Increased renewable energy demand could mean big bioenergy opportunities
The U.S. corn and ethanol industries are projected to have a record-breaking 2016, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has revised its predictions for future renewable energy usage. This all as major gas station chains consider the best ways to introduce E15 nationwide. Keep reading for these and more stories from the week in bioenergy!
New research boosts biofuel production in E. coli bacteria
Engineers at Washington University have taken another step toward industrial production of biofuel via modified E. coli bacteria.
While E. coli is often considered a bad bug, researchers commonly use laboratory-adapted E. coli that lacks the ability to make humans sick, but can grow just as fast. That same quality gives it the potential to crank out biofuels, pharmaceuticals and other useful products. This new breakthrough—which boosts production through by altering the bacteria’s protein structure—helps eliminate a bottleneck in the production process. Read more about the research at the Washington University website.
EIA updates its short-term bioenergy forecasts
The EIA released the August edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, predicting total renewables used in the electric power sector will increase by 10.5% in 2016 and 4.3% in 2017. Consumption of renewable energy other than hydropower is expected to increase by 12.9% this year and 9.6% next year.
According to the EIA, waste biomass is expected to be used to generate 112,000 MWh of electricity per day this year, increasing to 114,000 MWh per day next year. Generation from waste biomass is expected to fall slightly, from 60,000 MWh per day this year to 59,000 MWh per day next year. Get more highlights from the report at Biomass Magazine.
Sheetz, Thortons execs discuss strategically rolling out E15
Since Emily Skor’s keynote address at the 2016 Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Conference in June, the idea of connecting with ethanol consumers has been one of the industry’s hot topics. Now, as E15—a 15% ethanol/gasoline blend—is being more broadly rolled out nationwide, it’s more important than ever before that consumers are enthusiastic about a cleaner-burning, higher octane fuel.
Ethanol Producer Magazine sat down with executives from Sheetz and Thortons to get their thoughts on how to strategically offer this new fuel—what works, what hasn’t worked so well and what’s at stake. Read the full article at Ethanol Producer Magazine.
Record crop, production underscore importance of strong RFS
The U.S. Department of Agriculture released estimates that American farmers are poised to harvest a record corn crop this fall and achieve the highest yield per acres in U.S. history. Additionally, the Department of Energy last week projected that the U.S. is also on pace to produce a record amount of ethanol.
On the heels of these projections, the Renewable Fuel Association is looking to strengthen its case for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to keep to Congress’ Renewable Fuel Standard recommendations going forward. Get all the details at AgWired.