2018 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit Registration Open

Cindy Zimmerman

Registration is now open for the 2018 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit in January to explore the opportunities biofuels create to brighten America’s future.

“Countries all over the world are turning to renewable fuels as a solution for problems like air pollution and low commodity prices,” said Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Managing Director Lucy Norton. “That’s why our theme this year is ‘Brighter Future with Biofuels.’ With biofuels we can have cleaner air, lower fuel prices, and new trade markets in this global economy.”

The summit will take place at the Prairie Meadows Conference Center in Altoona, Iowa on January 30, 2018. There is no charge to attend the conference but registration is required. To register to attend, learn more about the Summit, and review sponsorship and trade show opportunities, please visit: IowaRFA.org/summit.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Iowa RFA

US Meeting With Argentina on Biodiesel Imports

Cindy Zimmerman

The government of Argentina will be negotiating with the U.S. Commerce Department today in an effort to suspend antidumping duties on biodiesel exports to this country. Affirmative preliminary determinations in the antidumping duty investigations of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia, found in favor of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Fair Trade Coalition that biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia were being sold in the U.S. at below fair market value prices.

The Commerce Department is working on possible suspension agreements “if they ensure that injury to the domestic biodiesel industry is eliminated and that the unfair trade practices are addressed.”

“From the beginning, the U.S. biodiesel industry has expressed a willingness to work out our differences with the Government of Argentina—but the market distortion has to end. The primary issues that led to the coalition filing the case were the differential export taxes (DETs), which distort the market here in the United States, and dumped prices,” said National Biodiesel Board’s (NBB) Chief Executive Officer Donnell Rehagen.

As a result of last week’s ruling, importers of Argentinian and Indonesian biodiesel will be required to pay cash deposits on biodiesel imported from those countries, ranging from 54.36 to 70.05 percent for biodiesel from Argentina, and 50.71 percent for biodiesel from Indonesia, starting today.

Biodiesel, Exports, International, Trade

Grains Council Adds Staff to Grow Ethanol Exports

Cindy Zimmerman

Left: Tim Tierney, USGC director of strategic marketing/ethanol, North Asia. Right: Caleb Wurth, USGC assistant director, Southeast Asia.

The U.S. Grains Council is adding a new strategic director in Asia and assistant director in Southeast Asia to help increase near-term demand for feed grain sales and build long-term demand for ethanol among global customers.

Tim Tierney has joined the Council as director of strategic marketing/ethanol in North Asia, filling a new role that seeks to capitalize on both longstanding relationships in the region and emerging opportunities for biofuels. Tierney, who will be based in Singapore, came to the organization from Syngenta and DuPont, where he worked on products developed for the ethanol industry.

Caleb Wurth will join the Council’s Southeast Asia regional office in Kuala Lumpur as assistant director in November. Most recently with ADM, Wurth has experience marketing corn and corn co-products to feedlots and working on containerized grain export logistics, both of which are particularly relevant to that region.

These additions complement other staff expansions over the last year that are meant to help find, develop and capture wholly new demand for corn, sorghum, barley, distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and ethanol.

Distillers Grains, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Exports, USGC

Perdue Praises Pruitt’s RFS Decision

Cindy Zimmerman

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue traveled to Omaha yesterday to swear-in new Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach in his home state.

“Greg Ibach will bring experience and integrity to his new role at USDA, and carries with him the knowledge he’s gained in the dozen years he has served as Nebraska’s Director of Agriculture,” said Secretary Perdue.

During a press conference, Perdue was asked about the recent letter from EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to biofuel-supporting senators regarding proposed changes in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). “We have had discussions with Administrator Pruitt over the RFS and told him how important it was for our producers,” said Perdue. “He understood the president’s commitment, which the president reaffirmed to him, and I think he made the right decision.”

Secretary Perdue comments on Pruitt RFS decision

During the swearing-in ceremony, Perdue expressed his disappointment that Bill Northey was not also being sworn in at the same time, after his nomination was put on hold last week by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in an apparent attempt at retaliating against the administration for bowing to pressure from ethanol states like Iowa on changes to the RFS. “It’s a sad note when one senator put a hold on a nominee not based on anything that has to do with that nominee,” said Perdue.

Secretary Perdue swear-in opening comments
Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFS, USDA

Ethanol Report on the Road with E85

Cindy Zimmerman

With more than 4,000 E85 stations across the nation and more being added every day, drivers of flex fuel vehicles could possibly drive across the country on only 85 percent ethanol with a little planning and a lot of E85prices.com.

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) Vice President of Industry Relations Robert White took his work on vacation this summer, taking the family on a 2400 mile tour of national parks and monuments on Colorado and Utah with the goal of making the trip on only E85 in their 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The result – 2,400 miles on just 20 gallons of gasoline – and the rest powered by ethanol.

Robert talks about the growth of E85 fueling options for consumers and his ethanol-powered vacation in this edition of The Ethanol Report: Ethanol Report on the road with E85

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Audio, E85, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Ethanol Report, RFA

Clariant to Build sunliquid® Cellulosic Ethanol Plant in Romania

Cindy Zimmerman

Swiss company Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, has chosen Romania as the site for a new full-scale commercial cellulosic ethanol plant using its sunliquid® technology. The flagship facility will use wheat straw and other cereal straw sourced from local farmers.

“After five years of operating our pre-commercial sunliquid® plant in Straubing, Germany, and thorough process demonstration we are now ready to scale-up to the next level,” explains Markus Rarbach, Head of Start-up Business Biofuels & Derivatives at Clariant.

To further focus on the commercialization of bio-ethanol, licenses and enzymes, Clariant has set-up a new Business Line Biofuels & Derivatives, as part of the Business Area Catalysis. Last month, Clariant announced the first technology license agreement with Enviral, the largest producer of bioethanol in Slovakia.

Cellulosic, enzymes, Ethanol, Ethanol News, International, technology

Growth Energy Celebrates Two Billion Miles on E15

Cindy Zimmerman

American drivers are hitting the road on more 15% ethanol than ever before.

According to Growth Energy, American drivers have surpassed another billion miles on E15 in just five months this year, bringing the total miles driven across the U.S. to 2 billion. This comes on the heels of Growth Energy’s recent announcement that more than 1,000 stations across the country are currently offering E15 to consumers.

“This latest milestone cements the fact that drivers have embraced the tremendous benefits E15 offers and highlights just how rapidly consumer demand is growing,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “E15 is experiencing incredible growth both in terms of retailers offering it at their convenience stores and consumers reaching for it at the pump. This momentum is another clear reminder for lawmakers that we must make this choice available year-round.”

E15 is approved for use in all vehicles 2001 and newer, as well as, all flex fuel vehicles, which combined represent more than 87 percent of the vehicles on the road.

E15, Ethanol, Growth Energy

2017-18 National FFA Officer Team Elected

cindy zimmerman

2017-18 FFA National Officers: President Breanna Holbert, Wastern VP Gracie Furnish, Secretary Erica Baier, Western VP Bryce Cluff, Central VP Piper Merritt, and Southern VP Ian Bennett

Students from Arizona, California, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky and Oklahoma were elected to serve on the 2017-18 National FFA Officer team.

Breanna Holbert, an agricultural education major at California State University of Chico, made history as the first female African American elected as National FFA president. Her fellow officers include:

National Secretary – Erica Baier, agricultural education major at Iowa State University
Central Region VP – Piper Merritt, agricultural economics major at Oklahoma State University
Western Region VP – Bryce Cluff, agricultural technology and management major at the University of Arizona
Southern Region VP – Ian Bennett, majoring in plant breeding and genetics at the University of Georgia
Eastern Region VP – Gracie Furnish, career and technical education major at the University of Kentucky

Listen to an interview with Breanna from FFA: Interview with Breanna Holbert, FFA National President

Click for interviews, bios and hi-res photos of all the new officers.

Watch video of the officers being announced:

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Audio, FFA, Video

More than 4,000 U.S. Stations Offering E85

Cindy Zimmerman

Coast to coast, drivers of flex fuel vehicles (FFVs) now can find more than 4,000 stations to fill up with 85% ethanol blended fuel (E85).

According to E85prices.com, operated by the Renewable Fuels Association, Minnesota offers the most E85 stations, but states outside the Corn Belt have shown the greatest growth in recent years, including California, Texas, Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

“Reaching this milestone is a tremendous achievement,” said RFA Vice President of Industry Relations Robert White. “Consumers with FFVs ought to have access to E85, whether they’re in Iowa, California or Florida. This expansion allows consumers with FFVs in many areas the opportunity to fuel with E85 for the first time.”

With more than 22 million FFVs now on the road nationwide, White says this shows how the country can accommodate higher Renewable Fuel Standard Renewable Volume Obligation requirements than what EPA has proposed. “If just half of the FFVs on the road today used E85, there would be more than 6 billion gallons of E85 demand, and you cannot ignore the growing demand from E15 and other blends,” he said.

White says the growth in E85 is due to a combination of factors, including RFA’s overall market development efforts, the past Blend Your Own Ethanol Campaign, USDA’s Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) Program, and the ethanol industry-funded Prime the Pump initiative.

E85, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Flex Fuel Vehicles, RFA

Ethanol Producers Going “RINless”

Cindy Zimmerman

Renewable Identification Number credits (RINs) have been trading higher this week and some ethanol producers and marketers are taking advantage of the higher values to offer denatured ethanol as low as 30 cents per gallon and E85 at 55 cents per gallon (plus tax and freight).

American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty reports that Glacial Lakes Energy in South Dakota announced it was making “RINless” denatured ethanol available to retailers for just 30 cents per gallon, and Absolute Energy in Minnesota was offering “RINless” E85 for just 55 cents. RINless means the RIN is retained by the seller, and its value is subtracted leaving a low net fuel price.

“There are a growing number of retailers buying RINless ethanol directly from producers like Absolute Energy and GLE,” Lamberty said. “Owners of single stores and small chains are the primary buyers of this RINless ethanol and E85.”

“After taxes and freight, the wholesale cost of E85 is under a dollar for many Midwest markets,” Lamberty added. “And pricing that reflects the discount earned from the extra RINs in higher ethanol blends is available in other markets, too. We’re constantly looking to match E15 and flex fuel retailers with ethanol suppliers who will sell them competitively priced fuels.”

Opponents of the Renewable Fuel Standard claim that higher RINs equate to higher fuel prices, but Lamberty says RINs do exactly the opposite and the proof is higher ethanol-blended fuels at lower prices at the pump in real-world stations across the U.S.

Examples of other fuel marketers offering wholesale, RINless ethanol and E85 can be found on the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website.

ACE, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFS, RINS