A bipartisan group of senators said a push by oil refiners to shift yearly biofuel use requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard downstream would be "unwarranted and indefensible." The senators urged President Donald Trump to reject the request in a March 16 letter.
A study using a NASA DC-8 found that a 50-50 mixture of conventional fuel and biofuel used in flights cuts particle emissions as much as 70%. Researchers expect that many airlines will adapt to using biofuel within 10 years.
Alliance BioEnergy Plus estimates that it can produce cellulosic ethanol that costs 91 cents per gallon using its patented cellulose-to-sugar conversion process, compared with $3.50 per gallon with an enzymatic conversion process using corn stover as feedstock, according to the firm's research. "We have a groundbreaking solution that allows us to create the fuel we need from the waste we don't, all at a cost that is significantly cheaper for commercial purposes," said CEO Daniel de Liege.
Chinese toy company BanBao's sustainable plastic children's building blocks, which were developed with the help of Dutch company Biopromotions, will be introduced in North America in June. The toy blocks will be made of 95% sugarcane-derived polyethylene, use 100% biobased materials for the packaging, glues, stickers and instructions, and will not contain any oil-based chemicals.
Scientists have recoded a portion of the genome of the Salmonella bacterium in a process that may one day lead to the creation of unique proteins and help produce new drugs and vaccines, a study published in bioRxiv reports. Researchers are looking to recode complete genomes so they can give the proteins they produce new properties different from anything that lives on Earth.
Using the CRISPR-Cas9 technique, researchers in China have successfully edited genetic mutations in viable human embryos for the first time, but they also encountered a major problem that will need to be addressed before the technique can be used safely, according to findings published in Molecular Genetics and Genomics. Two of the embryos were mosaics in which edited and unedited cells mixed, meaning the disease the editing was meant to fix might still develop.
Canfor Pulp, an integrated forest products company in Vancouver, Canada, will build its first-ever commercial-scale facility for producing biocrude oil from wood waste from its three facilities in British Columbia. "We have the opportunity to create a truly renewable biofuel that can easily integrate with conventional fuels to dramatically lower environmental impacts," said Martin Pudlas, vice president of operations at Canfor.
UK renewable energy firm Active Energy will use the $14.4 million it raised through convertible loan notes to build its first commercial-scale CoalSwitch biomass fuel production plant. "The completion of this capital raise supports our strategy to accelerate the production of CoalSwitch and to collaborate with forestry owners around the world to increase the commercial viability of their timberland assets," said Active Energy CEO Richard Spinks.