The third annual BioFuels Journal Commercial Ethanol Technology and Research Workshop, in partnership with the American Coalition for Ethanol, was a success with nearly 100 attendees coming to St. Joseph, Missouri. This workshop is unique in that it focuses on bolt-ons for existing ethanol plants and new technologies for advanced biofuels. According to Myke Feinman, Publisher of BioFuels Journal, the audience was very positive, especially as they learned that advanced biofuels are here now, not five years down the road. This spurred a lot of conversation on how to get banks to free up financing for plants to invest in the new technologies.
Feinman said one of the most exiting presentations was delivered by Doug Rivers, Director of Research and Development for ICM, Inc. Rivers spoke about ICM’s Total Kernel Optimization Program and reflected on the potential for corn dry grind plants to utilize the fiber in corn as an additional feedstock for cellulosic ethanol right at the plants.
The technology is featured in LifeLine Foods’ fractionation plant, based in St. Joseph, Missouri, and is one of only five dry grind ethanol plants currently operating in the U.S. Attendees were able to tour the plant as part of the workshop.
In addition, Feinman said economist John Urbanchuk gave a very well-recieved talk on the economics of ethanol and how it positively impacts the economy, such as adding millions of dollars. He pointed out that rural communities with ethanol plants are prospering, not because of the 40 to 50 jobs it created, but because of the additional market for the farmers corn and all the additional dollars pumped into the community by the plant and its connected businesses.
For those who missed the workshop, you can access the speakers’ presentations on BioFuels Journal’s website. and Feinman said they will be hosting their next workshop in the fall of 2011.