July 2006

Issue CoverView Full Print Edition

Business Briefs

BioFuels Automation welcomes executives




A View from the Hill

By Bob Dinneen

Mike Bryan

The Way I See It

By Mike Bryan

Bryan T

Editor's Note

By Bryan T

NBB In Sight

By Joe Jobe


Legal Perspective

By Mark Hanson and Todd Guerrero


For veterans of the U.S. ethanol industry, the past year or so has been an especially meaningful and wild ride. Now, with more than 100 ethanol plants up and running in America, industry experts agree that getting a project from conception to completion is a whole lot different than it used to be.

Basic economic theory states that substantial increases in demand without corresponding increases in supply will drive prices upward. Add emotion, sense of purpose and limited geographic space to the projected shift in U.S. corn markets and therein resides an issue the ethanol industry must face proactively and cooperatively.

A GATX "mini-mobile" repair truck

On Multiple Tracks

By Ron Kotrba

Established in 1898, GATX was founded when horses and buggies ruled the streets, years before ethanol was something other than white lightning. This story is one of an old company that's never at a loss for new ideas.

A Business Skyrockets

By Roger Moore

The ethanol industry is booming, and Virginia-based process technology provider Delta-T is boosting its capabilities—and enhancing its process technology offerings—to meet the surging demand for clean, efficient ethanol plants

Biomassive Ventures

By Gary DiGiuseppe

Today, it's hard to muse over cellulosic ethanol when corn dry milling is the hottest ticket in town. Nevertheless, big players—some with deep-pocket benefactors—are vying for parts in the next big show. From wood waste in Arkansas to crop residue in Idaho and Canada, the proverbial stage is being set for cellulosic ethanol production.

Will Backyard Stills Make a Come Back?

By Anduin Kirkbride McElroy

The rising price of oil and gas—and the ubiquitous buzz around ethanol—have spurred a rather surprising trend in the United States. Equipment and service providers—including Ethanol Producer Magazine—have seen a precipitous rise in inquires about small-scale ethanol production. As Yogi Berra famously said, this is like déjà vu all over again.

Continually Setting the Mark

By Anduin Kirkbride McElroy

Christianson & Associates PLLP, an accounting firm with high standing in the U.S. ethanol industry, has spent more than a decade developing new programs and services such as forecasted financial statements, industry-specific software and other services. A year ago, the Willmar, Minn.-based company added an ambitious new program to its cache of services—ethanol plant financial benchmarking.

The prairie provinces of central Canada have plenty of feedstock for ethanol production. It's just not corn. Rather, wheat reigns here, despite the heckling of naysayers who discredit the economics of producing the renewable fuel from small grains. The bottom line is, producers are going with it.

It's been several weeks since the Canadian International Trade Tribunal struck down a sought-after countervailing tariff on U.S. corn. While ethanol stakeholders in eastern Canada are celebrating the decision, the contest has left a painful scar between agricultural interests north of the border—and the real problem still lies in wait.

Despite the political sideshow that's emerged in the United States over the possibility of temporarily dropping the import tariff on ethanol—and presumably letting Brazil swoop in to save the day—experts in both countries say the world's second biggest ethanol producer is working just as fast and furious as America to meet its own domestic demand. Brazil's export strategy isn't buried though—it's merely deferred.

Shortage or Smokescreen?

By Nicholas Zeman

Why is a product that represents only 3 percent of the United States' fuel usage being blamed for the outrageous gasoline price fluctuations America is currently experiencing? Oil refiners have suggested that a shortage of ethanol—and the high price of the renewable fuel in spot markets—are the culprits. Others say the facts prove otherwise.

Australia's ethanol industry is nascent at best, but the enthusiasm its potential generates from government, business and consumers makes it easy to think otherwise. Ethanol 2006 Australia, an event destined to be repeated in 2007, may have helped jumpstart Queensland's biofues action plan by bringing international experts to the table—and getting down to business in Brisbane.

The Valuation of Interests in Ethanol Plants

By Mary McCarter, Philip Smith and Donna Walker

Eight or nine times out of 10, ethanol plants answer the energy question with the same answer—natural gas. But the painful combination of price swings, declining supply and growing demand can strain a producer's pocketbook, leaving many facilities casting about for energy saving options.

Leland Tong

Permitted to Proceed

By Dave Nilles

It looks like environmental permitting could be a bigger issue in the U.S. biodiesel industry than previously thought. With some producers reportedly partially eschewing the process, it's important to end any such trend before it becomes widespread. While certainly not a "how-to" article, Biodiesel Magazine talks to some industry experts about an issue that's apparently coming to a head.

Crushing Questions

By Dave Nilles

A growing trend in the biodiesel industry is major oilseed players building large-scale plants near crush facilities. However, experts say the key isn't where you build, but where you're getting your feedstock from.

In the United States, starch-based ethanol from corn, and biodiesel often derived from soy oil, each serve great functions as renewable fuels in their respective markets. Although both fuels are renewable, they couldn't be more different otherwise. Trace these differences back to their roots, though, and an indisputable commonality exists-the need for farmland.

Loading Up on B20

By Anduin Kirkbride McElroy

Darcy Vaillant wants the mountains east of Vancouver, British Columbia, to maintain their beauty, as well as their fishing spots, for future generations. As manager of maintenance for Terminal Systems Inc., the biggest container terminal in Canada, he is in a position to be able to make a significant impact on diesel emissions coming out of the Port of Vancouver.

An independent campaign for governor is a hard row to hoe in Texas, but self-appointed biodiesel spokesman Kinky Friedman has his sights on the top office. As the gubernatorial race draws into the homestretch for the November vote, the novelist, musician and comedian may be a real contender for the title. Biodiesel Magazine relays perspectives from Lone Star State industry stakeholders on an unusual champion and eccentric supporter.

Covering Biodiesel

By Holly Jessen

IMA Financial Group Inc., an insurance brokerage company, doesn't just work with biodiesel producers-it makes it a priority to understand the industry and educate insurance providers about the growing biodiesel industry. Within its dedicated Biofuels Practice Group, IMA associates focus on services biodiesel producers need.

Sign up for our e-newsletter!
BBI International Logo

@ Copyright 2024 - BBI International - All rights reserved.