The biofuels industry is rapidly picking up steam and the fast track growth is spurring a demand for professionals who are educated in biodiesel, ethanol and other alternative fuels. The American Biofuels Council wants to meet that demand wtih a new biofuels educator program. The American Biofuels Council (ABC), a national grassroots communications network for the advancement of biofuels adoption, has announced that it has launched the Certified Biofuels Educator (CBE) program to train and certify government, corporate, and school staff as well as community volunteers in providing accurate and comprehensive biofuels information.
Sean O’Hanlon, Founder and Executive Director of the ABC, said, “There is enormous demand for this type of program. Government departments, corporations, schools and community groups want to talk to someone who combines local community knowledge with up-to-the-minute awareness of biofuels. Too many people who talk to them have little knowledge, or an axe to grind. This program will solve that problem.”
The CBE course consists of a home-study reading program followed by a weekend of live instruction covering eight modules. CBE candidates will receive training on each type of biofuel including advantages and disadvantages of each, regional considerations, availability of fuels, transition plan development, and community group communications skills. They will also receive comprehensive training on biofuel feedstocks. The course is capped by a proctored examination, and successful candidates will receive the CBE designation. CBE holders will be required to take continuing education courses to retain their Certificate. Continue reading →
Thanks to our friend Bob Moffitt, Communications Director, Clean Fuels & Vehicle Technologies Program, American Lung Association of Upper Midwest, for pointing us to his YouTube video about their “Path to Cleaner Air” exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair. It focuses on how “Biofuels like E85 (ethanol) and biodiesel are making Minnesota’s air cleaner and greener.”
Ryan Hunter-Reay wasn’t the only Indy Car Driver consumers had the chance to meet at today’s ethanol pump promotion. Roth Racing Driver PJ Chesson also came out to help support ethanol. Consumers throughly enjoyed PJ antics at the gas pump. The rambunctious driver washed windshields, scribbled his name in bumper dust and even paid for one woman’s gas.
Most customers lined up waiting for cheap gas greeted me, camera in tow, with eager smiles. Happy to be saving some cash and fueling up with ethanol I’m sure. I chatted with a few friendly faces, Les DiCarlo, Jimmy Spayer and Jim Labeau.
I think it’s safe to say that all of us a part of the ZimmComm Media crew have been eager to meet ethanol’s new driver Ryan Hunter-Reay and hear what he has to say about driving with Team Ethanol. I lucked out and got to be the first one of the ZimmComm bunch to introduce myself to the Indy Driver. Ryan stressed the importance of brining ethanol education to the community, and he says that consumer education starts at the pump.
Gas City Executive Vice President Bill Shireman says his company has been promoting ethanol for about a year and a half. Bill says pump promotions like today’s help educate the public and encourage consumers to fuel up with ethanol fuel blends. Yesterday, the Joliet Gas City was selling unleaded gas for $3.25 and $2.75. During the Epic ethanol pump promotion consumers with flex-fuel vehicles were able to fuel up with VeraSun E85 for just $0.85 cents a gallon and all consumers could fuel up with an E10 ethanol blend for $2.15, which was last year’s Peak Antifreeze 300 qualifying race time.
Greetings from Chicago! Well, Joliet actually. I’m in Illinois with the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council to bring you coverage of the 2007 Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. Epic, VeraSun Energy and The Illinois Corn Growers Association kicked off race weekend with an ethanol pump promotion at Gas City near the track in Joliet. Gas City sold more than 2,250 gallons of 10 percent ethanol-blend fuel and 450 gallons of 85 percent ethanol-blend fuel, with one in six cars pumping E85. Just before the promotion got underway I spoke with the Communications Director for the Illinois Corn Growers Association, Mark Lambert, about how much cash consumers would get to save by fueling up with E10 and E85 fuel blends.
The National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC) reports that 31 new models of motor vehicles will be offered with an E85 capable engine in 2008. Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Nissan and Mercedes Benz will all offer flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) in the coming year.
NEVC Executive Director Phil Lampert says these include some of the most popular vehicle models. “From a humble beginning of less than 500 FFVs in 1993, we expect that more than 750,000 such FFVs will be produced in the coming year,” he said.
The NEVC 2008 Purchasing Guide will include a complete listing of all FFVs, photos, their engine and passenger size, and their gallon fuel capacity. This full color, 16 page guide will be available in early October. To place your order, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
E85 ethanol infrastructure, technology, and availability will be discussed by senior engineers from General Motors and distinguished panelists from the areas of academia and industry on Wednesday September 12 at FIU University Park Campus.
The objectives of the panel are to highlight the progress of South Florida’s E85 ethanol infrastructure, educate consumers and media on E85 ethanol benefits, promote E85 ethanol as a bio-fuel with potential to displace petroleum-based fuels and reduce emissions in the U.S., and discuss all relevant issues surrounding E85 ethanol.
VeraSun Energy Corporation and The Kroger Co. this week announced the opening of 20 VE85™ fueling locations at Kroger convenience stores in Ohio and Kentucky.
This makes Kroger the first national retailer to offer VeraSun’s branded E85. With the addition of the 20 Kroger locations, VeraSun now has more than 100 retail fueling stations in 11 states and the District of Columbia selling VE85™.
Located in Cincinnati, Kroger currently operates almost 2,500 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states. The company also has more than 750 convenience stores and 650 supermarket fuel centers. Currently, Kroger has 40 locations offering E85 in the states of Texas, Ohio and Kentucky.
Louisiana has become the 41st state to have at least one retail E85 fueling station with the grand opening Thursday at a Pumpelly Oil station in Sulphur.
According to the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition, the facility is a partnership between CleanFUEL Distribution, CleanFUEL USA and Protec Fuel Management, and Pumpelly Oil. CleanFUEL USA manufactured the dispenser, CleanFUEL Distribution is providing the fuel, and Pumpelly Oil owns the station.
“This is something that’s good for the environment and promotes cleaner air for our state,” said Glenn Pumpelly, president of Pumpelly Oil. “We look forward to continued work with CleanFUEL USA and CleanFUEL Distribution to be a solution provider for people who want to use not only ethanol but also biodiesel and propane.”
Missouri Governor Matt Blunt has joined the ranks of the chosen few who are test driving the Ford Escape Hybrid. Ford has produced just 20 of its hybrid-electric, flex-fuel Escapes that can run on E85 fuel and Ford Manager Tony Reinhart made the presentation to Blunt last week at the Missouri State Fair. Blunt says the specially-equipped Escape will help promote his Missouri Renewable Fuel Standard, which outlines that all fuel sold in the state will have to contain 10% percent ethanol by January of 2008. The Governor pointed out that Missouri is the fourth state to have such a requirement. The hybrid, flex-fuel also meets Blunt’s executive order that requires at least 70% of new vehicles purchased by the state to be flex-fuel vehicles.
Listen to Tony Reinhart, Governor Blunt and Missouri Corn Grower’s Association Education Director Gary Marshall here during the presentation:
The interview is with Gale Banks of Gale Banks Engineering, “Turbocharging Since 1958.” This guy is “an unadulterated gearhead with a wall of Bonneville and powerboating world records to prove it” according to his website. Leno calls him the “smartest and oldest guy” he knows.
Banks tells Leno that he is “all over the idea of using E-85 to build the ultimate street rods.” The main point of the interview is that ethanol, in the form of E-85, is a very high performance fuel if the car engine is tuned to run on it.
Banks explains to Leno that the reason E-85 gets worse gas mileage in flex-fuel vehicles is because those engines are optimized to run on gas, not ethanol. If they were optimized for E-85, “you could go to a much higher compression ratio, which improves power output and engine efficiency. It’s the octane number,” he says. “Octane is a rating of knock-resistance. The higher the number the better. E-85 is 105 octane.”
Banks calls it “the biggest performance fuel bargain on the planet” and a “guilt-free performance topic.”
Underwriters Laboratories says it will accept requests for certification investigations for gaskets and seals for use with concentrated ethanol-blended fuels such as E85. UL says it is on track to accept E85 dispenser products for testing by year-end 2007.
In order to develop the requirements that will be used for certification, UL conducted a gasket and seal ethanol-blended fuel compatibility research program. The objective of the research was to subject various materials to a variety of test conditions with ethanol-blended fuels and to assess the effects of those fuels on the materials.
The results of UL’s research indicate that certain commercially available gasket and seal materials formulated for E-85 pump use can be expected to perform acceptably when exposed to motor vehicle fuels blended with high concentrations of ethanol, including those that contain an optional corrosion inhibitor additive. However, some materials experienced significant deterioration during the research tests.
The results, say UL officials, confirm the necessity of establishing safety requirements for E85 dispensers that take into account the long-term effects of exposure to ethanol. To meet its plans to complete research and development of certification requirements by year’s end, UL will accept product submissions for E85 dispensers.
General Motors, Governor Chet Culver and Kum & Go, L.C. today celebrated plans for the addition of 19 new E85 ethanol fueling locations to be opened throughout the state by the end of 2008. The new fueling locations will be promoted by GM as part of a broader, ongoing national GM campaign to boost the use and awareness of ethanol-based E85 fuel in the United States.
According to a news release, the announcement was celebrated at the Iowa State Fair during an event presided over by Iowa Governor Chet Culver, GM executives and Kum & Go.
“We know how much our customers care about the environment and we’re proud to offer them the choice for renewable fuels at the pump,” said Kyle Krause, president and CEO, Kum & Go. “Our new sites are helping make E85 ethanol more available to more of our customers throughout the state.”