Biobased and Renewable Products News: USDA

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 >
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