While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) caused a stir in the industry, DDGS exports got an unexpected bump, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the funding of 30 interesting biofuel projects.

Keep reading for your weekly biofuel news roundup!

New Zealand triples US DDGS purchases

New Zealand’s got milk—record amounts of milk production—and the country’s dairy industry is feeding triple the amount of U.S. distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) year-over-year.

The 2017 milk supply in New Zealand is expected to reach 21.9 million tons, surpassing the prior record of 2014, thanks to higher-expected cow numbers and optimal pasture conditions. Now, the door is open for increased use of DDGS following local crop failures due to excessive rains compounded by an industry push to limit the ration of PKM.

As a result, grain buyers significantly increased purchases. New Zealand has purchased 113,000 metric tons of U.S. DDGS in the 2016-17 marketing year (September-July), up significantly from the 37,000 tons imported the same time the year prior. While this market is currently small, these sales represent the potential for demand growth.

Learn more at Ethanol Producer Magazine.

Growth Energy, Sen. Grassley urge follow-through on RFS support

Growth Energy as well as Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, are calling on the EPA to uphold the goals of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) following the agency’s release of a Notice of Data Availability concerning potential further reductions in the 2018 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for biodiesel, advanced, and total renewable fuel.

“While these are significant reductions, they do not decrease the expected 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuel in the RVO; however, we have significant concerns that this action indicates that the EPA may backpedal on the promise and growth of the RFS,” Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said.

Sen. Grassley had similarly strong words during a floor speech to the U.S. Senate.

“I plan to press the administration to drop this terrible plan,” Grassley said. “I hope the officials working for the president will keep his word, so I’ll make sure the EPA hears loud and clear the impact the EPA’s proposal will have on Iowa’s corn and soybean farmers, and biofuel producers.”

Biofuel projects win DOE support

Thirty research projects focused on biofuels have been selected for the U.S. Community Science Program (CSP) of the DOE Joint Genome Institute.

The 30 successful CSP proposals were selected from 76 full submissions. Among the projects aiming to investigate genomic and analytical capabilities are several focused on the underlying mechanisms of bioenergy generation and biogeochemical processes, including:

  • Udaya Kalluri of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, who is aiming to determine how modifying plant cell walls in poplar can affect plant-microbe interactions and the utility of poplar for biofuel production.
  • Norma Martinez-Gomez of Michigan State University, who aims to identify the rare-earth element dependent enzymes involved in plant-microbe interactions that can boost the potential biofuel crop yields, while reducing the need for fertilizers.

Learn more at Bioenergy News.

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Geoff Hayward

Communications Writer 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.