A partnership between British Airways and renewable fuels company Velocys will convert waste biomass into sustainable jet biofuel. British Airways will also help design plants that will produce the waste-derived fuels, which would generate 60% fewer carbon dioxide emissions than traditional fossil fuels and "will contribute to the airline's commitment to reduce net emissions by 50% by 2050," the carrier said.
Ethanol production in the US reached an average of 1.047 million barrels per day, down by 13,000 barrels per day from the previous week, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. The four-week average also declined to 1.05 million barrels per day for an annualized rate of 16.1 billion gallons.
The September edition of the Energy Information Administration's Short-Term Energy Outlook expects the US to produce 1.03 million barrels of ethanol per day in 2017 and to reach 1.04 million barrels per day in 2018, an increase from the August edition's forecast of 1.02 million barrels per day. Ethanol production is also forecast to average 1.03 million barrels per day during the third and fourth quarters of this year and to remain at 1.03 million barrels per day in the first quarter of next year.
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Gen3Bio uses the enzymolysis technology it licensed from the University of Toledo in Ohio to produce microalgae-derived biobased chemicals including bioethanol, and lactic and succinic acid that can be used for the production of bioplastics and other specialty chemicals. The technology extracts the microalgae's fats, sugars and proteins by using a combination of commercially available enzymes.
Bayer and Ginkgo Bioworks are creating a company that will focus on using synthetic biology to create more efficient agricultural microbes, specifically the kind that carry nitrogen to soybeans and other plants. Separately, Bayer CropScience executive Adrian Percy said the company, once merged with Monsanto, will focus on developing herbicides and educating the public about new technologies, among other areas.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology's venture fund The Engine has invested in its first group of seven startups working in various fields such as synthetic biology, renewable energy and aerospace. One of the startups that received funding was Kytopen, which is developing a technology that speeds up the modification of microorganisms.
China has devised a plan to turn straw stalks and other agricultural waste into biofuel, in an effort to cut pollution and replace 10% of auto fuel with ethanol by 2020. The project is also designed to cut air pollution from burning farm waste, but some believe it might actually contribute to the problem.
Japanese chemical firm DIC will help create natural food colors from microalgae under a joint development agreement with French microalgae company Fermentalg. The deal will develop all shades of natural food colors, but will focus on phycocyanin, the bluish-green protein pigments derived from Spirulina.