Biofuel News Roundup

Sorry this has been a long time coming. I hope biofuel fans are not too mad at me…

Enerkem starts waste-to-etoh plant

Montreal-based Enerkem initiated production of cellulosic ethanol from waste materials at its demonstration facility in Westbury, Quebec. The primary purpose of the Westbury facility is to validate the technology process design before full-scale commercial production, to test various waste feedstocks coming from customers and partners, as well as to continuously improve the technology, according to the company.

Repsol buys biofuel tech NEOL

Spain-based fuel company Repsol has acquired 50% of NEOL Biosolutions, formerly the bioindustrial divsion of Neuron Bio. The alliance is expected to accelerate development of bioprocesses for use in production of advanced biofuels. Repsol’s New Energy unit is currently working on different business initiatives in bioenergy, renewable energy and electric transport.

Great Lakes Biodiesel picks TWD

TWD Technologies has been selected by Great Lakes Biodiesel (GLB) to build Canada’s largest biodiesel plant, which will have capacity of 170m liters/year. The plant is scheduled to be operational by the Fall of 2012. TWD is providing full engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) for the Great Lakes Biodiesel Plant located in Welland, Ontario.

Biofuel competitive with H2Bioil process

Purdue University has developed a thermochemical process called H2Bioil method that can produce cost-effective biofuels. The method is said to be competitive when crude oil is $100/barrel. H2Bioil is created when biomass, such as switchgrass or corn stover, is heated rapidly to about 500 degrees Celcius in the presence of pressurized hydrogen. Resulting gases are passed over catalysts, causing reactions that separate oxygen from carbon molecules, making the carbon molecules high in energy content, similar to gasoline molecules.

Amyris fuel on Azul Airlines

Azul Airlines will use Amyris’s sugarcane-based jet fuel during a demonstration flight on an Azul E195 aircraft powered by GE’s CF34-10E engines. The “Azul+Verde” (a Greener Blue) flight will take place in Brazil on  June 19th, during the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. The companies will provide additional information about the flight plans shortly, following authorization from Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC).

Evogene, T6 partners in castor

Evofuel Ltd., Evogene’s wholly owned subsidiary, and T6 Industrial S.A., entered a collaboration for development of castor bean seeds as feedstock for biodiesel production. The companies will evaluate and develop Evofuel’s advanced castor bean varieties for commercial production in Argentina. According to the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service, Argentina’s 2011 biodiesel production was 2.5 billion liters, with soybean oil being the main feedstock.

Edeniq partners with Flint Hills

Edeniq will supply Flint Hills Resources Renewables its Cellunator technology which enables plants to mill corn and other plant materials into small, uniform pieces of feedstock that can be easily converted into sugars to produce biofuels. Edeniq is installing the technology at the first of four Flint Hills plants. Flint Hills expects further adoption of Edeniq equipment to produce cellulosic ethanol. Edeniq recently announced the company has raised over $30m in additional funding led by existing investors, as well as new investor Flint Hills Resources Renewables.

Sundrop Fuels, ThyssenKrupp partnership

Sundrop Fuels has partnere with engineering firm ThyssenKrupp Uhde to build a commercial green gasoline facility in Alexandria, Louisiana, with a capacity of up to 50m gal/year using biomass for feedstock. Sundrop Fuels will convert forest residues and thinnings as feedstock combined with natural gas into gasoline by using gasification, gas purification, methanol synthesis and a methanol-to-gasoline (MTG) process. The company’s first production plant will have a capacity of about 3,500 barrels of renewable gasoline per day.

Gevo collaborates with VP Racing Fuels

Gevo and VP Racing Fuels will jointly develop a product line of renewable, high-performance, isobutanol-based fuel blends for the small engine market while looking toward other performance applications for isobutanol as well. The relationship will allow the companies to initially assess market opportunities, positioning and distribution channels to commercialize renewable fuels for outdoor power equipment.

Butamax, Fagen partnership

Butamax Advanced Biofuels has partnered with biofuels engineering, procurement and construction contractor Fagen to retrofit ethanol plants for biobutanol production. Fagen has constructed over 85 ethanol plants totaling approximately 6bn gallons of annual production. Butamax also announced the formation of the Early Adopters Group (EAG), a consortium of biofuel production companies interested in

becoming early adopters of Butamax™ biobutanol technology. Lincolnway Energy of Nevada, Iowa; and Corn, LP of Goldfield, Iowa are the latest additions to the EAG.

Primus Green’s green gasoline

New Jersey, US-based Primus Green Energy Ltd. has produced its first sample of high octane (93) renewable drop-in gasoline through a proprietary combination of biomass conversion technologies. The company recently broke ground on an automated demonstration plant and is planning to break ground next year on a commercial plant in eastern Pennsylvania that will be designed to produce 4.8m gal/year of gasoline from wood pellets and non-food, herbaceous crops.

Cool Planet Biofuels’ cellulosic gasoline

Cool Planet BioFuels has achieved 4,000 gallons/acre biomass-to-gasoline conversion in pilot testing using giant miscanthus, an advanced bioenergy crop. The giant miscanthus was developed at the University of Mississippi and provided from a high yield plot by Repreve Renewables.

DONG Energy approves DSM enzymes

Royal DSM has been qualified as supplier of enzymes for DONG Energy – Inbicon’s wheat straw to cellulosic ethanol process. The enzymes have been successfully used in the 1.5m gal/year demonstration scale biorefinery of DONG Energy – Inbicon in Kalundborg, Denmark. The plant produces cellulosic biofuel for Statoil which is distributed via gasoline stations throughout Denmark.

Lallemand, Mascoma market yeast

Lallemand Ethanol Technology and Mascoma announced that the Mascoma Grain Technology, or MGT, yeast product will be marketed under the commercial name TransFerm for use by the fuel ethanol industry. TransFerm is a bioengineered drop-in substitute for conventional fermenting yeast that will reportedly lowers costs for corn ethanol producers. TransFerm is manufactured and distributed by Lallemand and jointly marketed and sold by Mascoma and Lallemand through an exclusive partnership.

Novozymes’ new plant and partner

Novozymes has inaugurated the reportedly largest enzyme plant dedicated to biofuels in the US. The $200m facility is located in Blair, Nebraska. Novozymes has also joined the consortium behind Maabjerg Energy Concept, which will use Novozyme’s biotech expertise to design a new bioenergy production plant, which will produce 94m cubic meters of biogas, 73m liters (19m gallons) of bioethanol, as well as district heating for 20,000 households and electricity for several thousand homes. The Maabjerg plant is located in western Denmark near the cities of Struer and Holstebro in Jutland.

Neste Oil’s waste fish fat diesel

Neste Oil has begun to produce its NExBTL renewable diesel using waste fat from fish processing industry at its Singapore refinery. The batch of waste fish fat complies with the strict sustainability requirements of the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive and is also accepted as a raw material for renewable fuel in the US.



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