States Tackle Carbon Emissions with Bioheat®

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

More states are recognizing the benefits of Bioheat® fuel for carbon emissions reduction.

According to the National Biodiesel Board, governors from Connecticut and Rhode Island recently approved mandates requiring increased use of biomass-based heating oil, also known as Bioheat® fuel, over the next decade. A similar bill in New York awaits the governor’s signature.

Each of the mandates differ slightly. Yet, each result in elevated blend levels of Bioheat® fuel, including two of the mandates reaching B50 (a blend of 50 percent biodiesel, 50 percent petroleum diesel):

Connecticut: Signed into law on July 12 by Governor Ned Lamont, the mandate requires B5 by 2022, B10 by 2025, B15 by 2030, B20 by 2034 and B50 by 2035.
Rhode Island: Signed into law on July 13 by Governor Daniel McKee, the mandate expands Rhode Island’s B5 mandate to B10 by 2023, B20 by 2025 and B50 by 2030.

NBB Director of State Governmental Affairs, Floyd Vergara says the team effort among the oil heat industry, NBB member companies and the NBB team is really what helps take legislation like these across the finish line.

“Legislators are finally taking note of the key carbon reduction advantages of biodiesel and renewable diesel, and we are able to see mandates come forward positioned to make a difference,” he said. “The momentum for biodiesel and renewable diesel as carbon-reduction strategies is continuing to grow and these policies help grow demand for our industries, but it wouldn’t be done without a team effort.”

Biodiesel, Bioheat, NBB

Prospects for the Renewable Fuels Sector

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Representatives from the three U.S. ethanol organizations shared their thoughts on prospects for renewable fuels in the Biden era during the 37th Fuel Ethanol Workshop last week.

BBI International Program Developer Tim Portz moderated the discussion with Renewable Fuels Association Senior VP Government & Public Affairs Troy Bredenkamp, American Coalition for Ethanol CEO Brian Jennings, and Chris Bliley, Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Growth Energy.

The panel discussed how the Biden EPA may handle small refinery waivers and renewable volume obligations, how ethanol fits in the Biden climate agenda with electric vehicles, the future for E15 in light of the recent court decision, and more.

Listen to the conversation here:
FEW 2021 Association Panel (44:39)

ACE, Audio, Ethanol, FEW, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

Kemin Launches New Ethanol Production Enzyme

Cindy Zimmerman

Kemin Industries has just launched a new high-temperature alpha-amylase for use during liquefaction, ZyloZyme™ AA.

ZyloZyme AA is used in the production of ethanol by fermentation and has yielded favorable results. In a study comparing the use of ZyloZyme AA to conventional alpha-amylase, Kemin’s product reduced viscosity while maintaining optimal dextrose equivalents, ethanol production and ethanol-to-solids ratio at a dose of 60 percent less than conventional alpha-amylase.

“We are encouraged by the outcome of this study and the positive results of using ZyloZyme AA in ethanol production,” said Brandon Lewis, Ph.D., Senior Technical Services Manager, Kemin Biofuels. “Even at low doses, ZyloZyme AA provides robust liquefaction while maintaining ethanol levels and the ethanol-to-solids ratio. We are excited to start customer trials with ZyloZyme AA and continue showcasing the product’s power.”

ZyloZyme AA is a specialized enzyme allowing ethanol plants to fine tune the amount of amylase used to break down starch, reduce viscosity and improve production output. The low dose allows flexibility for ethanol plants to optimize their product with a cost-effective alpha-amylase, thereby reducing operating costs.

Ethanol, Ethanol News

Ethanol Producer Awards for 2021

Cindy Zimmerman

Awards from Ethanol Producer Magazine were announced during the Fuel Ethanol Workshop this week.

The magazine recognizes plants, companies and projects that are helping their communities, helping the industry, and remaining strong in the face of ever-changing market conditions. The winners of the 2021 Ethanol Producer Awards are:

The Good Neighbor Award:
Commonwealth Agri-Energy

Board of the Year:
Glacial Lakes Energy

Collaboration of the Year:
Absolute Energy and Lallemand Biofuels & Distilled Spirits

Project of the Year:
Green Plains Inc.

Workplace of the Year:
Valero-Welcome, NE

Ethanol, Ethanol News, FEW

Ethanol Report from FEW

Cindy Zimmerman

The 2021 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop (FEW) was live and in-person this year and members of the ethanol industry were thrilled to be able to meet and talk with each other once again.

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper was the keynote speaker this year and he had a lot to talk about, from the recent adverse court decisions to the potential for ethanol to lead in a low carbon future.

This edition of The Ethanol Report podcast features remarks from Cooper, RFA Senior VP for government and public affairs Troy Bredenkamp, past RFA Chair Mick Henderson with Commonwealth Agri-Energy in Kentucky, and RFA board member Walt Wendland, CEO of Ringneck Energy in South Dakota.

Ethanol Report 7-15-21 (22:36)

The Ethanol Report is a podcast about the latest news and information in the ethanol industry that has been sponsored by the Renewable Fuels Association since 2008.

Choose an option to subscribe

Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Ethanol Report, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

House and Senate Bills Would Provide E15 Fix

Cindy Zimmerman

As the 2021 Fuel Ethanol Workshop (FEW) was getting underway Wednesday, ethanol’s champions in Congress were introducing bills that would allow E15 to be sold year round despite the recent circuit court decision.

Representatives Angie Craig (D-MN) and Adrian Smith (R-NE) led Co-Chairs of the Congressional Biofuels Caucus in introducing the Year-Round Fuel Choice Act, bipartisan legislation that would ensure that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can grant waivers to allow E15 and higher blend fuels to be sold at retailers year-round.

At the same time, Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) reintroduced the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act which would extend the Reid vapor pressure (RVP) volatility waiver to ethanol blends above 10 percent. Senator Fischer introduced the legislation in the 115th Congress but it never made it out of committee.

American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings endorses this swift legislative action to address the issue. “Since 2019, E15 adoption at retail sites has almost doubled with nearly 2500 locations and extending the 1-psi RVP waiver to E15 only makes sense to reflect the realities of today’s motor fuel market and year-over-year track record of successful growth. Without this legislation, it is possible to lose E15 sales next summer which would harm everyone through higher pump prices and greenhouse gas and tailpipe emissions.”

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Geoff Cooper thanked the ethanol champions for their support. “We are very fortunate in this industry to have such dedicated and devoted champions and leaders who understand the benefits of renewable fuels,” said Cooper. “In light of the DC circuit court decision we know that our friends in Congress want to be helpful with a legislative solution on RVP.”

RFA CEO Geoff Cooper comment on E15 bills (:31)

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RFA CEO Keynotes 2021 FEW Live

Cindy Zimmerman

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Geoff Cooper told participants at the 2021 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop and Expo Wednesday that low-carbon ethanol’s “brightest and sunniest days remain ahead” despite recent judicial setbacks and a growing policy push on electric vehicles.

Even after two recent disappointing court decisions, “The ethanol industry is still in a stronger position today than we’ve been in for years,” Cooper told the Des Moines audience. “Our outlook remains bright, despite what the headlines and our opponents would like us to believe.”

The potential impacts of the June 25 Supreme Court decision on small refinery exemptions and the July 2 D.C. Circuit Court decision to reverse year-round E15 sales will be more limited than some believe, Cooper said.

Cooper highlighted that ethanol can play a major role in efforts to greenhouse reduce emissions from the transportation sector, especially if additional state low-carbon fuel standards, or a national LCFS program, are adopted. “Even after accounting for all of energy and emissions associated with every step of the ethanol production process, today’s corn starch ethanol is shown to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 50 percent compared to gasoline,” he said. “Clearly, we are already on our way to ‘net zero’ with ethanol. Proper accounting of soil carbon accumulation in corn fields, using biogas for thermal energy, or adopting carbon capture and sequestration could make corn ethanol carbon neutral—or even carbon negative.”

Listen to Cooper’s remarks here:
FEW 2021 Keynote RFA CEO Geoff Cooper (27:00)

Click here for the keynote remarks as prepared, and here for the slides used in Cooper’s presentation.

Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, FEW, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

BBI Presents Annual Ethanol Awards

Cindy Zimmerman

The International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo (FEW) kicked off live and in-person this morning with annual awards presented by BBI International and Ethanol Producer Magazine.

Steve Markham, who currently serves as director of risk at CHS Inc., is the 2021 recipient of BBI’s High Octane Award, which acknowledges a person who has helped the industry progress over time, especially through market development and product championing. The High Octane Award is given to the ethanol industry’s top market builders, strongest advocates and our most ardent and engaged industry supporters.

During his decades-long career, Markham has been a driving force in the development of domestic and international distillers grains usage. He pioneered the practice of third-party marketing for the valuable ethanol industry coproduct. Markham also played an important role in facilitating early research projects for distillers grains and guided industry developments related to rail and barge transportation as market demand for distillers grains grew. Markham is a passionate advocate of the important work the U.S. Grains Council does to increase global demand for distillers grains and is a regular speaker at the organization’s overseas events.

Kurt Rosentrater, executive director and CEO of the Distillers Grains Technology Council and associate professor at Iowa State University’s Department of Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering, is the 2021 recipient of BBI’s Award of Excellence, which recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the fuel ethanol industry through their research, technical advisory and/or development activities.

For nearly 20 years, Rosentrater’s unique approach to research has helped overcome challenges and improved utilization of distillers grains coproducts. Specifically, his work has helped improve material handing and storage of distillers grains. He was the first to develop a commercially viable method to pelletize 100 percent distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS). Rosentrater has also helped develop new market opportunities for distillers grains in aquaculture.

The 2021 FEW opened this week with over 300 exhibitors and 1800 attendees.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, FEW

Groups Urge EPA to Propose Higher Octane Fuel Standard

Cindy Zimmerman

A coalition of agriculture and biofuel groups is urging the administration to propose a higher octane fuel standard as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) updates its greenhouse gas emissions standards for passenger vehicles and light duty trucks,

In a letter to President Joe Biden, the group also requested that EPA open a comment period on the role that high octane low carbon (HOLC) fuels can play in advancing the administration’s “climate, environmental justice, public health, economic revitalization, and energy security objectives.”

The letter notes that the Alliance for Automotive Innovation (AAI), which manufactures 99 percent of affected vehicles, also supports a transition to HOLC fuels “in new and existing internal combustion engines…as soon as possible” to facilitate the nation’s transition to a lower carbon economy.

Letter signers includes the High Octane Low Carbon Alliance, comprised of the Clean Fuels Development Coalition, National Farmers Union, National Corn Growers Association, and the Renewable Fuels Association. Additional organizations include American Farm Bureau Federation, American Coalition for Ethanol, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, state NFU and corn grower groups

“High octane, low carbon fuels, including higher-level blends of ethanol, hold so much potential – and we should be doing everything we can to realize that potential,” said NFU President Rob Larew. “These fuels improve vehicle and fuel efficiency, which in turn can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, conserve oil, and strengthen energy security.”

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Ethanol Industry Excited for FEW 20021

Cindy Zimmerman

Members of the ethanol industry are gearing up to be able to see each other again next week at the 2021 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop and Expo (FEW) July 13-15 in Des Moines.

The general session kicks off Wednesday morning with the keynote address from Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper who will have plenty to discuss regarding the current state and future of the ethanol industry with recent negative court decisions. Cooper will be followed by a panel discussion on “Charting the Prospects for the Renewable Fuels Sector in the Biden Era” featuring Troy Bredenkamp with RFA, American Coalition for Ethanol CEO Brian Jennings, and Chris Bliley with Growth Energy.

The following panel “Paradigm Shift: Surveying Producer Attitudes about New Products and Markets in a New Era of Biorefining” will provide perspectives from ethanol producers including Mick Henderson, Commonwealth Agri-Energy; Walt Wendland, Ringneck Energy; and James Broghammer, Pine Lake Corn Processors.

Over 300 exhibitors will be at FEW this year and more than 430 biofuels producers are registered. Registration is complimentary for producers.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, FEW, RFA