Iowa increased biodiesel production in 2018


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About 296 gallons of soy biodiesel were produced in Iowa last year (flickr).

Julia Poska | January 4, 2019

Iowa produced about 80 million more gallons of biodiesel in 2018 than 2017, bringing the total up to about 365 million gallons. The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association estimates that Iowa generated about one fifth of total biodiesel produced in the U.S. last year.

Monte Shaw, the director of the IRFA, attributed the increase in production to reduced foreign imports of biodiesel. Last spring, the United States International Trade Commission determined that Argentina and Indonesia were selling biodiesel in the U.S. at unfairly low rates, harming the domestic industry. Subsequent tariffs increased demand for U.S.-produced biodiesel.

Much of the demand was met with soybean oil, which totaled about 81 percent of the market share, up from 2017. Corn oil comprised 10 percent, while animal fat dropped to 5 percent, and used cooking oil contributed about 4 percent of the share.

Shaw believes Iowa could produce even more biodiesel, up to 400 million gallons in its 12 facilities, if nationwide Renewable Fuel Standard levels were higher. These levels determine the minimum quantity of biofuel that U.S. transportation fuels must contain and are administered by the Environmental Protection Agency. Levels increase each year. In 2019, 2.1 billion gallons of biodiesel should be mixed into U.S. diesel. By 2020, the amount should increase to 2.43 billion gallons.

 

On the Radio: Gas tax may lead to increased biodiesel use


(Rob E / Flickr)
(Rob E / Flickr)
May 4, 2015

This week’s On the Radio segment looks at a possible increase in biodiesel use due to recent changes in the Iowa gas tax. Listen to the audio below, or continue reading for the transcript.

Transcript: Biodiesel

Iowa’s recently approved gas tax may lead to increasing use of biodiesel.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Last month, the Iowa legislature approved a ten cent increase in the gas tax, revenue which will go toward fixing our aging roads and bridges. While the increase applies to both gasoline and conventional diesel, biodiesel received a three cent exemption from the tax for certain blends. Biodiesel proponents hope this provision will lead to expanded use of the fuels.

Iowa’s ten operating biodiesel plants produced 227 million gallons of the biofuel last year, from soybeans and other oils. The Iowa Biodiesel Board estimates that Iowa has an annual capacity of more than 300 million gallons. The Department of Revenue projects 13 percent of Iowa’s petroleum to be replaced by biofuels by 2020, short of the legislative goal of 25 percent.

For more information about biofuels, visit IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org.

From the UI Center for Global & Regional Environmental Research, I’m Jerry Schnoor.

http://www.biodieselmagazine.com/articles/318242/iowa-gas-tax-proposal-would-spur-growth-of-biodiesel-use

Iowa’s biodiesel and wind energy sectors expected to benefit from recently passed tax breaks


Iowa generated 27 percent of its electricity from wind energy last year which ranked highest in the country. (Samir Luther/Flickr)
Iowa generated 27 percent of its electricity from wind energy last year which ranked highest in the country. (Samir Luther/Flickr)

Nick Fetty | December 18, 2014

A $41-billion package of tax breaks passed by the U.S. Senate earlier this week is expected to benefit Iowa’s biodiesel and wind energy industries.

The House passed the legislation (378 to 46) earlier this month with bipartisan support and after the Senate’s approval (76 to 16) it now awaits President Obama’s signature. Congress was unable to agree upon a two-year deal so the Tax Increase Prevention Act will extend 55 different tax credits and extensions through 2015.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) – who also serves as chairman for Senate Finance Committee – was critical of Congress for not passing the legislation sooner citing it does not provide “nearly enough time for the important provisions in this package to catalyze growth among businesses or to support families in a meaningful way. It’s not enough time to put a dent in veterans’ unemployment, to start a clean energy project and hire new workers, or to help a student who’s on the fence about whether to enroll in college next semester.”

Both of Iowa’s senator’s – Chuck Grassley (R) and the retiring Tom Harkin (D) – signed the legislation though Grassley also expressed disapproval with its “last minute approach.” With Republicans taking control of the senate for the upcoming session, Grassley said “My only hope is that in the new Congress we can make strides toward putting some certainty back in the tax code.”

President Obama is expected to sign the legislation later this week.

Iowa plant first to produce cellulosic ethanol using fiber from corn kernels


Nick Fetty | July 9, 2014
Quad County Corn Processor employees pose for a photo. Top left to right: Charlie Voss, Quad County Corn Processors (QCCP) Production Manager; Brad Yearous, QCCP Production Supervisor; Travis Brotherson, QCCP Plant Engineer, Research & Development, ACE Inventor; Rex Rimmer, QCCP Project Manager and Maintenance Manager; Josh Droegmiller, Systems Administration/ IT. Bottom left to right: Justin Ruble, QCCP Water Manager; Joe Williams, QCCP Lab Manager; Delayne Johnson, QCCP CEO. Photo courtesy Radio Iowa.
Quad County Corn Processor employees pose with the newly produced cellulosic ethanol.
Top left to right: Charlie Voss, Quad County Corn Processors (QCCP) Production Manager; Brad Yearous, QCCP Production Supervisor; Travis Brotherson, QCCP Plant Engineer, Research & Development, ACE Inventor; Rex Rimmer, QCCP Project Manager and Maintenance Manager; Josh Droegmiller, Systems Administration/ IT. Bottom left to right: Justin Ruble, QCCP Water Manager; Joe Williams, QCCP Lab Manager; Delayne Johnson, QCCP CEO.
Photo courtesy Renewable Fuels Association.

A northwest Iowa facility has recently produced the first gallons of “cellulosic” ethanol using fiber from corn kernels.

The Quad County Corn Processors plant in Galva has produced ethanol using starch from corn kernels for more than a decade and has recently begun utilizing the fiber from kernels of corn to make the biofuel. According to Quad County Corn Processors CEO Delayne Johnson, this method using the kernels’ fibers yields an extra 6 percent of ethanol per bushel of corn compared to not using the fiber. The project has been lauded by the national Renewable Fuels Association as well as the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

Plant Engineer Travis Brotherson came up with the idea to derive ethanol from corn kernel fiber somewhat unexpectedly in 2012.Quad County Corn Processors beat out competitors such as DuPont and Poet to be the first in the state to produce the cellulosic ethanol using corn fiber.

Quad County Corn Processors has invested more than $9 million in equipment to ferment the fiber of corn kernels and the plant is expected to produce about two million gallons of cellulsic ethanol  each year. If this technology is adopted by other plants in the United States, Johnson estimates that an additional one billion gallons of ethanol could be produced compared to using previous methods.

Iowa has 42 ethanol facilities and 12 biodiesel plants in the state.

Construction underway for biofuel station in NW Iowa


Nick Fetty | June 17, 2014
An ethanol plant near Marcus in Western Iowa. Photo via keeva999; Flickr
An ethanol plant near Marcus in Western Iowa.
Photo via keeva999; Flickr

Construction has recently begun on a new biofuel station in the Northwest Iowa town of Inwood.

Once completed, the Oak Street Station will provide motorists with various blends of ethanol (E10, E15, E30 and E85) as well as biodiesel (B5 and B99.9). The governor’s “Fueling Our Future” grant – a collaboration with the Iowa Department of Transportation and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship – provided $125,000 for the project. This grant is also helping to fund a similar project in the South Central Iowa town of Mouth Ayr.

According to data from the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, there are 42 ethanol refineries and 12 biodiesel refineries in the state. Combined these facilities have an annual production capacity of more than four billion gallons.

Construction for the Inwood facility broke ground last week and is expected to be completed by January 2015.

Iowa company supplying biodiesel to power Super Bowl generators


Photo by Anthony Quintano; Flickr

Renewable Energy Group will provide as much as 15,000 gallons of biodiesel blends at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., during the Super Bowl. It also will supply biodiesel for more than 18 generators along Super Bowl Boulevard in New York City leading up to the game

The National Football League environmental program director, Jack Groh, says that this is one of the many steps the NFL is taking to make Super Bowl greener. 

To learn more, head over to The Gazette. 

On the Radio: Fueling Our Future


Photo by UnitedSoybeanBoard; Flickr

This week’s On the Radio segment covers the new biofuels program recently announced by the governor. Listen to the audio below or continue reading for the transcript.

Continue reading