By Lynn L. Bergeson
On December 4, 2018, as part of its efforts to crowdsource solutions to increase energy productivity, DOE announced it will issue two new prizes as part of its Manufacturing Innovator Challenge. The first new prize focuses on Biobased Additive Manufacturing (BAM) and will be distributed to three winners. BAM involves the production of rapid prototyping of complex structures through biobased three-dimensional printing. To qualify for the BAM prize, candidates are required to identify new materials that are made from at least 90 percent plant matter or algae, and that can meet or improve the performance of current three-dimensional printing materials. Applications for this award are now open and must be submitted by January 10, 2019.
The second prize announced focuses on Novel Concepts for Large-Scale Three-Dimensional Printing, which will be awarded to three applicants as well. This prize aims to award applicants that identify spaces where three-dimensional printing can play a role in breakthrough technologies. Applications for this award are now open as well and must be submitted by February 1, 2019. The Challenge also includes other award opportunities that can be found here.
By Lynn L. Bergeson
On December 4, 2018, EPA announced that it is accepting nominations for the 2019 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. Sponsored by EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) in partnership with the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute (ACSGCI), these awards promote the development and use of novel green chemistry for environmental and economic benefits. There are five award categories for which eligible candidates can be nominated:
- Greener Synthetic Pathways (Focus Area 1);
- Greener Reaction Condition (Focus Area 2);
- The Design of Greener Chemicals (Focus Area 3);
- Small Business; and
Eligibility for nominations requires that candidates’ technology meets the following criteria: (1) it must be a green chemistry technology with a significant chemistry component; (2) it must include source reduction; (3) it must be submitted by an eligible organization or its representatives; (4) it must have a significant milestone in its development within the past five years; (5) it must have a significant U.S. component; and (6) it must fit within at least one of the three focus areas of the program. The deadline for nominations is January 15, 2019, to be presented in the summer of 2019. Self-nominations are allowed, there is no entry fee or standard form, and one can nominate more than one technology.
BCCM is pleased to announce that Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.’s (B&C®) podcast “All Things Chemical™” will release an episode on biobased equivalency determination. The podcast will be presented by B&C’s Director of Chemistry, Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., who is a 17-year veteran of EPA and is one of the most widely recognized experts in the field of green chemistry. It will provide an overview of the term “biobased” and what it means, the current nomenclature issue surrounding the biobased industry, and how BCCM’s Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) is addressing the issue through equivalency determination. Stay tuned for the podcast in the next month and subscribe now on on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, and Stitcher! In the meantime, check out BRAG’s website for news on nomenclature issues.
- Chemical & Engineering News, “To Fulfill Biofuels’ Promise, Scientists Boost Plant Oils with Gene Editing”
- Ethanol Producer Magazine, “New Tax, Oversight Bill Aims to Extend Biofuel Tax Credits”
- MuscaDaily.com, “Omani Woman Scientist Wins UNESCO Fellowship for Research in Biofuels”
- The Times of India, “CSIR Working on Developing Biofuels on a Commercial Scale”
- Biofuels International, “Biodiesel By-product Has Potential as Clean Burning Fuel Additive”
- FDA News, “Aziyo’s Bioscaffold Cleared by FDA for Expanded Use”
- Reuters, “UPDATE 1-EPA Will Not Reallocate Waived Biofuel Volumes to 2019 Mandate -- Official”
- Time, “The 10 Smartest Sustainable Products of 2018”
- Reuters, “Malaysia’s Petronas Sets Up Team for Renewable Energy Push”
- Biofuels International, “BASF Announce Renewable Methanol Production”
- Bloomberg, “You May Be Vegetarian, but What About Your Favorite Airline?”
- R&D Magazine, “GE Healthcare to Open Biotechnology Manufacturing Center in U.K.”
- Digital Journal, “Ecovia’s AzuraGel™ Superabsorbent Awarded 100% USDA Certified Biobased Product Label”
- Reuters, “Exclusive: EPA Refinery Biofuel Waiver Program on Hold Pending Review -- Sources”
- Radio 570 WNAX, “Biofuels Industry Opposes Legislation to Replace the RFS with an Octane Standard”
- The Fence Post, “Grassley Talks Farm Bill, RFS Volumes, Tax Extenders”
- Talk Business & Politics, “Abandoned Bales Reflect Failed Plans for Miscanthus to be Part of a Biofuels Boom”
- European Coatings, “Water-borne PUD Adhesives with Bio-based Polyol Component”
- BBC, “Danish Firm Claims First Biofuel Commercial Sea Voyage”
- Packaging Europe, “Corona Launches Bio-based Six-pack Rings”
- Reuters, “Betting on Ethanol, Brazilian Mills Turn Sour on Sugar”
By Lynn L. Bergeson
On November 19, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), in New Mexico, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), in California, received the Excellence in BioPreferred Procurement Awards for Fiscal Year 2018. Both LANL and LLNL are U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratories and have been awarded for the testing and adoption of biobased products within their operations. The awards reflect the laboratories’ achievements in advancing the objectives of USDA’s BioPreferred Federal Purchasing Preference Program. In their welding shop, LANL adopted a biobased lubricant used on metal-cutting machinery to replace the traditional oil-based lubricants formerly used. The biobased lubricant is not only more efficient, but also ensures safer work areas by reducing the potential for slips and falls. In addition, the biobased lubricant reduces the number of labor hours it takes to complete the welding operations and the costs for waste disposal. LLNL, on the other hand, converted all food service ware to biobased and compostable products, collecting 68 metric tons of compostable waste for reuse and recycling.
- Biofuels International, “Biogas-to-Biofuel Technology Accepted for Testing”
- Biofuels International, “Prospects Raised for Large Scale Algae Biofuel Production”
- Reuters, “Biofuel Groups Ask Federal Judge to Freeze U.S. Refinery Waiver Program”
- Packaging Gateway, “Leaf Resources Extends Leafcoat License to Europe”
- Reuters, “Iowa Senator Says Expect Fewer Biofuel Waivers from Wheeler’s EPA”
- Fronteras, “Food Biotechnology Added on New Trilateral Deal”
- City Press, “Biofuel from Castor Oil: How Thabang Mabapa Is Helping Farmers”
- Engadget, “Researchers Want to Power Pacemakers with Cotton-Based Biofuel Cell”
- Bio-Based News, “Seaweed Coffee Cups Could Help Ditch Single-Use Plastics”
- Composites World, “NREL Makes Strides with Bio-Based Acrylonitrile”
- Biofuels International, “EPA to ‘Reset’ Biofuel Targets Due to Production Shortfalls”
- Fast Company, “You’d Never Guess These Gorgeous Lamps Are Made from Bioplastic”
- Composites World, “Technical University of Munich Researchers Explore Using Algae to Make Carbon Fiber”
- The Engineer, “Biofuel Cell Can Match the Performance of Platinum”
- Drax.com, “Europe’s First Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage Pilot Now Underway”
- The Times of India, “Odisha Government Launches New Policy to Promote Biotechnology”
- Phys.org, “New Method Enables Large-Scale Production of Bio-Based Plastic Bottles”
- Mercom India, “India Joins the Club for Collaboration on New and Alternate Fuels”
- Biofuels Digest, “University of Delaware Start-Up Creates Renewable Oil that Can Be Used from Cosmetics to Lubricants”
- Reuters, “Britain’s Renewable Electricity Capacity Overtakes Fossil Fuels -- Report”
- Renewable Energy Magazine, “APPA Claims Biofuel a Key Ingredient in Spain’s Energy Plan”
- Just-Drinks, “Jimmy’s Iced Coffee Adopts Bio-Based Caps”
- Global Cosmetics News, “Croda Celebrates Official Opening of Its Centre of Innovation for Marine Biotechnology”
- BusinessWorld, “PCA to Seek Implementation of 5% Coconut Content in Diesel”
- RES Polyflow, “RES Polyflow Announces Renewable Fuel Agreement with BP”
- Environmental Leader, “This Brand’s Sneakers Could Be World’s Most Sustainable -- Here’s Why”
By Kathleen M. Roberts
Is your company engaged in Class 2 chemistries that are similar to existing Class 2 chemicals but are derived from an innovative bio-source? We are looking for pioneering companies working on new biobased Class 2 chemicals to assist in advancing an important project with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
ISSUE: While EPA sustainability goals would seemingly include adoption of improved biobased technologies, EPA’s policies under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) mean that many novel, sustainable technologies are considered “new chemicals” requiring EPA to conduct new chemical assessments. If these new chemicals are converted to other substances by downstream customers, those substances are likely also new, requiring additional new chemical submissions and assessments. Each new chemical submission and assessment represents a cost and a commercial delay and each is a barrier to adoption of what may be a promising sustainable technology. These reviews can and do result in EPA applying risk management conditions on the production and distribution in commerce of the novel, renewable chemicals -- restrictions that may not apply to older chemistries even though they may be functionally identical in performance, hazard, and risk. Ironically, the new chemical may offer a more benign environmental footprint but nonetheless be subject to stricter controls.
POTENTIAL SOLUTION: To address these issues, the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) has submitted to EPA, in partnership with the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), a BRAG member, a White Paper proposing a TSCA Inventory representation and equivalency determinations for renewable and sustainable biobased chemicals. EPA’s initial response to the White Paper has been positive and staff has indicated a willingness to conduct equivalency determinations if submitted.
REQUEST: BRAG is now seeking companies interested in participating in a pilot project to prepare and submit such requests. Specifically, we are looking for companies that manufacture or plan to manufacture a Class 2 chemical substance that is functionally equivalent to another Class 2 chemical, but due to existing naming conventions, the two chemicals are not listed as equivalent. If your company fits this description and you wish to support an effort to alleviate commercial burden for yourself and others in the future, please consider working with BRAG on this important project so we present impactful equivalency cases to EPA.
BRAG and Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) are committed to this project. As such, we will evaluate all candidate chemicals submitted, select what we believe is a good test case for the project, and prepare as a courtesy the necessary submission paperwork and equivalency arguments, in conjunction with the nominating company.
By Lynn L. Bergeson
On November 6, 2018, Neste, a BRAG member, announced its partnership with Clariant to develop new sustainable material solutions. While Clariant concentrates on specialty chemicals, Neste consists of one of the leading companies providing renewable diesel and drop-in chemical solutions. In the announcement, Neste outlined the phases of the partnership, as follows:
Phase 1: The companies will start to replace fossil-fuel based ethylene and propylene with monomers from renewable feedstock.
Phase 2: The companies will develop alternative sustainable solutions from renewable raw materials for plastics and coatings.
The two phases are designed to allow the two companies to increase their biobased products, while reducing dependency on crude oil and climate emissions. Neste’s President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Peter Vanacker, stated that the “[c]ollaboration marks an essential step forward in Neste’s quest to become a preferred partner as a provider of sustainable chemicals solutions for forerunner brands.”
- Reuters, “Update 1 – Brazil’s Bolsonaro Backs Ethanol Industry, Pledges Partnership”
- Palo Alto Daily Post, “Hydrogen Fueling Station Opens”
- Plastic News, “Bio-on Deal Bringing Bioplastics to Russia”
- Bio-Based World News, “Thyssenkrupp-commissioned Bio-Plastic Plant Starts Production in China”
- FoodBev Media, “Plant-based Collagen Company Geltor Receives $18.2m in Funding”
- Bio-Based World News, “Bio-based a Possible Solution to Mastercard’s Search for More Sustainable Bank Cards”
- Global Cosmetics News, “Croda Releases 100 Percent Bio-based, 100 Percent Renewable Surfactants”
- Nature Middle East, “Focused Filtering for Gas-based Fuels”
- Local DVM, “Frederick-based Bakery Unveils New System to Turn Wastewater into Renewable Energy”
- Nickei Asian Review, “Jet Biofuel Mass Production to Begin in Japan”
- Invest in Finland, “Finland Sets Out Support for Biofuels and a Coal Ban by 2029”
- Bio-Based World News, “Biome Bioplastics Unveils New Tool to Help Detangle the ‘Complexities of Plastics’”
- Zawya, “96.9% of Kuwait’s Biofuel Project Completed: KNPC”