Crimson Renewable Energy Expands Biodiesel Plant

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

Crimson Renewable Energy has completed an expansion of its biodiesel plant located in Kern County, California more than tripling annual production. The company says that their plant is a model for the benefits of biodiesel including job creation, local economic support, greenhouse gas emission reductions and air quality improvement. The company held an unveiling event to showcase its updated facility. Several state and local officials attended the celebration and toured the facility.

crimson-renewable-logo2“Transitioning to cleaner, low carbon fuels is a key component for California to achieve our greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals, improve our air quality and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels,” said Commissioner Janea A. Scott of the California Energy Commission who participated in the event. “The Energy Commission is pleased to invest in projects like Crimson Renewable Energy’s biofuels project that will produce some 24 million gallons of low carbon fuel annually.”

Harry Simpson, Crimson Renewable Energy president and CEO said of the completion of the project, “We are thrilled to be in the forefront of the green energy economy. With our expanded plant, Crimson is playing a major role in meeting the state’s growing demand for advanced biofuels and helping California achieve its carbon reduction and clean air goals while making a large positive contribution to the state’s economy.” Simpson added, “The success of our facility is a prime example of why it is critical for the public and state’s policymakers to continue supporting the development of renewable transportation fuels, particularly ultra-low carbon advanced biofuels.”

A grant from the California Energy Commission enabled Crimson to complete the multi-million dollar project. The funds were distributed through the Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program. Plant improvements and upgrades included expansion of steam and other existing systems as well as the installation of new second generation systems, which will enable the plant reduce unit energy consumption and water consumption by 10-15 percent, according to Simpson. He said the biodiesel facility is now ramping up to its new full production level of 24 million gallons per year of ultra-low carbon biodiesel fuel made entirely from used cooking oils and other inedible raw materials.

High-ranking officials from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) were also on hand. “The advanced biofuels being developed right here in Kern County clearly demonstrate the viability and promise of California’s emissions reduction program,” said Dean Florez, a CARB board member. “The expansion of Crimson’s operation is not only an example of green business growth, but it also shows how the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and other policies are effectively addressing climate change and protecting public health by improving air quality in a very tangible way.”

advance biofuels, Biodiesel

BioEnergy Bytes

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

  • BioEnergyBytesDF1NuBlu Energy has announced that it has begun the construction of a natural gas liquefaction plant in Port Allen, LA.  Strategically located along the Mississippi River, NuBlu’s flagship facility will support the region’s high-horsepower fueling applications such as rail, marine, long haul transportation, power generation, gas interruption, asphalt and other energy markets.  The facility is slated to be operational and producing high-quality liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the second quarter of 2017. Total planned capacity of the facility is 90,000 gallons per day with an initial start-up capacity of 30,000 GPD.
  • Advanced Biofuels Canada (ABFC) has labelled a new report from Canada’s Ecofiscal commission one of the worst ever that falls short on accuracy, balance, scientific rigour and knowledege of subject. The report aims to provide guidance for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. ABFC says if the recommendations in “Course Correction Why it’s time to rethink Canadian biofuel policies,” were followed, GHGs from the transportation industry would significantly increase and be a step backwards in meeting the country’s climate action commitments.
  • GreenWood Resources has licensed an Oak Ridge National Laboratory technology based on the discovery of a gene in poplar (Populus trichocarpa) that makes it easier to convert poplar trees into biofuels. GreenWood, a global timberland investment and asset management company based in Oregon, plans to commercialize the technology to select and breed better varieties of poplar with less lignin content, which simplifies the conversion process and ultimately lowers the overall costs of biofuel production.
  • The Times of India is reporting that the Union government will invest Rs 15,000 crore to increase the capacity of Panipat oil refinery in Haryana from existing 15 million tonnes (MT) to 25 MT to improve the quality of fuel and create more employment opportunities. As part of the plan, an ethanol plant would be built at a cost of Rs 500 crore by the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) in Panipat to generate alternative fuel from agricultural residue that would boost the farm sector.
Bioenergy Bytes

Fed-Ex, Clean Energy Open Okie CNG Station

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Fed-Ex along with Clean Energy Fuels Corporation have opened a new compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station in Oklahoma. Armed with cutting edge technology, the CNG station will enable Fed-Ex to fuel more than 100 of its Freight Class 8 trucks with fast fueling technology.

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-11-12-20-pmDuring a ribbon cutting ceremony, Clean Energy also announced plans to supply the station with its Redeem renewable natural gas (RNG) vehicle fuel. According to the company, this fuel can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 70 percent as compared to traditional diesel.

The event at the FedEx Freight Oklahoma City Service Center was attended by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, FedEx chairman and CEO Fred Smith, Clean Energy co-founder Boone Pickens, and Clean Energy president and CEO Andrew Littlefair, as well as many other federal, state and local and industry officials.

“As one of the largest logistics companies in the world, FedEx does its homework when charting a new course and their decision to open up a major CNG fueling center was no different,” said Andrew J. Littlefair, CEO and president of Clean Energy during the celebration. “Led by Fred’s vision, the company has always had a commitment to operate on the highest sustainable level. Transitioning a portion of FedEx Freight’s fleet to a fuel that will substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions is another example of their leadership.”

Alternative Vehicles, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Natural Gas

Growth Energy, Sheetz Promote #E15 in N. Carolina

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway took place this week and Sheetz, one of the country’s largest E15 retailers, showcased their car alongside Growth Energy as a means to raise awareness of the ethanol fuel blend. E15, which fueled the Sheetz #62 car, is now available at 61 Sheetz stations across North Carolina. During the promotion, the fuel was featured during pit stops at five local locations where drivers were able to check out the race car driven by Brendan Gaughan. Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts and Durham Mayor Bill Bell recently designated Sept. 16 as E15 Day in their cities.

Photo Credit: @AmericanEthanol

Photo Credit: @AmericanEthanol

“We are proud of our partnership with Sheetz, a retailer committed to providing their customers with the best fueling options in North Carolina,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “E15 has been powering teams to victory on the racetrack for the last five years, reducing emissions and boosting performance. North Carolina drivers can now find this same high-performance, 21st century fueling option at Sheetz stores across the state.”

As part of this week’s events, the Sheetz car made appearances at North Carolina stations in Statesville, Troutman, Conover, Hickory and Salisbury.

“We enjoy working with Growth Energy to ensure our loyal customers have the best, most extensive selection of fuels to choose from at the pump,” added Mike Lorenz, executive vice president of petroleum supply for Sheetz. “We believe drivers should be able to choose a fuel option that suits their needs. E15, which contains 5 percent more ethanol than standard gasoline, has a higher octane level than regular gasoline, which translates to more horsepower. It’s also cleaner burning and cheaper, three benefits we believe our customers will appreciate.”

Sheetz is also taking part in Growth Energy’s annual Pink Out program, where two cents from the sale of every gallon of E15 will be donated to the fight against breast cancer. Sheetz has chosen to direct their contributions to the American Cancer Society.

American Ethanol, E15, Ethanol, Growth Energy, Retailers

POET to Add Combined Heat & Power to #Ethanol Plants

Joanna Schroeder 1 Comment

POET is adding new combined heat and power energy generation systems to six of its biorefineries located in Ohio and Indiana. The new systems, that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve ethanol’s environmental footprint, will reduce the ethanol plants’ reliance on electrical energy grid as well as recover waste energy to be used in the plants.

POETThe system will use steam produced in a turbine to generate electricity to run the plant and recover waste energy from the turbine to meet additional energy demands. According to POET, this is an advantage because its makes dual use of the energy used to power the ethanol process. All of the ethanol facility upgrades are expected to be complete in 2017.

“This is very exciting for POET and renewable fuels. We are already much better than gasoline in overall emissions. Finding ways to make additional use of steam is a great opportunity to improve our environmental footprint even more,” said POET CEO Jeff Broin. “Ethanol today is a clean, renewable biofuel that reduces cancer causing aromatics in gasoline, and with upgrades like this we will continue to become even more environmentally friendly.”

POET already employs a number of strategies to lower energy use in its biorefineries. The patented BPX process uses enzymes instead of heat for fermentation. Additionally, heat is shared between processes such as distillation and evaporation to get maximum production with the minimum amount of energy use.

Alternative energy, Environment, Ethanol, POET

REG Gray’s Harbor Set for Improvements

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REG Grays Harbor is a 100-million gallon nameplate biodiesel refinery (center) and terminal operations at the Port of Grays Harbor near Hoquiam, Washington. (Photo: Business Wire)

REG Grays Harbor is a 100-million gallon nameplate biodiesel refinery (center) and terminal operations at the Port of Grays Harbor near Hoquiam, Washington. (Photo: Business Wire)

REG Grays Harbor, LLC is set for several improvements with compliments of an additional $5 million credit facility from Umpqua Bank. The bioefinery is the largest of all of Renewable Energy Group’s (REG) biodiesel plants with a nameplate capacity of $100 million gallons of biodiesel per year. This is just one major plant upgrade investment REG has recently made. Last week the company held a celebration for the completion of significant upgrades to its facility in Danville, Illinois.

“This new credit facility gives REG Grays Harbor additional capital to further enhance the plant’s capabilities and other continuous improvement projects,” said Chad Stone, REG CFO. “We appreciate the confidence Umpqua Bank has shown in REG more specifically in the operations at Grays Harbor, and we are grateful for Umpqua’s support.”

This is the second line of credit with the bank giving REG a non-revolving credit of $5 million when the country’s largest biodiesel producer acquired the biofinery in August 2015. The majority of the funds were used for capital improvements through July 2016.

Officials at Umpqua also commented on the investment. “We have enjoyed our relationship with REG Grays Harbor as a corporate banking partner and are happy to be a part of the company’s growth,” said Richard Cabrera, executive vice president, Corporate Banking for Umpqua Bank. “Not only is the company a vibrant member of our business community, but also a role model for innovation by providing socially conscious and environmentally friendly renewable fuel. We value our association with REG Grays Harbor and look forward to our continued contribution to its success.”

advance biofuels, Biodiesel, REG

Enroll in Biofuels Academy

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-4-49-25-pmEnroll in the Biofuels Academy, which will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 3. in Des Moines, Iowa. The academy is designed as The Practical Workshop for ethanol plant operators, organized around lectures and troubleshooting exercises that put classroom theory into context. Laboratory and functional demonstrations will be conducted as part of the training.

This year, attendees will receive a comprehensive, hands-on overview of a variety of fuel ethanol processing areas, including:
– Milling/grind optimization
– Fundamentals of yeast and nutrition
– Fundamentals of distillation
– Hygiene contamination & control

The cost is $1350 for all registrations and is designed to educate people that have the day-to-day responsibility to produce ethanol most effectively and efficiently as possible.

Ag group, biofuels, Education

Taurus Energy Joins MN Bio-Fuels Association

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

Sweden-based Taurus Energy has become the latest member of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association. The company, which also has operations in Minnesota, is a research and development business that develops yeasts for ethanol production, among other industries.

A Taurus Energy scientist at the company's lab in Gothenburg, Sweden. Photo provided by Taurus Energy.

A Taurus Energy scientist at the company’s lab in Gothenburg, Sweden. Photo provided by Taurus Energy.

We are pleased to welcome Taurus Energy as our latest vendor member. Taurus Energy has made new forays into yeast technology and we look forward to working with them as they expand their presence in Minnesota,” said Tim Rudnicki, executive director of Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association.

Taurus Energy holds over 10 patent families, and the company says it provides ethanol producers technology and methods to produce ethanol from new plant material as well as increase yields and profitability in corn ethanol production.

“For one thing there already exists a cultural bond between Sweden and Minnesota, including an ongoing technology exchange in the bioenergy field between our two countries,” said Eddy Christensson, COO of Taurus Energy’s Minnesota operations. He added, “From Taurus, we hope to participate in biofuel job-creating projects from the timberland in northern Minnesota and to work with existing corn ethanol plants to increase their yield and profitability from added cellulose ethanol production.”

In 2015, Taurus Energy and Canada’s Lallemand Biofuel & Distilled Spirits entered into a partnership to develop, market, sell and distribute the former’s Gen 2 XyloFerm yeast platform, which is a cellulosic yeast that offers minimal byproduct formation with a high tolerance for inhibitors common with cellulosic substrates. In addition, the two companies are in talks to supply this yeast technology to Sweetwater Energy’s proposed bio-chemical and ethanol biorefinery set to be built in Mountain Iron, Minnesota.

biofuels, enzymes, Ethanol

RFA Celebrates National Farmers Day

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

Today is National Farmers Day and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is sending out a big thank you to farmers in honor of their role in producing food, fuel and fiber for the U.S. and the world. RFA quotes the words of Thomas Jefferson, “Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals and happiness.”

culxdf7weaapxaaThis morning USDA issued the latest statistics on the corn harvest and once again, American corn farmers are set to post another record with corn production estimated to be 15.1 billion bushels for the 2016/2017 harvest. This feat is more than double the production only 25 years ago. For example, in 1991, corn production was 7.48 billion bushels. Also this year the USDA is forecasting another record yield of 173.4 bushels per acre, surpassing the 171 bushels per acre recorded in 2014.

Of this massive haul, the U.S. ethanol industry used 5.25 billion bushels of corn last year valued at $19 billion. This was used to produce nearly 15 billion gallons of ethanol and 40 million metric tons of dried distillers grains, or DDGS, an animal feed, returning the feed grade portion of corn back into the marketplace. In all, the ethanol coupled with DDGs production was valued at more than $31 billion.

Bob Dinneen, RFA president and CEO thanked America’s farmers on behalf of the ethanol industry. “Ethanol continues to be the most important value-added market for America’s farmers, helping to drive investment in rural America while allowing Congress to reduce federal farm program costs. At the same time, ethanol is helping to clean the air, address global climate change, enhance U.S. energy security and lower consumer gasoline costs. Given all that farmers do to help feed and fuel the world, every day should be National Farmer’s Day.

corn, Distillers Grains, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

Young Scientists Scholarship to National Biodiesel Conference

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

National-Biodiesel-Board-LogoCollege science students interested in learning about all aspects of the biodiesel industry can apply for a travel scholarship to attend the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo, Jan. 16 – 19 in San Diego. The application process is open for members of the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel for scholarships, and to present a poster on their research or outreach activities. Apply by Nov. 18 for the travel $600 travel reimbursement from the National Biodiesel Board, the United Soybean Board and the National Biodiesel Foundation.

Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel is a National Biodiesel Board (NBB) program intended to foster professional relationships between budding and established scientists, share accurate information and increase collaboration with academia and the biodiesel industry.

Student opportunities include a poster session and breakout session to present their research, a preconference biodiesel educational overview and a mentoring lunch with prominent biodiesel scientists.

Last year, more than 30 students attended the event from schools including Colorado State University, Clemson University, Yale University and the University of Missouri

Many of the students, who came from a wide range of disciplines, noted the impact the event made on them.

“The biggest change on my views of biodiesel after attending the conference was in my understanding of what makes biodiesel sustainable,” said Jesse Mayer, a biochemistry major at the University of Nevada—Reno. “Now I’m always sure to stress the minimal impact biodiesel has on food production in lab meetings and in other interactions with colleagues.”

Ag group, Biodiesel, Biodiesel Conference, biofuels