Business Briefs

By Erin Voegele | November 16, 2016

The Renewable Fuels Association has announced the election of officers for the board of directors. Mick Henderson, general manager at Commonwealth Agri-Energy LLC, was elected as chairman of the board of directors. Neil Koehler of Pacific Ethanol will serve as vice chairman, while Jim Seurer of Glacial Lakes Energy LLC will serve as treasurer. Bob Dinneen will continue as president of the RFA.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association recently recognized Absolute Energy, a 125 MMgy ethanol production facility in St. Ansgar, Iowa, for producing its 1 billionth gallon of ethanol. The facility began operations in 2008. 
Green Biologics Inc. recently announced the branding and product development strategy for its high-purity biobased n-butanol and acetone, as well as associated downstream products.  The company aims to market all 100 percent biobased chemicals under the brand BioPure, a descriptive brand name that encapsulates both the purity and sustainability of its biobased chemistry. Green Biologics has also registered the trademark GreenInside for cobranding opportunities with its collaboration partners, who will use the mark on a wide range of consumer and industrial products making sustainability claims based on Green Biologics’ technology. In addition, Green Biologics recently announced a distribution agreement with Caldic B.V., a global distributor headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Caldic will distribute Green Biologics’ biobased, high-purity chemicals, including n-butanol, acetone and other associated product to customers in Europe, Africa and the Middle East for a variety of key markets, including CASE (coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers), HI&I (household, industrial & institutional cleaners), PCI (personal care intermediates), food ingredients and energy chemicals.

RaceTrac announced it has expanded E15 sales to four locations in Florida. The company also recently joined a list of major retailers as part of the Prime the Pump initiative, which works in collaboration with Growth Energy to expand consumer choice for higher blends of ethanol, like E15, to Americans across the nation. Minnoco, Sheetz, Kum & Go, Thorntons, Cenex, Protec and Murphy USA are among the members of the Prime the Pump coalition.

The Renewable Fuels Association has announced Director of Regulatory Affairs Kelly Davis has been reappointed to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee, which advises the agency on U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency products and services. Davis was one of 34 members appointed in October. REEEAC members advise the Commerce Secretary regarding the development and administration of programs and policies to expand the competitiveness of U.S. exports of renewable energy and energy efficiency goods and services.

Gevo Inc. recently announced that it has completed production of more than 1,000 gallons of cellulosic renewable jet fuel that is specified for commercial flights. The company adapted its patented technologies to convert cellulosic sugars derived from wood waste into renewable isobutanol, which was then further converted into Gevo’s alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ) fuel. This ATJ meets the ASTM D7566 specification, allowing it to be used for commercial flights. Alaska Airlines is expected to fly the first commercial flight using this cellulosic jet fuel within the next few months.

The website, managed by the Renewable Fuels Association, now includes E15 in its services. The website is a crowdsourced service and now allows consumers to toggle between E15 and E85, locating information and reporting prices on either fuel blend. The improvements also allow consumers to review E15 prices reported by others, price spreads for each state, historical statistics and more, giving them access to the lowest-price gasoline available. The website also maintains a database of blender pump locations and an online forum.

Green Plains Inc. has acquired Fleischmann’s Vinegar Co. for $250 million. The company is the largest manufacturer and marketer of food-grade industrial vinegar. Headquartered in Cerritos, California, Fleischmann's Vinegar is an all-natural ingredients company serving markets and end-use applications, including food and beverage ingredients, antimicrobials, bioherbicides and cleaning products across the food, beverage, agricultural, industrial and wholesale markets.

Growth Energy recently presented Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, with its 2016 Fueling Growth award, which the group called its “highest honor given to congressional leaders who advocate for renewable fuels like ethanol and consumer choice at the pump.” In addition, former Growth Energy CEO and current co-chairman of the Growth Energy board of directors, Tom Buis, was presented with the America’s Fuel award. The award is the highest honor given by Growth Energy, and is presented to an individual who has made significant contributions to the growth and well-being of the ethanol industry.

The Renewable Fuels Association has announced the addition of Siouxland Ethanol to its membership. Siouxland Ethanol is a locally owned company near Jackson, Nebraska, that began production in May 2007. The ethanol plant currently processes 24 million bushels of corn per year into 70 million gallons of ethanol, 2,000 tons of corn oil and 175,000 tons of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) used by local cattle feeders. Siouxland Ethanol is also moving ahead with a planned expansion to boost production capacity by 15 percent, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Eastern Instruments has introduced the CentriFlow BWS, an economical and accurate gravimetric in-line mass flow meter that serves as an alternative to impact flow meters and belt scales for the dynamic measurement of solids while in process. The BWS can be used to measure granular solids such as grains, pellets, beans, wood chips, pet food and free-flowing granular powders, such as sand.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office has established the Agile BioFoundry, a new consortium of nine DOE national laboratories working to standardize and streamline the entire biomanufacturing pipeline by uniting computer-assisted biological pathway design, process integration, process scale-up, and machine learning.  The consortium is led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.