Jun 12 2008
More than 4,000 international ethanol industry professionals will gather at the 24th Annual International Fuel Ethanol Workshop + Expo (FEW), June 16 - 19, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville to improve and expand an industry on the defense, according to conference organizers BBI International, a service company providing worldwide renewable energy solutions and specializing in project development, media, and events.
Despite the avalanche of negative media reports in recent months, those in the industry maintain that ethanol is not the source of food inflation and world hunger, and is still one of the most viable paths to a more sustainable world.
"It is a mistake to somehow define food inflation as separate from other inflation ... inflation is inflation ... so when you have fuel inflation you are going to have food inflation. We are part of the solution in that we provide an alternative fuel that adds to the fuel supply," says Mick Henderson, General Manager of Commonwealth Agri-Energy LLC, in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. "The smear campaign has already started ... the ball is already rolling down the hill and we're trying to stop it. When we set the facts straight people will realize that ethanol is good for this nation, good for the consumer, and good for the planet."
Dr. Robert Zubrin, Author of the book Energy Victory: Winning the War on Terror by Breaking Free of Oil, will deliver the keynote address during the general session and offer a plan of how ethanol could help safeguard homeland security and provide solutions for global warming and developing nations.
"We could be using fuel dollars that are now being sent to countries with ties to terrorism to help farmers here and abroad, boosting our own economy and funding world development," says Zubrin. "By switching to alcohol fuels, which pollute less than gasoline and are made from plants that draw carbon dioxide from the air, we will facilitate the worldwide economic growth required to eliminate global poverty without the fear of greenhouse warming."
Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, will give an industry update during the general session and provide hope to those who look to move the industry forward.
"Biofuels alone are not the silver bullet to the energy or environmental challenges our planet faces. But they do offer a pathway forward. By adopting the use of biofuels today and encouraging the development of next generation technologies, the road can be paved for the future fuels and technologies to come," says Dinneen. "The alternative is to continue to exploit increasingly costlier fossil fuels for which the environmental price tag will be great."
The 23 technical workshops offered at the 2008 FEW will feature panels on cellulosic ethanol, non-food feedstocks, water utilization and conservation, non-fossil fuel power, lifecycle analysis, training the biofuels workforce of tomorrow; and more traditional topics including improving production efficiencies, plant management, and plant safety.
Other conference attractions include an industry expo featuring more than 600 exhibiting companies, two networking receptions, and an international networking pavilion; an Ethanol 101 Pre-conference Seminar: First and Second Generation Ethanol Production; the Annual FEW Golf Tournament at Hermitage Golf Course; an industry tour of Commonwealth Agri-Energy LLC, a 100 percent farmer owned ethanol plant located in Hopkinsville, Kentucky; and a "Nashville Style Get-together" at Smiley Hollow featuring the world renowned Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
The 24th Annual International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo begins Monday, June 16 at 5:30 p.m. with the opening of the Industry Expo in the Ryman Exhibit Hall at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. Onsite registration begins Sunday, June 15 at 7:30 a.m. and will be available throughout the conference. For more information on conference activities and registration visit http://www.fuelethanolworkshop.com.