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Whats New at ICM

ICM plans to continue work on gasifier technology

By Ashley Bergner
The Kansan - Newton, KS
Feb. 8, 2013 
  • KS_Newton  --  Although ICM will be taking down its prototype gasifier at the Harvey County Transfer Station, the company said the technology won't be going away.

    The gasifier technology — which the Colwich-based company has been testing in Harvey County — didn't prove to be a viable option in Harvey County at this time, but ICM plans to continue marketing the project in other areas and still hopes to return to Harvey County someday.

    "We are fortunate to look ahead and see what other opportunities are here in the United States and even abroad," said Monique Pope, government affairs with ICM.

    ICM’s Biomass Gasification System, also known as a “gasifier,” burns trash and converts it to synthesis gas, which can be used to generate power in industrial and commercial settings. ICM tested thousands of tons of different types of waste, which are referred to as “feedstocks.” Feedstocks tested included wood chips, wheat straw and refuse-derived fuel (this includes junk mail, cardboard and other paper products thrown away).

    Jon Orr, capital sales manager in gasification at ICM, said ICM was disappointed they were unable to attract sufficient investments from interested financial partners due to the lower projected returns, based on limitations of available feedstocks. Limitations of developing off-take agreements to facilitate renewable power capabilities also was a factor, the company said. The project would have needed to operate closer to the gasifier's capacity of 150 tons of material per day, while Harvey County officials estimated supplying only about 90 tons per day.

    The gasifier still is sitting at the Harvey County Transfer Station, but ICM has begun to remove some of the pieces. The company's lease will expire at the end of June. ICM plans to leave some of the structures and buildings at the site for Harvey County to use.

    The company reports it continues to market its technology throughout North America and the Caribbean. Orr said the technology is attractive to areas with greater constraints on landfill space who are looking for better solutions to deal with waste.

    Orr anticipates the need for technology like the gasifier will continue to increase in the future. Some areas have only a short time space left before their existing landfills are filled to capacity.

    Both Pope and Orr thanked Harvey County officials for partnering with ICM on the project and making the gasifier's test run a success.

    "None of this would have been possible without the opportunity to do the work that we did at the Harvey County site," Orr said. "... What we learned and the data that we collected, there's just a tremendous value there."

    "I was always just so impressed with the vision of the commission," Pope agreed. "You guys are light-years ahead of other communities. ... It's always been a privilege to be a part of this project."

    The plan is to continue working on scaling down the technology so it will be more feasible for areas the size of Harvey County.

    "We're excited for potential collaboration again in the future," Pope said.

ICM to partner with CleanStar Mozambique

Newton Kansan.com | Oct 25, 2011
COLWICH — ICM has announced its role in supporting CleanStar Mozambique — a company founded by Novozymes and CleanStar Ventures — to protect forests, produce food, deliver energy, reduce air pollution and enrich lives.
“ICM shares the vision with CleanStar Mozambique to implement sustainable farming practices for smallholder farmers, and to integrate a food and energy production facility that will have profound impacts on improved health and economic benefits for the people of Mozambique,” a news release stated. “When presented with the opportunity to participate in the CleanStar Mozambique project, ICM was thrilled to lend its expertise and years of experience.”
Since its inception in 1995, the Colwich company has impacted the renewable fuels industry by providing process design on a number of biorefineries constructed throughout North America.
“Backed by the strength of several hundred of its employees, ICM is thrilled to support CleanStar Mozambique’s efforts to leverage innovation to drive social development and environmental restoration in the developing world,” a news release stated. “ICM looks forward to using its expertise to create similar solutions for future opportunities and partners all around the world.”
- Design and construction of ethanol plant for CleanStar Mozambique. ICM has designed and constructed equipment for a one-gallon-per-minute ethanol plant that is currently under construction in Mozambique. The ethanol from the plant will be produced using cassava that is sourced from the local rural communities, and the cooking fuel will be sold to the urban community in Maputo, Mozambique.
“It is critically important to provide the community’s people with the training and job skill opportunities to operate the plant, and enjoy the increased employment opportunities and economic benefits,” a news release stated.
The welders in the company’s manufacturing division have produced shop-fabricated and specialty equipment components for the ethanol plant, which is designed to convert 18 pounds of locally-grown cassava chips into a gallon of 185+ proof ethanol.
- Biomass boiler to create steam production and engine-generator for electricity. Also being provided is a custom-built, robust biomass boiler manufactured by Victory Energy for steam production, and an engine-generator for the plant’s electricity needs. The engine-generator contributed by ICM has been modified and tested by using hydrous ethanol.
- Cassava milling, cook process and distillation. ICM has sized the cassava milling and cook process to operate 10-12 hours a day, and the small plant will include three fermenters and a beer-well. The distillation is sized to operate continuously, 24 hours a day; the plant can begin and cease operations as needed.
- Operation of the ethanol plant by the local community. ICM is providing a graphic control panel that contains the essential basics for motor control and flow control.
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Ethanol Industry Pioneer Wants Higher Blends

Posted by Cindy Zimmerman | March 11th, 2012 | DomesticFuel.com
The president of one of the world’s largest ethanol plant engineering and construction firms is pleased with the progress made by the industry in the last 30 years, but frustrated by the barriers to higher ethanol blends. At the recent National Ethanol Conference, where ICM, Inc. founder Dave Vander Griend was honored with the Renewable Fuels Association 2012 Membership Award, he talked about how ethanol could replace some of the additives currently found in gasoline – called aromatics – which are used to help boost octane in gas. “We’re looking just to go from 10% ethanol to 15% ethanol with a clean, non-toxic product,” he explained. “The petroleum industry can go from 10 to 40% aromatic additions to their gasoline anytime they choose.”
He noted that Henry Ford’s Model T engine was originally designed to run on either gasoline or ethanol. “Actually, the first FFV was a Model T,” said Vander Griend. “That wasn’t something that set well with Rockefeller – he wanted everything to be gasoline, but at that time there was no octane additive to put into the gas so it wasn’t very good and cars would ping and knock. Taking that fuel they made then, if they would have added 20-30% ethanol, both parties would have won.” Instead, they got rid of ethanol through prohibition and used lead to increase octane. The creation of the EPA got the lead out of gasoline, which led to MTBE being used as a replacement until that was determined to be carcinogenic.
Vander Griend believes that ethanol could reduce tailpipe emissions by up to 50% with just a 30% blend. “Ethanol can replace aromatics on a 1-to-1 (basis) and actually give them more octane than they had from the aromatics,” he said.

Construction completed at Hungarian ethanol plant

By Holly Jessen | April 09, 2012 | Ethanol Producer Magazine
Pannonia Ethanol, a corn-ethanol plant in Dunafoldvar, Hungary, is now producing ethanol. Pannonia Ethanol Zrt., a special purpose subsidiary of Ethanol Europe, hired Fagen Europe LLC as the project’s design builder for the facility, which will produce up to 240 MMly (63.4 MMgy) of ethanol in central Hungary, said Eric Sievers, CEO of Ethanol Europe.
Although Sievers pointed to a cumbersome permit process in Europe, the development company had what he described as a fantastic experience in Hungary. The country has room to expand its corn crop yield and local markets for corn are needed. “The local town that we are in, is 100 percent supportive of what we are doing and they understand what we are doing,” he said. In all, the plant will utilized about 575,000 tons of corn and produce about 175,000 tons of DDGS annually.
The ethanol produced at Pannonia is expected to be some of the “cleanest” ethanol produced in the European Union. The fuel shows a significant greenhouse gas reduction compared to fossil fuels, according to independent verification. “[It’s] well in excess of the reduction required for sustainable ethanol under the Renewable Energy Directive,” the company said at its website.
Ethanol Europe wants to build a series of ethanol plants in Europe and has already announced its second project. Construction is set to begin on an ethanol plant of the same size in Mohacs, Hungary, in June. The company feels its partnership with Fagen Inc. is a key part of its strategy to succeed. “There’s no better partner in the world for your ethanol business than Ron Fagen,” Sievers said.
Hungary has two other ethanol plants. One is a large wet mill that primarily produces isoglucose for human consumption. Ethanol production was added on at that plant a few years ago. There’s also an old distillery that produces high quality industrial ethanol as well as some fuel ethanol. “Even though it does make fuel ethanol it’s not really in the same category,” Sievers said.