ACE Ready for Annual Fly-in

ace16-flyin The 8th annual American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) legislative fly-in is coming up next week, April 13-14, and some 70 members of the organization from about 15 states are planning to attend this year.

“It’s really important that we show the human face of ethanol and renewable fuels,” said ACE Executive Vice President Brian Jennings. “We spend a lot of time with our participants to get them to think about the personal side of ethanol and what it has meant to them and we ask them to convey that when they sit in these meetings.”

Jennings says they have meetings set up with over 100 members of Congress or staff during the two days of the event. “We try to seek as many meetings out with so-called opponents of renewable fuels as we can (because) we want our folks to have an opportunity to change hearts and minds, and we know that’s not always easy…we think it’s really important to not just preach to the choir.”

The 2016 election year will definitely play a part in what ethanol supporters will be discussing next week on Capitol Hill. “Not only are we electing a president, but every member of Congress is up for re-election and about one-third of the U.S. Senate,” said Jennings. “The message we want to convey to members of Congress is that it’s in your best interest to continue to support renewable fuels if you have, or give renewable fuels another look if you haven’t been a supporter.”

In addition to meeting with Congressional representatives, fly-in participants will also hear from administration officials and there will be a briefing for Senate staffers by fuel retailers who sell higher blends. “We continue to get attacked on the so-called blend wall…and this is our attempt to have the most effective, persuasive messengers when it comes to the blend wall, retailers who are actually selling E-15 and flex fuels to consumers,” Jennings said.

Fly-in registration information is available at this link on the ACE website. And if you can’t be there in person, stay tuned here for photos and interviews from the event.

Learn all about the ACE Fly-in here: Interview with ACE Executive Vice President Brian Jennings

DuPont Honored for Cellulosic Ethanol

bdc-dupontDuPont Industrial Biosciences has been recognized by the Biorenewable Deployment Consortium (BDC) with the organization’s 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award for the company’s continuous contributions to the deployment of biochemical and advanced cellulosic biofuels.

“The Biorenewable Deployment Consortium is proud to honor DuPont with its 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award,” said BDC President and Co-Founder Masood Akhtar. “DuPont sets a strong example for others around the world who are working to expedite the transition from a petroleum-based to a biobased economy.”

“DuPont Industrial Biosciences is proud to be recognized by the Biorenewable Deployment Consortium for our work in the ever-growing bioeconomy sector. We accept this award on behalf of a global team of innovators who are focused on providing market-driven, biobased solutions to meet the needs of a growing population, while protecting our environment for future generations,” said DuPont Business Director for Cellulosic Ethanol Steve Mirshak, who received the award on DuPont’s behalf.

DuPont established the world’s largest cellulosic ethanol facility in Nevada, Iowa and with its
partner Tate & Lyle, is the leading producer of Bio-PDO®, a petroleum-free propanediol. BDC has worked toward the deployment of bio-processes since 2006 and holds two annual symposiums a year for its members.

Ethanol Report on Trade Mission to Peru

ethanol-report-adThe Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) was part of a recent trade mission to Peru led by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack which included discussions about increasing cooperation with that country when it comes to ethanol production and exports. The March 13-15 trip went to Lima and the Piura region, where cane-based ethanol is produced, and featured meetings with ministry of energy officials and a biofuels roundtable with ethanol producers and fuel distributors.

RFA General Counsel Ed Hubbard was among nearly 40 industry and government representatives on the trip. In this edition of the Ethanol Report, Hubbard talks about the mission and opportunities with Peru to expand ethanol

Listen to it here: Ethanol Report on Trade Mission to Peru

USDA Reports Positive for #Corn Supplies

USDAThe 2016 Prospective Plantings report out today from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) shows farmers expect to plant more corn than expected this year.

U.S. corn growers expect to plant 93.6 million acres to corn this year, the first increase in corn planted acreage since 2012 and, if realized, will be the third largest corn acreage since 1944. Farmers in 41 out of the 48 states expect to either maintain or increase the number of acres they plant to corn. Growers in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, and North Dakota expect to increase their corn acreage by 400,000 or more acres in 2016. Assuming the five-year average 91.3 percent harvest rate and the projected 25-year trend yield of 165.4 bushels per acre is achieved, farmers will harvest 14.13 billion bushels, nearing the production record of 14.2 billion bushels set in 2014, according to the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA).

In addition, the new grain stocks report increases corn stocks in all positions as of March 1 by one percent compared to this time last year. Stocks totaled 7.81 billion bushels and of the that, 4.34 billion bushels were stored on farms, down 1 percent from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 3.47 billion bushels, are up 3 percent from a year ago.

“U.S. farmers produced an abundant crop in 2015. Given the strong carryover entering this growing season, we may see quite a large corn supply at harvest should weather prove favorable in 2016,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling. “While many factors may change the reality on the ground as planting progresses, American corn supplies should remain ample for the year to come. Given the impact this continues to have on prices, the work being done at NCGA to grow demand will prove even more important as we work to find markets for our product and remain profitable into the future.”

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Bob Dinneen says the planting intentions show that American farmers are continuing to hold up their end of the deal when it comes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). “They’ve made the investments and planting decisions necessary to provide adequate supplies of grain to meet all demands, including the feedstock needed to produce the 15 billion gallons of ethanol required in 2016 under the RFS statute,” commented Dinneen. “But by slashing the RFS requirements for 2016 below statutory levels, the Administration isn’t honoring its commitment to our nation’s farmers and is contributing to great economic uncertainty in the agriculture sector.”

Dinneen adds that the report underscores the importance of getting the RFS back on track and growing corn demand.

Consumers Insulted by #Ethanol Poll

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen reacted today to a poll released by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) saying consumer awareness and knowledge of how to use higher ethanol blends remains relatively unchanged. The poll also found that consumers do not pay attention to the fuels they use. Dinneen pointed out that there has never been even one case of misfueling or engine damage since E15 was introduced into the marketplace. He also noted that E15 is sold at less than 2 percent of gas stations nationwide and the majority of people polled live nowhere near a station that sells E15. Dinneen added that education will come with more widespread use of higher ethanol blends including E15.

dreamstime_xs_55164057“By law, all gasoline station pumps must post clearly labeled signs indicating what fuel is being dispensed and what vehicles can operate on those fuels,” explained Dinneen. “For higher ethanol blends above 10 percent, only flexible fuel vehicles and 2001 and later model year vehicles are approved — not small engines, lawnmowers or any other off-road vehicle. This has been the case since EPA gave final approval to E15 in 2012, four years ago.”

Dinneen continued, “OPEI’s poll is insulting to consumers. OPEI seems to think the average consumer is stupid enough to purposely ignore a very clear label and knowingly violate the law to save a few cents per gallon on a typically low-volume fill up for small engines.

“E10 is sold at nearly every single gasoline station in the U.S. and has been used in small engines for decades. All major small engine manufacturers approve and warranty the use of E10 in their equipment.

“Ethanol blends are typically the lowest-cost fuel option at retail gasoline stations and E15 has generally been even cheaper than E10. That is good news for consumers. However, consumers are still smart enough to know they should use only approved fuels for their equipment. Continue reading

NexSteppe CEO Anna Rath Wins BIO Award

Anna Rath Next SteppeThis year’s 2016 BIO Rosalind Franklin Award is being given to Anna Rath, CEO of NexSteppe. The award is given to an outstanding woman in the field of industrial biotechnology. According to the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), who presents the honor, Rath’s work led to a biotech breakthrough. Her research is focused on developing scalable and sustainable bioenergy feedstocks. The award will be officialy presented during the 2016 World Congress taking place April 17-20, 2016 in San Diego, California.

“Much like Rosalind Franklin, Anna Rath’s passion for science and strong work ethic has led to one of the greatest breakthroughs in industrial biotechnology. Optimizing crops for renewable energy has spurred the growth of the biofuels, biopower, and biobased product industries,” said Brent Erickson, executive vice president for BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section. “BIO is pleased to present Anna this year with the Rosalind Franklin Award and we are looking forward to her delivering what are anticipated to be inspiring remarks.”

“I’m extremely honored to be chosen for this award and flattered by the extraordinary company of former award winners,” said Rath. “NexSteppe is committed to enabling the bioeconomy by providing high-quality, cost-effective, scalable and reliable feedstocks for the entire range of biopower, biogas, advanced and cellulosic biofuels and biobased products. As the commercial scale of these industries grows, so too does the need for and focus on the availability of these sustainable and dependable raw materials. We are excited to be doing our part to help drive the continued growth and development of the bioeconomy.”

Karla Shepard Rubinger, executive director of the Rosalind Franklin Society added, “We know that this Award honors all women in science, and provides a role model for those who will no doubt follow in her footsteps, Next Steps!”

GRFA Offers Political Support to Lower Emissions

The Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA) has sent letters to leaders in 47 countries that have committed to combating climate change offering support for meeting emission reductions. Based on the agreement signed during the climate talks in December, global CO2 emission reductions of 80 percent by 2050 are required. Of this, it is estimated that the transportation sector produces 25-30% of the world’s GHG emissions. According to Bliss Baker, GRFA president, redection tailpipe emissions is a priority for national governments as they revise their Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) plans as countries lead up to the 2020 implementation date of the COP21 agreement.

GRFA logo“These countries deserve credit for their pledged contributions to the ambitious international efforts to reduce green house gas (GHG) emissions as part of the COP21 agreement,” Baker said.

“National governments have a real opportunity to lead by example in developing enhanced biofuel-friendly policies that encourage the development of new technologies and support the production of renewable fuels with the smallest possible footprint,” continued Baker. “The GRFA encourages national governments to highlight the significant environmental and economic benefits that ethanol-supportive policies are making, and will continue to make, in order to encourage other countries to pursue domestic opportunities presented by biofuels.”

In its letter, the GRFA offered the expertise of its members to work with government leaders in the development of forward-thinking policies that maximize the advantages of biofuel technologies that are demonstrated to be effective, affordable and immediately available.

Anitox Expands Fermentation Business

Nick Braden, Commercial Director, Anitox

Nick Braden, Commercial Director, Anitox

Anitox is expanding its fermentation division and as part of its efforts has created two new roles. Nick Braden has been appointed to the newly created Commercial Director position where he will lead OptimOH operations, heading-up the sales, marketing and technical teams. Braden joins Anitox from Monsanto and previously ADM where he served in various sales and commercial leadership roles.

“Our objective is for OptimOH to become the market-leading bacterial control tool for antibiotic free fermentation,” said Braden. “We’re expanding our footprint and investing in partners, research and development. We are also adding top talent to an already-strong team to push toward global expansion of our fermentation business.”

Also joining the Fermentation division in the new role of Technical Services Manager is Matt Wilson. Wilson has developed his career through various technical roles, most recently at Lallemand Biofuels & Distilled Spirits.

Anitox Chief Operating Officer Roger Mann said of the fermentation division expansion, “Anitox values its relationship with the biofuel and fermentation sectors. OptimOH has the power to increase ethanol yield by protecting against microbial contaminants earlier in the fermentation process. Its proven thermostability means it can be applied earlier in the production process than other products on the market, minimizing potential loss of yield. The addition of Nick and Matt to our team is a major commitment to the growth of our Fermentation business unit. It underlines our dedication to this industry.”

2016 FEW Agenda Announced

The agenda for the 2016 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo (FEW) has been announced. The event, taking place June 20-23, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will feature more than 140 speakers speaking on topics in four tracks. FEW is the longest and largest running global ethanol event and more than 2,000 attendees are expected this year including ethanol producers, industry suppliers, service providers and researchers.

Tracks include:

Track 1: Production and Operations
Track 2: Leadership and Financial Management
Track 3: Coproducts and Product Diversification
Track 4: Infrastructure and Market Development

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 9.01.47 AMThis year’s agenda covers the latest innovations and efficiencies currently being developed for ethanol production,” said Tom Bryan, president of BBI International. “The agenda committee did an outstanding job of rating presentation abstracts and bringing the brightest biofuels minds together under one roof for this event.”

This year, the National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo will be co-located with the FEW, making this one of the largest gatherings of biofuels producers, professionals and presenters in the past decade according to BBI. The advanced biofuels event will feature the world of advanced biofuels and biobased chemicals—technology scale-up, project finance, policy, national markets and more—with a core focus on the industrial, petroleum and agribusiness alliances defining the national advanced biofuels industry.

Minnesota Students Learn About Ethanol

Norwood Young America's Central High School students touring Heartland Corn Products.

Norwood Young America’s Central High School students touring Heartland Corn Products.

More than 40 Minnesota high school students from Arlington’s Sibley East High School and Norwood Young America’s Central High School have visited Heartland Corn Products to learn more about ethanol production. Heartland Corn Products is one of the largest ethanol plants in Minnesota with an output of 108 million gallons a year and was built in 1995. During the tours, students learned about different elements of production including grain grading and handling, fermentation, grain storage, liquefaction and ethanol storage and shipment.

“We were interested in the tour so we can learn about this renewable energy source that is so important to Minnesota’s agriculture economy,” said Jim Mesik, agriculture teacher at Central High School. Minnesota is the fourth largest ethanol producing state.

Included in the tours was dried distiller grain production and storage. Dried distiller’s grains (DDGs) are a high-protein animal feed. In 2015, Minnesota’s ethanol industry produced 3.6 million tons of DDGs, which was sufficient to meet the feed requirements of the entire inventory of cattle and calves in the state.

Sibley East High School students touring Heartland Corn Products.

Sibley East High School students touring Heartland Corn Products.

“We are always pleased to welcome high school students to our plant and provide them with a first-hand look at how clean Minnesota-grown renewable energy is produced,” said Scott Blumhoeffer, Vice-President at Heartland Corn Products.

“These tours show students how a homegrown renewable ingredient is converted into a clean fuel that continues to reduce harmful greenhouse gases. These tours also provide them with a better understanding of the career opportunities in Minnesota’s ethanol industry,” said Tim Rudnicki, executive director of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association, whose organization organized the tours.

Sibley East High School’s agriculture science teacher, Jeff Eppen, said it was important for students to get a better understanding of the ethanol industry and how it is produced, adding some of the school’s former students have been employed at Heartland Corn Products.

“A unique part about agricultural education is the instructor, students and community help decide the curriculum for their school. We as a school have decided that we want biofuels as a part of our Ag education,” he added.