Seeking Gains

By Susanne Retka Schill | August 15, 2011

The ethanol industry is multifaceted, and this month we delve into two of those dimensions. Associate Editor Holly Jessen extends our coverage of the 2011 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo by reporting in greater depth on several technologies that aim to improve ethanol yield. A 1 percent gain seems tiny, unless you’re talking yield at a modern ethanol plant where such a gain can mean millions of dollars. I once talked to a gentleman whose experience was primarily in the wet milling industry dominated by giant agribusiness where the improvement goals were fractions of a percent. Associate Kris Bevill shares what she learned from industry experts seeking to find the optimal engine performance utilizing the optimal ethanol blend. The real gains in the ethanol market will come when we can do better than E15 even. Bevill also had an opportunity to visit with the head of the U.S. DOE’s loan program and ask questions about the fate of its loan guarantees.

Regular readers of EPM’s print magazine may not always pay attention to the online version posted shortly after the edition is delivered to the printer. But, since the first of the year, and the redesign of, we’ve been allowing comments on all stories. Lately, the ethanol haters have found us. We’re sometimes puzzled by commenters who don’t seem to understand that this is an industry publication and our targeted readers are ethanol producers. A story like Bevill’s discussing work being done on expanding ethanol blend use is likely to attract negative comments. We truly appreciate our readers who take the time to respond to those sorts of comments, correcting facts and offering a different perspective.

Author: Susanne Retka Schill
Editor, Ethanol Producer Magazine