All Biobased and Renewable Products News

July 21, 2017
EPA Announces Public Hearing On RFS Program
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a public hearing on the Renewable Fuel Standard [RFS] Program: Standards for 2018 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2019 proposed rule.  The hearing will take place at 9:00 a.m. on August 1, 2017, and will provide an opportunity for EPA to gather data, views, and arguments on the proposed rulemaking from interested stakeholders.  While EPA does not plan to respond to presentations, the Agency may ask clarifying questions.  EPA intends to use the information to inform a future rulemaking to reset the statutory volumes ... read more >
July 21, 2017
DOE Awards $40 Million In Funding For Bioenergy Research Centers
On July 17, 2017, the U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced that $40 million in Department of Energy (DOE) awards will be used to establish four DOE Bioenergy Research Centers (BRC) to be led by a DOE National Laboratory or top university.  Each BRC will focus on laying the scientific groundwork for a new biobased economy by providing scientific breakthroughs for a new generation of sustainable, cost-effective bioproducts and bioenergy.   The following BRCs were selected based on an open competition with external peer review:    The Great Lakes Bioenergy ... read more >
July 21, 2017
DOE Announces Up To $8 Million In Funding For Algae Biofuels Projects
On July 11, 2017, DOE announced the selection of three projects focused on reducing the costs of producing algal biofuels and bioproducts that will receive up to $8 million in funding.    The projects aim to generate high-impact tools and techniques for increasing the productivity of algae organisms and cultures and biology-focused breakthroughs.  The project winners include: Lumen Bioscience, which will work with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on the agricultural production of algae on otherwise non-productive land in rural eastern Washington State by rapidly ... read more >
July 21, 2017
RICanada Welcomes Quebec Renewable Fuel Volume Requirements
Renewable Industries Canada (RICanada), a principal stakeholder representing Canadian producers of clean-burning renewable fuels, announced that the Quebec Government’s 2017-2020 Action Plan under the 2030 Energy Policy included, for the first time, renewable fuel volume requirements for fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel.  The renewable fuel blending requirement was set at 5% for gasoline and 2% diesel and is expected to increase after 2020.  RICanada stated that the “announcement on renewable transportation fuels further entrenches Quebec’s position as a leader ... read more >
July 21, 2017
EIA Issues Short-Term Energy Outlook Report
On July 11, 2017, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) issued its June Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO).  EIA considered EPA’s recent rulemakings on the 2017 RFS volume requirements and proposed 2018 RFS volume requirements when developing its STEO for 2017 and 2018.    Biodiesel production averaged 101,000 barrels per day (b/d) in 2016, and, according to EIA, is expected to increase to an average of 105,000 b/d in 2017 and to 109,000 b/d in 2018.  Biomass-based diesel imports are expected to fall from 54,000 b/d in 2016 to 53,000 b/d in 2017 but rise to ... read more >
July 21, 2017
Don’t Miss The Bioeconomy Leaders And Innovators Reception At 2016 BIO World Congress
The BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology will take place on July 23-26, 2017, at the Palais des congrès de Montréal.  Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) will co-host a Bioeconomy Leaders and Innovators Reception with Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C. from 6:00-7:30 p.m. on July 25, 2017.  Enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while engaging with colleagues to exchange ideas and explore the prospect of establishing new partnerships.  Christine Lhulier, Corporate Counsel for DuPont Industrial Biosciences, will participate in a ... read more >
July 21, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Celtic Renewables, “World's First Car To Be Fuelled By Whisky Residue Biofuel Takes Its Inaugural Journey” Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants (UFOP), “Conducting Food/Fuel Debate Based On Facts” University of Dayton, “From Fish Tank To Gas Tank” University of British Columbia, “New Biofuel Technology Cuts Production Time ... read more >
July 14, 2017
Bipartisan Renewable Chemicals Bill Introduced In The House
On June 29, 2017, Representatives Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Ryan Costello (R-PA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Linda Sánchez (D-CA) introduced the Renewable Chemicals Act of 2017 to the House.  If enacted, the legislation would create a targeted, short-term tax credit for the production of qualifying renewable chemicals from biomass and for investments in renewable chemical production facilities.  The tax credit would be provided based on job creation, innovation, environmental benefits, commercial viability, and contribution to U.S. energy independence.  Numerous industry ... read more >
July 14, 2017
EPA Releases Proposed 2018 RFS Volume Requirements
On July 5, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued proposed volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel for 2018, as well as biomass-based diesel for 2019.  The proposal lowers the blending requirement for all renewable fuel with the exception of biomass-based diesel, which maintains the 2017 blending requirement.  The proposed volume requirements are: Cellulosic biofuel, from 311 million gallons in 2017 to 238 million gallons in 2018; Advanced biofuel, from 4.28 billion ... read more >
July 14, 2017
NAS Publishes Report On Preparing For Future Products Of Biotechnology
On June 30, 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) released the final version of its report Preparing for Future Products of Biotechnology, which is the result of a collaboration by a committee of experts convened by NAS.  The report provides an overview of the committee’s discussion on “the future products of biotechnology that are likely to appear on the horizon, the challenges that the regulatory agencies might face, and the opportunities for enhancing the regulatory system to be prepared for what might be coming.”  The ... read more >
July 14, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, “Cellulosic Biofuels Can Benefit the Environment If Managed Correctly” Euractiv, “MEPs Ask Commission to Distinguish ‘Good And Bad’ Crop-Based Biofuels” American Oversight, “American Oversight Sues EPA to Release Communications with Carl Icahn” Arizona State University, “ASU Scientists Harness the Trial-and-Error Power of Evolution to Coax Nature into Revealing Answer to Energy Challenge” Pennsylvania State University, “Research Progressing on How to Spur Wide Use of Aviation ... read more >
July 3, 2017
NAS Releases Final Report on Preparing for Future Products of Biotechnology
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Margaret R. Graham On June 30, 3017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) released its final version of its report Preparing for Future Products of Biotechnology, which it states “analyzes the future landscape of biotechnology products and seeks to inform forthcoming policy making [and] … identifies potential new risks and frameworks for risk assessment and areas in which the risks or lack of risks relating to the products of biotechnology are well understood.”  This report is a collaboration among a committee of ... read more >
June 30, 2017
DOE Announces $32 Million In Funding For Small Businesses Developing Clean Energy Technology
On June 21, 2017, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that 32 small businesses across 18 states will receive a total of $32 million in grants to develop clean energy technologies that have a strong potential for commercialization and job creation.  The funding was provided by DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.  The 32 projects were selected based on scientific and technical merit, as well as the commercial potential of the project.  Seven of the 32 proposed projects involve technology for bioenergy ... read more >
June 30, 2017
NBB Meets With Congress On Biodiesel Tax Incentive
On June 20, 2017, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) announced that nearly 100 biodiesel advocates from across the country visited Capitol Hill to urge Congress to bring back the biodiesel tax incentive as proposed in both chambers of Congress.  Industry participants consisted of biodiesel producers, distributors, and feedstock suppliers from over 24 states.  According to Anne Steckel, the Vice President of Federal Affairs at NBB, the bipartisan biodiesel tax incentive should be reinstated since it helps support tens of thousands of jobs nationwide and the proposed reforms address ... read more >
June 30, 2017
Synthetic Genomics Inc. Announces Breakthrough In Algae Biofuel Research
On June 19, 2017, Synthetic Genomics Inc. announced a breakthrough in its collaboration with ExxonMobil involving the modification of an algae strain that more than doubled its oil content to 40 percent without significantly inhibiting the strain’s growth.  Synthetic Genomics researchers identified a genetic switch that could be fine-tuned to regulate the conversion of carbon to oil in the algae species, Nannochloropsis gaditana, and established a proof-of-concept approach for the new process.  The achievement is a key milestone in the partnership that aims to demonstrate ... read more >
June 30, 2017
Don’t Miss The Bioeconomy Leaders And Innovators Reception At 2017 BIO World Congress
The BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology takes place July 23-26, 2017, at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, and features two new tracks on Flavors, Fragrances and Food Ingredients, and Agricultural Crop Technologies and Biomass Supply.  Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) will co-host a Bioeconomy Leaders and Innovators Reception on July 25, 2017, with Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C.  More details to come.  Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Senior Chemist with B&C, will be attending the conference and will be pleased to discuss ... read more >
June 30, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Platts, “Recent California LCFS Case Ruling Unlikely to Affect State's Market: Sources” UPM Biofuels, “Ecofys Study on Crude Tall Oil Markets and Availability: Sufficient Supply for Advanced Biofuels, Biomaterials and Energy Usage” University of Illinois, “Corn Better Used As Food Than Biofuel, Study Finds” Chemical & Engineering News, “Green Synthesized Biofuel Meets Auto ... read more >
June 23, 2017
Biofuel Industry Sends Letter On RVP To Senate Environment And Public Works Committee
On June 12, 2017, 28 companies representing the advanced and cellulosic biofuel industry sent a letter to the members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee  requesting their support for the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act (S. 517), which is scheduled to be marked up in the Environment and Public Works Committee before the August recess.  The letter claims that the Act, which would extend the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver to ethanol blends above 10 percent, is vital to the advanced biofuel industry since it would allow E15, a more environmentally-friendly and ... read more >
June 23, 2017
NCGA Launches The “Consider Corn Challenge”
On June 7, 2017, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), along with innovation facilitator NineSigma, announced the launch of a global competition to identify new and innovative uses for corn as a renewable feedstock for making sustainable chemicals with significant market demand.  The Consider Corn Challenge is intended to be a starting point to help industry realize the full potential of corn by inspiring new concepts, approaches, and technologies that will help drive innovation.  NCGA will select up to six winning proposals from industry, academia, and other research ... read more >
June 23, 2017
BIO Announces 2017 Rosalind Franklin Award Winner
On June 14, 2017, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) announced that biotech industry veteran Vonnie Estes would receive the 4th annual Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology. Estes, an independent business consultant, will be presented the Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology during a lunch plenary session at the BIO World Congress on July 25, 2017.  Each year, the award celebrates a pioneering woman in the industrial biotechnology sector who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the biobased ... read more >
June 23, 2017
Richard E. Engler Presents On TSCA And Its Effects On Renewable Feedstocks At 2017 GC&E
On June 15, 2017, Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Senior Chemist at Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), presented at Products as Solutions to Real-World Sustainability Challenges: Incentives & Barriers, a session at the 2017 Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference (GC&E).  Dr. Engler’s presentation, “TSCA, its effects on renewable feedstocks, and how TSCA reform has changed things,” provided an overview of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and aspects of TSCA reform that impact green chemistry, including both biobased materials and sourcing from ... read more >
June 23, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Advanced Biofuels Canada, “New Comprehensive Data Report Released on 2015 Canadian Biofuel Use, Greenhouse Gas Reductions, and Costs” Platts, “Norway Bans Public Procurement of Palm Oil-Based Biofuels” University of Minnesota, “U of M Wastewater Treatment Pilot Promises to Turn Scum into Profit” Cornell Chronicle, “Cornell Engineers Transform Food Waste into Green ... read more >
June 16, 2017
EPA Awards Green Chemistry Challenge Winners
On June 12, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the 2017 Green Chemistry Challenge Award winners at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in conjunction with the 21st Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference.  The award recognizes landmark green chemistry technologies developed by industrial pioneers and leading scientists that turn potential environmental issues into business opportunities, spurring innovation and economic development.  The American Chemical Society (ACS) Green Chemistry Institute convened an independent panel of technical experts to ... read more >
June 16, 2017
DOE Announces $9 Million In Funding For Biomass Research And Development
On June 5, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), announced that up to $9 million in funding will be available through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) in fiscal year (FY) 2017.  Projects funded by BRDI will focus on developing economically and environmentally sustainable sources of renewable biomass, increasing the availability of renewable fuels and biobased products, and diversifying the nation’s energy portfolio.  DOE and NIFA ... read more >
June 16, 2017
AkzoNobel Announces Imagine Chemistry Winners
On June 6, 2017, AkzoNobel, a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), announced the winners of its Imagine Chemistry challenge.  The following winners have been awarded joint development agreements with AkzoNobel’s Specialty Chemicals business to help bring their ideas to market: Ecovia Renewables was awarded for its fermentation technology to make polyglutamic acid, which can be used to make thickeners for personal care products and other uses; Industrial Microbes was awarded for its solution to use genetically modified microorganisms to turn ... read more >
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