- Redshift, “Bamboo Transcends the Tropics for Carbon-Negative Construction”
- New Age, “Trump’s EPA Grants 31 Refinery Waivers from Biofuel Laws, Angering Corn Lobby”
- Plastemart.com, “New Bio-Based Thermoplastic Adhesive for the Bonding of Compostable Plastic Coating”
- AgWeek, “EPA Official Talks about Future of Biofuels and Carbon Sequestration”
- FoodBev Media, “Unilever Debuts Magnum Tubs Created from Recycled Plastic”
- Tech Explorist, “Solar Energy Turns into Biofuel without Solar Cells”
- Fast Company, “This Startup Created Compostable Plastic Wrap That’s Made from Shellfish Shells”
- newsnow, “New Zealand’s Gene Editing Laws Need an Overhaul, Country’s Top Scientific Body Says”
- Food Processing, “USDA Mulls Organic Gene-Altered Crops”
- The Intelligencer, “Buckingham Center Offers Biotech Startups $50 Million”
- Science Codex, “Solar Energy Becomes Biofuel without Solar Cells”
- ScienceDirect, “Development of a Biorefinery Scheme to Produce Biofuels from Waste Cooking Oil”
- Sierra Sun Times, “U.S. Senators Renew Bipartisan Effort to Repeal Ethanol Mandate”
- Feedstuffs, “EPA Issued RFS Exemptions against DOE Advice”
- The Philadelphia Inquirer, “Trump Administration Official Visits Delaware County Refinery to Hear Gripes about Ethanol”
- Forbes, “Researchers Develop Technology to Harness Energy from Mixing of Freshwater and Seawater”
- Business Recorder, “US Ethanol Industry Nearing Breaking Point”
- The Hindu Business Line, “Adding Sugar and Salt to Catalyse Production of Biofuels”
- Successful Farming, “Update 1 – EPA Chief Defends Biofuel Waivers in Meeting with Farm Senators – Sources”
By Lynn L. Bergeson
On July 22, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) highlighted small businesses funding under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Having received $43.6 million in funding from DOE thus far, small businesses continue to grow as DOE announces Phase II awards. Last week, DOE announced Phase II Release grants that demonstrate commercial feasibility for innovations during the second phase of small businesses’ research. Nine EERE technology offices will fund 42 awards ranging from $975,000 to $1,150,000, with a two-year duration.
- World Economic Forum, “Cheese Energy Could Power Hundreds of UK Homes”
- Iran Front Page, “Iran Ready to Tackle Biotechnology Sanctions: VP”
- Digital Journal, “Switching to Biobased Plastics: IDTechEx Research Asks Why So Slow?”
- The Yucatan Times, “Yucatan Cenotes to Be Sanitized with Biotechnology”
- World Economic Forum, “Your Next Pair of Sneakers Could Be Made from Coffee”
- CleanTechnica, “NextEra Energy Predicts 50% Renewable Energy in US by 2030”
- inhabitat, “Sustainable Toiletries Packaged in Soap Aim to Eliminate Single-use Plastics”
- Futurism, “A Finnish Startup Is Making Food Out of Carbon Dioxide”
- Progressive Farmer, “Agencies Continue to Modernize Biotech”
- laboratory news, “Algal Biofuels Face Diverse Pathogens”
By Lynn L. Bergeson
On July 10, 2019, Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Representatives Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Bill Foster (D-IL) reintroduced the STRONGER (Support Technology & Research for Our Nation’s Growth and Economic Resilience) Patents Act of 2019. This legislation, an improvement on legislation introduced last year under the same name, would reform the inter partes post-grant review process, ensure all fees paid to the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) are used for their intended purposes, and protect patent holders and small businesses from predatory demand letters. The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) has come out in favor of this bill, stating, “Without strong patent rights, the financing to take revolutionary biotechnology discoveries from the lab to the patient, farmer, and consumer would be unavailable. Weak or inconsistent patent protections threaten new investment in the innovation sector of our economy and, with it, the jobs and industries of the future.”
By Lynn L. Bergeson
On July 8, 2019, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) announced the winners of the Consider Corn Challenge II, a challenge intended to highlight the range of biobased materials that can be produced with field corn feedstock. The three winners included:
- ExoPolymer, Inc. for a plan to create a new profile of customizable, polysaccharide-based hydrocolloids that are domestically produced by microbial fermentation using corn sugar as a feedstock. These new hydrocolloids will meet the growing needs and performance gaps in the healthcare, personal care, food, pharmaceutical and energy industries.
- Sumatra Biorenewables, LLC for the development and production of novel monomers that are incorporated into polyamides and polyesters to provide tensile strength and low water absorption. These superior performance-advantaged materials have wide-ranging applications in the specialty nylon's industry. Opportunities include improved hydrophobicity, anti-static, flame-retardant, or have tuned mechanical strength to meet customer specifications.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service: National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, IL, for a plan to use emulsifiers, polymer films, and coatings made from corn starch and vegetable oil rather than petroleum.
The diversification of biobased uses for field corn is important in an industry that is working to move away from ethanol production as second-generation biofuel technologies become more advanced and prove to be more sustainable than earlier biofuel types. Nebraska farmer and NCGA Feed Food and Industrial Action Team Chair Dan Wesely said of the challenge, “It is encouraging for farmers to know that companies are looking for more environmentally friendly alternatives for biobased products.”
By Lynn L. Bergeson
On June 27, 2019, the Government of Canada’s Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) opened the application process for a grant to develop next generation biobased foam insulation products. Called the Plastics Challenge, this funding opportunity seeks solutions that result in foam insulation products (either spray foam or rigid foam board) that:
- Are predominantly derived from Canadian forest residue;
- Have similar insulation values (within 20 percent) as currently available petroleum-based versions;
- Would have similar cost (within 20 percent) as currently available versions;
- Are less flammable;
- Are fully recyclable at end of life; and
- Would generate less GHG emissions during manufacturing.
Applications must be submitted prior to 2:00 p.m. (EDT), August 27, 2019.