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 →


The UK government is awarding LanzaTech, Virgin Atlantic and partners a £410k (US$543,000) grant for partial funding of the construction of a large-scale Alcohol-to-Jet (ATJ) facility producing commercial quantities of fuel in the UK. (Earlier post.) LanzaTech had submitted a bid to the UK Department for Transport (DfT) Future Fuels... Read more →


The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a proposed rule under the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) program that would set the minimum amount of renewable fuels that must be supplied to the market in calendar year 2019, as well as the biomass based diesel volume standard for... Read more →


Growth Energy estimates 2,800 retail sites in US to offer E15 by 2021; 350M new ethanol gallons annually

More than 2,800 retail sites will offer E15 by 2021, generating approximately 350 million new ethanol gallons annually, according to a one-pager released by biofuel trade association Growth Energy. The report touts the accomplishments of Prime the Pump, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping build the infrastructure and distribution of... Read more →


BASF Venture Capital GmbH is to invest in LanzaTech. Using special microbes, LanzaTech has developed a technology for gas fermentation that first enables ethanol to be produced from residual gases containing carbon monoxide and hydrogen. By re-using waste streams instead of incinerating them, industrial companies can reduce carbon dioxide emissions.... Read more →


ASTM International recently revised ASTM D7566 Annex A5—the Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons—to add ethanol as an approved feedstock for producing alcohol-to-jet synthetic paraffinic kerosene (ATJ-SPK). (Earlier post.) The revision of ASTM D7566 Annex A5 clears the way for increased adoption of sustainable aviation fuels because... Read more →


Leading steel and mining company ArcelorMittal has begun construction of new premises at its site in Ghent, Belgium, to house a new installation which will convert carbon-containing gas from its blast furnaces into bioethanol. The technology in the gas conversion process, which utilizes microbes that feed on carbon monoxide to... Read more →


The Ohio State University has taken first place in the final year of EcoCAR 3, an Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition, sponsored by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM). This is OSU’s fourth consecutive win. The team earned 895 out of 1000 overall points. Ohio State... Read more →


Japan policy shift allows imports of ETBE made from US corn-based ethanol; increased carbon-intensity requirement

The Japanese government’s new biofuel policy will allow imports of ETBE (Ethyl Tert-Butyl Ether) made from US corn-based ethanol. ETBE is an oxygenated gasoline fuel component and ether. ETBE, conventionally derived from ethanol (47% v/v) and isobutylene (53% v/v), features properties including high octane, low boiling point and low vapor... Read more →


The United States exported nearly 1.4 billion gallons of fuel ethanol in 2017, surpassing the previous record of 1.2 billion gallons set in 2011, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). US imports of ethanol in 2017 increased compared with 2016 but remained relatively small at 77 million gallons,... Read more →


To better understand the near-term commercial potential for capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide, researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Stanford University have mapped out how CO2 might be captured from existing US ethanol biorefineries and permanently... Read more →


ASTM International recently approved ethanol as a feedstock in ASTM D7566 Annex A5, the Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons for alcohol-to-jet synthetic paraffinic kerosene (ATJ-SPK). The revision of ASTM D7566 Annex A5 to increase the blend ratio of ATJ-SPK to 50% was also completed. Companies such... Read more →


New technique for modeling auto-ignition characteristics of bioethanol-blended gasolines

Researchers at KAUST in Saudi Arabia, with colleagues from Saudi Aramco and the National University of Ireland Galway, have developed a new method for investigating the auto-ignition behavior of bioethanol-blended gasolines. Their work, reported in a paper in the journal Combustion & Flame, explores the oxidation behavior of two oxygenated... Read more →


Toyota unveiled a prototype hybrid flexible-fuel vehicle (Hybrid FFV) during an event Toyota held São Paulo, Brazil. Stakeholders including the state government, universities, and the sugarcane association (the Sugarcane Industry Union: UNICA) attended the event. The prototype is the combination of a flexible-fuel vehicle (FFV) that can be powered by... Read more →


Xinhua reports that China’s State Administration of Grain (SAG) said that China will expand production and consumption of bioethanol fuel this year as the country seeks more channels to use corn and grain stockpiles. Years of government support for corn farmers—paying Chinese corn producers more than twice the international price... Read more →


Novozymes has unveiled its new yeast platform for starch-based ethanol, while also introducing the first product, Innova Drive. A completely new yeast strain, the product can reduce fermentation time by up to two hours compared to current yeasts. The new yeast is also tougher, continuing to ferment in adverse conditions... Read more →


Sekisui, a multibillion dollar Japanese diversified chemicals company and LanzaTech report making significant progress on a waste-to-chemicals platform converting municipal solid waste (MSW) to ethanol or other new products. Today, many MSW streams are incinerated or super-heated to produce a synthesis gas made up of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, which... Read more →


BP and Copersucar to form a new ethanol joint venture in Brazil

BP Biofuels and Copersucar have agreed to form a joint venture to own and operate a major ethanol storage terminal in Brazil, better and flexibly connecting ethanol production with the country’s main fuels markets. Copersucar is the world’s leading sugar and ethanol trader, with the largest sugar and ethanol storage... Read more →


Eni, FCA partner on R&D to cut road vehicle CO2 emissions; methanol/ethanol blends, renewable diesel, ANG, on-board CO2 capture

The chief executive of Eni, Claudio Descalzi, and the chief executive of FCA, Sergio Marchionne, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the joint development of research projects and technological applications aimed at reducing CO2 emissions from road transport vehicles. The two companies, renewing their strategic commitment to a low-carbon future... Read more →


Study: expanding Brazilian sugarcane for ethanol could reduce global CO2 emissions by up to 5.6%

Vastly expanding sugarcane production in Brazil for conversion to ethanol could reduce current global CO2 emissions by as much as 5.6%, according to a new study by an international team led by researchers from the University of Illinois. This would be a massive undertaking, involving the conversion of hundreds of... Read more →


NAS: concerns remain about rail transport for energy liquids, gases; pipeline, maritime have more comprehensive safety system in place

With the sharp and largely unexpected increase in the long-distance movement of domestically produced crude oil, ethanol, and natural gas since 2005, a number of concerns have arisen about the safe transport of these hazardous materials, particularly in relation to railroad track defects, rural communities’ emergency response preparedness, and the... Read more →