Solenis Launches Scale Inhibitor at #FEW15

few15-solenisSolenis introduced a new scale inhibitor for ethanol plant evaporators at the 2015 Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo (FEW) in Minneapolis last week.

Solenis, a leading global producer of specialty chemicals, launched the Polystabil™ AS4535 scale inhibitor specifically designed to help fuel ethanol producers control scale in their evaporators, improving heat transfer and reducing downtime while still meeting regulatory guidelines for chemical usage.

solenis-inhibitor“Today’s fuel ethanol processes tend to generate more scale than ever before,” said Allen Ziegler, global biorefining marketing director. “This novel product performs significantly better than polyacrylate chemistries and allows fuel ethanol plants to split feed the chemistry, for example at the front of the evaporators to treat the whole system, and then with an additional dosage before problem areas, such as the evaporator where inorganics are concentrated. This results in improved heat transfer efficiency and a reduced need for cleaning and related downtime. Fuel ethanol operations using Polystabil AS4535 scale inhibitor are therefore able to maintain maximum efficiency while staying within regulatory limits.”

The new scale inhibitor represents one of many solutions recently developed for fuel ethanol producers by Solenis, which was previously known as Ashland Water Technologies. Other process and water treatment innovations include FDA-approved corn oil extraction aids for both disk-stack and tricanter systems; a proprietary control system that allows for around-the-clock surveillance and control of process and water treatment programs; a low-corrosion microbiocide for cooling water systems; and new antibiotic-free fermentation aids.

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

Iowa RFA Praises State Legislature

irfaAs the Iowa Legislature wrapped up the 2015 legislative session last week, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) praised several key pieces of legislation that were passed to expand use of higher ethanol and biodiesel blends.

Before the gavel went down on the 86th General Assembly, Iowa lawmakers passed key legislation that allows E15 infrastructure investments to become eligible for Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure grants. Previously, the funds were only available for blender pumps and dispensers offering E85. Additionally, the Iowa legislature passed a bill that will establish a new grant program for fuel retailers to replace old underground storage tank (UST) equipment with new components that are UL listed to be fully compatible with E85.

“After a long, spirited session, we sincerely thank the Iowa Legislature for remaining committed to increasing the use and availability of higher ethanol and biodiesel blends,” stated IRFA Policy Director Grant Menke. “With an uphill climb for renewable fuels ahead in terms of federal policy, forward-thinking state initiatives are a must to continue to build upon the successes of Iowa’s nation-leading renewable fuels industry.”

Earlier in the session, the Iowa Legislature included a 3-cent per gallon differential tax rate for B11 and higher biodiesel blends in its road infrastructure legislation. Iowa RFA says this provision, which takes effect for five years on July 1, will help encourage the increased use and availability of higher biodiesel blends.

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

Ethanol Industry Thoughts on Presidential Candidates

few15-bob-brookeSeveral new presidential hopefuls in both parties have officially declared their candidacies recently and more are planning to announce soon. During a press briefing at the 2015 Fuel Ethanol Workshop, Bob Dinneen with the Renewable Fuels Association and Brooke Coleman with the Advanced Ethanol Council were asked how they think the candidates, declared and undeclared, rate when it comes to the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Dinneen attended the Iowa Ag Summit in March where nine Republican presidential hopefuls were asked their views on the RFS and was not surprised that the only two who said they were opposed were from Texas – the first declared GOP candidate Sen. Ted Cruz and former Gov. Rick Perry, who just formally declared this week. “That’s a dog bites man story if there ever was one,” said Dinneen. “I would think less of those two men if they weren’t sticking up for their big Texas oil industry.”

Dinneen was surprised by the candidates who did express support for the RFS, some of them publicly for the first time, including former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who is expected to announce his candidacy later this month, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, both of whom have yet to declare.

On the Democratic side, another new candidate announced this week was former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee, but the big dog in the fight is still Hillary Clinton and Coleman was impressed with her recent op-ed in the Cedar Rapids Gazette. “It suggested that she understands the different intricacies of the challenges we face in this industry,” said Coleman. “However, one op-ed does not make a candidate and we will have to continue to work with Secretary Clinton to make sure that she is helpful to make sure she is helpful with regard to what we are dealing with in the administration right now because there is no better person to help us than Hillary Clinton when it comes to where the Obama administration is in the Renewable Fuel Standard.”

Listen to Dinneen and Coleman here: Comments from RFA's Bob Dinneen and AEC's Brooke Coleman at FEW

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 Ethanol Game Educates at #FEW15

few15-novo-rachel“Gamification” is the concept of applying game-design thinking to non-game applications as engaging learning tools, particularly for the younger generation and Novozymes had a great example on display at the 2015 Fuel Ethanol Workshop.

The Ethanol Challenge game features characters like Alphie the alpha amylase, Glucador the glucoamylase, and a number of enzyme buddies who help them out throughout the ethanol production process as they navigate through dangerous doughballs and bacteria. Rachel Burton with Novozymes says the Ethanol Challenge is their foray into gamification as part of a training program they have developed called Bioenergy University. “We’re launching that this summer for our customers,” said Burton. “We have three tiered learning tracks – a basic beginner track, an advanced track, and we have an expert level track.”

Rachel explains more in her FEW presentation on “Next Generation Training for Ethanol Plants.” Rachel Burton, Novozymes, at 2015 FEW

Watch Rachel demonstrate the Ethanol Challenge game in this video:


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 Makes #FEW15 Fashion Statement

few15-lallemand-pantsLallemand Biofuels and Distilled Spirits really stood out at the opening of the 2015 Fuel Ethanol Workshop trade show with logo patterned pants that were definitely attention-getting.

“We just decided we wanted to try something a little bit different and stand out a little bit,” said Lallemand VP of Marketing Craig Pilgrim, who came up with the idea. “I looked on line and saw some crazy, swirly pants and said we could probably incorporate our logo in there and figured most people wouldn’t be wearing that the night of the trade show.”

few15-lallemand-logoThe crazy pants helped draw attention to the fact that Lallemand is celebrating its 35th Alcohol School this year in Montréal September 13-18. “Started off very small, 10 or 12 people in a room,” said Pilgrim. “We have roughly over 4,000 people that we’ve educated over the 35 years.”

The course provides detailed information on both fuel ethanol and beverage alcohol unit processes and is designed for lab, plant, and management personnel with lectures, laboratory demonstrations, seminars, and lab visits. Find out more in this interview: Interview with Craig Pilgrim, Lallemand

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 on #FEW15 Advanced Biofuels Track

few15-novo-aaronNovozymes was first up on the Cellulosic and Advanced Ethanol Track at the 2015 Fuel Ethanol Workshop with ways to help first generation biofuels producers take the next leap forward with enzyme technology.

“We’ve been looking at how we can take all of our significant efforts in research and development in cellulases and find applications for them,” said Novozymes scientist Aaron Hawkins.

One of those is Spirizyme® Achieve, the industry’s first fiber-degrading glucoamylase, which can increase ethanol yields by an average of two percent by getting more starch out of the corn fiber and ultimately be used to produce cellulosic ethanol.

“Corn fiber represents very low hanging fruit for the production of cellulosic ethanol,” said Hawkins. “If there were 100% adoption of a cellulosic ethanol process based on corn fiber, that could give us over a billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol capacity in the U.S. alone so there’s a very significant opportunity here for corn ethanol producers.” FEW 2015 presentation by Aaron Hawkins, Novozymes

Hawkins also talked about a brand new product they just launched for biodiesel producers called Eversa®, an enzymatic solution to make biodiesel from waste oils. “One of the major advantages of it is that it can utilize any feedstock with any free fatty acid composition,” including distillers corn oil, which Hawkins says “opens up new opportunities for corn ethanol producers to utilize distillers corn oil and upgrade it on site to biodiesel.”

These kinds of innovations, Hawkins says, are helping the industry move closer to a complete biorefinery concept. Interview with Aaron Hawkins, 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

ACE Promotes Power by People at #FEW15

few15-aceThe American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) team was out in force at the 2015 Fuel Ethanol Workshop backed by the Power by People faces of the industry.

Something new for ACE this year is a retailer-focused website promoting the whys and hows of moving into flex fuels called FlexFuelForward.com and they were encouraging FEW attendees to check it out and use it as a tool to educate retailers.

Like everyone else in the industry, ACE was disappointed by the EPA’s proposed rule for volume obligations under the RFS but they were also encouraging FEW attendees to make their voices heard during the comment period. ACE Executive Vice President Brian Jennings says they plan to show the power of the people in this industry during the public hearing June 25 in Kansas City. “We’re going to get a bunch of retailers who are selling E15 and E85 to go to that hearing and tell EPA face-to-face that the blend wall isn’t real,” said Jennings. “We’re going to make sure we get some very persuasive messengers to come deliver a very compelling message to that hearing.”

In this interview, Jennings also talks about E15’s forced summer vacation which just started June 1 in many areas, as well as last week’s report from NREL on the ability of fuel infrastructure to handle E15. Interview with ACE Executive VP Brian Jennings at FEW

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

Enogen Value Tracker at #FEW15

few15-enogenThe color purple is taking on a new significance in the grain world as Syngenta has introduced the Enogen Value Tracker – a naturally derived, non-GMO purple tracer trait designed to simplify grain tracking.

Chris Cook, Head of Enogen Stewardship for Syngenta, discussed the Enogen Value Tracker, during an innovation session and tweet chat at the Fuel Ethanol Workshop on Wednesday.

“Beginning this year, the Enogen Value Tracker is being included in select bags of Enogen hybrids,” Cook said. “In seed bags featuring the Enogen Value Tracker, up to five percent of seeds will contain the purple tracer trait that will be expressed in the corn plant and through random kernels on the purple plant ear.”

The purple kernels will make it easier to visually track Enogen corn from harvest through storage and processing, and also to help ensure this high-value grain is delivered to its intended destination which is important since farmers who grow Enogen corn for contracted plants earn an average premium of 40 cents per bushel.

Listen to Chris explain more about the Enogen Value Tracker in this interview: Interview with Chris Cook, Enogen

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 Focused on Solutions at #FEW15

few15-novo-peterNovozymes has a number of products to help ethanol producers increase profitability but the focus is more on solutions than products.

“We have a broad and flexible portfolio but for Novozymes it’s really about the individual customer,” said Peter Halling, Novozymes Senior Director Global Marketing for Biofuels. “Products are an integral part of what we do, the enzyme, but on top of that you need a strong service portfolio.”

Novozymes is an international company but Halling says they are most excited about the biofuels industry in the United States. “I’m a Dane, but coming here to the U.S. and being part of this industry, it’s the innovation and the spirit of the industry here,” said Halling, who says the United States is clearly a leader in the biofuels industry. “It’s the world’s biggest exporter of ethanol, and you’ve got a fantastic homegrown market. Not only do you create jobs and energy security but it’s also fantastic from a sustainability angle.”

Listen to an interview with Peter at the 2015 FEW here: Interview with Peter Halling, 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