The Buzz

EPA Releases Biofuels Draft, ABO Responds

February 7, 2011
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

EPA has released the draft report, Biofuels and the Environment: The First Triennial Report to Congress (EPA/600/R-10/183A), and has scheduled an independent peer review meeting on March 14, 2011 in Arlington, VA.  The draft report, prepared by the National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) within EPA’s Office of Research and Development, is the first report published on this issue. The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) mandates increased production of biofuels from 9 billion gallons per year in 2008 to 36 billion gallons per year by 2022. The revised standards (RFS2), finalized in 2010, establish new specific annual volume requirements for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuels, and total renewable fuel in transportation fuel.

Additionally, EISA (Section 204) also requires that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assess and report to Congress every three years on the current and potential future environmental and resource conservation impacts associated with increased biofuel production and use. The mandate asks for consideration of environmental issues including air quality, water quality and soil quality. The mandate also asks for consideration of resource conservation impacts of increased biofuel production and use, including water availability, energy recovery from secondary materials, ecosystem health and biodiversity, invasive species, and international impacts. This report reviews impacts across the entire biofuel supply chain, including feedstock production and logistics, and biofuel production, distribution, and use.

Concluding this review and the peer review meeting, updates will be made to the report, and the final report will be published in 2012 on the EPA Biofuels web site.

Comments on the assessment may be submitted and reviewed using the e-Government Regulations.gov web site. From the site, select “Environmental Protection Agency” and the keyword “EPA-HQ-ORD-2010-1077″ (for the docket ID) to comment on this report.

The Algal Biomass Organization (ABO) has commented on the EPA’s draft report as follows:

“We support the EPA’s effort to quantify the potential for algal biomass to serve as a long term, viable option for low carbon fuel and the potential environmental impacts of algae-to-fuel technologies.

“The authors of the study focused on a single technology pathway—algal oil to biodiesel. We recommend that the researchers recognize this is just one of myriad approaches to create fuel from algal biomass and, as such, broad conclusions about the potential impact of algae-to-biofuels technologies cannot, and should not, be made.

“We also significantly appreciate that the authors of the study refrained from making sweeping policy recommendations based on either incomplete data or limited pathway evaluation.

“We believe this report (as well as others during the past year) must be seen as a call to action for the US algae industry to more proactively develop and share data with researchers at organizations like the EPA, including lifecycle analyses, techno-economic projections, yield rates, etc. In doing so, we will introduce new, current and more accurate data into the existing body of work upon which most research reports rely.

“With this goal, we should see the development of reports that more accurately reflect the state of algae-fuel technologies and their potential environmental impact. This will help ensure policymakers will have the information needed to make informed decisions and craft effective policies that promote the industry’s commercial development and expand the supply of renewable, domestically produced transportation fuels in the United States.

“ABO is committed to facilitating the creation of a new body of work and research through coordinated efforts with, among and between ABO’s membership, the various federally-funded algae consortia and the newly formed Committee on the Sustainable Development of Algal Biofuels at the National Academy of Sciences.”

The EPA’s draft report can be viewed here: http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/cfm/recordisplay.cfm?deid=217443

Copyright ©2010-2011 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission required to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

Visit the A.I.M. Archives

AIM interview ArchivesAlgae 101 ArchivesHot Products ArchivesInnovations ArchivesMoney ArchivesProcess ArchivesResearch ArchivesScale Up ArchivesThe Buzz Archives

FREE Algae News & Updates

Sign up to receive breaking A.I.M. updates!

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Glass tubing manufacturer SCHOTT, and Algatechnologies Ltd. (Algatech), a commercial algae producer and one of the largest manufacturers of natural astaxanthin, have part...
Tel Aviv, Israel-based UniVerve Ltd. has begun scaling-up its technological process for algae cultivation. The oil, which can be extracted with off-the-shelf wet extracti...
The Chesapeake Bay Seed Capital Fund, located in College Park, Maryland, has invested $150,000 into Manta Biofuel LLC, a company that produces crude oil from algae at a c...
Bloomberg reports that ANA Holdings Inc., Japan’s largest airline, plans to use a Euglena Co. biofuel made from algae. ANA will use a mix of about 10 percent of the algae...
Algae producers moving from pilot to commercial applications require quick adaptation to algae harvesting capacity of hundreds and even thousands of cubic meters per day....
While researchers have long suspected that climate change will lead to stronger and more frequent algal blooms, a new fusion of climate models and watershed models has pr...
Students of algal research, including it's various applications and business models, have increasing opportunities to get quickly up to speed in many aspects of the rapid...
I’m an aquanaut teen. I was born in immersion in 2050 in an underwater farm called “Aequorea” off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. Bio-inspired, the farm draws its name from ...
Nevele, Belgium-based TomAlgae is developing freeze-dried microalgae for feed in shrimp hatcheries. The company has created its own microalgal “cultivar” and manufactures...
Flint Michigan’s water supply was switched from Lake Huron to the Flint River in 2014. The Flint is so notoriously dirty that some locals call it the Filth River. The cha...
The new algae raceway testing facility, opening February 4 at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California, paves a direct path between laboratory research and s...
Abigail Klein Leichman writes in ISRAEL21c that, in the rush to research algae-based technologies, Israel – as a startup nation itself – is at the forefront of much of th...