Business briefs

FROM THE JULY ISSUE: Poet's CEO gets honorary degree from South Dakota State University, a new ambassador to China is named, another plant earns efficient producer status, and more.
By Lisa Gibson | June 22, 2017

Branstad confirmed as ambassador to China, Reynolds to become Iowa governor
On May 22, the U.S. Senate voted 82 to 13 to confirm Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad as the next U.S. ambassador to China. Branstad resigned as governor on May 24, replaced by Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think that a boy from a small farm in Leland would one day have the opportunity to represent the United States and Iowa on the world stage, working closely with one of the world’s most influential countries and one of America’s largest trading partners,” Branstad said.

Poet CEO Jeff Broin receives honorary doctorate from South Dakota State University
Poet CEO Jeff Broin received an honorary doctorate of public service from South Dakota State University during its spring commencement ceremony.

Broin built the company from a small 1 MMgy operation into the largest biofuels producer in the world, with 1.8 billion gallons of annual fuel production and 10 billion pounds of high-protein animal feed, among other products, according to Poet.

“Thirty years ago, I made a decision to move to Scotland, South Dakota, a place I had never been, and become general manager of a nearly bankrupt ethanol plant,” Broin said. “My dad put his farm on the line for this project, and I knew failure wasn’t an option. Our will, determination and faith were tested daily, but it was those values that helped get Poet to where it is today. I am incredibly humbled and honored by this recognition and will forever treasure this moment.”

Daniel Scholl, interim dean of the SDSU College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, said, “Mr. Broin epitomizes SDSU’s role to prepare people to innovate, to do things in new ways that add real value to the lives and well-being of our communities. It is a privilege for SDSU to recognize Jeff’s contributions by this honorary doctorate degree.”

Broin holds a degree in agricultural business from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Didion achieves EPA efficient producer status
In early May, the U.S. EPA approved an efficient producer pathway for Didion Ethanol LLC, allowing the facility to generate renewable identification numbers (RINs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard for nongrandfathered volumes of ethanol. The plant, located in Cambria, Wisconsin, has a nameplate capacity of 50 MMgy.

Ethanol plants that have approved efficient producer pathways are able to generate RINs for production volumes above those grandfathered under current RFS regulations.

According to documents published by the EPA, the Didion ethanol plant achieves a 20.5 percent greenhouse gas reduction from baseline gasoline levels. A typical natural gas-fired dry mill ethanol plant that produces 100 percent dry distillers dried grains achieves a 16.8 percent GHG reduction when compared with the gasoline baseline.

Rayeman Elements sells drying system to Lincolnway Energy
Rayeman Elements Inc., in conjunction with its partner Nationwide 5 LLC, has completed the sale of its second production unit to Lincolnway Energy of Nevada, Iowa. Rayeman Elements, based in Berthoud, Colorado, has developed, designed and manufactured a new, patented grain drying system. The Rayeman Compression Dryer uses heated screws to squeeze water out of wet grains. Lincolnway Energy is developing swine and poultry feed, branded as PureStream Protein.

Praj celebrates inauguration r of second-generation plant
On May 7, Praj Industries Ltd. unveiled a demonstration-scale biorefinery near Pune, India, capable of producing 1 MMly of cellulosic ethanol.

According to Praj, the facility can process a wide range of biomass feedstocks, including rice and wheat straw, cotton stalk, bagasse, cane trash and corn cobs and stover. The facility also features the company’s proprietary platform technology, Enfinity, for the manufacture of ethanol from agricultural waste.