Busines Briefs

Industry announcements from the March issue of Ethanol Producer Magazine, including the release of MN Bio-Fuels' annual report, Green Plains' green methanol partnership, LanzaJet's progress on its Freedom Pines Fuels biorefinery, and more.
By Ethanol Producer Magazine | January 21, 2023

MN Bio-Fuels highlights 2022 advocacy, market development
The Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association has released its 2022 Annual Report, which highlights the group’s work in the areas of advocacy, communications and biofuel marketing and supply chain development. MN Bio-Fuels played a key role in securing $6 million for a biofuel infrastructure grant program in 2022, assisting  retailers in securing the grant funding. The organization also fought hard for year-round E15, which reached record sales in Minnesota last year, totalling 9.58 million gallons.

Green Plains partners on synthetic methane project
Green Plains Inc., Tallgrass and Osaka Gas USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan-based Osaka Gas, are working together to study the production of up to 200,000 tons per year of synthetic methane in the Midwest. The project partners aim to produce synthetic methane from low-carbon hydrogen and biogenic CO2 captured from Green Plains ethanol plants. The study is scheduled to be complete in mid-2023. “This is an important step in our decarbonization efforts across our platform, further demonstrating the crucial role our assets can play in the future of clean energy production using proven technologies,” said Todd Becker, Green Plains president and CEO.

LanzaJet celebrates progress at Freedom Pines Fuels plant
LanzaJet joined government officials, industry leaders and investors in December to celebrate the progress it is making on its Freedom Pines Fuels facility in Soperton, Georgia. The company says construction on the facility—reportedly the world’s first ethanol-based sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production plant—is expected to be completed and commissioned in 2023. The plant will produce 10 million gallons of SAF and renewable diesel per year using a range of sustainable, low-carbon intensity ethanol. When operational, the Freedom Pines Fuels biorefinery will approximately double the amount of current SAF production in the United States.

IRS issues guidance on new SAF tax credit
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service has issued a notice on the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) credit created by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Notice 2023-06 explains the eligibility requirements for the credit, the various methods in which a claimant may claim the credit, and which parties must be registered for the different activities in the process. The credit starts at $1.25 per gallon of SAF, which must have a minimum lifecycle GHG reduction of 50 percent to qualify. The notice asks for public comments on a variety of issues, which will help Treasury and IRS develop additional guidance.

Versalis acquires technology to produce enzymes for 2G ethanol
Versalis, Eni’s chemical company, has acquired technology from DSM to produce enzymes for second-generation ethanol. The agreement has a strategic value for Versalis as it integrates with the proprietary technology currently used at the company’s Crescentino, Italy, plant for the production of ethanol and chemical products from lignocellulosic biomass. Enzymes are essential for the production of second-generation sugars as they allow the saccharification of biomass. DSM enzymes have already been successfully tested at Versalis research centers for their use in conjunction with the company’s proprietary Proesa technology.

Virgin Atlantic to purchase 70 million gallons of ethanol-based SAF
Virgin Atlantic has committed to purchasing 10 million gallons per year of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to be produced by Gevo Inc. and supplied by Virgin Atlantic’s joint venture partner, Delta Air Lines. The agreement with Delta builds on the existing long-term partnership between Delta and Gevo and increases the global use of SAF. The ethanol will come from one of Gevo’s future production facilities, the first of which is being built in South Dakota. Gevo’s production process separates sugars and proteins from non-edible industrial corn grown using climate smart agricultural practices.