Biobased and Renewable Products News: International

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 >
December 18, 2014
UK Department For Transportation Announces £25 Million In Funding For Advanced Biofuel Plants
The United Kingdom (UK) Department for Transport (DfT) announced the launch of a £25 million competition for funding to build advanced biofuel plants.  The funding will eventually lead to the construction of up to three demonstration level advanced biofuel plants in the UK.  In order to qualify for funding, the biofuels being produced need to have at least 60 percent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels and be made from waste materials.  Potential bidders have until February 13, 2015,to provide a detailed expression of interest, with full proposals ... read more >
December 12, 2014
Canada Invests In Improvements To Green Manufacturing
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) supports researchers and companies working on large-scale multidisciplinary research projects in areas of importance to Canadians. As part of this program, NSERC is providing the University of Toronto with $5 million to help launch the Industrial Biocatalysis Network, which will research novel uses of enzymes to produce chemicals, plastics, and other products. This program will be run in collaboration with Concordia University and the University of British Columbia and will support the growth of the biobased chemical and ... read more >
December 4, 2014
German Aid For Renewable Energy Mostly Permitted By EU Rules
On November 25, 2014, the European Commission announced the result of its investigation into aid granted under the German Renewable Energy Act of 2012 (EEG).  The investigation was started in December 2013 to determine if Germany’s support for renewable energy via surcharge reductions gave companies economic advantage over their competitors.  The EEG was not originally reviewed by the European Commission because Germany did not consider the act to involve state aid.  Because the EEG introduced a surcharge that was made to support renewable energy production, and the state set ... read more >
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