LANXESS Biodiesel Stabilizer Introduced

lanxessA German chemical company has introduced a new liquid stabilizer for biodiesel. This news release posted on NewswireToday.com says LANXESS is now offering Baynox Extra, an easy-to-meter additive that prolongs biodiesel’s shelf life and doesn’t crystallize, even at 10 below Celsius.

LANXESS will present the new product to a trade audience at the international biodiesel congress “Fuels of the Future” taking place in Berlin on January 20-21, 2014. On January 21, Dr. Wolfgang Podestà, Business Manager for Baynox at LANXESS Distribution GmbH, will give a presentation entitled “Biofuels meets Antioxidants Status Quo and Future”. In it, he will explain why antioxidants are important for biodiesel manufacturers, what types are available and which criteria are important to make the right selection.

The highly concentrated antioxidant Baynox Extra (baynox.com) ensures that the biofuel obtained from natural raw material remains stable and can be used for longer. Otherwise, the fuel’s unsaturated fatty acid structures can easily oxidize in contact with atmospheric oxygen. Heat, light and pressure make the oil rancid within a short time. The consequences of such oxidation are a degradation of the biodiesel into short-chained fatty acids and the formation of insoluble polymers (gums), causing damage to the engine and the injection system. LANXESS’ Baynox range is continually being adapted to the rapid developments in the automotive industry and includes increasingly high-performance products. The pressures in diesel engines are continually rising, as are the injector temperatures. On the other hand, tolerances for manufacturers of biodiesel are getting smaller and smaller and the specifications ever narrower. “With Baynox Extra our customers will be ideally equipped in the future too to meet the demands that the automotive industry make of modern fuels,” says Podestà.

LANXESS claims international sales of more than $12 billion annually about 17,500 employees in 31 countries.

EC Approves Neste’s Biodiesel Sustainability System

nesteecEuropean Commissioners have approved the sustainability verification system developed by Neste Oil that the company uses to ensure its biodiesel is produced under sustainable conditions. This company news release says the system “complies with the standards set for reliability, transparency, and independent third-party auditing.”

The new, officially approved verification system covers all diesel fuel produced from renewable feedstocks. In accordance with the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive, strict limits are imposed on where feedstocks can be cultivated and where cultivation cannot take place. Forestland must not be cleared to produce biofuels and inputs cannot be grown on peat bogs, wetlands, other high carbon stock land, or in environmentally sensitive areas. The system also establishes strict requirements covering issues such as the traceability of the supply chain.

“To date, we have primarily relied on the RSPO and ISCC verification systems,” says Pekka Tuovinen, Neste Oil’s Director, Sustainability and Supplier Compliance. “Our own system, which has now been approved by the Commission, is a useful addition for verifying the sustainability of renewable inputs, particularly waste and residues.”

Recently, the palm oil used as a feedstock in some of Neste’s biodiesel was shown to be gained through sustainable means.

Largest Solar-Thermal Plant in Chile Announced

Abengoa has been selected by the Ministry of Energy of the Chilean Government and Corfo (Corporacion de Fomento de la Produccion) to develop a 110 MW solar plant using tower technology with 17.5 hours of thermal energy storage using molten salts. The project will be located in the Atacama Desert, the region, believed to have the highest solar radiation concentrations in the world. It will be the first solar-thermal plant for direct electricity production in South America.

Abengoa solar thermal plantAbengoa’s project won the international tender launched by the Chilean Ministry of Energy and Corfo to construct the first Concentrated Solar Power plant in Latin America. As part of this tender, the project will receive direct subsidies from the Chilean Government and the European Union, as well as financing from the Inter-American Development Bank, KFW Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau, the Clean Technology Fund and Canadian Fund.

Solar-thermal tower technology uses a series of mirrors (heliostats) that track the sun on two axes, concentrating the solar radiation on a receiver on the upper part of the tower where the heat is transferred to the molten salts. The salts then transfer their heat in a heat exchanger to a water current to generate superheated and reheated steam, which feeds a turbine capable of generating around 110 MW of power.

The solar plant will also have a pioneering thermal storage system with 17.5 hours of storage that has been designed and developed by Abengoa. The company explains this approach makes the technology highly manageable, enabling it to supply electricity in a stable way, 24 hours a day, responding to all periods of electricity demand.

Abengoa’s new project will be located in the commune of Maria Elena in the Antofagasta region, northern Chile. The project forms part of Chile’s national renewable energy program, intended to provide Chile with a cleaner energy future, while also promoting its economic development and reducing its dependency on coal and natural gas. Chile has set a target to produce 20% of its electricity from clean energy sources by 2025.

Construction of the project is due to start in the second half of 2014.

Grocer Greens Up Greens Delivery with Biodiesel

revolutionbiodieselThe veggies might have a nice, healthy green tone, but sometimes the fuel to deliver them… well, not so much. But this story from the Nelson Star in British Columbia says a Canadian organic grocery supply is working biodiesel into its delivery trucks to make those greens truly green.

Kootenay foodies and entrepreneurs Paul and Clare Kelly of Winlaw are helping shoppers at organic grocers ‘green up’ their produce purchases with their biofuel shipping company — Revolution Biodiesel.

“With much discussion around kitchen tables and in the media about the carbon impacts of food miles, we sometimes feel a little helpless,” says Paul. “Traditionally these food miles equate with massive volumes of diesel fuel, used to move heavy fresh food from far away orchards to packing houses, distribution warehouses, then on to retailers and consumer markets.”

Perishable foods like produce; dairy, eggs and meat require additional diesel fuel for the truck’s refrigeration unit. According to Paul, a typical freight truck will use over 500 L of diesel fuel to bring a load from Cawston (Canada’s organic fruit capital) to Calgary.

Making use of their contacts from a combined 25 years in Calgary’s natural food sector, and fuel from their on-farm biodiesel plant, the Kellys invested in a refrigerated truck that they could run on 100 per cent post-consumer fryer oil derived biodiesel.

The Kellys are looking to expand, but that would also depend on the availability of the waste grease for the biodiesel feedstock. But in the meantime, they have enough of the green fuel on hand to run three truckloads of veggies between Calgary and British Columbia for the next year.

Lignol Ups Ownership of Territory Biofuels to 100%

Lignol Energy logoCanada-based Lignol Energy Corp. is taking 100 percent control of Australia’s largest biodiesel producer, Territory Biofuels Ltd. (TBF). This article from Biodiesel Magazine says Lignol already had a controlling stake (55 percent) in the 37-million-gallon refinery.

TBF owns a large-scale biorefining facility located in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, which includes a Lurgi-designed biodiesel plant and the largest glycerin refinery in Australia. The facility was commissioned in 2008 at a cost of A$80 million, along with 38 million liters of related tankage, now leased by TBF. The biodiesel plant is the largest in Australia with a rated capacity of 140 million litres per year. The plant was originally built to run on palm oil and food-grade vegetable oil, however the plant was shut down in 2009 due to challenging technical and economic conditions. TBF is in the process of raising funds to restart the existing facility utilizing environmentally certified, refined, bleached and deodorized palm oil. In 2015, TBF plans to integrate new feedstock pretreatment technologies and catalysts to process a broader range of feedstocks such as lower quality tallow, used cooking oil and palm sludge oil; a waste product from palm oil mill extraction.

The deal is expected to be finalized by Jan. 31, 2014.

Biodiesel Maker Expands Beyond Mideast & McD’s

Neutral-Fuels-logoA biodiesel maker in Dubai in the oil-rich Middle East is looking to expand out of its region and expand out of its primary feedstock supplier: McDonald’s. This article from the Wall Street Journal says for the last couple of years, Neutral Fuels has been turning used french fry cooking oil into the green fuel, while expanding from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Asia, Africa and the Pacific.

That was 2011, and McDonald’s trucks have now travelled more than 2 million kilometers on biodiesel in the U.A.E. British citizen Mr. [Karl] Feilder has since agreed to help McDonald’s roll out a similar process in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa region where the chain is rapidly opening new stores. At the end of 2012, Neutral Fuels, the SME’s biodiesel subsidiary, set up a production facility in Melbourne to serve 152 McDonald’s outlets in the state of Victoria, and eventually aims to integrate 1,000 outlets in the wider Australia market.

Then in September, Neutral Fuels received 4 million Australian dollars from Lignol Energy Corporation, listed on Canada’s TSX Ventures Exchange, to acquire a 40% equity stake in the SME and a 51% interest in its Australia and New Zealand biodiesel operation. This year, Mr. Feilder wants to expand further. “There are two to three new countries on our list,” he said in an interview. “We want to be in five countries by the end of the year.”

China, Japan and Australia are currently McDonald’s biggest markets in the APMEA region, he said, without disclosing in which countries operations would next be started. Based in Dubai, The Neutral Group has set up offices in Australia, China, Hong Kong, New Zealand and South Africa.

The Neutral Group is also turning used cooking oil from Atlantis The Palm, one of Dubai’s signature hotels, into biodiesel and sells all its fuel on the open market in competition with petroleum-based diesel. A deal with Emirates Group and Etihad Airways is also in the works.

Simadan Investing $88.6 Mil in Dutch Biodiesel Plant

biodieselamsterdam1About $88.6 million is going into a Dutch biodiesel plant. This article from Biodiesel Magazine says Simadan Holding is putting the money into its subsidiary’s Biodiesel Amsterdam’s 45 million gallon a year refinery.

The new plant is part of the largest ecological industrial complex in Europe, according to Simadan Holding. The 12-acre complex now includes a biodiesel plant, a storage terminal, a 2-acre recycling plant, a biogas plant and tank cleaning. More than 99 percent of the incoming organic waste is converted into useful second-generation products, the company says. “Our biodiesel is of the highest quality and reduces CO2 emissions by more than 85 percent compared to fossil fuels,” said Peter Bakker, owner and founder of Simadan.

The project will also include a 50,000 ton a year glycerin distillation operation that will turn out a pharmaceutical-grade product.

Biodiesel Feedstock Palm Oil to Rebound in 2014

cargillpalmThe past year was a pretty tough one for biodiesel feedstock palm oil, but traders are expecting it to rebound in 2014. This story from the Malaysia Star says overproduction and anti-palm oil campaigns in some countries took their tolls, but there are some real positives on the horizon for palm oil and, consequently, biodiesel.

The Indonesian government recently set a higher requirement for a 10% palm oil biodiesel blend, up from 7.5% previously, that will lead to more CPO feedstock needed for biodiesel production in the republic, hence prompting lesser CPO to be exported for the world market.

Malaysia too is pushing hard for the nationwide implementation of its B5 biodiesel programme by July 2014. At the same time, the Government is also studying the possibility of introducing higher blends – B7 and B10 biodiesel – in the foreseeable future.

The B5 biodiesel is a blend of 5% palm oil or palm methyl ester with diesel fuel.

The full implementation of B5 nationwide for the subsidised and non-subsidised sectors will also see about 500,000 tonnes per year being taken up from the current local palm oil inventory.

This could effectively reduce the domestic palm oil stocks to below one million tonnes, and also, the palm biodiesel initiative could provide a floor price to support CPO prices at RM2,000 per tonne.

Some traders do warn that the Southeast Asian countries’ biodiesel mandates will only be effective if palm oil prices stay competitive with crude oil.

Neste’s Palm Oil Certified Sustainable 2 Years Early

palmoilFinnish renewable diesel producer Neste Oil has certified 100 percent of the palm oil used as the feedstock in its green fuel production process as sustainably produced. This company news release says the company was able to achieve that goal two years earlier than expected.

“We are very satisfied that our systematic work to ensure the sustainability of palm oil usage is bearing fruit in this way,” says Simo Honkanen, Neste OIl’s Senior Vice President, Sustainability and HSSE. “Neste Oil has been an industry pioneer in this area and the sustainability criteria and traceability practices that it has developed and implemented have the potential to serve as models for other industries. This achievement will give us a good foundation for further developing the sustainability of our supply chain.”

Certification verifies that the sustainability criteria set for biofuels are met throughout the supply chain. Neste Oil requires all its palm oil suppliers to be members of the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil). The palm oil used by Neste Oil is certified in accordance with the international certification systems approved under EU legislation, such as ISCC and RSPO-RED. These systems define what constitutes sustainable operations and the criteria used for determining sustainability, together with the documentation required for a sustainable supply chain. An independent third-party body is responsible for auditing Neste Oil’s certified palm oil producers annually.

The achievement comes less than a month after Neste Oil became the world’s first company to get the RSPO-RED Supply Chain certificate under the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil’s (RSPO) new certification system.

Argentina Files Complaint on EU Biodiesel Tariffs

argentinaflagArgentina is not sitting still for what it terms as “illegal tariffs” against its biodiesel going to the European Union. This story from the Wall Street Journal says, for the third time, the South American country has complained to the World Trade Organization about the EU’s block on the imported biodiesel.

Last month, the EU slapped steep import taxes on Argentine biofuel ranging from 217 to 246 euros ($298-$336) per metric ton, “having the direct and immediate effect of closing the European market to Argentine biodiesel and affecting exports worth over $1.5 billion per year,” the country’s foreign ministry said on Thursday.

A spokesman for the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The first step in the dispute resolution process is a request for consultations, in which the parties involved have 60 days to try to reach an agreement, the WTO said about the latest Argentine complaint. If no agreement is reached, Argentina can then request a WTO panel be convened to settle the dispute.

EU biofuels makers say Argentina unfairly dumps its biodiesel on the European market.

Argentina is also trying to counter the effects of the EU ban on its biodiesel by increasing its own domestic biodiesel blending requirement for vehicles and start using it in power plants.

EU Guidelines Undermine Renewable Energy

The European Commission proposes putting an end to differentiated support for renewable technologies such as onshore and offshore wind in its consultation of draft State aid guidelines for energy and the environment published this week according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). This would effectively stop Member States from determining their own energy mix – a fundamental principle of EU energy policy says EWEA.

AREVA OFFSHORE MASTS“These guidelines, if adopted in their present form, endanger Member States’ ability to meet their 2020 renewable energy targets cost effectively,” said Pierre Tardieu from the EWEA. “Moreover, following the destabilising regulatory changes for renewable energy in many countries, requiring further fundamental changes to support mechanisms would cause major investor uncertainty.” The organization has drafted its own brief related to the EU’s proposed guidelines.

EWEA is calling for Member States and stakeholders to speak out to ensure the guidelines do not put at risk their path to the 2020 targets when they take part in the consultation on the proposal that has been launched. The guidelines are expected to enter into force on 1 July 2014.

Separately, the European Commission has announced investigations into the German renewable energy support mechanism, the EEG, and the UK’s measures offering generous support to nuclear energy.

“The EEG investigation risks undermining the wind industry in Germany by destabilising investors, and putting at risk the jobs, energy security and industrial leadership brought by wind and other renewables,” said Tardieu. “The Commission needs to carry out this investigation as rapidly and with as little disruption as possible.”

“The UK nuclear investigation is welcome, since the proposed 35-year subsidy would wreck efforts for a single European electricity market until after the year 2058 – over 100 years after the first commercial nuclear power plant was installed at Sellafield/Windscale in the UK,” Tardieu concluded.

Toyota Racing Biodiesel SUV in Dakar Rally

toyotadakar1Toyota will race a biodiesel-powered SUV in the 2014 Dakar Rally. This story in the Japan Times says Toyota Auto Body Co. team will run a Toyota Land Cruiser 200 in the roughly 5,500-km off-road race through Argentina, Bolivia and Chile next month.

The Land Cruiser will run on biodiesel made from used cooking oil, emitting 60 percent less carbon dioxide than regular diesel.

“I want to compete on the world stage in a Japanese car and with Japanese technology,” driver Jun Mitsuhashi said Wednesday at an event in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, to announce the team’s entry in the race.

The annual rally, started in 1978, is open to amateurs with an off-road racing license as well as professional teams. It formerly ran from Paris to Dakar, Senegal, but has been held in South America since 2009.

Hydro-PV Hybrid Project in China Connects to Grid

What is believed to be the world’s largest hydro and PV hybrid project has been connected to the grid and is now supplying power from the Longyangxia Dam in Qinghai Province, China. Yingli Green Energy Holding Company, who supplied 15 MW YGE series photovoltaic (PV) modules for the project congratulated the project team for its successful efforts.

Longyangxia DamWith a total capacity of 320 MW, the project began construction in March 2013 and started grid connection and commissioning last week. During its 25 years lifetime, the hyrdo-solar project is expected to deliver 498 million kWh of electricity per year to the grid.

“We feel delighted about the successful grid connection of world’s largest hydro and PV hybrid project,” said Liansheng Miao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Yingli Green Energy. “In addition to this hydro and PV hybrid project, the company has also been acting proactively in integrating PV with architecture, agricultural, and other fields. For example, the Power Valley International Hotel – world’s first five star hotel with BIPV application applied our curtain wall Series PV modules, integrating solar power generation into the overall design and making the building more environmental friendly.”

Miao added, “The Company also focuses on the innovative applications of PV modules with traditional agriculture, promoting the development of eco-agriculture. Besides, we installed more than 20 MW PV modules on our factories, parking lots, and other facilities, which will provide approximate 23 million kWh solar electricity per year for the company’s production and operation. This will help the company to reduce CO2 emission and increase renewable energy consumption.”

Multi-Feedstock Biodiesel Plant in France Ready

BDI-franceAn Austrian company is bringing a multi-feedstock biodiesel plant in France into operation. BDI – BioEnergy International AG announced the $22.5 million project uses animal fats and used cooking oil as its feedstock.

The commission covered the entire BioDiesel process, including installation of the plant. The project was completed on schedule and as budgeted within eleven months, when it was handed over to the satisfied customer. The biggest Multi-Feedstock BioDiesel plant in France does not process the predominant raw material in France (rapeseed oil); instead of this, it produces high-quality BioDiesel solely from waste materials and animal fats.

The French customer ESTENER can benefit from this plant in an additional way too, because BioDiesel manufactured from waste materials in France counts double towards the achievement of the national renewable energy targets.

“We are particularly proud that our technology was chosen for the construction of the first Multi-Feedstock BioDiesel plant in France and that we have succeeded in satisfying our customer by implementing the project successfully”, says Dr. Edgar Ahn (CSO).

BDI – BioEnergy International AG builds customized biodiesel plants using vegetable oils, used cooking oils and animal fats.

Fossil Fuel Subsidies Reach $544B

According to the World Energy Outlook fossil fuel consumption subsidies have reached $544 billion in 2012, up from $523 billion in 2011. This news has caused the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA) to criticize leaders of the most developed nations for failing to reduce fossil fuel subsidies despite their commitment to eliminate them four years ago.

This weekend marked the end of this year’s United Climate Change Conference and Bliss Baker, GRFA spokesperson said “Another year has passed without any progress being made in eliminating these wasteful crude oil subsidies. These market distorting subsidies hurt developing economies and slow the development of alternative fuels, like biofuels.”

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 11.22.41 AMIn 2009, at the Pittsburgh G20 Summit, the world’s most developed countries committed to eliminating unnecessary fossil fuel subsidies. Back in 2009, fossil fuel subsidies had reached $300 billion, 45 percent less than where they are today.

This year’s figure of $544 billion in fossil fuel consumption subsidies shows that efforts to reduce them are not working says Baker. Even more egregious is the fact that this number does not include the production subsidies governments provide directly to crude oil companies, which is widely accepted to be in excess of $100 billion he adds.

“The GRFA finds it worrying that although we seem to be very aware of climate change, the leaders of the world’s most important nations have not slowed the subsidization of the consumption and production of crude oil in four years,” said Baker.

This year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference featured a “Transport Day” and “Fossil-Fuel Subsidies and Climate Change” side events. The focus of these events was land transport and fossil fuel subsidy reform. Land transport, according to the International Energy Agency (EIA), is the fastest growing source of carbon dioxide emissions, contributing 13 percent of global emissions. Eliminating fossil fuel subsidies could further reduce global emissions by a minimum of 10 percent.

“It is disturbing that no progress on the sources of over 20% of the world’s carbon emissions was made and that land transport and fossil fuels subsidies were reduced to side events at the premier conference established to determine the best ways of combating climate change,” added Baker.

He concluded, “This year’s Warsaw Climate Conference is another lost opportunity for leaders of the most developed nations to show some leadership and get serious about cutting subsidies to crude oil and increase biofuels share of the global future energy mix.”