Ethanol and its byproducts are increasingly being developed by nations in all corners of the globe, and for common reasons, according to Hochard. “People from all over the world want energy security and oil is a finite resource. Ethanol’s worldwide appeal derives from people realizing that we’ll need a more reliable fuel source,” says Hochard.
Last year the FEW boasted its highest number of international participants to date with attendees visiting from roughly 35 different countries. FEW coordinators reflected last year’s international involvement by bringing in 16 international speakers from 10 different countries. For this year’s FEW, Blazer and Hochard are excited about bringing a speaker from the Brazilian Sugar Cane Industry Association (UNICA), to give an Industry Update for Brazil during the opening general session. UNICA has represented the Brazilian bioethanol industry since 1997. Hochard says this will add an important element to the FEW, since they are true pioneers in the biofuels industry.
Exchanging information, international networking and discovering new technologies are all goals of the 2008 Fuel Ethanol Workshop, but coming together and cooperating to ensure the future of the ethanol industry is the paramount objective of this year’s conference.
Biofuels in the News
Urbanchuk Joins Influential Biofuels Panel
Prominent economist John M. Urbanchuk, of the global expert services firm LECG, has committed to serving on the select Biofuel Advisory Panel for the Chesapeake Bay Commission. Urbanchuk has extensive experience in agriculture and the biofuels industry, has conducted economic feasibility studies and prepared business plans for organizations interested in building and investing in ethanol and biodiesel plants.
Over the next several months, the Biofuel Advisory Panel will explore the production and use of next-generation cellulosic feedstocks for biofuels in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The commission says that, if developed correctly, the production of renewable fuels from feedstocks grown and harvested in the region can lead to significant economic and environmental benefits.
Panel members hope the findings will have not only local significance, but also serve to advance the commission’s goal to develop the biofuels industry in the bay region.
DuPont, Genecor Create Cellulosic Ethanol Plant
DuPont and Genencor, a division of Danisco A/S, agreed to form DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol LLC, a 50/50 global joint venture to develop and commercialize the production of next-generation cellulosic biofuel from nonfood sources.
The goal is to maximize efficiency and lower the overall system cost to produce a gallon of ethanol from cellulosic materials by optimizing the process steps into a single integrated technology solution.
The plant will initially target corn stover and sugar cane bagasse as a feedstock. Future targets include multiple ligno-cellulosic feedstocks including wheat straw, a variety of energy crops and other biomass sources.
Rising Fuel Costs Culprit in Food Price Hike
A study released in May by Texas A&M’s Agricultural and Food Policy Center illustrates corn prices have had little to do with rising food costs. The report, “The Effects of Ethanol on Texas Food and Feed,” also determined that relaxing the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) would not result in lower corn prices for livestock and poultry feeders.
The study shows that prices of household groceries are unrelated to ethanol or corn prices. Instead, higher oil prices are the underlying force impacting consumer prices and agriculture. The report was issued in response to mounting questions about the impact of increased ethanol production on the Texas agriculture sector and overall economy.
Tellurian Converts Cooking Oil to Biofuel
Tellurian Biodiesel, an independent distributor and marketer of sustainable quality biodiesel, has entered into a joint venture with Golden State Foods (GSF), a supplier to the quick-service restaurant industry, to recycle used cooking oil into biodiesel that exceeds industry specifications.
The new venture, Encore BioRenewables, plans to launch its first biodiesel production facility in Southern California in early 2009. The company plans to open additional processing plants throughout the United States as the market develops for their product. These plants will be sited near locations that collect used cooking oil from restaurants. Encore will recycle this material in the production of a more sustainable biodiesel fuel.