The Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG) helps members develop and bring to market their innovative biobased and renewable chemical products through insightful policy and regulatory advocacy. BRAG is managed by B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C., an affiliate of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On April 18, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the release of the Co-Optima FY2017 Year in Review.  The Co-Optima initiative is accelerating the introduction of efficient, clean, affordable, and scalable high-performance fuels by bringing together DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE), national laboratories, universities, and industry and government stakeholders to collaborate on improvements to biofuels and the development of new technologies.  This report covers significant accomplishments made by Co-Optima in fiscal year 2017 (FY17), including:

  • Establishing an improved merit function that quantifies how fuel properties impact boosted spark ignition (SI) engine efficiency.
  • Identifying representative blendstocks from five chemical families that provide the key fuel properties needed for high-efficiency SI engines.
  • Screening a wide range of blendstocks to assess compatibility with vehicles and infrastructure.
  • Determining relationships that describe how chemical structure impacts key fuel properties.
  • Developing new numerical algorithms and computational tools that accelerate research and development (R&D).
  • Completing integrated, systems-level analyses of blendstocks in relation to economic, technological, market, and environmental factors.

In addition to expounding upon these successes, the Co-Optima initiative report also outlines what impact they can have on U.S. industries. Utilizing these new efficient technologies could significantly reduce fuel costs for passenger and commercial vehicles by billions of dollars, maximize existing fuel infrastructure, and add hundreds of thousands of jobs to the U.S. economy.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On April 11, 2018, the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) announced €115 million in funding for the 2018 Call for proposals focusing on feedstock, process, products, and market uptake. BBI JU is a partnership between the European Union (EU) and the Bio-based Industries Consortium that was launched to develop strong European bio-based industries.  This call includes 21 topics with 11 Research and Innovation Action (RIA) topics, 3 Coordination and Support Actions (CSA), and 7 Innovation Actions (5 DEMOs and 2 Flagships) with new eligibility criteria. Topics include improving the pre-processing steps of locally sourced biomass, improving the performance of biocatalysts, and developing computational systems that model and identify improvement areas for bioprocesses involving microorganisms. The deadline for submission of proposals is September 6, 2018. More information on the call for proposals is available online.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On April 10, 2018, Vivergo Fuels announced that it was re-opening its bioethanol plant following the passing of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO). The Vivergo plant, the largest plant in the United Kingdom (UK) and the second largest producer of bioethanol in Europe, was originally shut down due to unfavorable trading conditions and uncertainty about the future of renewable fuel policies. RTFO will increase the use of renewable fuels in transport from current levels of 4.75 percent to 9.75 percent by 2020, but Vivergo is now calling for the introduction of E10 fuel by the end of 2018. E10 is widely used in the United States, as well as France, Germany, Belgium, Finland, Canada, and Australia. Vivergo argues that introducing E10 in the UK would provide an immediate impact on transport emissions, provide high quality employment in the region, and spur further investment in renewables.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On April 17, 2018, the Green Chemistry & Commerce Council (GC3) announced that ten startup companies had won the opportunity to pitch their technologies to major companies at the GC3’s 3rd Annual Green & Bio-Based Chemistry Technology Showcase & Networking Event. The Technology Showcase will be held on May 8, 2018, during the GC3 Annual Innovators Roundtable, with participation from 16 large companies, including Apple, BASF, Johnson & Johnson, Levi Strauss & Co., L’Oréal, and Procter & Gamble. The chosen startups are:

Monica Becker, Co-Director of the GC3 and Collaborative Innovation Platform Lead, said of the Showcase “these startups will begin discussions leading to joint development agreements, licensing, and investments with companies that are seeking new chemical technologies. . . . Our goal is to get these technologies to market and scale to contribute to safer and more sustainable products and operations.” A wide variety of processes are covered by these startups, including technology that produces surfactants without using petroleum, palm oil, or traditional chemical processes, such as ethoxylation or chlorination, and a technology that provides a new, green platform chemistry for cleaning solvents, adhesives, plasticizers, and paint coalescers.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On April 13, 2018, Neste, a Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) member, announced that Red and White Fleet cruise company is committing to switch its entire fleet of vessels from conventional diesel to 100 percent Neste MY Renewable Diesel. This drop-in low-carbon biofuel cuts greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 80 percent and allows for reductions in engine-out emissions while enhancing fleet performance. Switching to renewable diesel has not impacted the Fleet’s fueling procedures or maintenance intervals while resulting in longer fuel filter life and a reduction of soot. "We are excited to partner with Red and White Fleet by providing them with a fuel that is clean, safe, renewable and odor free,” stated Jeremy Baines, Vice President of Sales, Neste US, Inc. “Their decision places them amongst a growing list of progressive and forward-thinking San Francisco companies that want to ensure a better world through sustainable solutions.”

Tags: Neste, GHG, Biofuel

 

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On April 13, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced an upcoming webinar entitled “Bioproducts, Grown and Made in America”  that will focus on American-produced bioproducts made from renewable sources including plants, algae, and wastes.  Speakers from BETO, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories will discuss how the biobased economy is enhancing American ingenuity and productivity.  This free webinar will be held on April 19, 2018, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EDT).  Registration is available online


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

Representative Scott Peters (D-CA) recently introduced the Algae Agriculture Act of 2018 (H.R. 5373) to the House of Representatives. The bill, sponsored by Representatives Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), and Darin LaHood (R-IL), would provide similar advantages to algae cultivators and harvesters as those that exist for traditional crop farmers under U.S. agricultural policy. These advantages include: updating the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture to include algae, which will provide funding for additional research into ways to utilize algae; making rural electric cooperatives eligible for Carbon Capture and Use (CUU) projects using algae; and providing crop disaster assistance for algae cultivation. “Algae can become a natural pathway to improve soil health on farms, manage water resources, nutrient run-off, and utilize carbon in a way that earns revenue and reduces climate change impacts,” stated Mark Allen, Vice President of Integrated Carbon Solutions at Accelergy Corporation and Vice Chair of Algae Biomass Organization’s (ABO) board of directors. “This bill is an important step toward making algae farming and other algae technologies an important part of American agriculture.”

Tags: Algae, Federal

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On April 3, 2018, the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) announced that companies from Argentina and Indonesia will face new anti-dumping duties after findings by the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) that imports of biodiesel at less than fair value materially injured the U.S. biodiesel industry. Commerce determined that the Argentinian and Indonesian imports were sold in the U.S. at dumping margins of up to 86.41 percent and 276.65 percent, respectively. A full report containing the views of USITC and information developed during the investigations will be available by May 7, 2018, and will be accessible via the USITC website.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On April 11, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the third Safer Choice Partner & Stakeholder Summit 2018 in a Federal Register notice. The Summit is open to all Safer Choice program partners and stakeholders, and will include informational and breakout sessions, with a focus on dialogue and problem-solving. The event is being held on May 14, 2018, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (EDT) in Oxon Hill, MD. Registration is available online.


 
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