Ethanol Celebrates National Ag Week

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The ethanol industry is joining in the celebrations going on around the country for National Ag Week.

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Bob Dinneen thanked American farmers for their tremendous productivity which has resulted in a need to increase demand to keep up with supplies. “So, as we celebrate National Agriculture Day, we need to recommit ourselves to increasing demand, building the infrastructure and regulatory environment for higher level ethanol blends like E15 and E30, and removing unfair tariff and non-tariff barriers for free ethanol trade across the globe,” said Dinneen.

Members of the American Coalition for Ethanol are meeting in Washington DC starting tomorrow for their annual fly-in. Listen to a preview of that event and stay tuned for our coverage this week: Interview with Shannon Gustafson, ACE

ACE, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

New High Octane ASTM Standard is Ethanol Victory

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ASTM International recently published a new high-octane fuel standard which creates a broadly accepted specification for high-octane fuel that could help drive engines that utilize ethanol’s octane boost with higher blends of 25 to 40 percent.

The new standard, D8076-17, follows a year-long joint effort by the U.S. Department of Energy, engine manufacturers, ethanol industry representatives and others who contributed to the committee that developed the standard, which defines a test fuel that can be used by engine designers throughout the global auto industry, according to American Coalition for Ethanol senior vice president Ron Lamberty. “This new ASTM standard shows that we are making progress toward a future where ethanol’s value as a source of affordable octane is recognized, and it is a visible example of why it’s important that we’re involved in that group,” said Lamberty, who represented ACE as a member of the ASTM committee.

Lamberty says the efforts of the Ag-Auto-Ethanol Alliance were key to getting the standard approved. The AAE work group selected Bob McCormick of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as the technical lead to provide the evidence needed for what could be the fuel for the future. “Automakers must design their engines to operate on a common fuel that is broadly available in the marketplace, and this new specification is a crucial step toward commercialization,” McCormick said.

ACE, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Octane

Nebraska Corn Appreciates RFA’s Robert White

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Dennis Gengenbach, Nebraska Corn Board, presents award to RFA’s Robert White

The Nebraska Corn Board last week presented Renewable Fuels Association Vice President of Industry Relations Robert White with its 2017 Ethanol Industry Appreciation Award for his years of support. White, a Kansas native, is the first non-Nebraskan recipient.

“Mr. White leads the effort to increase the availability and consumption of ethanol through consumer education, social media and marketing,” said Dennis Gengenbach, secretary and treasurer with the Nebraska Corn Board. “He is a well-sought out technical expert for the industry on ethanol, E15, E85 and blender pumps.”

The Ethanol Industry Appreciation Award was first presented in 2007 and is given to individuals or industry partners who go above and beyond to help ethanol markets and expand demand for ethanol.

“I have the unique privilege of interacting with farmers daily, and enjoy the relationships that have developed over the years working together to expand the market for corn and ethanol,” said White, who works with petroleum marketers and retailers, state and federal agencies, commercial fleets, and individual consumers to increase awareness about the benefits of ethanol and encourage greater development and use of renewable fuels.

corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

Celebrate Biodiesel Day

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There’s a reason to celebrate green both today and tomorrow – since tomorrow is National Biodiesel Day.

March 18 is the birthday of Rudolf Diesel, who invented the engine that bears his name, ran early models on peanut oil, and was an ardent believer in vegetable oil-based fuel, which is why the industry chose this day to celebrate biodiesel.

“For National Biodiesel Day, we’re highlighting the people who make this industry great. American biodiesel has infused jobs and prosperity in communities throughout the nation,” said Donnell Rehagen, National Biodiesel Board CEO. “Rudolph Diesel would be proud.”

Read a few biodiesel success stories from NBB and remember to wear your green tomorrow, too!

Biodiesel, NBB

Saudi Arabia Buying More US DDGs

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Delegation from Saudia Arabia at the 2016 Export Exchange

Saudi Arabia is ramping up its purchases of the ethanol co-product distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) from the United States, according to the U.S. Grains Council.

Last month, Saudi buyers purchased 18,000 metric tons of U.S. DDGS, a relatively large amount and a dramatic increase from total sales of just 8,400 metric tons in 2014.

While the dairy and poultry sectors in Saudi Arabia are large and modern with an estimated annual compound feed demand of 6.9 million metric tons, the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) progress in persuading the Saudi industry to utilize DDGS has been limited by shipping distance and local subsidies that did not incentivize use of the product.

Now, those policies are changing, and DDGS is priced well in the market. As a result, Saudi buyers – and others in the region including in Egypt, Turkey, Morocco and Pakistan – are taking a closer look at U.S. DDGS.

Read more from USGC

Distillers Grains, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Exports, USGC

Vets in #Ethanol Industry Send Letter to Trump

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EKAE CEO Jeff Oestmann in American Coalition for Ethanol ad

Over 100 military veterans who work in the ethanol industry sent a letter to President Donald Trump this week urging him to include a prominent role for ethanol and the RFS in his “America First Energy Plan.”

East Kansas Agri-Energy CEO Jeff Oestmann, a Marine Corps vet, started the effort at the recent National Ethanol Conference. “After serving our country in uniform, we have chosen to work in the renewable fuels industry because it allows us to continue honoring a commitment to make America stronger and more independent,” Oestmann said in an op-ed Thursday. “Our letter thanks Mr. Trump for his stated commitment to renewable fuels, and encourages him to ensure ethanol and the RFS continue to play a key role in our nation’s energy policy moving forward.”

Read more from Morning Consult.

ACE, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA, RFS

Celebrating Minnesota Biodiesel Day

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March 15 was Biodiesel Day in Minnesota, proclaimed by Gov. Mark Dayton in recognition of the 15 year anniversary of Minnesota’s biodiesel mandate becoming law in 2002.

The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) was celebrating yesterday because they helped design that legislation which made Minnesota the first state in the nation to require 10 percent biodiesel, or B10, in diesel blends sold during the summer months. The state moves to a B20 summer blend in May 2018, which will equate to removing 201,100 vehicles from the state’s roads annually.

“It’s really encouraging to see the governor and the state of Minnesota recognizing the value and benefits of biodiesel,” said MSGA president Theresia Gillie. “Biodiesel has been a big winner for Minnesota farmers and renewable fuels, and we’re very honored to receive this proclamation.”

Minnesota got a head start on the rest of the country in celebrating biodiesel. Saturday, March 18, is National Biodiesel Day, observed annually on the birthday of Rudolph Diesel, inventor of the diesel engine.

Biodiesel, Soybeans

Ethanol Groups Praise Emissions Rules Review

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President Trump announced Wednesday that the administration is reinstating the Midterm Evaluation of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) standards for the automotive industry, which is good news for the ethanol industry.

“Today’s actions allow the opportunity for EPA to slow down, remove politics from the process, and take a more comprehensive approach to fuel economy standards,” said Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen. He charges that the previous administration only did “a cursory review to finalize a rule before the transition” and did not fully consider all comments.

Dinneen says EPA failed to consider fuels that will enable technologies to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gases. “High octane, low carbon fuels can play a significant role in helping to meet fuel economy targets in the future,” said Dinneen.

“Now that the review of MY 2022-2025 standards will return to the original schedule, we will also be able to make the case that EPA and NHTSA need to provide meaningful incentives for flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) and engines designed to operate most efficiently on high-octane, high-ethanol blends,” said American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) executive vice president Brian Jennings. “Currently, the standards are biased in favor of electric vehicles and ignore the role that FFVs and engines optimized to run on blends in the range of E25-40 can play in meeting fuel economy and GHG reduction goals.”

President Trump announced the actions Wednesday during meetings with auto executives and workers in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

ACE, Car Makers, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

2016 Propane Autogas Vehicle Sales Increase

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Figures from 2016 show sales in propane autogas vehicles have increased nearly 8 percent over 2015, according to the Propane Education & Research Council. The more than 14,000 light, medium and heavy duty propane autogas trucks sold last year is the most in a single year since 2012. The data shows that there are almost 200,000 such vehicles being used in public and private fleets in the U.S. as of 2016.

“We’re thrilled to see so many new fleets take advantage of all propane autogas has to offer,” said Michael Taylor, director of autogas business development for PERC. “We don’t expect propane autogas sales to slow down in the future, especially as more fleet owners and managers experience the lower cost of ownership of the fuel compared to other options out there.”

Approximately one third of sales were for OEM dedicated vehicles while the other two thirds were aftermarket conversions. PERC forecasts another 79,900 propane autogas vehicles to be added to the highways in the next three years.

autogas, PERC, Propane

More Retail Stations Selling Higher #Ethanol Blends

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Last week, Iowa celebrated the opening of the state’s 100th retail station selling 15 percent ethanol blended fuel.

Crossroads Convenience Store in Spencer is one of six stations owned by Wessels Oil Company, which has been in business since 1938 and has been offering higher blends of biofuels at their stores since 2014. The Spencer store is the retailer’s first location to offer E15.

“With the capability to offer E15 to all 2001 and newer vehicles, it made good business sense to get on board with offering another option to our customers,” said Lisa Wessels, Secretary of Wessels Oil Company. “E15 offers higher octane and is a cleaner fuel with less toxic chemicals that cause cancer, plus it supports jobs in the state’s ethanol industry. It’s a win-win situation because it also increases demand for Iowa agriculture.”

Click to enlarge map courtesy of Growth Energy

Growth Energy reports that there are now 672 retail locations in 29 states offer E15 as a choice for consumers, with Louisiana becoming the latest state to have a station opening.

A map from Growth Energy shows where E15 is currently sold, with the top states being Iowa, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida and Georgia. Major retailers currently selling E15 including RaceTrac, Sheetz, Kum and Go, Thorntons, Minnoco, Murphy USA, MAPCO, Family Express, Cenex, and Protec Fuels.

E15, Ethanol, Growth Energy, Iowa RFA