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NNFCC News Review: Biofuels Issue 65, August 2017

Category: biofuels
Published: 31/08/2017
Author: NNFCC
Each month we review the latest news and select key announcements and commentary from across the biofuels sector.


We begin with the small (indeed, microscopic) matter of algae. The potential has always been there for algae to be a key source of biofuels, but the development that brings them out of the lab and into the realm of commercial production has thus far proved elusive. The US’ Sandia National Laboratories is seeking to change that. Traditionally, algae for biofuels are grown in raceways; these systems are shown to produce high quality algae, usually in monoculture, which is ideal for biofuels production, but these systems are high maintenance, requiring fertilisers, clean water, and CO2 input, and are highly susceptible to infection by pests, causing huge crashes and loss of yield. Sandia’s proposed “Algal Turf Scrubber” system looks to account for these problems by growing the algae in water from polluted lakes, and not in monoculture. This removes the need for expensive water treatment and fertiliser provision, as the algae have been shown to........

Other news this month includes:


  • Report assesses EU's prospects of meeting 2020 biofuel targets
  • UK government's Nitrogen Dioxide plan


  • Macquarie completes Green Investment Bank acquisition

Research & Development

  • Cyanobacteria as more efficient biofuels option than algae?
  • Sandia develops less expensive growth system for biofuel algae
  • Gevo's isobutanol technology now available for licensing
  • Vertimass ethanol conversion technology approaching demonstration scale
  • Identifying barriers to SMEs entering the bioeconomy
  • Metsä commissions new bioproduct plant
  • New catalyst could reduce Nitrogen Oxides in exhaust fumes​


  • Rises in EU ethanol production expected despite declining consumption
  • Novozymes launches new enzyme to convert residual sugar to ethanol
  • Innovative process improves efficiency of potato ethanol production
  • Orchard waste into cellulosic ethanol​

Other Fuels

  • 84% drop in CO2 emissions from biogas-fuelled trucks

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