May 2009 news

29.05.09 Municipal waste to biofuels plant to start production in Canada

Enerkem, a waste-to-biofuels technology company, announced this week that Enerkem GreenField Alberta Biofuels (EGAB) has been granted a permit to commence construction of a commercial facility to produce biofuels and green chemicals from sorted municipal solid waste in Edmonton, Canada.

"This unprecedented project is set to change the dynamics of the waste and fuel industries by making waste - that would otherwise be landfilled - a resource for transportation fuels," said Vincent Chornet, President and Chief Executive Officer of Enerkem. "The City of Edmonton is a leader in waste management and is now pioneering this solution which is to become a model for cities around the globe".

Download press release [pdf file]

(source: Biofuels International / Enerkem)

28.05.09 Global oilseed production to hit record high

Global oilseed production is expected to reach a record high of 422.1 million tons in 2009, up from 25.9 million tons in the previous year, reports Biofuels International.

The record increase is attributed to the increased demand of the commodity for biofuel production. (The oils obtained from many of the oilseeds are raw materials for the production of biodiesel). The top countries and regions with the highest demand for oilseeds are China, India and the European Union.


(source: ISAAA / Biofuels International)

27.05.09 Sustainability principles for U.S. biodiesel

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) in the U.S. has established a Sustainability Task Force to guide its membership in ongoing efforts to assess and improve environmentally, economically, and socially-responsible biodiesel production. The task force recently defined a set of nine Sustainability Principles for biodiesel, available now on their website.

The NBB is the trade association representing the U.S. biodiesel industry as the coordinating body for research and development.


(source: Advanced Motor Fuels Newsletter #2 / NBB)

20.05.09 17th European Biomass Conference & Exhibition - from Research to Industry and Markets

From 29 June to 3 July, experts and decision-makers in all areas of the biomass industry, researchers and politicians are invited to join the European Biomass Conference & Exhibition, which will be held in Hamburg (Germany).

The event, endorsed by Biofuel Cities European Partnership, focuses on: biomass resources; biomass conversion to heat and electricity; fuels from biomass; biomass markets; and policies and sustainability.

The conference will provide an inspiring platform for the whole biomass sector, and a professional environment for networking and the initiation of new technology projects and relationships within the biomass industry. In addition to plenary, oral and visual presentations, delegates will be able to attend policy reviews, workshops and the technical exhibition.

As Giovanni Federigo De Santi, Director of the Institute for Energy, Joint Research Centre (JRC) - European Commission and chairman of the conference states: "The 17th European Biomass Conference & Exhibition this year will be the most important event for all aspects of Biomass and a good opportunity to review the developments in policy, markets, industry, technology, research and education. We expect the results of this European Biomass Conference & Exhibition will support the European Union's specific targets for Renewable Energy for 2020 and the implementation of the corresponding actions".

For further information, registration and accreditation, visit

19.05.09 EPA launches plans for sustainable biofuels in the US

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a new strategy for improving the supply of sustainable fuels on the American market. This concerns the supply of 36 billion gallons of renewable energy fuels, from 2022 onwards, as previously defined in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. The new categories proposed by the Act will be cellulosic biofuels, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuels and total renewable fuel.


(source: GAVE-news / U.S. EPA)

18.05.09 Dutch biodiesel plants cease production

The seven biodiesel plants located in the Netherlands have been more or less idle since last year. The plants have a combined production capacity of 500,000 tons, but only 80,000 tons of this was actually used, according to Geert Eisink, secretary of the VNBI (Dutch association for the biodiesel industry).


(source: GAVE-news)

14.05.09 Low CVP Conference in London, 8 June

The Changing Climate for Vehicles and Fuels is the theme for the sixth annual Low Carbon Vehicle Partnerhsip (LowCVP) Conference.

The event will focus on government and industry responses to both the opportunities and threats facing the auto industry. Several high profile speakers have confirmed their attendance, these include the British Transport Secretary, Geoff Hoon, London Mayor, Boris Johnson, and Doug Parr, Chief Scientist at Greenpeace.

The event will feature a debate on the nature and justification of plans for supporting the motor industry through its current difficulties, as well as presentations on the most promising alternative fuel technologies. The morning sessions will focus on the climate issue and the imperative to reduce transport-related emissions and the perspective of business.

The conference is being held in association with the 'WhatCar?' Green Awards and with the Revolve London to Brighton Eco-Rally.


(source: LowCVP Conference)

12.05.09 Progress report on renewable energy in the EU

The European Commission (on 24 April) adopted a progress report on renewable energy, covering the electricity and transport sectors, highlighting the patchy progress made and the EU's likely failure to reach the 2010 indicative targets. The report explores the reason for this and explains that the new Directive on renewable energy, agreed as part of the energy and climate package, addresses all the concerns highlighted in the report and provides a solid basis for removing barriers and increasing the growth of renewable energy for the next ten years.


(source: GAVE-news / Europa press release RAPID)

12.05.09 Benefits of biofuels for the rural poor

Bioenergy, when produced on a small-scale in local communities, can play a significant role in rural development in poor countries, according to a new report jointly published by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). The report presents the results of 15 international case studies in 12 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The benefits of producing biofuels from bioenergy are also highlighted in the study.


(source: FAO)

08.05.09 Visit Biofuels International Expo and Conference on 27-28 May in Amsterdam

Biofuels producers, policy makers, CEO's, directors, fuels traders and many more are invited to attend the second Biofuels International Expo and Conference from 27 - 28 May 2009, at the Beurs van Berlage, in central Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

The multi-stream conference will cover a wide spectrum of topics. On the opening day, topics such as the European Biofuels Policy and second generation technology and feedstocks will be addressed.

Ortwin Costenoble of NEN Energy Resources and a member of the Biofuel Cities European Partnership will give a  presentation on European legislation and standards. Topics will include technical standards and regulations formation; international biodiesel standards and the status of CEN Standards in relation to the Renewable Energy Directive.

Day two will focus on current trends of sustainable biofuels in Europe and the future of the biofuels market.

A free exhibition will accompany the conference, allowing participants to meet representatives from companies and other organisations working both on the biodiesel and bioethanol sectors. 

For more information and to register, visit

(source: Biofuels International)

05.05.09 African nations join global renewable fuels alliance

The Southern African Biofuels Alliance, representing 14 southern African countries, has joined the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance to promote biofuels policies and investment. The alliance represents over 65 percent of global biofuels production from 43 countries. 


(source: World Energy Alternatives / Global Renewable Fuels Alliance)

04.05.09 FedEx aims for 30 percent biofuels by 2030

The FedEx Corporation will attempt to get 30 percent of its fuel from petroleum alternatives by 2030 to slash the shipping giant's air-transportation costs and greenhouse gas emissions, according to press reports on the 29 April by the company's chairman, president and CEO.


(source: Climatebiz / New York Times)