Biobased and Renewable Products Update
DOE Releases Study On Optimization Of Engine Performance With Fuel Blendstocks
On February 15, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the release of the Co-Optimization of Engines & Fuels (Co-Optima) report titled Fuel Blendstocks with the Potential to Optimize Future Gasoline Engine Performance (Fuel Blendstocks report), along with the companion report on Efficiency Merit Function for Spark Ignition Engines. The Fuel Blendstocks report identifies eight blendstocks that have the potential to improve gasoline performance. The assessment criteria included physical properties, high-level health-impacts, the ability to improve advanced spark-ignition engine efficiency, and the potential to be introduced commercially in the 2025-2030 timeframe. According to the report, a targeted effort was made to identify fuel components that can be sourced from domestic biomass. In addition to increasing U.S. energy security and creating jobs in rural America, use of renewable fuel components can provide technical, societal, and environmental benefits. Part of the Co-Optima objective is focused on developing data on blendstock production, fuel properties, and engine performance to perform a detailed assessment of the benefits of sourcing blendstocks from biomass versus conventional resources, and to identify areas where further research and development are needed. During the next phase, Co-Optima will validate the potential fuel efficiency improvements through engine testing and will also begin examining fuel efficiency gains in heavy-duty diesel engines.
AkzoNobel Announces Project Development Agreement For Waste-To-Chemical Facility
On February 16, 2018, AkzoNobel, a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), announced that a consortium of companies signed a project development agreement to develop a waste-to-chemistry facility in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The facility will convert non-recyclable mixed waste, including plastics, into syngas and then into clean methanol for use in the chemical industry and for the transportation sector. An estimated 360,000 tons of waste will be converted into 220,000 tons of clean methanol. The agreement covers the initial investment of nine million euros for the detailed engineering, setup of a dedicated joint venture, and completion of the permitting process. The final investment decision for the estimated 200 million euro project is expected to be made in 2018. According to Marco Waas, Research, Development, Innovation (RD&I) and Technology Director at AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals, “the agreement comes at a very appropriate time given the current challenges in plastics recycling in Europe. We can convert non-recyclable waste, into methanol, an essential raw material for many everyday products, including sustainable transportation fuel. Not only can this be used in the existing supply chains and replace fossil sources, but it also avoids CO2 emissions otherwise produced by burning waste.” The consortium responsible for the project consists of AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals, Air Liquide, and Enerkem.
Neste Announces WestCAT To Operate On MY Renewable Diesel
On February 13, 2018, Neste, a member of BRAG, announced that the Western Contra Costa Transit Authority (WestCAT) will operate exclusively on Neste MY Renewable DieselTM. WestCAT is a California public transportation service that serves the cities of Pinole and Hercules, as well as communities along the eastern edge of San Francisco Bay. The entire fleet of 45 heavy duty buses, which operates 14 fixed routes and carries over 1.3 million passengers annually, will switch from petroleum diesel to renewable diesel. In addition to a reduction in emissions from the fleet, WestCAT observed cleaner operation of their bus engines and a significant reduction in the maintenance needed for the emissions equipment and internal engine components due to the use of Neste MY Renewable Diesel.
Bridgestone, Versalis Partner To Develop Technology To Commercialize Guayule
On February 12, 2018, Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) announced a strategic partnership with Versalis, a producer of polymers and elastomers, to develop a comprehensive technology package to commercialize guayule in the agricultural, sustainable-rubber, and renewable-chemical sectors. Through the agreement, Bridgestone and Versalis will develop proprietary, highly productive varieties of guayule using the latest genetic technologies to position guayule as an attractive and profitable crop for independent growers. The process technologies will be optimized at the Bridgestone Biorubber Process Research Center (BPRC) in Mesa, Arizona. Versalis will lead the product development activities to monetize the guayule rubber production. The technology developed through the partnership is intended to be made available to industrial partners willing to cooperate in maximizing the value of these innovative products. According to Nizar Trigui, Chief Technology Officer at Bridgestone, the collaboration supports Bridgestone’s goal of developing new, domestic, and sustainable sources for natural rubber and of manufacturing products from raw materials that are fully renewable and sustainable by 2050.
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The Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) helps members develop and bring to market their innovative biobased chemical products through insightful policy and regulatory advocacy. BRAG is managed by B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C., an affiliate of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.
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