The 2017 Biobased and Renewable Chemicals Conference, organized by the Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance (DESCA) and supported by the American Chemical Society (ACS) Green Chemistry Institute, is a two-day event that will focus on the emerging landscape of technologies that are replacing fossil fuel-based raw materials and the major challenges and opportunities facing the industry. The event features interactive panel discussions, keynote speakers, workshops, and networking opportunities with industry experts and thought leaders, including:
- Mike Gudgeon, Technical Manager, PBF Energy;
- Dr. Seetha Kammula-Coleman, President, STRIDE;
- Dr. Stanley Merritt, Sustainability Leader, The Chemours Company;
- Dr. Tim Mueller, North American Research Director, DuPont Science & Engineering Operations;
- Dr. Erica Nemser, CEO, Compact Membrane Systems;
- Lori Palmer, Chief Business Ventures Officer, Trellist Marketing & Technologies; and
- Dr. Bryan Tracy, CEO & Co-Founder, White Dog Labs.
Lauren M. Graham, Ph.D., Manager of BRAG, will be attending the conference and will be pleased to discuss questions that attendees may have about the regulatory issues facing biobased and renewable chemicals. Registration is available online. We look forward to seeing you there.
By Lauren M. Graham, Ph.D.
On April 21, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the 38 small businesses that will collaborate with researchers from eight national laboratories under the Small Business Vouchers (SBV) pilot, which aims to foster a strong partnership between the labs and clean tech small businesses. The 38 businesses represent the third round of SBV, which brings the total number of partnerships under the program to 114. SBV provides small businesses with access to unique national lab facilities and experts to test, develop, and validate their innovative products. The following national labs have received $200,000 in funding to collaborate with small businesses focused on bioenergy projects:
- The Argonne National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will work with Gevo to create a blending model that works over a variety of representative gasoline base fuel compositions by developing a synergistic and antagonistic relationship between gasoline and isobutanol;
- The Idaho National Laboratory will work with Cogent to improve its small-scale gasifier for distributed waste-to-energy applications and markets by properly homogenizing and sizing the feedstock material so that it can be continuously fed into the gasifier and meet real-world feedstock processing requirements;
- The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will work with Kalion to reach full manufacturing scale production of glucaric acid and glucuronic acid by creating a manufacturing-ready production strain and scaling up that strain;
- The Oak Ridge National Laboratory will work with Synvitrobio to develop cell-free based analytical tools that significantly accelerate the design-build-test cycles for converting renewable biomass to higher-order chemicals, such as mevalonate and vanillin; and
- The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will work with ThermChem to identify the potentially valuable and intermediate chemicals in the aqueous phases of hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) process liquids and convert them into value-added biochemical/bioproducts.
SBV is part of the Tech-to-Market Program within DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), which aims to eliminate common barriers that prevent market exploration of new energy technologies.
By Lauren M. Graham, Ph.D.
On April 21, 2017, AkzoNobel announced the 20 finalists for its Imagine Chemistry initiative. The initiative, which was launched earlier this year as reported in the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group’s (BRAG®) blog post “AkzoNobel Launches Global Chemicals Start-Up Challenge,” aims to help solve real-life chemistry-related challenges and uncover sustainable opportunities for the Company's Specialty Chemicals business. Of the 20 projects selected, four focus on cellulose-based alternatives to synthetics, three focus on biobased and biodegradable surfactants and thickeners, and two focus on biobased sources of ethylene and ethylene oxides. All finalists will participate in a three-day event at AkzoNobel’s research facility to further develop their business ideas and concepts. A brief description of each project is available on AkzoNobel’s website.
The 21st Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference (GC&E), hosted by the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Green Chemistry Institute, will be held in Reston, Virginia on June 13-15, 2017. GC&E is a gathering opportunity for over 500 academic, industrial, and government stakeholders to network and learn about the developments in sustainable approaches to chemistry, chemicals, processes, and products. The event features over 40 technical sessions, a robust poster session, keynote lectures, workshops, social events, and a Green Expo. BRAG affiliate Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) is a proud sponsor. Register online.
By Lauren M. Graham, Ph.D.
On March 31, 2017, AkzoNobel, a member of BRAG, announced the launch of an online tool that uses e-certification to monitor the biobased content of products. Companies that sign up to use the online platform will be able to exchange biobased material certificates for everything from base ingredients to finished products. The online tool eliminates the need for separate, external biobased certifications at various points along the supply chain by allowing companies to transfer the certificates electronically. According to AkzoNobel, tracking the exact amount of biobased raw materials used throughout the value chain will enable producers and consumers to purchase more sustainable products and move towards a more circular economy. AkzoNobel partnered with Advanced Biochemical (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (ABT) and EY on the project, which is currently in the pilot phase, to encourage transparency and sustainable chemistry.
On March 23, 2017, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) announced that an antidumping and countervailing duty petition had been filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) claiming that Argentine and Indonesian companies are violating trade laws by saturating the U.S. market with dumped and subsidized biodiesel. The petition was filed on behalf of the National Biodiesel Board Fair Trade Coalition, which represents the NBB and U.S. biodiesel producers. According to NBB, Argentine and Indonesian producers are selling their biodiesel in the U.S. at prices that are substantially lower than their costs of production, and government programs in both countries are providing illegal subsidies to their domestic biodiesel industries. Between 2014 and 2016, biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia increased by 464 percent, which resulted in an 18 percent loss in market share for U.S. manufacturers. Both countries have previously been charged with violating international trade laws. Following NBB’s announcement, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) released a statement urging DOC and ITC to give the suit every appropriate consideration and pledging to continue to work across the aisle to reform the biodiesel tax credit, so that it incentivizes the domestic production of clean, renewable biodiesel.
On March 24, 2017, Neste, a member of BRAG®, announced its approval of draft proposals by the Swedish government regarding mandated reductions in traffic fuel emissions and the continued tax exemption for high-blended biofuels. By 2030, the government aims to reduce carbon emissions from transportation by 70 percent. In addition to reducing carbon emissions, the ambitious targets and long-term perspective will help support innovation and investments in biofuels. Neste, which has a strong focus on developing cost-efficient technologies to convert forest residues into biofuels, stated that the substantial amount of forest-based raw materials in the country will likely play a key role in achieving the proposed goals.