Biobased and Renewable Products News: USDA

October 5, 2018
U.S. Government Funds Project On Biofuel Development
In late September 2018, Northwestern University announced a new bioengineering project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) under their joint program called the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI). Led by Michael Jewett, professor of chemical and biological engineering, the project aims to combine innovative bioengineering and biotechnology to develop biofuels and bioproducts. It is expected that through the capture of syngas from industrial manufacture companies, before they are released into the atmosphere, biofuel ... read more >
September 21, 2018
USDA Proposal: “Guidelines For Designating Biobased Products For Federal Procurement”
On September 14, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of Procurement and Property Management announced a proposal to amend the Guidelines for Designating Biobased Products for Federal Procurement. Under this amendment, 30 sections will be added to determine categories within which biobased products “would be afforded procurement preference by Federal agencies and their contractors.” These categories include products that are made from intermediate ingredients that were formerly proposed for designation for federal procurement preference. In its proposed ... read more >
August 24, 2018
Genetically Engineered Food Labels: Center For Food Safety Files Suit
On August 1, 2018, the Center for Food Safety filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) for its delay in the establishment of a national mandatory bioengineered (BE) food disclosure standard. In its lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that AMS’ failure to implement a final rule is “inimical to the democratic process” and damaging to the public and stakeholders. On May 4, 2018, USDA announced a request for comments on the proposed new rule under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 on the establishment of a national ... read more >
August 17, 2018
USDA Announces Solicitation For Applications For BAP Funds
On August 3, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Business-Cooperative Service publicized two application cycles for applications for funds available under the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program (BAP). The loans under the aforementioned program are designed to encourage the proliferation of biobased practices that use “technologically new commercial scale processing and manufacturing equipment to convert renewable chemicals and other biobased outputs of biorefineries into end-user products, on a commercial ... read more >
July 13, 2018
USDA Amends Guidelines For Designating Biobased Products
On July 10, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of Procurement and Property Management announced it was amending the Guidelines for Designating Biobased Products for Federal Procurement to add 12 sections that designate product categories within which biobased products will be afforded federal procurement preference by federal agencies and their contractors via a final rule.  83 Fed. Reg. 31841.  The Federal Register publication states that this final rule “designates the proposed product categories within which biobased products will be afforded ... read more >
July 6, 2018
Senate Passes Farm Bill With Mandatory Energy Title Program Funding
On June 28, 2018, the U.S. Senate passed S.3042 -- Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill) with a vote of 86-11. This bill includes mandatory funding for Energy Title programs, including the Biomass Research and Development Initiative; the Biobased Markets Program; the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical and Product Manufacturing Assistance Program; the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels; the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP); and the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). In addition to securing funding for a range of bioenergy programs, the legislation also expands the types ... read more >
June 29, 2018
APHIS Seeks Public Comments On Draft EA And PPRA Regarding Petition To Deregulate A Canola Variety Genetically Engineered To Convert Oleic Acid To DHA
On June 26, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced it was seeking public comment on a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and a preliminary Plant Pest Risk Assessment (PPRA) prepared in response to a petition from Nuseed Americas Inc. (Nuseed) to deregulate a canola variety genetically engineered to convert oleic acid to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).  83 Fed. Reg. 29742.  APHIS will thoroughly review and consider all public input submitted during the comment period, and use the information as it works to ... read more >
June 15, 2018
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
Plastics Insight, “IKEA, Neste Collaborates for First Large-scale Production of Renewable, Bio-based Polypropylene Plastic” Markets Insider, “Kreussler Inc. Earns USDA Certified Biobased Product Label” CISION PRWeb, “John Kaweske Announces Bio Clean Energy Wins $36 Million Biodiesel Supply Contract Bolivia Government Oil ... read more >
June 8, 2018
P&G Announces Release Of BioPreferred Downy Nature Blends
On June 4, 2018, Proctor & Gamble (P&G) announced the launch of Downy’s first plant-based line of fabric conditioner. In addition to powering the manufacturing process completely with renewable wind powered electricity at a zero-manufacturing waste to landfill facility, the product formula includes 70 percent biobased ingredients and the bottles are made from 25 percent post-consumer recycled content.  The 70 percent claim has been certified through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) BioPreferred program, which provides third-party verification of a ... read more >
May 25, 2018
USDA AMS To Make Available Informational Webinar On NBFDS
On May 23, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced that a pre-recorded informational webinar regarding the proposed National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (NBFDS) will be made available beginning on June 1, 2018.  83 Fed. Reg. 23827.  The Federal Register notice states that the pre-recorded webinar “will provide an overview of the background, provisions, and potential impacts of the proposed standard,” and the proposed standard “would require food manufacturers and other entities that label ... read more >
May 18, 2018
Draft Environmental Impact Statement And Preliminary Pest Risk Assessment For GE Citrus Tristeza Virus Permit Now Available
On May 11, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced the availability of a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for public review and comment. This document evaluates the possible environmental impacts from a potential approval of a permit to release a genetically engineered (GE) Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) through Florida.  This GE plant virus would be used as a biological control agent to help manage Huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus greening disease, which can devastate the citrus industry. This notice is ... read more >
May 18, 2018
USDA BioPreferred Program Awards Biobased Product Label To Tremco’s POWERply® Endure™ BIO Adhesive
On May 9, 2018, Tremco Roofing and Building Maintenance announced that its POWERply® Endure™ BIO Adhesive had earned the Certified Biobased Product label from the USDA BioPreferred Program. Tremco’s adhesive is made of 71 percent biobased material with ultra-low levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) that meet California VOC limits. Four other Tremco Roofing products have the USDA Certified Biobased Product Label, including AlphaGuard™ BIO Base Coat, AlphaGuard BIO Top Coat, Rock-It® WB, and Low Rise Foam Insulation Adhesive Green. The USDA BioPreferred ... read more >
May 11, 2018
Jacor, LLC, EcoBioClean® Products Receive USDA BioPreferred Certification
On May 3, 2018, Jacor, LLC announced that five of its EcoBioClean® products earned the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Biobased Product label: EcoBioClean® 100 COSW with 95% biobased content; EcoBioClean® Pipes/Tanks 103 CE with 95% biobased content; EcoBioClean® Fresh Water 101 COFW with 95% biobased content; EcoBioClean® Land 102 COL with 95% biobased content; and EcoBioClean® Biological Waste 105 BW with 95% biobased content. These products provide contamination cleanup solutions for crude oil spills and leaks, as well as lubricants, ... read more >
May 11, 2018
USDA Seeks Comments On Proposed Rule For National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard
On May 4, 2018, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposed a rule to establish the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard mandated by Congress in 2016.  83 Fed. Reg. 19860.  USDA states the standard will provide “a uniform way to offer meaningful disclosure for consumers who want more information about their food and avoid a patchwork system of state or private labels that could be confusing for consumers and would likely drive up food costs,” and is intended “to provide a mandatory uniform national standard for disclosure of information to ... read more >
April 6, 2018
USDA Issues Statement On Plant Breeding Innovation Techniques That Include Genome Editing
On March 28, 2018, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Sonny Perdue issued a statement providing clarification on USDA’s oversight of plants produced through innovative new breeding techniques that include techniques called genome editing.  The announcement states that under its biotechnology regulations, USDA “does not regulate or have any plans to regulate plants that could otherwise have been developed through traditional breeding techniques as long as they are not plant pests or developed using plant pests,” which “includes a set of new ... read more >
March 30, 2018
USDA Publishes Biobased Economy Report
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its report on the economic impact of the biobased economy.  The report, titled “Indicators of the U.S. Biobased Economy,” reviews data from 2011 and 2016 to analyze trends in the agricultural, bioenergy, renewable chemicals, and policy sectors.  According to the analysis, the renewable chemicals and biobased products sector contributed 4.22 million jobs and an economic value of $393 billion to the U.S. economy in 2014.  Between 2014 and 2016, the number of products certified under the UDSA Biopreferred® program ... read more >
March 23, 2018
USDA Seeks Public Comment On Collection Of Biobased Procurement Data
On March 12, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued in the Federal Register a notice announcing the submission of an information collection request (ICR) on the guidelines for designating biobased products for federal procurement to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Pursuant to Section 9002 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) of 2002, as amended by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act (FCEA) of 2008, and the Agricultural Act of 2014, federal agencies are required to purchase biobased products under the preferred procurement program.  Product ... read more >
March 23, 2018
USDA Solicits REAP Applicants For Fiscal Year 2018
On March 13, 2018, the USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service issued in the Federal Register a notice of solicitation of applications for the  Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for fiscal year (FY) 2018.  The solicitation is being issued prior to the passage of a final appropriations act to allow time for the submission and review of applications within the current FY.  Information on the amount of funding received in any continuing resolution or the final appropriations act will be published on the Rural Business-Cooperative Service website.  The solicitation ... read more >
March 16, 2018
NIFA Issues 2017 Annual Report
On February 27, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) published its 2017 Annual Report:  User Inspired Science Transforming Lives.  The report provides an overview and examples of the many NIFA-funded research, extension, and education outcomes conducted by a broad range of partners, including academic and science organizations; small business and industry; agencies from all levels of government; and non-governmental organizations.  According to the report, NIFA relies on stakeholder input as a key driver in ... read more >
March 16, 2018
Industry Coalition Sends Letter On Farm Bill To Congressional Agricultural Committee
On March 6, 2018, a coalition of over 200 companies and trade associations sent a letter to the Agricultural Committee leaders in the House and Senate urging the reauthorization of and stable mandatory funding for the energy title programs in the next Farm Bill reauthorization.  The letter states that the Farm Bill energy title programs have greatly assisted rural America in developing clean, renewable energy, biobased products, and making energy efficiency investments for more than 15 years with an incredibly modest, cost-effective investment.  The less than one tenth of one ... read more >
February 9, 2018
USDA Cancels Farm-To-Fleet Biofuel Program
On February 1, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) announced in the Federal Register that it has withdrawn support for the Farm-to-Fleet Biofuel Production Incentive (BPI) program.   CCC determined that, due to limited available funds, the BPI program is no longer a priority.  USDA and the U.S. Department of Navy (Navy) launched the Farm-to-Fleet program in 2013 to provide incentive funds to companies refining biofuel in the United States from certain domestically grown feedstocks converted to drop-in biofuel for delivery ... read more >
January 26, 2018
USDA Announces $6 Million In Funding For Bioenergy Feedstock Genomics
On January 19, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the availability of up to $6 million in funding to support research in plant feedstock genomics for bioenergy.  Support is provided in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) through the Plant Feedstock Genomics for Bioenergy program, which aims to improve the use of biomass and plant feedstocks for the production of fuels or renewable chemical feedstocks.  Research projects ... read more >
January 19, 2018
Rural Prosperity Task Force Presents Findings To President Trump
On January 8, 2018, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue presented to President Donald Trump the findings of the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity.  The Task Force was established in 2017 following an Executive Order by President Trump to ensure the informed exercise of regulatory authority that impacts agriculture and rural communities.  According to the report, over 100 actions organized around five key topic areas, specifically e-connectivity, quality of life, rural workforce, innovation and technology, and economic development, were ... read more >
January 12, 2018
USDA Awards Nearly Three Million In Funding For Integrated Biorefinery Optimization
On January 4, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awarded the University of Tennessee a $2,994,429 grant to improve biorefinery technologies through the Integrated Biorefinery Optimization (IBO) program.  The project aims to develop and commercialize solvent fractionated lignins to polymeric products for their potential market in building and construction sectors.  The overarching goal of the research is to develop integrated pathways for the extraction of value-added polymeric products from lignin waste/under-valued ... read more >
January 5, 2018
USDA Announces Support For SBIR Phase II Projects
On December 22, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the release of a request for applications (RFA) for Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) projects.  The SBIR program is comprised of three phases. During Phase I, applicants determine the scientific or technical feasibility of their proposed ideas. Phase II requires a more comprehensive application, outlining the proposed effort in further detail. The purpose of Phase III is to stimulate technological innovation and return on investment from ... read more >
November 17, 2017
Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program Accepting Applications
On November 8, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) issued a statement soliciting applications for its Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program.  The program aims to support the generation of new information that will assist federal regulatory agencies in making science-based decisions about the effects of introducing genetically engineered (GE) organisms, including microorganisms, into the environment.  Exploratory research that relates specifically to federal regulatory needs is preferred. USDA ... read more >
November 10, 2017
USDA Withdraws Proposed Rule On The Importation, Interstate Movement, And Environmental Release Of Certain GE Organisms
On November 7, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued a notice in the Federal Register announcing that it was withdrawing its proposed rule that would have revised the importation, interstate movement, and environmental release of certain genetically engineered (GE) organisms.  The proposed rule, which was issued on January 19, 2017, aimed to “update the regulations in response to advances in genetic engineering and understanding of the plant pest and noxious weed risk posed by [GE] organisms, thereby ... read more >
October 27, 2017
Congressmen Send Bipartisan Letter On Regulating Agricultural Biotechnology To USDA, FDA, EPA
On October 17, 2017, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Congressman Neal Dunn, M.D. (R-FL), and 77 additional House members sent a bipartisan letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to urge the agencies to work together to promote innovative new technologies aimed at increasing crop yields and reducing the cost of production.  According to Congressman Panetta, the letter was prepared in response to duplicative or inconsistent regulatory proposals regarding biotechnology.  In the ... read more >
October 27, 2017
USDA Awards $7.3 Million In Funding For Agricultural Technologies
On October 17, 2017, the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the recipients of 17 grants totaling $7.3 million for projects focused on the development of next generation agricultural technologies and systems to meet the growing demand for food, fuel, and fiber.  Funding is provided by NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), as authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.  Recipients include: Auburn University, which received $481,539 to develop and optimize the hydrothermal liquefaction of lignin (HTL) chemical stream and to ... read more >
October 13, 2017
USDA Announces $21 Million In Funding For Biobased Products
On September 22, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awarded six grants totaling nearly $21.1 million to support the development of new jet fuel, biobased products, and biomaterials from renewable sources.  The funding is provided through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Sustainable Bioenergy and Bioproducts (SBEBP) Challenge Area.  Grant recipients include: University of Arizona, which received $7,026,000 for the cultivation of two desert-dwelling feedstocks, specifically guayule ... read more >
October 13, 2017
Spero Energy Receives SBIR Grant For Biobased Chelates
USDA awarded Spero Energy Inc. a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $100,000 to conduct research and development to increase the availability and competitiveness of biobased products within the agricultural market.  Spero Energy is an Indiana-based company focused on the development of cost competitive processes for the conversion of biomass to renewable chemicals and fuels.  The SBIR grant aims to support the development of a series of patent-pending biobased and biodegradable chelates.  Chelates bind and deliver micronutrients to a variety of crops, which has ... read more >
October 13, 2017
FDA Announces Meeting, Calls For Comments On FDA/USDA Agricultural Biotechnology Education And Outreach Initiative
On October 12, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced two public meetings regarding its Agricultural Biotechnology Education and Outreach Initiative.  The meetings will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, on November 7, 2017, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (EST) and in San Francisco, California, on November 14, 2017, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (PST).  FDA states the purpose of the public meetings is “to provide the public with an opportunity to share information, experiences, and suggestions to help inform the development of this education and outreach ... read more >
August 4, 2017
USDA Announces $15.1 Million In Grants For Bioenergy and Bioproducts
On July 20, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awarded 34 grants totaling $15.1 million for research on renewable energy, biobased products, and agroecosystems.  The grants, which are funded through the agency’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), are expected to help develop the next generation of renewable energy, bioproducts, and biomaterials; protect the ecosystems that support agriculture; and improve the agricultural systems and processes that help feed the nation.    The following ... read more >
August 4, 2017
USDA Releases Annual Technology Transfer Report
On July 20, 2017, USDA released its technology transfer report for fiscal year 2016.  The report outlines the public release of information, tools, and solutions and the adoption and enhancement of research outcomes by collaborative partners and formal Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA) that occurred in 2016.   The report highlights several research initiatives by ARS scientists focused on supporting the bioeconomy, including: Development of a new yeast strain with a unique cellulolytic enzyme that efficiently breaks down biofeedstock, shows resistance ... read more >
July 3, 2017
NAS Releases Final Report on Preparing for Future Products of Biotechnology
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Margaret R. Graham On June 30, 3017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) released its final version of its report Preparing for Future Products of Biotechnology, which it states “analyzes the future landscape of biotechnology products and seeks to inform forthcoming policy making [and] … identifies potential new risks and frameworks for risk assessment and areas in which the risks or lack of risks relating to the products of biotechnology are well understood.”  This report is a collaboration among a committee of ... read more >
June 16, 2017
DOE Announces $9 Million In Funding For Biomass Research And Development
On June 5, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), announced that up to $9 million in funding will be available through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) in fiscal year (FY) 2017.  Projects funded by BRDI will focus on developing economically and environmentally sustainable sources of renewable biomass, increasing the availability of renewable fuels and biobased products, and diversifying the nation’s energy portfolio.  DOE and NIFA ... read more >
June 2, 2017
Trump Releases Proposed Budget For FY 2018
On May 23, 2017, President Trump released the Administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year (FY) 2018, which includes significant cuts to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) budgets.  According to the proposed budget, funding for DOE would be cut by 5.6 percent to $28 billion, with $636 million allotted for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and $56.6 million for the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO).  The proposed DOE budget aims to eliminate the Advanced ... read more >
May 5, 2017
USDA Seeks Comment On Revision To Information Collection For The Advanced Biofuel Payment Program
On April 25, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Business-Cooperative Service published in the Federal Register a notice that it is requesting approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of a revision to a currently approved information collection for the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program, which provides funding to eligible advanced biofuel producers to support the production of biofuel products.  The Rural Business-Cooperative Service is specifically seeking comments on the following topics: Whether the proposed collection of information is ... read more >
March 17, 2017
DOE Announced Biomass Technical Advisory Meeting
On March 8, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) published a notice in the Federal Register regarding an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development (R&D) Technical Advisory Committee.  The meeting will take place March 30-31, 2017, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia, and will focus on developing advice and guidance that promotes R&D for the production of biobased fuels and products.  The tentative agenda includes updates on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and DOE ... read more >
February 24, 2017
Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program
On February 17, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it is accepting applications for the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program.  The Program provides guaranteed loans for projects developing, constructing, or retrofitting commercial scale biorefineries and biobased product manufacturing facilities.  The developments must use eligible technology, including new commercial scale processing and manufacturing equipment.  Applicants must submit a Letter of Intent by March 6, 2017, that identifies the Borrower, ... read more >
February 24, 2017
USDA Extends Comment Period On Biobased Product Categories For Federal Procurement
On February 21, 2017, USDA announced in the Federal Register that the comment period for the Designation of Product Categories for Federal Procurement proposed rule had been extended.  The proposed rule aims to amend the Guidelines for Designating Biobased Products for Federal Procurement to add 12 product categories composed of intermediate ingredient and feedstock materials and to propose a minimum biobased content for each category.  In addition to the product categories and biobased content, USDA is seeking comments on appropriate performance standards for each product category, ... read more >
January 20, 2017
DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office To Request Applications For Biomass Research And Development Initiative
On January 13, 2017, the DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), together with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), announced the intent to issue a request for applications (RFA) titled “Fiscal Year 17 Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI).”  Projects funded through BRDI must address one of the foll owing topic areas:   ■   Feedstocks development :  Research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) focused on feedstocks and feedstock logistics as it relates to the ... read more >
January 20, 2017
USDA Releases Report On Lifecycle Greenhouse Gas Balance Of Ethanol
On January 12, 2017, USDA released a report on the lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) balance of corn ethanol, titled “A Life-Cycle Analysis of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Corn-Based Ethanol.”  The study reviewed industry and farm sector performance over the past decade and found that in the United States corn-based ethanol generates 43 percent less GHG emissions than gasoline.  Compared to previous studies, the lifecycle GHG benefits were greater due to improvements in corn production efficiency, conservation practices, and ethanol production technologies.  The ... read more >
January 13, 2017
White House Releases Updated Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology
On January 4, 2017, the White House announced the release of the 2017 Update to the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology. The 2017 Update provides a comprehensive summary of the roles and responsibilities of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with respect to regulating biotechnology products. Together with the National Strategy for Modernizing the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products, published in September 2016, the 2017 Update offers a “complete picture ... read more >
January 13, 2017
DOE Announces $22.7 Million Funding Opportunity For Integrated Biorefinery Optimization
On January 6, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and USDA announced a $22.7 million funding opportunity to support integrated biorefinery (IBR) optimization, with DOE providing up to $19.8 million and USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) providing up to $2.9 million .  To date, there are only a limited number of pioneer-scale commercial IBRs in the early stages of start-up and production, due to the technical and non-technical challenges associated with the reliable and continuous operation of IBRs.  The funding opportunity will be jointly managed by ... read more >
January 6, 2017
USDA Issues A Notice of Available Funds For The Farm-To-Fleet Biofuel Production Incentive
On December 29, 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) published in the Federal Register a notice of available funds regarding the Biofuel Production Incentive (BPI) for companies refining biofuel from certain domestically grown feedstocks. The notice aims to improve transparency and simplify the process of administering CCC funds to support the Farm-to-Fleet program by identifying a specific BPI payment rate. The Farm Service Agency (FSA), which administers CCC funds, will determine the per gallon incentive amount by multiplying the number of ... read more >
December 9, 2016
Green Biologics Receives USDA BioPreferred Certification
On November 29, 2016, Green Biologics, Inc. (Green Biologics) announced that its high purity biobased n-butanol and acetone received certification under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) BioPreferred® program.  Both products, which are produced through the fermentation of sugars from renewable feedstocks, were certified as 100 percent biobased.  In the early stages of its first commercial production facility, Green Biologics aims to produce commercial n-butanol and acetone by late 2016.  Additionally, Green Biologics states that the production of its ... read more >
December 2, 2016
USDA Funding Leads To First Wood-To-Jet Fuel Commercial Flight
On November 14, 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and its partners celebrated the successful journey of the first commercial flight powered in part by a new renewable fuel made from wood waste. The demonstration flight, operated by Alaska Airlines, was made possible due to a five-year $39.6 million research project to develop a viable renewable fuel source from cellulose-rich wood harvest leftovers funded by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and led by Washington State University and the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA). The renewable fuel was ... read more >
November 4, 2016
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
■   BioPilotsUK, “Landmark Alliance Launched to Support the Growth of the UK Bioeconomy”   ■   The Prowers Journal, “National USDA Official Highlights Biofuels Investments in Colorado”   ■   UDaily, “Biofuel Breakthrough:  PNAS Paper Reports New Approach to Methanol Utilization”   ■   MSU News Service, “MSU Awarded Grant to Research Biofuel, Carbon Capture Technologies For Upper Missouri River ... read more >
October 7, 2016
EPA Releases Proposed Rule On Renewables Enhancement And Growth Support
On October 3, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the proposed Renewables Enhancement and Growth Support Rule.  This proposed rule includes suggestions to improve the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program and related pro-renewable fuel regulations.  Updated regulations included in the proposed rule include allowing biofuel producers to process feedstock and then convert the material into fuels at different facilities, and an expansion to the availability of high-ethanol fuel blends.  The proposed rule allows increases to the types of feedstocks that ... read more >
October 7, 2016
USDA Looks Back On Growth Of Bio-Based Economy And Renewable Energy
On October 4, 2016, Lisa Mensah, Under Secretary for U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development, posted a blog item “The Bio-Based Economy and Renewable Energy: USDA’s Record of Success,” reviewing the history of USDA’s work with the biobased economy.  USDA Rural Development has spearheaded the effort to promote economic growth through expansion of the biobased industry.  Lisa Mensah outlines positive impacts of USDA’s programs, stating “domestic energy-related emissions have fallen to their lowest level in 20 years.  Our ... read more >
September 23, 2016
Biotechnology: White House Releases Proposed Update To The Coordinated Framework And National Strategy For Modernizing The Regulatory System For Biotechnology Products
On September 16, 2016, the White House posted a blog item, "Building on 30 Years of Experience to Prepare for the Future of Biotechnology" and released two documents intended to modernize federal regulation of biotechnology products. In July 2015, the White House directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop a long-term strategy to ensure that the system is prepared for the future products of biotechnology, and commission an expert analysis of the future landscape of ... read more >
September 16, 2016
USDA Provides Grant For Study Of Bio-Jetfuel Production From Energy Beets
On September 7, 2016, Advanced Biofuels USA announced that it had received a $16,893 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to run a study on the feasibility of producing bio-jetfuel from energy beets. The project is being developed by the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), Purdue University, and Maryland small businesses, and will focus on the technical and economic aspects of producing energy beets on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, beet-to-bio-jetfuel production, and co-products from bio-jetfuel production. UMES will also explore the environmental impact of energy ... read more >
September 9, 2016
USDA Renews Safety Equipment Institute Contract To Manage Biobased Certification Program
On September 1, 2016, the Safety Equipment Institute (SEI) announced that it was selected to manage the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Biobased Certification Program for the next five years. SEI is a subsidiary of ASTM International (ASTM), and has previously held the five-year contract with USDA to administer the USDA certification program that labels products as "biobased." This announcement comes on the heels of an update of ASTM's test method (D6866), that determines "biobased content of solid, liquid, and gaseous samples using radiocarbon analysis," ... 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 >
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 >
June 3, 2016
USDA Announces Availability Of BCAP Funding For Farmers,  Foresters, And Ranchers
On May 23, 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) had resumed incentives for farmers and foresters producing biomass for renewable energy and biobased products. BCAP has $3 million in available funding for fiscal year (FY) 2016. The program was reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, and supports growers who produce energy biomass crops, or deliver forest and agriculture residues to a USDA-approved bioenergy or bioproducts facility. Facilities seeking enrollment in this program can apply through June 6, ... read more >
June 3, 2016
Recipients Of $8.8 Million In Advanced Biofuel Payment Program Funding Announced
On May 27, 2016, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced an investment of $8.8 million to increase production of advanced biofuels in 39 states. The USDA Advanced Biofuel Payment Program is providing the funding with payments being allocated based on the amount of advanced biofuels produced from non-corn kernel starch renewable biomass. Eligible feedstocks include crop residue, food waste, yard waste, vegetable oil, and animal fat. A full list of the 108 programs receiving payments is available online, with an average payment of $81,789. Applications are accepted annually for the Advanced ... read more >
May 27, 2016
Sustainable Bioenergy And Bioproducts Challenge Area Announces $21 Million In Funding
On May 18, 2016, USDA announced $21 million in funding to support the development of regional systems for bioenergy and biobased products. The funding is provided through AFRI's Sustainable Bioenergy and Bioproducts (SBEBP) Challenge Area, an initiative of the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), and is available to applicants in the following priority areas. Regional Bioenergy Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAPs) that focus on the production and delivery of regionally-appropriate sustainable biomass feedstocks for bioenergy and bioproducts. While the focus ... 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 20, 2016
UCR Provides More Detail On Biomass Based Fuel And Chemical Project That Received 1.3 Million
On May 11, 2016, the University of California, Riverside (UCR) provided more information about the project that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is funding with $1.3 million as part of the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI). UCR received $1.3 million in funding to create biofuels and chemicals from waste plant materials. Ford Motor Company Chair in Environmental Engineering at the Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) and Chemical and Environmental Engineering Professor Charles Wyman, and CE-CERT Research Engineer and Adjunct Assistant Professor ... read more >
May 13, 2016
Biomass Research And Development Initiative Provides Seven Projects With Up To $10 Million In Funding
On May 9, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the recipients of up to $10 million in funding through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI). BRDI is a joint program through DOE and USDA that helps develop sustainable sources of biomass and increase the availability of biobased fuels and products. DOE selected two of the grant winners to receive between $1 million and $2 million: the Ohio State University (OSU) project is "Biomass Gasification for Chemicals ... read more >
May 13, 2016
USDA Convenes Public Meeting Of The Advisory Committee On Biotechnology And 21st Century Agriculture
On May 9, 2016, USDA announced a public meeting of the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21). AC21 was created to provide the USDA Secretary with information on agriculture biotechnology issues, including the long-term impacts of biotechnology on the U.S. food and agriculture system, and to provide guidance on immediate issues. The AC21 meeting will consider the analysis of the new AC21 charge created by the three ad hoc subgroups; discuss a draft outline for the next committee report, including draft guidance documents for producers and for facilitating ... read more >
May 13, 2016
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
■ Energy.gov, "Co-Optimized Fuel-Engine Systems to Transform Our Nation's Vehicles" ■ USDA Blog, "Bringing Up Better Biofuel" ■ Biofuels Digest, "What is the Worst Waste?" ■ Labiotech, "How the UK Is Engineering Bacteria to Produce Propane for Greener Fuels" ■ Plastics Today, "Mars Goes for Bioplastic Candy Bar Wrappers" ■ AkzoNobel, "AkzoNobel and Royal Cosun to Develop Sustainable Cellulose Products from Sugar Beet ... read more >
March 25, 2016
Sign Up For The Third And Final Public Meeting On Modernizing The Regulatory System For Biotechnology Products
On July 2, 2015, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the U.S. Trade Representative, and the Council on Environmental Quality jointly issued Modernizing the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products, a memorandum directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to update the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology (Coordinated Framework), develop a long-term strategy to ensure that the federal biotechnology ... read more >
March 11, 2016
Weekly Roundup of Other Biobased News
■ USDA, "USDA To Help Finance New Farm Waste Biorefinery In Oregon" ■ The Chemical Engineer, "Metal-Free, Bio-Based Polyester Developed: First Step to Truly Sustainable Plastics" ■ Innventia, "[Swedish Firm] Innventia Is Gathering its Forces For a Future Bioeconomy" ■ LaboratoryTalk, "Enzyme Study Tackles Biofuel Efficiency" ■ TriplePundit, "A Quest for Biofuels May also Yield Food Security" ■ AZOCleantech, "Chemists One Step Closer to Achieving ... read more >
February 26, 2016
USDA Releases BioPreferred Program Fact Sheet And Announces Tide PurClean Certification
Last week, USDA issued a fact sheet containing an Overview of USDA's BioPreferred Program (BioPreferred). BioPreferred was created in 2002 with the passing of the 2002 Farm Bill, and was recently expanded as part of the 2014 Farm Bill. This has resulted in the growth of BioPreferred to include more than 2,500 products in 100 different categories. BioPreferred has two main initiatives to support the biobased product marketplace. The first initiative is to provide a voluntary product certification and label to provide consumers with useful information about a product, and the second is ... read more >
February 26, 2016
Tom Vilsack Responds To Studies On Evolution Of Ethanol Production
On February 16, 2016, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack responded to two recent reports on ethanol and renewable fuels. The first report was published by USDA and is on "2015 Energy Balance for the Corn-Ethanol Industry," and the second report comes from the University of Missouri Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) and is a "Literature Review of Estimated Market Effects of U.S. Corn Starch Ethanol." Both studies demonstrate the growth of the United States' renewable energy industry with improved ethanol and biodiesel production resulting in doubled ... read more >
January 8, 2016
DOE, EPA, And USDA Release Biogas Opportunities Roadmap Progress Report
On December 16, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the Biogas Opportunities Roadmap Progress Report. The report shows the timeline of achievements that have been made since 2014 when the Roadmap was originally created, including the new Renewable Fuel Standard rule, streamlined REAP applications and scoring criteria, expanded biomass definitions, and increased funding for a larger range of biofuel projects. The Roadmap was originally created to take advantage of biogas systems to reduce ... read more >
December 4, 2015
Advisory Committee On Biotechnology And 21st Century Agriculture To Meet
On November 19, 2015, USDA published a Notice of the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21) Meeting in the Federal Register. The meeting will review the purpose, history, operational process, and member responsibilities of AC21; update committee members on relevant regulatory developments, initiatives, and USDA activities; and outline new tasks for the committee to address. There will also be an opportunity for members of the public to make oral statements, as long as they contact Dr. Michael Schechtman about presenting a statement at least three business days ... read more >
November 20, 2015
Phase I Of The Nutrient Recycling Challenge Competition Announced
On November 12, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other environmental and scientific experts to create the Nutrient Recycling Challenge (NRC). The competition was created to develop technology to recycle nitrogen and phosphorus from the more than one billion tons of livestock waste that is produced annually. The NRC is made up of four phases, allowing innovators to turn concepts into designs, and designs into working pilot projects used by participating farms. Phase I includes a $20,000 cash prize ... read more >
October 9, 2015
NST Council Requests Clarification Of Coordinated Framework Responsibilities
On October 6, 2015, the National Science and Technology Council, Science and Technology Policy Office published a notice of request for information (RFI) on "Clarifying Current Roles and Responsibilities Described in the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology (CF) and Developing a Long-Term Strategy for the Regulation of the Products of Biotechnology" in the Federal Register. The purpose of the RFI is to obtain relevant data that will be used to update the CF to reflect the roles and responsibilities of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Food ... read more >
September 18, 2015
USDA Announces State Finalists For Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership Grants
On September 10, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the 21 state finalists for Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) grants to add infrastructure to supply more renewable fuel to drivers. The program was announced in May 2015, to increase the number of gas pumps dedicated to higher ethanol blends, including E15 and E85. While $100 million was made available by the USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA), applications totaled over $130 million. The grants given out by the USDA BIP will be matched with private and state resources, allowing the program to more than double ... 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 >
September 4, 2015
Two Malama Composites BioFoams Earn USDA Biobased Product Label
On August 26, 2015, Malama Composites, Inc. (Malama) announced that its Studio BioFoam® product had earned the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Biobased Product Label. This news was followed by a second announcement on August 27, 2015, when another biobased foam produced by Malama, Pacific BioFoam™, also received the Biobased Product Label from the USDA. Malama is a Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) member that develops and manufactures foams made from sustainable resources. Studio BioFoam is the first and only biobased rigid urethane foam to ... read more >
September 4, 2015
Farm Service Agency Announces Start Of BCAP Enrollment
On August 19, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced the start of enrollment for financial assistance through the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) to assist in growing new sources of biomass. The enrollment is open for farmers and forest landowners who will be growing biomass for energy or designated biobased products. USDA is allocating $7.7 million for four existing BCAP project areas in New York, North Carolina, Ohio/Pennsylvania, and Kansas/Oklahoma. Biomass energy facilities or groups of producers can propose new BCAP project areas ... read more >
August 14, 2015
Open Meeting Of The Biomass Research And Development Technical Advisory Committee Announced
On August 10, 2015, the Federal Register included a notice announcing an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee in Washington D.C. on August 27, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and August 28, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The meeting is open to the public and is intended to develop guidance to promote the research and development of the production of biobased fuels and biobased products. The meeting will also include an update on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Biomass R&D activities; the Biomass ... read more >
August 14, 2015
USDA Invests In Rural Energy For America Program
On August 7, 2015, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $63 million in loans and grants to be distributed through its Rural Energy for American Program (REAP). The $63 million is divided among 264 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects throughout the nation, in primarily rural communities. In addition to creating jobs and improving local economies, the newly announced REAP projects are expected to either save or generate 207.8 million kilowatt hours (KWh) of energy. REAP funds may be used by agricultural producers and rural small businesses to improve energy efficiency or install ... read more >
August 14, 2015
USDA Promotes Development Of More Efficient Biomass Drying Systems
On August 3, 2015, Forest Concepts, LLC received a two-year, $499,997 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The contract will support the development of predictive control systems for biomass dryers that will increase energy efficiency and provide significant cost savings. The technologies being developed by the project can be used in wood pellet and solid biofuel product, as well as in second-generation thermochemical biorefinery facilities producing biofuels and biochemicals. The development of this new drying technology ... read more >
July 24, 2015
USDA Now Accepting Applications For Loan Guarantees
On July 16, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is accepting applications for loan guarantees up to $250 million through the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program, formerly known as the Biorefinery Assistance Program. The funding is divided into rounds one and two with applications due on October 1, 2015, and April 1, 2016, respectively. In addition to opening funding, USDA has improved the program to include the wider range of renewable products that are now part of the biobased industry. ... read more >
July 10, 2015
White House And Agencies Release Coordinated Biotechnology Regulatory Framework
With little fanfare or advanced notice to the general public, on July 2, 2015, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the U.S. Trade Representative, and the Council on Environmental Quality issued a memorandum directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to update the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology. Last updated in 1992 and first rolled out in 1986, the Coordinated Framework outlines a ... read more >
July 10, 2015
Senators Sign Letter Of Support For Consistent Federal Biomass Policy
On June 30, 2015, 46 U.S. Senators sent a letter to the EPA, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and USDA stating that "[f]ederal policies across all departments and agencies must remove any uncertainties and contradictions through a clear, unambiguous message that forest bioenergy is part of the nation's energy future." Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) headed the letter and pointed to the recognized carbon neutrality of forest biomass as a renewable resource and asked that the federal government consistently recognize the energy source when making ... read more >
June 25, 2015
USDA Announces Biobased Products Report And Changes To Biobased Programs
On June 17, 2015, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the release of a report to congress that builds on the Why Biobased? report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2014. The new report, An Economic Impact Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Products Industry, shows that in 2013, the U.S. biobased industry added $369 billion dollars and four million jobs to the economy. The biobased products industry is comprised of many significant contributors to the U.S. economy including biorefining, biobased chemicals, bioplastics, enzymes, agriculture, forestry, and more. Due ... read more >
June 19, 2015
USDA Issues Final Rule Amending Voluntary Labeling Program For Biobased Products
On June 15, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued final amendments to the regulations concerning the Voluntary Labeling Program for Biobased Products. The rule is intended to incorporate statutory amendments to Section 9002 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act signed into law on February 2, 2014. Among other changes, USDA has deleted the definitions of "BioPreferred product," "Designated item," and "Mature market products" and revised the definition of "Biobased product" to be: (1) A product determined by USDA to be a ... read more >
June 19, 2015
USDA Is Now Accepting Applications From States For Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership
On June 12, 2015, the USDA began accepting applications for grants under the Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership (BIP). Through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), BIP will provide up to $100 million in grants to support infrastructure development to make renewable fuel options, including E15 and E85, an option for more American consumers. CCC funds will pay a portion of the costs associated with the installation infrastructure and fuel pumps used to distribute higher ethanol blends to consumers. States are required to match CCC funding with the state funds going towards infrastructure ... read more >
May 8, 2015
Biomass Technical Advisory Committee Announces Public Meeting
The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee published a notice in the April 30, 2015, Federal Register announcing an open meeting that will provide advice and guidance on promoting research and development leading to the production of biobased fuels and biobased products. The meeting will include updates on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and DOE biomass activities, updates on the Biomass Research and Development Initiative, an overview of the Biomass Interagency Working Groups, and a panel on international bioenergy ... read more >
May 1, 2015
USDA Announces Energy Efficiency And Renewable Energy Grants
On April 22, 2015, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack celebrated Earth Day by announcing that USDA "is providing more than $112 million in loans and grants to help rural communities build and upgrade their water and energy infrastructure systems." The funding for the energy infrastructure programs is provided through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), and funds a total of 25 renewable energy projects. The grants support government bodies, utilities, and institutions of higher education that help agricultural producers and rural small businesses ... read more >
April 3, 2015
Ethanol And Agricultural Groups Send USDA A Letter In Favor Of Ethanol Funding
On March 26, 2015, a group of ethanol and agricultural groups sent a letter (the industry letter) to the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies to express their strong opposition to including certain language harmful to the ethanol industry in the Fiscal Year 2016 Agriculture, Rural Development, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Related Programs Appropriations bill. According to the industry letter, the language would prohibit the use of U.S. Department of Agriculture ... read more >
March 27, 2015
President Obama Signs Executive Order Reducing Federal GHG Emissions
On March 19, 2015, the White House published an Executive Order signed by President Obama that would further a preference for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) BioPreferred products. Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade sets new greenhouse gas (GHG) emission targets for federal agencies to reach by 2025 and increases renewable energy use and building efficiency, while reducing fleet emissions in the federal government. The new targets would reduce total GHG emissions by 26 million metric tons, and will be met in part by increasing the share of electricity from renewable ... read more >
March 6, 2015
USDA Amends BCAP
Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a final rule amending the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) to implement changes required by the 2014 Farm Bill. BCAP provides financial assistance to owners and operators engaged in biomass crops, including collection, harvest, storage, and transportation. The final rule does not alter the scope of the BCAP but does reduce the payment rate per ton for eligible materials and limits the cost share per acre. Comments on the rule are due by April 28, 2015. The rule will be effective on May 28, 2015. ... read more >
March 6, 2015
BRDI Grants For Science And Engineering Research
USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture's Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) is accepting research and education grant applications for projects to integrate science and engineering research in: (1) feedstock development; (2) biofuels and biobased products development; or (3) biofuels development analysis. A description of the solicitation, eligibility requirements, and application instructions for the BRDI program can be found at www.grants.gov under Reference Number USDA-NIFA-9008-004957. Concept papers are due by March 27, 2015, and full applications are due by ... read more >
February 26, 2015
Congressional Briefing On Renewable Chemicals Tax Credit
On February 25, 2014, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) hosted a briefing for legislators and their staff regarding the need for tax credits for U.S. producers of renewable or biobased chemicals. The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) urged attendees to pass the Qualifying Renewable Chemical Production Tax Credit Act, which had been previously introduced in past Congresses but was not enacted. Attendees at the briefing also considered other programs impacting renewable chemicals, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) BioPreferred federal procurement program and the U.S. ... read more >
February 26, 2015
USDA Announces $160 Million Funding
On February 20, 2015, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced that more than $160 million would be available to fund research, education, and extension projects that address key challenges affecting U.S. agriculture production. Of the total funds to be awarded, $116 million is allocated to the foundational program that will fund work across all six Farm Bill priority areas, including bioenergy, natural resources, and the environment. The request for application provides more details on deadlines, which vary across program ... read more >
February 20, 2015
DOE’s Biomass Research And Development Technical Advisory Committee Schedules Meeting
On February 17, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published in the Federal Register a Notice of Open Meeting for the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee (the Committee). The Committee plans to meet on March 5, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and March 6, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C. The agenda includes updates on the Biomass Research and Development Initiative, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and DOE Biomass R&D Activities, the DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office Funding Opportunity ... read more >
February 12, 2015
USDA Releases 2016 Budget Request, Continues To Support Rural Renewable Energy
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its fiscal year2016 budget request on February 2, 2015. The proposed budget is $156 billion total, with $6 billion going directly to loans that will encourage cleaner fossil fuel use and support renewable energy in rural America. The $6 billion allocation is an increase of $1 billion that would be allocated towards loans from the 2015 fiscal year.Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack stated that the proposed budget"fosters innovation and advances technologies that address climate change vulnerability, improve pollinator health, ... read more >
January 8, 2015
USDA Revises Renewable Energy Loan Guarantees
On December 29, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published the final rule for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP is intended to help mainly businesses, as well as some state, local, and tribal governments develop solar, wind, and biomass projects. This new rule will change the requirements for those applying for funding from the grant and loan guarantees for renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements in rural areas. There is now a three-tiered application process based on the total project cost for funding that reduces the technical reporting ... read more >
December 4, 2014
USDA Research Increases Viability Of Biobutanol
Scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have discovered cost-effective methods to produce biobutanol from barley straw and corn stover.  ARS Chemical Engineer Nasib Qureshi led a team that used a process called gas stripping to obtain butanol during fermentation of the barley straw and corn stover.  By using gas stripping while producing biobutanol, the scientists saw a final yield that was 182 percent of the control group that was produced with glucose.  When this process was used on pretreated corn stover, over 99 ... read more >
December 4, 2014
Report On Commercialization Pathway For Cellulosic Nanomaterials
Last week, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) issued a report, “Cellulose Nanomaterials -- A Path Towards Commercialization,” that summarizes commercialization considerations identified during a workshop organized by USFS in collaboration with the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative.  The workshop, which brought together experts from industry, academia, and government, resulted in market-driven input for three key areas -- Opportunities for Commercialization; Barriers to Commercialization; and Research and Development Roles and Priorities.  The USDA press release on the report ... read more >
December 4, 2014
USDA Announces More Than $9 Million In Grants To Producers And Researchers
On December 2, 2014, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced over $9 million in grants to support advanced biofuel production and the bioeconomy.  More than $5 million in grants awarded to 220 producers nationwide are provided through USDA’s Advanced Biofuel Payment Program, which was established in the 2008 Farm Bill.  Other awards were from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the Biodiesel Fuel Education Program, the Sun Grant Program, and the Critical Agricultural Materials Program.  Recipients of these awards include the National Biodiesel ... read more >
October 31, 2014
USDA Proposes Amended Guidelines For Biobased Products For Federal Procurement
On October 27, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed to amend the regulations for the Voluntary Labeling Program for Biobased Products under USDA's BioPreferred Program. As explained in the Federal Register notice, the proposed amendments are needed to address certain legislative requirements in the 2014 Farm Bill that cannot be implemented without further guidance. Specifically, the proposed amendments allow for USDA promotion of biobased products regardless of date of entry into the marketplace, which overrides previous provisions that excluded mature market ... read more >
 1 2 >  View 10 | 25 | 50 | 100 per page
 
BIOBASED AND RENEWABLE PRODUCTS ADVOCACY GROUP
2200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 100W
Washington, D.C. 20037
(202) 833-6580 | www.braginfo.org
Contact
 
Privacy Policy | Acceptable Use Policy 
©2018 Biobased And Renewable Products Advocacy Group
All Rights Reserved.