On July 16, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is accepting applications for loan guarantees up to $250 million through the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program, formerly known as the Biorefinery Assistance Program. The funding is divided into rounds one and two with applications due on October 1, 2015, and April 1, 2016, respectively. In addition to opening funding, USDA has improved the program to include the wider range of renewable products that are now part of the biobased industry. The application process for funding has been streamlined, and funding is now available for renewable chemicals, biobased products, and end-user products as well as the biofuels that the program originally covered. USDA's webpage on the program includes an application guide, fact sheet, and link to the July 16, 2015, webinar.
USDA Reports On Increasing Ethanol Production Capacity In The Philippines
On August, 24, 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service released an annual report on the Philippines` biofuel industry and ethanol imports. In January 2007, The Biofuels Act or Republic Act (RA 9367) was signed, creating biofuels legislation in the Philippines that now mandate a ten percent ethanol blend and a two percent biodiesel blend. While the Biofuels Act gives priority to local ethanol, supply issues with local ethanol production have resulted in the ethanol blend...
ASTM International Updates Standard To Determine Biobased Content Of Bioproducts
ASTM International`s Committee on Plastics recently approved revisions to standard D6866, Test Methods for Determining the Biobased Content of Solid, Liquid, and Gaseous Samples Using Radiocarbon Analysis. This standard was originally approved in 2004, and is used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture`s (USDA) BioPreferred Program, by EPA when it is determining the sustainability of plastics, and by other corporations using biobased plastics. D6866 is used to determine the percent of carbons present in the final...
Getting Down to the Roots: Why Soil Matters for Climate Stabilization (and More)
Following 2015’s designation as the International Year of Soils by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, soil carbon sequestration is experiencing something of a renaissance among policy and scientific circles. Farmers are also getting involved, most recently through the Climate Leaders program of the National Farmers Union. Now the challenge is to translate all this momentum to action, starting with how we approach and develop climate-smart projects. In April 2015, USDA released the Building Blocks of...
Tom Vilsack Responds To Studies On Evolution Of Ethanol Production
On February 16, 2016, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack responded to two recent reports on ethanol and renewable fuels. The first report was published by USDA and is on "2015 Energy Balance for the Corn-Ethanol Industry," and the second report comes from the University of Missouri Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) and is a "Literature Review of Estimated Market Effects of U.S. Corn Starch Ethanol." Both studies demonstrate the growth of the United States` renewable energy industry with...
Federal Activities Report On The Bioeconomy Release Announced At ABLC2016
On February 18, 2016, at the Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference 2016 (ABLC2016), Dr. Catherine Woteki, Chief Scientist and Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), announced the release of theFederal Activities Report on the Bioeconomy. The report was created to share current federal agency activities that help to develop and support the bioeconomy. The report first introduces the importance of fostering the bioeconomy and the purpose of the...