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... Details →


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... Details →


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... Details →


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... Details →


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... Details →


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... Details →


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... Details →


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... Details →


Occidental Petroleum and Chevron invest in direct air carbon capture and synthetic fuels company Carbon Engineering

Canada-based Carbon Engineering Ltd. (CE) has received equity investment from two global energy companies: Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, LLC (OLCV), a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corporation; and Chevron Technology Ventures (CTV), the venture capital arm of Chevron Corporation. These investments will accelerate the commercialization of CE’s proven Direct Air Capture... Details →


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... Details →


Aemetis closes $30M equity investment for biomethane pipelines and dairy digesters to produce below zero carbon renewable natural gas (RNG)

Aemetis subsidiary Aemetis Biogas LLC closed a $30-million equity investment without any dilutive stock issuances by Aemetis, Inc. and funded the first $8.3-million tranche to subsidiary Aemetis Biogas to build, own and operate dairy biomethane digesters, pipelines and gas cleanup/compression facilities primarily under 20-year agreements with dairy farms in California.... Details →


AltAir files California LCFS application for renewable naphtha; 39.75 gCO2e/MJ

AltAir Paramount LLC has filed a California LCFS Tier 2 application for converting North American tallow to renewable naphtha; the company calculates a carbon intensity of 39.75 gCO2e/MJ. AltAir operates a Renewable Diesel (RD) plant in Paramount, California, which produces RD and Renewable Naphtha (RN) using a mixture of animal... Details →


Finland-based Neste has submitted three new Tier 2 Pathways for California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) for renewable diesel produced at its Porvoo, Finland refinery. Two pathways are for Renewable Diesel from Tallow & Animal Fat and one is for Renewable Diesel from Used Cooking Oil (UCO). Neste already has... Details →


Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) have shown that recycling carbon dioxide into valuable chemicals and fuels can be economical and efficient using a single copper catalyst. The work appears in the journal Nature Catalysis. …... Details →


Fulcrum BioEnergy has selected Gary, Indiana as the location of its Centerpoint BioFuels Plant, which will convert municipal solid waste (MSW) into low-carbon, renewable transportation fuel. Fulcrum has developed and demonstrated a proprietary thermochemical process that converts MSW feedstock into low-carbon renewable transportation fuels including jet fuel and diesel. The... Details →


Neste Corporation will invest approximately €1.4 billion to add additional renewable products production capacity in Singapore. The decision is based on a growing global market demand for low-carbon solutions in transport and cities, aviation, polymers and chemicals. Singapore expansion. The investment will extend Neste’s renewable product overall capacity in Singapore... Details →


DOE awards $1M to UMass Lowell-led team to develop renewable fuel additives from wood byproducts; Co-Optima project

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a three-year, $1 million grant to a team of researchers led by a UMass Lowell mechanical engineering professor that is working to develop renewable fuel additives from sawdust and other wood byproducts. The project is part of the Department of Energy’s Co-Optima... Details →


Bosch trialing Neste renewable diesel; aims to offer renewable and synthetic fuels at all company filling stations in Germany

Since early November, the cars chauffeuring the management board members of Robert Bosch GmbH have been running on fully renewable diesel. Known as “C.A.R.E. diesel,” this fuel is synthesized mainly from by-products and waste materials. Its supplier Toolfuel claims that C.A.R.E. diesel reduces the CO2 emissions of these cars by... Details →


British Airways challenges UK universities to develop a new generation of sustainable aviation fuel; part of $400M investment from parent

As British Airways looks towards its Centenary next year, the airline, in collaboration with Cranfield University, has challenged academics from across the UK to develop a sustainable alternative fuel which could power a commercial aircraft on a long-haul flight, carrying up to 300 customers with zero net emissions. This marks... Details →


Renmatix and Gevo to evaluate feasibility of cellulosic hydrocarbons for renewable jet and gasoline

Gevo, Inc. and Renmatix, the leader in affordable cellulosic sugars, announced a joint development agreement to evaluate the commercial feasibility of creating renewable jet fuel by integrating Renmatix’s Plantrose Process (earlier post) with Gevo’s GIFT technology and alcohol to jet process (earlier post). Renmatix’s Plantrose Process converts cellulosic feedstocks such... Details →


Lockheed Martin invests $4M in Forge Hydrocarbons; lipid to hydrocarbons technology

Canada-based Forge Hydrocarbons Corporation, a spin-off from the University of Alberta (earlier post), has received a US$4-million from Lockheed Martin under the Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) Policy. This investment enables Forge, a Canadian small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) to further development of its Lipid-to-Hydrocarbon (LTH) technology and to construct... Details →


The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule that establishes the required renewable fuel volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for 2019, and biomass-based diesel for 2020. The key elements of the action are: “Conventional” renewable fuel volumes, primarily met by corn ethanol, will be maintained at... Details →


Volkswagen has been testing the newly developed R33 BlueDiesel fuel blend at its in-house filling station in Wolfsburg since January 2018. The fuel, jointly developed by Volkswagen, the Coburg University and other project partners, contains up to 33% renewable components based exclusively on residual and waste materials and enables CO2... Details →


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... Details →


Eni and Hera Group partner on conversion of used vegetable oil to renewable diesel for waste collection vehicles

In Italy, Eni and Hera signed a partnership agreement with the aim of converting used vegetable oil into renewable diesel for Hera’s waste collection vehicles. The agreement revolves around household waste vegetable oil, such as that used for frying, collected by Hera in around 400 roadside containers and about 120... Details →


NYC DCAS to expand use of renewable diesel in city vehicles

The NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) will expand use of renewable diesel fuel, a 99% petroleum-free alternative to traditional diesel fuel. The fuel reduces CO2 emissions by 65% compared to the petroleum-based version. This move is part of the City’s efforts to phase out its use of regular... Details →


Renewable diesel net supply to California’s fuel market has increased since the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) program went into effect in 2011, reaching 100 million gallons during the second quarter of 2018, or 10.1% of the total diesel supplied to California that quarter, according to the US Energy... Details →


European Parliament approves binding 2030 32% renewables target; 14% of fuel for transport from renewables; 1st gen biofuels phased out

The European Parliament approved binding 2030 target for renewables (32%) and an indicative target on energy efficiency (32.5%) that will play a crucial role in meeting the EU’s climate goals. Parliament on Tuesday confirmed the provisional agreement reached with the Council in June on energy efficiency (434 votes to 104... Details →


Experts’ view on future transportation fuels

In a paper in the journal Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, Gautam Kalghatgi, newly retired from Saudi Aramco and a visiting professor at Imperial College London and Oxford; Howard Levinsky, Senior Principal Specialist in Combustion Processes at DNV GL Oil and Gas and Professor of Combustion Technology at the... Details →


California trucking firm switches fleet of 600+ trucks to Neste renewable diesel

Ecology, a transportation and logistics company in California, has switched its fleet of more than 600 trucks to run on Neste MY Renewable Diesel and is reporting cleaner fuel filters, fewer maintenance problems and reductions in tailpipe emissions. Ecology is one of the largest trucking and transportation companies in the... Details →


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... Details →


Emerging Fuels Technology licenses its second-generation Fischer-Tropsch technology to Red Rock Biofuels

Emerging Fuels Technology, Inc (EFT) has executed a license agreement with Red Rock Biofuels LLC (RRB) under which EFT will provide its second-generation TL8a Fischer-Tropsch (FT) technology to provide additional FT capacity for RRB’s biorefinery in Lakeview, Oregon. EFT has also received a “notice to proceed” from RRB to commence... Details →


JBEI researchers produce high density jet fuel precursors from bacteria

Researchers with the US Department of Energy (DOE) Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), with colleagues in China, have produced the tricyclic sesquiterpenes epi-isozizaene, pentalenene and α-isocomene—promising jet fuel feedstocks—at high production titers, providing novel, sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based jet fuels. An open-access paper on their work appears in Biotechnology for Biofuels.... Details →


Berlin-based Graforce Hydro GmbH, the developer of a plasma electrolyzer—the Plasmalyzer—is applying its technology for the highly efficient generation of hydrogen from industrial waste water. Mixing in biogas produces hydrogen-enriched compressed natural gas (HCNG)—a cost-effective, environmentally friendly fuel for vehicles that also generates electricity and heat. The technology not only... Details →


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... Details →


Researchers at Tohoku University in Japan have identified a way to reduce harmful NO emissions produced by ammonia fuel during combustion. The process involves swirling the gas with air as part of the power generation process. The finding helps advance research into ammonia as an alternative to carbon-based fuels for... Details →


New catalyst opens door to CO2 capture in coal-to-liquids process

World energy consumption projections expect coal to stay one of the world’s main energy sources in the coming decades, and a growing share of it will be used in CT—the conversion of coal to liquid fuels (CTL). Researchers from the National Institute of Clean-and-Low-Carbon Energy in Beijing and Eindhoven University... Details →


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... Details →


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... Details →


Global Bioenergies reaches 87% of yield target in bio-isobutene process

Global Bioenergies has achieved a yield exceeding 87% of the final target during the complete production phase, at laboratory scale, of its bio-isobutene process. The productivity is also progressing quickly. Yield and productivity have reached a threshold meeting the expectations for profitable exploitation of the process at commercial scale for... Details →


New study finds gasoline stations vent up to 10x more benzene fumes than previously thought

A study led by environmental health scientists at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health examined the release of vapors from gasoline station vent pipes, and found benzene emissions were 10 times higher than estimates used in setback regulations that determine how close schools, playgrounds, and parks can be to... Details →


CARB extends Low Carbon Fuel Standard by 10 years, doubles the intensity reduction target to 20%

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted to extend the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) by ten years to 2030 and to double the program’s carbon intensity reductions target from 10 to 20 percent. Under the LCFS, petroleum refineries and fuel importers must gradually reduce the average carbon intensity of... Details →


BP and Johnson Matthey license Fischer-Tropsch technology to waste-to-biofuels producer Fulcrum BioEnergy for biojet

BP and Johnson Matthey (JM) have signed an agreement with Fulcrum BioEnergy to license their Fischer Tropsch (FT) technology to support Fulcrum’s drive to convert municipal solid waste into biojet fuel. BP and JM have developed a simple-to-operate and cost-advantaged FT technology that can operate both at large and small... Details →


New method from EPFL more than doubles sugar production from plants

Researchers at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have developed a method that can significantly increase the yield of sugars from plants, improving the production of renewable fuels, chemicals, and materials. Producing fuels and chemicals from biomass (wood, grasses, etc.) involves breaking down (deconstructing), plants to produce single carbohydrates, mostly... Details →


Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have identified two main challenges for renewable biofuel production from cheap sources: lowering the cost of developing microbial cell factories; and establishing more efficient methods for hydrolysis of biomass to sugars for fermentation. In a paper published in the journal Nature Energy, the... Details →


DOE selects 42 advanced vehicle technology research projects for $80 million in funding

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 42 projects for $80 million in funding to support the development of advanced vehicle technologies. Selected projects cover the following areas: Batteries and Electrification ($31.9 million): These research projects will develop technologies to recharge multiple electric vehicles quickly and at very high... Details →


TU München researchers test behavior of OME synthetic fuels in engines, develop optimized combustion process

In 2016, Germany launched a 3-year study of oxymethylene ethers (OME) as clean diesel fuels with €800,000 (US$894,000). (Earlier post.) OMEs are promising synthetic diesel fuels with an enormous potential for the reduction of soot and NOx emissions. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is the coordinator of that project, in... Details →


PRIME Coalition invests in three startups: electrochemical reduction of CO2, lightweight materials; Li extraction

PRIME Coalition, a 501(c)(3) public charity funding tech start-ups that fight climate change, closed three new investments: Opus 12 in Berkeley, CA; Mallinda in Denver, CO; and Lilac Solutions in Oakland, CA. With these investments, PRIME has now funded nine start-up companies through 11 financing rounds mobilizing more than $17... Details →


Ryze Renewables partners with Phillips 66 to build two renewable diesel plants in Nevada; 11,000 BPD combined

Ryze Renewables announced that construction is underway for two renewable diesel production facilities in Nevada. Once operational, these plants will manufacture high-cetane (80+) renewable diesel fuel from agricultural oils and animal fats, using a patented catalytic hydrogenation technology that the company says is more efficient than current conversion processes. Ryze... Details →


ABS has confirmed the successful conversion of a slow-speed marine diesel engine to operate on ethane as a fuel. Navigator Gas, in partnership with Charterer Borealis, engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions, cargo system and fuel gas supply system supplier TGE and ABS, completed the successful conversion of the Navigator Aurora’s... Details →


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