Argus Biofuels & Feedstocks 2016
October 18-20, 2016 - London UK

Lawmakers defend corn ethanol

Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., challenged information presented in the opening statement of Rajiv Shah, USDA Undersecretary of Research, Education, and Economics, at a Oct. 29 House Agriculture Subcommittee hearing on biofuels. In his opening statement, Rajiv said that an increase in corn acreage has supported greater ethanol output. In response to this remark, Peterson said the agricultural industry cultivates virtually the same number of corn acres today that it did in 1977. While each acre of corn produced only an average of 90.8 bushels of corn at that time, Peterson said today's farmers produce an average of 164 bushels of corn per acre.READ MORE

North Country Ethanol resumes operations

Tenaska BioFuels LLC and Tri-State Financial LLC have entered into a two-year tolling arrangement which will allow ethanol production to resume at Tri-State's Rosholt, S.D.-based North Country Ethanol plant. The 26 MMgy facility began production in 2005 but has been idle since October 2008 when the company entered bankruptcy proceedings. With the establishment of this new tolling agreement, the facility is expected to resume operations in mid-November. Tenaska BioFuels, an affiliate of Tenaska, provides procurement and marketing, supply chain management and financial services to customers in the agriculture and energy markets.READ MORE

Farm bureau weighs in on Senate climate bill

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works recently held a hearing on the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, which is the Senate's version of the climate bill. An important component of S. 1733 is the cap that would be placed on industrial carbon emissions. At the hearing, Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, testified on how this type of carbon cap-and-trade legislation could affect the agricultural community. According to Stallman, the legislation would put American farmers and ranchers at a competitive disadvantage with producers in countries that lack greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions regulations. He said that resulting losses in U.S. production would also encourage more agricultural production in other areas of the world, where farming methods may be less efficient.READ MORE

Ants may provide cellulosic solution

At the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center in Madison, Wis., researchers are looking to leafcutter ants for new enzymatic processes that will further progress efforts to commercialize cellulosic ethanol. Leafcutter ants, which are found in tropical climates and live in enormous colonies that can number in the millions, have evolved several features over time that make their particular cocktail of enzymes attractive to researchers. "Our lab is an evolution and ecology lab, and we're very interested in natural systems that take advantage of lignocellulolytic biomass and use microbes to break down [cellulosic] feedstocks," said Garret Suen, a post doctoral research fellow at the GLBRC. "If we go to a system that is specialized to produce exactly what it is we're looking for, we may find something of use."READ MORE

GRFA, RFA address global biofuels issues

The Global Renewable Fuels Alliance is asking delegates to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen to recognize the environmental importance of biofuels, and to begin developing strategies that will ensure biofuels play a greater role in meeting global climate change objectives. To this end, the GRFA has released an industry position paper titled "Mitigating Climate Change in the Global Transport Sector: Seizing the Biofuels Opportunity at the COP15 in Copenhagen," which calls for greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction strategies in the transportation sector to take advantage of emissions reductions that result through the use of biofuels.READ MORE

BP explores options, remains committed to cellulosic ethanol

BP plc's alternative fuels sector may have expanded this year to include biobutanol, but the company's primary focus continues to be cellulosic ethanol, according to BP Biofuels communications advisor Thea Sherer. When asked if BP might be shifting its efforts to drop-in replacements or other advanced biofuels, Sherer stated the petroleum giant does not favor any one of its alternative fuels projects over the other. In fact, she said the company's U.S. cellulosic ethanol joint venture with Verenium Corp., Vercipia Biofuels, will serve as a flagship of sorts to commercialize various technologies which can later be deployed at international locations.READ MORE
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