Aemetis’ Biodiesel Gains EPA, EU Approvals

aemetislogo1A California-based company making biodiesel in India has gained important approvals from the U.S. government and the European Union. This news release from Aemetis, Inc. says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved issuance of D4 Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) for Aemetis’ imported biodiesel produced from waste fats and oils (WFO) at Aemetis’ 50 million gallon per year plant on the East Coast of India, as well as the EU certification.

The superior quality and low carbon intensity biodiesel produced at the Aemetis India plant has recently earned [the EU's] International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) Category 2 certification. With the recent construction and commissioning of a biodiesel distillation column at the India plant, the company is producing a colorless biodiesel with 99.5% esters and nearly no monoglycerides, water or other contaminants. Aemetis biodiesel has met and exceeds all D6751 biodiesel specifications, allowing for use in all diesel engines.

“Receiving ISCC Category 2 and EPA certifications are great steps in ramping up India to full capacity with the capability to grow and implement new technologies,” said Eric McAfee, Chairman and CEO of Aemetis. “After the successful installation of the India plant distillation unit, in June Aemetis made its first shipment of Category 2 biodiesel to customers in the E.U.” added McAfee.

Aemetis’ India plant is able to make biodiesel from a wide variety of feedstocks.

UK Company Offering 100% Biodiesel Marine Motor

A company in the United Kingdom is carrying a line of marine motors able to run on 100 percent biodiesel. Mermaid Marine says it has the Citius series of heavy duty engines from AGCO SISU Power, which is unique in being the only common rail engine available and is approved to run on pure biodiesel with no compromise in performance.

citiusmarineengine1“The importance of biodiesel is continuously increasing with biodiesel such as rapeseed accepted as an alternative fuel for use in engines,” explained Mermaid Marine sales executive Julian Osborne. “The fuel – either 100% biodiesel alone, or in any mixture ratio with diesel fuel according to EN 590 or ASTM D975, can be used in all the engines which are equipped with a mechanic or electronically controlled injection pump.”

AGCO SISU Power, formerly Sisu Diesel, was originally founded in 1942 and since then has produced engines known for their quality and reliability. The engines are built at the company’s main factory in Finland and comply with IMO 2 emission regulations and are future proofed for the forthcoming IMO 3 legislation.

Direct injection technology, crossflow cylinder head, centrally supported cylinder liners – unique in engines of this size – and advanced turbocharger technology have been everyday features in SisuDiesel engines for decades.

The engines have been designed for reliability, low operating costs and easy servicing. Classic, sturdy basic construction is combined with new generation control electronics and modern injection system, producing an engine that meets even the most demanding user needs.

You can get the engines in four and six cylinder versions from 130hp to 410hp. Mermaid Marine says they are designed for extreme conditions from blistering equatorial heat to the harsh winters of Northern Europe.

Windiga Energy to Become Indepedent Solar Producer

Burkina Faso, located in Africa, is going solar. Windiga Energy will become the first independent solar energy producer in the country with the signing of an investment support agreement. The company has selected Siemens Energy Smart Generation Solutions to build and operate the 20MW photovoltaic power plant to be located in Zina, in the Mouhoun province. The solar power system is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2015 and will be the largest PV power facility in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Burkina FasoThe Honourable Edward Fast, Canada’s Minister of International Trade who was in Burkina Faso as part of a trade mission to Africa congratulated Windiga for the signing of the historic agreement saying, “This US $50 million project will help to meet the country’s electricity needs.”

The electricity will sold to the National Electric Company of Burkina (SONABEL) through a 25 year power purchase agreement. Funding for the project includes monies from the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Frontier Markets Fund Managers and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund.

“We are very pleased with the support that we received from both the Governments of Burkina Faso and Canada allowing us to conclude this strategic agreement that will bring about the construction of a major renewable energy project and the launch of the solar energy industry in Burkina Faso,” said Benoit La Salle, president and CEO, Windiga Energy. “This power plant will also contribute to the economic development of the region, employing about 150 Burkinabé workers during the construction phase.”

La Salle added, “The strong support and commitment of our employees, our African colleagues and our legal advisors, McCarthy Tétrault LLP, were key to the success of this historic agreement.”

Isuzu to Partner to Develop Algae Biodiesel

isuzu euglenaJapanese car maker Isuzu is partnering with a fellow Japanese company to develop a new kind of biodiesel from algae. This article from Bloomberg says Isuzu and Euglena Co. hope to establish the technology by 2018.

The companies want to develop a type of fuel that can be used on its own unlike existing kinds that need to be mixed with light oil, they said in a statement today.

“As long as we use light oil for diesel engines, emissions of carbon dioxide are inevitable,” Susumu Hosoi, president of Japanese truck maker Isuzu, said at a news conference. “It is important to diversify types of fuel” for resource-poor Japan, he said.

Euglena, a Japanese biotech venture, has been developing jet fuel from algae with airline operator ANA Holdings Inc., President Mitsuru Izumo said at the event.

Indonesia Coming Up Short on Big Biodiesel Goals

Indonesia flag1Indonesia looks to miss some pretty ambitious goals this year for its biodiesel program. Reuters reports that problems with logistics and infrastructure are what government officials cite as the reason for the miss.

The government has set a biodiesel consumption target in 2014 of 4 million kilolitres, of which 1.56 million kilolitres is for subsidised diesel for vehicles, with the rest to used by power plants and non-subsidised sectors such as mining and plantations.

But by end-May, only 447,000 kilolitres had been used in the subsidised diesel sector, Dadan Kusdiana, director of renewable energy and energy conservation at the mining ministry, told Reuters by text. He was unable to give data for other sectors.

Kusdiana said the figure for subsidised diesel was forecast to rise to 1.34 million kilolitres by the end of the year.

Analysts, however, have been sceptical the government could meet its targets due to issues in making biodiesel available throughout the island archipelago, particularly in more remote eastern provinces, and providing adequate supervision to ensure the new standards were being adopted.

The shortfall from the goals also comes as the country tried to spark more internal use, boosting the mandate for transportation fuels from 3 percent to 10 percent and doubling the power generation industry’s mandate to 20 percent. Another reason for the shortfall not mentioned in the article might be the trouble Indonesia is having exporting its biodiesel to Europe right now.

GRFA: UN Sustainable Goals Must Include Biofuels

This week the 12th session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals began at the United Nations in New York City. In response to the meeting, the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA) is encouraging participants to include specific targets for biofuels developments as part of UN’s sustainability goals. In addition, GRFA stressed to delegates that the use of sustainable biofuels as a replacement for crude-based grfa_logo1transportation fuels significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions while diving investments in agriculture.

“As participants continue to set new UN Development Goals for the next fifteen years they must keep in mind the positive affects that the global biofuels industry has on agriculture, the environment and the energy sector,” said Bliss Baker, spokesperson for the GRFA.

According to GRFA, the global ethanol industry alone this year will produce 90.38 billion litres of ethanol which will help the environment by reducing GHG emissions by 106.4 million tonnes. This year’s production record will reduce global GHG emissions by over 291,000 tonnes per day. This is equal to 21,279,808 cars being removed from the world’s roads in 2014 OR removing more than all of the vehicles registered in Malaysia off the road each year.

“Global biofuel production and use leads to a more sustainable environment because ethanol use is the largest single contributor to GHG reductions in transportation and the only commercially available alternative to crude oil,” added Baker.

The agriculture sector has also benefited from biofuels production over the years as developing countries adopt biofuel-friendly policies, said Baker. According to a recent publication of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO), “Increased agricultural productivity and output has ensured that the global supply of crops available forUN FAO Biofuels and the Sustainability Challenge non-biofuel uses has continued to grow over the long term.” Additionally, for every tonne of cereals used for ethanol production, on average one-third re-enters the food chain as animal feed. The UN FAO confirmed this in its report “Biofuels and the Sustainability Challenge,” stating that “the by-products of biofuel production can be useful sources of food”.

“In short, the global biofuels industry has increased the amount of food available for human consumption and feed available to farmers for livestock around the world,” said Baker.

The creation of sustainable green jobs going forward has become a priority for governments around the world. In 2012 the GRFA released a report that found that in 2010, global ethanol production supported nearly 1.4 million jobs in all sectors worldwide and contributed over $273 million to the global economy. A recent IRENA commissioned report confirmed that the global biofuels industry has grown, finding that in 2013, 1.45 million jobs were supported by the global liquid biofuels industry.

“It’s clear that because of the global biofuel industry’s ability to reduce our reliance on crude oil, reduce GHG emissions, increase agricultural productivity and create millions of jobs, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals post 2015 must encourage further growth of the global biofuels industry,” concluded Baker.

DuPont Lights Up Solar Plant in Cernay, France

A new 4.5 megawatt (MW) solar power plant is now online in Cernay, France. This DuPont project is the largest solar power installation to date and now one of 13 solar installations worldwide on DuPont land. When combined, the solar projects generate over 11 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The Cernay installation is expected to produce 5 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of solar-generated electricity each year, which is roughly the equivalent to the amount of electricity 2,000 households consumed every year in France.

The solar farm is spread over 15 acres of land and features 18,400 crystalline silicon solar panels, manufactured by Jinko Solar. The solar panels feature advanced materials from DuPont that according to the company, are designed to improve the power output, durability and return on investment for solar energy systems. The panels are made with DuPontTedlar polyvinyl fluoride film-based backsheets, which they way are CernaySolarArraythe only material proven to protect solar panels for more than 30 years even in extreme outdoor conditions. They also contain DuPont Solamet photovoltaic metallization pastes that help ensure maximum power output.

The project was developed by Hanau Energies, a French project developer and investor in solar installations, and was built in a record time of two months. It falls under a 20-year power purchase agreement with energy provider Eléctricité Réseau Distribution France (ERDF).

“We are extremely proud to partner with a global player like DuPont on this project in France. The solar park in Cernay is a perfect illustration for how advanced and reliable technology and best practices in installation, operations and maintenance can be put into practice,” said Jean-Luc Westphal, president, Hanau Energies.

The project is aligned with Cernay’s federation of municipalities aim to preserve resources and limit its environmental footprint. At the global and national levels, the development of solar and other renewable energy sources are expected to grow in the overall energy mix. According to industry analyst IHS, France’s annual installation of solar is expected to increase by 50 percent in 2014 to exceed 800MW and should keep growing steadily over the following years. Globally, solar is expected to grow 20 percent annually each of the next several years.

“The solar park in Cernay is a prime example of DuPont demonstrating its commitment to develop collaborative and innovative solutions and helping to ensure a more energy secure future,” said Martin Virot, country leader, DuPont France. “We are pleased to see this project realized in France, leveraging our advanced materials to ensure a well-performing, long-term source of electricity as we strive to meet the growing global energy demand more sustainably.”

“The Cernay solar park is a brilliant showcase of socially responsible investment and collaboration between the private and public sectors,” Member of Parliament and Mayor of Cernay, Michel Sordi concluded. “I congratulate DuPont, who continues to be at the forefront of science and technology and has developed multiple projects in the region for over 30 years.”

Tea Time? No, Brits Look to Coffee for Biodiesel

coffeecup1While the Brits might be known for their tea, it could be coffee that fills their biodiesel tanks. Researchers at the University of Bath have found a way to turn coffee grounds into biodiesel.

Oil can be extracted from coffee grounds by soaking them in an organic solvent, before being chemically transformed into biodiesel via a process called “transesterification”. The study, recently published in the ACS Journal Energy & Fuels, looked at how the fuel properties varied depending on the type of coffee used.

As part of the study, the researchers made biofuel from ground coffee produced in 20 different geographic regions, including caffeinated and decaffeinated forms, as well as Robusta and Arabica varieties.

Dr Chris Chuck, Whorrod Research Fellow from our Department of Chemical Engineering, explained: “Around 8 million tonnes of coffee are produced globally each year and ground waste coffee contains up to 20 per cent oil per unit weight.

“This oil also has similar properties to current feedstocks used to make biofuels. But, while those are cultivated specifically to produce fuel, spent coffee grounds are waste. Using these, there’s a real potential to produce a truly sustainable second-generation biofuel.”

The researchers found a surprisingly high level of consistency among the various types of coffee grounds for their appropriateness as a biodiesel feedstock.

The work seems to be in line with other studies we have reported on here on Domestic Fuel, including a London startup looking to turn coffee grounds into biodiesel and work at the University of Cincinnati.

IncBio Biodiesel Processor Going to South America

incbio_south americaPortugal-based IncBio delivered its latest fully automated ultrasonic biodiesel reactor to South America. This company news release says it will produce 120,000 metric tons/year of the green fuel using the ultrasonic transesterification process, a technique touted by the company as much more efficient than traditional biodiesel makers.

José Marques, IncBio’s CEO said: “By updating the existing technology, our client is bringing its plant back to profitability, something with which most outdated plants are currently struggling with. Ultrasonic reactors not only speed up the conversion, by causing a reaction in seconds vs the typical hours of agitation or recirculation, but because they also require lower amounts of methanol and catalyst, ultrasonic biodiesel reactors exponentially improve the financials of existing plants. By reducing reaction time, and methanol consumption, we greatly reduce energy consumption (mostly reducing the volume of methanol to be distilled).

We are seeing the interest in our technology growing by the day and this is not surprising, since existing plants are struggling to turn a profit, mostly because they are using 20th century technology, at a time when we’re already well into the 21st century and the technology has moved on substantially. The reactors end up paying for themselves very quickly, with the typical payback time being measured in months, not years.”

Earlier this year, IncBio delievered a biodiesel processor to Tunisia and inked a deal to deliver one to turn animal fats into biodiesel in Saudi Arabia.

FIFA World Cup to Feature Biofuels & Solar

FIFA World Cup BrasilThe FIFA World Cup 2014 is underway in Brazil and this year’s event features several renewable energy and sustainable measures never before seen during the event.

Sugar Cane Industry Association (UNICA) is supplying the governing body of the football fleet (known as soccer to those living in the U.S.) with ethanol. Flex-fuel cars from Hyundai, Model HB20 Edition FIFA World Cup, are running the streets and roads of Brazil powered with fuel from cane sugar.

The adoption of ethanol is one of the measures to avoid, reduce and offset emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) released dioxide in the atmosphere, the ‘Football for the Planet,’ according to FIFA’s official environmental program that aims to reduce the negative impact of their activities on the environment. In Brazil, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the 2014 World Cup are putting in place projects that address key areas such as waste, water, energy, transport, logistics and climate change.

Kids play football on the beach as Brazil prepare for the World Cup on June 11, 2014 in Maceio, Brazil. (Photo by Alex Livesey - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Kids play football on the beach as Brazil prepare for the World Cup on June 11, 2014 in Maceio, Brazil. (Photo by Alex Livesey – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

For the consultant Emissions and Technology of Sugar Cane Industry Association (UNICA), Alfred Szwarc, the initiative of the FIFA program is extremely appropriate as sugarcane ethanol compared with gasoline. He cites sugar-based ethanol reduces 90 percent of greenhouse gases that cause climate change when compared to straight gasoline. Reducing global warming is one of focuses of the “Football for the Planet” FIFA campaign.

In addition to biofuels, Yingli Green Energy has provided dozens of solar panels to various operations involved with FIFA and this year the company plans to offset all carbon emissions arising from its promotional activities in Brazil to make the FIFA World Cup Brazil the greenest in history. The company’s efforts included all solar powered stadiums, commercial displays, customer hospitality, media activities, and employee travel and accommodation. To achieve carbon neutrality, Yingli has:

  • Supplied over 5,000 Yingli solar panels and nearly 30 off-grid solar energy systems to help power matches at multiple FIFA World Cup stadiums;
  • Partnered with ClimatePartner, an independent, certified environmental agency, to accurately calculate and verify emissions data for the duration of Yingli’s sponsorship activation in Brazil;
  • Committed to investing in carbon emission reduction certificates that are generated by a local Brazilian project, and that are certified by the Bureau Veritas Certification Holding SAS.

“By becoming history’s first carbon neutral sponsor of the FIFA World Cup, Yingli is honoring its commitment to our environment and to our planet,” noted Mr. Liansheng Miao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Yingli Green Energy. “As a company whose products and mission are deeply intertwined with sustainability issues, we are dedicated to reducing the ecological impact of all aspects of our business operations, including our highly visible and pervasive marketing activities.”

Ennovor’s Biodiesel Earns Sustainability Certification

ennovor-group-logoA European biodiesel maker has earned an important sustainability certification. This company news release says Ennovor Group is the first in the United Kingdom to garner the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) sustainability certification for their used cooking oil methyl ester (UCOME) biodiesel. The certification is based on 12 key principles, providing a holistic approach towards sustainability assurance, covering social, environmental, economic and operational aspects in its analysis.

“As an international certification system, RSB is appropriate for any feedstock in any country thus works very well along the entire supply chain,” says David Frohnsdorff, CEO of Ennovor. “The RSB certification will enable Ennovor to demonstrate strict compliance with EU and international sustainability standards”.

“Ennovor’s commitment to feedstock traceability fits very well with the robust RSB approach to waste verification. We are very pleased that Ennovor has chosen RSB to demonstrate the sustainability and greenhouse gas savings of their biodiesel and that RSB-certified waste-based biodiesel will be now be available in the UK,” said Rolf Hogan, RSB’s Executive Secretary.

Ennovor is one of Europe’s largest sustainable biodiesel producers, using an online “digital chain of custody” record for every consignment of biofuel it trades.

Worldwide Biodiesel Production to Hit Record

oilworldBiodiesel production worldwide is expected to hit a record this year, with higher mandates in South America expected to help fuel the climb. This article from Bloomberg quotes an Oil World report that shows biodiesel production could rise by about 8 percent to 29.1 million tons this year.

Brazil’s biodiesel inclusion mandate will rise to 6 percent in July from 5 percent, climbing later to 7 percent, according to Oil World.

“Assuming that the higher mandates will be largely fulfilled, Brazilian biodiesel production may increase by 17 percent to 3 million tons in 2014,” Oil World said.

Production in Brazil may show a “further massive increase” to 4 million to 4.1 million tons next year as 7 percent biodiesel inclusion is mandatory year-round, according to the industry researcher.

The report goes on to say that palm oil is gaining importance as a feedstock, making up about one-third of the world’s biodiesel production. Soybean oil for biodiesel is also expected to rise this year, primarily in the U.S., Brazil and Argentina.

Equatorial Guinea Installing Solar Microgrid

The government of Equatorial Guinea is installing a self-sufficient solar microgrid project in Annobon Province in partnership with three American companies: the consulting firm MAECI Solar, GE Power & Water and Princeton Power Systems. This project will be Africa’s largest self-sufficient solar microgrid and will bring significant benefits to the West African nation. It will supply Annobon Island with reliable, predictable power and will supply enough electricity to handle 100 percent of the island’s current energy demand.

Annabon Province“The solar microgrid will feature 5-MW solar modules and system integration by MAECI, an energy management system and controls from Princeton Power Systems and energy storage from GE,” MAECI said in a news release. Chris Massaro, senior vice president of MAECI noted that the project would both raise the quality of life and advance the Equatoguinean government’s goal of diversifying the economy.

“The Annobon Electrification Project will be the platform for economic growth on the island by bringing a much needed power supply that will enable the development of multiple industries, add 700 to 1,000 direct and indirect jobs to Annobon Island and significantly raise the standard of living,” added Massaro.

Annobon Province consists of tiny Annobon Island and has a population of 5,000. The Annobon Province currently has reliable electricity for only a few hours a day, but the solar microgrid aims to provide electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The project is a part of Equatorial Guinea’s National Economic Development Plan Horizon 2020, which aims to make Equatorial Guinea an ‘emerging economy’ and accelerate its development and democratization by 2020.”

Prez Michelle Bachelet of Chile Inaugurates Solar Plant

President Michelle Bachelet of Chile inaugurated the Amanecer Solar CAP plant in Copiapo, Chile. The solar project is the largest photovoltaic solar power plant in Latin America and one of the largest in the world. The project was developed, built and interconnected by SunEdison under an offtake agreement with CAP Group.

The Amanecer Solar CAP plant has 100 MW of total installed capacity; the amount of energy consumed each year by approximately 125,000 Chilean homes, or equivalent to 10 percent of the renewable energy generation capacity goal established by the Chilean Government for 2014. The project involves an investment of US $250 million and is critical for the future development of renewable energy in Chile and Latin America.

SunEdison 100 MW Amanecer Solar CAP Power PlantAhmad Chatila, President and CEO of SunEdison, noted: “This project has changed the course of renewable energy development not only in Chile and Latin America, but throughout the world. Amanecer Solar CAP has become a benchmark for SunEdison in how to develop photovoltaic solar energy on an international level.”

Located 37 kilometers from Copiapo in the Atacama Desert, the plant has more than 310,000 photovoltaic modules spread over 250 acres. The Amanecer Solar CAP plant was built in six months and all of its energy is injected into the Central Interconnected System, which lowers the net cost of grid electricity.

In its first year of operation it is estimated that the plant will inject 270 GWh (gigawatt hours) of clean energy into the system. To generate the same amount of energy using diesel would require more than 71 million liters of fuel.

Jose Perez, President of SunEdison for Europe, Africa and Latin America, added: “This plant demonstrates that photovoltaic solar energy is an ideal way of diversifying the energy matrix in Chile, reducing costs and contributing towards meeting the demand for clean and sustainable energy. SunEdison has now interconnected 150 MW in the Atacama Desert – the 100 MW Amanecer Solar CAP plant plus a 50 MW power plant in San Andres – and this is just the starting point. We are firmly committed to the future of clean energy production and the development of the energy industry in Chile.”

Solazyme Opens Renewable Oil Plant with Bunge

solazyme-logoCalifornia-based Solazyme, Inc. has opened a renewable oils plant in Brazil with its partner Bunge Limited. This news release from Solazyme says the plant includes 625,000 liter fermentation tanks and produces the renewable oil and encapsulated lubricant, Encapso™, products.

“With production underway at the Solazyme Bunge Renewable Oils plant, Solazyme is manufacturing products at three large scale facilities, including our 2,000 MT/year integrated facility in Peoria, the 20,000 MT/year Iowa facilities in Clinton/Galva and the 100,000 MT/year facility in Brazil,” said Jonathan Wolfson, CEO Solazyme. “Continued progress at the recently completed adjoining co-gen facility has resulted in more reliable power and steam, enabling startup of commercial operations and production of our first commercially saleable product. We are truly excited to have begun manufacturing operations at our joint venture’s flagship facility in Brazil.”

“The start of production at the Solazyme Bunge Renewable Oils plant is an important milestone for this joint venture. We’re proud of the work we have done with our partner Solazyme in bringing the world’s first built-for-purpose renewable oil plant on line. We remain committed to the success of the joint venture and see significant market opportunities that we can address together,” said Ben Pearcy, Managing Director, Sugar & Bioenergy, Bunge Limited.

The plant is expected to hit its nameplate capacity within the next 12-18 months.