Business Briefs

News briefs from the October issue of Ethanol Producer Magazine, including Poet's low-carbon farming partnership with FBN; ClearFlame's DOE grant; Aemetis' EB-5 funding; and Highwater Ethanol's investment in USP-grade ethanol production.
By Ethanol Producer Magazine | October 01, 2020

Poet partners with FBN on lower-carbon farming

Poet has formed a partnership with Farmers Business Network to boost profits for farmers while promoting sustainable agricultural practices.

The partnership will leverage FBN’s GRO Network, which matches farmers who use environmentally friendly practices with buyers who pay a premium for low-carbon corn. The program measures the benefits of conservation practices used by farmers on their land. This results in farm-level carbon-intensity scores that support low-carbon fuels.

 “At Poet we know that agriculture is the key to combating climate change, and we want to support farmers who share our mission to be good stewards of the Earth by using environmentally friendly practices,” said Poet Founder and CEO Jeff Broin. “We are excited about the potential of the GRO Network to promote sustainable agriculture and utilize the resulting low-carbon corn to produce even greener bioethanol and bioproducts.”


ClearFlame wins $1.1 million DOE grant

ClearFlame Engine Technologies has been awarded a two-year, $1.1 million Phase II grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Small Business Innovation Research program. The funding will support the company’s development of clean engine technology for the heavy-duty truck, off-highway and industrial markets.

The company’s engine technology enables low-carbon fuels such as ethanol to be integrated into existing diesel engine platforms.

“The results we achieved in Phase I of the DOE SBIR program successfully demonstrated the methodology and experimental process for optimizing a diesel-style engine to be more efficient using decarbonized liquid fuels,” said Julie Blumreiter, chief technology officer and co-founder of ClearFlame. “During Phase II, we’ll focus on additional validation through our collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.”


Aemetis closes on $35.5 million of EB-5 funding

Aemetis Inc. has closed on its $35.5 million Phase I EB-5 Program funded by 71 foreign investors. The EB-5 Program is authorized by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Act and designed to provide employment-based visa preferences for immigrant investors who deploy capital into U.S.-based projects that provide jobs for American workers.

Aemetis closed its Phase I EB-5 Program with the issuance of 71 subordinated convertible promissory notes, raising $35.5 million of low-interest investment funds used to create both direct and indirect jobs at its high-grade alcohol and fuel ethanol plant in Keyes, California.

Aemetis Chairman and CEO Eric McAfee said the project exemplifies sound immigration policy that generates U.S. investment and creates jobs. He said the company has already launched a second phase of EB-5 funding with plans to issue $50 million in additional notes.


Highwater Ethanol invests in USP-grade alcohol production

Highwater Ethanol LLC, a 59 MMgy ethanol plant in Lamberton, Minnesota, has filed an 8-K with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announcing an agreement with Nelson Baker Biotech Inc. for the installation of a system to produce 20 MMgy of hydrous USP-grade ethanol, which is used in the sanitizer market.

The filing indicates Highwater and Nelson Baker executed the construction agreement on Aug. 26. The agreement includes design, engineering and construction management. Construction is expected to begin before November and reach completion in the second fiscal quarter of 2021.

Highwater Ethanol is among many U.S. ethanol plants venturing into high-end alcohol production, according to Ethanol Producer Magazine’s recent survey of U.S. producers (see page 16).