Rep. Loebsack Introduces Infrastructure Re-FUEL Act

"Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-IA) has introduced the Renewable Fuel Utilization, Expansion, and Leadership (Re-FUEL) Act.The goal of the legislation is to create a competitive grant program to assist fuel retailers with investments in renewable and alternative fuel/energy sources. The program would be administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and will help create new and retrofit existing infrastructure, including pumps for biofuels and hydrogen, tanks, piping and electric vehicle chargers. Loebsack points out that the legislation is already paid for and does not add to the deficit."

“I believe in making things in America and there is no reason our fuel sources shouldn’t be made here as well,” said Rep. Loebsack. “It’s also important that consumers are able to choose where their fuel source comes from when they go to fill up. Too often, infrastructure constraints are cited as the reason for not giving consumers the choices they deserve. This holds back the development of our renewable and alternative energy sources that create jobs in Iowa and across the country.”

Read More

Seaweed biofuels: a green alternative that might just save the planet

"It's best to get it out of the water now or it'll start getting grazed by the little beasties," says Lars Brunner as he hauls 50kg of glistening, translucent kelp from the dark waters of the Sound of Kerrera into the boat. The long summer days mean the seaweed is rapidly storing up sugars, which snails and barnacles find delicious.

"You can eat it, but whether it tastes good is debatable," says Brunner. He is also after the sugars, but for a different reason. His work at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (Sams), with parallel projects in Ireland and Norway, is part of a growing worldwide effort aiming to turn the centuries-old seaweed industry into a major source of environmentally friendly biofuels.

The seaweed is farmed in a picture-perfect sea fjord that once hosted a fish farm, near Oban in Argyll, where craggy, green hills overlook the loch. "It's a very good site," says Brunner. "It has really nice currents; the seaweed needs the water to flow over the blades so they can capture the nutrients they need."

Read More

Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: RFS Pathways II and Technical Amendments to the RFS 2 Standards

"In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, EPA is proposing amendments to three separate sets of regulations relating to fuels. First, EPA is proposing to amend certain of the renewable fuels standard (RFS2) program regulations. We believe these proposals will facilitate the introduction of new renewable fuels as well as improve implementation of the program. This proposal includes various changes related to biogas, including changes related to the revised compressed natural gas (CNG)/liquefied natural gas (LNG) pathway and amendments to various associated registration, recordkeeping, and reporting provisions. This proposed regulation includes the addition of new pathways for renewable diesel, renewable naphtha, and renewable electricity (used in electric vehicles) produced from landfill biogas. Adding these new pathways will enhance the ability of the biofuels industry to supply advanced biofuels, including cellulosic biofuels, which greatly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) compared to the petroleum-based fuels they replace."

Read full text of regulation here

UGA to Teach Community About Renewable Resources

"Fossil fuels are running out.

Bioenergy, or renewable energy made from biological sources could be our planet’s future sustainable energy source in a world where these fossil fuel supplies are lowering everyday.

Bioenergy Day, held Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, will teach students through hands-on exhibits how energy is generated through wood, corn and other biomass and how it could be economically feasible in the future."

Read More

Tennessee Pols Tout Switchgrass for Ethanol

In Tennessee, Governor Bill Haslam and U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander are promoting switchgrass for ethanol production, as a DuPont venture gets ready to begin production next year. Switchgrass is widely grown in East Tennessee and can offer several benefits to the region and country including reducing the strain on corn production, which creates higher prices.

Read More

Call to Action for a Truly Sustainable Renewable Future

"Researchers at the University of Georgia may be close to finding it. A report by Susan Mittleman on Georgia Public Broadcasting and transcribed on the Public Broadcasting Atlanta website ( describes a promising new process for making ethanol and other biofuels from vegetation common to this area, such as switchgrass and pine or poplar trees.

The idea of making fuel from biomass is not new. But like corn-based ethanol, fuel synthesized from biomass has so far been too expensive to make it practical."

Read More

Biofuel from Biomass Got One Step Closer to Reality Thanks to UGA Discovery to Manipulate 'Hot' Microbes

"The single most important barrier to the use of lignocellulosic biomass such as switchgrass, populous, sorghum and miscanthus for production of biofuels is the resistant nature of the biomass itself. The problem lies in the conversion or degradation of complex biomass to make products of interest.

New research from scientists at the University of Georgia who are members of Department of Energy’s BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) provides a genetic method for manipulating a group of organisms, called Caldicellulosiruptor, that have the ability to use biomass directly at temperatures over 160 Fahrenheit. The ability to modify the microbes to make the needed fuel products is a required first step for modern industrial fermentations.  This allows researchers to combine the natural ability to consume renewable plant materials with an altered improved ability to make what is needed."

Read More

DOE Announces Five-year Renewal of Funding for Bioenergy Research Centers

"The U.S. Department of Energy today announced it would fund its three Bioenergy Research Centers for an additional five-year period, subject to continued congressional appropriations. The three Centers —including the BioEnergy Research Center (BESC) led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in partnership with Michigan State University, and the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory—were established by the Department’s Office of Science in 2007 as an innovative program to accelerate fundamental research breakthroughs toward the development of advanced, next-generation biofuels."

Read More

Better Biofuels

"When Li Tan approached his colleagues at the University of Georgia with some unusual data he had collected, they initially seemed convinced that his experiment had become contaminated; what he was seeing simply didn’t make any sense.

Tan was examining some of the sugars, proteins and polymers that make up plant cell walls, which provide the structural support and protection that allow plants to grow. Yet his samples contained a mixture of sugars that should not be present in the same structure."

Read More

Open Navigation