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 3, 2018, the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) announced that companies from Argentina and Indonesia will face new anti-dumping duties after findings by the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) that imports of biodiesel at less than fair value materially injured the U.S. biodiesel industry. Commerce determined that the Argentinian and Indonesian imports were sold in the U.S. at dumping margins of up to 86.41 percent and 276.65 percent, respectively. A full report containing the views of USITC and information developed during the investigations will be available by May 7, 2018, and will be accessible via the USITC website.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On April 6, 2018, a coalition of biofuel producers wrote to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) urging them to reach out to President Trump to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. EPA, under the direction of Administrator Scott Pruitt, recently provided a large oil refining company, Andeavor, with a hardship waiver. These waivers are typically given to small refineries producing less than 75,000 barrels per day that would suffer a “disproportionate economic hardship” from the costs of RFS compliance. Since Andeavor’s exemption was reported, Renewable Identification Number (RIN) prices have fallen significantly, questions have arisen regarding the legality of such an exemption for a large company, and doubt has been cast onto the future stability of the RFS program.

The producers’ letter states:

Based on the data that has been made public about 2016 exemptions, IRFA estimates that the 25 exemptions for 2017 likely equate to over one billion gallons of demand destruction taken directly from the 15-billion-gallon RFS level for last year.
 
This represents an unprecedented attack on the RFS and the President’s commitment to defending the 15-billion-gallon level. The small refinery exemption provision of the RFS was clearly intended for small refiners who could prove disproportionate economic harm. Such waivers were, as one would expect, few and far between during the Bush and Obama Administrations. We are now seeing that Pruitt has weaponized the small refinery exemption provision in an effort to effectively render the RFS useless.
 

In addition to concern over Andeavor’s hardship waiver, the biofuel producers also request that the senators push the President to refuse any waiver or price cap on RINs and order Administrator Pruitt to approve year-round E15 sales, increasing the amount of RFS credits generated and driving price of RINs down.


 

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On March 29, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in a Federal Register notice it is seeking public comment on the use of isobutanol in gasoline.  EPA specifically seeks comment on issues to consider regarding an application submitted by Butamax Advanced Biofuels, LLC (Butamax), a manufacturer of isobutanol, pursuant to the regulations titled “Registration of Fuels and Fuel Additives” for the registration of isobutanol as a gasoline additive at up to 16 volume percent, and any supplemental actions EPA should consider under the Clean Air Act (CAA). EPA states that Butamax’s information would likely satisfy the applicable registration requirements, and, due to the likelihood of this registration, there is potential for the widespread introduction of isobutanol into commerce.  Further information on biobutanol, the common name for isobutanol made from renewable sources, is available in the Federal Register notice.  Comments are due by April 30, 2018.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

ASTM International’s energizing fuels division recently passed an Alcohol To Jet (ATJ) ethanol based specification ballot measure that will allow jet fuel, produced from ethanol under the ATJ process, to be sold commercially on a global basis.  ASTM D7566 had previously permitted ethanol as a feedstock for Aviation Turbine Fuel with a maximum final fuel blend of 50 percent, but now permits a full replacement of the hydrocarbon fuel. This change opens the door to the use of more drop-in fuels used as alternatives to fossil fuels.  Kevin Weiss, CEO of Byogy Renewables, stated of the change, "it's one thing to have a great commodity product, but without an operative supply chain it's difficult to sell. […] We now have the ability to supplement and leverage the existing downstream petroleum industry with a well distributed ATJ Sustainable Aviation Fuel that can be produced anywhere by building on the existing global ethanol supply chain.”


 

 

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 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.”


 

 
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