ACE Commends Argonne for GREET Model Updates

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) is pleased with recent updates to the Greenhouse gas and Regulated Emissions and Energy use in Transportation (GREET) model made by U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory scientists. The GREET model is widely recognized as the gold-standard tool used to audit the energy and environmental effects of transportation fuels such as ethanol and gasoline.

Notably, the 2020 updates include a new Feedstock Carbon Intensity Calculator to take inventory on how corn yields, fertilizer use, and agronomic practices on individual farms influence the lifecycle carbon intensity of ethanol and a new lookup table to estimate rates of soil carbon sequestration from different farming practices.

ACE CEO Brian Jennings says the updates will help farmers, ethanol producers, and government agencies better understand how farming practices play a pivotal role in reducing the overall carbon intensity of corn ethanol. “Given the growing support for new clean fuel markets at the state and federal level, particularly among Midwestern states, these timely updates to the GREET model should help us advocate for policies that give credit to farmers for practices which further reduce corn ethanol’s carbon footprint,” said Jennings.

In 2018, ACE published the White Paper “The Case for Properly Valuing the Low Carbon Benefits of Corn Ethanol” to spotlight the need for these kind of updates to the GREET model. Ron Alverson, ACE board member and main author of the 2018 White Paper, said the new Feedstock Carbon Intensity Calculator will be extremely helpful in evaluating the effect farming practices have on ethanol’s GHG emissions because it will account for corn yield and energy, fertilizer, and chemical use factors for individual farms instead of relying on default values.

ACE, corn, Energy, Ethanol, Ethanol News

Ethanol Emergency Response Webinars This Week

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The Renewable Fuels Association is offering two four-hour emergency management webinars this week in partnership with TRANSCAER and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

The goal of these webinars is for attendees to gain a full ethanol and ethanol-blended fuel emergency response training experience that can be used immediately in the field. The training program will include the following elements: ethanol and ethanol-blended fuels, chemical and physical characteristics of ethanol and hydrocarbon fuels, transportation and transfer, storage and dispensing locations, fire-fighting foam principles, general health and safety considerations, and storage and pre-planning considerations.

The sessions will take place this week from 5 to 9 p.m. CDT Wednesday, Oct. 14, and noon to 4 p.m. CDT Thursday, Oct. 15. Final segments for the year are scheduled for Nov. 5 and 12. Certificates of Participation will be awarded to all registered attendees once the webinar has been completed. Click here for more information and registration.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA, safety

Lallemand to Sponsor RFA Young Professionals Network

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Lallemand Biofuels & Distilled Spirits has partnered with the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) as the title sponsor of the Young Professionals Network (YPN) in 2021. Lallemand Biofuels & Distilled Spirits (LBDS) is an industry leader in supplying fermentation products and value-added services to the ethanol industry.

“Education is an important part of our mission in serving the ethanol industry,” said Craig Pilgrim, Vice President of Marketing and New Product Development at Lallemand Biofuels & Distilled Spirits. “The Young Professionals Network is off to a great start in recruiting and creating a dynamic membership base. We’re eager to assist them in ensuring that this new program is a success and provide unique learning opportunities that allow the YPN members to grow within the ethanol industry.”

RFA launched the YPN in July to bring together innovative and dedicated young professionals in the ethanol industry who are 39 years old and younger, giving them the ability to develop their professional skills, grow their network in the renewable fuels industry, advance their respective businesses forward, and support the national agenda of the U.S. ethanol industry.

As of October 7, the YPN had 79 members from companies across the ethanol industry, including ethanol producers, product and service providers, state and federal trade organizations, commodity groups, and investment firms.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

USDA Lowers Corn Use for Ethanol

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

USDA is now forecasting a slightly smaller corn crop compared to last month’s estimate, but still higher than last year.

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) October Crop Production report, corn production for grain is now forecast at 14.7 billion bushels, down 1 percent from the previous forecast but up 8 percent from 2019. Based on conditions as of October 1, yields are expected to average a record high 178.4 bushels per harvested acre, down 0.1 bushel from the previous forecast but up 10.9 bushels from last year. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 82.5 million acres, down 1 percent from the previous forecast, but up 1 percent from the previous year.

The October World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates reduced the amount of corn expected to be used for ethanol and feed and residual use, and lowered ending stocks. Corn supplies are forecast down sharply from last month on a smaller crop and lower beginning stocks. Corn used for ethanol is down 50 million bushels, based on weekly ethanol production data as reported by the Energy Information Administration into early October. The corn price is raised 10 cents to $3.60 per bushel.

corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News, USDA

2021 National Biodiesel Conference Goes Virtual

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Virtual conferences are now starting to be announced for 2021.

The 2021 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo will be virtual now January 18-21. The event will be accessible to everyone, sharing the industry’s message from coast to coast through a new format that will “RISE” to meet the needs of all attendees.

“Our industry is proving its strength and commitment to better, cleaner fuel through this time of uncertainty,” said NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen. “The biodiesel and renewable diesel industry have worked tirelessly to keep this industry growing, collaborating, and coordinated as we face this unique time together, and we can’t wait to kick off a new year in 2021 with our members and key industry partners during our first ever virtual conference, providing attendees a top shelf experience.”

The conference lineup is already being set with key discussion topics and industry insights and will still include crowd favorite mainstage and breakout sessions, as well as new opportunities to showcase industry businesses through high-visibility sponsorships like never before.

Register for the 2021 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo at biodieselconference.org.

Biodiesel, Biodiesel Conference, National Biodiesel Conference, NBB

Ethanol Groups Help with New HBIIP Grants

Cindy Zimmerman

Trail’s Travel Center in Albert Lea, Minnesota was one of the recipients of grants announced Thursday as part of the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program, or HBIIP. They were helped out in the application process by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

“We would like to sincerely thank the Renewable Fuels Association and Cassie Mullen for their incredible support and guidance throughout the USDA HBIIP application process,” said Rocky Trail, owner of Trail’s Travel Center. “To our surprise and delight they handled almost every aspect of the process and at the end of the day because of their assistance we ultimately walked away with a winning application and were granted 100% of the funds we applied for. Because of their support, in the very near future Trail’s Travel Center, the largest truck stop in the state of Minnesota, will expand even further with the exciting addition of higher blends of ethanol.”

Listen to Trail’s comments at the announcement Thursday.
Rocky Trail, owner of Trail's Travel Center, Albert Lea, MN

Secretary Perdue also visited a Casey’s location in Ankeny, Iowa yesterday with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Senior Vice President and Market Development Director Ron Lamberty, who has been helping many retailers with the HBIIP application process, attended that event.

“ACE thanks Secretary Perdue for his leadership on HBIIP,” Lamberty said. “We were happy to play a part in helping several marketers work through the application process, including a long-time Nebraska retailer, who applied to add 11 more E15 and flex fuel sites, and to assist San Diego E85 wholesaler Pearson Fuels as they applied for HBIIP funds for 122 California retail E85 locations. We’re pleased both companies were approved to receive HBIIP funding.”

Sen Grassley and Secy Perdue announce HBIIP grants in Iowa
ACE, Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Retailers, RFA

REG Plans Expansion of Louisiana Renewable Diesel Plant

Cindy Zimmerman

Renewable Energy Group, Inc. has announced plans for a capacity expansion of its Geismar, Louisiana biorefinery by 250 million gallons annually to 340 million gallons per year. Construction should begin in mid to late 2021 with target mechanical completion date in late 2023.

“REG Geismar has proven to be a tremendous asset for our company and is a natural site for increasing production of our lower carbon renewable diesel,” said Cynthia (CJ) Warner, President & CEO of REG. “The state of Louisiana and Ascension Parish have been great partners who encouraged us every step along the way as we developed our expansion plan. They truly understand the broad economic and environmental benefits that renewable fuels provide, and we look forward to our continued partnership with them as we undertake this project.”

REG expects the expansion will require approximately $825 million in capital investment and is committed to supporting jobs and economic development in the communities in which it operates. REG Geismar was the first renewable diesel plant built in the US and was acquired by REG in 2014. REG made additional improvements to the plant, taking its initial 75-million gallon nameplate facility up to 90-million gallons per year of demonstrated capacity.

REG, renewable diesel

Meet New RFA Chair Jeanne McCaherty

Cindy Zimmerman

Jeanne McCaherty (right) on a tour of Guardian Energy with MN agency commissioners in 2019

The new chairperson of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has only been CEO of Guardian Energy Management since 2016, but Jeanne McCaherty has become an industry leader in that very short time. In addition to serving on the board for RFA, she also serves on the Board of Directors for the Renewable Product Marketing Group and the Minnesota Biofuels Association.

Prior to joining Guardian Energy, McCaherty held several senior leadership roles at Cargill, and she holds a master’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Missouri.

McCaherty is taking on the leadership role at RFA during one of the most challenging times in the history of the ethanol industry. In this interview, she discusses the current state of the industry and priorities for RFA moving beyond 2020.

Listen to the interview here:
Interview with Jeanne McCaherty, CEO of Guardian Energy Management 10:45

Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

USDA Announces New Biofuels Infrastructure Grants

Cindy Zimmerman

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue was in Albert Lea, Minnesota on Thursday to announce $22 million out of the up to $100 million in grants available to increase American ethanol and biodiesel sales under the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) to recipients in 14 states. The initial $22 million in HBIIP investments are projected to increase ethanol demand by nearly 150 million gallons annually.

Congressman Jim Hagedorn (R-MN) and Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap joined Secretary Perdue at Trail’s Travel Center in Albert Lea, one of the grant recipients. During the announcement, the Secretary assured the industry that the administration is committed to maintaining the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). “Those small refinery waivers are absolutely off the table,” said Perdue. “Fifteen billion gallons will be 15 billion gallons.”

Listen to their comments here:
HBIIP Grants announced in Minnesota 11:42

USDA is funding projects in California, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Utah and Wisconsin and will be announcing the remaining HBIIP investments in the coming weeks.

Audio, Biodiesel, Ethanol, Ethanol News, USDA

Ethanol Exports Rise in August

Cindy Zimmerman

U.S. ethanol exports were 35% higher in August, rising to 100.7 million gallons (mg), the largest volume since March, according to Renewable Fuels Association Senior Analyst Ann Lewis.

Shipments across the border to Canada accelerated 20% to a three-year high of 36.0 mg, equivalent to 36% of total U.S. ethanol exports, while sales to India declined by 20% to 10.5 mg. The mix of larger customers readjusted in August with Nigeria (9.8 mg, up from zero), Colombia (8.6 mg, up from zero), and Mexico (7.1 mg, +78%) rounding out the top five global markets. South Korea (5.9 mg, -24%), Peru (5.6 mg, +340%), and the Philippines (4.0 mg, -36%) were other sizable customers of U.S. ethanol. Brazil returned to the market after a two-month hiatus, but coming in at just 3% (1.9 mg) of the volume purchased in January. Global year-to-date exports of U.S. ethanol totaled 905.4 mg, or 10% less than this time a year ago.

Meanwhile, imports were up as well, as they have been all year. The U.S. imported 35.6 mg of cane ethanol from Brazil—nearly triple the volume entering the country in July. Year-to-date imports total 93.1 mg, or 11% more than this time a year ago.

Exports of the ethanol animal feed co-product dried distillers grains (DDGS) were down six percent in August to 1.02 million metric tons (mt). “While southbound shipments tracked 14% lower (138,817 mt), Mexico remained our chief DDGS market for the second consecutive month. Sales perked up in Vietnam (up 22% to 131,854 mt) but scaled back in South Korea (111,048 mt, -8%) and Turkey (80,288 mt, -44%). A record 61,492 mt U.S. DDGS shipped to New Zealand, while other larger markets included Indonesia (60,061 mt), China (50,717 mt—the largest exports in more than three years), Thailand (42,183 mt), Ireland (40,842 mt), and Canada (40,001 mt). Worldwide U.S. DDGS exports for the first eight months of the year were 7.08 million mt—trailing 3% behind last year at this time.”

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Exports, RFA