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Our Commitment to a Sustainable Future (Jan. 2016)
Climate change. We read about it more frequently and definitely it is not a new topic for any of us. The difference between now and the moment when we first heard about climate change is how we experience this phenomenon. We felt as though climate change would never threaten us; that it was just a distant and unlikely problem. Unfortunately, it has become not simply a local challenge, but has evolved into a larger global threat.
Congress proposes reinstatement of biodiesel blender’s tax credit (Dec. 2015)
The National Biodiesel Board commended congressional leaders for seeking reinstatement of the expired biodiesel tax incentive from Jan. 1, 2015 through Dec. 31, 2016 in the tax and spending proposal released late Tuesday, Dec. 15, but continued pressing to reform the incentive as a domestic production credit. Voting is expected later this week.
Updated biodiesel tax credit legislation introduced in Congress (Dec. 2015)
Updated legislation was introduced Dec. 3 in the U.S. House and Senate to reinstate the $1 per gallon biodiesel tax credit from 2015-’16 and restructure the incentive as a producer credit next year. The new legislation, sponsored by Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Maria Cantwell, D-Washington, and Reps. Kristi Noem, R-South Dakota, and Bill Pascrell, D-New Jersey, builds on legislation (S. 1946) passed unanimous by the Senate Finance Committee in July.
Biodiesel a big winner in stronger RFS final rule (Nov. 2015)
The U.S. EPA released its final rule for renewable volume obligations (RVO) under the renewable fuel standard (RFS) Nov. 30, and the figures for biomass-based diesel are higher than the proposal released in May. The agency issued its biomass-based diesel RVO for years 2014-’17, while RVOs for all other categories-renewable fuel, advanced biofuels and cellulosic biofuels-were issued for 2014-’16.
A Transformative Project: Total’s La Made Conversion (Nov. 2015)
Last spring, one of the world’s largest oil companies, Total S.A., based in Paris with operations in 130 countries, announced plans to transform its oil refinery in La Made, France, to manufacture 500,000 tons (approximately 170 MMgy) of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), also known as renewable diesel.
US EPA invites comments on GHG emissions analysis of jatropha oil (Oct. 2015)
The U.S. EPA is inviting comment on its analysis of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions attributable to the production and transport of jatropha oil for biodiesel, renewable diesel and other biofuels to qualify under the renewable fuel standard (RFS).
D4 RIN prices suggest traders predict tax credit reinstatement (Sept. 2015)
A drop in soybean oil prices since June has led to a decline in biodiesel prices, reducing the blend margin. Since D4 RIN values are a function of the blend margin and the two generally correlate, RIN prices have fallen too.
4 individuals from Florida sentenced for biodiesel RIN, tax fraud (Aug. 2015)
Dean Daniels, 52, Richard Smith, 57, Brenda Daniels, 45 and William Bradley, 58, all of Florida, pleaded guilty and were sentenced Aug. 27 in U.S. district court for charges related to a scheme involving the false production of biodiesel.
Biodiesel supporters to press EPA on renewable fuel standard (Jun. 2015)
Two dozen biodiesel representatives are slated to testify at an EPA hearing June 25 on the agency’s latest proposal establishing volumes under the renewable fuel standard (RFS).
States eligible for $100M in USDA biofuel infrastructure grants (Jun. 2015)
Viridis Fuels, a state-of-the-art biodiesel project in Oakland, California, is prepared to receive an official notice of award today for a $3.4 million state grant at a California Energy Commission business meeting in Sacramento. A notice of proposed award to Viridis Fuels was given in December after a revision of the original selection proposal excluded the company.
EPA RFS proposal gives biodiesel a modest trajectory of growth (May 2015)
The U.S. EPA released its much-anticipated proposed volume requirements for the renewable fuel standard (RFS) May 29, which, unlike its volume proposal issued in late 2013, set out a trajectory of growth for both biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuel categories.
UN Sustainable Energy For All deploys global bioenergy initiative (May 2015)
As part of the 2nd Annual Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Forum, a new multistakeholder coalition co-chaired by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization and the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials, announced its intention to speed up the development and deployment of sustainable bioenergy in order to contribute to meeting the SE4ALL goals of doubling the global use of renewable energy and ensuring universal energy access by 2030.
Unique Oakland biodiesel project receives $3.4 million grant (Apr. 2015)
Following an announcement by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack on May 29, the Commodity Credit Corporation announced June 12 that all 50 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., may now apply for up to $100 million in grants under the Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership. The funding is to support the infrastructure needed to make more renewable fuel options available to American consumers.
Ocean Park Advisors advises on sale of biodiesel plant to Tenaska (Mar. 2015)
Tenaska, a leading independent energy company, announced that it has acquired the assets of Clinton County Bio Energy in Clinton, Iowa, from a local group of investors. Ocean Park Advisors acted as exclusive financial advisor to CCBE on the sale transaction.
ASTM releases B20 heating oil specifications (Mar. 2015)
ASTM International released new performance specifications March 24 for Bioheat, or heating oil blended with up to 20 percent biodiesel. The latest iteration of the ASTM heating oil specification, D396-15a, will be published soon, according to ASTM.
Biodiesel industry seeks to reverse Argentina import decision (Mar. 2015)
The National Biodiesel Board is calling for the U.S. EPA to stay its recent decision to streamline Argentinian biodiesel imports to the U.S. under the renewable fuel standard (RFS) pending public review and comment.
SRS Intl’l and Biodiesel Experts partner to offer enzymatic process (Feb. 2015)
SRS International Corp. has partnered with Biodiesel Experts International LLC to provide turnkey biodiesel refineries worldwide. The partnership combines SRS’ proven biodiesel technology for traditional chemical processes and Biodiesel Experts’ enzymatic technical process knowledge, allowing SRS to supply turnkey enzymatic biodiesel production facilities.
New mandatory reporting requirements impact biofuel companies (Feb. 2015)
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis has recently reinstated certain reporting requirements for foreign direct investments in the U.S. that had been abolished in 2009.
Moving biodiesel in the pipeline: sequencing matters (Jan. 2015)
The ability to move biodiesel in pipelines versus truck or rail is considered essential to lower costs and advance biodiesel into the mainstream, but contamination of jet fuel with fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) shipped in the same line has impeded progress. The ASTM jet fuel spec has traditionally been unforgiving, only allowing 5 parts per million FAME concentration.
Biodiesel advocates to fight for renewable fuels policy in DC (Jan. 2015)
Renewable fuels supporters cheered as federal policy experts at the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in Fort Worth, Texas, urged advocates to “write their own script” for success.
Calif. industry event to focus on biodiesel’s unique benefits (Jan. 2015)
The fourth annual California Biodiesel Conference, presented by the California Biodiesel Alliance, will be held Feb. 4 at the Capitol Ballroom in downtown Sacramento, Calif. The conference, entitled Understanding the Unique Benefits and Regulatory Landscape of Biodiesel-California’s Advanced Biofuel, will showcase biodiesel’s profile as a sustainable, cleaner burning alternative fuel bringing health and economic benefits to California, including those communities most in need.
In Face of Uncertainty, Industry Must Fight On (Dec. 2014)
As we put another year in the books, I am extremely proud of how the biodiesel industry came together to respond to the adversity faced in 2014. We have certainly seen more than our share of tough times before, but we have never had to fight harder, smarter, and with more at stake than we did in 2014.
Obama signs tax act reinstating biodiesel credit through 2014 (Dec. 2014)
President Obama signed the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 into law Dec. 19, which reinstates the $1 per gallon biodiesel and renewable diesel tax credits from Jan. 1, 2014, through the end of the year.
EPA decision to not finalize RFS volumes ‘sorely’ disappoints (Nov. 2014)
The U.S. EPA announced Nov. 21 that the agency will not be finalizing the 2014 renewable fuel standard (RFS) volumes before the end of the year, disappointing and baffling both renewable and petroleum fuel producers. “Finalization of the 2014 standards rule has been significantly delayed,” the agency stated. “Due to this delay, and given ongoing consideration of the issues presented by the commentators EPA is not in a position to finalize the 2014 RFS standards rule before the end of the year.
National Biodiesel Board members elect governing board (Nov. 2014)
National Biodiesel Board members selected their trade association leadership this week, electing five returning governing board members and two new members to serve in leadership roles.
10 percent biodiesel receives passing grade in Minn. (Oct. 2014)
With summer giving way to fall, Minnesota is celebrating a successful run with 10 percent biodiesel (B10) at the pumps. Steve Howell, president of Marc-IV Consulting, said Minnesota has proven biodiesel blends can be a high-quality fuel at the retail pump level.
Governors’ Biofuels Coalition calls for amended RFS proposal (Oct. 2014)
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, chairman and vice chairman of the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition, have sent a letter urging the Obama Administration to ensure the development of domestically produced renewable fuels by amending U.S. EPA’s proposed renewable fuel standard (RFS) levels for 2014 so consumers have real choices at the fuel pump.
Biofuels tour educates through immersion (Sept. 2014)
The National Biodiesel Foundation hosted an immersive, four-day tour through Iowa for federal and state agency officials and U.S. congressional staffers.
Fulcrum receives $105M USDA Loan Guarantee for Biojet Fuel Plant (Sept. 2014)
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA has closed on a loan guarantee to Fulcrum Sierra Biofuels LLC to build a biorefinery to produce jet fuel from municipal solid waste.
Algae Systems, IHI Corp. Complete Unique Algae-Biofuel Demo (August 2014)
A demonstration plant in Daphne, Ala., combines wastewater with algae to produce what the company says is the world’s first energy-generating wastewater treatment process, using carbon-negative technologies to yield biofuel and drinking water.
Enzyme-catalyzed biodiesel made from low-quality oils (July 2014)
In the first quarter of 2014, both Blue Sun Biodiesel in St. Joseph, Mo., and Viesel Fuel LLC in Stuart, Fla., announced the full-scale production of biodiesel based on lipase as catalyst. Production at both sites has been in operation for more than a year now.
Novozymes has been the enzyme supplier and partner, and the accomplishment of full-scale production is the result of lengthy, dedicated research and development work. The new lipase technology enables the processing of oil feedstocks with any concentration of free fatty acids (FFA) and with lower energy costs than with a standard chemical catalyst.
Tennessee professor Philip Ye receives award for Glycerin research (May 2014)
Research aimed at finding ways to overcome roadblocks to industrial production of value-added chemicals from glycerin is being honored with the 2014 Glycerine Innovation Award.
The Myth and Reality of Biodiesel Feedstock Availability (May 2014)
Since its commercial inception in the 1990s, the biodiesel industry has faced obstacles from all sides. The technical merits of the fuel have been challenged time and time again. Manufacturing costs and fuel pricing have been used to discredit biodiesel. Free marketeers have tarnished its reputation because government mandates and subsidies attempt to level the playing field with the petroleum industry, which still today after more than a century of domination, receives billions of dollars of government handouts a year.
Biodiesel Separation, Washing and Polishing: Upstream and Downstream Considerations (March 2014)
Distillation is forgiving of poor pretreatment, reaction and separation, but the added capital and operating costs-not to mention yield losses-can be less than forgiving on a biodiesel plant’s bottom line. Several methods to cleanse and polish biodiesel are utilized, but the story on how well these work begins upstream.
Boeing, South Africa Airways explore sustainable biofuel crops
Boeing is launching an initiative with South African Airways and the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials to expand opportunities for “smallhold” farmers in Southern Africa to grow crops that produce sustainable fuels.
Senators introduce bill to reinstate biodiesel tax incentive (February 2014)
The National Biodiesel Board called on Congress to move swiftly on tax legislation after Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, introduced a bill to extend the expired biodiesel tax incentive for three years.
UT Austin engineer rewires yeast cells for high lipid content (February 2014)
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering have developed a new source of renewable energy, a biofuel, from genetically engineered yeast cells and ordinary table sugar. This yeast produces oils and fats, known as lipids, that can be used in place of petroleum-derived products.
The problem with corn oil biodiesel (February 2014)
Over the past two years, the use of nonfood-grade (NFG) corn oil for biodiesel production has grown tremendously. Corn oil biodiesel is eligible for a D4 RIN under the renewable fuel standard (RFS), and California’s low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) has assigned it a carbon intensity (CI) value of 4. The combination of these two credits can potentially add another $1.26 (at $0.45/D4 RINs & $50/metric ton/LCFS credit) of value to each gallon of biodiesel made from NFG corn oil feedstock.