Business Briefs

People, Partnerships & Deals
By Ethanol Producer Magazine Staff | June 13, 2011

1. Todd Palmer has joined the law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP as a partner in its Madison, Wis., office. He will lead the environmental law group within the firm’s energy and sustainability industry team.  Throughout his 19-year career, Palmer has focused his practice on environmental law and in particular on assisting clients with the complexities of the Clean Air Act. Prior to joining Michael Best, Palmer worked as an environmental attorney and shareholder with the law firm of Dewitt, Ross & Stevens.  While there, he successfully negotiated “Green Tier” agreements with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

2. Merrick & Company named Robert Berglund vice president, international markets. He will be responsible for international growth strategies, with particular attention on the firm’s four target markets of energy, national security, life sciences and sustainable infrastructure.  The firm intends to expand its range of non-U.S. projects beyond the current business locations in both Canada, where Merrick has worked for five years, and in Mexico, where the firm has worked for the past 14 years. Most recently, Berglund served as business unit manager responsible for operations management of the energy, national security and life sciences projects.

3. Pat Foody Sr., founder of Ottawa-based Iogen Corp., received the 2011 Raphael Katzen award from the Society of Industrial Microbiology. Foody was honored for his lifetime achievement in the commercialization of biofuels through the establishment and development of Iogen, and also for pioneering the development of the commercial advanced renewable fuels made from cellulose. “Raphael Katzen was a friend and a renewable fuel visionary and I am honored to receive this award,” Foody said in accepting the award. “I would like to accept the award on behalf of Iogen, and the team that made cellulosic ethanol happen.” In operation since 1974, Iogen also develops, manufactures and markets enzymes used to modify and improve the processing of natural fibers within the textile, animal feed and pulp and paper industries. Iogen partnered with Royal Dutch Shell to create Iogen Energy which began producing cellulosic ethanol at its Ottawa demonstration plant in 2004.

4. Victaulic introduced Vic-Press, a press-to-connect pipe-joining system designed for off-the-shelf Schedule 10S stainless steel pipe. Biofuels applications include plant utility services such as potable water, oil, compressed air, noncombustible gases and general chemical services. Pipe is cut to size and deburred, marked for visual verification, and inserted into a lubricated coupling, fitting or valve. The handheld pressing tool is used to press the component onto the pipe-end, providing a positive mechanical interlock and creating a rigid, permanent, leak-tight joint. The Vic-Press system requires 70 percent fewer man hours than welding to install, and significantly reduces rework. No flame or arc is required as with welding.

5. Yokogawa Corp. of America has released a new series of meters and a new design of field wireless devices. The bidirectional digital wireless networks, based on the ISA100.11a standard, are suitable for monitoring, diagnostics and control. They run on explosion-proof batteries, and the company plans to develop easy-to-maintain solar batteries. The Dura Meter Series is an elapsed time meter designed for severe environmental conditions across multiple industries such as oil and gas, chemical, water treatment and food processing. It is water and dust resistant and is UL rated. Standard options include horizontal vs. vertical mounting, hours vs. minutes, reset vs. nonreset and voltage and frequency rating. The company also announced the release of version R9.04 of its Fast/Tools web-based SCADA system, its platform-independent process management software.

6. Phenomenex Inc. expanded its international subsidiary network to serve India directly from a new office in Hyderabad. It will serve research communities throughout India with sales and service teams. Phenomenex is committed to developing novel analytical chemistry solutions that solve the separation and purification challenges of researchers in industrial, clinical, government and academic laboratories. 

7. Fluid Components International introduced its advanced ST100 Series thermal mass flow meters in response to discussions with a wide range of instrument, process and plant engineers who wanted both more comprehensive measurement information as well as the flexibility to adapt to future plant and process control technology. The ST100 Flow Meter adapts with a plug-in card replacement that can be changed by plant technicians in the field. The comprehensive ST100 measures gas mass flow rate, total flow, temperature and pressure depending on the model family, storing up to five unique calibration groups to accommodate broad flow ranges, differing mixtures of the same gas and multiple gases. 

8. Onset Computer Corp. introduced the Hobo UX120 Pulse Logger, a versatile, 4-channel energy data logger that combines the functionality of four separate data loggers into a single compact unit. The new data logger enables energy management professionals to easily track building energy consumption, equipment runtimes and water and gas flow rates, simultaneously measuring and recording pulse signals, events, state changes and runtimes. It is capable of storing up to 4 million measurements.

9. Poet Biorefining–Chancellor (S.D) received the 2010 Operation and Maintenance Wastewater Treatment Excellence award from the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The award honors outstanding operation of the wastewater system and compliance with surface water discharge permit in 2010. “Most people take wastewater treatment and disposal for granted, but properly operated wastewater treatment systems are a critical component in protecting public health and the environment from sewage and various pollutants in wastewater,” said DENR Secretary Steve Pirner. “Therefore, we all owe the owners and operators of these systems a huge thank you for a job well done.”

10. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP announced the addition of several attorneys to its renewable energy practice. Former Chadbourne & Parke LLP partners, Edward Zaelke, Adam Umanoff, Thomas Dupuis and Lloyd MacNeil will be moving into a new Los Angeles office. The team is a nationally recognized practice in project finance and the renewable energy industry. Umanoff and Zaelke will serve as co-chairs of the firm’s global project finance practice. Kerin Cantwell and Daniel Sinaiko have joined the firm’s project finance and renewable energy practice as partners in Los Angeles. They are being joined by five counsel including John Ha, Jennifer Lootens, David Markey, Matthew Nesburn and Bill Salamandrakis and five associates including Thomas Byrne, Tiffany Duong, Juliet Howland, Andrea Lucan and Sharona Toobian. All 16 attorneys previously practiced at Chadbourne & Parke. 

11. Three product suppliers have joined the Rockwell Automation Encompass third-party product referencing program. ASD Inc., Advenco Consulting GmbH, and Nidec Shimpo Corp. join the more than 100 Encompass member companies who supplement Rockwell Automation installations in one of three ways: providing built-in connectivity to the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture system, offering a critical component necessary to a manufacturer’s application, or providing industry or application expertise using specialized product technology.

12. Ashland Hercules Water Technologies, a commercial unit of Ashland Inc., now has a back-end corn oil extraction aid that it says will help ethanol producers capture up to three times more corn oil while also ending up with a higher-quality oil. “The customers we’ve worked with in developing this value-added product have documented a number of benefits from using the PTV M-5309 corn oil extraction aid,” said McCord Pankonen, global biorefining marketing manager, water technologies. “The real beauty of the product is that refiners don’t have to change their process.” The patent-pending extraction aid is chemical rather than mechanical, and therefore requires no additional capital expenditure.

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