Large differences among the recent increases in the costs of powering gasoline, diesel, and electric vehicles

by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. This post examines the recent changes in the costs of powering gasoline, diesel, and electric vehicles. The expectation was that the cost of electricity had recently increased much less than the costs of gasoline and diesel. The reason is that, in the United States,... Read more →

DOE to award $59M to expand biofuels production and decarbonize transportation sector

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced $59 million to accelerate the production of biofuels and bioproducts to reduce emissions in hard-to-decarbonize sectors. (DE-FOA-0002638) Marine and aviation sectors require higher energy densities to avoid frequent stops to refuel for long flights, international shipping routes, and cross-country rail routes, making these... Read more →

Biden Administration to award more than $800M to spur development and adoption of homegrown biofuels

The Biden Administration announced several steps to spur the development and adoption of homegrown biofuels. $700 million for biofuels producers: As part of the Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide up to $700 million in funding through a new Biofuel Producer Program. The... Read more →

Boston-based SES AI Corporation, a developer of high-performance lithium-metal (Li-Metal) rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles and other applications, has incorporated its subsidiary SES Korea and plans to build a pre-production facility in South Korea. It’s all about speed and winning the race. Momentum is building as additional auto OEMs want... Read more →

VERBIO has commenced production at its new plant in Nevada, Iowa. The plant will generate biomethane from corn stover (maize straw), and is the first large-scale commercial plant in the US to use the technology developed by VERBIO. VERBIO acquired the mothballed cellulosic ethanol plant from DuPont, the previous operator,... Read more →

Velocys, Southwest Airlines in 15-year off-take agreement for 219M gallons of negative-carbon-intensity SAF; 575M gallons of net-zero blend

Velocys plc announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Velocys Renewables LLC, has entered into its first offtake agreement for the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to be produced at the planned Bayou Fuels biorefinery project in Mississippi with Southwest Airlines. The agreement covers the purchase by Southwest of an expected 219... Read more →

DOE’s BETO releases notice of intent to scale-up biofuel and bioproduct refineries; focus on trucking, aviation, marine industries

The US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has published a notice of intent (DE-FOA-0002637) to issue a second “Scale-Up” Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) (DE-FOA-0002638). This FOA, funded by the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), will aim to accelerate the scale-up of biofuel and bioproduct biorefineries.... Read more →

PBF considering $550M investment to convert idled refinery unit to renewable diesel production

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and PBF Chalmette Refinery Manager Steven Krynski announced that the company is studying the possible conversion of an idled refinery unit into a renewable diesel production complex. The refinery’s parent company, PBF Energy, would make a $550-million capital investment to retrofit a hydrocracker unit—out of... Read more →

Researchers use distillation to improve biocrude oil properties for fuel blending

Biocrude oil produced via hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of biomass could provide a low-carbon supplement for transportation fuel supply. However, biocrude’s poor chemical (heteroatom content, energy content); physical (viscosity, density); and thermal (boiling point distribution, cetane value, cold-flow properties) characteristics limit commercial application. Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) is a thermochemical depolymerisation process... Read more →

DOE awards $35M to 15 projects in ARPA-E ECOSynBio program to reduce carbon footprint of biofuel production

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $35 million to 15 research projects through ARPA-E’s “Energy and Carbon Optimized Synthesis for the Bioeconomy” (ECOSynBio) program to decarbonize biorefining processes used across the energy, transportation, and agriculture sectors. Many biofuels, including ethanol, biodiesel and other products derived from organic material... Read more →

Arbios Biotech, a joint venture between Licella and Canfor (earlier post), and Shell Catalysts & Technologies (SC&T), have formed a new global alliance aimed at utilizing SC&T’s upgrading technology capability in the pursuit of a low-carbon intensity, circular-economy-focused biorefinery. Arbios Biotech was formed to commercialize Licella’s Cat-HTR platform, a globally... Read more →

EPA switches stance to support Tenth Circuit’s Renewable Fuels Association Decision

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that, after careful consideration of the 2020 decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Renewable Fuels Association et al. v. EPA, 948 F.3d 1206 , EPA now supports that court’s interpretation of the renewable fuel standard (RFS) small-refinery... Read more →

Summit Ag Group launches world’s largest CCS project; to reduce carbon footprint of biorefineries by up to 50%

Summit Agricultural Group, a diversified agribusiness operator and investment manager with operations in the United States and Brazil, has created Summit Carbon Solutions (SCS), a new business platform that will develop the world’s largest carbon capture and storage (CCS) project. Expected to be operation in 2024, the Summit Carbon Solutions... Read more →

Grön Fuels, LLC’s renewable diesel and jet fuel option facility at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge is based on Topsoe’s proprietary HydroFlex hydrotreating and H2bridge hydrogen technologies, including an option to capture ~1 million tons per year of bio-CO2 for carbon sequestration in suitable deep saline aquifers located below... Read more →

DOE to award $35M for bioenergy feedstock and algae R&D

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $35 million in funding for bioenergy feedstock technologies and algae research and development. (DE-FOA-0002423) Topic Areas ins the FOA support DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office’s (BETO’s) objectives to reduce the minimum selling price of drop-in biofuels, lower the cost of biopower, and... Read more →

Understanding bacteria’s metabolism could improve biofuel production

Researchers at UC Riverside and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have used mathematical and computational modeling, artificial intelligence algorithms and experiments showing that bacteria have failsafe mechanisms preventing them from producing too many metabolic intermediates. Metabolic intermediates are the chemicals that couple each reaction to one another in metabolism. Key to... Read more →

Québec awarding US$4.6M to advanced biofuel project carried out jointly by BioÉnergie La Tuque, Neste, and the Council of the Atikamekw Nation

The Québec Government is awarding funding totaling CAD 5.943 million (US$4.55 million) to a non-profit organization Bioénergie La Tuque (BELT) under a program called Technoclimat from Transition Énergétique Québec (TEQ) for a project to develop and demonstrate the potential of producing advanced biofuels from locally-sourced forestry waste in La Tuque,... Read more →

Neste, the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel produced from waste and residue raw materials, has agreed to acquire Bunge Loders Croklaan’s refinery plant located in Rotterdam, the Netherlands for a purchase price of €258 million (US$302 million). The refinery plant is located next to Neste’s... Read more →

International bioenergy research team sequences miscanthus genome

An international research team has sequenced the full genome of an ornamental variety of miscanthus, a wild perennial grass emerging as a prime candidate for sustainable bioenergy crops. The genome project—led by scientists at the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI), a Department of Energy (DOE) bioenergy research... Read more →

Researchers at the University of Turku in Finland have developed a thin-layer artificial biofilm technology for sustainable and long-term ethylene photoproduction. In the process, described in an open-access paper in the RSC journal Green Chemistry, recombinant Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 cells holding ethylene forming enzyme (Efe) from Pseudomonas syringae are... Read more →

NREL, ORNL research highlights economic importance of amount of sugars contained within bioenergy crops

A study by a team from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has found that the amount of sugars contained within cellulosic biomass from bioenergy crops that can be converted into fuels is of equal economic importance to the yield. The findings are published... Read more →

REG plans to boost Geismar renewable diesel production to 340M gallons per year

Renewable Energy Group, Inc. plans to undertake a capacity expansion of its Geismar, Louisiana biorefinery by 250 million gallons annually to 340 million gallons per year. The announcement follows a thorough review and site selection process. Construction should begin in mid to late 2021 with target mechanical completion date in... Read more →

Cargill and Virent collaborate to study Virent’s BioForming technology to produce biobased fuels and chemicals; dextrose to drop-ins

Cargill and Virent, Inc. are working together to evaluate the use of Cargill’s corn dextrose as a feedstock to Virent’s BioForming technology for the production of “drop-in” low-carbon biofuels and biochemicals. Virent’s BioForming technology uses sugars found in plants as a feedstock to produce drop-in renewable gasoline and jet fuel,... Read more →

Novozymes launched Fiberex, a comprehensive platform based on novel enzymes and yeast strains to convert corn fiber into ethanol. Fiberex is specifically aimed at breaking down tough fibers in the corn, providing producers with greater operational flexibility. The technology converts a low-value by-product into high-value, low-carbon fuel while also enabling... Read more →

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), which is managed by Berkeley Lab, have quantified how bioproduct accumulation in planta—i.e., engineering plants to produce valuable chemical compounds, or bioproducts, as they grow—affects biofuel selling prices. Their... Read more →

Gevo secures funding from Queensland Waste to Biofutures (W2B) Fund

Gevo, Inc. has been awarded part of The Queensland Waste to Biofutures (W2B) Fund to support the development of waste to biofutures projects in Queensland, Australia. The W2B fund provides targeted funding for pilot, demonstration or commercially scalable biorefinery projects in Queensland that use conventional waste streams or biomass to... Read more →

US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has directed the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to acquire alternative fueled vehicles (AFV) when replacing conventionally fueled vehicles. USDA owns and operates one of the largest civilian fleets in the Federal Government and this move to a fleet that can use E85 or... Read more →

US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the Agriculture Innovation Agenda, a department-wide initiative to align resources, programs, and research to position American agriculture to better meet future global demands. Specifically, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will stimulate innovation so that American agriculture can achieve the goal of increasing... Read more →

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Co-Optima initiative is overseeing a Directed Funding Opportunity (DFO) to apply the unique, world-class capabilities of the consortium toward addressing specific challenges identified by applicants from industry and academia. The Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) National Laboratory consortium is jointly sponsored by the... Read more →

Building on its $2-million investment for an ongoing feasibility study with Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels (NWABF), Delta has entered into one of the largest airline offtake agreements of its kind to purchase sustainable aviation fuel, if produced, from NWABF. The NWABF process uses the gasification of woody biomass to produce syngas... Read more →

Neste and Outotec introduce 100% NEXBTL-derived bio-based diluent as a new solution for base metals extraction; renewable Isoalkane

Neste and Outotec have jointly verified the viability of applying Neste MY Renewable Isoalkane as a fully bio-based diluent for extracting metals in hydrometallurgical processes. Neste MY Renewable Isoalkane is produced using Neste’s proprietary NEXBTL technology, a hydrotreatment process that can convert natural oils, such as vegetable oil and a... Read more →

DOE to award ~$96M for bioenergy research and development

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to more than $96 million in funding (DE-FOA-0002203) for bioenergy research and development. Topic areas within this FOA will advance DOE’s Bioenergy Technology Office’s objectives of reducing the price of drop-in biofuels; lowering the cost of biopower; and enabling high-value products from... Read more →

US DOE to award $75M for bioenergy crops research

The US Department of Energy (DOE) plans to provide up to $75 million over five years for research to develop sustainable bioenergy crops tolerant of environmental stress and resilient to changing environmental conditions. It’s critical for crops grown for bioenergy and bioproducts to be able to survive and thrive under... Read more →

Biomass technology group BTG plans to set up a new high-tech technology company that can convert crude pyrolysis oil into diesel fuel suitable for the shipping sector. It will be the first refinery in the world for an advanced marine biofuel based on pyrolysis oil. The new facility will be... Read more →

Mærsk, Wallenius Wilhelmsen, BMW Group and others partner to explore blend of lignin and ethanol for sustainable shipping fuel

A.P. Moller - Mærsk, Wallenius Wilhelmsen, BMW Group, H&M Group, Levi Strauss & Co. and Marks & Spencer are teaming up to explore LEO—a blend of lignin and ethanol—that could be part of the future solution for sustainable shipping. Around 80% of the goods you use every day are delivered... Read more →

EPA is granting 31 small refinery RFS exemptions for the 2018 compliance year, as well as 6 denials. The estimated volume of gasoline and diesel exempted is 13,420 million gallons; the estimated renewable volume obligations (RVO) exempted is 1,430 million RINs. The Clean Air Act (CAA) exempted small refineries from... Read more →

Researchers in Netherlands exploring use of lignin as alternative asphalt binder

In the Netherlands there are now test roads and cycle paths that are paved with a bitumen-like product made from the natural binder lignin. These include a section of road on an industrial site—used daily by cars and heavy trucks, some minor roads, and a cycle path at Wageningen University... Read more →

Anellotech’s Bio-TCat technology has achieved commercially-targeted yields in its TCat-8 pilot unit in Silsbee, Texas during six months of continuous process operations. Anellotech’s core technology, Thermal Catalytic Biomass Conversion (Bio-TCat) was developed to produce chemicals and fuels from renewable, non-food biomass. Based on scientific research initially performed in Professor George... Read more →

New research led by a team from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) uncovers how a beneficial insect common to the Eastern US, the long-horned passalid beetle (Odontotaenius disjunctus), has a hardy digestive tract with microbes to thank for turning its woody diet into energy, food... Read more →

Federal agencies release framework for advancing the bioeconomy

The federal Biomass Research and Development (BR&D) Board unveiled a multi-agency strategy to accelerate innovative technologies that harness the nation’s biomass resources for affordable biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower. The Bioeconomy Initiative: Implementation Framework was developed by the B&RD Board—an interagency collaborative which is co-chaired by the US Department of Agriculture... Read more →

First production of isobutene from wheat straw at demo scale; OPTISOCHEM

Global Bioenergies reported that runs using wheat straw hydrolysate provided by its partner Clariant were successfully performed in its Leuna demo plant, leading to the production of cellulosic isobutene for the first time at this scale. These runs were part of OPTISOCHEM (OPTimized conversion of residual wheat straw to bio-ISObutene... Read more →

Pertamina and Eni to collaborate on low-carbon products and renewable energies; Indonesian bio-refinery

Pertamina and Eni signed a Memorandum of Understanding to investigates synergies of their respective technologies, expertises and know-how, for jointly evaluating new collaboration opportunities in the areas of circular economy, driver for strategic development for Eni and its subsidiaries Syndial (Environment) and Versalis (Chemicals). The parties are willing to discuss... Read more →

Global Bioenergies receives 13 LOIs for purchases covering the capacity of its renewable isobutene and derivatives plant

Global Bioenergies has received 13 letters of intent from French and international industrial leaders for purchases totaling 49,000 to 64,000 tons of isobutene and derivatives annually. This covers the total production capacity of the planned IBN-One plant, a joint venture with Cristal Union, the fourth-largest sugar producer in Europe. The... Read more →

Phillips 66 and Renewable Energy Group plan large-scale renewable diesel facility on West Coast

Phillips 66 and Renewable Energy Group, Inc. announced that planning is underway for the construction of a large-scale renewable diesel plant on the US West Coast. The plant would utilize REG’s proprietary Bio-Synfining technology for the production of renewable diesel fuel. Planned feedstocks include a mix of waste fats, oils... Read more →

Japan-based biotechnology company euglena (earlier post) has completed the construction of its demonstration-scale biorefinery in Yokohama for the production of renewable jet and diesel fuels from algae and waste oil. The plant, which will use the Biofuels ISOCONVERSION process (earlier post) licensed by Chevron Lummus Global / ARA, will have... Read more →

Anellotech planning commercial Bio-TCat plant based on progress in development program

Sustainable technology company Anellotech confirmed significant progress in its Bio-TCat technology development program and has begun planning for scale-up design and engineering of a commercial plant with its process development and design partner IFPEN and commercialization, engineering, and licensing partner Axens. Anellotech has developed an innovative manufacturing process to produce... Read more →

DOE awards Texas A&M AgriLife Research $2.2M to investigate ways to market bio waste from biofuel refineries

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a $2.2-million grant to researchers at Texas A&M AgriLife Research to investigate potential discoveries for waste products used in lignocellulosic biofuel production, turning them into valuable agents used in producing commercial products such as biodiesel and asphalt binding agents. Dr. Joshua Yuan,... Read more →

Waste-to-biofuels company Enerkem produces bio-DME

Waste-to-biofuels and chemicals producer Enerkem has successfully produced a clean, renewable bio-dimethyl ether (Bio-DME), a by-product of biomethanol, that could replace the use of diesel fuel in the transportation sector. Using the company’s proprietary thermochemical technology, its innovation group has tested and validated the production of fuel-grade bio-DME made from... Read more →

DOE selects 36 bioenergy R&D projects for $80M in funding

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 36 projects for a total of $80 million in funding to support early-stage bioenergy research and development (R&D). This R&D will enable cost-competitive, drop-in renewable hydrocarbon fuels, bio-based products, and power from non-food biomass and waste feedstocks. The selections stem from four... 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 →