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 >
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 >
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