Archived News

Food Waste Prioritized as Feedstock for Biofuel and Other Transportation Options

26 Aug 2015 – Organic waste is gaining focus as a biofuel for an additional benefit compared to other agricultural feedstocks.

As manure and food decomposes, methane is released into the atmosphere. However, if the waste is converted into biogas and power, it minimizes waste while simultaneously creating the positive product of biofuel.

In July 2015, UPS announced they will be purchasing 46 million gallons of renewable diesel from cooking oils, animal fats, and algae in the next three years for its delivery trucks. United also recently purchased 15 million gallons of renewable jet fuel from beef tallow or fat by Alt Air Fuels. Read the recent NPR story on alternative jet fuel here.

DLA Adds Co-production of Liquid Hydrocarbon Fuels to BAA

6 August 2015—The Defense Logistics Agency- Energy (DLA-Energy) has added the co-production of liquid hydrocarbon fuels as an area of interest to the Emergent II Research and Development Broad Agency Agreement (BAA). View the BAA here.

Note that the specific section is C7, and can only be viewed by clicking on the "Changed" menu selection dated May 14, 2015, 3:51PM on the right-hand side of page.

The Secretary of the Navy has set a goal that by 2020 half of all the Department of the Navy's energy will come from alternative sources. To support the Navy’s goal that half of their energy will come from alternative sources, the Department of the Navy, Department of Energy and the Department of Agriculture, signed a memorandum of understanding to "assist the development and support of a sustainable commercial biofuels industry."

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.

Boeing Announces the inclusion of renewable fuel use in the ecoDemonstrator 757 testing program

1 July 2015 – Boeing announced the next phase of their ongoing ecoDemonstrator 757 testing of environmental improvement concepts for commercial aviation. The multi-phase ecoDemonstrator program aims to increase testing and use of technologies to improve environmental performance and reduce environmental impact across the airplane’s lifecycle by improving fuel efficiency, cutting carbon emissions, and recycling production materials.

On June 17, the ecoDemonstrator 757 flew from Seattle to Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA using jet fuel comprised of a blend of 95% petroleum-based jet fuel and 5% of a renewable blending component produced by Diamond Green Diesel. Boeing is working with industry partners to pursue within ASTM the approval of an expanded HEFA-SPK definition that will allow for inclusion of molecules from renewable diesel production processes. Diamond Green Diesel produced the blending component from animal fat waste, inedible corn oil, and used cooking oil, and estimates a reduction in lifecycle CO2 emissions up to 80% less from petroleum jet fuel. The eventual approval of this fuel should result in wider availability of renewable jet fuel blends, as well as improving affordability versus petroleum-based Jet-A fuel.

The ecoDemonstrator 787 made the first flights with this "HEFA Plus" blending component in December 2014. Read full Biofuels International article here.

ARPA-E Announces 6 New Bioenergy Crop Projects

1 July 2015 – On June 18, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced $30 million in funding for 6 bioenergy crop development projects as part of their Transportation Energy Resources from Renewable Agriculture (TERRA) programs.

These projects will focus on enhancing several development processes for sorghum, a promising renewable biomass feedstock for transportation fuels. Expected innovations will accelerate the annual yield gains of traditional plant breeding, and support the discovery of new crop traits that improve water productivity and nutrient-use-efficiency needed to improve the sustainability of bioenergy crops. More detail can be found here.

This announcement was part of a news release detailing a larger overall effort for both novel combined-heat-and-power systems as well as biomass development found here.

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. and its fuel supplier, World Fuel Services Inc., ink sustainable jet fuel supply agreement

1 July 2015 — Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. and its fuel supplier, World Fuel Services Inc., recently finalized a three-year agreement that provides Gulfstream with a consistent supply of renewable fuels for its daily flight operations in Savannah.

The jet fuel to be provided will be a 30/70 blend of low-carbon, drop-in renewable fuel (HEFA-SPK) and Jet-A. It provides the same performance as conventional, petroleum-based jet fuel and requires no changes to factory-standard engines or aircraft. Each gallon of renewable fuel burned is expected to achieve a more than 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, relative to petroleum-based jet fuel, on a lifecycle basis. Find more info here.

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