Monday, May 10, 2010

PARTNER, FOCUS, SCALE: latest on biofuel world over

Camalina plant

Partner, focus, scale

CEOs lay out the bioenergy challenges, solutions at the Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference in DC

At the Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference in Washington, delegates heard yesterday from C-level executives at Coskata, Cobat Technologies, TMO Renewables, Iogen, Sapphire Energy, PetroAlgae, LS9, SG Biofuels, and Solazyme, as well as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan.

Merrigan noted in her keynote address that a partnership approach to commercializing biofuels was driving USDA's activity within the US Interagency Working Group as well as the partnership in Hawaii with the Department of the Navy to develop solutions that would reduce Hawaii's oil imports, which are the highest by percentage in the nation, as well as developing rural economies.

"I have been in Washington for a long time," observed Merrigan, "and recently we started hearing about a new acronym, USG, and a number of us asked each other, what is that agency? But it actually stands for the United States Government - meaning government-wide projects." crossing over traditional turf barriers to drive innovation.

Among other highlights, PetroAlgae chairman John Scott said that the company is now in discussion with 300 companies in 41 countries regarding licensing its technology. Sapphire Energy president C.J Warner confirmed that it is on track to break ground on its 300-acre pre-commercial facility later this year. Solazyme CEO Jonathan Wofson confirmed that the company is now doing multiple production runs per week in leased fermentation equipment. Joule Unlimited CEO Bill Sims confirmed a target of $30 per barrel oil equivalent and said commercial-scale construction would commence this year.

More highlights from ABLC day 2, including comments from INEOS Bio, LS9, SG Biofuels and more from Sapphire Energy, Joule, Solazyme, and PetroAlgae,at

Producer News

In California, EdeniQ announced today the closing of a $12.4 million Series B round of financing led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson. EdeniQ will use the funds to speed deployment of its existing yield enhancement technologies and to further develop its Corn-to-Cellulose Migration (CCM) program, which was recently awarded a $20.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

In California, Cereplast announced that it expects to commercialize its first grade of Cereplast Algae Plastics by the end of the year. Cereplast algae-based resins represent a breakthrough in industry technology and have the potential to replace 50% or more of the petroleum content used in traditional plastic resins.
World Opinion

Domestic Fuel: "Ethanol producers and corn farmers who were hoping for President Obama to make a strong show of support for the ethanol industry when he appeared at a POET plant in Missouri on Wednesday were probably a little disappointed...The entire speech, minus introductions, was only 10 minutes long and most of it was spent talking about the economy."

Digest subscriber Ottar Stensvold: "The carbonic anhydrase enzymes as means of carbon fixation? Carbonic anhydrase is an enzyme that assists rapid inter-conversion of carbon dioxide and water into carbonic acid, protons and bicarbonate ions. They are widespread in nature, being found in animals, plants, and certain bacteria...Since these enzymes are extremely efficient and abundant, there is a fair chance they can be harvested and used in carbon capture.

International News

In Denmark, Novozymes and China's Dacheng Group signed an agreement to expand their cooperation in developing biochemicals derived from biomass and to promote the industrialization of plant-based glycol. At the same time, Novozymes reported that Q1 sales increased by 11 percent and earnings increased by 33 percent over the corresponding period in 2009.

In Canada, Tim Cesarek, managing director in the Organic Growth Group of Waste Management, will join the board of Enerkem following from WM's strategic investment in the cellulosic ethanol pioneer. The company's strategy and goals were reported earlier this week in "Waste Management: Portrait of a Renewable Energy Strategic Investor."

In Indonesia, New World Energy, and Bosch and Siemens Home Appliance Group (BSH) of Germany have partnered on a pilot project to distribute the BSH-manufactured Protos, a stove powered by crude jatropha oil instead of kerosene, the dominant cooking fuel in Indonesia.

Research News

In Belgium, researchers determined that legislation to force the separate collection of organic waste in Europe could realize up to $10 billion in economic benefits. Eunomia, ARCADIS were the authors of the report, "'Assessment of the options to improve the management of bio-waste in the EU," which will support efforts by the European Commission to develop a bio-waste directive by the end of the year.
Camelina Aviation Biofuels Study

1 billion gallons of Camelina biofuel are projected to be produced for the aviation and biodiesel sectors by 2025, creating 25,000 new jobs; producing over $5.5 billion in new revenues and $3.5 billion in new agricultural income for U.S. and Canadian farmers. The projections are contained in "Camelina Aviation Biofuels Market Opportunity and Renewable Energy Strategy Report," released today by Biomass Advisors, the research division of Biofuels Digest.

"Camelina Aviation Biofuels Market Opportunity and Renewable Energy Strategy Report," is 116 pages, and includes more than 60 figures, tables and charts, along with regional crop forecast maps for visualizing business opportunities and planning infrastructure needs. The report is available for a purchase price of $695.