The European Union should introduce a single certification scheme for palm oil entering the EU market and phase out the use of vegetable oils that drive deforestation by 2020 to counter the impact of unsustainable palm oil production, such as deforestation and habitat degradation, particularly in South-East Asia. This is what said MEPs in a resolution voted last week.
Poet-Dsm Advanced Biofuels, a 50/50 joint venture between Royal Dsm and Poet, Llc. Based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, will build an on-site enzyme manufacturing (OSM) facility in Emmetsburg, Iowa, pending state and local approvals.
The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) urges U.S. Congress to advance a multi-year extension of renewable energy tax credits slated to expire at the end of 2016.
Virent established a strategic Consortium with Tesoro, Toray, Johnson Matthey and The Coca-Cola Company focused on completing the development and scale up of Virent’s BioForming® technology to produce low carbon bio-based fuels and bio-paraxylene (a key raw material for the production of 100% bio-polyester). The Consortium members will work together to finalize technical developments and commercial arrangements, with the objective of delivering a commercial facility to produce cost effective, bio-based fuels and bio-paraxylene.
Amyris, the U.S. industrial bioscience company, has won a three-year multi-million dollar contract from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to further the manufacturing of cellulose-derived farnesene for biofuels. The company led by John Melo, in cooperation with Renmatix and Total New Energies USA, will work to develop a manufacturing-ready process utilizing wood as the cellulosic feedstock to produce farnesene, a hydrocarbon building block used to manufacture a variety of products ranging from cosmetics to detergents, as well as base oils, lubricants, diesel and jet fuel.
Prices in the niche market for biofuels compliance credits jumped to three-year highs last Monday as traders fretted about supplies because of higher U.S. government mandates to increase the use of biofuels next year.
Trading in the opaque market for Renewable Identification Numbers (RIN) – the paper credits that can be bought and sold to meet government requirements for biofuels – has picked up in recent days.
Aemetis and Edeniq, both headquartered in California (USA), announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Aemetis will acquire all of Edeniq’s outstanding shares in a stock plus cash merger transaction.
Edeniq, a leading cellulosic ethanol technology company, has developed patented innovations that unlock cellulosic and starch sugars through a combination of mechanical and biological processes. Its capital light and operationally efficient solutions can be easily integrated into existing corn ethanol plants. The company, founded in 2008, has raised approximately $100 million from some of the world’s leading venture capital firms, including Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Angeleno Group, The Westly Group, I2BF Global Ventures, and other leading investors, as well as US Department of Energy (DOE) grant funding.
We receive and publish with pleasure this comment by James Cogan related to the land use impacts of biofuels comsumption in Europe. James is a technology, industry and policy analyst collaborating with PNO Innovation in Brussels and with a number of public and private organisations with stakes in the future of biofuels and transport energy. We are delighted to promote the debate.
On March 10 2016 the European Commission was obliged to release an essential report on the land use impacts of biofuels consumption in Europe as determined by the Commission’s own policy on the matter. The Commission has had the report since the Summer of 2015. The report goes a long way to answering the question of how much better are biofuels for the environment than continued use of fossil fuels. In recent years some parts of the Commission have been sharply critical of conventional biofuels yet unable to produce evidence as to why. Reaching a fact-based consensus on the matter is essential for transport decarbonisation for 2030.
So what are the implications of the report findings for EU and member state transport energy planners who urgently require robust and practical guidance?
We receive and publish with pleasure this comment by James Cogan. He is a technology, industry and policy analyst collaborating with PNO Innovation in Brussels and with a number of public and private organisations with stakes in the future of biofuels and transport energy. In the run up to the climate emergency conference in Paris he has been considering the options open to the designers of the new European governance system for climate and energy and to the 28 teams charged with creating member state climate and energy plans for publication by 2018. We are glad to promote the debate.
“At a time when carbon emissions should be dropping by 40%-80% EU transport emissions will actually increase by that amount, becoming the number one EU contributor to catastrophic global warming.
Transport emissions can only be reduced in the 2030 timeframe by traffic efficiencies, biofuels and lower tailpipe emissions. To date the EU has not taken bold measures to pursue such avenues and any gains have been offset many times over by traffic growth. Electric vehicles comprise only a miniscule fraction of the EU vehicle fleet, sales are under 1% and even the most optimistic forecasts for sales growth would not lead to an impact until well after 2040.
“A biobased economy starts from the feedstock and ends at the consumer, and the processing is just the middle: we need thus to tackle the 3 steps if we really want to call it “economy”. Also, we need to bring new technologies regardless of where they come from. Brazil for example may be thought of a place of soccer and samba but the hard fact is that it is the only economy in the world which uses biofuels widely. We should study examples such as that, bring them to Europe, and stop thinking we have the answers, but the H2020 rules basically forbid that, as we found out ourselves”. To say this – in this exclusive interview with Il Bioeconomista – is Al Costa, Ceo of Alkol Biotech, a Spanish genetic engineering company focused on the research of new crops.
With Costa we talk about crops, the role of farmers and the policies to support the bioeconomy.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso