Business Briefs

Industry news and announcements from the June issue of Ethanol Producer Magazine.
By Ethanol Producer Magazine | May 21, 2022

Aemetis to launch next phase of biogas production
Aemetis Inc. has announced that its Aemetis Biogas subsidiary is launching the second phase of its biogas production project by completing construction of a third dairy digester and successfully testing a seven-mile biogas pipeline section that will be used by five future dairy digesters.

Testing was recently completed for the $12 million dairy biogas-to-RNG upgrading and compression facility which is co-located at the Aemetis Advanced Fuels Keyes ethanol plant near Modesto, California. The facility is adjacent to a PG&E natural gas pipeline; an interconnection unit has been constructed and is now being tested by the utility. The conversion of biogas to RNG, along with the injection of RNG into the PG&E pipeline, was expected to begin in early May.

To date, Aemetis has completed three dairy digesters and more than 16 miles of biogas pipeline. The company plans to ultimately produce 1.6 million MMBtu per year of biomethane from 60-plus dairies.

Green Plains achieves 60% protein concentration
Green Plains Inc. has announced that product and technology innovation efforts have led to the production of greater than 60 percent protein concentrations with yields as high as 4 pounds per bushel at its Wood River, Nebraska, biorefinery, using the patented Fluid Quip Technologies MSC system. The breakthrough was accomplished through a full-scale production changeover across the entire plant’s fermentation and production processes.

Modifications for the trial also resulted in record-high low-carbon renewable corn oil yields of up to 1.4 pounds per bushel, further expanding the company’s ability to supply a strategic feedstock to the fast-growing renewable diesel market.

“We believe that for the first time in history, a dry-mill biorefinery has been able to achieve protein concentrations over 60 percent with yields approaching 4 pounds per bushel, which can drastically improve the economics of a biorefinery,” said Todd Becker, president and CEO. “This is a truly game-changing event.”

Iowa, Nebraska pass landmark E15 legislation 
Just  after the Biden Administration issued an emergency fuel waiver to safeguard summertime E15 sales in 2022, both Iowa and Nebraska passed supportive state-level E15 legislation. Iowa’s state legislature passed a bill on April 26 that will increase consumer access to higher blends of both ethanol and biodiesel. Gov. Kim Reynolds was preparing to sign the bill at press time.

For ethanol, the legislation makes E15 the standard blend of gasoline to be sold within the state by 2026. It also updates the E15 promotion tax credit to 9 cents per gallon, year-round, through 2025. For biodiesel, the bill increases the state’s biodiesel production tax credit from 2 cents per gallon to 4 cents per gallon. 

A week earlier, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts signed legislation that includes a provision providing tax credits for fuel retailers selling E15 or higher blends. The credit is 5 cents per gallon of E15 and 8 cents per gallon of E25 and higher blends.

On April 28, Reynolds and Ricketts joined a bipartisan group of eight Midwest governors that sent a letter to the EPA officially exercising their authority to ensure E15 can be sold all year.

Summit Carbon Solutions partners with Bushmills Ethanol
Summit Carbon Solutions has announced that Bushmills Ethanol Inc., an 85 MMgy ethanol plant in Atwater, Minnesota, has joined Summit’s planned carbon dioxide pipeline. Bushmills is the 32nd ethanol plant to officially join the carbon capture and storage project. 

Summit Carbon Solutions is developing the largest carbon capture and storage project in the world, which will have the capacity to capture and permanently store up to 12 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. The project will span across Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota, and will cut the carbon footprint of affiliated ethanol plants in half.

Bushmills Ethanol will direct more than 230,000 metric tons of CO2 per year to the CCS pipeline, which will be compressed and transported to North Dakota for permanent geologic storage. Summit has raised over $600 million of equity and recently announced significant project milestones, including submission of pipeline permit applications in Iowa and South Dakota.