Tag Archives: Ethanol

Nebraska Ethanol Board hopeful for vapor-pressure change

LINCOLN, Neb. – Today, President Donald Trump voiced support again for E15 by directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to begin the rulemaking process to allow the fuel to be sold nationwide year round. E15 is approved for use in 2001 and newer light-duty vehicles.

Due to an antiquated regulation from 1990, the federal government holds E15, a blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline, to tougher standards than other fuels during the summer. Between June 1 and Sept. 15, E15 is limited for use in flex fuel vehicles only due to federal Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) requirements.

“We are grateful to the President for taking this crucial step toward year-round E15 sales,” said Nebraska Ethanol Board Administrator Sarah Caswell. “We are hopeful this long overdue federal waiver will be finalized and effective before the summer driving season.”

According to Growth Energy, a national ethanol trade association, allowing year-round sales of E15 by granting the RVP waiver could boost domestic ethanol demand by 1.3 billion gallons within five years.

“We should see an increase in fuel retailers across the state and nation offering E15 when the red tape and regulatory barriers are removed,” said Randy Gard, Nebraska Ethanol Board petroleum representative and chief operations officer for Bosselman Enterprises. “The waiver takes the perceived risk out of the market for fuel retailers, which will stimulate ethanol markets. E15 gives consumers another renewable, low-cost option at the pump.”

The E15 change will not be immediate, as it requires a formal rule-making process with the EPA. The EPA is expected to publish a proposed rule in the coming weeks, followed by a public comment period.

“Allowing E15 and higher blends of ethanol year round provides a boost for industry stakeholders including farmers, ethanol producers, fuel retailers, consumers and local communities,” said Caswell. “We look forward to working with all our ethanol champions in government to make this a reality.”

Caswell noted that Nebraska state fleet vehicles have been running on E15 for more than two years, saving the state money while using a homegrown product. Nebraska continues that forward thinking by recently seeking and receiving EPA approval to evaluate the use of E30 in conventional vehicles owned by the state.

“The focus remains on bringing high-octane, low-carbon fuels to the market to meet vehicle standards,” said Caswell. “We’ll continue our work with automakers and policymakers on retail infrastructure, removing market barriers, reducing cost and ensuring availability.”

 

 

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Long-Time Ethanol Board Administrator to Retire

Todd Sneller, Outgoing NEB Administrator
Sarah Thornton Caswell, Upcoming NEB Administrator

LINCOLN, Neb. – Todd Sneller, administrator of the Nebraska Ethanol Board, will retire Sept. 14 after more than 40 years of service with the state of Nebraska.

Sneller started his career in 1976 as a staff assistant with the Agriculture Products Industrial Utilization Committee, now the Nebraska Ethanol Board. He left for a brief period from 1978 to spring 1979 to work as a business development consultant for the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. In May 1979, the Nebraska Ethanol Board recruited him to serve as their administrator, a role he has held ever since.

“It has been my privilege to work with a host of forward-looking policymakers at the state and national level during my career,” Sneller said. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with top business leaders during the process of developing a new economic sector in the state.”

Starting his administrator career when the U.S. faced the third serious oil supply shortage of the 1970s, Sneller engaged in advancing ethanol from a concept to a partial replacement of fossil fuels. The U.S. gasoline supply now contains more than 10 percent ethanol and Nebraska ranks No. 2 nationally in ethanol production. The state has 25 plants with an annual production capacity of 2.5 billion gallons of ethanol.

“Nebraska’s ethanol industry generates more than $5 billion annually,” Sneller said. “That economic impact in concert with the corn, livestock and bio-products sectors plays a significant role in the economy of Nebraska and in agriculture specifically. Perhaps most importantly, ethanol plants greatly contribute to the economic health of the Nebraska counties where they reside.”

The Nebraska Ethanol Board selected Sarah Thornton Caswell of Omaha as the next administrator. Caswell has extensive experience in the bio-industry sector and recently served as vice president of Government and Regulatory Affairs for Edeniq, a technology firm serving the biofuels industry. Caswell earned her juris doctor from American University’s Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C., and is a member of the Illinois Bar. She will assume the role of board administrator Sept. 17.

“Todd’s contributions to ethanol development extend beyond Nebraska, but his dedicated efforts in the state have helped create a new economic sector,” said Jan tenBensel, Nebraska Ethanol Board chairman. “We are pleased to have Sarah Caswell take the reins as the Board continues to advance into bio-products created from the ethanol platform.”

Established in 1971, the Ethanol Board assists ethanol producers with programs and strategies for marketing ethanol and related co-products. The Board supports organizations and policies that advocate the increased use of ethanol fuels – and administers public information, education and ethanol research projects. The Board also assists companies and organizations in the development of ethanol production facilities in Nebraska. For more information, please visit www.ethanol.nebraska.gov.

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Renewable Fuels Month Filled with Consumer Savings

LINCOLN, Nebraska – Just in time for summer vacations and trips to the lake, Nebraska drivers will save on ethanol blends every Friday in May for Renewable Fuels Month.

Select retailers in Omaha, Grand Island and Bellevue are offering discounts on cleaner-burning American Ethanol and one location is discounting biodiesel!

  • Friday, May 4
    • Bucky’s – 3052 S. 84th St., Omaha
    • Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Discount: $0.85 OFF per gallon of E85
  • Friday, May 11
    • Kum & Go – 14353 Q St., Omaha
    • Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Discount: E15 and E85 for $0.99/gallon
  • Friday, May 18
    • Bosselman Travel Center – 3335 W Wood River Rd., Grand Island
    • Time: 4-7 p.m.
    • Discount: Clean 88 (E15) for $1.88/gallon, E85 for $0.85/gallon, and $1 OFF per gallon of automotive biodiesel
  • Friday, May 25
    • Pump & Pantry – 3605 Summit Plaza Dr., Bellevue
    • Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    • Discount: Clean 88 (E15) for $1.88/gallon and E85 for $0.85/gallon

Find all the details for the fuel promotions at http://americanethanolne.org/renewable-fuels-promo/.

E15 (15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline) is approved for use in all passenger vehicles 2001 and newer. Ethanol blends higher than 15 percent are approved for use in flex fuel vehicles. One in seven Nebraskans are driving a flex fuel vehicle, which can run on any blend of American Ethanol up to E85 (85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline). Drivers can check their owner’s manual to see if they’re driving a flex fuel vehicle. The vehicle might also have a flex fuel badge on the trunk or tailgate — or have a yellow gas cap.

Biofuels serve as a low-cost option for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation sources. According to the U.S. Departments of Energy and Agriculture, ethanol reduces GHG emissions by 40-45 percent compared to gasoline.

Renewable Fuels Month is coordinated through the Nebraska Ethanol Board, the Nebraska Corn Board and the Nebraska Soybean Board. Several promotional events are also being posted throughout the month on their social media platforms. Visit www.AmericanEthanolNE.org and www.BiodieselNE.com for more details.

A portion of Kum & Go, Bosselman Travel Center and Pump & Pantry’s fuel pump upgrades were paid for with the Access Ethanol Nebraska (AEN), a grant program administrated by the Nebraska Corn Board, Nebraska Ethanol Board and Nebraska Department of Agriculture, with the Nebraska Energy Office as the lead agency. Nebraska’s federal award of approximately $2.3 million for the AEN program came from the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation’s Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP). USDA rules require that the USDA funds be matched dollar for dollar with funds from state, private industry or foundations. Matching funds will come from the Nebraska Corn Board through the state corn checkoff funds paid by Nebraska corn farmers and from the Nebraska Environmental Trust approved funding of $500,000 for each of the two years. Matching funds will also come from contributions made by individual ethanol plants and “Prime the Pump,” a nonprofit organized and funded by the ethanol industry to improve ethanol infrastructure.

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Flex Fuel Grand Opening in Adams

ADAMS, NE – Nebraska drivers can take advantage of huge savings on E15 for $1.99, E30 for $1.79, and E85 for $0.99 a gallon at Midwest Farmers Cooperative in Adams (200 7th St.) for an entire week –  Wednesday, March 28 to Tuesday, April 3. Consumers will be limited to 30 gallons and no containers are allowed.

The fuel savings will last a week, but the main event is a grand opening celebration Wednesday, March 28, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will kick off with a ribbon cutting to introduce the new flex fuel pumps that now dispense E10, E15, E30 and E85.

The sponsors – Nebraska Ethanol Board, Nebraska Corn Board and E-Energy Adams – will be on site greeting drivers, pumping fuel and providing giveaways. Southeast Corn Growers Association and Farm Credit Services of America will provide a complimentary hot dog, chips, cookie and drink to grand opening customers.

“We applaud Midwest Farmers Cooperative for providing consumers more choice and offering cleaner-burning, homegrown fuel at a lower cost,” said Megan Grimes, Nebraska Ethanol Board program manager. “With fuel produced by a nearby ethanol plant, this is the only Nebraska station offering higher ethanol blends southeast of Lincoln.”

E15 (15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline) is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in all passenger vehicles model year 2001 and newer. Ethanol blends higher than 15 percent are approved for use in flex fuel vehicles. One in seven Nebraskans are driving a flex fuel vehicle, which can run on any blend of American Ethanol up to E85 (85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline). Drivers can check their owner’s manual to see if they’re driving a flex fuel vehicle. The vehicle might also have a flex fuel badge on the trunk or tailgate — or have a yellow gas cap.

A portion of Midwest Farmers Cooperative’s fuel pump upgrades were paid for with the Access Ethanol Nebraska (AEN), a grant program administrated by the Nebraska Corn Board, Nebraska Ethanol Board and Nebraska Department of Agriculture, with the Nebraska Energy Office as the lead agency. Nebraska’s federal award of approximately $2.3 million for the AEN program came from the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation’s Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP). USDA rules require that the USDA funds be matched dollar for dollar with funds from state, private industry or foundations. Matching funds will come from the Nebraska Corn Board through the state corn checkoff funds paid by Nebraska corn farmers and from the Nebraska Environmental Trust approved funding of $500,000 for each of the two years. Matching funds will also come from contributions made by individual ethanol plants and “Prime the Pump,” a nonprofit organized and funded by the ethanol industry to improve ethanol infrastructure.

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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.”

 

 

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