Tag Archives: Biofuel

Ethanol 2019: Emerging Issues Forum to Feature Experts on Biofuel & Renewable Chemical Policies, Regulations and Markets

LINCOLN, Neb. — Biofuel stakeholders and experts from across the nation will be in Omaha for the annual Ethanol: Emerging Issues Forum at the La Vista Conference Center March 7-8. Governor Pete Ricketts will open the event and welcome attendees.

The Nebraska Ethanol Board organizes the forum, which is in its 14th year. The event brings together ethanol producers and others integrally involved in production, technology, policymaking and marketing of biofuels and its co-products. The event runs from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and 8:15 a.m. to noon Friday.

Topics include an overview and discussion of the most pressing federal policies, regulatory and legal actions, and markets affecting ethanol demand. Speakers will also discuss navigating the introduction and expansion of E15, as well as opportunities in emerging renewable chemical and co-product markets. The federal policy panel includes industry leaders from the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association, Novozymes and the Renewable Fuels Association.

Panelists at the forum will also provide insight on workforce needs and accessing trained workers at every level. These speakers include Scott Asmus, program manager with the Nebraska Department of Labor, Eric Zeece, innovation manager at Invest Nebraska Corporation; and John Pierce, instructor and chair of the Energy Generation Operations Program at Southeast Community College.

Other scheduled presentations include marketing experiences with expanding the availability of E15 and higher ethanol blends, as well as a discussion of regulatory considerations for renewable chemical production presented by Richard Engler, Ph.D., former senior staff scientist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics. Experts including Craig Willis, senior vice president of global markets at Growth Energy, and Kristy Moore of KMoore Consulting, will discuss trade, ethanol exports and new markets that are on the horizon for the ethanol and renewable chemical and co-products industries.

More than 150 ethanol industry stakeholders are expected to attend the forum. Online registration and a detailed agenda are available on the Nebraska Ethanol Board website. Scholarships also are available to college and university students and can be accessed online.

The Ethanol 2019: Emerging Issues Forum is presented by the Nebraska Ethanol Board with a range of local and national sponsors including: American Coalition for Ethanol, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C., Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group, BioNebraska, Biotechnology Innovation Organization, Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, CoBank, Direct Automation, EcoEngineers, Farm Credit Services of America, Fluid Quip Process Technologies, Green Plains, Growth Energy, Hartland Renewable Fuels, Husch Blackwell, Kinect Energy Group, Kutak Rock, National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center, Nebraska Corn Board, Novozymes, POET Ethanol Products, Renewable Fuels Nebraska, Solenis, Urban Air Initiative and USDA Rural Development.

EPA Announces Final RFS Volumes for 2018

LINCOLN, NEB. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set the 2018 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The administration will require refiners to mix 19.29 billion gallons of biofuels into the U.S. gasoline and diesel supply next year.

This blending requirement includes conventional biofuels such as corn-based ethanol at 15 billion gallons, advanced biofuels at 4.29 billion gallons and biodiesel at 2.1 billion gallons for 2018. In July, the EPA had proposed an overall 19.25 billion gallon blending target, which included cuts to biodiesel. This final announcement abandons that proposed decrease, and instead upholds the RVO levels relative to 2017.

Although oil refiners pushed the EPA to reduce volume requirements – the amount of biofuels that must be blended with the nation’s fuel supply – the administration kept the levels steady. In an already depressed farm economy, this reflects a positive step forward for the renewable fuels industry.

“Setting the conventional biofuel target consistent with statutory levels helps to ensure that biofuels like corn-based ethanol will continue to play an important role in meeting demand for less-expensive, cleaner-burning transportation fuels,” said Todd Sneller, Nebraska Ethanol Board administrator.

“The RFS is an important floor for biofuel demand in the U.S., but producers also continue efforts to expand domestic and international markets,” Sneller said. “Successfully expanding biofuel demand will generate additional opportunities for investment in new technologies and increased production capacity.”

Many domestic fuel marketers are adding infrastructure that accommodates a growing slate of ethanol products including E15 and higher blends. Biofuel producers are also making headway in international markets with recent announcements from Japan, Mexico and China.

  • Mexico announced they would start using 10 percent ethanol blends nationwide excluding three cities – Monterrey, Guadalajara and Mexico City. Ethanol fuels may soon be allowed to expand into these cities pending government approval.
  • Japan announced they would allow gasoline blenders to use ethanol sourced from the U.S., which is significantly less expensive than the Brazilian sugarcane ethanol Japan has been using.
  • China also announced that it will start using 10 percent ethanol blends, as well as exempt a value-added tax on imports of U.S. dried distillers grains.

Domestically, the Renewable Fuel Standard is an important cornerstone for consumer demand, but industry experts are looking to eliminate barriers like reid vapor pressure on E15 and working with fuel marketers to expand ethanol blend options via additional infrastructure improvements, Sneller added.

“Next-generation biofuels continue to evolve, but the new processes, productions, technology deployment and jobs will not be realized if demand for biofuels stagnates,” Sneller said. “Biofuels make an increasingly important contribution to public health and the environment by displacing toxic compounds and harmful emissions from traditional fossil fuels.”

Many improvements in ethanol feedstocks and production have dramatically reduced ethanol’s carbon intensity. With increasing fuel economy standards, higher-octane gasoline blended with ethanol reduces the carbon impact of fuels while allowing automakers to achieve higher efficiency, further adding to ethanol’s low carbon footprint.

“It is critical that ethanol not only participate in federal programs but also in low carbon fuel standards at the state level,” Sneller said. “Omaha is close to exceeding the EPA’s level of acceptable ground-level ozone, but Nebraskans can take steps now to lower vehicle emissions by simply using more biofuels when they fill their tanks.”



Clean Fuels Director Addresses Ethanol Board

Doug Durante, Clean Fuels Development Coalition

Lincoln, Neb. – Doug Durante, Clean Fuels Development Coalition (CFDC) executive director, will give a recap of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and what it means for the Nebraska ethanol industry during the Nebraska Ethanol Board meeting Thursday, Jan. 21, in Lincoln.

After years of uncertainty, the final volumes for the amount of corn ethanol were announced late last year, and corn ethanol is essentially at its limit under the RFS, according to Durante. He will discuss the specific regulatory roadblocks that, if eliminated, would open the market for higher ethanol blends.

“The Nebraska ethanol industry, capable of producing significantly more ethanol than current levels, cannot count on the RFS to ensure a market,” Durante said. “The industry needs to move beyond the RFS and create new, consumer-driven demand that capitalizes on the health benefits of clean octane and the ability to meet low-carbon fuel standards.”

Durante’s national ethanol advocacy efforts and his relationship with the Nebraska ethanol industry span more than 35 years. He frequently consults on international biofuel projects including initiatives that focus on the use of biofuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

CFDC works closely with the Urban Air Initiative (UAI), which has conducted a significant body of research over the past several years showing how toxic compounds known as aromatics, which are added to gasoline to boost octane, are causing a host of respiratory illnesses in urban populations. Durante advocates for a cleaner alternative – ethanol – which is a natural octane enhancer and a clean, low-carbon fuel choice. CFDC and UAI have collaborated with the Nebraska Ethanol Board on fuel testing and analysis as well as public information programs in Nebraska.

Durante, a veteran of biofuel policy and ethanol market development, is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, and represents members of the Clean Fuels Development Coalition on Capitol Hill. Previously, he served as an ethanol advisor to members of Congress and as a technical and policy advisor to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Ethanol Board meeting will be held at Country Inn and Suites in Lincoln at 8:30 a.m. Durante will speak at approximately 9 a.m.

Biofuel Education Videos Now Available

LINCOLN, Neb. – New biofuel videos available for education on both the economic and environmental benefits of using renewable biofuels.

The Nebraska Ethanol Board released white board-style biofuel videos starring gruff military man Colonel Korn and modern couple Andy & Sandy. The videos can be viewed on the Nebraska Ethanol Board YouTube Channel: http://ow.ly/TaCk4

“The educational messages embodied in the new videos are an excellent means of communicating the benefits of ethanol to students as well as older adults,” said Todd Sneller, Nebraska Ethanol Board administrator. “They are brief, factual and quicColonel_Kern_Nebraska_Ethanol2kly convey the economic, environment and public health advantages associated with ethanol and other biofuels.”

Colonel Korn takes the audience on a journey through Nebraska’s $5 billion ethanol industry. He shares why American Ethanol is important to the state and the world, discussing exports and co-product use along the way.

Looking to be a good environmental steward, Andy relies on Sandy to explain the benefits of using biofuels to reduce harmful toxics in the air. Sandy shares the air quality benefits of fueling up with American Ethanol and biodiesel.

The new videos will be used throughout the state to inform consumers about the benefits of biofuels. The videos are available to share online, but DVDs also can be requested through the Nebraska Ethanol Board office.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NebraskaEthanolBoard/videos

Website: http://ethanol.nebraska.gov/wordpress/news-media/videos/

YouTube: http://ow.ly/TaCk4