• 8
Back in March of 2011, a Valero representative posted this response to a question on a Yahoo! Finance message board:
Thank you for your interest in Valero Energy. We do not currently extract corn oil at out ethanol plants, but this technology is under consideration and may be implemented in the future.
Well, it seems the future is now for Valero. Late last week, the Fortune 500 oil conglomerate announced it will install a patent-pending, next-generation corn oil extraction system at four of its ethanol production sites in the Midwest by March of 2012. The four facilities are all in Iowa: Albert City, Charles City, Fort Dodge and Hartley.
This unique oil-extracting system will allow Valero to recover one-half pound of oil per bushel of corn, generating additional revenue from the processed maize. Jim Gillingham, Valero's senior vice-president of alternative energy and project development, states:
In the basic dry mill ethanol process, all of the corn oil ends up in distillers grains, which is used as livestock feed. The new equipment will allow us to recover corn oil so that it can be sold into higher-value markets for use in animal feed and as a feedstock for biodiesel production.
And that, perhaps, is a biofuel breakthrough.
Show full PR text
Valero Renewables to Invest in Corn Oil Extraction at Ethanol Plants
Company will roll out initial phase at four locations

9/16/2011

San Antonio, Texas

Valero Renewable Fuels Company LLC, a subsidiary of Valero Energy Corporation, announced today its plan to install an ICM-patent pending, next-generation Advanced Oil System™ (AOS™) corn oil extraction system at four of its ethanol plants in the Midwest by the end of the first quarter of 2012.

The investment will allow the Valero Renewables plants to recover more than one-half pound of corn oil per bushel of corn processed, giving the plants an additional source of revenue besides ethanol and distillers grains.

The four plants that will take part in the initial installation of corn oil extraction equipment are in Albert City, Charles City, Fort Dodge and Hartley, Iowa. Following the initial rollout of corn oil extraction at these first four plants, Valero Renewables will study the possibility of installing the equipment at another five of its plants that use a dry mill technology to produce ethanol.

"In the basic dry mill ethanol process, all of the corn oil ends up in distillers grains, which is used as livestock feed," said Jim Gillingham, Valero's Senior Vice President-Alternative Energy and Project Development. "The new equipment will allow us to recover corn oil so that it can be sold into higher-value markets for use in animal feed and as a feedstock for biodiesel production."

Valero Renewables expects the corn oil extraction program to enhance plant margins at a low cost, enabling a payback of capital expenditures in less than two years.

About Valero:
Valero Energy Corporation, through its subsidiaries, is an international manufacturer and marketer of transportation fuels, other petrochemical products and power. Valero subsidiaries employ approximately 20,000 people, and assets include 15 petroleum refineries with a combined throughput capacity of approximately 2.9 million barrels per day, 10 ethanol plants with a combined production capacity of 1.2 billion gallons per year, and a 50-megawatt wind farm. Approximately 6,800 retail and branded wholesale outlets carry the Valero, Diamond Shamrock, Shamrock and Beacon brands in the United States and the Caribbean; Ultramar in Canada; and Texaco in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Valero is a Fortune 500 company based in San Antonio. Please visit www.valero.com for more information.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      krisztiant
      • 2 Months Ago
      Brief theoretical colloquy on the issue of the article: Valero: "the new equipment will allow us to recover corn oil so that it can be sold into higher-value markets for use in animal feed and as a feedstock for biodiesel production." Science: "biofuels from plant materials convert energy that was originally captured from solar energy via photosynthesis. A comparison of conversion efficiency from solar to usable energy shows that photovoltaics are 100 times more efficient than corn ethanol and 10 times more efficient than the best biofuel. It takes more than a gallon of fossil fuel (~29% more) to make one gallon of ethanol." EV fans: making biofuel is just another wicked attempt of Big Oil to kill the electric car. Conspiracy Theorists: Big Oil - getting bored of the nasty drilling - now disguise themselves as cowboys and farmers taking over the lands from humankind, causing various social, economic, environmental disaster, such as: deforestation, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, impact on water resources, as well as energy balance and efficiency. And the debate still goes on...
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Months Ago
        @krisztiant
        Haha, thanks for breaking it down... Yeah this is squeezing more blodo out of a turnip, really. Nothing beats dino juice.. and where's the miraculous algae and jatropha fuel? All cost issues aside i'll take electric for now.
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Months Ago
        @krisztiant
        I'm not really a fan of ethanol. An definitely for bio-fuel to succeed it will need a better feedstock than corn. However, to write biofuels off as fuel because it has drawbacks, is also foolish. Aircraft, shipping, rail, heavy machinery, heavy road transport, tanks, etc wont operate on solar-powered batteries. Naturally, in response to oil depletion, oil companies will turn to the most compatible technology, sustainable, renewable bio-fuel. Your assumption that this will somehow, cause all the ill's of humankind, social, economic, environmental disaster, deforestation, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, impact on water resources, as well as energy balance and efficiency, is simply an irrational display of prejudice. In fact the R&D being conducted by oil companies for bio-fuel feedstock is the exact opposite. The only way to make biogasoline, (not ethanol) economic would be for a tree like product to be grown on cheap, marginal, non-arable, even desert land, harvesting the fruit for fuel conversion. This would be very good for the environment, and increase water resources. But, no matter how valuable or beneficial, there are those who would prevent such an advance out of a blind hatred for oil companies. Or would you prefer only the PRC's oil companies, in conjunction with the PLA to develop a monopoly on such a resource?
          krisztiant
          • 2 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          As almost everything has pros (and cons), naturally biofuel has too. Let's see them: PROs: Since biofuels are (mainly) derived from agricultural crops, they are inherently renewable and (mainly) domestically produced, reducing dependence on foreign oil. Some biodiesels emit less pollution than traditional gasoline / diesel. Since they only emit as many CO2 as their source plants absorbed out of the atmosphere in the first place, there's little contribution to global warming. Unlike other renewable energy (like hydrogen, solar, wind etc), biofuels are easy to transition to, as you can just fill your existing car with it [if it's flex-fuel of course]. BUT: Major hurdle for the adoption is the challenge of growing enough crops to meet demand. Some say it might well require converting just about all of the world’s remaining forests / open spaces over to agricultural land. Another dark cloud over biofuels is whether producing them actually requires more energy than they can generate. Factoring in the energy needed to grow crops, then convert them into biofuels, researchers conclude (Cornell University), that the numbers just don’t add up. Their study found that producing ethanol from corn or making biodiesel from soybeans required 29% more energy than the end product is capable of generating. "There's no energy benefit to using plant biomass for liquid fuel." Apparently, there's no quick-fix for weaning off of fossil fuels. The near future presumably is some combination of sources such as wind, ocean currents, hydrogen, solar and, yes, some use of biofuels too. The reality is that we cannot just immediately replace our oil consumption with EVs (or something else), but biofuels (inherently renewable) can help the gradual transition off of non-renewable energy sources.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @krisztiant Y'know, crafting the facts to suit your own theory is OK as long as you admit it's speculation. But if, as you do, you claim them to be true,...well, it's either ridiculous, or disingenuous . Your 'pro and con' example is just inaccurate, disinformation! Simply because one type biofuel is produced from corn, or similar crops, doesn't mean all biofuels are produced by corn! Corn and cereal based ethanol, is just one type of biofuel. Virents new process allows for the production of Biogasoline. This process revolutionises the whole concept of biofuels. Feedstock remains an issue, but lots of feedstock's exist with much greater yield and economics than corn. Algae, Grass, High yield Fruiting trees, Palms, rape, and mustard seed, switch grass, bamboo, jatropha, Kass, etc, It's very possible that Cargill, Nestle, Monsanto or even the PRC's Jinlin, have already developed a suitable species. The Virent process finally available, Shell, BP, Exxon Chevron etc,.. could potentially, within a few years, offer Biogasoline at $2 a gallon pump price. Virents process requires no alteration to ICE technology. The process use the same refining process as fossil fuel and produce fuel for aircraft, ship, heavy machinery, rail, road, motor scooter etc., without the need for any special engineering. Just select your fuel at the pump, and fill-up. Shell speculates that with the right feedstock, it would be capable of supplying the world's transport energy demand, within 15 years. (120-140 million barrels per day).
          krisztiant
          • 2 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Marco, my 'pro and con' examples were based on sources, such as: "Cornell ecologist's study finds that producing ethanol and biodiesel from corn and other crops is not worth the energy" (David Pimentel, professor of ecology and agriculture) http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/july05/ethanol.toocostly.ssl.html I also explicitly quoted Alex Farrell (University of California, Berkeley) who says: "... focus of the biofuels industry needs a rapid change of direction, away from using cropland - which is where most U.S. biofuels come from today - and toward other sources of starting material." You wrote: "Corn and cereal based ethanol, is just one type of biofuel." I wrote: "...biofuels are MAINLY derived from agricultural crops" It means they're MAINLY (so not all) derived from agricultural crops, which means exactly the same as your sentence. My last sentence was: "the reality is that we cannot just immediately replace our oil consumption with EVs (or something else), but biofuels (inherently renewable) can help the gradual transition off of non-renewable energy sources." That outlines the inherently renewable nature of biofuels as a definite advantage over fossil fuels (despite the sourced opinion, that biofuels are not worth the energy). And a last quote from your post: "Shell speculates that with the right feedstock, it would be capable of supplying the world's transport energy demand, within 15 years." It is also the same as Alex Farrell's (cited and agreed by me) sentiment on the issue, so I cannot exactly follow you at the moment.
      Champ
      • 2 Months Ago
      So, extract corn oil from ethanol waste, turn that corn oil into biodiesel, burn said biodiesel instead of coal to make ethanol. Ok, so I don't really know how much fuel would be required, but I doubt theres enough energy in 1/2 pound of corn oil to turn 1 bushel of corn into ethanol, which would mean still burning fossil fuels, but maybe not as much. Just so you know, many ethanol plants are coal powered. Some are powered by natural gas, but they all burn fossil fuels. All that corn used to make ethanol is planted, harvested, and transported by equipment burning petroleum based diesel. Anybody who thinks ethanol is green is uninformed.
      krisztiant
      • 2 Months Ago
      Taking electric is a safe bet, though, if we wanted to go for biofuel by all means, here's an interesting take on that one by Alex Farrell (University of California, Berkeley): "... focus of the biofuels industry needs a rapid change of direction, away from using cropland - which is where most U.S. biofuels come from today - and toward other sources of starting material. We could replace all of the ethanol that we consume in California just using waste that goes to the landfill today, and turning that into ethanol." Farrell says. I don't know the efficiency figures of the process, but at least this way - in a sense - there won't be any "waste" of energy.