Two Presidents Talk Ethanol Again

Bush-Silva Ethanol and trade were the two main topics discussed by the presidents of Brazil and the United States meeting over the weekend at Camp David.

“We talked about biofuels,” said President Bush in a joint press conference with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Saturday. “And I told the President that not only are we committed domestically to promoting a alternative fuel industry, we’re committed to working with Brazil. And that’s why we support the President’s initiative on the international biofuels forum, as well as the initiative that we talked about in Sao Paulo, and signed a memorandum of understanding, and that is to help nations in our own hemisphere realize the benefits of ethanol and biodiesel.”

President Silva’s statement heavily emphasized biofuels. “It’s important to say to President Bush, here in Camp David, in his residence, that, for me, the biofuel issue is almost like an obsession,” he said through an interpreter. “And now we are facing a period, a moment, where this new energy matrix can make the world more independent.”

While Silva said the meeting with Bush was “most productive” he had nothing new to take back with him to Brazil, an indication that President Bush remained firm in his commitment to retain the current tariff on imports of ethanol from Brazil, which is in place to offset the blenders credit for ethanol produced in the United States.

Read the presidents’ press conference transcript from the White House website

More US-Brazil Ethanol Talks

Bush-Lula Ethanol will be on the table when Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva meets with President Bush in Washington this weekend.

The meeting will be a follow-up to Bush’s visit to Brazil earlier this month and, according to an Associated Press report, Silva “hopes to advance a biofuels alliance and help break a deadlock in world trade talks.”

Silva on Friday reiterated Brazil’s position that the alternative fuel will not gain traction worldwide unless the United States drops a 53-cent per gallon tariff on Brazilian ethanol.

The alliance’s “goal is to ensure conditions for ethanol, and later biodiesel, to become globally marketed commodities,” Silva said in a column published in The Washington Post. “This will only be achieved if trade in biofuels is not hindered by protectionist policies.”

US BioEnergy Posts Earnings

US BioenergyUS BioEnergy has announced net income of $20.4 million, or $0.41 per share, for the year ended December 31, 2006 and net income of $21.0 million, or $0.36 per share, for the fourth quarter.

“This has been a year of significant progress and achievement for our company,” said Gordon Ommen, US BioEnergy president and CEO. “In addition to a successful initial public offering in December, we grew our ethanol production capacity to 250 million gallons by year end. We achieved this rapid growth through well planned acquisitions, greenfield construction and facility expansion. By the end of 2008, we expect to have seven plants operational with ethanol production capacity of approximately 600 million gallons per year.”

The company currently owns and operates three ethanol plants, which have combined production capacity of 250 million gallons per year, has five more under construction and another three sites under evaluation.

Broin Changes Name

The nation’s largest dry mill ethanol producer has changed its name from Broin to Poet ™.

According to a company release, “the change was made by the company in order to strengthen its communications, unify its several companies under one brand and better reflect its current position.”

Poet Poet President and CEO Jeff Broin said they wanted a name that would reflect the unique nature of their organization. “We wanted a name that would represent, rather than describe, who we are and what we do,” Broin said. “As a poet takes everyday words and turns them into something valuable and beautiful; we use creativity that comes from common sense to leave things better than we found them.”

In announcing the change, he said, “This company is not about one person. This company is about an unbelievable team of dedicated professionals who work together to change the world we live in. Although I plan to be part of this organization for a long time, I don’t feel that my last name is the best name to take this company through the next generation.”

The Poet name will now be on all formally-Broin companies, including:
Broin Companies, which will now be simply Poet; Broin Management, which will be Poet Plant Management; Broin & Associates, now Poet Design & Construction; Ethanol Products, now Poet Ethanol Products; Dakota Gold Marketing, which will now be called Poet Nutrition and Broin Enterprises, which will be Poet Research Center.

Black and White and Green All Over

Police car Ford Motor Company‘s new 2008 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor will be offered as a flexible fuel vehicle allowing it to operate on E85 ethanol or gasoline.

According to a news release, Ford is the largest producer and seller of police vehicles with more than 80 percent of the market. As police and government agencies move toward becoming more environmentally conscious and seek alternative fuel vehicles for their fleets, Ford is in the position to fill this need for its police customers.
“The ability to offer an E85 capable vehicle to our police customers is significant,” said Gerald Koss, Ford’s fleet marketing manager. “Many municipalities and states across the country are encouraging, if not mandating, that their police and other government fleet vehicles begin using alternative sources of fuel. We can now help our police fleet customers achieve this goal.”

O2 Diesel Powers SD School Buses

O2DThe historic communities of Lead and Deadwood, South Dakota will be the latest to experience a promising new age in environmentally friendly school transportation. All buses in the Lead-Deadwood School District will be powered by O2Diesel(TM), a fuel blend of ethanol-diesel.

City HomeAccording to an O2 Diesel press release, “The essence of why we are using O2Diesel is we believe it is a much cleaner fuel, and the health and safety benefits for our children is our number one priority,” said Dr. Dan Leikvold, Superintendent, Lead-Deadwood School District. “In addition, the Lead-Deadwood School District wants to do its part to investigate and utilize alternative fuels.”

The introduction of this cost-effective, revolutionary fuel blend in school buses is part of the CityHome Program(TM), a national air quality initiative that enables municipal transit systems and school bus operators to make the switch to O2Diesel at no additional cost. The costs of conversion are shared by the corporate sponsors.

In partnership with the National Arbor Day Foundation, a tree will be planted in the Black Hills National Forest for each child who rides these school buses. Additional sponsors include KL Process Design Group and the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council.

Energy Department Funding

DOEThe U.S. Department of Energy has announced just over $23 million in federal funding for five projects focused on developing highly efficient fermentative organisms to convert biomass material to ethanol.

According to a DOE press release, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alexander Karsner said the projects will study ways to produce cellulosic ethanol cost-effectively. “Ultimately, success in producing cost-competitive cellulosic ethanol could be a key to breaking our nation’s addiction to oil. By relying on American farmers and ingenuity for fuel, we will enhance our nation’s energy and economic security.”

The companies to receive funding for fermentation projects are:

* Cargill Incorporated – $4.4 million
* Celunol Corporation – $5.3 million
* E.I. Dupont de Nemours & Company – $3.7 million
* Mascoma Corporation – $4.9 million
* Purdue University – $5.0 million

History Made at Homestead

e-podcastThe IndyCar Series made history in Homestead under the lights on March 24, filling up and feeling good on 100 percent fuel grade ethanol for the first time.

This edition of “Fill up, Feel Good” includes comments from Renewable Fuels Association president Bob Dinneen, Indiana Senator Dick Lugar, IndyCar drivers Jeff Simmons, Scott Sharp and Dan Wheldon, RLR owner Bobby Rahal, ethanol industry members Dan Schwartzkopf, Dave Vander Griend, Troy Prescott and Jack Alderman and the IRL’s Tony George.

The “Fill up, Feel Good” podcast is available to download by subscription (see our sidebar link) or you can listen to it by clicking here. (6:45 MP3 File)

The Fill Up, Feel Good theme music is “Tribute to Joe Satriani” by Alan Renkl, thanks to the Podsafe Music Network.

“Fill up, Feel Good” is sponsored by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council.

E Energy Adams Webcam Live

E Energy Adams WebcamIf you’ve ever wanted to watch an ethanol plant being built, well now you can.

E Energy Adams is letting you get a very up front and personal view of their plant construction.

They’ve got a very cool live webcam set up which allows you to control it (pan, tilt, zoom, etc.). This is a still photo from earlier today. You have two choices of what kind of stream you want to view, Motion Jpeg or Mpeg-4. You can watch as the crews are hard at work. If more than one person is on at the same time it puts you into a queue so you wait your turn. Then you’ve got about a minute before your time’s up.

E Energy Adams WebcamHere’s a photo from just a few minutes ago. It doesn’t look quite as busy at night.

The mission statement for E Energy Adams says, “Our goal is to use locally grown grains to produce an environmentally friendly fuel which will add value to the local economy while generating profits for both our investor owners and area grain and livestock producers.”

Listen to an interview with E Energy Adams chairman Jack Alderman who was at the Homestead IndyCar race this past weekend. Listen to MP3 File Jack Alderman (2:30 min MP3)

New Team Ethanol Sponsors

The Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC) has announced additional sponsors for the No. 17 Rahal Letterman Racing Team Ethanol 2007 IndyCar® Series season.

Team EthanolCompanies who have joined forces with the founding partners Fagen Inc., ICM Inc., and Broin Companies as major sponsors include:

Endress+Hauser Inc.
A&B Process System
E & I Specialists, Inc.
Victory Energy
Flottweg Separation Technology
US Water Services Pioneer

Additional sponsors are WINBO Tank; McCormick Construction; Alfa Laval; Tranter; Fremont Industries, Davenport Dryer; NY Blower; Monsanto; Eclipse Burner; Kenny Pipe & Supply; KL Process; Advance Tank; Brown Tank LLC; Invensys Foxboro Co.; J & D Construction; and Laidig Systems, Inc.

Broin Adds Another Plant in Ohio

Broin Companies The Broin Companies has announced a third ethanol production facility in the state of Ohio and their 31st construction project overall.

Marion Ethanol, a 65 million gallon per year facility, will be located near the northern Ohio community of Marion in Marion County.

Mike Wagner, executive director of the Buckeye Renewable Fuels Association and past executive director of the Ohio Corn Growers, said, “Our number one goal for several years has been to develop an ethanol industry in the state and we welcome the Broin Companies, one of the best in the industry, to Marion, Ohio.”

Broin expects to start construction in the next 30-60 days with a construction time period of 12-14 months.

Smells Like Popcorn

Indy CarsABC News has a nice feature on ethanol in the IndyCar Series that features comments from drivers, ethanol industry representatives, race car engineers and President Bush.

If you go to an IndyCar racing track this season, you might notice there’s something different in the air: Instead of fuel, it smells a little like popcorn.

“It’s a bit sweet, I think — more of an organic smell,” explains race car driver Jeff Simmons, the driver of Rahal Letterman Racing’s Team Ethanol Honda/Dallara in the IndyCar series.

Fueling Station Interview With Khosla

Fueling Station Our friends at “The Fueling Station” in St. Petersburg, Florida alerted us to an in-depth interview they did with biofuels venture capitalist Vinod Khosla.

I did a post about this blog when they first got started in August of last year. Still love the name and the logo. The authors, St. Petersburg Times reporters David Adams and Craig Pittman, do a great job reporting on biofuels in the Sunshine State. That’s where they interviewed Khosla – he was in Orlando for the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) conference.

In case you have never heard of Mr. Khosla, his company Khosla Ventures is investing heavily in new energy technology companies in the United States, as well as places like Brazil and India. An Indian-American, he was one of the co-founders of Sun Microsystems and has gone on to make a name for himself as a promoter of ethanol investments.

Remembering Paul Dana

It was one year ago today that one of ethanol’s strongest advocates died tragically doing what he loved best – racing. It is a significant tribute to Paul Dana that he accomplished a major goal in his life, getting the IndyCar Series to switch to ethanol, before he passed away.

This past weekend’s inaugural race on 100 percent fuel grade ethanol at Homestead-Miami Speedway was bittersweet to many on Team Ethanol who worked with Paul and helped him to make his dream come true. “Early on Paul Dana saw the potential that ethanol and renewable fuels could bring to racing, the greening of the racing platform,” said Ethanol Promotion and Information Council Executive Director Tom Slunecka. “Paul worked tirelessly to help bring the ethanol industry together with the racing industry.”

In Memory of Paul Dana

EPIC board member Greg Krissek of ICM met Paul early in his quest to move ethanol into the IRL. “His vision helped us start this process and that vision is being carried on by many others today,” said Krissek. “It was a great start and we are carrying that legacy forward for him.”

Paul Dana was a native of St. Louis and in an interview Domestic Fuel did with him in January 2006 he said, “I’ve always been a little bit of a weird duck in racing in that I have been an environmentalist and thought about ways that we could take our leadership position as drivers and put that at the disposal of something useful.”

“Racing exists as an industry to sell cars and tires and motor oil and here we’ve got this great American success story in ethanol,” Dana continued. “The ag industry has developed a very viable fuel industry as a secondary product and with the IndyCar Series being based in the midwest, its a natural fit.”

In his very last interview, done with Domestic Fuel the night before last year’s Homestead race, Dana was happy and enthusiastic about the future. “It’s a whole new world and a bright new day and I can’t wait for the season to start tomorrow,” he said.

Besides the legacy Paul left behind with IndyCar Series moving to 100 percent ethanol, he left an even more important legacy to his wife and family – his son, Conor Paul, who was born in December, just a few weeks shy of nine months after Paul’s death. Paul’s wife, Tonya Bergeson-Dana, bravely endured a few media interviews over the weekend marking the anniversary, one of which aired during the Homestead race broadcast on ESPN2. One story in particular by the Miami Herald is well worth reading.

We miss you, Paul.

E is Indy

I am Indy The Indy Car Series is very proud of its new alliance with the ethanol industry.

If you check out the official IndyCar website, you’ll find some great information about how the IndyCar Series is “going green” with ethanol.

There’s great video from last week’s press conference on Capitol Hill honoring the IndyCar Series switch from methanol to ethanol, as well as a nice piece on what the drivers have to say about the switch.

Danica Patrick says, “I think it’s a good accomplishment and something we should say out loud, we’re all green in the fuel department.”

Tony Kaanan sums it up by saying, “If we can run them in our race cars at 240 miles an hour, I think they can run in their street cars.”