Business Briefs

By Erin Voegele | August 22, 2016

Green Plains Partners LP has announced John D. Chandler was appointed by Green Plains Inc. as an independent director to the board of directors of its independent partner, Green Plains Holdings LLC. Chandler will also serve as a member of the board’s audit and conflict committees. He is the partnership’s third independent board member. From 2002 to 2014, Chandler served as chief financial officer, treasurer and chief accounting officer of Magellan Midstream Holdings GP. Before joining Magellan, he was director of planning and strategic development for a subsidiary of The Williams Companies Inc. and held various accounting and finance positions at MAPCO Inc. He currently serves on the board of directors and is the chairman of the audit committee of USA Compression GP LLC. Chandler also is a member of the board of directors and audit committee of Cone Midstream GP LLC.   

Mark Davis has been named director of the Biosciences Center at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. He joined NREL in 1993 as a post-doctoral research associate and has served as the platform program manager for thermochemical processes since 2010. Davis also is currently directing the Enabling Technologies Focus Area for the BioEnergy Science Center, an Energy Department-sponsored effort led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Since joining NREL, Davis has served as the group manager for Chemical and Catalyst Sciences in NREL’s National Bioenergy Center. In addition, he has authored or co-authored more than 90 peer-reviewed publications and three book chapters.

R.J. O’Brien & Associates, a Chicago-based brokerage and clearing firm, has added Jordan Stern as senior vice president of ethanol. Stern will be focused on building out the firm’s futures, swaps and physical brokerage capabilities in ethanol and other biofuels. He was previously employed by SCB Group, an interdealer broker who specializes principally in biofuels, where he served as co-head of the firm’s ethanol desk and was instrumental in helping SCB ascend to a leading position in ethanol futures, ethanol options and physical brokering of ethanol. Prior to his work with ethanol, Stern spent nine years as a corn options trader on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade.  

Syngenta has announced the appointment of J. Erik Fyrwald as CEO. He succeeds John Ramsay, who has been ad interim CEO since November 2015. Prior to joining Syngenta, Fyrwald served as president and CEO of Univar Inc. He also spent 27 years at DuPont and previously served as chairman, president and CEO of Nalco and as president of EcoLab following EcoLab’s acquisition of Nalco.    
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, the nation’s longest serving governor, was recently honored by renewable fuels industry leaders, the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition and the National Corn Growers Association at a breakfast commemorating his steadfast leadership in renewable fuels. The event was part of the National Governors Association summer meeting, and was hosted and sponsored by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Governors’ Biofuel Coalition, Nebraska Ethanol Board and several other biofuels industry partners.

A proposed ASTM standard will provide a means to test and evaluate alternate fuel sources, such as biofuels, for metals. The proposed standard, WK54683 Test Method for Determination of Metals in Biofuels by Microwave Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry (MPAES), is being developed by Committee D02 on Petroleum Products, Liquid Fuels, and Lubricants.

The National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling recently presented the NCGA President’s Award to Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind. The award is given annually to a leader who has worked to advance issues important to corn farmers and agriculture. Bowling called Donnelly a true advocate for farmers and noted he is one of ethanol’s biggest champions in Congress. 

The Renewable Fuels Association has announced Power Energy Corp. has been awarded a $1.44 million grant from the Illinois’ Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity to offer higher ethanol blends at 20 retail stations in the Chicagoland areas as part of the USDA’s Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership Program. The funding will be used to help install underground storage tanks and new dispensers that will offer E15, E30 and E85, as well as biodiesel.

Growth Energy announced that RaceTrac is joining a growing list of retailers as part of the Prime the Pump initiative. Growth Energy works in collaboration with Prime the Pump members to make higher biofuel blends, E15, available to more Americans across the United States. RaceTrac joins Sheetz, Kum & Go, MAPCO, Minnoco, Thorntons, Murphy USA, Protec, and several others as the newest retailer to offer consumers a cleaner-burning, home-grown American fuel.

Xylogenics Inc. officially has launched its ethanol plant fermentation modeling services, which provide big data analytics to plant managers that empower informed and efficient implementation of new technologies, techniques, and resources. Xylogenics’ goal is to aid in maximizing the efficiency of fuel ethanol production by providing extensive and objective fermentation models that enable plant managers to agilely deploy the most valuable strategies for their plants. As part of the modeling services, Xylogenics performs a full analysis of all plant materials and historical data, then designs and conducts customized models of the plant fermentation, at lab scale. These models enable testing of an array of variables affecting plant fermentation operations and produce a large amount of fermentation data. This data is analyzed and reviewed with the plant manager to aid fermentation strategy or new technology assessments. 

The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers has completed a standard that establishes a framework for charting progress toward sustainable agriculture production. The standard is intended for application with all typical farming operations found around the world. Known as ANSI/ASABE S629, or the Framework to Evaluate the Sustainability of Agriculture Production Systems, the standard includes provisions for defining and benchmarking key performance indicators, setting goals, implementing strategies for continuous improvements, and reporting improvements.