BP: world on unsustainable path; growing divergence between demands for climate change action and pace of progress

BP released the 68th annual edition of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy (BP Stats Review), a comprehensive collection and analysis of global energy data. This year’s edition highlights the growing divergence between demands for action on climate change and the actual pace of progress on reducing carbon emissions.... Read more →

University of Colorado Boulder researchers have developed nanobio-hybrid organisms capable of using airborne carbon dioxide and nitrogen to produce a variety of plastics and fuels, a promising first step toward low-cost carbon sequestration and eco-friendly manufacturing for chemicals. A paper on their work appears in the Journal of the American... Read more →

Research led by Sandia National Laboratories has resulted in new insights about how to understand and ultimately to control the chemistry of ignition behavior and pollutant formation. The discovery eventually will lead to cleaner, more efficient internal combustion engines. The work, which focuses on the chemical science of low-pressure flame... Read more →

Researchers at the Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST), with colleagues in Korea, Japan, and the US, have added copper and platinum nanoparticles to the surface of a blue titania photocatalyst, thereby significantly improving its ability to recycle atmospheric carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon fuels (methane and ethane). The... Read more →

WinGD launches new low-speed, 2-stroke dual-fuel engines

In response to the growing demand for more efficient and reliable marine propulsion that serves the needs of an increasingly environmentally sustainable industry, WinGD (Winterthur Gas & Diesel Ltd.) has introduced three new low-speed, two-stroke engines that are capable of operating on low emission fuels. Building on the proven WinGD... 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 →

Rotterdam The Hague Airport and a European consortium led by EDL Anlagenbau Gesellschaft mbH signed a cooperation agreement to develop a demonstration plant that produces renewable jet fuel from air. This plant aims to be the first worldwide to offer renewable jet fuel from air to the market. The study... Read more →

ExxonMobil seeking to boost growth, continue work on lower-emissions technologies including biofuels and carbon capture

ExxonMobil is progressing growth plans to increase its earnings and cash flow potential while researching technology breakthroughs to reduce emissions, Chairman and CEO Darren Woods said during the company’s annual meeting today. ExxonMobil expects to increase annual earnings potential by more than 140% and double potential annual cash flow from... Read more →

KLM, SkyNRG and SHV Energy announce project to build European plant for sustainable aviation fuel: DSL-1

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has committed itself for a 10-year period to the development and purchase of 75,000 tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel a year. KLM is the first airline in the world to invest in sustainable aviation fuel on this scale. SkyNRG, global market leader for sustainable aviation fuel... Read more →

Nouryon and Gasunie study scale-up of green hydrogen project to meet aviation fuels demand

Nouryon and Gasunie are studying an expansion of a planned green hydrogen unit at Delfzijl, the Netherlands. The feasibility study follows a deal to convert sustainable electricity into green hydrogen for SkyNRG. The plant, which would convert renewable electricity into green hydrogen via water electrolysis, could be scaled up from... Read more →

A life-cycle assessment of emissions from domestic and imported liquefied natural gas (LNG), and heavy-fuel oil (HFO) for marine shipping by a team from the University of British Columbia has found that only high-pressure dual-fuel (HPDF) engines robustly reduce well-to-wake GHG emissions by 10% compared with their HFO-fueled counterparts. Low... Read more →

The US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory recently released an updated version of an online computer model meant to help bioenergy developers preserve critical resources. The model, called Water Analysis Tool for Energy Resources or WATER, has users from more than 35 US states. This map depicts water availability... Read more →

Neste and Air BP bring sustainable aviation fuel to Caen airport in France

Neste and Air BP are supporting the business aviation sector’s Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel (SAJF) initiative and helping drive its adoption with operators and aircraft manufacturers. The European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) will take place in Geneva on 21-23 May 2019, and European business aviation community has an... 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 →

Cleaner fuels have replaced more than 3B gallons of diesel under California Low Carbon Fuel Standard

New 2018 data from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) indicates that the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) continues to drive production of a growing volume of cleaner transportation fuels for California consumers. To date almost 3.3 billion gallons of petroleum diesel have been displaced by clean, low-carbon alternatives.... Read more →

Methanotrophic bacteria remove methane from the environment and convert it into methanol. An interdisciplinary team at Northwestern University has found that the enzyme responsible for the methane-methanol conversion catalyzes this reaction at a site that contains just one copper ion. The study is published in the journal Science. Bacteria that... Read more →

ExxonMobil to invest up to $100M over 10 years on lower-emissions R&D with US National Labs

ExxonMobil will invest up to $100 million over 10 years to research and to develop advanced lower-emissions technologies with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and National Energy Technology Laboratory. The agreement will foster research collaboration on projects that will advance potential scalable technologies that improve energy... 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 →

London-based AP Ventures has made a follow-on investment in Greyrock Energy, Inc. a provider of small-scale gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology. Greyrock’s systems are designed to transform a variety of gas resources (including natural gas, flare gas, bio-gas, natural gas liquids, and other feedstocks) into premium transportation fuels. Greyrock’s small GTL systems... Read more →

Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the University of Toronto have proposed a method enabling air conditioning and ventilation systems to produce synthetic fuels from CO2 and water from the ambient air. Compact plants are to separate CO2 from the ambient air directly in buildings and produce... Read more →

DOE announces $79M for bioenergy research and development

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced more than $79 million in funding for bioenergy research and development including biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower (DE-FOA-00002029). The FOA topics will advance DOE’s Bioenergy Technology Office’s (BETO) objectives to reduce the price of drop-in biofuels, lower the cost of biopower, and enable high-value... Read more →

BP, Nouryon (formerly AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals), and the Port of Rotterdam will collaborate to explore the opportunity of making green hydrogen via water electrolysis for BP’s refinery in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, which has the potential for significant reductions in CO2 emissions. BP’s Rotterdam refinery. The refinery currently uses hydrogen made... Read more →

Researchers at Henan Polytechnic University in China have hydrotreated the oil derived from hydrothermal liquefaction of scrap tires (STO) with waste engine oil (WEO) using five different activated carbon-supported noble metal catalysts—Pd/C, Pt/C, Ru/C, Ir/C, and Rh/C—for the production of liquid fuels. In a paper in the journal Fuel, they... 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 →

NTU scientists discover sustainable way to increase seed oil yield in crops up to 15%

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) scientists have developed a sustainable way to demonstrate a new genetic modification that can increase the yield of natural oil in seeds by up to 15% in laboratory conditions. The new method can be applied to crops such as canola, soybean and sunflower, which... Read more →

A lifecycle study by consultancy thinkstep, commissioned by SEA\LNG and SGMF, has found that greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions of up to 21% are achievable now from LNG as a marine fuel, compared with current oil-based marine fuels, over the entire life-cycle from Well-to-Wake (WtW). The study also confirms that emissions... Read more →

Researchers from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics in China have selectively synthesized gasoline- and jet-fuel range C7-C8 cycloalkanes and aromatics by the methanolysis of poly(ethyleneterephthalate) (PET) waste, followed by the solvent-free hydrogenation and hydrodeoxygenation (HDO). The C7-C8 cycloalkanes and aromatics can be used as gasoline or additives to improve... Read more →

Brightmark Energy, a San Francisco-based waste and energy development company, closed a $260-million financing package for the construction of the US’ first commercial-scale plastics-to-fuel plant, which will be located in Ashley, Indiana. The financing for “Brightmark Energy Ashley Indiana” includes $185 million in Indiana green bonds, which were underwritten by... 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 →

Researchers at the University of Oklahoma, in collaboration with the University of Tulsa, have a novel approach for the water-assisted upgrading of the renewable chemical furfural, doubling or tripling the rate of conversion. Compared to the vapor phase, liquid-phase heterogeneous catalysis provides additional degrees of freedom for reaction engineering, but... Read more →

SoCalGas reduces CNG price by $0.26 per gallon at its fueling stations by using LCFS credits

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) will lower the price of compressed natural gas at all of its 13 public access natural gas vehicle fueling stations by $0.26 per gallon beginning 1 April. Through a California Public Utilities Commission approved program, the utility is able to offer a reduced price by... Read more →

A group of Dutch multinationals—FrieslandCampina, Heineken, Philips, DSM, Shell and Unilever—all members of the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition (DSGC), will partner with A.P. Moller - Maersk to take a tangible step towards the decarbonization of ocean shipping. A pilot project will test the use of up to 20% sustainable second-generation... Read more →

Scientists in China have developed a process for converting cellulose from plant waste from agriculture and timber harvesting into high-density aviation fuel: a polycycloalkane mixture. Tuning the reaction conditions also permits the selective production of methyl cyclopentane, which can be used as high-octane-number gasoline additive. The researchers suggest that their... Read more →

Researchers explore catalytic partial oxidation reformation of diesel, gasoline, and natural gas for “single-fuel RCCI”

Researchers at Stony Brook University, with colleagues from The City College of New Tyork, Alloy Surfaces and Innoveering, explored the catalytic partial oxidation (CPOX) reforming of three potential transportation-relevant fuels—gasoline, diesel, and natural gas—for use in low-temperature combustion (LTC) engines. They report their results in a paper in the journal... Read more →

Petroleum refineries in the US Gulf Coast increasingly rely on merchant suppliers, rather than their own production, to provide the hydrogen used to reduce the sulfur content of fuel, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). As global demand for distillate fuel oil has increased and sulfur content regulations... 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 →

Researchers develop efficient route for production of BTX from biomass

A team at RWTH Aachen University has developed a novel route for the efficient production of BTX (aromatic hydrocarbons such as benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and three xylene isomers)—which play an essential role in the petrochemical and fine chemical industries—from bio-derived isobutyraldehyde. In a paper in the RSC journal Green... Read more →

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. has set goals to offer Zero-Carbon Redeem renewable natural gas (RNG) at all of its fueling stations by 2025. By transitioning exclusively to Redeem by 2025 and by achieving zero carbon-intensity, Clean Energy would outdistance other alternative fuels, including electricity for EVs, which are not excepted... Read more →

Gevo enters into long-term supply agreement for renewable isooctane with HCS Group: worth up to $180M

Gevo, Inc. and HCS Group have entered into a long-term, definitive, binding and bankable renewable isooctane purchase and sale agreement. HCS Group will be supplied exclusively for sales of Gevo’s renewable isooctane into high-end applications ranging from high purity solvents to specialty fuels under its Haltermann Carless brand, excluding use... Read more →

Eni and RenOils to boost collection of used cooking oil for biofuel production

Eni and RenOils, the Italian national vegetable and animal oils and fats Consortium established in 2016 to ensure the correct management of the collection, transport, storage, processing and reuse of vegetable oils and animal fats, are promoting the recovery of used cooking oils (UCO) for biofuel production. Eni currently makes... Read more →

In Australia, QUT researchers and Mercurius Australia are partnering on a pilot plant to prove the economic viability of turning sugarcane waste into either jet and diesel fuel or chemicals that could be used to make plastic soft drink and beer bottles. Dr. Darryn Rackemann, Senior Research Fellow from QUT’s... 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 →

Fewer soot particles in the exhaust stream of aircraft reduces the formation of ice crystals and therefore the climate impact of the resulting contrail cirrus. Halving the ice particles that form in the contrail decreases the climate-warming effect of the contrail cirrus by 20%; the effect is halved if there... Read more →

EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2019 projects continued robust growth in US energy production, emergence of the United States as an energy exporter, and a cleaner S electric power generation mix. For the Transportation sector, EIA projects that energy consumption will decline between 2019 and 2037 (in the Reference case) because... Read more →

The Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC), a non-profit entity established by Masdar Institute that is part of Khalifa University of Science and Technology, announced the world’s first commercial flight using locally produced sustainable fuel on an Etihad Airways Boeing 787 powered by GE’s GEnx-1B engines. (Earlier post.) The flight from... Read more →

Gevo joins SFO consortium to advance sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)

Gevo has signed on to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a group of eight airlines and certain fuel producers to work cooperatively on expanding the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). (Earlier post.) The consortium, initially formed in September 2018, is the first of... Read more →

NCSU researchers create shortcut to terpene biosynthesis in E. coli

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed an artificial enzymatic pathway for synthesizing isoprenoids, or terpenes, in E. coli. This shorter, more efficient, cost-effective and customizable pathway transforms the bacterium into a factory that can produce terpenes for use in everything from cancer drugs to biofuels. A paper on... Read more →

Power-To-X: Sunfire reports successful test run of co-electrolysis system of >500 hours; e-Crude demo targeted

Sunfire GmbH reports the successful start-up and test run (> 500 hours) of a high-temperature co-electrolysis system at its Dresden site, beginning in November 2018. SUNFIRE-SYNLINK—a co-electrolyzer based on solid oxide cell (SOC) technology—enables the highly efficient production (a projected ~80% efficiency on an industrial scale) of synthesis gas in... Read more →

Available clean fuels for the state of Washington could meet a 2028 target of 11.2% reduction in average carbon intensity by 2028, according to an analysis completed by independent research firm Cerulogy and commissioned by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). The largest fuel pathways used to meet this target... Read more →