A ground-breaking event will be held Friday in Hankinson, N.D. on August 25 for US Bio Hankinson, the biggest ethanol plant in North Dakota. (see previous post). The 100 million gallon per year ethanol plant, being constructed by US BioEnergy Corporation, will consume approximately 36 million bushels of corn and will produce 320,000 tons of distillers grain annually.
Peabody-award winning Public Radio broadcasters the Kitchen Sisters are featuring Deep Fried Fuel on NPR’s Morning Edition this Thursday, August 24. That would be tomorrow morning as this is posted, but NPR does offer podcasts of features if you miss it.
The Hidden Kitchen program “explores secret, underground, below-the-radar community cooking going on throughout America and how communities come together through food.”
Deep Fried Fuel: A Biodiesel Kitchen Vision, includes interviews with Willie Nelson, Carl Cornelius, Kinky Friedman, Peter Bell, Joe Nick Patoski and other “biodiesel visionaries” at Carl’s Corner and Houston, Texas.
Oklahoma Sustainable Energy LLC is well on its way to building a 55 million gallon a year plant in Enid, OK.
The Alva (OK) Review Telegram reports that a Monday meeting for potential investors drew “scores of area residents” interested in hearing about the plan.
The group hopes to obtain 449 investors for the project which needs a minimum of $5 million and a maximum of $14 million. Chaparral Energy LLC, an Oklahoma oil and gas company, has committed to funding two-thirds of the project, according to the article.
“We are the only ethanol plan in the United States that has partnered with gas and oil,” President Terry Detrick said. “We feel we have hit a home run when the two major players – oil and agriculture – have married.”
The picture, from the Alva article, shows Michael Entz, Vice President and Terry Detrick, President of OSE, during the investment presentation. Photo by Helen Barrett
Alternative Energy Sources, Inc. of Kansas City, which just announced last week that it is in the process of building the “first cellulosic plant” in the country, (a claim disputed by SunOpta) today announced plans to build a 110-million-gallon ethanol plant 65 miles south of Chicago in Kankakee, Ill.
According to a company release, AENS has optioned the entire 248-acre Kankakee Industrial Park next to a newly permitted regional sanitary landfill. “In addition to giving us the large footprint needed for flexibility in plant design, this will allow us to acquire landfill methane gas for our operations at one-third the cost of natural gas on a Btu-adjusted basis,” said Lee Blank, AENS executive vice president and chief operating officer.
The company also announced plans last week to build a 110-million-gallon ethanol plant in Boone County, Iowa, between Ogden and Beaver in the central part of the state.
Not wasting any time here. AENS was just formed in June by Blank and Mark Beemer, former execs of ADM, the nation’s largest ethanol producer.
Green Plains Renewable Energy has announced that Agra Industries will be the builder for its second 50 million gallon ethanol plant in Iowa. The company is currently building a 50 million gallon facility in Shenandoah, Iowa. The second plant will be located near Superior. With the two plants, GPRE expects to have the capacity to produce at least 110 million gallons of ethanol on an annual basis by the end of 2007.
Here’s a company doing some great biodiesel work.
Greenline Industries of San Rafael, California manufactures a full range of biodiesel processing systems employing the very latest waterless technology. We serve a broad range of customers that include farm co-ops, small businesses, larger scale municipal interests, and full scale commercial plants delivering up to 40 million gallons of biodiesel per year, according to their website.
Earlier this year, Greenline received an Environmental Protection Agency’s Region Nine Environmental Award for it’s CF Series waterless continuous flow Biodiesel production process. Pictured are Greenline’s Michael Brown and Jacques Sinoncelli receiving the award from EPA representatives.
The company also recently made two major project announcements. One was the completion of the three million gallon per year Patriot Biofuels plant in Stuttgart, Arkansas. The other, a contract with Romanian food company S.C. ULEROM to build a 7 million gallons a year biodiesel facility in Vaslui province of Romania.
Father and son ethanol racing team Dan and Jamie Schwartzkopf were at the American Coalition for Ethanol meeting last week in Kansas City and I got a chance to chat with them about Schwartzkopf Racing and Wyoming Ethanol. Dan is the general manager of the ethanol plant, which has Renova Energy as its parent company. They also talk about the fact that there will actually be three generations of Schwartzkopfs in the drag racing business when Dan’s grandson turns 16 next year.
Here’s the interview I did with Dan and Jamie at the ACE meeting: Schwartzkopfs (4:00 min MP3)
A new market research study shows very strong consumer interest in flex fuel vehicles, but fuel economy is an issue with them.
The study, by global market research company Synovate, shows that 37% of US consumers would consider purchasing a Flex Fuel vehicle that runs on gasoline or E85 (85% Ethanol) the next time they are in the market to buy a car. However, more than a third of these same consumers lose interest in E85 Flex Fuel vehicles when they learn that there is a reduction in fuel economy.
This information came from Synovate’s latest semi-annual survey of consumer attitudes toward advanced propulsion and alternative fuel vehicles.
Publishers of the study say “this means that E85 will have to retain a substantially lower price per gallon over gasoline for it to have any impact on consumption.”
The survey also shows big interest by consumers in “plug-in” hybrids, once they know what they are.
Familiarity with the technology is currently low but, after hearing an explanation of a grid-connected hybrid, 49% of consumers said they would consider purchasing one, roughly the same level of consideration as standard hybrid technology.
The governor of Pennsylvania has announced the first ethanol plant to be built in the state, as well as a cellulosic pilot plant.
Governor Edward Rendell made the announcement Thursday with representatives from BioEnergy International, LLC and Lukoil Americas, two important partners in the project. According to a news release from the governor’s office, the state is providing $17.4 million in “state investments to support the $250 million project,” which includes a 108 million gallon per year corn-based ethanol plant and a pilot scale cellulose demonstration plant.
The plant will employ conventional corn-based technology and will be among the largest east of the Mississippi River, and one of the nation’s top 10, based on output. The smaller pilot-cellulose plant will use BioEnergy’s groundbreaking technology to produce fuels using locally available organic wastes, such as wood and agricultural residue.
MTVs Video Music Awards this month (August 31) will feature ethanol and flex-fuel vehicles. According to a PR Newswire release from MTV:
Chevrolet, a division of General Motors, and MTV’s “Break the Addiction” campaign are partnering around the 2006 Video Music Awards to help educate viewers on E85 ethanol technology in an effort to raise awareness about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and curbing dependence on fossil fuels. Chevy will be providing a customized fleet of 60 Flex Fuel E85 compatible vehicles for the VMAs that will be specifically branded to promote the show as well as GM’s Flex Fuel technology. The fleet of MTV Video Music Award E85 Chevrolet vehicles will be used to transport talent and guests around New York City including arrival at the red carpet on August 31. Once the fleet of VMA-branded E85 vehicles has completed their VMA mission they will be made available for sale to the general public. Beyond the fleet, Chevrolet will also debut a customized Tahoe Concept, provide in-program content (Chevy will present the pre-show Top of the Rock concert and provide the “Chevy Fly-Cam” with aerial shots of red carpet arrivals) and present on-line/off-line advertising.
This should be a great way to educate a younger audience about the benefits of ethanol.
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich this week announced more than $25 million in grants and support to help build five new ethanol and biodiesel production facilities across Illinois.
According to a release from the governor’s office, the new plants will spur about $334 million in private investment, produce 225 million gallons of biofuels each year, create almost 150 new jobs and reduce Illinois’ dependence on foreign oil.
“Energy independence means not being held hostage by OPEC every time you fill up the tank with gas. These new ethanol and biodiesel plants mean more homegrown fuel that can replace foreign oil and give drivers more options and cheaper alternatives,” Gov. Blagojevich said.
The Iowa Corn Growers will be the title sponsor for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 next year at the new Iowa Speedway in Newton. Iowa Corn, Iowa Speedway, and the Indy Racing League made the announcement yesterday at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.
The race will be held on June 24, 2007 and will “showcase ethanol before a live national television audience.”
“This is a great opportunity to show the entire U.S. that ethanol is a winner,” said Kyle Phillips, ICPB chair-elect and a corn grower from Knoxville. “With all the Indy Racing League cars running on 100% ethanol in 2007, it’s an ideal fit.”
Ok, I am not totally sure exactly what the deal is here – but this is what the news release says about the “Siksika Project,” a joint venture between Hybrid Fuels and A4 Bar Cattle Company, both located in Canada.
The barns constructed for the Siksika Project will be atmospherically controlled and will contain fly control devices. Cattle in the barns will be fed a diet of wet distillers grains (WDG) which are proven to be an excellent dietary feed stock for cattle and will be supplemented by a daily ration of fresh green grass. The Hybrid Fuels’ system is designed to dispose of barn waste without any material adverse environmental impact. Cattle will remain free from hormonal implants and antibiotics. Movement of cattle to the joint venture’s packing houses will be less than 25 miles to limit transportation-related stress for the cattle.
It is expected that the initial phase of the proposed Siksika Project of two facilities will produce up to 3,000 litres of ethanol daily, generate up to 1 megawatt of power, finish up to 2,400 head of cattle annually and provide up to 10 full time jobs. The hydroponics section of the barn is designed to have the grass growing equivalent of up to approximately 1,600 acres of grassland.
According to Angelfire.com, Siksika literally means “Black Foot”. Siksika is the name for the Blackfoot Nation located east of Calgary, Canada.
So, near as I can figure it, this project has to do with helping this particular tribe be more environmentally friendly in their cattle operations and produce ethanol.
As an alert reader pointed out to me (see previous post) SunOpta is “working with Celunol on the first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant in the United States,” as announced in a press release August 3.
As this article in Red Herring points out, the race to build the first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant in the US is definitely on.
Xethanol announced in July it is building a plant that will produce 50 million gallons per year in Augusta, Georgia. That plant is expected to start production by mid-2007.
In Canada, Iogen has a demonstration plant running and in May raised $30 million in Canadian dollars (about $27.1 million) from Goldman Sachs to build the first commercial plant. Iogen is also hoping to be the first in the U.S. as it is working on a deal to build a plant in Idaho (see previous post).
SunOpta is also Canadian-based and Celunol is located in Massachusettes and has the backing of ethanol venture capitalist Vinod Khosla. As Murray Burke, vice president and general manager of SunOpta, says in the Red Herring article, “The starting pistol has gone off,” for cellulosic ethanol in United States.
We’ll see who crosses the finish line first. But, no matter what, the ethanol industry and the country will be winners once this new technology that can use all kinds of materials to make fuel is made commercially viable.
HTH PowerSHIFT Group Holdings, Inc. is the new name of HTH Wind Energy, a privately held company previously dedicated solely to the production and operation of small and large-scale wind projects.
The company changed its name and created a new logo and website to more accurately reflect its involvement in a variety of renewable energy businesses. HTH PowerSHIFT is a provider of alternative energy solutions in wind power, biofuel development and production, and renewable power generation.