Biobased and Renewable Products News: International

July 6, 2018
EU-Funded Rewofuel Biofuel Project Gets Started In Sweden
On June 27, 2018, representatives from 11 European companies and universities gathered in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, to kick-off the EU-funded Rewofuel project.  This three-year, €19.7 million (about $23 million) project will demonstrate and evaluate how to best use wood residues from the forest industry to produce biofuels, with a long-term goal of starting new biorefineries across Europe. Rewofuel is a collaborative project that is expected to run for three years, and is being worked on by SEKAB E-Technology, Peab Asphalt, Sky NRG, Global Bioenergies, Neste Engineering ... read more >
June 22, 2018
EU Agrees On New Targets For Renewables
On June 14, 2018, the European Union (EU) reached a deal on the Renewable Energy Directive (REDII),which sets new targets for renewables. REDII represents stricter targets than those discussed in Brussels in 2014, upping the percentage of the EU’s energy that must come from renewable sources to 32 percent of total energy consumption by 2030. The agreement also states that at least 14 percent of transportation fuel must come from renewable sources by 2030, and includes a plan to phase out crop-based biofuels by capping the percentage of such biofuel counted towards EU Renewable Energy ... read more >
June 15, 2018
Brazil Sets Target To Reduce Fuel Emissions Ten Percent By 2028
On June 5, 2018, Brazil’s National Energy Policy Council (CNPE) set a target to reduce fuel emissions ten percent by 2028. These targets are part of the RenovaBio law, passed in December 2017, that aims to meet Brazil’s commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement by increasing the share of ethanol and biodiesel in Brazil’s fuel mix and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Andre Rocha, president of the National Sugarcane/Ethanol Forum, a group of 16 state sugar/ethanol producers associations, told Bloomberg Environment (subscription required) that the ten percent target ... read more >
April 27, 2018
Japan Will Allow U.S. Corn Ethanol Imports To Reach GHG Reduction Targets
On April 17, 2018, it was announced that Japan’s new biofuel policy will allow imports of ethyl tert-butyl ether (ETBE) made from U.S. corn-based ethanol.  Japan has updated its sustainability policy to tighten the carbon intensity reduction requirements of ethanol that is used to make ETBE from a 50 percent reduction to a 55 percent reduction.  Originally, the policy only allowed sugarcane-based ethanol for import and production of ETBE, but the sugarcane-produced ethanol was not able to meet the 55 percent greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction standard.  The new ... read more >
April 20, 2018
Vivergo Fuels Re-opens UK Bioethanol Plant, Calls For Government To Introduce E10
On April 10, 2018, Vivergo Fuels announced that it was re-opening its bioethanol plant following the passing of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO). The Vivergo plant, the largest plant in the United Kingdom (UK) and the second largest producer of bioethanol in Europe, was originally shut down due to unfavorable trading conditions and uncertainty about the future of renewable fuel policies. RTFO will increase the use of renewable fuels in transport from current levels of 4.75 percent to 9.75 percent by 2020, but Vivergo is now calling for the introduction of E10 fuel by the end of ... read more >
April 6, 2018
Bioenergy Australia And QUT Make Case For Government Policies Driving Bioenergy Industry
On March 28, 2018, Bioenergy Australia and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) released “Biofuels to bioproducts: A growth industry for Australia.” The paper calls for the implementation of a Five-Point Plan creating a bioenergy policy framework to spur growth in Ausralia’s bioeconomy.  The paper also argues that the current lack of policy and programs encouraging the bioenergy industry have hurt Australia as it has missed out on economic, social, and environmental benefits that other countries have experienced as a result of bioeconomy growth. It is suggested ... read more >
March 30, 2018
Indonesia Announces Appellate Victory Against EU AD Duty On Biodiesel
According to documents from the European Union (EU), the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the EU must remove anti-dumping (AD) duties on biodiesel imports from 13 Argentine and Indonesian producers.  Importers will be able to claim back duties that were paid in the past.  While the companies that challenged the measures are no longer subject to AD duties, the duties still apply to companies not covered under the legal challenge.  The EU initially appealed the September 2016 ECJ ruling to annul the duties but later dropped the appeal.  In addition to ECJ, the ... read more >
March 16, 2018
European Waste Legislation Supports Use Of Bioplastics
On February 23, 2018, European Union (EU) ambassadors reached provisional agreements on the waste legislative package published by the European Commission in 2015.  The four legislative proposals include amendments to the: Waste Framework Directive; Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive; Landfill Directive; and End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV)/Batteries/Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directives. ​ The Waste Framework Directive and the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive both acknowledge that biobased and compostable plastics contribute to more efficient waste ... read more >
March 9, 2018
European Commission Approves €4.7 Billion Support Scheme For Advanced Biofuels
On March 1, 2018, the European Commission announced the approval of a €4.7 billion Italian support scheme for the production and distribution of advanced biofuels, including advanced biomethane, for use in the transport sector.  Under the scheme, producers of advanced biomethane and biofuels will receive a premium to compensate for higher production costs compared to fossil fuels.  The scheme will run from 2018 until 2022 and will be financed by transport fuel retailers who are required to blend a certain percentage of advanced biofuels and biomethane.  According to ... read more >
March 2, 2018
EU Launches Antidumping Investigation On U.S. Bioethanol
On February 20, 2018, the European Commission (EC) issued a notice of initiation of an expiry review of antidumping (AD) measures applicable to imports of U.S. bioethanol.  The AD duty that has been in place since 2013 was set to expire on February 23, 2018.  The European Renewable Ethanol Association (e-PURE) petitioned the EC on behalf of producers representing more than 25 percent of the total European Union (EU) bioethanol production to review the AD measures due to the likely recurrence of injury to the EU industry.  E-Pure alleged that the removal of injury was the result ... read more >
February 9, 2018
European Commission Launches Investigation Into Biodiesel From Argentina
On January 31, 2018, the European Commission (EC) launched a new investigation into subsidized imports of biodiesel from Argentina.  The investigation was initiated based on a complaint filed by the European Biodiesel Board (EBB) on behalf of producers representing over 25 percent of the European Union (EU) biodiesel production.  The EC determined that the complaint includes sufficient evidence that the Argentinean biodiesel producers have benefitted from a number of subsidies granted by the Government of Argentina.  The investigation provides another means for imposing tariffs ... read more >
February 2, 2018
WTO Rules On EU AD Measures On Biodiesel From Indonesia
On January 25, 2018, the World Trade Organization (WTO) issued a ruling on anti-dumping (AD) measures on biodiesel from Indonesia, following Indonesia’s request for consultations with the European Union (EU) in June 2014.  The ruling is the latest in a series of legal challenges to EU AD duties on biodiesel imports from Indonesia and Argentina that were established in 2013. Similar to the WTO ruling for Argentina, the panel ruled in favor of several challenges to the AD duties for Indonesia.  For instance, the panel determined that the EU should have used the prices recorded ... read more >
January 26, 2018
European Parliament Votes On REDII
On January 17, 2018, the European Parliament (EP) adopted the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (REDII), which includes draft measures to raise the share of renewable energy to 35 percent by 2030.  Additionally, the lawmakers voted to exclude biofuels produced from palm oil from consideration of European Union (EU) Renewable Energy targets and to cap other crop-based fuels at their current levels.  The exclusion of palm oil-derived biofuels would not ban or limit the production of such biofuels in the EU.  The EP vote does not represent a final decision, but rather ... read more >
January 26, 2018
Brazil Considers Removing Ethanol Tariff
According to Brazil’s Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi, Brazil is considering lifting the 20 percent tariff on ethanol imports from the U.S..  Demand for ethanol in Brazil has increased due to record-high gasoline prices.  As indicated in the BRAG blog post Grain, Ethanol Industry Send Letter To U.S. Trade Representative On Brazil Ethanol Tariff, U.S. ethanol producers would welcome the removal of the tariff and renewed access to Brazil, which is the largest destination for U.S. biofuel exports.  Minister Maggi indicated that the decision to remove the tariff would ... read more >
January 19, 2018
Japan Proposes To Revise Its Fuel Ethanol Policy
On January 2, 2018, the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) issued a Global Agriculture Information Network (GAIN) report on Japan’s fuel ethanol policy.  According to the report, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) is seeking public comments on changes to its fuel ethanol policy.  The changes would establish a U.S. corn-based ethanol greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions value of 43.15; allow U.S. corn-based ethanol to be imported for the production of bio-ethyl tert-butyl ether (ETBE); increase the GHG emission values for Brazilian sugarcane ... read more >
January 12, 2018
ITA Issues CVD Orders On Biodiesel From Argentina And Indonesia
On January 4, 2018, the International Trade Administration (ITA) issued in the Federal Register a notice of the countervailing duty (CVD) orders on biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia based on the affirmative final determinations by the Department of Commerce (DOC) and the International Trade Commission (ITC).  As reported in the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) blog post ITC Issues Final Determinations On Biodiesel From Argentina And Indonesia, after DOC issued its final affirmative determination on November 16, 2017, ITC filed its final determination on ... read more >
January 5, 2018
ITC Issues Final Determinations On Biodiesel From Argentina And Indonesia
On December 28, 2017, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issued in the Federal Register a notice regarding its final determination on the antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia.  Pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930, ITC determined that an industry in the United States is materially injured by reason of imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia, which have been found by the Department of Commerce (DOC) to be subsidized by the governments of Argentina and Indonesia.  ITC completed and filed its ... read more >
December 15, 2017
DOC Postpones LTFV Final Determinations Related To Biodiesel From Argentina And Indonesia
On December 8, 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) issued in the Federal Register a notice on the postponement of final determinations of sales in less than fair value (LTFV) investigations into biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia and the extension of provisional measures.  As reported in the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) blog post “DOC Initiates Biodiesel Antidumping, Countervailing Investigation,” DOC initiated LTFV investigations of imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia on April 12, 2017.  DOC is postponing ... read more >
December 8, 2017
Neste Recognized For Campaign Demonstrating Circular Economy
On December 1, 2017, Neste, a member of BRAG, announced that its Ham Trick (Kinkkutemppu in Finnish) campaign was awarded two prestigious marketing and communications competitions.  The Ham Trick, which is a campaign in which Neste collects and recycles ham waste fat from 100,000 households throughout Finland for manufacturing renewable diesel, won gold at the 2017 European Excellence Awards (EEA) and bronze in the PR category at the Eurobest awards. According to Kaisa Lipponen, Director of Corporate Communications at Neste, ”[t]he prizes are an excellent form of recognition and ... read more >
November 17, 2017
DOC Announces Affirmative Final CVD Determination For Argentina And Indonesia
On November 9, 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) issued affirmative final determinations in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia.  Following a nine month investigation, DOC determined that Argentina and Indonesia are providing unfair subsidies to its producers of biodiesel at rates from 71.45 to 72.28 percent and 34.45 to 64.73 percent, respectively.  As a result, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will collect cash deposits from importers of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia based on the final ... read more >
September 29, 2017
ITC Issues Notice On Final Phase Of Biodiesel Antidumping, Countervailing Investigation
On September 20, 2017, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) published in the Federal Register a notice of the scheduling of the final phase of antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia.  ITC will hold a hearing in connection with the final phase of the investigations at 9:30 a.m. (EST) on November 9, 2017, in Washington, D.C.  Requests to appear at the hearing are due by November 2, 2017.  Stakeholders interested in participating as parties in the final phase of the investigations must file an entry ... read more >
September 15, 2017
Ontario Announces $25.8 Million In Funding Available For Low Carbon Innovations
On August 29, 2017, the government of the province of Ontario, Canada announced $25.8 million has been allocated to the Low Carbon Innovation Fund (LCIF) as a part of the province’s Climate Change Action Plan.  The funding will be used to support emerging, innovative technologies in areas such as alternative energy generation and conservation, new biofuels or bioproducts, next-generation transportation or novel carbon capture and usage technologies.    Funding is available either from: The Technology Demonstration stream, which aims to support the development ... read more >
September 15, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
DOE, “Energy Department Announces Second Round of Midwest Entrepreneurship Program to Drive Technology Innovation” Reuters, “EU to reopen biodiesel market to Argentine exporters” Renewable Fuels Association, “American Biofuels Producers Demand U.S. Government Respond to Brazilian Tariff” BBC News, “How Sicilian Oranges Are Being Made Into Clothes” University of Nebraska, “Huskers Bring the Heat to Improve Biodegradable ... read more >
September 8, 2017
EU Commission Extends Red Tractor Biofuel Crop Assurance Scheme
On August 25, 2017, the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) announced that the European Commission confirmed the extension of the Red Tractor voluntary scheme for biofuels for an initial three months.  Red Tractor is a certification body used to prove that crops meet European Union (EU) sustainability requirements.  To receive public support or count towards mandatory national renewable energy targets, biofuels used in the EU must comply with the EU's sustainability criteria.  One way for a company to demonstrate compliance is to participate in voluntary schemes ... read more >
September 8, 2017
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Platts, “New EU Biodiesel Greenhouse Gas Calculations Come Into Force” Biotechnology For Biofuels, “The Impact of Considering Land Intensification and Updated Data on Biofuels Land Use Change and Emissions Estimates” University of California, Irvine, “Markus Ribbe and Yilin Hu: Brewing Biofuel from Bacteria” United Kingdom Government, “Planes Fuelled by Waste Could Take Off from British ... read more >
September 1, 2017
DOC Publishes Preliminary AD/CVD Determination For Argentina And Indonesia
On August 28, 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announced in the Federal Register that a preliminary determination had been issued in the antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations on biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia.  DOC preliminarily determined that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia. The period of investigation for both countries is January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016.    Pursuant to Section 703(e)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, DOC preliminarily ... read more >
August 18, 2017
DOC Postpones Biodiesel AD/CVD Investigation Preliminary Determinations
On August 15, 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (DOC) International Trade Administration (ITA) announced in the Federal Register that the preliminary determination in the antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations on biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia will be postponed.  A request to postpone the determinations was submitted by a petitioner on July 6, 2017, and, pursuant to Section 733(c)(1)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, ITA determined that there was no compelling reason to deny the request.  The preliminary determination will now be due by October ... 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 >
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 9, 2017
DOC Postpones Preliminary Determinations For Biodiesel AD/CVD Investigation
On June 5, 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (DOC) International Trade Administration (ITA) announced in the Federal Register that the preliminary determination in the antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations on biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia will be postponed.  The preliminary determination will be due by August 21, 2017, and the final determination will be due within 75 days of the issuance of the preliminary determination.  Pursuant to Section 703(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, a preliminary determination is due within 65 days of the ... read more >
June 9, 2017
Neste Issues A Statement On The U.S. Withdrawal From The Paris Agreement
On June 2, 2017, Neste, a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), released a statement in response to the decision by President Trump to withdraw the U.S from the Paris Agreement.  According to Neste, the U.S. withdrawal is “unfortunate” and “a saddening turn for the international battle against climate change.”  The decision, however, will not signal the downfall of the Agreement, which has been ratified by 147 of the 197 countries that signed it.  The statement highlights the fact that no changes have been made to the ... read more >
May 19, 2017
ITC Publishes Determinations On Biodiesel Antidumping, Countervailing Investigation
On May 12, 2017, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) published in the Federal Register its preliminary determinations regarding the antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia.  ITC confirmed that there is a reasonable indication that an industry in the U.S. is materially injured by imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia, which are alleged to be sold in the U.S. at less than fair value (LTFV) and to be subsidized by the governments of Argentina and Indonesia.  As a result, the U.S. Department of ... read more >
April 28, 2017
nova-Institute Publishes Commentary on Renewable Energy Directive
On April 12, 2017, the nova-Institute announced the publication of its commentary on the European Commission’s proposal for a revised Renewable Energy Directive (RED).  The proposal, which is referred to as RED II, aims to raise renewable energy usage in Europe to 27 percent by 2030 and to require fuel suppliers to include a minimum share of advanced biofuels in their offering, which will increase steadily between 2021 and 2030.  In its commentary, the nova-Institute analyzed how the revisions presented in RED II would impact the biobased materials sector.  According to ... read more >
April 21, 2017
DOC Initiates Biodiesel Antidumping, Countervailing Investigation
On April 13, 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announced that it was formally initiating antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia.  The decision follows a petition filed by the National Biodiesel Board Fair Trade Coalition, as reported in the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) blog post “National Biodiesel Board Fair Trade Coalition Files Antidumping, Countervailing Duty Petition.”  The National Biodiesel Board and U.S. biodiesel producers also provided testimony to ... read more >
April 21, 2017
EU Publishes Report on Progress of Renewable Energy Sources
On April 3, 2017, the European Environment Agency (EEA) announced the publication of the report titled “Renewable Energy in Europe 2017:  Recent Growth and Knock-On Effects,” which demonstrates that renewables have been a major contributor to the energy transition in Europe.  An analysis of the compound annual growth rate demonstrated that the use of biofuels in transport grew fastest between 2005 and 2014 at 18 percent per year.  Renewables provided six percent of the energy used for the European Union’s (EU) transportation sector in 2014, with biofuels ... read more >
April 13, 2017
European Parliament Votes To Make Palm Oil Biofuels Sustainable
On April 4, 2017, Members of the European Parliament (MEP) approved a resolution calling on the European Commission (EC) to phase out the use of palm oil as a component of biofuels and advocating for a single certification scheme for palm oil entering the European Union (EU).  The resolution states that biofuels production accounts for 46 percent of the palm oil imported by the EU and requires about one million hectares of tropical soils.  To limit the deforestation and habitat degradation that comes from unsustainable palm oil production, the EU aims to phase out the use of ... read more >
April 7, 2017
ITC Announces Preliminary Biodiesel Antidumping And Countervailing Duty Investigation
On March 29, 2017, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the commencement of the preliminary phase of a biodiesel antidumping and countervailing duty investigation into Argentina and Indonesia.  ITC must make a preliminary determination within 45 days regarding whether there is a reasonable indication that the U.S. biodiesel industry is materially injured or threatened with material injury by imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia.  ITC has scheduled a conference on the investigation for April 13, 2017.  ... read more >
March 31, 2017
ISO Publishes Revised Marine Fuel Specifications
On March 19, 2017, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) published the sixth edition of its specifications for marine fuels (ISO 8217:2017), which includes a redefined “class F” grade for biofuel blends in marine distillates.  Up to seven percent fatty acid methyl ester (FAME), which has similar physical properties to conventional diesel, is permitted in the new “F” grades, specifically DFA, DFZ, and DFB.  Additionally, the DMA specifications have been amended to permit 0.4 higher weight percent biodiesel, compared to the suggested level in ... read more >
March 31, 2017
National Biodiesel Board Fair Trade Coalition Files Antidumping, Countervailing Duty Petition
On March 23, 2017, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) announced that an antidumping and countervailing duty petition had been filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) claiming that Argentine and Indonesian companies are violating trade laws by saturating the U.S. market with dumped and subsidized biodiesel.  The petition was filed on behalf of the National Biodiesel Board Fair Trade Coalition, which represents the NBB and U.S. biodiesel producers.  According to NBB, Argentine and Indonesian producers are selling their ... read more >
March 31, 2017
Neste Welcomes Swedish Government’s Support For Renewable Fuels
On March 24, 2017, Neste, a member of BRAG®, announced its approval of draft proposals by the Swedish government regarding mandated reductions in traffic fuel emissions and the continued tax exemption for high-blended biofuels.  By 2030, the government aims to reduce carbon emissions from transportation by 70 percent.  In addition to reducing carbon emissions, the ambitious targets and long-term perspective will help support innovation and investments in biofuels.  Neste, which has a strong focus on developing cost-efficient technologies to convert forest residues into ... read more >
March 24, 2017
European Parliament Plenary Votes Strengthen Biobased Economy
On March 14, 2017, European Bioplastics (EUBP) welcomed the outcome of the European Parliament’s plenary vote on the waste legislation proposal in which the Members of Parliament recognized the contributions of bioplastics to the European Union’s (EU) circular economy.  EUBP highlighted amendments to the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive that encourage Member States to support the use of biobased packaging and to improve market conditions for such materials and products, and amendments to the Waste Framework Directive that incorporates organic recycling in the ... read more >
March 24, 2017
Second Generation Ethanol More Cost-Effective In The Long Term
On March 14, 2017, researchers from the Brazilian Bioethanol Science and Technology Laboratory (CTBE) published a study focused on quantifying the economic and environmental impacts of second generation biofuels, based on current and future scenarios of sugarcane biorefineries that include consideration of improvements to the industrial process and biomass production systems.  Although costs were determined to be higher in the short term, the study demonstrates that second generation ethanol production is more competitive than first generation ethanol in the long run, and that it reduces ... read more >
February 24, 2017
Alberta Announces Recipients Of C$40 Million in Grants for Bioenergy Producers
On February 14, 2017, the Government of Alberta announced the recipients of C$40 million in grant funding under the Bioenergy Producer Program (BPP).  Four biofuel companies, including Permolex Ltd., Archer Daniels Midland Agri-Industries, Invigor Bioenergy, and Enerkem Alberta Biofuels, were among the successful BPP applicants to receive a grant for the first program period.  Each grant was awarded based on the amount of bioenergy the company committed to produce between April 1, 2016, and March 31, 2017.  The second program period will grant up to C$20 million to bioenergy ... read more >
February 17, 2017
Canada Publishes Draft Assessment Of Fungus For Biofuels Production
On February 4, 2017, the Canadian Department of the Environment and the Department of Health published in the Canada Gazette the draft screening assessment of the commercially relevant fungus, Trichoderma reesei, stating that the organism is nontoxic and does not require regulatory action under Section 77 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). Following a screening assessment, Trichoderma reesei , which is used to convert biomass to biofuels and sugars and to produce food and health products, was found to not meet the criteria set out in CEPA Section 64 since the ... read more >
February 17, 2017
Joint Letter To Trump On China’s Trade Barriers
On February 7, 2017, the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy, and the U.S. Grains Council sent a joint letter to President Donald Trump to request the Administration’s assistance in addressing China’s recent implementation of protectionist trade barriers, which are shutting out U.S. exports of ethanol and distillers dried grains.  The letter states that China’s actions have significantly injured U.S. ethanol producers and farmers, and undermined the substantial investments made to develop a cooperative and mutually beneficial trade relationship with the ... read more >
February 2, 2017
Ontario Seeks Input On RFS Discussion Paper
On January 11, 2017, the Government of Ontario released a discussion paper titled “Developing a Modern Renewable Fuel Standard For Gasoline in Ontario,” which provides context for the new RFS requirements.  The discussion paper explains that Ontario aims to keep the following considerations in mind when designing the RFS policy: ■   Ensure a level playing field for fuels, regardless of technology or origin;   ■   Set ambitious but achievable goals;     ■   Support near and long-term ... read more >
December 16, 2016
China To Double Ethanol Production by 2020
On December 5, 2016, China's National Energy Administration (NEA) published a five-year plan that aims to increase ethanol production to four million tons by 2020 despite the government maintaining strict control over the use of food grains.  The target remains unchanged from the previous five-year plan that ended in 2015.  NEA intends to increase the share of non-fossil fuel consumption from 12 percent to 15 percent by 2020, in part through the vigorous development of fiber ethanol from the inedible parts of plants.  The plan prioritizes the development of cassava and ... read more >
December 16, 2016
India Launches Biofuel-Run Bus Service
On December 5, 2016, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) launched the Aapli bus service, India’s first green bus service, in Nagpur, which includes five buses that will run on ethanol biofuel.  Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, aims for Nagpur to be the first city to have all of its buses powered by biofuel through the addition of new green buses and the conversion of existing diesel-run buses.  During the launch event at Yeshwant Stadium, Gadkari stated the plan was to produce ethanol from molasses, rice, wheat straw, and bamboo using ... read more >
December 9, 2016
Neste Responds To EC Proposal On Revised Renewable Energy Directive
On November 30, 2016, Neste, a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), released a statement in response to the publication of the European Commission’s (EC) proposal on the revised Renewable Energy Directive (Directive) for 2021 to 2030.  The aim of the Directive is to raise renewable energy usage in Europe to 27 percent by 2030.  In the revised Directive, the EC introduced a mandate requiring fuel suppliers to include a minimum share of advanced biofuels in their offering, which will increase steadily between 2021 and 2030.  Neste ... read more >
December 9, 2016
UK Consultation On Proposed Changes To Renewable Transport Fuel Obligations
On November 29, 2016, the United Kingdom (UK) Department of Transportation published proposed legislative changes to the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), which is open for consultation until January 22, 2017.  Among the proposed changes is an increase in the blending mandates to 9.75 percent by volume for 2020.  The three main proposals outlined detail increasing the supply of waste derived fuels, encouraging the production of advanced renewable fuels, and setting a maximum cap for fuels from food crops.  The aim of the consultation is to determine whether further ... read more >
November 18, 2016
European Commission Announces €222.7 Million Investment In Sustainable And Low-Carbon Projects
On November 3, 2016, the European Commission announced that 144 new green and low-carbon projects from 23 Member States will be funded by a €222.7 million investment from the European Union (EU) budget, which will be combined with €175.9 from additional investments.  The funding comes from the LIFE programme, the EU’s funding body for the environment and climate action, with the goal of progressing Europe towards a more sustainable future.   The selected projects align with the EU’s objective to reduce GHG emissions and transition to a more circular economy. ... read more >
November 18, 2016
RSB Announces Revision Of Principles & Criteria
On November 8, 2016, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) announced its members voted unanimously to publish revised Principles & Criteria that streamline the requirements and make them more user-friendly. The decision was announced at the Annual Assembly of Delegates meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam.   RSB stated the amendments will offer:   ■   A new user-friendly format, enabling easy understanding of how to apply the standard;    ■   Streamlined and clear impact assessment ... read more >
November 18, 2016
ASTM and CEN Issue Call For Abstract Submissions For Workshop On Degradable, Biodegradable, And Biobased Products Standards
ASTM Committee D20 on Plastics and CEN TC411 issued a call for presentation abstracts for the Workshop on Degradable, Biodegradable, and Biobased Products Standards.  The 2017 workshop is designed to facilitate a discussion on standards development and implementation regarding testing and specification of biobased, degradable, and biodegradable materials.   Topics for presentation and panel discussions include:   ■   Biobased/renewable resource content testing, specification, and certification;   ■   Aerobic ... read more >
November 11, 2016
UNEP Report Calls For Stronger Policies To Limit Climate Change
On November 3, 2016, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released the seventh UNEP Environment Emissions Gap Report, presenting a scientific assessment of global progress towards emissions reductions created by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).  The report found that if all Paris Agreement pledges to reduce emissions global temperature are achieved, global temperatures will still rise to more than 2°C over preindustrial levels.  UNEP chief Erik Solheim stated that we need to move faster to mitigate our impact on climate change, with ... read more >
October 28, 2016
IBioIC Announces Recipients Of £3 Million In Funding For Synthetic Biology Projects
On October 17, 2016, the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) announced over £3 million in investments over six synthetic biology projects.  IBioIC was founded by Ingenza Ltd, GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK), and INEOS to connect academic expertise in synthetic biology with industrial capabilities from businesses in the area.  IBioIC focuses on biotechnology in health, industrial, agriculture, and marine areas.  Recipients of the £3 million in funding are:   ■   “Synpromics with University of Edinburgh to enable better gene ... read more >
October 21, 2016
Biofrontiers Platform Releases Policy Recommendations For EU’S 2030 Climate Goals
On October 11, 2016, the Biofrontiers platform, a group of industry and civil society stakeholders brought together by the European Climate Foundation, released policy recommendations for the European Union’s (EU) 2030 climate policy.  The group stated that the transport sector has become the largest source of carbon emissions in the EU, and is therefore an urgent area to tackle following the Paris climate change agreement.  Policy recommendations put forth by the Biofrontiers platform, as stated in the Biofrontiers report, ... read more >
October 14, 2016
Reports On Canadian Biofuels GHG Emissions Argue For And Against Biofuel Mandates Over Carbon Pricing
On October 4, 2016, Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission (EFC) published a report,  Course Correction: It’s Time to Rethink Canadian Biofuel Policies, arguing for the termination of biofuel subsidies.  The report claims that Canadian biofuel policies have reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions an average of three million tonnes annually, accounting for less than 0.5 percent of Canada’s total GHG emissions.  Annual costs of the biofuel policies were estimated to be C$640 million, resulting in an estimated average per-tonne cost of GHG emission reduction ranging ... read more >
September 30, 2016
EU Ethanol Industry Pushes Back Against EC’s Low-Emission Mobility Strategy
On September 21, 2016, Pannonia Ethanol, a Hungarian biofuels company, spoke out against the European Commission's (EC) Low-Emission Mobility Strategy . The strategy recognizes the importance of biofuels in reducing road emissions, and plans on replacing ethanol that is currently being blended into traditional fuels with advanced biofuels. This has spurred concerns for the ethanol industry, as ethanol is increasingly phased out of government emission reduction initiatives in favor of advanced biofuels. Mark Turley, CEO of Ethanol Europe, said of the new strategy, "Incentives and ... read more >
September 9, 2016
Mexico Publishes 5.8 Percent Ethanol Mandate For Rural Areas
On August 29, 2016, the Energy Regulatory Commission of Mexico (CRE) published fuel regulation NOM-016-CRE-2016 in the Mexican Federal Register. This fuel standard allows for the blending and sale of up to 5.8 percent ethanol in the nation's fuel supply outside of Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey. These new regulations will go into effect 60 days after publication of the bill, marking the first ethanol mandate to impact rural areas of Mexico. Guadalajara currently has a 2 percent ethanol blend mandate that is eventually expected to expand to Mexico City and ... read more >
September 9, 2016
Non-Profits Release Report On Improvements To The European Commission’s Bioenergy Policy
On September 5, 2016, a group of non-profits, including Oxfam International, Fern, and Greenpeace, published a report outlining policy measures that should be taken by the European Commission (EC) to ensure that bioenergy is as low-carbon and resource efficient as possible. The report, "A New EU Sustainable Bioenergy Policy Report," was published after EC stated a willingness to listen to new proposals to improve sustainable bioenergy policies. EC is planning on proposing an updated bioenergy sustainability policy for the use of biomass in heating, electricity, and transport by the ... read more >
September 2, 2016
USDA Reports On Increasing Ethanol Production Capacity In The Philippines
On August, 24, 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service released an annual report on the Philippines' biofuel industry and ethanol imports. In January 2007, The Biofuels Act or Republic Act (RA 9367) was signed, creating biofuels legislation in the Philippines that now mandate a ten percent ethanol blend and a two percent biodiesel blend. While the Biofuels Act gives priority to local ethanol, supply issues with local ethanol production have resulted in the ethanol blend mandate historically being met with imports. The USDA report expects local ethanol ... read more >
September 2, 2016
Brazil Backtracks From Plan To Increase Ethanol Use Through Tax Breaks
On August 24, 2016, Brazil's government announced that it would not be extending a tax break on ethanol sales that is due to expire in December 2016. During the 2015 Paris Climate Accord, Brazil pledged to increase cane-based ethanol and biodiesel to nearly 18 percent of its total energy mix by 2030, requiring an increase in annual ethanol production from 30 billion liters in 2015/2016 to 50 billion liters in 2030. The loss of the ethanol tax break prevents biofuel from being cost competitive with gasoline, and will severely impede the ability of ethanol and biodiesel to make up a larger ... read more >
August 26, 2016
ASTM International Updates Standard To Determine Biobased Content Of Bioproducts
ASTM International's Committee on Plastics recently approved revisions to standard D6866, Test Methods for Determining the Biobased Content of Solid, Liquid, and Gaseous Samples Using Radiocarbon Analysis. This standard was originally approved in 2004, and is used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) BioPreferred® Program, by EPA when it is determining the sustainability of plastics, and by other corporations using biobased plastics. D6866 is used to determine the percent of carbons present in the final product that come from plant-biomass carbon feedstock versus ... read more >
August 19, 2016
DOE Joins Indian Ministry Of Science And Technology To Fund New PACE-R Consortium
On August 10, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a $30 million expansion of the U.S.-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy Research (PACE-R). DOE is partnered with the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology (MST), and both departments are committing $1.5 million annually over the next five years to expand research into smart grid and energy storage technology. U.S. and Indian private sectors will match the government commitments, resulting in a total of $30 million in public-private research investment over the next five years. The PACE-R initiative was originally ... read more >
August 19, 2016
India Outlines Plan To Increase Biofuels Market By More Than 750 Percent By 2022
On August 10, 2016, India's Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan spoke at a conference in New Delhi about the future of India's biofuel market. He discussed how a target five percent biodiesel blend and a ten percent ethanol blend in gasoline could increase the biofuels market from 65 billion rupees to 500 billion rupees by 2022. The Indian biofuel industry is currently trying to achieve a five percent biobased blend for both diesel and gasoline, and aims to increase the availability of domestic biofuels through the construction of multiple ethanol plants, as well as further development of ... read more >
August 5, 2016
Canadian Government Invests $12 Million In Sarnia-Lambton’s Bioeconomy
On July 25, 2016, the the Honorable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development and the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario announced a $12 million investment in Bioindustrial Innovation Canada. The Centre for the Commercialization of Sustainable Chemistry Innovations will be supported through the funding, and will help businesses quickly bring biobased products from final testing stages to the commercial market. This funding will specifically benefit the Sarnia-Lambton region, and create 478 full-time equivalent ... read more >
August 5, 2016
Upcoming EC Event Will Focus On Bioeconomy And Biobased Products
Don't miss the upcoming European Commission (EC) Knowledge Exchange Platform (KEP) workshop "From bio-waste to bio-based products: the potential for regional innovation development." This Brussels-based session of the KEP Bioeconomy Showcasing Event will present the EC's biotechnology initiative and policy framework, as well as case studies on regional growth of biobased products. This workshop is scheduled for October 11, 2016, as part of the European Week of Regions and Cities conference. Registration is free and open through September 26, ... read more >
July 29, 2016
European Court Of Auditors Releases Report On EU Biofuel Sustainability Certifications
On July 21, 2016, the European Court of Auditors released Special Report No 18/2016: The EU system for the certification of sustainable biofuels. This report assessed the existing biofuels sustainability certification framework of the European Commission (EC) and highlighted key issues with the system. Issues with the certification framework could undermine the European Union's (EU) 2020 goals for renewable energy. The report determined that the EC does not properly track working conditions occurring during biofuel production, indirect land use-change (ILUC) caused by biofuel production, ... read more >
July 8, 2016
Australian Renewable Energy Agency Providing $2.4 Million To Support Biorefinery Development
On June 23, 2016, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced $2.4 million in funding to support the development and construction of a biocrude and biofuel laboratory in Queensland. The $5.3 million project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2019 and will be Australia's first biorefinery producing renewable diesel and jet fuel from plant material. Australian companies have produced biocrude in the past but there is currently no commercial scale process to refine the biocrude into useable biofuels. The project by Southern Oil Refining (SOR) will help the Royal ... read more >
June 17, 2016
Industry Responds To Revised European Parliament Report On Waste Legislation
On June 9, 2016, European Bioplastics (EUBP) announced the support of a European Parliament (EP) report emphasizing the role of bioplastics in the creation of a circular bioeconomy. The report, produced by Italian MEP Simona Bonafè, outlines legislation that is needed to use waste more efficiently to create bio-based materials. Increasing the value of waste by promoting its use to create other bioproducts will help shift the linear bioeconomy to a circular, more efficient, bioeconomy. The report suggested defining composting and anaerobic digestion of organic waste as recycling, and ... read more >
June 3, 2016
European Commission Refers Poland To EU Court Of Justice Over Biofuel Restriction Disagreement
On May 26, 2016, Poland was referred to the European Union (EU) Court of Justice for establishing restrictions for certain imported biofuels and raw materials used for the production of biofuel. The EU's Renewable Energy Directive requires sustainable biofuels and their raw materials be treated equally by Member States regardless of origin. Polish law provides preferential treatment for fuel operators sourcing at least 70 percent of their biofuels from Polish manufacturers, and for biofuel production from raw materials originating in certain countries. Poland also lacks fuel requirements ... read more >
May 27, 2016
USDA Exploring Ways To Increase U.S. And Mexican Renewable Energy Sectors
On May 23, 2016, USDA announced that a team of U.S. ethanol industry leaders would travel to Mexico with Acting Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse to explore opportunities to expand the United States' and Mexico's renewable energy industries. The trip occurred on May 24-25, 2016, with mission participants sharing their experiences with ethanol production and developing renewable fuel policies. The goal of the trip was to demonstrate how Mexico can implement its own renewable fuels program by taking advantage of Mexican grown sugarcane. Supporting the development of a ... read more >
May 13, 2016
European Commission Gives Portugal Two Months To Address Issues With Biofuel Law Compliance
On April 28, 2016, the European Commission (EC) encouraged Portugal to become fully compliant with the Renewable Energy Directive (Directive) through the release of an April infringements fact sheet. The Directive has set the goal of 20 percent of the European Union's (EU) 2020 energy consumption coming from renewable energy, with each Member State consuming at least ten percent renewable energy. Biofuels used in reaching this goal must meet a set of harmonized sustainability requirements, and must be treated equally by Member States regardless of the country of origin. Portugal has been ... read more >
April 15, 2016
Argentina More Than Doubles Required Ethanol Blend To Move Away From Fossil Fuels
On April 8, 2016, Reuters reported that Argentina is planning on increasing the required percentage of ethanol in gasoline from 12 percent to 26 percent. Specific targets have not yet been created for increasing the required ethanol blend, but Argentina has been increasing the required ethanol percentage to reduce energy deficits and boost its economy. Argentina first created an ethanol mandate at five percent in 2010, and has increased the percentage incrementally since then. The increase of 14 percent, from 12 percent to 26 percent, is expected to result in $400 million in investments, and ... read more >
March 18, 2016
Richard E. Engler, Ph.D. Presents On Green Chemistry Issues At Chemical Watch Global Business Summit In Brussels
Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Senior Chemist at Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) and The Acta Group (Acta®), made two presentations at the Chemical Watch Global Business Summit held in Brussels, Belgium from February 22-25, 2016. Dr. Engler presented during the "Green (Sustainable) Chemistry: The business and economic case for sustainable chemistry" seminar. His presentations are described below. For a full copy of either of these presentations, please contact Dr. Engler at rengler@lawbc.com. "Latest Developments in Green Chemistry in the US and possible ... read more >
February 5, 2016
World Bio Markets Bio Business Awards Open Nominations For 2016 Cycle
The 2016 World Bio Markets Bio Business Awards are now accepting nominations for categories covering people, companies, and projects that have advanced the bioeconomy. The eight categories for the 2016 awards are: Biofuels Partnership of the Year;   Bio-Based Brand of the Year;   Breakthrough Bio-Based Technology Platform;   WBM Bio-Based Business Person of the Year;   Bio-Based Chemical Partnership of the Year;   WBM Industry Champion 2016;   Bio-Based Product Innovation of the Year; and   Biomass Power Project of the Year. Nominations ... read more >
January 22, 2016
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
■ Anellotech, "Anellotech and Suntory Enter Next Phase of Strategic Partnership to Develop 100 Percent Bio-Based Plastics for Sustainable Beverage Bottles" ■ LanzaTech, "LanzaTech and Global Bioenergies Announce New Collaboration Agreement" ■ INVISTA, "INVISTA Receives Patent For Bio-Derived Raw Materials Technology Developed Through Collaboration With Arzeda" ■ Thanhnien News, "Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh Ordered to Switch Completely to Biofuel" ■ Phys.org, "Study Seeks Nature's Best ... read more >
January 15, 2016
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Indiana University Bloomington Newsroom, “IU Scientists Create 'Nano-Reactor' for the Production of Hydrogen Biofuel” Fashion Times, “Charmant USA Launches New Bio-Based Sustainable Eyewear Brand” RICE University News & Media, “Study:  Bacteria Attack Lignin with Enzymatic Tag Team” Plastics Today, “3D-Printed Bioplastic Façade Elements Lend Cachet To Europe Building” Blue Sphere, “Blue Sphere Secures $3M to Acquire Italian Biogas ... read more >
November 20, 2015
South Africa Accepting Proposals For Funding Of Advanced Biofuel Production
On November 16, 2015, The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) of South Africa called for submissions of Statements of Interest focusing on the demonstration of 2nd and 3rd generation biofuel production technologies. TIA manages the Biofuels Technology Demonstration Programme (BTDP) on behalf of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and is looking to support South African advanced biofuel production technology. To submit a proposal, applicants must be South African citizens, be preexisting legal entities, operate primary technology development activities in South Africa, and have the ... read more >
September 11, 2015
USDA Releases Economic Information Bulletin On International Biofuel Use
On September 1, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Economic Research Service released the information bulletin "Biofuel Use in International Markets: The Importance of Trade." The report reviews global biofuel production from 2001 to the present, including economic impacts of the Renewable Fuel Standard, biofuel exports in the U.S., and the future prospects of the U.S. biofuel trade. Biofuel production has increased dramatically from 2001 to 2013, with the fastest growth occurring before 2011. The report stresses that as biofuel production is growing at a slower ... read more >
July 10, 2015
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
■ United, "United Airlines Purchases Stake In Fulcrum BioEnergy With $30 Million Investment" ■ Microvi, "Innovative Microvi Bio-Ethanol Technology Validated At Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory" ■ Avantium, "Avantium's PEF Plastic At The EXPO 2015 In Milan" ■ The Swedish Knowledge Centre for Renewable Transportation Fuels, "New Research Programs For Cheaper And More Efficient Biofuels" ■ IOPScience: Environmental Research Letters, "Comparative Water Use By Maize, ... read more >
June 25, 2015
Australia Reaches Agreement To Tax Biodiesel And Ethanol
On June 17, 2015, the Australian government made a bipartisan agreement to tax Australian-produced biodiesel and ethanol. Cleaner fuel grants for renewable and biobased diesel fuels will end by July 1, 2015, as will the Ethanol production grant. An excise rate on biodiesel will be phased in starting in 2015-2016 at zero percent, and will increase annually, eventually reaching 50 percent of the diesel excise rate in 2030-2031. The Biofuels Association of Australia approved of the agreement, saying it will "allow the industry to focus on the longer term and provides a sustainable footing ... read more >
June 25, 2015
Weekly Round-up of Other Biobased News
■ Uganda Media Centre, "Cabinet pproves The Biofuels Bill, 2014" ■ National Marine Manufacturers Association, "Recreational Boating Industry Turning to Biobutanol as Alternative Biofuel" ■ University of Manchester, "Mould Unlocks New Route to Biofuels" ■ KiwiNet, "KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards 2015 Winners Announced" ■ Phys.org, "Straw-Insulated Houses Beat Petroleum-Based ... read more >
June 19, 2015
UPM Receives €13.1 Million From EU For ValChem Project
On June 11, 2015, the European Union (EU) provided UPM's ValChem project with €13.1 million to demonstrate the wood to chemicals value chain. ValChem is working to produce chemical building blocks and lignin from wood, resulting in a sustainable integrated process to produce economically viable biochemicals. UPM will work with Sekab, METabolic EXplorer, and Technische Universität Darmstadt on the ValChem project, which has a budget of €18.5 million. ValChem will use sustainably sourced wood in demonstration plants of the project partners to convert the wood to sugars, ... read more >
June 12, 2015
RSB Votes To Approve Low iLUC Risk Biomass Criteria And Compliance Indicators
On June 1, 2015, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) voted to pass the new Low iLUC Risk Biomass Criteria and Compliance Indicators standard. The standard was approved as an optional module for those undergoing RSB certification, and will be used to show that biomass is produced with low indirect land use change (iLUC), resulting in little impact on food production and biodiversity. It is important to demonstrate how iLUC in order to prove that a biobased alternative to a traditional product is better for the environment than the original product. iLUC takes into account the ... read more >
June 12, 2015
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
■ CHS, "CHS Acquires Patriot Renewable Fuels Ethanol Plant" ■ Oak Ridge National Laboratory, "BESC, Mascoma Develop Revolutionary Microbe For Biofuel Production" ■ WSU News, "Alaska Airlines Plans Biofuel Test Flight In WSU Partnership" ■ Solvay, "Solvay Opens Biotechnology Laboratory In Brazil To Boost Innovation In Sustainable Chemistry From Biomass" ■ Reuters, "ADM Suspends German Biodiesel Plant Output On Uncertain Demand" ■ st1, "St1 Built A ... read more >
May 29, 2015
European Parliament Votes To Continue Requiring Ethanol
On May 20, 2015, the European Parliament voted to reject a plan that would eliminate the requirement for import licenses of ethanol of agricultural origin. The plan was rejected with a vote of 486 to 164 amid concerns that the loss of ethanol import data that came from the licenses would negatively impact anti-dumping duty cases. The anti-dumping duties were implemented in February 2013, and are valid through February 2018. The duties require $83.03 per metric ton of U.S. ethanol that is exported to European Union (EU) countries. The continuation of ethanol import licenses also ensures ... read more >
May 8, 2015
Roundtable On Sustainable Biomaterials Proposes Low Risk ILUC Standard
On April 29, 2015, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) released a draft standard titled "Low iLUC Risk Biomass Criteria and Compliance Indicators" that will allow producers to show that they generate biofuels crops with a low-risk of indirect land use change (ILUC). The standards take into account yield increase, unused or degraded land, use of waste or residues, and integrated sugarcane and cattle production. The RSB standard is intended to be used in conjunction with the new European Union (EU) ILUC amendment that has provisions for low-ILUC biofuels. The standard ... read more >
May 8, 2015
Parliament Finalizes EU Biofuels Reform Rule
On April 28, 2015, the European Parliament approved a draft law restricting crop-based biofuels in order to encourage production of advanced biofuels with low-risk ILUC and cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The law, that was discussed in the April 23, 2015, Biobased and Renewable Products Update, applies to legislation requiring EU Member States ensure that at least 10 percent of energy used in transport by 2020 is renewable. Under the new law, no more than 7 percent of energy consumption by 2020 can be first-generation biofuels, resulting in at least 3 percent of energy consumption coming ... read more >
April 23, 2015
EU Restricts Use Of First Generation Biofuels To Promote Advanced Biofuels
On April 14, 2015, Members of the European Parliament and certain ministers agreed to limit how biofuels derived from agricultural crops would be accounted for in the European Union's (EU) goal to increase the use of renewable energy. The new law caps the use of first generation biofuels to seven percent of the total energy use being counted towards the EU's renewable energy goal of ten percent. Member States will have the opportunity to reduce the cap of crop-based biofuels at their discretion. The law came about in part from fears about food security and negative indirect land use ... read more >
April 3, 2015
NBB Petitions EPA For Reconsideration And Stay Of CARBIO Approval
On March 30, 2015, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) submitted a petition to EPA seeking reconsideration and a request for stay of EPA's approval of the Argentinian Camara Argentina de Biocombustibles (CARBIO) Alternative Biomass Tracking Program. According to the NBB press release, EPA failed to provide an opportunity for public comment on the EPA decision and a lack of transparency as to how the Argentinian biodiesel producers will demonstrate compliance with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). NBB notes that EPA's delay in establishing RFS volumes has destabilized the U.S. biodiesel ... read more >
March 13, 2015
Winners Of The 2015 Bio Business Awards Announced In Amsterdam
On March 2, 2015, the winners of the 2015 Bio Business Awards were announced at the World Bio Markets (WBM) event in Amsterdam. The awards are designed to reward innovation and leadership in the development of sustainable and renewable fuel and chemical solutions. Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation was named the WBM Industry Champion 2015, DuPont's Sorona Fiber won an award for Breakthrough Biobased Technology Platform, and Elevance Renewable Sciences won the Biobased Product Innovation of the Year for its Elevance Clean 1200 product. Other awards went to Lanzatech for Feedstock of the Year, ... read more >
February 26, 2015
ICCT National Case Studies On Waste, Residue, And Cellulosic Biofuel
On February 16, 2015, the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) released a report, National Case Studies on Potential Waste and Residue Availability for Cellulosic Biofuel Production in the EU. The report is an addendum to the Availability of Cellulosic Residues and Wastes in the EU report that was released in February 2014. This study showed a significant potential for biofuels produced from waste and residues in Europe. It concluded that if the European Union (EU) set policies promoting sustainable low-carbon-transport fuels, over 100,000 permanent jobs and ... read more >
February 26, 2015
European Draft Law Approved To Limit Use Of Food Crops In Biofuels
On February 24, 2015, the European Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) voted on a draft law to limit the indirect land use change (ILUC) produced by biofuel crops. The 2009 Renewable Energy Directive states that 10 percent of energy used in the transport sector of the EU must come from renewable sources, and the majority of that percentage is reached through biofuels. The increase in the growth of food crops being used for biofuels has created concerns about the ILUC as forests and wetlands were cleared to make way for agricultural growth. The ... read more >
February 12, 2015
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
■ Domestic Fuel, "New President for Poet-DSM Joint Venture" ■ Packaging Europe, "The Future of Corrosion Protection with Nature's Best" ■ Biobased Industries Consortium, "Newly-formed Bioeconomy Alliance Calls for EU Action" ■ eLife Sciences, "Expanding Xylose Metabolism in Yeast for Plant Cell Wall Conversion to Biofuels" ■ ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, "A New Class of Bio-Based Paper Dry Strength Agents: Synthesis and Characterization of Soy-Based Polymers" ■ Business Standard, ... read more >
February 6, 2015
EPA Approves Argentina’s Biofuels For RFS Program
On January 27, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the importation of biodiesel made from soybeans from Argentinian biofuel producers as qualifying for U.S. biofuel credits under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Argentina's Biofuels Chamber's (CARBIO) request for an "Alternative Renewable Biomass Tracking Requirement" was approved, which allows foreign manufacturers to be part of the RFS if they follow certain environmental standards. The U.S. biodiesel industry has criticized this pathway approval for Argentinian biodiesel because it is believed to be less ... read more >
February 6, 2015
China Biodiesel Industry Encourages Foreign Investments
On January 23, 2015, China's National Energy Administration issued a biodiesel industry development plan (available in Chinese) to improve the biodiesel sector. The plan encouraged the production of cleaner fuels as well as the use of renewable fuels by promoting foreign companies' participation in the industry; mergers, acquisitions, and restructuring of domestic biodiesel companies; and fuel blending of biodiesel. The plan will initially focus on the areas with the most air pollution controls, including Beijing-Tianjin Province and Hebei Province and the area around the Yangtze River Delta. ... read more >
February 6, 2015
Scotland’s IBioIC Seeks Submissions For £250,00 Funding Award
The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) is inviting applications for its third Exemplar Program project competition for industry-led collaborative research projects using innovative applications in biotechnology. IBioIC is requesting applications from projects with a total value of up to £250,000 that demonstrate a defined market need and commercial opportunity. Deadline for applications is March 26, ... read more >
January 29, 2015
European Union Stimulus Plan Reduces Funding To Biofuels Research
 The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has announced which research areas would suffer as a result of the €2.7 billion worth of budget cuts made to help fund a €21 billion economic stimulus plan.  The stimulus plan, called the European Fund for Strategic Investment, was first announced in November 2014 and more details were released on January 13, 2015.  The €2.7 billion in cuts came out of the European Union’s research funding program Horizon 2020, with production of food and other biobased products losing €180 million over five years and ... read more >
January 8, 2015
EU Commission Calls For Comments On Emissions Trading Revisions
On December 19, 2014, the European Union (EU) Commission called for comments on EU Emission Trading System Directive revisions. The revisions include changes to how carbon allowances will be made available to participants in the EU's emissions trading system after 2020 to reduce GHG emissions by at least 40 percent in 2030 compared to 1990. The 2030 framework for climate and energy also proposes the use of 400 million carbon allowances to create a fund for renewable energy and carbon sequestration projects, and the use of two percent of allowances to finance energy efficiency and energy ... read more >
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