Nissan announced a new system that will power vehicles with bio-ethanol, researchers set sail for one year at sea with a vessel powered by 100% ethanol, and the U.S. ethanol industry is about to expand even more. Read on for more details of the top biofuel headlines from the past week.

Nissan Spreads Bets on Future Fuel with Ethanol-Run Electric Car

Nissan Motor Co. is developing a system that will power vehicles with electricity generated from ethanol. The new vehicle will have a range similar to average gasoline-powered cars – about 373 miles and much farther than electric cars. Hideyuki Sakamoto, executive vice president, estimates the car will be available to consumers in 2020. Read more about Nissan’s project on Bloomberg.

Biofuels Establish Future in Marine Equipment

Scripps Institute of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego operates one of the top research fleets in the world, and as part of the university’s pledge to become carbon neutral by 2025, the institute decided to test biofuel for one of its ships. Scripps researchers received a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to test the use of biofuel on the research vessel Robert Gordon Sproul. More than one year later, the ship has traveled nearly 14,400 miles at sea, using a total of 52,500 gallons of 100% renewable diesel. The trial run was able to show that the existing ship ran as well, if not better, on biofuel. Learn more about the future of biofuel marine equipment on the University of California’s website.

American Drivers Fueling a Wave of Deals for Ethanol Makers

As ethanol demand rises due to the increasing price of oil, there couldn’t be a more ideal time for the U.S. ethanol industry to grow. Ethanol prices have rebounded since January lows, crush margins increased to $0.17 and the increased demand for gasoline (blended with ethanol) has prompted producers to hunt for deals to expand capacity and increase efficiency. For example, Green Plains Inc. agreed to buy two plants from Spain’s Abengoa SA. If the deal goes through, the company would supersede Valero Energy Corp. as the third-biggest U.S. Ethanol Producer by capacity. Read more about the acquisition and how it will affect the industry on Bloomberg.

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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.