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 →


Norwegian wholesaler Asko is among the first to operate a goods vehicle that runs on hydrogen, thanks to a collaborative effort by research scientists and industry. SINTEF, one of Europe’s largest independent research organizations, has been working with Asko and hydrogen fuel for almost ten years with the aim of... Read more →


Researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and Nissan Research Center report on their investigation of the internal reforming of ethanol fuel on high-performance metal-supported solid-oxide fuel cells (MS-SOFCs) with infiltrated catalysts in a paper in the Journal of Power Sources. Dogdibegovic et al. Nissan’s public interest in ethanol-fueled solid-oxide... Read more →


USDA seeking input on new higher ethanol blend sales infrastructure incentive program

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking public input to help with the creation of the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP), a new program that will expand the availability of domestic ethanol and biodiesel by incentivizing the expansion of sales of renewable fuels. The USDA is exploring options... Read more →


The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule that establishes the required renewable volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for 2020, and the biomass-based diesel volume for 2021. The EPA is committed to ensuring a net of 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuel is blended in 2020.... Read more →


Of the 28.4 quadrillion Btu (quads) of energy consumed by the US transportation sector in 2018, 1.4 quads (4.9%) were produced from biomass, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE). Fuel ethanol made up 81.4% of biomass-based transportation fuels in 2018, followed by biodiesel (17.1%) and other (1.5%). Note:... Read more →


A new open-access study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) finds that Vertimass’ integrated, cost-efficient process to convert ethanol into a blend-stock consisting of a mixture of C3 – C16 hydrocarbons containing paraffin, iso-paraffins, olefins, and aromatic compounds can reduce greenhouse gas emissions between 40 and... Read more →


S Dakota, Minnesota governors ask Trump to direct EPA to reduce toxic aromatics in gasoline

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Chair of the Governor’s Biofuels Coalition, and Republican South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem sent a joint letter to President Trump requesting that he direct the EPA to enforce Section 202 of the Clean Air Act that requires the reduction and elimination of toxic carcinogenic aromatics from... Read more →


LanzaTech moving forward on scale-up of sustainable aviation fuels in US and Japan

LanzaTech continues to make strides in scaling up its alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) platform. Commercialization of the ATJ process has been years in the making, starting with the partnership between LanzaTech and the US Energy Department’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. PNNL developed a unique catalytic process to upgrade ethanol to alcohol-to-jet synthetic... 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 →


Study: alcohol, biomethane and ammonia are the best-positioned fuels to reach zero net emissions for shipping; OPEX, not CAPEX challenge

A study by A.P. Moller - Maersk and Lloyds Register has found that the best opportunities for decarbonizing shipping lie in finding new sustainable energy sources. Based on market projections, the best positioned fuels for research and development into net zero fuels for shipping are alcohol, biomethane, and ammonia. Energy... Read more →


EPA issues supplemental proposal for renewable fuels volumes

On Tuesday, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking seeking additional comment on the recently proposed rule to establish the cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel volumes for 2020 and the biomass-based diesel volume for 2021 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)... Read more →


LanzaTech China JV reports 9M gallons of ethanol made from steel flue gas; new JV for PET

Beijing Shougang LanzaTech New Energy Science & Technology Co., Ltd. a joint venture between carbon recycler, LanzaTech, Shougang Group, a leading Chinese iron and steel producer, and its New Zealand partner, TangMing, have successfully produced more than 9 million gallons of ethanol from recycled steel mill emissions in their first... Read more →


Coalition requests judicial review of EPA limits on higher ethanol blends

In a joint petition filed with the US Court of Appeals, an alliance of ethanol, agriculture, and clean fuel organizations has requested judicial review of a recent US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rulemaking that would limit ethanol blending and restrict the use of blender pumps. The Urban Air Initiative (UAI)... 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 →


BP forming 50:50 biofuels JV with Bunge in Brazil; growing existing biofuels business >50%

BP will form a 50:50 biofuels joint venture with Bunge—a leader in agriculture, food and ingredients. BP will combine its Brazilian biofuels and biopower businesses with that of Bunge to create a world-scale, highly-efficient producer of sugarcane ethanol in Brazil: BP Bunge Bioenergia. BP’s interest in the new venture will... Read more →


ANA signs offtake agreement with LanzaTech for alcohol-to-jet sustainable aviation fuel

All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s largest airline for seven consecutive years, has signed an offtake agreement with LanzaTech, Inc. for the purchase of alcohol-to-jet sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) beginning in 2021. ANA has always been guided by our values, and our decision to transition to sustainable aviation fuel reflects how... Read more →


DSM expands yeast, enzyme product offerings for the biofuels industry

Royal DSM is expanding its product offering of low glycerol yeast technology for the biofuels industry with the introduction of eBOOST GT and a new enzyme for fiber conversion, eBREAK 1000F. eBOOST GT, which has been tested and qualified at commercial scale, enables the robustness and yield benefits of eBOOST... Read more →


Novozymes announces all-new liquefaction platform and reveals next yeast technology for ethanol production

Novozymes launched two major products—Fortiva and Innova Force—during the Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo (FEW) to continue supporting the growth of the renewable fuel industry. Fortiva is a new alpha-amylase technology that helps customers avoid having to choose between maximizing enzyme performance and operational efficiency. In yeast, Force continues to... Read more →


Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and the University of Arkansas have developed a highly efficient catalyst for extracting electrical energy from ethanol. The ternary Au@PtIr core–shell catalyst, described in a paper in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, steers the electro-oxidation of ethanol... Read more →


A new study finds that ethanol blends reduce particulate matter (PM) coming out of the tailpipe, which in turn reduces overall toxic emissions. The study was conducted by the University of California Riverside and the University of Wisconsin, Madison and commissioned by the Urban Air Initiative. It was published in... Read more →


EPA allows year-round sale of E15 gasoline

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed the final action that would remove the key regulatory barrier to using gasoline blended with up to 15% ethanol (E15) during the summer driving season and reform the renewable identification number (RIN) compliance system under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program... Read more →


Researchers from the University of Wisconsin Madison and ExxonMobil Research and Engineering have devised a two-stage process by which an alcohol such as ethanol or 1-butanol can be converted with high yields into distillate-range ethers and olefins by combining Guerbet coupling (the coupling of two alcohol molecules) and intermolecular dehydration.... Read more →


Within the scope of an agreement signed in November 2017 (earlier post), Eni and FCA have developed “A20”, a new fuel with a low level of emissions due to its 15% methanol and 5% bio-ethanol alcohol content. By harnessing its low carbon content, bio component and high octane number (RON... Read more →


MIT team proposes flex-fuel gasoline-alcohol engine PHEV long-haul trucks

In a paper being presented at WCX SAE World Congress Experience in Detroit this week, a team from MIT is proposing the use of a flex-fuel gasoline-alcohol engine approach for a series-hybrid powertrain for long-haul Class 8 trucks. In this approach the engine would provide comparable (or possibly greater) efficiency... Read more →


A study by a team from North Carolina State University, with colleagues from the Urban Air Initiative and 3DATX Corporation, has shown that non-FFVs (flexible-fuel vehicles) can adapt to a mid-level ethanol blend—specifically E27. The study was commissioned by the Urban Air Initiative. As reported in a paper in the... Read more →


A new study released by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) finds greenhouse gas emissions from corn-based ethanol are about 39% lower than gasoline. The study also states that when ethanol is refined at natural gas-powered refineries, the greenhouse gas emissions are even lower—around 43% below gasoline. The study, led... Read more →


A new study finds that environmental damage caused by corn production results in 4,300 premature deaths annually in the United States, representing a monetized cost of $39 billion. The paper, published in Nature Sustainability, presents how researchers have estimated for the first time the health damages caused by corn production... Read more →


EPA proposes rule allowing sale of E15 year-round; improving RIN market transparency

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed regulatory changes to allow gasoline blended with up to 15% ethanol (E15) to be sold to 2001 and newer vehicles year-round across the country. The proposal takes advantage of the 1-psi Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver for the summer months that has historically... Read more →


ReactWell, LLC, has licensed a novel waste-to-fuel technology from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory to improve energy conversion methods for cleaner, more efficient oil and gas, chemical and bioenergy production. ReactWell will bring ORNL’s electrochemical process, which converts carbon dioxide directly into ethanol (earlier post), into the... Read more →


Attis Industries to acquire corn ethanol plant, grain malting operation from Sunoco; partnership with Novozymes

Attis Industries Inc., a diversified innovation and technology holding company today, has entered into a definitive asset purchase agreement with Sunoco LP to acquire and operate its corn ethanol plant and grain malting operation in Fulton, NY. Total consideration for the divestiture is $20 million in cash. The transaction is... Read more →


Review of studies finds it difficult to reach summary conclusions on ethanol’s emissions effects

A review study commissioned by the Urban Air Initiative—a non-profit organization focused on increasing the use of ethanol in the gasoline supply to replace aromatic compounds in gasoline—has found that measured and modeled effects of ethanol blending on gaseous and particulate emissions have varied widely between studies, to the point... Read more →


A team from the University of California Riverside has investigated the influence of low-, mid-, and high-ethanol fueling—as well as the influence of the aromatic hydrocarbons in the fuel blend—on the regulated and greenhouse gas emissions, the mobile source air toxic pollutants, and the particulate emissions from a current model... Read more →


Volkswagen unveiled the Tarok Concept to the world at the São Paulo International Motor Show (6 to 18 November). The all-wheel drive all-rounder combines the progressive features of the latest generation of digitally networked SUVs with the versatility of a five-meter pick-up. The Tarok Concept is powered by a 1.4-liter... Read more →


Trump directs EPA to begin rulemaking to allow E15 to be available year-round

President Trump has directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to begin a rulemaking process to expand the sale of ethanol to include E15 (15 vol% ethanol blend) year-round. Proponents of the move hope to have the rulemaking in place for the summer 2019 driving season. In 1978, a Clean Air... Read more →


Novozymes introduces new yeast product for greater stress tolerance and better ethanol yields

Novozymes launched its next yeast technology, Innova Lift, for the starch-based ethanol industry. The product follows the launch earlier this year of an ambitious yeast platform, Innova, and the first product, Drive. We are continuing to deliver on our promise to quickly bring innovative yeast and enzymes to a market... Read more →


Aemetis will be implementing the Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation ZEBREX zeolite membrane dehydration system at the 60 million gallon per year Aemetis fuel ethanol plant in Keyes, California. The Aemetis plant upgrade is the first ZEBREX system installation in North America and is the largest implementation of the ZEBREX system worldwide.... Read more →


Gevo to deploy Shockwave process to lower the carbon intensity of its ethanol, isobutanol

Gevo, Inc. has entered into two separate operating leases and service agreements with Shockwave LLC to install Shockwave’s Thermodynamic Corn Fractionation Process as well as related technology and equipment at Gevo’s production facility in Luverne, MN. Shockwave is financing its equipment required for this multi-million dollar project and is providing... Read more →


Fuel ethanol production capacity in the United States reached more than 16 billion gallons per year, or 1.06 million barrels per day (b/d), at the beginning of 2018, according to EIA’s most recent US Fuel Ethanol Plant Production Capacity report. Total listed, or nameplate capacity, of operable ethanol plants increased... Read more →


UK government launches consultation on inclusion of E10 in market

The UK Department for Transport launched a consultation on whether and how it should introduce E10 fuel—which contains more bioethanol than traditional gasoline—to the UK market. We have launched this consultation in order to understand the impact of E10 on the UK market better, and to ensure that drivers are... Read more →


Celanese Corporation has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Chengzhi Shareholding Co., Ltd., to further the development of acetic acid-based ethanol in China. From 2014 to 2017, Celanese operated a 275,000 metric ton per year industrial ethanol unit at the Nanjing, China Chemical Industrial Park. This ethanol unit used... Read more →