The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing large-scale changes to the renewable fuel standard (RFS) — changes that would improve the availability of higher ethanol fuel blends. At the same time, a new white paper is painting the RFS itself in an even more positive light. All this and more in this week’s news roundup!


EPA proposes big updates to RFS regulations

The EPA released its proposed Renewable Enhancement and Growth Support rule, which aims to enhance the RFS program and related fuel regulations to support the growth of ethanol and other renewable fuels.


The proposal includes updated regulations to allow biofuels producers to partially process feedstock at one facility and convert the resulting material into fuels at another. Regulations are also updated to allow for expanded availability of high-ethanol fuel blends for use in flex fuel vehicles and includes new feedstock approvals for cellulosic biofuels produced from poplar and willow, cellulosic diesel produced from compressing of cellulosic feedstocks and petroleum, and renewable diesel and biodiesel produced from non-cellulosic portions of separated food waste.


Learn more about the updated regulations at Ethanol Producer Magazine.


Company makes cattle feed from DDGS without using binding agents

A Nebraska company has found a way to make dry cattle feed pellets from distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) without adding any binding ingredients.


Specialized equipment is used to press distillers’ grain into a cube and apply heat to form a protective outer layer, with corn oil in the feed helping to seal the cube. In addition to making the feed pellets, the company will also sell the equipment to other firms that want to make the feed pellets.


Read more about the innovation at Biofuels International. Or, read our recent post to learn more about DDGS.


New report dispels myth of the blend wall and high RIN prices

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) released the new white paper, “The Myth of High RIN Prices As Proof of the Blend Wall,” analyzing data recently released by the EPA on compliance with the Renewable Fuel Standard between 2010 and 2013 (the latest year for which compliance is complete).


The newly available data challenge widely accepted assumption that the blend wall — the point at which ethanol blending in gasoline exceeds 10% — caused the 2013 spike in Renewable Identification Number (RIN) spot market prices.


“The success of the Renewable Fuel Standard has become distorted by the myth that U.S. refiners have encountered an unbreakable blend wall,” said Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section. “EPA should reconsider its proposed RFS rules for 2017 in light of the newly available data.”


Get more details, including the full report, at Business Wire.

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Geoff Hayward

Communications Advisor at Novozymes
Geoff writes about Bioenergy for the Communications team at Novozymes. When he isn’t advocating for an industry that’s changing the world for the better, he can be found on a North Carolina bike path or playing slide guitar.