New RIN Network for Biodiesel Industry

Joanna Schroeder

The RIN 9000 verification program developed by Lee Enterprises Consulting is merging with the RIN Integrity Network developed by Genscape to create a standard RIN program for the industry. The goal of the new program is to provide information that will both satisfy concerns of obligated parties as well as benefit producers.

Susan Olson, VP of Analytical R&D at Genscape said merger talks were spurred after discussions with smaller producers regarding their needs. She said the company began to add technology to their monitoring program to help producers promote their integrity and boost process efficiency.

“The formation of this strategic partnership with Lee Enterprises Consulting enables Genscape to offer the best, most comprehensive RIN integrity services, and to have a complete line of other biodiesel services at its fingertips,” said Olson. “This is winning combination for the biodiesel industry.”

The RIN Integrity Network will bring together several major biodiesel players. Jess Hewitt, CEO of Gulf Hydrocarbon will be providing initial RIN education services to clients and AP Innovations will conduct on site visits. Christianson & Associates will provide RIN attestation, auditing, verification and consulting services. Intertek Commodities, an industry leader in analytical testing, will perform ASTM testing of product samples collected during site visits.

Members of the strategic alliance believe that they will give a boost to the RIN market that has been plagued by difficulty. Small producers want to sell their RINS at fair market value and obligated parties need assurances that the RINS are valid. “This joining of forces by the biodiesel industry’s major groups allows our RIN Integrity Network to answer those problems urgently for producers and obligated parties,” concluded Olson.

advance biofuels, Biodiesel

Today is Global Wind Day

Joanna Schroeder

Today is Global Wind Day (June 15) and thousands of people will be participating in more than 200 events in at least 40 countries. With the focus on wind at a peak, many are using the events to put pressure on world leaders who will gather next week for RIO +20 Summit. It is anticipated that leaders will commit to doubling the amount of renewable energy generated by 2030.

Wind power has been gaining favor and today at least 75 countries use more than 1000 MW of wind power as part of their energy mix. This is more than 30 times the amount of capacity since 1997 when the Kyoto protocol was signed. Projections continue to predict growth over the next 20 years with the doubling of capacity by 2015 and again by the end of this decade. If this is achieved, between 9-12 percent of the world’s power would be generated by wind power.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s will be speaking in Rio about his Sustainable Energy for All initiative that calls for universal energy access with a doubling of renewable energy by 2030. More wind power would reduce the use and spending on fossil fuels, create millions of jobs, clean the air, and address issues related to global climate change.

“We need to double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030,” said Kandeh K. Yumkella, the Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the leader of the Secretary General’s initiative. “This can be achieved with significant contribution from wind energy, both grid connected and for small-scale decentralised systems.”

“The ‘Global Wind Day‘ on 15 June, does play a central role in contributing to the UNSG’s Sustainable Energy For All initiative through galvanising the much needed support for the wind energy industry from political leaders around the globe,” added Yumkella. This is the 4th Anniversary of the world wide event.

Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council concluded, “Wind energy provides a solution to some of the most critical challenges we face today: climate change, and fresh water scarcity. The power sector is the single largest contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, and is also one of the largest consumers of fresh water. Wind energy produces no carbon dioxide, and consumes no water.”

Electricity, Energy, Wind

Higher Renewable Energy Mandate Expected for Europe

Joanna Schroeder

There are energy talks scheduled in Luxembourg tomorrow and EU Energy ministers are expected to adopt higher mandates of renewable energy beyond 2020. To support the goal, there will need to be post 2020 strategies put into place now that include a 2030 policy framework.

“The European Parliament, European Commission and now all EU Energy Ministers agree on substantially increasing renewables beyond 2020 and the need for a 2030 policy framework,” said Christian Kjaer, CEO of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). “That is a good start. But investors need EU Ministers to move beyond generalities very soon.”

Kjaer, whose organization is in support of higher renewable energy goals that include wind power, has been attending the open meetings of EU Energy ministers. He cautions that even if they agree to increase renewable energy goals after 2020, the first date initial goals are to be met, without strict policy in place the initiative won’t succeed.

“If the politicians want private sector investment in renewable energy and its economic benefits including those from European technological leadership, they urgently need to agree on a target for renewable energy for 2030,” concluded Kjaer.

Electricity, Energy, Wind

Free Biodiesel Workshops

Joanna Schroeder

The American Lung Association in Minnesota is hosting two free workshops on biodiesel, a renewable fuel alternative to diesel. The workgroups will take place Thursday, June 21 from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm and Friday, June 22nd from 9:00 am to 11:30 am at the AmericInn at 1500 Highway 71, International Falls.

National fuel expert Hoon Ge of MEG Corporation will be the key speaker and he will cover recent refining changes in diesel fuels, how to prevent, identify and respond to issues with diesel and the growing role of biodiesel in the transportation industry.

The United Soybean Board, Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council and Twin Cities Clean Cities Coalition are sponsoring the workshop. The workshops are free but space is limited to so Lisa Thurstin to secure you spot.

advance biofuels, Biodiesel

IRFA to Celebrate 10th Anniversary

Joanna Schroeder

Although ethanol has been used in Iowa for many decades, an Iowa-focused organization dedicated to the use of renewable fuels didn’t begin until 2002 – The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA). To celebrate the 10 year milestone,  IRFA is hosting an event coinciding with the 34th anniversary of the first retail sale of E10, which just so happened to take place in Iowa. Today, through its educational and promotional efforts, IRFA has helped the state more than double its use of biodiesel and ethanol.

Tomorrow, along with Iowa Gov. Terry Brandstad, IRFA is releasing a new study detailing the positive impact renewable fuels has had on Iowa’s economy. In addition, Gov. Brandstad has declared June 15th “Iowa Ethanol Day” to mark 34 years of ethanol sales across the state.

Also on hand for the event will be Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds; IRFA President Brad Albin (who works for REG, Inc.); and IRFA founding member Bill Couser (who works for Lincolnway Energy).  DomesticFuel will be on hand to cover the event, being held at the Iowa State Capitol at 9:00 am on June 15, 2012.

advance biofuels, Biodiesel, biofuels, Ethanol, Iowa RFA

$1.8 Mil Grant to Fund New Tech at Cal Biodiesel Plant

John Davis

A California biodiesel maker receives a $1.8 million state grant to fund some new technologies at an existing refinery at a military base.

A press release from its parent corporation, Biodico, says Biodiesel Industries of Ventura, LLC got the grant to use at Biodico’s 10 million gallon per year facility at the National Environmental Technology Demonstration Site, at Naval Base Ventura County in Port Hueneme, California:

“We create subsidiaries for each of our facilities so that local investors can become involved in what we are doing in their communities,” explained JJ Rothgery, chairman of the Biodico’s board of directors, “and so that national investors with interests in environmentally sustainable energy can become involved in our new projects. Currently we are working on two projects in California, one at Naval Base Ventura, and the other at Red Rock Ranch in California’s Central Valley. Both projects will benefit from the technology developed under the new Energy Commission grant.” Each 10 million gallon per year facility costs approximately $12.5 million from inception to completion.

The research from this money will be focused on using new non-food crops for biodiesel and will be done in cooperation with Dr. Stephen Kaffka, Director of the California Biomass Collaborative at the University of California Davis, and John Diener, president of Red Rock Ranch. In addition, the Biodico production facility will be able to produce all its own heat and power, and Biodico will use it as a blueprint for making its other facilities self-sustaining.

Biodiesel, Government

Power of Propane Continues Demos Through Southeast

John Davis

Propane continues to show its versatility and ability to step up as a mainline automobile fuel during the Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program‘s latest stop during this year’s roadshow appearance at the Maryland International Speedway in Mechanicsville.

During the visit, attendees got to see a variety of autogas-powered fleet vehicles, as well as meet Susan Roush-McClenaghan, driver for the ROUSH Drag Team, who talked about her propane-powered Ford Mustang race car and her experience racing the high-performance vehicle.

For those who missed the stop in Maryland, your next opportunity comes next week when the roadshow series stops in Birmingham, Alabama on June 21, 2012. Check out the Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program roadshow series website for more information.


9,000 Acres to be Dedicated to Non-Food Energy Crops

John Davis

An additional 9,000 acres in New York and North Carolina, and the expansion of an area in Arkansas, is being set aside as part of the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) project. USDA announced $9.6 million will be spent to fund this latest effort to use more non-food crops for the production of biofuels, such as biodiesel and ethanol:

“Increasing the production of renewable, home-grown fuels is vital to reducing our country’s reliance on foreign oil, while creating good-paying jobs and diversifying the agriculture economy,” said [Agriculture Secretary Tom] Vilsack. “These projects are the foundation for an even stronger energy future in rural America. Because most energy crops are perennial and take time to mature before harvest, BCAP is designed so that sufficient quantities of feedstock will be available to meet future demand. Most importantly: these crops can grow where other crops cannot, providing farmers with new opportunities to diversify into more markets.”

In North Carolina, 4,000 acres is being put into Freedom® Giant Miscanthus and switch grass to support Chemtex International Inc.’s Project Alpha, a cellulosic biorefinery expected to produce 20 million gallons of ethanol and sustainable chemicals. Upstate New York will be seeing up to 3,500 acres in fast growing shrub willow to generate more than 100 megawatts of electricity for ReEnergy Holdings LLC. Finally, BCAP Project Area 2 in northeast Arkansas is expanding its enrollment up to nearly 8,000 acres of Giant Miscanthus, sponsored Missouri-based MFA Oil Biomass.

Under BCAP, producers get reimbursed up to 75 percent of what it costs to establish these perennial energy crops, plus five years of maintenance payments for herbaceous crops and up to 11 years for woody crops.

USDA officials point out that this program helps the Renewable Fuels Standard, which calls for 20 billion gallons more in just 10 years of non-corn based biofuels.

Biodiesel, biofuels, Ethanol, USDA

LS9 Opens Biodiesel Demo Plant in Florida

John Davis

Renewable energy and chemical producer LS9 has opened it’s demonstration plant in Okeechobee, Florida and is expected to be producing 75,000 gallons of biodiesel and biochemicals from local feedstocks in the coming months. This company press release says the retrofit of the plant was completed last month:

“The opening of our demonstration plant in Florida moves LS9 from a development company towards becoming a fully integrated commercial organization,” said Ed Dineen, LS9 President and CEO. “Florida’s strong agricultural resources will allow us to source locally grown feedstocks for testing and processing into renewable biofuels and biochemicals. We are grateful to those who attended our event today, and recognize that this would not have been possible without the support from Enterprise Florida, the Florida Opportunity Fund’s Clean Energy Investment Program, and the community of Okeechobee that has gone above and beyond to welcome LS9 to the state.”

LS9 officials highlighted the company’s single-step fermentation technology that allows the plant to move easily from one type of product to another. The retrofit of the facility was helped with $4.5 million of Florida Opportunity Fund (FOF) Clean Energy Investment Program money.


New Energy Farms Announces Development of CEEDS

Ann Marie Edwards

New Energy Farms (NEF) has developed a revolutionary new method of propagating energy grasses that will reduce farmer establishment costs by 50 percent or more.

Cost effective scaling of perennial energy grasses such as Miscanthus, Arundo donax and energy cane has previously inhibited expansion. NEF has developed a new planting product for vegetative energy crops called CEEDS. These are small capsules that are established using automatic min till or no-till planters, like seed. The process applies to a number of energy grasses and is currently being evaluated by companies in the U.S. and Canada. The existing range of NEF energy crops will be available in the CEEDS format commencing from 2013 to 2014 depending on the cultivar and region.

“The focus was to make establishing vegetative energy crops as easy as other arable crops, to do this we started to look how to reverse engineer a seed, and the result was CEEDS,” says Dean Tiessen, president of New Energy Farms.

“CEEDS represents a step forward in energy crop establishment; that has been many years in the development, but solves all the issues that have previously made scaling energy crops difficult,” adds Dr. Paul Carver, CEO New Energy Farms.

The CEEDS planting system works alongside the NEF energy crop plantation management system, Biomass Direct to provide a farm to end user service for our customers.

The main advantages of CEEDS are
• New cultivars can be bulked up to market volumes 3 times faster.
• Establishment cost for crops like Miscanthus can be reduced by over 50 percent.
• Min / No till, fully automatic precision planting (no planting staff required).
• Substantially lower cost of planting, less ground cultivation.
• Reduction by up to 80% in transport logistics for planting material.
• Greater vigor after planting, more shoots produced.
• This system delivers the maximum yield from a cultivar.
• Makes planting energy grasses as simple as drilling conventional arable crops.

advance biofuels, bioenergy, biomass