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 November 16, 2015, The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) of South Africa called for submissions of Statements of Interest focusing on the demonstration of 2nd and 3rd generation biofuel production technologies. TIA manages the Biofuels Technology Demonstration Programme (BTDP) on behalf of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and is looking to support South African advanced biofuel production technology. To submit a proposal, applicants must be South African citizens, be preexisting legal entities, operate primary technology development activities in South Africa, and have the necessary contractual capacity to work with TIA. Proposals for funding must be submitted online by November 30, 2015, at 4:00 p.m. (UTC+2:00).


 

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.


 
United, "United Airlines Purchases Stake In Fulcrum BioEnergy With $30 Million Investment"
Microvi, "Innovative Microvi Bio-Ethanol Technology Validated At Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory"
Avantium, "Avantium's PEF Plastic At The EXPO 2015 In Milan"
The Swedish Knowledge Centre for Renewable Transportation Fuels, "New Research Programs For Cheaper And More Efficient Biofuels"
IOPScience: Environmental Research Letters, "Comparative Water Use By Maize, Perennial Crops, Restored Prairie, And Poplar Trees In The US Midwest"
International Renewable Energy Agency, "Renewable Energy Can Unlock Socio-Economic Benefits for Islands, IRENA Reports Find"
International Renewable Energy Agency, "New IRENA Platform Supports Renewable Energy Innovation, Quality and Collaboration"
UPM, "UPM Showcases The Biofore Concept Car At ZELLCHEMING-Expo 2015"
Eco Composites, "Bio Focus At Composites Europe 2015"

The articles featured in "Other News" are drawn from a number of sources and reflect media coverage of biobased and renewable products and companies. An article's inclusion does not imply that BRAG endorses, supports, or verifies its contents or expressed opinions. Factual errors are the responsibility of the listed publication.


 

On June 17, 2015, the Australian government made a bipartisan agreement to tax Australian-produced biodiesel and ethanol. Cleaner fuel grants for renewable and biobased diesel fuels will end by July 1, 2015, as will the Ethanol production grant. An excise rate on biodiesel will be phased in starting in 2015-2016 at zero percent, and will increase annually, eventually reaching 50 percent of the diesel excise rate in 2030-2031. The Biofuels Association of Australia approved of the agreement, saying it will "allow the industry to focus on the longer term and provides a sustainable footing for the biofuels industry to grow and delivers on the government objective of moving biofuels into the excise framework."


 
Uganda Media Centre, "Cabinet pproves The Biofuels Bill, 2014"
National Marine Manufacturers Association, "Recreational Boating Industry Turning to Biobutanol as Alternative Biofuel"
University of Manchester, "Mould Unlocks New Route to Biofuels"
KiwiNet, "KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards 2015 Winners Announced"
Phys.org, "Straw-Insulated Houses Beat Petroleum-Based Alternatives"

 

On June 11, 2015, the European Union (EU) provided UPM's ValChem project with €13.1 million to demonstrate the wood to chemicals value chain. ValChem is working to produce chemical building blocks and lignin from wood, resulting in a sustainable integrated process to produce economically viable biochemicals. UPM will work with Sekab, METabolic EXplorer, and Technische Universität Darmstadt on the ValChem project, which has a budget of €18.5 million. ValChem will use sustainably sourced wood in demonstration plants of the project partners to convert the wood to sugars, produce biobased mono propylene glycol from the sugars, and finally produce lignin based chemicals. This project is part of a joint undertaking between the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) and the EU to increase investment in Europe's sustainable bio-based industry.


 

On June 1, 2015, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) voted to pass the new Low iLUC Risk Biomass Criteria and Compliance Indicators standard. The standard was approved as an optional module for those undergoing RSB certification, and will be used to show that biomass is produced with low indirect land use change (iLUC), resulting in little impact on food production and biodiversity. It is important to demonstrate how iLUC in order to prove that a biobased alternative to a traditional product is better for the environment than the original product. iLUC takes into account the indirect carbon emissions released due to expansion of croplands for biomass production, in part due to clearance of forest areas.


 

On May 20, 2015, the European Parliament voted to reject a plan that would eliminate the requirement for import licenses of ethanol of agricultural origin. The plan was rejected with a vote of 486 to 164 amid concerns that the loss of ethanol import data that came from the licenses would negatively impact anti-dumping duty cases. The anti-dumping duties were implemented in February 2013, and are valid through February 2018. The duties require $83.03 per metric ton of U.S. ethanol that is exported to European Union (EU) countries. The continuation of ethanol import licenses also ensures transparency, and that current information about the evolution of the ethanol market is available to regulators and other interested organizations.


 

On April 29, 2015, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) released a draft standard titled "Low iLUC Risk Biomass Criteria and Compliance Indicators" that will allow producers to show that they generate biofuels crops with a low-risk of indirect land use change (ILUC). The standards take into account yield increase, unused or degraded land, use of waste or residues, and integrated sugarcane and cattle production. The RSB standard is intended to be used in conjunction with the new European Union (EU) ILUC amendment that has provisions for low-ILUC biofuels. The standard will be released in final at the RSB general assembly meeting June 1, 2015, in Geneva, Switzerland, and is currently open to public comments.

Tags: biomass, EU

 

On April 28, 2015, the European Parliament approved a draft law restricting crop-based biofuels in order to encourage production of advanced biofuels with low-risk ILUC and cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The law, that was discussed in the April 23, 2015, Biobased and Renewable Products Update, applies to legislation requiring EU Member States ensure that at least 10 percent of energy used in transport by 2020 is renewable. Under the new law, no more than 7 percent of energy consumption by 2020 can be first-generation biofuels, resulting in at least 3 percent of energy consumption coming from advanced biofuel. The law also requires the reporting of GHG emissions caused by ILUC and the publication of data on ILUC-related emissions. Member States have until 2017 to enact the legislation.


 
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