Biobased Products News and Policy Report – Update from Bergeson & Campbell, PC

Biobased and Renewable Products Update

January 31, 2019


DOE Announces Funding For Innovative Buildings Research

On January 29, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Building Technologies Office (BTO) announced funding for up to $42 million in project selections to support early-stage research and development (R&D) on residential and commercial building technologies for energy efficiency. According to DOE EERE BTO, buildings currently use 75 percent of U.S. electricity, accounting for 40 percent of U.S. overall energy usage.  Aiming to assist customers and businesses to save energy costs and drive domestic economic competitiveness, a total of 46 research projects were selected as a result of three fiscal year (FY) 2018 funding opportunity announcements (FOA). The FOAs focused in three major areas: (1) Building Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies; (2) Solid State Lighting; and (3) Building America. Each focus area includes subcategories establishing the scope of the R&D projects. Under the first focus area, $19.5 million was granted to 19 different research projects. The other two focus areas received $11 million and $11.5 million, respectively.


Dutch Ministry Of Defense Announces Transition Into 70 Percent Biofuels In Air Force Flying Equipment

On January 16, 2019, the Dutch Department of Defense announced that the Dutch Air Force is taking the next steps in reducing its carbon footprint given better affordability of biobased fuels. Provided with biokerosene, the Air Force intends to increase gradually the mixing percentage of biofuels and eventually have all of its equipment fly on biofuel mixtures. The Dutch goal is to achieve 20 percent less dependency on fossil fuels by 2030, and 70 percent by 2050.


University Of Wisconsin-Madison Assistant Professor Reveals Biosensor For Biofuel Production

On January 18, 2019, Assistant Professor Dr. Vatsan Raman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison announced a new biosensor that is capable of reporting on a microbe’s biofuel production capacity from within the cell. An expensive process, “[i]n search of the best biofuel-producing microbes, scientists may need to make millions of genetic variants” to find the right one. This new biosensor developed by Dr. Raman and his team, however, greatly facilitates the aforementioned process by triggering green fluorescence in cells that are ideal to make biofuel-type molecules. In addition to its new function, the scientific team states that the biosensor has a variety of other potential applications in the field of biochemistry. The full study can be accessed here.

New Study On The Importance Of Second Generation Sugar Feedstock For Biobased Chemicals Published

In January 2019, scientists at the nova-Institut GmbH, in Hurth, Germany, published a study on the sustainability of first and second generation sugars as a resource for the biobased chemical industry. The study, which includes a comprehensive sustainability assessment, “shows that first generation sugars are as advantageous as second generation sugars for a feasible and sustainable resource strategy of Europe’s bio-based chemical industry.” Despite the negative connotation of first generation feedstocks portrayed in public discussions, the study results indicate that these public concerns are not in any manner based on scientific evidence. Carried out in a context of shifting sugar markets and feedstock sustainability for biobased products and chemicals, the study analyzes 12 different sustainability criteria, concluding that all of the researched feedstocks of sugars offer significant strengths and weaknesses for a feasible climate change strategy in the European Union (EU).


The New Wave in Bio-based Materials: Maximum Value from Lignin with Industry-Specific Fractions Webinar — Hosted by Bio-based World News at 5:00 a.m. (EST) on February 26, 2019. Also available to watch on-demand afterwards.

23rd Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference and the 9th International Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry, June 11-13, 2019, in Reston, VA.

Other News


E&E News, “‘Science is Back’: New Governor Aims for Renewable Boom
AsianScientist, “Catalyzing a Path Towards ‘Greener’ Plastics
eureporter, “Organic and Safe Fertilizers in the EU
ASC, “From Health Food to Biofuels: Meet the First Algae Farm to Attain ASC-MSC Certification
Bio-based World News, “InSciTe Set to Open Bio-based Innovation Pilot Plant in April
Packaging Europe, “In Search of a Bio-based Barrier
Euractive, “US Soy for Producing Biofuels, an ‘Unsustainable’ Giveaway to Trump
The Hill, “Trump EPA Official: Addressing Climate Change ‘One of Many Priorities’
Reuters, “Climate Investment Funds to Issue $500 Million Green Bond This Year or Next
Europe’s Plastic Processors Magazine, “First Conference on Toys Made from Biobased Plastics to Take Place in Germany
Biomass Magazine, “Gevo Announces Development of Renewable Isoprene
MalayMail, “In Nod to Trump, EU Okays US Soya for Biofuels
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