(Posted Tue. Feb 3rd, 2015)

The National Corn Growers Association’s Ethanol Committee is meeting in Knoxville, Tennessee this week to discuss the future of ethanol fuel and strategies for assuring continued demand growth for the corn-based fuel.


“Ethanol is at a critical time in history. Political decisions, emerging science and engineering considerations are all converging and what results will chart a course for how we use ethanol in the years ahead,” said Jeff Sandborn, who chairs the committee. “Ethanol makes more sense than ever, environmentally and for the nation’s economy, and NCGA is committed to ensuring this domestic fuel reaches its full potential.”


Sandborn, a corn farmer from Portland, Michigan, noted the increasing public demand to cut greenhouse gas emissions will play in big role in ethanol’s future. Identifying the right higher ethanol blend, the right automotive technology and then getting that information in the right hands are key to NCGA’s agenda.


The Ethanol Committee visited the Oak Ridge Lab National Transportation Research Center (NTRC) today with these goals in mind. NTRC houses several highly-sophisticated, experimental ORNL research laboratories that constitute the Department of Energy's National Transportation Research Center User Facility.


As a user facility, NTRC offers industry, academia and other agencies the opportunity to access state-of-the-art technologies, equipment and instrumentation, and computational resources to advance transportation technologies. These resources are critical to their efforts in the areas of improving fuel economy, reducing emissions and addressing transportation systems issues.


In addition to Sandborn, Ethanol Committee members include:  Keith Alverson, Corn Board Liaison, South Dakota; Graham Adsit, Wisconsin; Cal Dalton, Wisconsin; Jerry Demmer, Minnesota; David Gottbrath, Indiana; Paul Jeschke, Illinois; Dennis McNinch, Kansas; Jerry Mohr, Iowa; Mark Recker, Iowa; Jay Schutte, Missouri; and Dennis Vennekotter, Ohio: Corn staff in attendance included: Bradley Schad, Missouri; David Loos, Illinois, Adam Andrews, Kentucky and Tom Thieding of Wisconsin. NCGA staff included: Paul Bertels, vice president of production and utilization; Beth Elliott, director of public policy; Melanie Gibson, administrative assistant; and Mark Lambert, senior communications manager.