Utah Company Offers New Biodiesel Processor

argofuelslogoA Utah-based company is offering a better biodiesel processor. Argo Fuels has developed the NanoCatalyst fuel processor, which that improves air quality while reducing the economic and environmental costs of petroleum.

Unlike traditional refineries, this process is scalable and portable with an ultra-low carbon footprint. An entire processor with an eight million gallon-per-year output capacity can be packed into a single forty-foot shipping container.

Cutting energy costs in half, this processor can reach full reaction in four minutes, a significant reduction compared to existing processes (which take up to two hours). As one of only a few companies able to rely wholly upon second generation feedstocks, Argo Fuels can efficiently create fuel from otherwise unusable wastes. Synthetic diesel produced in this way burns ninety percent cleaner than petroleum diesel; even a twenty percent blend with petroleum diesel reduces C02 emissions alone by fifteen percent.

Ray Dellinger, inventor of the NanoCatalyst™ Processor, is the founder and CEO of Argo Fuels. He is confident that these innovations can improve air quality along the Wasatch Front.

“The potential benefits from the NanoCatalyst™ are incredible,” Dellinger explains. “If consumers want a safe, high-quality alternative to petroleum-based diesel, this project paves the way for clean fuel, cleaner air, and sustainable energy that doesn’t break the bank.”

RFA Sponsors Ethanol-Powered Boat Race

RFAboats1Boat racers were able to show the power of ethanol recently. This news release from the Renewable Fuels Association says the group, along with East Kansas Agri-Energy and the Kansas Corn Commission, sponsored the National Boat Racing Association’s (NBRA) annual Garnett Ethanol Hydroplane Shootout in Garnett, Kansas, running on Lake Garnett with ethanol-powered hydroplanes.

The Shootout is a popular family attraction that also demonstrates the benefits that ethanol brings to the performance of a marine engine. E10 is approved for use by all boat manufacturers for their engines. The NBRA, which represents more than 250 drivers in 30 states, has used E10 as its primary fuel source for years and has a long history of breaking records with the fuel blend.

“We were happy to again sponsor this event to help dispel any myths boat owners might have had about using ethanol in their engines,” said Robert White, RFA’s vice president of industry relations. “E15 has become a negative buzzword in the marine world, but it is a fuel not approved for boats. Many people still don’t know that E10 is a perfectly safe fuel for boats, and this event by the NBRA demonstrates that. We always tell boaters to review their owner’s manuals and to read fuel dispenser labels — hopefully the same practice they have with their cars, trucks and SUVs. Consumers can have the same high performance outcome as these racers if they just follow this advice.”

“EKAE is a proud supporter of this national event. The Garnett Ethanol Hydroplane Shootout proves to ethanol newcomers that E10 is great not only for the average motorboat, but for high-performance marine engines like the ones showcased on Lake Garnett,” said Jeff Oestmann, president and CEO of East Kansas Agri-Energy. “These races cast an important spotlight onto an industry significant to both the state of Kansas and our entire nation. Ethanol and boats do mix, and we’re excited so many people turned out to witness it for themselves.”

Lagosur to Export Biodiesel to Latin America

Florida-based Lagosur says it will export biodiesel to Latin America. The company says it has aligned with customers in Peru, Bolivia and Chile to receive shipments of biodiesel and is working to launch various initiatives to bring state-of-the-art biodiesel generation technology to Latin America countries.

“We are proud to extend Lagosur’s business and thought leadership by exporting badly needed biodiesel to parts of Latin America not currently able to generate their own supply,” said Jorge Abukhalil, Lagosur’s Executive Vice President Business Development for Latin American Business. “We look forward to providing further value to our customers across Latin America by helping them to meet the growing energy demands for their business in a way that is both economical as well as environmentally responsible. “

San Francisco to Use Renewable Diesel in City Fleet

leeSan Francisco is converting its city fleet to renewable diesel. This news release from Mayor Edwin Lee’s office says the city expects great savings on harmful emissions as it phases out petroleum diesel.

“By changing our fleet’s fuel from petroleum to renewable diesel, we’re taking action that is good for the global climate, and at the same time promotes environmental justice in our community by leading to cleaner, healthier air for some of our most vulnerable neighborhoods,” said Mayor Lee. “And, because of the State and Federal governments’ incentives to producers to manufacture low carbon fuels, this switch can potentially reduce our City’s fuel costs. The City of Saint Francis is answering the Pope’s call for local action on global climate change.”

Mayor Lee made the announcement in Vatican City at the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences’ Modern Slavery & Climate Change: The Commitment of the Cities conference, joining Pope Francis, Governor Jerry Brown, representatives of the United Nations and mayors and local governors from around the world to drive awareness, dialogue and action at the local level on climate change and modern slavery – two pressing, interconnected issues highlighted in the Pope’s encyclical, Laudato Si’.

“By switching to renewable diesel for the entire municipal fleet, the City is providing real solutions to climate change that helps San Francisco reach our ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and create a more sustainable future,” said City Administrator Naomi Kelly.

San Francisco started on the path of transitioning away from petroleum diesel and using cleaner forms of diesel fuel a half-dozen years ago by transitioning to a blend of biodiesel. Currently, most of the municipal fleet uses B20, 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel.

Bi-Partisan Group of Senators Want Biodiesel Growth

nBBThirty-six U.S. senators from both sides of the political aisle urged the Obama administration to strengthen biodiesel volumes in a pending Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) proposal from the EPA. The National Biodiesel Board welcomed the call.

“While the proposal is a positive step for biodiesel, we remain concerned that the proposed biodiesel volumes for 2016 and 2017 fail to adequately recognize the domestic biodiesel industry’s production capacity and its ability to increase production,” the senators wrote in a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and other administration officials. “Biodiesel is the first EPA-designated advanced biofuel under the RFS to reach commercial scale production nationwide. It is exceeding the goals that Congress envisioned when it created the RFS with bipartisan support in 2005, while creating jobs, generating tax revenues, reducing pollution, and improving energy security. We urge you to support continued growth in the domestic biodiesel industry by making reasonable and sustainable increases in the biodiesel volumes for 2016 and 2017 in the final rule.”

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) led the letter, which was signed by Democrats and Republicans from 24 states.

“We want to thank Sens. Grassley, Murray, Blunt and Heitkamp for their leadership on this effort, as well as all of the senators who supported it,” said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs. “It’s not every day that you have Republicans and Democrats from such a diverse group of states uniting around an issue like this. We hope the EPA and the White House will listen and improve this proposal before it is finalized later this year.”

The current RFS proposal calls for a gradual rise in biodiesel volumes by about 100 million gallons per year to a standard of 1.9 billion gallons in 2017. NBB had requested more aggressive growth to a biodiesel standard of 2.7 billion gallons by 2017, along with additional growth in the overall Advanced Biofuel category.

Renewable Tax Credits Before Committee

grassley-head1A Senate committee will consider a package of tax credits for wind, biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa included the tax incentives in the bipartisan tax extenders bill the Finance Committee will consider today.

“Certainty and predictability in tax policy are both important for retaining and creating jobs,” Grassley said. “The Finance Committee leaders deserve credit for getting an early start on extending tax provisions. The energy items not only help support jobs. They also support the renewable energy that consumers want for a cleaner environment and energy independence. The higher education deduction helps families and students afford college.”

The inclusion of the wind energy provision comes after Grassley urged the committee chairman to include it, noting it deserves a fair shake compared to many long-standing tax provisions benefiting non-renewable energy sources. Grassley authored and won enactment of the first-ever wind energy production tax credit in 1992. The incentive was designed to give wind energy the ability to compete against coal-fired and nuclear energy and helped to launch the wind energy industry. He has worked to extend the credit ever since.

Renewable production tax credit. Under the provision, taxpayers can claim a 2.3 cent per kilowatt hour tax credit for wind and other renewable electricity produced for a 10-year period from a facility that has commenced construction by the end of 2014 (the production tax credit). They can also elect to take a 30 percent investment tax credit instead of the production tax credit. The bill extends these credits through December 31, 2016.

Cellulosic biofuels producer tax credit. Under the provision, facilities producing cellulosic biofuels can claim a $1.01 per gallon production tax credit on fuel produced before the end of 2014. The bill would extend this production tax credit for two additional years, for cellulosic biofuels produced through 2016.

Incentives for biodiesel and renewable diesel. The bill extends for two years, through 2016, the $1.00 per gallon tax credit for biodiesel, as well as the small agri-biodiesel producer credit of 10 cents per gallon. The bill also extends through 2016 the $1.00 per gallon tax credit for diesel fuel created from biomass.

REG Upgrading Illinois Biodiesel Plant

REGRenewable Energy Group is investing $31 million to upgrade and enhance the company’s Danville, Illinois biodiesel refinery. This company news release says the improvements will add biodiesel distillation capabilities to the 45-million gallon nameplate capacity biorefinery, as well as making pretreat capacity improvements, along with storage, logistics and other optimization enhancements.

“REG Danville already has a proven record of success as part of our network of multi-feedstock biorefineries,” said Daniel J. Oh, President and CEO. “Enhancing the capabilities here, as we have done at several of our other plants, can allow REG to provide greater volumes of lower cost, lower carbon, higher quality advanced biofuel to our customers that increases energy security, food security and environmental benefits for North America.”

The distillation process removes impurities and leaves behind a pure form of biomass-based diesel that far exceeds industry quality standards, while meeting REG’s more rigorous REG-9000™ specifications. The fuel also performs better in colder temperatures.

“These upgrades increase this biorefinery’s strong and healthy appetite for lower cost, waste feedstocks which are sourced locally and regionally from our supply chain partners,” said Brad Albin, Vice President, Manufacturing.

REG bought the Danville biorefinery in 2010. During the upgrade, 80-100 full-time contract workers will add to the current 34 full-time workers at the plant.

This is the sixth major biorefinery enhancement REG has undertaken since late 2012, following completed upgrades at their Albert Lea, Minnesota, Seneca, Ilinois, Mason City and Newton, Iowa biodiesel plants and ongoing improvements at the Company’s renewable hydrocarbon diesel biorefinery in Geismar, Louisiana.

Santa Monica Converts Buses to Natural Gas

bigbluebus1The City of Santa Monica, California, is the one of the first municipal transit systems to convert its fleet to renewable natural gas (RNG). This news release from Clean Energy says it is supplying the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to the Big Blue Bus fleet.

Big Blue Bus has been fueling its LNG and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fleet of motor coaches with fuel supplied by Clean Energy since 2012. The process of harvesting and processing Redeem™ provides a product that has fewer impurities than conventional natural gas and is a cleaner burning fuel source.

“City Council has voiced its support for non-fracked, sustainable sources of fuel, and Redeem™ delivers a fuel made entirely of waste; a more sustainable product at an equal cost. This makes BBB’s partnership with Clean Energy to use the Redeem™ fuel a win-win solution,” said BBB’s Transit Director, Ed King.

“Big Blue Bus is a leader in sustainability and our ability to partner with it and provide a completely recyclable natural gas fueling option helps reduce emissions locally and shows other cities the power in using Redeem™ renewable fuel,” said Peter Grace, Clean Energy’s senior vice president for sales and finance.

Enogen Corn for Ethanol Growers to Get Rebates

syngentaGrowers of Syngenta‘s Enogen corn, especially designed for ethanol production, will get rebates on some of their agricultural equipment. Chief Agri/Industrial Division will provide Enogen corn growers rebates on grain bins and other equipment.

A growing demand for high ethanol-yielding grain is creating the potential for corn growers to increase their income per acre. Earlier this year, Syngenta introduced the Ethanol Grain Quality Solution (EGQS), an initiative that includes agronomic protocols and best practices specifically designed to contribute to higher yields, improved grain quality and more ethanol per bushel.

“Grain quality requires attention to detail,” said Roger Townsend, President of Chief Agri/Industrial Division. “The goal should be to minimize quality deterioration at each step of production and during postharvest. We look forward to working with Enogen growers to help them maximize grain quality and return on investment.”

“Corn is the single biggest input cost for an ethanol plant, and ethanol yield per bushel is one of the biggest drivers of plant profitability,” said Guy Hartwig, head of Enogen grain operations at Syngenta. “Increasingly, ethanol plants are seeking not just clean, dry corn with little or no damage and foreign material, but also grain with quality characteristics that can maximize ethanol production per bushel, including more accessible starch. Chief’s industry-leading grain-handling technology and best-in-class customer service will help Enogen growers maximize profitability, while helping to support the ethanol industry.”

Chief’s stiffened bins have a great reputation for superior strength, durability and ease of installation. Greater access to technology and expertise from Chief will enable Enogen growers to provide ethanol plants with more high-quality corn.

DuPont Signs Cellulosic Ethanol Deal with Chinese Co.

dupontchina1DuPont and Chinese company New Tianlong Industry Co. (NTL) have signed an historic deal that will bring cellulosic ethanol to China. This DuPont news release says the agreement allows NTL to license DuPont’s cellulosic ethanol technology and use DuPont Accellerase enzymes to produce renewable biofuel from the leftover biomass on Jilin Province’s highly productive corn farms.

Combining NTL’s ethanol production expertise with processing technology, technical support and world-class enzymes supplied by DuPont, NTL will be able to produce cellulosic renewable fuel for the rapidly growing Chinese liquid biofuel market, which is projected to exceed 1.7 billion gallons per year by 2020.

“As we bring online the largest and most sophisticated cellulosic facility in the world in the State of Iowa in the United States, we are simultaneously working with leaders who share the same vision of producing the next generation of clean renewable fuels in their region,” said Jan Koninckx, global biofuels leader for DuPont Industrial Biosciences. “We are honored to have found such a strong partner in NTL. The company’s reputation for producing world-class grain ethanol makes it a superior candidate to put DuPont’s advanced technology to work to realize the additional economic and environmental benefits of cellulosic biofuel in China.”

“With its history of scientific innovation, collaboration and commitment to the ethanol industry, DuPont is an ideal partner for New Tianlong in our quest to bring the cleanest renewable fuel on the planet to China,” said SUN Guojing, general manager of NTL. “We look forward to working with DuPont over the coming years as we develop the biomass supply chain, construct a world-class facility, and produce fuel that delivers on the promise of reduced pollution and greenhouse gases. This project will augment our current excellent grade ethanol offerings and business and will make NTL the preeminent biofuel product supplier in China.”

This deal is expected to fill China’s aggressive goals for renewable energy, cutting its reliance on foreign oil and increasing employment opportunities for its large rural population.