Business Briefs

By Lisa Gibson | July 19, 2017

US DOE announces new director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Thomas Zacharia has been appointed director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  He was unanimously selected by the UT-Battelle Board of Governors to succeed Thom Mason.

Zacharia’s career at ORNL dates back to 1987, when he started as a postdoctoral researcher. He has served in a variety of roles, most recently as the deputy director for Science and Technology.

Zacharia has contributed to making ORNL one of the world’s leading research institutions, and has helped broaden partnerships with the academic community across multiple disciplines, according to the DOE. He holds two U.S. patents and is author or co-author of more than 100 publications on high-performance computing for manufacturing processes.

Poet CEO Jeff Broin receives 2017 BIO George Washington Carver Award
 Poet Founder, Chairman and CEO Jeff Broin is the recipient of the 10th annual George Washington Carver Award for Innovation in Industrial Biotechnology. The award was presented on July 24 during the 2017 Biotechnology Innovation Organization World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology at the Palais des congrès de Montréal in Montréal, Québec, Canada.

“It is an honor to receive this award,” Broin said. “George Washington Carver was a true visionary, recognizing the enormous potential of agriculture to meet all of our world’s needs. At Poet, we follow that vision, seeking new ways to produce biofuels from both starch and cellulose, as well as developing additional products and bioprocesses to replace petroleum-based products. We believe that the agricultural potential of the world is virtually untapped. The world is beginning to learn that we need to return to the sun, the soil and the seed.”

The George Washington Carver Award also is sponsored by the Iowa Biotechnology Association.

RFA director receives ASTM award
 Kelly Davis, the Renewable Fuels Association’s director of regulatory affairs, was given the Award of Excellence at ASTM International’s 2017 Committee D02 on Petroleum Products, Liquid Fuels, and Lubricants meeting in Boston.

Davis serves as the D02 subcommittee editorial chairperson, where she reads and edits ballots and articulates ethanol industry quality issues. Davis brings 30 years of experience in the grain processing industry with emphasis in ethanol production for fuel, industrial and beverage purposes and has served as the director of regulatory affairs at RFA for more than four years.

Edeniq secures $5 million in growth equity
Edeniq Inc., a cellulosic technology company, has secured commitments for $5 million in additional equity to support existing customer workload, rapidly grow the pipeline and roll out technology enhancements. Edeniq has raised more than $12 million in the past 12 months.

In the coming year, Edeniq expects to more than double average customer cellulosic ethanol production through plant optimization and technology enhancements that are being introduced to customers as early as the third quarter of 2017. While customers are currently averaging just over 1 percent cellulosic ethanol and a 2 percent lift in total ethanol production, the best-performing plants have achieved rates of more than 2 percent cellulosic ethanol and a 3 percent lift in total ethanol production, according to the company.

Husker Ag recognized for ethanol direct marketing
The Nebraska Ethanol Board recently recognized Seth Harder, general manager of Husker Ag in Plainview, Nebraska, for his company’s success with fuel retailers. The company has contributed more than $250,000 to Nebraska’s fuel infrastructure by funding higher-blend ethanol pumps at stations across the state. Harder led a fuel-choice effort that resulted in 11 stations across northeast Nebraska and Yankton, South Dakota, installing ethanol blend pumps ranging from E15 to E85.

“I encourage everyone in the industry to do what they can to help this industry succeed,” Harder says in a statement. “We all need to be involved to move past the mythical blend wall. The demand for ethanol is there, so we need to make sure we do everything we can to meet it.”

Blue Flint Ethanol celebrates 10 years
Blue Flint Ethanol in Underwood, North Dakota, celebrated a successful 10 years of operations in June.
Located adjacent to Coal Creek Station, Blue Flint Ethanol is the first colocated, directly integrated ethanol plant in the world.

Since Blue Flint began producing ethanol and dried distillers grains in February 2007, the plant has evolved into a biorefinery, integrating corn oil production and an E85 blending station.

Blue Flint Ethanol, a 70 MMgy facility, has produced more than 650 million gallons of ethanol in its 10 years of operations. That ethanol is shipped via truck or rail to markets in the U.S. and Canada.

Blue Flint Ethanol uses 24 million bushels of corn annually. In addition to ethanol, that corn is used to make 200,000 tons of distillers grains, enough to feed about 300,000 head of cattle and more than 2 million gallons of corn oil per year, which is marketed for use as a feedstock for the biodiesel production process.

US Grains Council hires global programs coordinator
 Kaitlyn Tykhonovska joined the U.S. Grains Council as global programs coordinator in Washington, D.C. In this role, she will handle details, logistics and follow-up needs associated with USGC programs and consultants.

Cary Sifferath, USGC senior director of global programs, said Tykhonovska’s international experience, organizational skills and educational background are a good fit for the global programs team.
Tykhonovska earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of Mississippi and a master’s degree in conflict analysis and resolution from George Mason University.

Before joining USGC, she worked with Capitol Process Services as the national services coordinator, and for the Mason Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution as the technology and research intern.

Rayeman Elements adds biofuels division
Rayeman Elements Inc. has added a biofuels division that will provide technology for biodiesel plants colocated with ethanol plants, in partnership with engineering firm Saola Energy LLC.

The companies’ technology will use an enzymatic biodiesel process. The facilities also will include standard methanol recovery and distillation units. The standard plant size will be 2 MMgy, but the company says customized designs will be accommodated upon request.

According to Rayeman Elements, the technology will help ethanol plants diversify their product offerings, while increasing the value of their corn oil stream.

CLARIFICATION: In the July feature article, “Sustainable Certification for the Ethanol Process,” it was reported that Marquis Energy is not on the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification list of producers certified for ethanol export. Marquis is listed as certified for corn, which corresponds to a certain amount of certified ethanol for export.