Recent News

FedEx Agrees to Buy 3 Million Gallons of Jet Fuel per Year Starting in 2017

30 July 2015 – FedEx, the world’s largest air cargo company, has announced their agreement to buy 3 million gallons of biofuel a year for eight years starting in 2017. FedEx plans to purchase the alternative fuels from Red Rock Biofuel based in Colorado, the same company that will start supplying Southwest Airlines in 2016.

Red Rock’s fuel will be sourced from 140,000 tons of forest waste (e.g. trees, branches, bark, and leaves), which will then be converted into 15 million gallons of renewable jet, diesel, and naphtha fuel a year. This agreement represents FedEx’s first step in reaching their goal of obtaining 30% of their jet fuel from alternative sources by 2030.

Read the full article here.

USDA Report Quantifies Benefits of Biobased Products to U.S. Economy

23 July 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a report in June 2015 highlighting the prominent impact the biobased products industry is having on the U.S. economy. In 2013 alone, the biobased products industry added $369 billion to the economy as well as four million jobs.

Seven sectors of the industry were evaluated: agriculture and forestry, biorefining, biobased chemicals, enzymes, bioplastic bottles and packaging, forest products, and textiles. According to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, this is the first research effort to quantify the effects of the biobased products industry in terms of job creation and economics.

The report is available on the USDA BioPreferred® site here.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack Announces Funding and Changes to Biorefinery and Biobased Product Program

21 July 2015 – Secretary Tom Vilsack announced in Washington that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting applications for loan guarantees to support production of advanced biofuels, renewable chemicals, and biobased product manufacturing.

The funds will be available through the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program (BAP), formerly known as the Biorefinery Assistance Program. The assistance program provides loan guarantees of up to $250 million. Additional changes to the program were discussed in a seminar hosted at USDA headquarters led by Secretary Vilsack and USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Lillian Salerno on July 16, 2015.

For further details on the USDA program changes, see the news release here and the BAP program overview.

UN FAO Director General Comments on the Biofuel versus Food Myth

21 July 2015 – Director-General of the UN’s Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), Jose Graziano da Silva, recently released an op-ed piece in which he commented that the common concept of food versus fuel is, in actuality, a “false dichotomy.” Rather than a contentious connection, da Silva sees the potential for a mutually beneficial relationship that results in the sustainable production of food and fuel.

Graziano expressed the crux of the issue as “finding the right balance of more fuel, more food, and greater prosperity for all.” Further, he called for the community to focus on reducing poverty and protecting the vulnerable so that we can increase biofuel, food, and prosperity.
The full piece is available on Addis Fortune here.

United Airlines announces a purchase stake in Fulcrum BioEnergy and details a long-term supply agreement for sustainable jet fuel

1 July 2015 - United Airlines today announced an historic $30 million equity investment in U.S.-based alternative fuels developer Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc., a pioneer in the development and commercialization of converting municipal solid waste into low-cost sustainable aviation biofuel. It is also the single largest investment by a U.S. airline in alternative fuels and sets United apart in the aviation industry in the advancement of aviation biofuels and carbon emissions reductions. In addition to the equity investment, United and Fulcrum have entered into an agreement that contemplates the joint development of up to five projects located near United's hubs expected to have the potential to produce up to 180 million gallons of fuel per year. Details can be found here and here.