Volume Obligation
On August 23, 2018, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Roy Blunt (R-MO), and 37 others submitted a bipartisan letter, asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to increase the renewable volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) as proposed by EPA in June 2018. Under the aforementioned proposed RFS, EPA would raise the advanced biofuel volume for 2019 to 4.88 billion gallons and the biomass-based diesel volume for 2020 to 2.43 billion gallons. The bipartisan group argues that although these increases may be promising, the potential of biodiesel is still taken too ... read more >
August 31, 2018
Using Marine Yeast To Produce Biofuel
In a research study conducted at the University of Nottingham School of Biosciences, a team of scientists has uncovered how to refine seawater to produce bioethanol. When fermented, marine yeast of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae AZ65 strain and yeast extract peptone dextrose (YPD) aid in the production of biofuels. Not only is this discovery key in the development of renewable energy sources, but it also reduces the water footprint of ethanol. Through the use of seawater, the traditional biorefinery methods that rely on agriculture and freshwater become obsolete and limit further depletion of ... read more >
August 31, 2018
How To Use Coffee Grounds To Produce Biodegradable Plastic
At Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, Dominik Kopp, a Ph.D. student, has developed a method for turning coffee waste into biodegradable plastic coffee cups. Because of its properties, sugars are an efficient source that is often converted into biobased chemicals. According to this study, coffee grounds consist of 50 percent sugars that can be converted into lactic acid. Once this is done, lactic acid can be used to produce biodegradable plastics. “You could use such plastics to make anything from plastic coffee cups to yoghurt containers to compost bags to sutures in ... read more >
August 31, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Plastics Technology, “Materials: Marine Biodegradable Bioplastic Compound” The Economic Times - India, “Government Puts Restrictions on Export of Bio-fuels” inUth BETA, “India Joins U.S. and Australia with Launch of First-Ever Biofuel Flight” Ecns.cn, “Biofuels Push to Help Clear the Air” DairyReporter.com, “United Caps and Braskem Launch ‘I’m Green’ Bio-sourced Plastic Caps and ... read more >
August 24, 2018
Genetically Engineered Food Labels: Center For Food Safety Files Suit
On August 1, 2018, the Center for Food Safety filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) for its delay in the establishment of a national mandatory bioengineered (BE) food disclosure standard. In its lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that AMS’ failure to implement a final rule is “inimical to the democratic process” and damaging to the public and stakeholders. On May 4, 2018, USDA announced a request for comments on the proposed new rule under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 on the establishment of a national ... read more >
August 24, 2018
BIO To EPA: RFS Program Is Key To America’s Biobased Economy
Under the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required to set renewable fuel percentage standards annually. On July 10, 2018, EPA announced a request for comments on a proposed rule to address “volume requirements for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel that are below the statutory volume targets.” The proposal also included the applicable volume of diesel from biomass for 2020. In response to EPA’s request, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), a Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) ... read more >
August 24, 2018
Recycling “Fatbergs” Into Biofuel
Researchers from the University of British Columbia, in Canada, have discovered a new technique that can be used to transform “fatbergs” into green fuel. What scientists now refer to as “fatbergs” consist of oils and greases that cause blockages in the sewer systems accumulating disposed solids. These Canadian scientists revealed a new method in which “fatbergs” can be recycled into green fuel within the sewer system through a microwave-enhanced advanced oxidation process using hydrogen peroxide and bacteria. The University of British Columbia team is now ... read more >
August 24, 2018
Red Algae Could Be The Key To Accelerating Biofuel Production
On August 17, 2018, researchers from the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) announced its progress in accelerating the process of biofuel-making. Through the use of biotechnology, their research demonstrates that an enzyme, glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT) from the red algae Cyanidioschyzon merolae, can contribute to the biofuel production process. Algae is often used to produce biofuels because it contains high amounts of triacyglycerols (TAG) under certain conditions, which can be converted into biodiesel. Using Cyanidioschyzon merolae as a control strain, researchers at ... read more >
August 24, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
EurekAlert!, “Renewables Could Drastically Cut Tailpipe Emissions” AP News, “US Says Conserving Oil Is No Longer an Economic Imperative” Reuters, “Gene-editing Startups Ignite the Next ‘Frankenfood’ Fight” Stora Enso, “Stora Enso and Orthex Combine Wood Fibre and Bioplastic into Durable Consumer Products” U.S. Department of Energy, “New Members of Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee ... read more >
August 17, 2018
Trump Administration Lifts Ban On Biotechnology Crops In Wildlife Refuges
On August 2, 2018, the Trump Administration’s Principal Deputy Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Gregory J. Sheehan, reversed an Obama era 2014 policy on the use of biotechnology on wildlife refuges. On July 17, 2014, the Obama Administration issued a memorandum prohibiting the use of genetically modified biotechnology crops to feed wildlife and the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in agricultural practices. This ban was issued in response to lawsuits that claimed the use of toxic pesticides and genetically engineered crops violated environmental laws. The 2014 memorandum ... read more >
August 17, 2018
USDA Announces Solicitation For Applications For BAP Funds
On August 3, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Business-Cooperative Service publicized two application cycles for applications for funds available under the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program (BAP). The loans under the aforementioned program are designed to encourage the proliferation of biobased practices that use “technologically new commercial scale processing and manufacturing equipment to convert renewable chemicals and other biobased outputs of biorefineries into end-user products, on a commercial ... read more >
August 17, 2018
Researchers Use Switchable Hydrophilicity Solvents To Produce Recyclable Packaging
Researchers in Lithuania and Egypt have discovered how to use N, N-dimethylcyclohexylamine (DMCHA) to break down multilayer flexible packaging (MFP) that pose a threat to the environment. MFP is used in making blister pill packages, candy wrappers, chip packets, and related products, and can contain aluminum, among other toxic substances, which when leaked or incinerated is hazardous to the environment. Although some practices exist to separate the multilayered packaging through recycling technologies, the European Union (EU), for example, limits practices based on energy consumption, carbon ... read more >
August 17, 2018
France Issues New Policy On Plastic Packaging
On August 13, 2018, France’s Secretary of State to the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Brune Poirson, announced during an interview a new plan to charge ten percent more for packaged products that do not use recycled plastic in 2019. France aims to transition 100 percent of its packaging use into recyclable plastic by 2025. With this goal in mind, the French government will be introducing a number of measures to promote recyclable packaging. Some of which include an increase on taxes for burying trash in landfills and banning substitutable plastic products, among ... read more >
August 17, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Bio-based World News, “Expert View: Growing the Irish Forest Bio-economy”  Master Bond, “High Tensile Strength Epoxy Adhesive Utilizes Renewable Biomaterial” ABC News, “How a Humble Australian Bee Could Help the World’s Plastic Problem” Edie.Net, “Iceland Launches Plastic-Free Chewing Gum in UK ... read more >
August 10, 2018
Senate Committee On Environment And Public Works Holds Hearing On EPA Environmental Protection and Economic Growth Agenda
On August 1, 2018, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW Committee) held a hearing entitled “Examining EPA’s Agenda:  Protecting the Environment and Allowing America’s Economy to Grow.”  Testifying at the hearing was Andrew Wheeler, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Acting Administrator.  Witness testimony and an archive of the hearing are available online.  The hearing was intended to provide Wheeler with the opportunity to present himself for the first time in front of the EPW Committee as the Acting ... read more >
August 10, 2018
Bipartisan Carbon Utilization Act Promotes Biogas, CCUS Technology
On July 19, 2018, the bipartisan Carbon Utilization Act was introduced by Representatives Scott Peters (D-CA) and David Young (R-IA) to promote biogas and carbon capture utilization and sequestration (CCUS) technologies. Biogas is produced by converting organic waste material into CO2, methane, and other carbon products that then are captured by CCUS technologies to use as energy or fuel. The newly introduced bill incentivizes the use of innovative technologies for farmers, biotech businesses, research programs, and rural development ... read more >
August 10, 2018
DOE Requests Input Regarding Catalyst Production And Development Needs At National Laboratories
On August 2, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced a request for input from the industry, academia, National Laboratories, government agencies, and other biofuels and bioproducts stakeholders on “custom catalyst production capability for biochemical and thermochemical processes.” Particularly, BETO is seeking information on areas of research, capabilities, and challenges associated with small-scale production of custom catalysts used for conversion of lignocellulosic, waste, ... read more >
August 10, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Ghana Business News, “OFAB Ghana Engages Journalists on Genetically Modified Crops” Food Ingredients 1st, “Bright Futures: the Evolution of Natural Colors and a ‘Less is More’ Approach” The Virginian Post, “New Record Number of Companies, Trade Groups Urge Congressional Leaders to Reauthorize and Fund Energy Title Programs as Farm Bill Heads to Conference” Braskem, “Braskem Launches New Renewable Bio-based EVA Resin in Allbirds shoes” AP News, “Genetics Technology Could Lead to More Crops, Fresher ... read more >
August 3, 2018
DOE Publishes Notice Of Biomass Research And Development Technical Advisory Committee Meeting
On August 1, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee under the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008.  83 Fed. Reg. 37490.  The Committee will meet on August 22, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (EDT) and on August 23, 2018, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (EDT).  The purpose of these meetings is to promote research and development (R&D) that leads to the production of biobased fuels and products.  Agenda items include updates on biomass R&D from the U.S. Department ... read more >
August 3, 2018
Senators Collins, Coons Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Promote Innovation In Sustainable Chemistry
On July 30, 2018, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Chris Coons (D-DE) reintroduced their sustainable chemistry bill, the Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2018 (S. 3296).  This bill encourages the development of new and innovative chemicals, products and processes with an improved “environmental footprint” through efficient use of resources, reducing or eliminating exposure to hazardous substances, or otherwise minimizing harm to human health and the environment.  The legislation is intended to support new innovations in chemistry that benefit the ... read more >
August 3, 2018
EU Classifies Plants Created Through Mutagenesis As Genetically Modified Organisms
On July 25, 2018, the European Union (EU) Supreme Court of Justice ruled that plants with genes that have been altered, even without the insertion of foreign DNA, are classified as genetically modified organisms (GMO) and therefore must undergo the same safety checks for their impacts on the environment and human health as organisms with foreign DNA.  According to Bio-Based World News, the ruling “is seen as a victory for environmentalists but a blow for the bio-economy” due to the much stricter rules that apply to GMOs.  Bio-based chemicals often require genome editing ... read more >
August 3, 2018
AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals And Renmatix To Develop Biomass-Derived Additives For Paint And Construction
After winning AkzoNobel’s Imagine Chemistry Challenge in 2017, on July 24, 2018, AkzoNobel, a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), and Renmatrix announced a decision jointly to develop biomass-based performance additives to improve architectural paints and construction materials.  Valuable to green chemistry building blocks, Renmatrix uses techniques that involve converting biomass into cellulosic sugars and bio-fractions.  AkzoNobel has agreed to research, develop, and commercialize new products using a form of the newest bio-fraction ... read more >
August 3, 2018
Researchers At North Carolina State University Investigate Biobased Additives That Can Strengthen Polyvinyl Alcohol Fibers
On July 24, 2018, a research team at the North Carolina State University announced that biobased glucaric-acid or lignin additives can increase the robustness of polyvinyl alcohol fibers, which can be used in biofriendly products including polymers, detergents, paints, and diapers.  The team plans to continue its R&D as a movement towards greener alternatives to support industries using additives with known varying levels of toxicity.  This discovery could play a large role in processing plastics for safe contact with food, people, and the environment.  In 2004, DOE listed ... read more >
August 3, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Santa Fe New Mexican, “LANL Researching Algae to Convert to Affordable Fuel” Renewables Now, “Argentina Looking at 27% Bioethanol Blend -- Report” Governors’ Biofuels Coalition, “Shimkus Promises ‘We’ll Legislate’ on Reforming RIN Credits” Born2Invest, “EPA’s New Acting Administrator Plans on Following Predecessor’s Policies” EIN NewsDesk, “Advanced Biofuels Canada’s National Voice Continues to Grow with New Global Leaders” Biofuels International, “NBB Challenges 2018 ... read more >
July 27, 2018
Wheeler Briefs Press On Future Of Biofuels Programs, Approves Sorghum Based Biofuel Pathways Under RFS
On July 24, 2018, Andrew Wheeler, newly appointed Acting Administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), held a briefing that outlined his plans for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).  He plans on following Scott Pruitt’s work overhauling the policy, including counting ethanol exports toward annual biofuels quotas and bringing corn and oil groups together to overhaul the RFS system.  Wheeler also signed a final notice approving a variety of pathways for renewable fuel derived from sorghum, including biofuel and biodiesel.  The newly approved pathways meet ... read more >
July 27, 2018
EPA Must Reconsider Small Refinery Waiver For Ergon
On July 20, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (Fourth Circuit) ruled that EPA must reconsider its denial of Ergon-West Virginia, Inc.’s (Ergon) application for a small refinery waiver under the RFS.  The Fourth Circuit stated that EPA relied on an “error-riddled” analysis when it denied the exemption.  Ergon is a small refinery based in West Virginia (with a daily production of 23,500 barrels) that produces primarily diesel which is not easily blended and sold in the local market.  The number of small refinery hardship waivers has jumped ... read more >
July 27, 2018
UK Considers Introducing E10 Fuel To Help Reach Emissions Goals
On July 20, 2018, the United Kingdom’s (UK) Department of Transportation launched a consultation to explore the impact of introducing E10 fuel to the UK market.  Earlier this year, changes were made to the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) that requires transport fuel supplies to increase the amount of renewable fuel supplied in the UK beyond the current five percent ethanol blend, up to a limit of ten percent by 2032.  This plan is a component of the Road to Zero Strategy, announced on July 9, 2018, a commitment by the UK government to dramatically reduce transport ... read more >
July 27, 2018
Neste Explores Use Of Waste Plastic In Fossil Refining
On July 18, 2018, Neste, a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) announced that it is exploring the use of waste plastic as a raw material in fossil refining, with a plan to start an industrial scale trial during 2019.  If successful, Neste could process one million tons of plastic waste annually by 2030.  The chemical recycling process uses “waste plastics as raw material for the refining and petrochemical industries to convert into end products such as fuels, chemicals, and new plastics.”  This method compliments traditional ... read more >
July 27, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Ethanol Producer, “Ernst Questions CEQ Nominee on RFS, Year-Round E15 Sales” BusinessGreen, “Circular Car? Dutch Team Unveil Recyclable, Bio-Based Electric Vehicle” Attis Industries, “Attis Industries to Purchase Site for First Commercial Biorefinery” Tempo, “Govt to Expand the Use of Biodiesel 20” Georgia Tech News Center, “Material Formed from Crab Shells and Trees Could Replace Flexible Plastic ... read more >
July 25, 2018
BRAG Requests that EPA Adopt TSCA Inventory Representation and Equivalency For Renewable and Sustainable Biobased Chemicals
Washington D.C.:  Representatives of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) and representatives of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) met with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) staff to discuss the two groups’ recently-issued white paper, “Proposal for a Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory Representation and Equivalency Determinations for Renewable and Sustainable Bio-based Chemicals.”  BRAG and BIO members provided a presentation for EPA staff that outlined the regulatory challenges and market impedance ... read more >
July 20, 2018
Biofuel Groups Testify At RFS Public Hearing
On July 18, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a Public Hearing for Proposed Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) for 2019 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2020.  The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) testified at this meeting that EPA should set the 2020 Biomass-based Diesel volume at 2.8 billion gallons, stating that it aligns with the goals that Congress set for the RFS program, the volume is achievable in 2020, and that it will better fulfill the promise of the RFS program.  These statements come on the heels of a July 12, 2018, request by the Trump ... read more >
July 20, 2018
Anellotech And Suntory Reach New Milestone In Development Of Biobased Plastic Bottle
On July 16, 2018, Anellotech and Suntory announced that a new milestone had been reached in developing a 100 percent biobased plastic bottle. Anellotech is using a thermal catalytic process called Bio-TCatTM to confirm non-food based feedstocks into BTX aromatics, renewable chemicals that are structurally identical to traditional plastic components.  The BTX is now undergoing purification studies to make bio-paraxylene, a key chemical for the renewable bottles. David Sudolsky, President & CEO of Anellotech, stated “[f]ollowing our announcements earlier this year on process ... read more >
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