France’s high court rules in favor of ending tax benefits for palm oil diesel

France’s Constitutional Council, the highest constitutional authority in the country, ruled in favor of excluding palm oil from the list of biofuels that enjoy tax incentives. The decision enters into force on 1 January, 2020. Oil company Total has estimated it is worth between €70 million and €80 million per... Read more →


A new Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) report describes the top ten biofuel-derived blendstock candidates. These top candidates, when blended with petroleum and used in a boosted spark ignition (BSI) engine, will offer environmental benefits and boost energy efficiency all while being available at a competitive price. One of... Read more →


Neste to open office for growing Renewable Aviation business; launching Neste MY Renewable Diesel in the Netherlands

Neste, the world’s leading provider of renewable diesel, has opened a new office in Hoofddorp, in greater Amsterdam which will serve as the global hub for the growing Renewable Aviation business. Neste is now also launching Neste MY Renewable Diesel to climate-conscious fleet customers in the Netherlands. The opening of... Read more →


Lufthansa to use Neste sustainable aviation fuel blends on flights departing from Frankfurt

Neste, the world’s leading renewable fuel producer, and Lufthansa are strengthening their collaboration regarding the development of renewable solutions for aviation. As part of the collaboration, Lufthansa will use Neste’s sustainable aviation fuel blended with fossil jet fuel on flights departing from Frankfurt. The first batch of sustainable aviation fuel... Read more →


The DTM has initiated a long-term development program for a emission-reduced high-performance fuel, beginning with trials at this weekend’s season finale, at the Hockenheimring (4-6 October). The special fuel, developed by long-time series partner Aral, consists of 50% high-quality renewable components derived from waste products. As a result, it has... Read more →


Global Bioenergies will soon be receiving €2.6 million and IBN-One €0.5 million in the form of repayable advances, following last July’s achievement of a technical and financial milestone in the ISOPROD project funded by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), which involves Global Bioenergies, Cristal Union and L’Oréal... Read more →


Trucks in the medium/heavy truck category include tractor trailers, also known as combination trucks, and single-unit trucks. In the most recent year for which data are available, combination trucks made up only 1% of the truck population but were responsible for 6% of all vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and 17%... Read more →


Enzymes use cascade reactions to produce complex molecules from comparatively simple raw materials. An international research team has now copied this principle, and used nanoparticles to convert carbon dioxide into ethanol and propanol. The scientists at Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany and the University of New South Wales in Australia transferred... Read more →


The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has approved a new temporary fuel pathway for Alternative Jet Fuel. A fuel-reporting entity approved for use of this pathway may report quantities of fuel to generate credits effective Q2, 2019 and subsequent quarters. Alternative jet fuel is defined as a drop-in fuel, made... Read more →


A team from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Idaho National Laboratory has evaluated the process economics and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the conversion of 11 biomass feedstocks to produce transportation fuels via fast pyrolysis and then pyrolysis oil upgrading via hydrodeoxygenation. An open-access paper on their work appears... Read more →


The Paris Agreement calls for global warming to be limited to 2 ˚C above pre-industrial levels, and preferably 1.5 °C. The fossil CO₂ emitted by road vehicles will have to be reduced to nearly zero over the next three decades for that to happen—a daunting and complex challenge. Electromobility is... Read more →


SEAT to participate in new European project to generate biomethane from waste

SEAT will participate until 2023 in the Life Landfill Biofuel project (recently approved by the European Commission) the goal of which is to obtain renewable gas from municipal landfills. The aim is to achieve more efficient management by obtaining biomethane from an indigenous, abundant energy source. The project will be... Read more →


Stanford/DTU team devises new effective solid-oxide electrochemical cell for CO2 electrolysis

Researchers from Stanford University and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) have engineered and demonstrated a solid-oxide electrochemical cell (SOC) with a porous ceria electrode that achieves stable and selective CO2 electrolysis beyond the thermodynamic carbon deposition threshold. A paper on the work is published in Nature Energy. ow electricity... Read more →


Waterfront Shipping Company Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Methanex Corporation, and Marinvest/Skagerack Invest (Marinvest) announced the delivery of two second-generation methanol fueled vessels—M/T Mari Couva and M/T Mari Kokako—to the Waterfront Shipping fleet. The 49,000 dwt vessels are built with the second generation of MAN B&W ME-LGIM two stroke... Read more →


The US Department of Energy (DOE), through its Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER), has launched a major initiative to develop bioenergy crops through genomics-based research. Danforth Center Principal Investigator, Andrea Eveland, Ph.D., will lead a multi-institutional project under this initiative to deepen the understanding of sorghum, a versatile... Read more →


Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have demonstrated a method to insert genes into a variety of microorganisms that previously would not accept foreign DNA, with the goal of creating custom microbes to break down plants for bioenergy. A new method uses E. coli... Read more →


Ideanomics’ Mobile Energy Group and Petro China partner to develop clean energy fuel stations in Nanjing

Ideanomics Inc. and its strategic Mobile Energy Group (MEG) announced a strategic partnership with the China National Petroleum Corporation Nanjing (CNPC or PetroChina) to begin converting existing fossil fuel gas stations in the city of Nanjing. PetroChina is the world’s third-largest oil company and plays a leading role in energy... Read more →


Gevo and Leaf Resources sign joint development agreement for potential use of cellulosic-derived sugars to convert to hydrocarbon molecules

Gevo, Inc. and Leaf Resources, an Australia-based company and one of the world’s leading companies in converting plant biomass into industrial sugars, have signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA). The JDA is to explore Gevo’s potential use of cellulosic-derived sugars and glycerol from Leaf and the ability to convert these... Read more →


According to the American Public Transit Association (APTA), alternative fuels and advanced hybrid drivetrains powered more than half of all transit buses in 2017 and 2018. In the ten-year period from 2008 to 2018, the share of conventional diesel buses dropped from 70% to 42%. Natural gas and diesel hybrid... Read more →


Gevo develops process to convert isobutanol or fusel oils into renewable diesel

Gevo, Inc. has developed proprietary, breakthrough processes that convert either low-carbon isobutanol or low-value fusel oils—a mixture of alcohols that are byproducts from fermentation processes such as alcohol production—into renewable diesel. Gevo expects this renewable diesel to compete head-to-head on price with natural and petroleum-based equivalents, while reducing particulates and... Read more →


The electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 is often carried out in a liquid electrolyte such as KHCO3(aq), which allows for ion conduction between electrodes. However, as a result, liquid products that form are in a mixture with the dissolved salts, and require energy-intensive downstream separation. Now a team led by researchers... Read more →


Partners of the P2X Kopernikus project on the premises of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany have demonstrated the production of fuel from air-captured CO2 using—for the first time—a container-based test facility integrating all four chemical process steps needed to implement a continuous process. World’s first integrated Power-to-Liquid (PtL)... Read more →


Altalto waste-to-jet fuel plant advances in UK; BA, Shell, Velocys

Altalto Immingham Limited, a subsidiary of renewable fuels company Velocys and a collaboration with British Airways and Shell, has submitted a planning application to develop its site in Immingham, North East Lincolnshire, close to the Humber Estuary. Velocys is leading the development of the project and has assembled all the... Read more →


Rolls-Royce supports power-to-x initiative in Brandenburg; synthetic fuels and chemicals from renewable power

Power Systems business unit signs letter of intent for the construction of a demonstration plant for the production of synthetic fuels Schell: “We will be electrifying the entire system, including the fuel” Important step towards sector coupling and decarbonising propulsion systems and power generation Rolls-Royce intends to support research into... Read more →


Leading global heavy lift shipping and offshore transportation and installation contractor Jumbo, and commercial, sustainable marine biofuel company GoodFuels, are partnering to test Goodfuels’ marine Bio-Fuel Oil on an offshore decommissioning project. Bio-Fuel Oil has already undergone three years of intensive testing with marine engine manufacturers. The second-generation drop-in Bio-Fuel... Read more →


API: total US petroleum demand topped 20.8 mb/d in July, highest since 2005; on-road fuel demand down

Total US petroleum demand averaged 20.8 million barrels per day (mb/d) in July 2019, which represented a 0.9% year-over-year increase and the highest demand for the month since 2005, according to the latest Monthly Statistical Report released by the American Petroleum Institute (API). This was a decrease of 0.9% from... Read more →


Syzygy Plasmonics, a technology company developing the world’s highest performance photocatalyst, raised $5.8 million in Series A funding. The financing was co-led by The Engine and by The GOOSE Society of Texas. Previous investor Evok Innovations was also a major participant in the round. Other participants include angel investors from... Read more →


Gevo enters into purchase and sale agreement for ATJ fuel with Air TOTAL International

Air TOTAL International SA and Gevo have entered into a purchase and sale agreement for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)—specifically, Alcohol-to-Jet, ATJ—for use and distribution in France and other parts of Europe. The three-year offtake agreement may be extended for an additional four years with the consent of both parties. With... Read more →


Coalition requests judicial review of EPA limits on higher ethanol blends

In a joint petition filed with the US Court of Appeals, an alliance of ethanol, agriculture, and clean fuel organizations has requested judicial review of a recent US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rulemaking that would limit ethanol blending and restrict the use of blender pumps. The Urban Air Initiative (UAI)... Read more →


The transportation sector in the US consumes more petroleum than any other sector, and that share has increased over time from about 50% in 1950 to about 70% in 2018, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE). US petroleum consumption increased threefold between 1950 and 2018, from 6.5 million... Read more →


EPA is granting 31 small refinery RFS exemptions for the 2018 compliance year, as well as 6 denials. The estimated volume of gasoline and diesel exempted is 13,420 million gallons; the estimated renewable volume obligations (RVO) exempted is 1,430 million RINs. The Clean Air Act (CAA) exempted small refineries from... Read more →


Reliance and BP to create major world-class fuels partnership for India’s fast-growing market

BP and Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) have agreed to form a new joint venture that will include a retail service station network and aviation fuels business across India. Building on Reliance’s existing Indian fuel retailing network and an aviation fuel business, the partners expect the venture to expand rapidly to... Read more →


Novo Holdings invests $72M in LanzaTech

Novo Holdings A/S (Novo Holdings) and LanzaTech, a pioneer in the production of next-generation fuels and chemicals through the recycling of CO2, have formed a partnership to grow LanzaTech’s sustainable fuels and chemicals platform. Novo Holdings is making a $72-million investment in the company in a Series E financing, and... Read more →


Waste gasification company Sierra Energy closes $33M Series A funding; FastOx

Sierra Energy Corporation closed a $33-million Series A investment round led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and joined by Cox Investment Holdings, Inc., BNP Paribas SA, Twynam Investments Pty Ltd, Formica Ventures AB, and The March Fund I LP. The funding will help Sierra Energy further develop and commercialize its FastOx... Read more →


Plant cell walls resist chemical or biological degradation, making the breakdown of lignocellulosic biomass into renewable chemical precursors for conversion into chemicals and transportation fuels challenging and costly. As a result, economically viable methods of transforming biomass into biofuels have yet to be realized. In a step forward in understanding... Read more →


The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has proposed carbon intensity (CI) values for a new Temporary LCFS pathway for Alternative Jet Fuel. Public comments on the proposed new Temporary pathway are being accepted through 16 September prior to certification. Upon certification, this new Temporary pathway will be available for LRT-CBTS... Read more →


James Cook University researchers using 3D printing for rocket fuels

James Cook University (JCU) scientists in Australia are using 3D printing to create fuels for rockets, and using tailor-made rocket motors they’ve built to test the fuels. JCU lecturer in mechanical engineering Dr Elsa Antunes led the study, published in an open-access paper in the journal Aerospace. The JCU scientists... Read more →


DOE EERE awarding $43.6M for Phase II SBIR projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is awarding $43.6 million in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II Release 2 grants to projects that demonstrate commercial feasibility for innovations during the second phase of their research. Phase II awards range from $975,000... Read more →


Study finds there is still room for optimization of particle emissions based on diesel fuel properties

Researchers in Europe have found that while diesel particulate filters (DPFs) have to a large extent masked the role of diesel fuel properties on particulate emissions, there is still room for optimization, especially in particle number (PN) emissions of vehicles with frequent regenerations. Their study is published in the journal... Read more →


LG Chem to host 2nd Global Innovation Contest; petrochemicals, batteries, advanced materials, biotechnologies

LG Chem will host the 2nd Global Innovation Contest (GIC) for leading universities and research institutions worldwide. The contest is open for entry until 30 September in 4 categories: Petrochemicals, Batteries, Advanced Materials, and Bio technologies. Being the first of its kind in Korean chemical industry, Global Innovation Contest invites... Read more →


US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler issued a proposed rule under the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) program that would set the minimum amount of renewable fuels that must be supplied to the market in calendar year 2020, as well as the biomass-based diesel volume standard for calendar year... Read more →


2019 Keeling Curve Prize winners include Opus 12; conversion of CO2 into fuels and chemicals

The Keeling Curve Prize (KCP) has selected 10 winners for 2019, among them Opus 12 (Berkeley, California) which is developing a device that recycles CO₂ into cost-competitive chemicals and fuels. (Earlier post.) The Opus 12 process—based on the electrochemical reduction of CO2—combines CO₂, water and electricity to produce higher-energy carbon-based... Read more →


Three years after embarking upon rigorous evaluation of a pool of more than 400 candidates (earlier post), researchers with the US Department of Energy (DOE) Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) initiative have identified the six blendstocks—di-isobutylene, ethanol, fusel alcohol blend, isobutanol, isopropanol, and n-propanol—that exhibit the greatest potential to... Read more →


Saudi Aramco signs 12 agreements with South Korean partners worth billions of dollars

Saudi Aramco and its affiliates signed 12 agreements with major South Korean companies to reinforce relationships with South Korea, expand international operations, and support the region’s energy security with the expansion of Arabian crude oil supply to Asian markets. Among these agreements is a partnership with Hyundai Motor on hydrogen.... Read more →


A team at S. Korea’s KAIST has engineered an oleaginous bacterium, Rhodococcus opacus, to produce fatty acids (FFAs), fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEEs) and long-chain hydrocarbons (LCHCs). A paper on their work is published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology. Culture conditions were optimized to produce 82.9 g l−1 of triacylglycerols from... Read more →


Maersk is piloting a new carbon neutral product—the first of its kind in the industry—with select Maersk customers who are highly engaged in sustainable solutions for their supply chain. H&M Group is the first company to trial it as part of the shift towards carbon-neutral transportation. The biofuel in the... Read more →


Researchers at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics in China report a two-step method for the synthesis of jet-fuel-range high-density polycycloalkanes from polycarbonate waste under mild conditions. An open-access paper on their work appears in the RSC journal Green Chemistry. Plastics are a family of organic polymers which are widely... Read more →


ANA signs offtake agreement with LanzaTech for alcohol-to-jet sustainable aviation fuel

All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s largest airline for seven consecutive years, has signed an offtake agreement with LanzaTech, Inc. for the purchase of alcohol-to-jet sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) beginning in 2021. ANA has always been guided by our values, and our decision to transition to sustainable aviation fuel reflects how... Read more →


ETH Zurich: carbon-neutral fuel made from sunlight and air

Researchers from ETH Zurich have developed a novel technology that produces liquid hydrocarbon fuels exclusively from sunlight and air and have demonstrated the entire thermochemical process chain under real field conditions. Their new solar mini-refinery is located on the roof of ETH’s Machine Laboratory building in Zurich. CO2 and water... Read more →


BP: world on unsustainable path; growing divergence between demands for climate change action and pace of progress

BP released the 68th annual edition of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy (BP Stats Review), a comprehensive collection and analysis of global energy data. This year’s edition highlights the growing divergence between demands for action on climate change and the actual pace of progress on reducing carbon emissions.... Read more →