Business Briefs

By Erin Voegele | January 25, 2016

Wayne Fueling Systems has announced an agreement to acquire Simmons Sirvey, a provider of real-time fuel management services and traditional statistical inventory reconciliation in the retail fueling industry. Through the agreement, Wayne will acquire all of Simmons’ products and technology solutions including the ClearView software that provides real-time fuel monitoring and analytics for fueling station owners. Wayne Fueling Systems also recently announced an agreement with Vianet Group plc, a provider of real-time monitoring systems, data management services, and actionable data for the leisure and vending sectors, to acquire their fuel management subsidiary. U.K.-based Vianet Fuel Solutions Ltd. includes two main product lines as part of the Wayne acquisition, including fuel management solutions (FMS) and construction and forecourt services. FMS is comprised of real-time, wet-stock management, asset management and compliance monitoring services. CFS aligns with Wayne’s current U.K. services business and provides additional services,  including forecourt construction, electrical compliance services and tank lining.
Jeff Broin, founder of Poet LLC, resumed his role as the company’s CEO in November after serving as executive chairman for the previous 3.5 years. Jeff Lautt, who served as CEO in Broin’s absence, will continue to manage the day-to-day operations of Poet as president and chief operating officer. 
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association has announced its board of directors, officers and executive committee for 2016. Each producer member has a seat on the board and votes on officers. New officers will serve a one-year term during the 2016 calendar year. Tom Brooks of Western Dubuque Biodiesel will serve as president, while Eamonn Byrne of Plymouth Energy has been elected vice president. Rick Schwarck of Absolute Energy will serve as treasurer, while Steve Bleyl of Green Plains Inc. will serve as secretary and Monte Shaw will continue as executive director. The executive committee includes Brian Cahill of Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy, Derek Winkel of Renewable Energy Group, Craig Willis of Archer Daniels Midland Co., and Bill Howell of Poet-Coon Rapids. 
Syngenta has signed an agreement with Midwest Renewable Energy LLC to begin using Enogen corn technology at its Sutherland, Nebraska, ethanol plant beginning with the 2016 planting season. Syngenta is contracting Enogen with growers to support 18 ethanol plants in seven states, representing approximately 1.3 billion gallons of ethanol capacity. 
The USDA has announced a conditional commitment for a $70 million loan guarantee to an affiliate Ensyn Corp. to support the construction of a 20 MMgy cellulosic biorefinery in Georgia. The facility will employ Ensyn’s Rapid Thermal Processing technology to produce a renewable fuel oil product. The loan guarantee was awarded under the USDA’s Biorefinery Assistance Program. 
Laurel Biocomposite LLC has earned the USDA Certified Biobased Product Label for its Bio-Res PLA with 97 percent biobased content; Bio-Res PE with 62 percent biobased content and Bio-Res powder with 100 percent biobased content.  The company first introduced the biomaterial in 2011 as a cost-effective, green replacement with improved performance properties for traditional petroleum-based resins in a variety of plastics manufacturing processes.
The Iowa Corn Promotion Board recently announced the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has published its patent application for a production method using corn in the industrial manufacturing of monoethylene glycol (MEG), which can be used to manufacture polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic. MEG can also be used as antifreeze, coolants, aircraft deicers and industrial solvents. 
LanzaTech has signed a joint development agreement with nylon producer Invista to collaborate on projects to develop one- and two-step technologies to convert industrial waste gas carbon monoxide into butadiene. Initial commercialization is expected this year.  

U.S. Water, an Allete Co., has announced the acquisition of A and W Technologies, a Georgia-based company that provides specialty chemicals and engineering service for water treatment in data centers, light industrial, institutional and food industries. A $9 million purchase agreement was signed by both parties in November.

The Alliance for Sustainable Energy recently announced the appointment of Martin Keller as director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and president of the alliance, which manages the laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy. Keller officially joined NREL on Nov. 30. He was previously employed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he served as the associate laboratory director for energy and environmental sciences, which includes ORNL’s programs in biosciences, environmental sciences, buildings technologies, transportation, climate change, manufacturing, and electrical and electronics systems. In 2006, Keller was recruited to ORNL from an industrial enzyme discovery and development company to lead the Office of Science-supported BioEnergy Science Center, in which NREL is a partner.

Redfield Energy and ICM Inc. unveiled the installation of ICM’s Fiber Separation Technology at Redfield’s ethanol plant in Redfield, South Dakota, in November. FST is a value-added platform technology that helps increase ethanol yield and oil recovery for customers. FST also removes fiber from a standard ethanol process, which allows increased throughput and efficiency for each gallon of ethanol produced, and creates options for diversified coproducts with high-protein feeds and fiber.

Deinove has produced second-generation ethanol in a 300-liter fermenter. The trials were conducted at VTT1. Fermentation of glucose and xylose sugars by and optimized deinol strain of Deinococcus bacteria resulted in the production of ethanol at 7.3 percent volume/volume. This performance is consistent with the results obtained by the Deinove team in its laboratories in 20-liter fermenters.
Cherry Murray was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December as director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Murray will oversee research in the areas of advanced scientific computing, basic energy sciences, biological and environmental sciences, fusion energy sciences, high-energy physics, and nuclear physics. She will have responsibility not only for supporting scientific research, but also for the development, construction, and operation of unique, open-access scientific user facilities. The Office of Science manages 10 of the department’s 17 national laboratories. Murray previously served as the Benjamin Peirce professor of technology and public policy and professor of physics at Harvard University.
Fluid Quip Process Technologies LLC has developed a fiber bypass system that removes solids before ethanol fermentation. The company installed the system at two U.S. ethanol plants last year, and was scheduled to install additional systems in U.S. and Brazilian plants in December.

The Renewable Fuels Association has unveiled a redesigned version of its fuel market website The revamped crowdsourcing site offers a highly optimized user experience by integrating mobile device compatibility so that users can access no matter where they are.