Business Briefs

FROM THE MAY ISSUE: Awards, permitting milestones, new trade group memberships and more.
By Ethanol Producer Magazine | April 18, 2018

Corn Oil One owner receives Cultivation Corridor Iowa Biotech Leadership Award  
Robert G. Riley Jr., chairman of the board and founder of Feed Energy, CEO of the Riley Resource Group and owner of Corn Oil One, is the recipient of the 2018 Cultivation Corridor Iowa Biotechnology Association Leadership Award.

The award recognizes an individual who in the past year has demonstrated leadership, innovation, advocacy and commitment to advancing Iowa’s biotechnology industry.

A Des Moines native, Riley has worked for more than 40 years in the fats and oil processing industry in many capacities. He has been involved in domestic and international sales and marketing, laboratory supervision, research and development, as well as executive and corporate management. Of significance is Riley’s work with Corn Oil One, a startup company bringing new technologies and products to market to add value to the biofuels, life sciences, oleo-chemicals and feed industries. Corn Oil One works with the ethanol industry to acquire corn oil for biodiesel production.

“Bob Riley is immersed in service to the biotechnology profession,” says Billi Hunt, executive director of the Cultivation Corridor. “He has been an active leader for over four decades. Not only does he champion advancing technology and innovation throughout our state, his activity has moved on to the national and international level, giving Iowa’s biotechnology industry a strong presence and recognition among a much larger audience.”

In 2017, Riley was presented with the Nature Conservancy International Advocate of the Year award for his advocacy for conservation and natural resources. In the same year, he was inducted into the Iowa Poultry Association Hall of Fame.

The Iowa Biotechnology Association and the Cultivation Corridor team up to present the Cultivation Corridor Iowa Biotech Leadership Award annually. The recipient is determined by a committee of individuals with roles in Iowa’s biotechnology industry.

Aemetis reaches permitting milestone
Aemetis Inc. says it has completed federal and state agency permitting and environmental approvals for construction of a 12 MMgy cellulosic ethanol plant in Riverbank, California. The company has received its Finding of No Significant Impact under the National Environmental Policy Act, and California Environmental Quality Act approval.

“Receiving both CEQA and FONSI approvals are the key permitting milestones for federal loan programs at this scale, including the pending $125 million USDA 9003 loan guarantee,” says Eric McAfee, chairman and CEO of Aemetis.

After signing a 55-year lease agreement at the Riverbank site in February 2017, Aemetis began the process of obtaining CEQA approval, a requirement for any construction activities in California. The project will convert waste orchard wood and nut shells into cellulosic ethanol. McAfee says construction on the $168 million project is slated to begin in the third quarter of this year, with startup in the third quarter of 2019.

USGC welcomes IRFA as new member
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association is a new member of the U.S. Grains Council.

Formed in 2002 to represent the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry, the IRFA brings together Iowa ethanol and biodiesel producers to foster the development and growth of the state’s renewable fuels industry through education, promotion and infrastructure development. IRFA is committed to making Iowa a leader in producing renewable fuels and value-added coproducts.

Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production. It has 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing more than 4 billion gallons annually, including 55 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol capacity. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 380 million gallons annually.

RFA’s custom ethanol-powered motorcycle to debut on American Chopper
The Renewable Fuels Association has joined forces with Paul Jr. Designs to conceive of and fabricate a signature motorcycle that thrusts American-made fuel ethanol into the spotlight.

After a six-year hiatus from reality TV, Paul Teutul Jr. and his team are returning to Discovery Channel with the premiere of American Chopper on May 27. RFA’s signature piece will be featured in the new series.

E10 has been used in motorcycles as a safe and cost-saving alternative to straight gasoline for decades. Every motorcycle manufacturer endorses the use of E10, while some approve the use of even higher blends.

“RFA has been fighting the misinformation campaign surrounding ethanol in motorcycles for years, and this is our next step,” says Robert White, vice president of industry relations for RFA. “Partnering with Paul Jr. Designs allowed us to create a unique tool to further carry our message and ensure that the quality of the design and build is unmatchable. Combined with the global brand and broadcast power of American Chopper, our message will be loud and clear. We are extremely pleased to be working with Paul and his team at Paul Jr. Designs and look forward to years of using this motorcycle.”
Teutul says, “I’m extremely excited to work with a company like RFA that realizes the importance and potential of renewable fuels. I’m excited for people to watch us showcase our creative process when the bike airs on our new series of American Chopper.”

Discovery Channel crews filmed the unveiling of RFA’s signature build on March 24 at East Kansas Agri-Energy, an RFA member ethanol plant in Garnett, Kansas.

ICM, The Andersons team up on Kansas plant
ICM Inc. and The Andersons Inc. are partnering to own and construct Element LLC, a 70 MMgy biorefinery located in Colwich, Kansas. The combination of ICM’s next-generation technologies, the merchandising, risk management and logistics expertise of The Andersons, and the demonstrated operational excellence of both companies will result in the production of the highest-yielding, most profitable, and lowest-carbon ethanol gallon in the U.S. ethanol industry today.

Utilizing ICM’s advanced gasification technology, Element will use waste wood to drive a combined-heat-and-power generator that will offset more than 70 percent of the natural gas requirements and as much as 80 percent of the electrical demand.

Element will include the latest versions of ICM’s proprietary technologies for corn ethanol, Selective Milling Technology V2 and Fiber Separation Technology Next Gen. ICM’s patented SMT V2 is a grind system designed to maximize ethanol and distillers corn oil production. ICM’s patented FST Next Gen enables higher corn ethanol production, increases distillers corn oil yield, and separates the fiber from the process.

The separated fiber provides the feedstock for the patent-pending Generation 1.5 Grain Fiber to Cellulosic Ethanol Technology. The ICM Gen 1.5 cellulosic process will produce more than 5 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol annually. Element is expected to be the largest corn-fiber-to-ethanol plant in the world, and will also produce high-value animal feed products.

Construction and manufacturing will begin in early 2018 with the first phase of startup scheduled for spring 2019. Element is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2019.

“The Andersons and ICM share a common vision,” says Chris Mitchell, ICM president. “We strive to utilize our combined experience and expertise to build and grow businesses that operate in the top percentile of their industries. By positioning Element in such a way to take advantage of what both companies do best, we expect that this company will be the leader in the ethanol industry well into the future.”

Pat Bowe, CEO of The Andersons, says, “This investment executes on several of our stated strategic priorities, such as operating highly efficient and profitable ethanol production facilities, increasing capacity under management, developing new technologies with higher-value coproducts and expanding our fee-based services offering.”
— ICM Inc.