June 2009

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Business Briefs


Business & People



Sue Cischke, group vice president of sustainability, environment and safety engineering, Ford Motor Co.

The Push for E15

By Erin Voegele

Growth Energy and other ethanol industry groups made the decision in March to officially file a fuel waiver request for E15 with the U.S. EPA, setting in motion the much-anticipated process to attempt to move the ethanol blend wall. The process is lengthy, but early hints of support from influential parties provide optimism for the industry.

Ag Fuel and Feed has been working with power companies to test burn DDGS pellets with coal. A mixture of 10 percent DDGS pellets was co-fired with coal at Corn Belt Power Cooperative's Wisdom Station power plant near Spencer, Iowa. Burning a mixture

Perfecting the DDGS Pellet

By Ryan C. Christiansen

Pelletizing distillers dried grains with solubles can be more art than science. Past attempts at pelletizing 100 percent DDGS have fallen short. Rising to the challenge, Ag Fuel & Feed LLC says it has manufactured a pellet die that will extrude a 100 percent DDGS pellet without additives or binders.

The California Air Resources Board voted in April to adopt a low carbon fuel standard designed to lower the carbon content of transportation fuels used within the state. As biofuel producers continue to mount an effort to exclude indirect land use changes from the regulation, EPM examines the proposal and speaks with a representative of CARB to learn how ethanol producers may be affected.

If the daily consumption of WDGS per cow is eight pounds, a truckload of the wet co-product would last six days for a herd of 1,000 cows. Other classes of livestock that consume less would need to be in much larger herds to prevent WDGS spoilage unle

Wet Storage Strategies

By Ryan C. Christiansen

Demand for wet distillers grains can dip during summer months when feedlots are less active, which allows feedlot owners to take advantage of lower wet coproducts prices. Proper storage techniques can help feedlots to stock up on WDGS and modified WDGS.

As important as enzymes are to the production of ethanol, only a handful of companies specialize in their production. EPM visits with Novozymes, one of the world's leading enzyme producers, to take a look at the future of enzyme production.

For the past decade, as ethanol production has steadily increased so has the production of distillers grains. Now, despite some ethanol plants idling operations, the industry continues to see ethanol and distillers grains production increase.

David Peters, Iowa State University assistant professor of sociology

Doing the Math

By Ryan C. Christiansen

An Iowa State University sociologist has developed a tool to help rural communities and policymakers understand how volatile corn and ethanol prices might affect the fate of the ethanol industry.

Next to corn, energy is the second most costly input for ethanol production. By using a combined heat and power system, an ethanol plant can produce electricity and steam with greater energy efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint.

Partners in a venture taking shape in eastern Tennessee hope to realize the promise of cellulosic ethanol.

A small Pennsylvania community has long built its economy around the forest. Looking ahead, it wants to be the first small town in the U.S. with a woody biomass-fired combined-heat-and-power district heating system.

Randy Hill believes he has the solution for transporting and drying large amounts of wet, woody biomass. The president of Advanced Trailer is working with the University of Idaho to evaluate the economic and environmental benefits of using his agricultural crop drying trailers to move biomass.

Since the late 1960s, scientists have studied duckweed for animal and human consumption because of its high protein content. Researchers are now tapping into the plant's innate environmental benefits, from desalinating wastewater to exploring its potential as a viable starch-based feedstock for ethanol production.

The 2009 International Biomass Conference & Expo drew a record crowd of more than 1,000 people to Portland, Ore., where they networked, shared and absorbed information, and determined how to successfully move forward in the growing biomass industry.

Since mid-May 2007, all Destiny USA construction equipment has been fueled with B100./PHOTO: DESTINY USA

Bleeding Green

By Anna Austin

Green building is a major, developing trend. Biodiesel Magazine investigates the current and potential role of biodiesel in this growing movement.

Purdue researcher Bernard Tao fields questions at the ISA booth during the National Biodiesel Conference./PHOTO: ISA

B100 to the Arctic Circle

By Susanne Retka Schill

A contingent of Hoosiers and their Alaskan friends drove on pure Permaflo biodiesel to the Arctic Circle to demonstrate its cold flow performance.

No fuel is expected to perform below its cloud point, but a plugged filter above the cloud point is never quite expected. Bob McCormick discusses results from a recent study that investigated this phenomenon.


The Tavush Marz area of Armenia was determined to be well-suited for a dry mill corn ethanol facility./SOURCE: AREG GHARABEGIAN

Ethanol in Armenia

By Kendrick Wentzel and Areg Gharabegian

The Renewable Resources and Energy Efficiency Fund of Armenia recently commissioned a feasibility study to determine the possibility of producing ethanol in Armenia. The study, financed by World Bank as a grant from the Global Environment Facility, was conducted by Enertech International Inc. and BBI International in cooperation with DHD Contact LLC of Armenia.

Acquiring financing for ethanol projects is more difficult now than ever before. Fortunately, there are many types of government grants and loans available to assist future producers.

Excess amounts of sulfur in distillers grains could result in a less desirable product, affecting the company's bottom line and its reputation.

Government grants and loan guarantees could be used to help fund biomass projects until the economy improves.

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