Business & People

By | September 15, 2009
>Denmark-based Novozymes A/S has appointed Adam Monroe as president of its North American region. He has replaced Lars Hansen, who returned to Denmark to head the company's European region.

Monroe has been employed by Novozymes since 1991 and has served as the company's production manager for granulation, and as regional director and director of supply chain operations. He is credited with establishing the company's global manufacturing supply line of enzymes for the biofuels market and currently represents Novozymes on the industrial and environmental board for the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

>Iowa Corn Promotion Board director and corn grower Pam Johnson has been elected to the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board. Johnson has been on the corn promotion board for eight years and has served in all four of the board's officer positions. She is currently on the corn board's industrial usage and U.S. production committee and the research and business development committee. She also chairs the NCGA's research and business development action team, serves on the U.S. Grains Council biotechnology advisory team and participates in farmer-run ethanol and biodiesel cooperatives.

>Ottawa-based cellulosic ethanol producer Iogen Corp. provided ethanol derived from wheat straw to fuel 40 vehicles used at the Council of the Federation in Regina, Saskatchewan, Aug. 5-7. The Dodge Caravans were used to transport premiers from across Canada, including host Premier Brad Wall, who said he continues to support Iogen's work to complete a large-scale cellulosic ethanol production facility in Saskatchewan.

>California-based technology developer Phenomenex Inc. has received an R&D 100 award for its Zebron AB-Bioethanol column. The column uses gas chromatography to analyze the concentration of methanol and denaturant in ethanol in less than 15 minutes. The column is also temperature-stable up to 360 degrees Celsius, which means corrosion inhibitors can be baked off in less than five minutes.

The R&D Magazine awards recognize the 100 most technically significant products introduced during the past year that are designed to meet current and future societal, scientific or business challenges.

>Christopher Thorne has been named as Growth Energy's director of public affairs and will be responsible for message, strategic communications and media relations for the ethanol industry group.

"As Growth Energy broadens the conversation over ethanol's place in a renewable energy future, Chris will be responsible for making sure we are talking to the right people, at the right time, and saying the right things," Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis said.

Thorne most recently served as senior advisor for public affairs and communications for Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.). Prior to joining Conrad's staff, he was an Associated Press writer in Washington, D.C., Delaware and Illinois.

>Cellulosic biofuels producer Range Fuels Inc. has been named to the 2009 AlwaysOn Global 250 List. The list was created to recognize private, emerging technology companies. Honorees are selected based on the demonstration of growth, market opportunity, quality of innovation and customer traction.

Range Fuels CEO David Aldhous said he is pleased the company has been recognized for its efforts to reduce dependence on imported oil, improve the environment and contribute to rural job creation. The company is on track to begin producing cellulosic biofuels at its Soperton, Ga. commercial-scale facility by the second quarter of 2010.

>Perkin Elmer Inc. has been awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to protect an advanced method in gas chromatography. The patent, titled "Methods and Systems for Characterizing a Sorbent Tube," protects proprietary methods developed by the company that assist gas chromatographers increased the accuracy of results when using automated thermal desorption gas chromatography. Automated thermal desorption is used for analysis of biofuels, soil, water and other various applications.

>As part of Growth Energy's unification with the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition, the California Ethanol Vehicle Coalition has also become part of the industry group. Having the former NEVC state chapter as a member of Growth Energy is significant because California, whose energy policies tend to influence national energy policy, has implemented its own aggressive alternative fuel policy. The policy calls for replacing 20 percent of California's petroleum fuel with alternative fuels by 2020.

>Robert Flynn has accepted the position of general manager at Poet Biorefining - Laddonia, Mo. Flynn brings 30 years of management experience in manufacturing to the position and most recently served as vice president of operations at GT Technologies.

A $2 million expansion project was recently completed at the Laddonia plant, increasing its capacity to 55 MMgy. Additionally, the U.S. EPA recently awarded the facility an Energy Star award for its natural gas-fired turbine system.

>Poet LLC, a South Dakota-based ethanol producer, and Perdue AgriBusiness, a wholly owned subsidiary of Perdue Inc., recently announced the formation of a new partnership to promote and represent Poet's Dakota Gold PBX premium distillers grains product line in domestic and international feed markets. The company will handle Poet's domestic sales through its extensive agricultural network and execute international sales through its export terminal in Virginia. According to Poet Executive Vice President Jeff Lautt, "This alliance further illustrates how we can work in harmony to make a positive difference in today's dynamic feed markets."

>Commodity brokerage firm Atlas Commodity Markets LLC and HoustonStreet Exchange Inc., an electronic trading platform, have launched Atlas Insite, a hybrid voice and electronic biofuels brokerage platform. The system allows clients to complete transactions via the firm's voice brokers or electronically through the platform and offers a suite of products for physical and financial biofuels and renewable identification numbers markets. Insite offers physical ethanol markets as well as four CME Group ClearPort cleared products.

>Future ethanol producer Osage Bio Energy has partnered with Perdue AgriBusiness to develop a barley contracting program for the areas surrounding its ethanol production facility in Hopewell, Va. The plant is scheduled to begin operations in June 2010 and will consume up to 30 million bushels of barley annually. Perdue will sign up acreage for the contract program and will manage and maintain farmer contracts. Osage founder and CEO Craig Shealy said area farmers can easily double-crop barley with soybeans, but the market needs to be developed. Osage plans to procure all of its feedstock from within 100 miles of the plant.

>CleanTech Biofuels Inc., a provider of technology to convert municipal solid waste (MSW) to biomass compatible for renewable energy production, has formed a joint research agreement with cellulosic ethanol technology developer Fiberight LLC to validate the companies' technologies for converting MSW to renewable fuels. CleanTech will provide approximately 1 ton of MSW from the Chicago-area to use in Fiberight's conversion technology. Fiberight CEO Craig Stuart-Paul said initial tests have led to production expectations of more than 80 gallons of ethanol per ton of biomass used. "The success of these initial runs leads us to believe that biomass produced by CleanTech may be an ideal feedstock for our ethanol production technology," he said.

>Minneapolis-based U.S. Energy Services has acquired the energy management services business of Integrys Energy Services Inc., a subsidiary of Chicago-based Integrys Energy Group Inc. Through its energy management services business, Integrys Energy Services provided energy consulting and information services for industrial and commercial clients. U.S. Energy Services will now provide former Integrys Energy Services customers access to a broader list of energy services and carbon management strategies. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2009.

U.S. Energy Services also recently added Brad Smith to its team. In his new position as price risk manager, Smith is responsible for monitoring natural gas and electricity markets, as well as establishing the company's strategic counsel on pricing recommendations for clients.