Green Plains Purchases Supreme Cattle Feeders

Green Plains (GPRE) has acquired the assets of Supreme Cattle feeders from Agri Beef Co. The deal includes the feed yard doing business as Supreme Cattle Feeders and the Cimarron Grain Storage facility located near Kismet, Kansas.

“Supreme Cattle Feeders is one of the premier cattle feed yards in the U.S. and this operation is an ideal adjacent business for Green Plains,” said Todd Becker, president and CEO. “The green_plainscustom cattle-feeding business gives us the ability to further process our distillers grains and corn oil, and extend our corn origination network. We also believe that this transaction will be accretive to 2014 earnings.”

Becker said Supreme Cattle Feeders will remain a custom cattle-feeding business -a great asset to their portfolio of value-added processing facilities. He notes that GPRE’s focus is to ensure that current customers continue to be served at the highest level. In addition, Becker said they plan on retaining all of the current employees at the facilities.

Robert Rebholtz, Jr., President/CEO of Agri Beef Co. said, “The key to our decision to sell Supreme Cattle Feeders was Green Plains’ financial strength, commitment to operational excellence and risk management capabilities. We are thrilled by the great opportunities this combination will provide Supreme’s long-time customers and employees. We look forward to continuing our own cattle-feeding relationship as a Green Plains customer for years to come.”

GPRE said Supreme Cattle Feeders will remain a custom cattle-feeding business and will continue to operate under its current name. Supreme Cattle Feeders financial results will be reported as a part of Green Plains’ agribusiness segment. The operation consists of approximately 2,600 acres of land with 800 acres allocated to the feedlot operation that has the capacity to support 70,000 head of cattle. Supreme’s current corn storage capacity, including the Cimarron Grain facilities, is approximately 3.8 million bushels. Supreme Cattle Feeders will continue to be directed by its current management team, with transition support from Agri Beef Co. Agri Beef Co will continue its relationship as a cattle-feeding customer of Supreme. Agri Beef Co. has owned and operated Supreme Cattle Feeders for the past 19 years.

Corn Growers CEO Addresses FEW

few14-tolmanNational Corn Growers Association CEO Rick Tolman took the podium to address the general session at the Fuel Ethanol Workshop in Indianapolis this week. It’s the 30th year for the workshop and during his remarks he commented on how things have changed in the past 30 years – from the acres of corn planted and bushels harvested to the gallons of ethanol produced and where things are headed in the future of the industry.

“It’s so exciting to see the tremendous growth the industry has made,” said Tolman. “We have so many ethanol plants now and it’s part of the mainstream, it’s in almost every gallon of gasoline across the country … and ten years ago that wasn’t the case … we’ve made tremendous progress.”

In an interview after his address at FEW, Tolman talked about this year’s corn crop, which is expected to be another record. Emergence pushed past the five-year average last week, according to the latest USDA report, and 75 percent of all acres are rated in good to excellent condition as of June 8.

Tolman says while we have planted a few less acres this year we continue to push through the 10-million bushel barrier that was so difficult to reach early in his 14-year tenure as NCGA CEO. He will be stepping down from that position at the end of September. Interview with NCGA CEO Rick Tolman

2014 Fuel Ethanol Workshop Photo Album

Hydro Dynamics Bolts On Biodiesel for Ethanol Plants

boltonbiodiesel1A Georgia company is making ethanol plants more profitable by offering technology for “bolt-on” biodiesel operations. Hydro Dynamics, Inc. has partnered with World Energy and PhiBro Ethanol Performance Group to offer Hydro Dynamics’ ShockWave Power Reactors that turns corn oil from ethanol production into biodiesel.

The majority of ethanol plants already recover their corn oil and much of this ends up converted to biodiesel. By integrating a biodiesel plant directly into the ethanol plant a producer can realize many competitive advantages due to reduced transportation cost, shared infrastructure and the ability to merge coproduct streams.

In order to offer ethanol plants a seamless “bolt-on biodiesel” solution HDI is expanding its existing relationships with World Energy of Boston, MA and Phibro Ethanol Performance Group of Teaneck, NJ. World Energy is a leading producer, supplier and distributor of biodiesel and HDI has previously partnered with World Energy’s WMG Services business unit for sale of the SPR to the biodiesel industry. This new venture expands the cooperative offering to include not only the SPR, but complete plants designed by WMG Services. Phibro Ethanol Performance Group is the exclusive marketer of LACTROL® antimicrobial to the ethanol industry and HDI has been partnered with Phibro for commercializing the SPR to enhance yield. Phibro’s technical expertise and extensive customer relationships make them an excellent partner to help bring biodiesel to the ethanol industry.

The SPR technology is well-known and proven to biodiesel producers, as it helps crank out more than 500 million gallons of biodiesel per year.

I-75 Green Corridor Project Adds 17 New Biofuel Stations

I-75 Corridor StationThe I-75 Green Corridor Project took a huge step forward this week with the addition of 17 new biofuel stations between Chattanooga, Tennessee all the way to southwestern Florida. This week marks the 5th year of the project that began in Knoxville, TN through a grant funded by the Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program. The goal of the project is for drivers to traverse the entirety of I-75 running on biofuels including ethanol as E85 or biodiesel in a B20 blend. In all Interstate 75 is 1,786 miles from Canada to the Caribbean. The ultimate goal is to have an ethanol/biodiesel station no more than 200 miles apart.

Since the project’s inception, over 3.3 million gallons of biofuels have been sold from stations associated with the project, and 2.6 million gallons of petroleum have been displaced. The project has now displaced over 61,000 barrels of oil, or alternatively, the U.S. has now produced over 61,000 additional barrels of renewable, American fuel.

Specifically in Tennessee, five E85 stations are now open in Cleveland and Chattanooga and nearby neighborhoods of Wildwood and Ft. Oglethorpe and one station is set to open in Knoxville this summer. Jonathan Overly, executive director of the lead organization for the project, the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition, said, “We could not have had the development of this many stations or otherwise success we have had in the project without Protec as a partner. Steve (Walk, of Protec) was great to work with and helped us achieve the project goals.”

I-75 Clean Fuels CorridorThus far along the corridor, E85 has been installed at 26 fuel stations, and B20 has been installed at nine. These numbers are expected to increase in the coming months with another six stations coming online this summer. The project is now in its final year and has resulted in the 1,786-mile interstate becoming the planet’s longest biofuels corridor.

Protec was instrumental is helping the project come to fruition. The company specializes in stations conversions and fuel distribution. “We are honored to be a major partner, fuel station installer and fuel provider for this important project,” said Steve Walk, an executive director of Protec Fuel. “This project can prove biofuels are accessible, and hopefully turn new users onto renewable fuels.”

The significance of this project lies not only in the extensive length of American interstate involved, but also the six-state, multi-partner coordination that has taken place. There is also significance in the fact that American drivers now have a greater number of fueling options, as well as alt-fuel vehicles. There are nearly 100 flex-fuel vehicle (FFV) models on the market today than can run on E85. Coupled with the fact that, by conservative estimates, there are over 10 million FFVs on the road, there is strong need for more stations offering E85.

Edeniq Stresses Cellulosic Ethanol is Here

edeniqAt the Corn Utilization and Technology Conference last week, Steve Rust with Edeniq talked about new processing technology and products taking ethanol to the next level.

“Cellulosic ethanol is for real now,” says Rust. “People need to know that because this is key right now with discussions on the Renewable Fuel Standard.”

rust-headRust says new technology like Edeniq’s PATHWAY Platform is helping to make cellulosic ethanol a reality. “We have a piece of equipment that pre-treats the slurry in a corn ethanol plant and then we add a helper enzyme in it that we co-fermentate cellulosic and corn ethanol in the same fermenter,” he explained. “The nice thing about our technology is that it can be used in any dry mill ethanol plant for them to be able to get cellulosic gallons for a small capitol investment.”

Interview with Steve Rust, Edeniq


2014 CUTC Photo Album

Increases In Ethanol Efficiences Will Decrease Land Use

A study done by researchers at the University of Illinois’ College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, has found that several factors will lower the need for land used to produced corn-based ethanol to as little as 11 percent of the corn acres by 2026 when adhering to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 15 billion gallon ceiling on domestic ethanol production.

The researchers note that a too common error made in reporting land used for domestic Disposition among major uses of no 2 yellow cornproduction is to measure the amount of grain shipped to ethanol manufacturers, compute the number of acres required to produce the grain and then end the analysis. However, the researchers say this is a gross oversimplification that leads to incorrectly concluding that 40 percent or more of U.S. corn acres are used for ethanol production. The real number, according to the research team is less than 25%. The reason is that most studies don’t account for the grain being used as high-value animal feed (distillers grains or DDGs).

The new study, conducted by Professors Rita H. Mumm, Peter D. Goldsmith, Kent D. Rausch and Hans H. Stein, explores the impact of technological improvements on corn grain production, ethanol production, and their interrelated effect on land use through a variety of scenarios over a 15 year period beginning in 2011, the year used to establish the base case. The researchers found that land area attributed to corn ethanol will consistently drop because plant breeding improvements and new technologies will result in significantly higher yields.

In addition, over the next decade, corn yields will improve significantly which will greatly reduce land use attributed to ethanol manufacturing. On the higher end of the spectrum, the study finds yields will increase by almost 100 bushels per acre, which represents 66 percent growth. The majority of this contribution will come from conventional breeding, with advanced breeding technology, biotechnology and agronomic improvements together contributing almost half.

“It’s no surprise to the agriculture industry that yield improvements will drive down land used for ethanol,” said Dr. Rita Mumm, coauthor of the study. “However, the mechanisms within the production complex, especially their effects on one another, were not fully understood. This work provides a clear picture on current land use and provides an approach for evaluating future land use.” Continue reading

Edeniq’s PATHWAY Validation Facility Shows Success

Leading into the Fuel Ethanol Workshop that is taking place this week in Indianapolis, Indiana (June 9-12) Edeniq, Inc., has announced the successful performance of its PATHWAY Validation Facility. The company’s PATHWAY Platform is a proprietary, integrated platform that produces cellulosic ethanol inside existing corn ethanol plants. Edeniq said their pilot facility showcases how their patented technologies, the Cellunator and PATHWAY Platform, work together to convert starch and break down corn kernel fiber, releasing cellulosic sugars into the fermentation process. The result is an ethanol yield increase ethanol of three to six percent. The pilot facility is located at the company’s headquarters in Visalia, California.

“The pilot facility confirms a necessary high-precision consistency in the PATHWAY Platform that is a first for our industry,” said Tom Griffin, chief technology officer, Edeniq, Inc. “Our customers are looking for a way to generate and validate cellulosic ethanol production, and with Edeniq’s PATHWAY Platform coupled with this unique pilot facility, we have equipped them with the solution.”

Edeniq facility at nightFunded jointly by Flint Hills Resources Renewables, LLC, and Edeniq, the pilot facility showcases the PATHWAY Platform and allows ethanol producers to quantify the impact of PATHWAY on yield enhancement and cellulosic ethanol production at their plants.

“The PATHWAY Validation Facility was developed to provide our customers and partners with data to verify the increase in ethanol yield the technology provides,” added Brian Thome, president and CEO of Edeniq, Inc. “Edeniq is committed to increasing the bottom line for our customers and partners by allowing ethanol producers to improve their efficiency and migrate to cellulosic ethanol.”

The PATHWAY Platform is currently in commercial testing and continues to demonstrate its ability to increase ethanol yield and boost customer profits.

2 Ethanol Plants Select ICM’s Added Value Technologies

In the past few weeks ICM has signed on three new ethanol plants which will use two of their second-generation ethanol technologies. Patriot Renewable Fuels has selected ICM’s Fiber Separation Technology (FST) while Front Range Energy has selected ICM’s patent-pending Selective Milling Technology (SMT) for their ethanol plant located on Windsor, Colorado. SMT is what is known as a “value-added platform technology” for plant yield enhancement.

Front-Range-Web-Logo-2013Dan Sanders, vice president for Front Range Energy LLC, said of their choice, “We are excited to own and operate this new technology from ICM. Our team did an excellent job evaluating options available in this space and we believe ICM’s SMT gives us the greatest potential for overall yield improvements, and the most control to make operational changes on the front end of our plant to enable lower cost per gallon production.”

With the agreement for purchase and full-scale installation at Front Range Energy, there are now 17 ethanol plants in North America either operating or under contract to operate ICM’s Selective Milling Technology, raising total throughput for ICM and its partner in this yield enhancement technology, Fluid Quip Process Technologies, to over 1.65 billion gallons of ethanol production per year.

Chris Mitchell, President of ICM, Inc., said, “SMT continues to prove itself as the long-term solution of choice for plant yield enhancement, and ICM is pleased to continue our partnership with Front Range Energy, a leading supplier of fuel ethanol to the Rocky Mountain transportation fuel market.”

In addition, IGPC Ethanol of Ontario, Canada had signed a contract with ICM to be the first Canadian Adopter of FST. This technology is also a value-added platform technology that increases ethanol yield and throughput. It also increases oil recovery. According to ICM, IGPC-ethanol-logoremoving the fiber from the standard ethanol process allows the plant to produce each gallon more efficiently as well as creates the opportunity for diversified co-products with high protein feeds and fiber.

Jim Grey, CEO of IGPC Ethanol, Inc. said, “Through our previous collaboration with ICM, we believed it was important to continue down the path of obtaining their critical platform technologies that are necessary for making a sustained impact on agriculture and economic development for our region, and strategically position our business for future opportunities.”

Chris Mitchell, President of ICM, Inc., noted, “ICM is very excited to move forward with IGPC as they adopt the FST process. FST is the next step after Selective Milling Technology, which the plant purchased in 2013. The platform technologies build on each other, increasing ethanol and corn oil yield, as well as enabling additional throughput and reducing energy usage. Every gallon produced will be processed more efficiently with the addition of the technologies.”

EPA Extends 2013 RFS Compliance Deadline

epaThe Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday that the compliance deadline for the 2013 Renewable Fuel Standard is being extended from June 30 to September 30. The EPA intends to finalize the remaining portion of its rulemaking to establish the 2014 renewable fuel standards shortly.

EPA said the extension is warranted because they have not yet issued the 2014 annual standards rule. The agency received comments on the proposed rule “emphasizing the need for the EPA to promulgate the 2014 RFS standards quickly and the need for obligated parties to know their obligations for the following year when finalizing their 2013 compliance demonstrations.”

The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) was among those requesting the extension and President Charles Drevna says it was the right decision. “While we do not believe that delaying the compliance date eliminates the injury caused by the late promulgation of the rule, it will provide obligated parties with a degree of certainty by knowing their blending obligations,” said Drevna in a statement. “Now more than six months late, the agency’s inability to recognize the impact of continued delays is yet another reason that Congress must address this set of mandates whose very premise has proven obsolete.”

The 2013 RFS mandated 16.55 billion gallons of biofuels be blended into US transportation fuels, including 2.75 billion gallons of advanced biofuels.

Iowa’s Steve King Urges EPA to Follow Law on RFS

steve-kingIf the administration wants to make changes in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) they should follow the law, according to Rep. Steve King (R-IA).

“The RFS is in statute and there are waiver provisions in there for the EPA, but they need to comply with the waiver provisions,” said King during an interview.

King notes that EPA used 2011 data in proposing volume requirements for this year under the RFS. “So we’ve asked them in hearings, discussions, pleadings, every way that we can … that we want them to go back and look at the 2013 data and go back and re-read the law,” he said. “If they make those adjustments appropriately, they’ll come back to what the law says.”

King made those comments during an interview at World Pork Expo in Des Moines last week.

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) RFS comments

Summer Means No E15

It’s summer vacation time for 15% ethanol blends but not by choice.

E15 sign“The Environmental Protection Agency’s outdated interpretation of Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) regulations is preventing the sale of E15 in most of the country during the busy summer driving season, adding billions to travelers’ fuel costs,” said American Coalition for Ethanol senior vice president Ron Lamberty. By unnecessarily limiting the sale of E15 to only flex-fuel vehicle (FFV) owners from June 1 to September 15
in areas where most gasoline is used, Lamberty says EPA is effectively requiring drivers to purchase lower octane fuel for 5 to 40 cents.

Iowa leads the nation with 20 registered E15 stations and Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Managing Director Lucy Norton says they have to shut down the pumps in the summertime. “If oil refiners chose to ship gasoline with the proper vapor pressure into our state, Iowa motorists could have expanded access to cleaner-burning, lower-cost E15 year-round, instead of it being temporarily restricted to only flex-fuel vehicles during the summer,” said Norton.

The Iowa legislature passed legislation to help ease costs Iowa retailers may incur when obtaining gasoline suitable for blending with 15 percent ethanol during the summer months. Under the legislation, Iowa’s E15 retailer tax credit to 10 cents from June 1 to September 15, up from the three cents it is the rest of the year.

“Ironically, E15 has a lower RVP than the fuel 95% of drivers are using, so EPA’s unwillingness to change a 25 year-old regulation effectively mandates higher evaporative emissions and higher prices during the busiest driving season of the year,” said Lamberty.

I-75 Corridor Creates Biodiesel, Ethanol Roadtrip

I-75-Corridor-Map[1]The summer travel season is here, and if you’re looking for a way to see the U.S.A. while driving on clean-burning biodiesel and ethanol, a roadtrip down Interstate 75 might be just the ticket. The latest edition of the National Biodiesel Board’s Biodiesel Bulletin talks about the I-75 Green Corridor, the planet’s longest biofuels corridor, that runs from Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. to Miami, Fla. where they’ve just upped the availability of B20 and E85.

The project’s goal was to install biofuel pumps at least every 200 miles or to fill in gaps between existing biofuel stations along the interstate.

To date, over 2.8 million gallons of biofuels have been sold from project stations, and 2.2 million gallons of petroleum have been displaced. This equates to 6,735 tons of CO2 emissions avoided compared to conventional petroleum-based fuels. Thus far, nearly 30 new biofuel pumps have been installed, resulting in the 1,786-mile interstate becoming what is believed to be the planet’s longest biofuels corridor.

Time to hit the road, you eco-Road Warriors!

Wet and Dry Milling Focus of Conference

cutc-14-martinThe 2014 Corn Utilization and Technology Conference is underway in Louisville, Kentucky and this year the focus is on wet and dry milling technologies and new uses.

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) president Martin Barbre says the event brings together researchers with the common goal of facilitating the next ground-breaking technologies and corn-based products of the future. “It’s a great place for researchers to see what others are doing,” he said. “We also have a very good international focus with visitors and attendees from all four corners of the world.”

As corn growers are just about finished planting what is expected to be another record crop this year, Barbre says they are happy to see increased export demand for corn and the ethanol co-product distillers grains. “When you put an ethanol plant in, it doesn’t change the market (for corn),” he said. “Really there’s only two things that change the market – weather and exports. We’re working hard to increase corn exports worldwide and we’re even working with other countries to open up new markets.” Interview with NCGA president Martin Barbre


2014 CUTC Photo Album

American Ethanol Brings Troops to Tracks

am-eth-troopsAmerican Ethanol “Troops to the Track” program welcomed members of the Armed Forces to the “Monster Mile” at Dover International Speedway this past weekend.

The program, which is administered by the Armed Forces Foundation, welcomed service members and their families from Dover Air Force Base (AFB) to the Sprint Cup Series race that was won by Jimmie Johnson on Sunday. American Ethanol partner Growth Energy is a supporter of the Armed Forces Foundation. Through the Fueling Our Forces program, Growth Energy raises more than $100,000 annually for the organization and programs that go to support this generation of servicemen and women.

“Support of our service members is a key goal for American Ethanol,” said Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis. “We recognize their sacrifice and work, and we will continue to expanded ethanol choices for consumers, which will take more of our troops out of harm’s way in the future.”

Aventine Re-Opens Ethanol Plant Using Sugar

aventine1A Nebraska ethanol plant is back up and running after being idled for two years. But this article from the Lincoln Journal Star says the biggest surprise is the fact that Aventine Renewable Energy Inc. in Aurora is making the green fuel from sugar, not the usual corn feedstock.

The company is using sugar because it can. It’s even simpler to make ethanol from sugar than it is from corn, but it’s only temporary, according to Aventine. The federal government makes surplus sugar available to ethanol producers to use as feedstock.

Aventine’s operations at the Aurora West plant have been complicated and delayed by the company’s legal disputes with the Aurora Cooperative over their land deal, rail access and other agreements. The ethanol producer, based in Pekin, Ill., filed for bankruptcy five years ago, and that delayed the plant’s construction, causing conflict with the co-op.

The co-op also had an agreement to supply the plant with feedstock. Both sides contend the other breached that agreement. The plant has a capacity to produce 113 million gallons per year.

Nebraska Ethanol Board officials believe this might be one of the first times something other than corn has been used to make ethanol in the state. The re-opening also brings consistent production back to this Aventine plant, and it opens the door to another nearby, smaller Aventine ethanol plant to re-opening after being idled for the past two years.