Biofuel News Roundup

Compilation of biofuel news that came up within the past few weeks …

Zeachem bags Itochu investment

Japan-based Itochu Corporation has acquired shares in Zeachem and the companies have teamed up to acquire partners in Japan as well as in the US to expand Zeachem’s technology worldwide. The two companies plan to create a new business through project investment and development in the bioethanol and renewable chemicals sectors.

…and gets $12m USDA contract

ZeaChem has successfully completed contract negotiations to receive $12m of the total $40 million grant from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Regional Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP). The USDA project will establish regional systems for the sustainable production of bioenergy and bio-based products. Zeachem will implement the AFRI project at its existing 250,000 gal/year integrated demonstration biorefinery, located at the Port of Morrow, near Boardman, Ore.

Shell builds pilot plant using Virent tech

Royal Dutch Shell has built a next generation biofuels pilot plant at Shell’s Westhollow Technology Center in Houston, USA, to produce drop-in biofuels using a thermo-catalytic process technology licensed from its commercial partner Virent, which is similar to the process being used at the Virent pilot plant in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. The Westhollow plant will use a range of feedstocks, starting with sugars and with the completion of an expansion currently under way, non-food cellulosic alternatives to produce a range of products, including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

Fluor gets Joule engineering contract

Fluor was awarded an engineering, procurement and construction management contract by Joule Unlimited to design and build a biofuels demonstration facility in New Mexico. The facility is intended to scale up a pilot process currently producing liquid fuels via Joule’s novel technology, which uses sunlight to convert proprietary organisms and carbon dioxide into liquid hydrocarbons and ethanol

Lignol gets $2m funding

Lignol Energy’s subsidiary, Lignol Innovations Ltd., has been awarded up to $2.06m in additional funding contributions from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (“SDTC”). The award is in addition to the $4.72m awarded to date from SDTC’s SD Tech Fund, representing an aggregate contribution to Lignol from SDTC of up to $6.78m. Lignol is working on industrial scale facility for the production of ethanol and renewable chemicals focusing on the use of hemicellulose-derived sugars

Dynamic Fuels in biofuel contract

Dynamic Fuels and Mansfield Oil Company signed an agreement to supply renewable diesel to Norfolk Southern Corporation, one of the nation’s largest transporters of coal and industrial products. Dynamic Fuels produces renewable and synthetic fuels from animal fats and greases as “drop in” fuel that can replace 100% of petroleum diesel in a diesel engine without engine modification. at its Geismar, La., plant.

PetroAlgae changes name to Parabel

PetroAlgae Inc. has changed its name to “Parabel Inc.” Parabel has developed proprietary technology to enable customer licensees to grow, harvest, and process locally-available, aquatic micro-crops to create products for agriculture and energy markets. The company said its priority is to commercially-produce animal feed and potentially human food ingredients, using non-genetically modified and “non-algae micro-crops.”

GTI opens 2nd gen biofuels pilot plant

Illinois-based R&D firm Gas Technology Institute (GTI) has opened a new pilot-scale IH2 plant, which converts any type of biomass feedstock into hydrocarbon fuels and/or blend stocks. The IH2 technology uses catalytic thermochemical process. GTI has licensed the IH2 technology to CRI Catalyst Company (CRI) for worldwide deployment, which is expected in early 2014.

Vivergo biorefinery to start in Spring 2012

The UK-based Vivergo Fuels expects to start production at its biorefinery at Saltend near Hull in Spring 2012 as construction is now 96% completed. The biorefinery. said to be one of the largest in Europe, will produce 420m liters/year of bioethanol and 500,000 tonnes of animal feed using 1.1m tonnes/year of locally grown feed wheat. Vivergo Fuels is a joint venture between British Petroleum (BP), Associated British Foods and DuPont.

Arcis, Cetna Energy biofuel supply deal

Arcis Resources has entered into marketing and distribution partnership discussions with Cetna Energy Partners for distribution of Cetna’s biofuel product that will be produced at its’ thermochemical biofuels production facilities currently under development in California. The companies anticipate that Cetna will produce over 3.5 million gallons per year of liquid fuels at the new facility.

The Andersons buys Iowa ethanol plant

The Andersons will acquire an ethanol production facility in Denison, Iowa from Amaizing Energy Denison and Amaizing Energy Holding Company. The transaction is anticipated to close in the second quarter. The operations consist of an ethanol facility with an adjacent 2.7 million bushel grain terminal, both with direct access to two Class 1 railroads in Iowa.

Market studies:

  • A new report from Rabobank’s global Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory department stated that it does not expect the removal of the U.S. import tariff will have a large impact on U.S. ethanol production in the near term, first because it is likely that Brazilian ethanol prices will continue to be higher than U.S. prices, and second because the significant duty-free ethanol imports via the Caribbean did not noticeably impact U.S. corn ethanol production in years past.

  • Pike Research’s analysis finds that the global market for biofuels will more than double over the coming decade, increasing from $82.7bn in 2011 to $185.3bn by 2021. Although growth is expected to climb steadily through 2016, more robust growth is expected between 2017 and 2021, as a combination of higher oil prices, emerging mandate obligations, availability of new feedstock, and the scaling up of advanced technologies drive increased investment in the industry. Ethanol production is expected to maintain its dominance, reaching 49.5bn gal/year by 2021, as compared to biodiesel’s 16.2bn gal/year production.



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