Category Archives: GMO

[NEWS] Beet Ethanol Refinery Breaks Ground in North Dakota

– by Lisa Gibson, August 22, 2018, Ethanol Producer Magazine

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Photo: Lisa Gibson / BBI International

An ethanol plant that will process sugar beet tailings, as well as potato and pasta processing waste held a groundbreaking ceremony Aug. 22, despite the fact that construction already has begun on the 11-acre site. “We’ve already started some of the activities on this site, so this is more ceremonial,” said Kashev Rajpal, of BioMass Solution. “But we wanted to take time out to celebrate.”

BioMass Solution’s plant in Grand Forks, North Dakota, will use up to 500,000 tons annually of the process wastes, producing 16.5 MMgy of ethanol and generating D3 and D5 renewable identification numbers (RINs). The plant will use sugar beet processing technology developed by Biotechnika, which has one sugar beet ethanol plant operating in Poland. The process, according to Jacek Chmielewski, principal of BioMass Solution, is much like the corn-to-ethanol process, once the feedstock hits the fermentation step. The difference is in the feedstock processing.

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[NEWS] Imperiled Biofuel Overhaul Plan Not Dead

– by Jennifer A. Dlouhy and Mario Parker, June 7, 2018, Bloomberg News

biodiesel-pump-truck-driver_0A day after a tentative agreement to overhaul U.S. biofuel policy appeared to collapse amid farm-state concerns, EPA chief Scott Pruitt met to discuss the issue with the lead senator pushing for the changes: Ted Cruz.

Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, declined to comment on the June 6 meeting, but Cruz said it included discussion about the Renewable Fuel Standard and had been planned well before reports June 4 that a White House-brokered accord was unraveling. Cruz stressed that a deal to overhaul the biofuel policy could be revived.

“The conversations are ongoing,” Cruz said. “And I continue to believe that there is a positive win-win solution for everyone.”

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[NEWS] Enzyme Shows Promise for Efficiently Converting Plants to Biofuels

– January 24, 2017, Phys.org

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Graphic: Phys.org

To make biofuels, tiny microbes can be used to break down plant cells. As part of that digestive process, specialized enzymes break down cellulose—a major molecule that makes plant cell walls rigid. Scientists showed that an enzyme, from the bacterial glycoside hydrolase family 12, plays an unexpectedly important role in breaking down a hard-to-degrade crystalline form of cellulose. Surprisingly, the enzyme breaks apart the cellulose via a random mechanism unlike other hydrolases.

Breaking down cellulose is a major challenge in developing more efficient strategies for converting plant biomass to fuels and chemicals. The discovery of a specialized enzyme that is highly effective at breaking down rigid plant cell wall components could be harnessed to solve this challenge.

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[AUDIO] Cellulosic Biofuels, Food Security and Land Rights (Kelly Stone, ActionAid USA)

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Cellulosic Biofuels, Food Security and Land Rights 

On December 15 we spoke with Kelly Stone, Policy Analyst for ActionAid USA, who discusses a new cellulosic biofuels paper along with concerns related to food security and land rights.

 

[NEWS] EPA Issues Final Renewable Fuel Standard Volumes for Ethanol

– November 26, 2016, Farm and Dairy

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Photo: Farm and Dairy

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finalized the increases in renewable fuel volume requirements across all categories of biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.

In a required annual rulemaking, the Nov. 23 action finalizes the volume requirements and associated percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel for 2017, and for biomass-based diesel for 2018.

“Renewable fuel volumes continue to increase across the board compared to 2016 levels,” said Janet McCabe, the agency’s acting assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. “These final standards will boost production, providing for ambitious yet achievable growth of biofuels in the transportation sector.”

READ MORE at Farm and Dairy

[NEWS] White House Decarbonization Report Addresses Bioenergy

– by Erin Voegele, November 16, 2016, Biomass Magazine

whitehouse_decarbonizationThe White House has published a mid-century strategy on decarbonization that addresses biofuels and bioenergy. On Nov. 16, the report was filed with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change under the Paris climate deal.

The White House committed to release the strategy, titled “United States Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization,” in March. At that time, the administration made a joint statement with Canada that indicated the two countries would work together to implement the Paris agreement as soon as feasible. In addition to implementing their respective Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, the leaders of both countries also committed to completing mid-century, long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies pursuant to the agreement.

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[NEWS] South Dakota Ethanol Refinery Cited for Safety Violations After Worker’s Death

– November 3, 2016, CBS Minnesota

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POET biorefining (Photo: POET)

Federal investigators have found multiple safety violations at a South Dakota ethanol refinery expansion project following the death of a worker in May.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says it cited the worker’s employer, North Dakota-based Bilfinger-Westcon, with five major safety violations.

Investigators found the 38-year-old pipefitter was removing a vent line May 6 when 190-proof ethanol spilled onto him, flowed through a grated floor and was ignited by welding operations on a lower floor. The fire engulfed the man.

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