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.

On September 15, 2015, the head of the EPA, Gina McCarthy, spoke at the Growth Energy Advocacy Conference about the need of the upcoming RFS rule to encourage long-term investment in advanced biofuels to successfully grow capacity. McCarthy went on to say that the November 30, 2015, deadline is a priority for her to have the RFS rule finished to improve investment conditions for biofuels. She considers the RFS to be one of the best tools that the Administration has in the long-term fight against climate change. EPA is currently looking at approximately 650,000 comments from the proposed rule containing changes for the 2014, 2015, and 2016 blending requirements, and McCarthy stated that she has heard the industry's major concerns.


 

On September 10, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the 21 state finalists for Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) grants to add infrastructure to supply more renewable fuel to drivers. The program was announced in May 2015, to increase the number of gas pumps dedicated to higher ethanol blends, including E15 and E85. While $100 million was made available by the USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA), applications totaled over $130 million. The grants given out by the USDA BIP will be matched with private and state resources, allowing the program to more than double the amount of infrastructure that will be added. USDA announced that these competitive grants are expected to result in 4,880 pumps being installed at over 1,400 fueling stations throughout the United States.


 

Stakeholders working with algae to produce chemicals and fuels should take note of these upcoming opportunities:

Tags: algae

 

On September 1, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Economic Research Service released the information bulletin "Biofuel Use in International Markets: The Importance of Trade." The report reviews global biofuel production from 2001 to the present, including economic impacts of the Renewable Fuel Standard, biofuel exports in the U.S., and the future prospects of the U.S. biofuel trade. Biofuel production has increased dramatically from 2001 to 2013, with the fastest growth occurring before 2011. The report stresses that as biofuel production is growing at a slower pace, it is imperative to focus on energy policies to sustain production while moderating prices and saturation in order to maintain favorable market conditions.


 

On September 7, 2015, Clean Technica published a conversation with Novozymes CEO Peder Holk Nielsen about opportunities for growth coming from the upcoming COP 21 Paris climate talks. Nielsen expressed a desire for a form of taxation or limits on carbon emissions to be put in place over the next 10 or 15 years. In the future, Nielsen sees biofuel production becoming more sustainable as people turn to waste biomass rather than producing biomass. The increasing use of waste biomass is an opportunity for Novozymes to deploy enzymes that are capable of converting waste biomass into biofuels in a cost effective and efficient manner. Novozymes is a global biotechnology company with a focus on industrial enzymes, microorganisms, and biopharmaceutical ingredients and is a Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) associate member.


 

"Legal, Regulatory & Political Considerations In Commercializing Algal Products" Panel Presented At ABO, October 1, 2015

Hear BRAG's Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., and other panelists on Thursday, October 1, at the Algae Biomass Summit, which runs September 29 - October 2, 2015, in Washington, D.C. This is where leading producers of algae products go to network with industry suppliers and technology providers, where project developers converse with utility executives, and where researchers and technology developers rub elbows with venture capitalists. Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. is a proud sponsor. Register online.


 

 

On August 14, 2015, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) asked EPA to waive Reid Vapor Pressure requirements for E15 and to also allow E12 blending. Reid Vapor Pressure is a measure of gasoline's volatility and is regulated in the summer months to reduce health risks caused by evaporative emissions. The request by the RFA occurred in the wake of a 240,000 barrels per day (b/d) refinery outage in Whiting, Indiana that has resulted in 50 cents per gallon cost increases for gasoline in some regions. Ethanol in the Chicago wholesale market is currently $1 per gallon less than gasoline and, if gas stations began carrying E15, gas prices would be reduced by at least 5 cents per gallon, saving drivers in the Midwest about $6 million per day. The RFA argues that the outage illustrates the need to diversify the fuel supply to blunt the consumer impacts of supply availability.


 

On August 3, 2015, Forest Concepts, LLC received a two-year, $499,997 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The contract will support the development of predictive control systems for biomass dryers that will increase energy efficiency and provide significant cost savings. The technologies being developed by the project can be used in wood pellet and solid biofuel product, as well as in second-generation thermochemical biorefinery facilities producing biofuels and biochemicals. The development of this new drying technology will help to create cost parity with fossil fuels for biofuels by eliminating the system inefficiencies that currently impact biomass drying.


 

 
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