New Decade, New Look

By Susanne Retka Schill | November 15, 2010
With the first decade of the century coming to a close, our cover story this issue features several industry leaders sharing their outlook and perspectives. Two of them are rooted in the oil industry, two in corn ethanol and two in cellulosic ethanol development—providing an interesting spectrum of views on the opportunities and concerns for the year ahead. Complementing the cover story, Associate Editor Kris Bevill takes a look at the ethanol market, reporting on areas for possible growth, expected infrastructure expansions and the wild card—the impact of E15. In her feature story, Associate Editor Holly Jessen follows up on ethanol plants in transition. It appears that the stabilization of the economy and the ethanol industry has prompted owners and creditors of several ethanol plants to proceed with reorganization and sales.

This issue also introduces a design update for Ethanol Producer Magazine. Most sections have a fresh look, and one is totally revamped. In an age of timely Web-based news and, given our team's Ethanol Week newsletter, we decided to move away from a straight news approach in the Industry News section of the print magazine. Now titled "Distilled," the section will do just that—distill the news of the past month, look for trends, find interesting twists in the news and provide news analysis where appropriate. We've added a new feature at the bottom of this page, with photos and short bios of the authors appearing in each issue, where we'll present a snippet of information about our editors, columnists or contributors each month.

What is not changing is our commitment to covering the ethanol industry in depth, providing accurate and timely updates on policy issues and markets, new technologies and other developments as the ethanol industry matures. At the turn of the century, there were just 54 ethanol plants in the U.S. with an average capacity of 31 MMgy. At the end of this decade, there are 210 plants on our plant list with an average capacity of 64 MMgy. We expect a handful of corn ethanol plants will be built in the years ahead, filling out niches and expanding alternative feedstocks such as beets or sugarcane. As the commercialization of cellulosic ethanol develops, we also expect to be covering many projects that seek to make the ethanol industry more efficient and sustainable in the decade ahead.

Kris Bevill has been a writer and editor for BBI International for three years, specializing in policy and regulations. She currently serves as an associate editor for Ethanol Producer Magazine.

Holly Jessen is an associate editor for Ethanol Producer Magazine. She has been a journalist for 10 years, including two working for BBI International. Her previous experience includes writing for weekly and daily newspapers.