News Roundup

A roundup of industry news from the Winter Edition of Biodiesel Magazine.
By Biodiesel Magazine | December 27, 2022

The U.S. EPA on Dec. 1 released a final rule to create canola oil fuel pathways under the Renewable Fuel Standard for renewable diesel, jet fuel, naphtha, liquified petroleum gas (LPG) and heating oil produced via a hydrotreating process. Per the rule, these fuel pathways meet the lifecycle greenhouse gas emission reduction threshold of 50% required to generate D4 biomass-based diesel and D5 advanced biofuel renewable identification numbers (RINs) under the RFS. Based on that determination, the agency is adding the canola oil fuel pathways to the list of approved pathways in the RFS regulations. Renewable diesel, jet fuel and heating oil produced with canola are eligible to generate D4 RINs if they are produced through a hydrotreating process that does not coprocess renewable biomass and petroleum, and for D5 RINs if they are produced through a process that does coprocess renewable biomass and petroleum. Naphtha and LPG production from canola oil using a hydrotreating process are also eligible to generate D5 RINs. A fuel pathway for the production of biodiesel and heating oil produced from canola oil via a transesterification process is already approved for the generation of D4 biomass-based diesel RINs.

In late October, Alder Fuels announced that it has selected BTG Bioliquids to be part of the first Alder Greencrude processing facility in the U.S. Southeast. Bryan Sherbacow, president and CEO of Alder Fuels, said the initial stage of the AGC process is technology neutral, which allows the company to pursue a range of providers. The Alder Fuels site is scheduled to start full-scale commercial production in 2024. Fast pyrolysis bio-oil conversion testing of Alder’s feedstock has been completed at BTG’s pilot- and demonstration-scale plants in the Netherlands.

Clean Fuels Alliance America hailed California’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory for 2020, which reported a 16% decrease in transportation carbon emissions due in part to increasing use of biodiesel and renewable diesel. The state’s analysis notes that the percentage of biodiesel and renewable diesel in the total diesel pool grew from 0.4 % in 2011 to 20.8 % in 2020 through the Low Carbon Fuel Standard. According to California Air Resources Board data, biodiesel and renewable diesel generated 44% of the LCFS credits in 2020.

Topsoe's HydroFlex technology has been selected by Federated Co-operatives Ltd. to officially support the production of renewable diesel in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. The FCL renewable diesel plant, once fully operational, will have the potential to produce 15,000 barrels per day. The facility will be part of a larger Integrated Agriculture Complex, which also includes a canola crushing plant. FCL expects to be producing renewable diesel in 2027.

Shell Eastern Petroleum Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell plc, has acquired EcoOils Ltd., a waste oil recycling firm. This acquisition is part of Shell’s ambition to increase production of sustainable, low-carbon fuels for transport, including sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The acquisition will include 100% of EcoOils’ Malaysian subsidiaries and 90% of its Indonesian subsidiary.

Sunweb Group, a European travel organization, and Neste have entered into a new partnership under which Sunweb Group purchases 306 tons (approximately 100,000 gallons) of Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from Sunweb flights. The SAF volume purchased provides an emission reduction equaling the amount of GHG emissions from all Sunweb flights departing in 2022. Sunweb does not own any aircraft itself, but uses commercial airlines for air travel to various holiday destinations.

The U.S. exported 94,391.3 metric tons of biodiesel and biodiesel blends of B30 or greater in September, according to data released by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service on Nov. 3. Biodiesel imports were at 65,176 metric tons for the month. The 94,391.3 metric tons of biodiesel exported in September was up from both the 88,142.4 metric tons exported the previous month and the 55,072.7 metric tons exported in September 2021.

The U.S. exported biodiesel to approximately eight countries in September. Canada was the top destination for U.S. biodiesel exports at 85,540.9 metric tons, followed by Peru at 8,427.7 metric tons and Germany at 326.7 metric tons.

The value of U.S. biodiesel exports was at $188 million in September, down slightly from $189.99 million in August, but up substantially from $65.23 million in September of last year. The U.S. imported biodiesel from approximately five countries in September. Germany was the top provider of biodiesel to U.S. at 354,929.6 metric tons, followed by Canada at 26,094.2 metric tons and South Korea at 4,030.6 metric tons.

The value of U.S. biodiesel imports reached $131.91 million in September, up from both $113.87 million the previous month and $91.99 million in September 2021.

A group of five lawmakers on Dec. 2 announced plans to introduce legislation that aims to change the way renewable identification numbers (RINs) are generated and traded under the Renewable Fuel Standard by directing the U.S. EPA to issue the credits at a fixed cost. Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania, and Chris Coons, D-Delaware, and Reps. Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pennsylvania, Brendan Boyle, D-Pennsylvania, and Donald Norcross, D-New Jersey, are the five lawmakers who announced plans for the bill. A statement released by the lawmakers references several oil refineries located within their states and explains the upcoming bill would reduce RFS compliance costs for the companies that own those facilities. According to information released by Casey’s office, the bill would direct the EPA to issue RINs at a lower, fixed cost for compliance with the conventional renewable fuel requirement. The lawmakers said this “government backstop-RIN” would create new source of revenue that could be directed toward the research, development and deployment of advanced biofuels, incentives to support advanced biofuels feedstock production, and support for wildlife and habitat restoration.

Neste has agreed to acquire the used cooking oil (UCO) collection and aggregation business and related assets in the U.S. from Crimson Renewable Energy Holdings LLC. The transaction includes shares in SeQuential Environmental Services LLC and Pure LLC, as well as a UCO processing plant in Salem, Oregon. The transaction is subject to the fulfillment of customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.

The U.S. EPA on Dec. 1 released its long-awaited Renewable Fuel Standard set rule, which includes renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for 2023, 2024 and 2025. The proposed rule expands the program beyond liquid fuels to include certain types of renewable electricity used to fuel cars. It sets the 2023, 2024 and 2025 RVOs at 20.82 billion gallons, 21.87 billion gallons and 22.68 billion gallons, respectively. For 2023, a 250-million-gallon supplemental obligation would also be imposed.

The EPA has proposed to set the 2023 total RVO at 20.82 billion gallons, up 190 million gallons when compared to the 2022 RVO finalized earlier this year. The 2023 blend target includes the nested requirements of 720 million gallons of cellulosic fuel, 2.82 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel and 5.82 billion gallons of advanced biofuel. Conventional biofuels, such as corn ethanol, could fill up to 15 billion gallons of the RVO requirement. The 250-million-gallon supplemental obligation boosts the total 2023 obligation to 21.07 billion gallons. For 2024, the EPA is proposing to increase the total RVO by 1.05 billion gallons to 21.87 billion gallons, including 1.42 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuel, 2.89 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel, and 6.62 billion gallons of advanced biofuel. For 2025, the agency proposes to increase blend obligations by an additional 810 million gallons to 22.68 billion.

The nested RVO would include 2.13 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuel, 2.95 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel, and 7.43 billion gallons of advanced biofuel. The volume of conventional biofuels that can be used to meet RFS blend requirements would be maintained at 15.25 billion gallons.

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