4th Plant to Install Whitefox ICE™ System

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company (CVEC) in Benson, Minnesota will become the fourth U.S. ethanol plant to install a Whitefox ICE™ membrane dehydration system. Whitefox has already installed its membrane dehydration system at Fox River Valley Ethanol and at United Ethanol in WI, Pine Lake Corn Processor in IA, and Pacific Ethanol in CA.

“With the installation of the Whitefox ICE™ membrane system, we expect to increase our ethanol production capacity by 7.5 million gallons per year, an increase of 15% or more,” said CVEC general manager Chad Friese. “This will increase our margins and overall efficiency both during regular uptime and product changeover cycles.”

Whitefox’s Integrated Cartridge Efficiency (Whitefox ICE™) is a membrane-based dehydration technology with a small footprint. It enables producers to reduce energy costs and improve carbon intensity (CI) scores, reduce cooling water costs year-round and reduce operation & maintenance costs by simplifying production, all while increasing revenues from additional ethanol capacity. Whitefox ICE™ can be integrated into existing corn ethanol production plants with minimal disruption. Whitefox’s membrane technology can equally be included as a technology upgrade in new greenfield plants.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Production

Ethanol Blend Rate Drops

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The latest Energy Information Administration data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) shows ethanol production is lower but still averaging a little over a million barrels a day, while the ethanol blend rate dropped to its lowest point since the beginning of this year.

“Although ethanol demand was the most robust in 16 weeks, ethanol content in gasoline supplied to the market slipped to the lowest blend rate in 14 weeks at 9.30 percent,” according to RFA Executive Vice President Geoff Cooper.

Ethanol production averaged 1.009 million barrels per day (b/d)—or 42.38 million gallons daily. Production relaxed by 25,000 b/d from the week before to a 14-week low. The four-week average for ethanol production slumped to 1.030 million b/d—the lowest in 24 weeks—for an annualized rate of 15.79 billion gallons.

Ethanol stocks are down 2.3% to 21.3 million barrels, the tightest reserves on hand in 23 weeks, and there were no imports for the 19th week in a row.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

Senators Call on EPA to Stop Issuing RFS Waivers

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

A bipartisan group of senators led by Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) are asking EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to stop issuing so-called “hardship” waivers exempting obligated parties from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

The 13 senators are also requesting that EPA provide “information about the waivers already issued, disclose whether or not the agency redistributed the waived volume obligations among the non-exempted obligated parties and outline the agency’s plan to make the waiver process more transparent.”

Grassley and Klobuchar were joined by Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Debbie Stabenow (R-Mich.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.).

Read the letter.

EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFS

E15 Now Available in St. Louis Metro Area

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) announced this week that E15 (15% ethanol, 85% gasoline) has debuted in the St. Louis area and will be available throughout the year.

Home Service Oil Co. now offers both E15 and E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) at the Express Mart location in Pevely, Mo., just off Interstate 55 south of St. Louis. The company, which operates nine convenience stores, plans to offer both E15 and E85 at more of its locations in the next 60 days.

The company has been working in partnership with RFA to bring E15 to its customers and utilized the USDA Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) Program to help offset its infrastructure costs. “We are excited to bring higher blends of ethanol to the area, and thank the Renewable Fuels Association for its expertise and help throughout this process,” said Home Service Oil Co. President Zachary Mangelsdorf.

Unlike most areas of the country, St. Louis is an RFG market and is able to sell E15 year-round. Reformulated gasoline (RFG) is gasoline blended to burn more cleanly than conventional gasoline and to reduce smog-forming and toxic pollutants in the air. RFA continues to work towards the removal of the regulatory barrier that prevents E15 from being sold year round in conventional gasoline markets, comprising more than two-thirds of the nation.

E15 is approved by EPA for 2001 and newer vehicles, along with all flex fuel vehicles (FFVs). E85 is approved for flex fuel vehicles (FFVs) only.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

Student Biodiesel Leader Joins World Energy Council Program

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A former co-chair of the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel has been selected to participate in the World Energy Council’s Future Energy Leaders (NGSB) program. Deval Pandya, who is a Data Scientist in Advanced Analytics at Shell, will participate in the program designed to help shape, inspire and grow the energy leaders of tomorrow.

Pandya said he believes serving as co-chair of the student biodiesel program added value to his application.

“My exposure through the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel not only improved my technical understanding of biodiesel, but opened my eyes as to how important it is to look beyond the goggles of science in the nexus of energy, food and water,” Pandya said. “Having an outlook balanced by the non-technical part of the equation, like behaviors, policy and geopolitics, has set me up for success.”

Pandya served as a co-chair of NGSB from 2011 – 2013, while pursuing his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington. The NGSB program is intended to foster professional relationships between budding and established scientists, share accurate information and increase collaboration with academia and the biodiesel industry. The National Biodiesel Board oversees the program, with support from the United Soybean Board.

Meanwhile, the NGSB program seeks two new co-chairs to join sitting co-chairs Jennifer Greenstein, North Carolina State University and James Brizendine, Missouri University of Science and Technology. Applications are due May 4. Visit BiodieselSustainability.com/next-generation-scientists-for-biodiesel/ for information on how to apply.

Biodiesel, NBB

Japan to Allow Use of U.S. Ethanol for Oxygenate

cindy zimmerman Leave a Comment

Ethanol market development organizations cheered the news out of Japan today that the government’s new biofuel policy will allow imports of the oxygenate ETBE made from U.S. corn-based ethanol.

A release from the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), and Growth Energy says Japan will now allow U.S. ethanol to meet up to 44 percent of a total estimated demand of 217 million gallons of ethanol used to make ETBE, or potentially 95.5 million gallons of U.S.-produced ethanol annually.

The change comes as part of the country’s update of its existing sustainability policy, approved in 2010, in which only sugarcane-based ethanol was eligible for import and which only allowed sugarcane-based ethanol for the production of ETBE, an oxygenate. The new policy calls for an increase in the carbon intensity reduction requirements of ethanol used as a feedstock to make ETBE to meet a 55 percent reduction, up from 50 percent, and recognizes corn-based, U.S.-produced ethanol’s ability to meet that goal, even with the higher greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction standard.

The groups say the Japanese government based on its decision on the evaluation and life cycle assessment update of U.S. corn-based ethanol and the U.S. industry’s efforts to maximize production efficiency through technological innovations that lead to higher GHG emission reductions for corn-based ethanol and the emergence of co-products like distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS).

AgWired Energy, biofuels, corn, Ethanol, Growth Energy, International, RFA, USGC

Ethanol Report on Demand Destruction

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has yet to reveal just how many small refiner exemptions have been granted from blending obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and how many are still pending but the reduction in ethanol blending over recent months and a sharp drop in the price for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) indicate the impact they are having.

In this edition of The Ethanol Report, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) Executive Vice President Geoff Cooper discusses his recent E-Blog column on how EPA actions are already impacting the ethanol market and destructing demand.

Listen here: Ethanol Report on Demand Destruction

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Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Ethanol Report, RFA, RFS, RINS

New Research: Ethanol Reduces Emissions, Improves Air Quality

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

Separate studies conducted by North Carolina State University (NCSU) and the University of California Riverside show ethanol blends reduce toxic tailpipe emissions by up to 50 percent, significantly improving air quality and protecting public health. The Urban Air Initiative (UAI) commissioned both studies, which provide evidence that adding higher than the standard 10 percent ethanol blend to gasoline can significantly improve air quality.

“By simply adding ethanol to current gasoline, this testing demonstrated the benefits of ethanol as a cleaner, higher octane fuel. The fact that these studies used consumer fuels and real world driving conditions is the most accurate reflection of what happens on the road every single day. It’s this kind of science that will help give consumers more access to a healthier fuel,” said Steve Vander Griend, UAI technical director.

The NCSU study is one of the first to look at real world fuels and real world driving conditions when evaluating tailpipe emissions. Data from both studies will be peer reviewed and published later this year.

AgWired Energy, Ethanol, Research

Role of Corn Farmers in High Octane Fuel Future

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

During a House Committee on Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on “High Octane Fuels and High Efficiency Vehicles” Friday, an Illinois corn grower outlined how farmers are now growing what can be the the high-octane fuel of the near future.

Illinois farmer Paul Jeschke testified that high-octane midlevel ethanol blends would “benefit society and rural communities by lowering prices at the pump and reducing pollution while increasing farm income.”

“I’m proud of what we do on my family’s farm,” said Jeschke. “I’m proud that our corn crop can have a part to play in the high-octane future that’s heading our way.” Read Jeschke’s written testimony.
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Listen to Jeschke’s opening statement here: Illinois farmer Paul Jeschke at hearing

Audio, corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News

AEM Releases First-Quarter Sales Data

carrie muehling Leave a Comment

The latest sales data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) shows total U.S. 2-wheel drive tractor sales gained four percent for March compared to last year, while 4-wheel drive tractors sales dropped five percent. Self-propelled combine sales declined 20 percent.

First-quarter 2018 U.S. sales were essentially flat for the smaller-size tractors and 100-plus HP 2-wheel drive tractors declined about five percent for January-March compared to the same quarter in 2017. U.S. 4-wheel drive tractor sales gained about five percent for the first quarter, and U.S. sales of self-propelled combines gained four percent for January-March compared to those months in 2017.

“As we close the first quarter of 2018, we are still cautiously optimistic for continued growth this year, but it’s tempered by uncertainty in the farm economy,” said Curt Blades, senior vice president, AG services. “We are still contending with diplomatic jockeying over steel tariffs and China trade that is causing concern for the agriculture and manufacturing communities. Headwinds also include potential negative changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). And, overall, we’re looking at the USDA forecast of a decline in 2018 net farm profits. Many farmers will still need to replace equipment at some point for longer term efficiencies, and we are still hopeful that tax reform could provide a positive stimulus.”

Read the full report online: https://www.aem.org/market-data/statistics/us-ag-tractor-and-combine-reports/.

John Deere at 2018 Commodity Classic Photo Album

AEM, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Equipment