ACE Shows Faces of #Ethanol in Roll Call

ace16dc-goodIn conjunction with the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) annual legislative fly-in this week, the grassroots ethanol organization is running ads in Roll Call, a popular Capitol Hill publication. Today’s ad highlights the importance of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and bipartisan legislation to extend Reid vapor pressure (RVP) relief to E15 and higher ethanol blends.

Charlie Good, an ASE-certified mechanic and convenience store owner from Nevada, Iowa, is featured in print and digital ads on April 13 in support of bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) to allow gas station owners to sell E15 year-round by updating EPA’s Reid vapor pressure regulation, which currently restricts the use of E15 in conventional gasoline areas of the country from June 1 to September 15. Good offers multiple fuel blends to his customers. “It does take your gallons down in the summer,” said Good. “I think it’s an unjust and unscientific law. People don’t understand why it’s okay one day it’s not okay the next day.”

Delayne Johnson, CEO of ACE-member Quad County Corn Processors, will be featured in a Roll Call print ad on Thursday highlighting how the RFS has enabled his company to become the first to successfully commercialize cellulosic biofuel from corn kernel fiber. Quad County produces two million gallons of cellulosic biofuel annually in addition to 35 million gallons of conventional biofuel.

Listen to an interview with Good here: Interview with Charlie Good, Iowa fuel retailers

ACE 2016 DC Fly-in Photo Album

B11 Iowa Average Biodiesel Blend

More Iowa consumers are choosing biodiesel at the pump according to a new report from the Iowa Department of Revenue. The report finds that the average biodiesel blend purchased in the state reached 11 percent, an increase from 9.4 percent average blend in 2014. The data showed that Iowans also purchased a record amount of E85 and mid-level ethanol blends in 2015, 13.1 million gallons, a 8.3 percent increase over 2014. In addition, motorists also purchased 8.7 million gallons of mid-level ethanol blends, ranging from E15 to E69, a 121 percent increase over 2014.

Photo Credit: Joanna Schroeder

Photo Credit: Joanna Schroeder

“Despite the lack of Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) targets and the federal biodiesel blenders’ tax credit last year, biodiesel use took a step forward in 2015 increasing the average biodiesel blend purchased in the state to B11,” said Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Executive Director Monte Shaw. “This shows the importance and effectiveness of forward-thinking state-level policies that encourage the use of locally-produced, cleaner-burning biodiesel.”

While fuel purchases mid-level and higher blends of ethanol continue to grow, E10 sales have remained steady. “While still making up a small portion of overall gasoline sales, we saw aggressive growth in E15 and mid-level ethanol blend sales in 2015,” added Shaw. “And despite historically low gasoline prices for a portion of the year, Iowans purchased a record amount of E85. There’s certainly more room to grow, but meaningful growth in higher ethanol blend sales is a win for the state’s economy and environment, as well as Iowans’ pocketbooks.”

The data comes from the 2015 Retailers Fuel Gallons Annual Report. Iowa Department of Revenue reported that it received filings representing 93.2 percent of fuel locations in the state.

Joule’s Sunflow-E Receives EPA Approval

Joule joule logohas received EPA approval of its Sunflow-E ethanol process that creates drop-in liquid fuels from recycled CO2. The EPA now recognizes the fuel as an advanced fuel allowing, says the company, the ability to accelerate the commercialization of its product. The fuel pathway will receive a D-5 Renewable Identification Number as part of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Sunflow-E ethanol, says Joule, is chemically identical to traditional ethanol but rather than using a biomass-based feedstock, uses CO2 as its feedstock in a continuous process that uses engineered bacteria as living catalysts. According to the company, its Sunflow-E was found to reduce lifecycle GHG emissions by 85 percent.

“Following strong momentum in 2015, we’re pleased to start this year off in such a productive manner, with some major highlights on the technical and regulatory front,” said Brian Baynes, Joule CEO. “The qualification from the EPA allows Joule to compete with other forms of ethanol and provides our customers and partners with the full benefit of renewable fuels from a cost, production and environmental standpoint.”

E15 Fuels More Than 150 Million Miles

According to Growth Energy, a major E15 milestone has been reached – drivers have driven more than 150 million miles using E15. The data came from gasoline retailers who work with Growth Energy who also said there have been no negative effects. Several retailers who offer E15 include Sheetz, Kum & Go, MAPCO, Minnoco, Murphy USA and Protec.

E15 at the pump“I have been using E15 for the last three years at Minnoco and have noticed no mileage loss, better engine performance and great savings at the pump,” said Mark Foudray, an E15 consumer from Shakopee, Minnesota.

Steve Anderson, an AAA approved and ASE certified service consultant and owner/operator of Marshall Cretin Minnoco from St. Paul, Minnesota, said of E15, “We have a loyal following for the E15 product. Approaching 1,000,000 gallons pumped we have nothing but positive results. E15 has higher octane and burns cleaner —the interior of the engines are cleaner and the tailpipe makes more air, and less pollution. E15 has been widely tested and is safe for all vehicles model year 2001 and newer. We see over 50 percent of our customers purchasing E15 on a daily basis. The statistics don’t lie. It is a great product and we are pleased to offer it as a choice to our fueling customers.”

Joel Hennen, a third generation owner/operator of Hennen’s Auto Service from Shakopee, Minnesota who also sells E15 said, “I have been selling E15 to our customers since the fall of 2013. Since I introduced it, there has not been one complaint due to mileage loss or engine performance. I hear only positive comments with drivability and the lower cost at the pump. Today’s cars are designed to utilize the higher octane to improve performance through different computer management systems. I see higher-level blends of ethanol, like E15, being the next fuel of future.”

EIA Hosting Ethanol & Biodiesel Rail Webinar

eia logoIn conjunction with the release of the first monthly report that tracks ethanol and biodiesel movement via rail, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is hosting a webinar, “Learn about ethanol and biodiesel movements by rail added to EIA’s Petroleum Supply Monthly report,” on April 7, 2016 from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm EDT.

The webinar will review data for January 2016 included in the March Petroleum Supply Monthly as well as will discuss the historical data on monthly rail movements of ethanol and biodiesel back to January 2014.

The webinar is presented by Mindi Farber-DeAnda, Supervisor of EIA’s Biofuels & Emerging Technologies Team; and Arup Mallik, Member of EIA’s Biofuels & Emerging Technologies Team. Click here to register.

Push Poll Push Back

The American Petroleum Institute has unveiled yet another anti-biofuel poll. The latest released during a media call today was conducted by Harris Poll. According to the poll, 77 percent of registered voters are concerned that breaching the so-called  ethanol blend wall would drive up the cost of gasoline for consumers and reduce the nation’s fuel supply (85 percent Republicans, 75 percent of Democrats and 71 percent of independents).

“Across the political spectrum, voters are concerned about the significant damage the RFS mandate and higher ethanol blends could cause to automobiles, motorcycles and almost every type of gasoline powered engine,” said API Downstream Group Director Frank Macchiarola during the media call. “Regardless of their party affiliation, voters are concerned with mandates that try to force too much ethanol into our fuel supply.

Listen to the API media call here: API Media Call on Anti-Ethanol Push Poll

In response to the news, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen said, “It’s no surprise that API, an organization which has made its top priority to get rid of the RFS, is trotting out a phony faux poll to support its antediluvian narrative about biofuels. This push poll, which uses opinionated statements to elicit a negative responIowa-RFA-logo-new1se to biofuels, is not reflective of reality. For example, the renewable fuel standard (RFS) has not raised food prices 25 percent, as API claims, but instead food prices have risen by an average of just 2.7 percent per year since 2005, the year RFS was adopted. In fact, only 17 cents of every dollar spent on food pays for the raw farm ingredients in the food item. The other 83 cents pay for processing, transportation, labor, packaging, advertising and other costs.

“If you want to know what the American public really thinks, with direct questions and no spin, look no further than a Morning Consult poll conducted April 1–3, on behalf of RFA, in which nearly six in 10 registered voters (57 percent) support the RFS. Conversely, only 19 percent oppose the RFS. Additionally, 64 percent of those polled have a favorable opinion of biofuels and two-thirds (66 percent) have a favorable opinion of corn-based ethanol. This data is consistent with the findings from the approximately 18,000 registered voters we have polled over the past year.

“With these growing levels of support for biofuels, it’s no wonder that API President Jack Gerard told Politico’s Morning Energy last month that the organization was pivoting its strategy toward reforming, rather than repealing, the RFS. API can’t continue to support repeal because Americans want more fuel choice, not less,” Dinneen concluded.

The Morning Consult poll included results from 2,004 registered voters, with a margin of error of +/-2 percent. To view a copy of the poll results, click here.

U.S. Industry Starting Brazilian Corn #Ethanol Plant

Brazil-ethanol-markerIowa-based Summit Agricultural Group recently broke ground on the first large-scale corn ethanol production facility in Brazil.

The $115 million plant is an international collaboration between Iowa-based Summit Agricultural group and Brazilian agribusiness Fiagril which will utilize process technologies from ICM, Inc. of Colwich, Kansas. The facility is being built near Lucas do Rio Verde in Mato Grosso, a preeminent agricultural state in west central Brazil and the country’s largest producer of corn and soybeans.

Summit CEO Bruce Rastetter speaks at groundbreaking

Summit CEO Bruce Rastetter speaks at groundbreaking

“This is a significant day for renewable fuels, Brazil and Summit Agricultural Group,” said Summit CEO Bruce Rastetter at the March 29 groundbreaking. “Through Summit’s expertise in sustainable agriculture, investment and renewable energy, we will further realize the enormous corn growing potential of a region that is poised to become a global leader in corn ethanol production.”

Rastetter says the plant will provide value to Brazil by helping to offset the country’s increasing demand for domestic ethanol, which can’t be met by the existing sugarcane ethanol production. In addition, the new corn ethanol production facility will introduce the use of distillers grains for livestock feed to the region.

The plant is expected to be complete by mid-2017.

Latest #Ethanol Trade Statistics

The latest ethanol and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) export numbers show Brazil is importing more U.S. ethanol as exports of DDGS continue to decline.

rfa-annAccording to Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) analyst Ann Lewis, exports of U.S. ethanol totaled 67.0 million gallons in February, down 23% from January’s 14-month high. “Brazil overtook recent leaders Canada and China as the top destination for U.S. product in February,” Lewis reports. Brazil imported over 22 million gallons of U.S. ethanol in February while exports to Canada were 14.5 mg, up 6% over January volumes and exports to China totaled 8.9 mg, down from 29.4 mg in January. On the import side, only marginal volumes of foreign-produced fuel ethanol have entered the United States so far this year.

Exports of DDGS continued to fall in February, to 785,383 metric tons with China remaining the top destination. Exports of U.S. DDGS to Mexico were down 26%. Other top customers were Vietnam, Thailand, Canada, and South Korea.

NCGA: Small Engine Industry Must Change

Small engines and the use of ethanol has been in the news lately with spring approaching. This week, National Corn Growers Association CEO Chris Novak published the following editorial.

The Small Engine Industry Needs to Change with the Times
By National Corn Growers Association CEO Chris Novak

NCGA-Logo-3The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), which represents the small engine industry, just released their annual survey results concerning consumer knowledge of small engine fuel options. Based upon the results of the survey, corn farmers and small engine manufacturers can agree that consumers need and deserve more information about today’s fuel options. We know from our own consumer research that consumers are hungry for information about the positive effects of ethanol blended fuels.

Further, we agree with the OPEI on two other points: 1. The OPEI acknowledges that E10 is safe for use in small engines like motorcycles, lawn mowers, trimmers, boats and snowmobiles; and 2. The OPEI notes that federal law prohibits the use of higher ethanol fuel blends in outdoor power equipment. Beyond these points of agreement, however, lays a significantly different view of the future.

Our farmers believe that consumers having a choice of fuels is a good thing. Whether you choose renewable ethanol because you want cleaner air or because you like purchasing an American grown fuel or because higher blends of ethanol are frequently priced lower than gasoline-the bottom line is that you should have the choice if you want to kick your oil addiction. The OPEI’s press release suggests that you, as a consumer, can’t handle this choice-that you lack the ability to know the differences between regular gasoline and higher ethanol blends like E-15 or E-85. We trust consumers to make the right choice of fuel – whether it is for their cars or small engine.

Today, our farmers are working with the auto industry to examine how higher blends of ethanol, ranging from E-15 to E-25, can boost gasoline octane. Higher gasoline octane can improve engine performance and help the auto industry achieve higher Corporate Average Fuel Economy mileage targets. Likewise, it is time for the nation’s small engine manufacturers to stop fighting renewable fuels and, instead, begin working to ensure tomorrow’s small engines can run on tomorrow’s renewable fuels.

Rather than fighting choice and change, our nation’s small engine manufacturers should work to develop engines that can run safely on higher blends of renewable fuels. Perhaps then, instead of bemoaning the lack of consumer knowledge and issuing dire warnings-the OPEI can offer consumers something real: the opportunity to make a clean and renewable choice.

EIA Begins Tracking Biofuels by Rail

Ethanol tank. Photo credit: Joanna Schroeder

Ethanol tank. Photo credit: Joanna Schroeder

This week marked new data being compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) including data on ethanol and biodiesel being transported by railroads. With this addition, EIA now reports on monthly rail movements for crude oil, ethanol and biodiesel.

According to EIA, adding movements of ethanol and biodiesel by rail to existing movements between Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts (PADDs) by pipelines, tankers, and barges provides more complete data on inter-PADD movements of biofuels. In addition, incorporating ethanol and biodiesel movements into regional volumetric balances also improves supply estimates for finished motor gasoline and distillate fuel oil.

The first reportable data was the March report that included both January data and also included monthly rail movements of ethanol and biodiesel back to January 2014.