UC Davis team optimizes levulinic ester self-condensation process for production of cellulosic gasoline

A team at UC Davis has optimized the levulinic ester self-condensation reaction and the efficient conversion of its products—which are highly branched cyclopentadienes—into a mixture of substituted cyclopentanes with high octane ratings and excellent density and flow properties. In a paper in the RSC journal Green Chemistry, they reported that... Read more →

Global Bioenergies and Audi renew their partnership in renewable gasoline

Global Bioenergies and Audi signed a new agreement focused on the implementation of biomass residue feedstock usage, preparation of a path to commercialization and engine testing of new blends of renewable gasoline. (Earlier post.) Following the completion of a first series of engine testing and significant progresses of the isobutene... Read more →

DOE issues 4 funding opportunities totaling $78M for advanced biofuels, bioenergy and bioproducts

The US Department of Energy (DOE) issued four funding opportunities (FOAs) totaling up to $78 million to support early-stage bioenergy research and development under the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO). These include: BioEnergy Engineering for Products Synthesis (BEEPS) (up to $28 million) (DE-FOA-0001916) This... Read more →

Researchers at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil have produced biohydrocarbons in the distillation ranges of gasoline, diesel and aviation kerosene from palm kernel oil and palm olein using beta zeolite (HBeta) under relatively mild process conditions. Deoxygenation, cracking and isomerization over HBeta were conducted in single step, without... Read more →

Global Bioenergies beginning road testing with Audi A4 fueled with 34% renewable gasoline blends

Global Bioenergies is beginning the road-testing phase of renewable gasoline derived from its fermentative isobutene pathway. (Earlier post.) Global Bioenergies will use an EN228-compliant gasoline blend containing more than 34% of renewable, isobutene-derived, compounds to fuel a car on a circuit. In preparation for commercial uses, Global Bioenergies developed several... Read more →

Phase 1 of DOE-funded ABBA Integrated Biorefinery project begins; renewable jet, gasoline, diesel and nanocellulose

Phase 1 of the ABBA Integrated Biorefinery project, to be built at the AVAPCO Thomaston Georgia site, has begun. The project, which will co-produce full replacement renewable jet fuel, gasoline, diesel and Bioplus nanocellulose from woody biomass in an integrated biorefinery at AVAPCO’s site in Thomaston, Georgia, has received a... Read more →

Royal Dutch Shell plc, through its subsidiary Shell International Exploration and Production B.V, and SBI Bioenergy Inc. have reached an agreement granting Shell exclusive development and licensing rights for SBI’s biofuel technology. Canada-based SBI has a patented process that can convert a wide range of waste oils, greases and sustainable... Read more →

New biofuel technology is finally starting to push aside traditional biofuels such as first-generation biodiesel, according to a new report by Lux Research. New facilities based on non-food feedstocks and producing novel fuels account for over half of new capacity deployment for the first time in the biofuel industry’s history,... Read more →

TU Bergakademie Freiberg launches OTTO-R project with VW Group, Shell, OMV as partners; P2X for green gasoline

Researchers at the Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, with partners from the automotive industry (Audi, VW) and the petroleum industry (Shell, OMV) have launched the €1.46-million OTTO-R project for the production of gasoline from “green” methanol produced from CO2, water and renewable electricity. The new OTTO-R synthesis process is based on... Read more →

The US Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) released its new strategic plan, titled Strategic Plan for a Thriving and Sustainable Bioeconomy. The strategic plan—with a vision for 2040—lays out BETO’s mission to accomplish its vision in a dynamic setting that realizes changes in the energy landscape, advances in... Read more →

Global Bioenergies reports first production of green isobutene at demo plant

Global Bioenergies is now entering the final phase of demonstrating its technology for converting renewable carbon into hydrocarbons. The first trials on the demo plant in Leuna were successfully completed, within schedule, in the fall of 2016 and Global Bioenergies announced first production of green isobutene via fermentation. (Earlier post.)... Read more →

A new study from the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) concludes that the Renewable Fuel Standard program will miss its advanced biofuel targets due to the the high costs of creating advanced biofuel; the relatively low price of fossil fuel; the timing and cost to bring new tech to commercial-scale... Read more →

Researchers from the Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology have proposed a new process for the conversion of biomass to gasoline via a one-step DME synthesis (DTG: Dimethyl ether to gasoline). In a paper in the journal Fuel, they report a per-pass conversion of CO and the production capacity... Read more →

Global Bioenergies joins Preem, Sekab and forestry in bio-isooctane project in Sweden

In April this year, Preem, Sekab and Sveaskog entered into a collaboration to develop a gasoline fuel based entirely on forest resources with support from the Swedish Energy Agency. The consortium has now selected the bio-isobutene process developed by the French industrial biotech Global Bioenergies for the conversion of wood-derived... Read more →

Strategic consortium to commercialize Virent’s BioForming Technology for low carbon fuels and bio-paraxylene

Renewable fuels and chemicals company Virent has established a strategic consortium with Tesoro, Toray, Johnson Matthey and The Coca-Cola Company focused on completing the development and scale up of Virent’s BioForming technology to produce low carbon bio-based fuels and bio-paraxylene (a key raw material for the production of 100% bio-polyester).... Read more →

Global Bioenergies, IBN-One and Lantmännen Aspen partner on renewable isooctane for specialty fuel applications

Global Bioenergies, IBN-One and Lantmännen Aspen, world market leader in alkylate gasoline for two- and four-stroke small engines, have entered into a partnership on renewable isooctane (earlier post) for specialty fuel applications. Aspen is part of the Swedish Lantmännen group, an agricultural cooperative and Northern Europe’s leader in agriculture, machinery,... Read more →

Global Bioenergies obtains a €400K grant from BMBF to produce renewable gasoline additives; Audi to use for engine testing

France-based Global Bioenergies announced that its German subsidiary, Global Bioenergies GmbH, secured a €400,000 (US$446,000) grant from the BMBF (the German federal ministry for research and education) to finance a 14-month-project aimed at producing renewable gasoline additives. Global Bioenergies has developed a process to convert renewable resources into gaseous isobutene... Read more →

Altex & Unitel partner to demonstrate a new technology for making synthetic gasoline from biomass

Altex Technologies has selected Unitel to provide engineering services to design and build a pilot system that will produce 1 BPD of synthetic gasoline from biomass (Biomass Conversion to Synthetic Gasoline System, BCSGS). This project is funded by a ~$1-million grant from the California Energy Commission under the auspices of... Read more →

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) updated its annual survey of US non-starch ethanol and renewable hydrocarbon biofuels producers. The 2015 Survey of Non-Starch Ethanol and Renewable Hydrocarbon Biofuels Producers provides an inventory of the domestic advanced biofuels production industry as of the end of calendar year 2015, documenting important... Read more →

USPTO awards patent to UMD team for process to make gasoline through fermentation; electrofuels

The US Patent and Trademark Office issued patent Nº 9,217,161 for a process using naturally occurring microorganisms to ferment biomass or gases directly to hydrocarbons such as hexane and octane. The fuels separate and rise to the surface of the fermentation broth, and are exactly the same as current components... Read more →

Ensyn granted EPA Part 79 approval for renewable gasoline

Ensyn (earlier post) has been granted a key regulatory approval from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its renewable gasoline product, RFGasoline. This approval, pursuant to Title 40 CFR Part 79 promulgated under the Clean Air Act, is required for the sale of RFGasoline into US commerce. This approval... Read more →

Neste files patent on gasoline fuels with high bioenergy content

Neste, currently largest producer of renewable drop-in fuels (primarily diesel) with its NEXBTL platform (earlier post), has filed a patent (US20150144087) on a gasoline composition (and the method for making it) comprising up to 20 vol% (preferably from about 10-15 vol.%), of paraffinic bio-hydrocarbons originating from the NEXBTL process. In... Read more →

New one-pot process to produce gasoline-grade biofuel from the bacterial biopolymer PHB

A team from the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, University of Hawaii at Manoa is developing a new one-pot process to produce gasoline-grade (C6–C18) hydrocarbon oil from polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB)—an energy storage material formed from renewable feedstock in many bacterial species. In contrast to conventional biofuels derived from plant biomass, the resultant... Read more →

A new catalytic method for converting algal oil to gasoline- or jet-fuel-range hydrocarbons has been developed by the research group of Prof. Keiichi Tomishige and Dr. Yoshinao Nakagawa from Tohoku University’s Department of Applied Chemistry, and Dr. Hideo Watanabe from the University of Tsukuba. The new method uses a highly... Read more →

Like other major automakers, Audi (and its parent Volkswagen Group) is working on meeting its medium-term regulatory requirements (e.g., in the 2020 timeframe) by reducing the average fuel consumption of its new vehicles using a combination of three primary measures: optimizing its combustion engines for greater efficiency; developing alternative drive... Read more →

Delivery of renewable isooctane to Audi tips interesting potential non-biomass pathway for biogasoline; “e-benzin” as solar fuel

Last week, Audi and its partner Global Bioenergies announced that the first batch of renewable isooctane—which Audi calls “e-benzin”—using Global Bioenergies’ fermentative isobutene pathway (sugar→isobutene→isooctane) had been produced and presented to Audi by Global Bioenergies. (Earlier post.) Global Bioenergies, founded in 2008, has developed a synthetic isobutene pathway that, when... Read more →

Global Bioenergies and its partner Audi (earlier post) announced that the first batch of renewable gasoline using Global Bioenergies’ fermentative isobutene pathway has been produced. (Earlier post.) The batch will be presented to Audi by Global Bioenergies during a press conference to be held in Pomacle on 21 May. The... Read more →

Cooper Tire completes work on $1.5M DOE project to develop fuel efficient tires, exceeding targets

Cooper Tire & Rubber Company completed work under a $1.5-million government grant to develop advanced tire technology aimed at increasing vehicle fuel efficiency. The grant, awarded by the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, called for Cooper to develop technology for light vehicle tires... Read more →

First integrated assessment of quality and yield of hydrocarbon blendstocks via biomass fast pyrolysis and hydrotreating

Researchers from three US national labs—Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)—have performed the first, fully integrated assessment of the quality and yield of common feedstocks from the field to hydrocarbon blendstock production using the fast pyrolysis-hydrotreating pathway. A paper describing... Read more →

Researchers in China have generated gasoline fuel with a research octane number of 95.4 from biomass-derived γ-valerolactone (GVL)—the highest octane number reported for biomass-derived gasoline fuel—using an ionic liquid catalyst. A paper on their work is published in the RSC journal Green Chemistry. In the study, they converted biomass-derived γ-valerolactone... Read more →

Researchers at the US Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have identified microbial genes that can improve both the tolerance and the production of isopentanol in engineered strains of Escherichia coli. Isopentenol is a five-carbon (C5) alcohol that is a highly promising candidate for biogasoline, but, like other... Read more →

Conversion of microcrystalline cellulose to liquid alkanes with the biphasic system in function of time and temperature. Yield insoluble products (%) = cellulose conversion (%) - total yield dissolved products (%). de Beeck et al. Click to enlarge. A team from KU Leuven, Belgium, together with colleagues at the Leibniz... Read more →

Gas chromatography comparison of Conoco fuel and a Conoco-CoolPlanet blend. Cool Planet’s biogasoline blendstock is 100% compatible with pump gasoline. Source: Cool Planet. Click to enlarge. USDA has reached an agreement with Silicon Valley Bank to provide a $91-million Biorefinery Assistance Program loan guarantee to Cool Planet to help the... Read more →

Gas chromatographs (samples stacked for clarity) of Virent’s BioFormate biogasoline reformate vs. conventional petroleum reformate. Source: Virent. Click to enlarge. Virent has received fuel registration from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its BioForm drop-in biogasoline in blends of up to 45%. (Earlier post.) As a registered fuel, Virent’s... Read more →

One-pot process for conversion of cellulose to hexane, a gasoline component. Credit: ACS, Liu et al. Click to enlarge. Researchers at Tohoku University in Japan have developed a one-pot process to convert cellulose to n-hexane in the presence of hydrogen gas. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), unleaded... Read more →

Illustrative impact of the fuel roadmap. Source: LowCVP, Element Energy. Click to enlarge. The UK’s LowCVP has published twin reports which set out how the UK could meet its 2020 targets defined in the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive, and proceed on a pathway to decarbonize road transport fuel in the... Read more →

Pilot plant integrating Carbona gasification with TIGAS syngas-to-gasoline process. Click to enlarge. In a recently completed project, Gas Technology Institute (GTI) worked with Haldor Topsøe, Inc. on an integrated biorefinery to make renewable “drop-in” gasoline. The use of renewable gasoline could reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 92% when... Read more →

GC-MS chromatogram of the liquid products obtained after hydrodeoxygenation of angelica lactone dimer. Source: Mascal et al. SI. Click to enlarge. Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a process for the production of branched C7–C10 hydrocarbons in the gasoline volatility range from biomass-derived levulinic acid with good... Read more →

KiOR expects to produce 920K gallons of cellulosic biofuels by year end; short-term focus on economics

Cellulosic gasoline and diesel company KiOR, Inc. expects that, given current and anticipated operations through the remainder of the year, its Columbus, Mississippi facility will produce approximately 410,000 gallons of renewable fuel during the fourth quarter of 2013, bringing full year production total from the facility to approximately 920,000 gallons.... Read more →

Converting glycerol from biodiesel production into bio-gasoline

A team at the University of Idaho has demonstrated that glycerol, a byproduct from biodiesel production, could be used as a substrate for producing drop-in gasoline-range biofuel. In a paper published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels, Guanqun Luo and Armando G. McDonald describe their study of converting methanol... Read more →

The multi-stage bioliq process produces high-quality synthetic fuels from straw and other biogenous residues. Graphic: N. Dahmen, KIT/IKFT. Click to enlarge. The synthesis stage of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology’s (KIT’s) multi-stage bioliq pilot plant has begun operation and has produced biogasoline. All stages of the bioliq process—flash pyrolysis, high-pressure entrained-flow... Read more →

KAIST team engineers novel pathway for direct production of biogasoline by E. coli bacteria

A team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has developed a a novel strategy for microbial gasoline production through the metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli. The team engineered engineered platform E. coli strains that are capable of producing short-chain alkanes (SCAs; i.e., gasoline); free fatty acids... Read more →

Bio-oil-graded upgrading route based on molecular distillation and catalytic cracking. Credit: ACS, Wang et al. Click to enlarge. A team at Zhejiang University, China, has developed a novel cracking technology for the upgrading of bio-oil, produced by the fast pyrolysis of biomass, to biogasoline. In a paper published in the... Read more →

DARPA awards WUSTL researcher $860,000 to engineer E. coli to produce gasoline-range molecules

The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) of the US Department of Defense has awarded Dr. Fuzhong Zhang, assistant professor of energy, environmental & chemical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) a Young Faculty Award worth $860,000 to engineer the bacterium Escherichia coli to produce gasoline-range molecules. Zhang’s... Read more →

Joule expands solar CO2 conversion platform to produce renewable gasoline and jet hydrocarbons

Joule, the developer of a direct, single-step, continuous process for the production of solar hydrocarbon fuels (earlier post), has extended its solar CO2 conversion platform to produce renewable gasoline- and jet fuel-range hydrocarbons. Joule has engineered photosynthetic biocatalysts that convert waste CO2 into hydrocarbons through a patented, continuous process. Joule... Read more →

Capacities of the demonstration and commercial facilities sorted by technology. Source: “Status of Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Facilities in 2012”. Click to enlarge. Advanced biofuels technologies have developed significantly over the past several years, according to a status report on demonstration facilities prepared for IEA Bioenergy Task 39—a group of international... Read more →

Total Biofuels production by fuel type, world markets: 2013-2023. Source: Navigant. Click to enlarge. Navigant Research forecasts global biofuels production will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6% between 2013 and 2023, despite slower than expected development of advanced biofuels pathways (such as cellulosic biofuels); an expected... Read more →

Schematic diagram of the Primus STG+ process. Click to enlarge. Primus Green Energy Inc., developer of a proprietary process to produce gasoline and other fuels from biomass and/or natural gas (earlier post), will provide financial support to engineers at Princeton University for general research on synthetic fuels, which will include... Read more →

Neste Oil launches sales of NExBTL renewable naphtha; plastics feedstock and biocomponent for gasoline

Neste Oil—the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel—has launched the commercial production and sales of renewable naphtha for corporate customers; the company is one of the first to supply bio-naphtha on a commercial scale. NExBTL naphtha is produced as part of the NExBTL renewable diesel refining process at Neste Oil’s... Read more →

Cool Planet’s process relies on three core elements: novel biomass fractionation, advanced catalysis, and a char-to-soil enhancer. Source: Cool Planet. Click to enlarge. Cool Planet Energy Systems projects that using its patented mechanical process and novel scaling approach (earlier post), it will be able to produce high-octane carbon-negative (with the... Read more →