Tops begins shift to more sustainable packaging | Plastic wrap alternative made from cornstarch | Partial retroactive waivers recommended by DOE
August 5, 2020
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Renewable Chemicals
Tops Markets will transition from the foam trays it uses to package produce, planning a shift to sustainable trays by summer's end. The grocer will use Earthcycle packages from CFK, which are made from a blend of wood fibers and is designed to ensure produce stays fresher for longer periods.
Full Story: Progressive Grocer (7/29) 
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Great Wrap, a biodegradable and compostable industrial pallet wrap made from acids and plant-based resins from cornstarch, was created and released by Jordy and Julia Kay. The non-toxic wrap and a similar product made for home kitchen use breaks down in 180 days.
Full Story: Broadsheet (Australia) (8/4) 
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Advanced Biofuels
For the retroactive biofuel blending waiver requests, the Department of Energy recommends that the Environmental Protection Agency grant partial exemptions, said two sources familiar with the matter. Refiners would be able to comply with a court ruling from earlier this year if the requests are granted.
Full Story: Reuters (8/4) 
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The American Coalition for Ethanol is asking Senate leaders to use more specific language in the economic relief bill about providing aid to ethanol producers. "We are grateful Senate leaders have responded to our request for economic relief to biofuel producers in the phase four stimulus, however, Congress gave USDA the flexibility to provide relief for renewable fuel producers in the last package and USDA declined to exercise it," said ACE CEO Brian Jennings.
Full Story: AgWired (7/29) 
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Synthetic Biology and CRISPR
Researchers who say they've removed a gene responsible for pigment in squid eyes and skin for the first time describe the process in Current Biology. Further study of the animal shows potential for use in robotics, military technology and artificial intelligence.
Full Story: USA Today (7/31) 
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Dedicated Feedstocks
A $13 million grant was awarded by the Department of Energy to a nationwide project headed by John Sedbrook, a genetics professor at Illinois State University. The project aims to strengthen the pennycress plant genetically for possible use in biofuel and bioenergy production.
Full Story: WMBD-TV/WYZZ-TV (Peoria, Ill.) (7/30) 
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California-based Lygos and India-based Praj Industries will be working together to create a more sustainable feedstock with which to make bioplastic. The companies will be using yeast to brew lactic acid, which is used to create bioplastic polylactic acid.
Full Story: Forbes (8/1) 
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Brazilian researchers have created a process to turn used cooking oil and lithium batteries into biofuel. Results of the study were published in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy.
Full Story: Karma (8/3) 
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How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives.
Judy Blume,
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