6 Oktober 2009

New Trade association for the BtL-industry

"Low Carbon Synthetic Fuels Association" to point out inequities

Advanced biofuel producers announced the formation of the Low Carbon Synthetic Fuels Association (LCSFA), with members including TRI, Rentech Inc., Velocys, CHOREN, Flambeau River Biofuels/Johnson Timber, AP Fuels and World GTL. The LCSFA was formed to address existing legislative and regulatory inequities that have slowed or even hindered the development of advanced biofuels. To date, federal programs have resulted in incentives that do not necessarily promote or reward the best performing and most environmentally friendly fuels.

Specifically, the LCSFA represents the Biomass-to-Liquids (BtL) industry. One of the cleanest and most proven advanced biofuels, BtL is produced through the gasification of renewable biomass and the subsequent conversion of the gasified biomass using the Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) synthesis process. The renewable fuels produced are predominantly synthetic diesel and jet fuel, which are nearly identical to current crude oil-derived fuels, although significantly cleaner.

BtL fuels rely on an established synthesis technology (F-T) which can be brought to market quickly, unlike many other advanced biofuels, which remain in the research and development or “pre-commercial” stages. BtL fuels can be produced from abundant, non-food organic materials such as wood waste from urban recycling programs, paper mills or forestry residues, without increasing land use. Moreover, BtL fuels are fully compatible with the existing fuels infrastructure, enhance engine performance, and reduce emissions.

“We look forward to advanced biofuels mandated by Congress that will ensure the safe use and performance of the more than 400 million engine products in use today. LCSFA members may offer a viable solution to achieving national renewable fuel mandates,” said Kris Kiser, Executive VP of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute and Spokesperson for AllSAFE, a national manufacturing coalition of major onroad and nonroad engine, vehicle, and equipment manufacturers whose members’ products consume gasoline, diesel, and the variety of biofuels that are blended with those conventional fuels.

Through the LCSFA, participants along the whole value chain (from biomass feedstock producers, gasification and F-T technology providers, and project developers, to consumers of the product and manufacturers of affected engines, vehicles and equipment) can speak with one voice to achieve needed improvements and incentives.

On September 25, the LCSFA urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its comments to promote clean, renewable advanced biofuels that improve air quality, reduce GHG emissions, and are compatible with the existing engines, equipment and fuels infrastructure. This week, the EPA will begin considering comments on its “Changes to Renewable Fuel Standard Program” (“RFS2 Proposal”). The LCSFA’s comments are endorsed by a range of partners including Auburn University, Audi America, Chemrec AB, Mercedes Benz USA, Pacific Renewable Fuels, Renewable Energy Institute International, and Volkswagen.

The expansion of the Renewable Fuels Standard by Congress creates substantial mandates for advanced biofuels, and BtL fuels could ultimately contribute significantly to meeting such mandates. According to Jim McVaney, Vice President, Government Affairs for Rentech Inc., “A well constructed renewable fuels standard that rewards fuels for their quality, performance and ability to reduce emissions will clearly be helpful to the growth of BtL fuels.”

According to William Guerry, who serves as General Counsel and represents the LCSFA before EPA and other government entities, “Through the implementation of the RFS2, the EPA has the opportunity to avoid picking favorites and move toward a regulatory structure that sets goals and rewards the best technology solutions. This will give fuel producers, marketers and even consumers greater flexibility when deciding how they comply with the new, higher mandates for renewable fuel use.”

Partner William Guerry and associate Alexander Menotti of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP filed comments on behalf of LCSFA.

LCSFA includes the following members:

  • TRI Rentech Inc.
  • Velocys
  • CHOREN
  • Flambeau River Biofuels
  • Johnson Timber AP
  • Fuels World GTL

Source: research.scottrade.cm, 2009-10.

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