Montreal-Trudeau Airport for Biojet Pilot Program

The next step in Canada’s Biojet Supply Chain Initiative (CBSCI) has been determined. Air Canada has announced the three-year collaborative project will take place at the Montréal-Trudeau Airport. The goal of the program, that includes 14 stakeholders, is to use 400,000 litres of aviation biojet (biofuel) into a shared fuel system.

Air Canada's first biojet fueled flightAviation fuel is not new to Air Canada. The airline has flown with biojet fuel but the biofuel was segregated from traditional jet fuel and loaded separately into the aircraft via a tanker truck. However, this program aims to integrate the two fuels together and create the ability for a multi-user, co-mingled airport fuel supply system. One goal of the project is to identify and help solve supply logistic barriers that arise when aviation biofuels are introduced at major Canadian airports.

“We are pleased that this important initiative will be held at Montréal-Trudeau Airport,” said Teresa Ehman, director – Environmental Affairs at Air Canada. “Air Canada has invested billions of dollars in fleet renewal to reduce our fuel consumption and meet our current emission reduction goals. Biojet holds the potential to be an important part of our strategy for achieving our longer-term industry goals of carbon neutral growth from 2020 and a 50 per cent reduction in emissions by 2050, relative to 2005 levels. The CBSCI project will contribute significantly to advancing a biojet supply chain in Canada by facilitating the logistics involved in the introduction of biojet to an airport’s shared fuel system.”

This is the first of its kind project in Canada and one step in getting the aviation industry closer to creating a sustainable supply chain of renewable feedstocks for use in biojet fuel. The bioject used in the CBSCI project will be sourced from commercially available, certifiably sustainable Canadian oleochemical feedstocks using the Hydroprocessed Esters and a Fatty Acids (HEFA) conversion process. The biojet will be blended with petroleum jet fuel to meet all technical quality specifications before being introduced into a shared fuel tank at Montreal-Trudeau Airport.

“This initiative is consistent with Aéroports de Montréal’s (ADM) efforts to reduce GHG emissions. We are proud that Air Canada has chosen Montréal–Trudeau for this project. Let’s hope that this will be just the start of a strong short- and medium-term partnership to ensure the project’s success,” added ADM President and Chief Executive Officer James Cherry.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDF1A new initiative has been launched as part of the U.S. DOE’s Sunshot program – Orange Button. The initiative is designed to simplify and standardize data across the solar project lifestyle, enhance data quality, and make solar transactions more efficient. SGIP and partner Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) are organizing a wide array of market participants to drive strategy and to collect business requirements from a variety of perspectives. They are asking industry leaders to join them in defining the strategy and business requirements to make solar projects more bankable by signing up to participate in one of five working groups. More info about Orange Button and how to participate can be found here.
  • Green Plains Inc. has announced that its board of directors appointed Ejnar Knudsen as an independent director, effective May 5, 2016. Mr. Knudsen has joined the board as its tenth director, filling a vacant position, whose term expires at the 2017 annual meeting.
  • According to a new report released by the Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance, “Advanced Energy Jobs in Texas,” employment in Texas’s advanced energy industry stands at an estimated 143,023 workers. This is more people than are employed in chemical manufacturing and petroleum refining, twice as many as employed by airlines, and nearly as many working in building construction in the Lone Star State. Employers engaged in advanced energy business expect to increase their workforce by 7% this year, which would bring Texas’s advanced energy industry to over 152,000 jobs.

Bill Attempts to Cap Ethanol Blends

A new bill was introduced this week that would cap ethanol blends in the U.S. transportation fuel system to no more than 9.7 percent by volume. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Jim Costa (D-Calif.), all biofuel critics. This bill is in conflict to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), an energy policy designed to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign sources of oil.

Ethanol Pump Photo May 2016 Joanna Schroeder

Photo Credit: Joanna Schroeder

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen responded to the bill by saying, “Passage of this bill would represent a complete capitulation to the oil industry that steadfastly refuses to provide consumers higher octane, lower cost alternative fuels at the pump. They whine about a so-called blend wall even as they continue to build it themselves by denying consumer access to E15 and E85. The RFS was made necessary by oil company intransigence. It was intended to break the stranglehold oil companies have on the motor fuel market by forcing access. This bill would gut the RFS and send America’s energy and climate change policy back decades. Americans want choices at the pump, they want to see lower carbon fuels, they want to spend less on motor fuel, and they want to stimulate investments in new technologies and new fuels to drive our economy in a low carbon world. This bill would sacrifice all of that at the altar of Big Oil, and that is why it will never pass.”

Setting the Record Straight: #Ethanol & Marine Engines

Engine and marine experts called on Washington lawmakers this week to get the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) back on track. The White House Office of Management and Budget is expected to release its review of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed blending requirements for biofuels in 2017 soon. Fuels America hosted a panel discussion and press call with several certified mechanics, engine performance experts and professional fisherman who discussed the benefits of ethanol including the environmental benefits for marine life and engine performance as well as dispelled myths about ethanol. In addition, the panelists addressed misconceptions about ethanol use in classic cars in response to recent comments by Jay Leno.

From left to right: Marc Rauch, Executive Vice President and Co-Publisher at the Auto Channel; Joel Hennen, President and Owner of Hennen’s Auto Service; Brian Sowers, Co-Host of Crappie Masters TV; & Keith Holmes, President and Owner of CK Motorsports

From left to right: Marc Rauch, Executive Vice President and Co-Publisher at the Auto Channel; Joel Hennen, President and Owner of Hennen’s Auto Service; Brian Sowers, Co-Host of Crappie Masters TV; & Keith Holmes, President and Owner of CK Motorsports

According to Keith Holmes, president and owner of CK Motorsports based in Nunica, Michigan, the National Boat Racing Association exclusively uses E10 for all of its races. “We work on a wide variety of racing engines for watercraft, and they run at their absolute best on a high-octane ethanol blend.” Holmes, who is a certified marine racing technician, stressed that ethanol burns cleaner and cooler and since the introduction of E10 into the sport, many racers have found that many engine parts have a 25 to 50 percent longer lifespan.

“It doesn’t matter whether a boat has a two-stroke or four-stroke engine, an in-board or out-board motor, or a built-in or portable fuel tank,” explained Marc Rauch, executive vice president and co-publisher at the Auto Channel, based in Louisville, Kentucky. “Decades of experience with modern engines shows that E10 is the best fuel for marine applications. As an oxygen booster, ethanol replaces toxins like MTBE, which are notorious for contaminating water supplies. And it reduces CO2 emissions by 34 to 100 percent or more compared to gasoline.”

While Rauch and Holmes stressed the marine engine performance benefits of ethanol, also noting that E15 is not approved for use in marine engines, Brian Sowers, the co-host of Crappie Masters TV stressed the biofuels environmental benefits. “I want to take my grandkids fishing someday. That means having clean water and clean air. Mixing ethanol into our fuel is the best way to reduce the pollutants that fossil fuels leave behind, so our lakes and rivers stay clean and marine life can flourish.” Sowers covers the Crappie Masters All American Tournament Trail based in Clinton, Missouri and noted that 100 percent of the tournament winners use ethanol blends.

Major boat manufactures approve the use of E10 and Joel Hennen, president and owner of Shakopee, Minnesota-based Hennen’s Auto Service, said that if a boat owner properly takes care of his boat, then ethanol will pose no problems. He also noted that in his area, boaters ask for and use, ethanol. “We serve communities on the Minnesota River and Prior Lake, and our customers expect to have choices at the pump. Companies like Kawasaki, Mercury Marine, OMC, Pleasurecraft, Tigershark, Tracker, Honda, and Yamaha all approve the use of E10 in their engines. The labels are clear, and whether customers have a flex fuel vehicle or a race boat, we make it easy to pick the most affordable option with the lowest emissions.”

Learn more about ethanol, marine engines and other ethanol myths by listening to the full press conference: The Truth About #Ethanol & Marine Engines

USDA, DOE Invest $10M in Green Energy Research

Biomass Photo Credit Joanna Schroeder

Photo Credit: Joanna Schroeder

A joint venture has been forged between the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to help fund green energy research designed to develop more efficient biofuel production and agricultural feedstock improvements. The venture has been allocated $10 million from the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI).

“Advancements in bioenergy research will help protect our national energy security, reduce pollution, and bolster our energy supply,” said Cathie Woteki, under secretary for USDA’s Research, Education & Economics mission area. “Producing more renewable and biobased energy can also revitalize rural communities with a new economic market and provide farmers a profitable and sustainable investment through on-farm energy resources.”

Funding recipients include:

  • University of California-Riverside, Riverside, Calif., $1,297,725
  • University of Montana, Missoula, Mont., $1,403,868
  • Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H., $1,849,940
  • State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, N.Y., $906,722
  • North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Durham, N.C., $1,873,987
  • The Department of Energy funded projects by Ohio State University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The grant awards will be administered by the NIFA and DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. BRDI is a program designed to foster the development of sustainable sources of biomass and increase the availability, technology and economics of renewable fuels and biobased products.

Bobby Likis Addresses Ethanol Myths

This past weekend Bobby Likis debuted a video that tackles ethanol myths including those around the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Likis is a 20 plus year automotive expert, engine builder and repair shop owner among other qualifications. One of his platforms for education is his national syndicated radio program Bobby Likis Car Clinic and over the past several years, has taken an industry leadership position around the use of ethanol.

The video, sponsored by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), addresses myths around the RFS, specifically that the legislation does not eliminate any fuel. As such, retail stations can still sell E0 (gasoline with no ethanol) along with other fuel options such as E15 and E85. Also addressed is ethanol damage, ethanol use in classic cars, phase separation, gasoline volatility, and more.

Watch the video now and help bust some ethanol myths.

US Ethanol Exports Swing Upwards

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is reporting that U.S. ethanol exports totaled 95.3 million gallons (mg) in March, a 42 percent increase from February. This is also the highest monthly volume in more than four years. The data comes from the latest report from the U.S. government. The top export market was China (37 mg) followed by Brazil (20.7 mg) and Canada (16.2 mg). Year-to-date ethanol exports are 249.4 mg and RFA says the U.S. is on pace to ship 1 billion gallons of exports this year.

March ethanol exports and imports March exports of denatured fuel ethanol were 50.1 mg, an increase of 49 percent from February. Two countries accounted for 99 percent of denatured fuel ethanol exports—China received 35.3 mg, while Canada took in 14.3 mg. Brazil was the only other major importer of denatured fuel ethanol in March, bringing in 0.5 mg.

Undenatured fuel ethanol exports stood at 41.2 mg in March, up 32 percent from February. At 20.7 mg, Brazil received roughly half of the undenatured product shipments followed by India (4.1 mg), Peru (3.3 mg), South Korea (3.3 mg), Jamaica (2.9 mg), Mexico (2.6 mg), and China (1.7 mg). Exports of denatured and undenatured ethanol for non-fuel, non-beverage use totaled 4.0 mg in March followed by Canada (1.9 mg) and Sweden (1.6 mg).

Exports of dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) totaled 822,945 metric tons (mt) in March, up 5 percent from February. Mexico was the top destination for DDGS exports (142,117 mt) while China’s imports were down 42 percent from February (121,619 mt) followed by South Korea (83,196 mt), Vietnam (71,840 mt), Turkey (60,997 mt), Indonesia (51,554 mt), and Thailand (42,328 mt). Year-to-date DDGS exports through the first quarter stood at 2.4 million mt.

NCGA Releases Ethanol Toolkit

NCGA-Logo-3In light of the long-term uncertainty of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) has created a new set of tools. The toolkit, available for state affiliates, was designed to assist the associations and their members in defending the RFS with consistent messaging targeted at policy leaders, environmental groups, businesses and general public.

NCGA says the goal of this toolkit is to help create a unified voice for the corn industry that reflects and capitalizes on the work that has already taken place in defense of the RFS. The kit contains information, trends and lessons learned from state organizations along with the NCGA Action App, material samples, timelines, checklists and messaging documents.

Nebraska Celebrates Renewable Fuels Month

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has proclaimed May “Renewable Fuels Month”. The aim is to recognize the benefits the ethanol and biodiesel industries have provide the state. Nebraska is home to 25 ethanol plants making it the country’s second largest ethanol producing state behind Iowa. There is currently one biodiesel plant producing 50 million gallons with a second plant located in Beatrice, Nebraska expected to go online this year.

COURTESY_ethanolpumpsRenewable biofuels have absolutely transformed the economic landscape in Nebraska,” said Ron Pavelka, a farmer from Glenvil and chairman of the Nebraska Soybean Board. “The additional demand for Nebraska commodities created by renewable fuels production has created a new market for farmers, generated significant investment and tax revenue in rural communities, and created good paying jobs in areas of the state that really need them.”

David Merrell, a farmer from St. Edward and chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board, noted, “The growth of renewable biofuels has helped reduce our nation’s dependence on imported petroleum, reduced prices at the pump and provided greater choice for consumers. But perhaps the most important benefit of these fuels is their dramatically positive impact on the environment and on human health.”

For example, Merrell says adding biodiesel to the tank reduces hydrocarbon emissions by 67 percent and reduces lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by 86 percent compared to diesel fuel. The 2.1 billion gallons of biodiesel used in 2015 reduced the amount of carbon in the atmosphere by 18.2 million metric tons, the equivalent of removing 3.8 million cars from the road or planting 466 million trees. In addition, Merrell explains that ethanol is a non-toxic, clean-burning fuel that dramatically reduces the level of toxics added to gasoline to increase octane, including proven and suspected carcinogens such as benzene, toluene and xylene.

“Since these toxics do not completely combust in the engine, they enter the atmosphere through exhaust emissions and are directly connected to cancer, heart disease and asthma in humans,” Merrell added. “The more ethanol we add to gasoline, the lower the levels of these harmful toxics in the air we breathe.”