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 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 March 19, 2018, Neste, a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), announced the delivery of its first batch of 100 percent renewable propane to SHV Energy.  Neste is operating the world’s first large-scale renewable production facility in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.  The new facility, that primarily produces Neste MY Renewable Diesel, purifies and separates renewable propane from the sidestream gases.  The refinery is capable of producing 40,000 tonnes of propane per year.  The renewable propane can be used in a variety of existing applications, including transport, commercial heating, and retail leisure cylinders, without modifications to existing gas applications technology.  SHV Energy will market the propane as BioLPG and sell it to customers across Europe.

Tags: Neste, Biofuel

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On March 13, 2018, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), announced that nominations for the fifth annual Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology are being accepted.  Each year, the award recognizes an outstanding woman in the industrial biotechnology sector who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the biobased economy and biotechnology innovation.  The recipient will be presented with the award at the 2018 World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Past recipients of the award include Dr. Debbie Yaver, Director of Expression Technology, Genomics and Bioinformatics at Novozymes; Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech; Anna Rath, President and CEO of NexSteppe; and Vonnie Estes, Independent Consultant.  Nominations will be accepted until March 28, 2018.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On March 12, 2018, Valtra, a leading tractor manufacturer in the Nordic countries, announced that Neste MY Renewable Diesel would be used as the start-up fuel for all new tractors.  All new Valtra tractors will be delivered to customers with fuel that is produced from 100 percent renewable waste and residues and produces up to 90 percent less greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil diesel fuel.  Furthermore, Neste MY will be used to fuel the forklifts operated within the factory.  The renewable fuel can be used in both the tractors and forklifts without additives or modifications to the engine.  According to Mika Hyötyläinen, Vice President of Marketing at Neste, a BRAG member, “Neste MY can be used confidently all around the world and throughout the year, as it can withstand temperatures down to -34°C. Its storage properties in the tank are also excellent.”


 

By Lauren M. Graham, Ph.D.

On February 16, 2018, AkzoNobel, a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), announced that a consortium of companies signed a project development agreement to develop a waste-to-chemistry facility in Rotterdam, Netherlands.  The facility will convert non-recyclable mixed waste, including plastics, into syngas and then into clean methanol for use in the chemical industry and for the transportation sector.  An estimated 360,000 tons of waste will be converted into 220,000 tons of clean methanol.  The agreement covers the initial investment of nine million euros for the detailed engineering, setup of a dedicated joint venture, and completion of the permitting process.  The final investment decision for the estimated 200 million euro project is expected to be made in 2018.  According to Marco Waas, Research, Development, Innovation (RD&I) and Technology Director at AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals, “the agreement comes at a very appropriate time given the current challenges in plastics recycling in Europe.  We can convert non-recyclable waste, into methanol, an essential raw material for many everyday products, including sustainable transportation fuel.  Not only can this be used in the existing supply chains and replace fossil sources, but it also avoids CO2 emissions otherwise produced by burning waste.”  The consortium responsible for the project consists of AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals, Air Liquide, and Enerkem.


 

By Lauren M. Graham, Ph.D.

On February 13, 2018, Neste, a member of BRAG, announced that the Western Contra Costa Transit Authority (WestCAT) will operate exclusively on Neste MY Renewable DieselTM.  WestCAT is a California public transportation service that serves the cities of Pinole and Hercules, as well as communities along the eastern edge of San Francisco Bay.  The entire fleet of 45 heavy duty buses, which operates 14 fixed routes and carries over 1.3 million passengers annually, will switch from petroleum diesel to renewable diesel.  In addition to a reduction in emissions from the fleet, WestCAT observed cleaner operation of their bus engines and a significant reduction in the maintenance needed for the emissions equipment and internal engine components due to the use of Neste MY Renewable Diesel.


 

By Lauren M. Graham, Ph.D.

On February 12, 2018, Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) announced a strategic partnership with Versalis, a producer of polymers and elastomers, to develop a comprehensive technology package to commercialize guayule in the agricultural, sustainable-rubber, and renewable-chemical sectors.  Through the agreement, Bridgestone and Versalis will develop proprietary, highly productive varieties of guayule using the latest genetic technologies to position guayule as an attractive and profitable crop for independent growers.  The process technologies will be optimized at the Bridgestone Biorubber Process Research Center (BPRC) in Mesa, Arizona.  Versalis will lead the product development activities to monetize the guayule rubber production.  The technology developed through the partnership is intended to be made available to industrial partners willing to cooperate in maximizing the value of these innovative products.  According to Nizar Trigui, Chief Technology Officer at Bridgestone, the collaboration supports Bridgestone’s goal of developing new, domestic, and sustainable sources for natural rubber and of manufacturing products from raw materials that are fully renewable and sustainable by 2050.


 

 
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