Inside November 2006

Features

Straight Through the Curves

BY Ron KotrbaProducers can slide through ethanol price dips and rising corn costs by implementing sound risk management plans that hedge forward and keep profit margins steady. READ MORE

A Spotlight on Risk Basics

BY Ron KotrbaMost industry experts agree that protecting an ethanol producer's margins is at the heart of a risk management program. EPM looks at some fundamental concepts necessary to understand how producers manage their margins to remain profitable while processing commodities into liquid energy READ MORE

Riding the Rails

BY Holly JessenThe railroad has become the preferred method for transporting ethanol from plants in the Midwest, where much of the renewable fuel is produced, to new and rapidly expanding markets on the east and west coasts. The stronger focus on rail has had a positive impact on businesses along the tracks, from ethanol marketers and tank car builders to railroad track builders and even railcar movers. READ MORE

Piecing Project Financing Together

BY Holly JessenObtaining financing for ethanol projects is much easier today than it was in the industry's early days. But there are still hurdles to clear, especially with so many project developers clamoring for funding. Developers can increase their chances of getting the necessary financing by making sure certain crucial components are in place. READ MORE

A World of Biofuels

BY Lindsey IrwinThe 2nd annual World Biofuels Symposium in Beijing was yet another signal that the biofuels industry is a truly global phenomenon. Although the United States and Brazil are the current ethanol production front-runners, China—with its massive population and growing insatiable appetite for energy—could represent the next biofuels frontier. READ MORE

Plugging into the Fuel Chain

BY Rona JohnsonA Houston-based company offers ethanol producers tailored blueprints to efficiently integrate their product into the existing transportation fuels supply chain. Having already developed Web-based services and solutions for the downstream petroleum industry, FuelQuest Inc. aims to repeat its success in the renewable fuels business. READ MORE

Model Advice

BY Nicholas ZemanOver the past five years, several economists have applied their talents to explaining how renewable fuels production affects agricultural production systems and rural American economies. Now, Iowa State University researchers offer new insight. READ MORE

Tracking the Cell Wall Breakthrough

BY Nicholas ZemanNative grasses and fast-growing trees are the best candidates for energy crops in the United States, according to the leading researchers in the field. After initializing and then expanding the use of marginal or idle lands for switchgrass, poplar trees and other species, technological and scientific research is developing rapidly and aggressively to transform the biomass energy crops into ethanol. In this second installment of a three part series, EPM looks at genetic research aiming to mutate these plants into a ethanol producer's dream. READ MORE

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