Next Gen Ethanol on Track

e-podcast Big announcements for cellulosic ethanol recently prove that the next generation of the biofuel is here today.

This “Fill up, Feel Good” podcast features Reece Nanfito of EPIC and representatives from KL Process Design Group of South Dakota, which has the first commercial cellulosic ethanol facility operating in the United States that will now be providing the fuel for American Le Mans Series race cars.

The podcast is available to download by subscription (see our sidebar link) or you can listen to it by clicking here (6:30 MP3 File):

The Fill Up, Feel Good theme music is “Tribute to Joe Satriani” by Alan Renkl, thanks to the Podsafe Music Network.

“Fill up, Feel Good” is sponsored by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council.

Backing Hillary with Biodiesel

hillaryclinton.jpgSome prominent Democratic mayors in California have taken to the road to campaign for presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton in a bus fueled by biodiesel.

This story from San Francisco’s NBC 11 says Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and Fullerton Mayor Sharon Quirk have hit the road in the Golden State to praise Clinton’s proposals for “green-collar” job training:

In both Southern and Northern California companies have begun to sprout up that focus on solar, thermal and wind energy. Each mayor has expressed their approval for programs that would train former blue-collar workers for jobs in such companies.

“(Hillary Clinton) understands the importance of taking those ideals and working together to really make progress and sustainable change,” Newsom said. “Nowhere is it more important though, than in making sure that those who have been locked out of the industrial economy are locked into this green economy. We’re all lamenting the loss of blue collar jobs and here we are talking about this green wave, and locking folks into this green, sustainable economy.”

The campaigning is part of the run-up to February 5th’s Super Tuesday when 24 states will hold primaries and caucuses to help decide the Democratic and Republican nominees for president.

REG Making Biodiesel More Available at Truck Stops

deckertruck.jpgAs we mentioned here before, one of the best ways to make biodiesel more mainstream is to get it into the mainstream of the trucking industry in this country.

This story on eTrucker.com says Iowa-based Renewable Energy Group (REG) is offering a service to truck stops across the country to make biodiesel more available:

reglogo1.gifREG’s Retail Biodiesel Blending Program, announced at the NATSO Show in Orlando, Fla., offers truck-stop operators both biodiesel injection equipment and a regular supply of high-quality biodiesel.

Because REG can remotely monitor fuel levels in its biodiesel tanks, truck-stop operators can enjoy an automated reorder process to ensure they don’t run out, REG said. Truck stops also will be able to remotely adjust biodiesel blends daily, the company said.

The new service “offers a tremendous incentive for truck stops to adopt a biodiesel blend program while ensuring their customers have access to the highest-quality biodiesel available on the market today,” said Gary Haer, REG vice president of sales and marketing.

REG is also keeping up its end of the supply line as it has seven biodiesel plants in production, three under construction, and another two being developed.

Biodiesel Saving & Making Americans Green

universalbioenergy.jpgBiodiesel could save Americans billions of dollars, while making the country cleaner… that according to a spokesman for a Mississippi-based biodiesel manufacturer.

Dr. Richard Craven, of Mississippi-based Universal Bioenergy, tells AllHeadlineNews.com that the U.S. is going through 40 billion gallons of pertoleum worth $100 billion a year in the form of diesel:

But Craven says the U.S. can produce biodiesel as an alternative to diesel and purchasing this locally “can stimulate the economy by keeping our U.S. dollars in U.S. pockets.”

Craven says American farmers and cooperatives can utilize formerly unused land for producing biodiesel ‘feedstocks’ to generate increased revenues for the agricultural industry and its associated service industries.

Craven acknowledges that an increase in the usage of biodiesel would profit Universal Bioenergy. But he points out that its benefits to other companies and industries, as well as to the environment, far outstrip those of the biofuel manufacturers.

He adds that since biodiesel contains no sulfur, it burns much cleaner than regular diesel and produces much less carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and other hydrocarbon emissions. In addition, the plant feedstocks to make biodiesel help clean up carbon emissions.

Verenium Plant Almost Finished

VereniumA demonstration-scale cellulosic ethanol facility in Jennings, Louisiana is getting closer to completion.

Verenium officials held a site tour of the plant last week, according to an article in the Daily Advertiser. The plant, which officials hope to complete by the end of March, uses enzymes to make ethanol from plant material such as sugarcane bagasse and wood chips.

Verenium PlantIn February 2007, Verenium broke ground on a 1.4 million gallon-per-year demonstration plant right next to its Jennings pilot site. The company hopes to finish this second plant before April, where Verenium will fine-tune its enzymes, ethanol production and feedstocks (primarily local cane bagasse) before it goes full-scale with a third plant.

That commercial-scale third plant could make 25 million to 30 million gallons of ethanol per year from biomass as far away as New Iberia, if it were built in Jennings. Sites in Florida and Texas are also being considered for the third plant.

Verenium is a Massachusetts-based company that was formed in June 2007 through the merger of Diversa Corporation, a global leader in enzyme technology, and Celunol Corporation, a leading developer of cellulosic ethanol process technologies and projects.

“Fuel the Change” Video Contest

Consumers can educate other consumers about America’s energy options by participating in the “Fuel the Change” video contest sponsored by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC).

EPIC contest Entrants can submit a :30 second video to www.fuelthechange.com. The producer of the winning video will receive a $10,000 cash prize and get the opportunity to have the commercial aired during the 2008 Indianapolis 500 on ABC.

Entries will be judged in several ways. Beginning on February 11, voters will be able to rate the videos posted to the website. In addition, a panel of judges will view the videos and select winners based on consumer votes, creativity, originality, relevance, broadcast suitability, and adherence to contest rules.

The contest runs from January 28, 2008 through April 21, 2008. Winners will be selected on May 7, 2008. The winning entry could air during the 2008 Indianapolis 500 on May 25.

In addition to the first place video prize, a “People’s Choice” award will be given, the winner receiving $5,000 and three “Sponsor’s Choice” award will be given, the winners receiving $1,250 each. Registered users of the site who vote each day are also entered into a drawing to win weekly prizes including $500 gas cards.

Check out all the rules and regs on the official “Fuel the Change” website – and get those cameras rolling!

Colorado Springs Top Biodiesel Fleet

colosprings.jpgColorado Springs, Colorado has been picked as the top municipal biodiesel fleet in the nation, according to Government Fleet Magazine.

The Colorado Springs Gazette says the city beat out San Francisco and Austin, Texas for the honor:

The magazine also awarded the city 17th in its overall rankings of public sector fleets using alternative fuels.

Since 2003, more than 2,400 pieces of city equipment have run on biodiesel, consuming almost 1.6 million gallons of B20 biodiesel. That is the equivalent of more than 5 million pounds of carbon dioxide not making it into the atmosphere, or 491 passenger cars not driving for one year.

Fields of Fuel Wins at Sundance

sundance-selection.pngThe biodiesel documentary “Fields of Fuel” has walked away with one of the top honors at this year’s Sundance Film Festival at Park City, Utah.

fields-fuel-2.jpgThis story from Biodiesel Magazine has more about Josh Tickell’s documentary regarding biodiesel and America’s need to become independent from foreign oil:

joshtickell.jpg“Fields of Fuel” was chosen for the Audience Award for Best Documentary Film and was presented to Tickell by host William H. Macy. The film’s producer and other crew members accompanied Tickell onstage to accept the award. In his acceptance speech, Tickell said, “May we work together to create a green and sustainable future.”

Tickell has been working on the film for the past 10 years. After being accepted for Sundance, Tickell was invited to Sundance founder Robert Redford’s private resort for a screening of the film the night before the kickoff of the festival.

The movie got a standing ovation from its first showing, and it was sold out for every screening at Sundance.

Sago Palm Bioethanol Plant Planned

necfer.jpgA Japanese company is planning on building a bioethanol making the green fuel from a plant that is said to yield more ethanol per hectare than any other biofuel crop currently being grown.

This story posted on Checkbiotech.org says Necfer Corp. will make ethanol from sago palm trees at a testing refinery in Malaysia:

Necfer has developed its own dedicated fermentation technology to convert the resource into biofuel.The true sago palm (Metroxylon sagu) has been described as mankind’s oldest food plant with the starch contained in the trunk used as a staple food in southeast Asia. Traditionally, hunter-gatherers use a complex and labor-intensive process of felling the tree, splitting it open, removing the starch and cleaning out its poisonous substances, after which it is ready to be consumed. The carbohydrate itself is very nutritious and some of us may have even tasted it because some modern starch products (tapioca flour) are made from it. As these sago-growing hunter-gatherers migrate to the cities, they abandon their healthy starch-rich diet and choose for fat and sugar food habits that don’t differ much from ours.

Sago palm is estimated to yield between about 2,000 and 2,500 gallons of ethanol for each hectare grown… even more than sugarcane.

First American Cellulosic Plant in Production

KL Process DesignCellulosic ethanol is now in production at the first small scale waste wood commercial facility operating in the U.S.

Western Biomass EnergyLocated just 1 mile South of Upton, Wyoming, the plant was engineered, constructed and is operated by KL Process Design Group. This is the result of six years of development efforts between KL and the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

“It is now possible to economically convert discarded wood into a clean burning, sustainable alternate motor fuel” said Randy Kramer, president of KL Process Design Group, a design firm that has been working in corn ethanol. “We’re proud of what this small company has accomplished, and believe that our design will be a cornerstone from which we can build our country’s renewable fuel infrastructure providing a better source of motor fuel, starting today.”

Wood ChipsKL’s cellulosic ethanol plant is converting waste wood into a renewable fuel. The current production facility is utilizing soft woods, but successful test runs have occurred making use of waste materials such as cardboard and paper.

KL also announced today that the cellulosic ethanol it will be producing at the Wyoming plant will be used to fuel the American Le Mans Series Corvette Racing team running on E85.

Listen to an interview with Randy Kramer here:

Energy Secretary Awards Cellulosic Grants

DOEU.S. Department of Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman today announced that DOE will invest up to $114 million over four years for four small-scale biorefinery projects to be located in Commerce City, Colorado; St. Joseph, Missouri; Boardman, Oregon; and Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.

“These project proposals were innovative and represent the geographic diversity that we strive for when making the widespread use of clean, renewable fuels commercially viable,” Secretary Bodman said. “Spurred by the President’s ambitious plan to reduce projected U.S. gas consumption by twenty percent by 2017, our goal is to aggressively push these technologies forward to get them out into the marketplace as quickly as possible, so they can have a real impact. Advanced biofuels offer tremendous promise for helping our nation to bring about a new, cleaner, more secure and affordable energy future.”

Building on President Bush’s goal of making cellulosic ethanol cost-competitive by 2012, these commercial-scale biorefineries will use a wide variety of feedstocks and test novel conversion technologies to provide data necessary to bring online full-size, commercial-scale biorefineries.

The companies receiving the grants are ICM Incorporated of Colwich, Kansas; Lignol Innovations Inc., of Berwyn, Pennsylvania; and Pacific Ethanol Inc., of Sacramento, California.

Cellulosic on the Fast Track

CorvetteThe Ethanol Promotion and Information Council and KL Process Design Group teamed up today to announce the first use of cellulosic ethanol in the 2008 American Le Mans Series. Corvette Racing, sponsored by EPIC, will be the first team to use the cellulosic-based E85 in competition.

“We could really find no greater stage to have the first use of cellulosic ethanol than the American Le Mans Series,” said Reece Nanfito, senior director of marketing for EPIC. “Obviously this is going to be a great demonstration that this fuel is available here and now, it is not a fuel that is five years or ten years down the road. The next generation of ethanol has really arrived today with this announcement.”

Tom Slunecka, Vice President of Business Development for KL Process Design Group, says providing cellulosic ethanol for the Le Mans Series brings it one step closer to consumer use.

“The reason that we brought the very first, very valuable gallons of this fuel to the American Le Mans Series was to demonstrate the power that this fuel has at home with every consumer,” Slunecka said. “Because the American Le Mans Series cars are the closest to production-style cars in the world of racing the relevancy of performance here is immediate and direct to that of consumers.”

Listen to Nanfito and Slunecka make the announcement in a press conference today from Sebring, Florida where during the fuel will be used first during the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 15.

California Biofuels Company Honored

PrimafuelCalifornia-based Primafuel was honored at the World Economic Forum meeting in Switzerland last week with a WEF Technology Pioneer Award.

PrimafuelThe biofuels company received the award for its innovative approach to biofuels production and distribution infrastructure. The award recognizes Primafuel’s expertise across the entire fuel supply chain and its commitment to developing new, low-carbon biofuels.

Pictured are Eyal Gutentag, Chief Financial Officer (left) and Rahul Iyer, Chief Marketing Officer. Both of them are also co-founders of the company.

Primafuel was one of thirty-nine companies to receive WEF Technology Pioneer Awards. WEF Technology Pioneer awards were given to companies developing and applying highly transformational and innovative technologies in the areas of energy, biotechnology, health, and IT.

Cellulosic Ethanol to Debut at Sebring

LeMansIn a technological breakthrough for both renewable fuels and racing, cellulosic ethanol will be used for the first time in motor sports this year, paving the way for the biomass fuel to be used commercially.

KL Process DesignKL Process Design Group of South Dakota will supply the American Le Mans Series with cellulosic E85 racing ethanol for the 2008 season. The fuel, produced from waste wood, will be used for the first time during the season opener — Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 15. Corvette Racing will be the first team to use the cellulosic-based flex-fuel ethanol in competition.

Scott Atherton, president and CEO of the American Le Mans Series. “The American Le Mans Series was recently recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the only motorsports entity to meet the criteria for ‘green racing’. Introducing cellulosic E85 racing ethanol to our series with one of our most noted championship teams does nothing but reinforce our commitment to be the global leader in green racing.”

EPIC E85Through the marketing partnership with the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC), the American Le Mans Series will drive awareness of ethanol among consumers through its use of both E10 and E85 ethanol.

“This is an exciting time for the ethanol industry,” said Reece Nanfito, senior director of marketing for EPIC. “Consumers want more choices at the pump, and although challenges remain, cellulosic ethanol is no longer a dream, but a reality.”

Renewable Fuels Have Place in State of Union

In his final State of the Union address to the nation, President Bush once again acknowledged the importance of domestic fuels for energy security and the environment.

Bush State of Union 08To build a future of energy security, we must trust in the creative genius of American researchers and entrepreneurs and empower them to pioneer a new generation of clean energy technology. Our security, our prosperity, and our environment all require reducing our dependence on oil. Last year, I asked you to pass legislation to reduce oil consumption over the next decade, and you responded. Together we should take the next steps: Let us fund new technologies that can generate coal power while capturing carbon emissions. Let us increase the use of renewable power and emissions-free nuclear power. Let us continue investing in advanced battery technology and renewable fuels to power the cars and trucks of the future. Let us create a new international clean technology fund, which will help developing nations like India and China make greater use of clean energy sources. And let us complete an international agreement that has the potential to slow, stop, and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gases.