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 >
June 21, 2019
DOE Announces Waves To Water Prize Competition
On June 13, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the launch of the first stage of the Waves to Water Prize. A competition seeking to accelerate the development of wave energy powered desalination systems and address water security, the prize consists of four stages. The first concept stage is now open for applications until September 11, 2019. U.S. Under Secretary of Energy, Mark W. Menezes, stated that “[t]he start of the Waves to Water Prize marks an important step toward driving growth and progress in the marine energy sector as well as spurring innovation to develop ... read more >
June 21, 2019
U.S. Senators Introduce Bipartisan Act Aiming To Increase Small Refinery Exemptions Transparency
On June 14, 2019, U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) introduced the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Integrity Act of 2019. This Act aims at increasing transparency and predictability to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) small refinery exemption process under the RFS program. Requiring small refineries to petition for exemptions by June 1 of each year, according to the two leaders, this legislation would hold EPA accountable for exempted gallons in the annual Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) it sets every November. It is known that, since 2018, many ... read more >
June 21, 2019
EDF Publishes Report On Trump EPA’s Implementation Of The Lautenberg Act
The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) announced on June 17, 2019, a report entitled Toxic Consequences: Trump’s attacks on chemical safety put our health at risk. EDF notes that “[c]oncern over toxic exposures and a lack of confidence in the badly outdated chemical safety system” led to Congress passing the Frank R. Launtenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Launtenberg Act) to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The bipartisan bill “finally” gave EPA “the power to strengthen health protections for American families and the ... read more >
June 21, 2019
EU TEG On Sustainable Finance Publishes Proposal For EU Green Bond Standard
In June 2019, the European Commission (EC) Technical Expert Group (TEG) on Sustainable Finance, published its Report on EU Green Bond Standard. The report proposes the creation of a European Union (EU) Green Bond Standard (EU-GBS) to address barriers to market development of green financial products. Also proposing the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment -- “Taxonomy Regulation” -- TEG makes ten recommendations in its GBS Report to: Create a voluntary EU-GBS;   EU-GBS should have four core components -- (1) alignment of Green Projects with ... read more >
June 14, 2019
APHIS Proposes Revised Regulatory Framework Regarding The Movement Of Certain Genetically Engineered
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued a proposed rule on June 6, 2019, on the movement of certain genetically engineered (GE) organisms.  84 Fed. Reg. 26514.  The proposed rule would revise the regulations regarding the movement, including the importation, interstate movement, and environmental release of certain GE organisms in response to advances in genetic engineering and APHIS’ understanding of the plant pest risk posed by them, “thereby reducing regulatory burden for developers of organisms that ... read more >
June 14, 2019
DOE BETO Announces Upcoming Webinars In Honor Of Renewable Biomass Feedstocks Month
On June 5, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced the Conversion-Ready Feedstock Webinar Series. These webinars will be primarily educational to showcase research strategies that enable biomass feedstock management variability and supply chain improvements in biomass quality and consistency. Two webinar sessions will be part of this series.  The first webinar was held on June 13, 2019, and the second webinar will be held on June 20, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. (MDT). Interested parties may register by accessing DOE BETO’s notice ... read more >
June 14, 2019
EPA Presents The Green Chemistry Challenge Awards
On June 10, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hosted the Green Chemistry Challenge Awards Ceremony, where four awards were given to academics, scientists, and business innovators across the industry sector. Promoting environmental and economic benefits of developments in green chemistry, EPA, in partnership with the American Chemical Society (ACS) Green Chemistry Institute granted four awards. Congratulated by EPA Assistant Administrator Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, the 2019 awardees included: Academic Award -- Professor Sanjoy Banerjee, The City University of New York ... read more >
June 14, 2019
Members Of Congress Submit Letter On Biofuel Tax Credits To Speaker Of The House And Chair Of The House Committee On Ways & Means
On June 3, 2019, 19 members of Congress submitted a letter to U.S. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Chair of the House Committee on Ways & Means, Richard Neal (D-MA), addressing the expired Second-Generation Biofuel Producer Tax Credit, the Special Depreciation Allowance for Second-Generation Biofuel Plant Property, and the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credits. Urging Congress to take action on the extension of these tax credits, the letter emphasizes the importance of these credits in stabilizing capital intensive, higher-risk technology projects and in ... read more >
June 14, 2019
GAO Publishes Report On RFS’ Impact On Gasoline Prices And GHG Emissions
On June 3, 2019, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report to the U.S. Senate on the Renewable Fuel Standard’s (RFS) program effects on gas prices and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Titled Renewable Fuel Standard: Information on Likely Program Effects on Gasoline Prices and Greenhouse Gas Emissions, the report suggests that increases in gas prices outside of the Midwest (which have now diminished) were associated with the nationwide RFS, and that variations in gas prices likely depended on state-by-state transport and storage of ethanol costs. In addition, price ... read more >
June 14, 2019
DOE EERE Soliciting Members For The Biomass R&D Technical Advisory Committee
On June 7, 2019, DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Office published in the Federal Register a notice requesting the nomination for candidates to fill vacancies on the Biomass Research and Development (R&D) Technical Advisory Committee. Nominations are being accepted until June 30, 2019, and require the nominee’s name, resume, biography, and any letters of support available. The Committee advises DOE and USDA points of contact with respect to the Biomass R&D Initiative and priority technical biomass R&D needs, and makes written recommendations to the ... read more >
June 14, 2019
New Jersey Releases Draft 2019 EMP To Achieve 100 Percent Clean Energy By 2050
Recently, the State of New Jersey released its draft 2019 Environmental Management Plan (EMP), which aims to achieve 100 percent carbon neutral electricity generation and maximum transition to electrification of the building and transportation sectors by 2050. In addition to these goals, New Jersey also intends to reduce GHG emissions to meet the New Jersey Global Warming Response Act (GWRA) GHG limits. GWRA’s 2050 target requires that New Jersey reduce GHG emissions by 80 percent from 2006, which is equivalent to 25.4 million metric tons (MMT) of carbon dioxide. Doing so in the most ... read more >
June 14, 2019
FPS Publishes “Clean Growth Future Vision”
On May 31, 2019, the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) launched Clean Growth Future Vision, a document outlining FPS’ vision for cutting carbon through the development of biofuels. FPS is a trade association for the liquid fuels distribution industry and ancillary interests in the United Kingdom (UK) and the Republic of Ireland. FPS urges the government to be technology neutral and to consider options other than electrification. Guy Pulham, FPS’ Chief Executive, commented that in the short-term, consumer encouragement to make energy efficiency changes are necessary to reduce ... read more >
June 14, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Endpoints News, “Luck and Unicorns? Who Needs That? Sante Ventures’ New $250M Fund is Looking for Biotech Upstarts” Renewable Energy Magazine, “Neste and Air BP Deliver Sustainable Aviation Fuel to Swedavia Operated Airports” SportsMole, “F1 Eyes Carbon-Neutral Fuel for 2021” XinhuaNet, “Hong Kong Researchers Discover New Stem Cells Offering New Avenue for Biotechnology Study” Phys.org, “Study Identifies Most Promising Feedstocks for Pyrolysis-based Biorefinery” Des Moines Register, “Presidential Candidates Need a ... read more >
June 7, 2019
EPA Issues In Final Regulatory Changes Allowing E15 Sale Year-Round
On May 30, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released in final the regulatory changes allowing gasoline blended with up to 15 percent ethanol (E15) to take advantage of the 1-psi Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver that applies to E10 during the summer months. This means that E15 can now be sold year-round in the U.S. without additional RVP control rather than just eight months of the year. EPA also released in final the rulemaking regulatory changes to modify certain elements of the renewable identification number (RIN) compliance system under the Renewable Fuel Standard ... read more >
June 7, 2019
DOE EERE Announces Model To Assist Bioenergy Developers With Water Conservation
On May 30, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced that its Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) released an updated version of an online computer model meant to help bioenergy developers to preserve water. Called Water Analysis Tool for Energy Resources (WATER), this online tool provides in-depth analysis of water consumption used in the development of bioenergy. Designed for industry leaders, government, academia, and the general public, WATER provides information for users to make better-informed decisions about what ... read more >
June 7, 2019
DOE Publishes Report On The Benefits Of Geothermal Energy
On May 30, 2019, DOE also announced the release of GeoVision: Harnessing the Heat Beneath Our Feet, an analysis on how the U.S. can benefit from the potential of geothermal energy. The report summarizes findings that show geothermal electricity generation could increase more than 26-fold from today. Geothermal energy has the potential to reach 60 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity (a 6GW growth) by 2050, including the provision of heating and cooling solutions for residential and commercial consumers through direct-use and heat-pump technologies. U.S. Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, stated ... read more >
June 7, 2019
DOE Announces Funding Opportunity For Geothermal R&D
On June 3, 2019, DOE announced a joint Call for Proposals for an opportunity to win $2 million in available funding for the advancement of geothermal research and development (R&D) through a partnership with more than 12 European countries. DOE is a member of a transnational consortium called GEOTHERMICA, which combines financial resources and research expertise to demonstrate and validate new concepts in geothermal energy use. The U.S. geothermal community will have the ability to collaborate directly with European partners on shared research projects that leverage valuable data, field ... read more >
June 7, 2019
Companies Collaborate To Launch Sustainability Funding Opportunity
Two food-producing companies have jointly launched an initiative to drive the adoption of products and services on-farm at scale to increase sustainability on Earth. The initiative invites companies and entrepreneurs with new and emerging on-farm sustainability products and services, focused on greenhouse gases (GHG) reduction, to submit solutions to the leading companies’ experts. In August 2019, participants will be selected to present their solutions to an audience and panel of industry experts for consideration. The most promising opportunities presented will be given a special ... read more >
June 7, 2019
IATA Approves CORSIA Resolution
On June 2, 2019, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced the approval, by the IATA 75th Annual General Meeting (AGM), of the United Nations’ (UN) International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) resolution, which calls governments to continue work on the implementation of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). The first global carbon pricing instrument for an industry sector, CORSIA will cap carbon dioxide emissions from international aviation at 2020 levels (carbon-neutral growth (CNG)). Between 2020 and 2035, CORSIA aims to ... read more >
June 7, 2019
AATF Initiative Makes GM Seeds Available For Seed Companies In Africa
The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) has negotiated with patent holders to make genetically modified (GM) seeds available at the right time, price, and place to international and African-based technology owners. A business model provided by AATF and its partners, this initiative, called Seeds2B Project (Seeds2B), enables these business owners with the appropriate technologies to license their products to seed companies in Africa. Seeds2B aims to engender agricultural transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa, replacing low quality, costly, and unavailable seeds with GM modern, ... read more >
June 7, 2019
Brazil Holds Auction For Projects In Sustainability
On May 31, 2019, the Brazilian government’s Ministry of Energy’s Empresa de Pesquisa Energética (EPE -- Energy Research Company) held an auction for the supply of sustainable energy and biofuel sources for the State of Roraima’s capital, Boa Vista, and its neighboring areas. A federal energy company, EPE provides the Ministry of Energy with R&D services designed for subsidies of the energy sector, covering electricity, petroleum, natural gas and its derivatives, and biofuels. Out of 156 competitions, the nine auction winners presented projects on natural gas, ... read more >
June 7, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Phys.org, “Bio-based Fertilizers as a Solution for Phosphorus Sufficiency and Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions” EURACTIV, “With New Regulation Complete, What’s Next for EU Biofuels?” Ethanol Producer Magazine, “Nebraska Passes Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Bill” Colorado Public Radio, “Colorado’s ‘Bold’ Plan for Climate Action Moves Ahead with New State Laws” Sustainability Times, “Land, Air and Sea: Canada Funds Clean-Energy Transport R&D” GreenBiz, “With Infrastructure Reform, U.S. Could ... read more >
May 31, 2019
DOE Dedicates May And June To Renewable Biomass Feedstocks
On May 28, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced that, in partnership with its National Laboratories, it is dedicating the months of May and June to the public exploration of renewable biomass feedstocks used for the production of biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower in support of the U.S. bioeconomy. This means that during the months of May and June 2019, BETO will be sharing information on “Bioenergy Feedstocks Out Your Window” via social media and offering webinars ... read more >
May 31, 2019
DOE Reminds Applicants Of Concept Papers’ Upcoming Deadline
On May 29, 2019, DOE EERE’s BETO reminded funding applicants of the upcoming deadline for concept paper submissions for a $79 million funding opportunity for bioenergy research and development (R&D): June 3, 2019. In support of DOE’s goal to provide consumers and businesses with a range of domestic energy options that are affordable, reliable, and secure, this funding opportunity announcement focuses on advancing BETO’s objectives. It includes biopower, biofuels, and bioproducts, aiming to reduce the price of drop-in biofuels, lower the cost of biopower, and enable ... read more >
May 31, 2019
Senator Wyden Introduces Bill To Amend CAA Definition Of Renewable Biomass
On May 22, 2019, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced a bill (S. 1614) to amend the Clean Air Act (CAA) to modify the definition of “renewable biomass” under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).  The CAA currently prohibits the use of biomass from federal lands in the making of renewable fuels as defined by the RFS.  The bill would allow the use of biomass from certain federal lands needing ecological restoration in the making of renewable fuels.  The bill also is intended to make it financially feasible for private landowners to remove low-value brush that impacts ... read more >
May 31, 2019
DOE Announces EcoCAR Mobility Challenge Year One Champion
On May 22, 2019, DOE EERE announced Ohio State University’s year one win of the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge.  The EcoCAR competition, a four-year collegiate engineering competition focused on advancing energy technologies in the transportation sector, challenges universities to apply advanced propulsion systems, electrification, and other innovative technologies to transform their vehicles from design concept into reality.  Sponsored by General Motors and MathWorks, the teams have a total of four years (2018-2022) to build an energy efficient, connected, and semi-automated ... read more >
May 31, 2019
Inside OCSPP With EPA Assistant Administrator Alexandra Dapolito Dunn
On May 28, 2019, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) posted a podcast “Inside OCSPP with EPA Assistant Administrator Alexandra Dapolito Dunn” to its All Things Chemical™ web page. In its podcast, Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner of B&C, presented a very special guest, the Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP):  Alexandra Dapolito Dunn.   As Assistant Administrator Dunn has spent just over five months in office, she and Lynn sat down and talked ... read more >
May 31, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Oil & Gas 360, “Pöyry Launches Plastics ToBio Concept Aiming to Solve the Global Plastics Problem and Replace Fossil Based Plastics with Bio-Based Raw Materials” Journal of Commerce, “Provincial Government Announces New Innovation Fund for Energy-efficient Buildings” ScienceNordic, “From Lethal Spider Toxins to Eco-friendly Pesticides” Forbes, “Ethanol Industry Suffers a Court Defeat” De zeen, “Aivan Grows Headphones from Fungus and Yeast” Phys.org, “Biobased Nanocarriers to Cure Plant Diseases for the First ... read more >
May 24, 2019
EPA Announces Section 5 Notices To Be Posted Without EPA Review -- Filers Should Be Extra Diligent About Proper CBI Redactions
On May 20, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that on May 30, 2019, it will begin publishing Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Section 5 notices, including premanufacture notices (PMN), microbial commercial activity notices (MCAN), and significant new use notices (SNUN), their attachments, including any health and safety studies, any modifications thereto, and all other associated information in ChemView -- in the form they are received by EPA, without review by EPA.  EPA states that it will not be reviewing confidential business information (CBI)-sanitized ... read more >
May 24, 2019
EPA Announces New Version Of An Interactive Excess Food Opportunities Map
On May 21, 2019, EPA announced a new version of a mapping tool designed to assist in the reduction of food waste by displaying facility-specific information about potential generators and recipients of excess food. According to EPA, the Excess Food Opportunities Map serves as an online “matching” service, linking, for example, owners of anaerobic digestion facilities with people looking to dispose of organic waste, including excess food. These anaerobic digestion facilities control organic decomposition in an oxygen-free, sealed tank to produce bioproducts and biosolids for ... read more >
May 24, 2019
DOE Celebrates EERE’s Better Building Initiative Partners
On May 16, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released the 2019 Better Buildings Report, announcing the progress made by public- and private-sector organizations that participate in DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Better Buildings Initiative. Aimed at improving U.S. energy efficiency, partners in the Better Building Initiative represent 32 of the country’s Fortune 100 companies, 12 of the top 25 U.S. employers, 12 percent of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint, and 13 percent of total commercial building space. According to the ... read more >
May 24, 2019
EERE Announces Grants For SBIR Innovation Projects
On May 20, 2019, U.S. Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, announced that DOE’s EERE will be awarding up to $46 million in grants to small businesses funded through DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs for Phase I research and development (R&D). DOE will award 231 grants to 202 small businesses in 39 states and the District of Columbia (DC). Phase I grants provide small businesses with the opportunity to research technical feasibility of innovative technologies that advance DOE’s EERE’s mission. Successful ... read more >
May 24, 2019
HHS Announces Availability Of Draft Guidance On Therapeutic Protein Biosimilars
On May 22, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced via the Federal Register the availability of a draft guidance for industry titled “Development of Therapeutic Protein Biosimilars: Comparative Analytical Assessment and Other Quality-Related Considerations.” The draft guidance is a revision of the 2015 guidance titled “Quality Considerations in Demonstrating Biosimilarity of a Therapeutic Protein Product to a Reference Product.” It provides recommendations on the design and evaluation of ... read more >
May 24, 2019
CEC Awards Funding For Clean Energy Projects
On May 15, 2019, the California Energy Commission (CEC) approved approximately $11 million for clean energy demonstration projects that include biofuels, renewable gas, and microgrids. Funded by CEC’s Alternative and Renewable Fuels and Vehicle Technology Program, in support of clean transportation innovation, $2 million from the total funds have been approved for technology and investment solutions in hopes of demonstrating cost-effective and more sustainable processes for creating biomethane for waste hauling trucks. Funding was also awarded in support of renewable gas production ... read more >
May 24, 2019
Registration Now Open For “TSCA: Three Years Later”
Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), and the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health are pleased to present the one day conference “TSCA: Three Years Later” on June 24, 2019. Panelists Alexandra Dunn, Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP), EPA, and Lynn R. Goldman, Michael and Lori Milken Dean and Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, will dive into a host of topics, including ... read more >
May 24, 2019
ACS And EPA To Host Green Chemistry Challenge Awards
On June 10, 2019, at 5:00 p.m., the American Chemical Society (ACS) will hold the 2019 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.  Sponsored by EPA’s OCSPP, in partnership with the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® and members of the chemical community, these prestigious annual awards recognize chemical technologies that incorporate the principles of green chemistry into chemical design, manufacture, and use.  If you are interested in attending this event, please RSVP to gci@acs.org for more information.   EPA usually presents one Green Chemistry ... read more >
May 24, 2019
Annual Green Chemistry And Engineering Conference/International Conference On Green And Sustainable Chemistry
On June 11-13, 2019, the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® will host the 23rd Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference and the 9th International Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry.  The Conference will be held right outside of Washington D.C. in Reston, Virginia, and will focus on the theme of “Closing the Loop” in the chemical life cycle.  With over three days of programming, the Conference offers more than 40 technical sessions in seven concurrent tracks and multiple opportunities to network with hundreds of attendees from around the world.  ... read more >
May 24, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Interesting Engineering, “Reversible Plastic Developed That Can Be Repeatedly Recycled” Politico, “De Blasio Praises Biofuels, Promises More Recycling at First Iowa Stop” RFA, “New Study: Renewable Fuel Standard Saves Consumers 22 Cents on Every Gallon of Gas” Saigon Online, “Ministry Proposes Environmental Protection Tax Cut for Biofuel” UPI, “Japan’s Renewables-powered Olympics Could Spur Global Race for Clean Energy” Reuters, “Britain’s Genus Signs Deal to Bring Gene-edited Pigs to China” Ethanol ... read more >
May 17, 2019
FDA Issues In Final Guidance On Interchangeable Biosimilars
On May 13, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued in final guidance designed to assist sponsors in demonstrating that a proposed biological product is interchangeable with a reference product for the purposes of submitting a marketing application or supplement. This would mean that an abbreviated licensure pathway would be created, where biological products shown to be biosimilar to or interchangeable with an FDA-licensed biological reference product may be submitted without intervention. The guidance focuses on therapeutic protein products, providing an overview of ... read more >
May 17, 2019
BETO Announces New Biobased Adhesive Material
On May 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced that scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have developed a new, plant-derived, stretchy material that outperforms the adhesiveness of the natural chemical that gives mussels the ability to stick to rocks and ships. Composed of lignin and epoxy, the biobased material has the ability to self-heal and elongate up to 2,000 percent. Researchers at ORNL developed a method to extract a specific form of lignin, which ... read more >
May 17, 2019
DOE Announces Concept Papers’ Deadline For Funding Opportunity
On May 15, 2019, DOE EERE’s BETO announced the deadline for concept paper submissions for a $79 million funding opportunity for bioenergy research and development (R&D): June 3, 2019. This funding opportunity includes biopower, biofuels, and bioproducts, aiming to reduce the price of drop-in biofuels, lower the cost of biopower, and enable high-value products from waste or biomass resources. The opportunity includes ten topic areas: Cultivation Intensification Processes for Algae   Biomass Component Variability and Feedstock Conversion Interface   Efficient Wood ... read more >
May 17, 2019
Neste Announces Sustainable Menu For Zero Island
On May 15, 2019, Neste, a Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) member, announced the introduction of a sustainable menu to be served on Zero Island. A Neste initiative to find sustainable solutions for building a fossil-free future for an island, Zero Island is located in the Swedish archipelago. The newly developed menu, also known as the Zero Menu, has been developed with renowned chef Jonas Svensson, taking into consideration not only what is served on the plate, but also how it is produced and transported. The goal of the Zero Menu is to minimize waste, making it ... read more >
May 17, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
The Science Times, “Plant Sugars Used as Raw Material for Plastics Chemical” The Epoch Times, “Chile-based Designer Creates Alternative to Single-use Plastic – It’s from the Sea” WNAX, “Minnesota Biofuels Executive Pleased Congress Holding EPA Accountable on RFS Waivers” Business World, “US EPA Proposes Hike in Biofuel Mandate to 20.04 B Gallons in 2020” VN Express International, “Biofuel Fails to Make a Difference in Vietnam, Consumption Drops” American Greatness, “Deregulation Will Keep U.S. Biotech Out of ... read more >
May 10, 2019
Rick Perry Announces DOE Funding Opportunity For Innovative Manufacturing Technologies
On May 7, 2019, Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funding opportunity of up to $89 million in support of innovative, advanced manufacturing research and development (R&D) projects. The opportunity aims to tackle key DOE priorities, which include domestic manufacturing for energy storage. Perry stated that “[e]mbracing new technologies that drive innovation in American manufacturing is the key to creating real-world progress that significantly improves energy efficiency in manufacturing. . . . By focusing on energy-related advanced manufacturing ... read more >
May 10, 2019
U.S. Senators Submit Letter To Wheeler On RFS Reset Requirements
On April 30, 2019, 15 U.S. Senators signed and submitted a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, urging him to protect U.S. consumers and account for the ethanol blend wall when setting annual target volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) requirements. According to the letter, a decrease in consumer demand for gasoline has occurred since the RFS Program was passed into law. Instead of the original 170 billion gallons projected, now, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects a gasoline demand for 2020 to be closer to ... read more >
May 10, 2019
DOE BETO 2019 Project Peer Review Presentations Available
From March 4-8, 2019, DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) hosted the 2019 Project Peer Review in Denver, CO. According to BETO, this was one of the largest Peer Review events in BETO history, with almost 600 attendees present. The purpose of the event was for bioenergy researchers to present results from early-stage R&D projects across BETO’s technology areas. These presentations, as of May 2, 2019, have been made available online for public access, and include presentations from government, national labs, academia, and industry ... read more >
May 10, 2019
APHIS Announces Launch Of eFile This June
On May 8, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) Biotechnology Regulatory Services (BRS) announced the pilot launch of its new online permitting system: APHIS eFile. Launching on July 23, 2019, APHIS will be inviting, at the end of May, those who have been issued a BRS permit or notification in the past two years to apply for the pilot program. The plan is for BRS to transition fully to APHIS eFile in November 2019 to allow applicants who join the pilot to learn the system. The pilot will be a way for APHIS BRS to ... read more >
May 10, 2019
DOE EERE Announces Funding For SBIR And STTR Phase II Projects
On May 2, 2019, DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced funding of approximately $11 million for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II research projects. Small businesses that demonstrated technical feasibility for innovations during Phase I were required to compete for Phase II funding. Eleven projects have been awarded the funds, which will be used to build prototypes or processes development. The selections were made by EERE’s four technology offices: AMO, BETO, Building Technologies ... read more >
May 10, 2019
DOE Announces Funding For Bioenergy R&D
On May 3, 2019, DOE announced over $79 million in funding for bioenergy R&D, which includes biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower. Under Secretary of Energy, Mark W. Menezes, stated that the FOA will contribute to ensure the nation’s competitive advantage in the bioeconomy and offer more energy choices. The FOA’s objectives are to reduce the price of drop-in biofuels, lower the cost of biopower, and enable high-value products from waste or biomass resources. The FOA includes ten topic areas: Cultivation Intensification Processes for Algae   Biomass Component ... read more >
May 10, 2019
FDLI Conference On Drug, Biologics, And Biosimilars Law And Regulation
From July 23-24, 2019, the Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI) will be hosting the Introduction to Drug, Biologics, and Biosimilars Law and Regulation conference in Boston, MA. The conference will cover an overview of administrative agencies that impact these industries and how they interact with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It will also include sessions on the development of drug and biological products, FDA’s review and approval of marketing applications, biosimilars and generic drugs, manufacturing issues, and case studies, among other ... read more >
May 10, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Chemical Engineering, “Bio-based Aromatics Plant Achieves Commercially Targeted Yields, Anellotech Says” Renewable Energy Magazine, “Neste MY Renewable Jet Fuel Wins Award for Reduction of Black Carbon Emissions” BBC News, “Coffee Waste ‘Could Replace Palm Oil” Big Ten Network, “How Michigan State Is Building Better Bioplastics: BTN LiveBIG” Pune Mirror, “Bacteria Turn Agri Waste to Biofuelm First-of-its-kind Research Conducted by SPPU and Shivaji University” BBC News, “Scientists Making ‘Aviation Fuel of the ... read more >
May 3, 2019
D.C. Circuit Partially Denies Petition For Review Of TSCA Inventory Rule
On April 26, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (D.C. Circuit) issued its order on the petition for review of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final rule on the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory Notification (Active-Inactive) Requirements (82 Fed. Reg. 37520 (Aug. 11, 2017)), which denied the petition for review on all but one claim.  Petitioner Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) challenged five distinct features of the Inventory final rule:  (i) EPA’s exclusion of substantiation questions regarding reverse engineering; (ii) ... read more >
May 3, 2019
National Chicken Council Submits Letter To EPA On The E15 Rule
On April 29, 2019, the National Chicken Council submitted a letter to EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality outlining the potentially negative impact of the changes to the biofuels policy on the poultry industry. In his letter to EPA, Mike Brown, President of the National Chicken Council, reported concern with EPA’s proposal on year-round ethanol-15 (E15) use under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) Program. The National Chicken Council believes that EPA has failed to consider the impact of such volume waivers on the boiler industry, and for poultry and livestock feeders ... read more >
May 3, 2019
Biofuels In Canada Report Published
In April 2019, Navius Research Inc. (Navius Research) published a report titled “Biofuels in Canada 2019: Tracking biofuel consumption, feedstocks and avoided greenhouse gas emissions.” Using public data, the report analyzes the volume of transportation biofuels consumed in each Canadian province and estimates the impact of this consumption on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and transportation energy costs. An increase in both ethanol and renewable fuel consumption is noted in the report, which has led to reduced fuel expenditures in Canada by 0.42 percent from 2010 through 2017. ... read more >
May 3, 2019
ELI Publishes Book On Legal Pathways To Deep Decarbonization
On April 25, 2019, the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) held an event to provide an overview of their latest publication, a book titled Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States. Providing an overview of the book, a few of the authors were part of a panel discussion opened by William K. Reilly, former EPA Administrator under President George H. W. Bush. In his opening remarks, Mr. Reilly emphasized the potential existing with politics to change culture to achieve low-carbon emissions in the near future. Following Mr. Reilly, Commonwealth Professor of Environmental Law and ... read more >
May 3, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
nature, “Australian Gene-editing Rules Adopt ‘Middle Ground’” Reuters, “U.S. EPA Stalls Biofuel Waiver Transparency Plan after White House Blowback –Sources” Inhabitat, “Fueled by Chocolate: Ghana’s Newest Biofuel” ScienceDaily, “Sustainable Way to Increase Seed Oil Yield in Crops” The Pantagraph, “‘Better and Greener:’ ISU Project Focuses on Recycling, Sustainability” Forbes, “This Line of Bags Is Manufactured with Algae – and the First Run Is Almost Sold Out” Canadian ... read more >
April 26, 2019
EPA Announces Proposed Procedures For Review Of CBI Claims For The Identity Of Chemicals On The TSCA Inventory
On April 23, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed rule regarding its plan to review certain confidential business information (CBI) claims to protect the specific chemical identities of substances on the confidential portion of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory.  84 Fed. Reg. 16826.  The CBI claims that would be reviewed under this plan are those that were asserted on Notice of Activity (NOA) Form A’s filed in accordance with the requirements in the Active-Inactive rule.  Comments are due June 24, 2019. See Bergeson & ... read more >
April 26, 2019
EPA Proposes TSCA CDR Revisions And Update To Small Manufacturer Definition For TSCA Section 8(a)
On April 25, 2019, EPA issued a proposed rule that would amend the TSCA Section 8(a) Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) requirements and the TSCA Section 8(a) size standards for small manufacturers. The current CDR rule requires manufacturers (including importers) of certain chemical substances listed on the TSCA Inventory to report data on chemical manufacturing, processing, and use every four years.  EPA is proposing several changes to the CDR rule to make regulatory updates to align with new statutory requirements of TSCA, improve the CDR data collected as necessary to support the ... read more >
April 26, 2019
IRFA Speaks Against SREs For The 2018 RFS Blend Levels
On April 17, 2019, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA), a Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) member, spoke at a press conference alongside Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Naig, on how the approval of small-refinery exemptions (SRE) for the 2018 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) blend levels would undermine RFS in an irreversible way.  IRFA’s Executive Director, Monte Shaw, pointed out that under current conditions all a refinery needs to show significant disproportionate economic harm to be granted an SRE is to purchase Renewable Identification ... read more >
April 26, 2019
European Financial Leaders Publish Open Letter On Climate-Related Financial Risks
On April 17, 2019, Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, Francois Villeroy de Galhau, Governor of the Banque de France, and Frank Edelson, Chair of the Network for Greening the Financial Services (NGFS), published an open letter on the financial implications of global warming.  Co-signed by the NGFS coalition, consisting of 34 central banks, the letter warns of global warming’s potential damage to infrastructure and private property, negative human health effects, decrease in productivity, and wealth destruction.  The letter states that no countries are immune to the ... read more >
April 26, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Boston Herald, “Massachusetts Researchers Find Way to Produce Biofuels ‘Greener’” Treehugger, “From Old Duvets to Corn Stalks, a Look at Bio-based Insulations” Virtual Strategy Magazine, “DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences Launches Biobased Enzymes for…” ScienceDaily, “Green Plastic Production Made Easy” Purdue University, “Free Networking Conference for Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical, Medical Research Fields Planned at Purdue Research Park” Gizmodo, “Adidas’ FutureCraft Loop Sneaker Talks a Big ... read more >
April 19, 2019
USDA APHIS Reopens Public Comment Period On The dEIS And PRA
On April 12, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced the reopening of the public review and comment period for the draft Environmental Impact Statement (dEIS) and the preliminary Pest Risk Assessment (PRA). These two documents have been prepared in response to a permit application from a company requesting the environmental release of genetically engineered (GE) Citrus tristeza virus (CTV). The reopening of comments is the result of a new research paper released after the initial comment period back in the summer of ... read more >
April 19, 2019
DOE Announces Solar Decathlon Design Challenge Winners
On April 16, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced the winners of DOE’s Solar Decathlon® Design Challenge, which was held at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO, from April 12-14, 2019. The Challenge consisted of ten contests in which student teams designed highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy.  The winners are teams that best blended architectural engineering excellence with innovation, market potential, smart energy production, and building ... read more >
April 19, 2019
Warren Writes Article Declaring Her Plan For Public Lands
On April 15, 2019, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wrote an article for Medium Politics, titled “My plan for public lands.” In the article, Warren highlights the importance and value of U.S. public lands and the need to make them part of the climate solution rather than the issue. Emphasizing her position on corporate profits and how they should not be prioritized over local communities’ health and safety, Warren states that on her first day in office as President, she will “sign an executive order that says no more drilling—a total moratorium on all new ... read more >
April 19, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Reuters, “U.S. EPA Revives Provision That May Name Refiners Applying for Biofuel Waivers” Washington Examiner, “2020 Democrats Embrace Green New Deal at Their Peril in Iowa, Land of Ethanol” Reuters, “U.S. EPA May Grant Fewer Biofuel Waivers Due to Low Credit Prices: Wheeler” The Chemical Engineer, “BP Joins Effort to Make Paraxylene from Biological Sources” The Western Producer, “Canola-based Plastic May Hit Market Soon” The Hindu, “ICGEB’s Novel Yeast Strain Increases Ethanol Production” Forbes, ... read more >
April 12, 2019
DOE EERE Announces Prize Competition On FAST PSH
On April 8, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) announced a new prize competition to support and accelerate the development of pumped storage hydropower (PSH). The prize, titled Furthering Advancements to Shorten Time (FAST) Commissioning for Pumped Storage Hydropower (PSH), seeks innovative solutions and technologies that can assist PSH developers facing non-regulatory challenges. It would also support DOE’s goal to reduce PSH time commission from ten years to five. FAST PSH will provide winners with cash and in-kind ... read more >
April 12, 2019
DOE EERE BETO Announces Special Issue Of Frontiers In Energy Research
On April 4, 2019, DOE EERE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced the appearance of 23 journal articles from some of the nation’s leading biomass experts in the journal Frontiers in Energy Research. The collection of articles, titled Advancements in Biomass Feedstock Preprocessing: Conversion Ready Feedstocks, focuses on the many years of research and development into biomass preprocessing that has been largely supported by DOE EERE’s BETO. According to the announcement, researchers from Idaho National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge ... read more >
April 12, 2019
Minnesota Department Of Agriculture Offers Grant Opportunity
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is offering an opportunity for funding to advance a bioenergy or biochemical production technology toward commercial scale through the construction and operation of a pilot plant. To be eligible for the AGRI Bioenergy/Biochemical Pilot Project Grant, applicants must be a Minnesota-based company, learning institution, local government unit, Native American Tribal community, or individual (including for-profit businesses and colleges/universities). Eligible grant projects will be for the development of innovative bioenergy or biochemical production ... read more >
April 12, 2019
Takeaways From ABLC 2019
Last week, from April 3-5, 2019, Biofuels Digest hosted its annual Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference (ABLC) in Washington, D.C.  Among those present were various industry stakeholders, government representatives, and federal agency staffers. Innovative technologies were presented and much networking was done. The Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group’s (BRAG®) presence was welcomed and provided an opportunity for industry stakeholders to gain insight into regulatory developments in the biobased sector, particularly during the Regulatory Workshop that took place ... read more >
April 12, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. TSCAblog™, “EPA Releases Budget Justification that Increases Budget for Chemical Risk, Review, and Reduction Program”              Phys.org, “Technology Turns Municipal Wastewater Algae into Specialty Chemicals for Biofuels, Bioplastics” RealClear Energy, “The Unintended Consequences of the Renewable Fuel Standard” Quad-City Times, “Biofuels Are Not the Answer on Climate Change” Bloomberg, “These Companies Are Trying to Reinvent Recycling” Food Navigator, ... read more >
April 5, 2019
EPA Releases Draft Guidance For Pesticide Registrants On Plant Regulator Label Claims, Including Plant Biostimulants
On March 25, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finally weighed-in on the murky and often misunderstood topic of label claims for plant regulators and plant biostimulants in posting its Draft Guidance for Plant Regulator Label Claims, Including Plant Biostimulants in Docket # EPA-HQ-OPP-2018-0258.  EPA issued the notice of availability in the Federal Register on March 27, 2019.  84 Fed. Reg. 11538.  EPA states that the draft guidance, issued under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), is intended to “provide guidance on ... read more >
April 5, 2019
FDA Highlights Advances In Animal Biotechnology Product Development
On April 2, 2019, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, M.D., and Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Legislation and International Affairs, Anna Abram, released a statement on the status of FDA’s Plant and Animal Biotechnology Innovation Action Plan (Action Plan). Focused on FDA’s risk-based regulatory framework, the Action Plan aims at securing confidence in the safety and performance of plant and animal-based products for consumers, patients, and U.S. trading partners. In his published statement, Dr. Gottlieb emphasizes FDA’s ongoing ... read more >
April 5, 2019
USDA APHIS Requests Public Comments On dEA And dPPRA Draft Documents
On April 3, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced a request for comments on two documents related to the potential deregulation of a canola variety genetically engineered (GE) to convert oleic acid to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaeonic acid (EPA), as well as for resistance to an imidazolinone herbicide. The documents are a draft Environmental Assessment (dEA) and a draft Plant Pest Risk Assessment (dPPRA). While the dEA analyzes potential issues and environmental impacts, the dPPRA examines any plant ... read more >
April 5, 2019
Nouryon Announces “Weightless” Hair Styling Biobased Polymer
On April 2, 2019, Nouryon, a Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) member, announced the launch of a new biobased polymer for “weightless” hair styling. The newly developed biobased polymer, called Amaze SP, assists formulators to meet the latest trends in hair styling, which include lighter textures. Amaze SP is plant-based and part of Nouryon’s efforts in expanding its offerings to customers in the personal care market, which also includes a recently developed film-forming polymer for use in high SPF sunscreen ... read more >
April 5, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Science Daily, “Novel Role of Water in Production of Renewable Fuels” AgWeb, “Gene Editing Promise Stalled at FDA” World Economic Forum, “This Mexican Company is Making Biofuel from Cactus Plants” Feedstuffs, “Biofuel Groups Testify at EPA Hearing on Year-round E15” KFGO, “Aerion Designing Supersonic Jet to Run Completely on Biofuels: CEO” The Hill, “Ocasio-Cortez Says She Encouraged Senate Dems to Vote ‘Present’ on Green New Deal” Chain Store Age, “Target Puts Greenhouse Gases in ... read more >
March 29, 2019
EPA Releases Draft Guidance For Pesticide Registrants On Plant Regulator Label Claims, Including Biostimulants
On March 25, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) posted Draft Guidance for Plant Regulator Label Claim, Including Plant Biostimulants in Docket # EPA-HQ-OPP-2018-0258.  EPA issued the notice of availability in the Federal Register on March 27, 2019.  84 Fed. Reg. 11538.  This is an important document addressing tricky jurisdictional issues that have plagued EPA for years.  Comments on the draft guidance are due by May 28, 2019.  For a full summary of the draft guidance, please see Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.’s (B&C®) Pesticide Law and ... read more >
March 29, 2019
FDA’s Premarket Voluntary Plant Biotechnology Consultation Program Provides Opportunity For Developers
In a recent statement prepared by U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Susan Mayne, Ph.D., Director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, and by Dennis Keefe, Ph.D, Director of FDA’s Office of Food Additive Safety, FDA highlights its commitment to assisting plant biotechnology developers to foster innovation and ensure that consumers can confidently trust FDA’s high safety standards.  Plant biotechnology consists of methods used to introduce new traits or characteristics to a plant (e.g., plants resistant to insect pests, plants with reduced ... read more >
March 29, 2019
DOE EERE Deadline For Concept Paper Submissions For Funding Opportunity Approaches
On March 27, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) reminded funding opportunity applicants of the upcoming March 29, 2019, deadline for concept paper submissions on commercial truck, off-road vehicle, and gaseous fuels research.  On March 1, 2019, EERE BETO announced a funding opportunity of up to $51.5 million for new and innovative research technologies for trucks, off-road vehicles, and the fuels that power them.  This opportunity addresses research priorities in gaseous fuels ... read more >
March 29, 2019
NWF Publishes Report Linking The RFS Biofuel Mandate To Environmental Harm
In March 2019, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), a conservation organization working across the U.S., published a report called New Research Findings Link Biofuel Mandate to Environmental Harm.  According to the report, the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and its implementation are leading to environmental disaster which involves the destruction of the monarch butterfly habitat, climate change acceleration, and drainage of western aquifers, amongst other issues.  The research referred to in the NWF report was prepared by the University of California-Davis, University of ... read more >
March 29, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Plastics News, “Sealed Air, Kuraray Join Forces for Plant-based Packaging” CNBC, “Starbucks Announces Trials for Recyclable and Compostable Cups” Baltimore Sun, “Maryland Senate Passes Renewable Energy Bill; House Outcome Uncertain” ScienceDaily, “First Evidence Bacterial-induced Apoptosis in Algae” Coatings World, “Clariant Launches First Bio-based Pigment Red 254” North Carolina Biotechnology Center, “bluebird bio Dedicates New Biomanufacturing Plant in Durham” Premiumbeautynews.com, “Alkos Launches ... read more >
March 22, 2019
EPA Releases List Of High-Priority And Low-Priority Chemicals
On March 21, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it was releasing a list of 40 chemicals to begin the prioritization process required by the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  84 Fed. Reg. 10491.  New TSCA requires EPA to designate 20 chemicals as “high-priority” for subsequent risk evaluation and 20 chemicals as “low-priority,” meaning that risk evaluation is not warranted at this time.  The 20 high priority candidate chemicals include: Seven chlorinated solvents; Six phthalates; Four flame ... read more >
March 22, 2019
Fuel Choice And Deregulation Act Introduced In Senate
On February 27, 2019, Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced the Fuel Choice and Deregulation Act of 2019 (S. 581).  The legislation would remove “burdensome” regulations on domestic energy production.  The bill “provides new economic opportunity for Kentucky farmers by allowing fuel producers and automobile manufacturers to innovate and bring new products to market that will lower costs for consumers, increase domestic energy production, and protect the environment,” said Senator Paul.  The Fuel Choice and Deregulation Act would ... read more >
March 22, 2019
EPA Announces Public Hearing On Modifications To RFS RIN Market Regulations
On March 18, 2019, (EPA) announced a public hearing to be held for the proposed rule: “Modifications to Fuel Registrations to Provide Flexibility for E15: Modifications to RFS RIN Market Regulations.”  84 Fed. Reg. 9734.  The proposed rule would implement regulatory changes allowing E15 to take advantage of a Renewal Fuels Standard (RFS) program waiver. Currently, the 1-psi Raid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver only applies to ten percent ethanol (E10) during the summer months. The proposed rule also includes an interpretative definition of E15 gasoline as ... read more >
March 22, 2019
DOE Biomass R&D Committee To Hold Open Meetings
On March 18, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development (R&D) Technical Advisory Committee.   84 Fed. Reg. 9769.  The meeting will take place in Arlington, Virginia, on March 27 - 28, 2019, and will include discussions on developing advice and guidance promoting R&D leading to the production of biobased fuels and products.  The tentative agenda includes updates not only on DOE Biomass R&D activities, but also on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Biomass R&D activities.  Presentations ... read more >
March 22, 2019
APHIS BRS Announces Delayed Launch Of Updated Permitting System
On March 19, 2019, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Biotechnology Regulatory Services (BRS) announced the delay of the spring release for BRS’ updated permitting system in APHIS eFile.  The release is now expected to occur in mid-summer 2019, with periodic updates provided by APHIS BRS as the anticipated release approaches.  In its announcement, APHIS BRS highlighted its commitment to bringing a permitting system that takes advantage of USDA’s current capabilities and brings new features previously not ... read more >
March 22, 2019
University Of Utah Researchers Uncover New Technique For Algal Lipid Extraction
In February 2019, the University of Utah published the article Algal lipid extraction using confined impinging jet mixers.  The article outlines the University of Utah engineers’ latest discovery of a new method for rapid lipid harvesting which is essential to energy parity for microbial derived biofuels.  This newly developed technique is not only faster but also more efficient, and uses confined impinging jet mixers (CIJM) to improve lipid extraction from microalgae.  CIJMs extract lipids rapidly and continuously creating a multistage unit operation of mixers that ... read more >
March 22, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
CNBC, “Trump Energy Secretary Rick Perry ‘Absolutely’ Would Talk with Ocasio-Cortez About Green New Deal” Reuters, “Malaysia Threatens WTO Challenge to EU’s Move to Drop Palm Biofuel” CompositesWorld, “Bio4self Bio-based Autocomposite Wins JEC Innovation Award” Feedstuffs, “EPA’s RFS Waivers Cut Corn Demand by 900m bu.” NCSU News, “Transcription Factor Network Gets to Heart of Wood Formation” NHK World-Japan, “Panel May Propose Rules on Genome-Edited Food” Plastics Technology, ... read more >
March 15, 2019
FDA Commissioner Releases Statement On Biotechnology Innovations
On March 8, 2019, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., released a statement on the continued efforts to advance safe biotechnology innovations, and the deactivation of an import alert on genetically engineered (GE) salmon.  In his statement, Dr. Gottlieb emphasized FDA’s mission to evaluate the safety of intentional genomic alterations (IGA) in animals that will ultimately be sold for consumption in the U.S.  According to FDA’s recent framework for the efficient development of safe biotechnology products, Plant and Animal ... read more >
March 15, 2019
USDA Comment Request:  Draft Documents Related To GE Soybean Deregulation
On, March 12, 2019, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced the publication of two draft documents related to the potential deregulation of a soybean variety GE for increased yield and resistance to the herbicide glufosinate.  The draft documents are Draft Plant Pest Risk Assessment (PPRA) and Draft Environmental Assessment (dEA) for Petition to Deregulate GE Soybean for Increased Yield and Herbicide Resistance. The PPRA will examine any plant pest risks and the dEA will analyze the potential issues and environmental impacts.  The draft documents ... read more >
March 15, 2019
EC Publishes Fact Sheet On The Sustainability Criteria For Biofuels
On March 13, 2019, the European Commission (EC) published a fact sheet on the sustainability for biofuels specified.  EC adopted a delegated act that sets out the criteria for determining high low indirect land-use change (ILUC) risk feedstock for biofuels and the criteria for certifying ILUC-risk biofuels, bioliquids, and biomass fuels.  ILUC-risk fuels consist of fuels produced from food and feed crops that significantly expand globally into land with high carbon stock (high ILUC-risk fuels).  The consequences of creating high ILUC-risk fuels relate to the release of ... read more >
March 15, 2019
Scientists At UC Berkeley Discover Hidden Clues That Present Key Developments For Bioproducts
On March 11, 2019, scientists at the University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley) published a study on nature microbiology on the gut anatomical properties of the passalid beetle that helps it transform decaying wood into energy-rich materials.  Passalid beetles’ digestive tracts contain microbes that provide a roadmap for the production of affordable, nature-derived bioproducts and biofuels.  The structure of these beetles’ guts allows for different microbial communities to coexist and perform unique biochemical metabolic processes in energy extraction.  The ... read more >
March 15, 2019
LLNL Uses 3D Bioprinting To Produce Live Cells
On March 5, 2019, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) announced that their researchers have 3D printed live cells that are able to convert glucose to ethanol and carbon dioxide gas.  The substance produced from this conversion resembles beer.  This means that this newly developed technology can lead to highly efficient biocatalysis.  According to LLNL’s announcement, the use of live microbes rather than inorganic catalysts is advantageous because of mild reaction conditions, low cost, self-regeneration, and catalytic specificity.  The particular case ... read more >
March 15, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
K5News, “Port of Seattle Pushing to Use More Biofuels on Flights” Sioux City Journal, “Letter: Biofuels Industry Needs Support from Leaders in Washington” Trade Arabia, “Boeing to Offer Biofuel to Fly New Airplanes Home” Green Tech Media, “US Energy Storage Broke Records in 2018, but the Best Is Yet to Come” Reuters, “Senators Propose Bill to Extend Biodiesel, other Expired Tax Provisions” Olive Oil Times, “Environmentally Friendly Bioplastics Created from Olive Seeds” Smithsonian Magazine, “Made from ... read more >
March 8, 2019
DOE Announces Funding For Trucks And Off-Road Vehicles And The Fuels That Power Them
On March 1, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced $51.5 million for innovative research of technologies for trucks, off-road vehicles, and fuels.  Of particular interest to DOE EERE are: Gaseous fuels research, including natural gas, biopower, and hydrogen; Heavy duty freight electrification; Hydrogen infrastructure and fuel cell technologies for heavy duty applications; and Energy efficient off-road vehicles. There are five topic areas for this funding opportunity, and concept papers are due March 29, 2019. ... read more >
March 8, 2019
$31 Million Available In Funding From DOE For H2@Scale Advancement
On March 4, 2019, DOE announced an opportunity for funding up to $31 million in support of advancing the H2@Scale concept.  The H2@Scale concept focuses on enabling affordable and reliable large-scale hydrogen generation across multiple sectors in the U.S.  Large-scale hydrogen generation, transport, storage, and utilization can “unite our Nation’s abundant energy resources,” according to U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.  By producing hydrogen when power generation exceeds load, “electrolyzers can reduce curtailment of renewables and contributes to ... read more >
March 8, 2019
DOE BETO Celebrates Women’s History Month
In honor of Women’s History Month (March), DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) will be celebrating women working on bioenergy R&D projects at DOE’s national laboratories. Each week of March, BETO will highlight the contributions that these women make to strengthen the U.S. bioeconomy.  Activities include the promotion of female scientists and administrators that power BETO-funded bioenergy research on social media and a webinar titled “Women’s History Month/Women-in-Algae.”  The webinar is scheduled for March 14, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. ... read more >
March 8, 2019
DOE Announces LANL Use Of Microbial Biosensors For Conversion Pathway Design
On February 28, 2019, DOE announced that scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) have been working on molecular tools that reside naturally within microbial cells.  Microbes typically use these tools to carry out their metabolism and other life-sustaining processes; LANL researchers, however, have been using the tools to produce fuel precursors and bioproduct building blocks.  With the addition of a biosensor in the microbes, light allows the scientists to learn how efficiently the product is being made and thus enabling more efficient quality control to increase ... read more >
March 8, 2019
New Scientific Discovery:  Squid Teeth For The Production Of Textiles
On February 21, 2019, scientists Abdon Pena-Francesh and Melik C. Demirel, at Pennsylvania State University, published an article on the use of squid teeth tandem repeat proteins that can be functionally used for biodegradable fibers and films.  The flexible and tough material results from a protein present in the squid teeth, which can be grown biosynthetically by E. coli bacteria.  This biosynthetic expression of squid teeth proteins presents a number of advantages over direct extraction from the natural source.  It is a sustainable, controllable, and industrially scalable ... read more >
March 8, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Biofuels International, “Coconut Biodiesel Increase Suggested by Lawmaker in Philippines” Chemical Engineering, “BP, Virent and Johnson Matthey Partner on Production of Bio-based Paraxylene” The Express Tribune, “Biotechnology Can Transform Pakistan’s Economy” Energy AgWired, “GROWMARK Offers Pre-blended E15 at More Terminals” Reuters, “U.S. EPA Gets 37 Bids for Small Refinery Waivers through Mid-February” PhysicsWorld, “Bio-based Monomers Help Upcycle Plastic Bottles” Cosmetics Business, “INOLEX ... read more >
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