Business Briefs

People, Partnerships & Deals
By Ethanol Producer Magazine Staff | April 16, 2013

1. Gevo Inc. has expanded its executive team, adding Stephen P. Toon as its new executive vice president of operations and process development. In his new role at Gevo, Toon will report to Christopher Ryan, Gevo’s president, chief operating officer and chief technology officer, and have overall responsibility for Gevo’s Luverne, Minn., facility from startup through commercial operation. Prior to joining Gevo, Toon served as vice president of engineering and operations at OPX Biotechnologies and vice president of manufacturing and engineering at Verenium Corp. He spent 10 years as a senior scientist at Cargill and was previously a scientist and doctoral fellow at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. 

2. Steve Hartig, vice president of bioenergy with DSM’s Biobased Products and Services unit, has been named general manager of Poet-DSM Advanced Biofuels LLC. In this position, he is responsible for the roll-out and licensing of the joint venture’s integrated technology packages. Hartig will report to the joint venture’s board of directors. He joined DSM’s Engineering Plastics division in 1990 as sales and marketing manager for the U.S. automotive industry. He has since headed several business units within DSM in the fields of coating resins, biomedical materials, and fiber optic coatings. He moved into the bio-energy field in 2012. DSM’s Bioenergy Cluster currently has main activities in Elgin, Ill., São Paulo, Brazil, and Delft, Netherlands. Anton Robek, president of Bio-based Products and Services at DSM, will take on Hartig’s responsibilities for the bioenergy cluster outside of the Poet-DSM joint venture. 

3. LanzaTech has appointed Abdul Rahim Hj Hashim to its board of directors. Hashim is the current president of the Malaysian Gas Association, former chief executive of Petronas Oil Refinery and a 36-year veteran of the oil and gas industry. His leadership experience in the oil and gas industry is expected to bring value to LanzaTech as it takes its technology further into the fuel production chain. 

4. Rochelle, Ill.-based Illinois River Energy LLC has joined the U.S. Grains Council. IRE operates a dry mill corn ethanol biorefinery that produces ethanol, distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), and industrial corn oil. The plant processes more than 40 million bushels of corn per year, producing 120 MMgy of ethanol and more than 300,000 tons of DDGS. 

5. Northern Michigan corn grower Ed Breitmeyer has been recognized by the U.S. Grains Council for five years of service to the group, which focuses on expanding export markets for U.S. grains. Breitmeyer was honored at USGC’s 10th International Market Conference and 53rd annual membership meeting in Charleston, S.C., for his five years of service as a council delegate. He is an active member of the USGC’s membership and communications advisory team and serves as chairman of the Michigan Corn Growers Association. 

6. Fredrikson & Byron PA has announced that shareholder Richard Weiner was named a Fellow of Stanford University Law School’s Transatlantic Technology Law Forum. Weiner will research and author a whitepaper on best practices for implementing a transatlantic renewable energy policy, where he will compare the best of U.S. and European renewable fuel practices. His term runs through 2014. Weiner is an international biofuels lawyer and is chair of Fredrikson & Bryon’s International Group and chair of the firm’s Biofuels Group. 

7. VG Life Sciences has announced Martin B. Dickman joined its VGEnergy subsidiary as chief science advisor. Dickman will enhance the scientific rigor of the company’s alternative energy core technology platform and expand development of a line of products that enhance the lipid and sugar production in emerging market sectors, such as algal biofuels, and in more mature, larger markets, such as corn and sugarcane. His expertise in comparative plant physiology and plant pathologies will enhance and add a new dimension to the company’s ongoing research. Dickman has served as director of the Institute for Plant Genomics and Biotechnology at Texas A&M University and has served on the editorial boards of several scientific journals. 

8. Archer Daniels Midland Co. has promoted Gary Towne to the newly created role of president of ethanol and risk management in the company’s corn business unit. Towne joined ADM in 1998 and previously served as general manager of global risk and ethanol before being named chairman of the management board of Alfred C. Toepfer International GmbH a grain merchandising company in which ADM holds an 80 percent ownership stake. Additional prior positions Towne held with ADM include vice president of corn processing and vice president of ADM Export Co. 

9. The Canadian Renewable Fuels Association has announced a new committee and classification of membership to advance next generation biofuels in Canada. The new committee and its members represent leaders in biofuels with their cutting-edge technologies and first-of-kind projects. Inaugural members of the CRFA’s Next Generation Biofuels Committee include Quebec-based Enerkem, Denmark-based Inbicon, and U.S.-based Mascoma

10. Air Liquide Industrial U.S. LP has announced a new carbon dioxide liquefaction plant in the California Central Valley. The new 450-ton facility will capture carbon dioxide gases from the Calgren Renewable Fuels LLC ethanol plant. The carbon dioxide will be recovered, purified, and liquified by Air Liquide to meet beverage-grade specifications for the food, beverage and manufacturing industries in the region. The facility will serve Air Liquide customers in the Central Valley and Los Angeles Basin, and is slated to be operational by the end of the year. 

11. The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association has announced two additional stations that began selling E15 Iowa in mid-March. The IRFA announced the Fast Stop in Cresco, Iowa, and Kountry Korner in Baxter, Iowa, are both supplying the fuel to 2001 and newer vehicles. The two stations joined Linn Co-op Oil in Marion and Fredericksburg Co-op in Fredericksburg in supplying the fuel blend. 

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