It’s not quite official, but the Vice President of Media Communications for the American Le Mans Series says the ALMS will be making an announcement within a week about it’s future with ethanol. Bob Dickinson says ALMS will move to an E85 blend of ethanol fuel for the series’ 2008 season. He says the series’ switch to an E10 blend was a positive move and the ALMS wants to continue to stay on the cutting edge of fuel technology.
Sam’s Mart on 5640 New Northside Drive, NW in Atlanta, GA is among the network of Shell stations within the metropolitan area that uses an E10 blend of fuel in all of it’s fuel grades offered at the pump. Bob Walden is the Manager of Special Projects for Sam’s Mart. He says Shell is a leading player the ethanol industry when it comes offering the fuel to consumers at the pump. For Bob, pump promotions like the one the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council put on today help turn consumers on to “the future of fuel.”
Bob is pictured here with the local Sam’s Mart management team and American Le Mans Series Drivers Tom Milner and Peter Dumbreck. Bob is on the far right. I’m also pictured on the far right just below Bob.
I’m not the only one who thought American Le Mans Series Driver Peter Dumbreck’s #31 Ferrari F430 GT was a sweet ride. Sam Sweeney and his mom Allison played hooky from school so they could have a chance to check out the Petersen Motorsports/White Lighting Racing Ferrari. I dropped in on Peter and Sam’s conversation about racing and spoke to Allison about ethanol.
It’s not very often that you get a foreign take on one of America’s emerging alternative fuels, so I was particularly interested in speaking with American Le Mans Series Driver Peter Dumbreck about ethanol. Peter is the driver of Petersen Motorpsorts/White Lighting Racing’s #31 Ferrari F430 GT. Both he and his ALMS car made an exciting appearance today at the Atlanta pump promotion, which was sponsored by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council. After checking out Peter’s sweet ride, I grabbed him for an interview.
Ethanol is simply “a great fuel” for American Le Mans Series driver Tom Milner. Tom drives the #18 Bell Micro Porsche for Rahal Letterman Racing. The ALMS driver pumped gas and greeted consumers with a wide and welcoming grin as he gave them a first-hand account of using an E10 blend of ethanol fuel in a high-speed, endurance setting. Today’s EPIC-sponsored ethanol pump promotion at Sam’s Mart in Atlanta proved Tom is not only securing key positions out on the winding tracks of the AlMS, but is also settling comfortably in his role as an ethanol spokesman. Tom will be racing this weekend in the 2007 Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta. I spoke with Tom about the performance of ethanol in sports car racing and what that means for consumers.
Consumers enjoyed discounted fuel and free fountain drinks and coffee at the Sam’s Mart in Atlanta, GA this afternoon. The Ethanol Promotion and Information Council sponsored an ethanol pump promotion where consumers could fuel up with E10 fuel for 50 cents less than the going rate.
The promotion officially kicked off the 2007 Petit Le Mans race weekend for EPIC. American Le Mans Series drivers Tom Milner and Peter Dumbreck manned the pumps, handed out autographs and divulged the benefits of ethanol fuel to consumers. E10, a blend of 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline, is “the official ethanol-enriched fuel” of the ALMS. This is the first year an endurance-based racing series has used a street legal renewable fuel.
The Sam’s Mart at New Northside Drive in Atlanta, GA pumped more than 1500 gallons of discounted E10 fuel for customers between 11:30 a.m and 1:30 p.m. Consumers were filling their tanks at a rate of $2.25 per gallon. This morning the fuel was selling for $2.75.
The Iowa Farmers Union has joined with Green World Biofuels to offer a workshop to help people brew their own biodiesel to use in their homes or farm equipment. Covering the entire process from start to finish, it will be at the Green World Biofuels facility near Tiffin, just northwest of Iowa City on Friday, November 16th.
‘Our workshops are designed to educate people who are seriously interested in biodiesel production,” says [Green World Biofuels owner Steve] Fugate. “You will leave very knowledgeable and excited about making and using your own biodiesel.”
Sources of oil will be discussed as well, including collecting used fryer oil and the potential for pressing oil from a farmer’s own seed (soy, canola, etc.)
Workshop cost is $25 per person including lunch. Financial support has been provided by the Leighty Foundation. Register by November 13 by calling 800-775-5227.
The makeshift headquarters of Propel Biofuels looks a bit like an Allied war room before D-Day.
A map of Seattle and its environs teems with pins — potential sites for the company’s green-and-white biodiesel pumps. Most of the pins mark well-established gasoline stations that sell traditional petroleum-based fuels. By striking deals to sell biodiesel there, Propel executives think they can overcome the retail-distribution obstacles that so far have kept it an alternative fuel for a small circle of green devotees.
The invasion is about to begin, with the company’s first two pumps opening in mid-October.
“We’re not asking customers to radically change their behavior” in order to buy biodiesel, Propel founder Rob Elam said.
Elam might be the right man in the right place at the right time as the area is becoming a biodiesel mecca with the nation’s largest biodiesel plant, Imperium Renewables’ Gray Harbor facility… a 100-million-gallon-a-year refinery… in the neighborhood. And he might just have the winning attitude to make it all work:
Elam believes the secret to success is to make biodiesel visible and convenient. His team has talked to more than 100 gas-station owners on the West Coast, seeking arrangements to install pumps. “Generally the response is very enthusiastic,” Elam said. “We don’t ask them to have any hassle.”
Energy crop company Ceres, Inc. and the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station of The Texas A&M University System are collaborating in high biomass sorghum production for biofuels, through an exclusive, multi-year joint research and commercialization agreement. The collaboration is meant to focus on plants that are not designed to produce grain, but extensive resources for biomass. Biomass is the latest raw material of stems, stalks and leaves being used in biofuel production.
Today, sorghum-to-ethanol production uses the grain, like corn, but the plants themselves hold the greatest potential for biofuel production, says Peter Mascia, Ceres Vice President of Product Development. He notes that new technologies are making it possible to utilize the carbohydrates that comprise plant cell walls, called cellulose.
“As these technologies mature, farmers will transition from growing as much grain per acre to producing as much biomass as they can per acre, with as little energy and agronomic inputs as possible. This means new crops and specialized hybrids like these high-biomass sorghum types will be needed,” Mascia said.
As part of this agreement, Ceres will obtain exclusive commercialization rights to TAES’s high biomass sorghum hybrids developed in the joint research program. The TAES program will receive royalties as well as financial and technology support from Ceres. Other aspects of the collaboration were not disclosed. Continue reading →
“Our Shared Energy Future” is the topic ConocoPhillips Chairman and CEO James Mulva will be discussing on Wednesday October 3, 2007. Mulva will present his thoughts on U.S. energy policy and layout plans for incorporating renewable fuels before the Detroit Economic Club at Burton Manor in Livonia, MI.
Mr. Mulva will describe the shortcomings of current U.S. energy policy, and why this is a critical issue for other industries and all citizens. He will also call for a new, comprehensive national energy policy that incorporates four major tenets: diversifying our energy sources, including fossil fuels as well as renewable and alternative forms of energy; lowering the carbon intensity of our energy supplies; improving the efficiency of energy use throughout the U.S. economy; and the critical need for greater government and private investment in technology and education.
ConocoPhillips is the third-largest integrated energy company in the United States, based on market capitalization, oil and gas proved reserves and production; and the second-largest refiner in the United States.
The Detroit Economic Club was formed in 1934 as a platform for the discussion and debate of important business, government and social issues. It is known internationally as a top speaking forum for prominent business and government leaders, who address members and their guests at the Club’s 35 meetings a season.
Atlanta motorists can follow in the footsteps of the highly-technical race cars in the American Le Mans Series and make a choice at the pump for higher performance and cleaner air. E10, a blend of 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline, will be available for $2.25 per gallon. The event will take place from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2007 at the Sam’s Mart/Shell station located at 5640 New Northside Drive NW, Atlanta, GA 30328. Several race car drivers will be on hand to pump gas and sign autographs including Peter Dumbreck, driver of the Ferrari F430 GT for Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing and Tom Milner, driver of the #18 Bell Micro Porsche for Rahal Letterman Racing. During the event, participants can register to win tickets for the race, take a look at an actual American Le Mans Series race car and enjoy free fountain drinks and coffee provided by Sam’s Mart.
Atlanta area sports fans will be treated to a weekend of spectacular racing as the American Le Mans Series comes to town for the 10th annual Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. The green flag will drop shortly after 11 a.m. for the 10-hour/1,000-mile endurance-racing classic on Saturday, October 6. This year, the American Le Mans Series has chosen E10 as “the official ethanol-enriched fuel” of the series, the first time a street legal renewable fuel has been used in any endurance format. E10 is warranted for use in any vehicle built after 1980. E85 is a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline and can only be used in Flex-Fuel Vehicles (FFVs). There are more than 6 million FFVs on the road today.
The 2007 IndyCar Racing Series has concluded, but racing fans still have a chance to catch leading IndyCar Series drivers tearing around the track at Iowa Speedway. IndyCar Series officials are testing the new speedway on October 3rd and 4th and the public is welcome to catch a final glimpse of top IndyCar drivers for 2007.
Top IndyCar teams, drivers, and cars are scheduled to be in Newton, Iowa, next week for two days of “Testing with the Stars” on the 7/8 mile oval track designed by former NASCAR Champion, Rusty Wallace. And, Rusty is scheduled to be in Iowa to welcome back an elite group of race car drivers that include: Helio Castroneves, Danica Patrick, Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan, Scott Dixon, and Dan Wheldon.
IndyCar® Series officials will conduct a technical test at Iowa Speedway at Iowa Speedway next Wednesday and Thursday, October 3-4. Drivers from Andretti Green Racing, Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske will test to refine the areodynamic package currently used at the .875-mile oval. The IndyCar Series held its inaugural race at Iowa Speedway in June with eventual series champion Dario Franchitti claiming victory by .0681 of a second over teammate Marco Andretti in the Iowa Corn Indy 250. The IndyCar Series is scheduled to return to Iowa Speedway June 22, 2008, and again in 2009.
The two-day event will be open to the public with food, beverages, and merchandise available for purchase. Tickets are $20 each for adults, 13 and over, and children 12 and under free with a paying adult – for both days of testing and any autograph sessions that may be available. Continue reading →
Ethanol industry leaders want to tell the story that the future of cellulosic ethanol has arrived.
To that end, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is hosting a media event in Washington DC on October 2 featuring representatives from some of the pioneering companies that are making cellulosic ethanol a reality.
Among those companies are Abengoa Bioenergy, which is buidling the nation’s first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant in Kansas; POET, which is converting an existing 50 million gallon per year dry-mill ethanol plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa into a commercial cellulosic biorefinery; Verenium, a leading developer of biofuels derived from biomass and the developer of specialty enzyme products; and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) which is working with Conoco-Phillips on the development of renewable transportation fuels from biomass.
Acting Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner is also scheduled to make remarks at the event.
According to a joint press release, the alliance will research and seek to commercialize two components of a next-generation biofuel production process – the conversion of biomass from crops, wood or switchgrass into biocrude, a non-fossil substance that can be processed into fuel; and the refining of biocrude to produce transportation fuel.
Jim Mulva, chairman and chief executive officer, ConocoPhillips said, “We are hopeful that this collaboration will provide innovative technology toward the large-scale production of biofuels that can be moved efficiently and affordably through existing infrastructure.”
Patricia Woertz, chairman and chief executive officer, ADM, added, “As we advance our global bioenergy interests, this alliance with ConocoPhillips represents an important next step. Innovative collaboration like this will identify and bring to market feasible, economic and sustainable next-generation biofuels.”