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 →


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 →


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 →


Global Bioenergies successfully moves its C3 process to demo scale; isopropanol and acetone from renewable resources

Global Bioenergies has reached a new milestone in scaling up its C3 process converting renewable resources into isopropanol and acetone. (Earlier post.) These two biobased compounds target large markets in the cosmetics and solvent segments. They can also be converted into polypropylene, a key component in the plastics industry, with... Read more →


Velocys partners with PQ for FT catalyst manufacturing; secures funding for UK waste-to-jet project

Velocys plc has partnered with PQ Corporation (PQ) for the supply of commercial quantities of Velocys’ proprietary microchannel Fischer-Tropsch catalyst to be used in multiple biorefineries incorporating its technology. PQ is a leading global provider of specialty catalysts, services, materials and chemicals for the refinery, emissions control and petrochemical industries.... 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 →


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 →


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 →


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 →


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 →


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 →


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 →


Teijin Limited has developed a formable gasoline-resistant film made of PLANEXT bioplastic to replace chrome plating, which Honda Lock Mfg. Co., Ltd. has now adopted for nonconductive door handles integrated with smart-entry systems. Teijin developed the innovative film using a special metal-evaporation technology from a processing-manufacturer partner. Teijin is currently... Read more →