#FPS21 Features Congressional Biofuels Summit

Cindy Zimmerman

Six Republican members of Congress from Illinois, Iowa and Indiana held a Biofuels Summit at the Farm Progress Show on Wednesday to discuss the importance of ethanol and biodiesel to the region and the challenges being faced by the biofuels industry.

House Biofuels Caucus Co-chair Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL) was joined by Mike Bost (R-IL), Darin LaHood (R-IL), Randy Feenstra (R-IA), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), and Jim Baird (R-IN) to hear from farmers and others at the show about a number of issues, including maintaining the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), keeping E15 year round, and tax issues, just to name a few.

Listen to the entire summit here:
FPS21 Congressional Biofuels Summit (1:19:42)

Biodiesel, biofuels, corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Farm Progress Show

RFA Puts Ethanol on Display at #FPS21

Cindy Zimmerman

Biofuels are getting a lot of attention at the 2021 Farm Progress Show this week in Decatur, Illinois and the Renewable Fuels Association is there for the first time as an exhibitor.

RFA Vice President of Industry Relations Robert White says they are there because the Commodity Classic where they normally exhibit to talk to farmers was a virtual event this year. “We had some money in the budget to do something with agriculture and I thought Farm Progress Show would be a perfect opportunity,” said White. “We’re across from Illinois Corn and the rest of agriculture in the state, we’re next to the media tent, we’ve had multiple ethanol plant investors and board members come by.”

Besides plenty of ethanol information, RFA has a couple of impressive ethanol-powered vehicles on display as conversation starters – an E85-powered Jeep and Polaris Ranger.

Interview with Renewable Fuels Association VP of Industry Relations, Robert White
FPS21 Interview with Robert White, RFA (2:30)

Audio, E85, Education, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Farm Progress Show, Farming, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

Listen to Ethanol’s Carbon Guru Ron Alverson

Cindy Zimmerman

When Ron Alverson talks about carbon, people listen.

The South Dakota farmer who founded Dakota Ethanol, the state’s first producer-owned ethanol production co-op, is considered to be the “carbon guru” of the industry and attendees at the 2021 American Coalition for Ethanol annual conference packed in to his breakout session on Calculating Your Carbon Intensity. Alverson believes that accurate accounting can reveal ethanol’s true low carbon intensity value, and that farmers and producers can take steps to accelerate that value beyond net zero to net negative.

ACE Past President Ron Alverson – net zero to net negative carbon

ACE 2021 Interview with Ron Alverson, past ACE president 4:26

ACE 2021 - Ron Alverson remarks 14:19

ACE, ACE Ethanol Conference, Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News

RFA Urges EPA to Help Reduce Hurricane Ida’s Fuel Price Impact

Cindy Zimmerman

With the Labor Day weekend ahead and Hurricane Ida impacting the nation’s liquid fuel supply and distribution, the Renewable Fuels Association is urging the Environmental Protection Agency to take two simple steps that can extend fuel supplies and reduce price spikes expected at the retail fuel pump.

The requested actions relate to pump labeling, underground storage tanks, and gasoline volatility regulations. Approving RFA’s request would allow many retailers who do not sell the lower-carbon E15 fuel blend today to immediately begin offering the fuel without being unduly delayed, RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper noted in a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan. EPA should also approve earlier requests to exercise enforcement discretion—if needed—to allow existing E15 retailers in conventional gasoline areas to continue selling the fuel through the remainder of the summer ozone control season.

“As the ethanol industry continues to recover from COVID-related market disruptions, a substantial amount of fuel ethanol production capacity (i.e., nearly 200,000 barrels per day) is either sitting idle today or producing industrial and/or other non-fuel grades of ethanol,” Cooper wrote. “With immediate action to grant the requested regulatory relief, some of this capacity could be quickly activated or reoriented to help alleviate impending fuel shortages resulting from Hurricane Ida. For many reasons, utilizing domestically produced low-carbon fuel to help offset the supply shortage is preferable to importing more petroleum products from OPEC+ nations, as is currently being planned.”

Read the letter.

EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA

B100 Pilot Truck to be Showcased at Farm Progress Show

Cindy Zimmerman

One of five trucks used in last year’s cooperative B100 pilot program will be on display at the 2021 Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois this week, according to the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).

The pilot, conducted by ADM, the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA), Optimus Technologies, American Lung Association (ALA), National Biodiesel Board (NBB) and Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council was designed to demonstrate the feasibility of commercial implementation of Optimus Technologies’ Vector System, which enables conventional diesel vehicles to operate on 100% biodiesel (B100). Five of ADM’s Class 8 over-the-road trucks, equipped with The Vector System, were used in daily fleet operations. These vehicles successfully traveled hundreds of thousands of miles on B100, even in the coldest temperatures of a central Illinois and Missouri winter.

“We’re all looking for ways to enhance the sustainability of our transportation system, and last year’s pilot program was an important step in proving the viability of significantly wider use of low-carbon biodiesel in truck fleets,” said Scott Fenwick, NBB technical director. “We’re collecting and analyzing the data from the past year and look forward to discussing the details soon. That said, one thing that was clear is that the five trucks in the program worked well in a variety of conditions, including record-low temperatures over the winter.”

The cab will be displayed outside ADM’s exhibit at the corner of Seventh Progress Street and Central Progress Avenue.

Read more from NBB.

Biodiesel, NBB, Soybean, Soybeans, Trucks

ACE Unveils Hybrid Electric FFV Project

Cindy Zimmerman

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) unveiled a new hybrid electric flex-fuel vehicle demonstration project at its conference last week to show how the combination can bring us closer to net zero.

“EPA assigns vehicles a carbon intensity (CI) score based on how many grams of CO2 per mile are emitted by operating that vehicle,” said ACE Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty. “While scores exist for hybrids, plug-in electrics, plug-in hybrids, flex-fuel and standard vehicles, one combination that is not represented, and hasn’t even been attempted in the U.S., is the one that makes the most sense to me: a hybrid electric flex fuel vehicle.”

So, Lamberty bought a Hybrid Electric Ford Fusion and drove it to California in early August to meet with E85 wholesaler Pearson Fuels and the owners of eFLexFuel Technology to install their flex fuel conversion kit on the vehicle. He drove the now Hybrid Electric Flex Fuel Ford Fusion, he nicknamed “HEFF,” back to South Dakota to start a three-year demonstration project. The front-wheel-drive midsize sedan starts up on electricity and is powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine capable of using up to E85 matched to an electric motor for a combined 188 horsepower.

According to Lamberty, from a total greenhouse gas reduction standpoint, it makes sense for a hybrid to use the cleanest liquid fuel available when charging and not running on electricity, and that’s E85. Lamberty calculated a hybrid electric vehicle running on low-CI E85 could obtain a total GHG score as low as 20 to 25 grams of CO2 per mile, which is lower than current EPA total GHG emissions calculations for PHEVs or full EVs. Yet no major automakers offer a flex-fuel hybrid vehicle.

Learn more in this interview and stay tuned for updates!

ACE Senior VP Ron Lamberty – E85 and hybrid electric vehicles
ACE 2021 Interview with Ron Lamberty, ACE 9:27

ACE, ACE Ethanol Conference, Audio, E85, Electric Vehicles, Ethanol, Ethanol News

2021 Next Generation Fuels Act Introduced in House

Cindy Zimmerman

Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) and a bipartisan group of co-sponsors this week introduced the Next Generation Fuels Act of 2021, establishing a high-octane, low-carbon fuel standard. A similar bill was introduced last September.

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper says the bill lays out an “innovative roadmap to more efficient, more affordable, lower-carbon fuels.”

Specifically, the Bustos bill would establish high-octane (95 and 98 RON) certification test fuels containing 20-30 percent ethanol, while requiring automobile manufacturers to design and warrant their vehicles for the use of these fuels beginning with model year 2026. The bill also includes a low-carbon requirement, specifying that the source of the octane boost must reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by an average of at least 40% compared to a 2021 gasoline baseline, as measured by the Department of Energy’s GREET model. The legislation also includes a restriction on the aromatics content of gasoline, ensures parity in the regulation of gasoline volatility (Reid vapor pressure), corrects key variables used in fuel economy testing and compliance, requires an update to the EPA’s MOVES model, ensures infrastructure compatibility, and addresses many other regulations impeding the deployment of higher octane blends at the retail level.

However, American Coalition for Ethanol CEO Brian Jennings says faulty carbon accounting in the bill would penalize
efficient ethanol producers.

“While this legislation checks much off the ethanol industry wish list, like the previous version, its inadequate approach to carbon accounting would undermine many ACE-member plants and other U.S. dry mill producers who have made investments to reduce the carbon intensity of their ethanol,” said Jennings.

He says the act contains a new “low carbon” octane standard which requires high octane fuel to be produced from sources with average lifecycle GHG emissions at least 40 percent cleaner than gasoline. “Because every ethanol facility has its own unique carbon intensity (CI), the legislation’s use of “average” on pages 29-31 of the bill text to determine the lifecycle GHG emissions of ethanol shortchanges many producers like Poet, KAAPA, Little Sioux Corn Processors, Ringneck Energy and dozens like them that have invested in technology innovations to reduce the CI of their fuel.”

Jennings explains more here

ACE, corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

Christianson Receives Paul Dana Award for HBIIP Work

Cindy Zimmerman

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) presented the 2021 Paul Dana Marketing Vision Award to Christianson PLLP during last week’s annual conference. Jamey Cline, Business Development Director with Christianson, accepted the award on the company’s behalf.

Following the roll out of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP), Christianson helped biofuel and corn organizations field questions from fuel retailers about the grant application process and helped retailers directly navigate the complicated application process to receive federal funds to make upgrades at their stations to sell higher ethanol blends.

“As soon as the HBIIP grants were announced we looked at them from our client’s perspective and created a curated program to assist them through the grant application,” Cline said. “I am delighted to not only be acknowledged for the work we have accomplished this past year, but to be surrounded by a team of colleagues, and organizations like ACE, who are passionate about helping our clients and furthering the renewable fuels industry.”

ACE 2021 Interview with Jamey Cline, Christianson PLLP 3:40

ACE, ACE Ethanol Conference, Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News

Ethanol Answer Man Honored with Merle Anderson Award

Cindy Zimmerman

Legendary “Ethanol Answer Man” Larry Johnson was honored posthumously with the American Coalition for Ethanol‘s highest award, the Merle Anderson Award, named after the organization’s founder. Johnson passed passed away July 19, 2020 at the age of 76.

Most famous for driving the ethanol “answer van” around the Midwest to address questions from the public about the benefits of ethanol, Johnson was a Minnesota farmer who saw ethanol as a way to help rescue the rural economy from the 1980s farm crisis. As the former President of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and member of the National Corn Growers Association Board of Directors, Larry was also instrumental in pushing for public policies to benefit farmers and the ethanol industry. The award was accepted by Larry’s wife, Sandy, and children Adam, Aaron and Angela.

ACE 2021 Interview with Adam Johnson, son of the Ethanol Answer Man 1:55

ACE, ACE Ethanol Conference, Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News

Hormel Receives ACE Grassroots Award

Cindy Zimmerman

Steffen Mueller, Gail Dennison, Rick Schwark, Brian Jennings

The American Coalition for Ethanol 2021 Grassroots Award was presented last week to The Hormel Institute for research into whether gasoline containing ethanol (such as E10, E15, and E85) results in lower emissions of toxic chemicals known to cause cancer.

The study was a collaboration between The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota and the Energy Resources Center, University of Illinois Chicago, and was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2021) by Dr. Steffen Mueller of the Energy Resources Center and Dr. Shujun Liu and Gail Dennison of The Hormel Institute.

The institute was also recognized for contributions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including their collaboration with ACE member Absolute Energy to provide hand sanitizer to the Mayo Clinic.

Learn more in these interviews with Dennison and Mueller.
ACE 2021 Interview with Gail Dennison, Hormal 2:59

ACE 2021 Interview with Steffen Mueller, Energy Resources Center 9:19

ACE, ACE Ethanol Conference, Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News