GREEN Team Newsletter - Issue #206
According to data recently released by the Iowa Department of Revenue, Iowa motorists purchased 2,930,635 gallons of E85 in the fourth quarter of 2014, and a record-setting 11,962,764 million gallons in all of 2014. The nearly 12 million gallons of E85 sold in 2014 is more than a 1 million gallon increase over the previous record in 2013. The nearly 3 million gallons sold in the fourth quarter of 2014 is also a fourth quarter record.
“Another year, and another E85 sales record in Iowa,” stated Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Executive Director Monte Shaw. “The most impressive aspect of this record is that retail gasoline prices dropped significantly in the second half of the fourth quarter of 2014, yet Iowa motorists remained committed to the homegrown, cleaner-burning fuel by setting a new fourth quarter record for E85 purchases. This fourth quarter data proves that not only is E85 being purchased at a record rate where available in Iowa, but consumers are realizing the benefits of this more locally-produced, environmentally-friendly fuel beyond simply its cost advantages.”
In Iowa, E85 is a fuel blend containing between 70 and 85 percent ethanol. E85 is currently sold at about 200 fueling sites in Iowa, and can be used in all flex-fuel vehicles (FFV). To determine if your vehicle can use E85, please check your owner’s manual, the vehicle’s fuel cap, or click here for a list of FFVs.
For a list of retail locations offering E85 in Iowa, please click here.
To view Iowa Department of Revenue’s quarterly E85 sales data, please click here.
March 27, 2015
As part of Iowa’s new road funding bill, the Iowa Legislature recently passed a 3-cent per gallon differential tax rate for B11 and higher biodiesel blends. This provision is expected to boost the availability and sales of cleaner-burning, locally-produced biodiesel. The bill was passed by a vote of 28 – 21 in the Iowa Senate, and a vote of 53 – 46 in the Iowa House.
Under the legislation, diesel fuel will be taxed at a rate of 32.5 cents per gallon. However, if diesel fuel is blended with 11 percent or more of biodiesel, the state excise tax is reduced to only 29.5 cents per gallon. The 3-cent per gallon differential for B11 and higher blends will go into effect on July 1, 2015.
“The biodiesel community thanks the Iowa Legislature for its commitment to increasing the use and availability of higher biodiesel blends,” stated Iowa Renewable Fuels Association(IRFA) Policy Director Grant Menke. “The 3-cent differential for blends containing at least 11 percent biodiesel will be a useful tool to build upon the progress we’ve made in cleaning up our air and supporting our economy through the use of homegrown Iowa biodiesel. The B11 differential further demonstrates Iowa’s policy leadership in expanding market access and consumer choice for renewable fuels.”
“With no end in sight on the federal policy uncertainty for biodiesel, I am grateful the Iowa Legislature took this opportunity to drive sales of higher biodiesel blends,” stated IRFA Vice President and Western Dubuque Biodiesel General Manager Tom Brooks. “This 3-cent differential for B11 and higher blends represents another step forward for the economic, environmental and energy security benefits that come along with a strong Iowa biodiesel community.”
Biodiesel is made from a wide range of feedstocks, including soybean oil, animal fats, distillers corn oil, and used cooking oil. Iowa produced 227 million gallons of biodiesel in 2014, roughly 16 percent of U.S. biodiesel production for the year. According to the EPA, biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 57 percent to 86 percent compared with petroleum diesel.
March 27, 2015
A new Fuels America study shows Iowans could cut 220,821 tons of carbon pollution by switching to E15, a fuel blend containing 15% ethanol.
“The analysis shows that if consumers in Iowa had access to and chose to fill up with E15 gasoline, emissions of carbon dioxide pollution across the state would be reduced,” stated Fuels America.
The environmental impact would be the equivalent of removing 48,489 passenger vehicles from Iowa’s roads every year.
The report looked at the environmental impact of Iowa motorists switching the 1.5 billion gallons of gasoline they purchase annually to E15. Most gasoline purchased in Iowa is a 10 percent ethanol blend, or E10. Stefen Mueller, a research economist at the University of Illinois at Chicago, provided the analysis.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), transportation creates 32 percent of the carbon pollution that contributes to greenhouse gas and climate change. The agency says human activities have contributed substantially to climate change by adding carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere.
Additionally, the report looked at the environmental impact of switching to E15 gasoline in six other states, including Illinois, Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. The total annual carbon savings would be 3.4 million tons.
To read the entire study, please click here.
March 27, 2015
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey recently announce that Mark McKinley and Galen Baker of Fuel Time in St. Ansgar, and Steve Neuendorf from Farmers Win Cooperative in Fredericksburg are the 2015 winners of the Secretary’s Ethanol and Biodiesel Marketing Awards.
“Fuel Time in St. Ansgar and Farmers Win Cooperative in Fredericksburg have made it a priority to make biodiesel and ethanol more available to Iowa drivers and promote these homegrown fuels,” stated Northey.
The awards were created by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) to recognize fuel marketers that have gone above and beyond in their efforts to promote and sell renewable fuels.
Ethanol Marketing Award winners McKinley and Baker of Fuel Time recently remodeled their station and have held several E15 promotions throughout the year, and have also had the lowest priced fuel in the nation on several occasions. In addition, monthly sales at Fuel Time show that E85 sales are typically equal or greater than E10 sales.
Neuendorf of Farmers Win Cooperative won the Biodiesel Marketing Award for his leadership in offering true consumer choice at the pump, including access to several higher blends of biodiesel. Farmers Win Coop recently installed a blender pump that offers clear No. 2 diesel as well as biodiesel blends of B10 (10% biodiesel), B20 (20% biodiesel), B30 (30% biodiesel) and B50 (50% biodiesel).
March 27, 2015
Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds recently met with Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy to talk about Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategyand urge the EPA to maintain a strong and robust federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
“I was pleased to be able to share the successes of a robust Renewable Fuel Standard with Administrator McCarthy,” stated Lt. Gov. Reynolds. “We Iowans have seen first-hand that a strong Renewable Fuel Standard creates jobs, increases family incomes, reduces transportation emissions and our dependence on foreign oil, provides consumers more choices at the pump and opens new market opportunities for agricultural products.”
Regarding her discussions with McCarthy on Iowa’s environmental efforts, Reynolds added, “The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy is an innovative, science-based collaborative effort to advance Iowa’s water quality. There are no better stewards of the land than Iowa farmers, and with support from the state, industry and producers, we believe Iowa can be a model for the states in terms of improving water quality.”
March 27, 2015
On the 157th anniversary of Rudolf Diesel’s birthday on March 18, 1858, the renewable fuels community celebrated National Biodiesel Day by encouraging consumers to fill-up on cleaner-burning, locally-produced biodiesel.
“Biodiesel is a greenhouse gas reducing advanced biofuel that farmers, truckers and consumers can really benefit from,” stated Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA)Communications Director T.J. Page. “In celebration of National Biodiesel Day, we’re encouraging all of Iowa’s diesel motorists to support cleaner air, American jobs, energy independence, and Iowa’s economy by choosing biodiesel at the pump.”
“Biodiesel works behinds the scenes to deliver a better alternative. It is here now, working today across the country to improve our environment, support our economy and protect energy security,” stated National Biodiesel Board (NBB)Chairman Steven J. Levy. “It is impressive what we have achieved in ten years and clear that responsible policy and industry innovation is working to expand access to America’s Advanced Biofuel while benefitting consumers.”
Since 2004, the use of biodiesel has cut carbon pollution by 75.5 million metric tons—that’s like removing 15.9 million cars from American roads, or planting 1.9 billion trees, or preserving 61.9 million acres of mature forests.
March 27, 2015
South O’Brien High School Senior Eric Koehlmoos was recently invited to travel from Iowa to Washington, D.C. to present the findings of his research on ethanol at the White House.
Koehlmoos will present his award winning Future Farmers of America (FFA) project as part of theWhite House Science Fair. The future Kansas State University student studied how a limestone pretreatment regimen on switchgrass and prairie cord grass can boost ethanol production while, at the same time, boosting protein value in distiller’s grains, the livestock feed byproduct of ethanol production.
Koehlmoos gives a lot of credit to the employees atLittle Sioux Corn Processors, a nearby ethanol plant in Marcus, Iowa, for helping him with enzymes and analysis.
“I grind up the grass, add enzymes and water, then heat and ferment it for three days,” Koehlmoos said. “Then I distill it and hope I have a pure ethanol sample to be analyzed at Little Sioux Corn Processors.”
Koehlmoos added, “I’ve been to Washington twice, but this will be my first visit to the White House. This is a pretty neat honor.”
To read the entire Sioux City Journal story, please click here.
March 27, 2015
In response to a flawed editorial by the USA Today Editorial Board that called for the elimination of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President Bob Dinneen set the record straight, noting the many ways in which consumers benefit from renewable fuels production and use.
Dinneen stated, “Just seven years into [the RFS], tremendous progress has been made. Renewable fuel consumption has grown dramatically. Dependence on petroleum, particularly imports, is down significantly. Gasoline imports are virtually non-existent.
“Greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector have fallen. The value of agricultural products is up. And communities across the country have benefited from the job creation, increased tax revenue and higher household income that stem from biorefineries.”
Dinneen added, “Meanwhile, the doomsday outcomes threatened by opponents of the RFS simply have not materialized. Corn acres have fallen, agricultural land use has declined, theGulf of Mexico ‘dead zone’ continues to contract, and deforestation rates have fallen. Food price inflation has followed normal historical trends and thus has been lower than before the implementation of the RFS.
“The RFS has been an unmitigated success. Except for one thing: The oil industry has lost market share and doesn’t like it. Big food companies also bristle at having to pay more for commodities; it eats into their profitability. But consumers have benefited as ethanol is less expensive than gasoline today.”
Dinneen concluded, “If we are to ever realize the promise of the RFS, we must allow it to continue. New fuels and technologies are being commercialized. Markets for higher level blends are materializing. Now is not the time to pull the rug out from under investors and consumers who share the bipartisan vision of a more economic and environmentally secure energy future.”
To read the entire response, please click here.
March 27, 2015
In response to Jay Leno’s recent article call for an end to ethanol, Car Clinic President and auto expert Bobby Likis reminded readers of some very important ethanol facts, and expressed that the Leno article “makes zero sense to me.”
Likis stated that what he read in the article, “does not sound like Jay Leno, the car guy. Oddly enough, not too long ago at SEMA, Mr. Leno was touting E85 and other ethanol-blends of gasoline with his Z06 ‘Vette. Now, for whatever unknown reason, he’s slamming ethanol. I cannot believe ‘what Jay said’ is ‘what Jay really believes.’”
Responding to a few points in Mr. Leno’s article, Likis pointed out that there’s no doubt ethanol absorbs water—and that’s a good thing! “No doubt that ethanol emulsifies and holds water,” stated Likis. “Yay!! That’s a good thing! In fact, “holding” / suspending /emulsifying water is an ethanol ASSET — not detriment — as gas tanks actually run dryer after the transition from E0 to E10.”
Likis then noted, “My head is still spinning with the totally out of context references to ethanol in classic cars, but Mr. Leno’s reflections on the Renewable Fuel Standard should be titled “Can’t We Simply Continue America’s 100+ Year Dependence On Foreign Oil?” Unthinkable. Tossing the Renewable Fuel Standard not only ensures we remain dependent on foreign oil, but also such actions literally cause would-be investors to pause and reconsider their potential investments in our nation’s renewable energy opportunities.”
Likis added, “With all due respect for the beautiful, treasured classics in garages and at car shows, let’s clear the smoke about any conclusion — even dead-wrong ones — about E10 in classic cars. How about refocusing on the other 260,000,000 light (non-commercial) vehicles on U.S. roads today? The average age is about 11½ years. So most of us drive cars made in this millennium … not made in the ‘70s or before.”
He concluded, “Thank goodness the early 1900s best seller “Why Can’t We Just Get Rid of Cars” — written by the horse breeders — didn’t catch on.”
March 27, 2015
During the recent NASCAR XFINITY SeriesTM Axalta 200 race, NASCAR surpassed 7 million miles of racing on E15.
“From our initial seamless transition to Sunoco Green E15, a 15 percent American-grown, American-made ethanol racing fuel blend in Daytona in 2011 to 7 million miles reached here atPhoenix International Raceway, NASCAR has shown under the most demanding competition that E15 is safe, reliable and it works,” stated Vice President of NASCAR Green Innovation and STEM Platforms Dr. Michael Lynch. “NASCAR fans are 80 percent more likely than non-fans to support the use of ethanol blends in their own car on the street, because they understand that NASCAR and our diligent race teams did our homework from the start with thousands of miles and hours of testing.”
“NASCAR validates what a great performance fuel [E15] is,” stated Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis. “If you meet with the teams and talk with the owners, they have noticed only increased horsepower, higher performance, and reduced emissions without a single issue when it comes to durability and dependability.”
“Thanks to countless miles of testing, research and collaboration with NASCAR, we were prepared to run Sunoco Green E15, a 15 percent ethanol fuel in our race cars and the transition was flawless,” stated Richard Childress Racing (RCR) Chairman and CEO Richard Childress. “We didn’t listen to the negative rhetoric about this, we did our own homework and testing and the switching of fuels has gone fantastic. It has also been very welcomed throughout NASCAR. Since this change took place, we have seen increased horsepower from a higher-octane ethanol fuel blend and decreased emissions. In our own internal tests at RCR, we used ethanol blends up to E30 and found no issues with that fuel, either. If you need any further proof, look no further than the 7 million miles NASCAR is about to complete.”
March 27, 2015
In an attempt to undercut the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) once again introduced the Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act that operates under the misguided assumption that the RFS is driving up food prices.
“Senators Feinstein and Toomey continue to operate under the misguided assumption that the RFS is driving food prices higher. It is not. Corn is less expensive today than when the RFS was passed!” stated Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President Bob Dinneen. “As the World Bank recently concluded, ‘most of the contribution to food price changes from 1997-2004 and 2005-2012 comes from the price of oil.’
“The sad irony of the Feinstein-Toomey effort is that, if passed, the sector most likely to be harmed would be the advanced and cellulosic technologies that are just now realizing commercial success. This bill would desolate investment in that nascent sector by crushing the foundation upon which those new technologies hope to build.”
“The authors of this legislation fail to understand the actual process of how ethanol is produced. Only the starch is removed, while all of the valuable components – the fiber, oil and protein are returned to the food chain in the form of a high protein animal feed.”Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis responded to the proposed legislation stating, “Just like their previous failed attempt, this legislation is incredibly shortsighted. Nearly identical legislation has been introduced in the past and has always failed to gain any traction since a majority of senators understand the importance of homegrown, American renewable fuels. This bill would eviscerate the RFS – the most successful energy policy enacted in the last 40 years. It will continue to keep us addicted to foreign oil and more than anything, it seems like this legislation is appeasing the wishes of Big Oil and Big Food.
Buis added, “If this legislation was adopted, it would embrace the status quo of our dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil, concede we no longer are serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and seek to pursue a policy that would result in massive upheaval and job loss in today’s booming rural economy.
March 27, 2015
At the recent 2015 Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference, Advanced Biofuels Association (ABA) President Michael McAdams called on Congress to reopen the federalRenewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to strengthen it for “continued development of the advanced and cellulosic industry.”
McAdams stated that the “RFS simply doesn’t work as well for companies trying to move cutting-edge technology from a demonstration plant to commercial scale.” He built upon his claims by encouraging the inclusion of a minimum RIN value for cellulosic fuels, an extension of the program beyond 2022, and removing “the loop hole that allows the oil industry to opt out from buying a cellulosic gallon.”
In a conference call with reporters, Renewable Fuels Association(RFA) President Bob Dinneen stated, “We seriously question who ABFA is representing these days … There’s nothing ABFA has identified as needed improvements to the program that the agency already does not have the authority to address.”
In a separate statement, Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis stated, “By opening up the RFS for legislative changes, you are opening a can of worms that will only create further uncertainty for the industry, which is the last thing biofuel producers of any kind need.”
March 27, 2015
The Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published a final rulemaking in the Federal Register that amends pipeline safety regulations that, among other things, adds ethanol to the definition of hazardous materials.
“PHMSA noted in the policy statement that the demand for biofuels was projected to increase as a result of several federal energy policy initiatives, which would result in greater use of pipelines for transporting biofuels,” stated PHMSA in the final rule. “PHMSA also stated that ethanol and other biofuels are substances that ‘may pose an unreasonable risk to life or property’ within the meaning of 49 U.S.C. 60101(a)(4)(B), and accordingly, these materials constitute ‘hazardous liquids for purposes of the pipeline safety laws and regulations.’”
In the notice of proposed rulemaking, PHMSA did receive one comment suggesting that biodiesel also be added to the definition, but PHMSA said it would not adopt the suggestion, however it may be address in future rulemaking.
March 27, 2015
ICM, Inc. recently announced it is proudly celebrating its 20th Anniversary in the renewable fuels industry.
“I think 20 years of innovation is an appropriate way to describe the life of the company,” stated ICM President Chris Mitchell. “It started out as a small group of people who had to come together and figure out what they were going to do when they started the business. Over the years, it transformed into a larger family of people who’ve had to come together and figure out how to best meet the needs of an evolving industry.”
Reflecting on the company’s history, ICM CEO Dave Vander Griend stated, “There was kind of a defining moment in time when a lot of things—like policy, public perception, and technology—all came together to help ethanol find its place. I feel fortunate to have been there, to have the background I had at the time, and to be surrounded by a good group of people and industry partners who could rally together and really grab ahold of the thing and help it grow.”
ICM was founded on Jan. 23, 1995 with only 20 employees, and made their mark by designing and manufacturing one of the industry’s most efficient distillers grain dryer. Through the years, ICM grew to employ hundreds of the industry’s brightest minds and to design more than 100 ethanol plants.
To watch ICM’s 20th Anniversary video, please visit: https://www.icm20years.com/
March 27, 2015
Lallemand Biofuels & Distilled Spirits (LBDS) and Mascoma, LLC recently announced that Lallemand has received a patent (US 8,956,851 B2) for the technology that is used inTransFerm Yield+. This invention provides for novel metabolic pathways that reduce or eliminate glycerol production and thereby increase ethanol yield by yeast or other microorganisms.
“We are extremely proud to have introduced these products into the marketplace. This drop-in, game-changing technology is one example of how our Mascoma business unit has produced real results” statedLBDS President Angus Ballard. “To be able to increase yields and thus increase the profitability of ethanol plants, at a time where margins are tight, is huge. This is just the beginning of a long line of Mascoma developed products that will be brought into the market by our team.”
“Development of this technology is the result of years of dedicated R&D effort by Mascoma,” stated Mascoma Executive Vice President Kevin Wenger. “We are quite pleased that theU.S. Patent Office has allowed the patent; we believe it shows how innovative and significant this new approach really is. TransFerm Yield+ is truly the first product of its kind to offer this type of step change technology in ethanol production.”
During the past three years, LBDS and Mascoma introduced TransFerm® and TransFerm® Yield+ yeasts into the ethanol industry in order to help producers reduce the amount of glucoamylase needed in fermentation and also to provide a substantial yield increase through the introduction of this glycerol reduction pathway. Since that introduction over 50 plants have utilized the TransFerm platform producing over 4 Billion gallons of ethanol.
To learn more about TransFerm Yield+, please click here.