Worries surround renewable mandates

Source: By Nicole Heslip, Brownfield • Posted: Monday, November 21, 2016

A biofuels leader with DuPont says he’s worried about how the EPA is interpreting the renewable fuel mandates.

Jan Koninckx, who leads DuPont’s biofuels business, tells Brownfield the proposed 2017 Renewable Volume Obligations which are expected to be finalized this week lean in favor of the oil industry.  “It really allows the oil industry to limit how much biofuel will be used in this country and that’s really not how it was intended nor how the biofuels industry will grow.”

He says the mandates limit the potential market for ethanol plants and interest of investors of cellulosic ethanol like the one DuPont plans to open next year in Iowa.  “The EPA can set lower volumes of biofuels than what was originally expressed in the law in 2007 and they can only do that under certain circumstances with certain conditions—what they’re applying right now is outside of those conditions.”

Koninckx says the renewable fuels industry needs steady policy to grow and become more mainstream.

The cellulosic plant near Ames, Iowa is expected to have 30 million gallons of capacity, consuming 370,000 tons of biomasses like corn stover.