Interview with William Popa, Director of Sales, North America for Beta Tec Hop Products
Q. Please tell us about your company's role within the ethanol industry and why the company is committed to supporting the ethanol industry now and into the future.
A. Beta Tec Hop Products is committed to the ethanol industry because our parent company is one of the largest growers of Hops in the world. BetaTec draws from the natural compounds found within the hops cone to produce a naturally derived substance that is used in the fuel ethanol industry to enhance yeast performance and efficiency. John I Haas has been farming Hops for over 100 years. John I Haas has developed into the largest grower, processor and manufacturer of Hop products in the World. John I Haas has Hop Farming operations in Europe, Australia, Asia, as well as North America. We are committed to this industry because we are a green company; our products are green for a green industry. We are proud to say our products are made in the USA and we are a farming company from rural America. The ethanol industry is a perfect fit for our company.
Q. From your perspective, what would you like fuel consumers to know about the ethanol industry and the fuel it produces?
A. I wish we had Blender pumps at every gas station in America. I think once consumers have greater choices they will find the best fuel option for their vehicle, based on price and performance. This choice and proven performance would eliminate all the negativity and false information being spread about ethanol and the ethanol industry.
Ethanol is here to stay because it is the only Octane source we have for our gasoline fuel for the automobile. As long as we use combustion engines for our automobiles, Ethanol as a source of Octane will be very important. The higher the Octane levels, the better the performance of the automobile. Oil companies will continue to clean out the dregs of their storage tanks, add ethanol to the dregs, and sell it as regular gas. This means ethanol is here to stay.
All our fleet vehicles at Beta Tec are Flex Fuel Vehicles and have operated without issue. When E-85 fuel is more than $0.32 cents cheaper than regular gas, our fleet saves money using E-85 fuel.
Q. How did your personal career path lead you to where you are now?
A. I joined Beta Tec Hop Products during the time when the ethanol industry was just starting to grow. We had 80 ethanol plants in operation and today we have 218 plants. I viewed this industry as an avenue to a career with much growth and stability.
This is a great industry to work in because of the people. Everyone has a story to tell. I tell everyone that a hand shake still means something in the ethanol industry. It is still a place where people work hard and take pride in their work. They strive to do the job right the first time. I enjoy the people and the friends I have made in the ethanol industry.
Q. What does your company see for the future of ethanol and advanced biofuels?
A. We see tremendous growth potential again with our product line and the advancement of biofuels. Any plant that utilizes fermentation to make ethanol and needs to control gram positive bacteria will benefit in efficiency from using our product line.
The growth potential of advance biofuels in the future could dwarf the existing ethanol production industry as we know it today. With developing new technologies converting cellulose from sources like wood, grasses, beets or corn stocks into ethanol - this will make for strong growth in the industry. As advanced biofuels develop, the consumer will see lower fuel prices at the pump. Advanced biofuels will be the way we break our oil dependence from countries that do not like America.