Business and People

By | July 15, 2010
>Lignol Energy Corp., a technology developer in the cellulosic ethanol and biorefining sector, has realigned the company's senior management responsibilities. Raymond Ma, a Lignol employee for three years, has been promoted to senior vice president of engineering and process development. Chris Moser, formerly a consultant for the company, has been named the vice president of process development. David Turner, with the company for five years, has resumed his role as chief financial officer.

>First United Ethanol LLC recognized Mike Harrell, president, CEO and majority stakeholder of Southwest Georgia Oil Company Inc. An original board member at FUEL since 2005, Harrell was recognized by the ethanol producer based on his expertise in the oil industry. Harrell also provided the first corn that was ground in October 2008 and purchased the first ethanol that was produced. Tommy Dollar of FUEL presented Harrell with a plaque recognizing his accomplishments.

>Murex NA Ltd., Dallas-based company specializing in gasoline blendstock, distillates and alcohol marketing, has added J.C. Caudell as the director of new business development. Caudell will be responsible for Murex's ethanol portfolio of 12 ethanol plants. Formerly with Eco-Energy, a Tennessee-based ethanol marketing company, Caudell will also tailor specific marketing solutions for customers.

>Synthetic Genomics Inc., an advanced biofuels developer, appointed James Flatt as chief technology officer. Flatt will be responsible for managing and coordinating the science programs at SGI and report to Craig Venter, founder and CEO. Formerly executive vice president of research development and operations with Mascoma Corp., Flatt holds a doctorate degree in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin, and a master's degree in chemical engineering from the University of California.

>Patriot Renewable Fuel LLC, a 100 MMgy ethanol plant in Annawan, Ill., has announced the plant's achievement of zero liquid discharge. President and CEO Gene Griffith said the voluntary conversion makes a clear statement about Patriot's commitment to progressive research and efficiency. Griffith also noted that the Illinois plant is also one of the nation's first ethanol plants to make the advancement. Charlie Kroeger, a consultant from U.S. Water Services who helped with the project, stated water usage was at 2.9 gallons per gallon of ethanol before the zero liquid discharge project and has now been reduced to 2.25 gallons per gallon of ethanol.

>Abengoa Bioenergy, an 88 MMgy corn ethanol plant in the Tri-City Port District in Madison, Ill., received an Edie Award. Passed out yearly by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Development Council, the Economic Development in Illinois Award (Edie) is given annually to recognize development projects finished in the past year. "Even in times of economic turmoil, companies are out there investing in our state and creating jobs," said Doug Whitley, president and CEO of the state chamber.

>Tri-Mer Corp., which specializes in advanced technologies for the control of fine particulate and pollutant gases, has introduced UltraTemp Filtrationa new hot gas filtration system for capturing fine, submicron and ultrafine particulate, and for scrubbing acid gases and controlling nitrogen oxides (NOx). A company product bulletin also discusses a new technology for low-density ceramic filter tubes, part of the UltraTemp system. Typical results are up to 95 percent removal in the efficient scrubbing of NOx. UltraTemp operates up to 1650 degrees Fahrenheit.

>The U.S. DOE recognized Corn Plus LLLP, a 49 MMgy ethanol plant near Winnebago, Minn., for the plant's outstanding energy efficiency. One of 56 industrial companies across the nation to be given the Energy Champion award for achieving more than 250,000 Btu energy savings, Corn Plus was the only ethanol plant given the award. For achieving 75 million Btu energy savings or more than 75 percent, 95 plants were named Energy Savers. To win the awards, the DOE said the companies reduced both energy bills and carbon emissions.

Corn Plus will also license and acquire Arisdyne's patented cavitation system. It will enable the plant to increase ethanol production by 4 percent or more over the yield produced previously on the same volume of corn consumed. The cavitation technology boosts ethanol yield from a bushel of corn without consuming large amounts of power or degrading process capacities, and at a modest investment level. Arisdyne and Corn Plus have been working together to install a retrofit system at the plant, which conducted a test at full capacity over a period of two months without interruption.

>Cogent BioFuels LLC, a new biofuels marketing company established by Marty Lyons, announced that Cogent has been awarded an exclusive ethanol marketing contract by Platinum Ethanol LLC. Under the new contract, Cogent will be the exclusive sales representative for Platinum's ethanol production capacity, estimated at approximately 110 MMgy. Cogent also announced that Kelly Davis, formerly of Hawkeye Gold LLC, has joined the Cogent team as director of technical and regulatory services.

>Enerkem Inc. received $1.8 million in funding from the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corp. for a market demonstration project. The goal is to show market potential of optimized innovative technologies that further reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emitted by biorefineries. Targeted biomass-rich feedstocks will be converted into biofuels to compare the GHG reduction benefits of the Enerkem technology. These tests will be conducted at the Advanced Energy Research Facility in Edmonton, Alberta. The AERF pilot plant is a joint effort of the Edmonton Waste Management Centre, Alberta InnovatesEnergy and Environment Solutions and Enerkem. The technologies and products, once demonstrated, will be implemented in Enerkem's planned commercial biofuels facility in Edmonton, Alberta. A team of experts, led by Esteban Chornet, Enerkem's co-founder and chief technology officer, will conduct the tests.

>Lallemand Ethanol Technology, a global provider of fermentation ingredients to the fuel ethanol industry, has introduced Thermosacc GOLD, a new yeast product for the fuel ethanol industry. Lallemand's Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a crumble yeast that has not been dried and has a shorter lag phase. The increased budding rates result in quicker starting fermentations compared to dry yeast. Designed to utilize sugars more efficiently, the product leaves less sugar and glycerol at the end of the fermentation process, which translates into increased yield, the company said.

>Fluid-Quip Inc., a separation equipment manufacturing firm, has commissioned its second patent-pending filtration centrifuge at a 52 MMgy dry-grind ethanol plant in the Midwest. The name of the plant isn't yet being released, according to Michael Franko, technical projects manager. "The FQ-FC 3000 filtration centrifuge is the center-point of our maximized stillage coproducts (MSC) system to recover high-value protein from whole-stillage," he said. Adding the second centrifuge has allowed the plant to expand the MSC system it has had in operation since last fall to further increase yield and production of the protein product. An order has been placed for the next filtration centrifuge to complete the expansion by the third quarter of 2010.

>MidContinental Chemical Company Inc. has a new fuel ethanol additive designed to combat stress corrosion cracking. It could pave the way for ethanol to be shipped throughout North America using the nearly 100,000-mile petroleum pipeline network that delivers the nation's petroleum products efficiently and economically, the company said. The product group consists of film formers combined with other functional additives. These products are clear, non-hazardous, mobile liquids, meaning they provide protection from corrosion and do not harm the fuel product. In addition, the product group can be custom-engineered for each customer's needs.

>SPX Flow Technology introduces additional options for its Nettco i-Series Portable and Fixed Mount Mixers. The i-Series mixer is designed for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) systems suppliers and end users in general industries and has a modular assembly design. A few of the expanded offerings include a bung adaptor that allows for mixing in drums by fitting into the opening of the lid without the need for clamps or support brackets; a sanitary flange mechanical seal assembly, which clamps to sanitary tank flanges when a mechanical seal is required; and an air motor option for operation when compressed air is required or available.

>An enhanced version of the Stardom TM Network-based Control System with upgraded engineering functionality has been released by Yokogawa Electric Corp. The products are widely used as intelligent remote terminal units in distributed applications in the fuels industry. A new engineering tool facilitates the construction of field digital communications networks that can reduce the cost of maintaining production equipment distributed over wide areas.

>Ruben Vardanian has been elected to the Joule Unlimited Inc. board of directors. Vardanian is chairman and CEO of Troika Dialog, Russia's oldest and largest investment bank, which he has led since 1992. In addition, he is board chairman or member of numerous organizations, including the largest car and truck manufacturers in Eastern Europe, two separate groups, and the largest independent gas producer in Russia. He also serves on the management committee of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. Joule is developing a novel technology to convert CO2 directly to hydrocarbons and replacement fuels for gasoline and diesel.

>Renewable Energy Careers is a new employment website and consulting firm targeting the wind, solar, biofuels and biomass industries. Career positions posted to the website are in sales, marketing, engineering and technical service. The role of the employment website is to act as an intermediary, identifying suitably qualified candidates on behalf of its clients.

>Biofuel Energy Corp. announced that Daniel J. Simon, the company's chief operating officer and one of its founders, left the company to pursue other business interests, the final step in a company transition plan. Doug Anderson, vice president of operations, will now report directly to Scott H. Pearce, CEO. "Dan has been instrumental in founding and building this company," Pearce said. "He brought all of his unique talents to bear in getting the plants up and running reliably, while overcoming a number of significant obstacles along the way." Biofuel Energy operates two 115 MMgy ethanol plants, Pioneer Trail Energy Corp., Wood River, Neb., and Buffalo Lake Energy Corp., Fairmont, Minn.

>Wilks Enterprise Inc. is pointing to its portable mid-infrared analyzers, such as the InfraCal Analyzers for accurate biofuels blend measurements. With the finalization of Renewable Fuels Standard in the U.S. and similar mandates or guidelines coming from other countries, the need to easily and accurately measure biofuels blends becomes more important, the company said. InfraCal Analyzers assess the blend ratio of either ethanol in gasoline or biodiesel in diesel in under a minute. These analyzers are easily operated by personnel having little or no knowledge of infrared analytical techniques. The InfraSpec VFA-IR Spectrometer is a spectral range infrared analyzer that includes the wavelengths for biodiesel and ethanol.

>John (Skip) Laitner, director of economic and social analysis for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, will be the keynote speaker at International Bioenergy Days in Rockford, Ill. The fourth annual International Bioenergy Days, to be held Sept. 26-29, is a tradeshow/conference focusing on biofuels, biomass, waste-to-energy and other alternative energies. For more information on this event visit EP

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