Business Briefs

By Staff | February 18, 2014

U.S. Water has announced the award of its third U.S. patent covering the use of its pHytOUT technology in ethanol production. The technology is designed to control mineral deposit scaling in ethanol processing equipment, reducing back-end fouling and greatly reducing sulfuric acid use. In addition to reducing acid costs, the pHytOUT technology can improve ethanol quality and enhance plant safety. 

Westmor Industries LLC has announced a new product for refined fuel and biofuel railcar loading. The ball-joint vapor plate allows for articulation at the vapor seal, eliminating vapor seal problems that result from load arm articulation inefficiencies when top loading. Test sites reported an improvement over fixed vapor plate designs. Most railcar loading plates are mounted in a fixed position on the end of a load arm.   

Premium Plant Services, a Hibbing, Minn.-based industrial cleaning company, has added Elizabeth Call as its new sales account executive. Call, based out of Dubuque, Iowa, is responsible for continued growth of PPS’s client base with ethanol and biodiesel plants, as well as expanding business into other industries. Call was formerly an advertising account executive at Biomass Products & Technology and Energy-Tech. 

Ergon Inc. has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Ergon Ethanol Inc. has acquired Bunge North America Inc.’s share of the former Bunge-Ergon Vicksburg LLC ethanol plant in Mississippi. Ergon now owns 100 percent of the 54 MMgy facility and has changed its name to Ergon Biofuels LLC.     

Denco II LLC has added Jason Resler as the maintenance manager of its Morris, Minn., facility. Resler’s primary responsibilities include overseeing the day-to-day maintenance activities of the plant and managing some of the onsite contractor work. He is also working to increase the reliability of the facility’s assets. Prior to joining Denco, Resler was employed as a maintenance supervisor at DTZ, a UGL company.   

Australia-based Elk Petroleum Inc. recently announced it has finalized and executed a binding agreement with Nebraska-based Bridgeport Ethanol LLC. Under the agreement, Elk Petroleum will purchase carbon dioxide generated at Bridgeport’s 50 MMgy ethanol plant and use it for enhanced oil recovery projects.  

The Distillers Grains Technology Council has selected Kurt Rosentrater to be its next executive director and CEO. Rosentrater, a faculty member at Iowa State University in the agricultural and biosystems engineering departments, has spent the past decade researching various aspects of ethanol coproducts, from production to end-use market opportunities. He led the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s only program devoted to distillers grains research from 2004-’11. Rosentrater succeeds Charlie Staff, who recently retired after serving as CEO and executive director for 17 years. 

The National Corn Growers Association has announced the winners of its 2013 National Corn Yield Contest. A new all-time high yield of 454 bushels per acre was set by David Hula of Charles City, Va. In addition to Hula, four entries surpassed the 400-plus bushel per acre mark, including Johnny Hula of Charles City, Va.; Double ‘SA’ Farms Inc. of Hart, Texas; Randy Dowdy of Valdosta, Ga.; and Dowdy Farms/Curtis Davis/Renato Lamas of Valdosta, Ga. 

Air Products has signed a long-term agreement for the production of liquid carbon dioxide with Big River Resources Boyce-ville LLC in Boyceville, Wis. Air Products will operate a facility to produce 250 tons per day of liquid carbon dioxide. Production is expected to begin early this year. Air Products also recently signed an agreement with Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy LLC to build a facility to produce 400 tons per day of liquid carbon dioxide at SIRE’s Council Bluffs, Iowa, plant.   

Bloomington, Minn.-based Advanced BioEnergy LLC has joined the U.S. Grains Council. The company has two ethanol production facilities with a combined capacity of 85 MMgy. Together, the plants produced approximately 225,000 tons of dried distillers grains with solubles annually. E Energy Adams LLC has also joined the USGC. The company currently operates a 50 MMgy plant in Adams, Neb.    

Aphios Corp. has announced that it was granted U.S. Patent No. 8,540,847 entitled “Methods and Apparatus for Processing Cellulosic Biomass,” for its Aosic enabling technology platform. In the Aosic process, biomass is contracted with superfluids, such as carbon dioxide with or without small quantities of polar solvents. Fibers are made more accessible as a result of expansive forces of superfluids and carbonic acid hydrolysis. Additional fiber separation is achieved by ejecting biomass through mechanical input devices.

Flint Hills Resources is helping two local volunteer fire departments purchase state-of-the art rescue equipment. The Iowa Falls Volunteer Fire Department will upgrade its emergency services with the purchase of an aerial ladder truck. Earlier in the year, the company donated funds for the purchase of new gear bags to store and transport firefighters’ equipment. Overall Flint Hills donated $5,000 to the fire department last year. An additional $2,500 donation was made to Menlo Fire and Rescue to support the purchase of new grain bin rescue equipment.  In 2013, Flint Hills Resources donated more than $100,000 to local fire departments across the U.S. to enhance their operations.