Producer Panel at #ACE15

The theme of this year’s American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) convention was “Quiet Ingenuity, Bold Advance” and one of the last sessions of the event featured three ethanol producers who embody that slogan.

ace-15-delayneDelayne Johnson of Quad County Corn Processors has the distinction of being CEO of the plant to produce the country’s very first gallons of commercial cellulosic ethanol just last year. The plant has produced about two million gallons of the fuel in the past year.

Johnson gave an update on what’s new with the 15 year old company and how they are innovating to stay profitable. Delayne Johnson, Quad County

ace15-oestmannJeff Oestmann with East Kansas Agri-Energy is excited about their renewable diesel project under construction.

“Product diversity is key,” said Oestmann. “One of the nice things about renewable diesel is that it can run on its own. Obviously we’re building the plant to run on corn oil, but it can run on any kind of oil, animal fat, or greases.”

Listen to Oestmann give his update here: Jeff Oestmann, East Kansas Agri-Energy

ace15-rayRay Defenbaugh of Big River Resources talked a lot about the future of the industry, both for agriculture and ethanol.

“What I’m really concerned about is saving the family farm,” said Defenbaugh. “What we’re doing here is an important job.”

Defenbaugh is involved in many organizations, from ACE to RFA to the U.S. Grains Council and more – and he encouraged everyone to get involved as well. Ray Defenbaugh, Big River Resources

2015 ACE Annual Meeting Photos

Louis Dreyfus Adding Glycerin to Biodiesel Plant

dreyfus-biodiesel-indLouis Dreyfus Commodities plans to add a glycerin refinery to its soybean crushing and biodiesel plant in Claypool, Indiana, with construction expected to be complete by the end of the year.

The new refinery will be the second largest in the nation producing USP-grade Kosher refined glycerin, with a capacity of 80 million pounds per year. “The refinery in Claypool is being built with the best technology available,” said Tommy Malone, Louis Dreyfus Commodities’ head of North America. “We expect our plant to produce the highest-quality refined glycerin, meeting the needs of our growing customer network.”

Louis Dreyfus Commodities has been marketing crude glycerin, a co-product of the biodiesel process at Claypool, since the facility began operations in 2007. The addition of the refinery should allow the plant to process up to 100% of its crude glycerin production into USP-grade Kosher refined glycerin, which is used in a variety of industries including personal care, pharmaceuticals, food manufacturing, healthcare, automotive, chemical and textiles.

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

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 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

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.