November 2006

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Business Briefs


A&B Process systems announces new design team lead




Legal Perspectives

By Rebecca A. Brommel


The Way I See It

By Mike Bryan


Editor's Note

By Tom Bryan


NBB In Sight

By Joe Jobe

Legal Perspective

By Nancy S. Flury and Todd J. Guerrero


Talking Point

By Robert H. Edwards, Jr.


Approximately 300 people attended the 2006 WBS, representing a mix of different countries.

A World of Biofuels

By Lindsey Irwin

The 2nd annual World Biofuels Symposium in Beijing was yet another signal that the biofuels industry is a truly global phenomenon. Although the United States and Brazil are the current ethanol production front-runners, China—with its massive population and growing insatiable appetite for energy—could represent the next biofuels frontier.

A Houston-based company offers ethanol producers tailored blueprints to efficiently integrate their product into the existing transportation fuels supply chain. Having already developed Web-based services and solutions for the downstream petroleum industry, FuelQuest Inc. aims to repeat its success in the renewable fuels business.


Model Advice

By Nicholas Zeman

Over the past five years, several economists have applied their talents to explaining how renewable fuels production affects agricultural production systems and rural American economies. Now, Iowa State University researchers offer new insight.

Producers can slide through ethanol price dips and rising corn costs by implementing sound risk management plans that hedge forward and keep profit margins steady.

Most industry experts agree that protecting an ethanol producer's margins is at the heart of a risk management program. EPM looks at some fundamental concepts necessary to understand how producers manage their margins to remain profitable while processing commodities into liquid energy

Rehabilitation work was done on these three tracks in Fort Worth, Texas, so that ethanol could be unloaded there, according to a Union Pacific spokesman.

Riding the Rails

By Holly Jessen

The railroad has become the preferred method for transporting ethanol from plants in the Midwest, where much of the renewable fuel is produced, to new and rapidly expanding markets on the east and west coasts. The stronger focus on rail has had a positive impact on businesses along the tracks, from ethanol marketers and tank car builders to railroad track builders and even railcar movers.

Obtaining financing for ethanol projects is much easier today than it was in the industry's early days. But there are still hurdles to clear, especially with so many project developers clamoring for funding. Developers can increase their chances of getting the necessary financing by making sure certain crucial components are in place.

Native grasses and fast-growing trees are the best candidates for energy crops in the United States, according to the leading researchers in the field. After initializing and then expanding the use of marginal or idle lands for switchgrass, poplar trees and other species, technological and scientific research is developing rapidly and aggressively to transform the biomass energy crops into ethanol. In this second installment of a three part series, EPM looks at genetic research aiming to mutate these plants into a ethanol producer's dream.

A Cummins engine gears up for testing in PSU’s Diesel Combustion and Emissions Lab.

Enhancing the Burn

By Ron Kotrba

As emissions regulations tighten for new on-road U.S. diesel vehicles, B100 and biodiesel blends can boost the efficiency of advanced emissions control systems-albeit with a few critical issues to keep in mind.

This is the base design for the GS CleanTech Corn Oil Extraction System.

The Matchmaker

By Holly Jessen

Recognizing crossover synergies, New York-based GS CleanTech is tapping the U.S. ethanol industry for corn oil that it plans to route into biodiesel production. It has already got a handful of ethanol producers on board and three biodiesel plants in the works.

Borderless Biodiesel

By Lindsey Irwin

Biodiesel generally takes a backseat to ethanol in China, but it apparently had show-stealing allure at the 2006 World Biofuels Symposium in Beijing. With a keen eye on the renewable fuel's proliferation in Europe and the United States, the world's fastest-growing economic power wants to go big with biodiesel-if it can overcome some serious feedstock constraints.

Reflux and Recovery

By Nicholas Zeman

Recycling excess methanol used in the transesterification reaction is a vital function for almost all biodiesel producers. Increasingly, dated distillation techniques are being replaced by more advanced systems.

North American BioFuels sees brown grease through green-tinted glasses. The company recently expanded its biodiesel pilot plant on Long Island. Now, its sights are set on cornering the brown and black grease markets on the populous East Coast.

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