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Washington Governor Jay Inslee wants extend tax breaks for EVs past the July 1 expiration date. He also calls for looking into allowing EVs use of carpool lanes and creating charging infrastructure. Inslee sees encouraging electric driving as a way to help mitigate climate change, but detractors within the state don't like the idea of giving priorities to certain drivers. "I'm not enthusiastic about a subsidy that picks winners and losers and doesn't help the middle class," says representative Reuven Carlyle. Read more at The State.

Novozymes says it has an enzyme solution, called Eversa, that can make biodiesel from waste oils. The technology converts the vegetable oils used by the food industry into usable fuel. The enzymatic process is said to be cheaper and safer than chemical processes with fewer harmful byproducts, and can handle higher levels of free fatty acids. The process is safer than others, says Novozymes' Frederik Mejlby, due to the lack of required high temperature and pressure, and that the "organic nature and mild process conditions do not generate toxic components as in some chemical biodiesel processes." Read more in the press release below.

The USDA has announced funding of advanced biofuels and the bioeconomy. The USDA is providing $5.6 million in grants to advanced biofuel producers, as well as an additional $4 million toward a bioeconomy to reduce dependence on foreign oil. The funds come from the USDA's Advanced Biofuel Payment Program, which is part of the 2008 Farm Bill. The biofuel sources targeted are, in particular, crop residue, animal, food and yard waste, vegetable oil and animal fat. Read more in the press release below.

Hyundai will be offering the Tucson Fuel Cell for lease in Canada. Beginning in early 2015, the hydrogen vehicle will be available to customers in Vancouver, British Columbia. It's the first hydrogen vehicle from a major automaker in the country. "We are proud to be leading the fuel cell movement," says Hyundai Auto Canada President and CEO Don Romano, "and now is the time for auto companies, governments, and citizens to join us in this initiative and push for the creation of a hydrogen infrastructure in Canada to maintain this positive momentum." Read more in the press release below.
Show full PR text
New enzyme technology converts waste oils into biodiesel

Novozymes' latest offering secures flexible feedstock selection and lower operational costs for biodiesel producers.

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK – December 2, 2014 - Today, Novozymes announced the launch of Novozymes Eversa®, the first commercially available enzymatic solution to make biodiesel from waste oils. The enzymatic process converts used cooking oil or other lower grade oils into biodiesel. Biodiesel producers can thereby reduce their raw material costs. The resulting biodiesel is sold to the same trade specification as biodiesel created through traditional chemical processing.

A solution that loves free fatty acids
Growing demand for vegetable oil in the food industry has resulted in increased prices, causing biodiesel producers to search for alternative – and more sustainable – feedstocks. Most of the oils currently used are sourced from soybeans, palm or rapeseed, and typically contain less than 0.5% free fatty acids (FFA). Existing biodiesel process designs have difficulty handling oils containing more than 0.5% FFA, meaning that waste oils with high FFAs have not been a viable feedstock option until now.

"The idea of enzymatic biodiesel is not new, but the costs involved have been too high for commercial viability," says Frederik Mejlby, marketing director for Novozymes' Grain Processing division. "Eversa changes this and enables biodiesel producers to finally work with waste oils and enjoy feedstock flexibility to avoid the pinch of volatile pricing." Eversa can work with a broad range of fatty materials as feedstock, but initial focus has been on used cooking oil, DDGS corn oil and fatty acid distillates.

Better process economy
Making the change from a chemical catalyst to the enzymatic process requires retrofitting in existing plants. Biodiesel producers looking to utilize Eversa will therefore have to invest time and resources to make the switch to the enzymatic process. Novozymes' engineering partners estimate that the resulting improved process economy indicates a payback time of three years or less, depending on the plant setup and feedstock savings potential in that region.

"The enzymatic process uses less energy, and the cost of waste oil as a feedstock is significantly lower than refined oils," says Frederik Mejlby. "A small number of plants have been producing biodiesel from waste oils using existing technologies. But this has not been cost-efficient until now, broadly speaking, as the waste oils have had to be refined before being processed using chemicals. We hope that our technology can unleash more of the potential in these lower grade feedstocks."

Safer and more sustainable
The enzymatic process eliminates the need for sodium methoxide, one of the most hazardous chemicals in traditional biodiesel plants. The radical reduction of harsh chemicals and by-products ensures safety for both personnel and the environment.

"Switching to Eversa can lead to a safer working environment for plant operators. The enzymatic process does not use high pressure or high temperature," says Frederik Mejlby. "And when it comes to the actual enzymes, their organic nature and mild process conditions do not generate toxic components as in some chemical biodiesel processes."

About Novozymes
Novozymes is the world leader in bioinnovation. Together with customers across a broad array of industries we create tomorrow's industrial biosolutions, improving our customers' business and the use of our planet's resources. With over 700 products used in 130 countries, Novozymes' bioinnovations improve industrial performance and safeguard the world's resources by offering superior and sustainable solutions for tomorrow's ever-changing marketplace. Read more at www.novozymes.com.


USDA Announces Support for Producers of Advanced Biofuel

WASHINGTON, Dec. 2, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA is making $5.6 million in grants to 220 producers across the nation to support the production of advanced biofuels, and is awarding more than $4 million in additional grants that will advance the bioeconomy and reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil.

"Producing advanced biofuel is a major component of the drive to take control of America's energy future by developing domestic, renewable energy sources," Vilsack said. "These resources represent the Obama Administration's commitment to support an 'all-of-the-above' energy strategy that seeks to build a robust bio-based economy. Investments in biofuels will also help create jobs and further diversify the economy in our rural communities."

The funding for producers announced today is being provided through USDA's Advanced Biofuel Payment Program, which was established in the 2008 Farm Bill. Under this program, payments are made to eligible producers based on the amount of advanced biofuel produced from renewable biomass, other than corn kernel starch. Examples of eligible feedstocks include but are not limited to: crop residue; animal, food and yard waste; vegetable oil; and animal fat.

Through the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program, USDA supports the research, investment and infrastructure necessary to build a strong biofuel industry that creates jobs and broadens the range of feedstocks used to produce renewable fuel. USDA has made more than $280 million in payments to more than 350 producers (more than 3,100 total payments) in 47 states and territories since the program's inception. These payments have supported the production of more than 5.8 billion gallons of advanced biofuel and the equivalent of more than 58 billion kilowatt hours of electric energy.

Also today, USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the award of fiscal year 2014 grants through three other programs supporting bioenergy initiatives.

The National Biodiesel Board and Regents of the University of Idaho received $768,000 and $192,000 respectively, through the Biodiesel Fuel Education Program. The program was established to stimulate biodiesel consumption and the development of a biodiesel infrastructure. The funded education and outreach activities will raise awareness of biodiesel fuel use among governmental and private entities that operate vehicle fleets and the public. Funded projects also focus on educational programs supporting advances in infrastructure, technology transfer, fuel quality, fuel safety and increasing feedstock production.

South Dakota State University (SDSU) received $2.3 million through the Sun Grant Program. This program encourages bioenergy and biomass research collaboration between government agencies, land-grant colleges and universities, and the private sector. SDSU will lead a consortium of five regional grant centers and one subcenter that makes competitive grants to projects that contribute to research, education and outreach for the regional production and sustainability of possible biobased feedstocks. The project period will not exceed five years.

Through the Critical Agricultural Materials program, Iowa State University of Science and Technology received $1 million for the development of new paint, coating, and adhesive products that are derived from acrylated glycerol, which is a co-product of the biodiesel industry. The Critical Agricultural Materials program supports the development of products that are manufactured from domestically-produced agricultural materials and are of strategic and industrial importance to benefit the economy, defense, and general well-being of the nation. Many such products replace petroleum-based products and offer opportunities to create new businesses and new markets for agricultural materials.

Examples of producers receiving USDA Advanced Biofuel payments today are Appling County Pellets, in Baxley, Ga. It received $22,475 for its production of more than 358,000 metric tons of wood pellets. Appling sells premium-grade wood pellets for sustainable wood fuel use to markets in the northeastern United States and Europe.

AgPower Jerome of Shoshone, Idaho, is receiving $3,027 for the conversion of nearly 137 million gallons of dairy cattle manure into 25.5 million kWh of electricity that is sold to a local utility.

White Mountain Biodiesel, LLC of North Haverhill, N.H., a producer of biodiesel from waste vegetable oil, received $8,655. The company produced almost 1.8 million gallons of biodiesel from almost 2 million gallons of waste vegetable oil. The biodiesel is distributed throughout Vermont and New Hampshire.

Prairie Horizon Agri-Energy, LLC of Phillipsburg, Kan., produced 6.9 million gallons of ethanol from almost 2.6 million bushels of sorghum and received $18,128.

View the list of producers receiving payments here. (Payments of $500 or less are not listed.)

President Obama's historic investments in rural America have made our rural communities stronger. Under his leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities.


Hyundai first to offer hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to Canadian public

[Hyundai is now leasing its advanced, zero-emissions fuel cell electric Tucson vehicle to Canadians. It's the first time in Canada a fuel cell vehicle has been offered to customers. (CNW Group/Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.)]

Hyundai established global leadership in fuel cell vehicles by becoming the first to mass-produce the zero-emissions Tucson FCEV in 2013

VANCOUVER, Nov. 26, 2014 /CNW/ - Demonstrating leadership in implementing advanced engineering and zero-emissions technology, Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. announced today that it will be the first automotive company to make hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles available to the Canadian public and launched a dedicated website to find its first customer. The Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) will be available to Canadians on a 3-year lease beginning in early 2015 in the Vancouver area.

"We firmly believe that Hyundai has already surpassed the tipping point in fuel cell technology development and that it's ready to be driven by customers interested in pioneering a zero-emissions automotive future," said Don Romano, President and CEO of Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. "The challenge facing this technology has always been characterized by a chicken-and-egg scenario, where car companies won't bring fuel cell vehicles to market without an infrastructure and there is no need for a refueling industry without customers. It's time to move beyond simply talking about the opportunity. Hyundai was the first to mass-produce fuel cell electric vehicles and will be the first to bring them to Canadian customers. We're planting the seed for a new segment of the industry."

The cutting-edge Hyundai Tucson FCEV stores hydrogen gas and draws an inflow of air to the fuel cell stack. There is no combustion of hydrogen and the stack has no moving parts. The electrochemical process of combining oxygen and hydrogen in the fuel cell stack creates electricity to power the vehicle's electric motor and charge an onboard battery. The only by-product of the process is pure water vapour, resulting in zero greenhouse-gas emissions.

In 2013, Hyundai became the first ever auto manufacturer to mass-produce fuel cell vehicles. The Tucson FCEV is based on its traditional, gasoline-powered Tucson crossover vehicle. This approach brings manufacturing costs of the vehicle down significantly and allows the company to scale production to meet demand.

The Hyundai Tucson FCEV takes less than 5 minutes to refuel and has an estimated range of 426 kilometres; both are comparable to the company's existing gasoline-powered Tucson and eliminate the range anxiety or recharge-time compromises of battery electric vehicles. The Tucson FCEV has also undergone extensive crash, fire, and leak testing. Further, cold weather has proven to have minimal effects to the Tucson FCEV driving range when compared to battery electric vehicles.

To introduce the new Tucson FCEV to the Canadian market, a select group of lucky Canadians will have the exclusive opportunity to lease the vehicle at $599 per month over a three year term. The lease includes maintenance and unlimited hydrogen refueling. In addition, Tucson FCEV owners will enjoy an "At Your Service" valet program. Based on the company's full-size Equus premium sedan program launched in 2010, should a Tucson FCEV require any service, a Hyundai dealer will pick up the vehicle and provide a loaner hybrid vehicle, then return it after service is complete to their home or business, at no charge.

The company is taking applications from customers exclusively through a dedicated website at www.HyundaiHydrogen.ca.

As the first announcement of its kind, Hyundai is also committed to being a leader in the field by working with the Canadian government at all levels and the fuel industry to make fuel cell vehicles not only more affordable, but accessible by realizing a vision for a nation-wide infrastructure of hydrogen refueling stations.

Romano added: "We are proud to be leading the fuel cell movement and now is the time for auto companies, governments, and citizens to join us in this initiative and push for the creation of a hydrogen infrastructure in Canada to maintain this positive momentum."

"Fuel cell vehicles have the potential to make a huge, positive impact on the environment and climate change," said Eric Denhoff, President and CEO of the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association. "Hyundai's commitment to hydrogen power proves that it is time for us to take the next step and make the fuel cell dream a reality in Canada by expanding hydrogen infrastructure, making fuel cell vehicles the most popular and accessible vehicles for Canadians."

Hyundai began its fuel cell research and development in the 1990s with the aim of protecting the global environment and leading the industry with environmental technology. In 2000, it successfully created a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle that performed comparably to internal combustion engines. After years of development, the Hyundai Tucson FCEV – with the company's latest-generation fuel cell stack – became the world's first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in 2013.

The Hyundai Tucson FCEV is currently available to customers in a number of countries around the world, including the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Netherland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and South Korea.

HYUNDAI AUTO CANADA CORP.
Hyundai Auto Canada, established in 1983 and headquartered in Markham, Ontario, is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout Canada by Hyundai Auto Canada and are sold and serviced through more than 210 dealerships nationwide. Hyundai is also the first to offer its zero-emissions Tucson Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle to Canadian customers. More information about Hyundai and its vehicles can be found at www.HyundaiCanada.com.

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