Bipartisan Bill Expands RVP Ethanol Waiver for 10%+

donnellyA bipartisan bill that increases the Reid vapor pressure (RVP) wavier for ethanol blends above 10 percent has been introduced in the U.S. Senate. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) was joined by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Deb Fischer (R-NE). The legislation would allow for more retailers to sell E15 gasoline/ethanol blended fuel year-round.

Donnelly said, “Biofuels like ethanol are renewable domestic energy sources, create more economic opportunities, and give consumers more options at the gas pump. This legislation would expand the RVP waiver for ethanol blends, increasing the market for ethanol producers in Indiana and around the country and making more clean fuels available to consumers year-round. We should be pursuing an all-in approach toward American energy production that includes ethanol and other biofuels because it helps our economy and increases our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil. I am proud my colleagues Senator Grassley and Senator Fischer are joining me in this bipartisan effort to reduce the burden of regulations on ethanol producers and consumers.”

Grassley said, “Consumers appreciate having choices, whether it’s at the grocery store or the fuel pump. Those of us who live in biofuels-producing states understand the appeal of cleaner, domestic, renewable fuels. The EPA should be consistent in the way it treats different fuel blends as a matter of fairness and to give consumers more options for fueling their vehicles. The EPA has never acted on its authority to grant a Reid vapor pressure waiver for E15. This bill proposes a legislative fix to fill the void.”

Tom Buis, Growth Energy CEO, said, “We applaud this strong bipartisan effort to remove the largest regulatory hurdle standing between consumers and access to a cleaner, less expensive and higher performing fuel. Senators Donnelly, Grassley and Fischer recognize that higher ethanol blends such as E15 benefit our environment, our economy and our rural communities, and are working together to bring those benefits to every American and move our nation forward. We commend them for taking the lead on this important issue in Congress.”

ncga-logo-newThe National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) also welcomed the news:

“We applaud Senators Donnelly, Grassley, and Fischer for their bipartisan efforts to increase the market for ethanol producers and give consumers more choices at the pump,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling. “June 1 is rapidly approaching, and we should ensure consumers will continue to have access to energy that is clean, renewable, and American-grown. We urge Congress to pass this legislation.”

Pacific Ethanol Produces Corn Oil at Madera Plant

Pacific Ethanol logoA West Coast ethanol producer is cashing in on a co-product of the green fuel’s prodcution. Pacific Ethanol has begun commercial production of corn oil using Valicor’s proprietary VFRAC™ corn oil recovery system at its Madera, California plant.

Neil Koehler, the company’s president and CEO, stated: “We are pleased to be producing corn oil at our Madera plant, which further diversifies our plant revenue streams and significantly improves operating income. In addition, plans are underway for corn oil production to begin at our Boardman, Oregon plant in the second quarter, at which time all four of Pacific Ethanol’s ethanol production facilities will be producing and benefitting from this high-value co-product.”

New Ad from ACE Uses ‘Power by People’ for RFS

Marietta1Looking to capitalize on President Obama’s visit to Watertown, South Dakota, the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) placed a full page advertisement in the May 8 Watertown Public Opinion. The ad uses the Power by People campaign which highlights the personal stories and persuasiveness of ACE’s grassroots members.

The ad features Marietta Lakness, a farmer, rancher, and investor in Glacial Lakes Energy, an ACE-member ethanol company that owns and operates facilities in Watertown and Mina, South Dakota. It focuses on how the RFS has supported Watertown’s economic growth and success. The text of the ad reads:

“Sometimes policy makers in DC get it right. Watertown, South Dakota is proof. So is Marietta Lakness. She raised a family in Hamlin County and has seen up close the challenges rural communities face. That’s why Marietta joined with her neighbors to build Glacial Lakes Energy, their very own home town biorefinery. Thanks to a policy called the Renewable Fuel Standard, today Watertown and places like it across the country produce clean renewable fuel for all Americans. The RFS also helped Marietta and 4,000 people like her who invested in Glacial Lakes Energy unleash a new chapter of hope and prosperity for the region. Today there’s a new market for her crops, new feed for her livestock, new fuel for her neighbors, and new dollars circulating throughout the region. It’s a jolt that’s plain to see all over town. Even though they live well outside the Beltway, the people of Watertown – folks like Marietta – are proof that good things come when Washington gets it right. And that’s worth keeping. Mr. President, help keep the RFS on track.”

You can read Marietta’s ethanol story here.

Georgia’s First E15 Stations to Open Friday

protecfuel1Georgia gets its first three E15 stations this week. To help celebrate the event at the Atlanta area stations, Protec Fuel will be running special “Happy Hour” pricing from 4-5 pm on Friday, May 8, at the Gulf Quick Stop Food Store, 855 S Cobb Dr SE, in Marietta.

88-octane E15 fuel costs less and can run in any 2001 and newer gas vehicle! Plus, it’s American-made, higher octane fuel that’s better for the environment. And, for the first time, it’s available in Georgia!

In addition, state officials will be on hand for the event, plus festivities will include 94.9 The Bull & Zac Brown Band tics giveaway, face painting, balloons, karaoke/bands, a moon walk for kiddos, and more!

E15 will also be available at the Gulf Sunflower Food Mart 1241 Eaton Road, Madison, Georgia and Gulf Food Mart 405 S. Walnut St., Greensboro Georgia.

New Iowa E15 Station Having $1.99/Gallon Event

kum-and-go1Not only does it burn green, but this coming Monday at Iowa’s newest E15 station, the higher blend of ethanol will save you some green. The Kum & Go in Windsor Heights near Des Moines will sell E15 for $1.99 per gallon from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Monday, May 11. This news release from the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) says the promotion also coincides with Kum & Go’s announcement last week that the company plans to add E15 to an additional 65 locations in Iowa and six other states over the next two years.

“We have a strong tradition in our company to implement sustainability within our business and at our locations. From our 100 LEED-certified stores, to our selection of alternative fuels, E15 was a natural addition to our fuel offering,” stated Kum & Go Vice President of Fuels Jim Pirolli. “Having E15 in our portfolio allows Kum & Go to offer our customers a quality product at a great value.”

“Motorists have been clamoring for wider availability of E15, and we applaud Kum & Go for providing Iowans with yet another low-cost, cleaner-burning fueling option,” stated IRFA Managing Director Lucy Norton. “E15 is the most extensively tested fuel in history, is safe for use in all 2001 and newer vehicles, and will be priced at a great money-saving discount through this special promotion. That’s a win-win-win for Iowa’s motorists.”

“The American farmer is a backbone of the renewable fuels industry. Thanks to partners like Kum & Go, Iowans can fill up with more American-grown fuels like E15 and E85 that are better for our environment, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and create new Iowa jobs,” stated Iowa Corn Promotion Board Director of Marketing and Communications Shannon Textor. “E15 is five percent more Iowa-grown fuel that supports Iowa’s farmers.”

The Kum & Go Windsor Heights store is located at 7229 University Avenue.

Innovating Biodiesel By-Product Wins Award

nbb-advancedResearch that has turned a glut of a biodiesel by-product into high value products has earned its innovator an award. This National Biodiesel Board news release says the French researcher’s work was honored at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS).

Dr. Franck Dumeignil, Full Professor at Lille University and Deputy Director of the School’s Unit of Catalysis and Solid State Chemistry, is the winner of the 2015 Glycerine Innovation Award, sponsored by the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) and the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).

The ACI/NBB Glycerine Innovation Award recognizes outstanding achievement for research into new applications for glycerine, with particular emphasis on commercial viability.

Prof. Dumeignil undertook his research in the context of the rapid growth of the biodiesel industry worldwide creating an urgent need to quickly and effectively convert crude glycerine into value-added chemical products. The research has enhanced the value of glycerine by successfully tackling many bottlenecking problems, with his research showing the potential to mass produce high value products from glycerine.

“The use of crude glycerine, much less costly than purified glycerol, is still a problem as its impurities are detrimental to the whole process efficiency,” said Prof. Dumeignil.

The award includes a plaque and a $5,000 honorarium.

Brazil Ethanol Group Moves Summit Dates

unica1A group representing sugarcane ethanol producers in Brazil is rescheduling its biennial meeting. The Union of Sugar Cane Industry Association (UNICA) has moved its Ethanol Summit 2015 to July 6-7, 2015 at the Golden Hall of World Trade Center to accomodate Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who will be in Washington, D.C., on the original dates at the end of June.

The meeting brings together businessmen from various levels of government authorities, researchers, investors, suppliers and academics in Brazil and abroad.They are expected about 1,500 participants to follow nearly a hundred lectures, presentations, discussions and debates that will take place in large plenary sessions, thematic panels and opening and closing ceremonies as well as parallel events.

“This is a significant year for the sugarcane industry. Key decisions and very important measures that can contribute to a better future of agribusiness, are underway, both in Brazil and on the world stage, increasing the importance of the Summit as the main forum for discussions on the most relevant topics for the energies and products renewable coming from sugarcane “said the president of UNICA, Elizabeth Farina.

Registration for the event opens in the coming days.

Aemetis Starts India Biodiesel Manufacturers Assoc.

aemetislogo1India is getting a biodiesel makers association. With a little help from California-based Aemetis (which also runs a biodiesel plant on the east coast of India), the Biodiesel Manufacturers Association (BEMA) has been launched with Sanjeev Gupta, President of Aemetis International, as the new group’s chairman and president.

The BEMA group was launched as an eight-member association with a focus on expanding the biodiesel market in India, decreasing air pollution and reducing India’s dependence on foreign oil. The organization will serve to further the interests of biodiesel manufacturers by removing regulatory hurdles while educating India corporate and retail consumers about the environmental and cost benefits of biodiesel.

“With the deregulation of the diesel market in India and ending of diesel subsidies last October, India is a new frontier for Aemetis to grow in a large 25 billion gallon diesel market,” said Sanjeev Gupta, President of Aemetis International. “With the recent approval of direct sales to bulk customers, we have launched direct delivery of biodiesel to customers and are moving rapidly to expand production at our 50 million gallon per year capacity East Coast plant in Kakinada to supply the domestic India market,” added Gupta.

“Sanjeev’s chairmanship of the newly formed organization for biodiesel producers in India recognizes the leadership position held by our Univeral Biofuels subsidiary in one of the fastest growing biofuels markets in the world,” said Eric McAfee, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aemetis. “Biodiesel is now a less expensive fuel than diesel in India, with the removal of the large diesel subsidy that had blocked sales of biodiesel in India until recently. The formation of BEMA is an important milestone expanding the biodiesel market in India to replace diesel with a healthier and lower cost alternative,” added McAfee.

Retailers Tout E15 in New Video

A new video has retailers extolling the virtues of E15. Clear the Air Chicago, a coalition advocating to make the higher blend of ethanol available citywide, is behind the video in which the retailers credit E15 with boosting business, improving customer satisfaction, and providing reliable service, while saving drivers 5 to 15 cents per gallon.

“It’s been a windfall for us,” said Roger Green, Station Owner from South St. Paul, Minnesota. “It’s been a huge increase in our inside store sales and our volume sales.”

The City of Chicago is considering a proposal that will bring E15 to Chicago gas stations.

GROWMARK Shows Off New Propane Terminal

growmarkcantonGROWMARK showed off its newest propane terminal in South Dakota. This company news release says the April 28 open house at the Canton terminal attracted about 70 people to the event.

GROWMARK, headquartered in Bloomington, Ill., acquired the Magellan Pipeline Company, L.P. in 2013 and added rail capacity. Facility upgrades were complete and the terminal was operational in January 2015.

“This opportunity made strategic sense for us,” said Kevin Carroll, GROWMARK VP Energy & Logistics. “Our retail division, STAR Energy, acquired Siouxland Propane in 2013, expanding our footprint into the South Dakota geography. This terminal will support the expanded footprint and enhance our supply for other areas of our System.”

The upgraded GROWMARK terminal provides storage capacity of more than 300,000 gallons and the capability to fill two semi-truck tanks simultaneously, each loading at a rate of approximately 570 gallons per minute. The terminal is adjacent to the BNSF railroad, and GROWMARK has upgraded the facility to allow for six railcars to unload at one time, with the opportunity to expand that to eight cars in the future.