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January 2008

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Business Briefs

Delta-T joins ethanol project

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Columns

The Way I See It

By Mike Bryan

Slow but Steady

By Craig A. Johnson

View From The Hill

By Bob Dinneen

Editor's Note

By Tom Bryan

Editor's Note

By Tom Bryan

NBB In Sight

By Joe Jobe

Allgeyer

Supreme Court Decision Affects Patents

By David A. Allgeyer and Christopher Russell Smith

Ligums

Talking Point

By Jennifer E. Ligums

Featured

The fuel ethanol industry's building frenzy has settled and the slowing pace of growth should give industry leaders a chance to decide where to go in 2008. Will companies continue to construct 100 MMgy plants in the heart of the Corn Belt or will smaller facilities make a comeback?

Millers have been converting corn into valuable products for centuries, so when a new process comes around claiming to do it faster, cheaper and cleaner while yielding more ethanol and creating more valuable coproducts, it demands attention. Reed-Three Rivers Bio-Grain Inc. is implementing a process they say will do all that.

Eight European firms have joined forces to market their technological wares to ethanol producers worldwide. Representatives of four Denmark-based companies held a symposium in Chicago to explain how their cutting-edge technologies reduce ethanol production costs, improve efficiencies and increase coproduct revenue.

U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., is part of a growing group in Congress that is interested in and excited about the potential benefits of renewable fuels in the United States. Here, he shares some of his ideas and plans with EPM.

High nutrient runoff creates algae blooms like this one in a pond in Calvert County, Md. The photo was taken in the fall of 1993.

More Corn a Cause for Concern

By Susanne Retka Schill

The increase in U. S. corn acres planted in response to growing demand from the fuel, feed, food and export markets has raised concerns about water quality in watersheds and could lead to more stringent conservation practices.

The Future of the Ogallala Aquifer

By Anduin Kirkbride McElroy

The Ogallala aquifer irrigates some of the most important cropland for food and fuel. For years, it's been steadily depleting leaving some to wonder about the sustainability of tapping into it for increased corn irrigation and ethanol production.

Wanzek Construction Inc. started in 1971 as a small firm headquartered in Leo and Janet Wanzek's home in Fargo, N.D. Today, the company has more than a thousand projects under its belt, employs 800 people and owns a fleet of 30 cranes.

Water quality is equally as important as water quantity in choosing a site for an ethanol plant. EPM talks to water management and project development consultants about the importance of water testing.

Nebraska twins invent the Residue Recovery System, a custom-made biomass collection system for combines that harvests and stores whole corncobs separately from the grain in a single pass through the field.

Koukoulas

Syngas 101

By Jessica Ebert

Interest in the thermochemical conversion of biomass into a synthesis gas that can be run through a turbine for the production of electricity, used to replace natural gas or converted into biofuel, is gaining ground. Biomass Magazine probes several experts for explanations to demystify the processes used to make syngas.

Move over Niagara hydropower-there's a new generation of power in town.

Sweeten

Cow Pies to Clean Power

By Susanne Retka Schill

Texas Panhandle feedlot operators clean out mountains of manure each time they ship a pen of beef cattle to market. Where some see a looming environmental problem, others envision a potential renewable energy source.

Gazing deeply into a crystal ball or dealing out tarot cards are ways to predict what will happen tomorrow. While it can be amusing, the results are generally less than satisfying. So instead of phoning the Psychic Friends Network, Biomass Magazine talked with people who know the industry to find out what the hot topics will be this year.

As biodiesel struggles for widespread acceptance as a transportation fuel, it has found a warm, cozy home in the residential heating oil market.

A field of winter canola near New Bern, N.C., had an ideal stand two weeks after

Canola Waits in the Wings

By Susanne Retka Schill

Canola is being touted around the United States as an oilseed crop with great potential. Not long ago, biodiesel was the big driver behind that interest, but for now, economics have redirected that focus to the food market.

Jensen

A New Generation

By Anduin Kirkbride McElroy

Under the right circumstances, biodiesel can be a clean, local, economically viable source of electricity. Biodiesel Magazine highlights some of the projects being developed across the United States.

To cross two plants, geneticists take the pollen from the flower of one plant and place it on the stigma of another plant's flower.

Breeding Better Beans

By Jessica Ebert

Biodiesel producers agree that scientific and technological breakthroughs are needed to keep the industry growing. While some of these advancements occur in the areas of engineering and process design, others originate in the test fields of private, academic and government soybean-breeding laboratories.

Some Central American countries seem to have the political will and the resources to develop a biodiesel industry. Biodiesel Magazine takes a closer look at one of the more promising countries, Costa Rica, and a couple of business developments that are poised to capitalize on the country's resources.

The BD-6000 Final Polishing Unit can be outfitted with Schroeder Particle and Moisture monitoring technology.

Cleaner and Clearer

By Jerry W. Kram

In a challenging economic environment, producing a top quality product is one way to maintain a competitive edge. For biodiesel producers, that means finding the most economical way to wash and polish their crude biodiesel to the highest possible standard. Schroeder Industries says its system can produce clean biodiesel quickly and inexpensively.

Contributions

The Fundamentals of Track Maintenance

By Hal Harrison and Steve Kadrlik

A New Era in Design/Build Contracts

By Todd Taylor and Kermit Nash

Breaking Down Walls

By Erin K. Peabody

The U.K.'s leading "green" power utility, Slough Heat & Power Ltd., features state-of-the-art densification equipment for cubing nonrecyclable commercial and industrial waste for use in its cofired energy plant.

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