Business Briefs

FROM THE APRIL ISSUE: Ron Alverson honored with award from RFA; Sylvatex, Valicor enter development agreement; ACE elects 2018 executive committee, and more.
By Ethanol Producer Magazine | March 16, 2018

Ron Alverson receives RFA’s 2018 Industry Award 
Ron Alverson, a farmer, founding member of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association and board member of Dakota Ethanol LLC, is the recipient of the RFA 2018 Industry Award.

The Industry Award is given annually to individuals who demonstrate great dedication and innovation. Alverson was presented the award Feb. 13, during the 23rd Annual National Ethanol Conference.

For more than 40 years, Alverson has grown corn and soybeans near Chester, South Dakota. He is a founding member and past president of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association, helped establish the corn checkoff program to create new markets and uses for corn, and helped pass South Dakota’s first ethanol production incentive. Alverson founded Dakota Ethanol LLC, which operates a 48 MMgy ethanol plant in Wentworth, South Dakota, and is a past chairman of the American Coalition for Ethanol.

Alverson also has been working to educate policymakers and industry partners about the environmental benefits of ethanol, including the ability of corn plants to sequester carbon in the soil. He is a longtime advocate of the benefits of carbon sequestration and helping to ensure accurate carbon accounting methodologies.

“Ron has done more than anyone to help decisionmakers understand carbon sinks and made it his life’s mission to educate and inform anyone willing to listen on the astounding gains in efficiency that farmers have experienced in recent decades, including yield increases, improvements in tillage practices and reduced fertilizer use,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “While some have dismissed the environmental and economic impact of carbon, Ron realizes accurate carbon accounting will be the key to future success for both farmers and ethanol. His vision is why this recognition is so deserving.”

Sylvatex, Valicor enter joint development agreement
Sylvatex Inc. and Valicor Inc. have entered into a joint development agreement (JDA) that will oversee the development, construction and commercialization of Sylvatex’s MicroXTM technology, converting distillers corn oil and other plant-based oil feedstocks into renewable blendstock. The JDA also will accelerate commercial-scale engineering and expedite early market sales of the MicroXTM blendstock.
Sylvatex creates renewable nanoscale emulsion systems that can be used in fuels, lithium battery manufacturing and other specialty chemical applications such as food and fragrances.

Sylvatex and Valicor expect to deploy the technology in partnership with ethanol producers to increase the value of coproducts and to provide diversification into other fuels and chemical markets.
“This agreement marks the commencement of a long-term partnership with Valicor, a leader in conversion technologies,” said Virginia Klausmeier, CEO of Sylvatex. “Sylvatex and Valicor have enjoyed a strong collaborative relationship, advancing innovations. We look forward to expanding our partnership to create value and better utilize existing assets.”

Tom Czartoski, CEO of Valicor, said, “We are excited to partner with Sylvatex, a company which shares our core values of resource repurposing and sustainability. We have been engaged in DCO processing development for some time and were looking for accretive technologies that would complement our efforts. The technology synergy will exponentially increase the value of each company’s respective work and bring value to the market.”

ACE elects 2018 executive committee 
During its first quarter meeting, the American Coalition for Ethanol board of directors elected its officers and executive committee members for 2018.

Re-elected to serve as officers on the executive committee are:

• Duane Kristensen, representing Chief Ethanol Fuels, which owns ethanol plants in Hastings and Lexington, Nebraska. Kristensen accepted the nomination of president of the ACE board.

“It is imperative to be involved in these complex times for our industry,” Kristensen said. “ACE has done tremendous work over the past 30 years, and I look forward through this capable organization and its staff to promote and provide many more opportunities for ethanol in the future.”

• Ron Alverson, who represents Dakota Ethanol in Wentworth, South Dakota. Alverson accepted the treasurer nomination this year after serving as ACE’s board president the past five years.

“Serving as chairman of ACE has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” Alverson said. “The ACE board of directors, leadership and staff are the most talented, dedicated, generous and selfless people I’ve ever had the pleasure to be associated with.”

• Dave Sovereign, who represents Golden Grain Energy in Mason City, Iowa, and serves on the board of Absolute Energy. Sovereign now serves as vice president of the ACE board of directors.

• Greg Krissek, who represents the Kansas Corn Growers Association, accepted the nomination of secretary.

• Troy Knecht, representing the South Dakota Corn Growers Association, operates a diversified farming enterprise in Houghton, South Dakota, in addition to serving as the president of SDCGA.

Chris Wilson, general manager of 60 MMgy Mid-Missouri Energy in Malta Bend, Missouri, also was elected to ACE’s executive committee.

Dayton, Reynolds appointed to Governors’ Biofuels Coalition  
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton have been appointed chair and vice chair, respectively, of the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition, a multi-state alliance aimed at providing regional leadership on biofuels policy.

“We congratulate both Gov. Dayton and Gov. Reynolds on their appointments,” said Tim Rudnicki, executive director of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association. “Gov. Dayton’s commitment to biofuels contributed to a landmark year for E15 in Minnesota in 2017.”

In 2017, Minnesota became the first state in the nation to exceed 250 E15 stations, while E15 consumption, as of Nov. 30, was 14.45 million gallons, more than double the volume sold in 2016—5.68 million gallons.

“Minnesota has long been a national leader in adding value to our farm products and supporting the development of alternative fuels,” Dayton said in a statement. “Biofuels create new markets for Minnesota corn and soybeans, protect air and water quality, and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. I look forward to working with Gov. Reynolds to advance biofuel production and support our farmers.”

The increase in the number of stations offering E15, from 61 in 2016 to 252 at the end of 2017, was partly attributed to grants from the federal government and the Dayton administration for the installation of infrastructure to dispense higher blends of ethanol such as E15.

With Reynolds and Dayton at the helm of the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition, Rudnicki said, there will be more opportunities to fully realize the energy security, consumer, economic and environmental benefits of biofuels.

“We need to get Reid vapor pressure parity for E15 with E10, provide some additional assistance to fuel retailers who want to dispense E15 and begin proper testing of mid-level blends of ethanol,” he said.