EIA: Ethanol Production, Stocks Down

Weekly ethanol production numbers, as well as stocks are down. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports ethanol production averaged 921,000 barrels per day (b/d), about 38.68 million gallons daily. That is down 9,000 b/d from the week before. The four-week average for ethanol production stood at 928,000 b/d for an annualized rate of 14.23 billion gallons. Stocks of ethanol were down 2.6 percent from a week earlier at 20.8 million barrels.
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The Renewable Fuels Association added that ethanol production is accounting for a good amount of corn usage in the country.

Ethanol producers were using 13.965 million bushels of corn to produce ethanol and 102,786 metric tons of livestock feed, 91,635 metric tons of which were distillers grains. The rest is comprised of corn gluten feed and corn gluten meal. Additionally, ethanol producers were providing 5.42 million pounds of corn distillers oil daily.

Solenis’ Antibiotic-Free Fermentation Aids for Ethanol

Solenis-Fuel-Ethanol-Workshop1Specialty chemical company Solenis will soon introduce a new line of antibiotic-free fermentation aids and a new scale inhibitor for ethanol. This company news release says the debut happens during the 2015 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo (FEW) to be held June 1-4 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

On Tuesday, June 2 at 1:20 p.m. Allen Ziegler, global biorefining marketing director for Solenis, will provide an overview of the new fermentation aids on the Innovation Stage on the Expo floor at the FEW. In addition, Robert Yule, platform launch manager for Solenis, will deliver a presentation on the new scale inhibitor during the FEW Production and Operations seminars on Tuesday, June 2, 3:30-5:00 p.m. in room 200 DEFG.

Antibiotic-free Fermentation Aids: The Solenis™ family of fermentation aids provides better yeast propagation while simultaneously reducing bacterial growth without the use of antibiotics in both high pH and standard pH fermentation processes. The company’s offering of patented and patent-pending antibiotic-free fermentation aids can help fuel ethanol producers improve efficiency and address regulatory and consumer concerns about antibiotics in the food chain.

Scale Inhibitor to Improve Evaporator Efficiency: Solenis’ Polystabil™ AS4535 scale inhibitor is specifically designed to help fuel ethanol producers reduce scale, improve heat transfer and reduce downtime in their evaporators. This patent-pending blended product starts working at a dosage level below traditional polyacrylate chemistries and allows higher dosages, up to 20 ppm, while still meeting regulatory requirements ‒ making it significantly more effective than conventional technologies.

During FEW, Solenis will also talk about new cooling water treatments, FDA-approved corn oil extraction aids for both disk-stack and tricanter systems, and a proprietary control system that allows for around-the-clock surveillance and control of process and water treatment programs.

Canadian Canola Growers Want More Biodiesel

ward-tomaCanola growers in Canada want politicians to prove they are truly dedicated to addressing climate change – by voting for biodiesel. This article from the Alberta Farmer Express says Ward Toma, the general manager of Alberta Canola Producers Commission, wants them to start by hiking Alberta’s biodiesel mandate.

“In their election platforms, almost all political parties talk about climate change and greenhouse gas reduction,” said Ward Toma. “Biodiesel is a low-carbon fuel, compared with some of the other ones, so it does help with greenhouse gas and carbon emissions.”

And Toma is quite specific about what government should do: Hike the percentage of biodiesel blended with regular diesel to five per cent (up from the current two per cent) by 2020; set tougher greenhouse gas reduction and biomass production targets; and extend the bioenergy producer credit program (set to expire in March 2016).

Those changes would be a win-win for both the province and growers, he said.

“One of the things biodiesels can do is create another demand stream for the crop sector, but we can also help with greenhouse gas target reductions and have a sustainable biomass,” said Toma.

Toma says that they’ll have to see where the politicians truly stand on biodiesel… after the elections are over.

Kum & Go to Offer E15

kum-and-go1Iowa-based convenience stores Kum & Go will begin offering E15 as a fuel option. The first station will be in Windsor Heights, Iowa on April 30 with 65 stores in Iowa, Nebraska, Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, Oklahoma, and South Dakota planning to offer the higher blend within 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,” said Jim Pirolli, Vice President of Fuels, Kum & Go. “Having E15 in our portfolio allows Kum & Go to offer our customers a quality product at a great value.”

The news was welcomed by the ethanol industry.

Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, issued the following statement:

growth-energy-logo1“We are thrilled to hear that Kum & Go will be offering E15, providing motorists with a choice and savings at the pump. Kum & Go prides themselves on their exemplary service and a drive to give the customer more than what they expect, and this latest announcement underscores their role as an innovator and leader in the convenience store marketplace. Furthermore, this announcement shows that customer demand for higher blends of homegrown, renewable fuels, such as E15, is growing and Kum & Go is taking the necessary steps to deliver what the marketplace demands and what the consumer wants.”

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) pointed out that that this action will bring the total number of states offering E15 to 20.

rfalogo1“RFA would like to thank Kum & Go for their continued leadership in ethanol,” said Robert White, vice president of industry relations at the Renewable Fuels Association. “They have been offering E85 to consumers for years, and this addition of E15 in these seven states just makes sense. These continued E15 announcements demonstrate that the business case is solid for higher blends, and should lead other retailers to explore their options.”

American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty offered congratulations and thanks to Kum & Go for making E15 more widely available.

ACElogo“Kum & Go has been a leader in offering E85 as a fuel choice at most of the locations they’ve built in the last several years – it seems fitting that they would now be the first large Midwest retailer to announce the addition of E15 as a fuel option. In the c-store business, everyone “wants to be first to be second,” so other retailers will take notice when a chain like Kum & Go is added to the list of E15 retailers that includes Mapco, Murphy Oil, Protec, Sheetz, and other smaller chains and single stores that have been offering E15 for two years or more. E15 is real, and with the number of vehicles built and warrantied for E15 growing by 10 million or more a year, it’s a smart option for stations to offer in the future,” said Lamberty.

Biodiesel to Tackle South Pole

zerosouthhummer2A group planning a drive to the South Pole is choosing biodiesel to get it there. According to this article in Green Car Reports, Zero South‘s goal is to be the first to reach the South Pole without using any fossil fuels.

“We shall draft a symbol of military defense for the front lines of environmental defense,” expedition organizer Nick Baggarly declared.

Each Hummer is equipped with a 3.2-liter six-cylinder turbodiesel engine that will run on biofuel during the expedition.

There’s also an electric motor for each axle, retaining the Hummer’s four-wheel drive capability.

Electricity is supplied by a 24-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, mounted in an insulated battery box to maintain consistent temperature.

The whole trip will cover 1,200 miles, and the group plans to document its journey and produce a 10-episode television miniseries and feature-length film.

Illinois Could Cut Carbon Pollution with More E15

chicagoe15A new study shows that Illinois could cut its carbon pollution if the state adopted higher blends of ethanol, such as E15. The report from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s principal research economist, Dr. Steffen Mueller, and backed by a group pushing for Chicago’s adoption of the E15 Clean Air Ordinance, says carbon could be cut by up to 663,646 tons per year, the equivalent of taking 139,715 passenger vehicles off the road in Illinois every year.

Key Findings:

Illinois motorists consume about 1.5 billion gallons of gasoline per year, nearly all of which is E10. The analysis shows that if consumers in Illinois had access to and chose to fill up with E15 gasoline, emissions of carbon dioxide pollution across the state would be reduced by 663,646 tons each year. These savings are equivalent to taking about 139,715 passenger vehicles off the road in Illinois every year.

The report shows that a gallon of E15 saves 1.26 g of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) per megajoule compared with E10 (gasoline with 10 percent ethanol blend). CO2e includes carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane.

Dr. Mueller’s conclusions demonstrate that switching to a motor fuel with a greater quantity of homegrown renewable fuels would result in significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

The 15 Clean Air Ordinance — which would give consumers a choice of higher-blend motor fuels — would create a better future for our climate while protecting American jobs and our energy security.

The group points out that because it improves engine performance and burns with fewer emissions, E15 has been adopted throughout professional auto racing, as well as creating jobs and lowering dependence on foreign oil.

Alt Energy Consultant Lee Enterprises Expands

leeenterprisesThe world’s largest renewable fuels consulting group is expanding its team. Lee Enterprises Consulting has added five new engineers and two additional Ph.D’s to its worldwide team of experts. The company says it is also dividing itself into four internal teams to handle biodiesel, ethanol, emerging technologies and solar/wind projects.

“As the world’s largest consulting group of its kind, we have experts in virtually every area of alternative and renewable fuels”, says CEO Wayne Lee. He notes that the company has now grown to over fifty consultants, and has reached a point where each of these core businesses needed its own dedicated leadership. “[Dr. Gerald Kutney, who will lead the Emerging Technologies Team] is an imminently qualified expert, and his knowledge in the fields of pyrolysis, waste-to-energy (WTE), forestry bioenery/bioproducts, gasification and emerging technologies made him the perfect choice to lead the Emerging Technologies Team,” said Lee. “Likewise, [new Solar/Wind Team lead] Bob Parkins is a Civil Engineer and renowned solar expert, making him the perfect selection to lead our Solar/Wind Team”.

The group also owns National Business Brokerage, Inc., a full service business brokerage firm specializing in the buying and selling of alternative and renewable fuels plants.

Bipartisan Group of Senators Call for Strong RFS

US Capitol at dusk photo Joanna SchroederA bipartisan group of senators is calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reverse its current course and strengthen the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Led by U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), John Thune (R-SD), Al Franken (D-MN), and Mark Kirk (R-IL), the 37 in the group say the EPA’s latest proposal would create uncertainty for ethanol and biodiesel producers and undermine job creation.

“The RFS has already proven to be an effective driver of alternative fuels and economic development,” the senators wrote. “The biofuels volume requirements for 2014 and beyond have serious implications for our economy and energy security. We encourage you to ensure a final proposal continues to work toward achieving the RFS’s long-term economic and renewable energy goals.”

The ethanol industry praised the senators for their action.

“It is encouraging to see such broad, bipartisan, and geographically diverse support for the Renewable Fuel Standard,” said Renewable Fuels Association president Bob Dinneen. “It’s leadership like this that will move America’s energy future forward. Farmers, entrepreneurs, and innovators across the country will applaud these 37 visionaries.”

“Convincing Senators to sign the RFS to Administrator McCarthy was a key part of our grassroots fly-in last month so we’re glad ACE members could play such an instrumental role in securing so many signatures,” said American Coalition for Ethanol Executive Vice President Brian Jennings. “We are also grateful for the strong bipartisan support conveyed by Senators that EPA must get the RFS back on track for implementation by reversing course from their ill-advised proposal which would have limited renewable fuel use at ten percent of gasoline consumption.”

Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, says the letter is a clear message to the EPA. “In no uncertain terms this strong bipartisan coalition of Senators have indicated that they are closely watching the EPA as they seek to finalize this rule and that any changes which would undercut the congressional intent or role of the RFS will be met with intense scrutiny and strong objection,” said Buis.

EPA recently announced it will propose volume requirements by June 1 for 2015 and 2016 and will re-propose volume requirements for 2014 that reflect the volumes of renewable fuel that were actually used in 2014.

Marine Base Goes Green with Ethanol, Biodiesel

marinebiodiesel1Marines in Southern California are going a bit greener, as initiatives at one base are converting much of the vehicles used to run on ethanol, biodiesel and other alternative fuels. This article from DVIDS says Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, California, is trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by four percent in the next two years, to 15 percent in the next six years, reaching a target of 30 percent by 2025.

“We are converting from gasoline and diesel, to compressed natural gas, liquid propane, ethanol, biodiesel, and electric,” [Tim Hutzley, fleet manager at Southwest Regional Fleet Transportation, Yermo Annex of Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow] said. Those conversions have been ongoing, with some of the new technologies working well, and others taking time for the industry to work out the problems. For vehicles that can’t be retrofitted to accept alternative fuels, buying vehicles made to run on more efficient fuels is one of the major ways to meet the target of reducing petroleum-based fuels.

Hutzley added, “Our requirement for 2025 is to have 20 percent of the 127 over-the-road vehicles (that can operate outside the base) as hybrids. And replace the rest when possible with smaller better, technologically advanced vehicles.”

According to Hutzley, more than half of the base’s gasoline type vehicles run on E-85 fuel, meaning 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, which cost $3.18 a gallon compared to unleaded gasoline at $3.21. California’s consumer summer blend unleaded gasoline has only 10 percent ethanol.

“The upside,” he said, “is we are cutting our dependence on foreign oil as well as cutting our greenhouse gas emissions, which are the main reasons for using alternative fuels.”

Most diesel vehicles on base are running with a blend of 20 percent biodiesel. Biodiesel is typically made from corn, but can also be distilled from other vegetable and animal fats as well as algae, said Hutzley.

Officials add that biofuels are renewable, produced in the U.S., and often cheaper.

New San Francisco Buses to Run on Biodiesel

sfbiodieselbusThe San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has bought 61 new biodiesel-electric hybrid buses, part of a total buy of 121 alternative fuel transports by SFMTA.

The introduction of the new low-floor biodiesel hybrid and electric trolley busses coincides with this year’s celebration of Earth Day. The new hybrids will run on B20: a blend of diesel and biodiesel, which is made from recycled oil and fat. The new trolleys will operate on 100 percent hydro-electric power. All of our electricity is hydropower – supplied from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and is carbon neutral. Muni now has one of the most diverse transit fleets in the world and is also the cleanest multimodal fleet in California.

“New 21st century buses are the very cornerstone of San Francisco’s Transit-First policy, making sure Muni is reliable, affordable and safe for our riders,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “The purchase of a new state-of-the-art fleet of electric trolley and hybrid buses, which reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions, helps San Francisco lead the way to a sustainable future. By offering real solutions to fighting climate change, we can meet the needs of our thriving economy and growing population.”

“Both the biodiesel hybrid buses and electric trolleys allow San Franciscans who ride Muni to celebrate Earth Day every day,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin. “More than half of our vehicles run on clean, Hetch Hetchy electric power; our trolley coaches and light rail vehicles and our cable cars are all powered by electric motors, providing more than 125 million zero-emission passenger trips per day.”

Federal grants, along with state and local monies, helped fund the new buses.