Gevo and Axens ally on ethanol-to-jet technology and sustainable aviation fuel commercial project development

Gevo and Axens North America have entered into an agreement that establishes a strategic alliance aimed at accelerating the commercialization of sustainable ethanol-to-jet (ETJ) projects in the United States. As part of the alliance, Axens brings technologies with more than 60 related patents; engineering packages; proprietary catalysts; and certain proprietary... Read more →


Gevo awarded patent for process to upgrade or convert ethanol and bio-based alcohols to drop-in hydrocarbon fuels

Gevo has received a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a process that encompasses upgrading ethanol and bio-based alcohols into drop-in, bio-based diesel and jet-fuel products. The USPTO has awarded Gevo US Patent No. 11,078,433 titled “Conversion of Mixtures of C2-C8 Olefins to Jet Fuel... Read more →


An international collaboration of scientists has taken a significant step toward the realization of a nearly “green” zero-net-carbon technology that can efficiently convert CO2 and hydrogen into ethanol. The study, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, lays out a roadmap for successfully navigating this challenging reaction and... Read more →


TotalEnergies to introduce 100% renewable fuel at FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC); ethanol/ETBE blend

TotalEnergies is developing a 100% renewable fuel for motorsport competition, to be introduced from next season at the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), including the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2022, and at the European Le Mans Series (ELMS). This 100% renewable fuel to be offered by TotalEnergies will be... Read more →


USDA invests $26 million in biofuel infrastructure to expand availability of higher-blend renewable fuels in 23 states

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $26 million to build infrastructure to expand the availability of higher-blend renewable biofuels by 822 million gallons annually in 23 states. USDA is making the awards under the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program. The funding will help increase the use of biofuels... Read more →


A patented process for converting alcohol sourced from renewable or industrial waste gases into jet or diesel fuel is being scaled up at the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory with the help of partners at Oregon State University and the carbon-recycling experts at LanzaTech. A single-step chemical... Read more →


UNL study finds non-flex fuel vehicles can adapt to E30 gasoline without performance compromise; fuel efficiency comparable to E15

A team at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has investigated the long-term adaptability and economic feasibility of non-flex-fuel vehicles—vehicles designed to use fuel blends containing 85% ethanol (E85) or less—to consume a 30% ethanol (E30) fuel blend. Their results indicated that although modest changes can be observed in the behavior of... Read more →


Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have developed a new catalyst for converting ethanol into C3+ olefins—the chemical building blocks for renewable jet fuel and diesel—that pushes selectivity to a record-high 88%, a more than 10% gain over their previously developed catalyst. (Earlier post.) A paper on the new work is... Read more →


LanzaTech Project DRAGON shortlisted for UK funding; ATJ-SPK from waste

LanzaTech UK, among other companies, has been shortlisted for funding through The UK Department for Transport’s Green Fuels, Green Skies (GSGF) competition to advance the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). (Earlier post.) LanzaTech’s Project DRAGON (Decarbonizing and Reimagining Aviation for the Goal Of Netzero) will undertake the Front-End Engineering... Read more →


Aemetis selects Worley to provide engineering for ‘Carbon Zero 1’ renewable jet and diesel production plant

Aemetis awarded an engineering services contract to Worley for the Aemetis ‘Carbon Zero’ renewable jet and diesel plant in Riverbank, California. (Earlier post.) The Aemetis Carbon Zero renewable jet and diesel project is designed to hydrotreat renewable oils with hydrogen from orchard and forest wood waste. By utilizing hydroelectric electricity... Read more →


The well-established, cost-competitive ethanol market provides an opportunity to shift the composition of jet fuel and other fuel products away from petroleum. In the first step of a multi-step ethanol-to-jet-fuel process earlier developed by DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL’s), a catalyst is used to convert ethanol into butene-rich C3+... Read more →


A new lifecycle analysis by researchers at Argonne National Laboratory has found that the carbon intensity of corn ethanol has decreased 23%—from 58 to 45 gCO2e/MJ—from 2005 to 2019. Their open-access paper is published in the journal Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining. Carbon intensity (gCO2e/MJ undenatured ethanol) of corn ethanol without... Read more →


Startup ClearFlame Engine Technologies announced a partnership with Alto Ingredients, a leading producer of specialty alcohols and essential ingredients, to conduct pilot demonstrations of ClearFlame’s solution for diesel engines using low-cost ethanol in Class 8 trucks. ClearFlame will provide Alto with a Class VIII truck retrofitted with a 500hp heavy-duty... Read more →


Researchers in Mexico have used a genetically engineered Escherichia coli to scale-up the co-production of hydrogen (H2) and ethanol (EtOH) using hemicellulosic hydrolysates from wheat straw pretreated (WSP) as substrate from a 0.01 to 10 L process. A paper on their work is published in the journal Fuel. Co-production of... Read more →


Bosch, Shell, and Volkswagen develop renewable gasoline with 20% lower CO2; rollout of Blue Gasoline this year

Following on the introduction of R33 Blue Diesel (earlier post), Bosch, Shell, and Volkswagen have now developed a low-carbon gasoline. The new fuel, called Blue Gasoline, similarly contains up to 33% renewables, ensuring a well-to-wheel reduction in carbon emissions of at least 20% per kilometer driven. This means a fleet... Read more →


LanzaJet, Inc., a leading sustainable fuels technology company and sustainable fuels producer, announced that Shell has joined as an investor in the company to advance LanzaJet’s global growth, accelerate commercialization of its technology, and scale the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). LanzaJet’s technology opens up a new and exciting... Read more →


U Nebraska study finds no observable negative effects from E30 use in non-flex fuel vehicles

The University of Nebraska’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering recently released results of a study of 50 non-flex fuel vehicles from the State of Nebraska to determine the adaptability, economic feasibility, and environmental impact of using E30 (30% ethanol blend). Twenty-six vehicles were fueled by E15, and 24 vehicles... Read more →


by Mike Millikin A team at Argonne National Laboratory’s Systems Assessment Center has evaluated the well-to-wheel (WTW) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of Fischer–Tropsch (FT) fuels produced via various electrolytic H2 pathways and CO2 sources; using various process designs (i.e., with and without H2 recycle); and two different system boundaries: a... Read more →


House Biofuels Caucus introduces two bills to grow biofuels markets

The co-chairs of the US House Biofuels Caucus introduced two new pieces of legislation to increase access to biofuels and to recognize fully their environmental benefits. Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) and Rep. Rodney Davis (IL-13) led introduction of the Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Investment and Market Expansion Act, which would expand... Read more →


UK introducing E10 fuel nationwide in September

E10 gasoline blends (10% ethanol) will be introduced at gasoline stations across the UK in September 2021. Its introduction on UK roads could cut transport carbon dioxide emissions by 750,000 tonnes a year—the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road, or all the cars in North Yorkshire. It will... 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 →


British Airways will power future flights with sustainable aviation fuel produced from sustainably-sourced ethanol, as part of a new partnership with sustainable jet fuel company LanzaJet. British Airways will invest in LanzaJet’s first commercial-scale Freedom Pines Fuels facility in Georgia and acquire cleaner burning sustainable aviation fuel from the plant.... Read more →


Bi-partisan bill in Senate to advance deployment of renewable fuel infrastructure, expand access to higher biofuel blends

US Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) reintroduced bipartisan legislation to create a renewable fuel infrastructure grant program and streamline regulatory requirements to help fuel retailers sell higher blends of ethanol. The Renewable Fuel Infrastructure Investment and Market Expansion Act of 2021 would authorize $500 million over 5... Read more →


Two bi-partisan bills to speed adoption of advanced biofuels re-introduced to Senate

US Senator John Thune (R-SD) has re-introduced two bills intended to speed the adoption of biofuels. The first, with co-sponsor Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) would approve certain advanced biofuel registrations that have gone without approval by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) despite the fuels already being successfully used in at... Read more →


A new study by a team from Environmental Health & Engineering (EH&E) has found that greenhouse gas emissions from corn ethanol are 46% lower than those from gasoline—a decrease in emissions from the estimated 39% done by previous modeling. The report, led by David MacIntosh, Chief Science Officer of Environmental... Read more →


DuPont launches SYNERXIA Gemstone Collection of high-performance yeasts for US ethanol market

DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences launched the SYNERXIA Gemstone Collection, the next advancement in its high-performance yeasts. The new collection from the XCELIS platform includes SYNERXIA SAPPHIRE and SYNERXIA RUBY—two high-yield yeasts designed for the unique needs of ethanol producers. This marks the first time that DuPont has co-launched two high-yield... Read more →


The FLITE (Fuel via Low Carbon Integrated Technology from Ethanol) consortium, led by SkyNRG and with LanzaTech as the technology provider, will build the first-of-its-kind LanzaJet Alcohol to Jet (AtJ) facility. The facility will convert waste-based ethanol to sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at a scale of more than 30,000 tons/yr.... Read more →


Researchers in China led by a team from Fudan University have demonstrated the electrochemical reduction of CO2 toward C2+ alcohols with a faradaic efficiency of ~70% using copper (Cu) catalysts with stepped sites. In a paper published in the journal Joule, they suggest that the results show great potential for... Read more →


The first successful trial delivery of advanced cellulosic ethanol marks the start of the long-term cooperation between OMV, the integrated, international oil, gas and petrochemicals company headquartered in Vienna, and AustroCel Hallein GmbH. The Hallein-based bioethanol plant has an annual capacity of up to 35 million liters (9.2 million gallons... Read more →


Novozymes’ new Fortiva Hemi enables significant improvements in corn oil and 1G ethanol yields

Novozymes has expanded its portfolio of innovative enzyme solutions for the bioenergy industry with the launch of Fortiva Hemi. Fortiva Hemi brings novel enzymes to liquefaction that deliver greater than 10% oil yield improvement and up to 1% ethanol yield gain above Novozymes’ industry leading Fortiva Revo liquefaction solutions. Liquefaction... Read more →


Enerkem, with a group of strategic partners including major investor Shell, along with Suncor and Proman, and Hydro-Québec supplying green hydrogen and oxygen, and with the support of the Québec and Canadian governments, is proposing the construction of a biofuel plant in Varennes, in the Greater Montréal area. Varennes Carbon... Read more →


Ethanol producers call for increased octane in new efficiency rules

Several ethanol producers from Iowa and South Dakota—representing more than one billion gallons of capacity—called on the ethanol community to focus their near term advocacy efforts on fuel efficiency rules that are likely to be a top priority for the incoming Biden Administration. In an open letter to the ethanol... Read more →


PNNL team develops catalyst to convert ethanol into C5+ ketones as building blocks for high-value chemicals and fuels

Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed a novel Pd‐promoted ZnO‐ZrO2 catalyst that converts ethanol into C5+ ketones that can serve as building blocks for everything from solvents to jet fuel. A paper on the work is published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition. The catalyst developed at PNNL... Read more →


The US Energy Information Administration released its annual fuel ethanol production capacity report, with data for all operating US fuel ethanol production plants as of 1 January 2020. According to the EIA, total nameplate capacity for 2020 has creeped up to 17.378 billion gallons per year, up 2.8% from 16.908... Read more →


Nearly half—48%—of rail tank cars carrying Class 3 flammable liquids in 2019 in the US met the new safety requirements, up from 33% in 2018, according to Fleet Composition of Rail Tank Cars Carrying Flammable Liquids: 2020 Report released today by the US Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.... 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 →


Prometheus Fuels licenses ORNL ethanol-to-jet-fuel process

Prometheus Fuels has licensed an ethanol-to-jet-fuel conversion process developed by researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The ORNL technology will enable cost-competitive production of jet fuel and co-production of butadiene for use in renewable polymer synthesis. The mission of Prometheus Fuels, a startup based in Santa... Read more →


EPA denying petitions for small refinery RFS exemptions for past compliance years

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is denying petitions for small refinery exemptions for past compliance years, the so-called “gap-filling” petitions for the 2011-18 compliance years. In total, the agency had received 68 retroactive exemption requests from petroleum refiners seeking to skirt obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS); the... Read more →


In 2018, Iowa produced 4.21 billion gallons of fuel ethanol—26% of the 16 billion gallons produced in the United States—according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Fuel ethanol is used as an oxygenate in gasoline and to produce E-85 fuel. Other Midwestern states that produced more than one billion... Read more →


Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed an onboard separation system that could support increased fuel economy and lower greenhouse gas emissions as part of an octane-on-demand fuel-delivery system. A paper on the team’s exploratory research, which was supported under the DOE’s Co-Optima... Read more →


NUS scientists have discovered a new mechanism for selective electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide to ethanol using copper-silver (Cu-Ag) composite catalysts. A paper on their work is published in the journal ACS Catalysis. Credit: ACS Catalysis The electrochemical reduction of CO2 to fuels and chemicals, when powered by renewable electricity,... Read more →


USDA making $100M available for biofuels infrastructure program

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) intends to make available up to $100 million in competitive grants for activities designed to expand the availability and sale of renewable fuels. (Earlier post.) The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) consists of up to $100 million in funding for competitive grants or... Read more →


Researchers from IPEN in Brazil, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) in Germany, and INRA in Canada have developed a novel composite membrane for direct ethanol fuel cells. A paper on their work is published in the Journal of Membrane Science. Ethanol has five times higher volumetric energy density (6.7 kWh/L) than hydrogen... Read more →


Congresswoman Finkenauer introduces $600M Clean Fuels bill to support higher blends of ethanol, biodiesel

Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer (IA-01) introduced the Clean Fuels Deployment Act of 2020. The bipartisan legislation, co-sponsored by Reps. Angie Craig (D-MN), Don Bacon (R-NE), and Roger Marshall (R-KS), would provide funding for installing and converting fuel pump infrastructure to deliver higher blends of ethanol (E15 and E85) and biodiesel (up... Read more →


The German Bioethanol Industry Association (BDBe) has published the 2019 market data for the production and consumption of certified sustainable bioethanol. German bioethanol production, standardized for use as fuel, fell last year to 542,699 tonnes—12.8% less than in the previous year. Sales of bioethanol were roughly on par with the... Read more →


INEOS, a leading chemcial manufacturer, announced it will build a UK factory to produce 1 million bottles of hand sanitizer per month within 10 days and will replicate this in Germany. These will be produced according to World Health Organisation specifications and be specifically designed to kill bacteria and viruses.... 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 →


Novozymes launches Innova Fit yeast technology for ethanol producers

Novozymes has launched its next yeast technology, Innova Fit. Fit is the most advanced non-GM yeast in the market, eliminating production constraints caused by conventional and basic yeasts, according to the company. Conventional yeasts often cause plants to struggle with the rigors of today’s fermentation challenges and production demands –... Read more →


Proposed CA LCFS pathways for corn starch ethanol with carbon capture and sequestration: as low as 37 gCO2e/MJ

North Dakota-based Red Trail Energy (RTE), which since 2007 has operated an ethanol production facility with annual production of about 60 million gallons per year, is proposing sequestration of CO2 produced from starch fermentation to lower the overall carbon intensity of the fuel for the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard... Read more →