Global RFA Urges Renewed Pledge to CO2 Reduction

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On Earth Day 2017, the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA) called for a renewed global commitment to reducing CO2 emissions in the year ahead.

GRFA president Bliss Baker notes that nearly 200 countries have signed on to the world’s first binding agreement on climate action. “What needs to happen next is the implementation of policies across the globe aimed at reducing national CO2 emissions,” said Baker. “The GRFA is excited to work with governments and international NGO’s to continue to build on the exciting progress made in the last two years and to develop workable solutions to keep global temperature rise this century within the targets laid out in the Paris agreement.”

According to GRFA, the global transport sector is estimated to represent close to 45% of direct CO2 emissions while having the lowest renewable energy share among all sectors, making it a priority sector for policy action to reduce emissions.

Environment, Ethanol, Ethanol News, International

Enerkem Earns Lowest BC Carbon Intensity Value

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Enerkem Inc., a waste-to-biofuels and renewable chemicals producer based in Canada, has received the lowest carbon intensity value ever issued by the British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines for its ethanol product.

The confirmed carbon intensity of Enerkem’s waste-based ethanol is set at -55 gCO2e/MJ. As a comparison, gasoline has an intensity of +88 gCO2e/MJ. This approval under the British Columbia Renewable and Low Carbon Fuel Requirements Regulation opens up the door for Enerkem to sell its advanced ethanol in the province, in addition to the local Alberta market where its world’s first full-scale facility in operation is located.

Enerkem’s proprietary technology converts non-recyclable, non-compostable household waste into advanced biofuels. The company also announced this month that its first full-scale commercial facility, located in Edmonton, Alberta, is fully operational and officials say they are expanding their footprint in North America and Europe.

In less than five minutes, Enerkem’s technology turns household waste into 99.9 per cent pure liquid chemicals and biofuels. Since the start of production, the Enerkem Alberta Biofuels facility has been meeting the highest quality standards set by the International Methanol Producers and Consumers Association (IMPCA) for the production and sale of methanol. Last year, Enerkem’s biorefinery also became the first ISCC certified plant (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) in the world to convert municipal solid waste into biomethanol.

advance biofuels, Cellulosic, Ethanol, Ethanol News

Ethanol Production Drops

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After six months of daily ethanol production topping a million barrels a day, the streak finally came to an end two weeks ago, according to the latest analysis of EIA data from the Renewable Fuels Association.

Ethanol production dropped below a million barrels to its lowest level since October to 986,000 barrels in the week ended on April 7. Last week, ethanol production recovered some, averaging 993,000 barrels per day or 41.71 million gallons daily. The four-week average for ethanol production slipped to 1.01 million b/d for an annualized rate of 15.53 billion gallons.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

RFA Earns 5th TRANSCAER Award for Ethanol Safety Seminars

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The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has received the TRANSCAER® National Achievement Award for the fifth year in a row in recognition for a series of seminars last year on ethanol safety and emergency responders. The award is for extraordinary achievement by an individual person, company, organization or a team in support of the TRANSCAER® initiative.

In 2016, RFA held 20 ethanol safety seminars and five Train the Trainer events, which trains emergency responders on how to properly respond to an ethanol incident. In addition, RFA launched its online Ethanol Emergency Response course, providing training targeted towards emergency responders. One hundred and sixty emergency responders completed the training, for a combined nearly 1,000 first responders trained.

Since December 2010, RFA has hosted 192 ethanol safety seminars across 34 states, along with 10 Train the Trainer events, and has trained more than 6,500 emergency responders.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

Data Shows Ethanol Broke the Blend Wall in 2016

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The latest U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data for 2016 shows that gasoline consumed in the United States last year contained more than 10% ethanol on average for the first time ever, according to an analysis by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), demonstrating that the so-called “blend wall” is no constraint on ethanol consumption.

According to EIA data, finished motor gasoline consumption totaled 143.367 billion gallons in 2016. That volume of gasoline contained 14.399 billion gallons of ethanol, meaning the average ethanol content of gasoline consumed in 2016 was 10.04%. According to the RFA report, the data “…further underscore that statutory Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) blending obligations in excess of the 10.0% level can be readily satisfied by the marketplace.”

The analysis found that the national average ethanol content was 10.0% or higher in six of the last seven months of 2016, culminating with a record high monthly rate of 10.30% in December. That trend continued into this year as the ethanol blend rate hit a weekly record of 10.41% in early January 2017.

RFA says the data indicates that 2016 consumption of mid-level blends and flex fuels was at least 450 million gallons, and may have been more than 1 billion gallons “if the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) assertions about ethanol-free gasoline (E0) demand are correct.”

“Driven by the RFS and attractive blending economics, domestic refiners and blenders used more ethanol in 2016 than ever before and it’s likely that trend will continue this year,” said RFA president and CEO Bob Dinneen. “Consumers are gravitating toward E15, E85, and other mid-level blends where they are available. The oil industry can no longer claim the blend wall is any barrier to the effective implementation of the RFS.”

Dinneen adds that the analysis “unequivocally proves” EPA needs to implement the 15 billion gallon statutory requirement for conventional biofuelas when it considers proposed 2018 renewable volume obligations.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

AFV Day Odyssey Highlights Propane Autogas

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The National Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Day Odyssey, sponsored by Alliance AutoGas and the Propane Education and Research Council, kicks off today in Dallas, Texas in advance of Earth Day activities.

National AFV Day Odyssey is a nationwide celebration conducted to educate the public about the importance of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and to promote their widespread adoption. The event was created by the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium, a program of West Virginia University, in 2002. The NAFTC has coordinated the nationwide Odyssey campaign since that time.

The U.S. DOE Clean Cities Program, West Virginia University, Earth Day Texas, and the Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities Coalition are national partners of the event.

autogas, Propane

Iowa Continues to Fund Blender Pump Program

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The Iowa Legislature this week approved another year of funding for the state’s blender pump program, which is designed to assist fuel retailers in the conversion of their equipment to allow the expanded use of renewable fuels in Iowa.

“The Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP) has played an imperative role in expanding consumer access to higher ethanol and biodiesel blends,” stated Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Policy Director Grant Menke. “Demand for renewable fuels has more momentum now than ever. In a tough budget year we are very grateful to Governor Branstad and the Transportation, Infrastructure, and Capitals Appropriations Subcommittee for making this successful program a priority.”

The bill passed by the Iowa Legislature Wednesday includes $3 million in RFIP funding for fiscal year 2018 as part of the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund which Governor Terry Branstad is expected to sign.

Menke say interest among Iowa retailers in selling more renewable fuels is at an all-time high. Since the beginning of fiscal year 2017 RFIP has awarded 92 projects with $4.4 million in state grants to upgrade infrastructure to offer higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel. This funding leveraged two to three times that amount in private investment.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP) offers cost-share grants to Iowa retailers wishing to upgrade fueling infrastructure to offer E15, E85 and/or biodiesel blends. Reimbursement can be up to 70 percent of the installation costs, up to a maximum of $50,000 per project, with a five-year commitment to sell E15, E85 or biodiesel blends.

blends, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Iowa RFA

Ethanol Report on Earth Day

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Ethanol has a seat on the ground at one of the largest Earth Day events in the country this weekend – Earth Day Texas, which last year hosted over 130,000 attendees, over 700 exhibitors and more than 250 speakers.

ethanol-report-adEven bigger and better this year, the event includes the National Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Day Odyssey where Renewable Fuels Association Vice President of Industry Relations Robert White will be speaking this week.

In this edition of The Ethanol Report, White talks about how ethanol has helped to clean up vehicle emissions and come a long way since the first Earth Day in 1970.

Listen to this episode here: Ethanol Report on Earth Day 2017

Audio, Environment, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Ethanol Report

First Iowa Town to Get E10 is Latest to Have E15

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Sundstop owner Joshua Sundstrom

Back in 1978, Clarence, Iowa was one of first towns to introduce a new fuel that contained 10 percent ethanol, now called E10. Nearly 40 years later, that same town is getting its first 15% ethanol pump at the Sundstop, which has become Iowa’s 102nd E15 site. The station also offers E85, E30, and biodiesel blends.

“As a retailer in a heavy corn-producing state, we see renewable fuels as a way to give back to the community for supporting our business,” said Sundstop owner Joshua Sundstrom, who opened the store in 2015 as his third location.

Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw credits Iowa’s biofuels tax credits which were renewed by the Iowa Legislature last year for seven years with increasing availability of higher blends in the state. “The certainty that 7-year extension created enabled retailers like Sundstop to invest in the necessary infrastructure to offer higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel and make it possible for retailers to pass savings on to consumers,” said Shaw.

blends, E15, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Iowa RFA

D3MAX Reports Better Than Expected Pilot Test

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D3MAX cellulosic ethanol technology is showing better than expected results in pilot test data at ACE Ethanol in Stanley, Wisconsin which began in February.

According to the company, the pilot test results indicate that “the yield of xylose sugar from the xylan in corn fiber routinely exceeds 90% of the theoretical maximum yield, and overall sugar production in the pilot plant is better than the target yields.”

“We’ve always been excited about developing the D3MAX technology based on our original projections,” says Mark Yancey, Chief Technology Officer for D3MAX. “Now that we’ve seen the actual pilot facility begin to exceed our expectations, we’ve become even more confident that the D3MAX process can produce higher yields from corn fiber at lower costs.”

“I am very encouraged by preliminary results of the pilot test,” says Neal Kemmet, president and general manager at ACE Ethanol, LLC. “Based upon the testing we have done to date, D3MAX may very well be the best option available for dry mill ethanol plants and will be able to be installed without significant downtime or interruption of ethanol production.”

D3MAX now intends to begin designing the first commercial scale D3MAX plant this summer with construction expected to begin by Fall 2017.

Cellulosic, corn, Distillers Grains, Ethanol, Ethanol News, technology