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US Leads Global Advanced Biofuels Market

NavigantThe US is the dominant force in the advanced biofuels market, with 67 percent of current global projects based in America, according to a study by Navigant Research.

The US’ Renewable Fuel Standard, which calls for 21 billion gallons of advanced biofuel production by 2022, will help keep the US at the epicenter of the market in the coming years, according to Advanced Biofuels Country Rankings.

However, emerging opportunities for advanced biofuels growth, across a diverse range of non-food feedstocks and conversion platforms, are beginning to coalesce in a number of countries outside the US, the report says.

Growth in advanced biorefinery infrastructure will be moderate through 2015, according to the report, as new commercial facilities seek to demonstrate viability at scale and government support retreats from post-stimulus highs across the US, Europe and China. Over the medium term (2015-2018), however, a wave of retrofits and capital light deployments co-located alongside conventional biorefinery infrastructure is expected to usher in an expansion of advanced biorefinery capacity, followed by an increase in greenfield projects, the report says.

In other biofuels news, Chempolis, a Finland-based biorefining technology corporation, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Indian oil and exploration company ONGC that investigates building India’s first biorefinery project. Further to the first biorefinery, Chempolis and ONGC are targeting at larger production of sustainable biofuels in India.

California-based biofuels company Biosynthetic Technologies has announced that operations of its demonstration production plant within chemical company Albemarle’s existing Baton Rouge facility have commenced. Biosynthetic Technologies is now moving forward with development of a full-scale commercial production plant.

Additionally, Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad has launched a public-private partnership that aims to expand the market for mid-level biofuels blends. Through the use of current funding, “Fueling Our Future” aims to establish more blender pumps containing petroleum with a high ethanol content and biodiesel at gas retailers around the state.

According to research released this week by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory there is no evidence that petroleum blends containing higher amounts of ethanol cause damage to engines, contradicting an earlier study. The NREL study found that the available literature did not show any “meaningful differences” between a 15 percent ethanol blend, or “E15,” and a 10 percent blend, or “E10,” in “any performance category,” directly conflicting a controversial study released by Coordinating Research Council earlier this year.

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