OFI November/December 2020

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NOV/DEC 2020 â–ª VOL 36 NO 8


Profits without subsidies?


Palm oil import logistics


Time to take stock

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22/10/2020 12:05:08


Science behind Technolog y


IN THIS ISSUE – NOV/DEC 2020 Biodiesel/Renewable Diesel Projects



Photo: Rothamsted Research



OFI reports on some of the latest biodiesel and renewable diesel projects globally



Steady exports Brazil is a major global renderer, processing around 12M tonnes/year of animal by-products


Time to take stock


A UK team has run successful field trials sourcing omega-3 oil from genetically modified camelina

Photo: Adobe Stock




Profits without subsidies? With biodiesel firms struggling to make a profit in recent years, a new approach is needed involving low capital expenditure, retrofitting of plants and feedstock flexibility


Palm oil import logistics

US imports of palm oil have grown in the past decade, with the East Coast ports of New Orleans and Savannah handling the most shipments




Plant & technology round-up

Photo: Alexandra Koch, Pixaby


Purifying feedstocks Special adsorbents are needed to purify renewable diesel feedstocks such as used cooking oil, animal fats and palm oil mill effluent

A post-COVID world



FGV palm products to be detained at US ports

Biofuel News


EC to launch B99 probe into

US biodiesel imports Renewable News


Corbion and Total plan PLA facility in Europe


Transport News



Global round-up of news OFI reports on some of the latest worldwide developments in testing and standards

Tradebe acquires TWG Tanklager in Hamburg

Biotech News


EPA move to streamline GE approvals

Diary of Events


International events listing




Contents Nov.Dec.indd 1

World statistical data



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EDITORIAL: Editor: Serena Lim serenalim@quartzltd.com +44 (0)1737 855066 Assistant Editor: Gill Langham gilllangham@quartzltd.com +44 (0)1737 855157 SALES: Sales Manager: Mark Winthrop-Wallace markww@quartzltd.com +44 (0)1737 855114 Sales Consultant: Anita Revis anitarevis@quartzltd.com +44 (0)1737 855068 PRODUCTION: Production Editor: Carol Baird carolbaird@quartzltd.com CORPORATE: Managing Director: Tony Crinion tonycrinion@quartzltd.com +44 (0)1737 855164 SUBSCRIPTIONS: Elizabeth Barford subscriptions@quartzltd.com +44 (0)1737 855028 Subscriptions, Quartz House, 20 Clarendon Road, Redhill, Surrey RH1 1QX, UK © 2020, Quartz Business Media ISSN 0267-8853 WWW.OFIMAGAZINE.COM

A post-COVID world The oils and fats market has experienced immediate shortterm effects from COVID-19, such as falls in food and biofuel demand, as well as labour and movement restrictions. However, long-term impacts will also require businesses to make strategic changes, according to a new Rabobank report, ‘The Grain and Oilseed Sector in a Post-COVID World’. Report author Stephen Nicholson says Rabobank has identified seven areas of major, long-term change for our sector - greater government intervention; changes in consumer behaviour; increased food security concerns; falling biofuel demand; deglobalisation of supply chains; rising investment in digital supply chains and a decline in global feed demand. Among the most impactful change has been in the eating and shopping habits of consumers. Lockdowns closed restaurants and increased eating at home but also shifted grocery shoppers from mostly buying meat, dairy and fresh produce to more cereal, pasta and other grain and oilseed-related products. “Every day that goes by in the pandemic cements these new habits in the consumers’ mind. Once we get past COVID, those habits will become normal.” Many countries have altered their supply chain strategy from “just in time” to “just in case,” Nicholson says. China, for example, has imported huge amounts of corn and soyabeans in recent months to increase its grain reserves. Long-term, huge inventories will act as a cloud over the market. Food security, geopolitical and food safety issues are also causing the acceleration of a deglobalisation trend, with more regional and bilateral agreements expected. “Countries will turn inward to promote domestic food production and selfsufficiency and turn outward to cultivate ‘favoured trade partners’,” the report says. This will hurt the competitive advantage of major exporting countries and, to a certain degree, multinational grain traders.

A member of FOSFA Oils & Fats International (USPS No: 020-747) is published eight times/year by Quartz Business Media Ltd and distributed in the USA by DSW, 75 Aberdeen Road, Emigsville PA 17318-0437. Periodicals postage paid at Emigsville, PA. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Oils & Fats c/o PO Box 437, Emigsville, PA 17318-0437 Published by Quartz Business Media Ltd Quartz House, 20 Clarendon Road, Redhill, Surrey RH1 1QX, UK oilsandfats@quartzltd.com +44 (0)1737 855000 Printed by Pensord Press, Gwent, Wales

Working from home, less business and vacation travel, and more virtual events and meetings make for a grim long-term picture for the biofuels industry, Nicholson says. Meanwhile, the food supply chain is going to get shorter, with producers controlling more of the supply chain such as storage and logistics to get their product to railheads, ports and even export facilities. “In a post-COVID-19 world, every player in the grain and oilseed supply chain – from producers, farm input suppliers and merchandisers to processors and grain/ oilseed-based food manufacturers – will be impacted,” says Nicholson. “There will be opportunities to be successful, including digitising the supply chain, grain companies building on core strengths (regional vs global), and processors developing flexibility to adapt to rapidly changing consumer behaviour.” It is clear that COVID-19 has changed our world as few crises have.


Oils & Fats International


Comment Nov.Dec.indd 1

Serena Lim serenalim@quartzltd.com www.ofimagazine.com

22/10/2020 09:16:45



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NEWS IN BRIEF EGYPT: A commodities exchange for wheat, oils, sugar and rice is being set up in Egypt, Reuters reported on 9 September. The exchange would have 91M Egyptian pounds (US$5.78M) in capital, provide protection for small farmers and producers, and make their stocks available to the wider market, the supply ministry in Egypt was quoted as saying. Farmers, traders and producers could deposit their stocks in any of the supply ministry’s certified storage facilities where they would be evaluated and graded, then directly traded on the electronic platform, Reuters reported.

FGV palm oil products to be detained at US ports The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) office has issued a detention order on palm oil made by Malaysia’s FGV Holdings Berhad, based on information indicating the use of forced labour, the agency said on 30 September. Effective from 30 September, palm oil and palm oil products made by FGV Holdings and its subsidiaries and joint ventures would be detained at all US ports of entry, according to a CBP press release. “CBP’s Office of Trade directed the issue of a Withhold Release Order (WRO) against FGV palm oil and palm oil products based on information that reasonably indicated the use of forced labour. “The order followed a year-long investigation revealing forced labour indicators including abuse of vulnerability, deception, restriction of movement, isolation, physical and sexual violence, intimidation and threats, retention of

identity documents, withholding of wages, debt bondage, abusive working and living conditions and excessive overtime. The investigation also raised concerns that forced child labour was potentially being used.” In response, FGV said in a press release on 1 October that all the issues raised had been the subject of public discourse since 2015 and it had taken several steps to correct the situation. “FGV is not involved in any recruitment or employment of refugees. Effective 2020, FGV recruits its migrant workers mainly from India and Indonesia through legal channels and processes recognised and approved by the authorities of Malaysia and the source countries." FGV said that since August 2019, it had been communicating with CBP through legal counsel and had submitted evidence of compliance of labour standards.

US confectionery and food giant Mars claims it has eliminated deforestation from its palm oil supply chain, Greenbiz reported on 7 October. The producer of Mars and Snickers chocolate bars, Dolmio pasta sauce and Uncle Ben’s rice made the announcement as part of its Palm Positive Plan, which it launched in 2019. Mars said it had simplified its supply chain by shrinking the number of mills it worked with from 1,500 to a few hundred. This number was expected to be reduced to less than 100 in 2021 and below 50 in 2022. The company said it had used satellite mapping to mon-

Photo: Adobe Stock

Mars says palm oil supply chain is deforestation free

Mars produces chocolate bars such as Mars, Snickers and Twix

itor land use with third-party validation through its partnership with Earth Equalizer/Aidenvironment. This allowed it to

take evidence-based action to simplify and select the suppliers and mills it sourced from. One example was in its

supply chain to its Asia-Pacific businesses, where it sourced palm oil from UniFuji – a partnership between United Plantations and Fuji Oil – which had reduced operations from 780 mills to just one. This had been achieved through a 1:1:1 model – which meant oil palm was grown on one plantation, and processed through one mill and one refinery before reaching Mars. The Palm Positive Plan is part of the company’s US$1bn Sustainable in a Generation Plan, where it was working to stop deforestation in beef, cocoa, palm oil, soya, and pulp and paper.

WTO approves $4bn tariffs on US goods into Europe The World Trade Organization has ruled that the EU may impose tariffs of up to US$4bn on goods imported from the USA, Olive Oil Times reported on 15 October. The decision brings an end to a 16-year dispute between the USA and the EU over illegal subsidies provided to their respective aircraft manufacturers, which has affected Spanish olive oil producers. In the WTO’s latest ruling, the USA was found to have illegally subsidised the 4 OFI – NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

General News Nov.Dec.indd 2

American aircraft manufacturer Boeing. A WTO ruling a year ago found that the EU had illegally subsidised its own aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, allowing the USA to impose tariffs of US$7.5bn on European imports. This included 25% import duties on packaged olive oil from Spain, as well as some table olives from France and Spain. On its part, the EU had identified several US industrial and agricultural goods as potential tariff targets, Olive Oil Times said.

Trade experts had widely expected the WTO’s announcement saying that this result had been necessary for the two sides to begin negotiations. European trade commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said the EU hoped the USA would now drop the tariffs imposed on EU exports as this would help both sides find common ground. “If this does not happen, we will be forced to exercise our rights and impose similar tariffs,” he added. www.ofimagazine.com

22/10/2020 11:50:17

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New coalition deforestation bid Consumer goods giants and retailers have launched another bid to tackle deforestation after falling short of a 2020 goal tabled a decade ago, just-food reported on 22 September. Manufacturers including Danone, Nestlé, and Unilever, as well as retailers including Carrefour, Tesco and Walmart, had joined the Forest Positive Coalition of Action to try to speed up efforts to ‘remove deforestation, forest degradation and conversion’ in the supply chains of palm oil and soyabeans, as well as paper, pulp and fibre-based packaging. In 2010, The Consumer Goods Forum had set a target for its members to achieve ‘net deforestation’ by 2020. However, by the summer of 2019, US agribusiness giant Cargill had said it believed the target was unlikely to be met and in October 2019

Nestlé had said it would miss its goal. Mars president and CEO Grant Reid said companies would take action in four areas. “We will engage with suppliers and traders and ask that they implement forest positive commandments across their entire commodity operations. Two, we will join forces to address forest conservation challenges in key production landscapes. Three, we will engage governments and stakeholders to create an enabling environment for forest conservation and, four, we will ensure transparency and accountability by regularly reporting on progress,” Reid said. Wai-Chan Chan from The Consumer Goods Forum said its members had learnt from the work undertaken to try to tackle deforestation over the last decade. “In 2010, our strategy was rooted in remediating individual company supply

chains, often through certification, ensuring that the sourcing of key commodities would not deplete tropical rainforests. As a result of the hard work our members have made in their supply chains, we have learned that certification plays a critical role, but it’s not the only answer,” he said. In other news, reported by AFP, a coalition of 230 environmental groups and Brazilian agribusinesses sent an open letter on 15 September to Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro urging him to fight deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. The Brazil Climate, Forests and Agriculture Coalition urged Bolsonaro to establish clear policies to address the problem, including stopping the practice of granting landholder titles to irregularly seized and deforested land going back to 2008, and designating 10M ha of public forest as protected land.

Farmers in the north and northeast of Brazil are expecting to expand their soya fields at the fastest rate in four years, Reuters reported on 16 September. The farmers in those regions, which are dominated by the Amazon rainforest and Cerrado savannah, were set to expand their soya fields by more than 6% in the 2020/21 crop season. Separate forecasts from consultancies Arc Mercosul and AgRural showed that in percentage terms, the regions would be the fastest growing in the whole country for soya. Both firms forecast the regions would add more than

Soya harvesting in 2008 at a farm in Campo Verde, in the centre west state of Mato Grosso, where the soya area is forecast to grow by 2.8%

350,000ha this crop season. The soya fields would expand into newly deforest-

ed areas, previously created pastures, and marginal lands, the consultancies said.

Photo: Adobe Stock

Brazil set for fastest soya area growth in four years According to environmentalists, replacing vegetation with farm fields would raise greenhouse gas emissions and hasten climate change. However, farmers said that Brazilian law allowed them to deforest a certain percentage of their land, which varied by region. AgRural was projecting the soya-growing area in the north and northeast to increase by 6.4%, while Arc Mercosul was expecting 6.8% growth. The centre-west, which includes top producing state Mato Grosso, was predicted to add the most area in absolute terms, growing by 2.8% or 463,000ha.

Surge in online orders and deliveries boost soya futures A rise in online orders and deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic has given a boost to soyabean oil futures, Bloomberg reported on 16 September. The surge in online orders had boosted miles for trucks, usually powered by diesel and its green alternatives. However, the shutdown of restaurants and meat plants across the USA earlier in the year had led to a reduced amount of used cooking oil and animal waste available for use as feedstocks. Soyabean oil futures traded in Chicago had rallied almost 40% since a low in 6 OFI – NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

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March, when lockdowns in the USA had hit demand for most commodities, Bloomberg said. The US Department of Agriculture was already forecasting its use to make biodiesel would jump more than 3% this season after declining a year earlier. “Truck traffic has been moving along,” said Mac Marshall, vice president of market intelligence for the United Soybean Board and the US Soybean Export Council. “I’m probably going to get five Amazon packages at my door today. When you think about the long-haul truck fleets, those are

primarily consuming diesel so the demand on the biodiesel side hasn’t abated.” While traffic for passenger cars had dropped and was still down 16% from a year earlier in the week ended 30 August, truck miles were up 5%, according to Department of Transportation data. “You’ve had a decline in slaughter in the second quarter, which meant less available supplies of feedstock on the rendering side, but you are also having less restaurant traffic and lower repurposed grease volumes,” Marshall said. www.ofimagazine.com

22/10/2020 11:50:20

NEWS CHINA: Global agribusiness giant Cargill has acquired an oilseed crusher based in north China, AgriCensus reported on 15 September. Cargill had secured the acquisition with a highest bid of CNY421M (US$62M) at an auction for the assets and facilities owned by Shandong Xinliang Oil Ltd, court documents showed. The move would bring Cargill's crushing capacity to five facilities across the country. CHINA: Imports of soyabean and vegetable oils are expected to reach record levels in China for the 2019/20 marketing year, AgriCensus reported on 9 October. Soyabean imports for the year were forecast to total nearly 98M tonnes, up from an earlier estimate of 96M tonnes, according to the Chinese Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimate (Casde) for October 2020. For the 2020/21 marketing year, imports were forecast at nearly 95.1M tonnes and domestic output at 18.82M tonnes. Vegetable oil imports for 2019/20 were estimated at 9.27M tonnes, up from 8.96M tonnes in the previous year, against a backdrop of falling rapeseed imports. Imports for 2020/21 had been left unchanged at 8.45M tonnes, with domestic production being maintained at 27.65M tonnes. China's marketing year starts in October.

Judge bars Vicentin from selling some crush assets A judge in Argentina has issued a ruling to stop cash-strapped crusher Vicentin from selling some of its assets, AgriCensus reported from local press coverage on 28 September. Judge Nicolas Foppiani, a criminal judge in Rosario City, issued the ruling on behalf of the company’s creditors amid fears that any asset sales would make it harder for investors to collect on their debts. The move followed Vicentin’s recent sale of its meat packing plant Friar to Dutch investment fund BAF. This led a group of Vicentin’s creditors to pursue legal steps that prevented the judge overseeing the company’s preventive bankruptcy process in San Lorenzo, Judge Fabian Lorenzini, from banning it from selling other companies.

However, a lack of response from the judge had forced creditors to seek a precautionary measure at Rosario crown court, AgriCensus said. The ruling covers Vicentin’s shares in oilseed crusher Renova, a 50-50 joint venture set up by the company and Switzerland-based international trader Glencore in 2006. In December 2019, Vicentin sold one-third of its stake in Renova to Glencore Agriculture, increasing Glencore’s stake to 66.67%. Vicentin retained 33.33% ownership of Renova. Vicentin has faced financial problems since defaulting on payments to grain suppliers and brokerage firms in December 2019. The company was believed to owe approximately US$350M to grain suppliers, with a total estimated debt of US$1.5bn, AgriCensus said.

Amyris testing squalene alternative

Photo: Heung Soon, Pixabay


Amyris is testing a squalene alternative to be used in vaccines

US biotechnology ingredients firm Amyris is trialling an alternative to shark-based adjuvants currently used in a number of vaccines, including several COVID-19 vaccines. The company said it was

expecting to commercially produce its alternative squalene for adjuvants in the fourth quarter. Squalene is a natural oil made in the liver of sharks and used as an ingredient

in adjuvants to improve the efficacy of vaccines. Adjuvants are added to vaccines to boost immune system response and squalene is typically sourced from deep-sea shark livers, a non-sustainable and non-scalable resource. The company has developed a process to produce sugarcane-derived squalene as an effective alternative to shark-derived squalene. “We are committed to delivering the world’s needs for a high performance, low cost sustainable squalene without killing a single shark,” said Amyris president and CEO John Melo. Amyris’ products include ingredients for cosmetics, flavours and fragrances.

Nissin pledges 100% sustainable palm oil use by 2031 Japanese food manufacturing giant Nissin Foods Group is aiming to achieve 100% sustainable palm oil use by 2031, the company announced in its Sustainability Report 2020. The company, which manufactures instant noodles such as its flagship Cup Noodles, had a palm oil procurement ratio certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) of 20% as of March 2020. 8 OFI – NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

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“The group will procure sustainable palm oil that takes into consideration deforestation prevention, biodiversity preservation, and the human rights of plantation workers,” the company wrote in its report. In addition, Nissin said it aimed to procure only palm oil that was assessed to be sustainable under its own standards by 2031. As part of its drive to increase the use of sustainable palm oil in its products, Nissin

started using RSPO-certified palm oil at all plants manufacturing its Cup Noodles product in Japan this year. “Nissin has taken a step in the right direction," said the Rainforest Action Network (RAN). "What matters now for communities and forests on the frontlines of palm oil expansion is that the company immediately puts its policy into action,” RAN Japan representative Dr Toyo Kawakami said. www.ofimagazine.com

22/10/2020 11:50:26


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BIOFUEL NEWS EUROPE: Global commodity news and price reporting agency Argus has launched new price assessments for renewable diesel in Europe, the company announced on 8 September. The new Argus prices for northwest Europe cover three different groups of feedstocks: food and feed crops; used cooking oil/ palm oil mill effluent; and tallow. These price assessments would be published weekly in the Argus Biofuels report and real-time market pricing would be available on the company’s price discovery platform, Argus Open Markets (AOM). “We have worked with the industry to develop these new prices, which will help shed light on this increasingly important part of the transport fuel pool,” Argus Media chairman and chief executive Adrian Binks said. Hydrotreated vegetable oil (HV0) was becoming increasingly popular as a renewable alternative to traditional petroleum, according to Argus, as countries sought to move away from fossil fuels. HVO could be blended into the existing petroleum diesel pool and was an important part of meeting the requirements set by the EU Renewable Energy Directive legislation to increase the share of renewables in the transport fuel pool by 2030, the company said.

EC to launch B99 probe into US biodiesel imports An investigation aimed at extending anti-dumping and countervailing measures – known as B99 measures – on US biodiesel imports was launched by the European Commission on 14 September. The move followed a request from the European Biodiesel Board (EBB) on 11 June 2020 on behalf of the European biodiesel industry for an extension of the B99 duties for an additional five years to protect the industry from what it claims is ‘unfairly subsidised’ US biodiesel. “The EBB aims to ensure a level playing on the European market. This implies we will request duties for subsidised biodiesel entering the EU, such as in the case for US exports to Europe,” said EBB president Kristell Guizouarn.

The notices of initiation published in the EU Official Journal on 14 September confirmed that sufficient evidence of a likelihood and injury existed to justify the review. Existing duties would remain in place during the investigation period which was expected to last around a year. The EBB launched its original B99 complaint in 2008, which resulted in the imposition of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures for five years, starting in July 2009. Duties were then circumvented via Canada, which led to the imposition of anti-circumvention measures in 2011. These duties were extended for five years in 2015. The EBB represents around 75% of European output of biodiesel.

Platts launches SAF price assessment Commodity and energy price provider S&P Global Platts has launched a Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) price assessment for the Americas, PR Newswire reported on 21 September. The move, aimed at bringing transparency to a developing market as the airline industry goes through a period of energy transition, followed the launch of independent price references for sustainable aviation fuel in Europe on 17 August. “While the spot physical market for sustainable aviation fuels is in its infancy, we’re pleased to be facilitating this market’s emergence with our new cost-based price assessment, which allows for sideby-side comparisons between

Photo: Adobe Stock


hydrocarbon-based jet fuel and a green alternative,” said Ian Dudden, global content director, metals and agriculture, at S&P Global Platts. Published from 21 September, the price assessment

would reflect the cost of SAF produced from tallow. The daily price assessment would be expressed in US dollars per gallon and reflect the production costs of SAFs for blending into jet fuel.

Pertamina to use Honeywell UOP technology for advanced fuels International fuel technology supplier Honeywell UOP announced on 28 September that Indonesian state-owned energy company PT Pertamina will use its processes to produce advanced biofuels at two of its refineries in Indonesia. PT Pertamina would use the UOP Renewable Jet Fuel Process technology at its Plaju refinery in Palembang, South Sumatra, and the UOP Ecofining technology at its Cilacap refinery in Central Java. 10 OFI – NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

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UOP would provide technology licences, basic engineering, speciality equipment, catalysts and training for the two projects. The biorefinery in Plaju would process 20,000 barrels/day of vegetable oils and fats to produce advanced biofuels such as renewable jet fuel, renewable diesel fuel and green liquefied petroleum gas. UOP would also revamp the existing refinery at Cilacap to process 6,000 barrels/ day of vegetable oils and fats to produce

advanced biofuels. “These refineries will enable Pertamina to meet the Indonesian government’s goals for renewable fuel production using domestic bio-based feedstocks,” said Jim Andersen, business development director of UOP’s Renewable Fuels unit. The UCOP Ecofining process, jointly developed with Italy’s Eni SpA, converts non-edible natural oils, animal fats and other waste feedstocks into green diesel. www.ofimagazine.com

22/10/2020 09:25:52


Corbion and Total plan PLA facility in Europe Dutch food ingredients and biotech company Corbion and French oil giant Total are building a new polylactic acid (PLA) bioplastics plant in Europe, Corbion announced on 24 September. The 100,000 tonnes/year plant was being developed through the Total Corbion PLA joint venture. Located in Grandpuits, France, the facility was expected to be operational in 2024. “PLA is increasingly finding its place as a bioplastic, enabling acceleration towards a circular economy,” said Corbion CEO

Global agribusiness Cargill is working with US energy firm Virent on the production of bio-based fuels and chemicals, the companies announced on 30 September. Cargill’s corn dextrose was being evaluated as a feedstock to Virent’s Bioforming technology for the production of ‘drop-in’ low carbon biofuels and biochemicals. Virent’s Bioforming technology uses sugars found in plants as feedstock to produce renewable gasoline and jet fuel, as well as lower carbon biochemicals. The sugars can originate from any plant source, including first generation crops such as corn, sugarcane and sugar beets, as well as lignocellulosic materials from wood and other sources. “We believe US corn dextrose is an attractive feedstock for our process and expect

Photo: Adobe Stock

MEXICO: US speciality chemical company Stepan has acquired Clariant’s surfactant business and associated equipment in Santa Clara, Mexico, the company announced on 17 September. “This acquisition supports Stepan’s growth strategy in Latin America and enhances our ability to support our customers’ growth in the Mexican consumer and functional markets for surfactants,” said F Quinn Stepan Jnr, chairman, president and CEO of Stepan. Stepan did not disclose the financial terms of the acquisition. Headquartered in Illinois, Stepan is a leading producer of surfactants and is also a supplier of polyurethane polyols. It has a network of production facilities in North and South America, Europe and Asia.

Corn dextrose is being evaluated as a feedstock in Virent’s Bioforming technology

this study to demonstrate how US corn dextrose can be used for broader applications to produce renewable gasoline, jet fuel and biobased chemicals,” said Virent president Dave Kettner. Establishing the Virent Bioforming process as a viable opportunity for producing jet fuel and renewable gasoline

as a complement to ethanol would open up new markets for corn and expand the opportunities for both renewable fuels and chemicals, he said. Virent would use the results of the survey to evaluate options for scale-up and the development of a first commercial plant using the Bioforming technology.

MPOB and Techbond palm-based polyol venture The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) has teamed up with industrial adhesive company Techbond Greentech to produce palm oil-based polyol, the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commerce (MPIC) announced on 10 June. The palm oil-based polyol would be used as one of the


Renewable news Nov.Dec Gill draft.indd 2

along with other products. Crude oil refining at the platform would be discontinued in the first quarter of 2021 with petroleum product storage ending in late 2023. “Total is reaffirming its ambition to achieve carbon neutrality in Europe by 2050,” Total’s president of total refining & chemicals Bernard Pinatel said. The plant will mainly process animal fats from Europe. and used cooking oil, supplemented with other vegetable oils, such as rapeseed, excluding palm oil.

Cargill partners with Virent in production of bio-based fuels


CHINA: German industrial group thyssenkrupp has won a second order to build a bioplastics plant in China based on its PLAneo technology. The plant in southern China would produce 30,000 tonnes/year of polylactide (PLA), the company said. Its first plant based on PLANeo technology was built in Changchun in 2018.

Olivier Rigaud. “In our recently released Advance 2025 strategy one of our goals is, together with Total, to become the market leader in PLA. This new plant puts us firmly on track to achieve that goal.” Total also announced on 24 September that it would be investing €500M (US$584.6M) to convert its Grandpuits refinery into a renewable diesel plant processing animal fats and used cooking oil. Following its conversion, the facility in Seine-et-Marne would produce renewable diesel primarily for the aviation industry,

components of polyurethane adhesives to replace formaldehyde-based adhesives. In February, the two companies signed a memorandum of agreement for the commercialisation of palm oil-based polyol technology. This would involve two stages – research and development

followed by commercialisation of the technology. “Techbond Greentech will now produce sustainable palm oil-based polyol for the production of new industrial-grade polyurethane adhesives and, ultimately, commercialise the product,” the company said in a statement. www.ofimagazine.com

22/10/2020 09:35:34

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TRANSPORT NEWS IN BRIEF THE NETHERLANDS: Global energy company ExxonMobil said in September that it had successfully completed a sea trial of its first marine biofuel oil with tanker shipping company Stena Bulk, bunkered in the Port of Rotterdam. The 0.5% sulphur residual-based fuel (VLSFO) processed with a second generation waste-based FAME component would be available later this year, initially in Rotterdam, Exxon Mobil said. This would be followed with a wider launch across the firm’s network. WORLD: International dry cargo vessel owner and operator Navios Maritime Partners LP announced on 1 October that it had acquired the Navios Gem, a 2014-built Capesize vessel of 181,336 dwt, and the Navios Victory, a 2014-built Panamax vessel of 77,095 dwt, from Navios Maritime Holdings Inc for US$51M. “Following the acquisition, Navios Partners controls a fleet of 55 vessels, of which 15 are Capesize vessels, 24 are Panamaxes, six are Ultra-Handymaxes and 10 are Containerships,” the company said.

Tradebe acquires TWG Tanklager in Hamburg Leading Spanish hydrocarbon storage operator Tradebe Port Services announced on 1 October that it had acquired TWG Tanklager Wilhelmsburg GmbH, which stores and handles mineral oil products, biodiesel, vegetable oils and other special products at Germany’s Port of Hamburg. TWG was acquired from BDH Biodiesel Hamburg GmbH, a subsidiary of Dr August Oetker KG. “TWG is one of the few remaining independent bulk liquid storage terminal operators in the Port of Hamburg, the third largest port in Europe,” said Tradebe. The Wilhelmsburg Tank Farm operates 14 carbon steel storage tanks with a capacity of 34,500m3 and has a permit to expand capacity by an additional 40,000m3. The terminal is an approved storage facility for flammable mineral oil products (such as diesel and heating oil), biodiesel, vegetable oils, liquid fertilisers and other special products such as liquid latex and fatty alcohols.

The tank farm could be reached by water via sea-going vessels (up to 9 metres draught) and by barges. It could also be accessed with rail tank cars and road tankers. Shipping routes connected the Port of Hamburg with more than 900 ports in more than 170 countries, according to the company. “We are delighted with this acquisition as it allows us to expand our storage terminal business in the strategic Port of Hamburg,” said Tradebe chairman Josep Creixell. “This acquisition fits well with our strategy of providing a flexible and customised service to our clients and stakeholders, while enlarging the range of services into chemicals and speciality chemicals. Furthermore, the acquisition strengthens the presence of our group in the German market, a key geography for our group’s growth strategy. “We see very attractive opportunities to develop new projects in TWG.”

Pan Ocean stake in Export Grain Terminal South Korean trade and logistics firm Pan Ocean has purchased a 36.25% stake in the Export Grain Terminal (EGT) in the US Pacific Northwest, World Grain reported Yonhap News Agency as saying on 14 September. The EGT facility at Longview, Washington, handles wheat, corn, soyabeans, soyabean

meal and distillers grains (DDGS) via rail or barge connections. It can unload 120,000 tonnes/hour of grain and a 110-car train in less than five hours. Pan Ocean purchased its interest from ITOCHU International. “The acquisition is expected

to boost Pan Ocean’s status in the world’s grain distribution market, diversify our grain portfolio and help us make forays into new markets,” Pan Ocean said. EGT is a joint venture between Bunge North America and ITOCHU International, a US subsidiary of Japanese trading company ITOCHU.

Farmer-owned NEW Cooperative announced on 15 September that it is building a new port on the Missouri River. The Port of Blencoe shipping and receiving port would be able to handle 240,000 tonnes/year of soyabeans, corn, dried distillers grains (DDGS), dry fertilisers and agricultural lime. It would have the capacity to unload, clean, and reload up to nine barges at a time. “The new port will allow western Iowa farmers direct access to world export and import markets,” said NEW

The new Port of Blencoe will be able to handle 240,000 tonnes/year of soyabeans, corn, dried distillers grains and other products (file photo)

Cooperative general manager Dan Dix. The company’s goal was to load barges late this autumn and start upstream


Transport news Nov.Dec.indd 2

deliveries in spring 2021, Dix said. “Iowa farmers need every advantage they can get. Years

Photo: Adobe Stock

NEW Cooperative to build port on Missouri River

of low commodity prices, droughts, tariffs, and most recently the derecho have devastated Iowa producers.” “This port has the potential to grow into a sizeable engine of economic growth for area industries,” he said. News of the Port of Blencoe project followed an August announcement that the cooperative would be building a new grain facility with a pelleting feed mill in Cooper, Iowa. NEW Cooperative is a farmer-owned grain, agronomy, energy and feed cooperative with 40 locations across Iowa. www.ofimagazine.com

26/10/2020 10:01:21



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EPA move to streamline GE approvals The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a new rule to make it easier for developers to market crops that are genetically engineered (GE) to produce pesticides, Chemical & Engineering News reported on 8 September. “This new rule will provide critical new tools for America’s farmers as they work to increase agricultural productivity, improve the nutritional value and quality of crops, and fight pests and diseases,” EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler said. The new rule would apply to specific plant-produced natural products that acted as pesticides and the genetic material that

WORLD: American biochemist Jennifer A Doudna and French microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier have been jointly awarded the 2020 Nobel prize in chemistry for developing the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors used in gene editing, CNN Health reported on 7 October. The CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing tool had revolutionised molecular life sciences, a Nobel committee press release said. It had contributed to many important discoveries and plant researchers had been able to develop crops that withstood mould, pests and drought. CRISPR – short for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats – equips bacteria with the ability to recognise genetic sequences that viruses insert into their DNA, and disable them by snipping the DNA.

their product met that criteria or they could let the agency confirm that it did. The EPA had registered PIPs for use on corn, cotton, soyabeans, potatoes, plums and papayas since 1995, Chemical & Engineering News said. Its latest proposal followed a similar Department of Agriculture ruling finalised in May to streamline the regulatory process for approving GE crops. Both actions were prompted by a June 2019 White House executive order directing federal agencies to overhaul the process for approving crops produced with biotechnology, Chemical & Engineering News said.

Bayer announces billion dollar cost cuts German chemical giant Bayer has announced plans for more than €1.5bn (US$1.76bn) of cost cuts from 2024 to offset a drop in demand for agricultural products, Reuters reported on 30 September. The company said COVID-19 had had a bigger impact on the crop science business than expected due to low commodity prices, a decrease in biofuel consumption and intensified competition in the soyabean market. The latest cuts were in addition to annual savings of €2.6bn (US$3.06bn) as of 2022, which had been announced in November 2018. Bayer was also considering exiting non-strategic businesses or brands, Reuters said. Meanwhile, the company said in September that it was making progress on a final deal to settle US lawsuits over its Roundup weedkiller, and that it was now reworking a part of

Photo: Goodpics, Adobe stock.com


allowed plants to make the substances. These substances, called plant-incorporated protectants (PIPs), were exempt from regulation under the federal pesticide law and the law that regulated pesticide residues on food if they were created by conventional breeding. However, the EPA’s proposal would extend that exemption to include PIPs created with biotechnology. To qualify for exemption, the substances would have to pose no greater risk than those created by conventional breeding and it would also have to be possible to make them by conventional methods. Developers would be allowed to determine whether

its US$11bn deal, announced in May, that would address future Roundup cases. The company inherited the lawsuits alleging that Roundup causes cancer following its 2018 US$63bn purchase of global agrochemical firm Monsanto. Reuters reported on 15 September that all law firms that had taken cases to trial had settled with Bayer, covering around 15,000 lawsuits. Bayer estimated it faced

125,000 filed and unfiled claims over Roundup. Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used herbicide and Roundup is used in combination with Bayer’s genetically modified seeds, including soyabeans and corn, which are resistant to it. Bayer denies claims that Roundup or its active ingredient glyphosate causes cancer, saying decades of independent studies have shown the product is safe for human use.

EC approves new Bayer GM soyabean for food and feed use The European Commission (EC) has approved a GM soyabean produced by Bayer for food and feed use, but not cultivation, in the EU, Euractiv reported on 1 October. German agrichemicals firm Bayer said its new XtendFlex soyabean had been developed to confer tolerance to three major herbicides: dicamba, glufosinate-ammonium and glyphosate. “With this authorisation, Bayer looks for16 OFI – NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

Biotech news Nov.Dec.indd 2

ward to a full launch in the USA and Canada in 2021,” a Bayer representative said. However, Green MEP Tilly Metz told Euractiv that the import of herbicide-tolerant GMOs, particularly GM soyabeans which could be grown in countries such as Brazil and Argentina, risked undermining the EU’s international commitments for climate including on the protection of forests and biodiversity. She also had concerns that

these crops could be exposed to higher and repeated doses of the complementary herbicides, potentially leading to a higher quantity of residues in the harvest. Eric Gall, policy manager at EU organics association IFOAM, said that contamination at the production stage was not a direct concern as the soyabean had been authorised for use in food and feed, rather than cultivation on EU territory. www.ofimagazine.com

22/10/2020 09:28:28

DIARY OF EVENTS 10-12 November 2020

25-26 February 2021

ICIS Asian & Indian Surfactants Virtual Conference (Online) www.icisevents.com/ehome/ index.php?eventid= 200176800&

OFIC 2021 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia http://mosta.org.my/events/ofic-2021

11-12 November 2020 Nordic Lipid Forum (Webinar) https://lipidforum.info/nordic-lipidforum-seminar-2020/ 2-3 December 2020 Indonesia Palm Oil Conference (IPOC) New Normal (Online) www.gapkiconference.org

14-16 March 2021

29-31 March 2021 World Bio Markets The Netherlands www.worldbiomarkets.com 20-22 April 2021

87th NIOP Annual Convention Tucson, Arizona, USA https://niop.org/annual-convention

12th Palmex Indonesia 2021 Medan, Indonesia http://palmoilexpo.com

23-24 March 2021

2-5 May 2021

Biofuels International Conference & Expo www.biofuels-news.com/conference/ biofuels/biofuels_index_2020.php

AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo Portland, Oregon, USA https://annualmeeting.aocs.org

7-9 December 2020 10th International Conference on Algal Biomass, Biofuels and Bioproducts Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA www.elsevier.com/events/conferences/ international-conference-on-algalbiomass-biofuels-and-bioproducts 15-16 December 2020 Palmex Thailand 2020 ICC Hat Yai, Songkhla, Thailand http://thaipalmoil.com 5-7 January 2021 Palm Oil Trade Fair & Seminar (POTS) Digital 2021 (Online) https://potsdigital.vfairs.com/en 18-22 January 2021 Fuels of the Future (Online) www.fuels-of-the-future.com/en 27-29 January 2021 Globoil India 2020 Taj Convention Centre Goa, India www.globoilindia.com 10-11 February 2021 6th Future of Surfactants Summit Barcelona, Spain https://www.wplgroup.com/aci/event/ surfactants-summit/

Information correct at time of going to press For a full events list, visit: www.ofimagazine.com www.ofimagazine.com

Diary Nov.Dec NEW.indd 1



22/10/2020 13:10:22

OILSEEDS With global fish stocks dwindling, researchers have intensified their efforts to find alternative sources of fish oils. A team at Rothamsted Research in the UK has run successful field trials sourcing omega-3 oil from genetically modified camelina Gill Langham

Photo: Rothamsted Research

Time to take s

Rothamsted Research’s GM camelina produces over 20% EPA and DHA in its seed oil 18 OFI – NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

Oilseeds NovDec 2020 Gill draft.indd 2

The rise in demand for fish oils, with the sector currently estimated to be worth more than £5bn/year globally, is driving research into new sources of fatty acids. Omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs), specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have been shown to be beneficial for human health and help protect against coronary heart disease. The primary dietary sources of EPA and DHA are marine fish, from wild stocks or farmed fish (aquaculture). Fish, like humans, do not produce these oils but accumulate them through their diet in the wild or through fish meal and fish oil in farmed fish. Around 80% of all fish oil is consumed by the aquaculture sector. The aquaculture industry is seeking new sources of omega-3 LC-PUFAs to ensure its production practices remain sustainable and to nurture the essential aquatic food web. One potential approach is to engineer a crop plant with the capacity to synthesise the fatty acids. The team at Rothamsted Research, led by Omega-3 Flagship leader Prof

Johnathan Napier, has spent nearly two decades working to meet this demand.

Promising results

In the trials, the Rothamsted team isolated the genes in marine microorganisms responsible for biosynthesis of omega-3 and identified Camelina sativa, one of Europe’s oldest oilseed crops, as a plant host. Recently published peer-reviewed results have been promising, showing that the accumulation of EPA and DHA in the seed oil of Rothamsted’s GM camelina is stable, and importantly, the crop performs well in different environments and geographical locations. “Current sources of EPA and DHA, the omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fish oils are at the maximum sustainable levels, yet the demand for these fatty acids is ever-increasing, mainly due to the needs of aquaculture. “We have developed a GM plant which makes EPA and DHA and believe it could fill the gap in omega-3 supply and demand,” says Prof Napier. “Our current plant lines already produce over 20% EPA and DHA in their seed oil, and we are continually improving these


26/10/2020 13:10:44


Photo: Rothamsted Research

The Camelina sativa plant has been identified as a source of omega-3 fatty acids, with Rothamsted Research in the UK running successful field trials of its genetically modified line of the oilseed

ke stock

levels. One potential target would be to have the same EPA/DHA levels as found in a high-quality Southern Hemisphere fish oil and we are already close to achieving that.” The research represents one of the most significant discoveries from the institute in the last 50 years, according to Prof Napier. “If we can successfully make fish oils in plants, as opposed to having to take them from the oceans, this will be a big step forward in further improving the sustainability of aquaculture. “Moreover, because our technology would harness the power and scalability of agriculture, the current constraints on the availability of fish oils would be removed. This means that many more people could have access to these health-beneficial fatty acids.”

The use of GM

Rothamsted has been running field trials since 2014, and these have been getting progressively bigger each year. For example, in 2017 trials totalling over 40,000m² were carried out in the UK, the USA and Canada. In 2019, the UK trial was over 4,500m², compared www.ofimagazine.com

Oilseeds NovDec 2020 Gill draft.indd 3

with less than 200m² in 2014. GM technology was used for the oilseed, explains Prof Napier, as there are no plants that normally make EPA and DHA – although many plants make other forms of omega-3 fatty acids, such as ALA. “Unfortunately, ALA does not have the same beneficial properties as EPA and DHA and can’t substitute for them in either aquaculture or human nutrition. “For this reason, we had to use GM technology to enable plants to now make EPA and DHA, by taking the genes from marine algae (which makes EPA and DHA) and putting them in our camelina.” The GM plants were made by using a bacterium called Agrobacterium tumefaciens to add the algal genes to the camelina. Agrobacterium is a natural genetic engineer, since it moves some of its genes from itself into plants, and we take advantage of this to add in our genes to camelina. “We can then select for plants that are making the EPA and DHA omega-3 fish oils in the seed oil and propagate these plants. “The nature of the genetic modification is stable, meaning that seeds from plants have the fish oil trait – as do their offspring, and subsequent generations,” explains Prof Napier. In some plants, the GM trait (the extra genes from the algae to make EPA and DHA) were combined with gene-editing (GE). In this case, the aim was to improve the fatty acid composition of the plants by using GE to block a pathway which competes for substrate in the synthesis of polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Rigorous assessments

Rothamsted has not experienced any significant opposition to its GM field trials or its research, according to Prof Napier, but it recognises that some people are opposed to GM technology in general. “One could argue that such opposition is misplaced, given the prevalence of GM in medicines and other aspects of everyday life, but we believe it is a mistake to not respect such views and attempt to better understand them.

“We strongly advocate public dialogue as a mechanism to help explore opposing positions and the identification of common ground. In general, many of the concerns relating to GM plants are associated more with globalisation and corporatisation of the food chain, as opposed to specific objections to genetic technologies per se.” As part of the approval process to carry out GM field trials, Prof Napier explains that rigorous independent assessments are undergone to monitor any potential risk to either the environment or human health. “Our GM and GE camelina have undergone such evaluations and are considered to not pose a risk to the environment,” Prof Napier adds.

A marketable product

The sustainability credentials of a plantbased source of omega-3 fish oils are likely to be superior to those produced by other means, either wild capture of fish or fermentation of algae, says Prof Napier. “A land-based source of these fatty acids would not only reduce the impact on marine fish stocks (such as Peruvian anchovy) which are harvested for these oils, but also reduce the environmental footprint on the oceans. Given the concerns about overfishing and pollution in our oceans, we believe that this is a significant benefit.” However, although the results from the Rothamsted trials are promising, there is still considerable work to be done to move this viable product from the experimental to the commercial phase. “In reality, we are still several years away from being in a position to commercialise this technology. Whilst these experimental field trials are significant advances which serve to validate and de-risk our technology, a major step lies ahead with securing regulatory approval for full-scale cultivation and use as a feed and food. “This would likely be sought in North America, since the regulatory system is well-established and much agriculture in that region already uses GM crops.” ● Gill Langham is the assistant editor of OFI OFI – NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020


26/10/2020 13:10:45


Profits without subsidies? Many biodiesel producers have faced financial challenges in recent years due to delays in, or the absence of, subsidies. With many companies struggling financially in recent years, a new approach towards biofuel manufacture is needed which involves low capital expenditure, the ability to retrofit technology and feedstock flexibility.

Current biofuels technologies

Until recently, there have been four families of biofuels technologies related to diesel substitutes: Conventional biodiesel involves the trans-esterification of oil with sodium methylate and represents 80% of the installed capacity in the USA. The production process features low capital expenditure (approximately US$300-US$450/tonne) but requires the use of high quality, low free fatty acids (FFAs) feedstocks such as refined vegetable oils (such as soyabean and canola oils). The feedstock requirements for this process make these producers heavily reliant on government subsidies to support production economics. Acid/Base technology represents an evolution of the conventional transesterification biodiesel process and 20 OFI – NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

Air Liquide biodiesel.indd 2

With biodiesel firms struggling to make a profit in recent years, a new technological approach is needed involving low capital expenditure, retrofitting of plants and feedstock flexibility includes a re-esterification step to remove the FFAs from the feedstock. This approach can process waste feedstocks (such as distillers’ corn oil or used cooking oil which contain a high level of FFAs) but requires an expensive pre-treatment step. Producers who invest in this pre-treatment step can process waste oils, producing a fuel with a lower carbon intensity. Renewable diesel, produced by hydrotreating fats and oils, has attracted a wave of investment in Europe and the USA. Renewable diesel has the advantage of being able to utilise waste feedstocks and to produce drop-in diesel and jet fuel. This fuel also has a lower carbon intensity than conventional biodiesel through the use of waste feedstocks. Despite its advantages, renewable diesel is typically only economical if implemented through a refinery retrofit or applied at large scale for greenfield projects, due to its high capital costs when compared to conventional biodiesel.

Lastly, there are technologies that use solid state or enzymatic catalysts to convert fats and oils into biodiesel. These technologies have a very small footprint with only a few small plants in operation. They can accept various feedstocks but the high cost of the enzyme and/or the difficulties in purifying the product downstream can present challenges in this route.

Unique pre-treatment approach

Air Liquide Engineering & Construction is active in each of these areas, with an extensive product portfolio in oleochemicals. The company has built more than 75 plants using its Lurgi biodiesel technology, including a recently completed 250,000 tonnes/year biodiesel plant in Wichita, Kansas, USA in 2019. Air Liquide’s involvement in renewable diesel projects stems from its core business in the production and sale of hydrogen, and in its unique oil-splitting pre-treatment technology. This patented u


26/10/2020 10:34:19

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Figure 1: Air Liquide oil splitting pre-treatment technology

Source: Air Liquide

Novel trans-esterification

Having identified this market need, Air Liquide’s path crossed with Inventure Renewables ‒ a technology company with a proven track record of innovation and recently-commercialised technologies. One of these is a novel transesterification technology based on supercritical reaction without catalyst. For Inventure, Air Liquide represented a strong partner with a global presence and the experience to commercialise, design and fabricate projects at scale. The companies began collaborating in early 2019, resulting in a long-term partnership agreement in October 2019 in which Air Liquide became the exclusive licensor of the Inventure process.

Figure 2: Market need for new approach

Figure 3: Example retrofit of a 100,000 tonnes/year biodiesel plant u technology combines ultra-degumming and bleaching with oil splitting to remove glycerine before the hydrogenation reactor, as shown in Figure 1 (above). This oil splitting step translates into increased production capacity, no propane by-product, and lower hydrogen and utilities consumption which ultimately further reduces the carbon intensity of the fuel.

Understanding market needs

Air Liquide’s experience in biodiesel technologies makes it well-positioned to understand the advantages and shortcomings of the different biodiesel approaches, whether that be the high capex requirements of renewable diesel or the high operational costs associated with conventional biodiesel production. 22 OFI – NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

Air Liquide biodiesel.indd 3

The most important concern is always how best to serve the hundreds of existing biodiesel facilities throughout the world. In the absence of government subsidies (which have proved unreliable), many of these facilities have struggled commercially in recent years. The company has identified a market need for a new approach (see Figure 2, above) featuring: • Low capital expenditure • Technology that can be used in existing biodiesel plants, through retrofitting • Feedstock flexibility, to allow the use of low-quality, low-cost feedstocks; and most importantly • The ability to be profitable even without government subsidies.

Source: Air Liquide

Source: Air Liquide

Flexible feedstock technology

The Inventure technology can process the least expensive, low-cost waste oils and fats to produce distilled biodiesel and premium glycerine. The technology has been in commercial operation since 2017 and is a simple retrofit for existing transesterification facilities. It represents a truly game-changing process for the market, combining the advantages of existing technologies but without any of the disadvantages: It can process any feedstock including crude or refined vegetable oil, distillers corn oil, used cooking oil, acid oil, tallow and yellow grease with minimal cleaning. The capex is similar to conventional biodiesel (around US$300-US$450/tonne) and considerably lower than the capex for renewable diesel. The conversion costs are lower than any biofuel technology. Adding up all the advantages, the technology offers a payback period of less than one year. The technology improves the economics of existing plants significantly: Feedstock advantage +US$170/tonne Carbon credit* advantage +US$230/tonne TOTAL +US$300/tonne * considering US$200/tonne and following California Air Resources Board methodology Finally, the novel trans-esterification technology can be retrofitted to existing biodiesel facilities as some of the front and back-end equipment can be re-used. Not only can this process fill a previously vacant niche in the biodiesel market, but it is probably the only way for existing producers to survive long-term without federal tax credits. It therefore has tremendous potential in the US market.  This article has been supplied by Air Liquide Engineering & Construction, which supplies technologies and solutions for green chemicals and fuels worldwide www.ofimagazine.com

26/10/2020 10:34:22


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Special adsorbents are required to purify renewable diesel feedstocks such as used cooking oil, animal fats and palm oil mill effluent Carlos Rodriguez Gaya

Purifying feedstocks



UCO/RUCO Animal fat Cat I & II POME Extracted oil from bleaching earth Algae

Adequate Adequate Adequate Low

2020– 2030


to be second generation or later will be in focus for all stakeholders in the value chain, as they present common challenges, such as availability and quality. ‘Alternative’ feedstocks, such as used cooking oil (UCO), animal fat and palm oil mill effluent (POME), raise new challenges in terms of quality compared with conventional fatty acid methyl esters produced from vegetable oil streams (see Figure 1, below). Consequently, special adsorbents were developed to answer their unique requirements. Main challenges Alkaline metals/metals/oil stability/polymers N-content/metals content/acidity Acidity/alkaline metals/metals/P-compounds Purest feedstock (already treated), some heavy metals from previous purification Metals, polymers

Figure 1: Projection of different feedstocks and the challenges in treatment

Source: Clariant

Speciality adsorbents for renewable diesel feedstock purification have become essential for smooth and sustainable conversion in downstream processes. Among various functions, these substances are needed to remove different contaminants from feedstock, which could otherwise interfere in the catalytic process. Due to the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED II), renewable diesel demand is set to boom in the coming years. In addition, feedstocks considered

Vegetable oils vs other feedstocks

It is well known in the industry that some key parameters in the purification of vegetable oils are linked to metals, such as phosphorus (P), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg). These are also concerns in alternative feedstocks, but are often present in other forms, thus making the adsorption process more difficult. For example, phosphorus is mainly present as phospholipids in vegetable oils. Normally, the refining strategy includes acid degumming with consecutive washing and adsorption steps. This sequence is considered to be effective enough to remove phosphorus to the levels required for the application. In contrast, phosphorus species in alternative feedstocks need to be oxidised and decomposed, making their efficient removal more complex (see Figure 2, below). Effective removal of these contaminants requires the combination of improved purification processes, and highly advanced adsorbents with unique properties to bind such elements.

HVO vs FAME purification target

Figure 2: Phosphorus content difference between vegetable oils & residual feedstock 24 OFI – NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

Clariant.indd 2

Source: Clariant

ocessing es for us East ay, ng a orts


Although hydrotreated vegetable oils (HVO) and fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) share some common contaminants, their purification processes must achieve different targets. HVO purification processes require lower specifications of contaminants such as metals, as they are poisonous to nickel-molybdenum/aluminum oxide (NiMO/Al2O3) catalysts, and may cause u www.ofimagazine.com

26/10/2020 10:28:25

As unique



First-class technical expertise, exceptional lab capacities and broad product range

Global mining and production network enabling high supply chain flexibility

Tailor-made formulations removing unwanted impurities while minimizing 3-MCPD/GE

Dedicated product line for bio- and renewable diesel

Sustainable environmental footprint

u corrosion or fouling. For example, calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) stabilise phosphorus compounds on their surface; potassium (K) and sodium (Na) promote carbon (C) deposits; and silicon (Si) or iron (Fe) cause fouling, among other concerns (see Figure 3, left).

Figure 3: Some relevant contaminants in feedstocks and their consequences

H3Cit H3PO4

Source: Clariant

Optimum solutions




Bleaching 1

Bleaching 2

Remove FFA



(i.e. Deodoritzation)

Source: Clariant


Source: Clariant

Figure 4: Simplied purification process

Figure 5: Relevant P-species present in oil to be purified 95% 90%






80% 75% 70%








BE Sample 1


Tonsil 9192 FF



Tonsil 9193 FF

Figure 6: Performance of speciality adsorbents versus bleaching earths in relation to metal removal from untreated UCO (%) 26 OFI – NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

Clariant.indd 3

Source: Clariant



Given that feedstock quality and availability are limiting factors for reliable downstream processes, it is vital to have the right purification strategy, with a multipurpose system which includes adsorption media suitable for different conditions and requirements. More specifically, the optimal refining solution should consider that not all feedstocks have the same level of contaminants, or even similar physical properties. In terms of adsorption materials, highly activated bentonites have the technical specifications to ensure an efficient process. However, the contaminationbinding property is not the only important factor to consider with adsorbents. The ideal materials should offer a good balance between selective removal of contaminants, minimising feedstock losses and avoiding process bottlenecks – as is the case with Clariant’s Tonsil bleaching speciality adsorbents, due to its lower dosage requirements and enhanced filtration properties (see Figure 4, left). It is also important to note that feedstock purification is a semicontinuous process, and very demanding in terms of process conditions and energy profile. Hence, perfect synchronisation is required between the adsorption and purification processes to avoid inefficiencies. It is equally critical that the process is unaffected by feedstock uncertainties, such as volume of refined feedstock, or operating conditions (see Figure 4, left). To ensure successful renewable diesel purification, bleaching earth companies offer a wide portfolio of advanced products with high adsorption capabilities, as well as specific physical and chemical parameters to suit various processes. Clariant, for example, recently launched Tonsil 9193 FF, a next-generation adsorbent that answers the problem of feedstock uncertainty. By acting as a safety barrier, the speciality adsorbent is able to handle different feedstock varieties due to its adsorption properties, adapted to contaminants to be removed, and a certain dosing rate.  Carlos Rodríguez Gaya is the head of product management and technical sales, EMEA, business unit functional minerals, at Clariant AG www.ofimagazine.com

26/10/2020 10:28:28


Plant & technology round-up Oils & Fats International reports on some of the latest biodiesel and renewable diesel projects around the world


Leading Italian oils and fats and biodiesel producer, the Marseglia Group, has entered into agreement with another leader in its field – CMBernardini – to implement a green upgrade of its biodiesel production centre in Monopoli, Puglia (pictured, right). The scope of the agreement is to implement existing systems with a really sustainable and turnkey solution. “This project is extremely important as, once completed, the new biodiesel plant will use by-products as a starting point, a significant step forward from an environmental and economic sustainability point of view,” it said. The Marseglia group has been operating in Italy since 1974, with a turnover of around €700M, processing and marketing vegetable oils. It diversified into energy in the early 2000s and says it is now one of the most important Italian companies in the renewable energy field. The Monopoli production site, operated under Ital Bi Oil S.r.l., is one of the biggest biodiesel centres in Italy. The group’s Ital Green Energy Srl also produces around

Photo: CMBernardini, Marseglia Group

CMBernardini in green upgrade of Marseglia biodiesel centre

150 megawatt-hour of green energy/year in three plants that exclusively use biomass. “For over 40 years, the Marseglia group has adopted a policy aimed at obtaining green energy, in strict respect for the environment and with a great commitment both in terms of R&D and the production of energy through plants powered by renewable sources,” the company said. “The new plant will be exactly in line with our high expectations in terms of the EU’s new green deal to become climate neutral by 2050, including decarbonising the energy sector”. CMBernardini, headquartered in Cisterna di Latina,

supplies industrial processes for edible oils, biodiesel and oleochemicals. “Our strength lies in offering tailor-made solutions using high-end materials and stateof-the-art technologies,” it said. “Our reliability is also testified by our ability to support the customer with punctuality and precision, not only during the construction phase, but also during maintenance and assistance.” To view CMBernardini’s 1 October webinar on ‘Current and Future Challenges in Production Processes’ or to download its presentations, go to www.ofimagazine.com/ webinars.

USA: American petroleum firm Marathon Petroleum Corporation announced on 1 October that it had applied for permits to convert its Martinez, California, refinery to a renewable diesel facility. “If the project is commissioned, the Martinez facility would be expected to start producing renewable diesel in 2022, with a build to full capacity in 2023.” At full capacity, the plant would produce about 736M gallons/year of renewable fuels – predominately diesel – from feedstocks such as animal fat, soyabean and corn oils. Marathon said the conversion of the Martinez facility from a petroleum refinery to a renewable diesel facility was expected to reduce the facility’s greenhouse gas emissions by 70%, total criteria air pollutants by 70% and water use by 1bn gallons/year. The Martinez project would join a portfolio of Marathon renewable fuels projects that have been ongoing for years, including the conversion of its Dickinson, North Dakota, refinery to a renewable diesel plant; investment in its advanced biofuels subsidiary, Virent; biodiesel production at the company’s Cincinnati facility; and ethanol production through a Midwest joint venture.

Alfa Laval wins renewable diesel order from Holly Frontier Swedish heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling firm Alfa Laval reported on 10 October that it had won an order to supply a processing line to HollyFrontier Corporation, USA to support the production of renewable diesel. The order is worth approximately SEK130M (US$14.86M) and comprises Alfa Laval high speed separators and var-

ious compact heat exchangers along with other equipment, engineering and services to provide a pre-treatment processing plant to remove contaminants from fats and oil feedstock prior to the conversion to renewable diesel fuel. Delivery of the equipment is scheduled for 2021. “I am very pleased to announce this large order in the renewable energy area,” said

Nish Patel, president of Alfa Laval’s Food & Water division. “Our products used in the pre-treatment process are recognised for their efficiency and reliable performance.” Alfa Laval said that investments in renewable diesel production in the USA were largely driven by the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard to lower the carbon intensity of transportation fuels.

2 OFI – MONTH 2018 www.ofimagazine.com www.ofimagazine.com OFI – NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020 27

P&E.Biodiesel.indd 2

26/10/2020 10:41:19


Steady exports Brazil is a major global renderer, processing around 12M tonnes/year of animal by-products

Volume (metric tonnes)

not be collected or rendered. “Therefore, the source of rendered by-products is strictly related to livestock numbers,” he said in the August 2020 issue of Render magazine.

Forecast for 2020

The ABRA has forecast that the Brazilian rendering industry may experience a change in raw material availability as beef slaughter in the first quarter of 2020 was 9.1% lower than the same period in 2019. “In the opposite direction, poultry and swine slaughter grew 3.5% and 4.2% respectively in first quarter 2020 in relation to the same period in 2019,” Cypriano reported in Render. “For renderers, total by-product availability dropped, since beef represents about two-thirds of all raw material rendered.” Rendering itself had not experienced major COVID-19 impacts since the industry was recognised as an essential service by Brazil’s federal government. “There has been no interruption in the supply chain nor were rendering operations suspended due to the new pandemic. All international export audits booked for 2020, however, have been suspended. In the case of previously approved plants, ABRA was able to postpone the expiration date and, in some cases, like Colombia, documental approval was officially agreed upon. In other instances, the relaxation of importing permits is under negotiation,” he added. According to Cypriano, the latest figures

Revenue (thousand US$)

Figure 1: Brazilian rendered product exports, 2010-2019 28 OFI – NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

Brazil rendering.indd 2

Source: Render magazine

Brazil is one of the world’s four largest producers of rendered products and the country’s animal rendering industry removes around 12M tonnes of animal origin by-products from the environment every year, according to the Brazilian Animal Recycling Association (ABRA). “If this material was not recycled, it would represent a huge sanitary and environmental risk. However, by using modern technologies, it can be cleanly and safely recycled into fats, calcium, phosphorus and proteins, making a decisive contribution to the sustainability of the meat product production chain,” the ABRA says on its website. Brazil’s rendering industry is divided into two groups; one associated with the slaughterhouses or rendering plants, and the other made up of independent operators. In 2010, there were 512 firms operating in the rendering industry comprised of 343 rendering plants and 169 independent operations. According to ABRA technical manager Lucas Cypriano, rendering in Brazil is distinct from other countries, primarily regarding the origin of raw material used in the production of animal protein meals and fats. Renderers can only process by-products from meat processing slaughterhouses, meat packers and retail stores (such as butchers, supermarkets, and municipal markets). When poultry/swine depopulation was necessary after slaughterhouse closures due to COVID-19, the material could

for Brazilian rendered product exports – US$57M from January to July 2020 – are at the same level as in 2019 (see Figure 1). In 2019, the main Brazilian markets for rendered products were animal feed, biofuel, hygiene and cleaning and pet food, with 57% of total meal and fat production driven to animal feed. These markets were supplied with 5.5M tonnes of meals and fats, from around 13M tonnes of animal by-products. The main destination for animal fat was biodiesel, with nearly 41% of the national fat production used in biofuels last year. Cypriano said in Render that the rendering industry in Brazil grew about 5.2% in by-product processing in 2019 from 2018, absorbed by the 315 rendering companies in the country. Growth was also seen in the export market. In the last year, Brazil exported around 117,000 tonnes of rendered products to nearly 60 countries, according to the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade. This was likely due to the country’s sanitary safety and guarantees of the products. In Brazil, the rendering industry must implement standard operating procedures, good manufacturing practices, sanitation standard operating procedures, hazard analysis and critical control points, traceability, and be audited by veterinary health authorities. “As a result, a surplus of US$61.8M was observed in the trade balance of rendered products in 2019.” Brazil primarily exports protein meals (92.7%), with poultry meals (poultry byproduct and hydrolysed feather meal) being the largest share (73.5%). Cypriano said that for 2020, the Brazilian rendering industry had been focusing on two key strategic actions: • Official recognition of Brazilian renderers as a ‘circular economy’ industry under Brazilian laws, which would benefit industries with a possible new tax framework • Increase in exports of beef meals, the main Brazilian by-product. 


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Palm oil import logistics US imports of palm oil have grown in the past decade, with the East Coast ports of New Orleans and Savannah handling the most shipments Zainuddin Hassan, Nur Adibah

The USA is a leading global market for edible oils, consuming nearly 16M tonnes of vegetable oils in 2019, according to data from Statista. Soyabean oil was, by far, the main oil consumed at 10.66M tonnes that year, followed by 2.465M tonnes of canola oil and 1.518 tonnes of palm oil. The future of the US vegetable oils industry is projected to be optimistic as there is growing usage in food applications. Demand from the bakery, food service and food processing sectors are expected to spur growth of the vegetable oils market in coming years. Furthermore, increasing utilisation of vegetable oils, such as palm oil, in non-food uses is projected to aid market growth.

Palm oil in the USA

Over the past decade, consumption of edible oils and fats, including palm oil, has undergone considerable change in the USA. Several factors, including consumer awareness of nutrition and health attributes of various oils and fats, dietary 30 OFI – NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

US logistics updated with links.indd 2

guidelines, and legislation in the form of nutrition labelling of saturated and trans fatty acids have helped shape consumption patterns in the USA. According to the earliest recorded data published by the research group IndexMundi, palm oil gained access into the US market from 1965. Import volumes have grown steadily over the years and recorded a huge increase between 2002 and 2008. In 2019, US palm oil imports reached 1.58M tonnes (see Figure 1, p32). Data released by the US Census Bureau showed that US palm oil imports from January-December 2018 amounted to US$1.09bn compared with US$1.05bn in 2017. The top three palm oil exporters were Indonesia, Malaysia and Colombia. Indonesia accounted for 60% of total US palm oil imports (1.43M tonnes) from January-November 2019 and Malaysia accounted for 38%, according to trade data from the US Census Bureau. Based on the data published by Statista, US consumption of palm oil totalled 1.48M tonnes in 2019 (see Figure 2, p32). u Competitive palm oil prices and the


26/10/2020 10:48:37

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Source: IndexMundi.com

TRANSPORT/USA u functional applications of palm oil in the food sectors were two of the key factors in sustaining palm oil demand and consumption growth in the country.

Logistical support

The edible oils market in the US food sector is a huge 11M tonnes industry due to its large number of food-related businesses. The bakery, snack food and dairy products sectors constitute huge growth and demand potential for palm oil. The East Coast is the most populous region in the USA which supports huge demand and consumption for oils and fats, including palm oil. A high concentration of highway, railroad and waterway systems within the East Coast makes this area suitable for oils and fats distribution network centres, making it the primary destination for palm oil imports (see Figure 3, below left). About 80% of all palm oil imports landed on the East Coast. Agricultural commodities use the US ocean transportation network extensively to serve global customers.

Source: Statista.com, 2000

Figure 1: US palm oil imports by year (‘000 tonnes)

Top 3 palm oil ports of entry

Source: US Dept of Transport, Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Figure 2: Palm oil consumption in USA, 2000-2019 (‘000 tonnes)

Volume of freight by mode (million tonnes/year) 250 100 50 Interstate highway

Non-interstate highway Railroad Inland waterway

Figure 3: Freight flows by highway, railroad and waterways in USA 32 OFI – NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

US logistics updated with links.indd 3

The WorldCity research group reported that in 2019, the top three ports of entry for palm oil were the Port of New Orleans in Louisiana, Port of Savannah in Georgia and Port of New York in New York (see Table 1, following page). These ports have the facilities to handle palm oil shipments. The New Orleans Port brings all modes of transportation (ocean, barge, rail, and truck) together by giving ocean-going vessels access to ports 228 miles upriver from the Gulf of Mexico, linking them with the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean and Panama Canal. New Orleans is also an important port region for US agricultural imports of bulk commodities like coffee and edible oils such as palm oil and coconut oil (see Table 2, following page). Because of its strategic location, agricultural imports that transit through New Orleans come from all over the world. Some of the top origin countries are Canada, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil and Mexico. The top three ocean carriers which moved about 46% of agricultural imports through New Orleans were Cargill, Great White Fleet and Raffles Shipping & Investment (see Table 3, following page). The second largest port of entry for palm oil; Port of Savannah, is located on the US Eastern Seaboard just up the Savannah River from the Atlantic Ocean. It is operated by the Georgia Ports Authority. The Port of Savannah is the www.ofimagazine.com

26/10/2020 10:48:39

TRANSPORT/USA fourth largest container port in the USA, handling more than 2.9M 20-footequivalent units of containers annually. The port imports more than 2M tonnes of agricultural products every year, the top agricultural imports being sugar, palm oil and beer. The port imported 27% of US waterborne imports of palm oil and 34% of palm kernel oil (in 2011). The top origin markets were Panama, Malaysia, and Brazil while the top shipping lines are Navesco SA, Maersk and Cargill International (see Table 4, above right). Expanding the Malaysian palm oil market in the food sector within the East Coast with a main focus on the usage of palm oil in bakery, snack food and dairy products is a progressive way forward. These three market sectors offer huge demand potential for palm oil. There are opportunities for Malaysian companies to establish palm oil handling and redistribution centres at US ports. This could pave the way for the market expansion of Malaysian palm oil within the USA’s East Coast. ● This article is based on the report ‘Logistical supports for palm oil market expansion in the United States’, written by Zainuddin Hassan and Nur Adibah of the Malaysian Palm Oil Council and published on 20 July


US logistics updated with links.indd 4

Rank Port 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

% of palm imports

New Orleans Savannah New York Stockton Richmond Charleston Houston Long Beach Los Angeles Boston

35.7 30.6 14.3 6.7 5.6 3.9 1.5 0.5 0.4 0.3

Rank Commodity % of total imports 1 2 3 4 5

Palm oil Coffee Bananas Palm kernel oil Coconut oil

22 14 13 11 8

Source: Port Import Export Reporting Service (PIERS)

Table 1: Top 10 arrival ports for palm oil, 2019 (Source: Datamyne.com)

Table 2: Top US agricultural imports through New Orleans port region

Rank Shipping line

Rank Shipping line

1 2 3 4 5

% of total arrivals

Cargill International Great White Fleet Raffles Shipping Mediterranean Shipping Hapag Lloyd Line

21 14 11 8 6

% of total arrivals

1 Navesco 2 Maersk 3 Cargill International 4 Hapag Lloyd Line 5 Mediterranean Shipping

30 6 5 5 5

Source: Port Import Export Reporting Service (PIERS)

Source: Port Import Export Reporting Service (PIERS)

Table 3: Top shipping lines moving US waterbourne agricultural imports through New Orleans port region

Table 4: Top shipping lines moving US waterbourne agricultural imports through Port Savannah



26/10/2020 10:48:41


Global round-up of news FDA considers petition for US olive oil standard

Oils & Fats International reports on some of the latest developments on testing and standards around the world

The RSPO says the total certified area for sustainable palm oil grew by 9% to 4.2M ha by the end of 2019 Photo: Adobe Stock

RSPO reports 13% rise in CSPO sales

The sale of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) grew by 13% in 2019 compared with the previous year, according to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The RSPO’s 2019 Impact Report published on 16 September shows that a total of 7.07M tonnes of CSPO was purchased by the market and overall sales increased by 13% during the 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019 period. Globally, the total RSPO certified area grew by 9% to 4.2M ha across 17 countries by the end of 2019, with certified palm oil mills producing 15.9M of CSPO and 3.38M tonnes of Certified Sustainable Palm Kernel (CSPK), respectively, a 13% and 11% year-on-year increase. Indonesia and Malaysia remained the largest oil palm producing countries, covering a total of 81% of RSPO’s total certified area. The 2019 Impact Report is a special edition documenting the RSPO’s achievements over the past decade. RSPO incoming CEO Beverley Postma said it was ‘inspiring’ to see how much had been achieved by RSPO members in the last 10 years. “We know there is still a lot of work to be done if we truly are to achieve market transformation.” The report also highlighted a surge in RSPO membership in the past decade to more than 4,500 members at the end of December 2019. Other highlights included a 39% year-on-year increase in the total number of certified smallholders to 157,580, and a 20% growth in RSPO Trademark licence holders, with 958 licence holders across 60 countries in the last reporting period. Meanwhile, 230,195ha of high conservation value (HCV) area were certified and managed by RSPO certified members within their certified concessions. www.ofimagazine.com

A new standard of identity (SOI) for olive oil is being considered by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Olive Oil Times reported on 19 June. The FDA’s proposal follows a citizen’s petition filed in May by the North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA) and the Spanish olive oil giant Deoleo. The NAOOA said that the standards were necessary to protect American consumers and promote “honest and fair dealing” in the industry. One of the proposed regulations was a 0.5% free fatty acidity maximum for extra virgin olive oil, which was lower than the 0.8% limit set in inter-

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national standards. “A standard of identity would create a uniform, national standard for olive oil,” NAOOA executive director Joseph R Profaci told Olive Oil Times. The petition’s adoption would bring clarity to olive oil labels, restrict the use of potentially misleading terms like ‘pure’ and ‘extra light’ and ensure olive oil authenticity by using the latest scientifically backed standards and methodologies, he added. In 1979, the FDA had ruled that there was no need for an olive oil standard, citing a lack of data in favour of having one. However, the agency had said it would be open to reviewing the issue.

28/01/2020 11:41 26/10/2020 15:02:53

STATISTICS Sun oil, Black Sea, fob



Soya oil, fob Argentina

Sunflower oil prices

900 800

600 500 Mar 20 Apr







Daily prices from March 2020 until 1 October 2020 Sunflower and soyabean oil daily prices (US$/tonne)

POA, MPOB, Oil World


The deterioration in Black Sea sunflowerseed crops, as well as delays in the start of harvest, led sunflower oil to seven-year price highs in the first half of September, priced at above US$1,000/tonne, according to Lipsa’s September 2020 market report. Prices then fell to US$800-US$900/tonne during the second half of the month. The entry of Northern hemisphere harvests may lead to an even greater price adjustment although, in the medium term, the availability of this oil looks tight.

Malaysian palm oil production, stocks & prices

Oil World

Crude palm oil (CPO) production in Malaysia during September was forecast to reach 1.96M tonnes, the highest level since October 2018, according to Lipsa’s September 2020 market report. However, with an export growth of 8.1%, final stocks would be 1.72M tonnes, only 1.1% higher than the previous month. Low stock levels in Malaysia continue to support prices. Oil World estimates a production of 19.42M tonnes Demand surprise: Let’s start with US biodiesel feedstock use for all of 2020, the lowest level in the last four years, Lipsa said. This depicts year-on-year changes in use of individual feedstocks in US biodiesel output. Until mid-year total biodiesel output was down. Use of yellow grease (recycled cooking oil) and animal fats plunged, as palm oil producti on, stocks (US$/tonne) did Malaysia corn oil from ethanol plants. Therefore, soy&oilprices use grew impressively in order to fill the resulting gap. 30%

10% 0% -10% -20% -30% -40% -50% -60% -70%

Output Jan-20

Soy oil Feb-20

Corn oil Mar-20


Yellow grease May-20

Animal fats


US biodiesel feedstock use, 2020 vs 2019 % change

© 2020 LMC International. All rights reserved.

SEA Webinar, 8th October 2020

Prices of selected oils (US$/tonne) Apr 20

May 20

Jun 20





Crude palm



LMC International

Year-on-year change on 2019, %


Mintec Jul 20

Aug 20

Sep 20








Palm olein




























Palm kernel






















Stats Nov.Dec.indd 1

US biodiesel feedstock use

Use of yellow grease (recycled cooking oil), animal fats and corn oil from ethanol plants plunged in US biodiesel production during 2020, James Fry, chairman of LMC International, told the Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) Globoil webinar on 8 October. Soyabean oil use grew impressively to fill the resulting gap. The slowdown in the hotel, restaurant and catering (HoReCa) sector due to COVID-19 restrictions has led to less used cooking oil (UCO) being available, with vegetable oil replacing lost UCO and tallow biodiesel in the USA and Europe, Fry said. 4

Lipidos Santiaga (Lipsa), Spain, produces vegetable oils and fats for food, animal feed, technical and biofuel applications LMC International, UK is an independent consulting firm specialising in global agricultural commodities and agribusiness

Mintec provides independent insight and data to help companies make informed commercial decisions. Tel: +44 (0)1628 851313 E-mail: sales@mintecglobal.com


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