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The Energy Information Administration says U.S. ethanol production hit its highest level in five weeks, while inventories reached the largest number seen since the end of August.
Ethanol output in the seven days before October ninth averaged 937,000 barrels a day, up from 923,000 the previous week. The EIA says it’s also the most ethanol production since September fourth. The Midwest, which far and away produces the most ethanol in the country, reached an output of 900,000 barrels of ethanol a day, up from an average of 881,000 barrels, and was the region’s highest output since late July.
East coast production jumped to an average of 10,000 barrels a day, up from 6,000 the previous week. Rocky Mountain output was unchanged from the prior week, producing an average of 10,000 barrels a day. Gulf Coast production took the biggest dive from the previous week, coming in at an average of 9,000 barrels per day after averaging 17,000 barrels a day, with the drop likely due to the effects of Hurricane Delta.
The EIA also says inventories increased last week to 20 million barrels. That’s up from 19.6 million barrels the week prior and the largest amount of ethanol in storage since late August.
ClearFlame Engine Technologies, a start-up dedicated to the development of clean engine technology for the heavy-duty truck, off-highway and industrial markets, today announced that it has successfully matched the torque and power of a commercial diesel engine using ethanol in place of diesel fuel, delivering more than 500 horsepower and over 2,500 foot-pounds of torque while eliminating the need for additional aftertreatment such as selective catalytic reduction or diesel particulate filter systems.
ClearFlame achieved these results on a Cummins X15, a 500hp 15L heavy-duty engine using the company’s high-temperature stochiometric combustion process, which leverages higher temperatures to achieve true diesel-style combustion of any decarbonized fuel. Temperatures are achieved by optimizing existing engine thermodynamics and adding insulation on key engine components. The fuel injection system is also engineered to accommodate decarbonized fuels like ethanol.
“The results we’ve seen on the Cummins engine mark a critical milestone in the commercialization of ClearFlame’s technology,” said Dr. Julie Blumreiter, chief technology officer and co-founder of ClearFlame. “Achieving these key targets without the use of complex aftertreatment systems helps diesel engine manufacturers to preserve their core engine technology requirements, driving a cost-effective, rapid-to-market solution that addresses evolving emissions regulations.”
ClearFlame’s unique engine technology enables low-carbon and carbon-negative fuels to be easily integrated into existing diesel engine platforms, offering a more sustainable and cost-effective solution than diesel fuel. It provides the same performance, efficiency, and rugged practicality associated with diesel engines, while eliminating the need for costly aftertreatment solutions. By replacing 100 percent of the petroleum fuel used with decarbonized fuels such as ethanol, ClearFlame’s engine technology significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions, particulate matter and smog, helping to meet stringent emissions regulations while reducing overall engine cost.
“The results from ClearFlame’s first commercial platform tests are extremely promising and demonstrate a real world, sustainable solution for diesel engine manufacturers as decarbonization requirements continue to evolve in the off-highway, heavy-duty and industrial sectors,” said Dr. BJ Johnson, CEO and co-founder of ClearFlame. “We look forward to advancing our technology with additional engine OEM partners, so we can highlight our low-cost benefits across a range of engine platforms and applications.”
National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) First Vice President Chris Edgington, along with Minnesota Corn Growers Association leadership, today joined U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue for an Albert Lea, Minn., event in support of higher blends of ethanol.
Perdue announced today that USDA has invested $22 million out of the up to $100 million in grants available to increase American ethanol and biodiesel sales through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). According to USDA, the $22 million HBIIP investments are projected to increase ethanol demand by nearly 150 million gallons annually. USDA will announce the remaining grant recipients in the coming weeks.
Further developing the infrastructure needed for higher blends of ethanol continues to be a priority for NCGA. These cost-share grants will support more retailers offering E15 and E85 across the country. Increasing the availability of higher blends today also helps expand the retail infrastructure compatible with the future high octane, mid-level ethanol blends.
Last fall, the Trump Administration made several commitments aimed at putting the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) back on track and expanding the biofuels market. While there is more work to be done to uphold the RFS, today’s infrastructure announcement represents follow through from USDA on the department’s commitment. Awarding cost-share grants to retailers will help them expand their offerings of higher ethanol blends and provide more renewable choices for consumers at the pump.
NCGA is also pleased the USDA program requires grant recipients to use their funds for infrastructure certified for at least E25 blends. This requirement builds on our successful partnership with Wayne Fueling Systems to promote the sale of E25-certified pumps, ensuring today’s infrastructure works for tomorrow’s higher blends as well.
NCGA partnered with the Renewable Fuels Association and American Coalition for Ethanol in assisting fuel retailers in applying for these HBIIP grants. Projects in California, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Utah and Wisconsin were awarded grant funds.