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 →


EIA forecasts US crude oil production rate to break record high in 2018 and again in 2019; 10.3 and 10.8 million b/d

In its latest edition of the Short-Term Energy Outlook, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that US crude oil production will average 10.3 million b/d in 2018—the highest annual average production in US history, surpassing the previous record of 9.6 million b/d set in 1970. EIA also forecasts that... Read more →


Eni’s proprietary Eni Slurry Technology (EST) is able to convert refining residues entirely into high-quality light products, eliminating both liquid and solid refining residues with significant environmental benefits. Eni has now sold the licence and basic engineering project to the Chinese company Sinopec for the construction of a refining plant... Read more →


OSU team developing chemical looping technology to convert fossil fuels and biomass to syngas while consuming CO2

Engineers at The Ohio State University are developing technologies that have the potential to convert fossil fuels and biomass economically into syngas for conversion into useful products including methanol, gasoline and electricity without emitting carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. In the first of two papers published in the journal Energy... Read more →


WUSTL team receives $3.9M to engineer bacteria to produce drop-in fuels from lignin

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have received a $3.9-million grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop bacteria that manufacture renewable biofuels. Building on prior funding from the DOE Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) for systems biology work on Rhodococcus opacus, this project will apply... Read more →


Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have demonstrated a novel integrated conversion process for algal biomass to produce fuel and chemical products of sufficient quality to be blend-ready feedstocks for further processing. A paper on their work is published in the RSC journal Green Chemistry. Biomass from the... Read more →


Berkeley Lab team develops predictive model to optimize biomass blends for commercial-scale biorefinery processing

The type of biomass available for fuels and chemical production varies with the time of year and geography; the ability to integrate multiple feedstocks into the process of a bio-refinery can substantially de-risk the logistics of supply. However, pioneering bio-refineries have been optimized to process a single feedstock such as... Read more →


EU Council of Ministers adopts position on Renewable Energies Directive; bumps renewables in transport to 14% in 2030

The EU Council has adopted its position on a directive promoting the use of renewable energy across the EU. This agreement paves the way for the Council to start negotiations with the European Parliament as soon as it agrees on its negotiating mandate. The EU is committed to reach a... Read more →


China Lake team devises new class of bio-based high-cetane renewable diesel fuels: dioxolanes

Researchers at the Naval Air Warfare Center, China Lake have synthesized a new class of renewable diesel fuels from a methyl ketone and diols including 2,3-butanediol, 1,2-propanediol, and ethylene glycol. These fuels exhibit comparable net heats of combustion (NHOCs) to conventional biodiesel, while maintaining derived cetane numbers between 82-91. These... Read more →


GE Aviation testing 100% Gevo Alcohol-to-Jet fuel

GE Aviation has begun jet engine combustor component testing with 100% Gevo renewable alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ). The testing is being performed as part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise Program (CLEEN). CLEEN is the FAA’s principal environmental effort to accelerate the development of new... Read more →


NREL-led research could lead to improved enzyme performance to break down biomass for renewable fuels

A team led by researchers from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have gained new insights into how glycosylation—the natural attachment of sugars to proteins—affects a key cellulase enzyme. This work could be used to improve enzyme performance to better break down biomass and convert... Read more →


For the last 18 months, a fleet of 6 methanol-fueled versions of the Geely Emgrand 7 cars have been in Iceland. Geely is a shareholder ($45.5-million investment in 2015) in Carbon Recycling International (CRI), an Icelandic company which produces renewable methanol using recycled CO2 emissions sourced from a local thermal... Read more →


Two-stage catalytic fast hydropyrolysis of biomass produces biofuel with heating value, aromaticity close to gasoline

A team at the University of Connecticut Storrs reports on a two-stage catalytic fast hydropyrolysis process (CFHP) that produces a drop-oin biofuel with heating value and aromaticity close to that of gasoline. Their paper is published in the journal Fuel. The two-stage CFHP followed by hydroprocessing produced nearly 18 mol% carbon... Read more →


Siluria and Wood launch Modus: process technology to convert low-value offgas into high-octane, low-sulfur gasoline blendstock

Siluria Technologies, developer of a catalytic oxidative coupling of methane (OCM) process to convert natural gas into liquid fuels or petrochemical building blocks (earlier post), and Wood, a leader in the delivery of project, engineering and technical services to energy and industrial markets, announced the availability of the Modus process... Read more →


WVU, NETL partner with Pitt, Shell to develop process to transform stranded natural gas into marketable products

Researchers at West Virginia University will lead a team that will investigate ways to convert stranded gas resources into value-added liquid products that could reduce the United States’ demand for crude oil by up to 20%. The WVU-led team will combine the capabilities of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)... Read more →


Researchers at KAUST, Saudi Aramco evaluating low-octane fuels for gasoline compression ignition engines

Gasoline compression ignition (GCI) is an experimental engine technology that could consume 25% less energy than a conventional automobile engine. (Earlier post.) GCI uses a gasoline-type fuel, but rather than ignited with a spark, it is compression-ignited like diesel. GCI engines operate at higher compression ratios than conventional gasiline engines,... Read more →


A University of Washington team is trying to make poplar an economically viable biofuel feedstock by testing the production of younger poplar trees that could be harvested more frequently—after only two or three years—instead of the usual 10- to 20-year cycle. These juvenile trees are planted closer together and cut... Read more →


NAIT partnering with Oberon, Mack and Westcan to advance use of DME fuel in long-haul trucks

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is partnering with Mack Trucks, Oberon Fuels and Westcan Bulk Transport to develop fuel moisture management technology for dimethyl ether (DME), a cleaner-burning (sulfur-free and no PM), high-cetane (55-60), diesel fuel alternative that can be made from natural gas or methanol produced from... Read more →


Hydrogen Council study: hydrogen could contribute to 20% of CO2 emissions reduction targets by 2050

In Bonn, as global leaders gathered at COP 23, the Hydrogen Council coalition (earlier post) released a report developed with support from McKinsey quantifying the potential for hydrogen in the energy transition. According to the study, if deployed at scale, hydrogen could account for almost one-fifth of total final energy... Read more →


Neste and American Airlines collaborate to explore opportunities for renewable fuel use; High Freeze Point HEFA

Neste, the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel, and American Airlines, the world’s largest airline, have entered into an agreement to explore opportunities to further reduce American’s environmental footprint through the use of Neste’s renewable fuels. One goal of the cooperation will be complementary efforts to facilitate acceptance and commercialization... Read more →


Sandia-led team demonstrates two efficient hybrid biochemical routes for lignin conversion to value-added chemicals

A Sandia National Laboratories-led team has demonstrated two new routes to lignin conversion that combine the advantages of earlier methods while minimizing their drawbacks. The team’s recent findings are described in an open access paper in the journal Scientific Reports. Lignin, the tough material left over from biofuel production, contains... Read more →


Study concludes 20% synthetic diesel blend could reduce PM emissions in Beijing by ~19%

PM emissions from current vehicles in Beijing could be reduced by approximately 19% by simply blending 20% synthetic diesel with currently available diesel, according to a new study by Tsinghua University, the Desert Research Institute in Nevada and Greyrock Energy, a developer of gas-to-liquids technology. This improvement can be accomplished... Read more →


Audi is systematically building on its e-fuels strategy. (Earlier post.) Together with the partners Ineratec GmbH (earlier post) and Energiedienst Holding AG, the company has plans for a new pilot facility for the production of e-diesel in Laufenburg, in Canton Aargau (Switzerland). For the first time, the energy needed will... Read more →


VTT-led project to develop enzymes found in India’s wildfire-prone areas for biorefineries; IndZyme

Micro-organisms found in the wildfire-prone rainforests of India are an potential resources for biochemical production, as they are accustomed to the challenging conditions following a forest fire. The enzymes they produce are likely to also have a higher-than-normal resistance to the substances released from biomass in high-temperature industrial processes. An... 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 →


Lygos partners with Agile BioFoundry and DOE to accelerate bioproduct R&D and commercialization; two-year, $5M pilot collaboration

Lygos announced that the US Department of Energy is providing multi-year funding for Lygos’ collaboration with the Agile BioFoundry (ABF) to automate research technology. Lygos’ pilot collaboration is part of a multi-company two-year, $5-million effort coordinated by the ABF. Lygos produces high-value specialty chemical traditionally produced in oil-based petrochemical processes... Read more →


Argonne updates GREET and AFLEET tools for transportation technologies analysis

Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory have released updates to two key tools for the analysis of advanced transportation technologies: GREET, used to assess greenhouse gases, regulated emissions and energy use in transportation; and AFLEET, used to calculate and compare the costs and environmental benefits of a broad range of alternative... Read more →


DOE awards Donald Danforth Plant Science Center $16M to enhance energy sorghum

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a 5-year, $16-million grant to the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, one of the world’s largest independent plant science institutes. Building on earlier research using the model grass, green foxtail (Setaria viridis), this project will identify new genes and pathways that contribute... Read more →


Researchers from the University of Liverpool (UK), with colleagues from Dalian University of Technology (China) and the University of Hull (UK), have developed a new process for the direct, one-step activation of carbon dioxide and methane (dry reforming of methane) into higher value liquid fuels and chemicals (e.g., acetic acid,... Read more →


WSU, PNNL researchers convert algal biofuel waste from hydrothermal liquefaction into commodity using anaerobes; sewage sludge next

Researchers at Washington State University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have devised a method of converting a waste product generated by the conversion of algae into bio-crude into a usable and valuable commodity. The results of the team’s research are published in the journal Bioresource Technology. Converting algae to biofuels... Read more →


The technology group Wärtsilä has reached an agreement to acquire Puregas Solutions, a Sweden-based provider of turnkey biogas upgrading solutions. Puregas is a leading player in its field with subsidiary companies in Germany, Denmark, the UK, and the US. The company utilizes a unique CApure process to convert raw biogas... Read more →


Gevo to supply alcohol-to-jet fuel to Virgin Australia

Gevo, Inc. expects to supply its renewable alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ) (earlier post) to the Virgin Australia Group. The Virgin Australia Group will be responsible for coordinating the purchase, supply and blending of the ATJ into the fuel supply system at Brisbane Airport in Queensland, Australia. Gevo’s ATJ is expected to... Read more →


Agrisoma expanding partnership with Univ. of Florida on biojet fuel in US; Carinata seed

Agrisoma Biosciences Inc. is expanding its partnership with the University of Florida (UF) to advance the supply of biojet fuel in the United States. The Québec-based company and its subsidiary, Agrisoma USA, is working with a network of 40 academic researchers from seven universities associated with UF’s Institute of Food... Read more →


High-density renewable jet fuel from eucalyptus

Researchers at Washington State University and the University of Nevada developed a novel process for synthesizing dense jet fuel from mint, pine, gumweed, eucalyptus or other plants. The process, known as biphasic tandem catalytic process (biTCP), synthesizes cyclic hydrocarbon compounds for jet fuel from terpenoids, the natural organic chemical compounds... Read more →


Masdar Institute’s SEAS harvest marks critical milestone in development of sustainable aviation biofuel

Masdar Institute of Science and Technology’s Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC)—a non-profit entity supported by Etihad Airways, Boeing, Takreer, Safran and General Electric— announced that its flagship project, the Seawater Energy and Agriculture System (SEAS) (earlier post), has reached a critical milestone in its development of sustainable aviation biofuels through... Read more →


Argonne team identifies optimized engine designs for a given fuel

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have pinpointed optimized engine designs for a given fuel. Simulations performed by Argonne found two optimized fuel-engine concepts that could improve fuel efficiency substantially, said Yuanjiang Pei, a lab scientist who specializes in computational fluid dynamics at the Aramco Research... Read more →


EPA issues NODA concerning potential further reductions in RFS volume requirements

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a Notice of Data Availability (NODA) to provide public notice and an opportunity to comment on potential reductions in the 2018 biomass-based diesel (BBD), advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel volumes, and/or the 2019 biomass-based diesel volume under the Renewable Fuel Standard... Read more →


British Airways partners with Velocys on renewable jet fuel from household waste

British Airways has entered a partnership with Velocys to design a series of waste plants that convert household waste into renewable jet fuel to power its fleet. The first plant will take hundreds of thousands of tonnes of household waste per-year, destined for landfill or incineration, including diapers, plastic food... Read more →


Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a new electrocatalyst that can directly convert carbon dioxide into multicarbon fuels and alcohols using record-low inputs of energy. The work is the latest in a round of studies coming out of Berkeley Lab tackling the... Read more →


EU COMSYN project for compact gasification and synthesis for biomass-based fuels

The EU-funded COMSYN project aims to develop a production concept for competitive bio-based fuels by means of a compact gasification and synthesis process. The target reduction of the biofuel production cost is up to 35% compared to alternative routes, which translates to less than €0.80/l ($3.62/gallon US) production cost for... Read more →


NSF launches $20M engineering research center aimed at converting natural gas into transportation fuels: CISTAR

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is investing nearly $80 million in four new Engineering Research Centers (ERCs) to create novel technology platforms in the fields of living cell-based therapies, personalized heart tissue, point-of-care health systems and fuel derived from shale gas. The NSF Engineering Research Center for Innovative and Strategic... Read more →


On 27 October 2016, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) announced that beginning on 1 January 2020, the maximum sulfur content allowed in marine bunker fuel will be reduced from 3.50% mass by mass (m/m) to 0.50% m/m (35,000 ppm to 5,000 ppm)—five years earlier than many expected. (Earlier post.) The... Read more →


HelioBioSys, Sandia Labs, Berkeley Lab partnering on sugar-producing cyanobacteria for biofuel production

HelioBioSys has patented a group of three marine cyanobacteria that, when grown together, can produce high quantities of sugar just right for making biofuels. Sandia National Laboratories is helping HelioBioSys Inc. learn whether farming them on a large scale would be successful. Until the early 1900s, cyanobacteria were mistaken for... Read more →


Researchers develop cheaper, greener biofuels processing catalyst using waste metals and bacteria

A team from the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, with colleagues from the University of Birmingham and Aarhus University, have developed a nanosized bio-Pd/C catalyst for upgrading algal bio-oil. Published in an open-access paper in the journal Fuel, their findings point to a cheaper, more environmentally friendly... Read more →


Digging into the differences in carbon accounting for biofuels

The benefit to the climate of using biofuels as a substitute for fossil fuels has been sharply contested for years; much of the disagreement is based on the assumptions underlying the carbon accounting in the lifecycle analysis. The argument essentially boils down to whether or not biofuels are inherently carbon... Read more →


According to a new study by Bosch, the use of e-fuels—synthetic fuels based on renewable energy—in Europe by 2050 as a scheduled supplement to electrification could save up to 2.8 gigatons of CO2: three times Germany’s carbon-dioxide emissions in 2016. The calculation is based on an assumed e-fuels blend of... Read more →


Continental has developed an electrified solution to further reduce hydrocarbon evaporative emissions: the Active Purge Pump (APP). The APP actively pulls HC-laden air from the canister used to control evaporative HC emissions. The pump used for this action is a very compact and light-weight radial pump, driven by a highly... Read more →


Audi’s two latest natural-gas alternatives in the midsize category—the new A4 Avant g-tron (earlier post) and the new A5 Sportback g-tron—are now available for order in Europe. Both models are powered by a bivalent 2.0 TFSI engine developing 170 hp. Like the A3 Sportback g-tron that is already on the... Read more →


A team at the University of Delaware has synthesized renewable jet-fuel-range alkanes by hydrodeoxygenation of lignocellulose-derived high-carbon furylmethanes over ReOx-modified Ir/SiO2 catalysts under mild reaction conditions (170 ˚C, 5 MPa). Their paper is featured on the cover of the journal ChemSusChem. In their work, they found that Ir−ReOx/SiO2 with a... Read more →