Novozymes launches yeast platform for corn ethanol production

Ethanol Producer - Mon, 02/05/2018 - 07:53
Today, well-known enzyme developer Novozymes launches Drive, the first product from its Innova yeast platform for corn ethanol production.

Over 30 States Broke Blend Wall in 2016

Domestic Fuel - Mon, 02/05/2018 - 05:52

The latest data from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) shows that gasoline consumed in 30 states and the District of Columbia in 2016 contained more than 10 percent ethanol on average, breaking through the so-called E10 Blend Wall. That compares to 2015 when the national average ethanol content was 9.91 percent and 25 states (plus the District of Columbia) were above 10 percent on average. The 2016 data is the latest available for individual states.

The national average ethanol blend rate in 2016 was 10.02 percent, clearing the 9.7 percent that gasoline marketers claim is the highest the market can tolerate. Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen said the numbers show the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is working as intended to drive increased use of ethanol and other biofuels. “Increased consumption of E15, mid-level blends like E20-E30, and ethanol flex fuels like E85 has reduced the so-called blend wall to a pile of rubble. Today, more than 4,000 stations nationwide sell flex fuels and approximately 1,300 stations sell E15,” Dinneen said.

The data show that ethanol comprised 12.4 percent of the gasoline pool in Minnesota in 2016. Not coincidentally, ethanol flex fuels like E85 are available at roughly one out of every eight stations in the Gopher State. In Iowa, gasoline contained an average of 11.4 percent ethanol in 2016, consistent with 2015 and up from just 9.5 percent in 2013. The 2016 data is the latest available for individual states, with 2017 state-level data likely not available until late 2018.

For the first time, ethanol also exceeded 10.0 percent of gasoline consumption in 2016 in mountain states like Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Texas also saw its average blend rate rise above 10.0 percent for the first time. The lowest blend rate among the contiguous states in 2016 was 9.43 percent.

RFA has released a fact sheet with more details on state-level ethanol blend rates.

UNICA reports increased hydrous ethanol sales

Ethanol Producer - Fri, 02/02/2018 - 13:56
UNICA, the Brazilian sugarcane industry association, has announced increased sales of hydrous ethanol during the first half of January. Total ethanol production for the current season is up slightly when compared to the previous season.

Valero: Ethanol net income down, ethanol production volumes up

Ethanol Producer - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 16:41
Valero Energy Corp. has released fourth quarter financial results, reporting the company’s ethanol segment earned $37 million of operating income during the final three months of last year, down from $126 million during the same period of 2016.

BP Verenium Biofuels plant up for sale

Ethanol Producer - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 16:39
The BP Verenium Biofuels plant in Jennings, Louisiana, is being offered for sale. The 1.4 MMgy demonstration-scale facility celebrated its grand opening in 2008, and was acquired by BP Biofuels North America in mid-2010.

ACE: New video answers why retailers add E15

Ethanol Producer - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 16:38
The American Coalition for Ethanol announced the release of the fourth video in its series of fuel marketer-focused videos on the flexfuelforward.com website Jan. 31. The series addresses common marketer questions about E15 and flex fuels.

IBBR to investigate how to protect poplar from disease

Ethanol Producer - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 16:32
The Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research has been awarded a $1.1 million U.S. Department of Energy grant to elucidate the mechanism of rust pathogenesis in poplar in an effort to engineer durable resistance the biofuel crop.

Pruitt discusses E15 RVP waiver, RFS fuel pathway during hearing

Ethanol Producer - Wed, 01/31/2018 - 16:51
The RFS, a Reid vapor pressure (RVP) waiver for E15, and the pending advanced biofuel pathway for distillers sorghum oil were among the topics discussed during a Jan. 30 Senate hearing featuring testimony from U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

RFA responds to Trump’s State of the Union address

Ethanol Producer - Wed, 01/31/2018 - 16:42
The Renewable Fuel Association has responded to President Donald Trump’s Jan. 30 State of the Union address. Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the RFA, discussed how ethanol can benefit infrastructure, free trade and the economy.

New leadership appointed to Governors’ Biofuel Coalition

Ethanol Producer - Wed, 01/31/2018 - 16:38
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, have been appointed as chair and vice chair, respectively, of the Governors' Biofuels Coalition, a multi-state alliance aimed at providing regional leadership on biofuels policy.

Summit Agricultural Group to expand Brazilian corn ethanol plant

Ethanol Producer - Tue, 01/30/2018 - 16:43
Summit Agricultural Group recently announced a $100 million expansion of FS Bioenergia, a corn ethanol plant in Brazil. The expansion is expected to be complete by the first quarter of 2019 and will increase capacity from 60 MMgy to 140 MMgy.

Cargill to produce ethanol at Germany plant

Ethanol Producer - Tue, 01/30/2018 - 16:40
Cargill recently announced plans to expand its portfolio at its starches and sweeteners plant in Krefeld, Germany, with advanced biofuels, vegetable wheat protein and industrial wheat starches. The transformation is expected to be complete by 2020.

Newly discovered cellulose could have applications for ethanol

Ethanol Producer - Tue, 01/30/2018 - 16:35
Stanford scientists have found a new type of cellulose in bacteria with properties that could make it an improvement over traditional cellulose for fuels and other materials, or for better understanding and treating bacterial infections.

Mercuria plans improvements for South Bend ethanol plant

Ethanol Producer - Mon, 01/29/2018 - 16:59
Noble Americas South Bend Ethanol LLC in Indiana was recently purchased by Mercuria Investments US Inc. and changed its name to South Bend Ethanol LLC. Mercuria plans to increase capacity at the facility to approximately 100 MMgy.

Researchers explore economic potential for sweet sorghum ethanol

Ethanol Producer - Mon, 01/29/2018 - 16:55
A team at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is exploring sweet sorghum ethanol as a future income source for dryland agriculture in western Nebraska. Sweet sorghum is a cultivar of sorghum primarily developed for the harvest of juice.

USGC welcomes new member Conestoga Energy Partners

Ethanol Producer - Mon, 01/29/2018 - 16:54
The U.S. Grains Council recently announced Conestoga Energy Partners LLC as a new member. Established in 2006 and located in Liberal, Kansas, Conestoga Energy operates three ethanol plants with a total production capacity of 205 MMgy.

New Report Highlights Biodiesel Sustainability

Domestic Fuel - Mon, 01/29/2018 - 11:10

A new study on biodiesel’s lifecycle energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission effects updates and reaffirms the long-understood benefits of using the renewable fuel. Results confirm that biodiesel compared to petroleum diesel reduces GHG emissions by 72 percent and fossil fuel use by 80 percent.

The study, which was released as the National Biodiesel Conference kicked off last week, is the latest to conclusively quantify biodiesel’s widespread benefits. As a collaboration between Argonne National Laboratory, Purdue University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the study represents the most up-to-date and comprehensive lifecycle analysis of biodiesel ever produced.

“It’s encouraging to see the commitment to data and quality analysis brought together in this study,” said Don Scott, sustainability director for the National Biodiesel Board. “It’s not news that biodiesel is good for the environment. Where credible results are needed for sound policies, it serves us well to look at transparent, reliable science.”

This study represents the first time Argonne National Laboratory has published a lifecycle assessment of biodiesel including indirect land use change (ILUC). The improved model reduces ILUC emissions by more than 30 percent relative to the score adopted by CARB in 2015.

“Biodiesel’s emission-reduction benefits are so great that you can overapply penalties aligned with the most conservative models and biodiesel is still the cleanest alternative for today’s diesel engines and the heavy-duty transportation of tomorrow,” said Scott.

The study was a topic of a breakout at the biodiesel conference and you can learn more about it in this interview. Interview with Don Scott, NBB

2018 National Biodiesel Conference

RFA Cites Small Refiner Exemption Concerns

Domestic Fuel - Mon, 01/29/2018 - 09:43

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Bob Dinneen sent a letter last week to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt expressing concern about a troubling “lack of transparency” in EPA’s management of the Renewable Fuel Standard’s (RFS) small refinery exemption provisions that could “destabilize the market for renewable fuels and undermine Congress’s goals for the RFS program.”

EPA has the ability to exempt small refineries with crude oil throughput of no more than 75,000 barrels of crude per day from RFS obligations if they demonstrate that the program would lead to “disproportionate economic hardship.” In the past, EPA has generally exercised restraint and judiciousness in issuing exemptions for small refiners, but recent reports suggest EPA has received requests for exemptions from dozens of small refiners, and RFA believes the public has a right to better understand EPA’s decision-making process for granting or denying exemption requests.

Read more from RFA

The small refiner issue was brought up several times on a panel last week at the National Biodiesel Conference featuring petroleum industry representatives.

American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers CEO Chet Thompson, SIGMA CEO Ryan McNutt, and Rob Underwood with the Petroleum Marketers of America Association all joined NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen to talk through the RFS issues.

Listen to the conversation here: Petroleum Industry panel

2018 National Biodiesel Conference

Driving Ethanol Policy Priorities

Domestic Fuel - Mon, 01/29/2018 - 06:00

As attacks on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) have gotten more creative, the need for all segments of the industry to work together has become critical to maintaining the law as Congress intended.

We met up Growth Energy Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Chris Bliley for this episode of the Driving Ethanol podcast after he appeared on a panel at the National Biodiesel Conference to talk about how they worked together last year to fight back against the attempt to change the Point of Obligation and the Notice of Data Availability that threatened volumes of biodiesel and advanced biofuels.

The challenges continue in 2018 and Bliley talks about policy priorities including RVP parity and trade barriers. Listen to the podcast here: Growth Energy Podcast 1-29-17

Subscribe to the Driving Ethanol podcast

Philadelphia Energy Solutions blames RFS for bankruptcy

Ethanol Producer - Fri, 01/26/2018 - 14:57
Philadelphia Energy Solutions, the largest refinery on the East Coast, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, blaming its financial struggles on costs involved with complying with the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard.