E15 to be approved for year-round sales

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is beginning a formal rulemaking process to allow year-round sales of E15 nationwide. Currently, E15 (gasoline containing 15% ethanol) cannot be sold during the summer months in most of the country.

The summertime ban on E15 is the result of a burdensome, decades-old regulation that offers no environmental or economic benefit whatsoever. Eliminating the summertime barrier to E15 will save consumers money and reduce emissions, enhance competition, and provide a boost to the farm and ethanol producer’s economy.

EPA has already issued a waiver allowing the use of E15 in all vehicles built in 2001 or later. This means roughly 90% of all vehicles on the road today are legally approved to use E15.

The infrastructure to use E15 is already in place and growing. Thanks to USDA’s Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership grant program and ethanol industry initiatives like Prime the Pump, E15 is available at more than 1,200 stations across 29 states and growing.

E15 offers consumers greater choice at the pump, lower prices, higher octane, and cleaner air.

The current domestic demand for fuel ethanol is approximately 15 Billion Gallons per year. The new E15 approval is expected to boost demand, up to six to seven billion gallons more.

e15.png

BIOFUELS OUTLOOK 2018

According to the International Energy Agency, by 2050, 27% of the world’s transport fuels will be biofuels.

Improving the costs and effectiveness of biofuel production is crucial considering the significant role it is expected to play in the global energy use.

The industry will have to implement 2nd. and 3erd. generation technologies in order to replace simple-starch’s sugar feedstocks ( Corn-Sugar Cane) with biomass and waste material from the forestry and agricultural industries. Corn and Sugar Cane will be needed to feed the continuous growth in the world’s population.

Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have published a study identifying the two main challenges to produce 2nd generation low-cost biofuels able to compete and replace hydrocarbons:

1. Creation of microbial cell factories that will produce microorganism capable of effectively breaking the cross-linked lignin hemicellulose in cell walls of fiber and woody plant materials.

2. Improving the efficacy of the hydrolysis process that converts biomass to sugars for fermentation.

The study titled “Barriers and Opportunities in bio-based production of hydrocarbons” attempts to offer solutions to the identified challenges including synthetic biology technologies.

The company believes that using energy management techniques for the combined heat and power (“CHP”) required throughout the production of biofuels will have the largest impact on the ability to effectively replace hydrocarbons. New generation plants CHP energy, will incorporate design and engineering to deploy low-cost non-hydrocarbon renewable bioenergy.

For additional information, please contact the company.

SS Plant.jpg

Advanced Bio-Jetfuel From Sorghum

On July 24, the U.S. EPA published a notice qualifying sorghum oil as an eligible feedstock for the production of advanced biofuels and biomass-based diesel under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

According to the final notice, biodiesel and heating oil produced from distillers sorghum oil via a transesterification process, and renewable diesel, jet fuel, heating oil, naphtha, and liquefied petroleum gas produced from distillers sorghum oil via a hydrotreating process will now meet the lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction threshold of 50 percent required for advanced biofuels and biomass-based diesel under the RFS.

The company continues  to develop new technologies and improved processes for  bio-ethanol production utilizing grain sorghum.

For additional information, please contact the company.

 

bioJetfuel.jpg

New Forecast for Cellulosic Ethanol

Energias Market Research, a consulting company with offices in New York, London, Sydney, Singapore, Dubai and India has published a Market Report where they predict that the Global Cellulosic Ethanol Market will grow a CAGR of 45.4% and is projected to reach a market value of USD 4.2 billion by 2024.

The growth is attributed to the continued high demand for green fuel across the globe and the depletion of oil and gas reserves.

Cellulosic ethanol is defined as Ethanol (Ethyl Alcohol) produced from cellulose ( the fiber of a plant) rather than from the plant’s seed or fruits. The feedstock is normally grasses, wood, algae and others.

North America accounts  for the largest share of cellulosic ethanol and The United States is already at the forefront of  production on a commercial scale.

The company has developed a low cost, commercially viable cellulosic pathway(s) for the production of bio-ethanol and is currently working on 2nd. generation, low carbon production facilities.

For additional information, please contact the company.

World Ethanol Production 2017.png

New Advanced Biofuel Mandate for 2019

The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) is proposing a 14% increase to the mandated volume of ADVANCED BIOFUEL production from 4.29 billion gallons   in 2018 to 4.88 billion gallons in 2019.

The mandated volume for conventional ethanol remains unchanged at 15 billion gallons per year.

The company is pleased about the EPA’s proposal, which continues to support the development of advanced biofuels and energy independence for the country.

The existing corn-to-ethanol, first generation infrastructure, will play an important role converting to advanced biofuel production to fulfil the new mandate.

For additional information, please contact the company.

U.S. Consumers Saving Money Thanks to Bio-Fuels

A new study released by the Renewable Fuels Association, confirms that consumers are saving money at the gas pump because ethanol.

 The study of wholesale gasoline and ethanol price data shows that blending E10 has reduced wholesale gasoline prices by at least 27 cents per gallon, or 14 percent, compared to ethanol-free gasoline.

Ten percent (E10) blends alone could save consumers at least $39 billion this year, $45 billion if E15 were allowed to be sold nationwide and year-round.

 The national average retail price for regular grade gasoline was $2.85/gallon last week (April 2018),  the highest price since November 2014.

 E10 is already saving consumers $306 per household, this year. If the U.S. would implement year-round E15 sales, the Renewable Fuels Association show that users would increase savings to $386 per year.

 While gas prices continue to rise, ethanol is serving as a stabilizing force that is helping to keep pump prices in check.

For additional information, please contact the company.

 

 

Ethanol_pumps.jpg

Bio-Ethanol & Bio-Jet Fuel

The aviation industry is working on reducing the environmental impact of using hydrocarbon based jet fuels and is searching for solutions in the bio-based alternative jet fuels (AJFs), which provide lower greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

Jet fuel accounts for 10.1% (2016) of energy supplied to the US transportation sector. Globally, jet fuel consumption is estimated at 94 billion gallons in 2012.

In the meantime, air traffic continues to steadily increase. The US Energy Information Administration projected that revenue miles in the US will increase from 4 trillion miles in 2015, to 9.6 trillion miles by 2040.

Several organizations such as FAA, US Air Force, US Navy, DOD, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the European Union are promoting and committed to increase the use bio-based jet fuels.

The company is following closely new developments to use “drop in” bio-jet fuel utilizing a soon to be approved Ethanol to Jet Fuel (ETJ) pathway.

Once the ASTM certifies the new standard and the DOE approves the ETJ pathway, existing 1st generation corn to ethanol plants can be upgraded to produce bio-jet fuel.

The technology for upgrading the production of ethanol to jet fuel is available (Modified alcohol dehydration, olefin oligomerization and a-olefin hydrogenation) and can be efficiently implemented once the industry approvals are available.

The company’s 2nd generation plants will not need to retrofit the technology as provisions are in place to produce jet fuel blend-stocks.

Preliminary studies show that GHG emissions are reduced by 16% relative to using petroleum jet fuel. In addition, the company anticipates that current ethanol to corn crushing margins and operating margins will be significantly improved once ETJ pathway is implemented.

For additional information, please contact the company.

 US Navy Blue Angels already operating with a 50:50 blend of bio-jet fuel

US Navy Blue Angels already operating with a 50:50 blend of bio-jet fuel

Hydrogen Fuel Cells & Ethanol

Hydrogen is one of the most promising energy carriers for the future. The production of hydrogen from ethanol steam  reforming is environmentally friendly and opens new opportunities for using  renewable bio-fuels.

Different catalysts have been tried for the steam reforming process of ethanol, and the optimal hydrogen conversion is still in research and development.

Car manufacturers have already introduced hydrogen powered   vehicles in Japan.  (Toyota, Hyundai, Honda).  Their vehicles have a fuel- cell that stores hydrogen at 10,000 PSI in heavily reinforced tanks within the cargo areas. They also need to be re-fueled in advanced hydrogen service stations. (90 of such stations are already available in Japan)

NISSAN is applying a different pathway for the production of hydrogen. In their proposed vehicles, NISSAN technology uses  an ethanol-water blend at 55:45 ratio, able to be procured at any existing conventional gas station.

The ethanol-water blend is then heated and fed to an onboard reformer that splits it into pure hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The hydrogen produced in the reformer is fed into a solid oxide fuel- cell, which then generates electricity   at a steady rate to supply power to the vehicle electric motor.

NISSAN expects their new “eBio SOFC” system will provide a range of 500 miles, and filling the vehicle tank with ethanol will take no longer than a conventional gasoline tank.

As of late 2017, NISSAN has started testing its new Bio-Ethanol Fuel Cell vehicle in Brazil.

Japan is already building a network of hydrogen fueling stations, and the government announced a target of 900 hydrogen fueling stations and 800,000 fuel cell cars in the country by 2030.

For additional information, please contact the company.

 

Nissan Fuel Cell Car.jpeg

Global Ethanol Demand Escalating

The global demand for bio-ethanol and other bio-fuels continues to increase.

Chinese independent oil refiners are starting to buy ethanol to meet China’s new regulations of 10% mandatory ethanol blend into gasoline by 2020.

China is the world’s third largest producer of ethanol after The United States and Brazil. Although a distant third (China’s 2 billion gallons per year vs. 15 billion gallons per year in The United States), China’s ethanol market is set to grow 10% in 2018 but expected to quadruple when the new fuel blending regulation becomes mandatory in 2020.

Three large independent Chinese refineries are applying for blending permits and import licenses.

On March 19, the Australian  Prime Minister, Hon. Bob Katter, has declared bio-fuel a matter of national security.

Katter said that Australia is one of the only countries that have no indigenous supply of oil and that every other country has moved into ethanol. He is proposing a new massive program of producing ethanol from sugar cane, an energy security model that Brazil has implemented successfully.

We anticipate intense demand for bio-fuels to continue along with demand of better production technologies and advanced equipment.

For additional information, please contact the company.

 

Oil Refinery.jpeg

Grain Sorghum Re-loaded

Grain sorghum (Milo), not to be confused with sweet sorghum, is interchangeable in starch based bio-ethanol production. A bushel of grain sorghum produces as much bio-ethanol as a bushel of corn. Sorghum Distillers Dry Grain (“DDG”), a co-product of starch-based bio-ethanol production, tend to be lower in fat and higher in protein than corn DDG.

Sorghum is among the most efficient crops in conversion of solar energy and use of water. Under drought conditions a crop of corn may fail, while sorghum almost always produces a crop.

WHY IS THE U.S. PRODUCTION OF BIO-FUEL BASED ON CORN AND NOT IN SORGHUM?

While the cost of farming an acre of sorghum is lower than an acre of corn (less water and less fertilizers needed), the yields are dramatically different. One acre of corn in the Midwest will yield circa 160-170 bushels per acre while sorghum produces 70-80 bushels per acre.

CHANGE IS ON THE WAY

Based on research at the USDA Agricultural Research Center, a new MULTISEED TRAIT variety of sorghum could boost sorghum yield by 60%, making it competitive with corn yields, using half the water.

The development of a new sorghum hybrid requires from 10 to 12 generations of seed production. Multiseed Hybrids may be commercially available to farmers by 2020.

The multiseed trait is not genetically modified but originates from crosses of thousands of experimental hybrids.

Several commercial seed companies have attained the multiseed trait and are in various stages of working their trait into their own elite seed hybrids.

On March 2, professor Doreen Ware, Ph.d together with professor Zhanguo Xin, Ph.d, USDA’s Agricultural Research Center, announced that the team has uncovered the biological changes that triple the sorghum grain producing ability. They hope to apply the same strategy to other related crops vital to the human food supply such as rice, corn and wheat.

The company has been following the progress of the multiseed trait in sorghum, and our bio-fuel plant’s design, anticipates the use of multi-feedstocks such as corn and sorghum without cross contamination.

For additional information, please contact the company.

 

U.S. Grain Sorghum Planted Acres.PNG