All Biobased and Renewable Products News

January 24, 2020
USDA Requests Input On HBIIP
On January 16, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the issuance of a Request for Information (RFI) to assist with the creation of its new program called Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). A USDA Rural Development project, HBIIP is designed to expand the availability of domestic ethanol and biodiesel by incentivizing the expansion of sales of renewable fuels. Requesting feedback from all interested parties, this RFI solicits information on options for fuel ethanol and biodiesel infrastructure, innovation, products, technology, and data derived from ... read more >
January 24, 2020
DOE Announces Launch Of The 2020 Tibbetts Awards Program
On January 21, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs Office announced the launch of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Tibbetts Awards. The Tibbetts Awards recognize companies, organizations, and individuals exemplifying the best of the best in the SBIR and STTR programs. Named after the founder of the SBIR program, Roland Tibbetts, the awards also help DOE to document the economic, technical, and societal benefits from SBIR/STTR funding. Nominees can consist of an ... read more >
January 24, 2020
DOE Announces Funding Opportunity For Advanced Vehicle Technologies Research
On January 23, 2020, DOE announced that up to $133 million will be available for new and innovative advanced vehicle technologies research designed to increase affordable, efficient, and secure transportation energy. This Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 opportunity will be funded by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and supports priorities in: (1) advanced engine and fuel technologies; (2) lightweight materials; (3) new energy efficient mobility systems; and (4) alternative fuels technology demonstrations. Topic areas and funding amounts include: Up to $40 million ... read more >
January 24, 2020
EU Funds Project To Develop Biobased Ropes For Aquaculture
On January 17, 2020, the European Union (EU) announced a new innovative project called BIOGEARS that will be funded under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). The project focuses on the development of biobased gear solutions for the creation of an eco-friendly offshore aquaculture sector using a multitrophic approach and new biobased value chains. With the aim to address the gap of biobased ropes for offshore aquaculture, which is currently manufactured with 100 percent non-recyclable plastics, BIOGEARS will create a biobased value chain under the EU Bioeconomy Strategy framework. ... read more >
January 24, 2020
Penn State Offering IMPACT Seed Grants To Support Biotechnology R&D
Pennsylvania State University’s (Penn State) Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences’ Center of Excellence in Industrial Biotechnology (CoEIB) is now offering a new round of IMPACT Seed Grants to support interdisciplinary research, curricular development, or educational activities in the broad area of industrial biotechnology. These areas include but are not limited to: biopharmaceutical manufacturing, food biotechnology, and production of biobased chemicals. According to Penn State’s announcement, project proposals of up to $25,000 per project will be available. Favorable ... read more >
January 24, 2020
B&C Launches TSCA TutorTM Online And On-Demand Training Courses
Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) has launched the complete suite of TSCA TutorTM regulatory training courses online and on-demand at www.TSCAtutor.com. Professionals seeking expert, efficient, essential training can preview and enroll in on-demand classes to complete at their own pace and timing. In addition to the newly released online e-learning courses, B&C’s TSCA TutorTM training platform offers live in-person training at a company’s site and customized live webinar training, so companies can mix and match training modules and training approaches to provide the ... read more >
January 17, 2020
Congresswoman Axne Announces GAO Response To Investigation Report On EPA Misuse Of SREs
On January 13, 2020, U.S. Representative Cindy Axne announced that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has responded to a bipartisan letter submitted by members of the House Biofuels Caucus (HBC) requesting an investigation into misuse of small refinery exemptions (SREs) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Submitted in August 2019, the bipartisan letter requested that GAO examine EPA’s review and approval of SRE waivers under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). HBC’s letter also included a request for inspection of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) ... read more >
January 17, 2020
DOE Announces Funding For Bioenergy Crops Research
On January 10, 2020, DOE announced that it will provide up to $75 million for research and development (R&D) of sustainable bioenergy crops within a period of five years. The bioenergy crops to be developed should be tolerant of environmental stress and resilient to changing environment conditions. Funded projects will focus on better comprehending the genetic and physiological mechanisms influencing plant productivity, resource use, and resilience, among other factors. DOE is encouraging researchers to draw on resources of its Office of Science user facilities and to take advantage of ... read more >
January 17, 2020
NFUS Pushes Scottish and UK Governments To Address Biofuel Issues
On January 10, 2020, the National Farmers’ Union of Scotland (NFUS) announced its pursuit for high level solutions to machinery problems linked to biofuel content. According to NFUS, many Scottish and UK farmers are experiencing issues because of the percentage of biofuel content in fuel for farming machinery. In December 2019, NFUS submitted a letter to Grant Shapps, Member of Parliament (MP) and Secretary of State for Transport, requesting long-term solutions for this problem. NFSU’s key requests include: Broker a fuel replacement scheme to enable farmers with problematic ... read more >
January 10, 2020
USDA, FDA, And EPA Announce Unified Website On Biotechnology
On January 9, 2020, also in recognition of National Biotechnology Month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the launch of a unified website for biotechnology regulation. Streamlining information about the three agencies in charge of overseeing agriculture biotechnology products, this website comes, in part, to fulfill President Trump’s Executive Order (EO) on Modernizing the Regulatory Framework for Agricultural Biotechnology Products. The unified website also describes the ... read more >
January 10, 2020
DOE Energy Storage Challenge Sets Goals For U.S. To Reach By 2030
On January 8, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the launch of its Energy Storage Grand Challenge (the Grand Challenge). A comprehensive program to accelerate the development, commercialization, and utilization of next-generation energy storage technologies, the Grand Challenge builds on the $158 million Advanced Energy Storage Initiative announced in President Trump’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget request. U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette states that the Grand Challenge will address the creation and sustainability of U.S. global leadership in energy storage ... read more >
January 10, 2020
Comments On Updated Version Of “Working Approach” Document For New Chemicals Review Due February 18, 2020
On January 2, 2020, EPA published a Federal Register notice announcing the availability of the updated “Working Approach” document for a 45-day comment period. As reported in the Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) December 20, 2019, blog item, EPA released an updated version of the “Working Approach” document that builds upon EPA’s November 2017 “New Chemicals Decision-Making Framework: Working Approach to Making Determinations under Section 5 of TSCA.” Comments are due on or prior to February 18, 2020. The updated document explains its ... read more >
January 10, 2020
ACS GC&E Call For Abstracts
On January 6, 2020, the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Green Chemistry Institute opened its call for abstracts for the 24th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference (GC&E). This year, the conference will be held in Seattle, WA, from June 16 to June 18, 2020. Conference sessions will include a wide variety of topics, including biobased and renewable chemicals innovation, innovation in analytical chemistry applications, and making organic chemistry more sustainable. The full list of sessions can be accessed here. Parties interested in submitting an abstract can do so ... read more >
January 10, 2020
Non-Profit Partners With Ukraine Ministry Of Education For Alternative Energy Competition
In late December 2019, CRDF Global, an independent non-profit focused on the global scientific community and alternatives to weapons research, announced a partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine (MES) in launching the 2020 U.S.-Ukraine Alternative Energy Research Competition. Currently accepting proposals from joint teams of U.S. and Ukrainian researchers, the competition will focus on the advancement of alternative energy sources. Intended to work toward a future of affordable solutions to address the rapid increase of the global population and, consequently, energy ... read more >
December 20, 2019
EPA Publishes Final Rule On RFS Standards For 2020
On December 19, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, signed the final rule on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, setting the renewable fuel percentages for 2020. Titled Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2020 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021 and Other Changes, the final rule establishes the annual percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel that apply to gasoline and diesel transportation fuel produced or imported in 2020. The rule also establishes the ... read more >
December 20, 2019
Implementation Of U.S. NBFDS To Begin In January 2020
The implementation date of the United States (U.S.) National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (NBFDS) is January 1, 2020. Adopted in February 2019 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Services (AMS), the NBFDS regulations (7 C.F.R. Part 66) directed USDA to establish a national mandatory standard for disclosing foods that are or may be bioengineered (BE). NBFDS requires food manufacturers, importers, and certain retailers to disclose information about whether food offered for sale is BE or uses BE food ingredients. Designed to inform consumers ... read more >
December 20, 2019
NAS Will Peer Review EPA’s TSCA Systematic Review Approach
On December 13, 2019, EPA announced that it has contracted the National Academies of Science (NAS) to conduct a peer review of its Application of Systematic Review in TSCA Risk Evaluations. According to EPA, this review will help provide it with important feedback on its approach to selecting and reviewing the scientific studies that are used to inform Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) risk evaluations. EPA states that “integrating systematic review principles into the TSCA risk evaluation process is critical to developing transparent, reproducible and scientifically credible ... read more >
December 13, 2019
Sustainable Chemistry Research And Development Act Of 2019 Referred To Senate Committee On Commerce, Science, And Transportation
On December 9, 2019, the Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2019 (H.R. 2051) was passed by the House of Representatives. H.R. 2051 establishes an interagency working group (IWG) led by the Office of Science and Technology Policy to coordinate Federal programs and activities in support of sustainable chemistry. The IWG will develop a roadmap for sustainable chemistry with a framework of attributes characterizing sustainable chemistry, assess the state of sustainable chemistry in the United States, and identify methods by which federal agencies can incentivize sustainable ... read more >
December 13, 2019
Senate Democrats Release Letter In Support Of Green Energy Tax Incentives
On December 9, 2019, 22 Senate Democrats released a letter supporting the expansion of green energy tax credits. This letter was drafted in response to the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act discussion draft that was circulated in the U.S. House of Representatives on November 19, 2019. The Senators agree with the priorities of the GREEN Act and pledge to similarly prioritize and include: Offshore Wind Investment Tax Credit,   Storage Investment Tax Credit,   Solar and Clean Energy Investment Tax Credit Extension,   Energy Efficiency Tax ... read more >
December 13, 2019
EPA Provides New Chemicals Meeting Materials And TSCA CBI Case List
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on December 9, 2019, that in advance of its December 10, 2019, public meeting on new chemicals, it is providing the meeting materials and announcing the availability of a new web page detailing cases with completed confidential business information (CBI) determinations under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Materials for the December 10, 2019, meeting include: Agenda; and   Presentation. The new CBI web page includes a table of all the final CBI determinations under TSCA Section 14(g). The table contains information ... read more >
December 13, 2019
DOE Releases Notice Of Intent For Joint Funding Opportunity To Advance Plastics Innovation Challenge
On December 10, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) published a notice of intent to issue a joint Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) with the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO), titled “BOTTLE: Bio-Optimized Technologies to Keep Thermoplastics out of Landfills and the Environment.” This FOA supports the Department’s Plastics Innovation Challenge, a comprehensive program to accelerate innovations in energy-efficient plastics recycling technologies by supporting high-impact ... read more >
December 13, 2019
DOE Accepting Applicants For SBIR/STTR FY 2020 Phase I Release 2 Application Assistance
On December 6, 2019, DOE announced that the applications currently being accepted for free assistance preparing Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) FY 2020 Phase I Release 2 applications. There are a variety of eligibility criteria, and because space is limited, DOE Phase 0 applicants are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. Each small business, however, is evaluated for selection to receive administrative and technical assistance based on the following selection criteria: The small business offers technology innovations relevant ... read more >
December 6, 2019
Scientists Uncover Production Of Aromatic Alcohols From Lignocellulosic Biomass
First published last week, on November 25, 2019, the article titled “Consolidated Production of Coniferol and Other High-Value Aromatic Alcohols Directly from Lignocellulosic Biomass” has gained media attention across the globe. Given the finite geological oil reserves, the competition to identify alternative biobased and biorefinery processes continues to grow. According to the article, the aim in identifying such products is not only to find alternatives, but most importantly to “overcome significant costs and productivity barriers.” In the aforementioned article, ... read more >
December 6, 2019
Iowa Governor Demonstrates Further Support For The Biofuels Industry
On December 3, 2019, Governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds, signed an Executive Order that requires all new contracts for the purchase of state vehicles with diesel engines to have written support from the manufacturer to use B20 biodiesel (a mix of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum-based diesel) or more. The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) started using biodiesel blends in 1994. B20 is used for most of the year already, in most equipment with a diesel engine, including motor graders and snowplows, among others. Largely contributing to Iowa’s job market and accounting for ... read more >
December 6, 2019
DOE To Host Workshop On Plastics For A Circular Economy
From December 11 through 12, 2019, DOE’s Office of Bioenergy Technologies Office will host a workshop titled “Plastics for a Circular Economy” in Denver, Colorado. The workshop will include discussions on technology solutions to address plastic waste and focus on the development of new recycling and degradation strategies. The objective of the workshop will be to identify early-stage applied research problems in the aforementioned area that need to be addressed both in the long- and near-term. Representatives from waste management facilities, circular economy experts, ... read more >
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