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DOE offers $29 million to drive feedstock innovation for clean energy production

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By U.S. Department of Energy

February 16, 2024

Feedstocks

The U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office announced $29 million in funding to drive research, development, and demonstration of low-carbon-intensity, purpose-grown energy crops critical to accelerating a clean energy economy.

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Researchers at U.K.-based De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have pioneered a new manufacturing process which could make the creation of biofuel from waste cooking oil faster and more efficient.

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The U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office has named the 15 teams advancing as finalists in the AlgaePrize 2023–2025 competition. Each team will receive $10,000 to support research projects over the next 16 months.

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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) released a summary report following its Deploying Purpose-Grown Energy Crops for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) workshop held June 6-7, 2023, in Kansas City, Missouri.

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The USDA maintained its projection for 2023-’24 soybean oil use in biofuel production in its latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, released Feb. 8. The agency reduced its forecast for soybean oil prices.

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Loamist, a climatetech startup, has announced its pre-seed financing and emergence from stealth mode, marking the public release of its Biomass Explorer product, a tool that addresses the critical challenge of accessing biomass.

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Total U.S. biofuel operatable production capacity was up slightly in November, with gains for ethanol, according to data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Jan. 31. Total feedstock consumption was down slightly from October.

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Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Kan.; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; Joni Ernst, R-Iowa; Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.; and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on Jan. 22 introduced the Farm to Fly Act, a bill that aims to accelerate the production and development of SAF.

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The USDA increased its forecast for 2023-’24 soybean oil use in biofuel production in its latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, released Jan. 12. The price of soybean oil was revised down.

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A study released by Decision Innovation Solutions on Jan. 11 shows the Midwest stands to benefit greatly if the SAF goal of 35 billion gallons by 2050 is met, as two of the most likely SAF feedstocks would be soybean oil and corn.

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U.S. operable biofuels production capacity expanded in October, with gains for both renewable diesel and biodiesel, according to data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Dec. 29. Feedstock consumption was also up.

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The USDA recently awarded two Delaware State University researchers a three-year just under $300,000 grant for a project that could leverage the properties of microalgae toward energy and cancer treatment purposes.

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The U.S. DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office has announced its notice of intent to issue a funding opportunity announcement that will drive R&D of low-carbon, purpose-grown energy crops leading to the deployment of clean energy technologies.

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In research supported by the U.S. DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office, a team of scientists examined the unique properties of phosphorus uptake in the algal strains living in the Revolving Algal Biofilm (RAB) systems.

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SAF Magazine in collaboration with CAAFI, has announced the 2024 North American SAF Conference & Expo will take place Sept. 11-13, 2024, in St. Paul, Minnesota. The event is accepting abstract submissions through May 10.

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The USDA maintained its forecast for 2023-’24 soybean oil use in biofuel production in its latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, released Dec. 8. The expected price of soybean oil was revised down.

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Conestoga Energy and SAFFiRE Renewables LLC announced on Nov. 16 their agreement for Conestoga to host SAFFiRE’s cellulosic ethanol pilot plant at Conestoga’s Arkalon Energy ethanol facility in Liberal, Kansas.

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The USDA maintained its 2023-’24 forecast for soybean oil use in biofuel production in its latest World Agricultural and Supply Estimate report, released Nov. 9. The agency’s estimate for 2022-’23 soybean oil use in biofuel production was revised up.

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The USDA on Nov. 9 announced 2023 soybean production for beans is currently forecast at 4.13 billion bushels, up 1 percent from the October forecast, but down 3 percent from last year, according to the agency’s latest Crop Production report.

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Novozymes, a global leader in biosolutions, marks a significant milestone in the renewable diesel and SAF industry with the launch of Quara LowP, an enzymatic solution designed to transform the feedstock pre-treatment process.

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VISION Bioenergy Oilseeds and Makhteshim Agan of North America Inc. (ADAMA) on Nov. 7 announced they have entered into a joint development agreement to bring to market a suite of new crop protection solutions for camelina growers.

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Rep. Max Miller, R-Ohio, on Nov. 7 introduced the bipartisan Farm to Fly Act, which aims to create new markets for U.S. agricultural products and strengthen domestic production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

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U.S. biofuels operable production capacity was up slightly in August, with a small gain for ethanol, according to data released by the U.S. EIA on Oct. 31. Feedstock consumption was down slightly from the previous month.

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Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and five of his colleagues are urging the IRS to ensure that fuels made from petroleum products, specifically plastic feedstocks, are unable to qualify for the IRA’s SAF and clean fuels production tax credits.

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NREL: Midwestern electrofuels could become energy superheroes

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By Zia Abdullah, laboratory program manager, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

November 28, 2023

NREL research demonstrates how carbon dioxide captured at Midwestern ethanol plants could be processed with electrolyzers powered by wind energy to produce electrofuels, specifically sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

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The call for presentation abstracts for the 17th Annual International Biomass Conference & Expo, produced by Biomass Magazine, is now open. The event will take place March 4-6, 2024, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, Virginia.

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Louis Dreyfus Co. is constructing a soybean processing plant in Ohio, with crushing, vegetable oil refining and lecithin production and packaging capabilities. The plant also provides an option to participate in the biofuel feedstock market.

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Yield10 Bioscience Inc. on Oct. 11 announced recent advancements toward enabling weed control for Camelina cultivation and supporting grower adoption of the crop for production of low-carbon intensity feedstock oil for the biofuel market.

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The USDA increased its forecast for 2023-’24 soybean oil use in biofuel production in its latest WASDE report, released Oct. 12. The estimate for 2022-’23 soybean oil use in biofuel production was also revised up.

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The USDA on Oct. 12 released its latest Crop Production report, predicting that U.S. soybean production will reach 4.1 billion bushels, down 1 percent from last month’s forecast and down 4 percent when compared to 2022.

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