2016 FEW underway; 2,000 biofuel producers, industry reps attend

By Susanne Retka Schill | June 20, 2016

Biofuel producers of all stripes converged on Milwaukee for the opening of the 32nd annual International Fuel Ethanol Conference & Expo on Monday evening, June 20. Colocated with the National Advanced Biofuels Conference this year, the event is drawing nearly 2,000 producers and industry representatives from the ethanol, biodiesel and advanced biofuels sectors.

More than a quarter of the attendees represent biofuel production plants, coming to learn about the latest advancements in the industry. The attendees represent 83 percent of installed ethanol capacity and 75 percent of all U.S. plants, along with cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel producer. Canadian ethanol producers are well represented with seven plants attending. Global ethanol production is represented as well, with attendees coming from production facilities located in Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Ireland, Sweden, Australia, India, China and Hungary.

The FEW is the largest gathering of the biofuels industry each year, bringing together producers and representatives from 270 companies exhibiting in the expo hall.  In addition to opening-day general sessions, the event features four tracks of educational sessions covering production and operations, leadership and financial management, coproducts and product diversification, and infrastructure and market development. The colocated advanced biofuel event has two tracks, one covering advanced and cellulosic ethanol and the other covering biodiesel and other advanced biofuels.

Monday events included a golf tournament and a preconference seminar, Ethanol 101, designed to give an overview of the industry and the process for professionals new to working in the sector. For those interested in getting a ground view, the FEW closes with an industry tour, this year hosted by United Ethanol, a 50 MMgy plant located in Milton, Wisconsin.

Sponsored by Ethanol Producer Magazine and produced by BBI International, the FEW serves the industry by delivering timely presentations with a strong focus on commercial-scale ethanol production from quality control and yield maximization to regulatory compliance and fiscal management. It has become the forum for companies to unveil new technologies and research findings.

Dates for the 2017 conference have been set for June 26-28 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.