August 2006

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Business Briefs

Tierney joins John Stewart & Associates

BBI opens Australian office



The Way I See It

By Mike Bryan

View From the Hill

By Bob Dinneen


NBB In Sight

By Joe Jobe

Legal Prespectives

By Todd Guerrero and Mark Hanson

Talking Point

By Mark Warren


Yeast Unbound

By Ron Kotrba

Obviously, the topic of fermentation is a "must have" in technical sessions at an event like the FEW. Ethanol's increasing popularity compared to even last year, combined with the integral role performed by yeast in the production process, position new gains in fermentation efficiencies at the forefront of many industry minds.

The future of the ethanol industry is filled with promise, including currently increasing production numbers coupled with the tantalizing possibility of advances in cellulose-to-ethanol technologies. Industry leaders recognize that with the explosive growth comes growing pains, however.

Ethanol producers aren't completely at the mercy of the natural gas markets or the electrical grid. The sooner plants are finding that out, the sooner they are improving their bottom line.

Gathering eight experts from seven plants together at the 2006 FEW to answer any question thrown at them was the object of "Shop Talk I & II," where inquiries on grinding corn, drying distillers grains and almost everything in between were all fair game

An Effective Dose

By Nicholas Zeman

Presenters at the 2006 FEW included those who discussed the latest breakthroughs, explorations and challenges associated with traditional and novel enzymatic processes that are driving the industry to new efficiency heights.

Milwaukee's Best

By Tom Bryan

Drawing nearly 3,400 people to Milwaukee in June, the 2006 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo once again defied its acronym—FEW—and maintained its status as the largest, and certainly one of the most prolific, ethanol events in the world.

Mitigating the Unknown

By Holly Jessen

As the ethanol industry grows, the rules of the game are changing. Along with positive developments, like increased interest by investors and ramped up demand for ethanol, comes more volatile grain markets, for example. That means risk management is a tool with ever-growing importance as ethanol producers strive to maintain steady profits at a time when growing pains could threaten to strike.

Even as the U.S. EPA is exploring reclassifying the emissions thresholds for ethanol facilities, technology providers and government agencies are offering options for reducing emissions. The landscape of environmental concerns continues to change.

Based on current and potential ethanol production, the United States could see nearly 14 million tons of distillers grains produced in 2008. How can you ensure that your plant will get value for your product in a potentially saturated market? Make it valuable.

Producers are always on the lookout for ways to produce more ethanol from the same amount of grain. As the industry grows, more vendors are offering new technologies and experimental procedures that translate into increased gallons and higher plant efficiency—good news for an industry hungry to ramp up production.

Quest Beyond Corn and Sugarcane

By Anduin Kirkbride McElroy

Corn in the United States and sugarcane in Brazil are basically synonymous with ethanol production, but there are concerns about their limitations. Fortunately, technology advancements are revealing a virtual garden of viable ethanol feedstocks.

Handle With Care

By Dave Nilles

Manufacturing and transporting ethanol requires the utmost caution. Though rare, spills and injuries can and do occur. Safety advocates stress that forming and sticking to a safety plan is necessary and productive to any ethanol operation.

It's A Global Thing

By Anduin Kirkbride McElroy

Opportunities abound for ethanol on a global scale. What they are, and how they can benefit local economies to ensure sustainability, are questions an international panel effectively addressed at the 2006 FEW.

The Plant Doctors

By Nicholas Zeman

Like the physicians who heal, diagnose and maintain the complicated functions of the human body, ethanol plant maintenance and management personnel are charged with keeping plant operations free from ailments and breakdowns—and production levels at full capacity. Armed with cutting edge technologies, prevention rather than reaction was the credo of presenters at the 2006 FEW.

Patriotic Pursuit

By Gary DiGiuseppe

Arkansas' newest biodiesel plant is about one-tenth the size of some of the massive facilities in the Upper Midwest, but that's of no consequence to Tommy Foltz and his investor partners, who are using Patriot BioFuels Inc. as a base from which to launch larger, more expansive operations.

Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva tosses a shovel of concrete into the foundation forms of what will become Petrobras' H-Bio plant.

Brazil just makes it happen

By Elizabeth Johnson

With a plethora of projects in the works, and a nationwide low-blend mandate looming, Brazil-a nation famous for producing low-cost ethanol-is poised to become a world leader in biodiesel production.

Peter Cremer North America LP Plant Manager Mike Doll

Pumped on Quality

By Darren Wight

For Peter Cremer North America, the first BQ-9000 accredited biodiesel producer in the world, maintaining premium quality fuel without sacrificing production targets is a must. Relying on vane pump technology throughout the entire facility delivers consistency and performance that helps make those important dual objectives achievable.

Experts may not see eye-to-eye on peak oil projections, but most now agree the world's near- and long-term energy needs will be met by an increasingly diverse portfolio of fossil fuels and renewable energy. At the Energy & Environmental Research Center's inaugural biomass conference, it was made clear that biodiesel can play a key role in this mixed-and-matched energy future.


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