Listeners Get #Ethanol Straight Talk on Car Talk

Joanna Schroeder

This past weekend, Bobby Likis Car Clinic listeners heard straight talk on #ethanol from Brian West, deputy director of fuels, engines and emissions research center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). West was on Likis’ nationally syndicated radio talk program on Saturday, July 9, 2016. West in an expert in the automotive field and has conducted research in the areas of vehicles, advanced fuels, emissions control, materials and combustion. He is currently working on fuel economy and greenhouse gas reduction benefits of high-octane fuels like ethanol.

27329-brian-west-300x168Likis said leading up to the program, “Sensationalism and rhetoric are out regarding ethanol. Science-based fact which has no affiliation–except with the truth–is in. So tune in, and let the data speak for itself.”

West, who is a Society of Automotive Engineers Fellow and Co-Lead of the Department of Energy’s Intermediate Ethanol Blends Program among other distinctions, added that he was happy to join Bobby on Car Clinic to talk about some of our work with ethanol blends. “Informed consumers, indeed, make better decisions,” he said.

Likis invited West on Car Clinic air to provide his audience of automotive consumers and automotive technicians with verifiable facts about the power and performance of ethanol-blended fuels. The two experts’ discussion slate included how automakers are using “downspeeding” and “downsizing” to improve fuel economy and how ethanol-blended fuels enable that scenario; the rigorous testing to which the DOE subjected E15 (15% ethanol); the dramatic octane boost that ethanol provides; and the positive environmental effects of using ethanol-blended fuels.

Energy readers – don’t fret if you missed the program! You can watch the archived show by clicking here.

automotive, biofuels, Education, Ethanol

ZimmPoll Wants Thoughts on Senate #GMO Disclosure Bill

Joanna Schroeder

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What cookout cuisine do you bring to the table?”

We’re well into grilling season and hot off an Independence Day weekend. Burgers and pasta salad were high on the list. In the Other category we got answers like my favorite – steak!

Here are the poll results:

  • Pasta Salad – 25%
  • Cheese Burgers – 25%
  • Other – 18.75%
  • Baked Beans – 12.5%
  • Hot dogs – 6.25%
  • Pork spare ribs – 6.25%
  • Potato salad – 6.25%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “What do you think about Senate’s GMO Disclosure Bill?”

The Senate has passed on a bipartisan National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard that would preempt individual state laws to require labeling of foods containing genetically engineered ingredients. Now it goes to the House. What do you think about it?


CleanTech Biofuels Advances MSW Biomass Project

Joanna Schroeder

CleanTech Biofuels logoIn New Jersey, CleanTech Biofuels has acquired a 99 percent membership interest in 25 Van Keuren, LLC. CleanTech Biofuels is focused on producing combined heat and power and advanced biofuels and biochemicals from municipal solid waste (MSW). The two companies, in partnership, will now move forward on the building of a transfer station and materials recovery facility that includes CleanTech Biofuels’ Biomass Recovery Process, to be located near the New Jersey Sports Exposition Authority.

Once complete, this facility will be the first for CleanTech in the U.S. For the past seven years, the company’s technology has been in operation at a plant in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia.

According to CleanTech, its Biomass Recovery Process sterilizes, and separates the biomass, recyclables, and inert residuals from MSW. The technology recovers 80 to 85 percent of valuable resources in the form of sterilized organic material and recyclables from every ton of MSW that it processes. This, said CleanTech, reduces the amount of waste that must be transported for final disposal in landfills to 15 to 20 percent.

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 9.28.45 AM“The acquisition of 25 Van Keuren gives us the opportunity to work directly with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection towards achieving a solid waste facility permit that will allow us to demonstrate our Biomass Recovery Process technology in a traditional solid waste transfer station setting,” said Edward Hennessey, Chairman and CEO of CleanTech Biofuels. “We expect that a successful commercial demonstration of our technology in Jersey City will lead to additional opportunities in New Jersey, the Northeast and other locations across North America.

A study by Rutgers University’s New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station suggests that more than four million tons of New Jersey biomass could be used “to make electricity or propel transportation” in the state each year. Approximately 72 percent of this biomass is produced by the state’s population in the form of MSW. New Jersey has passed policy that requires 22.5 percent of its electricity to come from renewable energy sources by the end of 2020. With this in mind, the Rutgers report finds that with appropriate technologies and infrastructure, the state’s biomass could deliver up to 654 megawatts of power or 230 million gallons of gasoline-equivalent.

advance biofuels, biomass, Cellulosic, Waste-to-Energy

South Dakota Hosts 30-for-30 #Ethanol Event

Joanna Schroeder

Ethanol pump in South Dakota offering mid-level and high-level ethanol blends including E15, E30 and E85. Photo Credit:

Ethanol pump in South Dakota offering mid-level and high-level ethanol blends including E15, E30 and E85. Photo Credit:

Flex-fuel Vehicle (FFV) drivers in South Dakota who are looking to save money at the pump need look no further an upcoming event: 30-For-30. The South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) is hosting this #ethanol celebration where drivers who fill with Premium E30 (thirty percent ethanol, 70 percent gas) will receive 30 cents for each gallon of Premium E30 purchased.

The event is taking place on Thursday July 14, 2016 at the Shell Station in Mitchell, South Dakota located at 2160 Highland Way.

“Fueling up with 30 percent blend of ethanol not only saves folks money, but it supports South Dakota’s family farmers who market their corn to the state’s many ethanol plants,” said Doug Sombke, president of South Dakota Farmers Union. “Premium E30 gives drivers of all makes and models a higher octane, renewable fuel resulting in increased fuel economy without the dangers of Benzene, a carcinogenic used to increase octane levels.”

SDFU Communications Specialist Kecia Beranek added that the organization has been and will continue to be a strong advocate for the ethanol industry because she stressed, “We’re a grassroots organization who is focused on supporting family farmers and ranchers.” And it’s these farmers who are producing the feedstock to feed and fuel Americans.

blends, E15, E85, Education, Ethanol

Get to Know @GrowthEnergy New CEO Emily Skor

Joanna Schroeder

Shortly after Emily Skor took the helm as the new CEO of Growth Energy, she hit the road in support of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Skor testified during the EPA hearings in Kansas City, Missouri in June as well as participated in a RFS Rally press conference. She then landed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to give the keynote speech during the Fuel Ethanol Workshop (FEW). During a bit of a breather, Skor sat down with Chuck Zimmerman during which time she shared her story and outlined some of her goals as Growth Energy’s CEO.

Prior to joining Growth EneEmily Skorrgy Skor was Vice President of Communications for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. While there she had much success in building strategic communications plans where you harness the support of consumers, thought leaders of stakeholder groups and basically a broad coalition of voices. She said you can harness that support in a way that affects policy.

The position with Growth Energy intrigued her because as a Minnesota native she loved the idea of working for an industry that is so important to the heart of America. She sees that the ethanol industry has built a megaphone to champion issues and the cause in the marketplace. Now the conversation needs to expand beyond the corn belt and the beltway to all consumers.

Skor said there are three key focus areas for Growth Energy. One is continue to make sure the regulatory and policy environment is pro-ethanol. Another is helping build the marketplace through infrastructure. And finally to drive consumer demand for ethanol.

Learn more about Emily and her work for Growth Energy in the latest ZimmCast episode: ZimmCast with Emily Skor, Growth Energy

Subscribe to the ZimmCast podcast here.

Audio, biofuels, Ethanol, Growth Energy

Gaz Métro Converts Forest Waste to Natural Gas

Joanna Schroeder

Gaz Métro has announced that its pilot project – to convert forest waste into second generation renewable natural gas – was successful. The tests were conducted in collaboration with G4 Insights at the Natural Gas Technologies Centre in Boucherville. The demonstration process enabled Gaz Métro to develop a conversion process that they say is unique in the world. The company also says the pilot process has marked an important milestone in the development of new renewable energy technology in Québec.

Demonstration unit to transform forestry biomass into natural gas (CNW Group/Gaz Métro)

Demonstration unit to transform forestry biomass into natural gas (CNW Group/Gaz Métro)

Gaz Métro and G4 used a thermochemical process called PyroCatalytic Hydrogenation (PCH) to transform wood chips from Québec into renewable natural gas. The process is now ready to be tested in a larger pilot project that will produce greater volumes, according to Gaz Métro.

“With this small-scale project, we proved that PCH is technologically viable. It is now essential that we press ahead with our efforts, so as to determine how we can improve the process even further and increase its production potential,” said Martin Imbleau, Vice President, Development and Renewable Energies at Gaz Métro. “Our goal is to use forestry biomass and produce a “green” energy supply of Québec-sourced and renewable natural gas. This natural gas, over the coming years, could be used locally or injected into our network to supplement the renewable natural gas being generated by the biomethanization projects of Québec municipalities that have opted to transform organic waste into energy,”

Imbleau added, “Our project on renewable natural gas from forest biomass is well aligned with the spirit of Québec’s 2030 Energy Policy. It’s one more tangible example of our determination to leverage our expertise and leadership for the sake of energy innovation and transition.”

Alternative energy, biomass, Natural Gas

BioEnergy Bytes

Joanna Schroeder

  • BioEnergyBytesDF1Global Bioenergies has announced that its German subsidiary, Global Bioenergies GmbH, secured a [Eur] 400.000 grant from the BMBF (the German Federal Ministry for Research and Education) to finance a 14 month-project aimed at producing renewable gasoline additives. The company will first produce ETBE, a molecule obtained by the condensation of ethanol and isobutene, and presently used as a gasoline additive in large volumes (worldwide market: 3.4 million tons per year).
  • See News Renewables is reporting a consortium comprising Belgium’s Alcogroup SA, Vanden Avenne Commodities and Vandema has agreed to buy the Rotterdam assets of troubled Spanish engineering and renewables group Abengoa SA. The Rotterdam plant is one of the largest European biorefineries with an annual production capacity of 480 million litres ethanol for fuel use, 360,000 tonnes of dried distilled grain with solubles (DDGS) – high protein feed products, as well as 400,000 MWh of electricity.
  • The AVA cleanphos pilot plant in Karlsruhe, Germany, sponsored by the German Federal Environment Foundation (DBU), came online this month. AVA-CO2 has developed the AVA cleanphos process which enables efficient and cost-effective recovery of phosphorus from sewage sludge. The process also allows for co-incineration in the future and therefore the direct substitution of fossil fuels such as lignite.
  • Asia Pulp & Paper has announced its support for a new community-led pilot project aimed at reducing the use of fossil fuels and increasing the availability of biofuels in Indonesia. Kemiri Sunan has a high yield of up to 10 tonnes of oil per hectare making it an attractive source of biofuel, with waste used to produce fertilizer, animal feed and biogas. The Kemiri Sunan crop is rapidly emerging as a potential source of biofuel to supply Indonesia’s biodiesel programme and key export markets for biofuels such as the European Union (EU). The trees develop broad canopies and deep root systems, helping to reduce soil erosion and water evaporation, while promoting water retention.
Bioenergy Bytes

#Ethanol Exports Fall to 9 Month Low

Joanna Schroeder

U.S. ethanol exports reached a nine month low in May at 55.7 million gallons (mg) a 42 percent drop from April according to government data and analyzed by Ann Lewis, research analyst with the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). Monthly ethanol exports have only dipped lower twice in the past two years. In May, Canada exported 21.5 mg taking the top spot while China exported 19.6 mg of ethanol. Year-to-date ethanol exports reached 400.7 mg, meaning, says Lewis, the industry is on pace to ship 962 mg in 2016.

May ethanol exportsMay exports of U.S. denatured fuel ethanol fell 16 percent from April to 31.0 mg. Most denatured product (19.4 mg, or 62%) crossed the border to Canada or was shipped to China (10.0 mg, 32%), with the remainder heading to Peru (1.7 mg). May exports of U.S. undenatured fuel ethanol droopped 58 percent from April to 22.0 mg. Top exporters were China (9.7 mg, or 44%), Brazil (6.0 mg, or 27%), South Korea (2.5 mg, or 11%) and Mexico (1.7 mg, or 8%). Several regular export markets with large volumes in April (e.g., India, the Philippines) were absent from the ledgers in May.

Lewis reports sales of denatured ethanol for non-fuel use in May retracted to a fairly normal level of 2.2 mg after surging to a near-term high in April. Canada exported nearly all of the volume at 2.1 mg. Sales of undenatured ethanol for non-fuel, non-beverage use was lower at 495,914 gallons. Mexico, South Korea and Taiwan together accounted for three-fourths of the total volume of undenatured industrial.

Moving on to imports, the first noticeable volumes of imports entered the U.S. in May, with 1.8 mg of undenatured ethanol coming from Guatemala and less than 20,000 gallons from the UK and France. Year-to-date fuel ethanol imports are just 1.9 mg, putting the U.S. on pace to import 4.6 mg in 2016.

U.S. distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS)experienced sizable export growth in May with the third month-on-month increase. DDGS exports grew 20 percent to 1.06 million metric tons (mt), largely due to the doubling of export volumes to China over April levels. China imported 291,825 mt of DDGS in May, or 27 percent of the total. Exports to Mexico increased as well with 158,702 mt sold in May, while Turkey cut imports by a third to 105,584 mt. The remaining half of the U.S. DDGS exports in May were spread across 29 countries, with the largest volumes moving to Vietnam (91,850 mt), South Korea (55,019 mt), Thailand (51,033 mt) and Canada (42,521 mt). Year-to-date DDGS exports of 4.4 million mt indicate an annualized total of 10.6 million mt.

Distillers Grains, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Exports, RFA

DuPont Launches OPTIMASH Biogas Enzyme

Joanna Schroeder

DuPont Industrial Biosciences has launched a new enzyme for the biogas industry to enable biomethane producers to improve biogas yields and process robustness – OPTIMASH AD-100. The company said the product should ultimately increase their revenue and profitability. DuPont says the enzyme has been shown to produce up to a 13 percent increase in biogas yields in anaerobic digesters.

DuPont logoThe enzyme breaks down organic matter – like food, paper, animal and farm wastes – resulting in sugars more suitable for biogas-producing microorganisms. The addition of this enzyme into the biomethane process improves the profitability for customers and operators by reducing feedstock requirements and increasing biogas production, according to DuPont.

“DuPont is entering this market with an offering that is backed by decades of experience in the global industrial enzyme business,” said Conrad Burke, global marketing director. Customers can expect this technology to increase biogas production, improve biogas quality, shorten process time and reduce mixing costs – all supported by a global organization with continuous investment in R&D.”

Methane biogas is primarily used to generate electricity or is compressed and inserted into the pipeline gas grid.

biogas, biomethane, enzymes

AMERIgreen Energy Lets Students Find #Energy Solutions

Joanna Schroeder

Middle school division winners of Amerigreen's student essay contest on energy solutions for the future. Photo: Amerigreen Energy

Middle school division winners of Amerigreen’s student essay contest on energy solutions for the future. Photo: Amerigreen Energy

Students of all ages were able to voice their ideas on America’s energy future in AMERIgreen Energy’s Video Essay Challenge. Students ranging in grades 1st-12th, as well as undergraduate college students submitted 30 second videos focused on one of two question prompts related to what is the best energy source for the future.

Winners were chosen by the most online votes and audience likes with high school and undergraduate college students vying for a chance to win scholarships while elementary and middle schoolers were eligible for special location packs. AMERIgreen’s 100% American fuel dealers assisted in getting the word out to drive more views and votes online.

“We were so impressed with the video submissions from students – they were extremely passionate, creative and you could tell they had done a lot of research to get the facts right! They made us really encouraged and hopeful, ” said Steve McCracken, AMERIgreen CEO of Energy Services. “We also want to thank our 100% American fuel dealers that garnered community support from area schools, teachers and customers to encourage students to enter the contest.”

1st Place (tie), Winner of $2,000 College Scholarship, Lexy from Manheim, PA.
Lexy’s video focused on the future of U.S. energy, and what part biofuels plays in that picture. She referenced biofuels’ domestic sources, reduced emissions and opportunity to create a better future for the next generation.

1st Place (tie), Winner of $2,000 College Scholarship, Alexandra from Malvern, PA.
Alex’s video depicted a world of clean, renewable alternative fuels for our energy future. She emphasizes that when one person cares and works to make a difference it matters – and the choice begins with you.

3rd Place, Winner of $500 College Scholarship, Injee from Belle Mead, NJ
Injee’s video focused on biofuels as a renewable energy source with many new feedstocks in development, and it is a secure energy source for generations to come.

advance biofuels, Biodiesel, bioenergy, Education, Ethanol, Video