Business Briefs

FROM THE JUNE ISSUE: Camag's new lab manager, agreement grants DSM license to Lallemand, Poet CEO recognized, Ace Ethanol's Whitefox system complete, and ADM to create new subsidiary.
By Ethanol Producer Magazine | May 14, 2019

Camag names new lab manager
Wilmer Perera has been named the laboratory manager of Camag Scientific Inc. Perera is a natural products chemist dedicated to the development of analytical and preparative methods to identify, quantify and purify complex mixtures of natural bioactive compounds from different natural sources using multiple processes, including high-performance liquid chromatography.

Perera received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and master’s degree in organic chemistry from the University of Havana, Cuba. He also completed his doctorate in biochemistry at the University of Liege, Belgium. He has published 25 papers in peer-reviewed journals and has performed more than 40 presentations in national and international meetings.

Perera will be managing all aspects of the laboratory at Camag Scientific. He will oversee laboratory analyses and projects, as well as trainings and courses at the Wilmington, North Carolina, facility. He will also assist in customer support, particularly in the applications area.

Royal DSM, Lallemand conclude license agreement
A joint agreement between Royal DSM and Lallemand Inc. grants to Lallemand a nonexclusive, royalty-bearing license to DSM’s low-glycerol yeast technology patents. The license agreement is part of a settlement that was reached following a 2018 U.S. Federal Court jury verdict in Wisconsin. The referenced technology in the agreement is for use in the fermentation of first-generation biofuels.

Royal DSM is a global, purpose-led, science-based company active in nutrition, health and sustainable living. DSM delivers solutions for human nutrition, animal nutrition, personal care and aroma, medical devices, green products and applications, and new mobility and connectivity. DSM and its associated companies deliver annual net sales of about 10 billion euros ($11.2 billion) with approximately 23,000 employees.

Lallemand is a privately owned company specializing in the research, development, production, marketing and distribution of yeast, bacteria and other microorganisms for use in the food ingredient, human nutrition, animal nutrition, baking, wine, beer, distilled spirits, biofuels, plant care, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Lallemand has approximately 4,000 employees located in more than 40 countries.

Poet’s Broin receives leadership award  
Jeff Broin, Poet CEO, received the Global Bioeconomy Leadership Award for his vision and leadership in pioneering new technology, at the Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference in April in Washington, D.C.
The award, from Biofuels Digest and Nuu, recognizes individuals who continue to demonstrate “conspicuous leadership in the development and deployment of new technology.”

“Biofuels are aiming the trajectory of our economy and global energy away from fossil fuels and toward a 100 percent renewable future,” Broin said. “I’m deeply honored by this award and very proud of the contributions Poet has made over the past 30 years to unlock the potential of biofuels and generate new demand for America’s family farmers.

“For more than a century, fossil fuels have polluted our air and clouded our future with no alternative in sight,” he said. “But today we have a readily available, affordable solution that can begin to reverse the devastating effects of climate change.  Biofuels are transforming the energy landscape and creating a brighter future, and we now see nearly infinite alternatives to petroleum-based products on the horizon.  Poet will continue to lead the way by innovating sustainable technologies and introducing renewable, eco-friendly bioproducts derived from the surface of the earth to protect the health of our families and our planet.”

Broin is the third recipient of the Global Bioeconomy Leadership Award. The two previous recipients were Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.

“Jeff Broin exemplifies what the words ‘global leadership’ should mean in the bioeconomy: an ability to envision a bold future, inspire a generation of leaders to work with him to develop that vision into promising technologies and products, and to build a great company to deliver on the promise,” said Jim Lane, editor and publisher of Biofuels Digest and Nuu. “He, and the company he founded, Poet, have catalyzed the development of renewable fuels, advanced feed and a new generation of fuels and materials based on waste residues; they’ve led at every step of the journey in the development of new markets and applications for farmers, new good-paying jobs for rural areas, and the rebirth of American manufacturing and refining.”

Whitefox’s ICE starts up at Ace Ethanol
Whitefox Technologies Ltd. has completed its fifth successful installation and startup of its Whitefox ICE system. This time, at Ace Ethanol in Stanley, Wisconsin. One-third of all Wisconsin ethanol plants now have a Whitefox ICE system installed.

Whitefox’s membrane solution is a key part of a wider project that will integrate with D3Max’s technology for taking corn kernel fiber-to-ethanol, enabling significant energy savings for the integrated facility.

Neal Kemmet, president and general manager at Ace Ethanol LLC and Fox River Valley Ethanol LLC said, “After seeing the benefits of the Whitefox ICE membrane system at Fox River Valley Ethanol in Oshkosh, we were eager to replicate the energy reduction solution at Ace. Whitefox has demonstrated its ability to help our two plants reduce energy consumption and reduce loadings on our columns and mole sieves. We are also running a more stable production at the plant, which is an additional benefit we didn’t anticipate, but is greatly appreciated by our folks in the control room. We are experiencing a positive impact on our energy consumption, plus a reduction in our carbon emissions and cooling.”

Gillian Harrison, CEO of Whitefox said, “Working with Neal Kemmet and his team at both Ace Ethanol and Fox River Valley Ethanol has been really rewarding for us at Whitefox. We are excited to be part of a project bringing D3Max’s technology to the industry. Energy and water efficiency are central to Whitefox’s purpose and we were pleased to see (the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s) recent report that projects that by 2022, with further improvement, U.S. corn-based biofuels could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent compared to gasoline. Ace is showing leadership by investing in new technologies to further improve the sustainability of U.S. biofuels and we are proud to be part of such projects.”

Wisconsin is home to nine ethanol plants and is the ninth-largest ethanol-producing state in the country. It has the capability to produce 500 million gallons of ethanol per year.

ADM announces plan to spin off 3 dry mill ethanol plants
Archer Daniels Midland Co. has announced plans to create a new ethanol subsidiary that will include the company’s three dry mill ethanol plants, located in Columbus, Nebraska; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Peoria, Illinois.

ADM made the announcement as part of its first quarter 2019 earnings release on April 26.

During an earnings call, Juan Luciano, chairman and CEO of ADM, said the ethanol subsidiary will report as an independent segment once established. “The establishment of the new subsidiary will facilitate the separation of our three ethanol dry mills as we advance strategic alternatives, which may include, but are not limited to, a potential spinoff of the business to existing ADM shareholders,” he said. “Of course, as with any strategic decision, these changes to our portfolio will be subject to market conditions, acceptable valuations and the approval of our board.”

Regarding first-quarter financial performance, ADM reported the company was impacted by severe weather and flooding. “The first quarter proved more challenging than initially expected,” Luciano said. “Impacts from severe weather in North America were on the high side of our initial estimates, and the ethanol industry environment limited margins and opportunities.”

The company reported a $74 million loss for its bioproducts segment, which includes ethanol, down from a $3 million loss during the same period of 2018.

Overall, the company reported net earnings attributable to ADM of $233 million, down from $292 million during the first quarter of last year. Diluted earnings per common share were 41 cents, down from 70 cents during the same period of 2018.