The US generated nearly 1.79 billion Renewable Identification Numbers in April, including almost 7.02 million for D5 advanced biofuel, bringing the total to 22.67 million for the first four months of the year, according to data from the Environmental Protection Agency. The agency estimates that 5.61 billion RINs are unlocked and available, 175.1 million are locked and available, and 144.52 million are retired.
Advanced biofuels use within the airline industry have raised several issues, including finding biofuels that can meet its requirements and sources approved by environmental groups. The industry also awaits for an update to an ASTM International committee standard that would increase renewable jet fuel production from 2 million gallons to a possible 2 billion gallons annually, which is "really an important step because it gets us out of the experimental phase and gets industries into large quantities at cost-competitive prices," said Darrin Morgan, director of Boeing's sustainable biofuels strategy.
GreenBiz talks with Aaron Stash, manager of environmental strategy for United Airlines, about the company's award-winning sustainable efforts with aviation biofuels and the commitment among company leaders to give back to their communities. "We're working with biofuel producers to introduce more biofuel into operations so that all airlines could use and it really becomes the norm," Stash said.
Japanese firm Euglena has received $9.86 million from five companies, including Isuzu Motors, Kobashi Kogyo and Chiyoda, to hasten the commercialization of its jet fuel made from microalgae. The investment will be used for the construction of a bio jet fuel testing facility that is expected to begin operations in 2019 and to supply fuel for planes and buses in 2020.
The Environmental Protection Agency has regulated about 50% of new chemicals since Toxic Substances Control Act reform was passed last year, up from about 10% before, a former agency official said. The EPA's backlog as of May 9 is down to 181 proposals.
New materials firm Alterra Holdings will use DuPont's Nuvolve-brand polysaccharide materials in creating polylactic acid and polyhydroxyalkanoate bioplastic compounds capable of biodegrading at faster rates. Polysaccharide use in some PHA applications allow the materials to completely biodegrade in 24 days.
Novozymes said it will expand its operation in Blair, Neb., that makes enzymes for the production of ethanol from agricultural byproducts. The $36 million project will increase the facility's fermentation capacity by about half, plant manager Kyle Nixon said.
The National Science Foundation's Semiconductor Synthetic Biology for Information Processing and Storage Technologies program has issued a solicitation for proposals focused on exploring the interaction between synthetic biology and semiconductor technologies. The program expects to award up to 10 grants amounting to almost $4 million per year for three years and will accept submissions until October.
Sophia Roosth's book "Synthetic: How Life Got Made" explains that "synthetic biologists, by a pragmatic definition, are people who identify as synthetic biologists ... at a methodological level what unites this diverse cast of characters is sociology." The book delves into the synthetic biologists' anthropology, history and society, and also tackles the oxymoron of the term "synthetic biology."
Genetically modified gut bacteria can produce full-color photocopies of images shone onto their colonies, according to a study published in Nature Chemical Biology. Escherichia coli bacteria have been engineered to sense red, green and blue light that they reproduce in about eight hours.