Big Biofuel News

For those following my tweets, you probably know already about my recent interview with DSM about their bio-adipic acid strategies now published on ICIS News (subscription required). I am also planning to do a more comprehensive article about the interview as well as about bio-adipic acid developments for ICIS Chemical Business with publication date on October 10. For those who are not subscribers, maybe it’s time to subscribe now =P.

But for the blog readers, I will tell a bit about the DSM news next week. In the meantime, here are some big news on the biofuels front. I will have a separate post about Renmatix next week.

Codexis, Raizen improves 1st gen ethanol

Codexis and Brazil-based Raizen Energia have signed a development deal to improved first generation ethanol process such as yeast performance. The companies will use Codexis’ CodeEvolver™ directed evolution technology platform to improve Raizen’s current process for producing ethanol made from sugar. Raizen produced 600 million gallons of ethanol in 2010.

Zeachem bags $40m USDA grant

Zeachem has been awarded part of a $40 million grant by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the commercialization of advanced “drop-in” biofuels as part of the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance consortium. ZeaChem will lead R&D and demonstration trials for production of bio-based jet and diesel fuels and bio-based gasoline at its 250,000 gal/year integrated demo biorefinery in Boardman, Oregon. The first volumes of bio-based jet and diesel fuels will be produced in test quantities in 2013 and bio-based gasoline will follow in 2015.

Gevo gets Air Force jet fuel contract

Gevo has been awarded a $600,000 contract by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to supply up to 11,000 gallons of ‘alcohol-to-jet’ (ATJ) based jet fuel to the U.S. Air Force (USAF). The ATJ fuel will be produced from isobutanol at Gevo’s demonstration plant in Silsbee, Texas, in partnership with South Hampton Resources. The company plans to begin shipping product to the USAF in the first quarter of 2012.

…and bags $5m USDA grant

Gevo received a $5m grant from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the development of biojet fuel from woody biomass and forest product residues. The award is a portion of a $40 million grant presented to the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA), a consortium led by Washington State University (WSU). The WSU-led project is one of two five-year, $40m grants from the USDA. The University of Washington received the other $40 million grant.

LanzaTech, Shougang JV on waste-based ethanol

New Zealand-based LanzaTech has signed a joint venture deal with Shougang (Capital Steel), the 4th largest steel manufacturer in China for the construction of a demonstration facility in Capital Steel’s mill outside of Beijin and eventually a commercial facility. LanzaTech will use its gas-liquid fermentation technology to produce ethanol from Shougang’s existing carbon monoxide streams at the mill.

Weyerhauser joins biojet fuel research

Weyerhauser is participating in the portion of the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance consortium led by Washington State University to study the feasibility of producing jet biofuel from woody feedstocks in the Pacific Northwest. Weyerhaeuser will establish a research site near Springfield, Ore. to better understand the effect of forest management practices on soil, water and wildlife. Weyerhaeuser also will work with collaborators to understand how to develop more cost-effective ways to collect currently under-utilized harvest residuals for emerging bio-fuel and bio-product applications.

Envergent demonstrates biomass-based biofuel

Honeywell’s Envergent Technologies has demonstrated production of liquid biofuel from biomass in industrial burners by Oilon Group, a leading European burner manufacturer. Envergent’s RTP technology converts biomass, including forest and agricultural residues into a carbon-neutral liquid biofuel that can be burned to generate heat or electricity or further upgraded to other fuels.

Colbiocel picks Chemtex for cellulosic ethanol

Chemtex has entered a deal with Colombiana de Biocombustibles Celulósicos (“COLBIOCEL”) for the supply of a license and associated engineering and technical services for an 85,000 tonne/year cellulosic ethanol plant using Chemtex’s PROESA™ Process.  The project will be implemented in Chitaraque, Colombia using sugarcane bagasse as the feedstock.

BP fully acquires Tropical Bioenergia

BP has acquired the remaining 50% stake of Tropical BioEnergia SA from its current joint venture partners Maeda SA Agroindustrial and LDC-SEV Bioenergia for a total cash of $71m. BP intends to double the size of Tropical BioEnergia’s operations to 5m tonnes/year of crush cane or 450m liters/year of ethanol equivalent.

Fulcrum BioEnergy files for IPO

Waste-based biofuel producer Fulcrum BioEnergy has filed a registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission seeking to raise $115m for a proposed initial public offering (IPO) of its common stock . UBS Securities LLC will be acting as the book-running manager for the offering.

AliphaJet develops new biojet fuel tech

AliphaJet has developed and successfully demonstrated a cost-effective catalytic method for making jet biofuel from plant and animal triglycerides and/or fatty acids. AliphaJet’s BoxCar™ catalytic de-oxygenation process reportedly significantly reduces capital and operating costs because it does not require hydrogen to remove the oxygen from the feedstocks.

Constellation Energy, Chromatin sorghum deal

Constellation Energy and Chromatin, a supplier of biomass feedstock for energy producers, have signed a memorandum of understanding to supply Constellation Energy’s two California power plants – Rio Bravo Poso and Rio Bravo Fresno – with biomass sorghum as fuel to generate electricity. Chromatin expects to deliver the first shipments of processed sorghum biomass to the Rio Bravo plants in a few weeks.


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