PO Box 1146
Salida, CO USA  81201
(719) 539-0300
Fax: (719) 539-0301


BBI International... Your Biofuels Resource


Event Calendar

World Biofuels Symposium
November 13-15, 2005
Beijing, China

2nd Annual Canadian Renewable Fuels Summit
December 13-15, 2005
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Hosted by:
Candadian Renewable Fuels Association

National Biodiesel Conference & Expo 2006
February 5-8, 200
San Diego, California
National Biodiesel Board

11th Annual National Ethanol Conference: "Policy & Marketing"
February 20-22, 200
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Sponsored by:
Renewable Fuels Association

22nd Annual International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo
June 20-23, 200
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Join our
Email Subscription List

Select your topics of interest for regular and timely updates - control your subscriptions and unsubscribe anytime

Complete Listing of Upcoming Events

Event History

Free Booklet Download:
Fuel Ethanol: A Technological Evolution



Posted on  

May 14, 2004

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

20th Anniversary International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Trade Show celebrates 20 years in the ethanol industry—and the future looks promising

By Jessica Williams, EPM Staff

[EPM, April 2004] 20 years. Two decades.

The Fuel Ethanol Workshop (FEW) started in St. Louis in 1985, organized by a Dutch yeast company called Gist-brocades. According to Bob Sutthoff of the Enzyme Development Corporation, a former FEW organizer, 28 people showed. About eight of them were from Gist-brocades. It was a modest beginning to what is now the largest ethanol conference in the world.

"The marketing guys didn't even want to call it a conference," Sutthoff said. "Things were pretty small back then."

Now, in 2004, the 20th Anniversary FEW has grown to an expected 1,400 attendees and 165 vendors, and continues to supply those in the ethanol industry with invaluable information on the latest research and technology developments, production regulations and strategies, and more. On June 22-25, the FEW will take a look back through history and celebrate the milestones reached throughout the last two decades while discussing the latest issues and developments facing the industry today.

The 20th Anniversary FEW, in partnership with Ethanol Producer Magazine, will be held at Monona Terrace Convention Center, a beautiful building overlooking Lake Monona in downtown Madison, Wis. The facility, originally designed by renowned architect and Wisconsin native Frank Lloyd Wright, was constructed in 1997 and sits two blocks from the impressive State Capitol Building.

The conference agenda covers three days of seminars, presentations, workshops, trade show, awards, receptions and recreation, plus a day of ethanol plant tours. The amount of knowledge and networking at this 20th Anniversary FEW will be invaluable to all involved in the ethanol industry.

FEW golf tournament, pre-seminars to start things off

What would an ethanol event be without a round of golf? Tuesday's FEW golf tournament will take place at the University Ridge Golf Course, a par-72 track designed by Robert Trent Jr. For $95, golfers can experience a challenging course with rolling terrain, deep-set woods, hills, sprawling meadows, a natural pond and prairie.

The tournament includes green fees, cart, light breakfast, lunch and an awards reception. Transportation will be provided upon request. No refunds will be given for cancellations received after June 11.

For those who won't be on the golf links, the 20th Anniversary FEW features two pre-workshop seminars on Tuesday. "Ethanol 101—Points to consider when building an ethanol plant" will present the basics of ethanol production, the ins and outs of ethanol plant operations, and important factors in building an ethanol plant. The seminar fee includes a copy of the 4th Edition Ethanol Plant Development Handbook, seminar materials, lunch and admission to the FEW Grand Opening Reception in the trade show on Tuesday evening.

Contiguous to the Ethanol 101 seminar, "Biodiesel 101-—Introduction to biodiesel production and use" offers up-to-date information on biodiesel markets and benefits, production technologies, quality control, distribution, and storage issues, among other topics. Cost includes seminar materials, a free one-year subscription to Biodiesel Magazine, lunch and admission to the FEW Grand Opening Reception.

Those who wish to participate in either seminar may sign up on the conference registration form. Complete program agendas for the pre-workshop seminars will be posted at www.bbibiofuels.com/few .

Agenda offers plethora of ethanol information

A combination of presentations, panels and breakout sessions cover two full days of the FEW's scheduled events. Here's a sampling of what topics will be presented and by whom.

On Wednesday afternoon, after the general sessions, five breakout technical workshops will be presented and repeated so attendees have a chance to see more than one topic. Wednesday's breakouts cover risk management, operations, emissions and environmental controls, practical uses of distillers dried grains, and anti-microbial technology.

Harold Tilstra of Land O'Lakes Feed will be part of the breakout session entitled "Practical Uses of Distillers Dried Grains." His presentation, "Observations and Experiences from Working with DDGS: Feed Industry Perspective," will focus on the increasing supply of corn distillers grain products and how they are being used in animal feeds. Tilstra told EPM the comparative nutritional value of distillers grains products, compared to other available ingredients, determines the monetary value of the distillers grains to the producer. Various species utilize nutrients in the distillers grains differently, so DDGS has different values to the end-user, depending on what species is consuming the distillers grains.

"Corn DDGS is valued by the end user on the basis that the animal being fed is able to utilize the nutrients, compared to what those nutrients would cost from other feed ingredients," Tilstra told EPM. "Ethanol plants that focus on producing quality DDGS, utilizing methods that maximize bio-available nutrient concentration and minimizing variation, have the best opportunity for an economic advantage."

Tilstra said recent research reports are correlating the color of corn DDGS to digestibility of amino acids (lysine). While recent price levels of corn and soybean meal have elevated the potential value of corn DDGS, the market value is tempered by factors such as: price and availability of other mid-protein feed ingredients, price of synthetic amino acids, quality of the corn DDGS, and logistic factors such as freight and proximity to the ethanol plant.

"In the not too distant future, we may see attempts at using scientific measurements of color to make ‘value’ calculations of corn DDGS," Tilstra said.

Among the other speakers in the "Emissions and Environmental Controls" breakout session, Howard Gebhart of Air Resource Specialists Inc. will present "Ethanol Plant Emissions and the Effectiveness of Emissions Abatement Equipment." He plans to discuss the history of control technology requirements being imposed on the industry and how the ethanol industry got to where it is today in regards to air emissions issues. Gebhart said he will also present results of emissions testing in plants where pollution control technology is installed to give FEW attendees a sense of how effective the controls are in reducing the emissions they are supposed to.

"I'm sure [ethanol producers] would like to know how the equipment that they're buying is really performing," Gebhart said. "They would also want to know what they can expect from emissions coming out of the plant after installing pollution control equipment, so they can be in compliance with their permit."

Gebhart said he plans on primarily discussing thermal oxidizers but also including emissions from CO2 scrubbers, DDGS coolers and baghouses on the grain handling systems.

In the "Anti-microbial Technology" workshop, Dennis Bayrock of Phibro/University of Saskatchewan will present "Control of Microbial Contamination in Fuel Alcohol Production—The "What," "Where," and "How" of Antibiotic Addition." He will focus on practical issues that need to be considered at a fuel ethanol plant in order to effectively dose antibiotics to control microbial contamination, and he will also present an overview of how microbial contaminants rob the yeast of ethanol production capacity.

In regards to the "what" of antibiotic addition, Bayrock said he will discuss the importance of identifying the microbial contaminants causing the problems at the plant, the use of a proper antibiotic to target the contaminant and the stability of the antibiotic used at the plant. "Where" to use the antibiotic will include the need for plant layout and process conditions, stability of the antibiotic at each place of addition and the operating mode at each addition point. "How" to add the antibiotic will detail the differences in dosing regimes due to the mode of operation at different places in the plant, process conditions at each point of addition and the stability of the antibiotic at each addition point.

Bayrock compared his job at Phibro to that of a doctor prescribing antibiotics to a patient. "What I do with plants, a doctor does to the human body," he told EPM. "A doctor wouldn't prescribe you antibiotics without asking what's wrong, looking through your medical history and performing some tests. If you don't know what's wrong at your plant, you may end up using the wrong antibiotic.

"We're not satisfied with just adding antibiotics and, if it doesn't work, just throwing some more in or suddenly switching the antibiotic to something else. This kind of "hit-and-miss" thinking is out of date, a waste of time and a waste of money. We can do things a lot smarter in helping you combat your infection."

Thursday’s breakout technical workshops will discuss new technologies and practical research, quality control analytical tools, feedstocks for ethanol production, cogeneration and safety. As part of the "New Technologies and Practical Research" breakout, Craig Pilgrim of Genencor International Inc. will discuss the use of enzymes, other than conventional starch processing enzymes, and their importance in processing various grains into sugars for ethanol production. Pilgrim told EPM several enzymes add value to the end product, because they reduce viscosity and break down non-starch components of grains that can result in process difficulties.

"These enzymes, many of which are commercially available, will help viscosity reduction," Pilgrim said. "By attacking these grain components, more starch may become available for conversion into ethanol and could result in an increase in yield. Most non-starch grain components can be broken down to monomeric sugars, some of which are fermentable, potentially improving ethanol yield. Overall ethanol production performance should be improved because of less strain and wear on equipment."

In the "Quality Control Analytical Tools" technical workshop, Eric Allain of Novozymes North America Inc. will be presenting "Lab Scale Modeling of Fuel Alcohol Fermentions." According to Allain, economy improvements in fuel alcohol production are highly dependent on the development of enzymes that work better than those currently available. Development of such enzymes requires a testing procedure that is small-scale, high throughput and representative of the actual process. A mini-scale fermentation assay has been developed to fit this need, and Allain will present details of the assay, correlation to the full-scale process, data analysis and automation for high throughput.

"I would imagine most [FEW] attendees are interested in improved enzymes since these should positively impact ethanol production economy," Allain told EPM. "The methods we have developed are useful for investigating and optimizing the ethanol fermentation process in general, not only for the testing of enzymes. The data analysis techniques we use to screen our enzymes are actually quite useful for analyzing full-scale production as well."

Along with Allain, Mike Tumbleson of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will be presenting "A Standardized Laboratory Procedure for Ethanol Yield Measurement." Tumbleson said the dry-grind industry needs corn hybrids with maximum ethanol yield potential for long-term economic profitability. The standardized method can be used to estimate ethanol yield for particular hybrids, allowing corn producers the opportunity to grow promising hybrids that are available in their growing region. It was developed to provide a reference for measurement of ethanol produced from corn and evaluated for variability in ethanol yield by repeated testing of a single hybrid. Tumbleson will also highlight the usefulness of the procedure as an industry benchmark and future research using the procedure.

Jeff Robert of Delta-T Corporation will be part of the "Feedstocks for Ethanol Production" workshop. His presentation, a part of "Hulless Barley: New Emerging Feedstock and Fuel Ethanol Market Opportunities," will show how a uniquely modified strain of barley is compositionally competitive to that of corn, and that this grain can be grown in areas of the U.S. where ethanol use is increasing, thereby providing needs in local markets. Robert will also show the nutritional profile of the resultant DDGS, which competitively surpasses other protein profiles for feed industries in those areas.

"Based on preliminary lab and pilot results, [I] will show how ethanol plants of the future, located on the East Coast, can meet the demands of the expanding ethanol market in this area while uniquely satisfying the needs of a diverse market for DDGS—swine and poultry," Robert said.

Cecil Massie of Sebesta Blomberg & Associates Inc. will be part of the "Cogeneration" workshop. In "Technical and Economic Potential of Biomass Energy for Ethanol Production," Massie will present how biomass energy offers the potential to insulate ethanol production from soaring natural gas prices while expanding the market for renewable energy within the communities where ethanol plants are located. Massie said technology to achieve those results is available at proven industrial capacities, and re-directing the ethanol market from natural gas to biomass serves every aspect of the ethanol mandate.

"Using corn stalks as the fuel supply for the ethanol plant increases the economic benefit of an ethanol plant several fold by creating a market for biomass currently being plowed down," Massie told EPM. "Using biomass to power ethanol plants makes ethanol a robustly renewable fuel."

Award of Excellence to be presented

On Wednesday morning, BBI International will make a special presentation, announcing the winner of the "Award of Excellence," which is given to an individual who, through research, and technical and advisory activities, has made significant contributions to the fuel ethanol industry. Scientists and engineers from government agencies, the ethanol industry and universities qualify as possible candidates.

Nominations for this year's award can be submitted to Kathy Bryan at BBI International and must be postmarked by May 20. Nomination forms are available at www.bbibiofuels.com/few/award . Candidates must have conducted research or technology improvements that have had a positive impact on the fuel ethanol industry through science or engineering. The emphasis on this award is on research, information and development efforts that have already benefited the industry rather than those that have not yet applied to the process.

Rodney Bothast, director of the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center (NCERC), was the latest "Award of Excellence" honoree in 2002, receiving a cut glass trophy and $1,000 from BBI International. The NCERC is the only facility in the United States that contains both a dry and wet mill under one roof, enabling first-rate research projects to be conducted there.

Scholarships to be awarded

In addition to the Award of Excellence, FEW Scholarship awards will be presented as well. The awards are offered in two categories: academia and operations. The academia award is for those doing research related to the ethanol industry. It is geared toward graduate students, but undergraduates may also apply. The operations award is for those pursuing education regarding ethanol plant procedures.

Awards are selected by a seven-member committee, made up of Dave Vander Griend of ICM Inc.; Mike Ingledew of the University of Saskatchewan; Bob DeBlois of Utica Energy; Lonnie Ingram of the University of Florida; Mitch Miller of Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company; Bill Adney of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Duane Carrow of the Minnesota West Community and Technical College.

Each scholarship award is worth $1,000. Winners will also receive a free registration and hotel room for the FEW event. To apply, visit BBI International's Web site at www.bbibiofuels.com/scholarship . The deadline for applications is May 21.

Run/walk event debuts at FEW

Thursday evenings FEW agenda presents an opportunity to get some exercise and to stretch the legs a little. This year, BBI International introduces the FEW Scholarship Fundraiser Walk, which will raise money for the FEW Scholarship Fund. The 1.75-mile walk/run will begin at the Monona Terrace at 6 p.m. and will end in Olin Turville Park where the 20th Anniversary FEW Celebration begins. The event costs $20 each, and participants will get a commemorative T-shirt for their efforts.

Trade Show, receptions offer great networking opportunities

At this year's FEW Trade Show, over 165 companies will be displaying the latest products, services, technology and expertise for the ethanol industry. Wisconsin businesses alone make up 14 of those exhibitors, one of the strongest representations by a host state. The Trade Show officially opens with a welcome reception and ribbon cutting on Tuesday evening.

Networking opportunities will be available every evening as well. Especially on Thursday night after the run/walk event, the official FEW 20th Anniversary Celebration will take place in Olin-Turville Park. Dinner will be served, cheese and beer tasting will be available, and top Wisconsin entertainers will be on hand for the event.

Wisconsin's growing ethanol industry

Three ethanol plants are currently producing the renewable fuel in Wisconsin, and FEW attendees will have a chance to visit two of those facilities, Utica Energy and Badger State Ethanol, on Friday, June 25.

Utica Energy, 86 miles northeast of Madison, is a 24-mmgy facility that has been producing ethanol since April 30, 2003. It is currently expanding to 40 mmgy, and General Manager Bob DeBlois told EPM the additional construction will be taking place during the tours.

Delta-T and Agra Construction of Merrill, Wis., designed and built the original facility, which produces distillers wet grains as a coproduct. Eco-Energy markets the plant's ethanol.

Badger State Ethanol, 46 miles southwest of Madison, is a 48-mmgy, farmer-owned facility that came on line in October 2002. The plant, designed and built by Fagen Inc. and ICM Inc., produces 128,000 tons of DDGS annually. ICM also markets the plant’s distillers grains.

Ace Ethanol is the state's third ethanol plant, located in Stanley. The 22-mmgy facility came on line June 1, 2002. According to Ace Ethanol's Bob Sather, the Delta-T designed plant will be expanding to 40 mmgy.

In addition to the plants currently producing, Wisconsin has one ethanol facility under construction. United Wisconsin Grain Producers LLC broke ground in October 2003 and will add 40 mmgy of ethanol to the U.S. market. Fagen Inc. and ICM Inc. are the design/build team. Start-up is tentatively set for March 2005.

The state's ethanol industry has also received support from the Wisconsin Ethanol Producers Association (WEPA). Among other projects, the organization will take a look at research results from the University of Minnesota regarding fuel cells that run solely on ethanol. The group meets once a month, usually in Madison. For more information on WEPA, either contact Sather, who is secretary of the organization, or Alex Samardzich at Ace Ethanol, (715) 644-2909.

Things to see and do in Madison

In addition to the Monona Terrace, there are several interesting sites throughout the city of Madison that FEW attendees can check out. Of note, the Capitol Building is just two blocks from the Terrace. Tours of the Governor's Mansion are also available. Outside the Capitol Building, the Dane County Farmers' Market on the Square displays Wisconsin agricultural products direct from producers. Over 300 vendors attend.

The Olbrich Botanical Gardens showcase a year-round tropical conservatory and outdoor display gardens. The Henry Vilas Park Zoological Society features 700 animals and a children's zoo with free admission.

Boat cruises, family fun parks and various breweries are also scattered throughout the city. For more details and other area attractions, visit the Greater Madison Wisconsin Convention and Visitors Bureau at http://www.visitmadison.com . EP



Other News

Click here to see previously posted News items in our Archive

BBI Store

BBI International
Project Development

Multi Client Study:

More information and contents

BBI Online Store


Biodiesel Industry Directory Online:
View it FREE!


Home | Company Info | International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Trade Show | Biofuels Recruiting | BBI Media

Biofuels Project Development - Biofuels Conference & Event Planning - BBI Media - Biofuels Recruiting

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner.
Remainder of content Copyright © 2005 BBI International.