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 →

BuG ReMeDEE project seeks to use extremophile bacteria to convert methane to biofuels, biopolymers and electricity

Researchers from South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SDSMT) are heading a project to to investigate methane cycling in deep and extreme environments and to develop new biological routes using previously unexplored and novel microorganisms from extreme environments for converting methane into value-added products such as liquid biofuels, biopolymers,... Read more →

Study finds renewable diesel blends deliver fuel consumption and CO2 benefits in Euro 5 engines

Researchers from Istituto Motori - CNR in Italy and Eni report in a paper in the journal Fuel that blends of hydrocracked fossil oil (HCK) and Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) as diesel fuels deliver fuel consumption (FC) and CO2 savings based on the NEDC cycle. The researchers said that, given... Read more →

Researchers in the US, China and Taiwan have developed a new systems biology model that mimics the process of wood formation, allowing scientists to predict the effects of switching on and off the 21 (at least) pathway genes involved in producing lignin, a primary component of wood. The model, built... Read more →

For the first time, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has published state-by-state energy and water Sankey diagrams in one location so that analysts and policymakers can find all the information they need in one place. These diagrams depict energy use and water flow during the year 2010, the latest year... Read more →

Global Bioenergies and SkyNRG to collaborate on ASTM-certification of bio-isobutene feedstock and conversion for sustainable aviation fuel

Global Bioenergies (GBE), the company developing a process converting renewable resources into isobutene via fermentation (earlier post), and SkyNRG, world market leader in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), will collaborate to accelerate the commercialization of Global Bioenergies’ approach to process isobutene into a jet fuel blending component. The companies will work... Read more →

New regulations to double the use of sustainable renewable fuels in UK by 2020; 12.4% minimum blend by 2032

New biofuel targets that came into force in the UK over the weekend (15 April 2018) will double the use of renewable fuels in the UK transport sector within 15 years, cutting the sector’s reliance on imported diesel. Changes to the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) will compel owners of... Read more →

ASTM International recently approved ethanol as a feedstock in ASTM D7566 Annex A5, the Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons for alcohol-to-jet synthetic paraffinic kerosene (ATJ-SPK). The revision of ASTM D7566 Annex A5 to increase the blend ratio of ATJ-SPK to 50% was also completed. Companies such... Read more →

Researchers at Jilin University (China) have investigated the effect of gasoline components on fuel economy, combustion and emissions in a GDI (gasoline-direct-injection) engine. The team subsequently followed up this first study with a second, exploring the effects in a PFI (port-fuel-injection) engine. The first paper (Han et al., 2018a) is... Read more →

Brookhaven researchers improve understanding of how plants regulate oil synthesis; potential for more abundant bio-fuels and -products

Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have discovered new details about biomolecules that retard oil production in plants. The findings suggest that disabling these biomolecular brakes could accelerate oil production and lead to a possible pathway toward generating abundant biofuels and plant-derived bioproducts. The open-access study... Read more →

A team of engineers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) recently discovered that a naturally occurring bacterium, Thermoanaerobacterium thermosaccharolyticum TG57, isolated from waste generated after harvesting mushrooms, is capable of directly converting cellulose to biobutanol. In an open-access paper in the journal Science Advances, the research team, led by... Read more →

A team of Idaho National Laboratory (INL) researchers, with colleagues at Georgia Tech, has pioneered an electrochemical process that could eliminate the need for high-energy steam cracking. In an open-access paper in the RSC journal Energy and Environmental Science, the researchers suggest that their study provides a disruptive approach for... Read more →

New technique for modeling auto-ignition characteristics of bioethanol-blended gasolines

Researchers at KAUST in Saudi Arabia, with colleagues from Saudi Aramco and the National University of Ireland Galway, have developed a new method for investigating the auto-ignition behavior of bioethanol-blended gasolines. Their work, reported in a paper in the journal Combustion & Flame, explores the oxidation behavior of two oxygenated... Read more →

Study finds blending gasoline with GTL improves efficiency and lowers emissions in compression-ignition PPC mode

A team from Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands, in collaboration with Bengt Johansson at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia, reports that blending gasoline with high cetane number (CN) gas-to-liquids (GTL) fuel appears to be a promising route to improve not only efficiency, but also PM... Read more →

JBEI enzyme discovery enables first microbial production of aromatic hydrocarbon toluene, a widely used octane booster

Researchers at the US Department of Energy Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have discovered a new enzyme that will enable microbial production of a renewable alternative to petroleum-based toluene, a widely used octane booster in gasoline that has a global market of 29 million... Read more →

The technology group Wärtsilä will supply its Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) recovery technology, LNG fuel gas handling systems and the auxiliary engines for two new shuttle tankers being built for Singapore-based AET Tankers at the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in South Korea. The order, worth in total more than €30... Read more →

Study finds between 87 to 98% of ships following the new sulfur regulations in northern Europe

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have shown that between 87 and 98 percent of ships comply with the tougher regulations for sulfur emissions that were introduced in northern Europe in 2015. The lowest levels of compliance were observed in the western part of the English Channel and in the... Read more →

Researchers at Princeton University have used light to control genetically modified Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast—i.e., optogenetic control—and to increase its output of commercially valuable chemicals. In a paper in the journal Nature, the researchers reported that they used light to increase yeast’s production of the chemical isobutanol as much as 5... Read more →

Startup Mattershift says it has achieved a breakthrough in making carbon nanotube (CNT) membranes at large scale. The startup is developing the technology’s ability to combine and separate individual molecules to make gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel using CO2 removed from the air. In an open-access paper in Science Advances,... Read more →

Audi begins initial engine testing of Global Bioenergies, Fraunhofer e-gasoline

Audi remains convinced of the potential of the fuels e-gas, “e-benzin” (e-gasoline) and e-diesel and is continuing to pursue its e-fuels strategy. (Earlier post.) Audi and its development partners Global Bioenergies S.A. (earlier post) and the Fraunhofer Center for Chemical Biotechnological Processes (CBP) now report that they have for the... Read more →

ExxonMobil and Synthetic Genomics algae biofuels program targets 10,000 barrels per day by 2025

ExxonMobil and Synthetic Genomics Inc. announced a new phase in their joint algae biofuel research program (earlier post) that could lead to the technical ability to produce 10,000 barrels of algae biofuel per day by 2025. The new phase of research includes an outdoor field study that will grow naturally... Read more →

European Commission approves €4.7B public support scheme for advanced biomethane and biofuels in Italy

The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules an Italian support scheme for the production and distribution of advanced biofuels, including advanced biomethane. The measure will contribute to reaching EU energy and climate change goals while limiting distortions of competition. The Italian scheme supports the production and distribution... Read more →

Researchers at the University of York (UK), with colleagues from the University of Leeds, University of Cambridge and Université Aix-Marseille in France, have identified more than 20 members of an uncharacterized family of lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) (earlier post) by investigating the digestive proteome of Thermobia domestica—the firebrat, a small... Read more →

International team discovers family of fungal enzymes that degrades xylans in wood biomass

An international team of researchers has discovered a new family of enzymes found in fungi (fungal lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases, LPMOs) that are capable of breaking down xylans—a recalcitrant polysaccharide abundant in wood biomass. The enzymes could now potentially be used to sustainably convert wood biomass into valuable chemical commodities such... Read more →

DOE awards $10.6M to ROGUE to engineer energycane, Miscanthus to produce oil for biodiesel, biojet fuel

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded the University of Illinois a $10.6-million, five-year grant to transform two of the most productive crops in the US into sustainable sources of biodiesel and biojet fuel. The new research project Renewable Oil Generated with Ultra-productive Energycane (ROGUE) kicked off on 25... Read more →

BP outlook: Energy demand grows as fuel mix continues to diversify; EVs in global car parc at 15% by 2040, but electric share of VMT at 30%

The 2018 edition of BP’s Energy Outlook considers the forces shaping the global energy transition out to 2040 and the key uncertainties surrounding that transition. The speed of the energy transition is uncertain and the new Outlook considers a range of scenarios. Its evolving transition scenario, which assumes that government... Read more →

The US Department of Energy launched three Bioenergy Research Centers just over ten years ago (earlier post). Of them, the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), led by the University of Wisconsin–Madison, had a goal of turning more of the corn plant—the stalk and leaves that makes up the stover—into... Read more →

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has released two studies from the Co-Optimization of Engines & Fuels initiative (Co-Optima) (earlier post). The first study, Fuel Blendstocks with the Potential to Optimize Future Gasoline Engine Performance, identifies eight representative high-octane blendstocks across five chemical groups that could be blended into gasoline... Read more →

DOE to award $35M to 24 projects to support early-stage, innovative technologies and solutions in advanced manufacturing

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $35 million for 24 projects to support early-stage, innovative technologies and solutions in advanced manufacturing. These projects were selected under an Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Advanced Manufacturing Office funding opportunity, focused on advanced materials, advanced processes, and... Read more →

A cradle-to-grave (C2G) assessment of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and costs for current (2015) and future (2025–2030) light-duty vehicles by a team from US DOE and national laboratories, major automakers, EPRI and Chevron has found that currently, hybrid and plug-in hybrid petroleum-fueled vehicles provide the most attractive cost in terms... Read more →

Removing fossil fuel subsidies would have only a small effect on CO2 emissions and renewable energy use, according to a new study led by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and published in the journal Nature. Fossil fuel subsidies amount to hundreds of billions of dollars worldwide, and... Read more →

Canada-based Enerkem Inc., a leading waste-to-biofuels and chemicals producer, has completed a C$280-million (US$223 million) investment round—its largest to date. In addition to new investors BlackRock and Sinobioway, existing investors also participated in this financing. In January, Enerkem signed an agreement with Sinobioway Group worth more than C$125 million (US$100... Read more →

UMD IBBR awarded DOE grant to investigate how to protect biofuel crop poplar trees from disease

The University of Maryland (UMD) Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR) has been awarded a $1.1million US Department of Energy (DOE) grant to elucidate the mechanism of rust pathogenesis in poplar in an effort to engineer durable resistance for this important, second-generation biofuel crop. The aim of the three-year... Read more →

In 2016, the US Department of Energy (DOE) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) released a study concluding that within 25 years, the US could produce enough biomass to support a bioeconomy, including renewable aquatic and terrestrial biomass resources that could be used for energy and to develop products for... Read more →

European Parliament endorses proposal for 12% share of energy from renewable energy in transport by 2030; 10% advanced biofuels

The European Parliament last week endorsed a series of proposals setting targets for cleaner, more efficient energy use. Among those was a proposal for a binding EU-level target of a 12% share of energy from renewable sources in transport, by 2030. Members of Parliament also endorsed setting a 35% improvement... Read more →

Shell, ITM Power to build world’s largest hydrogen electrolysis plant in Germany; €20M REFHYNE project

Shell and ITM Power will build the world’s largest hydrogen electrolysis plant at Rhineland refinery, Germany. (Earlier post.) With a peak capacity of 10 megawatts, the hydrogen will be used for the processing and upgrading of products at the refinery’s Wesseling site as well as testing the technology and exploring... Read more →

Evea study estimates 69% reduction in GHG emissions for Global Bioenergies’ fully renewable ETBE compared to fossil gasoline

Life-cycle analysis specialist EVEA has estimated that fully renewable ETBE produced by the Global Bioenergies’ IBN-One plant would enable 69% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil gasoline. This figure was calculated for the current design planned for the IBN-One plant using a greenhouse gases emissions calculator based on... Read more →

Air Products to acquire Shell’s coal gasification technology business and patent portfolio for liquids (residue) gasification; coal-to-fuels in China

Air Products will acquire Royal Dutch Shell’s Coal Gasification Technology business as well as Shell’s patent portfolio for Liquids (Residue) Gasification. Financial terms are not being disclosed, and the acquisition is expected to close in the coming months. As a leading industrial gas company, Air Products has extended its onsite... Read more →