Biofuel news roundup

Too much news piling my draft box….

US Biodiesel breaks 1bn gal mark

The US biodiesel industry reached a key milestone by producing more than 1bn gallons of fuel in 2011, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Last year, 1.1bn gallons were produced exceeding the 800m gallon-target required under the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard. Previous record production was 690m gallons in 2008.

Fiberight to build waste-based biofuels plant

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has partnered with Fiberight to build a 6m gal/year advanced biofuel plant in Blairstown, Iowa, which will start in the first half of 2013. The USDA will invest $25m and Fiberight $20m for the plant’s construction. Fiberight has developed a targeted fuel extraction process to cost-effectively convert municipal solid waste into cellulosic biofuel and energy. Fiberight has partnered with Novozymes for the use of enzyme catalysts for the technology.

Mascoma expects tech sales in Q1 2012

Cellulosic ethanol developer Mascoma expects to generate revenues for its Mascoma Grain Technology (MGT) yeast product beginning in the first quarter of 2012. The MGT product is a genetically-modified yeast designed a s drop-in substitute for conventional fermenting yeast that lowers costs for corn ethanol producers by alleviating the need to purchase expensive enzymes. The MGT product is expected to be sold to corn ethanol producers under commercial arrangements that enable the company to receive a significant portion of the incremental margin generated by the product.

OriginOil, DOE in algae crude oil

OriginOil plans to co-develop an integrated system with the US Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory for direct conversion of raw algae into a renewable crude oil that can be used by existing petroleum refineries. OriginOil’s Biocrude Systemâ„¢ will integrate its own harvesting system with biomass processing technology being developed under the recently-announced research agreement with INL, to convert raw algae into barrels of renewable crude oil.

Greenbelt Resources’ biorefinery equipment

Greenbelt Resources’ subsidiary Diversified Ethanol Corp. will supply the distillation and dehydration system in the $20m Stan Mayfield biorefinery pilot plant at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences laboratory. The facility will identify better ways to produce fuel ethanol from biomass.

Toyo gets bioethanol engineering contract

Toyo Engineering & Construction Sdn Bhd has been awarded a contract to build a 10,000 tons/year bioethanol production facility in Johor, Malaysia, owned by GlycosBio-BioXcell JV. The plant will produce industrial grade bioethanol from crude glycerin. The project is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2013 and its total production capacity could expand to 30,000 tons/year by 2014.

And in ICIS News (requires subscription):

Brazilian ethanol prices fell sharply in the third week of January, pressured by softer demand and inventory reduction, research group CEPEA said.

The US National Biodiesel Board (NBB) urged President Barack Obama to finalise the delayed rule for boosting biodiesel use under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in 2013 and reinstate the $1/gal biodiesel tax incentive.

Brazil-based energy company Petrobras plans to increase capacity at its biodiesel plant in Montes Claros, Minas Gerais, by 40%, the company said.

Producers and consumers confirmed first-quarter US industrial ethanol contract settlements at declines of 7.50 cents/gal on average, on the back of weaker corn prices early in the fourth-quarter.


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