The 3rd Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit will address the challenges, opportunities, and solutions for growing the renewable fuels industry. The event will take place at the Polk County Convention Complex from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on January 27, 2009. The Summit is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required.

“Renewable fuel producers are facing one of the most challenging periods in their short history and, at the very same time, a period poised for great opportunities,” said Monte Shaw, Executive Director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA), which is hosting the Summit. “Our free, one-day Summit will focus on the issues that will determine the future success of the renewable fuels industry. We’ve brought together distinguished speakers from across the country to tackle these questions.”

The first panel topic is: “RFS2: Holding Renewable Fuels to a Higher Standard?” Dr. Robert Brown, Director of the Office of Biorenewables Programs at Iowa State University, will discuss the strict greenhouse gas (GHG) standards being placed on renewable fuels that do not apply to petroleum products. Logan Caldwell, Houston BioFuels Consultants, will speak on energy efficiency trends in gasoline production while John Christianson, of Christianson and Associates, will review recent energy use studies detailing trends in renewable fuels production.

Another panel will focus on where the growing volume of ethanol and biodiesel will be marketed. “Beating the Blend Wall” panelist John Campbell with Omaha-based AGP, will speak of the role B20 will play in expanding biodiesel demand while Brian Jennings, with the American Coalition for Ethanol, will discuss how adoption of mid-level blends, such as E13 or E15, for all vehicles on the road today could aid ethanol in climbing over the blend wall and achieving greater long-term demand for ethanol fuels.

The third panel topic is “Linking the Value Chain.” Scott Poor, Green Plains Renewable Energy, will outline his company’s innovative approach for ethanol refineries to produce algae that can provide oil for processing into biodiesel. Glycerin, a co-product of biodiesel production, has a promising future in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and more recently livestock feed. The synergies between ethanol production and glycerin may bring the biofuels industry into closer partnerships. Dave Elsenbast with the Renewable Energy Group will discuss these markets for glycerin. And, Christian Schutz with Global Ethanol will share how Global has married corn oil extracted during the ethanol process with biodiesel production at its Lakota, Iowa facility.

World renowned engineer and best-selling author Robert Zubrin will be a keynote speaker. He is well-known for his straightforward, practical energy policy calling for Congress to pass a law requiring that all new cars sold be flex-fueled – able to run on a combination of gasoline and ethanol. Zubrin will address Summit participants on “Energy Victory: Winning the War on Terror by Breaking Free of Oil.”

Pre-registration is required by January 22, which can be done at Anyone with questions or to obtain information on exhibiting can contact Lucy Norton at the IRFA office at (515) 252-6249.

Iowa is the leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 36 ethanol refineries with a combined annual capacity of nearly 2.9 billion gallons in operation. There are 7 ethanol refineries under construction that will add 850 million gallons of capacity. In addition, Iowa has 14 biodiesel refineries with the capacity to produce over 317 million gallons annually. Two biodiesel refineries under construction or expansion will add 35 million gallons of annual capacity. Many additional renewable fuels projects are under development.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development.