Prepared by ELN member firm Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.
EPA Issues Final 2018 RFS Requirements
On November 30, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its final 2018 volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel. A pre-publication of the final rule is available now. The final rule sets the annual percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel for motor vehicle gasoline and diesel produced or imported in 2018, as well as biomass-based diesel for 2019. The proposed volume requirements are:
|■||Cellulosic biofuel, from 311 million gallons in 2017 to 288 million gallons in 2018;|
|■||Advanced biofuel, from 4.28 billion gallons in 2017 to 4.29 billion gallons in 2018;|
|■||Renewable fuel, from 19.28 billion gallons in 2017 to 19.29 billion gallons in 2018; and|
|■||Biomass-based diesel, 2.1 billion gallons in 2018 and 2019.|
NREL Researchers Optimize Microbial Pathway To Biobased Fuels And Chemicals
On November 29, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that a collaboration between the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) resulted in the successful modification of a microorganism to produce a versatile fermentation intermediate that can be upgraded into valuable biobased fuels and chemicals. NREL’s cellulosic ethanol fermentation organism (Zymomonas mobilis), is capable of exclusively producing 2,3-butanediol (2,3-BDO), which can be catalytically upgraded to a variety of hydrocarbon fuel precursors and valuable chemical co-products. Techno-economic modeling was performed to study the potential of producing hydrocarbon fuel precursors and co-products in a cost effective manner. The first breakthrough occurred with genetic modifications to eliminate the ethanol pathways to ensure that sugar metabolism pathways also produced 2,3-BDO. ORNL continues to explore modifications to its catalytic upgrading system to achieve further process simplifications and cost savings.
|■||Reuters, “Brazil Lower House Passes Bill Aimed At Boosting Biofuels Use”|
|■||University of Minnesota Duluth, “Renewable Energy Lab Delivers Biofuels For The Future”|
|■||Washington University in St. Louis, “New Pathways, Better Biofuels”|
|■||Bio-Based World News, “Bio-Based Rubber To Give “Optimal Bounce” To Official Ball Of The FIFA World Cup 2018”|
Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) is a Washington D.C. law firm focusing on conventional, biobased, and nanoscale industrial, agricultural, and specialty chemical product approval and regulation, product defense, and associated business issues. The Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group is managed by B&C affiliate B&C® Consortia Management.
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