September 2009

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Business Briefs

Business & People



The renewable identification number system was designed to serve as a framework to help ensure that mandates required by the renewable fuel standard (RFS) program are met. As the U.S. EPA works to implement the second stage of the RFS program (RFS2), the agency has proposed ways to improve and streamline the system in order to address problems that emerged under RFS1 and ensure that the additional complexities of RFS2 can be effectively managed.

Emergency responders carry the burden of knowing how to accurately battle many different emergency situations, but ethanol bears a unique challenge that many departments have only recently become familiar with. Maintaining training for first responders will be a vital part of the overall safety and success of the ethanol industry.

From pest control to deer attractants and biocomposite materials, an Arizona company is developing a range of products to utilize an ethanol production byproduct.

In Pursuit of Loot

By Anna Austin and Lisa Gibson

Biomass projects encounter many of the same challenges as other businesses, including obtaining adequate capital. Biomass Magazine talks with industry experts about the current financial situation, and funding opportunities for biomass projects.

Researchers at the Qteros lab in Massachusetts study the Q Microbe?s ability to produce ethanol in one step. PHOTO: JIM GIPE, PIVOT MEDIA, INC.

Mighty Microbe

By Lisa Gibson

The Q Microbe, found in the soil near a Massachusetts reservoir, can produce unprecedented amounts of ethanol in a single step. Supported by a company devoted to its process and improvement, it could lead the way to commercial production of cellulosic ethanol and the achievement of renewable fuel standard mandates.

What can be done with the millions of U.S. forestland acres devastated by the mountain pine beetle? Biomass power applications are an attractive option, but action must be taken before the trees lose their value.


Biomass' Role in the Energy Future

By Anna Austin and Lisa Gibson

The current state and future challenges of the biomass industry were addressed at the Energy & Environmental Research Center's Biomass '09: Power, Fuels, and Chemicals Workshop.


Future Destinations

By By Nicholas Zeman

The U.S. coastal regions and population centers are hot spots for biodiesel project development as more companies look to locate their operations near consumption markets. Armed with their own process technologies, medium-sized production plans and creative models, dozens of new players are populating the Biodiesel Magazine proposed plant landscape.

A Need for Discovery

By By Nicholas Zeman

There have been complaints that the only way to find the rolling spot price for biodiesel is to check with individual distributors, a tedious process at best. Some say those who lack price discovery expertise lack experience, so as the industry growsand more market players look to purchase the fuel, a legitimate discovery mechanism will be needed.


The View from Big Oil's Height

By Susanne Retka Schill

The time is coming when Big Oil will have to figure out how biodiesel fits into its plans, but at the moment the oil industry is taking a wait-and-see stance.

Crimson Renewable opened its plant at Bakersfield, Calif., in July. PHOTO: CRIMSON RENEWABLES

New Systems and Strategies

By Susanne Retka Schill

Biodiesel Magazine speaks to new producers about their systems and strategies for being successful in the biodiesel industry.


Together, with the appearance of the flexible fuel vehicles in 2003, the infrastructure and culture that forms the inheritance of Brazil's 1970s "Pró-Álcool" program is the key for the development of its local ethanol industry, with no strings attached to tax incentives or protective policies.

Ethanol producers will be among the list of regulated emitters if a proposed mandatory greenhouse gas emissions reduction program becomes law, making it vital for producers to know their options for reducing or selling carbon dioxide.

Increasing the amount of ethanol allowed to be blended into gasoline would be beneficial for the ethanol industry and the United States, but it is important that producers be aware of the product quality requirements that higher blends will demand.

The key to raising money for biomass power projects is developing a good solid business plan that lets investors and lenders know that the projects' fundamentals are secure enough to ensure that financial returns are met.

Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach to protecting biomass/cleantech intellectual property, there are some general attributes of many cleantech efforts that should be considered when assessing possible strategies.

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