January 2014

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Business Briefs

David Rubenstein

Business Briefs

By Staff


Brian Jennings

The Fight Continues

By Brian Jennings

New Year, Renewed Challenges

By Tom Buis, Growth Energy



The iconic variability-reduction system developed by Motorola in the 1980s is helping several U.S. ethanol plants and industry service providers boost operational performance and improve their bottom line results.

Every morning, the previous day’s numbers are posted on the scoreboard and displayed in each department. Here, Tim Crabtree, production manager, and Brent Fehn, lead operator, discuss what needs to be changed to bring more of th

A Squad Trained to Score

By Susanne Retka Schill

Glacial Lakes Energy began using its scorecard early in 2012 to track performance at the company's two plants. As the program took off, the management team rolled out a certified operator training regimen last year to further boost its metrics.

Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, has seen the U.S. ethanol industry grow from less than 2 billion gallons in 2000 to well over 13 billion gallons today. His focus now: growing the market and protecting the RFS.

Advancements in thermal imaging technology are providing plant engineers with new insights into combustion conditions.

Cutting-edge wireless technologies continue to increase efficiency, simplify maintenance and optimize operations at biomass power plants.


Quality assurance programs in ethanol plant labs is the primary and most immediate feedback tool for monitoring plant efficiencies and internal practices, but only when procedural accuracy and precision are in place and working right.


Recruiting employees isn't currently a problem for advanced biofuel companies, but as the industry grows, a lack of engineers may pose problems.

U.S. biogas industry growth is outpacing its workforce. To solve this problem, some universities are utilizing or developing curriculum to educate and train the workforce needed in the industry.

Monitor output, amp usage and vibration for indications of needed maintenance on hammermills, the workhorses of the pellet industry.

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