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Environment

Renewable Fuel Definition Broadened

by Jeff Johnson
July 14, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 28

EPA last week raised the number of biofuels that are officially considered cellulosic under the national Renewable Fuel Standard program. The move may help address the inability of fuel blenders to obtain enough, cellulosic biofuels to meet renewable fuel targets set in the 2007 Energy Independence & Security Act. A final rule from EPA makes several changes in what is defined as a cellulosic fuel. It defines corn kernel fiber as a crop residue, making it count as cellulosic material for producing ethanol. The rule also defines methane from landfills, sewage treatment facilities, and other sources as a cellulosic biofuel—if the methane is compressed or liquefied and used as a transportation fuel or to generate electricity. This change, according to an EPA official, might encourage capture and use of methane from waste.

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