Business and People

By | June 10, 2010
>Great Plains Renewable Energy Inc. has acquired five grain elevators in west Tennessee. With eight grain elevators spread between Iowa and Minnesota already, GPRE will now have another 11.7 million bushels of storage. GPRE owns a 110 MMgy ethanol plant in Obion, Tenn. "We believe that diversification helps us not only from a revenue and incomes standpoint, but from an information gathering standpoint about our main input, corn," Jim Stark, vice president of investor and media relations, told EPM.

>The U.S. EPA has awarded $46,770 to IntAct Labs LLC, a company founded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists and graduates. The company will use the funding to research and develop a solution for water treatment problems related to the ethanol industry. Using a microbial fuel cell process, the company will try to break down organic matter and waste and convert it down into water and CO2. "The long term vision is to contribute to the creation of an integrated bio-refinery of the future,'" said Matt Silver, CEO of IntAct Labs.

>John P. McCreery has assumed the position of inside sales representative for Sandmeyer Steel Co. at its Philadelphia headquarters. McCreery, who has worked for Sandmeyer for 33 years, replaces Loretta Wysocki who retired after 46 years with the company. McCreery previously worked as a lathe operator, production planner and customer service provider. Sandmeyer Steel Co. produces steel and nickel alloy plate products used for chemical and other industries.

>The MT91 Multi-Point Gas Mass Flow Meter from Fluid Components International has been certified by the TUV of Rheinland, Germany. TUV is an internationally recognized body for approving emissions monitoring equipment. The MT91 is designed for gas flow measurement in large diameter pipes, stacks and ducts. The system can handle up to 16 sensing points placed across a stack's cross-sectional area.

>Agri-Systems has officially changed its name to ASI Industrial. For 37 years the company has designed and built material handling facilities. After its beginnings in the grain and feed industries, the company has expanded into several other industries including food grade, renewable energy and more. As a result of the company's multiple capabilities and qualifications, ASI made the change to ASI Industrial.

>Corn Plus general manager Keith Kor will be retiring at the end of the year. Kor said the decision comes with "some sadness, yet some joy." He joined the plant in March of 1995 as plant manager and took over as general manager in 2002. Kor said of the organization's growth that he is "proud of the employees and board members, past and present, who have made Corn Plus what it is todayan industry leader." Kor plans to work part-time as a consultant.

>Robert White, director of market development for the Renewable Fuels Association, received the 2010 Alternative Fuels Vehicle Institute Industry Excellence AwardThe 24/7 Blend Award for social media use, such as Twitter or Facebook, and education. White said he is honored to be recognized by his fellow peers. "His recognition is evidence of the commitment RFA has made to utilizing all available outlets to spread the word about the exciting evolution of America's ethanol industry," said Bob Dinneen, president of RFA.

>Qteros Inc., a cellulosic biofuels developer, has appointed Susan Hager vice president of corporate communications and government affairs. "In a time of significant progress and corporate growth at Qteros, Sue brings an essential combination of entrepreneurialism, high energy and deep experience," said John McCarthy, president and CEO of Qteros. Prior to joining Qteros, Hager served as a director in the corporate communications and investor relations practice for WCG, a leading global communications agency. She holds a BS in biology and an MBA from Northwestern University.

>The fourth annual International Bioenergy Days will be held Sept. 26-29 in Rockford, Ill. The conference, originally a cooperative effort between the U.S. and Sweden, will cover topics ranging from biofuels, biomass, waste-to-energy and other alternative energies. Program tracks include: best practices and technologies; politics, economics and public policy; and applying bioenergy technologies.

>RAE Systems Inc., a gas detection systems provider, has created the ProRae Guardian. The new software system collects data from remote gas monitors, allowing the user to view data from multiple wireless sensors. The ProRae Guardian can connect and share data from distant locations allowing first responders to monitor critical gas detection information while identifying hot spots. The system will be available in the fall.

>Verenium Corp. has promoted Nelson Barton to executive vice president of research and development. Prior to joining the company in May of 2000, Barton was a manager at Calbiochem-Novabiochem International. Barton holds a doctorate in molecular and cell biology. "Nelson has been an integral part of the R&D leadership team for several years," said Carlos A. Riva, president and CEO of Verenium. "I look forward to his continued leadership in delivering scientific breakthroughs that drive our products and processes."

>Airlanco, a Nebraska-based air management equipment manufacturer, has added Todd Morey and Alison Lukert, and promoted Becky Gossman. Morey brings a background in ag-industry manufacturing and customer relations. Formerly a sergeant in the U.S. Army, Morey will work with customers while developing new products. Lukert will be the new human resource labor specialist. A graduate of Kansas State University, she has experience as an employee recruiter, human resources, marketing and employee benefits advisor. Gossman, who previously worked as a purchasing agent for Airlanco, will now take over the purchasing manager's position.

>Royal Nedalco, a yeast strain developer and ethanol producer based in Europe, has partnered with Novozymes to create a new process using yeast to ferment the C5 and C6 sugars. Royal Nedalco will provide the yeast strain and Novozymes will help in the experimental work. A completion date for the research has not been set.

>Ray Defenbaugh, CEO of Big River Resources, the parent company of ethanol plants at Galva, Ill., West Burlington, Iowa, and Dyersville has been named a Prairie Farmer Master Farmer. Defenbaugh and his wife Alice raised four children on their rural Biggsville, Ill., farm where two sons, Dan and Matt, continue to work, raising corn, soybeans, oats and hay on 3,000 acres and managing a 240-head cow-calf operation. He helped organize and became the CEO of Big River Resources, the West Burlington, Iowa, ethanol plant built across the Mississippi River, 17 miles from his farm.

>The Hobo ZW Series, created by data logger supplier Onset, will allow for centralized monitoring of energy use and environmental conditions in buildings. A family of the data nodes can measure temperature, relative humidity, kilowatt hours, CO2, AC voltage, amps, gauge pressure and a variety of other parameters. The nodes work together, sending data to a single PC at regular intervals, and eliminating the need to retrieve data from collection points.

>Greenway Consulting LLC, a subsidiary of Morris, Minn.-based Denco LLC, has hired Todd Potas as its environmental, health and safety manager. Since December, he has worked on environmental, energy and due diligence duties at Denco and is assisting with environmental and energy projects at other facilities. Previously a principal at Natural Resource Group, a Minneapolis environmental consulting company, he has experience in environmental permitting and compliance for more than 140 biofuels projects nationwide since 1992.

>Hoffmann Inc. has acquired Air-O-Flex Equipment Co. of Roseville, Minn., which has supplied hydraulic truck dumpers in the U.S. and abroad since 1947. Air-O-Flex equipment will be manufactured by Hoffman at its Iowa facility which specializes in the fabrication of large, industrial components and equipment. Under the name Airoflex Equipment, Hoffmann will continue building proven models of hydraulic dumpers including drive-thru, extended arm, over-the-wall, semi-portable trailer and rail car dumpers, as well as offering reliable, hydraulic truck dumpers for biomass, RDF, wood waste, seed corn, peanuts, sugar cane and other products.

>Yokogawa Corp. of America has named Graham Speake principal systems architect for the company's global strategic technology marketing center in Dallas, Texas. Speake has experience with process control systems security and IT security from the perspective of both the vendor and asset owner. Most recently, Speake worked 10 years at BP primarily as a security risk manager in the downstream business unit.

>BETE Fog Nozzle Inc. has introduced its trademarked HydroWhirl Orbitor, calling it a new revolution in tank cleaning. The orbitor is a clean-in-place rotating tank cleaning machine that combines high impact cleaning efficiency with extended operating life, reduced life-cycle costs and simple on-site service. Designed for large tanks up to 130 feet in diameter, it has a minimum number of moving parts, is self-cleaning and media lubricated, and made from materials safe for use in hazardous areas.

>North American Bioproducts Corp. has added Matt Wilson to its staff as a technical services scientist. Wilson previously worked as lab manager at Louis Dreyfus Commodities in Grand Junction, Iowa, and lab supervisor at Lincolnway Energy, Nevada, Iowa. NABC, a provider of fermentation products and technology to the fuel ethanol industry, also recently received approval on two of its products from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Its trademarked yeast nutrient complex Nutri-Plex Plus has been approved for use in fuel ethanol production and the manufacturing of distillers grains. NABC's trademarked antimicrobial, Bactenix V300 and V300SP, have also been approved at given rates.

>Canadian National Railway Co. gave Safe Handling Awards to several ethanol producers for handling dangerous goods carefully and judiciously, respecting high standards and safe rail handling procedures. Those recognized included Ace Ethanol LLC, Adkins Energy LLC, Amaizing Energy LLC, Big River Resources LLC, Green Plains Trade Group LLC, Little Sioux Corn Processors, Pine Lake Corn Processors LLC, Poet Biorefining, Siouxland Energy & Livestock Co-op and Valero Energy Corp.

>Cellulosic biofuel developer Enerkem Inc. has added Timothy Cesarek to its board of directors. Managing director in the organic growth group of Waste Management Inc., Cesarek will bring to the board his experience in originating and commercializing innovative technologies for Waste Management. The company became a strategic investor in Enerkem last February, part of its involvement in creating value from waste streams by converting them into energy, fuels and chemicals, in addition to recycling and reuse of waste materials.

>Fiberight LLC announced in early May that its 2 MMgy Blairstown, Iowa, cellulosic ethanol plant has begun production. The company completed its initial stage development by converting a first-generation corn ethanol plant to producing cellulosic ethanol from municipal solid waste using enzymatic conversion technology. Fiberight is now raising capital for an expansion to 6 MMgy, which is expected to be completed in 2011. EP

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