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NNFCC News Review: Feedstock Issue 144, March 2024

Category: feedstocks
Published: 18/03/2024
Author: NNFCC
Each month we review the latest news and select key announcements and commentary from across the Feedstock and Biorefining sector.

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In this month’s foreword we take a look at biomass crops and their commercial viability. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) has an ongoing program to study and develop second and third generation feedstocks. Comprehensive study of some of these feedstocks, including switchgrass, miscanthus, willow, and pine, shows that cultivation on marginal lands can maximise the profitability as miscanthus can yield up to almost 3x more yield in comparison to corn. They believe that by cultivating these ‘purpose-grown’ energy feedstocks on marginal lands can turn zones with elusive profitability into successful enterprises.

BETO point out an example of how miscanthus can be used to replace ingredients used in the production of pet food. Renew Biomass, based in the US, has developed a pet food ingredient known as MFiber, which also contains powdered cellulose. Research conducted by Kansas State University found that fibers from miscanthus performed on par with powdered cellulose from a functional nutrition perspective, in palatability, and during processing. Additionally, MFiber contains xylooligosaccharides (XOS), a prebiotic that can support pet digestive health, a function that powered cellulose doesn’t provide. However, separate research at the University of Illinois showed that miscanthus fiber can offer many gut health benefits for pets when combined with beet pulp or tomato pomace fibers, offering a potential alternative to refined XOS.

Miscanthus is currently being grown by over 150 farmers without the use of fertiliser chemicals. BETO underlines that continued success in finding uses for such feedstocks could lead to their wider adoption and therefore it has the potential to create a bottleneck in processing.

Other News this Month Includes:


  • Civil society groups call for end to soy biofuels
  • Meeting the Requirements of EU REDII


  • ELIX Polymers – chemically recycled products with up to 100% sustainable feedstocks
  • Green Plains Inc. completes acquisition of green plains partners
  • DOE to invest $30 million in carbon conversion and highly efficient CO2 capture technologies

Research & Development

  • Purpose-grown energy crops: what drives feedstock innovation
  • Biorefinery model points to better method at producing co-products
  • DOE intends to issue funding to support mixed algae and wet waste feedstocks R&D for biofuels and

Wood & Crop

  • SBP welcomes first certification under SBP standards v2.0
  • Wood pellet producers may consider output cuts
  • US feedstock use for pellets at record high


  • Eni to build third biorefinery in Italy 
  • Ireland’s ClonBio to invest $500m in new US biorefinery
  • Mexico's economy set to be powered by biorefineries

Other feedstocks

  • UK company creates SAF from sewage


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