August 2007

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Business Briefs

Jerry Peters

Peters joins GPRE



Mike Bryan

The Way I See It

By Mike Bryan

Ashley Schlag

A View From the Hill

By Ashley Schlag

Editor's Note

By Tom Bryan

EERC Update

By Chris J. Zygarlicke

Tom Bryan

Editor's Note

By Tom Bryan

Donnell Rehagen

NBB In Sight

By Donnell Rehagen, NBB Chief Operating Officer


RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen told the crowd that despite the huge growth in the ethanol industry, there are still more gains to be made.

The Spirit of St. Louis

By Michael Shirek

Twenty-three years ago, three dozen ethanol industry pioneers met in St. Louis to trade ideas and discuss the future. In June, more than 5,000 joined the discussion at the 23rd annual International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo in the city where it all began.

Pierre Côté

New and Improved

By Jessica Ebert

The seemingly unfaltering growth of the ethanol industry—characterized by the ramping up of plant capacities and the construction of new facilities—brings a corresponding increase in the need for energy and water. Speakers at this year's FEW made it clear that technologies are available to meet these challenges by improving process efficiency and reducing energy costs.

Hughes is pictured in his lab at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research. He developed this robotic platform for fully-automated molecular biology routines.

A Robotic Helping Hand

By Anduin Kirkbride McElroy

Cellulosic ethanol has a new, high-tech tool on its side in the form of a fully automated genetic engineering robot.

On the cusp of a renewable energy future, the American Council on Renewable Energy is attempting to reach every policy-maker in Washington, D.C. The end result could be a more energy diverse and efficient nation.

VeraSun Reynolds LLC started construction in May and plans to begin production in the fourth quarter of 2008. It will have a 110 MMgy capacity.

BioTown, USA: Hometown Security

By Anduin Kirkbride McElroy

Ethanol plants usually bring jobs and rural development to a community, but in Reynolds, Ind., local energy independence is the goal. Ethanol production will be just one part of a communitywide biomass utilization system better known as BioTown, USA.

The ethanol boom has led to many changes in towns and cities across the Midwest. More jobs and economic growth are welcome, but the billions of gallons of fuel being produced also mean a greater possibility for incidents at plants or while shipping ethanol to urban markets. Both emergency responders and the industry need to take steps to be prepared.

Industry experts continue to develop innovative techniques for improving ethanol production. From field to fuel tank, the industry is devising new ways to analyze performance and improve yields.

Producing four-star biofuels may give producers a leg up when the United States develops a carbon cap-and-trade system. Methods to quantify greenhouse gas emissions and rate biofuels are being proposed and tested in an attempt to incorporate the multiple facets of cropping systems, conversion processes and industry and consumer needs.

Fuel School

By Bryan Sims

Judging by the crowd at the FEW's annual Ethanol 101 workshop, there are still plenty of people interested in producing ethanol.

Transportation, whether it involves moving corn, distillers grains or ethanol, can be a daunting task for ethanol producers. At the FEW, several sessions focused on managing logistics through the comprehension of fundamentals in the rail and feedstock arenas.

The Weather Man

By Tom Bryan

At the 19th Annual Energy Conference, Iowa State University climatologist Elwynn Taylor shared his near-term forecast, along with his broader views on greenhouse gases, global warming and the very real possibility of a future chock-full of erratic weather.

Hart gets footage of the grain that is used to produce ethanol and wheat gluten at White Energy Russell LLC in Kansas.

In the News

By Rona Johnson

White Energy Holding Co. LLC made the Holland evening news this spring after a television news crew toured its Russell, Kan., ethanol facility and interviewed company executives and plant staff. The purpose of the visit was to educate viewers in Holland about the renewable fuel and to give them a sense of the depth and breadth of the U.S. ethanol industry.

Given the engineering green light, Colusa Biomass Energy Corp. readies to break ground on its first commercial rice-straw refinery in California. Executives of the publicly traded startup tell Ethanol Producer Magazine of their incredible long-term vision and the steps needed to see it through.

After two years of offering services and products for ethanol, the Chicago Board of Trade is helping stabilize the industry and hosting producers as they conduct risk management operations, including long-term sales negotiations and grain procurement. EPM visited the commodities market to the world in May to observe the operation.

A nationwide movement to capitalize on the energy producing power of garbage is driven by a strong market for renewable energy, a desire to clean up the environment and to generate a revenue stream.

High-priced petroleum brings the finite nature of this resource to a striking reality. Out of necessity comes research into alternative fuels and the myriad of materials made from petroleum. Since the mid-1990s, succinic acid has garnered interest as a petroleum alternative for the manufacture of everything from de-icers to pesticides.

Pictured is an artist's rendering of the biomass gasification plant that Biomass Gas and Electric is building as part of the company's power production agreement with the city of Tallahassee, Fla.

Harnessing the Power of Biomass

By Susanne Retka Schill

Biomass power producers aren't pausing while current U.S. federal policies favor renewable fuels development in an effort to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil. Renewable power will play a vital role in the world's attempts to reduce greenhouse gases. Now that the first-generation technology has matured, work continues on developing new technologies based on lessons learned.

The biomass boiler at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center will require 16,000 tons of wood per year to provide one megawatt of heat and power.

Fuels for Schools and Beyond

By Anduin Kirkbride McElroy

Fuels for Schools was started in Vermont as a statewide initiative to promote and encourage the use of renewable, local natural resources to provide reliable heat for schools. It has since grown into a multistate program, and has recently expanded its scope beyond schools.

Hydoxyproprionic Acid (HPA) is one chemical feedstock already being produced from biomass. This star diagram shows the potentially valuable chemical derivatives that can be made from HPA.

The Elusive Biorefinery

By Jerry W. Kram

Replacing fossil fuel-based products such as plastics and solvents with biomass-based equivalents has long been a goal of the biobased industry. The vision is a biorefinery-the equivalent of an oil refinery-producing many chemicals with hundreds of end uses. So, why aren't such facilities being built?

The 2007 Challenge X: Crossover to Sustainable Mobility competition enables today's students to shape tomorrow's vehicles.

A partnership between Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP and Green Earth Fuels LLC literally places biodiesel production within the petroleum distribution network, right next to the pipelines. Kinder Morgan believes this would be effective in taking biodiesel out of its niche fuel status.

Automakers across the globe have been retooling their passenger diesel powertrains-tweaking fuel injection, timing and combustion specs while adding sophisticated advanced emissions control gear-to meet new U.S. and global regulations on particulate matter and nitrogen oxides.

Motor City Methyl Esters

By Nicholas Zeman

DaimlerChrysler Corp., NextEnergy Center and Biodiesel Industries Inc. are cleaning up a brownfield site in Detroit to grow feedstocks for biodiesel production. Developing future fuels in Michigan is critical as it's the U.S. automobile manufacturing hub. Furthermore, if the project is successful it could serve as a model for the "greening" of hazardous waste sites nationwide.

Shaver, left, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue, and graduate student David Snyder discuss how to modify a commercial diesel engine with a new technology.

The Ideal Engine

By Jessica Ebert

An engine that produces near-zero emissions, gets great fuel economy and runs on fuels produced in the homeland is the dream of environmentalists, engineers and those who seen an energy-independent economy. Scientists across the globe are close to taking this concept from the realms of REM sleep and wishful thinking to plunking it into reality.


Assessing the Benefits of Fan Repair and Replacement

Prospects for the Philippines' Fuel Ethanol Industry

By Ari Luis Halos, Marriz Manuel B. Agbon and Tamara

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