Maverick Biofuels Wins NSF Award

Maverick Biofuels has announced that it has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a reactor system for converting syngas into high-value products. The company is commercializing a technology to convert biomass to a mixed-alcohol biofuel that can be readily blended with gasoline as a drop-in fuel. The process utilizes biomass gasification to produce synthesis gas followed by two catalytic reactions, which produces high yields of gasoline-compatible alcohols.

The SBIR Program ensures that the nation’s small, high-tech, innovative businesses are a significant part of the federal government’s research and development efforts.

“Given the level of competition and depth of peer review, this is a significant award for Maverick Biofuels,” said Jeffrey Harrison, chief engineering officer for Maverick.

The company is pursuing a hybrid business model that consists of licensing the technology along with building and operating production facilities with various partners.

USDA Considering Biofuel Crop Insurance Program

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that the USDA will soon be accepting proposals to study the feasibility of providing crop insurance to producers of biofuel feedstocks ranging from corn stover to straw to woody biomass. The feasibility studies will be funded by the Risk Management Agency (RMA) and will be combined with current studies underway for energy cane, switchgrass and camelina.

“Providing additional risk management tools for American farmers to produce advanced biofuels crops is an important step toward developing a thriving biofuels industry and reducing our dependence on foreign oil,” said Vilsack. “Renewable energy development contributes to the Obama Administration’s effort to ‘win the future’ by supporting America’s farmers as they grow and harvest materials that can be converted into renewable energy. This effort creates new jobs and opportunities for those who live in rural America.”

These studies will help determine ways to mitigate risks to growers who grow biomass crops for biorefineries and research facilities, companies and public-private partnerships who are in the process of developing technologies to commercialize advanced biofuels. Two contracts will be funded by USDA. Those interested in applying should refer to the solicitations which will be available on FedBizOpps or on RMA’s website.

Pellet Maker Gets New Deep Water Port

An American maker of wood pellets has acquired a deep water port, and that should help the company receive, store and load more than 3 million tons of woody biomass for export each year.

Biomass Magazine reports that Enviva LP will expand its shipping capacity with the deep water port terminal in Chesapeake, Virginia:

The location is one of a few on the Eastern Seaboard suitable for the export of wood pellets and will serve as the shipment point for pellets manufactured at Enviva’s recently announced plant in nearby Ahoskie, N.C. The new plant will produce 330,000 tons of wood pellets annually from more than 600,000 tons of raw supplies, according to Enviva.

The Chesapeake port is Enviva’s second and the company will continue to ship pellets made at its Gulf region plants from its Mobile, Ala., port. The Virginia terminal was formerly owned by Giant Cement Co., which will continue to use a portion of it for cement sales. Expansion of the terminal will require 40 to 60 skilled workers and contractors during the initial phase of construction, and its permanent staff of 12 is expected to double by the third year of operation. Upgrades are expected to be complete in November, coinciding with pellet production at the new Ahoskie facility, according to Enviva.

“The Chesapeake region has for a long time been a key nexus of international trade in the United States,” said Enviva CEO John Keppler. “We are particularly excited to be one of the first green economy manufacturers to rebalance the flow of trade in favor of exports from this port in Virginia.” The company said the terminal purchase is a reflection of its commitment to ensuring the safety, reliability, sustainability and quality of its product. It also allows the company to better satisfy growing overseas demand for wood pellets.

The port will be able to handle ships with more than 44,000 tons of Enviva pellets on board. Most of Enviva’s customers are in Europe, but company has been expanding its U.S. base.

Farm-based Missouri Oil Company to Grow Biomass

Missouri-based MFA Oil Company, a farmer-owned cooperative, has partnered with Aloterra Energy to form a biomass venture.

This MFA press release says the new company, MFA Oil Biomass LLC, will pay about 1,700 family farmers to grow miscanthus for use as a biomass fuel and possibly ethanol in the future:

[T]he 2008 Federal Farm Bill created the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), a federally‐funded initiative that encourages the development of renewable energy sources. MFA Oil Biomass will synergistically combine the benefits of growing miscanthus as a renewable energy source with the BCAP incentives that encourage farmers to grow a biomass crop.

“After researching several biomass crops, including switch grass and giant reed, we decided Miscanthus giganteus provided the best opportunity for creating a viable energy source,” explains MFA Oil Co. President Jerry Taylor. “As good fortune would have it, Aloterra had done its own research and had come to the same conclusion.”

“Initially, we plan to pelletize the miscanthus output for power generation,” says Scott Coye‐Huhn, director of business development for Aloterra Energy. “However, the possibility of using it to produce ethanol in the future is vast, since it is projected to produce three times more gallons of ethanol per
acre than corn.”

The first priority for MFA Oil Biomass is to secure BCAP funding. Under current guidelines, BCAP will reimburse farmers up to 75 percent of planting costs and pay an annual rent payment while farmers wait for their crops to mature. Once the crops mature, farmers will be eligible to receive two years of matching payments for their tonnage, up to $45 per ton beyond the selling price. Land that is currently in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is excluded from the program.

So far, MFA has signed up about 250 farmers to grow more than 12,000 acres of miscanthus and hopes to eventually have that number up to 150,000 acres.

KiOR Lands DOE Loan Guarantee Promise

KiOR, Inc. has a $1 billion biofuels project in the works that will convert wood biomass into drop-in biofuels such as gasoline and diesel fuel. Today the company announced that it has received a term sheet for a DOE loan guarantee to help financially support the project. KiOR’s project under the DOE loan guarantee program will consist of four biorefineries that when complete, will contribute approximately 250 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2), which allows up to 16 billion gallons of the total 36 billion to be cellulosic biofuels by 2022. The first two plants are expected to be in Mississippi, with additional sites planned in Georgia and Texas.

“We are pleased to work with the DOE on reaching this milestone and are excited about the scale and impact of the project,” said Fred Cannon, President and CEO of KiOR, based in Pasadena, Texas. “The project’s first facility, planned in Newton, Mississippi, is expected to be the largest cellulosic biofuels facility in the United States. Additionally, the project will have a significant impact on rural communities through the creation of direct, indirect and induced jobs, with over 14,000 jobs created during construction and over 4,000 jobs created during operations.”

Cannon continued, “The project also expects to reduce greenhouse gas lifecycle emissions by over 70% as compared to fossil-derived gasoline and diesel fuels. While the term sheet is an important step in the process, we recognize that more work lies ahead to finalize the loan guarantee and there is no assurance it will be issued until the loan is closed.”

Khosla Ventures is a current investor in the project and in a recent article noted that “paper mill compatible woodchips” per ton prices will decline quickly in the U.S. as the “ecosystem and cultivation of alternative ‘fuels grade biomass’ (which does not need to meet paper mill feedstock quality metrics) develops within five years.”

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is excited to have KiOR in the state for many reasons, one being that the paper mill industry has seen a significant decline in jobs over the past few years and the biofuels plants will bring jobs back to the region.

“Last year Mississippi realized the tremendous potential of the KiOR technology and made a decision to bring it to our state,” said Gov. Barbour. “We’re excited the U.S. Department of Energy has come to the same conclusion to support this one-billion-plus dollar project to speed up the construction of two additional KiOR facilities here.”

Genetic Mutation Creates Drought Tolerance in Plants

Researchers at Purdue University have discovered a genetic mutation that allows a plant to better endure drought conditions without losing biomass. This discovery could prove significant because it could lead to plants that need less water to survive and thrive despite adverse climatic conditions.

Mike Mickelbart, an assistant professor of horticulture; Mike Hasegawa, a professor of horticulture; and Chal Yul Yoo, a horticulture graduate student, found that a genetic mutation in the research plant Arabidopsis thaliana reduces the number of stomata. Stomata are important because they are pores that take in carbon dioxide and release water. During drought conditions, a plant might close its stomata to conserve water. However, by doing this, the plant also reduces the amount of CO2 it can take in which limits photosynthesis and growth. But in the stomata of the mutated plants, instead of limiting CO2 intake, the gene creates a beneficial equilibrium.

“The plant can only fix so much carbon dioxide. The fewer stomata still allow for the same amount of carbon dioxide intake as a wild type while conserving water,” said Mickelbart, whose results were published in the early online version of the journal The Plant Cell. “This shows there is potential to reduce transpiration without a yield penalty.”

According to a news release, Mickelbart and Yoo used an infrared gas analyzer to determine the amount of CO2 taken in and water lost in the Arabidopsis mutant. CO2 is pumped into a chamber with the plant and the analyzer measures the amount left after a plant has started to take up the gas. A similar process measures water lost through transpiration, in which water is released from a plant’s leaves.

Analysis showed that the plant, which has a mutant form of the gene GTL1, did not reduce CO2 intake but did have a 20 percent reduction in transpiration. The plant had the same biomass as a wild type of Arabidopsis when its shoot dry weight was measured.

“The decrease in transpiration leads to increased drought tolerance in the mutant plants,” Yoo said. “They will hold more water in their leaves during drought stress.”

Of the 20 genes known to control stomata, SDD1, which is a gene responsible for regulating the number of stomata on leaves, was highly expressed in the mutant. Whereas in the mutant, with GTL1 not functioning, SDD1 is highly expressed, which results in the development of fewer stomata.

Mickelbart said the finding is important because it opens the possibility that there is a natural way to improve crop drought tolerance without decreasing biomass or yield. The next step in the research is to determine the role of GTL1 in a crop plant such as corn.

“For the Good of the Land” Co. Gets Biofuels Contract

A company whose name means “for the good of the land” has landed a contract from Hawaiian Electric Company to provide sustainable biofuels for the utility.

This press release says ‘Āina Koa Pono will partner with HEC to help the state reach its clean energy goal of meeting 70 percent of its electricity and ground transportation needs from clean, renewable energy sources by 2030 by building a 13,000 acre energy farm able to produce biofuels in the next two years:

“The time has come to take a bold step toward establishing a self-sustaining energy future for our state and we are excited and honored to be selected by Hawaiian Electric Company to produce biofuels for Hawai‘i,” said Dr. Melvin H. Chiogioji [co-founder of Āina Koa Pono]. “This partnership is critical in helping Hawai‘i reduce its reliance on imported fossil fuels and expand our state’s green energy initiative.”

“We are very pleased to award this first contract as a result of our request for proposals for locally grown and processed biofuels to be used in our power plants on Hawaii Island, Oahu and in Maui County,” said Hawaiian Electric Executive Vice President Robbie Alm. “We look forward to a long and productive partnership.”

‘Āina Koa Pono will invest approximately $320 million in the Ka‘ū Energy Farm, to cover the costs of building a cutting-edge processing facility as well as planting and harvesting biofeedstocks including sweet sorghum and eucalyptus. The Ka‘ū Energy Farm will be located on private land under long-term lease agreements with the Olson Trust and the Mallick family.

When completed, the energy farm will produce 16 million gallons of biofuels a year.

Gene Opens Up More Potential Biomass for Biofuels

Researchers in Oklahoma have discovered the gene responsible for how dense of material a plant grows, and that discovery could open the door to more biomass for biofuels grown in the same amount of land.

This press release from the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation says making denser plants allows farmers to increase the amount of biomass without increasing their agricultural footprint:

“This is a significant breakthrough for those developing improved plants to address pressing societal needs,” said Richard Dixon, D. Phil., director of the Noble Foundation’s Plant Biology Division. “This discovery opens up new possibilities for harnessing and increasing the potential of crops by expanding their ranges of use. These plants will be part of the next generation of agriculture which not only impacts food, but many other vital industries as well.”

Huanzhong Wang, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in Dixon’s lab, found a gene that controls the production of lignin in the central portions of the stems of Arabidopsis and Medicago truncatula, species commonly used as models for the study of plant genetic processes. Lignin is a compound that helps provide strength to plant cell walls, basically giving the plant the ability to stand upright. When the newly discovered gene is removed, there is a dramatic increase in the production of biomass, including lignin, throughout the stem.

Research targeting plants that are grazed by animals has historically focused on reducing lignin production within the plant. However, increasing lignin in non-food crops, such as switchgrass, may be desirable for increasing the density of the biomass and producing more feedstock per plant and, therefore, more per acre.

“In switchgrass, as the plant matures, the stem becomes hollow like bamboo,” Dixon said. “Imagine if you use this discovery to fill that hollow portion with lignin. The potential increase in biomass in these new plants could be dramatic. This technology could make plants better suited to serve as renewable energy sources or as renewable feedstocks to produce advanced composite materials that consumers depend on every day.”

Research with the University of Georgia has also shown that removing that gene can increase the cellulosic ethanol and butanol potentials of a plant. Officials say the overall discovery is a significant breakthrough that will help redefine the research.

Will Biogenic Emission Regulation Curb Biomass Growth?

According to the National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO), the inclusion of biomass emissions (biogenic carbon emissions) in the EPA’s Clean Air Act greenhouse gas permitting program hinders growth of renewable energy. However, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is countering their argument saying that there is public data on investments in biomass showing that it is in fact growing. The irony is that both groups cite the same study from Forisk Consulting to support their claims although the study was in fact funded by NAFO.

In December 2010, Forisk Consulting released a study titled, “Economic and Regional Impact Analysis of the Treatment of Biomass Energy Under the EPA Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule.” According to NAFO, the study found that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule’s current treatment of biomass energy emissions will put over 130 renewable energy projects “at risk” for cancellation or delays.

“The Tailoring Rule is a powerful deterrent to forest biomass energy investments and job opportunities,” NAFO President and CEO David P. Tenny said of the study’s findings. “We’re already seeing the economic impact of the Tailoring Rule, as renewable energy projects are delayed or stopped altogether due to regulatory uncertainty. Left unchanged, the Tailoring Rule threatens the long-term viability of the biomass energy sector which, in turn, undermines the renewable energy goals of the Administration and Congress.”

Back in September, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it was considering equating biogenic carbon emissions with fossil fuel emissions under the Tailoring Rule, which requires the accounting and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2). Biogenic carbon emissions are those that are naturally created during the combustion and decay of woody biomass. In the past, the EPA has always considered them carbon neutral.

However, according to EDF calculations, existing and announced wood bioenergy projects increased during the past year by nearly 35 percent–from 112 projects to 151 projects–across 11 southern states alone: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. (Only data from the southern U.S. is publicly available for the past year). According the report, the total expected demand for wood biomass increased by 10 million green tons, a 76 percent hike in wood biomass demand across the region.

“The science clearly shows that not all sources of biomass are equal in terms of their climate change impacts,” said Will McDow, manager of EDF’s Southeast Center for Conservation Incentives, and a member of both the North Carolina Forestry Technical Advisory Committee and Forestry Council. “The industry has known that EPA was planning to include biogenic emissions in permitting requirements in some way since last spring, yet this fact clearly has not dampened investors’ enthusiasm for bioenergy in 2010.”

McDow concluded, “The stakes are too high for EPA to rush to judgment in making biomass emission rules because these biomass plants will produce greenhouse gas emissions for 20 to 30 years. EPA needs to take the time to get the accounting right for biomass emissions to spur the right investments and policies our nation needs to protect forest sector jobs and the natural resources we depend upon.”

Investments in G-20 Clean Power Projects Could Top $2.3 Trillion

Private funds have been difficult to secure in the U.S. for clean energy programs for the past year; however, on a global scale, private investments in G-20 clean power projects could total more than $2.3 trillion by the end of this decade alone. This figure was released as part of a new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts this month: Global Clean Power: A $2.3 Trillion Opportunity. The majority of investments will be made in Asia, led by China and India, as driven by massive energy demand and strong clean energy policies. However, the report continues, by countries adopting such policies, every G-20 member has an opportunity to attract more private funds in clean power projects and compete more effectively for business.

The report examined projected private investment in wind, solar, biomass/energy from waste, small hydro, geothermal and marine energy projects. To predict the levels of private investments into projects, the report modeled three policy scenarios to determine future growth through 2020:

  • * Business-as-usual – no change from current policies: total investment projected to be $1.7 trillion by 2020
  • * Copenhagen – policies to implement the pledges made at the 2009 international climate negotiations in Copenhagen: total investment projected to be $1.8 trillion
  • * Enhanced clean energy – maximized policies designed to stimulate increased investment and capacity additions – total investment projected to be $2.3 trillion

“The message of this report is clear: countries that want to maximize private investments, spur job creation, invigorate manufacturing and seize export opportunities should strengthen their clean energy policies,” said Phyllis Cuttino, director of the Pew Climate and Energy program.

The report found that the clean energy sector continues to be an immense economic opportunity and Asia became the top regional destination for clean power finance in 2010. Within the region, China and India are leading the way (in all energy demand, not just clean energy demand) and by 2020, the report anticipates that 40 percent of global clean power project investments will be made in China, India, Japan, and South Korea.

Michael Liebreich, CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the company that compiled the underlying data for the report said, “Strong and consistent policies in Asia have helped double private investment over the past two years. Asia is now the leading region for clean energy investment, and its lead is set to extend in the near future unless Europe and the US make a step change in their support for the sector.”

While the U.S. is currently lagging far behind in private investments in clean energy, the report found that they are among those with the most to gain from passing strong clean energy policies. The report cites an example that says the U.S. has the potential to attract $342 billion in clean power project investments over the next 10 years under the Enhanced clean energy scenario.

You can download a copy of Global Clean Power: A $2.3 Trillion Opportunity here.

Giant Miscanthus Field Day Scheduled

repreveREPREVE Renewables of Georgia is planning to prepare for the start of 2011 spring planting with the first annual Freedom Giant Miscanthus Field Day next month.

As holder of the exclusive license for the commercialization of Freedom giant miscanthus, the company will use the field day to educate growers and landowners about the planting and harvesting of the biomass crop, and provide live demonstrations and educational presentations by industry experts. Freedom Field Day will be held at REPREVE Renewables’ main farm in Soperton, GA on January 13, 2011.

“With spring planting season in March, it’s important for REPREVE Renewables to educate land owners and growers on the benefits of Freedom giant miscanthus,” said Phillip Jennings, COO of REPREVE Renewables. “Our goal is to provide growers with the planting stock and guidance they need to establish commercial-scale plots, as quickly and economically as possible. Hosting this event is the perfect opportunity to provide our customers and potential customers with the knowledge and facts that will help in making important crop decisions for 2011 and years to come.”

The Freedom Field Day is open to the public, but advance registration is required. More information can be found here.

Biomass for Biofuels Will Promote ‘Earth Grab’

Experts estimate that the biofuels boom could grow to be worth more than $1 trillion and has brought agriculture back to center stage, but according to advocates with Food Secure Canada (FSC), this movement will not feed people nor mitigate climate change. On Friday, November 26, 2010, FSC is hosting Earth Grab, a community forum that will discuss the growth of biomass for biofuels, their impact on food security and climate change and offer alternatives ideas and solutions.

According to Jim Thomas of ETC Group, an international research institute located in Ottawa, Canada the fossil fuel economy is transforming rapidly into a bio-economy. “Plants, trees and forests are the new oil fields. They’re above the ground, and they’re easy to grab,” said Thomas.

Thomas, along with other leaders spearheading the global farm movement from Brazil, Mali and Haiti will be presenting during Earth Grab. The forum officially kicks off the Food Secure Canada national conference that takes place at University of Montreal from November 26-28.

Earlier this month, ETC Group released a new report, “The New Biomassters,” that detailed how global energy, forestry, agribusiness, chemical, and biotech companies are creating a bio-economy built on converting biomass into fuels and other products. According to the report, the result has been a “global grab” of plants, lands, ecosystems, and traditional cultures.

“The emerging global bio-economy is worth trillions, and it threatens to eat up our crops, forests and other plant life,” said Thomas. “However, what’s being sold as a ‘green’ switch from fossil fuels to plant-based production, is in fact a red-hot resource grab on the lands, livelihoods, knowledge and resources of the peoples of the Global South.”

Based on this scenario, Brazil is seen as one of the worst offenders, Continue reading

Survey Says…Growers Ready to Grow Energy Crops

America’s growers are ready and willing to produce biomass for advanced biofuels and biopower and have the land to do so according to a survey released by Ceres, Inc. The survey of U.S. growers showed that 71 percent of respondents were very interested or interested in growing dedicated energy crops. In addition, 77 percent of the respondents said they had underutilized land on which they could grow energy grasses like miscanthus, switchgrass or sorghum.

This survey comes on the tail of a recent announcement by the USDA regarding the final rules for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). The program pays eligible growers a incentive to grow biomass crops for use for biopower or to create biofuels.

Ceres is counting on the growth of biomass for bioenergy and most recently announced that they have developed the first salt tolerant crop, switchgrass. This is a huge advancement especially for agricultural areas that have ceased to produce crops due to the high levels of salt in the water supply. Eventually, Ceres will be looking for farmers to grow their proprietary energy crops.

One of the main reasons survey respondents had for growing energy crops was the ability to diversify their current operations. Other reasons given were better use of marginal land and spending less time, money and resources on crop management. In addition, 70 percent of respondents were open to engaging in long-term contracts and 48 percent said they would anticipate putting at least half of their acreage in long-term contracts.

“This is one of the areas where we were interested in learning more about, since reliable feedstock supplies will be critical for new bioenergy facilities to obtain project financing,” said Gary Koppenjan who directs communications and product marketing for Ceres. “What constitutes a long-term contract will likely be an area for discussion, but it appears the suppliers and users are on the same page.”

This non-scientific survey was completed during the summer of 2010 and was skewed to growers in the Southeast United States since that is an area particularly suited to grow energy crops.

Biomass Diesel Featured at Green Cars LA Auto Show

A biomass-based synthetic diesel is being featured at the Green Cars LA Auto Show Ride & Drive event.

Rentech, Inc. says its synthetic RenDiesel(R) fuel is powering an Audi A3 TDI, coming on the heels of the recent four-day, 1,000 mile endurance drive that is part of the 2010 Green Car of the Year Tour:

During [last month’s] drive, the Audi A3 TDI averaged 43 mpg on RenDiesel fuel, which is greater than the EPA average highway fuel economy rating for that car. The RenDiesel fuel used on the drive was produced from natural gas and can also be made from biomass. The renewable RenDiesel fuel to be produced from biomass using Rentech-SilvaGas gasification technology at Rentech’s Rialto Renewable Energy Center is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis by as much as 97% over conventional diesel fuel and by a comparable amount over electric vehicles. A vehicle using RenDiesel fuel is also expected to be as much as two times more fuel efficient than one running on ethanol. RenDiesel fuel contains approximately 60% more energy per gallon than ethanol and diesel engines typically achieve 20-40% more miles per gallon than gasoline engines. RenDiesel fuel also produces fewer volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions than ethanol or traditional diesel and has lower tailpipe emissions compared to traditional diesel.

Rentech’s Rialto Renewable Energy Center is expected to produce about 640 barrels per day of renewable synthetic fuels, primarily RenDiesel fuel, and approximately 35 MW of renewable electric power (RenPower) from urban green waste diverted from landfills.

OPEC Slams International Biomass Programs

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) slammed global biomass programs in its most recent oil report while at the same time raising oil demand forecasts for 2011. The organization was highly critical of global incentives designed to aid companies who are focused on developing biofuels from biomass and reducing the use of fossil-fuel based energy.

In the report, OPEC writes, “Although these government subsidies are helping the biofuel industry, the negative effect on the environment is vast and the programmes place a burden on the public budget.” OPEC cites a statistic that says biofuel tax credits are costing tax payers $500 million each year but they fail to note that global oil subsidies topped more than $312 billion last year.

In particular, OPEC cites concerns of deforestation in places such as Brazil and also environment and land use issues in countries such as South America and Asia, and criticizes the biofuels programs of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Africa has also been highlighted as a country that will be negatively affected by biofuels policy.

In the report, OPEC estimates demand for its oil next year will reach 29.2 million barrels per day (bpd), up 1.4 per cent from the 28.8 million bpd projected for this year. The country cited as having the biggest impact on increased oil use is China. This updated number is 400,000 bpd higher than last month’s forecast. Last month also went down as the highest oil output month so far this year with 29.3 million bpd.

Here in the states, daily ethanol production is nearing 1 million barrels per day (b/d)  with 895,000 b/d produced the week ending November 12, 2010. The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) reported that the daily production numbers were up 18,000 b/d from the week prior and the 4-week average daily production topped out at 879,000 b/d. Daily ethanol production represented 10 percent of daily average gasoline demand that dropped to 375.89 million gallons per day. In addition, stocks of ethanol are now at 16.7 million barrels.