Response No.

21

Response No. 31

Response No. 41

Truck Receiving/Shipping
Automated System Saves Labor, Time on Shipping, Receiving
Automated systems for unloading and loading transport vehicles at ethanol plants are reducing labor costs while improving throughput and security. Typical time savings are one to one and a half minutes per truck. One such system, developed by CompuWeigh Corp., Woodbury, CT, called SmartTruck, automates shipping and receiving of corn at ethanol plants by providing precise weights and grades, accurate weights for shipping DDGs, and exact gallons of ethanol loaded to truck and rail.
Receiving

When a trucker delivers corn, for example, the steps are: • The truck arrives at a remote probe station, where a radio frequency card tag in the truck automatically identifies either the customer contract or truck ID. • The probe pneumatically sends the grain sample to the scale house for testing. The attendant tests the grain and key

grade factors are electronically transferred to the grading workstation. • The truck moves forward to an unattended scale, where the system ensures that the truck is correctly located on the scale and takes the gross weight. • An outside display board shows the grades and directs the driver to the appropriate receiving pit, where he dumps the corn. • The truck moves forward to a second scale which automatically weighs the empty truck and provides a ticket right at the scale showing gross, tare, and net weights, grade and grade factors. This information is electronically sent to the accounting system.
Shipping DDGS

tion, and a precise load is automatically dumped into the truck. • The truck moves to the second scale, where gross weight is taken. Automatically, a check is made to ensure that the empty weight of the truck plus amount loaded is very close to this gross weight. A scale ticket is issued right on the scale so that the driver can collect it and exit the facility.
Shipping Ethanol

• The empty truck is weighed at the first scale. If this truck has just delivered corn, the tare weight can be taken on the exit scale eliminating the need for them to re-weigh on the inbound truck scale. • The truck moves to the loading sta-

• The truck arrives at the flow meter where the driver enters an order number. If valid, the system in the control room becomes active allowing the operator to authorize the filling of the tanker. • When full, the amount of gallons is recorded and a ticket is issued to the driver. The contract information in the accounting system is updated along with the required RFS/RIN documentation. • A similar system is employed for loading rail cars with DDGS or ethanol.
Response No.51

BIOFUELS JOURNAL 3065 Pershing Ct. | Decatur, IL 62526 800-728-7511 | FAX: 217-877-6647 www.biofuelsjournal.com MAY/JUNE l 2009 issue Vol. 7 | No. 3 BIOFUELS JOURNAL is published bi-monthly by Country Journal Publishing and is mailed to all U.S. ethanol and biodiesel plants along with industry contractors, engineers, and others allied to the industry.

Editor’sNote
There’s Gold in Them Thar Landfills
Dear Readers: I’ve often been accused of being the person who writes about garbage. Or is it that what I write is garbage? In any event, I’ve always believed that a truly “green” society should not be burying its waste in landfills—or at the very least, should be utilizing the methane gas from the landfills as a fuel source. As I put this energy-themed issue together, I realized how waste is starting to become a viable source of energy. And it’s not just from landfills.
Sampling of Waste-to-Fuel

Subscriptions
Subscriptions to BioFuels Journal are available to all ethanol and biodiesel producers free of charge, with a limit of three complimentary issues per facility. Additional subscriptions should be paid. Regular subscriptions are available for $25.00 per year within the United States. International subscriptions are $50.00 per year. Subscription forms are available online at www.biofuelsjournal.com, by mail or fax. Please contact Mark Avery for subscription assistance at 800-728-7511 or mark@grainnet.com

Back Issue Reprints and E-Prints
Back issues will be made available to subscribers if available. All costs of shipping and/ or reproduction will be paid by the subscriber. Please contact us about reprints and e-print charges.

Advertising
Biofuels Journal reaches a highly-targeted audience with excellent editorial, operations and equipment news for the ethanol and biodiesel industries. To find out more about BFJ advertising opportunities or to receive a Media Kit, please contact Mark, Deb, Lauren or Jeff at 800-728-7511 or mark@grainnet.com

PUBLISHER
Mark Avery | mark@grainnet.com

EDITOR
Myke Feinman | myke@grainnet.com

ASSOCIATE EDITORS
Adam Tedder | adam@grainnet.com Ed Zdrojewski | ed@grainnet.com

PRODUCTION MANAGER
Jody Sexton | jody@grainnet.com

ART DIRECTOR
Rod Horve | rod@grainnet.com

SALES
Mark Avery | mark@grainnet.com Deb Coontz | deb@grainnet.com Jeff Miller | jeff@grainnet.com Lauren Colee | lauren@grainnet.com

Some of the waste-to-fuel feedstocks include: • Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)—in other words, landfill garbage— is a feedstock for many cellulosic ethanol and other advanced biofuels processes both in the United States and Canada. • So-called “ag residues” such as corn cobs and corn stover are not only feedstocks for cellulosic ethanol projects, but can also be a source of fuel for biomass burners to power ethanol plants. • The syrup or solubles, which are added to distillers grains, also can be a source of fuel for a plant. • Duckweed, a weed that grows naturally in ponds, is being considered as a feedstock for ethanol. • Other weeds like jatropha and pennycress are being developed as viable alternative feedstocks for biodiesel. • Woody biomass is starting to become a valuable commodity as pellets for the electrical generation industry. This feedstock could become more expensive as a source for cellulosic ethanol or to Myke Feinman fuel a plant’s fluidized bed boiler if the electric utilities step up woody biomass purchases. • The carbon dioxide (CO2), which most ethanol plants emit into the atmosphere, can be a source of food for algae, producing new fuels and co-products at ethanol plants. So, the next time somebody tells me that what I write is just garbage, I can agree with them, with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek. I guess you could say, “There’s gold in them thar landfills,” folks. Myke Feinman | Editor | myke@grainnet.com Phone: 800-728-7511 | Fax: 217-877-6647 Between issues, get your biofuels news here... BioFuels News Daily ... www.biofuelsjournal.com

CIRCULATION
Teresa Walden | teresa@grainnet.com

ACCOUNTING
Sy McElvain | sy@grainnet.com

6

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Response No. 71

Contents

Facility Features
30 Homeland Energy, Lawler, IA 50 Louis Dreyfus Commodities, Grand Junction, IA 68 Western Biodiesel Inc., High River, AB 82 Costilla County Biodiesel, Mesita, CO

M/J.09
Energy
Cover Articles

Issue

10 12 16 17

Switching On Efficiencies
Government provides incentives to existing biofuels plants

Q & A Interviews
34 Mark Stowers, POET 40 Wes Clark, Growth Energy 80 Michael Haas, USDA Agricultural Research Service

EPA GHG Threshold
A proposed regulation categorizes ethanol plants

Exploring Efficiencies
Optimizing energy goal of new VeraSun plant owner

Biogas Energy
ADI researching conversion of syrup to biogas to power plants

18 20 21 22 24 25 26 27

Testing Gasification
Chippewa Valley tests new technology

Algae Bolt-ons
Using ethanol plant’s CO2 to produce algae

18

20
Supplier Q & A Interviews
96 Michael Althouse, MAC Equipment, Inc. 97 Craig Pilgrim, Lallemand Ethanol Technologies 98 Howie Nelson, SGS North America Inc.

Raw Starch Hydrolysis
POET’s pathway to increasing energy efficiency

Energy Integration
Savings requires monitoring, measuring, and optimization

Combined Heat, Power
POET earns EPA’s CHP award for third consecutive year

Burning Syrup
Update on Corn Plus attempts to power plant by combusting syrup

Construction News
38 Ethanol Plants in the Pipeline 72 Biodiesel Roundup 89 Breaking Cellulosic Ground 90 Cellulosic Ethanol Plants Under Construction 91 Cellulosic Ethanol Plants Construction Map

Burning Cobs
Lincolnway Energy set to deploy fluidized bed technology

Pumps to Save Energy
Positive displacement pumps

8

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Each Issue
28 Monthly Ethanol Production 44 Ethanol World 45 Calendar of Events 46 State Report: Colorado 54 Ethanol Industry News 64 Profile: Mike Isom, North County Ethanol

Biodiesel Features
74 Wastewater Algae 75 Rocket Biodiesel 76 Pearl Harbor B20 78 Algae-to-Fuel NREL Research 79 Green Diesel 88 Plastic Biodiesel 92 Green Crude Oil

58
65 Profile: Chuck Hofland, Siouxland Ethanol 66 Profile: Kumar Plocher, Yokayo Biofuels 71 Biodiesel World 86 Biodiesel Industry News

61

76

Cellulosic Features
85 Ethanol Tech Conference 89 Biomass Conference 93 New CO2 Co-Products 94 Synthesis Gas Applications

Ethanol Features
42 CO2 Ruled Pollutant 48 FDA DDGS Monitoring 58 ACE Preview 61 Duckweed Ethanol 62 Sunoco Buys Northeast Biofuels 63 Indirect Land Use Change Update 67 RIN Violation Crackdown

Product Reviews
99 Mechanical Solutions / Cereal Process Technologies 100 Burns & McDonnell Engineering Co. / Butterworth, Inc. 101 The Aldon Co. / Wilks Enterprise Inc.

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

9

Switching On Efficencies
Biofuels Plants Presented Incentives to Reduce Energy Consumption
The Obama administration wants existing and future biofuels plants to be more energy efficient, and it will provide loans and grants—more than $175 million—to do it. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced May 5 the formation of the Biofuels Interagency Working Group to increase the nation’s energy independence. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said at a May 5 a press conference that President Obama issued a directive that day to “aggressively accelerate the investment in and production of biofuels.” By that directive, USDA is to expedite and increase production of and investment in biofuels development through: • Refinancing existing investments in renewable fuels to preserve jobs in ethanol and biodiesel plants. • Make renewable energy financing opportunities in the 2008 Farm Bill (see chart to right). The financing will pay for retrofits of existing ethanol and biodiesel plants to decrease energy consumption. It also provides funding for new projects such as advanced biofuels which are due to start being produced under the new Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) signed into law in 2007. Under the new RFS2, Vilsack said increasing renewable fuels will reduce dependence on foreign oil by more than 297 million barrels a year and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 160 million tons a year when fully phased in by 2022.
In This Issue

• Lincolnway Energy’s fluidized bed system (p. 25). • Blackmer’s positive displacement pumps (p. 26). Myke Feinman, editor

“The USDA, DOE and EPA have been directed to aggressively accelerate the investment in and production of biofuels.”
- Tom Vilsack, U.S. Agricuture Secretary

In this issue, Biofuels Journal looks at several ways biofuels plants can increase or ‘switch on’ energy efficiency. For example, the EPA has announced “pathways” to reduce a plant’s energy consumption, thus reducing its GHG (see p. 12). Many ethanol and biodiesel producers and other technology providers already are implementing such strategies. Some of them include: • Carbon Green purchased a bankrupt VeraSun plant, with plans to increase its efficiency (p. 16). • ADI’s syrup-to-biogass ethanol plant converstion system (p. 17). • Chippewa Valley Ethanol’s gasification system (p. 18). • Stellarwind’s algae processing system for ethanol plants (p. 20). • POET’s raw starch hydrolysis system (p. 21). • Siemens’ integrated process and energy system (p. 22). • Combined heat and power to save energy (p. 24).

10

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Response No. 111

EPA GHG Threshold
Ethanol Plants Categorized By Conservation, Innovations
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) May 5 released 24 methods new ethanol plants can use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) to meet the 2007 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) thresholds. New plants are defined as those that were not under construction at the end of 2007. However, every ethanol plant in operation or under construction as of the end of 2007 is grandfathered in and not subject to the new GHG regulations, for production up to 15 billion gallons. However, the EPA is providing incentives for grandfathered plants to reduce their GHG emissions and thereby be eligible to sell their fuel at a higher price. RFS2, signed into law in December 2007, requires new ethanol plants to produce fuel that results in at least 20% less in GHG emissions than gasoline. Along with the EPA’s May 5 proposed rulemaking announcement, the U.S. Department of Agriculture also announced that funds will be made available for grants and loans to existing ethanol plants to become more energy efficient (see story on p. 10).
Average Starch-Based Plant

The vast majority of the ethanol produced in the United States (9.5 billion gallons in 2008) is from dry grind, natural gas-fired plants that dry their distillers grains with electricity. Their GHG requirements, however, are complicated by RFS2 language that requires the EPA to consider indirect

“The proposal talks about how ethanol is 16% better than gasoline. We’ve shown that the current process for making ethanol can take alternate pathways to reduce the footprint, for everything from how to generate power that’s put into the process to the use of feedstock.”
- Lisa Jackson, EPA administrator

12

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Response No. 131

land use change (ILUC) in calculations for starch-based ethanol’s GHG threshold. Without ILUC, a grandfathered starchbased dry grind ethanol plant utilizing a natural-gas fired system and drying all its distillers grains qualifies production as 61% lower GHG than a gasoline refiner. On the other hand, with ILUC (the theory that other nations will plow down rainforests and pasture land for biofuels crops, thus inadvertently releasing carbon into the atmosphere), that same dry grind ethanol plant produces fuel that is merely 16% better than gasoline, lower than the required 20% threshold. (See article about EPA’s comment period for ILUC on page 63).
Possible Pathways to Qualify

The proposed rulemaking, released by the EPA, includes language for possible “pathways” or technology/processes for an ethanol plant, even if grandfathered in, to reduce its GHG emissions. “The proposal talks about how ethanol is 16% better than gasoline,” said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson at a press conference May 5. “We’ve shown that the current process for making ethanol can take

alternate pathways to reduce the footprint, for everything from how to generate power that’s put into the process to the use of feedstock. The idea is to send a strong signal about what the science says is the best way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” See chart on page 12 for the EPA’s listing of possible pathways to reduce GHGs. Many of the suggested pathways already are being utilized at some plants or are being considered. Pathways include such innovations as: • Combined heat and power (CHP)– 19% overall reduction in GHG. • CHP and corn oil fractionation– 27% reduction. • CHP, fractionation, and membrane separation–30% reduction. • CHP, fractionation, membrane separation and raw starch hydrolysis (such as the process utilized by POET’s cold cook system)–35% reduction. Another way to reduce the GHG is by not drying all distillers grains with solubles (DGS). “Not drying DGS makes it a 27% reduction in GHG compared to gasoline,” said Geoff Cooper, vice president

“The new Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2), signed into law in December 2007, requires new ethanol plants to produce fuel which is at least 20% less in GHG emissions than gasoline.”
- EPA

of research for the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). Currently, most dry grind plants do not dry all their DGS. “Only 40% of DGS are sold wet in the United States,” Cooper said. In addition, about half of the plants in the United States are gasifying biomass and not drying DGS, Cooper estimates. Cooper said the EPA pathways also will help ethanol plants qualify for lower carbon footprints under California’s low carbon standard. Myke Feinman, editor

Response No. 141

14

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Response No. 151

Exploring Efficiencies
Optimizing Energy Goal of New VeraSun Plant Owner
per-year Fagen-ICM plant March 18 through VeraSun Energy’s bankruptcy proceeding. Carbon Green BioEnergy intends to restart the plant in early 2010. It originally went on-line in September 2006 and went idle in November 2008.
Experienced Partners
The former VeraSun plant in Woodbury, MI.

Exploring Options

The former VeraSun Energy plant in Woodbury, MI will be dedicated to showcasing how a plant can be as “green” as possible by increasing operational efficiency and reducing energy usage. Carbon Green BioEnergy, a joint venture between Carbon Green, LLC, based in Chicago, IL and Energetix, LLC, based in Indiana, agreed to purchase the VeraSun plant from AgStar Financial Services on May 5. AgStar acquired the 40-million-gallon-

Carbon Green LLC, has been assisting ethanol plants in the purchase of credits on the Chicago Climate Exchange for such carbon footprint-reducing actions as displacing electricity and natural gas. Entergetix is a process optimization and management company owned by Mitch Miller and Jason Jerke, who will who will serve, respectively, as the chief executive officer and chief operating officer of Carbon Green BioEnergy, LLC. Both men have focused on similar process enhancements to improve the carbon footprint in the ethanol industry for the past 15 years.

According to President Jim Murphy, the company plans to explore several options for reducing the plant’s carbon footprint and energy usage. One of the optimization methods the company plans to implement is corn oil extraction from distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS). “We think this could save an estimated 5% of the ethanol plant’s energy costs,” Murphy said. Other options the company is exploring is to further develop the wet distillers grain market to save on drying expenses as well as exploring an alternative source of power such as gasifying biomass, Murphy noted. Gasification of biomass such as forest waste would create steam to power the plant, displacing natural gas. “We will focus on electrical and natural gas usage,” Murphy said. “Our proximity to biomass in Michigan is a plus.” Myke Feinman, editor

Response No. 161

16

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Biogas Energy
ADI Researching Conversion of Syrup to Biogas to Power Plants
Research being conducted by ADI Systems, Fredericton, NB, Canada, has found a method to convert solubles into a biogas to power an ethanol plant. The stillage or syrup currently is utilized as the solubles in distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) at conventional ethanol plants. ADI Systems, researchers believe this anaerobic digestion technology will allow an ethanol plant to displace natural gas as an energy source. “This could displace all the energy needs at an ethanol plant,” said ADI’s Vice President of Technology Shannon Grant (506-452-7307). He added that each plant’s energy needs are different, so the results could vary by location.
How it Works

ecules of methane with one atom of carbon and four atoms of hydrogen (CH4). It is the major component of the natural gas used in ethanol plants to create steam. It is odorless, colorless, and yields about 1,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs) of heat energy per cubic foot when burned, according to the DOE.
Economic Factors

According to Grant, this technology eliminates all of a plant’s water discharge. “A plant then can be retrofitted with this technology to produce a biogass that is 60% to 80% methane that then can be used in the plant’s process boiler,” Grant said.
Anaerobic Digestion Process

The decision to utilize this technology as a natural gas replacement at ethanol plants, said Grant, must be done while considering other factors such as the cost of natural gas and the value of DDGs with or without solubles. According to Grant, because grains, DDGS, and natural gas, all commodities, fluctuate wildly in price, it may not pay to convert solubles to biogas. For example, a year ago, natural gas was selling for upwards of $10 per decatherm, while today it is hovering below $5. “This is tied to the price of grains and the price of fuel and whether you can get a discharge permit for discharging after an anaerobic reaction,” Grant said. “It depends on the economics,” he added. “Each case is different.” Myke Feinman, editor

“A plant can be retrofitted with this technology to produce a biogass that is 60% to 80% methane that then can be used in the plant’s process boiler.”
- Shannon Grant, vice president of technology
Response No. 171

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), anaerobic digestion is a process by which bacteria break down or “digest” organic material in the absence of oxygen and produce biogas as a waste product. Methane is a gas that contains mol-

Gasification Update
Chippewa Valley Ethanol Tests Biomass Gasification at Plant
The objective of Chippewa Valley Ethanol Co. (CVEC), Benson, MN, is to displace its natural gas by 90% using a biomass gasifier. According to CVEC General Manager Bill Lee (320-843-4813), after one year of testing, the plant is not allowed to be at 90% displacement ... yet. “Despite some temporary constraints on throughput, we are pushing forward and generating valuable operating experience on this new system,” Lee said.
Gasifier Feedstock

At the present time, the plants per-

In 2008, 3,200 acres of mit allows it to use up cobs were harvested for to 25% biomass gasifithe gasifier. In 2009, three cation fuel to displace to four times that amount natural gas. The feedwill be harvested. stock has been wood so The corn provided to far. The plan is eventuthe plant could displace ally also to utilize cobs from the farmers who G a s i f i e r a t C h i p p e w a 70% of the natural gas Valley Ethanol Co. needs at the plant if cobs supply the plant’s corn. were harvested from the “We think that corn same acres, Lee noted. cobs are the obvious choice in the corn The system installed at the plant a year belt,” Lee said. ago was designed by Frontline BioEnergy, “We are working with original equipAmes, IA (515-292-1200), Lee said. ment manufacturers to do some corn Myke Feinman, Editor cob harvests.

Response No. 181

18

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Response No. 191

Algae Bolt-Ons
Ethanol Plants Look at CO2-Consuming Algae as New Process
It only takes six to eight days for the reactor to reach full density and be ready for harvest, he added. In a typical algae farm, one third of the crop would be harvested every day. Furthermore, depending on the algae species used, the company can produce an algae oil to be used as a feedstock for biodiesel production or an algae oil chemically equivalent to crude petroleum oil. “It’s very pure, very consistent, and there is almost no sulfur,” William said.
Other Products

In addition to algae oil, William noted, the algae farm also will produce biomass, which can be fed through an anaerobic digester or pyrolyzed to produce more fuels such as methane gas and butanol. The methane could be used as a power source to power the algae facility, John noted.
Pilot Plant
Dr. John A. Kassebaum (left), cofounder and chief technical officer of Stellarwind Bio Energy, LLC, and his twin brother, William R. Kassebaum, cofounder and president, examine a flask of algae.

Co-locating an algae farm at an ethanol plant could provide a way for ethanol producers to capitalize on tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) vented annually. Stellarwind Bio Energy, Indianapolis, IN (317-225-4180), in April unveiled a new two-step process to grow algae, which includes utilizing an ethanol plant’s CO2. “The concept of raising algae to produce oil is not new, but growing,” said Dr. John A. Kassebaum, Stellarwind cofounder and chief technical officer. “However, until now, harvesting and processing this highly efficient energy resource has been problematic,” he said. For the ethanol industry, if the algae were being grown adjacent to an existing corn plant, the plant would provide

plenty of CO2 for the algae. Initial studies show that 100 metric tons of CO2 are required per acre of algae produced per year.
Process

Stellarwind is developing a small-scale version of its entire system at its northwest Indianapolis facility and plans to build a pilot plant beginning in July 2010 that will encompass a 50-to-100 acre site

“The algal oil is very pure, very consistent, and there is almost no sulfur.”
- William Kassebaum, president and CEO, Stellarwind Bio Energy

“Our new technology includes our proprietary PhycoGenic Reactor, Phyco Processor, RecyCo2Tron, and RRS process that will allow us to grow, harvest, and refine algae oil on a commercial scale.” According to Kassebaum, the process utilizes CO2, water, and sunlight. John’s brother, William, the other cofounder of Stellarwind and president and CEO of the company, said the process’ design involves long rows of bioreactors to grow the algae.

when it is completed. A biodiesel plant in Covington, IN already has committed to purchasing 12 million gallons of algal oil from the pilot plant for biodiesel production. Myke Feinman, editor

20

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Raw Starch Hydrolysis
Pathway to Increasing Energy Efficiency
Raw starch hydrolysis—also referred to as cold cook—was developed by POET, Sioux Falls, SD, as a way to convert starch to ethanol utilizing enzymes instead of heat, thereby reducing energy costs. Called BPX ®, this patent-pending process was introduced by POET and developed in partnership with Novozymes in 2004. POET uses the process in 24 of its 26 plants with plans to install in the remaining two. “We have figured out a way to use enzymes instead of heat for fermentation to convert starch into ethanol, which increases our yields and shaves our energy use by 12% to 15% in comparison to a conventional ethanol plant,” said Public Relations Director Nathan Schock (605-965-2200). This technology equates to a process that reduces natural gas consumption, Schock said, noting that natural gas is the primary heat source used in conventional plants. the process in the future. Raw starch hydrolysis is one of the specific “pathways” listed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) May 5 as a method to reduce energy consumption and improve the greenhouse gas emissions of an ethanol plant, thus reducing a plant’s carbon footprint.

“We have figured out a way to use enzymes instead of heat for fermentation to convert starch into ethanol, which increases our yields and shaves our energy use by 12% to 15%.”
- Nathan Schock, public relations director

Schock said BPX is the only raw starch hydrolysis process being utilized and that there may be plans to license
Response No. 211

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

21

Energy Integration
Siemens: Energy Savings Requires Monitoring, Measuring, Optimization
asset management devices. According to Chmielewski, “the power monitoring systems do not requires a specific process automation system so they are not vendor exclusive,” he added, “and the costs for implementation can be minimal. Network solutions can help reduce manual collection of data.” He said having the demand management information helps plant managers understand what they can hold, stop or slow in the process to save energy costs and avoid setting new energy peak demands.
Front End Optimization

of between 4% and 12% in energy consumption per year, Chmielewski said.
Compressors and Valving

Monitoring loaded and unloaded equipment can help find air leaks, saving an additional 4% to 6% per year.
Cooling, Pumps, Heat Exchangers

An au t o m a t i o n system can r e d u c e energy consumption.

Integrating a biofuels plant’s process system with its demand for energy is the key to energy optimization, according to Siemens Industry Inc. Siemens Biofuels Marketing Manager Rich Chmielewski, Spring House, PA (215-646-7400), said one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce energy consumed at a biofuels plant is to track your demand management and cost allocations via power monitoring and smart

For example, power monitoring can help you identify how the grinder motors are running, and cost-effective, smart motor overload devices can be installed to keep the motor at optimum efficiency. This extends the life of the device providing asset management information. This could mean a savings

“With integrated produciton monitoring, you can find ways to hold, stop or slow the pump and cooling tower applications and match the operations of the tower with the ambient temperatures and production,” Chmielewski said. Linking energy consumption to the production demand can save between 5% and 7% in energy.
Boiler

The measurement of steam consumption in the production and tuning can result in a savings of 6% to 8% annually. Myke Feinman, editor

Response No. 221

22

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Response No. 231

Combined Heat, Power
POET Earns EPA’s CHP Award For Third Consecutive Year
For three years, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) has presented CHP Energy Star Awards for energy innovations at dry mill ethanol plants. Combined heat and power (CHP) is a system that combines an ethanol plant’s electricity and steam, thereby recovering waste heat for heating, cooling, and dehudification. In April, POET was named the 2009 CHP Energy Star award winner for its CHP system at POET BiorefiningLadonnia, MO. POET’s plants in Macon, MO and Ashton, IA are among four ethanol plants that were presented the award in 2007 and 2008.
Waste Steam

At Ladonnia, waste heat is recovered from a nearby utility plant, Missouri Joint Municipal Electricity Utility Company (MJMEUC). The waste heat creates steam to support POET’s ethanol production process. This system generates 63,000 pounds of steam per hour,” said Spokesman Kris Lancaster (913-551-7557), meeting approxi-

mately 60% of the ethanol plant’s needs. According to POET Public Relations Director Nathan Schock, Sioux Falls, SD (605-965-2200), all three of the company’s plants that have won the CHP award are utilizing natural gas turbines and co-producing electricity and steam. The EPA announced May 5 that there are many pathways to reduce an ethanol plant’s greenhouse gas emissions, and specifically mentioned CHP as one recommended pathway. “CHP is one way ethanol can be produced in an even more efficient and environmentally-friendly manner” Schock said.

Response No. 241

24

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Wind, Burning Syrup
Corn Plus Ethanol Plant Saves Energy With Innovation
Two wind turbines and a system to combust the plant’s syrup is providing energy savings for Corn Plus, Winnebago, MN, thereby reducing its carbon footprint. The 45-million-gallon-per-year Delta-Tdesigned ethanol plant has been using the two wind turbines for one year. General Manager Keith Kor (507-893-4747) estimates the 2.1 megawatt turbines cut the plant’s electricity usage Two corn plus by 35%. wind turbines. In addition, the plant utilizes an A.E. Von Roll fluidized bed system (gasifier) that burns its syrup to create enough fuel to displace 60% of the plant’s natural gas needs. This contrasts with a conventional plant, which adds syrup to the distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS). Kor said Corn Plus sells DDGs with no syrup to area dairy livestock and poultry feedlots which allows the feedlots to include a higher percentage of DDGs due to its lower fat content. “The syrup product is very consistent,” Kor said of the DDGs. “With the syrup being dried with DDGS, the evaporators get dirty. You end up raising heat to evaporate the water, using more energy. And there are flowability issues.”
New Co-product

cronutrients. The ash is sold as a natural fertilizer. “The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute showed that our ash is

as good or better than conventional commercial fertilizer, better than char ash from a gasifier, and better than turkey litter combustion ash.

In addition to saving energy, the gasification system also produces a new co-product—ash—which contains 17.5% phosphorus, 15% potassium, and 4% sulfur plus other miResponse No. 251

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

25

Cobs Displacing Coal?
Lincolnway Energy, Nevada, IA, May Deploy by 2010
Lincolnway Energy is investigating a fluidized system to burn cobs and other biomass in place of coal to power its 50-million-gallon-peryear ethanol plant. “At the present time we are awaiting issuance of a new air permit,” said Lincolnway CEO Rick Brehm (515-232-1010). “Once we have the permit, we will move forward and explore the possibility of burning corn cobs, construction demolition waste, and wood byproducts,” Brehm said. “We’d like to move forward as quickly as possible.” Brehm hopes to commence construction of the fluidized bed system later this year but does not expect the system to be on-line at the central Iowa plant until mid-2010. Roadblocks to the project include financing and rising biomass costs, he explained. The plant, which opened in May 2006, is applying for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grants, but Lincolnway won’t know if the plant will receive them until later this summer. Also, the price of biomass feedstocks may be increasing, Brehm noted. “There are other power generating industries starting to pressure biomass availability,” Brehm added.
Dual Fuel Supply

The fluidized bed system, being engineered by Energy Products of Idaho (EPI), Coeur d’Alene, would allow the plant to utilize a duel fuel system of both coal and biomass. “This system is EPI’s standard coal fluidized bed combuster,” Brehm said. Also working on the project is Preventive Maintenance, Inc. of Ames, IA.

Response No. 261

26

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Energy Saving Pump
Sliding Vane Pumps Could Save Plant’s Energy Consumption
“Anywhere a gear pump can be applied, a vane pump can be applied as well,” Bohr noted. He said Blackmer has installed positive displacement pumps at both ethanol and biodiesel plants. Myke Feinman, editor

Sliding vane pumps can save biofuels plants up to 5-7%.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) reports that pumping systems account for between 27% and 33% of the total electricity used at biofuels plants. However, there is a pump design that can cut energy consumption 5% to 7% per year—the sliding vane pump. Bill Bohr, director of business development for Blackmer, Grand Rapids, MI (616-248-9252), attributes the sliding vane pumps energy savings to two factors: • More efficient power consumption than gear pumps. • Contant energy savings over the life of the pump—up to 20% in efficiency over the life of the pump.
Positive Displacement

“A sliding vane pump is a positive displacement pump, which has a fixed capacity per revolution of the shaft,” said Bohr. “By contrast, gear pumps turn the shaft, causing wear due to shear and vibration,” he continued.
Response No. 271

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

27

March Ethanol Production Continues Upward Trend
Ethanol production continued to climb in March to 640,000 barrels per day (b/d), according to an Energy Information Administration (EIA) report released in June. That is an increase of 79,000 b/d from March 2008. Ethanol demand was 644,000 (b/d), significantly higher than 566,000 (b/d) in March 2008. February production was at 595,000 (b/d), higher than 518,000 in February 2008. ACE comment. “As gasoline demand and prices rise, ethanol becomes an even greater value, and these numbers should continue to improve,” said American Coalition for Ethanol Vice President, Market Development Ron Lamberty. “The first quarter ethanol demand number is only about 7% of the gasoline demand, so refiners will have to step up their ethanol purchases to meet the 2009 Renewable Fuels Standard.”

Monthly U.S. Ethanol Production
680 660 640 620 600 580 560 540 520 500 480 460 440 420 400 380 360 340 Figures represent thousand barrels/day

FEB MAR APR MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR

Response No. 281

28

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Response No. 291

When the Homeland Energy Board of Directors decided to build an ethanol plant in Lawler, IA, in 2005, they didn’t have to look far for the expertise to develop it. Both Chad Kuhlers and Walt Wendland had managed and operated the Golden Grain Ethanol plant in nearby

Facility Feature
Homeland Energy Solutions, LLC
563-238-5555 | Lawler, IA www.homelandenergysolutions.com Walt Wendland, GM Chad Kuhlers, Plant Manager Christy Marchand, CFO Tina Knebel, Lab Manager Don Mork, Maintenance Manager Stan Wubbena, Commodities Manager Employees: 36 Capacity: 100 MMGY Feedstock: Corn

Mason City, IA since 2005. That experience was the genesis for Homeland Energy Solutions, a 100million-gallon-per-year (MMGY) ethanol plant that began production in April. The plant is a Fagen-ICM design, with engineering input from Kuhlers based on their experience at Golden Grain. Original plans for the plant called for gasification of biom-

ass to replace a natural gas system to power the plant. “However, due to economic and financial circumstances, we went with a natural gas system,” Homeland Energy Plant Manager Kuhlers said. “Fagen and ICM invested in the plant to see what could be done to optimize the ethanol process,” Kuhlers said. “We have a goal of reaching 150 MMGY in the first year.”
Company History

The story of Homeland Energy began when Kuhlers and the rest of the directors in December 2005 decided to form a new ethanol company. “We knew we wanted to make it unique,” Kuhlers said. At first the plan was to use biomass gasification to power the plant instead of natural gas.

“We have a goal of reaching 150 million gallons per year (MMGY) in the first
Plant Manager Chad Kuhlers shares his time between the Lawler plant and Golden Grain, Mason City, IA.

year.”
- Chad Kuhlers, plant manager

30

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

32,000 BTUs. Currently, more work is being done to “debottleneck” the process and optimize the plant to achieve the goal of 150 MMGY.
Capacity/Transportation

Nathan Scheidel, production supervisor, operates the plant’s computer, as ethanol is produced.

In December 2006, Homeland Energy raised $87 million from investors— including 1,280 local owners and companies like ICM and Fagen. Homeland declined to release the total cost of the project. According to Kuhlers, a bidding war between Chickasaw and Winneshiek counties ensued for the project. “Each county tried to outbid the other,” Kuhlers noted. In the end, Chickasaw County proposed a 20-year tax abatement for the project, winning the investor’s approval. A 300-acres site in Lawler then was purchased, and construction began November 2007.
Streamlining the Process

gained at Golden Grain, the new plant was built lean and mean. “For example, we are not heating up the fermentation, which saves energy,” Kuhlers said. Also, flow rates were improved using different piping systems. Kuhlers said the plant is producing a gallon of ethanol utilizing 26,000 BTUs, including drying 100% of the plants’ distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), compared to the industry average of

The plant is designed to produce a nameplate of 285,000 tons of DDGS. It has the capacity to store up to 9,000 tons at the plant. Also, the plant can store 1 million bushels of corn and 3 million gallons of ethanol. The plant, which is located about 90 miles west of the Mississippi River, will truck most of its DDGS to the river. Ethanol, however, is transported via rail and sent primarily to the East Coast via the Iowa, Chicago, and East Railroad. The plant includes a loop track for unit-train capacity, Kuhlers said.
Marketing

Green Plains Renewable Energy, headquartered in Omaha, NE markets the plant’s ethanol. Cenex Harvest, States, Inner Grove Heights, MN, markets the DDGS internationally.
Management Expertise

Most of the staff and management

Building on Kuhlers’ experience

Grain receiving is designed to handle enough corn for 100 MMGY and 285,000 tons of distillers grains per year.

The plant can store up to 9,000 tons of distillers dried grains with solubles.

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

31

came from the region, Kuhlers said. Wendland, chief executive officer (CEO), comes to Homeland after working first as project and construction manager for Golden Grain then staying on as president and CEO. He now works at both locations. Kulers, plant manager, was operations manager of Koch Hydrocarbon with a background in electrical engineering. Kuhlers also works at both Golden Grain and Homeland. Christy Marchand, chief financial officer (CFO), comes to Homeland Energy after working at Golden Grain as the CFO. She now works at both locations. Tina Knebel, lab manager, comes to the company from Hawkeye Renew-

Lab Assistant Lindsay Zeien examines ethanol, as it is produced at the plant.

able Energy, Shell Rock, IA, where she was lab manager. Don Mork, maintenance manager, was engineering manager for Donaldson Co. in Cresco, IA. Stan Wubbena, commodities manager, had been a commodities manager at a Bunge river terminal in McGregor, IA for 15 years.
Future Plans

Homeland Energy will be drying up to 285,000 tons of distillers dried grains with solubles each year.

Kuhlers and Wendland still hold hope to install a gasification system. A lot depends on whether the federal government moves to a cap and trade system for carbon. If that happens, natural gas-fired ethanol plants could be at a disadvantage because gasification of biomass would displace a finite resource with a renewable one. “It’s still in the board’s dreams, but it will depend on cap and trade as well as economic and financing considerations,” Kuhlers said.
Future of the Industry

Kuhlers said that starch-based ethanol is here to stay and cellulosic ethanol is just around the corner. “Somebody will figure out a cost-effective way to make ethanol out of cellulosic material,” Kuhlers believes. “We have a great ethanol industry in this country, so I believe it’s got a bright future,” he added.
Part of the optimization program at the plant is to not heat up the fermentation tanks, which will save energy during production.

Myke Feinman, editor

32

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Response No. 331

Question and Answer

Mark Stowers
Vice President of Science and Technology, POET
Mark Stowers is leading POET’s ambitious effort to commercialize cellulosic ethanol utlizing corn cobs as the feedstock. Stowers, POET’s vice president of science and technology, has worked at the Sioux Falls, SD-based ethanol producer since 2006. Stowers spoke with BioFuels Journal about POET’s new cellulosic ethanol endeavor, Project LIBERTY, the retrofit of the company’s existing starch-based ethanol plant in Emmetsburg, IA, and on the future of cellulosic ethanol. plants to operate, and the total cost of the project will exceed $200 million. Appoximately $80 million will come from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and $20 million from the state of Iowa. Most of POET’s current activities are focused on the validation of the biomass collection strategy and POET’s cellulosic ethanol process technology.

Stowers Close-Up
Education: 1977: Appalachian State University with a bachelor’s of science degree in biology. 1980: North Carolina State University, with a master of science degree in microbiology. 1982: North Carolina State University, with a doctor of philosophy degree in microbiology. Family: Wife, Sarah; daugthers: Rosemary and Elizabeth; son: Sam. Career: 1982-83: Post-doctoral associate with the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research at Cornell University. 1983-85: Senior project leader for NPI.1986-89: Technology manager for Eastman Kodak Company. 1989-96: Business director for Monsanto Company. 1996-2000: Vice president for worldwide marketing for Seminis. 2000-01: Vice president for VivoRx. 2001-06: President of the Michigan Biotechnology Institute. Hobbies: Fly fishing, upland bird hunting, golf, hiking, travel, and cooking.

Cost Competitive?
For POET, cellulosic ethanol today is about $1 per gallon more expensive to produce than starch-based ethanol. Process

Project LIBERTY
Plans for Project LIBERTY received a boost after the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 helped the United States move forward with plans to maintain energy independence through renewable sources. One of Project LIBERTY’s main goals is transforming a strictly grain-toethanol dry mill plant into an integrated grain-based and cellulosic plant that will utilize biomass feedstocks. After the project is completed, our plant in Emmetsburg, IA will produce 125 million gallons a year (MMGY) of ethanol, of which 25 MMGY will be cellulosic ethanol. The plant, which opened in March 2005, produces 50 MMGY of ethanol from corn feedstocks. Project LIBERTY is on schedule and is tentatively scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011. Project LIBERTY is a big project for POET in terms of money and meaning. The Emmetsburg plant will be one of the first commercial cellulosic ethanol

“Most of our current activities are focused on the validation of our biomass collection strategy and our cellulosic ethanol process technology.”
- Mark Stowers, vice president of science and technology, POET

improvements have resulted in significant cost reductions producing corn ethanol. We expect the same to occur with cellulosic ethanol. Improvements in the yield and reduction in capital costs are expected as we learn more about the process.

34

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Response No. 351

Cellulosic ethanol technology at the POET Research Center, Scotland, SD.

also able to generate enough power to fuel an adjacent corn-to-ethanol plant, as well. We plan to do this by using the water streams from the cellulosic ethanol process to generate steam and biogas to replace fossil fuel for both our cellulosic ethanol plant and the co-located corn ethanol plant. Also, the lignin that is produced during the process will be used as a power source through combustion.

“POET’s strategy to ‘bolt on’ cellulosic ethanol plants makes sense and is part of our deployment strategy.”
- Mark Stowers, POET

Future Deployment
The expansion of cellulosic ethanol is important in meeting our national goal of energy independence, as well as meeting our targets for improving the environment and creating jobs. The way we’re going to deploy cellulosic ethanol is to bolt on the technology to our existing plants. Adam Tedder, associate editor

We expect that cellulosic ethanol will be cost competitive with corn ethanol five to seven years after the commissioning of Project LIBERTY.

Feedstock Logistics
Corn cobs, which we have proven can be collected easily, will be utilized as the feedstock for Project LIBERTY. Cobs have little nutrient value and have more carbohydrate than the stalk. They are the first and best cellulosic biomass to collect—but we expect others will follow. As far as transportation goes, there are multiple systems for farmers to use to harvest the cobs and transport them to the plant.

Saving Energy
Now that our pilot plant for cellulosic ethanol is operational in Scotland, SD, we can begin to answer many questions that have been posed for years, including energy concerns. In the future, we expect cellulosic ethanol plants to be self-sufficient and

Response No. 361

36

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Response No. 371

In the Pipeline
Update on U.S. Ethanol Plant Development
Iowa Kentucky

Plymouth Energy officially opened its Merrill ethanol plant in early June. The $195 million plant, which has been operating since December, produces 120 million gallons per year (MMGY) and employs 36 people. Plymouth Energy uses approximately 55,000 bushels of corn a day and stores 517,000 bushels, which is enough for eight days of production.

Lexington-based Alltech announced in late May that plans for a $70 million ethanol plant had been put on hold indefinitely because of insufficient funding. The plant, which was announced in April 2008, is supposed to be partially funded with state and federal grants. “We’ve basically looked at where ethanol is today and decided to put that project on hold,” says Dr. Mark Lyons, project head. “The reason for this was

generally in terms of the economic crisis where we all find ourselves. Funding ethanol is not very popular right now with the banks.” Alltech, an international bioscience, animal health, and nutrition company, received a $30 million U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant in April 2008 for the project and planned to get bank financing for the balance. The company had been talking about halting the project altogether, but DOE agreed to allow it to place the project on hold.

Response No. 381

38

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Minnesota

Wisconsin

Lamberton-based Highwater Ethanol LLC is getting ready to move from its construction phase into an operational phase. Highwater CEO and President Brian Kletscher said that as of late May, Fagen, Inc., the plant’s contractor and its subcontractors are nearing completion of the plant, and with its staff already hired, Highwater is due to start up production of ethanol by the end of June. “Construction should end by June 15 or so,” Kletscher said. “We are looking at starting up by late June, but that could go either side by a week or two. It depends on how things go from here.” Kletscher said equipment testing is starting, and by June 20, he hopes to have a bulk of the testing nearly complete. Actual full-scale production of ethanol should begin by either the end of June or first part of July. Kletscher said Highwater already has railcars lined up to transport ethanol and distillers dried grains. The ethanol plant is expected to process approximately 18 million bushels of locally grown corn into 50 MMGY of ethanol. The plant also will produce 160,000 tons of distillers grains.
South Dakota

Wisconsin-based Global Renewable, LLC announced in November 2006 it would be building a plant in Sharon. As of mid-June, construction had yet to break ground, and company president Jeff Knight has stopped saying when he expects it

to begin, though he says the project is still viable. The proposed $237 million plant will produce 120 MMGY from 38 million bushels of corn. The plant would buy corn from within a 50-mile radius. Compiled from news sources by Adam Tedder, associate editor

Officials of Valero Energy Corp. met with local producers and the media May 20 at their newly acquired ethanol plant in Aurora, SD. Valero is the largest independent petroleum refiner in the United States. Last month, the San Antonio, TX-based company finalized its purchase of seven ethanol plants and one development site from bankr upt VeraSun Energ y. Valero Spokesman Bill Day said in early June that five of the seven plants are now back in operation, and the other two will be in the next few weeks. He said the company plans to run the plants at full capacity. Over the next year, Day said, Valero expects demand for ethanol to increase slowly, as the economy improves.
Response No. 391

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

39

Question and Answer

Wesley Clark
Chairman, Growth Energy
Growth Energy was established last fall by several of the ethanol industry producers and technology providers to help grow America’s economy through cleaner and greener energy from ethanol. The organization is headquartered in Washington, DC. In Januar y 2009, Growth Ener g y named Wesley K. Clark as its new chairman. BioFuels Journal interviewed Clark on the group’s goal to increase ethanol blends from E10 to E15. ful that Ford Motor Company indicated that they thought enough testing has been done to support a move up to E15. We think it’s only a matter of time before many stakeholders of the industry come together after reviewing the data we’ve presented, and realize that the science overwhelmingly supports such a move. A broad coalition has already voiced support for raising the level of ethanol in our gas from Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to Sen. John Thune, to Agriculture Secre-

Clark Close-Up
Education:1968: Oxford University, Oxfordshire, Great Britain, with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics, philosophy, and politics. Career: Wesley Clark came home on a stretcher from Vietnam after he was wounded in action as an infantry company commander. He stayed with the Army for another 30 years. He commanded at the battalion, brigade, and division level. In his last position as Supreme Allied CommanderEurope, he led NATO forces to victory in Operation Allied Force in 1999, saving 1.5 million Albanians from ethnic cleansing. Awards: His awards include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Defense Distinguished Service Medal (five awards), Silver Star, knighthoods from the British and Dutch governments, and numerous other awards from other governments including award of Commander of the Legion of Honor (France).

The Move To E15
The current blend wall stands at 10% ethanol blended into the gasoline supply. Up until we submitted our Green Jobs Waiver on March 6, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) didn’t have a path or the data to consider an increase in ethanol blends for existing autos. Now, we have given them both. As we said in the cover letter of our waiver for E15, the EPA could use the data we assembled with a substantially similar waiver for blends of E12 or E13 relatively quickly. Beyond that immediate move, the science overwhelmingly supports and the market needs a move up to E15, and it’s likely the EPA will approve that move within the 270-day timeframe which began in March.

“Beyond that immediate move, the science overwhelmingly supports and the market needs a move up to E15, and it’s likely the EPA will approve that move within the 270-day timeframe, which began in March.”
- Wes Clark, chairman of Growth Energy

Stakeholders Onboard
Growth Energy has been in discussions with automakers and we are grate-

tary Tom Vilsack, to a number of members of Congress, and numerous representatives from diverse organizations. These leaders understand that lifting the cap on ethanol to up to 15% will create green-collar jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and reduce

40

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

greenhouse gas emissions. Multiple studies have been conducted showing that higher blends—blends above 10%—work fine in existing vehicles. A recent study by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) confirmed that blends up to E20 did not change the maintenance of automobiles at all. Extensive testing has been conducted on more than 100 hundred vehicles, 85 vehicle and engine types, and 33-fuel dispensing units to evaluate the effects of ethanol-gasoline blends above 10% ethanol, including, specifically, E15 and blends as high as E85. An even more recent study released by Minnesota State University on April 2 adds to the sound body of science that supports the use of higher blends of ethanol in vehicles on the road today. The study, which included a 4,000-hour endurance test, found that gasoline with a 20% blend of ethanol (E20) had no negative impacts on the endurance, wear, and performance of automotive fuel pumps.

Surviving the Wait
The ethanol industry is here for the long term and will be part of the nation’s solution to an economically vibrant, greener, more energy independent America. However, in order to meet the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) mandate of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel by 2022, the arbitrary cap on ethanol needs to be lifted. The more waiting that’s done, the further ethanol producers will be from meeting that important goal. The only thing preventing the American ethanol industry from meeting the RFS mandate is the government itself. For example, cellulosic ethanol producers will really suffer, if the EPA waits on an increase in ethanol blends. More than 300 million gallons of planned cellulosic ethanol production capacity is waiting to come online but is stalled because of a lack of an available market. If we don’t increase the blend of ethanol

“The only thing preventing the American ethanol industry from meeting the RFS mandate is the government itself.”
- Wesley Clark

in our gas soon, many of these projects will be cancelled indefinitely or postponed.

Staying on Target
The cellulosic ethanol requirement kicks in next year, and there are dozens of producers ready to start building their projects, if we can get this arbitrary cap lifted. Producers of cellulosic ethanol and advanced biofuels need to know that there will be a market for their product, and that’s why several cellulosic ethanol companies joined with Growth Energy to sign our Green Jobs Waiver.

Response No. 411

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

41

CO2 Ruled Greenhouse Gas
Carbon Dioxide Found to Contribute to Climate Change
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) April 17 proposed ruling that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a pollutant is not likely to have a significant negative impact on the ethanol industry. “The EPA’s proposed ruling that CO2 endangers public health and contributes to cliGraham mate change is a finding that the pollutant is subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act,” said Stoel Rives LLP’s Renewable Energy Attorney Graham Noyes, Seattle, WA (206-386-7615). “At this point, it is a proposed rule, and there are no immediate practical implications for the ethanol industry. The finding is consistent with the legislative push for a cap and trade system but involves a separate area of law.”
Noyes

Cost Implications

Noyes noted that under a cap and trade system, a plant that emitted CO2 would have to “pay to pollute.” “This could translate to higher operating costs for those ethanol and biodie-

sel plants that emit relatively high amounts of carbon dioxide,” Noyes said. However, biofuels plants would be expected to fare relatively better than petroleum refineries under this system. “It is uncertain how biofuels would be categorized and what those costs per ton of carbon would be under the pending Markey bill on cap and trade,” Noyes said. He predicted that carbon cap and trade legislation would not be enacted until late in 2009 at the earliest and noted that there will be a push to finalize the legislation prior to the international proceedings on climate change in Copenhagen in December.

Response No. 421

42

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Response No. 431

Brazil
Petrobras Biocombustivel, the biodiesel subsidiary of Brazilian federal energy company Petrobras, announced in late April it was close to two

acquisitions in the biofuel production sector, including one in the ethanol market. “We are rushing to close the deals ver y soon,” said Julio Pinho, Petrobras Biocombustivel’s partnership manager. According to Pinho, Petrobras Biocombustivel plans to invest $2.8 billion between 2009 and 2013 in the biofuels sector, with $450 million of that

this year. The company aims to produce 256 MMGY of biodiesel worldwide by 2013, with 141 million gallons of that total produced in Brazil.

Germany
EC Commissioner for Energy and Transpor t Andris Piebalgs and Bavarian Economics Minister Martin Zeil on April 27 officially opened a pilot plant for the production of cellulosic ethanol from cereal straw at Sud-Chemie AG’s research center in Munich. The pilot plant will produce two tons of cellulosic ethanol annually from cereal straw feedstocks. The process was developed by SudChemie and Linde.

Korea
The Korean government in February passed legislation increasing the required blend of biodiesel in diesel fuel to 2% from 1%. As a result, consumption is expected to increase to 110-130 million liters from 60-70 million liters. The new law also requires that all locally sold gasoline must contain 5% ethanol, equivalent to 208.11 million liters per year. The government also accredited 10 producers who have over 300 million litres of biodiesel capacity annually. The government accredited two ethanol producers—Leyte Agri Corp. and San Carlos Bioenergy, Inc. Compiled from news reports by Adam Tedder, associate editor
Response No. 441

44

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

AUG. 11-13

beverage industry. The courses are geared for European and North American lab, plant, and management personnel and are organized around lectures, laboratory demonstrations, seminars, and plant visits.

American Coalition for Ethanol’s 22nd Ethanol Conference and Trade Show
JULY | 14
Midwest Airlines Center Milwaukee, WS www.ethanol.org The 22nd annual ACE conference features breakout sessions on such topics as: weathering tough financial times, indirect land use change, increasing to E15 blends, corn oil extraction, cellulosic ethanol, reducing natural gas costs, the blend wall, fire safety, risk management, and ethanol transportation safety. A trade show will extend networking opportunities. (see article on p. 58)

OCT. 28-29

JULY 14-15

International Biomass Workshop
The Alerus Center Grand Forks, ND www.undeerc.org/ Biomass09.com Biomass’ potential as a feedstock for the ethanol and biodiesel industries will be the focus of this two-day workshop. Attendees will hear cuttingedge presentations on new technology developments, learn about opportunities for economic production of power, transportation fuels, and chemical feedstocks from biomass. Attendees also will be afforded network opportunities with researchers and potential economic partners.

BioFuels Journal 2009 Commercial Ethanol Technology & Research Workshop
Best Western Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center Sioux Falls, SD www.biofuelsjournal.com Leading ethanol experts and researchers will report on cutting-edge technology for both “bolt-on” systems for starch-based ethanol plants and advanced biofuels technology for cellulosic ethanol. This second annual workshop also will include a mini-trade show coordinated by the American Coalition for Ethanol.

SEPT. 13-18

The Alcohol School
Montreal, QC, Canada www.ethanoltech.com For 26 years, The Alcohol School has been educating fuel ethanol and distilled beverage producers in the science of alcohol production. The course is designed to educate participants in the field of production of not only fuel ethanol but beverage alcohol, as well. While the bulk of the course is geared towards the ethanol production process for fuel, the majority of the concepts are also applicable to the distilled

AUGUST | 11

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

45

State Focus: Colorado

Home to DOE’s NREL
NREL Consortium With Universities Conducting Biofuels Research
Despite its lack of corn and soybean production, Colorado is emerging as one of the leading states in biofuels production. Population: 4.8 milliion (2006) The state hosts the NaCorn production: 148 million bushels tional Renewable Energy % corn used in ethanol: Estimated 10% Laboratory (NREL) in Cattle on feed: 70,000 head Golden, CO. The Department of Energy (DOE) inGovernor: Bill Ritter, Democrat stitution has been conductLt. Governor: Barbara O’Brien, Democrat ing research in the field of biofuels for decades. Number of E-85 Stations: 120 open or under In addition, Gov. Bill construction. Ritter Jr., who is in his first term, Ethanol Profile Gov. Bill Ritter established the Labeling requireColorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory, a conments: Colorado has sortium of six research centers at four of the an oxygenated fuel state’s leading research institutions—the Colorado program requiring a School of Mines, Colorado State University, blend of 10% ethaNREL, and the University of Colorado-Boulder. nol during the cold “The research centers unite world-class researchwinter months. ers with industry leaders,” he continued. “Each center pursues both shared (public) and private (proEthanol Plant Profile National Renewable Energy Laboratory. prietary) research,” he said. Industry members also • Five ethanol plants Image courtesy of DOE/NREL. sponsor fellowships for graduate and post-doctoral in operation, with students at the research centers. a total capacity of “In a sign of the state of Colorado’s commitment to 138 MMGY. An additional 269 MMGY will be renewable energy research leadership, the state provides added with three new plants under conmatching funds to the Collaboratory centers’ shared restruction. search programs,” Ritter said.

Colorado Facts

Biodiesel Plant Profile • One new biodisel plant, with a capacity of 100 MMGY Incentives • Bioscience Discovery Evaluation Grant Program provides grants to research institutions for biofuels research projects. • The Colorado Department of Revenue offers an income tax credit for the cost of construction, reconstruction, or acquisition of an alternative fueling facility of 20% 2009-11 and 35% 2006-09.

Capacity/Infrastructure

Colorado has five ethanol plants in operation producing 138 million gallons per year (MMGY) and another three under construction (269 MMGY capacity). In addition, the state has one new biodiesel plant producing 100 MMGY in Fort Morgan. “Because of the strong ties to our agricultural heritage and the ethanol production industry in the state, Colorado has grown quickly into a leader in biofuel infrastructure, usage, and research and development,” Ritter said. Besides biofuels production, the state encourages retail infrastructure through the Governor’s Biofuels Coalition (GBC), established in 2007, a coaltion of public and private interests. In 2006, the state had 11 stations selling biofuels in

46

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

A closer look ...

Gov. Bill Ritter
Gov. Bill Ritter Jr. was elected as Colorado’s 41st governor in November 2006, the first Colorado-born governor in more than 35 years. One of Ritter’s key priorities has been to make the state a national and international leader in renewable energy. “We want to build a new energy economy that is creating thousands of new jobs and establishing hundreds of new companies,” he said. His administration also has enacted a business-development Colorado. By the end of 2008, 120 stations either were open or under construction. “Biofuel education and outreach by the GBC has also been very successful over the last few years,” Ritter said. “More and more Colorado drivers are using biofuels, with nearly a doubling of fuel consumed each year. At the end of 2008, partner stations reported an estimated 8.8 million gallons sold to their public and private customers compared to less than 1 million in 2006.”
Actions Advancing Biofuels

and job-creation agenda focusing on energy, aerospace, biosciences, information technology, and tourism. Prior to being elected governor, Ritter served as Denver’s district attorney from 1993 to January 2005. The sixth of 12 children, Gov. Ritter was raised on a small farm in Arapahoe County. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in political science from Colorado State University (1978) and his law degree from the University of Colorado (1981). From 1987 to 1990, Gov. Ritter and his wife, Jeannie, operated a food distribution and nutrition center in Zambia, Africa. The couple has four children—August, Abe, Sam, and Tally.

According to Ritter, his administration has taken several actions to support and advance biofuels in Colorado: • The Governor’s Energy Office is partnering with the Western Governors Association to host a two-day workshop on opportunities in Colorado for advanced biofuels. Also, this office is requesting support through the U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities Petroleum Reduction Program for $1.3 million in infrastructure. • The Colorado Department of Agriculture supports traditional and advanced biofuel production and infrastructure through the Advancing Colorado’s Renewable Energy (ACRE) Program. • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is working with Colorado Corn, the Regional Air Quality Council, Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, and local fleets to review the potential of a blender pump pilot program in the state. • Higher education research departments, the Collaboratory, and its partners are securing funding for R & D and deployment of advanced biofuels. Myke Feinman, editor
Response No. 471

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

47

FDA Monitoring DDGS
Watching for Antibiotics Which Could Enter the Food Chain

Loading distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) onto a truck at an ethanol plant.

Preliminary results from a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) study to determine whether distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) could be leaching antibiotic residues into the food chain indicate about half of the samples contain antibiotic residues. In January, FDA Office of Surveillance and Compliance Director Dr. Daniel McChesney said in an address to the International Feed Regulators Meeting in Atlanta, GA that of 60 samples taken, 45 had been tested and antibiotic residues were detected in 24 samples. Fifteen of the 45 samples contained residues of virginiamycin, 12 contained residues of erythromycin, and five contained residues of tylosin.
Plant’s Responsibility

Because ethanol plants are producing a feed product—DDGS—there is an implied responsibility on the part of the ethanol producer to be sure the DDGS is safe. According to Harold Tilstra, national coproducts technical support for Land O’Lakes Purina Feed, LuVerne, MN (800-3339774), ethanol producers can ask their suppliers of process additives if those additives are approved for use in distillers grains destined to become animal feed. In addition, ethanol producers can perform procedures that reduce a chance of infections, Tilstra said.
Response No. 481

48

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Response No. 491

Louis Dreyfus Commodities|Grand Junction, IA|100-MMGY Plant

Facility Feature
LD Commodities
515-738-2828 Grand Junction, IA www.ldgrandjunction.com Jay Nelson, Commercial Manager Michael Hollenberg, Plant Manager Jason Waddell, Production Manager Thomas Boeckman, Maintenance Manager Matt Wilson, Lab Manager Adam Graham, Environmental Health and Safety Allen Sievertsen, General Manager of Ethanol Operations, Norfolk, NE Employees: 59 Capacity: 100 MMGY Feedstock: Corn

Louis Dreyfus Commodities entered the biofuels arena in a big way in the past two years. The French-based international grains trading company has built three biofuels plants during that time: • A 50-million-gallon-per-year (MMGY) ethanol plant in Norfolk, NE, which began grinding corn in September 2007.

• The world’s largest integrated biodiesel plant—88-MMGY plant in Claypool, IN—which began operations in the summer of 2007. • The newest—a 100-MMGY ethanol plant in Grand Junction, IA began grinding corn in April. According to Grand Junction Commer-

“Louis Dreyfus felt that its expertise was well-suited to the biofuels platform.”
- Jay Nelson, Commercial Manager

cial Manager Jay Nelson, “Louis Dreyfus (LD) discovered a desire to participate in the biofuels arena five years ago. “LD felt that its expertise was wellsuited to the biofuels platform,” he added.
Company Structure
Commercial Manager Jay Nelson.

LD Commodities, Grand Junction,

50

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

of Jefferson, Payton, and Scranton. LD broke ground at the site in mid2007, and it took 18 months to construct the plant. LD would not disclose the project cost. The first corn was ground April 26, Nelson said, and the plant was at full capacity in seven days.
Transportation
Adam Graham, environmental health and safety officer.

LD Grand Junction also can store up to 3 million gallons of ethanol in the tank farm.
Fagen-ICM Design

LLC, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of LD Corp, headquartered in Paris, France. The business, which began in 1851, includes an array of trading platforms, Nelson said, including ag commodities as diverse as orange juice, cotton, and rice. The company’s LD Biofuels Group commercial side is headquartered in Wilton, CT with operations based in Kansas City, MO.
Plant History

The site layout includes four loop tracks measuring roughly 47,000 feet with a 500 railcar capacity, Nelson said. Each loop track has the capacity of holding a unit train of up to 108 ethanol tanker cars. “We are shipping unit trains of ethanol and unit trains of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) all across the country” Nelson said. All marketing is done in-house by LD.
Storage/Capacity

Development of the Grand Junction plant was begun in 2007 by Further Fuels, LLC, an investor-owned company based in Grand Junction. In July 2007, LD acquired Further Fuels’ assets and purchased a 240-acre site on the north side of Grand Junction. According to Nelson, the site is in the heart of Iowa’s corn-growing country. “This west central Iowa county annually ranks as the premiere corn growing county in the state,” he added. Further, the site is located on a Union Pacific Railroad mainline and has highway access to U.S. Highway 30 and Iowa State Highway 144. The site also includes water and natural gas access. Alliant Energy, which provides electricity to the site, built a new substation to service the plant. The substation includes excess capacity in case LD expands the Grand Junction plant. “The plant was welcomed to the Grand Junction area with open arms,” Nelson explained. “This was seen as a golden opportunity for a community looking to attract another business.” The Grand Junction region already had a solid manufacturing base, Nelson said, with manufacturing in neighboring towns

The plant is capable of storing up to 1 million bushels of corn and 10,000 tons of DDGS (a 10-day supply). The plant will produce 300,000 tons of DDGS annually, along with 100 million gallons of ethanol.

According to Plant Manager Michael Hollenberg, the plant’s design, a traditional Fagen-ICM plant, benefitted from the design and construction experience of those companies. “I’ve been in the industry for four years, and I’m very familiar with FagenICM designs,” Hollenberg said. “I’ve been exposed to three different 100-MMGY projects,” he continued. “I can tell you that every one of those projects had different construction challenges,” he said. “From the three projects I’ve been associated with, it is very apparent that as this industry continues to evolve, and as Fagen and ICM continue to evolve, they have improved with each plant they build. “Fagen’s construction is better today than it was four years ago. ICM’s overall technical support and overall plant support is better, as well,” he added. Hollenberg explained that the main construction challenges at the Grand

Jason Waddel, production manager, monitors production from the plant’s computers.

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

51

several Iowa cooperatives including Heartland Cooperative in West Des Moines. Hollenberg, plant manager, prior to the last four years in the ethanol industry, worked for more than 15 years in the feed industry including Cargill for more than 13 years. Jason Waddell, production manager, has experience in feed and operations including working for Hollenberg at another ethanol plant. Thomas Boeckman, maintenance manager, has a manufacturing background, most recently working for Pella Windows in Carroll, IA. Matt Wilson, lab manager, came to the plant with experience at Lincolnway Energy, Nevada, IA. Adam Graham, environmental health and safety officer, came to LD from Tate and Lyle.
Matt Wilson, lab manager, checks ethanol during production.

Future of Ethanol

Junction site were weather related, which delayed some paving projects at the plant last fall.
Management Expertise

Management at the Grand Junction plant includes: Nelson, commercial manager, who has worked predominantly in the grain merchandising industry, starting with Archer Daniels Midland in 1993. Since 1999, he worked for

Nelson said LD is confident that the ethanol industry will not only survive the current economic downturn but thrive. “Louis Dreyfus has over 150 years of experience understanding the dynamics of the agricultural market, and we are very confident in the long-term viability of the ethanol market,” Nelson said. “No one can control day-to-day commodity and input fluctuations. However, we are confident we will be producing ethanol in Grand Junction for a long, long time.” Myke Feinman, editor

Response No. 521

52

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Response No. 531

Ethanol Industry News
Pacific Ethanol Names Bryon McGregor Interim CFO
Bryon McGregor on April 22 was named interim chief financial officer (CFO) and principal financial and accounting officer of Sacramento, CAbased Pacific Ethanol, Inc. McGregor, 45, had served as vice president-finance at Pacific Ethanol from September 2008, until his appointment to CFO. Prior to joining Pacific Ethanol, McGregor was the senior director for E-Trade Financial from February 2002 to August 2008, serving in various capacities including international treasurer based in London, England from 2006 to 2008. Before he joined E-Trade, McGregor served as manager of finance and head of project finance for British Petroleum from 1998 to 2001.

Lallemand Acquires New Business In Spain
Milwaukee, WI-based Lallemand Inc. announced May 29 it had acquired AB Mauri’s GBI baker’s yeast business in Spain and Portugal as well as AB Mauri’s Portuguese yeast plant located in Setubal (south of Lisbon). According to Lallemand Global Marketing and Product Development Manager Craig Pilgrim, the acquisition gives the company a major presence, with experienced teams and leading brands, in the Iberian baker’s yeast markets and also capacity eventually to compete more effectively in the French market as well as in the world dry yeast markets. Tim Warning announced June 1 the Mason, OH-based company had made several strategic organizational changes to align OPW’s substantial resources. T hese changes were intended to enhance the organizations’s ability further to provide its global customer base with industry-leading solutions. The company will streamline OPW’s four business units and eight global operations into two global business units. The two units are: • OPWFTG Global Transportation Business Unit: Consists of two marketfocused entities—Global Rail Business Unit and Global Cargo Tank/Truck Business Unit. • OPWFTG Global Chemical and Industrial Business Unit: Focused on fluid handling, transfer, loading, and unload-

OPW FTG Implements Organizational Changes
OPW Transfer Fluid Group President

Response No. 541

54

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Response No. 551

Kevin Cook

Simon Hill

Tom Zant

Dan Taylor

Jeff Reichert

Greg Carrino

ing solutions in the chemical and industrial processing markets. As a result of the organizational enhancements, several new positions within the company have been created. The Global Transportation Business Unit now includes: • Tom Zant, vice president. • Kevin Cook, director of Global Rail Business Unit. • Simon Hill, director of the Global Cargo Tank/Truck Business Unit. • Dan Taylor, site manager for the Kansas City, MO, manufacturing operation. The Global Chemical and Industrial Business Unit now includes: • Jeff Reichert, vice president.

• Greg Carrino, sales and marketing. “I am confident that these changes will benefit our customers through enhanced market and application focus, better resource alignment, and improved service to our customers and channel partners worldwide,” Warning said. • OPW Fluid Transfer Group announced June 1 it has named Steven Van Pee chief financial officer (CFO). This position most recently was held by Susan Hathaway who was named CFO of Dover Corp., sister company of OPW Fueling Components, in mid-May 2009. Van Pee has a bachelor’s degree din business administration and accounting from St. Norbert College, De Pere, WI. He joined

Dover in 2000 as senior financial analyst for Waukesha Bearings and in 2005, assumed the position of financial analyst for Dover Diversified, Inc. He returned to Waukesha Bearings in 2007 as CFO. “Steve brings 12 solid years of expertise in accounting and finance management, analysis, audit, and CFO experience,” said Warning. “He led the financial modules implementation during Waukesha’s enterprise resource planning initiative, and made key contributions to Waukesha Bearings’ growth and success.”

Green Plains Renewable Energy Buys Two Plants
Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc.,

Response No. 561

56

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Omaha, NE, signed definitive purchase agreements to acquire two for-mer VeraSun ethanol plants located in Nebraska on May 21. The new plants will increase Green Plains Renewable’s Steve Van Pee ethanol capacity by 45%—from 330 MMGY to 480 MMGY. Green Plains is acquiring all of the membership interests in two limited liability companies that own the ethanol plants located near Central City and Ord from a lender group led by AgStar Financial Services for $123.5 million. The Central City and Ord plants are rated at 100 and 50 MMGY, respectively.

MO to Overland Park, KS, where CPT’s technical and client services were located in a March press release.

POET Plants Earn Safety Award
Eight POET ethanol plants in Iowa and South Dakota were recognized in late April with BNSF Railway Co.’s 2008 annual Product Stewardship Award. The award is presented to shippers who transported a minimum of 500

loaded tank cars of hazardous materials during the previous year with zero non-accidental releases during the entire transportation cycle. The POET Biorefining plants recognized in South Dakota are Chancellor, Mitchell, Big Stone City, Groton, Scotland, and Hudson. The Iowa plants are Coon Rapids and Corning. Compiled from news sources by Adam Tedder, associate editor.

Will Duensing Retires From Cereal Process Technologies
W.J. Will Duensing Feb. 9 announced his retirement as president and CEO of Cereal Process Technologies (CPT), which took effect March 13. Duensing is recognized as one of the nation’s foremost experts W.J. Will in corn chemistry Duensing and milling. He led the completion of the installation of CPT’s patented technology at Renew Energy’s 130-MMGY ethanol plant in Jefferson, WI. That plant, which mills corn and produces high-grade endosperm, corn germ, and bran is the largest corn dry milling operation in the world. Duensing joined CPT in 2007 following a long career with the milling division of Bunge North America. Duensing served as director of quality assurance and technical services. With Duensing’s retirement, CPT’s board named Robert J. Giguere president and CEO. Giguere, a shareholder of the Overland Park, KS-based company, is also president of Iowa Corn Processors in Glidden, IA. Giguere announced the company had relocated its headquarters from Bridgeton,
Response No. 571

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

57

ACE Ethanol Conference & Trade Show
Aug. 10-13 | Midwest Airlines Center | Milwaukee, WI
this year’s event. “Trends indicate travel is down in many industries, but ACE’s history of offering a top-quality event with one of the lowest registration fees in the industry suggests we still will be able to draw a crowd in Milwaukee,” said Shannon Gustafson, ACE director of strategic projects. The 2008 conference and trade show in Omaha, NE drew 1,200 attendees and 200 exhibitors compared to 1,800 attendees and 240 exhibitors in 2007 at St. Paul, MN. “ACE is anticipating some decline in participation based on trends we’ve seen at other events,” Gustafson added. However, ACE is taking the following steps to increase attendance: • Registration discounts available to ethanol producers. • Less expensive venue to travel to and for meals and lodging. • Meeting rooms relocated to the trade show area.

Trade Show Hours
Tuesday, Aug. 11 • 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Trade Show setup • 5-7:30 p.m. Welcome reception

The 2009 ACE Ethanol Conference and Trade Show will be held at the Midwest Airlines Center, Milwaukee, WI.

Increasing the blend wall and indirect land use change will be two of the key topics featured at the 2009 American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Conference and Trade Show to be held Aug. 10-13 at the

Midwest Airlines Center, Milwaukee, WI.
Steps to Increase Attendance

Wednesday, Aug.12 • 8 a.m.-12:45 p.m. • 8 -9a.m. Continental breakfast • 10-10:30 a.m. Break • Noon - 12:45 p.m. Lunch Thursday, Aug. 13 • 8-10 a.m. Trade Show Open • 8-8:30 a.m. Continental breakfast

With the weak economy, ACE has taken action to increase attendance for

58

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

“We will have breakout speakers and topics on the financial stress facing ethanol producers and how to mitigate that stress and volatility,” Gustafson said. The blend wall issue also will be included in several sessions, including topics on how to overcome the blend wall and implement the use of higher blends in ethanol in gasoline.
Indirect Land Use Change
ACE Executive Vice President Brian Jennings gives an opening address at the 2008 conference in Omaha, NE.

Sessions will focus on the “untested theory currently being applied by both the EPA and the California Air Resources Board against biofuels in their respective rulemakings,” she said.
Trade Show

Another topic to be explored in detail will be indirect land use change (ILUC).

The conference begins Tuesday, Aug. 11, with a conference reception in the trade show from 5 to 7 p.m. The trade show opens at 8 a.m., Aug. 12 and runs throughout the day, continuing to 10 a.m. on Thursday.

• Exhibit booth space rates remain at 2008 levels. “We’re confident that the quality and affordability of our event will still be a draw,” Gustafson added.
2009 Topics

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has been invited to be the keynote speaker, to address the commitment the USDA and other government agencies have made with the government’s stimulus package. ACE anticipates Vilsack will speak on the USDA, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new coalition—Biofuels Interagency Working Group— that was formed May 5. The efforts and goals of this group will be outlined in the session, Gustafson said. Another major topic will be increasing the blend level from E10 to E15, to extend the blend wall. “We’ll have updates on where the waiver stands and how it will affect the industry,” Gustafson noted. Other topics to be explored will include: • The new renewable fuels standard passed in December 2007. • Successes in commercialization of cellulosic ethanol. • How the industry will use new media to strengthen the grassroots that support it. • Market development topics such as blender pumps and mid-level blends.
Financial Stress, Blend Wall

This year’s theme is “Determination: Renew, Unite, Succeed,” reflecting some of the financial struggles the ethanol industry has suffered through in 2008 and 2009, with several ethanol producers declaring bankruptcy.
Response No. 591

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

59

This year’s ACE trade show in Milwaukee, WI is expected to attract close to 200 exhibitors.

Breakout/General Sessions

The general session and breakouts begin Wednesday, Aug. 12. “As always, we will have the most current information available highlighting the newest in public policy, market development, and technology,” Gustafson said. Sessions include: • When the Going Gets Tough: Succeeding in Difficult Market Conditions. • Strategic Steps You Can Take, Financially and Legally, to Protect Your Plant During Challenging Market Conditions and Plan for Future Success. • Biofuels Incentive Programs. • Collecting, Handling, and Biorefining Next Generation Feedstocks • RINfo: Tracking and Trading Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). • Risk Management. • More Mileage with Ethanol? • Brazil: Making Mid-Level Blends Work. • Panel Discussion: Theory vs. Science: The Role of Biofuels in Low Carbon Policies and Calculating Direct and Indirect Emissions. • Clean Corn: Efficiencies & Innovations in Corn Ethanol • Cellulosic Ethanol: A Progress Report. • Scaling the E10 Blend Wall. • Strategic Advocacy and PR in the Era of New Media. • Blending Better Solutions, 2009 Edition.
Other Events

The Jeff Fox Memorial Scholarship Golf Classic returns this year, to be held at the Brown Deer Golf Club, in Milwaukee starting at 8:30 a.m., Aug. 11. The awards banquet will be held at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center’s dazzling ballroom, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Aug. 12.
Registration/Hotels

To register, go on-line to: www.ethanol.org To receive preferred rates, call before July 12 to reserve a room. The conference hotels are: Hilton Milwaukee City Center (host hotel), 414-2717250 (conference rate-$154/night). Doubletree Hotel Milwaukee City Center, 414-7272273 (Conference rate-$159/night). Myke Feinman, editor

60

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Duckweed Ethanol
Crop Grown in Ponds on Hog Farms Could Out-Yield Corn
might be less than for corn kernels, but we utilize the entire duckweed plant,” he added.
Yields

In initial lab tests, duckweed has yielded 28 metric tons of starch annually per hectare of water surface area. According to Cheng, that is five to six times more starch per hectare compared to corn which produces five metric tons per hectare.
Characteristics of Duckweed

Duckweed, which is grown in ponds on hog farms, could become a high-starch crop for a traditional dry grind ethanol plant.

Move over corn. Duckweed may be a competitor as a feedstock for starchbased ethanol. Researchers at North Carolina State University (NCSU), Raleigh, have discovered that the tiny aquatic plant absorbs nutrients from the ponds at industrial hog farms. The research began in 1998 as a method to clean up the wastewater at large-scale hog farms but developed into an alternative feedstock for ethanol. Large-scale hog farms manage their animal waste for biological treatment by storing it in large lagoons on-site. “There was a concern for a number of years that the nutrients in the hog waste were not being efficiently utilized,” said NCSU Professor Jay Cheng (jay_cheng@ ncsu.edu). “Initially, we tested duckweed to treat wastewater, and found it was effective in removing nutrients. “Recently we found a way to grow high-starch duckweed that could be utilized as a feedstock for ethanol,” he added.

Plan for Research

Due to duckweed’s ability to absorb nutrients, the research now is focusing on a way to develop a strain of highstarch duckweed (not normally high in sugars) and convert it to ethanol. Cheng said his group has received a $200,000 grant from the North Carolina Center of Biofuels for the next 11/2 years to research growing duckweed in wastewater at hog farms. “The pilot study is to grow duckweed for conversion to ethanol,” Cheng said. “This is a comprehensive approach for waste water management and utilization of bioenergy production on hog farms.” Cheng is working with fellow NCSU researcher Dr. Anne-Marie Stomp to experiment on growing the high-starch duckweed. “By controlling the environment, we can improve the content of starch in duckweed,” Cheng said. “So far, we have found that duckweed is 46% starch by dry weight. That

Duckweed, said Cheng, has several characteristics that could be advantageous in ethanol production. “It grows naturally in every climate with fresh water and can be found almost everywhere in the United States,” Cheng noted. “The starch from duckweed can be converted easily to ethanol using a traditional corn dry grind ethanol plant,” Cheng said.

“You can find duckweed almost everywhere in the United States. It grows naturally in every climate in fresh water.”
- Jay Cheng, NCSU Professor

Also, duckweed, as a nonfood alternative feedstock, produces ethanol without using farmland, since it grows in water. According to Cheng, in addition to livestock farms, this crop also could be grown at a wastewater treatment plant or other land unsuitable for growing crops. Myke Feinman, editor
MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

61

Sunoco Buying Ethanol Plant
Second Petroleum Refiner To Purchase Bankrupt Plant
The lines between the ethanol industry and the petroleum refining industry continued to blur when Sunoco, Philadelphia, PA, agreed May 19 to purchase Northeast Biofuels, a 100-million-gallon-peryear (MMGY) plant in Fulton, NY, for $8.5 million. In March, Valero, the largest U.S. petroleum refiner, became the third largest ethanol producer, when it purchased seven of VeraSun’s 16 ethanol plants from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, DE. Before Sunoco can commence production at the Northeast Biofuels plant, additional engineering work will have to be completed, said Sunoco Spokesman Thomas Golembeski. “We are targeting full production for early 2010,” Golembeski said. Golembeski, who said the plant was designed at the site of a former brewery, did not have an estimate of additional engineering costs.
Access To Local Ethanol

The 100 MMGY produced at Northeast Biofuels represents approximately

25% of the ethanol Sunoco needs to blend with gasoline annually, Golembeski said. In 2008, for example, Sunoco’s total fuel sales (including gasoline) totaled 325,000 barrels per day. “This is the largest ethanol plant in the northeast,” Golembeski said. “We are based primarily in the northeast, so this plant is situated in our retail marketing region. It can reduce some of our logistics costs of transporting ethanol from the Midwest.” Sunoco sells gasoline at 4,700 stations in 26 states. Myke Feinman, editor

Response No. 621

62

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Indirect Land Use Change
EPA Accepting Comments on Proposed Rulemaking
a global crop land use study. Under the EPA’s analysis, a natural gas-fired, dry mill ethanol plant that dries all its distillers grains produces fuel that emits 16% less GHG than gasoline. That figure includes ILUC. Without ILUC, that same plant would be 61% more efficient than gasoline, according to Geoff Cooper, vice president of research for the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).
Indirect land use change (ILUC) may impact U.S. ethanol production.

Crop Yields Too Low

Flaws in Analysis

Another flaw the RFA sees is the EPA’s estimates for crop yields. “They are assuming a 1.6% annual growth rate for corn based on a 30-year historical trend,” Cooper said. “One of our arguments has been that yield growth has accelerated in the last 15 years., corresponding with the period in which biotech hybrids have been available. It is appropriate to use a shorter time period. They also ought to take into consideration that there are new seeds in the pipeline.”
Type of Land Converted

In December 2007, the second Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) was signed into law by President Bush. It included a provision that mandated that indirect land use change (ILUC) be included in the calculations for determining biofuels greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However no definition for ILUC was established until the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed rulemaking on May 5. The proposed rulemaking states that ethanol’s greenhouse gas emissions are drastically increased by (ILUC). The proposed regulations includes two provisions affecting biofuels producers: • Biofuels must be at least 20% better than gasoline in GHG emissions. • ILUC must be included in determining a plant’s GHG emissions. EPA currently is seeking comments during a 60-day period that ends July 27. “The law calls for indirect land use change to be part of the analyses of biofuels, as they relate to greenhouse gas emissions (GHG),” said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. The rulemaking is based upon a twoyear analysis of data collected from several sources such as satellite imagery and

Cooper said the RFA sees several flaws in the EPA’s analysis and plans to submit scientific data and comments prior July 27. “For ILUC, the EPA cobbled together several different models and data sets to try and arrive at exact numbers and point estimates of what type of land use change is going to occur as a result of the RFS2 program,” Cooper said. “Those several different models and data sets weren’t intended to work together,” he added. “I’m not confident the models are congruent.”
DDGS Credit Too Low

Finally, the models indicate how much land will be converted in ILUC, but not what type of land. “That is important because if you are converting forests, the carbon loss is much higher than if you are converting CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) land or pastures,” Cooper noted. He said the EPA utilized satellite imagery from the time period of 2001 to 2004.

For example, he cites the data surrounding dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) as inaccurate. “The models are assuming that a pound of distillers grains displaces a pound of conventional feed,” Cooper continued. “Of that feed, 90% is corn and 10% is soybean meal. Certainly there is research out there suggesting that in aggregated rations across all species a pound of distillers grains replaces 1.3 pounds of feed and more than 10% of it is soybean meal.” The DDGS displacement of feed— corn and soybeans—is related to land use, especially since soybean yields are lower than corn and, therefore, take more land to produce compared to the same amount of corn, Cooper explained.

“One of our arguments has been that yield growth has accelerated in the last 15 years. It is appropriate to use a shorter time period.”
- Geoff Cooper, RFA vice president of research

“That is using a very limited time frame to do this trend analysis,” Cooper said. “The 30-year time frame on crop analysis and five-year analysis on types of land converted—that seems inconsistent to us,” he added. Myke Feinman, editor
MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

63

Profile

Mike Isom
North County Ethanol Rosholt, SD Plant Manager 605-537-4585

Years with Company: 2 Years in the Industry: 5 Born: Dec. 15, 1975 Family: Wife, Katrina; son,

Tyson; daughter, Kodi.
Education: Banner County High School, Harrisburg, NE.

in touch with my roots. I grew up near farms and ranches. It’s very rewarding to work with the same type of people that I learned from while growing up.
Key to the growth of the industry:

Career: 1997-2000: Nebraska Department of Roads, highway maintenance SR. 2000-02: Wyco LP Gas, Cheyenne, NE: Store manager; 2002-05: Farmland Foods, Crete, NE, maintenance tech IV; 2005-07: Midwest Renewable Energy, Sutherland NE, shift lead. 2007-09: North Country Ethanol, Rosholt, SD, plant manager.
My personal key to success: I believe

Getting America on board with the facts about the industry, and manufacturing more E85 vehicles would be a good start. Also, the days of ethanol plants not talking and sharing ideas must go. I think the industry as a whole has great ideas that can lead to the whole industry being successful.
What I predict for the industry in the next three years: I believe the industry

in being hands-on, passionate, personable, with a focus on safety as the keys to success.
My biggest challenge: With today’s

is going to weed out the short-term money men and ring in the era of the long-haul investors. It is going to be a long year. However, I feel the industry needed this. Growth went so fast that technology and the country needed some time to catch up.
Who most influenced your career:

economics in the ethanol industry, surviving until better times come will be most important and difficult, but I believe those times will come.
How to meet that challenge: We need

to look for ways to be efficient. What we do with corn is viable, if we can learn to do it more efficiently.
What I like about the ethanol industry:

Dennis Harstad at KL Energy, Rapid City, SD, stands out with his passion and enthusiasm and by always surrounding himself with similar people. Another person is Trampas Osborne of Midwest Renewable Energy with his hands-on approach.
Hobbies: Ice fishing, golfing, and ethanol production. I just love makng the product.

Working at a job that allows me to stay
Response No. 641

64

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Profile

Chuck Hofland
Siouxland Ethanol Jackson, NE General Manager 402-632-6205 www.siouxlandethanol.com

Years with Company: 2-1/2 Years in the Industry: 6-1/2 Born: Aug. 8, 1953. Family: Wife, Anita; daugther Angela; sons,

Wade and Brandon.
Education: 1972: Bachelor’s degree in Key to the growth of the industry:

accounting at Northwest Iowa Community College at Sheldon.
Career: 1973-2002: Joe’s Feed

Educating the consumer will be key for the ethanol industry’s continuing growth.
The biggest trend in the industry: The

Service, Hospers, IA. 2002-06: Iowa commodity manager, Little Sioux Corn Processors, Marcus, IA. 200609: General manager, Siouxland Ethanol, Jackson, NE.
My personal key to success: I believe

promotion of higher ethanol blends seems to be the growing trend. Many lawmakers and ethanol supporters in and out of the industry are pushing for blends over 10%.
What I predict for the industry in the next three years: I think the industry

you need to work hard at what you enjoy.
My biggest challenge: It is sometimes

difficult to balance time with my job, but I find it to be one of the most important challenges I face.
I meet that challenge by: I best deal

will have to consolidate, in order to survive the current economic hard times.
Who most influenced your career: The

with balancing time by keeping everything in perspective.
What I like about the ethanol industry:

The industry is new, and it is a great boost to the rural economy while being a part of the reduction of dependency of the United States on foreign oil and having a positive impact on the global environment.

people that I have done business with. Most have been very positive experiences. Others have been educational (sometimes the cost of education can be expensive), but I have learned from almost every experience I have had working with people.
Hobbies: I enjoy spending time with my

grandchildren and golfing. Adam Tedder, associate editor

Response No. 651

Profile

Kumar Plocher
Yokayo Biofuels Ukiah, CA President 707-462-5889 www.ybiofuels.org

Years with Company: 8 Years in the Industry: 8 Born: Jan. 7, 1976. Family: Wife, Sunny Beaver, Best new product in the industry: I currently have my eye on supercritical methanol biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol. I would like to prove that both are commercially viable, and do so on a much smaller scale than most would anticipate. Key to the growth of the industry: The Career: 2001-09: President of Yokayo

co-owner of Yokayo Biofuels.
Education: Attended the University of Califorina, Berkeley as an English major but left before graduating.

Biofuels, Ukiah, CA.
My personal key to success: I have an excellent, idealistic management team whom I trust to solve nearly every problem thrown at us. It includes a socialist, a certified public accountant (CPA), and a former labor organizer. Suffice to say, we are often able to look at things from an angle not often represented in the biodiesel industry. My biggest challenge: Balancing my

ability to adapt, share knowledge, and find new and better feedstocks.
What I predict for the industry in the next three years: I am certain that biodiesel

will battle renewable diesel on the PR front, and I see a continued dark period for biodiesel, if it can’t align itself better with societal needs such as localization of economies and conservation of resources. On the other hand, the price of petroleum should ultimately trend upward, which may lead to opportunities.
Who most influenced your career: My dad, Stephen Plocher, the CPA on our management team. He is both creative and analytical, and he has taught me a lot about perspective and humility. He also gave me the money to start the company and was living through it vicariously, before he became more involved. Hobbies: I love a good hike. Traveling makes us all better people. I’m very frugal in most areas, but I love gourmet vegetarian cooking and tasting local wines.

ideals and social goals with the need to deliver a profit.
I meet that challenge by: I’m currently

taking accounting classes and working to enhance my business knowledge. I always need to remind myself that I’m still learning how to do all this.
What I like about the biodiesel industry:

The potential to wake up as many people as possible from the petroleum addiction and ease the transition to something better.
Response No. 661

66

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

RIN Violation Crackdown
EPA Reviewing 2007, 2008 RINs For Errors, Fraud
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) no longer is tolerating fraudulent or erroneous Renewable Identification Number (RINs). By the end of this year, the EPA is likely to issue RIN violations, which could be accompanied by fines up to $32,500 a day for civil violations, plus any economic benefit gained by the violator. EPA has found that up to 20% of the RINs issued so far are invalid, either through errors or fraud. The number has decreased as a result of education and outreach to the regulated community. EPA has contacted submitters to get their errors corrected. If a renewable fuel producers overreports the number of RINs generated and sells the excess RINs, compliant fuel producers may be deprived of potential RIN sales. “From an enforcement standpoint, we are very serious about looking at 2007 and 2008 periods and taking enforcement action,” said Erv Pickell, fuels enforcement team leader in the EPA Air Enforcement Division. “I would expect some violations issued before the end of the year,” Pickell said.
EMTS

fuel or by blenders. RIN assignments began Sept. 1, 2007, but 2008 is the first full year of RINs have been assigned.

EMTS is on-line at: www.epa. gov/ otaq/presentations/renewablefuels/ emts20090225.pdf Myke Feinman, editor

To combat errors and fraud, the EPA is developing the EPA Managed Transaction System (EMTS). The system has been under development for a year but was not made public until Feb. 25. It will be launched in 2010.
RIN System

RINs are assigned to ethanol and biodiesel by producers and importers. The RINs may be separated from the renewable fuel primarily by either obligated parties when they purchased the
Response No. 671

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

67

Western Biodiesel Producing 5 MMGY Primarily From Animal Fat
When the high cost of vegetable oil feedstocks drove developers of a biodiesel plant project in Alberta, Canada to seek alternative feedstocks, they turned to investigating animal fats and waste vegetable oil feedstocks. For Dean Cockshutt and Brian Harmes, joint owners and developers of Western Biodiesel Inc., in High River, AB, animal fats were the logical alternative feedstock. “Alberta is the center of Canada’s meatpacking industry,” said Cockshutt, who is company president and CEO. “There are plenty of high quality rendered animal fats from numerous sources within driving distance,” he added. “There is more than enough feedstock to supply our plant.” In fact, the plant is located adjacent to a meatpacking plant. The advantage of utilizing animal fats as the primary feedstock is the lower cost, but the disadvantage is more complicated chemistry to produce biodiesel. “Chemists and chemical engineers are required as part of the operations staff, and a full chemistry lab is required with animal fat biodiesel,” Cockshutt said. Animal fat feedstocks can cause more corrosion problems and require a more robust heat-tracing and cleanout strategy, he added. “Having staff with chemistry expertise is really a key issue,” Cockshutt noted. The plant also purchases used vegetable oil from a company that collects and refines the oil from Alberta restaurants. Finally, there is a large amount of canola grown in the region, so canola oil also could be utilized as a feedstock, Cockshutt said.
Plant History

Western Biodiesel Inc. was incorporated in 2005, when Cockshutt and

Facility Feature
Western Biodiesel Inc.
403-652-1045 | High River, AB www.western-biodiesel.com Dean Cockshutt, President and CEO Brian Harmes, Vice President of Marketing Jason Freeman, Operations Manager Employees: 16 Capacity: 5 MMGY Feedstock: Multiple feedstock focusing on animal fats

“There are plenty of highquality rendered animal fats from numerous sources within driving distance.”
- Dean Cockshutt, President and CEO

Harmes selected Alberta as the site due to the province’s financial incentives. One of the primary incentives was the Alberta Biofuel Commercialization and Market Development Program that provides grants of up to 25% of the development costs plus a per-liter production incentive of 14 cents.

68

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

biodiesel in a secondary containment tank farm.
Transportation/Marketing

Animal fat feedstocks are collected by plant trucks from local and area renderers, Cockshutt said. A trucking company is contracted to transport the plants’ biodiesel to be transloaded into railcars. Western Biodiesel markets its biodiesel through a global marketing company. The plant’s glycerin is not utilized as a co-product, Cockshutt said. Instead it is sent to another company’s biodigester and converted into methane gas, he explained.
ASTM Quality

The plant’s distillation system ensures a quality fuel that meets or exceeds both the U.S. and European fuel standards, Cockshutt noted.
Plant operators monitor biodiesel production utilizing computers.

Management Expertise

Also, Cockshutt said, effective July 1, 2010, Alberta will be instituting a 2% blend renewable fuels standard (RFS) for biodiesel with petroleum. Neighboring province British Columbia also is instituting an RFS, requiring a 5% blend on Jan. 1, 2010. After site selection, construction began on the greenfield project in November 2006, with operations beginning in July 2008 and production up to full capacity by January 2009. The site, in addition to its proximity to the meatpacking plant, also has access to rail and truck for transporting feedstocks and product. Cockshutt declined to release the total cost of the project. Sixty private investors contributed, along with investments by Cockshutt and Harmes, the principal owners. The company secured bank loans for the remaining cost through two lenders— Farm Credit Canada, an ag-based lender, and Agricultural Financial Services Corporation, an Alberta agricultural lender. A three-member board oversees the company’s operations, Cockshutt said.
Capacity/Storage

year (MMGY) of biodiesel utilizing esterification, methanol recovery and biodiesel distillation. The plant can store up to 4,000 barrels of feedstock and 3,000 barrels of

Cockshutt is a professional engineer licensed in Alberta and served as vice president of U.S. Gas Storage Development, North America’s largest natural gas storage operator. He was responsible for developing, constructing, and operating five major underground gas storage

Western Biodiesel has a nameplate capacity to produce 5 million gallons per

Western Biodiesel can store up to 4,000 barrels of feedstock and 3,000 barrels of finished biodiesel.

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

69

see stronger blend mandates in other Canadian provinces similar to Alberta and British Columbia. “This will create the demand that will improve sales prices and keep the industry healthy,” Cockshutt noted.

“Having staff with chemistry expertise is really a key issue.”
- Dean Cockshutt

The plant utilizes an esterification system to allow processing of high free fatty acid (FFA) feedstocks.

facilities for 12 years. Harmes, vice president of marketing, developed, branded, owned, and operated his own fitness franchises in Western Canada. Harmes also has experience in industrial sales and marketing

for the past 10 years, working as a regional sales manager for a large specialty welding supply company.
Future of Biodiesel Industry

Cockshutt said the company wants to

“Mandates will allow phasing out of production incentives and will result in a standalone industry,” he added. He also said he sees a trend of increased quality checking and enforcement from end users. “Tolerance for off-spec product will be low,” Cockshutt predicted. “Quality is a key concern.” Myke Feinman, editor

Response No. 701

70

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Australia
National Biodiesel in mid-May announced plans to build the nation’s first soybean processing and biodiesel plant. The $243 million project will be constr ucted at Port Kembla’s Inner Harbour on the New South Wales (NSW) coast. Starting in 2011, NSW will require that 5% of all the diesel used in the state contain biodiesel. According to NSW Lands Minister Tony Keller, the plant will be able to supply all of the state’s biodiesel requirements. The plant will take approximately 18 months to two years to build.

The €670 million plant will produce 800,000 metric tons of biodiesel annually and create over 100 jobs. In December 2008, the European Union (EU) adopted mandatory requirements that all EU transportation fuels

contain 10% renewable content by 2020. The EU, at the same time, also increased its B5 standard to B7. Compiled from news reports by Adam Tedder, associate editor

India
Southern Online Bio Technologies Ltd., an India-based Internet services provider, in early May announced plans to build its third biodiesel plant by the end of 2009. The proposed plant will be built in Anantapur, Kurnool, or Chittoor districts and serve markets in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The plant will have a crushing capacity of 500 tons per day.

Netherlands
Neste Oil began construction in late May at the Port of Rotterdam, Netherlands of what would be the largest biodiesel plant in Europe.
Response No. 711

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

71

Biodiesel Roundup
Biodiesel Plant Developments Across the United States
California

Pacifica City Manager Stephen Rhodes announced June 4 that Whole Energy Fuels’ proposed biodiesel project, which will share space with Calera Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, has been put on hold due to funding issues. The $2.4 million proposed project will convert used vegetable oil to produce 3 million gallons (MMGY) of biodiesel annually.

Despite the hold on the projects, Whole Energy’s grant from the Clean Air Resource Board remains available for use if Whole Energy can meet certain milestones, according to Rhodes. The project also faces delay until Whole Energy receives proper permits from the city of Pacifica’s building department to proceed.
Louisiana

2010, according to company officials in early May. When completed, the Dynamic Fuels plant will produce 75 MMGY. The $138 million plant will employ 45 people and generate an annual payroll of more than $4 million.
Massachusetts

Construction of the Dynamic Fuels LLC biodiesel plant in Geismar is on schedule and will produce its first batch of high-grade biodiesel and jet fuel in

Massachusetts-based Baystate Biofuels LLC announced in late May it had begun construction on a plant in North Andover.

Response No. 721

72

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

The plant will be the first full-scale commerical biodiesel plant in the state. The company says it expects to begin selling biodiesel by the end of the summer. The company said it plans to distribute biodiesel to oil companies seeking to comply with Massachusetts’ Clean Energy Biofuels Act of 2008. Officals say the project is likely to create more jobs in the region, which has lost a significant number of jobs this year.
Missouri

nounced June 3 it is shutting down biodiesel production temporarily at the company's plant in DeForest. No reopening date had been announced for the biodiesel facility as of mid-June. Sanimax began building its 15,000square-foot, 20-MMGY plant in 2006. In May 2007, the company sold its first major batch of fuel to Progressive

Farmers Cooperative in northeast Wisconsin. Nova Biosource Fuels developed the multi-feedstock technology that Sanimax has used to produce biodiesel fuel from recycled cooking grease, animal fats, and vegetable oils. When it was in full operation, the plant employed 15 people. Compiled from news reports by Adam Tedder, associate editor

Clarence-based Producers’ Choice Soy Energy announced in late May it had completed construction of its $17 million plant in Moberly. The plant, which will produce 5 MMGY of biodiesel, is expected to start production in late June. The plant, which utilizes soybeans as a feedstock, will create 20 new jobs plus the construction labor for local contractors. The plant produces 65,000 tons of extruded soybean meal each year. Other byproducts, such as glycerin and soybean hulls, will be sold primarily in the state.
Pennsylvania

Investors in the Bard Biofuel Advance Research & Development plant in Fairless Hills continue to look for funding to complete the $80 million project, according to statements made by investors in late May. As of December 2008, the project had raised $40 million, half of its projected cost. The proposed plant will produce 60 MMGY annually and will use algae and soybeans as feedstocks. Once completed, the plant will create 200 new jobs in Bucks County by the end of 2010.
Wisconsin

Canada-based Sanimax Energy anResponse No. 731 Response No. 1491

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

73

WasteWater Algae
Researcher To Grow Algae in Ocean From WasteWater
Benefits

NASA Researcher Jonathan Trent is developing a system to produce algae in the world’s oceans.

A new system to grow algae in municipal wastewater placed in bags in the ocean could produce oil for biofuels, valuable nutrients for fertilizer, and proteins for animal feed. Called Offshore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae (OMEGA), the system is being developed by a NASA Biofuels Project Scientist Jonathan Trent at the NASA Ames Research Center, Moffet Field, in Mountain View, CA.
The Process

According to Trent, his system is based on the fact that each day in the United States, 6 billion gallons of wastewater are dumped into the ocean, losing a lot of valuable nutrients. “Those nutrients can be the feedstocks for algae (which can produce biofuels), proteins for animal feed, and fertilizer,” said Trent (650-604-3686). The idea is to put treated wastewater into tethered, plastic bags (called OMEGA) made with a special membranes and placed in the ocean.

The membranes would allow clean water to rush out through a natural process called forward osmosis. Eighty percent of the water is released through the membrane, and the algae reaches maturity within 10 days. According to Trent, the ocean’s waves mix the algae, helping it to grow. The sun’s rays provide energy for the algae to grow and CO2 from the atmosphere will be consumed by the algae, sequestering carbon. Also, the algae takes up nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium which can be used as fertilizers. Algae would also produce protein coproducts, which can be utilized as an animal feed. The OMEGA bags themselves, measuring 100 meters by 10 meters, would be recycled as plastic mulch for agricultural applications. The bags will be configured to allow marine mammals a way to break through to the surface for breathing, Trent noted.

Trent said the system solves several practical issues for traditional algae farms. For example, traditional farms either grow algae in open ponds or in reactors. Open ponds require paddle wheels to stir the algae, whereas ocean waves replace this operation in the OMEGA system. The ponds also take up valuable land space whereas the OMEGAs are in the ocean. There is also a problem in open ponds of evaporation of water, Trent said, this is not an issue with this system. In warmer climates, the land-based bioreactors act as a solar collector and tend to get hot, but the OMEGAs use the ocean as a temperature control bath, Trent said. “Reactors need water to cool the algae from the sun’s heat, whereas this is replaced with the ocean’s huge heat capacity. “To work on land, the algae farm must be robust enough to hold water against the air. If you put them in the ocean, it lowers the cost of the bioreactor container,” Trent said. Not only will this ocean-based system yield the equivalent of 2,000 gallons of biofuels per acre, compared to 50 to 150 gallons per acre for most oil seed crops, Trent said, but at the same time, it could be used to clean the world’s oceans of pollutants.
Lab Results

So far, the OMEGA system works well in the lab and algae has been grown successfully. Trent is starting to do field tests in Monterey Bay, south of San Francisco, utilizing wastewater from Sunnyvale and Santa Cruz, CA. So far, the research has received a grant of less than $500,000 from Google, but Trent said he needs more funding to continue the project.

74

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Rocket Biodiesel?
Engineer Tests Biodiesel as Rocket Fuel
“Theoretically, you could grow fuel for a return trip from Mars,” Harrington said. The January test was done on a small rocket (20 feet long), using comparatively small amounts of fuel—three gallons of biodiesel and five gallons of liquid oxygen (LOX)—compared to a rocket used to bring a payload into space. For example, the Atlas 5 space rocket (106.2 feet tall) that send satellites into space utilize 60,000 gallons of RP-1 kerosene fuel derived from petroleum per launch. Harrington noted that the Fuels and Energy branch of the U.S. Air Force Research Lab asked Flometrics to use the best biofuel in the rocket developed by the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC), University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.
A Califor nia engineering and fluid dynamics company is testing biodiesel in rocket engines and finding the fuel is virtually equivalent to petroleum-based rocket fuel.

Test Results

Buck Rogers may be going green with biodiesel rocket fuel. Not only can biodiesel be used for transportation that moves on land and sea, but now it is being tested as a replacement fuel for rockets. Flometrics, Inc., an engineering and fluid dynamics company in San Diego, CA performed a test Jan. 12 to compare traditional rocket fuel—RP-1 kerosene—with B100. The results revealed that with an unmodified rocket engine, the biodiesel performance was virtually equal to RP-1. “With the engine calibrated for RP-1, our test found there was only a 4% loss in performance utilizing B100,” said President Steve Harrington (760-476-2770). “However, if we would tune the engine, it could perform even better,” Harrington added.
Replacing Petroleum Fuels?

In the January test, the RP-1 fuel with LOX was tested first, then the B100. In both fuel tests, the unmodified rocket engine was run for six seconds, long enough for the LOX, fuel, and chamber pressures to stabilize, Harrington explained. “For a rocket engine, the thrust is proportional to the chamber pressure, so this gives us a way to measure the thrust,” Harrington said. After examining data in both burns, the chamber pressure was 2% lower, the fuel pressure was 4% lower, and the LOX pressure was 3% lower with B100. “This means the biodiesel has about a 4% lower performance than RP-1,” Harrington said. He will be launching a small rocket in the near future on biodiesel and will test B100 on the Atlas Vernier engine on July 11. Myke Feinman, editor

Harrington, who also teaches aerospace engineering at the University of California-San Diego (UCSD), said biodiesel as a replacement for rocket fuel could mean: • Less toxic spills. • A sustainable source of fuel. • A fuel that potentially could be produced on another planet (such as Mars) by growing oilseed crops there.
MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

75

Pearl Harbor B20
Boats Shuttling Tourists to USS Arizona Fueled on Biodiesel
HI, has built 11 biodiesel plants in the United States and Japan, including two in Hawaii. The Oahu facility has been operational since 2001 and recycles more than one million gallons of waste oil from Hawaii’s restaurants each year. According to King, all of the fuel produced by Pacific Biodiesel’s two Hawaiian plants is sold in the islands, to help Hawaii meet its energy independence goals. King added that the company is planning a third biodiesel plant on the Big Island, which will utilize the company’s new, efficient, zero-waste processing technology and include technology to process locally grown biofuels crops. “This will be our first commercial plant to process trap grease into biodiesel,” King said. She said Pacific Biodiesel’s technology can process free fatty acid (FFA) feedstocks up to 50%.

A ceremony to activate the USS Arizona Memorial Ferry Boat #39-1 John W. Finn was held in Hawaii on April 7.

Five new ferry boats that will transport tourists to the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, HI will be powered with B20. The first one—Ferry Boat #39-1 John W. Finn—was activated in a ceremony April 7. The new boats will replace five existing 20-year old U.S. Navy-operated tour boats that shuttle visitors to and from the memorial. The five new boats were acquired through a Federal Transit Administration grant and State of Hawaii matching funds, which require the use of clean fuel technology such as biodiesel. All the new biodiesel-fueled ferry boats will be burning B20 produced in Hawaii by Pacific Biodiesel Inc. Since its inception 13 years ago, Pacific Biodiesel has utilized used cooking

oil as its feedstock. “Eventually, all five boats will run on B100 with the blessing of Cummins, the original equipment manufacturer,” said Pacific Biodiesel Vice President Kelly King.
Medal of Honor Recipient

“Eventually, all five Pearl Harbor Memorial ferry boats will run on B100, with the blessing of the original equipment manufacturer, Cummins.”
- Kelly King, vice president, Pacific Biodiesel

The five new boats will be named after Medal of Honor recipients from the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack, with the first boat named after John W. Finn. Finn was a chief aviation ordnanceman stationed at Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, and is the oldest living Medal of Honor recipient from the Pearl Harbor attack. The boats take three months to build, and future boats will be activated and named as they are completed.
Pacific’s Plants

Pacific Biodiesel, based in Kahului,

According to King, all the company’s biodiesel meets ASTM specifications and will have no issues passing the new cold soak requirements that take effect Sept. 30. Myke Feinman, editor

76

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Response No. 771

Algae-to-Fuel Research
Drop-In Replacements For Petro Diesel, Jet Fuel
nies like Chevron are doing research along with NREL to commercialize algal oil as a replacement for petroleum crude.
Natural Oil Producers

Algae are like microscopic oil wells using photosynthesis to transform carbon dioxide (CO2) and sunlight into lipids or oil. Some strains, according to Darzins, can double their weight in just a few hours under the right conditions, making the oil yields much higher per acre than crops like corn and soybeans for biofuels. Darzins said researchers believe algae may even grow fatter and faster if they are force-fed extra CO2.
Feeding on Excess CO2

Research on algae-to-fuels has resumed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO, led by Al Darzins. NREL photo.

In addition to creating replacements for petroleum products, algae also could be utilized at ethanol plants that currently discharge CO2 into the atmosphere. “There are a lot of places where CO2 is being produced, like ethanol plants or

Research being conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has found that oil extracted from algae could be a drop-in replacements for petroleum-based fuels such as diesel and jet fuel. According to Researcher Al Darzins, principal group manager of NREL’s national bioenergy center, the algae-based drop-in fuel replacement would require no modification to the engine or to pipelines transporting the fuel. Research on algae-to-fuels at the NREL, Golden, CO research center (303384-7757), started in the 1970s but stalled in the 1990s due to federal budget cuts. However, during that 20-year timeframe, NREL pioneered algae production and screened and characterized more than 3,000 potential algae strains. As interest in algae grew in recent years, NREL decided in mid-2007 to re-

sume the algae-to-fuels research. “Our initial focus is on growing algae on a lab scale,” Darzins said. “We are making plans to scale up our algal cultivation efforts” he added. “Whatever fuels the industry generates are going to have to be drop-in replacements to take advantage of existing infrastructure and thereby require no engine modifications.”
Reduced Emissions

“We are making plans to scale up our algal cultivation efforts. Whatever fuels the industry generates are going to have to be drop-in replacements .”
- Al Darzins, NREL principal researcher

The hope is that fuels derived from algae, instead of petroleum, would reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) up to 50% to 60% compared to petroleum-based fuels. The emissions reductions are part of the reason for the revived interest in algae, since the nation is looking at ways to reduce GHG emissions. Darzins said that oil refining compa-

coal-fired power plants,” Darzins said. “If you could locate an algae farm next to a biofuels plant, you could take advantage of the CO2, instead of pumping it out into the atmosphere.” Myke Feinman, editor

78

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Green Diesel
Amyris Biotechnologies Developing Biomass Hydrocarbons
According to Renninger, the process provides the sugar mill with a new co-product. “Right now, Brazillian sugar mills produce 40% sugar and 60% ethanol,” he continued. “Our process will allow them to make sugar, ethanol, and now, sugar-based diesel fuel,” he said.
Sugar will be the primary feedstock for Amyris Biotechnologies’ green fuels.

Fuel Characteristics

Unlike biodiesel, which can have challenges with cold flow issues, green diesel will not cloud in temperatures down to

minus 50 degrees Celsius. “Our cold filter plugging point and cloud point are all well below petroleum and biodiesel,” Renninger said. The fuel contains 125,000 BTUs per gallon, a slightly higher level than typical biodiesels but slightly lower than petroleum, he said. The system to produce this fuel nets 11 to 13 times more energy than is put into the process. It can be a 100% replacement for petroleum with no engine modifications, he added.

Amyris Biotechnolgies has developed a specially-engineered yeast to convert sugars to hydrocarbon-based fuels as a dropin replacement for diesel and gasoline. Neil Renninger, co-founder and chief technology officer of the Emeryville, CAbased company (510-450-0761), said the company’s business model is to convert ethanol mills in Brazil to produce green diesel, green gasoline, and green jet fuel.
Amyris Process

“The best way to think about our new process is to think about how ethanol is produced,” Renninger said. “We do essentially the same thing—a sugar stream to yeast, and the yeast converts it to ethanol—except we use specially-engineered yeast,” he said. The yeast, Renninger noted, is designed to convert sugars to diesel, jet fuel, and gasoline. According to Renninger, the Amyris process can utilize any biomass feedstock, but sugars derived from sugarcane are the simplest and least expensive option.
Options for Diesel Product

The first phase in the company’s business model is to produce diesel fuel at Brazilian sugar mills and ethanol plants.
Response No. 791

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

79

Question and Answer

Michael Haas
Lead Scientist, USDA Agricultural Research Service
Michael Haas is the lead scientist researching alternative biodiesel feedstocks at the USDA Agricultural Research Ser vice (ARS) Eastern Regional Center in Philadelphia, PA. Hass is the author/co-author of more than 80 research papers and 12 book chapters, as well as writing more than 100 scientific abstracts. He also holds five U.S. patents. Haas leads a research team investigating quality, analytical, emissions, and production technology aspects of biodiesel. He spoke to BioFuels Journal about the new feedstocks that might be used for biodiesel production and some new processes that will be utilized with these feedstocks. climates and on poorer land, is another feedstock being looked at and highly touted. Some studies show that jatropha may be able to be grown in the southern part of the United States. A substantial amount of research must be completed, however, before this can occur.

Haas Close-Up
Education: 1972: Bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. 1978: Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Family: Wife, Deborah Woolfe; two daughers, Theresea and Marie. Career: 1981-2009: Research biochemist for USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Washington, DC. Currently the lead scientist of a group of five researchers and acting research leader of a department of 30 employees. Previous USDA-ARS work includes applied biochemical and molecular biological methods to characterize enzymes and to improve them for use as applied catalysts. Particular attention was focused on lipases, the group of enzymes that hydrolyzes lipids. Hobbies: Hunting, hiking, and restoring wildlife habitats.

“We

and

others,

as

well, are interested in converting the corn oil in distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) into biodiesel.”
- Michael Haas, USDA-ARS-Eastern Region

Algae and DDGS
A number of feedstocks have been talked about for making biodiesel. In general, I believe the “low hanging fruit” in this area has been picked, and substantial new gains will require some research and development effort. One potential feedstock that has had a lot of attention recently is algal oil, i.e. oil produced by algae. I understand that over 200 companies presently are investigating its use as a feedstock for biodiesel. I think the efforts are strong and the future looks good, though it is still in the development stage. We and others, as well, are interested in converting the corn oil in distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) into biodiesel. I think that is a bright area for future fuel production, especially as the production of corn ethanol continues its growth. Jatropha, a perennial plant grown in tropical regions and able to grow in arid

Bonemeal and Soapstock
I believe that coproducts that can be used to make fuel are extremely valuable. Their use represents adding further value to a product that may have been considered a waste product while not pressuring the use of edible lipids as foods. Meat and bone meal, soapstock, and trap grease are all byproducts from other industries. Meat and bone meal (MBM) is a product of the edible meat industry. A sizable portion of every animal slaugh-

80

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

tered is inedible and becomes MBM. It is high in protein and sells into the animal nutrition markets. However, the production of biodiesel from its lipid constituent would not reduce the value of its protein in nutrition. To produce biodiesel from MBM seems to be a good use of its lipid, and I view it as a sustainable feedstock, as well. Another potential feedstock is soapstock, a co-product of edible vegetable oil production that mostly is used at present as an animal feed and energy source. As our country strives to reduce the amount of fat in its meat, the use of soapstock as a biodiesel feedstock has great value. We have developed a means for its conversion to biodiesel and shown the economic feasibility. Trap grease, a lipid captured from restaurant sink drains is another low-value lipid that could be a fuel feedstock. Working with BlackGold Biofuels in Philadelphia, PA, we have developed technology to produce biodiesel from this material. The city of San Francisco, CA

has recently issued a contract for the installation of a facility using this technology. I view these potential feedstocks as sustainable, economical, and able to substantially augment fuel production. Just the lipids present in DDGS, mentioned above, and in MBM potentially could provide more than 230 MMGY of new biodiesel annually.

“To produce biodiesel from bonemeal seems to be a good use of its lipid, and I view it as a sustainable feedstock, as well.”
- Michael Haas

Other Possibilities
In my own lab, as an addition to the trap grease work we’ve conducted, we have been looking in recent years at developing a method we call the in situ transesterification for biodiesel production. In this method, lipid is not extracted from a material before being converted to biodiesel. Rather, biodiesel is made from the lipid, while it lies in the raw material in which nature synthesized it. It then readily diffuses out to the surrounding liquid. We have used this approach to make biodiesel in the lab from soybeans, canola, and DDGS, and we’ve also looked at corn germ itself, which is a rich source of corn oil. We also have used inedible peanut oil for biodiesel production successfully using the in situ method. The peanuts had been graded as inedible, because they had been contaminated by aflatoxin. These inedible peanuts represents another affordable source of oil for biodiesel production, one that does not use an edible oil for fuel production.

Response No. 811

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

81

Costilla County-Owned, Operated Plant Produces Fuel, Jobs
With a declining population and agbased economy, how does a county create new jobs? For Costilla County, CO, the answer was to build a biodiesel plant. The south central Colorado county now is operating an integrated canola/ sunflower-crush and biodiesel plant producing 300,000 gallons per year from locally-grown feedstocks. The biodiesel currently is being used as a fuel blend in the county’s fleet of 40 diesel vehicles. “Part of what attracted the county to the project is that even if the operation is a wash financially, we are paying our own workers to create fuel rather than sending money out of the county to a petroleum company,” said Project Manager Ben Doon.
Plant History

The county did a feasibility study, and biodiesel rose to the top of the study for two primary reasons: • Feedstock are available due to the long history of canola being raised in

“Even with such a small population, the county has large road maintenance duties. In our region, we maintain more roads than most larger populated counties.”
- Ben Doon, Project Manager

Facility Feature
Costilla County Biodiesel
719-672-0320 |Mesita, CO www.costillacounty-co.gov Ben Doon, Project Manager Dan Quintana, Chemist Crestina Martinez, Business Manager Employees: 3 full-time, 2 part-time Capacity: 300,000 gpy Feedstock: Canola, sunflower

The plant, which as of midJune was still in its final phases of construction, was the brainchild of County Commissioner Joe Gallegos who took office in 2001 but is no longer county commissioner. Gallegos, who was a former petroleum industry engineer, was looking for ideas to stimulate the rural economy of Costilla County, which has approximately 3,600 people. “Our county is very low-income,” Doon said. “One thing people kept asking is because we are ag-based, what about renewable energy supporting our ag infrastructure?”

the area. “In this valley, canola was never grown commercially, but it grows well,” Doon said. “It loves our climate.” • The county utilizes a large amount of diesel fuel in its operations. “Even with such a small population, the

82

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Construction Challenges

Lab Technician Willie Medina examines a fuel sample.

county has large road maintenance duties. In our region, we maintain more roads than most larger populated counties.” The vehicles utilize B40 blended at the plant in cooler weather and B80 in warmer weather, Doon said. The plant is owned jointly by the county government and a nonprofit group—Costilla County Economic Development Council. “It sure took some real political will, especially early on, for the county board keep the momentum going,” Doon said. “Politics really played a big role when getting permits. A lot of people didn’t like government getting involved in business.” The county-owned and operated biodiesel plant was funded from several sources including a $150,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Grant, $50,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), $25,000 from the state energy office, $270,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), a $35,000 USDA resource conservation service grant, a $12,500 grant from the local El Pomar private foundation, and a $4,500 grant from the Walcott family. Construction on the plant began in 2003 but now is just being completed at a total cost approximately $1 million, Doon said. Fuel has been produced in small amounts at the plant since 2006.

Rather than hire a construction firm, the plant was designed and built by county employees over the six-year construction period. “We are a totally integrated plant— we take the seed crops and crush them for processing into biodiesel,” Doon said. “Every step in the process we had to figure out on our own.” According to Doon, equipment for the plant came from all across the globe. “That is part of the reason it took so long to build the plant,” said Doon. “For example, we had some bizarre wiring,” he said. “For the crusher, the manual was in Chinese. We had to figure out how to do it ourselves.” Currently, the system is being operated without computer automation. In the next phase, computer automation and other devices will be installed, to make the operation more efficient, Doon noted. The crush will be automated, and methanol recovery also will be automated. “Once we get comfortable, we will tie all the machines together and automate them,” Doon said.
Co-Products

uct of the biodiesel process currently is being stored for future use. “Moving foward,” said Doon, “we plan to replace propane as our fuel source with the glycerin.” Another co-product produced is canola meal or sunflower meal, through the crush operation. “There are a lot of family farms here with 20 to 50 head of cattle, horses, and other livestock,” Doon said. “In the winter, we can’t keep up with the demand. Our biggest customers are the cattle folks in the winter.” According to Doon, the farmers come to the plant to pick up the feed, and there is no formal marketing operation associated with the feed. “It’s just word of mouth,” he said.
Plant Storage Capacity

The plant’s storage capacity consists of: • A 1,500 gallon B100 tank. • Outdoor fuel tanks that hold 4,000 gallons of B40 in the winter and B80 in the summer. “There’s not enough fuel being produced for the entire county fleet,” Doon said. The plant has no rail access, only truck access, Doon noted.

Crude glycerin produced as a co-prod-

County worker Dave Guerra fuels a dump truck with B40. At present the biodiesel fuel produced at the plant is utilized in the county’s diesel vehicles.

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

83

Marketing

All the plant’s fuel is being utilized for county vehicles. According to Doon the plant is not allowed to sell fuel to other users. However, the El Pomar Foundation is investigating privitization options for the plant such as a non-profit, farmer cooperative structure, which would allow it to market fuel to the public.
Lessons Learned

The plant, piecemealed together by county employees from 2003 to 2009, is now in operation. The next phase is to automate it, including the crush operation.

Doon said that despite the challenges the county had in developing the plant, it was a wise move. “It took longer than we anticipated,” Doon said. “The closest thing we had to engineers were the electricians here. We were doing everything from storing crops to producing fuel.” He said if the county had to do it now, the plant would take half the time to construct. “The biodiesel is good quality, and the feed meal is in high demand,” Doon said. “We haven’t heard one word of complaint from our drivers and mechanics about biodiesel fuel in 2.5 years of use.” Myke Feinman, editor

Response No. 841

Response No. 842

84

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Ethanol Tech Workshop
Second Annual BFJ Conference |Oct. 28-29 |Sioux Falls, SD
B i o F u e l s Jo u r n a l will present its second annual Commercial Ethanol Technology and Research Workshop, Oct. 28-29 at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center in Sioux Falls, SD. Leading ethanol experts and researchers will report on cutting-edge technology for both “bolt-on” systems for starchbased ethanol plants and advanced biofuels technology for cellulosic ethanol. The event starts Wednesday, Oct. 28, at noon with sessions presented at POET’s headquarters. That night, the conference moves to the Best Western hotel for dinner and a keynote speech by POET’s President/CEO Jeff Broin. Confirmed speakers for the first day sessions include: • Panel discussion on fractionation featuring Buhler, CPT, Delta-T, Mor Technologies and the National Corn to Ethanol Research Center. • Corn oil extraction by GreenShift. On Thursday, Oct. 29, there will be morning sessions held at the hotel, featuring talks: • Second generation ethanol by ICM. • POET’s Project Liberty presented by POET’s Vice President of Research and Development Mark Stowers. New to the workshop this year will be a table-top trade show coordinated in cooperation with the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE). ACE’s Executive Vice President Brian Jennings will present a state-of-the-industry address during the first afternoon session.
Registration

To register for the event, view the schedule and hotel accommodations, go to: w w w. b i o f u e l s j o u r n a l . c o m / b f j _ conference.html

Response No. 851

Response No. 852

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

85

Biodiesel Industry News
Innovation Fuels Names Paul Niznik Vice President of Strategic Operations; Richard Sawall President of Wisconsin Biodiesel Association
Innovation Fuels, Albany, NY announced May 29 that Paul Niznik had joined the firm as vice president of strategic operations, managing the New England market. Niznik’s primary responsibility will be leading the development of Innovation Fuels’ new New Haven, CT terminal which is scheduled to open in June 2009. The New Haven terminal will feature barge, truck, vessel, and rail access to 1.2 million gallons of heated biodiesel fuel storage. • In late May, Innovation Fuels Senior Vice President of Midwest Operations Richard “Hardy” Sawall was named president of the Wisconsin Biodiesel Association. nounced it has begun selling biodiesel to customers from its new Midwestern renewable fuels hub/Port of Milwaukee terminal located on Lake Michigan.

PetroAlgae Appoints Three Executives To Help Build Support in Washington, DC
Paul Niznik Richard Sawall

At 33, Sawall is the youngest president in the association’s history. “We are extremely pleased and would like to congratulate Hardy on his achievement,” said Innovation Fuels CEO John Fox. In early May, Innovation Fuels an-

PetroAlgae, Melbourne, FL, in midMay appointed three executives to work with the Obama administration, Congress, non-profit groups, and the business community on biofuels issues. The three appointments are: • Andrew Beck, vice president of public affairs. Beck will manage the company’s strategic communications, public outreach, and media relations operation. He comes to the company from the U.S. Department of Energy, where he served as director of public affairs. • Michael Gale, vice president of government relations. Gale will manage the company’s interactions with government officials, with a focus on energy, environmental, tax, and national issues. He previously worked as vice president for international trade and government relations at Warnaco Inc. • George Lyons, vice president of governement relations. Lyons will manage Petro-Algae’s interactions with government officials with a focus on energy, tax, appropriations, and state issues. He most recently served as principal at the Gumga Group. George Lyons

Andrew Beck
Response No. 861

Michael Gale

86

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Renewable Energy Group Promotes Lischer To Treasurer
Renewable Energy Group, the Ames, IA-based biodiesel producer and marketer, announced May 4 that Natalie Lischer has been promoted to the position of treasurer. Lischer will oversee credit, invoicing, cash management, tax and inventory, accounts payable, and debt banking relationships in her newly created position. Lischer, a certified public accountant, formerly served as senior manager, corporate finance and investment banking. Lischer joined REG in 2007 after working as a senior consultant for Deloitte Consulting in Kansas City, MO. She has a bachelor’s degree from Washington University, St. Louis, MO; a master of accountancy from Truman State University, Kirksville, MO, as well as a bachelor’s degree in announting from Truman State.

panies access capital and grow their business. "I am pleased to welcome Jim to the PetroSun team," Gordon LeBlanc, Jr., PetroSun CEO said. "He is uniquely qualified to help PetroSun at this critical point in our evolution as we seek to commercialize our algae-to-biofuel operations." According to LeBlanc, Robinson has worked with firms since 1989 to help them access millions of dollars in startup/expansion capital and develop their business.

"I am excited to use this knowledge that I have accumulated over twenty years in helping firms like PetroSun take their business to the next level," said Robinson. Robinson has an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at MIT and is an Adjunct Professor of Finance and Marketing at Argosy University, Phoenix, AZ. Compiled from news sources by Adam Tedder, associate editor

Wilks Enterprise Opens West Coast Office to Focus on Biodiesel Industry
Wilks Enterprise, Inc., Norwalk, CT, announced May 6 the opening of a West Coast applications and sales office. The office, located in Boulder Creek, CA (203-855-9136), will focus primarily on expanding applications and products for the biofuels marketplace and will be under the direction of Wilks President Sandra Rintoul. “The biofuels marketplace is a rapidly growing industry, and so is the need for analytical measurement techniques to ensure product quality,” Rintoul said. “Product quality begins at the production facility and extends to the final burn in the engine.”

Response No. 871

PetroSun Names James Robinson President
Scottsdale, AZ-based PetroSun, Inc. announced June 9 that it had hired James Robinson as its new president. Robinson comes to PetroSun from the Gideon Group, a management consulting firm that helps early-stage comResponse No. 872

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

87

Plastic Biodiesel
Researcher Adds Polystyrene to Biodiesel To Eliminate Waste
A researcher at Iowa State University (ISU) may have found a unique way to dispose of the foam-like plastic polystyrene—add it to biodiesel. Najeeb Kuzhiyil, a graduate student at ISU, Ames (najeeb@iastate.edu), working under Dr. Song-Charng Kong, has found after a year of research that polystyrene can be blended into biodiesel up to an optimum level of 5%. Polystyrene is a thermoplastic substance used in disposable cutlery, foam drink cups, insulation, and packing materials. The problem with polystyrene, said Kuzhiyil, is that it is not biodegradable, so it normally winds up in landfills, where it has low density, so it takes up large amounts of space. “Our research has found that biodiesel is a very good solvent when it comes to polystyrene,” Kuzhiyil said. “At room temperature, the styrene will dissolve with a little bit of agitation. Basically, biodiesel is a good solution to get rid of polystyrene.”
Finding Right Mix

Kuzhiyil’s research involved finding the optimum level of polystyrene to be added to the fuel and what impact, if any, it

would have on engines. A John Deere diesel tractor engine was tested in a stationary format inside a building. “We first tried mixing in between 1% and 20% polystyrene,” he said. “We found 5% to be the optimum level and still provide a little bit of increase in BTUs.” “The polystyrene also advanced the timing of the engine,” he said. To mitigate nitrous oxide emissions, adjusting the timing on the engine worked well, he added. Myke Feinman, editor

88

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Biomass Conference
1,025 Attend Event in Portland Focusing on Feedstocks

Breaking Ground
Update on U.S. Cellulosic Ethanol Plant Development
Alabama

Sterne Agee & Leach, Birmingham, AL, said April 21 it will provide investment banking and underwriting services for Gulf Coast Energy’s new ethanol plant in Livingston. The plant will produce 10 million gallons (MMGY) of ethanol utilizing wood waste from the neighboring city of Hoover.
Massachusetts

Mike Bryan, BBI International president, introduces the 2009 Biomass event held in Portland, OR.

With more than 100 presentations grouped by feedstock rather than by process technology, the 2009 International Biomass Conference & Expo, April 28-29, in Portland, OR, managed to grow in its second year, despite the downturned economy. More than 1,025 people attended the conference, at least 100 more than the first biomass conference held last year in Minneapolis, MN. There were 130 exhibitors, slightly more than in 2008.
Feedstock Focus

Qteros, formerly Sun Ethanol, announced plans in April to build a small cellulosic pilot plant at the Indian Orchard property in Solutia, MA. In addition, the company has proposed to build a fullscale microbe manufacturing center in Solutia. A full-scale plant is planned to be built in 2010, once funding is in place. The future of the full-scale plant depends on state support to help obtain an $18 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Mississippi

“We decided that since biomass is so diverse, the common thread for each track had to be the industrial feedstock sector that each particular form of biomass falls into,” said Tom Bryan, vice president of content and communications for BBI International, the conference organizer. “This allowed feedstock processors and industrial waste generators to learn about various technologies within their particular space. We created six different tracks that focused on specific technologies and solutions for each energy crop and waste generation sector.” Tracks were crop residues, dedicated energy crops, forest and wood processing residues, livestock and poultry wastes, municipal solid waste and urban waste and landfill gas, and food processing residues. The event will return to Minneapolis, May 4-6, 2010.

Montreal, QC-based Enerkem Inc. announced plans in March to build a $250 million plant in Pontotoc, MS to turn solid waste, wood chips, and other biomass feedstocks into 40 million liters of cellulosic ethanol per year. Vincent Chornet, president and CEO of Enerkem, said the company has applied for a $200 million U.S. Department of Energy loan. The Mississippi project is expected to create 150 direct jobs, 300 jobs during the construction and startup phase.
Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan's provincial government inked a non-binding letter of intent on June 2 with Domtar, owner of a pulp mill in Prince Albert, SK, and Iogen, an Ottawa, ON enzyme manufacturer, for a proposed cellulosic ethanol and bioenergy facility. The proposed plant will utilize local farmer’s cereal straw. Compiled fr om news sour ces by Adam Tedder, associate editor
MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

89

Building Cellulosic Ethanol
18 New Planet Energy Florida LLC | Indian River County, FL | Capacity: 60 mmgy Feedstock: Multiple including MSW | Plant Type: Commercial 19 Pacific Ethanol | Boardman, OR | Capacity: 2.7 mmgy Feedstock: Mixed biomass | Plant Type: Demonstration 20 Pan Gen Global | Stuttgart, AR | Capacity: 12.5 mmgy Feedstock: Rice hulls and straw | Plant Type: Commercial | Production Start: March 2010 21 POET-Project Liberty | Emmetsburg, IA | Capacity: 25 mmgy Feedstock: Corn cobs, fiber | Plant Type: Commercial | Production Start: 2011 22 Range Fuels | Soperton, GA | Capacity: 10 mmgy Feedstock: Wood waste | Plant Type: Commercial | Production Start: 2nd quarter 2010 23 RSE Pulp & Chemical | Old Town, ME | Capacity: 2.5 mmgy Feedstock: Wood extract | Plant Type: Demonstration | Production Start: 2010 24 SunOpta Bioprocess LLC/Central Minnesota Ethanol Co-op | Little Falls, MN Capacity: 10 mmgy | Feedstock: Wood chips | Plant Type: Commercial

U.S. and Canada Cellulosic Ethanol Plants - Operating, Planned, or Under Construction

Under Construction:

1

Abengoa Bioenergy | Hugoton, KS | Capacity: 13-14 mmgy Feedstock: Various sources | Plant Type: Commercial

2

AE Biofuels | Butte, MT Feedstock: Multiple sources | Plant Type: Small-scale commercial

3

Alltech | Springfield, KY | Capacity: 20 mmgy Feedstock: Municipal waste | Plant Type: Commercial | Production Start: June 2010

4

Agresti Biofuels | Pike County, KY | Capacity: 20 mmgy Feedstock: Municipal waste | Plant Type: Commercial | Production Start: 2010

5

BlueFire Ethanol, Inc. | Southern CA| Capacity: 17.5 mmgy Feedstock: Municipal waste | Plant Type: Commerical

6

BlueFire Ethanol, Inc. | Lancaster, CA | Capacity: 3.1 mmgy Feedstock: Municipal waste | Plant Type: Commerical

7

Coskata | Madison, PA | Capacity: 40,000 gpy | Feedstock: Multiple sources Plant Type: Demonstration | Production Start: Summer 2009

8

DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol, LLC | Vonore, TN | Capacity: 250,000 gpy Feedstock: Multiple sources | Plant Type: Demo | Production Start: 4th quarter 2009

25 ZeaChem | Boardman, OR | Capacity: 1.5 mmgy Feedstock: Poplar trees, sugar, wood chips | Plant Type: Pilot Production Start: Fall 2010

9

Enerkem LLC | Pontotoc, MS | Capacity: 20 mmgy Feedstock: MSW| Plant Type: l Commerical

In Operation:
26 Abengoa Bioenergy | York, NE | Capacity: 200,000 gpy Feedstock: Various | Plant Type: Pilot | Production Start: September 2007 27 AE Biofuels | Butte, MT | Capacity: 150,000 gpy Feedstock: Multiple sources | Plant Type: Demonstration | Production Start: August 2008 28 Mascoma Corp. | Rome, NY | Capacity: 500,000 gpy Feedstock: Multiple sources | Plant Type: Pilot | Production Start: 2nd quarter 2009 29 POET-Project Bell | Scotland, SD | Capacity: 20,000 gpy Feedstock: Corn cobs, fiber | Plant Type: Pilot | Production Start: 4th quarter 2008 30 Verenium Corp. | Jennings, LA | Capacity: 1.4 mmgy Feedstock: Bagasse | Plant Type: Demonstration | Production Start: April 2008 31 Western Biomass Energy (KL Process) | Upton, WY | Capacity: 1.5 mmgy Feedstock: Wood waste | Plant Type: Commercial | Production Start: Jan. 29, 2008 32 West Biofuels | San Rafael, CA | Capacity: 1.5 mmgy Feedstock: Urban waste | Plant Type: Pilot | Production Start: August 2008

10 Flambeau River Biofuels, LLC | Park Falls, WI | Capacity: 6 mmgy Feedstock: Wood waste | Plant Type: Commercial

11 Greenfield Ethanol | Edmonton, AB | Capacity: 36 million liters py Feedstock: Municipal waste | Plant Type: Commercial | Production Start: 2010

12 Gulf Coast Energy | Mossy Head, FL | Capacity: 70 mmgy Feedstock: Wood waste | Plant Type: Commercial

13 ICM, Inc. | St. Joseph, MO | Capacity: 1.5 mmgy Feedstock: Switchgrass, sorghum, stover, forage | Plant Type: Pilot

14 Iogen Corp. | Birch Hills, SK | Capacity: 20 mmgy Feedstock: Wheat, barley straw | Plant Type: Commercial

15 Lignol Innovations, Inc. | Commerce City, CO | Capacity: 2 mmgy Feedstock: Wood | Plant Type: Pilot

16 Mascoma Corp. | Kinross Township, MI | Capacity: 40 mmgy Feedstock: Wood | Plant Type: Commercial | Production Start: 2012

17 NewPage Corp. | Wisconsin Rapids, WI | Capacity: 5.5 mmgy Feedstock: Woody biomass, mill residue | Plant Type: Commercial

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

91

Green Crude Oil
Pyrolysis Oil Technology Provides Feedstock for Biofuels
A new joint venture—called Envergent Technologies, LLC—announced March 24 it is licensing Ensyn Corp.’s Rapid Thermal Processing (RTP)TM technology to produce pyrolysis oil from biomass. Ensyn’s pyrolysis oil currently is used for the production of specialty chemicals, as well as to produce heat in boilers and furnaces and to generate electricity in turbines. The collaboration between UOP, a subsidiary of Honeywell, and Ensyn Corp. will continue to conduct research on further refining pyrolysis oil into fuels such as green gasoline, green diesel, and green jet fuel.
The Process

of Energy in 2006, petro diesel was compared with biodiesel and green diesel,” Goodfellow said. “Green diesel was competitive at $50 a barrel of petroleum crude, with $50 per ton feedstock,” said Goodfellow. He said the DOE study also did not take into account cap and trade for carbon emissions. “With cap and trade, there has to be a 3% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2012 and 20% by 2020. All of a sudden, there will be a cost for carbon, thus there will be an additional economic benefit for the producers of these fuels.”
Experience With Pyrolysis

RTP is a thermal process that occurs in the absence of oxygen, in less than two seconds. Biomass such as wood chips or agricultural residues are converted, at ambient pressure, into a high-yield, liquid pyrolysis oil. “The process utilizes a circulating transported bed reactor system similar to that used in the UOP Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) technology,” said Randal Goodfellow, senior vice president at Ensyn Technologies, Ottawa, ON (613248-2257, ext. 138). According to Goodfellow, to begin the process, sand is heated to 700 degrees Celsius in the reheater. It then is introduced into the pyrolysis reactor, and a gas is blown upward from below where the sand is introduced. This creates a whirlwind of hot sand. “Biomass is introduced into the whirlwind of sand,” Goodfellow explained. “The sand and biomass hit each other, and the heat transfers from the sand to the biomass, instantly vaporizing the biomass.” There are two categories of products produced in the pyrolysis reactor—solids and gas.

Rapid Thermal Processing (RTP) TM converts biomass into pyrolysis oil.

According to Goodfellow, Ensyn has designed and operated eight RTP units since 1989 that use a variety of biomass feedstocks and have shown on-stream reliability. Its newest unit in Renfrew, ON, can process up to 100 metric tons per day

According to Goodfellow, the solids, which are char and sand, move to the top of the reactor then are transferred to the reheater where the char is ignited to reheat the sand. Gas, for the most part, is condensed into a liquid, i.e. pyrolysis oil. Pyrolysis oil is upgraded through hydro-treating into bio-crude, which then is refined in existing fossil fuel refining infrastructure into green gasoline, green diesel, and green jet fuel.
Applications

“Green diesel was competitive at $50 a barrel of petroleum crude with $50 per ton feedstock.”
- Randal Goodfellow, senior vice president, Ensyn Technologies

The application of these technologies—pyrolysis to make the pyrolysis oil and then hydrotreating to make biocrude—allows refiners to reduce the carbon footprint of their fuels. Furthermore, Goodfellow said, pyrolysis oil can be less expensive than petroleum. “In a study done by the Department

of dry biomass. UOP brings almost 100 years of experience in process development, engineering and equipment supply chain in the petrochemical refinery business. Goodfellow said Envergent Technologies is generating interest in projects in the forestry and agricultural sectors, as well as the electrical generation industry.

92

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

New CO2 Co-Products
Ethanol Plants May Have New Products To Sell
Instead of pumping carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, ethanol plants in the future may convert it to formic acid, a building block for other chemicals such as pharmaceuticals or replacements for hydrochloric acid in the steel industry. Mantra Venture Group, Vancouver, BC, Canada, is developing technology that recycles CO2 and converts it electrochemically into formic acid, according to CEO Larry Kristof (888-7365752/www.mantraener g y.com). “CO2 is a challenging thing to reduce or get rid of,” Kristof said. “We offer a system that essentially recycles CO2 into a profitable co-product.” Kristof said his company’s process to produce formic acid from CO2 could create several new potential revenue streams for ethanol plants—such as formic acid for the steel, pulp and paper, rubber, and pharmaceutical industries. Because this is an electrochemical process, Kristof noted, it requires electricity, which already is being generated at an ethanol plant. “The idea is to produce an ethanol product, capture the CO2, and make formic acid with an internal electrical feed,” he said.
Mantra’s Process

ing electrical current into a water and CO2 solution. “We clean up a portion of the CO2 then produce a product that essentially replaces hydrochloric acid with formic acid,” Kristof said. “One by-product of the process is pure oxygen and there are trace amounts of hydrogen,” he continued. “What’s also advantageous is this system will produce a ton of formic acic on 6 megawatts of electricity per hour,” he said. He suggests that a lignin co-product at a cellulosic plant or crop residue/biomass could be combusted to produce the electricity if there is not enough available after the ethanol process is done. “Once we get into serious conversations with ethanol producers about incorporating this system into their plants, it could make for a very interesting opportunity,” he said.
Possible Co-Products

He said formic acid is safer and less expensive. Formic acid from CO2 has a variety of uses: • Animal feed sterilizer replacing antiobiotics. • Rubber processing. • Solvents (cleaning products). • Pulp and paper chemicals. • De-icing of runways. • Pharmaceuticals. • Leather treatments.
Next Step

Mantra, which formed in 2007, is scheduled to build its first commercial demonstration plant next year, Kristof said. “We are working and partnering with different industries to adopt this new technology,” Kristof said.

Mantra’s technology works by pump-

One scenario Kristof envisions could be a second plant “bolted” onto an existing ethanol plant to take advantage of the ethanol plant’s CO2. The CO2 would be the second plant’s feedstock for many chemical products. Formic acid itself, produced from CO2, can be utilized in the steel industry to replace hydrochloric acid, Kristof said.

“The idea is to produce an ethanol product, capture the CO 2, and make formic acid with an internal electrical feed.”
- Larry Kristof, CEO, Mantra Venture Group

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

93

Synthesis Gas Ethanol
Research Continues on Thermobiological Cellulosic Ethanol
Ten years after commencing research on how microbes can ferment syngas into ethanol, Brigham Young University (BYU) researcher Dr. Randy Lewis continues to move closer to optimizing the process. Thermobiological conversion of biomass to synthesis gas, also called syngas, is created by breaking down biomass into three basic elements—hydrogen, carbon dioxide (CO2), and carbon monoxide (CO). Lewis, a professor of chemical engineering at BYU, Provo, UT (801-4227863), has been researching microbes that will ferment syngas into ethanol since 1999.
Creating Syngas

Student Dila Banjade (left) and Dr. Randy Lewis work with a synthesis gas reactor in a Brigham Young University research lab.

The thermobiological process is a different approach to producing cellulosic ethanol from the more commonly used technology refered to as dilute acid hydrolyses. In the hydrolyses process, enzymes are utilized to break down biomass and separate the carbohydrates or sugars, so that the sugars can be fermented into ethanol. In the thermobiological process, the biomass is broken down with heat and pressure into the basic elements that

“We are utilizing the microbe clostridium bacteria as the catalyst. When the cells quit growing, they are primarily an ethanol producer.”
- Randy Lewis, BYU Professor
Response No. 941

94

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

make up syngas. “In this process, once you produce the syngas, then it is fermented just like in a sugar platform—utilized in conventional starch-based ethanol plants,” Lewis said. “Basically, the microbes utilize hydrogen, CO2, and CO to make such fuels as ethanol and butanol.”
P11 Microbe Catalyst

primarily an ethanol producer,” he added. He said there is more research still to be accomplished on the P11 microbe.
Licensed to Coskata

“We are utilizing the microbe clostridium bacteria as the catalyst,” Lewis explained. “The microbe we discovered has no name yet. We call it P11.” P11 was discovered in ponds in Oklahoma by Microbiologist Ralph Tanner of the University of Oklahoma, Norman. P11 can operate at low temperatures and pressures, so it will not take as much energy to produce ethanol, Lewis noted. P11 primarily produces acetic acid during cell growth, he said. “When the cells quit growing, they are

The lab research, which started at the University of Oklahoma in 1999, was licensed two years ago to Coskata, ther mochemical ethanol producer startup company based in Warrenville, IL. Coskata plans on showcasing the feedstock-flexible process at its semiscale plant starting up in Madison, PA.
Next Research Step

Stillwater. Funding includes an $800,000-to$1 million-a-year grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, plus funding from Coskata ($1 million), and from the Sun Grant Initiative ($250,000). Myke Feinman, editor

“In this process it is fermented just like in a sugar platform—utilized in conventional starch-based e t h a n o l p l a n t s . Th e m i crobes utilize hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide to make ethanol.”
- Randy Lewis, BYU Professor, syngas researcher

In addition to the microbe development, BYU is continuing research on its existing bioreactor design to convert biomass to syngas. Lewis is also researching the quality of the syngas, along with how different concentrations of CO affect the biological process. Research continues in collaboration with Oklahoma University and Oklahoma State University,

Response No. 951

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

95

Supplier Q & A

Michael Althouse
Director of Filtration MAC Equipment, Inc. Kansas City, MO 800-821-2476 www.macequipment.com
Mike Althouse joined MAC Equipment, Inc. in 1976 as a welding/shipping supervisor. In 2000, Althouse, who attended Barton County Community College in southeast Kansas, was named director of filtration. He enjoys spending free time with his grandchildren, working on muscle cars, and golfing.

Company History
MAC was founded in Sabetha, KS in 1969, by entrepreneur Gary McDaniel, manufacturing filtration products primarily for the grain industry. Through acquisitions and mergers, MAC has developed into the largest U.S. supplier of dust collection, pneumatic conveying, and pneumatic injection expertise and equipment. In April 2007, Clyde Process Solutions plc acquired MAC Equipment, allowing for a global presence for both MAC and Clyde technologies. We hosted a 40th Anniversary celebration in June, which coincides with the opening of our new test lab in Kansas City, MO.

Product Line
We have maintained an active role in developing new filtration and pneumatic conveying technology tailored to the biofuels and grain processing markets, such as the Model MCF and MPJ baghouses. Both products were designed with energy conservation in mind and—considering the narrow margins that many biofuel plants operate at—it makes sense to use equipment that will provide the lowest cost of operations, while providing the lowest emissions of any filtration technology on the market. Low pressure filter bag cleaning technology is the primary product we offer—available in the MCF and MPJ filter models. Not only is the cost to operate these filters much less than traditional high-pressure pulse jet filters, but they operate efficiently in colder climates. The medium pressure units are not susceptible to cold weather freezeups, which significantly reduces downtime and maintenance.

Industry Outlook
As the ethanol industry is moving from corn to cellulosic feedstocks, the diversity of our experience can be brought to bear to determine the most cost-effective method to move the product throughout the plant and further reduce emissions. Adam Tedder, associate editor
Response No. 961

96

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Supplier Q & A

Craig Pilgrim
Global Marketing and Product Development Manager Lallemand Ethanol Technology Milwaukee, WI 800-583-6484 www.ethanoltech.com
Craig Pilgrim joined Lallemand Ethanol in 2007 as the global marketing and product development manager. He graduated from Mount Mercy College, Cedar Rapids, IA in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry. Pilgrim enjoys reading, golfing, and kayaking. enced technical sales and service professionals who serve as consultants to alcohol plant staff, identifying specific needs and providing targeted products, training, troubleshooting, and laboratory services. Our educational arm, the Ethanol Technology Institute, conducts The Alcohol School, The Operators’ School and publishes “The Alcohol Textbook”. This textbook is a preeminent reference for fuel, distilled beverage, and industrial alcohol producers.

Company History
Lallemand Ethanol Technology, formed in Milwaukee, WI in 2004, is a unit of Lallemand Inc., the Canada-based yeast and bacteria producer. Lallemand got into the biofuels industry because yeast and fermentation ingredients are the company’s core competencies. We saw a growing market and decided to create value with both its product range and service to the industry. Lallemand supplies fermentation ingredients—yeast, yeast nutrients, and antimicrobials—and value-creating services — education and on site technical support—to both the fuel ethanol and beverage distilling industries.

Industry Outlook
The trend in the industry is to get more yield out of what is put into the fermenter. Through our products and knowledge, we have been able to successfully achieve more yield and throughput in numerous facilities. In this age of economic hardship, every dollar counts.

Product Line
There are two important things we do. One, we provide a full product line that includes two unique yeast formats. Our main product is called Thermosacc®. It is a cake yeast, which results in a quicker start to fermentation due to lack of rehydration time. The other product is called Stabilized Liquid Yeast. It is a unique fresh yeast product with a three-month shelf life and can be dosed automatically, because it is a liquid. It has superior vitality and viability for faster ethanol production. Our Midwest locations allow us to produce and deliver the highest quality and freshest yeasts to the market. The second important thing we do is educational services. Our value-creating approach is built upon a team of experiResponse No. 971

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

97

Supplier Q & A

Howie Nelson
Business Development Manager, Alternative Fuels SGS North America Inc. Lakeville, MN 952-892-6372 www.sgs.com/alternativefuels
Howie Nelson joined SGS North America Inc. in 2005. In his first two years, he was an agricultural supply chain manager and currently is business development manager in alternative fuels. Nelson, a 17-year seed industr y veteran, received his bachelor’s degree in agronomy and plant genetics at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul. He enjoys Christian missions, cross countr y motorcyling on his Honda Goldwing , and golf.

Company History
SGS was founded in France in 1878 and is an inspection, verification, testing, and certification company. We are the preferred international partner for those involved in the fields of energy, trading, and commodities. We employ more than 55,000 employees in a network of more than 1,000 offices and laboratories around the world. We assist customers worldwide throughout the energy value chain by providing numerous services to the biofuels industry through 10 different business lines. Our traditional field inspections and laboratory services have been offered by our Oil Gas & Chemicals (OGC) business line for many years. OGC has over 34 ISO 9001:2000-certified analytical laboratories in the United States backed by a global network of over 125 SGS group affiliates internationally.

Complete Services
Our role is to interact within the biofuels industry and uncover any business needs for companies, investors, operators, traders, and owners. Recently, sustainability reporting has become a key market for the Environmental Services Business line at SGS. Our climate change experts are helping companies deal with newly developing carbon reduction requirements. We also are helping ethanol and biodiesel plants by operating the laboratory on-site as an independent third party. Our SSC business line provides various ISO, HACCP, and OHSAS audits, training, and certification for producers. Our newly developed biomass technology utilizes our SGS minerals business line for energy content and quality analysis. Our agriculture business unit now is providing DDGs quality analysis in a new lab in Brookings, SD for traders, brokers, producers, and international buyers of DDGs.

Industry Outlook
As the biofuels industry continues to grow, SGS is positioned to help companies maximize their returns while demonstrating increased sustainability.
Response No. 981

98

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Product Review
Cereal Process Technologies’ (CPT) MarketFlexTM fractionation process gives ethanol producers more flexibility to meet commodity market volatility, according to CPT Marketing Director Reg Ankrom. Ankrom said MarketFlex enables producers using CPT’s patented fractionation technology to “dial in” the compositions of fractions that the market values most at any given time “to help the producer meet margins and assure his operation’s sustainability.”
Product Flexibility

According to Ankrom, ethanol producers who look to fractionation to differentiate themselves in the market no longer are limited to fixed compositions in the streams used to make their products and co-products. “We’ve proven in large-scale commercial operation the ability to mill more starch when the market makes ethanol the more

attractive product or corn germ when the market makes its value more attractive,” said Ankrom. He said that along with the flexibility to vary the kernel’s fractioned streams, CPT had established flexible guarantees for the performance of its patented milling system for the recovery and the corn kernel’s starch and germ. “When the producer finds ethanol the more valuable product in the market and wants to mill for fermentable starch, we will guarantee yields of 96% of the kernel’s starch and 53% of its oil,” Ankrom said. “When oil is valued more, CPT’s milling can be adjusted and we will guarantee 70% recovery of the kernel’s oil and 92% starch recovery.” The milling advantages of MarketFlex can be achieved in minutes, Ankrom said, with no interruption in the fractionation or ethanol plants.
Response No. 991 • See ad p. 49

MarketFlex
Cereal Process Technologies (CPT)

TM

877-851-4606 Overland Park, KS www.cerealprocess.com

Service Review
Mechanical Solutions, a mechanical contractor, offers mechanical, technical, and repair/troubleshooting services to the biofuels industry. According to President Cory Peterson, Mechanical Solutions takes pride in its work. “Our name goes on the job once it is completed,” Peterson said. “We have to produce a quality product.” The types of services offered include: • Maintenance support. • Projects management. • New equipment installation. • Routine repairs. • Emergency support. • Shutdown crews to assist spring and fall repairs. • Preventive maintenance. • Laser Alignments. • Millwright work. • Equipment troubleshooting. “We work with a close network of companies to provide one-on-one for parts or support of speciality areas, so the customer does not have to hassle with these in times of need,” Peterson said. “We pride ourselves on quality and safety during a job,” Peterson said. Mechanical Solutions started in early 2008, catering to the ethanol industry. The company’s three owners—Peterson, Chris Johnson, and Josh Baker—have 30 years of combined experience in the mechanical and electrical fields. The company employs people having more than 40 total years of experience in mechanical and electrical backgrounds. The Humboldt, IA-based company works primarily in the Midwest in the biofuels industry.
Response No. 992

Mechanical Solutions
515-332-7035 Humboldt, IA www.mecsol.com
MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

99

Product Review
Butterworth, based in Houston, TX, is not only the oldest tank cleaning machine manufacturer in the world, but it manufactures a range of tank cleaning machines that can clean tanks of all sizes within all industry systems automicially.. “Our tank cleaning equipment can reduce the amount of water the plant is using for clean-in-process (CIP) and increase the availability of the tanks,” said National Sales Manager Mark Murphy. “In other words, the plant gets the job done faster,” he added.
Features

Tank Cleaning Machines
Butterworth, Inc.
281-821-7300 Houston, TX www.butterworth.com

Murphy said that Butterworth machines have a technology that provides a focused stream before it leaves the machine, thereby increasing the cleaning radius. “This allows us to have a machine much smaller than competitors, 10 to 20 lbs. lighter and up to 11 inches shorter in length,” he said.

Features include: • Radius of up to 115 feet to clean a tank up to 230 feet in diameter and up to 230 feet tall. • Pressures range from 30 to 300 lbs. Average ethanol and biodiesel plants utilize pressures of 100 to 150 lbs. In addition, Murphy said Butterworth can offer studies for future technology applications—such as cellulosic ethanol—to make sure the machines are correct for the vessels utilized in the process, accounting for such factors as internal heat coils, mixers, and side baffles. Butterworth has been supplying the ethanol industry with cleaning machines since the industry start in the early 1980s and is a global company selling to both biofuels plants and contractors.

Response No. 1001

Service Review
Burns and McDonnell Engineering Co. offers project development services for renewable energy and biofuel plants. “We are always at the forefront looking for solutions or technologies that are available,” said Robert Healy, senior manager of renewables. For example, the company currently is working with a team to develop a pilot scale (one metric ton of carbon dioxide per day) algae to biodiesel plant to determine commercial feasibility. “Developers or clients come with certain strengths,” Healy said. “If they are strong in up-front analysis, we do preliminary conceptual design. We bring our strengths to complement the strengths of our clients.” Burns and McDonnell, based in Kansas City, MO, has been doing power and civil engineering work since the company’s inception in 1898. The company has been designing and building grain and biofuel facilities since 1977.
Services Offered

Burns & McDonnell Engineering Co.
816-822-3384 Kansas City, MO www.burnsmcd.com 100
BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

The broad, multidisciplinary staff of Burns & McDonnell provides the following services: • Engineering. • Architecture. • Construction. • Economic planning. • Environmental. • Energy audits. • Studies and surveying. • Business and site planning. • Financial project analysis.
Response No. 1002 • See ad on p. 87

Product Review
Aldon Company, a 105-year old manufacturer of railway safety products, has made two improvements in its portable derail. Aldon’s new SaberTooth® portable derail features tool-free installation and a patented hooking tie brace, which prevents the derail from sliding down the rail during derailment. “‘Tool-free’ means no wrenches are needed to install our SaberTooth derail,” said President Joe Ornig. “We provide four stainless steel thumbscrews to keep the derail from rolling sideways or lifting up as the wheels pass over it. This makes installation and removal of the derail really easy.” The second new feature of the SaberTooth derail takes its inspiration from the long-fanged prehistoric tiger that once roamed throughout California. “In our field tests, we found that on

taller rail, a derail’s notched tie brace could slip off a tie plate during a derailment. To prevent the derail from slipping, we reinforced our tie brace and added a curved hook at the bottom,” said Ornig. “The hook will bite into the tie in the event the notch slips off the tie plate. The lower part of our tie brace remains trapped between two ties,” he said.
Specifications

• Low 2.75-inch profile above the top of the rail. • 35-pound weight. • Fits 90-to-141-pound-per-yard rails. • Can be padlocked to the rail.
Response No. 1011 • See ads on p. 3/24/35

Improved Portable Derail
Aldon Company, Inc.
847-623-8800 Waukegan, IL www.aldonco.com

Product Review
The Wilks InfraSpec VFA-IR spectrometer allows a lab technician to test biofuels in the field or in the lab. The VFA-IR is a portable, easy-touse, fast (within one minute), and reasonably-priced spectrometer, according to President Sandy Rintoul. Wilks Enterprise, Inc., based in South Norwalk, CT, has been developing and manufacturing infrared analytical instrumentation for specific applications and on-site analysis since 1995. Applications for the VFA-IR in the biofuels arena include testing blends of biofuels at blender or retailer sites and checking biodiesel for glycerides during production. “We can also do pretests on feedstocks for biodiesel,” Rintoul said. “And we can check for ethanol in water.” According to Rintoul, the VFA-IR can check blends on-site with an accuracy of +/-0.02%.

Wilks entered the biofuels industry when biofuels blends were mandated in 2005.
Features

Features of the InfraSpec VFA-IR spectrometer include: • Qualitative or in quantitative biofuels measurements. • For use in labs or in the field. • Measurement results in one minute. • Proven technology for dependable, accurate measurements. • Biofuels blend measurements. • Biofuels production measurements.
Response No. 1012 • See ads on p. 57/59

InfraSpec VFA-IR Spectrometer
Wilks Enterprise, Inc.
203-855-9136 South Norwalk, CT www.wilksir.com
MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

101

Consulting/Environmental
Burns & McDonnell
Environmental Consultants | 816-822-3384
• Engineering and construction. • Waste consultants. • Environmental services.

Water Treatment
Burns & McDonnell
Water Infrastructure | 816-822-4373
• Master planning. • Water resources & supply. • Pumping & storage. • Water treatment design. • Distribution. • Water security. • Industrial wastewater. • Municipal wastewater. • Collection systems. • I/I & SSO evaluation. • Pump stations. • Residual management.

No. 1021 | www.burnsmcd.com | See ad on p. 87

No. 1022 | www.burnsmcd.com | See ad on p. 87

Wastewater Treatment
ADI Systems Inc.
Wastewater Treatment Systems | 603-893-2134
• Ethanol and biodiesel plant wastewater treatment systems. • Water reuse/reclamation. • Thin/whole stillage and manure digestion. • Biogas recovery and utilization systems. • Bio-methanators. • Membrane technologies. • Turnkey systems.

No. 1023 | www.adisystemsinc.com | See ad on p. 54

102

BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

BFJ MAY/JUNE 09

Reader Response Card

FAX us this page to get more information on the advertisers, featured products, or companies from this issue of BioFuels Journal.
Name:____________________________________________________________________________________ Title:___________________________________________________________________________________________ Company:______________________________________________________________________________ Address:_______________________________________________________________________________ City:_________________________________ State:____________________ Zip Code:______________ Phone: _____________________________________ FAX:______________________________________ Type of Facility:________________________________________________________________________ E-Mail:________________________________________________________________________________ WRITE RESPONSE NUMBERS IN BOXES BELOW • FAX TO 217-877-6647

UPON COMPLETION, FAX TO 217-877-6647
American Coalition for Ethanol
www.ethanol.org

Canadian Renewable Fuels Association
www.greenfuels.org

MAY/JUNE 09 | BFJ

103

Ad Index
ADI Systems Inc. . . . . . 54 AGRA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 AGRI-associates Inc. . 87 The Aldon Company . . . . . . 3, 24, 35 ATEC Steel Fabrication . . . . . . . . . 53 Behlen Mfg. Co. . . . . . 37 Bliss Industries LLC . . . . 14 BM&M Screening Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Brock Grain Systems . . 39 Brown Tank LLC . . . . . . 36 Burns & McDonnell . . . 87 Calbrandt Inc. . . . . . . 38 Carver, Inc. . . . . . . . . . 43 Cereal Process Technologies . . . . . . . . 49 CompuWeigh Corp. . 4, 5 CPM/Roskamp Champion . . . . . . . . . . 66 dbc Smart Software . . 13 De Smet Technologies . 2 DynaTek/Manierre . . . 95 E3 Energy Partners LLC . . . . . . . . . 48 Flottweg Separation . . 56 GEA Barr-Rosin . . . . . . . 26 Maas Companies . . . . 97 MAC Equipment . . . . . . 7 Marshall Gerstein & Borun LLD . . . . . . . . . 62 Martrex Inc. . . . . . . . . . 16 Midwest Towers Inc. . . 72 Perten Instruments . . . 47 Petroleum Equipment Inc. . . . . . . 29 Pittsburg Tank & Tower . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 Power-Serv Inc. . . . . . . 98 Pro-Environmental Inc. 41 Process Baron . . . . . . . 52
130
BFJ | MAY/JUNE 09

Hi Roller Conveyors . . . 84 Hydro-Klean Inc. . . . . . 25 Indeck Power Equipment . . . . . . . . . . 55 The Interstates Companies . . . . . . . . . 42 John Deere Agri Services . . . . . . . . 85 KC Supply Co. Inc. . . . 85 Laidig Systems Inc. . . . 81 Lallemand Ethanol Tech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Larson Engineering . . . 71 LeMar Industries . . 21, 27 Lemke Industrial Machine. . . . . . . . . . . . 64

Process Control Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 Proquip Inc. . . . . . . . . . 70 RBH Mill & Elevator Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Rosedale Products Inc. . . . . . . . . 67 Schlagel Inc. . . . . . . . 106 SGS North America Inc. . . . . . . . . 18 Siemens Energy & Automation . . . . . . . 19 Sulzer Chemtech USA . 79 Trackmobile . . . . . . . . . 84 TRAMCO Inc. . . . . . . . 28 TranSystems . . . . . . . . . 44 Union Iron Inc. . . . . . . . 11 Van Sickle Allen & Associates . . . . . . . . 94 Victory Energy Operation . . . . . . . 17, 65 Volkmann Railroad Builders . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Warrior Mfg. LLC . . . . . 73 Wilks Enterprises Inc. . . . 57, 59 Winbco Tank Company . . . . . . . . . . 105

Response No. 1311

Response No. 1321

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful