From Ireland to Nova Scotia, more countries are looking into bioenergy options as they ramp up efforts to divest from fossil fuels. The U.S., meanwhile, continues to set ethanol production records. Keep reading, because your weekly news roundup starts now!

Ireland may become first country to stop funding fossil fuels

Ireland is close to becoming the first country in the world to completely divest from fossil fuels, thanks to a new bill recently passed by the Irish Parliament.

If set into law after review, the vote would halt public funding of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas from the $8.6 billion Ireland Strategic Investment Fund.

At this stage, the bill still has to be signed into law after review. If it passes, the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund would have to drop all investments in fossil fuel companies over the next five years.

The bill would also mark the first time an entire country divested totally from fossil fuels, though some countries have started marching toward that end goal already.

For more on this story, visit Science Alert.

Ethanol producers have another record-breaking week

The U.S. ethanol industry set another new record for production the week ending Jan. 27, with production averaging 1.061 million barrels per day. The industry set new records three out of four weeks in January.

The new record replaces one set two weeks earlier, when production averaged 1.054 million barrels per day the week ending Jan. 13.

The U.S. ethanol industry has surpassed the 1 million barrel per day mark only 28 times, all since November 2015. Prior to November 2015, the ethanol production record sat at 994,000 barrels per day, which was set the week of June 19, 2015.

Read more about recent production trends and records at Ethanol Producer Magazine.

Study shows Nova Scotia could develop biorefinery

A new study shows Nova Scotia has strong potential to develop an innovative biorefinery that produces an alternative fuel from renewable sources of fiber. The liquid biofuel could be used to heat homes and power marine vessels, among other potential uses, according to a study done by Nova Scotia’s Innovation Hub, an industrial, applied-research initiative.

The study shows that sufficient renewable fiber is generated in Nova Scotia to supply a commercial scale plant producing liquid biofuel. The fiber could come from byproducts produced by forestry operations, such as wood chips and tree bark, as well as from farm crops and municipal solid waste sources.

Read the full release at the Nova Scotia government website.

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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.