Governors Thank Trump for #Biofuels Support

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

The Governors’ Biofuels Coalition is thanking President-elect Trump for his “repeated statements of support for biofuels and the Renewable Fuel Standard” during his campaign. In the letter the governors pointed out that the  “nation’s biofuels industry has generated thousands of jobs” and will “continue to grow” the states’ economies. The governors also noted they are looking forward to working with his new administration “to advance sound policies that will add value to the agriculture economy.”

In response to the letter, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen had the following statement, “We thank Governors Pete Ricketts (Nebraska), Terry Branstad (Iowa) and Dennis Daugaard (South Dakota) for reaching out to President-Elect Trump to thank him for his support for biofuels and the RFS, and highlighting our industry’s economic impact that has rippled throughout the nation. The President-Elect understands the importance of clean, domestic energy resources and the economic power of value-added agriculture. We are confident he will continue to support the RFS and expanded production and use of fuel ethanol during his administration.”

biofuels, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

Ron Wulfuhle Appointed Head of Enogen for Syngenta

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

Thirty-year agriculture veteran Ron Wulfkuhle, head of GreenLeaf Genetics, has been appointed as the new head of Syngenta’s Enogen corn enzyme technology division. He will replace 35-year Syngenta veteran Jack Bernens who is retiring at the end of this year. Syngenta reports that Bernens was instrumental in the establishment and growth of the Enogen business.

Wulfkuhle was raised on a family farm in Kansas and attended Kansas State University. In 1984, he began his career as a sales rep for Arkansas-based Ciba-Ceigy and from there served in various sales and marketing positions for a number of commercial units and legacy companies of Syngenta. In his most recent position, he headed-up the company’s GreenLeaf™ business after it was fully acquired by Syngenta in 2010.

“Ron is a tremendous colleague and well-respected leader at Syngenta,” said Jeff Rowe, president of global seeds and North America, Syngenta. “His more than three decades of experience in this industry make him the perfect candidate to continue expanding access to Enogen, growing adoption of innovative initiatives like the Ethanol Grower Advantage, and further building demand for Earth-friendly American ethanol.”

Wulfkuhle stated, “Syngenta is proud to support and promote corn ethanol production, an industry that is helping America reduce its dependence on foreign oil, lower prices at the pump, improve the environment with lower emissions and grow the economy with jobs that can’t be outsourced. It’s my pleasure to continue – and grow – this commitment.”

Enogen corn enzyme technology is an in-seed innovation available from Syngenta that features the first biotech corn output trait designed to enhance ethanol production. It creates a win-win-win scenario by adding value for ethanol plants, corn growers and rural communities.

biofuels, corn, Enogen, Ethanol, Syngenta

IA Retailer Charlie Good Wins Distinguished Ag Award

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

Iowan and avid ethanol promoter Charlie Good has been honored with the 2016 Iowa Farm Bureau Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award by the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF). The award, in its 38th year, honors an individual for his or her lifetime of achievement and promotion of Iowa ag. Dr. Maynard Hogberg was also given the honor for his academic work related to animal science. The gentlemen received plaques honoring their achievements during IFBF’s annual meeting and they will be on permanent display at the IFBF headquarters.

For more than 35 years, Charlie Good has been a staple of rural Iowa serving as an expert auto repair mechanic, small business owner, and a leading advocate for renewable fuels both in Iowa, but throughout the country. Good, who is an ASE-certified mechanic and board member of the Petroleum Marketers Retail Committee, owns a station that was one of the first to begin selling E15 and other blends of ethanol including E20, E30 and E85. His efforts to promote ethanol in particular, has greatly benefited Iowa farmers. He was nominated by the Story County Farm Bureau.

As a nationally-recognized advocate for renewable fuels, Good has regularly helped consumers understand the difference between crop production for renewable fuels versus crops raised for food, an important distinction that is confusing for many. He has regularly traveled to Washington, D.C. to lobby for a strong Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and expanded markets for ethanol and biodiesel products.

Reflecting back on his lobbying efforts, Good is pleased he took the time to share his expertise and advocate for renewable fuel. “I was very proud to represent Nevada and represent Iowa,” Good says. “It was shocking to me that a little guy from Nevada, Iowa, could actually make a difference on something so important in Washington, D.C.”

biofuels, Ethanol

Should EPA Increase Biofuels Use? Yes, It’s the Law

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

zp-nh1Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Should EPA increase biofuels use?”

Energy diversity takes the win this week. EPA set final levels for biofuels use in 2017 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that are in line with the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, calling for the maximum 15 million gallons of conventional ethanol for the first time and increasing volumes for biomass-based biodiesel.

Here are the poll results:

  • Yes – it’s the law – 60%
  • No – repeal RFS – 23%
  • Don’t know – 11%
  • Other – 6%

Our new ZimmPoll is live and asks the question, What’s on your Christmas list?

I find it hard to believe it is already time for Christmas. I guess times flies when you’re having fun! Have you made your list for Santa? My nearly three-year-old has and it’s a doozy. I fit into the category of #AgNerd and check daily to see if Apple’s Airpods have been released yet. Sadly, the day hasn’t come. Are you looking for some new warm gear to do chores in, some ag tech to help make life on the farm easier or are you one of those who just asks for cash or gifts cards? Let us know!


#Biofuels Could Benefit Under Trump

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

At the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) CSS & Seed Expo this week, noted agricultural economist Dan Basse with Ag Resource Company once again provided his global outlook for agriculture, which includes the outlook for biofuels.

Basse noted that he doesn’t believe the Biodiesel Tax Credit, which expires on December 31, 2016, will be extended before the end of the year. However, he said the incoming Trump Administration has suggested this legislation will be wrapped up with other tax legislation and we could possibly see something passed towards the end of the first quarter next year.

Basse believes that President Trump will be very good for biofuels. “He is promising biofuel policies that will be more open,” said Basse. “I think ethanol has a secure place in the gas tank at a ten percent blend rate.” He adds, “It is surely a mature market unless the government wants to legislate higher blend rates in the future.”

By 2022-2023 Basse believes anywhere between 20-25 percent of the U.S. auto fleet will be electric. “Everyone is coming out with an electric car. We believe the efficiency, the ability to maybe have some driverless opportunities will lead us in that direction. So renewables, having solar panels on your house, plugging your car in at night or running your heater, will lead to decarbonization in the world sometime in the vicinity of 2027 to 2032.”

Basse talks more about renewables in this interview covering the ag outlook for 2017: Interview with Dan Basse, Ag Resource Company

ASTA CSS 2016 Photo Album

Coverage of ASTA CSS 2016 and Seed Expo brought to you by
Coverage of ASTA CSS 2016 and Seed Expo brought to you by the American Seed Trade Association and Coverage of ASTA CSS 2016 and Seed Expo brought to you by BASF Ag Products
Audio, Biodiesel, biofuels, Electric Vehicles, Ethanol, Solar

#Ethanol Exports Rise, Imports Fizzle

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

Ethanol exports continue to rise with another record breaking October with a total of 131.6 million gallons (mg), the highest monthly volume since December 2011. The U.S. government data was analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and found that October exports were 32 percent higher than September of this year and 69 percent higher than in August of this year. The top country was Brazil with 42.7 mg, up from last month, equaling nearly a third of total exports for the month. Canada also increased its exports by 25 percent to 35.0 mg. Other exporters of note were India with 16.5 mg, China with 10.6 mg, the Philippines with 6.3 mg, Peru with 4.8 mg and Mexico with 3.87 mg. This year two-thirds of total exports gone to China, Brazil and Canada, and year-to-date- exports are at 825.5 mg, on track for an estimated total of 990.6 mg for 2016.

Sales of undenatured fuel ethanol in October expanded by 36% to a record-breaking 70.0 mg. Brazil’s purchase of 40.0 mg (57% of the U.S. export market) plus sales of 16.5 mg to India (24%) were significantly responsible for moving the needle. Larger volumes also headed to the Philippines (6.3 mg), Mexico (3.7 mg) and Saudi Arabia (2.5 mg). October exports of U.S. denatured fuel ethanol increased by 23% over the prior month to 54.2 mg. Canada (33.2 mg, or 61%), China (10.6 mg, or 19%) and Peru (4.8 mg, or 9%) were again the primary markets.Read More

Distillers Grains, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Exports, RFA

Sweden Releases Climate Roadmap 2050

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

Sweden has unveiled its Climate Roadmap – the country’s plan to help meet the EU initiative Roadmap 2050 for climate, transportation and energy. One key area to meet these goals, finds the plan, is the bio-based economy. For Sweden, its forest and forestry sector will play a major role in this emerging bio-based economy through more sustainable forest management, its ability to absorb carbon emissions, and it’s ability to be a feedstock for the creation of new biomaterials.

Linnaeus University will be launching a new initiative in January 2017, “Total carbon balance of Swedish forestry sector: Evaluate guidelines for climate roadmap 2050”. The goal of this project is to evaluate the actions and policies described in the climate roadmap and the effect on the total carbon balance of the Swedish forestry sector. Led by experts, the study will include assessments and evaluations of forest ecosystems, forest products’ carbon stock, material and energy use of forest based raw materials, waste and recycling of used forest products.

“To understand and describe the role of forests in climate benefits, it is important that the analysis includes the forestry sector as a whole. Then we can clarify not only how forestry affects the amount of carbon sequestered and stored in forests, but also how biofuels and other forest products can replace fossil fuels and energy-intensive products such as concrete and aluminum,” said Bishnu Chandra Poudel, researcher at the Department of Forestry and Wood Technology at Linnaeus University and project leader.

Chandra said the scientific challenge is to understand how different management systems and uses of biomass offer the greatest benefits to the climate. The study will also identify how the forestry industry is using its feedstocks – for example whether in use in buildings or to produce biofuels – and then assess the amount of forest products that will be required to meet all sector needs while contributing to Sweden’s climate roadmap.

The three-year project has received SEK 2,997,000 in a grant from Formas’ fund for research and development projects to research leaders of the future in 2016.

biomass, biomaterials, Climate Change, International

Study Shows People Will May More for #Biofuels

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

A new study has found that consumers are willing to pay more for second generation biofuels, in fact up to an 11 percent premium over conventional fuel. The research, “Consumer Preferences for Second-Generation Bioethanol,” was conducted by Washington State University (WSU) and published in the November issue of the journal of Energy Economics.

“We were surprised the premium was that significant,” said Jill McCluskey, WSU professor in the School of Economic Sciences. “We wanted to study people in different regions of the country, to make sure we weren’t just getting a local result, and people in all three cities we studied said they would pay more for these fuels.”

The study was in part funded from a grant from the National Science Foundation overseen by WSU professor Shulin Chen, who is housed in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering. Chen researches biofuels and reached out to McCluskey to learn whether people would buy next generation biofuels. Sustainable biofuels have been in the news in the region of late with several airlines, such as Alaska Airlines, flying with aviation biofuels.

“This new biofuel doesn’t exist commercially yet, so we have to do these studies to make sure there’s a potential market for it,” McCluskey said. “And this shows there clearly is a market.”

The team conducted surveys in three markets with Portland, Oregon drivers saying they would pay up to 17 percent more for second gen biofuels, consumers in Minneapolis, Minnesota said they would pay a 9 percent premium and participants in Boston said they would pay up to an 8 percent premium.

“People in the survey were concerned that the new fuel may put their car at risk, by not running the same as conventional fuel,” McCluskey added. “But they also saw the added benefit to the environment.”

The researchers asked participants if they would be willing to pay a certain amount for the product. If they said no, researchers offered a discount and asked if participants would pay that amount. However, if respondents said yes, researchers asked if they would be willing to pay a little more for the product. Before they were surveyed, half of the participants were given information about second generation biofuels. Those participants were more willing to pay a greater premium, which suggests that marketing the benefits of the new biofuels would improve consumers’ perceptions, McCluskey said.

advance biofuels, Biodiesel, Cellulosic, Ethanol, Research

BioEnergy Bytes

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

  • BioEnergyBytesDF1The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released its December 2016 Short-Term Energy Outlook. The forecast for renewables: “U.S. wind power capacity is expected to increase by 11% next year, while utility-scale solar power capacity is set to grow by 27%.”
  • Reuters is reporting that China is aiming to produce 4 million tonnes of ethanol by 2020, doubling output from the current level, even as it keeps tight control over the use of food grains to make the biofuel, a government plan showed on Monday. The world’s largest energy consumer plans to raise the non-fossil fuel portion of primary energy consumption to 15 percent from 12 percent by the end of its current five-year plan in 2020.
  • “The in 2015 established cap limit for biofuels from cultivated biomass in the amount of 7% must be maintained over the year 2020”. With this position, the Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants (UFOP) rejects the current European Commission proposal on the reform of biofuels policy for the period from 2020 to 2030. At the same time, the association is calling for this cut-off limit to be limited to biofuels, which also make a significant contribution to the reduction of imports of genetically modified protein feeds.
  • Clean Energy Fuels Corp has announced that it has been awarded two new fueling station construction projects, and that its Facility Modification Services (FMS) division continues to grow with multiple projects underway, including three for Cummins Inc.’s Sales and Service business.
Bioenergy Bytes

EPA Holds RFS Rule Hearing in Chicago

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The Environmental Protection Agency held a public hearing in Chicago yesterday to hear testimony the agency’s proposed Renewables Enhancement and Growth Support (REGS) rule. The rule includes several actions that would help allow the market to introduce greater volumes of renewable fuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Among those who testified was Renewable Fuels Association senior vice president Geoff Cooper, who focused primarily on strengthening ethanol flex-fuel (EFF) provisions, telling EPA officials that the recommendations are intended to boost flexibility and allow “EFF producers, distributors, and consumers to capitalize on economic efficiencies in the marketplace.” Cooper also stressed the RFA’s opposition to EPA’s plan to establish a quality survey program (stemming from the industry’s negative experience with the E15 fuel survey) that would collect and analyze EFF samples as the costs for implementing such a program would outbalance the benefits.Geoff Cooper, RFA, EPA hearing testimony

Chris Bliley, Director of Regulatory Affairs for Growth Energy, commented on concerns regarding the impact of the REGs rule on the developing market for E15. “While the proposal doesn’t directly address E15, it would isolate E15 as the only ethanol-blended fuel that does not receive Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) relief in conventional areas. This would deny retailers and consumers the choice of cleaner, less-expensive E15 in a large portion of the country during the height of the summer driving season.” Chris Bliley, Growth Energy, EPA hearing testimony

Listen to the full hearing here: EPA REGS Rule Hearing

Audio, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Growth Energy, RFA