Advanced renewable fuels companies Aemetis and Edeniq have entered into a definitive agreement for Aemetis to acquire all of Edeniq’s outstanding shares in a stock plus cash merger transaction. Under the terms of the agreement, Aemetis expects to issue between one and two million shares of its common stock plus cash to be paid over the next five years in an amount of up to $20 million in exchange for all of the issued and outstanding shares of Edeniq.
“The acquisition of Edeniq will further Aemetis’ plan to lead the deployment of technology to transition traditional biofuels plants into the production of valuable advanced biofuels, upgrading the existing infrastructure found at the 210 ethanol production facilities operating throughout the United States,” said Eric McAfee, chairman and CEO of Aemetis, Inc. “Edeniq has commercially deployed its patented cellulosic ethanol technology at a number of leading US ethanol companies, and coupled with Aemetis’ extensive biorefinery operating expertise, we expect to enhance this technology to expand cellulosic feedstocks and to increase yields. We believe Edeniq’s technology offers compelling advantages to existing ethanol operators to increase profitability without purchasing additional feedstock.”
According to Edeniq, it’s patented technology is commercially proven, with 29 of its Cellunators installed in 6 US ethanol plants. The company has also signed several license agreements for its Pathway technology, which integrates the mechanical Cellunator equipment with cellulase enzymes to convert corn kernel fiber to cellulosic ethanol.
“We believe that joining with Aemetis will enable Edeniq to accelerate the deployment of the Pathway technology to the ethanol industry,” said Brian Thome, president and CEO of Edeniq. “The Edeniq team is also excited to be able to work day-to-day alongside the Aemetis team to enhance our technology through optimization and innovation at the Aemetis ethanol plant.”
Upon completion of the transaction, Edeniq will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aemetis. The closing of the transaction is expected to occur during the second quarter.
National Biodiesel Board (NBB) CEO Joe Jobe has left the organization to pursue new opportunities. Jobe had been with the organization for nearly 20 years. He started with NBB in 1997 and was named CEO in 1999. In that time, he helped lead the industry from 200,000 gallons of biodiesel use to over 2 billion gallons projected in 2016. The NBB Board of Directors thanked Jobe for his years of service, and wished him best in his future endeavors.
“I want to thank the National Biodiesel Board for giving me the opportunity to work in an industry that is helping to change the world,” said Jobe. “I love this industry – the hard working people, the visionary leaders, and the product that I will continue to use every day. Now is a good time for me to pursue a different path. Biodiesel is positioned to lead the carbon reduction goals of the nation and I can’t wait to see what biodiesel does next.”
NBB says they stand ready to continue to advance their members’ interests by creating sustainable biodiesel industry growth – as they have been doing for over twenty years.
It’s never too early to share the benefits of ethanol with children and to get them interested and excited in science. Guardian Energy is doing just this and recently hosted a Take Your Child to Work Day. The activity intentionally took place on national Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work day.
“What a terrific way to have our staff engage with their kids and actually show them what it is they do every day. In addition, we are all very proud of the work we do to provide a clean, efficient, alternative to petroleum-based fuel and this event offered a great educational opportunity as well,” said Mike Jerke, CEO of Guardian Energy.
The Guardian Energy plant, with a nameplate capacity of 130 million gallons per year and located in Janesville, Minnesota, is a locally-owned ethanol plant and is one of three ethanol plants operated by Guardian Energy Management. The other two plants are in Hankinson, North Dakota and Lima, Ohio. Guardian Energy’s Take Your Child To Work Day was held concurrently at the Hankinson and Lima plants.
Among the activities at its first Take Your Child To Work Day included a briefing on Guardian Energy’s operations, a tour of the ethanol production facility, experiments to understand ethanol as well as some games.
For Jeremy Staloch, the wide-array of activities planned for the children were impressive. A shift leader at Guardian Energy, Staloch brought his son, Riley, 13, and daughter, Destiney, 7. “I personally thought it was great and really liked how it all went. There was a little something for everyone. I myself enjoyed giving the tour to the kids and tried to find as much hands on stuff as possible,” Staloch added, I was surprised at the questions I got from some of the younger kids.”
Project LIBERTY in Emmetsburg, Iowa, has produced and shipped several tank cars of cellulosic ethanol even as the plant is ramping up to its full 20 million gallon-per-year capacity. Last year’s startup phase yielded great experience that will benefit subsequent plants and the learning continues each day as POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels works to make cellulosic ethanol in the most efficient way possible.
According to POET, the start-up phase that lasted more than a year, has yielded good experience that will benefit future plants. This learning, the company says, continues daily as the POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels team work to make cellulosic ethanol even more efficient.
POET-DSM’s process uses corn cobs, leaves, husk and some stalk as the feedstock for cellulosic ethanol. The feedstock is harvested by local farmers and transported to the plant for processing. Besides ethanol, Project LIBERTY produces biogas from its anaerobic digester and steam from its solid-fuel boiler to produce power to run its own processes and export energy to the adjacent grain-based ethanol plant.
The unofficial first day of summer is fast approaching, Memorial Day, and people around the country will begin to hit the beaches and boats. To educate people about the safety of using E10 in marine craft, the Renewable Fuels Association has launched a boating campaign. The first ad appeared in the latest issue of Mariana Dock Age, which is delivered to most marina around the country. Going forward the campaign will include educational outreach and additional ad placements.
“There has been a lot of misinformation perpetuated by biofuel opponents surrounding boating and ethanol,” said Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “For nearly 30 years, 10 percent ethanol (E10) has been used in all types of marine engines and the fuel blend is approved for use by all major marine engine manufacturers, including Honda, Mercury Marine, Kawasaki and Johnson/Evinrude. As a bonus, ethanol’s higher octane ratings increase engine performance, in addition to it also being the lowest-cost, cleanest-burning fuel on the planet.
“E10 is safe for marine engines. Period. Any organizations that say otherwise are not telling the truth,” Dinneen added.
RFA is also cautioning that while E10 is approved for use in all marine engines, higher ethanol blends, such as E15, are not – E15 is only approved for vehicles 2001 or newer. EPA requires E15 and higher ethanol blends to be clearly labeled at the pump, and mandates that E10 also be available at any station offering E15. So aware boaters need not be concerned. Through more than four years of E15 sales, there has not been a single case of E15 misfueling in a marine engine.
National 4-H participants had the opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) to discuss the role of #bioenergy in a global, sustainable energy system.
The roundtable discussion included three key bioenergy areas:
- The potential of algal biofuels.
- Hydrogen production from biomass for use in fuel cells.
- Utilizing biogas (primarily a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide produced by the bacterial decomposition of organic materials in the absence of oxygen) systems to produce electricity, heat, and vehicle fuels.
The roundtable participants also shared perspectives on the importance of bioenergy in their local communities and offered suggestions on how BETO could engage more with youth in the community.
The group emphasized the importance and need for energy literacy in helping people make informed decisions on energy use through an understanding of impacts and consequences. One recommendation from the students is to use social media as a platform to engage the public on these topics—a goal the students are already working towards by developing a video short entitled “Bioenergy Grows Here,” which is intended to provide an overview about the use of bioenergy in a changing energy landscape. Overall, the DOE says the roundtable provided a great opportunity for the students to share their ideas and perspectives with a group of federal decision makers.
The.U.S. has become a #MillionSolarStrong. According to a new report from the George Washington Solar Institute the solar industry has installed more than a million solar projects and is on an accelerated path toward 2 million. In tandem with the report, the solar industry has launched a #MillionSolarStrong and recognizes rooftop and utility-scale reports alike.
“The idea that we are celebrating a million solar installations in this country is remarkable, given we had just a couple thousand when I started here a dozen years ago,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “This accomplishment is made all the more stunning with the projections indicating we will hit 2 million installations before the end of 2018. Our meteoric growth is driven by the fact that solar is one of the lowest cost options for electricity and it has been embraced by people who care about the environment and want to choose where their energy is coming from.”
Key points from the George Washington Solar Institute report are that:
- Installation costs for solar have dropped more than 70 percent in the last decade;
- Solar jobs have grown more than 123 percent in the last five years, making solar one of the bright spots in the economy; and
- The million installations have cut enough carbon to equal all of Oregon’s emissions.
The #MillionSolarStrong social media campaign features photos and videos from people throughout the state who are involved and support solar power.
Brazil’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation has approved Ceres, Inc.’s biotech sugarcane for field testing. The company is now deploying plans to test its biomass and sugar yield and stress tolerance traits in multiple commercial sugarcane cultivars adapted specifically for various Brazilian sugarcane production areas. According to Ceres, field evaluations represent a critical stage in the development of biotech crop traits because it allows them to see how the traits perform in agricultural settings.
“We believe we have a significant opportunity to bring innovative technology to the sugarcane market, with immediate opportunities to increase sugar yields and preserve the yields in the kind of drought conditions that have been prevailing in Brazil in recent years,” said Ceres President and CEO Richard Hamilton. He noted that a sugarcane variety with Ceres traits could significantly change production dynamics and economics by increasing sugar and biomass yields while providing additional harvests during the typical five-year lifecycle of a sugarcane stand.
This is not the first of such tests. Ceres conducted similar field evaluations last year outside of Brazil and results demonstrated increased biomass yields in its tropical sugarcane varieties. The company reports plants with one of the company’s drought tolerance traits resisted the effects of drought and maintained biomass yields with as little as half the water normally required during production. These results were especially impactful, says Ceres, because the tests were completed in elite varieties that are already known for their high yields and performance. Favorable results from a research setting are not a guarantee of future commercial performance, and further evaluations will be necessary.
Renewable Energy Group, Inc. has announced an expansion at its Danville, Illinois facility. The operation has more than 14 million gallons of tank capacity to store feedstocks and biodiesel. The facility was purchased by the REG Danville biodiesel facility that sits adjacent to Bunge Milling for around $1.5 million. The tanks were connected to REG Danville’s existing infrastructure and will increase the biorefinery’s storage capacity for feedstock by more than 950,000 gallons and biodiesel by up to 12 million gallons.
“This is another strategic investment into REG Danville that gives us greater flexibility for moving and storing feedstocks and our high quality biodiesel,” said Brad Albin, Vice President, Manufacturing. “This and the ongoing upgrades will allow us to better serve our customers and vendors along the value chain.”
In July 2015, REG began a separate $31 million upgrade project at REG Danville with a nameplate capacity of 45-million gallons. This will add other logistics enhancements along with biodiesel distillation capabilities. Through this expansion and the purchase of the Bunge tanks, REG Danville has expanded its footprint around the original facility and now sits on nearly 30 acres. The upgrade project is scheduled to be completed later this year.