– by Jennifer A. Dlouhy and Mario Parker, June 7, 2018, Bloomberg News
A 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.”
– by James Q. Lynch, November 24, 2017, Globe Gazette
The Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to deny attempts to change Renewable Fuel Standard rules is good news for the ethanol industry and fuel retailers who would have had to assume responsibility for blending ethanol with gasoline, according Iowa officials who opposed the changes.
“This is the right policy conclusion and I’m glad to see it happening,” Sen. Chuck Grassley said about the EPA decision announced Wednesday. “This decision puts the issue to bed, and certainty is so important. It’s a decision from the EPA that sides with the integrity of the RFS.”
– by Katie Cantle, November 22, 2017, Air Transport World
Photo: Xinhua News Agency
Hainan Airlines Boeing 787-8 has completed China’s first intercontinental passenger flight with sustainable fuel produced from waste cooking oil from restaurants in China by Sinopec.
According to Xinhua News Agency, Hainan Airlines flight 497 flew from Beijing to Chicago O’Hare International Airport Nov. 21 after flying more than 11,000 km (6,835 miles).
– by Brittany Ruess, November 1, 2017, Columbia Daily Tribune
A proposed more than $27 million electric power project would put the city of Columbia much closer to its future renewable energy goals and likely prompt a bond issue to cover the costs, city officials said Wednesday.
Christian Johanningmeier, the city’s power production superintendent, presented preliminary details of the project to the Water and Light Advisory Board on Wednesday. The project would convert an existing boiler at the city’s century-old municipal power plant, which stopped burning coal in 2015, into a biomass fueled power plant.
– by Erin Voegele, October 30, 2017, Biomass Magazine
The U.S. Department of Energy has announced an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee on Nov. 15-16 in Washington, D.C.
According to information published in the Federal Register, the meeting aims to develop advice and guidance that promotes research and development leading to the production of biobased fuels and products. The agenda is expected to include an update on USDA and DOE biomass research and development activities and presentations from industry, national laboratories, and federal agencies on improving feedstock supply chain cost and efficiency and upgrading of biomass into feedstocks.
READ MORE at Biomass Magazine
– January 24, 2017, 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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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.