REG Celebrates Project Upgrade

Kelly Marshall Biodiesel, REG

Renewable Energy Group, Inc. held a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the completion of the upgrades at their Eden, Germany biorefinery. The upgrades included 2.5 million € for a new biodiesel distillation column and a thermal oil heater.

“This investment is another milestone in REG’s European strategy to be a leader in delivering high quality biofuels,” said Jean Scemama, Vice President, REG Energy Europe. “Within this strategy, Emden is positioned to perform well with deep water access to receive and deliver products by vessel and can now meet or exceed the highest quality standards required by our customers.”

A YouTube video of the project is available here.

Biodiesel, REG

New Additives Make Biodiesel Cleanest Fuel

Kelly Marshall Biodiesel, blends, NBB

The California Air Resource Board has certified a biodiesel additive that has been tested and proven as the cleanest fuel with the lowest emission in the U.S. The additive will be used along with California’s CARB diesel formulation and will reduce every measurable regulated emission for the new B20 blend that will be branded VESTA 1000.

“Biodiesel has been a key to help California meet its intense carbon reduction goals. With this announcement, America’s Advanced Biofuel will continue to deliver a cleaner burning, American made alternative under the state’s low carbon fuel standard,” said Donnell Rehagen, National Biodiesel Board CEO. “Biodiesel will gladly take the role as the cleanest certified diesel fuel available.”

VESTA 1000 will ensure compliance with the January 1, 2018 implementation of CARB’s Alternative Diesel Fuel Regulation by reducing NOx by 1.9 percent and particulate matter by 18 percent compared to CARB diesel fuel.

Biodiesel, blends, NBB

Broin Honored by BIO

Cindy Zimmerman BIO, Ethanol

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) this week honored POET founder Jeff Broin will receive the 10th annual George Washington Carver Award for Innovation in Industrial Biotechnology. The award was presented Monday during the 2017 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology.

Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, added, “Jeff Broin is one of the great innovators and entrepreneurs in the industrial biotechnology sector. He ranks among the most influential leaders in agriculture as well. Biofuels have created new markets for agricultural products and rejuvenated rural America. Jeff Broin has positioned POET at the forefront of developing cellulosic ethanol and improving the economics of biofuel production.”

Jeff Broin led the growth of POET from a small 1-million-gallon facility 30 years ago to the current POET network of 28 biorefineries in 7 states with 1,800 team members.

BIO, Ethanol

Fuel Ethanol Production Keeps Growing

Cindy Zimmerman Energy, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Government

The first half of 2017 has seen new records for weekly ethanol output and inventories, according to the latest U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) Today in Energy brief. The report shows a five percent increase over 2016 in U.S. weekly ethanol production, which has averaged 1.02 million barrels per day (b/d) for the first six months of 2017.

On a weekly basis, U.S. ethanol production set a record of 1.06 million b/d in the week of January 27, 2017, and it has averaged near or above 1 million b/d in every week of 2017 except for a few weeks in April, when ethanol plants typically undergo seasonal maintenance. If ethanol production remains relatively high through the second half of the year, as EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) expects, 2017 will set a new record for annual fuel ethanol production.

U.S. ethanol plant capacity increased for the fourth consecutive year in 2017, reaching a nameplate capacity of approximately 15.5 billion gallons per year in January. Annual ethanol production is able to exceed capacity this year because production capacity has likely been added since the January 2017 capacity survey date, and many ethanol plants are able to operate at levels beyond their nameplate production capacity.

Read more from EIA.

Energy, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Government

Comment Period Open for RFS Volume Obligations

Cindy Zimmerman EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News

The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed volume requirements for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel for 2017, and requirements for biomass-based diesel for 2019, was published in the Federal Register Friday, officially opening the comment period on the proposal. Comments must be received on or before August 31, 2017. EPA is also planning a public hearing on the proposal to be held August 1 in Washington D.C.

EPA announced the proposed volume obligations earlier this month, maintaining the 2018 RFS level for conventional biofuels at 15 billion gallons, reducing the cellulosic biofuel requirement to 238 million gallons, and maintaining the minimum required biomass-based diesel volumes at 2.1 billion gallons for 2019, far below the industry request of 2.75 billion gallons.

EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News

Op-Ed Urges Brazil to Reject Ethanol Tariffs

Cindy Zimmerman Brazil, Ethanol, Ethanol News, International

Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen teamed up with former UNICA Chief Representative Joel Velasco to pen an op-ed for Brazilian newspaper Estado de S.Paulo urging the country’s leaders to resist returning to failed protectionist policy over ethanol.

“As the primary advocates for our respective industries, we fought many impassioned battles over trade and tax policy,” wrote Dinneen and Velasco. “As old warriors who have fought this insipid battle too many times before, we implore leaders in Brazil to say no to a return to a protectionist past.”

“There will be no winners, only losers,” the two continue. “Consumers will pay more for ethanol blended gasoline in Brazil. Farmers in both countries will suffer from lost markets. Carbon emissions will rise if U.S. ethanol is replaced by increased petroleum.”

Read the translated version of the op-ed.

Brazil, Ethanol, Ethanol News, International

Ethanol Supporters Disappointed in E15 Bill Delay

Cindy Zimmerman ACE, corn, E15, Ethanol, Government

It was no surprise that the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works decided last week not consider the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act (S. 517) before August recess, given the strong opposition to the bill by committee leadership, but it was still a disappointment to the industry which has vowed to continuing fighting for the legislation to allow E15 to be sold year round.

“ACE members appreciate the leadership of Senators Fischer (R-NE) and Donnelly (D-IN) for spearheading bipartisan legislation to extend Reid vapor pressure (RVP) relief to E15 and higher ethanol blends, and we won’t give up in the face of obstruction from opponents in the Environment and Public Works Committee,” said American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Executive VP Brian Jennings. “As senators return to their home states during the upcoming August recess, we encourage ACE members press them on the need to whip up enough bipartisan support to eventually enact this legislation.”

From the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) – “It is unfortunate that some have turned a focused effort to remove an outdated regulatory barrier into a referendum on a wide range of other issues unrelated to a simple question, which is whether a consumer choice barrier for three months of the year is still justified.”

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said, “We will continue to work with our bipartisan sponsors to enact this bill to provide drivers across the country cleaner fuel options year-round that are better for the environment and save Americans money every time they fill up the gas tank.”

The committee held a hearing on the bill last month where Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) made his opposition clear.

ACE, corn, E15, Ethanol, Government

Senator Blasts Ethanol from the Floor

cindy zimmerman AgWired Energy, Audio, corn, Ethanol, Government, NCGA

As over 200 corn growers were meeting in the nation’s capitol this week, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) blasted corn ethanol in an attempt to kill legislation that would allow 15% ethanol blends to be sold year round, instead of being restricted in some areas during the summer months.

Inhofe began his speech by complaining that “the fossil fuel industry has long been under assault” from people who want to put it out of business but thanks to the election of President Trump “help has arrived.”

The National Corn Growers Association refuted Inhofe’s remarks that, “Land is increasingly set aside for the production of corn to feed the mandate, and the more corn that is diverted to ethanol production, the less there is for our food consumption and for ranchers who need corn to feed their livestock, making the cost of our food rise,” and “Fuels with corn-ethanol are less efficient than gasoline or diesel—by 27 percent.”

The nation’s corn farmers would like to assure Senator Inhofe that, despite his claims to the contrary, corn productivity has increased significantly over the past 10 years, going from an average of 150 bushels per acre in 2007 to 174.6 bushels per acre in 2016. Today’s efficient farmers produce more than enough corn to meet feed, food, and fuel needs, in an increasingly sustainable manner. Corn farmers are also proud that, based on actual corn and ethanol production experience over the past 10 years, ethanol currently results in 43 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline.

Energy Information Administration (EIA) data dispute other claims by the Oklahoma Republican. Inhofe said that “with the shale revolution our dependency on foreign energy has stopped” so the Renewable Fuel Standard is no longer needed. According to EIA, the United States imported just over 10 million barrels per day of petroleum, or about 25 percent of our consumption, with over half coming from OPEC and Persian Gulf nations.

Inhofe also stated that to comply with the RFS, the U.S. has “become reliant on foreign imports of soybeans and ethanol from South America to count towards the RFS.” But, again according to EIA, foreign imports of ethanol have dropped from a high of 11.7 million barrels in 2012 to only 862 thousand last year.

Listen to Inhofe’s remarks here: Sen. Inhofe floor speech

AgWired Energy, Audio, corn, Ethanol, Government, NCGA

15 Year Celebration for Glacial Lakes Energy

Cindy Zimmerman Ethanol, Ethanol News

Glacial Lakes Energy CEO Jim Seurer – from @ACEethanol

Glacial Lakes Energy (GLE) this week celebrated its 15th anniversary and a recently completed unit train shipping facility at its 100-million gallon per year ethanol plant in Watertown, SD plant.

“For the past 15 years, we are proud to have made a significant contribution to our local economy, the value-added agriculture industry, our national energy security and ultimately to consumers,” said GLE CEO Jim Seurer. “Our new state-of-the-art unit train shipping facility is a perfect fit for our future and well positions the company for the next 15 years.”

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen says Glacial Lakes has been a leader in the industry for higher ethanol blends. “Consumers win when there’s a choice at the pump and they benefit even more when they have access to higher ethanol blends such as E30 (30% ethanol), adding high performance octane while lowering prices at the pump. Glacial Lakes Energy has led this effort, and the company’s commitment and leadership is appreciated by the entire industry,” said Dinneen.

Glacial Lakes recently held an E30 Challenge donating 30 cents for every gallon of the fuel sold to the Watertown Boys and Girls Club.

Ethanol, Ethanol News

New Propane Irrigation Engines Available

cindy zimmerman AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Audio, Irrigation, Propane

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has partnered with Origin Engines to develop new 5.7- and 6.2- liter engines, EPA-certified and optimized for industrial applications like irrigation and power generation.

Pete Stout, Origin Engines

PERC invested in the research and development of Origin’s new engines, providing industry expertise and financial support through the research, development, and testing process for the new technology.

“We are excited to introduce these highly efficient, innovative engines to the market,” said Pete Stout, product manager for Origin Engines. “We built our product line based on feedback from the end users because their satisfaction is what is most important to us. We are confident they will be very pleased with these new products.”

The new engines complement Origin’s larger 8.0-, 9.1-, and 10.3-liter engines, which were introduced in 2015, and are now available from distributors Industrial Irrigation, KEM Equipment, and Flint Power and Western Power Products. In addition, a new Propane Farm Incentive Program is offering $300 per liter of fuel displacement for propane-powered irrigation engines (up to $5,000 total), according to Cinch Munson, director of agriculture business development at PERC.

Munson and Stout talked about propane engines for irrigation at the 2014 World LP Gas Forum in Miami when the larger propane engines were first announced. Here is a segment of their remarks about the development and benefits of propane irrigation engines in general. PERC’s Cinch Munson and Origin’s Pete Stout

AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Audio, Irrigation, Propane