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Event Details

DOE Ethanol Workshop Series

Ethanol: Fueling Iowa's Economy

August 29, 2001
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Auditorium, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation
5400 University Avenue
West Des Moines, Iowa

Workshop Summary

Over 100 people attended the Iowa Ethanol Workshop at the Farm Bureau Federation Auditorium, August 29, 2001. Private business had the largest participation; government agencies were also strongly represented. Nine Iowa legislators attended. The workshop occurred in the tailwind of a new ethanol plant start up -- the Midwest Grain Processors Coop plant in Lakota, Iowa -- which broke ground just days before the workshop.

The workshop uniquely began outdoors with an E-diesel demonstration, with two cement trucks starting their diesel versus E-diesel engines to show the difference in emissions. Growmark graciously provided the trucks; local media were there to record the event. The remainder of the program, directed by Sharon Tahtinen, Bureau Chief for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources – Energy Bureau, was inside in the Farm Bureau’s state-of-the-art auditorium.

Monte Shaw, from the Renewable Fuels Association based in Washington, DC, talked about the growth of the ethanol industry in his morning presentation. He mentioned that currently 20 states have 57 operating ethanol plants; 12 new plants are under construction. By the end of 2003, the industry projects to be producing 3.5 billion gallons of ethanol per year.

The morning segment also featured two panel discussions: one on economic impacts of ethanol production; the other covered marketing subjects. Dan Otto, from Iowa State University, was on hand to report on a study titled, “The effects of Expanding Ethanol Markets on Ethanol Production, Feed Markets, and the Iowa Economy.” The study was just completed this past June and submitted to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. The report projects increasing demands for Iowa ethanol production associated with the MTBE bans on the West Coast. The basic marketing message was that ethanol performs, not only mechanically, but also economically, in the country and in Iowa specifically. Ethanol is considered an additive and therefore gets incorrectly blamed quite often for engine problems. The future for ethanol as an energy source is very positive. Iowa, with all of its corn, can be a major player in the production of ethanol.

“Iowa’s poster girl for ethanol” as she called herself, Patty Judge, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, boasted about her support for ethanol and farming. As the featured lunch speaker, the Agriculture Secretary strongly pushed farmers to look at value added products useable in the ethanol industry.

Remaining competitive was the topic challenge given to a panel of speakers in the afternoon. Presentations ranged from co-products to boiler fuels to other feedstocks to even worker training tips. One survey respondent appreciated the information from Ken Shewbert, of Airgas CO2 based in Texas, about carbon dioxide as a co-product that can offset production costs.

Chris Saricks, from Argonne National Laboratory, spoke about the energy balance and environmental significance of ethanol production and concluded that “increasing corn yield in farming and decreasing energy use in ethanol plants have had large, positive effects on fuel ethanol’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.”

Financing issues, market incentives and state tax credits for producers were discussed in a late afternoon panel. David Lyons, Iowa Farm Bureau, talked about financing options his organization offers for existing and new plants alike, monies that are available for even follow-on expenses.

Wrap Up

Lucy Norton, Director of Marketing for the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, facilitated the final wrap-up session of the day. The following audience responses were recorded:

Opportunities for Ethanol in Iowa

  • California Market
  • Northeast Market
  • Octane & Oxygen Markets,
  • Renewable Fuel Standard
  • E-85
  • E-Diesel
  • Avgas
  • Fuel cells
  • Greater than the 10% blends (ref. To Brazil)
  • Federal fuel standard
  • DDG values to livestock feeding impact on livestock market
  • CO2 sales

  • Obligation that Iowa – move ethanol to a global market
  • Leadership – IA
  • DDG Supplies increase w/ new facilities coming on line
  • DDG Marketing & Promotion
  • Soybean Meal displacement
  • Biomass technology
  • Oil mandate in Iowa
  • Environmental – acceptance of data and research
  • Competitiveness of Iowa’s industry
  • Transportation logistics and infrastructure
  • Over supply/ commodity price fluctuations/ uncertainty in prices
  • Natural gas prices and overall cost of production

  • Minnesota Model – Oxygen requirement for the state
  • Education program (marketing, DDG, market dev. Of DDG, dispelling misinformation about ethanol, retailer marketing incentive)
  • Infrastructure development – how to get ethanol distributed better within state and beyond state borders
  • “Iowa Dream Team”

What will these recommendations accomplish?
  • Planning committee will use these to help with further activities, will share w/ appropriate agencies
  • Disseminating research data would be important; research clearinghouse
  • Farmer–held reserve of corn designated for ethanol
  • Maybe a statewide industry organization representing the coops
  • Producer incentives (like MN and NE) especially for tough times; w/o it – really at a disadvantage

Workshop Survey
Participants evaluated the workshop by completing a survey form passed out during the meeting. The following represent responses and comments made by those who turned in the forms.
Topics Not Covered but Participants Considered Relevant
  • More capital accumulation/financial assistance
  • The flipside or negative aspects of ethanol and potential solutions
  • How to market ethanol to the petroleum companies
  • Cost comparison by size and process
  • What are R/D needs of dry milling?
  • Biodiesel vs. E-Diesel vs. diesel
  • Ways to show consumers that ethanol is a “premium” product
  • Market risks
  • Co-products, international markets
  • Manufacturer promotion of FFVs and expansion/increase in number of refueling sites
  • Energy efficiency analysis actual/theoretical pollution reduction information
  • Discussion of technologies
  • More retail fuel providers should present at next workshop to discuss pros/cons of retailing and dispensing fuel ethanol

Future Actions Suggested by Participants
  • Put key people together to advance these thoughts
  • Ethanol already moving forward in the state; how many plants needed?
  • Adopt the Minnesota model
  • Develop markets/ways to reduce transportation costs of biomass to the processing plant
  • Educate the public more

Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
Great Lakes Regional Biomass Energy Program
U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fuels Development

For PROGRAM Information:
Jennifer Moehlmann
Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Energy Bureau
Phone: 515-281-8518
Email: Jennifer.Moehlmann@dnr.state.ia.us

If you would like to be notified about the US DOE Ethanol Workshop Series Workshops, please provide your contact information to Anne Wester:

Anne Wester
Conference Planning Assistant
BBI International
PO Box 1146
Salida, Colorado 81201
Phone: 719-539-0300
Fax: 719-539-0301

  8:00 AM    Continental Breakfast
  8:15 AM    Press Conference
E-Diesel vs. Diesel Truck Demonstration
  9:00 AM    Welcome
  • Fred Kuzel, Manager, Great Lakes Regional Biomass Energy Program
  • Jeffrey Vonk, Director, Iowa Department of Natural Resources
  9:10 AM    Keynote Address
Lt. Governor Sally Pederson
  9:30 AM    Ethanol: A Time of Growth
Monte Shaw, Communications Director, Renewable Fuels Association
  10:00 AM    Economic Impact of Ethanol Production
Moderator: Pat Paustian, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
  • Economic Impact of Ethanol on the State of Iowa: Dan Otto, Iowa State University
  • Locating Future Ethanol Plants: Bill Hudson, The ProExporter Network
  • Minnesota Model: Ralph Groschen, Minnesota Department of Agriculture
  11:00 AM    Marketing Ethanol
Moderator: Lucy Norton, Iowa Corn Promotion Board
  • Ethanol Performs: Steve Mikesell, Iowa Corn Growers
  • Ethanol Infrastructure: Mark Luitjens, Williams Bio-Energy
  • New Markets: Mike Lockhart, Growmark
  12:15 PM    Lunch
Featured Speaker: Patty Judge, Iowa State Secretary of Agriculture
  1:15 PM    Iowa Industry Competitiveness Needs
Moderator: Joe Jones, Iowa Department of Economic Development
  • Co-products:
    • Carbon Dioxide: Ken Shewbert, Airgas CO2
    • Distillers’ Grains: Charlie Staff, Distillers’ Grains Technical Council
  • Boiler Fuels and Integrated Energy Farm: Bernie Punt, Siouxland Energy & Livestock Coop, and David Downing, Sunrise Energy
  • Other Feedstocks: Dr. Robert Brown, Director, Center for Sustainable Environmental Technologies, Iowa State University
  • Worker Training: Rick Schloemer, Work Force Development Division, Iowa Department of Economic Development
  3:00 PM    Environmental Significance
Moderator: Angela Chen, Iowa Department of Natural Resources
  • Energy Balance: Christoper Saricks, Argonne National Laboratory
  3:45 PM    Energy Policy and Economic Development: A Dialogue
Moderator: David Lyons, Iowa Farm Bureau
  • State Tax Credits for Producers: Bruce Edwards, Gardiner & Co
  • Market Use Incentives: Tade Sullivan, Iowa Corn Growers Association
  4:15 PM    Wrap Up
Lucy Norton, Iowa Corn Growers Association
  4:30 PM    Adjourn

About the Programs

Renewable Diesel Workshops:
NREL Goals: ..."to educate key public officials and the general public about biodiesel as a transportation fuel" and ..."to build state and local coalitions that would form the nuclei of a support group that would promote and eventually lead to local biodiesel production and use."

Ethanol Producers' Technical Workshops:
Perspectives from ethanol producers, production technology providers, and government researchers. Those in attendance were given the task of exploring the challenges and opportunities presented by combining cellulosic ethanol streams with existing grain streams.

US DOE Ethanol Workshop Series:
A series of one-day, state-level workshops to educate key public officials and the general public about ethanol as a transportation fuel.

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