ACE CEO Keynotes Indiana Ethanol Forum

Cindy Zimmerman

American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings keynoted the 2018 Indiana Ethanol Forum this week in Indianapolis, providing a state of the industry update to those in attendance and sharing what ACE and its allies are doing to expand market access for ethanol. The forum, organized by the Indiana Corn Growers Association, brought together ethanol plants, fuel retailers, ag and ethanol industry leaders, as well as state government representatives and congressional staff.

“It’s my pleasure to address the leaders of Indiana who have played an integral part of ethanol’s success story,” Jennings said. “Part and parcel to the industry’s achievements is the Renewable Fuel Standard, introduced by visionary leaders such as Indiana’s own Senator Lugar to tackle America’s dependency on foreign oil by increasing the use of ethanol and biodiesel here at home. In the 10 years since the RFS was enacted into law, our dependence on foreign oil and greenhouse gas emissions from motor fuel have steadily declined.”

“While the RFS helped spur an incredible economic resurgence in rural America, farmers are once again reeling from oversupplies and low corn prices,” Jennings added. “Plenty of work lies ahead as we work to convince elected leaders to provide greater market access to higher blends of ethanol, but I firmly believe the ethanol industry’s best days lie ahead.”

Several fuel retailers joining the Indiana Corn Marketing Council’s Clean Fuel Partners were recognized at the event for their efforts to bring fuel choice to the state’s consumers.

ACE, corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News

ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference 2018

cindy zimmerman

The transformative power of ideas is the focus of ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference 2018, May 20–22, in Lexington, Kentucky

An idea, even in its root meaning, is “to see.” Da Vinci, Einstein, Edison, the Wright brothers, Tesla, Bell, Borlaug and Fleming — they had the ability to see what others could not. Because they opened their eyes to possibilities and thrived in pursuit of them, we have light. We have abundant food. We can even fly. Ideas change everything.

The annual Alltech symposium, which draws thousands of international visitors to Lexington each May, is the brain child of Irish entrepreneur and scientist Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder of Alltech, who passed away earlier this year. “This meeting is synonymous with Pearse Lyons,” says his son Dr. Mark Lyons, who is now president and chairman of Alltech. “All the way through, this program will be remembering him.”

The program includes former vice chair of General Electric Beth Comstock, USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey and groundbreaking neurologist Dr. Majid Fotuhi. Four thousand attendees from more than 70 countries are expected to attend this year’s 34th annual conference.

Learn more about ONE and this year’s program in this preview interview: Dr. Mark Lyons previews Alltech ONE 18

ONE: Alltech Ideas Conference Photo Album

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Alltech, Audio

POET Ethanol Plant Plans Monarch Project

Cindy Zimmerman

POET Biorefining is establishing a Monarch Fueling Station at its plant near Coon Rapids, Iowa. The Monarch Fueling Station Project was established by Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) in partnership with the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium in December 2017.

The monarch habitat will span half an acre and seeding is expected to take place within the next month. The plant intends to involve local FFA and STEM students at every step of the process.

“This project is a great opportunity to give back to the environment and the community,” said Ryan Filloon, plant manager of POET Coon Rapids. “We are excited to work with the students on planting and maintaining the monarch habitat and to play our part in this state-wide effort to boost the population of these important pollinators.”

IRFA developed the program to help Iowa’s ethanol and biodiesel plants establish patches of monarch habitat on plant grounds.

Ethanol, Iowa RFA

Federal Fleets Double E85 Usage

Cindy Zimmerman

A Renewable Fuels Association analysis of new Energy Information Administration (EIA) data shows that federally-regulated fleets more than doubled their usage of E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) and other flex fuels between 2010 and 2016.

According to the EIA data, federally-regulated fleets, including government and transit agencies, used 17.9 million gallons of E85 in 2010, increasing to more than 38 million gallons in 2016, the most recent data available. Flex fuel vehicles can run on fuel blends containing up to E85.

E85 was 47 cents per gallon cheaper than E10 on average in 2016, equating to an average discount of 20 percent, according to E85prices.com, a database operated by RFA.

The analysis also shows that the combined 2010-2016 E85 usage by fleets yielded nearly 515,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions, equivalent to eliminating the emissions from 500 million pounds of burned coal or the amount of carbon sequestered in a year by 600,000 acres of forestland.

“For more than a decade, RFA has worked with federal, state, and private fleets and fuel retailers to ensure greater access to E85 and greater awareness about the capabilities of FFVs,” said RFA Vice President of Industry Relations Robert White. “Thanks in part to RFA’s efforts, E85 can now be found at more retail outlets, benefitting fleets and consumers alike with a lower-cost, higher octane and cleaner fuel.”

The EIA data indicate that federal fleet FFVs consumed 98 gallons of E85 on average in 2016, meaning E85 likely accounted for approximately 15-20% of annual fuel consumption for those FFVs.

E85, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

Grassley Talks Tough on EPA Refinery Waivers

Cindy Zimmerman

Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa wants EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to stop issuing “small refinery hardship exemptions” or step down from the job.

“I’ve supported Pruitt but if he pushes changes to RFS that permanently cut ethanol by billions of gallons he will have broken Trump promise & he should step down & let someone else do the job of implementing Trump agenda,” Grassley tweeted, after telling reporters on his weekly ag call, “I’m done playing around with this.”

Grassley was one of the four senators who met with President Trump last week to try and finally resolve differences over the RFS between corn ethanol and oil interests. In the call with reporters, EPA should make sure blend levels match statutory level of 15 billion gallons set by Congress or it will undo the benefits of allowing year-round E15. Grassley also said the EPA is “going to try” to make the summer vapor pressure waiver applicable this year.

Audio: Sen. Grassley ag call comments on RFS waivers

EPA Administrator Pruitt will appear before the Senate Appropriations Committee this morning 9:30 am Eastern to discuss the agency’s 2019 budget request.

Audio, biofuels, Ethanol, Ethanol News

Educational Opportunities for Ethanol Plant Employees

Carrie Muehling

Ethanol plant employees will have the opportunity to further their education this summer with two courses from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Partnership.

The Process Control Essential Short Course is a two-day offering held June 25-26 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln intended for plant operators, maintenance personnel and engineers of any experience level. The Process Safety Boot Camp is a three-day course offered August 7-9 at Novozymes Inc. in Blair, Nebraska. With a focus on OSHA PSM regulations and EPA Prevention Program requirements, it is for new and experienced front-line engineers responsible for design, maintenance, manufacturing or supervision as managers and engineers involved in regulatory compliance.

Some tuition reimbursements are available. For more information on either course, contact Matthew Jorgensen at 308-293-5884 or mjorgensen@unl.edu. Information and registration for the Process Control Essentials Short Course can be found at http://nemep.unl.edu/pce-2018, and for the Process Safety Boot Camp at http://nemep.unl.edu/psbc-2018.

Education, Ethanol

Volvo Ocean Race Stays Sustainable Course with Biodiesel

Cindy Zimmerman

Sustainable, local biodiesel is fueling the festivities as the Volvo Ocean Race ports in Rhode Island for its only North American stopover through May 20. A blend of 20 percent biodiesel (B20) is being used in vessels, generators and diesel-powered land vehicles throughout the 13-day event.

The biodiesel for the event is supplied by Newport Biodiesel, a local biodiesel producer, and delivered by T.H. Malloy, a local oil heat dealer. Newport Biodiesel has used recycled cooking grease from restaurant “galleys” throughout New England to produce biodiesel for more than a decade. The partnership with the Volvo Ocean Race has shown great results in the previous stopover, making the event one of the most sustainable in the world.

“During the 2015 stopover, we saved more than 12,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere and we hope to reach a similar or greater amount this year,” said Dr. Robert Morton, Chairman of the Board for Newport Biodiesel. “Biodiesel is an excellent, low carbon alternative to petroleum diesel and a great fit for environmentally-conscience boaters.”

National Biodiesel Board NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen says marine vessels is a growing market for biodiesel. “Biodiesel not only provides similar performance characteristics to diesel but also reduces engine wear and is non-toxic, low carbon and biodegradable, making it less polluting to the ocean and the air. The sponsorship helps showcase biodiesel to the global nautical community.”

Compatible with all diesel engines without modification, biodiesel blends can be used in many types of marine vessels, including inland and ocean-going commercial ships, research vessels, the U.S. Coast Guard Fleet and recreational vessels.

Biodiesel

GROWMARK Talks Farm Bill Priorities

carrie muehling

The House version of the farm bill is expected to come to the floor this week, and GROWMARK is among those weighing in with policymakers about priorities for the legislation. The cooperative is particularly looking for support of the Conservation Title, among others.

“Important to conservation is to make sure that we have program funding to put conservation practices on the land. As an ag retailer, we’re very interested in working hand in glove with farmer as a partner in the watershed,” said Chuck Spencer, GROWMARK’s executive director for government relations, during an interview last week.

Spencer explained that GROWMARK would like to work in partnership with the USDA NRCS as a technical service provider to help farmers develop nutrient management plans, noting language for that already exists in the current House version. Spencer also named the Commodity Title as a priority, along with crop insurance and infrastructure policies.

In this interview, Spencer also discusses how sustainability in agriculture has become an important issue when talking with lawmakers on both the state and federal levels: Interview with Chuck Spencer, GROWMARK

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Conservation, farm bill, GROWMARK, Sustainability

Renewable Energy Group Expands Ralston Plant

Carrie Muehling

Biodiesel producer Renewable Energy Group (REG) has more than doubled the plant capacity at its Ralston, Iowa, facility.

“We congratulate REG on this expansion of its flagship biodiesel plant in Ralston,” said Grant Kimberley, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board. “We are fortunate that REG has its headquarters here in Iowa, and continues to invest heavily in biodiesel infrastructure, benefiting the state’s economy. This $32 million dollar expansion will be a boon to the Ralston community and beyond.”

The Ralston plant was one of the first in the nation, originally constructed in 2002. Its capacity is now 30 million gallons annually.

Biodiesel, REG

New ND Petro Serve Offers Higher Ethanol Blends

Cindy Zimmerman

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) joined Petro Serve USA to celebrate the grand opening of its new facility in Valley City, North Dakota on Friday and congratulate them for providing higher ethanol blends to more consumers.

“Petro Serve has been offering ethanol blends to their customers for a long time now, and they keep adding more stations like this one because it works — they’ve found success providing drivers with access to low cost, high octane ethanol fuel blends,” said (ACE) Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty, who spoke at the grand opening.

Petro Serve’s new facility offers E15, E30 and E85 at 16 fueling points and is Petro Serve’s 20th station to offer E15 in North Dakota, its second location in Valley City.

“We like to give our customers the ability to make their own choice at the gas pump,” Petro Serve CEO Kent Satrang said. “When competitors do not offer fuel choice, customers buy their ethanol from us to save money.”

Among the dignitaries helping Petro Serve celebrate the new facility were former Governor Jack Dalrymple; City Mayor Dave Carlsrud; National Corn Growers Association president Kevin Skunes; North Dakota Ethanol Council chairman Jeff Zueger; and Dale Ihry of the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council.

ACE, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Retailers