June 7, 2011

14th Annual Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency EXPO + Policy Forum

The Sustainable Energy Coalition, in cooperation with Members of the U.S. House and Senate Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses, invites you to the 14th annual Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency EXPO + Policy Forum.


June 7, 2011

Bloomberg report says biochemical pathway attractive to investors

Private financial support for technology acceleration continues to be important, and certain technologies are becoming clear favorites for investors, according to a recent Bloomberg New Energy Finance analysis of financial investments made in biofuels projects since 2004.

June 6, 2011

Oregon tax credits under scrutiny

Energy, film incentives scheduled to expire in January 2012

More news from Oregon...


June 6, 2011

Homegrown energy is good for ag, consumers

Everyone in agriculture continues to help the United States work toward energy independence with homegrown energy, according to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.


June 3, 2011

Virent produces biofuel from sources outside food supply

Reaching a key milestone in the quest for a better biofuel, Virent Energy Systems has produced "biogasoline" from crops that aren't part of the nation's food supply.


June 3, 2011

Laidlaw Energy officially purchases California biomass plant

Laidlaw Energy Group LLC has executed a final purchase and sales agreement to acquire a 14-megawatt biomass power plant in Susanville, Calif.

More news from California...


June 1, 2011

Ceres takes bioenergy seed business public

Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based energy crop seed developed Ceres Inc. filed papers with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on May 23 for an initial public offering, hoping to raise up to $100 million to fund the expansion of its business. Specifically, the company is seeking to expand its operations in Brazil, establish additional collaborative agreements to commercialize cellulosic biofuels and continue to develop intellectual property for further product improvements.

More news from California...


June 1, 2011

Study reaffirms lack of link between biofuels, land use changes

A new study by the Michigan State University branch of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, which is led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, shows that biofuel production in the United States in recent years has likely not resulted in any indirect land use changes.


June 1, 2011

ZeaChem, Procter & Gamble partner for renewable chemicals production

In Colorado, ZeaChem announced a binding multi-year joint development agreement with Procter & Gamble. The agreement will accelerate development of ZeaChem’s product platform beyond C2 through the commercialization of “drop-in” bio-based chemicals and other products.


May 31, 2011

Vilsack: Food price hike more than ethanol

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told a gathering of international agricultural development activists recently that U.S. biofuels should not blamed for most of the increases in food prices in recent years. “With respect to food prices, corn-based ethanol does not deserve the scapegoat reputation that folks often attempt to assign it,” Vilsack told a May 24 conference sponsored by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. “During the great run-up in food and commodity prices in 2007 and 2008, biofuel production played only a minor role — accounting for about 10 percent of the total increase in global prices.”


May 27, 2011

Bill would extend Defense Dept.'s biofuels contracting ability

On May 11, Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., introduced legislation that would authorize the U.S. Department of Defense to engage in 15 year contracts for advanced biofuels. The bill, titled the “Domestic Fuel for Enhancing National Security Act of 2011,” or H.R. 1847, was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Committee on Armed Services. According to information published in the Congressional Record, DOD contracts for advanced biofuels are currently limited to 5 years.


May 24, 2011

Scientists Growing Algae As Next Alternative Fuel

Local scientists have turned San Diego into the research capital for an alternative fuel that could be the solution for America's pain at the gas pump.

More news from California...


May 20, 2011

Cash Incentives for Renewables are Twice as Effective as Tax Credits

The Bipartisan Policy Center released a study [last week] showing that simply handing cash to clean energy developers is twice -- yes, twice -- as effective as supporting them through tax credits.


May 20, 2011

Project billed as promising way to create biofuel

A Department of Energy grant will pay for a pilot project to test a promising new way to produce biofuel and use Mid-Columbia ag and other waste to do it.


May 19, 2011

Zeachem signs long-term feedstock agreement for poplar residue

ZeaChem Inc. has signed a long-term feedstock agreement with GreenWood Tree Farm Fund LP for its first commercial-scale cellulosic biorefinery.


May 19, 2011

Matrix Genetics Pursues the Algae Fuel Dream in the Lab, Not With Big Steel Tanks, Giant Ponds

Margaret McCormick has been dreaming of ways to make microorganisms do big things since her grad school days in biology at MIT. Years later, the scientist-turned-venture capitalist is now in a position to act on those dreams as CEO of a Seattle-based startup called Matrix Genetics.

More news from Washington...



May 19, 2011

Arizona State research team to fight algae contamination

The number one challenge the emerging algae industry faces today, according to Arizona State University professor Qiang Hu, is algal culture protection. Hu recently received a $1 million, five-year grant from the USDA to study how, why, when and where bugs like zooplankton can negatively affect or contaminate an algae culture.

More news from Arizona...

May 6, 2011

USDA and DOE Award Biomass Research and Development Grants to Reduce America’s Reliance on Imported Oil

Projects will help develop sustainable, renewable biofuels in the U.S.

WASHINGTON – As part of the Obama Administration’s comprehensive plan to address rising gas prices, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced a total of $42 million to fund eight research and development projects that will support the production of biofuels, bioenergy and high-value biobased products from a variety of biomass sources.

The following Western Regional project has been selected for award:

  • Cellana LLC, Kailua Kona, Hawaii, $5,521,173. Cellana will work to develop a protein supplement from algae as a byproduct of algal biofuels production, by demonstrating its nutritional and economic value in livestock feeds.  The project will characterize types of algae, assess the nutritional values of algal proteins, assess the potential for algal proteins to replace soybean meal, and develop algal protein supplements.

More News from Hawaii...


May 2, 2011

State of Oregon moves to B5

The National Biodiesel Board applauded the state of Oregon on its progressive upgrade from a B2 biodiesel blend requirement to a B5 requirement.  The increase went into effect April 1st in Oregon-now the second state to require that all diesel fuel sold is a B5 biodiesel blend.

More News from Oregon...


May 2, 2011                                                                                                                                                                                      

Webinar: Views on Food, Fuel and Land Use

The National Biodiesel Board will host a 60 minute webinar, "Vantage Point: Views on Food, Fuel and Land Use" Tuesday, May 24, 2011 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CDT. 

Dr. Stephen Kaffka - University of California, Davis

Keith Kline - Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Moderator: Don Scott - National Biodiesel Board

Register here


Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) Briefing: 

Developing Sustainable Biomass Supplies: A Step toward Energy, Economic, and Environmental Security

Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m., 1302 Longworth House Office Building

This briefing will examine some of the opportunities and challenges faced by pioneering biomass feedstock producers and current federal efforts to support the development of sustainable biomass feedstocks and feedstock systems - such as the Biomass Crop Assistance Program, the Sun Grant Initiative, the Regional Biomass Feedstock Partnership, and sustainability research and development. Speakers will include:

  • Bill Hagy, Special Assistant for Alternative Energy Policy, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Todd Atkinson, Chief of Staff, Farm Service Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Sam Jackson, Vice President for Feedstock Operations, Genera Energy, and the Center for Renewable Carbon, The University of Tennessee
  • Jim Doolittle, Director, North Central Sun Grant Center, Regional Biomass Feedstock Partnership, South Dakota State University
  • Jeffrey Steiner, National Program Leader for Biomass Production Systems, Office of National Programs, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Materials from this briefing will be posted here after the event. 


USDA Announces FY 2010 Sustainable Bioenergy Grants

Congratulations to the following Western Region universities:

Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz., $996,962 – This research will examine the factors associated with algae contamination by zooplankton in commercial cultures and develop rapid diagnostic methods to ensure sustainable production of algal crops for biofuels.

University of California, Davis, Calif., $999,920 – This research will generate the basic genomics knowledge needed for breeding improved switchgrass varieties that are disease resistant.

University of California, Davis, Calif., $998,791 – The overall goal of this project is to develop the new route for co-production of isobutanol and gluconate using poplar as the feedstock. Isobutanol is a potential substitute of gasoline and an intermediate for diesel and jet fuel.

University of California, Riverside, Calif., $967,679 – This project will investigate the ecosystem of sugarcane to determine the sustainability of using it as a biomass crop and advance the technology needed to commercially develop the crop.

University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, $599,210 – This project addresses creating enhanced-value products from oilseeds, a feedstock of particular importance to the Pacific Northwest.

Utah State University, Logan, Utah, $999,874 – The overall goals of this project are to develop strains of Lactobacillus casei tailored for lactic acid fermentation at low pH of low-value substrates derived from algae and switchgrass feedstocks after biofuels production.

Washington State University, Pullman, Wash., $953,196 –This project investigates the ability for switchgrass and hybrid poplar to co-exist and remain highly productive to achieve high bioenergy from each crop and each acre of production.


PNNL algae study sets baseline for available US land, water

For anyone looking for a piece of land to start an algae production site, Mark Wigmosta from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory might be the person to speak with. Wigmosta and a team of researchers have completed a study titled, “National microalgae biofuels production potential and resource demand,” which outlines the best regions throughout the lower 48 U.S. states for algae biomass growth potential given both land and water footprint concerns.

DOE shifting focus from gasoline replacement to entire barrel of oil

In Washington, Paul Bryan, program manager of the DOE’s Office of Biomass, said at the Advanced Biofuesl Leadership Conference that the DOE is shifting gears from focusing solely on replacing the gasoline fraction of refined crude oil, but likened the process to “whitewater rafting in a battleship.


Transformers: 8 Technologies To Rock the Bio World

Take a look at eight platform inventions that would turn the bio-based fuels and materials industry upside down.


Candidates for the position of Director of the Western Regional Sun Grant Center

Keith Thomsen’s seminar will be Thursday, March 17, 10-11 a.m. 278 Kidder. Title is : “Western Region Sun Grant Program Leadership: The Opportunities and Challenges in Realizing the Potential of Biofuels and Bioproducts Over the Coming Decade”.
John Talbott’s seminar will be Monday, March 21, 10-11 a.m. 278 Kidder. Title is:  “Biofuels, New Challenges and New Opportunities for a New Decade”.
Seminars will be taped and posted to this website for viewing after the final candidate’s presentation.


Biodiesel Articles on eXtension

The biodiesel section of eXtension’s Farm Energy Resource Area now contains 41 articles, 20 Frequently Asked Questions, and the latest news and information from extension experts.

 To access the biodiesel articles, see: http://www.extension.org/pages/Farm_Energy_Biodiesel_Table_of_Contents

 eXtension, pronounced “E-Extension,” is a wiki by and for extension professors and agents from universities around the country.

 Some articles are for real beginners—those who don’t even know what biodiesel is. Other articles are more technical in nature, for those who want to deepen their knowledge of biodiesel production and use.

 Right now some of our most popular articles include: Oilseed Crops for Biodiesel Production; Used and Waste Oil and Grease for Biodiesel; and Reactors for Biodiesel Production.