August 8, 2012

Biofuel News Roundup

Ok, so there have been more news on biofuel than I thought. I should have posted this last week. In the meantime, I am also looking at some of the recent earnings report that came out. As the blog posted before about rising ethanol prices because of drought, it looks like this is also affecting some renewable chemical companies based on Gevo's earnings call yesterday.

Speaking of Gevo, the blog has also been receiving several lawsuit updates against Butamax (including one today), so I guess it's that time of the month for another post in that area ;-).

Clariant starts cellulosic ethanol plant
Swiss specialty chemical company Clariant has opened Germany's biggest cellulosic ethanol pilot plant located in Straubing, Bavaria. The project will produce up to 1,000 tonnes of cellulosic ethanol using 4,500 tonnes of wheat straw based on the sunliquid processing technology developed by Clariant. The process, according to Clariant, is an innovative biotechnological method that turns plant waste products such as grain straw and corn straw into second-generation cellulose ethanol.

REG biodiesel now available
Biodiesel producer and marketer Renewable Energy Group (REG) will offer wholesale biodiesel  REG-9000 to large petroleum jobbers or large fleets beginning mid-August under a new agreement with Maxum Petroleum at its Rancho Dominguez (California) terminal location outside Long Beach. REG also recently announced biodiesel availability at a terminal near Lebanon, Ohio, and its own terminal in Clovis, New Mexico.

AFS BioOil aims $2/gal biodiesel
AFS BioOil has conducted initial tests on its algae production system, and the company states that they will be in the $2 per gallon range of production at commercial scale. For advanced biofuels, commercial scale is at least 1 million gallons per year of production. The company along with a renewable electricity firm are planning a 5 MW renewable electricity and 1-2m gal/year biodiesel projects. The companies are at a design stage and will release actual scope of the projects in the third quarter.

Azul Brazilian Airlines uses Amyris biofuel
Azul Brazilian Airlines has successfully demonstrated a flight using sugarcane jet fuel produced by Amyris. The Embraer E195 jet operated by Azul departed from Campinas Viracopos Airport, flew over Rio de Janeiro and landed at Rio's Santos Dumont Airport.

Algae.Tec commissions biofuel facility
Australia-based Algae.Tec has opened its advanced engineered algae to biofuels facility in Nowra, New South Wales. The facility is connected to the Manildra Group waste carbon dioxide site, which is used in the algae growth process. Algae.Tec also has projects with Holcim Lanka, joint venture discussions in China, and a manufacturing base in Atlanta, Georgia (USA)

Solazyme receives EPA registration
Solazyme has been granted registration for SoladieselRD fuel by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The registration enables SoladieselRD to be sold commercially either in blended and unblended (R100) form. SoladieselRD is said to be compatible with existing infrastructure and can be used with factory-standard diesel engines without modifications.

Novozymes partners with Shengquan
​Shengquan Group, a Shandong-based company specializing in furan resin and polymers, and Novozymes, a world leader in bioinnovation, formed a partnership deal enabling Shengquan to start commercial-scale production of cellulosic ethanol for solvents in June 2012 using Novozymes’ technology. Using Novozymes enzymes, Shengquan will now convert corncob residues from furfural production into fermentable sugars and then into ethanol for solvents and other purposes.

Petrobras to produce biodiesel 
Petrobras Biofuel and the State of Rio Grande do Norte signed a memorandum where Petrobras plans to build an experimental biodiesel plant, located in the municipality of Guamaré for commercial production . With investments of R$ 5.1m, the unit will start in the first half of 2013, with a capacity to produce 20m liters/year of biodiesel.

ICM contracts ACA BIO for ethanol plant
ICM has signed a contract with ACA Bio Cooperative Limitada to design a dry-mill corn ethanol plant with a 40m gal/year capacity located near the city of Villa Maria, in the central province of Cordoba, Argentina. Completion of the facility is expected in the first quarter of 2014. Ethanol production from ACA Bio will focus primarily on the country's domestic markets.

EPEC partners with BioDimensions
Florida-based EPEC Biofuels Holdings Inc. has partnered with BioDimensions Delta BioRenewables (BDBR) of Memphis, Tennessee, to advance EPEC's Ethanol 2.0 platform towards commercialization. BDBR produces, process, and a downstream user of sweet sorghum and has integrated a mechanized system from field-to-factory. EPEC is a development stage company intent on owning and operating ethanol facilities using sweet sorghum on host farms across the US.

DIC Group in spirulina biofuel
Tokyo-based specialty chemical firm DIC Corp. announced that its California subsidiary Earthrise Nutritionals has entered an algae licensing deal with Sapphire Energy, where the company will integrate Earthrise Nutritionals' spirulina strain into its growing inventory of cyanobacteria and algae strains for algae-to-energy production or green crude - a drop-in replacement for petro-based crude oil. DIC Group is the world’s largest supplier of Spirulina, which it has been producing for use in health foods and food colorings since the 1970s.

Sundrop uses ExxonMobil tech
Sundrop Fuels, a gasification-based drop-in advanced biofuels company, has finalized a licensing agreement to use ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company’s methanol-to-gasoline (MTG) technology to be incorporated into its “green gasoline” production facility located near Alexandria, Louisiana, which will use forest waste for feedstock. The facility will produce up to 50m gal/year renewable gasoline and is expected to start later this year.

Plymouth Energy picks Edeniq
Plymouth Energy has been using Edeniq's proprietary Cellunator milling equipment at its 50m gal.year corn ethanol facility Merrill, western Iowa, since the first quarter of the year. Plymouth said it has achieved a 3% yield boost since the Cellunators were installed. which enables to easily convert sugars from corn and other plant materials to produce biofuels.

Dyadic launches biofuel enzyme
Dyadic International has unveiled its latest biofuels enzyme AlternaFuel CMAX3, which enables the production of cellulosic biofuels and biobased chemicals from a wide range of renewable non-food feedstocks under broad pH and temperature ranges. The enzyme is said to be the latest generation of a cellulase and hemicellulase complex based on Dyadic's C1 platform technology.
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