Next Wave of Feed Ingredients Hits the Market Page 22
Amended Tax Credit Incentivizes CO2 Storage Page 36
Chemical Companies See Opportunity in Ethanol Page 50
FEW: At The Show Page 56
AND MORE www.ethanolproducer.com
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VOLUME 24 ISSUE 5
EDITORIAL President & Editor in Chief Tom Bryan email@example.com Managing Editor Lisa Gibson firstname.lastname@example.org Associate Editor Tim Albrecht email@example.com Copy Editor Jan Tellmann firstname.lastname@example.org
ART Art Director Jaci Satterlund email@example.com Graphic Designer Raquel Boushee firstname.lastname@example.org
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EDITORIAL BOARD Ringneck Energy Walter Wendland Little Sioux Corn Processors Steve Roe Commonwealth Agri-Energy Mick Henderson Pinal Energy Keith Kor Aemetis Advanced Fuels Eric McAfee Western Plains Energy Derek Peine Corn Plus Mike Jerke
2018 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo Agra Industries Apache Stainless Equipment Corporation BetaTec Hop Products Cloud/Sellers Cleaning Systems D3MAX LLC DSM Bio-based Products & Services DuPont Industrial Biosciences EISENMANN Corportation Ethanol Producer Magazine Webinar Series Fagen Inc. Fluid Quip Process Technologies, LLC Growth Energy IBT Industrial Solutions ICM, Inc. Interra Global Corporation J.C. Ramsdell Enviro Services, Inc. Lallemand Biofuels & Distilled Spirits McC Inc. Mist Chemical & Supply Company Mole Master Services Corporation Nalco Water Novozymes On Sight Video Surveillance Phibro Ethanol Performance Group POET LLC Rayeman Elements, Inc. Renewable Process Solutions R.S. Stover Solenis LLC Sukup Manufacturing Co. Syngenta: Enogen Thompson Dryers Trinity Rail Victory Energy Operations, LLC Westmor Industries, LLC Whitefox Technologies Limited
48 16 39 49 53 34-35 55 68 52 9 38 47 2 26 29 28 17 15 18 19 30 31 13 45 21 67 20 46 27 3 41 5 44 65 24-25 7 11
Customer Service Please call 1-866-746-8385 or email us at email@example.com. Subscriptions to Ethanol Producer Magazine are free of charge to everyone with the exception of a shipping and handling charge for anyone outside the United States. To subscribe, visit www.EthanolProducer.com or you can send your mailing address and payment (checks made out to BBI International) to: Ethanol Producer Magazine Subscriptions, 308 Second Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, ND 58203. You can also fax a subscription form to 701-746-5367. Back Issues, Reprints and Permissions Select back issues are available for $3.95 each, plus shipping. Article reprints are also available for a fee. For more information, contact us at 866-7468385 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Advertising Ethanol Producer Magazine provides a specific topic delivered to a highly targeted audience. We are committed to editorial excellence and high-quality print production. To find out more about Ethanol Producer Magazine advertising opportunities, please contact us at 866-746-8385 or email@example.com. Letters to the Editor We welcome letters to the editor. Send to Ethanol Producer Magazine Letters to the Editor, 308 2nd Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, ND 58203 or email to lgibson@ bbiinternational.com. Please include your name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity and/or space.
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Ironically, the latest breakthrough in the field of energy, is a field. While most innovation begins with the seed of an idea, the greatest advance in the making of ethanol starts with a seed. The first corn seed technology specifically developed to increase the efficiency of ethanol production, Enogen® corn lets you source alpha-amylase directly from local growers. Which means you can now enhance your ethanol production while also investing in the local community. Enogen is making waves in the field of energy.
©2018 Syngenta. Enogen ®, the Alliance Frame, the Purpose Icon, and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. MW 1ENG800X-AG16 2/18
MAY 2018 VOLUME 24
Hatching Higher Protein
Plants are adopting technologies for improved feed ingredients By Susanne Retka Schill
Crafting Coproducts By Tom Bryan
Ethanol Is Embraced Beyond US Borders By Emily Skor
FLUID QUIP PROCESS TECHNOLOGIES LLC
45Q paves the way to sell carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery By Lisa Gibson
Europe’s Renewables ‘Multipliers’ Only Subtract By Emmanuel Desplechin
Stay Vigilant By Brian Jennings
Enhanced Oilfield Opportunities
The Defense is in the Details Mitigation strategies reduce risk of flames, explosions By Tim Albrecht
Partners in Production
Technologies under development would colocate with ethanol plants By Tim Albrecht
ON THE COVER
Fluid Quip Process Technologies LLC’s new high-protein feed ingredient is produced through the company's Maximized Stillage Coproduct technology. The system is installed at three U.S. ethanol plants and under construction at a third.
FEW Technical Sessions Planner
PHOTO: JACOB SAILING, RED STOP PRODUCTIONS LLC
Ethanol Producer Magazine: (USPS No. 023-974) May 2018, Vol. 24, Issue 5. Ethanol Producer Magazine is published monthly by BBI International. Principal Office: 308 Second Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, ND 58203. Periodicals Postage Paid at Grand Forks, North Dakota and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Ethanol Producer Magazine/Subscriptions, 308 Second Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, North Dakota 58203.
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Crafting Coproducts The ethanol industry’s contribution to the world’s animal feed market is massive, adaptive and largely underappreciated by our critics.
President & Editor in Chief firstname.lastname@example.org
Roughly one-third of every bushel of corn processed by an ethanol plant becomes feed for cattle, swine and poultry. In fact, our industry produced 41 million metric tons of animal feed last year, with a fourth of it exported to more than 50 countries. So, contrary to the claims of critics, corn ethanol is growing the world’s food supply, not reducing it. And we’re contributing in more ways than ever. In this month’s cover story, “Hatching Higher Protein,” on page 22, we look at the high-protein feed technologies being adopted by U.S. ethanol producers. The platforms vary, but each strives for higher-value coproducts pivoting around protein-rich feed. These products are encouraging because their amino acid profiles, with high digestible energy, are ideal for monogastrics—swine, poultry and fish—a market we’d like more of. While our industry’s feed coproducts are underrated, its carbon dioxide sales are practically unnoticed. That’s okay because most of America’s 200-plus ethanol plants are not well-positioned to capture and sell CO2 for commercial use. But as we discover in “Enhanced Oilfield Opportunities,” on page 36, this could soon change. A revision of federal tax law may spur some ethanol producers to evaluate CO2 for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Indeed, the retooled tax credit is catching our industry’s attention, and the idea of an interconnected pipeline that would stream together CO2 from multiple Midwest ethanol plants is compelling, if only conceptual. This issue of EPM is all about coproducts, so it makes sense that we’re addressing at least one potential hazard of producing them—dryer fires. Although our industry reports just one or two major distillers grains dryer fires a year, the likelihood of a dryer experiencing a minor fire during its lifespan is high. As we learn in “The Defense is in the Details,” on page 42, new technology is helping reduce this risk, but making sure ethanol plant employees understand the root causes of these fires remains critical to preventing them. The production of biobased chemicals has for years been an alluring prospect for ethanol producers. Alcohol is a great molecule for chemistry, after all, and America’s ethanol plants are well suited to host such additions. In “Partners In Production,” on page 50, we learn how one ethanol plant in Nebraska is doing just that with plans to produce ethyl acetate and hydrogen. We also drop in on ventures to produce furoate, isobutanol and more. Finally, check out our “FEW Technical Sessions Planner,” on page 56. This year’s International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo will take place in Omaha, Nebraska, June 11 to 13. We’re expecting a record number of producers at this year’s show. See you there.
FOR INDUSTRY NEWS: WWW.ETHANOLPRODUCER.COM OR FOLLOW US: 8 | ETHANOL PRODUCER MAGAZINE | MAY 2018
Live + OnDemand
2018 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo June 11-13, 2018 CenturyLink Center Omaha Omaha, Nebraska
From its inception, the mission of this event has remained constant: The FEW delivers timely presentations with a strong focus on commercialscale ethanol productionâ€”from quality control and yield maximization to regulatory compliance and fiscal management. The FEW is the ethanol industryâ€™s premier forum for unveiling new technologies and research findings. The program covers cellulosic ethanol while remaining committed to optimizing existing grain ethanol operations. 866-746-8385 | www.fuelethanolworkshop.com
2018 Advanced Biofuels Conference June 11-13, 2018 CenturyLink Center Omaha Omaha, Nebraska Colocated with the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop, the Advanced Biofuels Conference is tailored for industry professionals engaged in producing, developing and deploying advanced biofuels, including cellulosic ethanol, biobased platform chemicals, polymers and other renewable molecules that have the potential to meet or exceed the performance of petroleum-derived products. 866-746-8385 www.advancedbiofuelsconference.com
ACE Conference August 15-17, 2018 Renaissance Depot Hotel Minneapolis, Minnesota
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The ACE Conference is a must-attend event for industry leadership. Relaying timely updates on public policy, market development, board of director training, and much more, this event combines the detail of high-level training course with all the fun of a family reunion. 605-334-3381 www.ethanol.org/events/conference
Please check our website for upcoming webinars
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ETHANOLPRODUCER.COM | 9
Ethanol is Embraced Beyond US Borders By Emily Skor
The international landscape for ethanol continues to be a source of great opportunity for Growth Energy and its members. American ethanol is
powering drivers across the U.S. with high-octane biofuel that keeps our air clean and our engines running smoothly. And now, more than ever, the benefits of ethanol are embraced beyond our borders and throughout the global marketplace. When considered alongside the strides that have been made in growing demand for higher ethanol blends domestically, the future is undoubtedly bright for ethanol. Last year alone, our industry exported 1.37 billion gallons—a new record for global exports—of American ethanol to countries all over the world, including Brazil, Canada and India. We are proud that Growth Energy members continue to lead global market development. Mark Marquis, CEO of Marquis Energy and Growth Energy board member, chairs the Growth Energy Global Markets Committee that collaborates with both industry stakeholders and government officials to ensure a clear path forward on international growth for biofuels. Growth Energy participated in 19 foreign trade missions, co-sponsored the first-ever Ethanol Summit of the Americas, attended the United Nations Climate Conference, and provided regulatory comments and testimony in a handful of countries. These efforts are part of an ongoing process to both educate foreign governments on the benefits of ethanol and to grow demand for the fuel in those markets. Our work alongside the greater biofuels industry has paid off with a solid framework upon which we can grow ethanol demand abroad. Growth Energy has been closely engaged with Mexico in the development of the country’s new fuel standards, and the Mexican government recently approved E10 for most of the country, a sure sign for optimism. We continue to work with Mexican officials to see that E10 approval is extended to its largest cities as well. Meanwhile, our Canadian neighbors to the north are in the process of updating their fuel regulations, and we are encouraging them to follow the lead of Ontario and allow higher blends like E15 and E85 to lead the way toward their climate goals. And, Growth Energy and industry stakeholders have
10 | ETHANOL PRODUCER MAGAZINE | MAY 2018
maintained an open dialogue with the Brazilian government and local ethanol industry representatives to make headway on removing the country’s tariff rate quota (TRQ) that places tariffs on imported ethanol from the U.S. beyond a 600-million-liter per year threshold. Even with the TRQ in place, Brazil continues to be the strongest export market. On the other side of the globe, Asia represents substantial potential for increased ethanol exports. To that end, Growth Energy and other industry leaders will host a new initiative—the Ethanol Summit of the Asia-Pacific—to further discuss how to make more of an impact in the burgeoning Asian ethanol market. Though the Ethanol Summit of the Asia-Pacific is a new program, the groundwork for market expansion has already been laid in Asia. Growth Energy has focused on working with China, India and Japan—high growth markets with large populations and a desire for cleaner fuel—to consider ways to integrate ethanol into their respective fuel supplies. China is currently considering a move to E10 by 2020 that would be an enormous boost to global ethanol demand. India is already one of our largest export markets for industrial ethanol with even more room to grow fuel ethanol demand, and Japan is in the process of implementing new energy policies that may open its market to U.S. ethanol in the form of Ethyl tert-butyl ether (ETBE) that it commonly uses. And, while the Philippines doesn’t have the growth potential of the aforementioned Asian nations, it remains a strong, solid export market. Growth Energy is at the forefront of growing ethanol demand for its members and the U.S. biofuels industry at large. Exploring and cultivating growth opportunities around the world is a critical part of that mission. Our emphasis on industry coordination, carefully considered policies, and international cooperation has set the stage for the continued success of ethanol abroad. Ethanol is a staple of the U.S. transportation fuel supply, and we look forward to working with our members and the rest of the ethanol industry to make that the case around the world as well. Author: Emily Skor CEO, Growth Energy 202.545.4000 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Together, improving American Ethanol.
Europe’s Renewables ‘Multipliers’ Only Subtract By Emmanuel Desplechin
European lawmakers are finalizing the EU’s renewable energy policy for 2020 through 2030.
Negotiators are trying to reconcile different ambitions for renewable energy in transport from the European Commission, Parliament and EU member countries. All sides claim to want to boost renewables, but it’s necessary to look behind the numbers in each of their scenarios to see how they fall short of what Europe needs to meet its climate goals. They rely on “multipliers” that artificially inflate the contribution of certain renewables, while doing nothing to help the climate. Double counting electrified rail transport or certain waste-based fuels are good examples. These “virtual renewables” allow countries to create the illusion of progress. But make no mistake: In reality, they leave a gap that will be filled only by fossil energy. This is important because each of the current proposals under consideration could in some way limit the contribution of sustainable biofuels like European ethanol to the EU’s energy mix. The original proposal from the European Commission did not even set a target for renewable energy in transport, and would sharply reduce the contribution of crop-based biofuels to a cap of just 3.8 percent in 2030. The changes proposed by the other EU institutions are a mixed bag of improvements and step backward from the ultimate goal of meeting Europe’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG). The European Parliament voted in January on its position, which calls for a 12 percent renewables target for transport and caps cropbased biofuels in a range from the consumption level in 2017 (which no one even knows) up to 7 percent. That’s already problematic because it will reward those countries that are failing to meet their existing targets by allowing them to keep falling short. But it would also allow countries to count certain renewables multiple times, as a way to make it look as if they are closer to their targets. For example, renewable energy for electric vehicles would count 2.5 times the actual energy used, aviation at 2.5 times and maritime renewable energy 1.2 times. And the general approach agreed upon by EU member states, while setting a higher ambition for renewables in transport at 14 percent, is even more generous with multipliers. It would allow five times counting
12 | ETHANOL PRODUCER MAGAZINE | MAY 2018
for electric vehicles, double counting for renewable electricity for rail, and double counting for some alleged waste-based fuels in a way that would encourage importing certain fuels instead of using domestically produced biofuels like European ethanol. Again, remember: These multipliers are not real renewables, they are “virtual” renewables. Counting them toward a national target only opens the door to using more fossil energy. That certainly does not qualify as a high ambition for renewables. Europe needs a Renewable Energy Directive II that delivers a real target for renewables in transport, not a policy that uses math tricks to show inflated results. Here’s what that should look like: First, the EU should have a firm 12 to 15 percent target for renewables in transport, without multipliers, to which crop-based biofuels can contribute. It should follow a trajectory that starts no lower than the previously agreed 2020 baseline for renewables and not allow backtracking, and it should allow all sustainable biofuels to contribute. Second, the EU must ensure a stable policy framework for existing and future biofuels investments by keeping a 7 percent crop cap. Any lowering of the cap reduction should not penalize biofuels with high GHG savings. Third, the EU needs to promote advanced biofuels in synergy with crop-based biofuels with a firm and ambitious renewable energy share target that includes a binding subtarget for advanced biofuels, without multipliers. And finally, the revamped RED II should strengthen sustainability criteria. There should be a ceiling on some waste-based biofuels and no double counting allowed that would encourage importation of raw materials that might be incorrectly declared as wastes and residues, and further reduce the share of domestic sustainable biofuels. Similarly, the contribution of transport fuels from palm oil and its derivatives to the renewable energy share target should be limited until global peatland conversion is halted. The result would be significantly closer to what the EU needs and what everyone should want—a renewable energy policy that really promotes renewable energy. Author: Emmanuel Desplechin Secretary General ePURE, the European Renewable Ethanol Association email@example.com
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Stay Vigilant By Brian Jennings
As Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, addressed the 70 members of the American Coalition for Ethanol during our recent Washington, D.C., fly-in, her message was clear: “Stay vigilant.” Ernst would know. She’s been on the front lines for us as recent debates over the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard have consumed leaders in the White House and Congress. ACE launched its fly-in 10 years ago, shortly after Congress enacted the RFS, because we understood refiners would fight to derail it from disrupting their profitable status quo. Over the past 10 years, nearly 300 unique grassroots individuals from 28 states have attended ACE fly-ins, participating in hundreds of Capitol Hill meetings and speaking with officials from the White House, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. What sets ACE advocacy apart is our grassroots members are the center of attention. We position the farmers, investors, plant employees, retailers selling E15 and higher blends, students and industry venders as the spokespeople for ethanol in the nation’s capital. Why? Because their authenticity makes a positive difference as we fight to protect the RFS and pursue new policies to increase ethanol use. The timing of this year’s fly-in was fortuitous, amid talk of “winwin” deals for refiners and biofuel producers and a snowstorm that put the citizens of D.C. on edge. Our goal was to reframe the discussion away from a debate over renewable identification number (RIN) prices by putting a human face on the importance of increasing ethanol use. We were able to confront EPA over the importance of Reid vapor pressure (RVP) relief for E15 and higher blends and how increasing the minimum octane of fuel can enable a pathway for consumers and automakers to benefit from blends in the neighborhood of 25 to 30 percent ethanol. Our members faced many opponents in Congress and educated them on the benefits of ethanol. Just as important, our members thanked many supporters in Congress for remaining vigilant. We also helped explain for decision-makers how refiners, already floating on a sea of cash, have been racking up the wins lately. From approving oil pipelines to forgiving refiners for RIN obligations to
14 | ETHANOL PRODUCER MAGAZINE | MAY 2018
granting small refiners exemptions from the RFS, how many more wins does Washington need to hand refiners before EPA or Congress finally lifts the outdated RVP restriction on year-round E15 sales? We know the best way to spur market-based demand for farmers and improve the rural economy is through increasing ethanol use. Now more than ever, rural America needs a boost. Farmers are facing their fifth year of corn prices at or below the cost of production. USDA forecasts 2018 net farm income will sink to its lowest level in 12 years. According to the Federal Reserve, farm debt is approaching its highest level since the 1980s farm crisis. Now is not the time to mess with the RFS. Our leaders need to be focusing on how to increase demand for corn and renewable fuels. To that end, during a meeting with EPA, the topic of high-octane fuel was front and center. This is timely, given EPA is planning to revise the greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for 2022 to 2025 model year automobiles. American-made ethanol is the lowest-cost source of octane on the planet. What’s more, research by the U.S. Department of Energy to find the most promising fuel to help automakers comply with future GHG standards shows ethanol ranks the highest. We were also encouraged EPA seems open to our suggestion that it should adopt the U.S. Department of Energy “GREET” model to assess the life-cycle analysis of corn ethanol. State regulators and foreign countries developing low-carbon fuel programs rely upon EPA’s outdated (2010) analysis, which unfortunately limits the GHG reduction benefits of U.S. corn ethanol. This harms the competitiveness of U.S. ethanol in global trade. We urged EPA to adopt the latest GREET analysis, which shows corn ethanol reduces GHG emissions by nearly 50 percent compared to gasoline. There is no shortage of priority issues for our industry in the nation’s capital and I am enormously grateful for the dedicated and passionate grassroots ethanol advocates who joined the ACE fly-in to make their voices heard. Thank you for staying vigilant. Author: Brian Jennings Executive Vice President American Coalition for Ethanol 605.334.3381 firstname.lastname@example.org
Nutri-Plex Omni Delivers “Excellent Results” to Ethanol Fermentation Yields Lallemand Biofuels & Distilled Spirits Nutri-Plex Omni™ yeast nutrient is providing producers and early adopters with outstanding yield returns. When used in ethanol production facilities, Nutri-Plex Omni has been shown to: • Improve cell mass in propagation • Reduce glycerol production • Improve rate of kinetics early in fermentation
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People, Partnerships & Projects
Corn Oil One owner receives Cultivation Corridor Iowa Biotech Leadership Award Robert G. Riley Jr., chairman of the board and founder of Feed Energy, CEO of the Riley Resource Group and owner of Corn Oil One, is the recipient of the 2018 Cultivation Corridor Iowa Biotechnology Association Leadership Award. The award recognizes an individual who in the past year has demonstrated leadership, innovation, advocacy and commitment to advancing Iowaâ€™s biotechnology industry. A Des Moines native, Riley has worked for more than 40 years in the fats and oil processing industry in many capacities. He has been involved in domestic and international sales and marketing, laboratory supervision, research and development, as well as executive and corporate management. Of significance is Rileyâ€™s work with Corn Oil One, a startup company bringing new technologies and products to market to add value to the biofuels, life sciences, oleo-chemicals and feed industries. Corn Oil One works with the ethanol industry to acquire corn oil for biodiesel production. â€œBob Riley is immersed in service to the biotechnology profession,â€? says Billi Hunt, executive director of the Cultivation Corridor. â€œHe has been an active leader for over four decades. Not only does he champion advancing technology and innovation throughout our state, his activity has moved on to the national and interna-
From left: Joe Hrdlicka, executive director of the Iowa Biotechnology Association; Bob Riley, chairman of the board and founder of Feed Energy, CEO of the Riley Resource Group and owner of Corn Oil One; Billi Hunt, executive director of the Cultivation Corridor; and Mike Naig, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. PHOTO: IOWA BIOTECHNOLOGY ASSOCIATION
tional level, giving Iowaâ€™s biotechnology industry a strong presence and recognition among a much larger audience.â€? In 2017, Riley was presented with the Nature Conservancy International Advocate of the Year award for his advocacy for conservation and natural resources. In the same year, he was inducted into the Iowa Poultry Association Hall of Fame. The Iowa Biotechnology Association and the Cultivation Corridor team up to present the Cultivation Corridor Iowa Biotech Leadership Award annually. The recipient is determined by a committee of individuals with roles in Iowaâ€™s biotechnology industry.
USGC welcomes IRFA as new member
Aemetis reaches permitting milestone
Aemetis Inc. says it has completed federal and state agency permitting and environmental approvals for construction of a 12 MMgy cellulosic ethanol plant in Riverbank, California. The company has received its Finding of No Significant Impact under the National Environmental Policy Act, and California Environmental Quality Act approval. “Receiving both CEQA and FONSI approvals are the key permitting milestones for federal loan programs at this scale, including the pending $125 million USDA 9003 loan guarantee,” says Eric McAfee, chairman and CEO of Aemetis. After signing a 55-year lease agreement at the Riverbank site in February 2017, Aemetis began the process of obtaining CEQA approval, a requirement for any construction activities in California. The project will convert waste orchard wood and nut shells into cellulosic ethanol. McAfee says construction on the $168 million project is slated to begin in the third quarter of this year, with startup in the third quarter of 2019.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association is a new member of the U.S. Grains Council. Formed in 2002 to represent the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry, the IRFA brings together Iowa ethanol and biodiesel producers to foster the development and growth of the state’s renewable fuels industry through education, promotion and infrastructure development. IRFA is committed to making Iowa a leader in producing renewable fuels and value-added coproducts. Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production. It has 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing more than 4 billion gallons annually, including 55 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol capacity. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 380 million gallons annually.
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ETHANOLPRODUCER.COM | 17
RFA’s custom ethanol-powered motorcycle to debut on American Chopper The Renewable Fuels Association has joined forces with Paul Jr. Designs to conceive of and fabricate a signature motorcycle that thrusts American-made fuel ethanol into the spotlight. After a six-year hiatus from reality TV, Paul Teutul Jr. and his team are returning to Discovery Channel with the premiere of American Chopper on May 27. RFA’s signature piece will be featured in the new series. E10 has been used in motorcycles as a safe and cost-saving alternative to straight gasoline for decades. Every motorcycle manufacturer endorses the use of E10, while some approve the use of even higher blends. “RFA has been fighting the misinformation campaign surrounding ethanol in motorcycles for years, and this is our next step,” says Robert White, vice president of industry relations for RFA. “Partner-
18 | ETHANOL PRODUCER MAGAZINE | MAY 2018
ing with Paul Jr. Designs allowed us to create a unique tool to further carry our message and ensure that the quality of the design and build is unmatchable. Combined with The RFA unveiled its signature motorcycle March 24 to a crowd at East Kansas the global brand Agri-Energy in Garnett. The design is not being unveiled publicly until it appears and broadcast on American Chopper this season. power of American Chopper, our message will be loud and clear. We are ex- us showcase our creative process when the tremely pleased to be working with Paul bike airs on our new series of American and his team at Paul Jr. Designs and look Chopper.” Discovery Channel crews filmed the forward to years of using this motorcycle.” Teutul says, “I’m extremely excited to unveiling of RFA’s signature build on work with a company like RFA that realiz- March 24 at East Kansas Agri-Energy, an es the importance and potential of renew- RFA member ethanol plant in Garnett, able fuels. I’m excited for people to watch Kansas. — RFA PHOTO: RFA
ICM, The Andersons team up on Kansas plant ICM Inc. and The Andersons Inc. are partnering to own and construct Element LLC, a 70 MMgy biorefinery located in Colwich, Kansas. The combination of ICMâ€™s next-generation technologies, the merchandising, risk management and logistics expertise of The Andersons, and the demonstrated operational excellence of both companies will result in the production of the highest-yielding, most profitable, and lowest-carbon ethanol gallon in the U.S. ethanol industry today. Utilizing ICMâ€™s advanced gasification technology, Element will use waste wood to drive a combined-heat-and-power generator that will offset more than 70 percent of the natural gas requirements and as much as 80 percent of the electrical demand. Element will include the latest versions of ICMâ€™s proprietary technologies for corn ethanol, Selective Milling Technology V2 and Fiber Separation Technology Next Gen. ICMâ€™s patented SMT V2 is a grind system designed to maximize ethanol and
distillers corn oil production. ICMâ€™s patented FST Next Gen enables higher corn ethanol production, increases distillers corn oil yield, and separates the fiber from the process. The separated fiber provides the feedstock for the patent-pending Generation 1.5 Grain Fiber to Cellulosic Ethanol Technology. The ICM Gen 1.5 cellulosic process will produce more than 5 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol annually. Element is expected to be the largest corn-fiber-to-ethanol plant in the world, and will also produce high-value animal feed products. Construction and manufacturing will begin in early 2018 with the first phase of startup scheduled for spring 2019. Element is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2019. â€œThe Andersons and ICM share a common vision,â€? says Chris Mitchell, ICM president. â€œWe strive to utilize our combined experience and expertise to build and grow businesses that operate in the top
percentile of their industries. By positioning Element in such a way to take advantage of what both companies do best, we expect that this company will be the leader in the ethanol industry well into the future.â€? Pat Bowe, CEO of The Andersons, says, â€œThis investment executes on several of our stated strategic priorities, such as operating highly efficient and profitable ethanol production facilities, increasing capacity under management, developing new technologies with higher-value coproducts and expanding our fee-based services offering.â€? â€” ICM Inc.
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Technologies for feed coproducts are evolving, pumping out high-protein ingredient alternatives. Experts assure the market is ripe. By Susanne Retka Schill
22 | Ethanol Producer Magazine | MAY 2018
PROTEIN WASH: Fluid Quip Process Technologies LLC's patented system produces a high-protein feed ingredient. It's installed at two U.S. plants and under construction at a third. These ﬁltration centrifuges wash the protein and oil oﬀ the ﬁber from whole stillage. PHOTO: FLUID QUIP PROCESS TECHNOLOGIES LLC
ETHANOLPRODUCER.COM | 23
The pile of distillers grains at nearly a dozen plants is about to get smaller. Production
of Fluid Quip Process Technologies LLC’s high-protein feed ingredient is expected to double this fall. The new feeds from ICM Inc.’s Fiber Separation Technology are being rolled out by first adopters after being introduced at last year’s International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo. And the final engineering package for Harvesting Technology LLC’s CoProMax commercial system is due out this spring. Each is taking a slightly different approach to producing high-protein feed, although all are taking what once was one pile of distillers grains and creating two piles—one of the new high-protein ingredient, the other of what’s left, with characteristics that will vary by process. Other
‘ Even if we converted every ethanol plant in the U.S., we wouldn’t have enough of this protein to fill demand.’ - Neal Jakel,
Vice President of Strategy and Technology Fluid Quip Process Technologies LLC
benefits include increased corn oil yields and a boost to throughput, partly because of cleaner backset.
The first question often asked is just how much of a market will there be for these new high-protein coproducts? The concern is the market will be quickly oversupplied once the first plants are up and running, and the promised premium price will disappear. Neal Jakel, vice president of
strategy and technology for FQPT, hears that a lot, but he cites reports that the global protein industry is 3 million metric tons short annually. “And that continues to grow,” he says. “Even if we converted every ethanol plant in the U.S., we wouldn’t have enough of this protein to fill demand.” He says potential customers have expressed interest, but only when there’s multiple plants producing sufficient supplies of the same product.
FIBER PLUS: Adopters of ICMâ€™s Fiber Separation Technology are developing markets for fiber plus syrup (left), a new feed aimed at ruminants. On the right is FST Hi-Pro distillers, targeted at monogastric species, including poultry and fish. PHOTO: ICM INC.
POINT OF CLARIFICATION: (Left) Clarifier centrifuges in Fluid Quip Process Technologies' system concentrate protein for dewatering and drying. PHOTO: FLUID QUIP PROCESS TECHNOLOGIES LLC
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INDUSTRY SOLUTIONS THAT GROW YOUR BOTTOM LINE. x3XQFKLQJ&DSDELOLWLHVXSWRw%HOW:LGWK 3 KL & ELO ELOL OL L w w % O :LG :LLG K x(OHYDWRU%HOWLQJ%XFNHWV $FFHVVRULHV x%HDULQJV5HGXFHUV0RWRUV 9%HOWV x'UDJ&RQYH\RUV &RPSRQHQWV x*UDLQ9DF 3URGXFW+RVH x6FUHZ&RQYH\RUV 3DUWV x3XOOH\V/DJJLQJ ,GOHUV x&KXWH/LQLQJ0DWHULDOV x&RQYH\RU%HOWLQJ
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CALL (913) 671-2980 â€˘ IBTINC.COM/ETHANOL 26 | ETHANOL PRODUCER MAGAZINE | MAY 2018
Developing a new feed product is a lengthy and expensive process, Jakel says. If the feed doesnâ€™t have an official ingredient definitionâ€”which he says the new high-protein coproduct has under the existing grain distillers dried yeast definitionâ€”thereâ€™s a minimum 18-month process to get approval. Then, there needs to be sufficient supplies of commercially produced product for feeding studies on the targeted species. To date, the protein product from FQPTâ€™s Maximized Stillage Coproduct process has been used in more than 20 feeding studies in species including shrimp, tilapia, trout, salmon, dogs, cats, dairy cows, pigs, chickens and turkeys. One important finding from those tests, Jakel says, is â€œthe animal trials with product from the two U.S. plants making it today had the exact same results. So we know the technology is repeatable.â€? The first MSC commercial-scale system was installed at Badger State Ethanol in Monroe, Wisconsin, in 2009, the second in Brazil in 2016, followed by United Wisconsin Grain Producers in the same year. Having
GENTLY DRIED: United Wisconsin Grain Producers built a new protein load-out building alongside its new ring dryer used to gently dry its protein ingredient produced with Fluid Quip Process Technologiesâ€™ MSC system. PHOTO: FLUID QUIP PROCESS TECHNOLOGIES LLC
substantial supplies from the first two U.S. plants was a plus for the third U.S. adopter, Flint Hills Resources Fairmont, where the system is currently under construction. Not only was Flint Hills able to run initial feed tests for evaluation before investing in the process, the company has run multiple studies on several target species and launched the product under the trademarked NexPro brand. â€œWeâ€™re looking at a product that is likely somewhere between soybean meal and corn gluten meal in terms of value, with a much higher nutrient content than your traditional ethanol feed coproducts,â€? says Scott Tilton, Flint Hills manager of nutrition services. Besides poultry, swine and dairy, the company is looking at aquaculture and has begun seeking import registrations in several countries of interest. FQPTâ€™s MSC is a back-end process that moves about a quarter of the distillers grains pile into the high-protein channel, Jakel explains. Targeting the specialty protein market means added capital costs for the ring dryer needed to preserve pro-
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ETHANOLPRODUCER.COM | 27
PRO INGREDIENTS: Flint Hills Resources Fairmont has branded Fluid Quip Process Technologiesâ€™ new coproduct as NexPro feed ingredient, with 50 percent protein derived from yeast and corn gluten. PHOTO: FLUID QUIP PROCESS TECHNOLOGIES LLC
ETHANOL DRYING SPECIALISTS
â€˜ Weâ€™re looking at a product that is likely somewhere between soybean meal and corn gluten meal in terms of value, with a much higher nutrient content than your traditional ethanol feed coproducts.â€™
- Scott Tilton
Manager of Nutrition Services Flint Hills Resources Fairmont
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tein quality and dedicated storage. The remaining distillers grains are not seeing discounts, Jakel adds. â€œWe still make an export-grade DDGS product. The DDG pricing hasnâ€™t changed post-MSC for the plants that have installed it.â€?
3$5.5,'*(,/_ 28 | ETHANOL PRODUCER MAGAZINE | MAY 2018
ICMâ€™s new feed product begins with its front-end Fiber Separation Technology that washes out fiber before fermentation, boosting throughput about 10 percent. After fermentation, the remaining nonfermentable solids become enriched
distillers grains, says Ryan Mass, ICM feed business manager. â€œOur minimum specification for FST Next Gen HiPro is 38 percent crude protein, as is. With that, we have concentrated digestible amino acids, resulting in more lysine, methionine and threonine in HiPro. Enriching for those things is part of capturing the linear value of the protein.â€? The higher protein and improved digestible amino acid profile is targeted at monogastric animals such as pigs, chickens and aquaculture, where high fiber levels have limited DDGS feeding.
YEAST CONCENTRATE: ICM will roll out yeast produced by its new TS4 system at the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo June 11 to 13 in Omaha. PHOTO: ICM INC.
The trademarked FST Next Gen fiber ultimately can become feedstock for cellulosic ethanol technology, which will be first demonstrated at commercial scale at The Andersons and ICMâ€™s plant, Element LLC. Construction of the 70 MMgy corn ethanol plant started this spring next to company headquarters in Colwich, Kansas. Element will demonstrate multiple ICM technologies, including its Gen 1.5 corn fiber-to-cellulosic ethanol technology. In the meantime, the seven plants that have installed FST are beginning to market the fiber-plus-syrup feed product introduced by ICM at last summerâ€™s FEW, along with the FST HiPro Next Gen. Those plants are IGPC Ethanol in Aylmer, Ontario; Redfield Energy in Redfield, South Dakota; ICM Biofuels in St. Joseph, Missouri; E Energy Adams in Adams, Nebraska; Kansas Ethanol in Lyons, Kansas; Corn Plus in Winnebago, Minnesota; and FS Bioenergia in Brazil. An eighth, using the improved FST Next Gen design, will come online this summer at Prairie Horizon Agri-Energy in Phillipsburg, Kansas. Initial reports are promising, Mass says. A University of Guelph, Ontario,
ETHANOLPRODUCER.COM | 29
feed trial on finishing swine compared conventional DDGS with the HiPro feed, finding an average digestibility increase of 45 percent more essential amino acids and 24 percent more energy. A University of Nebraska-Lincoln trial compared the fiberplus-syrup to conventional DDGS and wet cake in finishing beef cattle, Mass adds, with the new feed returning the greatest average daily gain. The energetic efficiency
was calculated to be 126 percent that of corn. ICM rolled out another new technology at last year’s FEW, trademarked TS4— for thin stillage solid separation. Like FST Next Gen, TS4 has two feed streams. The separated solids are a high value yeastbased feed product, Mass explains, while the liquids can be concentrated to become a molasses substitute. He will share the lat-
est data on the new feed products at the upcoming FEW, June 11 to 13 in Omaha, Nebraska. Further down the road, the TS4 liquids could become a substrate for promising new microbials. Mass reports several companies are developing microbes for specialty feeds and dozens of companies are exploring biological seed treatments. The Andersons is the first adopter of TS4 at one of its four plants.
Harvesting Technology is taking a third approach to producing differentiated coproducts. Its CoProMax process separates proteins and fats from whole stillage after fermentation. A patented low-energy physical separation process eliminates the need for decanters, explains company co-founder George Bolton. “The liquids
30 | ETHANOL PRODUCER MAGAZINE | MAY 2018
oil, will make a good cattle or dairy feed, Bolton says, or be used as a cellulosic ethanol feedstock. Final engineering designs for the skidmounted, modular CoProMax system are being completed based on the data gathered last summer during a commercialscale demonstration run at Adkins Energy in Lena, Illinois. Payback is estimated to be less than a year, he says, adding that he ex-
pects the first commercial installation to be underway later this year. FQPT, ICM and Harvest Technology seem to be leading the way into the enhanced feed ingredient market. The following graphic, on pages 32 and 33, details the key factors of each of their products and technologies.
Optimize the Cost of your Cooling System OPEN MARKET: Production of Fluid Quip Process Technologies' high-protein feed ingredient is expected to double this fall. The company says there's no concern of market saturation.
PHOTO: FLUID QUIP PROCESS TECHNOLOGIES LLC
recovered from that separation are treated with a polymer and go into a DAF—a dissolved air flotation system—that aggregates the fats and proteins.” The material is heated and run through a tricanter to separate the protein and oil. “The solids produced are both yeast cells and small particles from the whole stillage, where most of the proteins are concentrated.” About a third of the original distillers grains pile is separated as high-protein meal, Bolton says, with protein percentages in the high 40s. “The feed companies that have looked at it are excited because the nutritional profile fits poultry,” he says. “It’s equivalent in protein to soymeal with about twice the digestible energy.” The balance, called CK Fiber, contains up to 80 percent corn kernel fiber, which, with high levels of nondetergent fiber and low
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BREAKDOW FLUID QUIP PROCESS TECHNOLOGIES LLC TECHNOLOGY
Maximized Stillage Coproduct
• Back-end whole stillage separation. • Creates two coproduct streams: high protein with yeast and corn protein (corn gluten meal), and standard distillers grains. • Investment includes separation technology, ring dryer and dedicated storage. • Increases corn oil yields and increases throughput by about 10 percent. • ROI less than two years.
PRODUCT Still Pro 50 (trademarked NexPro by Flint Hills Resources)
• Contains 50 percent crude protein comprised of 25 percent yeast. • Yield is about 25 percent of total coproduct stream, partly dependent on incoming corn protein. • Lysine content double that of corn gluten meal, and methionine substantially higher than in soymeal. • Remaining distillers grains maintains export specifications with 28 percent protein, 7 percent fat.
HARVESTING TECHNOLOGY LLC TECHNOLOGY
• Back-end, skid-mounted whole stillage separation. • Boosts throughput by 5 to 8 percent, up to 50 percent increased corn oil yield. • Improves carbon-intensity score through 15 to 25 percent reduction in natural gas and 20 to 30 percent reduction in grid electricity use. • Estimated ROI one year.
• Protein level in high 40th percentile. • Yield is one-third CoProMax protein, two-thirds CK Fiber product and corn kernel fiber. • Yield is 7.6 pounds of 90 percent dry matter per bushel of corn. 32 | ETHANOL PRODUCER MAGAZINE | MAY 2018 32 | ETHANOL PRODUCER MAGAZINE | MAY 2018
TECHNOLOGIES FST Next Gen
• Front-end fiber separation. • Boosts throughput up to 10 percent. • Increases corn oil extraction up to 15 percent. • Creates two coproduct streams: fiber and remaining solids with concentrated protein. • ROI two to three years.
• Launched at FEW 2017. • High-value feed products to be formally launched at FEW 2018. • Back-end thin stillage separation. • Yeast solids contain 48 percent crude protein. • Liquids condensed and usable as molasses substitute or specialty fermentation substrate. • Yields vary depending on plant goals. • ROI two to three years.
PRODUCTS FST Next Gen HiPro
• Contains minimum 38 percent crude protein. • Concentrated amino acids, higher in lysine, methionine and threonine than conventional distillers. • Swine feed trial indicates 45 percent increase in digestible amino acids and 24 percent more energy than standard DDGS. • Yield is 40 percent of coproduct stream.
FST Fiber plus syrup
• Targeted at ruminants where feed trials show 25 percent more energy than standard distillers (dried and wet) and improved daily gain and feed efficiency. • Yield is 60 percent of coproduct stream.
Author: Susanne Retka Schill Freelance Journalist email@example.com
ETHANOLPRODUCER.COM | 33 ETHANOLPRODUCER.COM | 33
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OPPORTUNITIES The amended 45Q tax credit makes selling carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery a viable strategy for some ethanol plants. With an interconnected pipeline infrastructure, the opportunity grows. By Lisa Gibson
Changes to the Section 45Q tax credit, signed into law Feb. 9 as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, will inspire more widespread carbon capture and storage techniques in the ethanol industry, say members of a coalition that pushed for the 45Q changes. Those techniques include enhanced oil recovery. The original 45Q, enacted in 2008, included multiple provisions that effectively barred the ethanol industry from taking advantage of it, for either geologic storage through enhanced oil recovery operations or for storage in saline aquifers. To qualify, operations had to capture 500,000 or more metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. The new version drops that threshold to 100,000 for industrial facilities. The original credit also had a lifetime cap of 75 million tons, prompting investors to assume the cap would be hit by the time their projects were under construction, disqualifying them for any credits. That cap is removed, and any project that starts construction in the next
six years can qualify and claim the credit for 12 years once it is placed in service. But perhaps most important, the credit amounts have been boosted. Straight storage of CO2 in saline aquifers was credited at $20 per ton, but now will increase incrementally to $50 by 2025. For storage of CO2 through EOR and for CO2 used to produce other fuels, chemicals or products, the old $10-per-ton credit will incrementally increase to $35. The credit is transferrable, flexible for use by all parties along the value chain, and is performance-based so no credits will be issued unless a project successfully captures and permanently stores CO2. “This policy and this whole pathway of capturing and utilizing biogenic CO2 from fermentation is an enormous opportunity for the ethanol industry,” says Brad Crabtree, vice president of fossil energy for the Great Plains Institute. “That tax credit was not doing what a tax credit should. It wasn’t driving private investment into this technology. “Steps were taken in the design of this tax credit to make it easier to use,” he continues. “I think the ethanol industry is very aware this flexibility will be especially
important because these projects are capital intensive.” Eric Mork, director of business development for ICM Inc. and founder of EBR Development LLC, agrees, pointing out that many parties involved will invest in the expensive projects upfront for pipelines, compressors, etc. “To be able to negotiate that credit so everybody can win, that’s important. Every project is going to have its own cost centers.” That upfront capital has been one of the larger challenges to the ethanol industry implementing EOR operations, says Steve Melzer, founder of Melzer Consulting and expert on the EOR industry. “It’s been a pretty tough set of hurdles to get over.” But 45Q represents a paradigm shift for the ethanol industry in EOR. “I think (ethanol) is where the real value lies, actually. I’m very upbeat.”
Using CO2 in enhanced oil recovery isn’t a new concept. It’s been done on a large scale since the early 70s. Good thing, because the projects generally require years of planning. “So there’s a lot of expertise on how to do it,” Melzer says. And the idea
IN THE FIELD: With the new provisions in the 45Q tax credit, ethanol plants have an economic and environmental incentive to sell carbon dioxide from the fermentation process to oil companies. It would be piped to oilfields and used in enhanced oil recovery. PHOTO: ISTOCK
36 | ETHANOL PRODUCER MAGAZINE | MAY 2018
ETHANOLPRODUCER.COM | 37
CARBON CAPTURE of conversion of a waste product to a commodity just makes sense, he adds. CO2 injection is essentially phase three of oil recovery. Primary recovery involves drilling a well and using the gas and pressure in that reservoir to extract the oil. That recovers about 10 to 20 percent of the oil in the reservoir, Melzer says. Next comes the water flood to help repressurize the oil and double volume. “But water and oil don’t mix, so the way to get more is to have something that mixes with oil and changes its properties. CO2 is one of the most effective ways to do that.” Adding another 15 to 20 percent to the recovered amount, the total now reaches 35 to 60 percent. Additionally, that CO2 is eventually stored underground in those oilfields. Dan Keiser, manager of commercial development for Occidental Petroleum Corp., addressed the topic at Christianson’s Biofuels Financial Conference last September in Minneapolis. He said Occidental Petroleum Corp. injects about 2.5 billion cubic feet per day of CO2 into oil reservoirs for EOR. It
38 | ETHANOL PRODUCER MAGAZINE | MAY 2018
sweeps across the reservoir and picks up hydrocarbon in the rock, delivering it to the production wells. Some CO2 stays in the well, some comes out, he said. The portion that comes out is separated from the gas and is reinjected into the reservoir. “The amount of CO2 that’s delivered to the field to begin with is equal to the amount that gets stored underground,” Keiser told his audience. It is a perfect opportunity for ethanol, with its carbon-emitting fermentation process, he said. But not all ethanol plants are in ideal locations. “There are EOR opportunities in ethanol,” Crabtree tells Ethanol Producer Magazine. “They’re just not widely distributed.”
Pipelines and Proximity
While 45Q completely removes some barriers to the ethanol industry’s economical participation in EOR, it doesn’t solve them all. Proximity to oilfields is a tremendous factor in project feasibility, and, for the most part, oil country doesn’t align
with ethanol country. “Suffice it to say that some plants in Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, Colorado, North Dakota, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio might be close enough to local oil fields for EOR CO2 supply consideration on a one-off basis,” Mork says. He adds that, to his knowledge, two plants currently are selling CO2 to oil companies for EOR: Arkalon Energy in Liberal, Kansas, and Bonanza BioEnergy LLC in Garden City, Kansas. Both plants are owned by Conestoga Energy Partners LLC, and Chief Operating Officer Dusty Turner says the partnerships are beneficial for all parties. Arkalon began producing ethanol in 2007, and had a CO2 sale agreement in place with Chaparral Energy LLC at startup, he says. The oil company had contacted Conestoga as soon as it got wind of the proposed ethanol plant. It also invested in Arkalon. “It was a pretty good partnership from day one.” Chaparral installed a compressor onsite and constructed about 22 miles of pipe-
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PIPELINE POTENTIAL: This theoretical pipeline to connect multiple ethanol plants to oilfields was developed by Eric Mork, founder of EBR Development LLC and director of business development for ICM Inc. Itâ€™s just one of various possible routes an infrastructure could take to transport carbon dioxide from multiple plants for use in enhanced oil recovery. GRAPHIC: ERIC MORK, EBR DEVELOPMENT LLC
ETHANOLPRODUCER.COM | 39
FROM THE START: Arkalon Energy in Liberal, Kansas, has been selling its carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery since it started operations in 2007. This photo shows the plant in January 2008, shortly after it began operating. PHOTO: FILE PHOTO
line to hook up to an existing line and send 300,000 metric tons of CO2 annually to its field near Booker, Texas. The CO2 is compressed into a liquid, Turner says. Chaparral owned and operated the compressor and pipeline up until it sold its EOR operations to Perdure Petroleum in October 2017. Similarly, Bonanza sells about 160,000 metric tons per year through eight miles of pipeline to a Petro Santander oilfield. When Petro Santander heard about the operation in Liberal, the company approached Conestoga about a similar partnership, Turner says. He would recommend the model to other ethanol plants, but acknowledges proximity to the reservoirs is crucial. “The process is great. It does not negatively impact our fermentation. There’s no back pressure. It’s all pretty easy.” But the potential for a long, interconnected pipeline that draws CO2 from multiple plants along its route is greater with the 45Q tax credit, Melzer says. “If we can connect some, we can get a good amount of CO2.” Scale is important, he says. “The larger the project, the more economic it becomes. … You have a more complex project with multiple players, but you also have better economics.” Price modeling done by the National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative—a group that had dedicated itself to updating and improving 45Q—show compression, dehydration and pipeline transport to the Permian Basin in Texas costs between $54 and $73 per ton, Crabtree says. With a $35-perton credit and the revenue from CO2 sales, an ethanol plant could get itself within that price range. It’s just a model, he cautions, and a real-world project would be far more 40 | ETHANOL PRODUCER MAGAZINE | MAY 2018
complex, but it’s illustrative of the opportunity 45Q creates for an entire industry to participate in carbon management along a pipeline infrastructure. It was economically impossible before the credit. “The real challenge going forward is not the carbon capture side, because technologically and cost-wise, the ethanol industry has a large advantage,” Crabtree says. “The challenge is much more one of infrastructure.” The tax credit will have to provide enough value for all the parties who will need to work together to justify that infrastructure being built to move CO2, he adds. But once that’s in place, individual ethanol plants can join the network at a much lower cost.
The push toward lower transportation fuel emissions is strong. California’s Air Resources Board currently is finalizing its quantitative management rules for EOR and capture and storage. Mork says it’s crucial that the ethanol industry be as involved as it can be in those rulemaking processes, to ensure the resulting regulations are workable and economical. Still, Melzer, Crabtree and Mork agree that the new 45Q could be a game changer for the ethanol industry’s entry into the EOR sector, and even into saline aquifer storage, lowering carbon intensity scores and making ethanol more competitive in the fuels market. And now that the work of the National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative is done, it’s rebranded itself as the Carbon Capture Coalition.
“I tip my hat to the folks that put this together,” Melzer says. “They did a wonderful, thoughtful job of talking to the various potential users of the credit to figure out how it could prompt business, and I think they’ve got it in this bill.” Melzer and Crabtree add that bipartisan support led by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Sen. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, was crucial in getting the votes. “You’ve got to make the economics work and this bill does that,” Melzer says. “It really allows an incentive for taking what would otherwise go into the atmosphere as a waste product, and making more oil. … I think it’ll be a business generator, especially for ethanol, and it’s just a matter of getting the word out and getting the projects started. The time clock is ticking.” EOR is just one more evolution in providing value in the corn ethanol industry, Crabtree says. “I actually think that there’s a real prospect that, because of the 45Q tax credit, the U.S. ethanol industry may become the first industry in the world to capture a majority of its CO2 emissions, which is really kind of extraordinary.” Of course, he notes, it’s impossible to know until the industry and investors respond to the tax credit, perhaps through a slew of new project proposals and pipelines. Author: Lisa Gibson Managing Editor, Ethanol Producer Magazine 701.738.4920 firstname.lastname@example.org
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IS IN THE DETAILS Proactive training, knowledgeable operators and even new technologies can mitigate fire risk. By Tim Albrecht
Dryers and associated equipment are the culprits in one to two large fires per year across the U.S. ethanol industry, according to data from ERI Solutions Inc.
“Dozens more small incidents occur each year, as well as hundreds of near misses, says Nathan Vander Griend, president of ERI Solutions. Fires are inevitable, says Josh Thompson, chief technology officer for Thompson Dryers, so producers should focus on mitigating the risk and having systems and knowledge42 | ETHANOL PRODUCER MAGAZINE | MAY 2018
able operators in place to assist when one occurs. “Dryer fires in my opinion are a little bit like the pilot adage, ‘There are pilots that have landed with the landing gear up and those that are going to.’ Meaning, all dryers are going to have a fire and anyone saying anything different is a little too optimistic.” Ethanol producers have several options when it comes to mitigating the risk of fires in their dryers. A thorough understanding of the root causes, as well as proper training on equipment operation are good starts. New technologies and products focused on fire safety can help, too.
The first part of mitigating dryer fires is looking for the root causes and then working to eradicate them. Within a dryer, the heat is an ignition source and the DDGS are the fuel, Thompson says. “The only thing you need is air (to start a fire), and that’s the big thing you want to keep out of a dryer.” Thompson Dryers sells dryers, but also consults for plants on any brand of dryer. Preventing air entry is a common service. “We’ll look for where air is getting in,” Thompson says. “We can design fixes for that. It’s usually sealing or explosion venting that doesn’t
SHIPPING OUT: This Rayeman Elements Inc. six-section compression dryer soon will be shipped to a customer. Company President Samantha Western says Rayeman Elements entered the ethanol industry with its dryer technology to help reduce fire risk at plants. PHOTO: RAYEMAN ELEMENTS INC.
seal. We also help plants with proper use of exhaust gas recycle.” If a dryer is working properly, a fire or explosion is nearly impossible during normal operation, Thompson says. Rather, they happen during what he calls upset conditions. “An upset condition can be considered startup and shutdown, because those aren’t normal running operations. Also, any kind of mishap that happens during normal operations, such as conveyor failure or any kind of equipment failure.” Such dryer malfunctions could fall into a few categories: power service interruption, instrumentation and control
system issues, fluctuations in flow rates, and upstream process deviations or malfunctions. “Typically, the worst-case scenario is an inlet screw failure where the dryer doesn’t get wet feed,” Thompson says. “Or if anything causes the exhaust-gas recycle to not operate properly, which would almost guarantee a fire. On a lesser scale, a drum stopping from rotating. After that, almost any kind of failure would cause a fire.”
Knowledge and Training
As with all potentially dangerous equipment, dryers require detailed training and
knowledge. “Those responsible for operating such systems should be provided accurate and detailed procedures, training on those procedures and possess a thorough understanding of the consequences of deviation from those procedures,” Vander Griend says. “Understanding not just what to do, but why it is done that way is vitally important. “One of the things I’ve seen many times is loafing, or idling, the dryer, where the dryer is completely running and the burner is functioning at a low-fire position,” Thompson says. “If a dryer has been used, it will have material in the system and running that mateETHANOLPRODUCER.COM | 43
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DRYER SAFETY rial through the dryer with the burner on over a long period of time will lead to a fire or explosion eventually.” Another common issue is an operator’s improper response to a mechanical failure, he adds. “For example, if a cycle unplug isn’t cleaned out in time, the system needs to be shut down to clear it out. If the wet feed auger stops for whatever reason, such as anything upstream where wet product can’t get into the drum, the system needs to be immediately shutdown and steam needs to be applied to that system to avoid fire.”
As technology in all aspects of the ethanol industry improve, innovations are being applied to ensure the safety of dryer systems, as well. In an effort to provide more analysis of dryers, Thompson Dryers installs oxygen sensors on its systems. “By putting an oxygen sensor on the dryer, a plant can tell how much oxygen is in their system and that oxygen in the system costs them money they shouldn’t
ON TIME: This new dryer system at a 70 MMgy ethanol plant will start ahead of schedule and on budget. PHOTO: THOMPSON DRYERS
be spending on fuel,” Thompson says. “Also, oxygen allows fires to happen, so by limiting oxygen with the oxygen sensor, you’re limiting that problem.”
Rayeman Elements Inc., originally specializing in cattle feed supplements made from DDGS, entered the ethanol market with its dryers largely to mitigate fires in the
ETHANOLPRODUCER.COM | 45
UPGRADED AND RESTARTED: Josh Thompson, chief technology officer for Thompson Dryers, restarts an ethanol plant after a dryer system upgrade. PHOTO: THOMPSON DRYERS
industry, says Samantha Western, company president. Rayeman Elements’ dryer employs a safer and simpler bulk densification system, she says. “We felt if we could develop something that eliminated those kinds of potential disasters, it could be a viable process and product for ethanol plants.” The system runs on electricity at a cooler 320 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit inside the barrel, compared with standard drum dryers running at an average of 800 degrees. “We turn the heat on the barrels to get the ma-
chine started and running, but then use very little electricity after that, as the material goes through a shearing process within the screws and flights, and generates much of its own heat,” Western says. It also doesn’t have any pressure. Together, these factors reduce the chance of fires or explosions, Western says. “It also reduces operating costs because it runs on electricity,” she says. “The bulk of the electricity it uses is upon initial startup. Then it runs continuously from there using only about 30 percent of its motor load.”
Rayeman Elements’ dryer system is designed in sections, which allows the material to flash off its moisture during the transition from each row. This allows for flexibility to produce modified wets, while still producing dry grains, Western says. “The material goes through sections of counterrotating, intermeshing screws,” she says. “As the material comes in contact with the screws, it creates its own heat, which is part of the reason it doesn’t need to run at high temperatures. As the material goes through and as the vacuum pump removes the water, there’s not a potential for burning or combustion.” Rayeman Elements, Thompson Dryers and other companies continue to improve their technologies for efficiency and safety. But regardless of brand name and built-in safeguards, producers must consider fire mitigation at all times, Vander Griend says. “It may not be a legal or regulatory requirement, but it is certainly a wise business decision.” Author: Tim Albrecht Associate Editor, Ethanol Producer Magazine 701.738.4922 email@example.com
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PRODUCTION Chemical companies are developing technologies that would create new market opportunities for the ethanol industry. By Tim Albrecht
COPRODUCING: A fermenter on the grounds of Gevoâ€™s facility in Luverne, Minnesota, is used to make isobutanol. Gevo, a renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company, purchased an ethanol plant in Luverne and produces ethanol and isobutanol at the facility. PHOTO: AGRI-ENERGY LLC
50 | ETHANOL PRODUCER MAGAZINE | MAY 2018 50 | ETHANOL PRODUCER MAGAZINE | MAY 2018
ETHANOLPRODUCER.COM | 51
The ethanol industry has polished its coproduction of distillers grains. Now, a handful of
companies have found different uses for DDGS, or ethanol itself, that can provide new value-added coproducts for the industry. Ethanol is flexible and can be used to make chemicals for products ranging from solvents to consumer goodsâ€”such as plastics and personal care items. Greenyug LLC, a technology development company based in Santa Barbara, California, recognized favorable economics for the ethanol industry, and ample opportunity, says Luca Zullo, vice president of business development at Greenyug. â€œEthanol is also a good molecule to do a lot of chemistry because itâ€™s a reactive
molecule,â€? he says. â€œMany ethanol plants are in locations with availability of space and services, while providing a feedstock for us. There were lots of opportunities to do chemistry thatâ€™s valuable and can bring you to higher-value products.â€?
Through process intensification and liquid phase catalysis, Greenyugâ€™s platform uses nondenatured ethanol to produce ethyl acetate and hydrogen. The ethyl acetate can be used in products such as paints, coatings, pharmaceuticals and a variety of other consumer goods. The system offers a smaller physical footprint than comparable systems found at petrochemical refineries. Greenyug is working on constructing its first full-scale production facility adjacent to the Archer Daniels Midland Co.
ethanol plant in Columbus, Nebraska. ADM will provide Greenyugâ€™s facility with feedstock and other services, while Greenyugâ€™s bolt-on system will provide the hydrogen byproduct as an energy source for the plant, Zullo says. Similarly, xF Technologies Inc., a chemical company based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has developed a process to convert DDGS into furoate, or 408, esters. XF initially plans to use the 408s in cleaning and processing solvents, plasticizers, paints, coatings and personal care products, as well as an oxygenate in the ethanol industry. It is a two-step, thermochemical process that first generates an intermediate called chloromethylfurfural (CMF), followed by a catalytic step to convert the CMF into a finished product, says Aviad Cahana, CEO of xF Technologies.
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XF’s business model is to license its technology to an ethanol producer, while collecting a royalty. This would provide the producer with as much ethyl furoate as it needs, Cahana says, adding it would provide the ethanol industry with a wide range of new coproduct possibilities. “It would give them opportunities to explore blending ethanol with ethyl furoate in new chemical applications, which brings the ethanol producer into the chemical world that has a higher profit margin,” Cahana says. “Our molecule opens a new market for them.” Gevo Inc. has taken a different route than Greenyug and xF, focusing on fuels. Gevo, a re-
FULL STEAM: Boilers produce steam used in various parts of the ethanol and isobutanol production processes at the Gevo Inc. facility in Luverne, Minnesota. PHOTO: AGRI-ENERGY LLC
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DOUBLE DUTY: Gevo uses most of the equipment at its Luverne, Minnesota, facility interchangeably to produce both ethanol and isobutanol. Pictured is a new distillation and evaporation system. PHOTO: AGRI-ENERGY LLC
newable chemicals and advanced biofuels company, produces both ethanol and isobutanol—used in production of jet fuel—at its Luverne, Minnesota, facility. Gevo purchased the ethanol plant from Agri-Energy LLC in 2010 and retrofitted it for its own purposes. Agri-Energy still operates the plant. While ethanol is the main moneymaker, with a capacity of 20 MMgy, Gevo is focusing on increasing isobutanol production from its current 1.5 MMgy. Pat Gruber, CEO of Gevo, says producing both ethanol and isobutanol fits the company’s goal of decarbonizing chemicals and fuels. “The most practical ways (to decarbonize fuels) are to use a fermentation technology like ethanol or isobutanol to convert fairly complicated feedstocks— such as corn—into simple alcohols that could either be sold directly or used as intermediates for chemical processes to trans54 | ETHANOL PRODUCER MAGAZINE | MAY 2018
form them into other products—such as jet fuel, gasoline or into plastics.”
Rich in Opportunities
All three companies say their technologies hold more opportunity for the ethanol industry, beyond the obvious chemicals markets. Zullo says Greenyug is focusing on its ethyl acetate, but isn’t ruling out the possibility of venturing into other chemicals, such as n-butanol and higher alcohols. “Of course, ethanol chemistry is rich in opportunities—such as ketones, acetates, esters, etc., and we do expect our research and development program and business development program will accelerate in the near future, as revenues will allow us to reinvest in the business growth.” Ethyl furoate also has a new market possibility, as an additive in both gas and
diesel, Cahana says. “It sits at the higher end of gasoline and the lower end of diesel in terms of boiling point. So, it can go into both and the same molecule has benefits for both forms of fuel. That’s another way to put ethanol into a new market in the future.” Gevo is working on multiple technologies for new coproducts from either ethanol or isobutanol. It has a technology that converts ethanol into products such as propylene, which is a plastic used in fibers and packaging materials, Gruber says. “We have a technology that looks like it works. It’s still in the development phase, but it works. “That technology can also be used to generate things like diesel fuel and chemical products. We see there is a lot of value adding that can be done downstream, but we need to think in an integrated sense for it to work economically.” On the isobutanol side, Gevo has proven how to convert isobutanol into butylene, Gruber says. “From butylene, we make jet fuel and isooctane, both of which are extremely clean—low particulates, low sulfur and low carbon. That’s what we’re working on commercializing.” Gevo also plans to improve corn-oil extraction, Gruber says. “We’ve seen people capturing oil out of a plant and we do it too. But, we have visions of making food-grade vegetable oil. It lowers the overall cost of alcohol production and makes the plant more profitable. “There are lots of optimizations and opportunities for ethanol down the line,” Gruber says. Author: Tim Albrecht Associate Editor, Ethanol Producer Magazine 701.738.4922 firstname.lastname@example.org
FuelEthanolWorkshop.com 56 | Ethanol Producer Magazine | MAY 2017
TECHNICAL SESSIONS PLANNER The agenda for the world’s largest ethanol conference is, as always, jam-packed with relevant and intriguing panel discussions. Attendees will need to plan which concurrent tracks they’ll attend. Here’s the info. Ethanol Producer Magazine
LAB PANEL: Nathan Anderson, Novozymes senior scientist, speaks on a panel about lab equipment at the 2017 FEW in Minneapolis. Fellow panelists pictured from left: Mike Smith, Novozymes biofuel technical service group leader; and Jim Mott, field technical support supervisor for Shimadzu Scientific Instruments. PHOTO: JEFFREY SCHMIEG, GAMUT ONE STUDIOS
While reviewing submitted presentation abstracts for the 34th Annual International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo, Tim Portz, conference planner for BBI International, noticed a strong theme: efficient production. That theme evolved into the event’s first Efficient Ethanol Production Seminar, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 11. “It seems like each year a new topic will emerge that clearly has some momentum in the industry,” Portz says. “This year, efficient production jumped out early in the development process and we thought it was important to make all of that content available without sacrificing any of the other production centric topics our attendees have come to count on. We decided to bundle all of that content together in the Efficient Ethanol Production Seminar.” 58 | ETHANOL PRODUCER MAGAZINE | MAY 2018
The seminar is one of two June 11 preconferences at this year’s FEW, coming up June 11 to 13 at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska. The other preconference is the traditional Ethanol 101, a primer for those new to the ethanol industry. The main event kicks off at 8:30 a.m. June 12, with industry awards presented by BBI President Tom Bryan, a keynote address delivered by Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor, and a general session panel discussion. After lunch, the breakout sessions begin. “I’m always amazed by and grateful for the sheer volume of quality content that the ethanol industry’s best thinkers submit for consideration for the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo,” Portz says. “This year, we received nearly 100 abstracts in the Production and Operations track alone. The challenge for our team is to figure out a way to get as much of that content included in the program as we possibly can.” A solid pool of presentation options gives the FEW agenda its strength and relevancy. “This agenda process is a group effort and we’re thankful to have the continued sup-
port of some great industry folks who review abstracts every year, giving us crucial guidance on where to best place presentations,” Portz says. “Ethanol plant teams looking to make an informed decision about new fermentation strategies or even plant expansions really need to give this year’s agenda a hard look. We were able to assemble some terrific, multidisciplinary panels that help teams build a decision matrix to reach a decision they can have confidence in.” The conference again wraps up with its well-known industry tour on June 14. At this year’s show, the topics are vast and there’s something for everyone. “The sheer volume of ethanol content available at this year's Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo is astounding,” Portz says. “We're approaching 150 presentations over the course of three days and there is truly something for everyone working at an ethanol plant, regardless of their responsibilities.” The event is split into four tracks and again colocated with the National Advanced Biofuels Conference. Here’s what to expect.
MONDAY, JUNE 11
Efficient Ethanol Production Seminar 8:30 – 10:00
Surveying the Untapped Potential for Energy Savings via the More Efficient Use of Process Heat
The ethanol production process requires enormous amounts of process heat. Saccharification, fermentation, distillation and downstream evaporation all bring with them heat load requirements. This panel will examine technologies and operations and maintenance disciplines that can ease these demands, driving down not only overall energy expenditures, but also the carbon footprint per gallon of produced ethanol, enabling producers to access low-carbon fuel markets and to obtain Efficient Producer status.
10:00 – 10:40
Exploring the Efficiencies Available in Ethanol Production by Leveraging Membranes for Dehydration
The momentum to deploy membrane technologies to more efficiently dehydrate ethanol continues to accelerate as the results of the industry’s earliest installations begin to accumulate. This panel will look closely at the success
of the first installations of the technology and help attendees understand how membranes can drive down overall energy expenditures, while also debottlenecking production, allowing other yield enhancement investments to flourish.
11:00 – Noon
The Energy Efficiency Argument for On-Site Power Production at Ethanol Plants
Presenters in this panel will assert that, because of their massive heat load and electrical demands, ethanol plants are great candidates for combined-heatand-power installations. This discussion promises to help attendees understand why these technologies weren’t deployed at ethanol plants during the industry’s build-out, and why changes in key energy commodity marketplaces and downstream ethanol markets have created an environment where CHP deployments deserve a second look.
1:30 – 3:00
Wringing the Energy Waste from Your Plant’s Water Program
and ramp up production, enormous pressure is placed on installed water cooling infrastructure. For some facilities, summertime water cooling can constrain overall production. This panel will offer attendees a number of strategies to resolve this production bottleneck, reduce overall water cooling demand and allow for increased production.
3:30 – 5:00
Towards the More Efficient Delivery of Common Process Heat Loads at Ethanol Plants
The financial rewards for plant teams that can deliver heat loads throughout their process with real precision are enormous. Presentations in this panel will highlight technologies with the potential to drive millions of dollars to the bottom line via decreased expenditures and increased ethanol production. Featuring presentations in both process control and hardware deployments, this panel will provide attendees with deployable strategies to drive excessive heat production out of their operations.
As plant operational teams continue to drive efficiencies into their facilities
RIBBON CUTTING: MSW Consulting, of Tampa, sponsored the welcome reception at the 2017 FEW. From left: James Knight and Wayne Mitchell of MSW Consulting, and Tim Portz, conference planner for BBI International.
ALL SMILES: Derek Ferguson, Myrla Santos and Nicole Sing, all of Arkema Inc. in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, pause to pose for a photo during the 2017 FEW. Arkema will be at booth 1314 this year.
PHOTO: JEFFREY SCHMIEG, GAMUT ONE STUDIOS
PHOTO: JEFFREY SCHMIEG, GAMUT ONE STUDIOS
ETHANOLPRODUCER.COM | 59
TUESDAY, JUNE 12 FEW 1:30 – 3:00
TRACK 1: PRODUCTION AND OPERATIONS Predicting the Potential for Success from New Production Approaches by Using Well-Designed Trials and Simulations
Ethanol producers enjoy great variety in their options for enzymes and yeast choices, and greater still are the options available to producers to expand their operations via an altogether new production process. The challenge for producers now lies in making informed decisions about which option to choose. This panel narrows its scope to fermentation and looks to offer attendees a way forward to decisions based on well-considered plant trials paired with an informed understanding of how labscale results do and don’t translate once deployed at full operational scale.
TRACK 2: LEADERSHIP AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT Why Uncovering and Expanding Upon Employee Job Skills is Vital for Ethanol Plant Management Teams
Best-in-class plant management teams know that investments in staff development compound and yield real dividends quarter after quarter. This panel will feature presentations on the latest platforms available to producers to deliver valuable training to their teams, but will take the conversation a step further by exploring the role digital badges are beginning to play in helping management teams and direct supervisors more quickly identify areas of proficiency and areas in need of further training. Finally, the conversation will explore the role that quality, job-specific skills training can play in plant retention efforts.
TRACK 3: COPRODUCTS AND PRODUCT DIVERSIFICATION Towards a Better Line of Sight on Corn Oil Extraction Approaches and Overall Yield
Increased revenues from corn oil extraction have led to increased research efforts in pathways and more efficient extraction approaches within the ethanol production process. This panel will look closely at the state of play within corn oil extraction, featuring both a comprehensive overview at the capture rates the industry is achieving, as well as a deep dive into some emerging technologies promising even greater oil capture ratios. The panel will be anchored by a presen-
tation making an argument for greater accuracy in captured oil measurement and a platform from which that can be accomplished.
TRACK 4: INFRASTRUCTURE AND MARKET DEVELOPMENT Where and How Ethanol is Gaining a Foothold in Foreign Markets
With the specter of RFS or RIN reform once again dominating industry conversations, the interest in establishing and growing foreign markets for ethanol has never been higher. Industry trade groups and our commodity partners are all hard at work to blaze a trail for ethanol sales in markets around the world. The dynamics of growing demand for ethanol in markets like Mexico, India and China all unfold against a backdrop of an administration keen on recalibrating the country’s trade relationships. This panel will offer attendees updates on the most promising near-term opportunities for increased foreign sales.
ADVANCED BIOFUELS CONFERENCE We Can’t Stop Now: The Critical Necessity of Robust Policy Advocacy for Advanced Biofuels
To fulfill the promise of the Renewable Fuel Standard, another 20 billion gallons of renewable biofuel production capacity will have to be developed, funded and come online. Without policy certainty, this task begins to look Herculean.
WARM WELCOME: (Top) BBI International President Tom Bryan welcomes attendees to the 2017 FEW. PHOTO: JEFFREY SCHMIEG, GAMUT ONE STUDIOS
KEY POINTS: (Bottom) Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen delivers the keynote address at the 2017 FEW. This year's keynote will be delivered by Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. PHOTO: JEFFREY SCHMIEG, GAMUT ONE STUDIOS
60 | ETHANOL PRODUCER MAGAZINE | MAY 2018
This panel, populated with executives from next-generation producers paired with leadership from the trade groups that represent them, will explore where the advanced biofuels sector is politically, how its value proposition resonates with lawmakers now and which specific policy outcomes are vital to continued sector growth.
3:30 – 5:00
TRACK 1: PRODUCTION AND OPERATIONS Strategies for Creating a ProYeast Production Environment at Your Ethanol Plant
Ethanol producers know plant yield is tightly correlated to the environment they are able to create for their yeast populations. The elimination of inhibitors and the introduction of vital macronutrients are priority one for production teams and decades of experience have further refined yeast health programs across the industry. Still, production methodologies are changing and, with them, the environment yeast populations are expected to propagate within. This panel features the best thinking in yeast health for the operating conditions of today’s production fleet.
TRACK 2: LEADERSHIP AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT A Multi-Disciplinary Look at Plant Expansions and Deployable Strategies to Ensure their Ultimate Success
The decision to go forward with a multi-million-dollar plant expansion project can occur only after satisfying
a number of important production, finance and permitting stakeholders. This panel brings together experts from these important disciplines to help plant management teams devise a decision-making process designed to illuminate any potential shortcomings in a project under consideration. Using case studies to illustrate their points, these presenters will help attendees identify the pitfalls that, without sound analysis, could escape their attention and prove costly down the road.
TRACK 3: COPRODUCTS AND PRODUCT DIVERSIFICATION Revenue Renaissance: How to Drive Even Greater Value into Your Plant's Coproduct Program
The days of seeing ethanol plants as producers of ethanol and a singular coproduct are over. While distillers grains continue to offer financial rewards, the industry’s most progressive plants are pushing toward feed coproduct streams with even greater value than their current DDGS offering. This panel looks well beyond the coproduct offering so common within the industry now and toward a coproduct stream that captures and adds value through densification, the isolation of protein or yeasts, or potentially the production of altogether new products such as flavorings and fragrances.
TRACK 4: INFRASTRUCTURE AND MARKET DEVELOPMENT The Work Underway to Leverage Fuel Quality Requirements for Greater Benefit for Ethanol Producers
While the Xs and Os of fuel quality specifications, how they are determined and how they are updated may elude the majority of the ethanol industry’s rank and file, they have a very real impact on efforts to establish new markets and grow existing ones. This panel will feature the industry professionals sitting at the fuel specification table discussing what they see as a crucial piece of the sector’s growth strategy. Presenters will make a compelling case that without continued vigilance and action, fuel specifications could become an unwelcome bottleneck in key markets.
ADVANCED BIOFUELS CONFERENCE Tracing the Commercialization Pathway of Leading Corn Fiberto-Ethanol Technologies
While there is nearly unanimous consent within the industry that corn fiber represents the corn ethanol industry’s most promising pathway to cellulosic gallons, opinions vary on the best process pathway available to producers. This panel will provide attendees with a comprehensive overview of the corn fiber technologies under development, the arguments for their varied approaches and the commercialization and deployment progress each has achieved in the past year.
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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13 8:30 – 10:00
TRACK 1: PRODUCTION AND OPERATIONS Innovations in Yeast Strains Delivering Real Operational Performance Benefits for Ethanol Producers Today
As the industry matures and plant teams work to maximize the opportunity presented by their inbound corn streams, more and more is being asked of yeast populations. New carbohydrates are being targeted for conversion, and higher tolerance to common yeast stressors and greater flexibility for changing production environments are on producer wish lists. This panel will provide attendees with an opportunity to review the industry’s best yeast strain options for these desired capabilities.
Measure What Matters I: Data Capture and Analysis for More Efficient Ethanol Production
The first in a two-part series focusing on the role of plant data in operational decision-making will seek to establish the challenge of distilling enormous troves of data into more digestible, realtime guidance. These presentations will make clear that even greater production efficiencies are within most producers’ reach if they can commit to sharpening the focus of their data collection and analysis programs.
TRACK 2: LEADERSHIP AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT Maximum Margins: Financial Best Practices Critical to Capture and Maintain Plant Profitability
Plant financial teams are charged with weaving a tapestry of profitability out of a tangle of commodities that of-
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ten act independently of one another. While strong ethanol yield numbers can go a long way in delivering strong returns, without a well-considered margin maintenance strategy, strong production numbers aren’t certain to deliver desired levels of profitability. This panel not only promises a discussion about leading risk management strategies, but will also feature a discussion about the tools available to confidently understand the impact of those strategies on plant ledgers.
TRACK 3: COPRODUCTS AND PRODUCT DIVERSIFICATION Eyeing the Potential of Deriving Increased Plant Revenues from Protein Streams
The growth in global demand for protein continues to track upward with a growing population, and many professionals believe the ethanol industry is sitting on vast inventories of undervalued protein. Presenters in this panel will carry that argument forward and make the case for ethanol management teams to look hard at investments that promise to unlock greater opportunities in this promising protein market. Discussions will look at process approaches available to isolate these protein streams and the specific downstream markets anxious to welcome a new protein source to their feed marketplace.
ADVANCED BIOFUELS CONFERENCE The Economic Argument for On-Site Biodiesel Production from Plant Corn Oil Streams
While corn oil streams generate welcome revenue for ethanol producers who have invested in extraction, presenters in this panel will ask producers to imagine a
corn oil program delivering even greater value via on-site conversion to biodiesel. This panel will feature technologies available today that, once deployed, bring the added value of converted corn oil back to ethanol plant balance sheets. Presenters will make the economic case that the further refining of corn oil is an opportunity not for some other marketplace actor, but for the ethanol plant itself.
10:30 – Noon
TRACK 1: PRODUCTION AND OPERATIONS Measure What Matters II: Building a Culture of Continuous Improvement Upon a Foundation of Data Analysis
This second part of a two-panel discussion on the capture and utilization of plant data looks both at methods for developing supreme confidence in the quality of inbound data and the ultimate goal of using that data to replicate the plant yields achieved by a production team’s best operator. Presentations promise to make a strong economic case for investments in data capture and analysis with bottom-line improvements that approach $1 million for an average-sized plant.
The Ongoing Effort to Curtail the Impact of Bacterial Infection and Biofilms at Ethanol Plants
The ethanol industry is well seasoned in the ongoing art of controlling bacterial infections at plants, but the science of the practice continues to evolve. This panel will provide attendees with the latest thinking in microbial control, what makes them resistant to antimicrobials and the growing understanding of how biofilms form and contribute to the
antibiotic resistance of some bacterial populations. The impact of unchecked biofilm on plant yields and operational uptime will be articulated so attendees can better understand the economic argument for their aggressive control.
TRACK 2: LEADERSHIP AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT No Fermentation without Taxation: A Review of Important Tax Policy Issues for Ethanol Producers
As promised, the Trump administration wasted little time in moving on comprehensive tax reform, and a thorough understanding of what they mean for ethanol plants and their investors is critical for plant financial teams. Speakers will outline in detail the opportunities to drive down the overall tax liability for ethanol plants, as well as the near-term saving opportunities for individual investors. Populated with the industry’s most recognized names in accounting and tax guidance, the discussion promises attendees an opportunity to ensure their tax strategy maximizes the opportunities that shook out in the first real tax reform package in decades.
TRACK 3: COPRODUCTS AND PRODUCT DIVERSIFICATION The Correlation Between Inbound Corn Quality, Overall Ethanol Yield and Your Plant’s Bottom Line
While there is broad agreement that corn quality impacts both ethanol yield and coproduct quality, the extent of the impact is less well-understood. The presentations in this panel will allow attendees to catch up on the latest thinking about the impact of corn quality on the industry generally and individual plants
specifically. Informed by research from industry trade groups, agricultural research universities and industry benchmarking analysis, this panel will assert that while producers must work with the corn available to them, they can have a better understanding of what they might expect operationally from feedstock with dynamic quality profiles.
ADVANCED BIOFUELS CONFERENCE Innovations in Biological Pathways to Advanced Biofuels
The production of next-generation biofuels likely will rely on the same microorganisms upon which the first generation of production was built: enzymes and yeasts. The difference, of course, is in the sophistication of these enzymes and yeast strains and their ability to unlock and eventually ferment more complex carbohydrate chains than their firstgeneration counterparts. This panel will provide attendees with an opportunity to review the leading next-gen enzyme and yeast developments aimed at speeding next-gen commercialization efforts.
1:30 – 3:00
TRACK 1: PRODUCTION AND OPERATIONS Strategies for Keeping Your Plant Perfectly Aligned with Environmental Regulations
This panel discussion begins with a broad overview of the most common NOVs (Notice of Violation) experienced by ethanol producers, and then narrows its focus to the control of air emissions. Underpinning any good air emissions control program is a robust maintenance program designed to ensure that air pollution control assets are performing at
their maximum efficacy. Special emphasis will be given to stack testing methodologies with an eye on streamlining a regulatory requirement that can trip up even the most experienced compliance professionals.
TRACK 2: LEADERSHIP AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT Employee Training as a Means to Improved Plant Culture, Performance and Staff Retention
Without a motivated and skilled team running it, an ethanol plant will not deliver the kind of financial returns its owners and investors expect. This panel will explore strategies to inspire plant teams to new levels of commitment and proficiency, offering specific guidance on achieving a workplace culture that can seem elusive. Beginning with a discussion about accountability and trust, panelists will offer attendees a road map for developing a plant team unified in its mission and well-positioned to achieve ambitious operational and financial goals.
TRACK 3: COPRODUCTS AND PRODUCT DIVERSIFICATION How FSMA Preparation Should Impact Your Facility’s Operations and Maintenance Programs
Beginning in September of 2017, ethanol producers fell under the purview of the Food Safety Modernization Act and, this September, producers will be expected to ramp up and deploy preventative controls at their facilities. This panel will walk attendees through the looming requirements and clearly outline the steps they’ll have to take to comply. A presentation from a leading cleaning ETHANOLPRODUCER.COM | 63
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13 and sanitizing products provider will put attendees at ease if they have questions about residue migration and FSMA compliance.
TRACK 4: INFRASTRUCTURE AND MARKET DEVELOPMENT Beyond the Blend Wall: Examining the Industry's Leading Strategies to Push Toward Higher Ethanol Inclusion Rates
In 2017, the nationwide ethanol average inclusion rate eclipsed 10 percent, a major milestone for an industry eyeing even greater market share in the liquid fuel marketplace. The road to higher inclusion rates, however, is beset with a number of policy and regulatory entanglements, and the industry is working hard to overcome each of them in turn. This panel will lay out the impediments to increased market access for mid- and high-level ethanol blends and the market opportunity that awaits if they can be overcome.
TRADE TALK: Exhibitors and attendees mingle and eat at last year's FEW. PHOTO: JEFFREY SCHMIEG, GAMUT ONE STUDIOS
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ADVANCED BIOFUELS CONFERENCE An Update on the Technologies Shaping the Next Chapters in Biofuel Production
TRACK 2: LEADERSHIP AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT Perspectives on Satisfying the Return Aspirations for Plant Investors, Shareholders and One of the most interesting aspects Plant Employees
of next-generation biofuel production is the promise of decoupling biofuel production from a short list of grain inputs and significantly growing the roster of feedstocks available for conversion. While first-generation biofuels added value to two main grain inputs, next-generation biofuel production holds promise for a number of sectors with a glut of low- or negative-value material. Two presentations will remind attendees that opportunity lies wherever sugars can be found, while another looks closely at the state of municipal waste streams as a viable input for biofuel and biochemical production.
3:30 â€“ 5:00
TRACK 1: PRODUCTION AND OPERATIONS How to Drive Greater Efficiency into Your Plantâ€™s Water Program
The use and treatment of water at ethanol plants is an energy- and hardware-intensive process, introducing the potential for inefficiencies and increased production costs across the production platform. This panel will offer a comprehensive overview of the lifecycle of water within an ethanol plant, introducing energy-saving approaches in steam production, dehydration and cooling. Water discharge will also be given attention and an argument for a migration to Zero Liquid Discharge operating platform will be made.
As the ethanol industry reaches maturity, individual plants are increasingly finding themselves at a financial crossroads. Some early investors may be looking to cash out of their now decade-old investment, while others are clearly interested in doubling down and expanding on their initial investment. Satisfying the aspirations of a diverse investor roster requires significant financial dexterity and thoughtful planning. This panel will help management teams satisfy their investors, whether those investors are ready to exit now or are hungry for a new era of investment and returns.
TRACK 4: INFRASTRUCTURE AND MARKET DEVELOPMENT Positioning Your Plant to Maximize the Opportunity Created by Low-Carbon Fuel Markets
Producers already engaged in the low carbon fuel market and producers weighing the benefits and pursuing pathways will each find value in the presentations within this panel. The panel features discussions about the program and the market opportunity it can create for producers, as well as the planned changes to the program scheduled for near-term implementation, including a third-party verification step that producers engaged in the market will need to comply with as early as next year.
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The Coproduct Innovation issue. Plus: Drying Technology