March 2009

Issue CoverView Full Print Edition

Business Briefs

Business & People



Big Food's sustained assault on biofuels has spurred the industry to take a new, more assertive stance.

Sugarcane Economics

By Erin Voegele

Although the sugarcane-based ethanol industry is booming in Brazil, only a handful of companies are developing processing plants in the U.S., where market conditions in most parts of the country can't support them. A few projects are poised to thrive in unique pockets of the country, but the crop's real potential will rely upon the commercialization of cellulosic technologies.

Ethanol is an environmentally friendly fuel, especially compared with petroleum-based fuels, but that doesn't mean there are no environmental risks involved in the production process. For a variety of reasons, environmental insurance should be considered when determining how best to protect a company's investment.


Catalysts of Efficiency

By Susanne Retka Schill

Genencor shares an inside view of the ethanol process, with a focus on optimizing enzyme use.

Tackling Indirect Land Use

By Susanne Retka Schill

If a tree falls in the Amazon should American biofuels be held responsible?

Both grain and cobs are being harvested from a corn field near Holloway, Minn., during the Chippewa Valley Ethanol harvesting demonstration in October. /PHOTO: RYAN C. CHRISTIANSEN, BBI INTERNATIONAL.

Craving Corn and the Cob

By Ryan C. Christiansen

The ethanol industry's declaration of energy independence for the U.S. is leading producers to generate more energy from an acre of corn.

DDGS: Supplying Demand

By Ryan C. Christiansen

The success of the dry-mill ethanol production process means that in the near future, the ethanol industry could produce more distillers grains than the domestic livestock feed market and the fledgling export market will bear. Distillers dried grains with solubles is already considered by many to be an undervalued co-product of ethanol production. How will the ethanol industry expand the market and how will they move it all from here to there?

Squeezing more ethanol from a bushel of corn is one way for an ethanol producer to stay on top of his game. California-based OptiSwitch Technology has developed a process that could increase ethanol production by 5 percent or more, using high-power silicon switches to apply voltage to the cell walls of the corn kernel.

The Amager Power Station in Copenhagen, Denmark, is being renovated to cofire straw pellets with coal. The plant, which supplies both heat and electricity, burns 70,000 metric tons of pellets with 700,000 metric tons of coal annually. The company exp

The Art of Biomass Pelletizing

By Ryan C. Christiansen

Pelletizing biomass can be challenging. The lack of a one-size-fits-all process means that it can be more art than science.

Making the Switch

By Anna Austin

Last year, a significant amount of coal-fired power plant proposals were shot down by regulators, and an increasing number of utilities are developing plans to convert to biomass. Is this a trend and, if so, will it continue?

To encourage the reuse of contaminated lands for renewable energy production facilities, the U.S. EPA has developed an interactive Google Earth map that tracks these sites and provides information on the potential of each property for biomass energy, solar or wind development.

For many biodiesel producers, volatile commodity markets and paper-thin margins mean feedstock flexibility is absolutely critical for survival. Biodiesel Magazine interviews several different "multifeedstock" technology providers about their approach to processing with flexibility, and fuel quality, in mind.

Researchers worldwide are stepping up efforts to develop new uses for crude glycerin. Once commercialized, these technologies have the potential to improve the economics of biodiesel production.

Diesel-powered vehicles could emit the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee, thanks to the research being conducted at the University of Nevada-Reno.


The ethanol industry was hit hard in 2008 with a steep rise in corn prices. However, the episode should provide a risk management advantage in 2009.

The ethanol industry faced steep challenges in 2008 as corn prices touched record highs. 2009 is providing a fresh start and the possibility of a return to normalcy.

Tracking the Renewable Identification Numbers required by the renewable fuels standard is a daunting task. The first full year of the system provided experience that will pay off in the future.

A large wood pellet plant looked to experience in the panelboard industry for a proven approach to controlling its emissions. A reliable technology provided the answer for its low emissions goal.

The potential to use biomass as a low-cost fuel that reduces carbon footprint is growing. The equipment options for firing biomass to replace fossil fuel in plant operations are equally vast.

Sign up for our e-newsletter!
BBI International Logo

@ Copyright 2024 - BBI International - All rights reserved.