#ACE2016 – Mo’ #E15 Gallons Please

Joanna Schroeder

Consumers and retailers are calling for “Mo’ Gallons” said Ron Lamberty, VP of Market Development during the opening session of the American Coalition for Ethanol’s 29th annual Ethanol Conference. During his opening remarks he focused on the need and movement to get more E15 and higher blend pumps across the country. The theme of his presentation was “Do the Math.” Why? Because when you do the math, you will see that offering consumers more choice in the form of E15, mid-level ethanol blends and ethanol blends such as E85, “they will come” and retailers will have a financial economic advantage over their competitors.

DSC_0855ACE’s market development efforts have always focused on expanding existing markets. When they go out and meet with marketers about expanding ethanol blend offerings, Lamberty said they tell them to do the math – Why this is a good deal for a marketer?  i.e. How you can make more money with ethanol? Back in 2008-2009 ACE partnered with the Renewable Fuels Association to launch the BYO campaign -Blend Your Own Ethanol. With programs such as this, Lamberty said the industry has been ahead of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in terms of expanding ethanol’s market.

Going forward, Lamberty said they have realized that the retailer is the customer, not the consumer, so they have been focusing their efforts on retailers. Last year they launched the Flex Fuel Forward site. Here retailers can learn more about the value proposition of ethanol. In addition, in an effort to do a better job of showing how to do the math, ACE launched an animation last year and during this year’s conference, unveiled their new publication, E15 and Flex Fuel Retailer Roadmap.

Lamberty thanked the ethanol industry along with retailers for all they have done in this arena and concluded, “I ask you to remember when you talk to marketers do the math, help them do the math, and if they don’t know the math, call me, I like to teach math at least at this level.”

Listen to Ron Lamberty’s presentation here: Ron Lamberty, ACE, Opening Remarks

2016 ACE Annual Ethanol Conference Photo Album

ACE, ACE Ethanol Conference, E15, E85, Ethanol, Retailers

Cattle Producer Talks DDGs at #ACE2016

Lizzy Schultz

ace-16-giese2 The growth of the ethanol industry and the use of dried distillers grains (DDGs), a co-product of ethanol production, as livestock feed have both harnessed significant controversy and skepticism from livestock producers through the years, and the use of distillers grains as livestock feed was a major topic of discussion at this year’s American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Conference, held this week in Minneapolis.

Al Giese, Co-Owner & Manager of Prarie Feed & Trucking (PFT), has worked as an agronomist, an animal nutrition expert, and is a cattle producer himself. Gives uses DDGs in his cattle’s rations, and he sat down to speak with AgWired’s Joanna Schroeder during the 2016 ACE Conference to discuss the benefits he has found through their use.

“In the early phases of the ethanol industry, there was a lot of confusion among livestock producers who felt that the ethanol industry was driving up their feed prices by increasing the price of corn, the value of ethanol co-products in the animal ration was not clearly understood,” said Giese in an interview during the 2016 ACE Conferece. “But now we’ve found that the ethanol industry is not dramatically affecting the price of corn at this point, given where the prices are right now, and now virtually every ration in a feedlot in dairies and ranches includes a dry distillers grain.”

Giese explained that the distillers grains offer a type of nutritional and economic efficiency that simply cannot be found in whole corn products.

“Distillers grains from ethanol allows the animal producer to achieve their least cost ration and optimum animal performance, which increases their profitability,” he said. “The reason this has worked to the benefit of the livestock producer is because the nutrient value of DDGs, pound for pound, is greater than corn. It’s the protein we’re after, we want to achieve the maximum protein level at minimum cost. I have not seen a ration in years where you could not least cost the ration because of the product’s nutritional value, primarily related to protein.”

Listen to Joanna’s full interview with Al here:
Interview with Al Giese, Prairie Feed & Trucking

View and download photos from the event here: 2016 ACE Ethanol Conference Photo Album

ACE Ethanol Conference, Ag group, Audio, Distillers Grains, livestock feed

Sen Ernst & IA Gov Branstad to Visit Quad County

Joanna Schroeder

Quad County logoQuad County Corn Processors will be hosting two special guests on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Iowa Governor Terry Branstad. The two are set to arrive at the ethanol biorefinery at 9:15 am CT.

Senator Ernst and Governor Branstad will tour Quad County’s state-of-the-art Cellerate process technology production facility and then meet with Quad County staff and board members to discuss cellulosic ethanol issues. Two specific items on the agenda include: the need to get high compression engines manufactured by auto companies to increase the ethanol market to be large enough to need cellulosic ethanol; and the need for an RVP waiver for E15.

Also in attendance will be Jack Bernens, Head of Enogen at Syngenta; Ponsi Trivisvavet, President of Syngenta Seeds, LLC; Jeff Sands, Manager, Federal Government Relations at Syngenta; and Monte Shaw, Executive Director, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

biofuels, Cellulosic, corn, Ethanol

RFA Hosting Safety Seminars in Delaware & NJ

Joanna Schroeder

rfalogo1Next week the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is hosting four free ethanol safety seminars in Deleware and New Jersey. The Delaware seminars will be held on Aug. 16, 2016 in Wilmington, with the first session from 9:00 am –2:00 pm ET and the second from 5:30 pm –10 pm ET. Both events will be held at the Wilmington Emergency Operation Center. These seminars are held with grants from the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

There will also be two ethanol safety seminars in Mahwah, New Jersey, on Aug. 18, 2016 The first session will be held from 9:00 am –2:00 pm ET and the second session will be held from 5:30 pm –10 pm ET. Both events will be held at the Bergen County Fire Academy.

Attendees will receive in-depth information on proper training techniques that emergency responders and hazmat personnel need to effectively respond to an ethanol-related emergency. Certificates of Completion will be handed out to all attendees at the end of each safety seminar. The seminars are free to attend and open to the public.

“Safety is our number one goal, and these ethanol seminars provide excellent training for first responders and others who wants to attend,” said Steve Kramer, interim fire coordinator at Western Tech in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. “As a previous ethanol safety seminar attendee, these events are well worth the time.”

The New Jersey seminars are being held through a grant with TRANSCAER and the Federal Railroad Administration, and in partnership with The New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway (NYSW). “Events like these are important as we educate emergency responders on proper training techniques,” said Melanie Boyer, spokeswoman for NYSW. “While rail accidents are rare, we want to make sure everyone is properly briefed.

Click here to register.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA, safety

U.S. Navy Completes Sea Trial with Renewable Diesel

Joanna Schroeder

The Navy is advancing its commitment to renewable fuels. Recently a Navy ship operated on a 100 percent drop-in renewable diesel fuel produced by Applied Research Associates (ARA) and Chevron Lummus Global. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division’s (NSWC PHD) Self Defense Test Ship (SDTS) completed final-phase testing of ReadiDiesel, a 100 percent  renewable biofuel.

The ex-Paul F. Foster anchored off the southern coast of California. Paul F. Foster serves as the new Self Defense Test Ship for Naval Surface Warfare Center. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy M. Black/Released)

The ex-Paul F. Foster anchored off the southern coast of California. Paul F. Foster serves as the new Self Defense Test Ship for Naval Surface Warfare Center. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy M. Black/Released)

One objective of the test was to demonstrate that ReadiDiesel is a drop-in replacement for petroleum-sourced F-76 marine diesel, meaning that it requires no blending with petroleum-derived fuels, equipment modifications or operational modifications by the crew. The second objective was to ensure that ReadiDiesel performs equally to, or better than, existing petroleum-derived fuels.

The SDTS took on approximately 18,000 gallons of the renewable fuel in San Diego, California, and the renewable diesel fuel powered the Self Defense Test Ship’s General Electric LM-2500 gas-turbine engine and a Rolls Royce 501 K-17 gas-turbine generator.

We are excited to work with the U.S. Navy as it takes this important step toward the use of 100 percent drop-in renewable diesel fuel in its ships,” said Chuck Red, vice president of fuels development for ARA. “Our renewable fuels continue to prove their viability as a 100 percent replacement for petroleum in diesel and jet fuel applications, and we look forward to the opportunity to work with our Navy partners to support their operational needs. Our goal remains to be able to provide an alternative, unblended renewable fuel that increases our nation’s energy security at prices competitive with petroleum.”

According to ARA, the test lasted nearly 12 hours while the ship traveled along the Southern California Coast to Port Hueneme. Navy engineers monitored the performance of the gas-turbine engines and generators while running on petroleum F-76 prior to taking on the ReadiDiesel to establish a baseline for comparison. While operating on the renewable diesel, the ship successfully completed multiple engine starts and speed changes. There were no mechanical, operational or qualitative differences.

The data collected from the trial will be fully analyzed and the results summarized in a final report. Prior to testing aboard the SDTS, ReadiDiesel went through fit-for-purpose, component, and full-scale engine testing. The component and full-scale engine testing included performance tests to determine the combustion quality and emissions. In all, ARA provided 79,000 gallons of ReadiDiesel for the test program.

advance biofuels, aviation biofuels, military, renewable diesel

Retailers Share Success Stories at #ACE2016

Joanna Schroeder

ace16-primethepump-panelSeveral retail chains have been leading the way in bringing E15 and E85 to consumers. One of these chains, based in the Northeast, is Sheetz. While some retailers are focusing on E15, others are focusing on E85 such as Pearson Fuels. Representatives from both of these chains took the stage this week during the 29th annual ACE Ethanol Conference for the panel discussion, “Progress at the Pump: A Conversation with Leading Retailers on E15 and Flex Fuels.

Mike Lorenz is the executive vice president, petroleum supply, for Sheetz, based in Pennsylvania. The company is the largest single retailer of E15 in the country and unveiled their first E15 pump in North Carolina in August of 2015. Bob Sheetz founded the company in 1952 and since then has grown into a leading retail chain operating today in six states.

ace16-lorenz-panelLorenz noted that the ethanol industry has a sense of family unlike oil which has a “dark side”. He also noted that the market needs pull from consumers and he believes this can be in the form of E15. However, one issue will need to be resolved for the fuel to really take off, he said, and that is to change regulations to allow E15 to be sold year round.

Listen to Mike Lorenz’s comments here: Mike Lorenz, Sheetz, Presentation

Also on the docket was Mike Lewis, general manager of Pearson Fuels, based in San Diego, California. His company was on the forefront of offering E85 to Southern California drivers. To date, his company has developed 19 stations from different brands to sell E85 including their own Pearson Fuels Branded retail station. The retailer has plans to add another 15 additional sites. In addition, Pearson Fuels also has a fuel depot where they sell ethanol.

ace-16-lewisOne program that enabled the company to ramp up E85 pumps was the Prime the Pump program. The program was a primary factor, said Lewis, that convinced them to add E85. The program assists retailers with the costs to add flex fuel pumps to their station, an often barrier for many retailers. The company also received funds from the state to help with infrastructure costs. Another barrier on the consumer side is price so Lewis said the fuel has to be priced right for consumers to make the E85 choice at the pump. He also noted that due to state regulations, E15 can’t be sold in California. As a result, to overcome the so-call blend wall will be blends such as E85.

Listen to Mike Lewis’s comments here: Mike Lewis, Pearson Fuels, Presentation

There was a great discussion with the retailers following their presentations and you can listen to it here: Progress at the Pump Panel Discussion

2016 ACE Annual Ethanol Conference Photo Album

ACE, ACE Ethanol Conference, Audio, E15, E85, Ethanol, Retailers

U.S. #Ethanol Production Capacity Increasing

Joanna Schroeder

chart2For the third year in a row, U.S. ethanol production capacity has increased. At the beginning of 2016, production was nearly 15 billion gallons per year, or 973,000 barrels per day (b/d) according to a recent Today in Energy published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The U.S. Fuel Ethanol Plant Production Capacity report found that total capacity of operable ethanol plants increased by more than 500 million gallons per year in January 2016 compared with January 2015.

The majority of the 195 ethanol plants, and most of the U.S. fuel ethanol production capacity, are located in the Midwest region with total nameplate capacity in the Midwest at 13.5 billion gallons per year (883,000 b/d), an increase of more than 500 million gallons compared with 2015. Of the top 13 fuel ethanol-producing states, 12 are located in the Midwest.

Actual U.S. production of fuel ethanol reached a total of 14.8 billion gallons (966,000 b/d) in 2015. In EIA’s August Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), U.S. production of fuel ethanol was forecast to reach 15.1 billion gallons (982,000 b/d) in 2016, equivalent to slightly more than 100% utilization of reported nameplate capacity as of January 1, 2016.

biofuels, Ethanol

RFA Board Member Educates Bikers on #Ethanol

Chuck Zimmerman

Dana LewisDana Siefkes-Lewis (pictured on right) is the Chief Administrative Officer for Redfield Energy, an ethanol plant in Redfield, SD. She is also the President of the South Dakota Ethanol Producers Association, board member for the Renewable Fuels Association and a great spokesperson for the industry.

This year Dana visited the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally to work with other RFA staff and board members for Free Fuel Happy Hours at the Legendary Buffalo Chip Campground. The RFA is once again a sponsor at the event and provides free fuel to bikers while talking with them about using an ethanol blend in their bike.

Dana says that most of the bikers she spoke to have at least some familiarity with ethanol but still had lots of questions which shows the need for continued educational efforts like this fuel promotion. I also asked her about the current status of efforts to work on a stable RFS to provide the industry with more stability, especially financially. Speaking as an RFA member and personally she encourages people to make every effort to contact their local elected leaders to discuss this issue even if you are getting weary of doing so.

You can listen to my interview with Dana here: Dana Lewis, Redfield Energy

RFA at Sturgis Buffalo Chip 2016 Photos

Audio, biofuels, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Sturgis

Erb Delivers #ACE2016 Ethanol, DDG Export Update

Joanna Schroeder

ace-16-erbEthanol is a growing industry in the U.S. providing Americans with renewable fuel at the pump. They are also helping to meet growing global demand for food and fuel. U.S. Grains Council (USGC) Director of Industry Relations Lyndsey Erb gave attendees of the American Coalition for Ethanol’s annual Ethanol Conference an update on how the organization is assisting the U.S. ethanol industry with ethanol and co-product sales of DDGs around the world in her presentation, “Developing Export Demand for Ethanol and DDGs.”

The top four markets for exports are China, Mexico, India and Japan. Looking at early 2016 numbers, Erb said this should be the 4th highest export year on record. USGC continues to find new markets and in addition to Mexico, Southeast Asia is another key area.

For example, the region is developing its aquaculture market and Erb said they are conducting multi-year pilot programs on using DDGs as fish feed. One area of concern was to see if the flesh turned color. Erb said it didn’t and the programs have been successful and she expects the use of DDGs in the aquaculture market to grow.

Another area where USGC has been working on behalf of the ethanol industry has been China’s anti-dumping case. Erb just returned from Beijing where they heard comments and said that one person came forward and said he needs access to the market as have producers in the past. So, said Erb, this is good for the ethanol business. In terms of next steps, there will be mandatory reporting with a five-tier rate level put into place with rates highest for non-reporters. Next, there will be verification process and Erb said officials will come to the U.S. Finally, a final determination will be filed next year, sometime between January-June.

“They’ve taken a hammer to a problem that needs a scalpel,” said Erb. “Keeping U.S. DDG’s is not going to help them with their food security.” Ultimately, Erb believes duties will be put into place.

Listen to Lindsey Erb’s full presentation here: Developing Export Demand for Ethanol & DDGs

Want to learn more about exports? Then be sure to attend the upcoming Export Exchange conference taking place in Detroit, Michigan October 24-25, 2016. Click here to learn more.

2016 ACE Annual Ethanol Conference Photo Album

ACE, ACE Ethanol Conference, Audio, Distillers Grains, Ethanol, Exports, USGC

Lars Herseth Wins #ACE2016 Merle Anderson Award

Joanna Schroeder

ace-16-merle-anderson-awardEthanol advocates are part of the life blood of the success of the ethanol industry. As such, the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) honors a group of ethanol advocates each year during their annual Ethanol Conference who demonstrate outstanding contributions and efforts to promote ethanol. This year was no exception and the most prestigious award presented each year is the Merle Anderson Award. This year’s winner was Lars Herseth, who currently serves as a board member of POET Big Stone. Herseth partially received the award because of his efforts during his 15 years on the ACE board and his three years as President of the organization.

Lars Herseth with his wife and Merle Anderson. Herseth was this year's honoree of the Merle Anderson Award.

Lars Herseth with his wife Diane and Merle Anderson. Herseth was this year’s honoree of the Merle Anderson Award.

His leadership, experience and expertise on legislative and policy priorities helped to strategically position the organization for several years,” said ACE Executive Vice President Brian Jennings who noted that he got a start in politics as an intern for Herseth and had the fortune to work with him for many years.

After offering kind words, Jennings passed the microphone to Merle Anderson himself, fondly known as the Father of Ethanol and the founder of ACE nearly 30 years ago. He said he was very pleased to hear that Herseth, a dear friend of his, was going to win the award, and applauded him on what he has done for the industry.

Herseth then took the stage to officially accept his award and during his remarks thanked the entire ACE family for their work and support. He said this award was extra special because so many people, including himself, were inspired by the work Merle has done over the years. He added that with the support of ACE and the ethanol family, he knows that ethanol will become the biofuel of the future.

Listen to Brian Jenning’s remarks: Brian Jennings, Merle Anderson Award, Remarks

Listen to Merle Anderson’s remarks about Lars: Merle Anderson's Remarks

Listen to Lars Herseth’s remarks about winning the Merle Anderson Award: Lars Herseth, Merle Anderson Recipient

2016 ACE Annual Ethanol Conference Photo Album

ACE, ACE Ethanol Conference, Audio, biofuels, Ethanol