Business & People: Ethanol Industry Briefs

By | July 08, 2009
›Florida-based biotechnology developer Dyadic International Inc. recently settled a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission administrative proceeding without denying or admitting the SEC's findings. A cease-and-desist order was issued to Dyadic as part of the settlement, but no monetary penalties were applied to members of the company.

Additionally, litigation between Dyadic and Abengoa Bioenergy New Technologies Inc. has been settled and the companies have entered into a non-exclusive license agreement. As part of the agreement, Abengoa has been granted patent rights related to Dyadic's C1 technology platform. Abengoa plans to use the technology rights toward its commercialization of cellulosic ethanol.

›Codexis Inc., an industrial biocatalyst development company, has appointed David Anton as senior vice president of research and development and John Grate as senior vice president of science and innovation and chief science officer. Anton joined Codexis Bioindustrials in 2008 as the company's research and development vice president. Prior to that, he worked at DuPont for 25 years, most recently as the company's biofuels venture manager. Grate joined Codexis as the founding R&D vice president in 2002. He previously held various R&D positions more than 20 years at Catalytica and is a registered U.S. patent agent.

›Mark Lambert has joined the National Corn Growers Association as a senior communications manager. Lambert served as the communications director for the Illinois Corn Growers Association and the Illinois Corn Marketing Board for more than 20 years. In addition, Lambert has written numerous articles for trade publications, magazines and Web sites regarding corn's contributions to the general economy, the agricultural industry, national security and the environment. In the newly-created role at the NCGA, Lambert will be responsible for public and media relations, advertising and marketing support services.

›Ontario-based Collingwood Ethanol LP announced June 1 it has officially changed its name to Amaizeingly Green LP. The new name is designed to more accurately reflect the company's diverse product lines, according to the company. In addition to ethanol, the company's 52 million liter per year (13.74 MMgy) facility produces dried yeast, corn gluten meal, corn germ, corn fiber, distilled soluble water and a line of 100 percent natural corn gluten meal fertilizer for commercial and residential use.

›EcoSystem Corp., a company involved in the innovation of new biological, chemical and physical technologies, recently announced it has executed a management services agreement with Global Ethanol LLC to provide corporate and plant management services to the company. In addition, Global Ethanol LLC founder and CEO Trevor Bourne has been appointed to EcoSystem's board of directors. According to the company, the appointment of Bourne is the first step in EcoSystem's plan to expand its management team in the event it successfully acquires one or more of its targeted acquisitions. Founded in July 2006, Global Ethanol operates a 45 MMgy ethanol production facility in Lakota, Iowa, and a 45 MMgy production facility in Riga, Mich.

›Lallemand Inc., a privately-held Canadian company specializing in the research, development, production, marketing and distribution of yeast and bacteria, recently announced it has completed the acquisition of AB Mauri's GBI baker's yeast business in Spain and Portugal as well as the AB Mauri yeast plant in Setubal, Portugal. According to Lallemand, the acquisition gives the company a major presence in the Iberian baker's yeast markets as well as capacity to eventually compete more effectively in the French market and the world dry yeast markets and will increase European fresh yeast supply capability for its subsidiary, Lallemand Ethanol Technology.

›Dick Anderson officially left his post as chairman of The Andersons Inc. during the company's annual shareholders meeting. He has been replaced by The Andersons President and CEO Mike Anderson.

Dick Anderson has been with The Andersons since founding the company with his siblings and parents in 1947. He will now provide counsel to the board of directors as chairman emeritus.

Mike Anderson began his career with the company in 1978. He has held various positions within the agriculture group, including grain buyer, grain purchasing manager, grain division manager and vice president and general manager of the grain division. He has also served as vice president and general manager of the retail group and was named president and CEO of the company in 1999.

›Paul Kreter has accepted the position of senior manager for ethanol sales and marketing at The Scoular Co. Kreter has more than 20 years of experience in the petrochemical industry and will be responsible for expanding Scoular's ethanol customer base with a focus on fuel sales. Prior to joining Scoular, Kreter held positions with VeraSun Energy Corp. and Methanex Methanol Co. Kreter began his career with ARCO Chemical Co. as a research chemist before becoming involved in sales of chemicals and methyl tertiary ester butyl ester (MTBE).

›Philadelphia, Pa.-based petroleum refiner and marketer Sunoco Inc. purchased the 100 MMgy Northeast Biofuels LP ethanol plant in Volney, N.Y., in June for $8.5 million through a bankruptcy auction. Brian Roach, CEO of Northeast Biofuels, said approximately $200 million had been spent to build the plant at the site of a shuttered brewery, which closed in 1994. Northeast Biofuels began producing ethanol in 2008, but closed due to technical production issues. Roach said the plant would need to be repaired at a cost of approximately $14 million before it could become operational. Northeast Biofuels filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January.

›Irvine, Calif.-based BlueFire Ethanol Fuels Inc., which has developed a concentrated acid hydrolysis technology process to convert waste materials into ethanol, has announced that Solazyme Inc. will test sugars produced through BlueFire's conversion process for compatibility with Solazyme's algae-based renewable oil production process. BlueFire Ethanol is currently developing its first ethanol biorefinery in Lancaster, Calif., which, when operational, will use post-sorted cellulosic wastes diverted from landfills to produce 3.9 MMgy of fuel-grade ethanol.

›Lignol Energy Corp. completed its first end-to-end production of cellulosic ethanol from woodchips at its fully integrated industrial-scale biorefinery in Burnaby, British Columbia, on June 8. Lignol began construction of the facility in June 2008 and commenced the start-up phase in April 2009. "Operating the pilot plant to-date has allowed us to identify areas for process enhancement that we will be incorporating to further improve pilot plant operations," said Ross MacLachlan, president and CEO of Lignol. Through planned production campaigns, the company intends to operate the pilot plant under a wide range of operating parameters to process various nonfood biomass feedstocks.

›Massachusetts-based biofuel company Qteros, manufacturer of the Q Microbe, has appointed Kevin Gray as the company's chief technology officer. Anthony Tether has joined the company's board of directors. Gray previously served as Verenium Corp.'s senior director of biofuels research and development. He has more than 20 years of experience in managing high-level research at Verenium, Diversa Corp. and Energy BioSystems Corp. Tether recently served as director of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the central research and development office for the U.S. Department of Defense. He retired from the position, which he had held since 2001, in 2009.

›Hanover, Mass.-based Sturtevant Inc., an international process equipment manufacturer, has entered into an agreement as exclusive supplier of corn fractionation mills to Crown Iron Works, which has provided corn fractionation systems to facilities around the world. Sturtevant's Simpactor Pin Mill was chosen by Crown Iron to play a pivotal role in the corn fractionation system because of its performance, economic operations and expandable income-generating end product. "Our expertise in fractionation coupled with our ongoing dedication to exploring new ways to increase ethanol plant efficiencies and profits keeps Crown on the cutting edge," said W. Sturtevant English Jr., Sturtevant's president and CEO. EP