ACT Research: Alternative Fuels Continue to Expand

As noted by ACT Research and Rhein Associates, the U.S. Department of Energy said that five firms will split $18 million in grant funding to advance plug-in electric technology for cars and heavy-duty vehicles.

“The money is meant to improve energy security, reduce emissions, and enhance local and regional economies, according to information released on December 22,” said Tom Rhein, president of Rhein Associates. “Funding from the department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is directed to projects that advance development and deployment of efficient and renewable technologies, as well as market-based innovations to enhance energy security.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the pathway for isobutanol produced at Gevo’s Luverne, MN plant to be an advanced biofuel under the Renewable Fuel Standard Program (RFS). This is the first time that the EPA has approved a pathway for an advanced biofuel that uses starch from feed corn to produce an alcohol. With a partial substitution of fossil-based energy sources that are currently used at the company’s Minnesota plant with green energy sources, such as biogas, it should be possible for Gevo to achieve the 50% or greater greenhouse gas emissions reduction needed to claim the advanced D5 Renewable Identification Number (RIN), according to the pathway approval.

A RIN is a serial number assigned to biofuels for the purpose of tracking their production, use and trading, as required under the RFS. RINs can be sold and traded, and as a result, carry a monetary value, which is linked to the biofuels that generate the RINs.

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