Tide Detergent Cleaning up with Cellulosic Ethanol

A new use for cellulosic ethanol has been announced by DuPont and Procter & Gamble.

tideThe two global leaders in science and consumer products are planning to a first-of-its-kind use of cellulosic ethanol in North American Tide® laundry detergent.

Tide Cold Water will be the first brand in the world to blend cellulosic ethanol in a scalable and commercial way. Ethanol has long been a key ingredient in the Tide® formulation, allowing for stability of the detergent formula and better washing performance. The substitution of the current corn based ethanol with cellulosic is the latest innovation in the companies’ 30-year partnership, making it easier for consumers to make sustainable choices in their everyday lives.

DuPont will produce this renewable, cellulosic ethanol at the company’s new biorefinery, currently under construction in Nevada, Iowa. Once completed, the plant will be the world’s largest bioethanol refinery, producing 30 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year – a process with zero net carbon emissions.

According to the companies,Tide® Cold Water “powered by nature” will re-purpose over 7000 tons of agricultural waste a year. “As one of the world’s largest laundry manufacturers, we have a responsibility to lead renewable sourcing in products,” said Gianni Ciserani, Procter & Gamble Group President of Global Fabric and Home Care. “We do this by ensuring consumers still get the great Tide® laundry performance they want, while further reducing the impact on the environment. In January, we committed to removing phosphates in our laundry products. This partnership on renewables is one more step in our journey.”

“With this collaboration, DuPont is also taking the first step to diversify its markets for cellulosic ethanol beyond fuels. As we build on our integrated science capabilities, we will continue to seek out new opportunities and new collaborations to transform value chains with more sustainable solutions,” said James Collins, Senior Vice President, DuPont.

Both Collins and Ciserani will be speaking at the World Conference on Fabric and Home Care in Montreux, Switzerland this week.

Ethanol Plant Innovators

Four ethanol producers who are innovating plants through new process and product technology took the podium at the American Coalition for Ethanol conference this week to talk about what they are doing.

ace14-ronFirst up was ACE president Ron Alverson of Dakota Ethanol who talked about the importance of carbon, particularly the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) and how it impacts ethanol production. Alverson is a corn farmer in South Dakota and he discussed how carbon intensity ratings for corn ethanol are improving and will continue to improve down the road. Ron Alverson, Dakota Ethanol

ace14-baker-adkinsRay Baker, general manager of Adkins Energy in northwest Illinois, who talked about the new biodiesel plant they are building to co-locate with their 50 million gallon ethanol plant and use corn oil as a feedstock. “Having corn oil as your main feedstock gives you a competitive advantage,” he said.
Ray Baker, Adkins Energy

ace14-erhart-prairieMike Erhart, CEO of Prairie Horizon Agri Energy in Kansas, says he runs a biorefinery, not an ethanol plant. “I think ethanol plant is antiquated,” he said. “It’s now time that we become a biorefinery and start touting that.” Erhart also talked about why his plant is producing renewable diesel. Mike Erhart, Prairie Horizon Agri Energy

ace14-delayneDelayne Johnson, Quad County Corn Processors, has the distinction of producing the very first gallons of cellulosic ethanol, just about a month ago. He talked about his plant being the first to use Syngenta Enogen corn and efficiencies they have implemented in the production process.
Delayne Johnson, Quad County Corn Processors

27th Annual Ethanol Conference photo album

Importance of Argentine Soy Complex

ifaj13-foropaisForo PAIS – Productores Agro Industriales de Soja – was born in 2011 with the purpose of promoting the Argentine soy agro-industry and we learned more about it during the IFAJ 2013 Congress.

Foro PAIS Communications and Institutional Relations Director Dr. Adrián Figueroa says soybean production is a huge industry for Argentina. “Soybean production in Argentina in the last ten years has permitted this country to be the first exporter in biodiesel, soybean meal and soybean oil,” he told us.

One of the main reasons for this is Argentina’s large and technologically advanced crushing facilities near to the ports and production areas. “We have huge plants that can produce almost 20,000 tons per day,” he said. “All the arable land is close to the industry sector so in terms of transportation, the cost is so low.”

Listen to my conversation with Dr. Figueroa here: Interview with Adrián Figueroa, Foro PAIS

2013 IFAJ Congress Photo Album

Internationalists Share Views On US Competitiveness

During the recent 2012 Export Exchange a few key leaders in the international market took the stage in a panel to share their perception on United States competitiveness in grain production.

Adel Yusupov, Southeast Asia Regional Director for US Grains Council, served as the moderator for the panel.

Panelists consisted of:
Willis Wu-Yeh Cheng, Chairman, Charoen Pokphand (Taiwan)
Mousa Wakila, General Manager, National Poultry Al Ahlieh (Jordan)
Jamie Rueda, General Manager, Escala (Colombia)
Dennis Inman, Vice President & Commercial Lead, Cargill, Inc.

The panelists were asked to share their candid thoughts on how the United States ranks in grain production and what attributes are most important to them when buying grain. Prices were at the top of all their lists, but they also want reliable market research and stressed that logistics were always a concern. Other items on the list included: consistency, a strong relationship and predictability.

Listen to the International Panel’s presentation here: International Panel at Export Exchange

You can find photos from this years Export Exchange here: 2012 Export Exchange

Danish Company First To Achieve WindMade Status

Widex, a Danish hearing-aid manufacturer, is the first company in the world to receive the recently established WindMade designation, a new global consumer label for companies that use wind energy.

The WindMade label requires participating companies to obtain at least 25 percent of their electricity from wind power. A wind turbine at Widex’ new global headquarters in Denmark covers 95 percent of its energy needs, including production, the company says.

The WindMade label was created to allow companies to communicate their commitment to renewable energy while providing consumers with the choice to favour companies and products using wind power.

“We congratulate Widex for becoming the first-ever WindMade-certified company,” says Henrik Kuffner, CEO of WindMade. “By committing to renewable energy and using the WindMade label, Widex has set a great example that will inspire companies and consumers all over the world.”

“Being a high tech company, we have an uncompromising approach to innovation and we always strive to find the best solution. By completely eliminating the use of fossil fuels, we believe that we have created the best possible foundation for the future – both for our company and for society,” says Richard Tøpholm, manager at Widex and member of the Board.

Other major companies – including Becton Dickinson, Motorola, Deutsche Bank and PricewaterhouseCoopers Denmark – have expressed their commitment to the initiative and will be certified in the coming months.

SLIP Plate Offers Wide Range of Products

A 95-year-old graphite company is reaching out to let more industries know about the advantages of their dry film lubricants.

SLIP Plate is a Superior Graphite product that was developed in 1975 for the railroad industry as a natural lubricant that would stand up to weather and other environmental conditions. The dry film coating was not affected by temperature extremes, and did not attract dirt, grit, ice, water or snow. Additional SLIP Plate formulations were developed to meet the needs of the railroads, along with agricultural, industrial and consumer uses. The company’s slogan is “If it needs to slide, roll, turn, twist or spin – it’s a job for SLIP Plate®!”

One product specifically created for the agriculture market is Seed SLIK which has been engineered to reduce seed binding and bridging in planter hoppers and lubricate the mechanical parts of the planter without hurting the seeds. Barry Lee, Product Manager Coatings & Lubricants for Superior Graphite, says they are working to re-introduce the agricultural market to SLIP Plate and one of the ways they’re doing this is with the launch of the SLIP Plate® Facebook Sweepstakes.

SLIP Plate® Facebook Sweepstakes Want a chance to win a $100 Visa® Gift Card? Just follow these simple steps: 1) “Like” SLIP Plate on Facebook. 2) Enter the contest posted on SLIP Plate’s Facebook wall. Winners will be chosen randomly by the sweepstake’s host application, Easypromos, and will be notified via email. 2nd place and 3rd place entries selected will win SLIP Plate product (retail value up to $50.00). Contest ends: June 13, 2012. We thank you for your business and wish you good luck!

Listen to an interview with Barry Lee, Product Manager Coatings & Lubricants for Superior Graphite, here: Interview with Barry Lee

State Tax Credit Helps Iowa Biodiesel Production

Biodiesel production in Iowa has remained strong during the first quarter of 2012 despite the expiration of the federal biodiesel tax credit. According to figures released by the Iowa Department of Revenue (DOR), 10 Iowa biodiesel plants produced 41.9 million gallons from January through March.Iowa RFA

In 2011, the Iowa Legislature enacted a short-term, modest biodiesel production tax credit to help Iowa’s biodiesel community compete against states that provide large biodiesel incentives. The Iowa program went into effect on January 1, 2012 – the same day the federal biodiesel program expired.

“Despite losing the federal tax credit, biodiesel production in Iowa remains on pace with 2011 production, although down from year-end levels,” said Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Executive Director Monte Shaw. “This is a clear sign that Iowa’s new biodiesel production tax credit is having a positive impact. With additional production set to come on line in Iowa, we hope to see these numbers increase throughout the year.

“We knew there would be a transition period in 2012 and it was important to give the 7,000-plus jobs tied to Iowa biodiesel production a chance to survive and thrive,” added Shaw. “The initial DOR biodiesel numbers are a sign Iowa is headed in the right direction. Tax credits are only earned if biodiesel is produced –meaning jobs are sustained and the economy is strengthened.”

A study released earlier this year by economist John Urbanchuk, technical director of Cardno ENTRIX, found that biodiesel production supported 7,350 Iowa jobs; boosted Iowa GDP by nearly $600 million and generated $350 million in additional Iowa household income.

For more details, read the complete study.
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Biodiesel Production Slips from Late 2011 Growth

U.S. biodiesel production has dropped from the late 2011 records when the industry exceeded 100 million gallons per month for five consecutive months and reached a peak of 160 million gallons in December.

Still, 135 million gallons of biodiesel were produced in January and February of this year according to figures released by the EPA, an increase over the same months last year when production totaled less than 80 million gallons.

The drop-off reflects lost momentum since Congress has allowed the biodiesel tax incentive to expire and the Obama Administration delayed finalizing next year’s biodiesel volume requirement under the Renewable Fuel Standard, according to Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).

“These are solid numbers that show the biodiesel industry is on pace to meet the 1 billion gallon RFS requirement this year, but they also reflect some of the missed opportunities for growth and jobs that we’ve seen with the loss of the tax credit and the continued uncertainty about next year’s RFS volume,” Steckel said. “With the tax credit and clear RFS growth in place, we think these numbers would be better.”

Last year, the biodiesel industry produced a record of nearly 1.1 billion gallons, supporting more than 39,000 jobs across the country and helping to reduce U.S. dependence on skyrocketing global petroleum prices.

The Andersons, Inc. to Purchase Iowa Ethanol Plant

Ohio-based company, The Andersons, Inc., will aquire an ethanol production facility in Denison, Iowa from Amaizing Energy Denison LLC and Amaizing Energy Holding Company, LLC. The transaction, which remains subject to several contingencies, is anticipated to close in the second quarter.

If acquired, the plant would be owned by The Andersons Denison Ethanol LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Andersons, Inc. The operations consist of an ethanol facility with an adjacent 2.7 million bushel grain terminal, both with direct access to two Class 1 railroads in Iowa.

“As our first ethanol plant west of the Mississippi, this facility provides us with geographic diversity into some of the best corn ground in the country,” says Neill McKinstray, President, Ethanol Group. “This purchase enables us to expand our ethanol production, marketing and services into a new region providing arbitrage and risk management opportunities with the three existing plants we manage while leveraging existing administrative staff to a fourth plant. With much of the same technology in all four plants, we expect to bring additional efficiencies to drive down our cost per gallon, and maximize returns to shareholders as we have successfully demonstrated during the past five years.”

CEO Mike Anderson, adds, “This is a well-respected, well-run organization that brings with it a solid customer base in a geographic area that we are looking forward to serving. This ethanol facility enables us to offer our grain marketing expertise and the associated services to grain producers in Iowa and fits well with our existing presence as an investor in the Iowa Northern Railway Company and our merchandising relationship with Lansing Trade Group.”

Sam Cogdill, Chairman and CEO of Amaizing Energy, says the proposed sale will address the liquidity concerns of Amaizing Energy’s membership, while retaining the economic benefits the Denison facility has in the local area.

“Our investors were committed to Amaizing Energy to earn a good return on their investment and to further local economic development and we feel great about having met both of those goals,” said Cogdill. “Placing Amaizing Energy on the market while it was a profitable operation has allowed it to reach a fair deal with a great company who we know will operate our plant properly.”

USDA Funds Two Renewable Energy Programs

Two key programs that will encourage the use of renewable biomass and production of advanced biofuels is available through the FY 2012 USDA budget, according to the Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. About $25 million will be made available through each program.

USDAFirst, the Repowering Assistance Program provides approximately $25 million in funding to biorefineries that have been in existence on or before June 18, 2008. The purpose of the program is to provide a financial incentive to biorefineries to use renewable biomass in place of fossil fuels used to produce heat or power. By providing this assistance, USDA is helping these facilities install new systems that use renewable biomass.

Eligible costs must be related to construction or repowering improvements, such as engineering design, equipment installation and professional fees. The application deadline for this program to receive funds for Fiscal Year 2012 is June 1, 2012. For additional details, please see pages 5232 through 5234 of the February 2, 2012, Federal Register.

Second, USDA also announced the availability of up to $25 million to make payments to advanced biofuels producers who expect to produce eligible advanced biofuels at any time during Fiscal Year 2012. To be eligible for these funds, an advanced biofuels producers must have enrolled in the program by October 31, 2011, even if the producer has an existing contract with the Agency.

Payments will be made to producers of advanced biofuels derived from renewable biomass, other than corn kernel starch. These include cellulose, sugar and starch, crop residue, vegetative waste material, animal waste, food and yard waste, vegetable oil, animal fat, and biogas.

Contract payments will be made quarterly. For additional details, please see pages 5229 through 5232 of the February 2, 2012, Federal Register.

“President Obama has laid out a new era for American energy—an economy fueled by homegrown and alternative energy sources that will be designed and produced by American workers,” said Vilsack. “These programs support that vision by helping biorefineries use renewable biomass as a replacement fuel source for fossil fuels and supporting advanced biofuel producers as they expand production.”