Efficiency, Opportunities, Equipment

FROM THE AUGUST ISSUE: Finances, technology, streamlined processes and more take the stage at FEW 2019.
By Lisa Gibson | August 01, 2019

Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, delivered his keynote address for the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo remotely. He was on-site at Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy LLC in Council Bluffs, preparing for a visit from President Trump.

Trump’s June 11 stop at SIRE and address to the ethanol industry on his campaign trail fell in line with FEW, held June 10-12 at the Indianapolis Convention Center.

“While I am sad to miss FEW for the first time in 11 years, I am thrilled to be able to welcome the president to one of the plants where ethanol is made, and to thank him for his commitment to renewable fuels and the American farmer,” Cooper said.

Cooper added that Trump’s visit to SIRE will be game-changing for the industry, comparing it to other milestones such as the passage of the Renewable Fuel Standard. But Cooper also acknowledged the challenges the industry continues to face, including opposition from the oil industry to the one-pound waiver being extended to E15 to allow year-round sales. A petition against the waiver has been filed in court.

He also acknowledged the harm caused by small refinery exemptions that destroyed 2.6 billion gallons of demand, and the importance of exports to an industry experiencing small margins. Cooper also expressed the need for the U.S. EPA to restore the demand lost, through the Renewable Fuel Standard reset.

This year’s FEW attracted 2,000 attendees and 300 exhibitors. The show included the traditional Ethanol 101 preconference seminar, as well as the first-ever Ethanol Plant Construction & Project Summit pre-conference, featuring new technologies, partnerships and development.

Panels during breakout sessions addressed policy, efficiency, maintenance, technology, human resources, and more. A tour of Poet Biorefining – Alexandria, in Alexandria, Indiana, capped the show.
Here are some highlights from the event.


Photos by Kirsten Wray Photography
Author: Lisa Gibson
Lisa Gibson