Edeniq Producing Cellulosic Ethanol in California

Cindy Zimmerman

A California-based biofuels company officially launched its Corn to Cellulosic Migration (CCM) pilot biorefinery this week. The CCM biorefinery is located at the headquarters of Edeniq in Visalia, California.

According to the company, the pilot plant’s technologies can be used as bolt-on technology to existing facilities to allow the use of other feedstocks such as corn stover, switchgrass, sugarcane bagasse, and woodchips.

The plant was constructed in partnership with Logos Technologies Inc. under a $25 million program funded 80% by the Integrated Biorefinery Initiative Program of the U.S. Department of Energy. The pilot plant has the capacity to convert two dry tons per day of feedstock into cellulosic sugars and 50,000 gallons per year cellulosic ethanol. According to the Department of Energy, ethanol produced from cellulosic materials has the potential to cut life cycle greenhouse gas emissions by up to 86% relative to gasoline.

“Reducing our dependency on foreign oil with minimal effect on the environment is a goal that Edeniq shares with all Americans,” said Brian Thome, President and CEO of Edeniq. “We are working towards this goal by demonstrating, in our pilot plant, advanced technologies and methods to convert non-food cellulosic feedstocks into ethanol in an economically and environmentally compelling way.”

The ethanol process equipment for the pilot plant was skid mounted and shop manufactured in Michigan and then shipped to California for assembling into the integrated plant. Edeniq is gathering metrics from the pilot plant for construction and scale-up opportunities at commercial-sized facilities.

With a new logo and website, Edeniq celebrated the launch of the pilot plant this week with a new logo and website and an industry event at company headquarters.

advance biofuels, Cellulosic, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

Most Favor Choice at the Pump

Melissa Sandfort

Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Will you buy E15 for your MY2001 or later car if it’s offered?”

Our poll results: Nearly half, forty-nine percent, said Yes; twenty-nine percent said No; and twenty-two percent said it depends on price. Looks like consumers are in favor of having a choice at the pump, and are fans of ethanol!

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, ” When do you think Congress will complete a Farm Bill?” On June 20, the Senate voted 64 to 35 to pass the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012. When do you think — given that it’s an election year and amidst all other “big” news items — we will have a new “Farm Bill?”

ZimmPoll is sponsored by Rhea+Kaiser, a full-service advertising/public relations agency.

ZimmPoll

Ethanol Production Expected to Grow this Year

John Davis

New numbers show that, globally, ethanol production will be up just slightly this year. In the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance’s Global Annual Ethanol Production Forecast, the group that represents about two-thirds of the world’s ethanol production in 44 countries says production of the green fuel should hit 85.2 billion litres in 2012. This comes despite the worries about the world’s economy:

“While the world’s financial health continues to preoccupy policy makers and governments, the global ethanol industry continues to be a bright spot in the world economy. It continues to grow, supporting nearly 1.4 million jobs and contributing $277.3 billion to the global economy in 2010,” said Global Renewable Fuels Alliance spokesperson, Bliss Baker.

“The GRFA’s 2012 production forecast sees global ethanol production continuing to displace the need for hundreds of millions of barrels of imported crude oil, further reducing our crippling reliance on foreign oil,” said Baker. “Policy makers and governments must recognize the significant contribution biofuels are making to the global economy while reducing the world’s foreign oil consumption,” added Mr. Baker.

The United States and Brazil continue to be the largest producers of ethanol with production continuing at a steady pace in 2012.

The report highlights that Africa will see a 36 percent increase in ethanol production, although the continent remains relatively low compared to the big producers of ethanol. Europe is expected to see an 11 percent increase in ethanol production.

Ethanol, Ethanol News

Car Drives on Primus’ New Biomass & Natural Gas Fuel

John Davis

To show off their new $7 million demonstration plant in Hillsborough, New Jersey, the folks at Primus Green Energy’s took out for a spin a car fueled with the company’s 93-octane gasoline made from natural gas and biomass.

Primus offcials were joined by several federal, state and local officials, including former N.J. Gov. James J. Florio:

The speakers’ remarks centered on Primus’ landmark achievement, which marks a milestone in the transition from a fuel economy based on petroleum to one based on domestically produced alternative fuels. This theme was sounded by Gov. Florio when he reminded the audience in his keynote address that they will some day be able to look back and “take pride at being here at the beginning.”

The construction of our new demonstration plant is a tremendous achievement that showcases our ability to scale our technology,” said Robert J. Johnsen, Primus’ chief executive officer. “We have gone from the concept stage to the demonstration stage in only five years and now, with the demo plant, we can further refine our technology with the goal of commercializing our technology next year.”

Primus Green Energy has been funded since its inception by a single investor, IC Green Energy, which is the alternative energy investment arm of Israel Corp., Israel’s largest publicly traded corporation.

IC Green Energy’s president and CEO, Dr. Yom-Tov Samia reminded government officials of the importance of committing funds for research and development to an industry that is vital to the energy security of the United States and Israel.

The new plant is expected to be completed late this year.

biomass, Natural Gas

Likis Learns About Ethanol and Engines at Argonne

Cindy Zimmerman

Automotive expert Bobby Likis is learning more this week about the latest research into ethanol and car engines to bring to his audience on the Car Clinic Network.

“I’m amazed at all the research and development going on with new fuel technology with all sorts of engines to include hydrogen, ethanol, ethanol blends, diesel and dual fuels,” he said during an interview after visiting Argonne National Laboratories. “Renewable fuels and engines that can use them are a fact of our future.”

Likis is pictured here with Forrest Jehlik, Argonne Research Engineer, checking out one of the test cells at the lab.

Likis recently announced a partnership with the Renewable Fuels Association to help educate other car enthusiasts and the general public about the use of ethanol as a motor fuel. “My colleagues, the technicians of the world, and my peers need to be aware so that when they meet face to face with car owners they can give the correct advice as to the benefits that ethanol provides,” he said. “In my 21 years as Car Clinic Network, it has been my goal to share what information and education that I’ve learned in my lifetime.”

Likis says one experience that has stuck with him was the oil embargo of the ’70s which opened his eyes to the need to diversify our motor fuel supply. “We have to open our minds to a solution to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil,” he said.

On Wednesday, the Car Clinic host will be visiting Ricardo Inc., a transportation engineering consultancy which has done a great deal of research into the use of E15 in older model cars and the need for higher octane fuels to meet growing needs for fuel economy and emissions reductions.

Listen to an interview with Bobby Likis on the road here: Automotive Expert Bobby Likis

Audio, automotive, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

GROWMARK Celebrating History Built on Energy

Cindy Zimmerman

GROWMARK has two reasons to celebrate this year – the International Year of the Cooperative and GROWMARK’s 85th anniversary.

“The cooperative obviously has evolved a lot over those 85 years,” says Dan Kelley, Illinois farmer and president of the GROWMARK Board of Directors. “Energy is still a main part of GROWMARK’s product distribution. Nearly half of our sales continue to be in the energy area – diesel fuel, soy diesel, ethanol and a variety of lubricants as well.”

The history of GROWMARK is charted from the time its predecessor Illinois Farm Supply was incorporated as a cooperative in 1927 to help farmers maintain an economical and reliable supply of fuel surfaced for the newfangled tractors that were rapidly replacing horses on farms.

Dan says they are pleased that the United Nations coincidentally chose this year as the International Year of the Cooperative. “We have adopted the logo of the International Year of the Cooperative logo,” he said, noting that the design illustrates the principle of cooperatives, showing how individuals working together can do what no one can do by themselves.

Listen to my interview with Dan Kelley here. GROWMARK President Dan Kelley

Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, GROWMARK

USDA Funds Rural Energy Projects

Cindy Zimmerman

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA has selected for funding 450 projects focused on helping agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy consumption and costs; use renewable energy technologies in their operation; and/or conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy projects. Funding is made available through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) under the 2008 Farm Bill.

Vilsack says the REAP program has helped fund over 6,000 projects over the last three years. “Over 4300 energy efficiency projects, over 1000 solar energy projects, 325 wind projects, 52 anaerobic digesters, 24 biofuel and biodiesel projects, 162 geothermal projects and 22 hybrid projects,” said the secretary.

The REAP funding announced today includes projects that incorporate solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and hydropower, as well as biodiesel and ethanol. There are a couple of projects that will fund blender pumps that might help get sales of 15% ethanol moving now that EPA has given final approval to allow that fuel in the marketplace. Blender pump grants were awarded in Georgia and Missouri.

Biodiesel, biomass, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Solar, USDA, Wind

DF Cast: What’s in the Farm Bill for Biofuels?

John Davis

The U.S. Senate has passed its version of the Farm Bill… or as Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack likes to call it by its more proper name, Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012, because of its all-encompassing nature (he even “fines” people in his office $1 for every time they give the shortened, less encompassing name)… and it is off to the House for consideration sometime after the 4th of July break.

In this edition of the Domestic Fuel Cast, we hear about some of the programs seen as good for renewable energy that survived in the Senate’s version of the bill, as well as comments from some key lawmakers and Vilsack on the importance of these provisions.

You can listen to the Domestic Fuel Cast here: Domestic Fuel Cast

You can also subscribe to the DomesticFuel Cast here.

Audio, Biodiesel, biofuels, Domestic Fuel Cast, Ethanol, Government, Legislation

China Drops Anti-Dumping DDGS Case

Cindy Zimmerman

China‘s commerce ministry is ending an 18-month anti-dumping investigation into imports of the ethanol co-product distillers dried grains (DDGS), offering the opportunity to bring U.S. exports back up as it means no anti-dumping tariffs will be imposed.

China’s imports of DDGs dropped by nearly half last year compared to 2010 when they topped 2.5 million metric tons, up 385 percent over the previous year. U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Tom Dorr says U.S. exports to China have already shown an increase this year over last in anticipation of this decision. “Imported DDGS from the U.S. the first four months, January through April of 2012, are up about 84% over 2011,” Dorr said in a press conference this morning. “We think people were sensing that this may be the outcome and were willing to take the risk that there probably would not be tariffs imposed.”

Dorr gave special recognition to Ray Defenbaugh, President and CEO Big River Resources, for his help during the investigation. “One of his plants was selected for the investigation phase of the case,” said Dorr. “He was very supportive of dealing with this issue head-on which helped everyone.” The three plants originally chosen for the investigation were Big River, United Wisconsin and Golden Grain.

Distillers Grains, Ethanol, Ethanol News, USGC

Peterson Skeptical of Cellulosic Ethanol

John Davis

The ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee has doubts about whether cellulosic ethanol will ever be commercially viable.

“I just don’t think that cellulosic will ever be commercialized,” Congressman Collin Peterson said during an interview with Domestic Fuel reporter Chuck Zimmerman after he talked to members of the American Seed Trade Association meeting in Washington Wednesday. “And it’s become a problem. I mean, the Solyndra thing … it’s become politicized.”

Peterson said he believes algae has some potential, but with too many alternative energy plans, the economics don’t work without government support. And he points out that the government is broke.

Peterson said the House Ag Committee will be marking up the Farm Bill the week after the 4th of July. It will be interesting to see which renewable energy measures he supports in the Senate’s bill and which ones survive the process.

Listen to Chuck’s conversation with Peterson here:
Rep. Collin Peterson interview

algae, Audio, Cellulosic, Ethanol, Ethanol News