New method from EPFL more than doubles sugar production from plants

Researchers at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have developed a method that can significantly increase the yield of sugars from plants, improving the production of renewable fuels, chemicals, and materials. Producing fuels and chemicals from biomass (wood, grasses, etc.) involves breaking down (deconstructing), plants to produce single carbohydrates, mostly... Read more →


Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have identified two main challenges for renewable biofuel production from cheap sources: lowering the cost of developing microbial cell factories; and establishing more efficient methods for hydrolysis of biomass to sugars for fermentation. In a paper published in the journal Nature Energy, the... Read more →


DOE selects 42 advanced vehicle technology research projects for $80 million in funding

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 42 projects for $80 million in funding to support the development of advanced vehicle technologies. Selected projects cover the following areas: Batteries and Electrification ($31.9 million): These research projects will develop technologies to recharge multiple electric vehicles quickly and at very high... Read more →


TU München researchers test behavior of OME synthetic fuels in engines, develop optimized combustion process

In 2016, Germany launched a 3-year study of oxymethylene ethers (OME) as clean diesel fuels with €800,000 (US$894,000). (Earlier post.) OMEs are promising synthetic diesel fuels with an enormous potential for the reduction of soot and NOx emissions. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is the coordinator of that project, in... Read more →


PRIME Coalition invests in three startups: electrochemical reduction of CO2, lightweight materials; Li extraction

PRIME Coalition, a 501(c)(3) public charity funding tech start-ups that fight climate change, closed three new investments: Opus 12 in Berkeley, CA; Mallinda in Denver, CO; and Lilac Solutions in Oakland, CA. With these investments, PRIME has now funded nine start-up companies through 11 financing rounds mobilizing more than $17... Read more →


Ryze Renewables partners with Phillips 66 to build two renewable diesel plants in Nevada; 11,000 BPD combined

Ryze Renewables announced that construction is underway for two renewable diesel production facilities in Nevada. Once operational, these plants will manufacture high-cetane (80+) renewable diesel fuel from agricultural oils and animal fats, using a patented catalytic hydrogenation technology that the company says is more efficient than current conversion processes. Ryze... Read more →


ABS has confirmed the successful conversion of a slow-speed marine diesel engine to operate on ethane as a fuel. Navigator Gas, in partnership with Charterer Borealis, engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions, cargo system and fuel gas supply system supplier TGE and ABS, completed the successful conversion of the Navigator Aurora’s... Read more →


Swiss authorities’ decision leads to the cancellation of the Renewable Jet Fuel project in Geneva Airport

Geneva Airport announced in September 2017 that it aspired to replace 1% of the conventional jet fuel used for aircrafts with renewable jet fuel in a pilot project with Neste, the leading renewable fuels company. The partners made a case for project facilitation funding to the Swiss authorities. After a... Read more →


Tokyo Tech researchers ID enzyme that could boost algal biofuel production

Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology have identified an enzyme belonging to the glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT) family as a promising target for increasing biofuel production from the red alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae. Algae can store up large amounts of triacylglycerols (TAGs) under adverse conditions such as nitrogen deprivation. Understanding precisely how... Read more →


Latest generation diesels power 36% of US commercial trucks

Thirty-six percent of all commercial diesel trucks on US roads are now powered by the newest generation of diesel technologies (MY 2011 and newer), up from 30% in 2016 and 25.7% in 2015, according to analysis by the Diesel Technology Forum of operation data from 2017 of vehicles (GVW 3-8)... Read more →


Neste, ReNew ELP and Licella to collaborate in utilization of waste plastic as a raw material for fuels and chemicals

Neste, the leading producer of renewable diesel, UK-based chemical recycling company ReNew ELP, and Australian technology developer Licella are collaborating in a development project to explore the potential of using mixed waste plastic as a raw material for fuels, chemicals, and new plastics. In addition to studying liquefied waste plastic... Read more →


KAUST team investigates methanol-DME blends for compression ignition

Highly fuel-efficient new engine designs could significantly reduce the environmental impact of combustion-engined vehicles, especially if the engines run on renewable non-petroleum-based fuels. Ensuring these unconventional fuels are compatible with next-generation engines was the aim of a new computational study on fuel ignition behavior at KAUST. A paper on their... Read more →


US refineries are running at record levels in response to robust domestic and international demand for motor gasoline and distillate fuel oil, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). For the week ending 6 July 2018, the four-week average of US gross refinery inputs surpassed 18 million barrels per... Read more →


Researchers engineer yeast to tolerate ionic liquid used in biomass pretreatment for biofuel production

Ionic liquids—neutral salts that attain a liquid state at temperatures mostly below 100 ˚C—are very effective in the pretreatment of biomass to make its cellulose highly accessible to cellulase enzymes that hydrolyze it into glucose for fermentation by microbes. However, ionic liquids are toxic to biofuel-producing microbes such as the... Read more →


Velocys receives FONSI from USDA for planned Mississippi biorefinery; wood waste to drop-in fuels

Velocys plc announced that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on the environmental assessment report for Velocys’ planned Bayou Fuels biorefinery in Natchez, Mississippi. With the FONSI process completed, Velocys will now focus on the next steps in the project’s development,including... Read more →


EU FASTCARD project developed liquefaction & gasification routes to biomass-based fuels; rational nanocatalytic processes

Biomass is far more complex than conventional feedstock and the development of the necessary catalysts is traditionally a lengthy and complicated process. For Europe to meet its long-term target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95 % by 2050, cost-effective biomass conversion to fuels is essential. The EU-funded FASTCARD (FAST... Read more →


KIT, automakers, partners launch project “reFuels” in Germany for production of synthetic fuels from non-fossil carbon sources

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), with partners from the automotive, automotive supply and petroleum industries and with the support of the German state government of Baden-Württemberg, are launching a broad-based program to explore the opportunities synthetic fuels derived from non-fossil carbon sources offer society, the economy and the environment.... Read more →


UK government launches consultation on inclusion of E10 in market

The UK Department for Transport launched a consultation on whether and how it should introduce E10 fuel—which contains more bioethanol than traditional gasoline—to the UK market. We have launched this consultation in order to understand the impact of E10 on the UK market better, and to ensure that drivers are... Read more →


Neste exploring ways to use waste plastic as a raw material for fuels and plastics

Neste, the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel, is now exploring ways to introduce liquefied waste plastic as a future raw material for fossil refining. The aim of the development project is to proceed to industrial scale trial during 2019. The company’s target is to process annually more than one... Read more →


Chemical reactor company INERATEC, a spinoff of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), and the Spanish company GAS NATURAL FENOSA have built a plant in Spain that produces synthetic natural gas from CO2 and renewable hydrogen. The process is based on the production of hydrogen by electrolysis (renewable power-to-gas) and its... Read more →


Greyrock, NREL study determines reduction in GHG and criteria pollutant emissions from using synthetic fuels produced from flare gas

A “well-to-wheel” life cycle assessment (LCA) by a team from synthetic fuels producer Greyrock (earlier post), and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has determined the potential reduction of greenhouse gases and criteria pollutant emissions from the use of synthetic fuels directly converted from flare gas. The results of this... Read more →


The UK government is awarding LanzaTech, Virgin Atlantic and partners a £410k (US$543,000) grant for partial funding of the construction of a large-scale Alcohol-to-Jet (ATJ) facility producing commercial quantities of fuel in the UK. (Earlier post.) LanzaTech had submitted a bid to the UK Department for Transport (DfT) Future Fuels... Read more →


KAUST develops radically simplified method for accurately simulating fuel combustion; aid to engine design

Researchers at KAUST, with colleagues at Trinity College Dublin, have developed a new conceptual model for describing a fuel’s composition that can accelerate and simplify combustion simulations, ultimately aiding engine design. A paper on the work is published in the journal Combustion and Flame. Rather than try to model fuel... Read more →


Researchers discover new enzyme paradigm for critical reaction in converting lignin to useful products

Cytochrome P450s are some of the most versatile enzymes on the planet. These proteins are found in the human body and are involved in many metabolic pathways, including metabolizing potentially toxic compounds. Cytochrome P450s have been studied for decades and have been classed into Families A through M. Now, an... Read more →


The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a proposed rule under the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) program that would set the minimum amount of renewable fuels that must be supplied to the market in calendar year 2019, as well as the biomass based diesel volume standard for... Read more →


Gevo and Avfuel enter into renewable jet fuel supply agreement; first long-term commercial supply agreement for Gevo ATJ

Gevo has entered into a long-term agreement to supply its renewable alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ) to Avfuel Corporation, effective 1 July 2018. Avfuel is a leading global supplier of aviation fuel and services to all industry consumer groups, servicing more than 3,000 locations worldwide. The agreement with Avfuel is Gevo’s first... Read more →


Global Bioenergies receives €1M payment after improvements in bio-isobutene process

Global Bioenergies (GBE) received a payment of €1 million (US$1.2 million) from ADEM (French Environment & Energy Management Agency), which operates the Investissements d’Avenir (Investments in the Future) program on behalf of the French government. This payment follows improvements in performance levels of GBE’s bio-isobutene process and the completion of... Read more →


Growth Energy estimates 2,800 retail sites in US to offer E15 by 2021; 350M new ethanol gallons annually

More than 2,800 retail sites will offer E15 by 2021, generating approximately 350 million new ethanol gallons annually, according to a one-pager released by biofuel trade association Growth Energy. The report touts the accomplishments of Prime the Pump, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping build the infrastructure and distribution of... Read more →


New genetic engineering technique improves enzyme’s ability to breakdown biomass

Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the University of Georgia have developed a new genetic engineering technique significantly to improve an enzyme’s ability to break down biomass. A paper on the work is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences... Read more →


DOE awarding $40M to 31 projects to advance use of microbes in production of biofuels and bioproducts

The US Department of Energy will award $40 million in funding for 31 projects to advance research in the development of microbes as practical platforms for the production of biofuels and other bioproducts from renewable resources. Over the past decade, DOE-supported scientists have identified and modified a wide range of... Read more →


EPA approves bio-isobutanol as gasoline additive at up to 16 vol %

EPA has approved the registration of bio-isobutanol as a gasoline additive at up to 16 vol % after reviewing and taking comment on the application of Butamax Advanced Biofuels, LLC. (Earlier post.) Butamax, a manufacturer of bio-isobutanol, submitted an application pursuant to the regulations at 40 CFR Part 79, Registration... Read more →


The California ARB has released the draft summary of its proposed Innovative Clean Transit (ICT) regulation (earlier post) for review and comments. Staff will be discussing this concept at a public workshop being held today. The proposed ICT regulation includes a transition to zero-emission technologies while enhancing transit services. The... Read more →


ASTM International recently revised ASTM D7566 Annex A5—the Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons—to add ethanol as an approved feedstock for producing alcohol-to-jet synthetic paraffinic kerosene (ATJ-SPK). (Earlier post.) The revision of ASTM D7566 Annex A5 clears the way for increased adoption of sustainable aviation fuels because... Read more →


Recent moves by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) have signaled a strong determination by the sanctioning body to strictly enforce a tightening of marine fuel low-sulfur regulations, which will result in a period of huge upheaval in global oil markets, extraordinary margins for some oil refiners, and a potential doubling... Read more →


US researchers demo separation-free, IL-based process for conversion of biomass to advanced biofuel

Researchers from three US national labs (Berkeley, Pacific Northwest and Sandia) has demonstrated a separation-free, ionic-liquid (IL)-based process to convert biomass to an advanced biofuel (the sesquiterpene bisabolene). The process, described in an open access paper in the RSC journal Green Chemistry, is also the first to demonstrate full consumption... Read more →


How crude-oil prices influence gasoline prices

by Michael Sivak. Gasoline is one of the products refined from crude oil. Thus, the price of crude oil should have a strong influence on the price of gasoline. However, the retail price of gasoline includes other costs as well. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that in the United... Read more →


The technology group Wärtsilä’s has booked the 100th order for its LNGPac Fuel Gas Supply Systems. Two new shuttle tankers being built for Singapore based AET Tankers will feature Wärtsilä 34DF dual-fuel auxiliary engines running primarily on LNG fuel, and fitted with LNGPac units. This contract brought the total number... Read more →


Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc. has started site construction for Phase 2 of its first waste-to-fuels project, the Sierra BioFuels Plant (Sierra). Sierra will be the nation’s first commercial-scale plant converting a municipal solid waste (MSW) feedstock—i.e., household garbage that would otherwise be landfilled—into a low-carbon, renewable transportation fuel product. We’ve spent... Read more →


Global Bioenergies to take part in three more H2020 projects; second-, third-generation feedstocks for isobutene production

Global Bioenergies has been selected in more Horizon 2020 projects funded by the European Union, and will receive for this purpose about €2 million in grants over 4 years. These projects reinforce Global Bioenergies’ strategy of feedstock diversification in order to continue improving the economics and the environmental impact of... Read more →


Global Bioenergies to lead $24M REWOFUEL project to demonstrate the production of isobutene-derived gasoline and jetfuel from wood residuals

Global Bioenergies will lead a consortium including Sekab, Graanul Invest, Neste Engineering Solutions, Repsol, Peab Asfalt, SkyNRG, Ajinomoto Eurolysine, IPSB, TechnipFMC and Linz University in a 3-year project (called REWOFUEL) to demonstrate the production of isobutene-derived gasoline and jetfuel from wood residuals. Global Bioenergies will combine its isobutene process with... Read more →


Port of Seattle announces partnership for sustainable aviation fuels at Sea-Tac Airport; 10% minimum by 2028, 50% by 2050

The Port of Seattle recently announced today that 13 airlines, including Alaska Airlines, ANA, Delta Air Lines, Horizon Airlines, Lufthansa, Spirit Airlines and more, have agreed to collaborate on a work plan for providing all airlines at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport with access to sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), a low-carbon and... Read more →


DOE selects two projects for $3M in funding to advance biofuels, bioenergy, and biobased products

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award up to $3 million in funding for advanced biofuels, bioenergy, and biobased products available through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI). DOE has selected two projects from the University of Tennessee and Northwestern University that will receive between $1 million to... Read more →


The 2017 Compliance Report for the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) shows 100% compliance with the regulation. The program considers greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at all stages of production of a fuel, from pump or field to wheel. It was originally developed to support a return to 1990 levels of... Read more →


Pennsylvania awarding up to $5M to support alternative fuel transportation initiatives

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is accepting grant applications for innovative, advanced fuel, and vehicle technology projects that will result in cleaner advanced alternative transportation within the commonwealth. DEP’s Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant (AFIG) Program offers funding for the purchase and use of alternative fuels and alternative fuel... Read more →


Velocys plc, a developer of microchannel Fischer-Tropsch (FT) biorefineries, has received a “notice to proceed” action to commence manufacturing the FT reactors and catalyst for the Red Rock Biofuels LLC (RRB) biorefinery that will be located in Lakeview, Oregon. RRB has begun construction of the biorefinery, which will incorporate Velocys’... 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 →


Renewable Energy Group launched REG Ultra Clean Diesel, at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Long Beach. REG Ultra Clean Diesel, among the lowest emission diesel fuels on the market today, is a patent-pending fuel made of a proprietary blend of renewable diesel and biodiesel. REG Ultra Clean Diesel... 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 →


DOE to award $68.5M for advanced vehicle technologies research

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award up to $68.5 million for early-stage research of advanced vehicle technologies. (DE-FOA-0001919) This new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) seeks research projects to address priorities in the following areas: batteries and electrification; materials; technology integration and energy efficient mobility systems; energy-efficient commercial off-road... Read more →


US imports of biomass-based diesel, which include biodiesel and renewable diesel, totaled 14.1 million barrels in 2017, a 36% decrease from 2016, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Although increasing Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) targets have driven increased biomass-based diesel demand in recent years, imports fell in 2017... Read more →