Biobased and Renewable Products News: Research

January 24, 2020
Penn State Offering IMPACT Seed Grants To Support Biotechnology R&D
Pennsylvania State University’s (Penn State) Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences’ Center of Excellence in Industrial Biotechnology (CoEIB) is now offering a new round of IMPACT Seed Grants to support interdisciplinary research, curricular development, or educational activities in the broad area of industrial biotechnology. These areas include but are not limited to: biopharmaceutical manufacturing, food biotechnology, and production of biobased chemicals. According to Penn State’s announcement, project proposals of up to $25,000 per project will be available. Favorable ... read more >
December 6, 2019
Scientists Uncover Production Of Aromatic Alcohols From Lignocellulosic Biomass
First published last week, on November 25, 2019, the article titled “Consolidated Production of Coniferol and Other High-Value Aromatic Alcohols Directly from Lignocellulosic Biomass” has gained media attention across the globe. Given the finite geological oil reserves, the competition to identify alternative biobased and biorefinery processes continues to grow. According to the article, the aim in identifying such products is not only to find alternatives, but most importantly to “overcome significant costs and productivity barriers.” In the aforementioned article, ... read more >
November 22, 2019
FDA Acting Director Of Therapeutic Biologics And Biosimilars Provides Statement On Continued Efforts To Facilitate Competition In The Biologic Marketplace
On November 15, 2019, Sarah Yim, M.D., acting director of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Therapeutic Biologics and Biosimilars in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, released a statement on FDA’s continued progress facilitating competition in the biologic marketplace with approval of its 25th biosimilar project. In her statement, Dr. Yim highlights FDA’s approval of one of nine new biosimilar products approved in 2019. Bringing the overall total of biosimilar approvals to 25, Dr. Yim states: “I’m pleased to see this progress and am ... read more >
November 1, 2019
DOE Announces Open Meeting Of The Biomass R&D Technical Advisory Committee
On October 30, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced open meetings of the Biomass Research and Development (R&D) Technical Advisory Committee. The first meeting is scheduled for November 19, 2019, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (EST), and the second meeting will take place on November 20, 2019, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (EST) in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the committee is to advise the Secretaries of Energy and Agriculture with respect to the Biomass Initiative. The committee also evaluates and makes recommendations ... read more >
November 1, 2019
ISU Hires CTO To Serve As A Bridge Between Research And Industry
On October 25, 2019, Iowa State University’s (ISU) Vice President for Research, Dan Kirkpatrick, announced that Sundeep Vani, Ph.D., has joined the team as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Biobased Products, a newly created role. Announced in an ISU press release, Dr. Vani’s role will be to serve as a conduit between research and industry. Dr. Vani will work closely with the Biobased Product platform leader, Brent Shanks, his team, and the Iowa Innovation Corporation (IIC) CEO. Identifying promising emerging technologies and facilitating their development into market scale ... read more >
November 1, 2019
Non-Profit Announces Opportunity For Start-Ups With Innovations To Address Plastic Waste In The Environment
On October 23, 2019, the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) announced a partnership with innovation platform Plug and Play to develop an accelerator program focused on the plastics value chain to identify start-ups with innovative ideas addressing plastic waste. Named the End Plastic Waste Innovation Platform (EPWIP), this initiative will focus on solutions to lower the impact of plastic waste in the environment. Focus areas include but are not limited to collecting, managing, and sorting plastic waste; recycling and processing technologies; and creating value from post-recycled plastics. ... read more >
October 25, 2019
University Of Surrey Announces New Study On Microbial Organisms To Digest Plastic Waste
On October 16, 2019, the University of Surrey, United Kingdom, announced that its researchers have partnered with colleagues from France, Germany, and Spain to start working on a new technique to tackle plastic waste. According to the university’s article, this novel technique may revolutionize the recycling industry. The plan is to create engineered microbial communities that will digest two types of plastic polymers -- polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyurethane (PU) -- and transform them into molecules that can be used to develop a more environmentally friendly material called ... read more >
October 11, 2019
FDA Publishes Technical Specifications Guidance For Bioanalytical Methods Templates
On October 3, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that a technical guidance for industry titled “Bioanalytical Methods Templates” is now available.  The technical specifications guidance provides ready-to-use templates for sponsors to submit summaries of bioanalytical methods used in clinical pharmacology studies that require pharmacokinetic concentration evaluation.  The templates provided are applicable to bioanalytical procedures such as chromatographic assays (CC) and ligand-binding assays (LBA) that quantitatively determine the levels of ... read more >
October 4, 2019
FDA Announces Availability Of Draft Guidance On Bioequivalency For Soluble Powder Oral Dosage Form Products And Type A Medicated Articles
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), on September 30, 2019, announced the availability of a draft guidance for industry (GFI) #171 titled “Demonstrating Bioequivalence for Soluble Powder Oral Dosage Form Products and Type A Medicated Articles Manufactured from Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients Considered to be Soluble in Aqueous Media.” The draft GFI describes how EPA intends to evaluate requests for waiving the requirement for performing in vivo bioequivalence studies for animal drugs administered orally as soluble powders or as Type A medicated articles manufactured from ... read more >
September 20, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
WTVB News, “Trump Meets with Senators from Key Farm States, Touts Biofuel Deal Progress” Market Realist, “Big Biofuels Issue: Trump Meets with Refiners, Senators” Cornell Alliance for Science, “Plant Breeding Innovations Required to Weather Climate Change, Report Says”  Global News Canada, “Burnaby Becomes Latest B.C. City to Declare a Climate Emergency” just-food, “Danone-Backed Meat-Analogue Business Sustainable Bioproducts Eyes Launch” CBS Minnesota, “Governor Walz Establishes Biofuels Council” Los Angeles ... read more >
September 6, 2019
ELI To Host Webinar On Genetic Engineering
By Lynn L. Bergeson On September 11, 2019, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. (EDT), the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) will host a webinar titled “Genetic Engineering: The Good, The Bad, and The Necessary.” The webinar is designed to cover the vast possibilities offered by genetic engineering in a world where regulatory officials face increasing pressure to guarantee global food security. Along with the many possibilities associated with genetic engineering, however, there are great concerns about the environmental, health, and ethical implications of it. Webinar panelists will ... read more >
August 30, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Reuters, “Facing Farmer Anger, Trump Scrambles Cabinet to Brainstorm on Biofuel Policy: Sources” Cosmeticsdesign.com, “Sulapac: The Startup Making Biodegradable, Plastic-Free Beauty Packaging a Reality” The Times, “EU Curbs Used Cooking Oil in Biodiesel Due to Fears of Fraud” Plastics News, “Resin Distributors Taking Different Paths to Sustainability” Engineering.com, “Algae Filter Paper Offers New Hope for Stopping Waterborne Illness” The Gazette, “Amy Klobuchar: Trump Treating Farmers Like ‘Bargaining ... read more >
August 9, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
PlasticsToday, “A Visual Tour of Packaging and Products from Ocean Plastics” geek.com, “Scientist Creates Bioplastic from Mango Peels and Seaweed” foodingredientsfirst.com, “European Scientists Call for EU Rethink of ‘Retrograde’ Gene-Editing Legislation” New Atlas, “Wormy Chemicals Used to Trick Crops into Protecting Themselves” Regulatory Focus, “Industry Groups Support FDA’s Latest Biosimilar Analytic Assessment Guidance” Financial Post, “EPA Chief Defends Biofuel Waivers in Meeting with Farm ... read more >
August 2, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
The Intelligencer, “Buckingham Center Offers Biotech Startups $50 Million” Science Codex, “Solar Energy Becomes Biofuel without Solar Cells” ScienceDirect, “Development of a Biorefinery Scheme to Produce Biofuels from Waste Cooking Oil” Sierra Sun Times, “U.S. Senators Renew Bipartisan Effort to Repeal Ethanol Mandate” Feedstuffs, “EPA Issued RFS Exemptions against DOE Advice” The Philadelphia Inquirer, “Trump Administration Official Visits Delaware County Refinery to Hear Gripes about Ethanol” Forbes, ... read more >
July 26, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
World Economic Forum, “Cheese Energy Could Power Hundreds of UK Homes” Iran Front Page, “Iran Ready to Tackle Biotechnology Sanctions: VP” Digital Journal, “Switching to Biobased Plastics: IDTechEx Research Asks Why So Slow?” The Yucatan Times, “Yucatan Cenotes to Be Sanitized with Biotechnology” World Economic Forum, “Your Next Pair of Sneakers Could Be Made from Coffee” CleanTechnica, “NextEra Energy Predicts 50% Renewable Energy in US by 2030” inhabitat, “Sustainable Toiletries Packaged in Soap Aim to ... read more >
July 19, 2019
DOE Funded Study Gets Closer To Accurate Algae HTL Economic Model
On July 10, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed a model that predicts commercial biocrude outcomes from algae hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) significantly more accurately than previous analyses. “Techno-economic uncertainty quantification of algal-derived biocrude via hydrothermal liquefaction,” funded by DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), focused on  quantifying economic uncertainties, including algae ... read more >
July 19, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
U.S. Department of Energy, “Algae Technology Educational Consortium Prepares Students for Careers in Algae Cultivation and Technologies” World Economic Forum, “These Are the Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2019” Somaiya, “Godavari Biorefineries Ltd. Earns USDA Certified Biobased Product Label for Acetic Acid.” Plastics Today, “Sustainable Plastics: How Far and How Fast Can We Go?” Science Daily, “Left out to Dry: A More Efficient Way to Harvest Algae ... read more >
July 12, 2019
Canadian Government Launches Plastics Challenge For The Development Of Biobased Foam Insulation
On June 27, 2019, the Government of Canada’s Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) opened the application process for a grant to develop next generation biobased foam insulation products. Called the Plastics Challenge, this funding opportunity seeks solutions that result in foam insulation products (either spray foam or rigid foam board) that: Are predominantly derived from Canadian forest residue;   Have similar insulation values (within 20 percent) as currently available petroleum-based versions;   Would have similar cost (within 20 percent) as currently available ... read more >
July 12, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Youris.com, “Surfing on Bio-based Boards” Kemira, “Kemira to Participate in the Development of 100% Bio-based Chemicals for Paper and Cardboard Production as Part of an EU Funded Project” Green Car Congress, “Researchers in Netherlands Exploring Use of Lignin as Alternative Asphalt Binder” Asian Scientist, “Supercharging Bacterial Biofuel Production” The Express Tribune, “Biofuels Can Help Reduce Current Account Deficit” MediaPost, “Huggies Launches Partially Plant-Based Diaper with Black Packaging” The ... read more >
June 28, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
NREL, “ExxonMobil Partnership Will Support National Lab Research for Future Energy Solutions at Scale” Energy.gov, “Co-Optima Identifies Innovation Needed to Continue Momentum in Fuel Economy Gains” Kemira, “Kemira to Participate in the Development of 100% Bio-Based Chemicals for Paper and Cardboard Production as Part of an EU Funded Project” NYNAS, “Nynas’ First Bio-Based Tyre Oil Supports Tyre Producer’s Sustainability Goals” Attis, “Attis Industries’ Acquired Corn Ethanol Plant Expected to Generate Approximately ... read more >
June 14, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Endpoints News, “Luck and Unicorns? Who Needs That? Sante Ventures’ New $250M Fund is Looking for Biotech Upstarts” Renewable Energy Magazine, “Neste and Air BP Deliver Sustainable Aviation Fuel to Swedavia Operated Airports” SportsMole, “F1 Eyes Carbon-Neutral Fuel for 2021” XinhuaNet, “Hong Kong Researchers Discover New Stem Cells Offering New Avenue for Biotechnology Study” Phys.org, “Study Identifies Most Promising Feedstocks for Pyrolysis-based Biorefinery” Des Moines Register, “Presidential Candidates Need a ... read more >
June 7, 2019
Companies Collaborate To Launch Sustainability Funding Opportunity
Two food-producing companies have jointly launched an initiative to drive the adoption of products and services on-farm at scale to increase sustainability on Earth. The initiative invites companies and entrepreneurs with new and emerging on-farm sustainability products and services, focused on greenhouse gases (GHG) reduction, to submit solutions to the leading companies’ experts. In August 2019, participants will be selected to present their solutions to an audience and panel of industry experts for consideration. The most promising opportunities presented will be given a special ... read more >
May 17, 2019
FDA Issues In Final Guidance On Interchangeable Biosimilars
On May 13, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued in final guidance designed to assist sponsors in demonstrating that a proposed biological product is interchangeable with a reference product for the purposes of submitting a marketing application or supplement. This would mean that an abbreviated licensure pathway would be created, where biological products shown to be biosimilar to or interchangeable with an FDA-licensed biological reference product may be submitted without intervention. The guidance focuses on therapeutic protein products, providing an overview of ... read more >
May 17, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
The Science Times, “Plant Sugars Used as Raw Material for Plastics Chemical” The Epoch Times, “Chile-based Designer Creates Alternative to Single-use Plastic – It’s from the Sea” WNAX, “Minnesota Biofuels Executive Pleased Congress Holding EPA Accountable on RFS Waivers” Business World, “US EPA Proposes Hike in Biofuel Mandate to 20.04 B Gallons in 2020” VN Express International, “Biofuel Fails to Make a Difference in Vietnam, Consumption Drops” American Greatness, “Deregulation Will Keep U.S. Biotech Out of ... read more >
May 10, 2019
FDLI Conference On Drug, Biologics, And Biosimilars Law And Regulation
From July 23-24, 2019, the Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI) will be hosting the Introduction to Drug, Biologics, and Biosimilars Law and Regulation conference in Boston, MA. The conference will cover an overview of administrative agencies that impact these industries and how they interact with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It will also include sessions on the development of drug and biological products, FDA’s review and approval of marketing applications, biosimilars and generic drugs, manufacturing issues, and case studies, among other ... read more >
May 10, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Chemical Engineering, “Bio-based Aromatics Plant Achieves Commercially Targeted Yields, Anellotech Says” Renewable Energy Magazine, “Neste MY Renewable Jet Fuel Wins Award for Reduction of Black Carbon Emissions” BBC News, “Coffee Waste ‘Could Replace Palm Oil” Big Ten Network, “How Michigan State Is Building Better Bioplastics: BTN LiveBIG” Pune Mirror, “Bacteria Turn Agri Waste to Biofuelm First-of-its-kind Research Conducted by SPPU and Shivaji University” BBC News, “Scientists Making ‘Aviation Fuel of the ... read more >
May 3, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
nature, “Australian Gene-editing Rules Adopt ‘Middle Ground’” Reuters, “U.S. EPA Stalls Biofuel Waiver Transparency Plan after White House Blowback –Sources” Inhabitat, “Fueled by Chocolate: Ghana’s Newest Biofuel” ScienceDaily, “Sustainable Way to Increase Seed Oil Yield in Crops” The Pantagraph, “‘Better and Greener:’ ISU Project Focuses on Recycling, Sustainability” Forbes, “This Line of Bags Is Manufactured with Algae – and the First Run Is Almost Sold Out” Canadian ... read more >
April 26, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Boston Herald, “Massachusetts Researchers Find Way to Produce Biofuels ‘Greener’” Treehugger, “From Old Duvets to Corn Stalks, a Look at Bio-based Insulations” Virtual Strategy Magazine, “DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences Launches Biobased Enzymes for…” ScienceDaily, “Green Plastic Production Made Easy” Purdue University, “Free Networking Conference for Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical, Medical Research Fields Planned at Purdue Research Park” Gizmodo, “Adidas’ FutureCraft Loop Sneaker Talks a Big ... 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
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
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
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
University Of Utah Researchers Uncover New Technique For Algal Lipid Extraction
In February 2019, the University of Utah published the article Algal lipid extraction using confined impinging jet mixers.  The article outlines the University of Utah engineers’ latest discovery of a new method for rapid lipid harvesting which is essential to energy parity for microbial derived biofuels.  This newly developed technique is not only faster but also more efficient, and uses confined impinging jet mixers (CIJM) to improve lipid extraction from microalgae.  CIJMs extract lipids rapidly and continuously creating a multistage unit operation of mixers that ... read more >
March 22, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
CNBC, “Trump Energy Secretary Rick Perry ‘Absolutely’ Would Talk with Ocasio-Cortez About Green New Deal” Reuters, “Malaysia Threatens WTO Challenge to EU’s Move to Drop Palm Biofuel” CompositesWorld, “Bio4self Bio-based Autocomposite Wins JEC Innovation Award” Feedstuffs, “EPA’s RFS Waivers Cut Corn Demand by 900m bu.” NCSU News, “Transcription Factor Network Gets to Heart of Wood Formation” NHK World-Japan, “Panel May Propose Rules on Genome-Edited Food” Plastics Technology, ... read more >
March 15, 2019
USDA Comment Request:  Draft Documents Related To GE Soybean Deregulation
On, March 12, 2019, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced the publication of two draft documents related to the potential deregulation of a soybean variety GE for increased yield and resistance to the herbicide glufosinate.  The draft documents are Draft Plant Pest Risk Assessment (PPRA) and Draft Environmental Assessment (dEA) for Petition to Deregulate GE Soybean for Increased Yield and Herbicide Resistance. The PPRA will examine any plant pest risks and the dEA will analyze the potential issues and environmental impacts.  The draft documents ... read more >
March 15, 2019
Scientists At UC Berkeley Discover Hidden Clues That Present Key Developments For Bioproducts
On March 11, 2019, scientists at the University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley) published a study on nature microbiology on the gut anatomical properties of the passalid beetle that helps it transform decaying wood into energy-rich materials.  Passalid beetles’ digestive tracts contain microbes that provide a roadmap for the production of affordable, nature-derived bioproducts and biofuels.  The structure of these beetles’ guts allows for different microbial communities to coexist and perform unique biochemical metabolic processes in energy extraction.  The ... read more >
March 15, 2019
LLNL Uses 3D Bioprinting To Produce Live Cells
On March 5, 2019, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) announced that their researchers have 3D printed live cells that are able to convert glucose to ethanol and carbon dioxide gas.  The substance produced from this conversion resembles beer.  This means that this newly developed technology can lead to highly efficient biocatalysis.  According to LLNL’s announcement, the use of live microbes rather than inorganic catalysts is advantageous because of mild reaction conditions, low cost, self-regeneration, and catalytic specificity.  The particular case ... read more >
March 15, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
K5News, “Port of Seattle Pushing to Use More Biofuels on Flights” Sioux City Journal, “Letter: Biofuels Industry Needs Support from Leaders in Washington” Trade Arabia, “Boeing to Offer Biofuel to Fly New Airplanes Home” Green Tech Media, “US Energy Storage Broke Records in 2018, but the Best Is Yet to Come” Reuters, “Senators Propose Bill to Extend Biodiesel, other Expired Tax Provisions” Olive Oil Times, “Environmentally Friendly Bioplastics Created from Olive Seeds” Smithsonian Magazine, “Made from ... read more >
March 8, 2019
DOE Announces LANL Use Of Microbial Biosensors For Conversion Pathway Design
On February 28, 2019, DOE announced that scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) have been working on molecular tools that reside naturally within microbial cells.  Microbes typically use these tools to carry out their metabolism and other life-sustaining processes; LANL researchers, however, have been using the tools to produce fuel precursors and bioproduct building blocks.  With the addition of a biosensor in the microbes, light allows the scientists to learn how efficiently the product is being made and thus enabling more efficient quality control to increase ... read more >
March 8, 2019
New Scientific Discovery:  Squid Teeth For The Production Of Textiles
On February 21, 2019, scientists Abdon Pena-Francesh and Melik C. Demirel, at Pennsylvania State University, published an article on the use of squid teeth tandem repeat proteins that can be functionally used for biodegradable fibers and films.  The flexible and tough material results from a protein present in the squid teeth, which can be grown biosynthetically by E. coli bacteria.  This biosynthetic expression of squid teeth proteins presents a number of advantages over direct extraction from the natural source.  It is a sustainable, controllable, and industrially scalable ... read more >
March 8, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Biofuels International, “Coconut Biodiesel Increase Suggested by Lawmaker in Philippines” Chemical Engineering, “BP, Virent and Johnson Matthey Partner on Production of Bio-based Paraxylene” The Express Tribune, “Biotechnology Can Transform Pakistan’s Economy” Energy AgWired, “GROWMARK Offers Pre-blended E15 at More Terminals” Reuters, “U.S. EPA Gets 37 Bids for Small Refinery Waivers through Mid-February” PhysicsWorld, “Bio-based Monomers Help Upcycle Plastic Bottles” Cosmetics Business, “INOLEX ... read more >
March 1, 2019
DOE BETO Announces Collaboration Opportunity
On February 26, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced the sponsorship of a new project to harness algae strains for bioenergy.  Called Development of Integrated Screening, Cultivar Optimization and Verification Research (DISCOVR), the project is a multi-laboratory consortium including the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the Sandia National Laboratories.  DISCOVR aims to identify ... read more >
March 1, 2019
Scientists Discover Method For Transforming Methanol To Ethanol
On February 14, 2019, scientists in China published an article revealing a new methodology developed to safely transform methanol into ethanol.  Given methanol’s toxicity, this recently uncovered method allows for a more secure, user-friendly, sustainable technology that can be more broadly applied.  The scientific article reports a photo-driven one-step conversion of methanol to ethanol at ambient temperature.  A relatively simple process, the methodology used can be broadly applied and enables a green and novel method for generating building blocks in synthetic ... read more >
March 1, 2019
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Green Car Congress, “DSM and Roquette Change Their Relationship for Bio-based Succinic Acid Production” Bio-based World News, “French Tech Firm Afyren Secures €60m to Develop Bio-based Acids” Bio-based World News, “New Dutch Programme Launched to Help European Biotech Start-ups” Phys.org, “AllThings.Bio Presents its Second Series of Videos Clips About Bio-based Products” Packaging Europe, “Biome Bioplastics and Futamura Present Biobased Multilayer Films” Packaging Europe, “ 100% Renewable Plastic Bottle ... read more >
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