The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center will move away from developing crop-based ethanol to fungible fuels and chemicals. "We're trying to re-task native pathways and engineer next-generation microbial factories that can manufacture valuable fuels and chemicals from renewable wastes," according to a statement by Tim Donohue, director of GLBRC.
Under-delivery and over-simplification are the biggest challenges facing the biobased industry that have led to investor and customer disappointment, according to Genomatica co-founder and CEO Christophe Schilling. He also talked about a biobased athletic shirt made with bio-butanediol, the company's first product.
UPM Biofuels' Biofore Concept Car, a joint production with the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, uses biobased materials for the majority of its parts and runs on the company's wood-based renewable diesel, said Anneli Kunnas, manager of UPM's stakeholder relations and marketing division. The concept car highlights the potential of UPM's biomaterials and the company's change into a leader of the forest-based bioindustry.
A group of 20 cellulosic biofuels trade groups sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency urging it to consider corn kernel fiber-derived cellulosic ethanol as it develops the proposed Renewable Fuel Standard renewable volume obligations for 2019. "Investments in cellulosic biofuel production are paying off, particularly through innovations in use of corn kernel fibers," said Brent Erickson, Biotechnology Innovation Organization executive vice president and head of the Industrial Biotechnology section.
Data from the Energy Information Administration showed that ethanol production in the US declined by 41,000 barrels per day from the previous week to reach an average of 1.016 million barrels per day, a five-week low. The four-week average also dropped to 1.044 million barrels per day for an annualized rate of 16 billion gallons.
A study published in Science showed how Broad Institute researchers David Liu and Weixin Tang used the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology to create a cellular recorder from DNA molecules called plasmids and inspired by flight-data recorders found in airplanes. Dubbed as CAMERA1, the device could read information from as few as ten bacterial cells, according to the study.
Tire manufacturer Bridgestone Americas has entered into several agreements related to the development of natural rubber and byproducts made from guayule, a desert shrub. Bridgestone and Italian firm Versalis will develop and distribute a technology package to market guayule as a sustainable source of natural rubber and as an important addition to the renewable chemical sector, while its collaboration with genomics firm NRGene aims to improve the shrub's breeding.
Wind is expected to reach grid parity with fossil fuels in the US and Denmark in 2025, according to Lloyd's Register 2018 Technology Radar, an opinion-led survey of 800 industry experts. Seventy-one percent of participants said they expect technology to shape the renewables industry more than policy or regulations over the next five years.
IKEA has partnered with Big Clean Switch to offer UK customers the lowest possible prices for renewable energy. Interested customers can sign up for the program, with the eventual energy costs to be based on the number of enrollments.
The EU can double the proportion of renewables in its energy portfolio while realizing annual cost savings of up to $139 billion per year by 2030, according to an International Renewable Energy Agency report. By increasing renewables to account for 34% of its energy mix, the EU could also reduce emissions by an additional 15%, the report states.
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