Neb Gov Ricketts Rallies for RFS

On Friday, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts rallied for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in Blair, Nebraska at Novozymes’ biofuel enzyme facility. Also in attendance was Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson and Kyle Nixon, Novozymes general manager. According to speakers, should the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final rule that slashes the required volumes of corn ethanol by more than one million gallons move forward, it will threaten thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investments by ethanol producers in Nebraska and Iowa.

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts speaks about the RFS during a rally held at Novozyme's enzyme facility in Blair, Nebraska. Photo Credit: Novozymes

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts speaks about the RFS during a rally held at Novozyme’s enzyme facility in Blair, Nebraska. Photo Credit: Novozymes.

“Agriculture is Nebraska’s number one industry, and ethanol is one of the key agricultural growth industries that have added billions in revenue and thousands of jobs over the past decade to our state,” said Gov. Ricketts. “These efforts were undertaken in expectation that such efforts would meet the commitment of this nation to renewable fuels established by the Renewable Fuel Standard. Nebraskans have cause for concern because the EPA’s proposal to slash billions of gallons of biofuels from the RFS has the potential to negatively impact the future growth of our state. The RFS is an achievable and ambitious target and must be maintained.”

Today is the last day for public comment on the rule and more than 200,000 comments alone were submitted today by Fuels America. Earlier this year the association released an economic study citing the RFS driving $184 billion in economic activity, 850,000 jobs and $46 billion in wages across the country. This activity, found the report, creates a ripple effect as supplier firms and employees re-spend throughout the economy. The local impact for Nebraska is $11.1 billion and nearly 40,000 jobs. Likewise, the impact for Iowa is $19.3 billion and 73,000 jobs.

Today the U.S. biofuels industry produces 14 billion gallons of ethanol and biodiesel.

According to Nixon, enzymes from Novozyme’s Blair, Nebraska plant allow agricultural products like corn starch and corn stover to be converted into conventional and advanced biofuels. He noted the facility has helped realize two of the Obama Administration’s key goals for renewable energy; creating short-term construction and long-term professional jobs; and helping move the U.S. away from foreign oil and towards homegrown renewable fuel, energizing the economy and increasing domestic security. Continue reading

Enogen Press Conference at Iowa Speedway

Engine Press ConferenceToday Syngenta announced a major donation to the Prime the Pump fund, an industry initiative to help early retail adopters of high-level ethanol blends through grants to reduce their initial investment in infrastructure. On the pane (l-r) are Chris Tingle, Syngenta; Ray Defenbaugh, Prime the Pump; Kelly Manning, Growth Energy; Delayne Johnson, Quad County Corn Processors and Chris Soule, Iowa farmer and star of ABC’s The Bachelor and Dancing With the Stars.

Syngenta says it will donate approximately $600,000 to the initiative by contributing $1 for every acre planted with Enogen corn enzyme technology. This effort stated in 2013 and is being extended to 2016. Besides the money being raised for the Prime the Pump initiative, the FFA students here today helping collect money for the fund will be receiving matching dollars for the money they raise. So, when you look at the value to the ethanol plants of Enogen corn which already has a vital enzyme for processing which saves the plant money; the fact that farmers growing Enogen corn are receiving a significant bonus incentive on the price of their corn; the fact that this initiative is helping expand the market and use of ethanol and local FFA chapters are benefitting, it seems like a win-win for everyone.

I have recorded the full press conference for you to listen to here: Syngenta Enogen Press Conference

2015 American Ethanol 200 Presented by Enogen Photo Album

Coverage of the American Ethanol 200 sponsored by Enogen
Coverage of the American Ethanol 200 is sponsored by Enogen

Novozymes Increases Ethanol Plant Sustainability

few15-novozymes-jackNovozymes sees a tremendous potential to increase performance at ethanol plants. Jack Rogers, biofuels global marketing manager for Novozymes highlighted several of these projects during the Fuel Ethanol Workshop. He said they have a number of products in the pipeline that target specific areas of the ethanol production process.

One area of focus is in improving ethanol conversion yields. Rogers said that several of their forthcoming projects will address this area and take Novozymes beyond where they are today. He also said they have products being developed that will reduce energy and chemical use. “So there are a lot of ways we see us being able to help add value to the ethanol plant.”

Novozymes is focused on helping the biofuels industry become even more sustainable. Rogers said they are committed to helping the industry reduce inputs and improve the carbon intensity of the industry. He said they feel really good about the contributions they can make to the industry and their efforts to keep improving biofuel production.

Interview with Jack Rogers, Novozymes

2015 Fuel Ethanol Workshop Photo Album

Coverage of the Fuel Ethanol Conference is sponsored by
Coverage of the Fuel Ethanol Conference is sponsored by Novozymes

Nebraska Governor Visits Novozymes

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts wrapped up his first agricultural trade mission this week with a visit to Novozymes world headquarters in Denmark, where a company tour showcased the production of unique enzymes and microbial products used in the animal nutrition, agriculture, and biofuels industries.

Novozymes CEO Peder Holk Nielsen welcomes Nebraska Gov. Ricketts

Novozymes CEO Peder Holk Nielsen welcomes Nebraska Gov. Ricketts

While at Novozymes, Gov. Ricketts and the United States Ambassador to Denmark hosted a roundtable on renewable fuels and bio-products where Nebraska delegates “showcased the dynamic interaction between the corn, cattle, and ethanol sectors and their important roles in Nebraska’s success in agriculture.”

Industry representatives presented U.S. market trends and regulations to the group, with a focus on co-products, revenue opportunities, and biorefinery developments. In addition to the governor, Nebraska roundtable participants included Department of Economic Development Director Brenda Hicks-Sorensen, KAAPA President and Nebraska Ethanol Board representative Paul Kenny, Green Plains Energy COO Jeff Briggs and Bret Wyant with American Laboratories. European company executives included representatives from Novozymes, Dong Energy, Leifmark, Renew Energy, DuPont, and the U.S. Embassy.

The Governor and mission members also met with Novozymes CEO Peder Holk Nielsen and Executive Vice Presidents of Business Development and Supply Operations Thomas Videbaek and Thomas Nagy to discuss business development and international expansion. Ricketts says the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was a concern as they discussed expansion plans in the United States. “With the EPA changing the rule, pulling the rug out from under our ethanol producers, by changing the RFS they’ve created uncertainty,” said Ricketts. “That uncertainty is impacting Novozymes as it’s impacting the rest of the industry.”

Novozymes opened its newest advanced manufacturing plant in Blair, Nebraska to make enzymes for biofuels production in 2012 in part because of strong policies like the RFS.

Listen to the governor’s summary of the trade trip here:Neb. Gov Pete Ricketts on trade trip wrap up

Novozymes Enzyme Solutions for Ethanol Producers

few15-novo-nickOne of the last presentations at the 2015 Fuel Ethanol Workshop featured some of the enzymatic solutions Novozymes North America offers to optimize fermentation and increase yields.

Novozymes data scientist Nick Giffen discussed Novozymes throughput solutions such as Avantec and Olexa. “Avantec is our featured liquifaction solution,” said Giffen. “It provides a more well-prepared mash for fermentation.” Olexa® is specifically designed for oil recovery, releasing 15% more oil for extraction, increasing ethanol yield and reducing use of natural gas. Both products Giffen says really help fermentation take off and produce ethanol faster.

Giffen also talked about Spirizyme® Achieve, the industry’s first fiber-degrading glucoamylase. “That allows the fiber-bound starch to be released which provides an extra pool for yield to come from,” said Giffen.

In the five years Giffen has been with Novozymes he has helped in the development of all these relatively new products. “My role is to really focus on the proof of concept phase of our new product launches and analyze the data and figure out the trends going on,” he said, adding that he thoroughly loves his job. Interview with Nick Giffen, Novozymes

2015 Fuel Ethanol Workshop Photo Album

Coverage of the Fuel Ethanol Conference is sponsored by
Coverage of the Fuel Ethanol Conference is sponsored by Novozymes

The Novozymes Strategy

few15-novo-andersThis year, Novozymes announced a new corporate “Partnering for Impact” strategy and a new purpose statement which reads, “Together, we find biological answers for better lives in a growing world – Let’s rethink tomorrow.”

“We try to make a difference in the world with the technologies that we provide,” said Anders Lund, Vice President of global marketing for Novozymes, who attended last week’s Fuel Ethanol Workshop where the Novozymes strategy was on display. “The more successful we can be with partners, the more impact these technologies will have in the marketplace.”

The new strategy sets out four focus areas for Novozymes:
1) Rally for change
2) Lead innovation
3) Focus on opportunities
4) Grow people

Novozymes is an industrial biotechnology company with a focus on enzymes and is the largest global supplier of enzymes in the ethanol industry. Lund says they are driven by research and development. “We invest 12 to 14 percent back in R&D in our revenues,” said Lund. “That’s our DNA, we’ve been doing that for the last 40-50 years and we would like to continue to do that.”

In this interview, Lund explains more about the Novozymes strategy of Partnering for Impact. Interview with Anders Lund, Novozymes

2015 Fuel Ethanol Workshop Photo Album

Coverage of the Fuel Ethanol Conference is sponsored by
Coverage of the Fuel Ethanol Conference is sponsored by Novozymes

Novozymes Talks Fermentation at #FEW15

few15-novo-derekOne of the most well-attended breakout sessions at the Fuel Ethanol Workshop last week in Minneapolis explored “Best Practices for Yield Maximization.”

Novozymes research associate Derek Payne focused on propagation and fermentation optimization and getting data from small scale fermentations to find out what works. “By doing the smaller scale first you can predict patterns you would see in larger scale before implementing it,” said Payne who compares small scale fermentations to micro-breweries. “As technology gets better, we can more closely mimic what’s going on in the plant, in the lab itself.”

Novozymes offers lab services consulting and advanced laboratory seminars, depending on a plant’s needs. Listen to Derek explain more in this interview: Interview with Derek Payne, Novozymes

2015 Fuel Ethanol Workshop Photo Album

Coverage of the Fuel Ethanol Conference is sponsored by
Coverage of the Fuel Ethanol Conference is sponsored by Novozymes

Novozymes Partnering for Profitability at #FEW15

few15-novozymes-kimAs the global market leader in enzyme production and a pioneer in the bioenergy business, Novozymes is uniquely positioned to partner with ethanol producers for increased profitability.

“What we really try to do is understand what are the goals of our customers,” says Kim Bertz, Senior Regional Marketing Manager for Biofuel with Novozymes. “We want to help them achieve both their short term and long term goals.”

Novozymes offers an assortment of products that first help break corn down into ethanol. “Whether they’re going for yield, or throughput, maximizing output – whatever that may look like, those are the things we really try to deliver,” said Bertz.

The Novozymes technical service group has other solutions from analyzing data, training, process optimization – all designed to help plants hit that next highest benchmark.

In this interview, Bertz also talks about the commitment Novozymes has to the biofuels industry and why they are big supporters of the FEW. Interview with Kim Bertz, Novozymes

2015 Fuel Ethanol Workshop Photo Album

Coverage of the Fuel Ethanol Conference is sponsored by
Coverage of the Fuel Ethanol Conference is sponsored by Novozymes

Lallemand Announces TransFerm Yield Patent

Lallemand Biofuels & Distilled Spirits (LBDS) along with Mascoma, LLC have been awarded a patent for the technology used in TransFerm Yield+ in the US (US 8,956,851 B2). As explained in Lallemand company materials, this yeast product provides for novel metabolic pathways that reduce or Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 1.56.54 PMeliminate glycerol production subsequently increase ethanol yield by yeast or other microorganisms.

“We are extremely proud to have introduced these products into the marketplace. This drop-in, game-changing technology is one example of how our Mascoma business unit has produced real results,” said Angus Ballard, president, LBDS. “To be able to increase yields and thus increase the profitability of ethanol plants, at a time where margins are tight, is huge. This is just the beginning of a long line of Mascoma developed products that will be brought into the market by our team.”

During the past three years, LBDS and Mascoma introduced TransFerm and TransFerm Yield+ yeasts into the ethanol industry citing that the products help reduce the amount of glucoamylase needed in fermentation and also provide a substantial yield increase through the introduction of the glycerol reduction pathway. Today more than 50 ethanol plants have utilized the TransFerm platform producing over 4 billion gallons of ethanol.

Kevin Wenger, executive vice president of Mascoma, added, “Development of this technology is the result of years of dedicated R&D effort by Mascoma. We are quite pleased that the U.S. Patent Office has allowed the patent; we believe it shows how innovative and significant this new approach really is. TransFerm Yield+ is truly the first product of its kind to offer this type of step change technology in ethanol production.”

Novozymes Sees Positive Outlook for 2015

Novozymes 2014 annual reportNovozymes saw solid growth in 2014 and increased sales by 7 percent as compared to 2013. The company also reports that the outlook for 2015 is good. Following a strategic business review, the company has released a new purpose statement, strategy and updated long-term targets. Through 2020, Novozymes targets annual organic sales growth of 8-10 percent on average. Novozymes is best known in the biofuels and biomaterials (biochemicals) markets for its enzymes.

”2014 was a good year for Novozymes with 7% organic sales growth and a record EBIT margin”, said Novozymes CEO Peder Holk Nielsen. “Bioenergy was the strongest growth driver, making up for slower growth in Food & Beverages and Household Care. Our growth platforms showed good progress, and in particular I’m excited about how well The BioAg Alliance has gotten off the ground.

“Novozymes is in a strong position today. Our technologies and solutions are in high demand. Going forward, we believe partnering will become more important for bringing innovation to customers,” continued Holk. “This is the outset for our new purpose and strategy – Partnering for impact. In extension of this, we’ve updated our long-term targets. Long-term organic sales growth is expected to be slightly lower than the previous target, whereas we increase the long-term targets for EBIT margin and return on invested capital. In the midst of a slow recovery and volatile markets, we expect 2015 to be another good year for Novozymes.”