Magellan to Offer E15 at all Iowa Fuel Terminals

Cindy Zimmerman

Magellan Midstream Partners fuel pipeline and storage company is now offering pre-blended E15 at many terminals across the U.S., including all Magellan terminals that service Iowa.

“This announcement from Magellan is game-changing,” said Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Executive Director Monte Shaw. “It is now possible for most retailers across the state to replace a low-demand product with E15 without investing in major infrastructure upgrades.”

“While IRFA remains very supportive of blender pumps because they provide consumers access to even more ethanol blend options, I expect Magellan’s decision to offer pre-blended E15 will rapidly increase the number of Iowa retailers who decide to offer this exciting new fuel,” Shaw added.

Without access to pre-blended E15, retailers have to install blender pumps to blend the fuel onsite. Nearly all underground storage tanks are certified to store E15 and all fuel dispensers in Iowa are approved to dispense E15. Therefore, the ability to purchase pre-blended E15 at the terminal means most Iowa retailers could offer E15 through their existing station infrastructure with little or no equipment upgrades.

E15, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Iowa RFA

New Zealand Triples U.S. DDGS Purchases

Cindy Zimmerman

Cows on a New Zealand dairy farm

New Zealand is producing record amounts of milk this year and feeding triple the amount of U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) compared to last year, according to the U.S. Grains Council. New Zealand has purchased 113,000 metric tons of U.S. DDGS so far this year compared to just 37,000 tons imported the same time last year. While this market is currently small, these sales represent the potential for demand growth.

The 2017 milk supply in New Zealand is expected to reach 21.9 million tons, surpassing the prior record of 2014, thanks to higher-expected cow numbers and optimal pasture conditions. The dairy industry imports approximately 2 million tons palm kernel meal (PKM) to supplement pastures, and only 5 percent of the total dairy industry is currently utilizing DDGS or soybean hall pellets (SBHP) in rations.

However, the door is open for increased use of DDGS following local crop failures due to excessive rains compounded by an industry push to limit the ration of PKM due to negative effects on butter fat levels. As a result, grain buyers significantly increased purchases with two combination vessels discharging U.S. DDGS in the port of Tauranga in September 2017.

Distillers Grains, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Trade, USGC

Corn Stover Could Generate Electricity

Cindy Zimmerman

Corn biomass residue. Photo Credit: Joanna Schroeder

Two new studies show that generating energy from corn stover biomass could create a new market for farmers and increase the value of ethanol by reducing its overall carbon footprint. The studies are based on the premise that the crop residue left behind in the fields after corn to be used for ethanol is harvested.

Iowa-based Regional Strategic, Ltd. examined the economic impact of collecting, processing, and delivering corn stover byproducts of ethanol – the stalks, leaves, and stems of corn plants – for use in generating electricity. The stover is compressed into biomass pellets that can be burned like coal in existing power plants, reducing CO2 emissions and increasing renewable energy supplies. This is similar to the use of wood pellets in European power plants.

The studies were commissioned by Larksen LLC, an affiliate of Trestle Energy, a California-based biofuel company specializing in low carbon production system. Larksen estimates that corn grown for ethanol in the six major ethanol-producing states “could yield roughly 44 million tons of harvestable corn stover per year. It is conceivable that this stover could replace around 37 million tons of coal used for electricity generation.”

However, the economic studies are based on harvesting all leftover crop residue from corn going to ethanol production and do not appear to take into consideration the conservation benefits of corn stover and crop residue, much of which is left in the fields for no-till or low-tillage farming operations.

Link to report summary.

biomass, corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Corn Rep Appointed to NE Ethanol Board

Cindy Zimmerman

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has appointed Taylor Nelson, a farmer from Jackson, to join the Nebraska Ethanol Board as the corn representative.

Nelson earned his agriculture economics degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He returned to the family farm in 2012, and produces corn and soybeans in Dixon and Dakota counties with his father, Doug Nelson, and uncle, Jim Nelson. Along with his wife and parents, Nelson also operates the Jackson Express convenience store.

“Taylor’s background in both fuel sales and farming makes him a unique addition to the board,” said Todd Sneller, Nebraska Ethanol Board administrator. “As the youngest board member, we look forward to his input on using new marketing techniques to engage drivers.”

Nelson is a member of the American Coalition for Ethanol and vice president of the northeast Nebraska chapter of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association.

ACE, Ethanol, Ethanol News

Al-Corn Clean Fuel Votes to Become LLC

Cindy Zimmerman

By an overwhelming majority the membership of Al-Corn Clean Fuel has voted to convert from a cooperative to a Limited Liability Company (LLC), effective September 30.

“Without our member’s willingness to grow and compete in an ever changing business environment, we wouldn’t be here today.” said Rod Jorgenson, President of Al-Corn Clean Fuel. “We have begun moving forward to allow the conversion to become a reality while ensuring our current operations continue running smoothly”.

Al-Corn Clean Fuel, LLC is currently expanding and modernizing the Claremont facility from 50 million gallons per year to 120 million gallons per year, including storage for 1.5 million bushels of corn to facilitate deliveries. Once complete, the expansion will require an additional 25 – 27 million bushels of corn annually.

Ethanol, Ethanol News

Senate Ag Committee Hears from USDA Nominees

cindy zimmerman

Nine months into the Trump Administration and the Senate Agriculture Committee just held a hearing this week on the first two nominees to help out Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue at the USDA.

The committee heard from Stephen Censky, long time CEO of the American Soybean Association nominated to be Deputy Secretary of Agriculture; and Indiana Director of Agriculture Ted McKinney, nominated for the new position of Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs.

Both farm boys with a long history of service in the agriculture industry, the two nominees are not controversial and are expected to be approved whenever the Senate gets around to it.

Here are opening statements from the two nominees at the hearing on Tuesday: Censky and McKinney opening statements

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Audio, Government, USDA

Corn Progress Lagging

cindy zimmerman

About seven percent of the nation’s corn crop has been harvested so far, but maturity of the crop is running behind average.

Less corn acres have reached the dented or mature stage than the five-year average according to the latest USDA crop progress report. With 86 percent of total corn acres dented by September 17 and mature acres at only 34 percent, corn progress trails the five-year average by four and 13 percentage points respectively.

The number of corn acres harvested also is running about four percent behind last year, given maturity delays. Crop condition remained the same as last week, with 61 percent in good or excellent condition, but that is 13 percent lower than last year at this time.

AgWired Energy, corn, USDA

ACE Webinar Focuses on Market Development

Cindy Zimmerman

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) last week hosted a webinar on market development for higher ethanol blends, including an update on the organization’s market development work and legislative and policy priorities.

ACE Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty also discussed assistance for retailers to start offering higher ethanol blends and a tour of resources on ACE’s FlexFuelForward.com website and Retailer Roadmap resource.

“The strategy behind our FlexFuelForward.com website is that fuel marketers trust information they get from other marketers like themselves,” Lamberty said. “This matches what we have seen on our site; three of the most viewed pages are our featured retailers addressing common questions and concerns of other retailers.”

Lamberty added that the retailers he’s spoken with want others to start selling E15 so consumers become more comfortable with it. Retailers also want a variety of barriers to offering higher blends addressed, including regulatory burdens, the cost and availability of funds, available RIN-less E85, consistent identification of fuel blends, and RVP relief.

ACE, E15, E85, Ethanol

Most Iowans Support Biodiesel and the RFS

Cindy Zimmerman

New research released by the Iowa Biodiesel Board finds a strong majority of Iowans support biodiesel and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

About 72 percent of Iowa voters have a positive opinion on biodiesel, according to the research, while 71 percent support the RFS. IBB executive director Grant Kimberly said only three percent had a negative opinion.

“That means the majority of Iowans are interested in using biodiesel, which we hope will encourage more petroleum marketers to incorporate biodiesel into their marketing signage,” said Kimberley.

Of survey respondents who said they use diesel fuel, 96% said they would choose a biodiesel blend over petroleum diesel. In addition, when asked, “Assuming you had a diesel vehicle that could use biodiesel, would you choose a biodiesel blend over petroleum diesel?” About 86 percent of Iowans said “yes: or “probably yes.”

IBB commissioned the public opinion research with Moore Information, which conducted online interviews with 460 registered voters statewide in August.

Biodiesel

Clariant Announces 1st License for Cellulosic Ethanol Technology

Cindy Zimmerman

Clariant has signed its first license agreement for sunliquid® cellulosic ethanol technology with Enviral, the largest producer of bioethanol in Slovakia.

Enviral has acquired a license to use Clariant’s sunliquid technology as part of its goal to realize a full scale commercial cellulosic ethanol plant for the commercial production of cellulosic ethanol from agricultural residues. This new plant will be owned and operated by Enviral and is planned to be integrated into the existing facilities at Enviral’s Leopoldov site in Slovakia with an annual production capacity of 50,000 tons. It will use Clariant’s sunliquid technology as well as starter cultures from its proprietary enzyme and yeast platforms to process Enviral feedstock into cellulosic ethanol.

Clariant has also announced a new Business Line Biofuels, as a further step in the commercialization of sunliquid and developing the biofuels business across the board. The sunliquid technology offers a completely integrated process design with integrated production of feedstock, process specific enzymes and simultaneous C5 and C6 fermentation ensure best commercial performance.

Cellulosic, Ethanol, Ethanol News, technology