Friday, December 30, 2005

Saab showcases 9-5 Aero BioPower at Detroit Auto Show

Saab News | Saab showcases 9-5 Aero BioPower at Detroit Auto Show:
12/29/2005 --
"Following the overwhelmingly successful launch of the Saab 9-5 2.0t BioPower flex fuel car in Sweden, Saab will this week unveil a concept version of the 9-5 Aero BioPower, capable of producing 310bhp and 440 Nm torque, at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.
Powered by E85 bioethanol, a renewable and sustainable fuel, the 2.3-litre high-output turbocharged engine of the 9-5 Aero Estate show car delivers almost 20 per cent more power (310 bhp vs. 260 bhp) and 25 per cent more torque (440 Nm/325 lb.ft vs. 350 Nm/258 lb.ft) than its regular petrol equivalent, proving that it is possible for drivers to enjoy the benefits of increased power and performance while having a greater regard for the environment."

How efficient is ethanol? It depends on who is asked

How efficient is ethanol? It depends on who is asked:
by Nat Williams -- Agrinews -- 12/30/2005
"'Why hasn't anybody pointed out that gasoline is only at 0.8 and is never going to get any better than that?' Brown said.
He also pointed out the production efficiency of ethanol and biodiesel is likely to improve as technology improves."

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Peak Oil Crisis: Growing our Fuel

Falls Church News-Press

Ethanol crops option for canker-ravaged citrus farm

Bradenton Herald | 12/29/2005 | Ethanol crops option for canker-ravaged land:
by Richard Dymond
"MANATEE - Ever since Byron and Betty Hodgin lost their 80-acre New Garden Grove near Buckeye Road to citrus canker recently, they have considered selling the land.They also might plant food crops or let it lie fallow.But a fourth option also exists - to grow corn or sorghum and sell it to Tampa-based U.S. EnviroFuels, which hopes to build the state's first 40-million-gallon-per-year corn-ethanol-production facility in the next two years at Port Manatee."

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Governor orders southwest Mo. turkey oil plant shut for odors

AP Wire | 12/28/2005 | Governor orders southwest Mo. turkey oil plant shut for odors
"SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Gov. Matt Blunt on Wednesday told the Department of Natural Resources to shut down a Carthage plant that turns turkey byproducts into fuel oil until the operator can find a way to stop emitting bad smells."

Can biodiesel production take off in the state of Washington?

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Homegrown fuel: a waste of energy?:
by Warren Cornwall -- 12/28/2005
"Though getting fuel from plants isn't new, the industry has been mostly confined to the Midwest, where corn is turned into ethanol and soybean oil is made into biodiesel. Biodiesel can be mixed with regular diesel or, in some engines, used alone.
But recent high gas prices and global warming, joined with farmers' hunger for a new lucrative crop, have people in Washington talking seriously about homegrown fuel.
While most of the biodiesel today comes from soybeans, the oil can also come from canola and mustard seeds that grow well in Washington."

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Lack of Water Curtails Sowthwest Minn. Ethanol Plans

Argus Leader - Business
AP article -- 12/27/2005
"'People can see they’re running out of water,'said Tim Cowdery, a Minnesota-based hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. 'They’d like to build more industry. They’d like to build more ethanol plants. They just don’t have the water to do it.'"

New highway signs will help guide motorists to Minnesota's 190 E-85 fueling stations

New highway signs will help guide motorists to Minnesota?s 190 E-85 fueling stations:
12/23/05 --
"NEWS RELEASE -- Santa Claus made a pre-Christmas visit to the State Capitol today, arriving with Mrs. Claus in a red sleigh pulled by an E-85 powered vehicle."

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Agriculture could play major role in U.S. energy picture

Southeast Farm Press:
by Paul Hollis -- 12/15/2005
"It's not unrealistic to assume that by 2025, agriculture will be supplying as much as 35 percent of the U.S. energy supply, says David Bransby, an Auburn University professor of agronomy and soils and a nationally recognized authority on biofuel alternatives."

Wisconsin assembly passes ethanol fuel mandate

JS Online: Assembly passes ethanol fuel measure:
by Stacy Forster & Steven Walters -- 12/15/2005
"Madison - The state Assembly Thursday passed a bill that would require ethanol to make up 10% of regular-grade gasoline, but the measure faces an uncertain future in the Senate."

Notre Dame's New Center to Research Renewable Energy | Notre Dame's New Center to Research Renewable Energy:
"Notre Dame, Indiana [] The Notre Dame Energy Center, designed to unite researchers working on new energy technologies to meet the compelling global challenge, was established by the University to play a key role in energy education, literacy, policy, and exploration of the ethical implications associated with energy, according to Joan F. Brennecke, director, Keating-Crawford Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. "

State's consultant says nation is primed for using Alaska gas

State's consultant says nation is primed for using Alaska gas | | Peak Oil News Clearinghouse:
by Bill White, Anchorage Daily News -- 12/18/2005
"Doug Reynolds' career choice of 20 years ago has finally gotten red hot.
Reynolds is one of a small handful of energy economists working in Alaska. And increasingly he's being asked to share his insights and research on the biggest development issue before the state: the proposed $20 billion project to move the North Slope's natural gas bounty to Lower 48 consumers."

Groups announce plan to boost ethanol use

WHO TV - Des Moines: Groups announce plan to boost ethanol use:
"DES MOINES, Iowa Two groups that support ethanol are pushing for greater use of renewables fuels in Iowa.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association and the Iowa Corn Growers Association say they'll asked the Legislature to replace 25 percent of all gasoline sold in the state with renewable fuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel."

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

EPA invents battery-less hybrid system

EPA invents battery-less hybrid system - Dec. 21, 2005
by Peter Valdes-Dapena --
"The Environmental Protection Agency says it can help drivers save fuel. It has said that for a long time, of course, but this time it's not talking about providing fuel mileage data for car shoppers. It's talking about a new invention created in its own Ann Arbor, Mich. research laboratories
Called hydraulic hybrid technology, the system uses energy stored up during braking to help propel a vehicle during acceleration. The energy is stored in pressurized hydraulic fluid, the same sort of fluid used in brake lines and for power steering."

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Too cool for school ... literally

Too cool for school ... literally - Oil & Energy -
"WASHINGTON - Bundle up, kids. It's getting cold inside.
As oil and natural gas prices soar, public schools are having to make some tough decisions: turning down the thermostat, finding alternative sources of fuel, even cutting back on the school week."

Goldman's Murti Says 'Peak Oil' Risks Sending Prices Above $105 News & Commentary:
"Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analyst Arjun Murti, who roiled oil markets in March by saying crude may reach $105 a barrel, now says that may be conservative if the ``peak oil'' theory is right and world supplies are running out.
The belief that the world's oil supply is close to an irreversible drop is no longer ``on the fringes'' of the market, said a research report by New York-based Murti, who forecasts oil of $50 to $105 a barrel until 2009. UBS AG analyst James Hubbard, a former oil engineer at Schlumberger Ltd., said an inevitable decline in supply will start sooner and be worse than expected unless investment increases for many years. "

Monday, December 19, 2005

Costly commodities spark global change

BBC NEWS | Business | Costly commodities spark global change
By Jorn Madslien -- 12/19/2005
"The idea that biofuels - made from plants such as sugar beet or corn - can re-emerge as an alternative to oil is gaining currency - in Europe, the US and, not least, in Brazil, where the military government first started thinking about biodiesel during the 1970s oil crisis.
Brazil's original state-run biofuel programme - using sugar from sugar cane - was set up for patriotic rather than financial or environmental reasons. It was a great success during the 1980s when more than 90% of cars were designed to run on a mixture of biofuels and ordinary petrol or diesel, though as oil prices fell drivers began to shun biofuels.
Brazil is now working hard to reintroduce biofuel, thus sending demand for sugar cane soaring, which in turn has seen sugar prices in New York double to levels not seen since the mid-1990s.
And the move towards biofuels is just one of many technological and practical solutions to the problems posed by expensive energy and raw materials.
In the petroleum industry, whole armies of engineers are pushing robotics technology to new levels to make it feasible to extract oil and gas from unchartered depths off Africa's coast, or from beneath the icebergs in the Barents Sea.
In the laboratories, scientists are searching for ways to make synthetic fuels from a whole range of raw materials, while in the field their colleagues are pushing the boundaries further in the search for ever more efficient solar and wind power.
The era of easy oil may be over, acknowledges Chevron's chief technology officer, Don Paul, but his message is nevertheless one of high hopes for the future.
'We're not going to run out of fuel. We're going to learn to make it out of other things.'"

Friday, December 16, 2005

Minnesota requiring 20 percent ethanol in gasoline by 2013

The Fergus Falls Daily Journal.:
by Kelley Gorman -- 12/15/2005
"So-called E20 legislation passed and signed into law this year requires a 20 percent ethanol content in gasoline sold in Minnesota by 2013, according to information provided by state representatives. However, they also provided that we may be seeing a case where the market will out-pace a legislative mandate.
The E20 legislation states the 20 percent ethanol mandate will be waived if 20 percent of total gasoline sales in Minnesota is ethanol. Basically that means if enough E85 is sold, regular unleaded gas can remain at a 10 percent ethanol level."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Bill Gates bets $84M on ethanol

Bill Gates bets $84M on ethanol - Dec. 13, 2005
"When the richest man in the world invests $84 million in a company, you can be sure Wall Street notices.
That's why Neil Koehler, president and chief executive of Pacific Ethanol Inc. (Research), was looking as if he had won the Powerball jackpot on Tuesday."

The Peaks and Valleys Of Oil Dependence

The Peaks and Valleys Of Oil Dependence: Worldwatch Institute News
While we will never wake up to the headline, "World Runs Out of Oil," says Kaufmann, before production declines to very low levels, the peak will mark a point of no return that will affect every aspect of modern life. "As oil becomes dearer," writes Smil, "we will use it more selectively and more efficiently, and we will intensify a shift that has already begun." Says Flavin: "Roughly $30 billion was invested in advanced biofuels, giant wind farms, solar manufacturing plants, and other technologies in 2004, attracting companies such as General Electric and Shell to the fasting growing segment of the global energy business.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Shell spending to rise as costs soar

Market News and Investment Information |
by Tom Bergin -- 12/14/2005
"Shell repeated it expects to produce 3.5-3.8 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in 2005 and 2006.
The Hague-based firm aims to raise production to 3.8-4.0 million boepd by 2009 and 4.5-5.0 million boepd by 2014, compared with current production of around 3.5 million boepd, Voser said.
Some analysts are concerned that much of this growth will come from sources such as gas-to-liquids and tar sands projects, which have traditionally not offered as high returns as finding and pumping oil."

Fields of fuel come into focus for Ireland

They're talking about ethanol in the form of E85.
Galway Independent
Our farming field could well be the oil fields of the future if the success of the new Ford Focus Flexi Fuel (FFV) model recently tested in Ireland is anything to go by. The car has been tested with an Irish produced bio-fuel, made with a mix of petrol and a waste from the dairy industry. And while the development is still in its early stages, Michael Moroney was impressed with the driving result from the Focus FFV – the world is about to change!

Ag Waste Tested for Making Electricity
by Frank Vinluan -- 12/14/2005
"Studies also show that burning biomass produces less carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide - which affect the environment - compared with burning coal.
If Cedar Falls Utilities is able to convert the turbine's fuel source from coal to biomass, the renewable fuel would replace up to 25 percent of the utility's coal-fired power generation. Most of the utility's power comes from coal-fired generating stations in Council Bluffs and Sioux City.

Others are exploring biomass. Alliant Energy is a partner with Chariton Valley Resource Conservation and Development and the U.S. Department of Energy on a biomass project in Chillicothe, near Ottumwa. That project burns switchgrass."

In support of a biofuel mandate

The Capital Times:
editorial -- 12/13/2005
"Last winter, when a bill was introduced in the state Legislature that would require a 10 percent ethanol blend be sold at all Wisconsin gas stations, we expressed reservations. Proponents claim E-10 would reduce fossil fuel use but, in fact, manufacturing ethanol from corn is a very energy-intensive process.
Today, however, promising advances in research and a willingness on the part of state officials, particularly Gov. Jim Doyle, to endorse the broader field of biofuels have changed our view.
We now support Assembly Bill 15, with a caveat: Don't stop with corn. We endorse this bill as a step toward the eventual manufacture of ethanol from a variety of non-corn sources, including switch grass, municipal waste and wood waste. Researchers here in Madison and elsewhere are developing the enzymes needed to produce ethanol from these sources. The next challenge is to make that process cost-effective.
An ethanol mandate would help spur such efforts and encourage Wisconsin to become a leader in the emerging and economically promising biofuels field.
Already, researchers at Badger State Ethanol in Monroe are looking at techniques to power the plant with corn fiber instead of natural gas. In addition to manufacturing ethanol, which it sells for about a dollar less a gallon than regular gasoline, the plant also markets the fuel's byproducts of carbon dioxide and distillers grains."

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Production Of Ford's Flexible Fuel Capable F-150s Begins

WebWire� | Production Of Ford's Flexible Fuel Capable F-150s Begins
The first flexible fuel capable Ford F-150 pickups are rolling off the line at Ford Motor Company’s Kansas City Assembly Plant.

Cow power can fuel ethanol innovations

Wisconsin State Journal:
"The goal is to create a largely self-sufficient operation. For example, cattle manure would be used to produce methane to power the operations, including the ethanol plant, which would produce a by-product called distillers grain, which would be fed to the cattle.
The process turns manure from a pollution problem into an alternative energy solution. And it makes ethanol, an alcohol fuel made from renewable sources, into a more cost-effective competitor to gasoline made from depleting oil supplies.
Overall, the Belmont operation would produce beef, ethanol, distillers grain, carbon dioxide, electricity, ammonia products, fertilizer, bedding and potted plants, all of which would be used on site or sold for cash."

Monday, December 12, 2005

Time to attack energy insecurity

St. Paul Pioneer Press | 11/27/2005 | Time to attack energy insecurity:
by Norm Coleman -- 11/27/2005
"The Vehicle and Fuel Choices for American Security Act will help make fueling America from our farms a reality by making a commitment to producing ethanol from sugar, investing heavily in our E-85 infrastructure, and setting goals for the use of flex fuel vehicles.
The bill calls for increasing the ethanol tax credit to 50 percent, authorizes loan guarantees through the Agriculture Department to assist farmer-owned ethanol producers to develop and build infrastructure for E-85, and sets requirements for manufacturers to produce flexible fuel vehicles to meet a 50 percent requirement by year 2016"

Going green with insulating "honeycomb" glass & ground source heat pump - Going green with glass:
by Tyler Hamilton -- 12/5/2005
"The entire arena-civic centre complex is also heated and cooled using a ground source heat pump or 'geothermal' system. A unique part of the system is the use of waste heat that results from ice making, which can usually be seen as steam coming out the back of arenas. The waste heat is captured and used to provide radiant heating in the arena through ethanol-filled loops that line the floors and bleachers in the building, even extending to the sidewalks outside to prevent ice build-up during colder months."

A Mushrooming Approach for Ethanol | A Mushrooming Approach for Biofuels:
"Albany, California [] Fallen logs on the forest floor make a perfect home for Shiitake mushrooms. These fungi -- sold as a delicacy in the produce sections of local supermarkets -- thrive on the downed wood, turning it into sugars that they use for food. The mushrooms could also offer a new approach to the efficient production of biofuels like ethanol, according to the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency."

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Ethanol and Fuel Cells

Abengoa Bioenergy [Bioethanol Utilization]:
"Fuel Cell: One of the newest markets being looked at for bioethanol uses is fuel cells. Electrochemical fuel cells convert the chemical energy of bioethanol directly into electrical energy to provide a clean and highly efficient energy source. Fuel cells work similarly to batteries except they can run continuously as long as fuel is supplied, and they can obtain 40 to 50% efficiency in conversion of the fuel energy into useable power, compared with approximately 18% efficiency for the average internal combustion engine. Besides high efficiency, other benefits of fuel cell use in the transportation sector include a tremendous decrease in emissions, less vehicle maintenance and the ability to achieve up to 80 mpg. Fuel cell's could eventually be used to supply power to homes, vehicles, and small electronic devices."

Advanced biorefining of distillers grain & corn stover blends increases ethanol production efficiency

Abengoa Bioenergy [DOE Project]:
"Abengoa Bioenergy R&D, in collaboration with Novozymes North America, Inc., the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Stake Technology, will lead the research team to develop novel biomass-derived process technology that utilizes advanced bio-refined Distiller's Grain and Corn Stover blends to achieve significantly higher bioethanol yields while maintaining the protein feed value. This technology will enable a more economical, sustainable industry, reduce petroleum use per bioethanol gallon produced, and increase the availability of bioethanol."

A New Sweetener from Ethanol Waste

A New Sweetener from Ethanol Waste / July 3, 2000 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service:
by Ben Hardin -- 7/3/2000
"Corn fiber that's left over from ethanol production could be turned into a high-value, low- calorie sweetener for niche markets, based on a process being developed by Agricultural Research Service scientists."

Earth-friendly farming could lower costs, energy use

Earth-friendly farming:
by Ben Ready -- The daily Times-Call -- 11/22/2005
"'This will save me on (planting) costs, easily,' said Elmquist pointing to a till. 'And if you consider wear and tear on equipment and driving time, I'll save even more than that.'
Strip tillage cuts precise furrows for planting and leaves organic trash such as dried corn stalks lying undisturbed on fields year-round. In traditional tillage, every inch of farmland is plowed and organic trash is buried underground.
Conventionally, the ground is then disked to break up clods of dirt, mulched several times to prevent erosion and control weeds, and then repacked into a seed bed before planting can occur.

Pete Dillan, a strip till distributor from Nebraska, says a strip till farmer in his state spends only $360 per acre to produce corn compared to the $420-per-acre cost for a farmer using traditional methods."

Xethanol Corporation to extract ethanol and xylitol from waste biomass

Xethanol Corporation and USDA Forest Products Laboratory Finalize Cooperative Research and Development Agreement: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance:
12/5/2005 -- Press Release
"Xethanol Corporation's goal is to be the leader in the emerging biomass-to-ethanol industry. Xethanol's mission is to optimize the use of biomass in the renewable energy field and convert biomass that is currently being abandoned or land filled into ethanol and other valuable co-products, especially xylitol. Xethanol's strategy is to deploy proprietary biotechnologies that will extract and ferment the sugars trapped in these biomass waste concentrations. Xethanol's strategic value proposition is to produce ethanol and valuable co-products cost effectively with ethanol plants located closer to biomass sources. In Iowa, Xethanol owns two ethanol production facilities, where it is deploying these technologies. For more information about Xethanol, please visit its website at"

Once just a kernel of innovation, ethanol industry now popping

McClatchy Newspapers:
by Greg Gordon -- 12/9/2005
"WASHINGTON - A Midwestern farmers cooperative is spending $8 million so it can make ethanol by burning scrap wood instead of more expensive natural gas.
Agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland Co. is building a plant that will make five times as much of the gasoline additive as a typical operation.
And in Canada and Louisiana, cornstalks, trees and leaves are being tested to see whether ethanol might someday come from a variety of sources instead of the corn that is now its mainstay.
After years of struggle in which some wondered whether the industry that converts corn kernels to auto fuel would ever be viable, it appears that ethanol is coming of age."

Thursday, December 08, 2005

RFA president reassures BP CEO on Misgivings about ethanol

Grainnet - News & Information for the Grain, Milling, Feed & Seed Industries
"Moreover, as you know the ethanol industry is expanding in the U.S. at an unprecedented rate. The industry has nearly doubled in size since USDA last did a survey of energy inputs, and there are 26 plants under construction today. Each of these new plants is utilizing the latest and most efficient technologies. Recent developments include low heat fermentation and oil fractionation. And historically high natural gas prices are driving companies to look at other sources of power, including biomass gasification. Several companies are extremely close to commercializing cellulosic ethanol production, a development that when it occurs will revolutionize the industry."

Hydraulic Heat Engine Inventor Brings Dream to Marketplace

Engine inventor AZ Republic 10-07-2005:
by Max Jarman
"At a small warehouse in Phoenix, the self-styled engineer is perfecting an engine that promises to reduce the cost of pumping oil, generating electricity and desalinating water, among many other applications.
In the Kansas oil fields, for example, a prototype is pumping oil for substantially less than a conventional electric 'grasshopper' pump.
Hageman's Natural Energy Engine? uses hot and cold water to drive a piston that can be used to pump liquids or turn a wheel.
The hot and cold water expands and contracts pressurized carbon dioxide to push and pull the piston."

Low Grade Heat Energy Engine Could Revolutionize Energy Industry

FLC Press Release:
Phoenix -- 9/21/2005
"The FLC, a national network of hundreds of federal laboratories and research centers, honored Deluge and the Department of Energy's Rocky Mountain Oil Testing Center (RMOTC) for their collaborative work pumping oil from a well at the Naval Petroleum Reserve near Casper, Wyoming, using geothermal water as the sole source of fuel. The testing, which was completed in 2004, demonstrated that the Natural Energy Engine (NE Engine) is capable of pumping oil from wells at depths ranging from 400 to 1,600 feet with power to spare."

USDA Announces Energy Strategy to Help Farmers and Ranchers with High Energy Costs

Release No. 0534.05:
USDA Press Release -- Contact Kristin Scuderi
"WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2005--Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today unveiled a comprehensive energy strategy to help farmers and ranchers mitigate the impact of high energy costs and develop long-term solutions."

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Roof mounted solar panels available for hybrid electric vehicles

Automotive News: Stay current on what's new in the automotive world
"Solatec LLC(TM) is pleased to introduce flexible, rooftop-mounted Solar Panels for Hybrid Vehicles, starting with a kit for the 2004-2006 Toyota Prius. The $2,195 kits will be available nationwide through dealer franchises."

Rep. Offers 'Man on the Moon' Problem-Solving to Combat Oil Shortage - Politics - Rep. Offers 'Man on the Moon' Problem-Solving to Combat Oil Shortage
by Jacqeline Ruttiman -- 12/7/2005
"In 1970, the United States already reached the halfway point of its oil production and has been facing diminishing supplies ever since. The rest of the world will soon approach the same "peak" or tipping point -- some experts project that will arrive as soon as 2015, but no later than 2030 -- and when it does, it will have to face numerous economic, political and social issues that come along with it."

Lawmakers: US should prepare for global oil flow peak

Oil & Gas Journal - Lawmakers: US should prepare for global oil flow peak
by Nick Snow, Washington Correspondent -- 12/7/2005
"While there is disagreement about when world crude oil production will hit its peak, the US should begin preparing for it now, two US House members told an Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on Dec. 7.
Reps. Roscoe G. Bartlett (R-Md.) and Tom Udall (D-NM) led off the hearing before the Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee because they lead the House Peak Oil Caucus, which has six other members."

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Nanoscientists and biologists copying, co-opting nature for solar fuels

Inside Bay Area - San Mateo County Times - Local News:
by Ian Hoffman -- 11/27/2005
"Plant photosynthesis works one molecule at a time, and generally 4 percent or less of incoming solar energy ends up as plant fuel. Sunlight is plentiful enough that plants haven't been under evolutionary pressure to convert more, but what they do already may be enough.
Midwest farmers now produce enough corn for digestion and fermentation into 4 billion gallons of ethanol. But a recent study by the Energy Department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, titled the 'Billion Ton Vision,' found enough available farmland and forestland to produce tens of billions of gallons of biofuels, supplying a third or more of U.S. transportation fuel needs, without sacrificing food production.
'We're at the stage with this biomass technology that we have something that works. Can we make it work twice as efficiently? I think we could,' said Chris Somerville, a Stanford biochemist who leads the Carnegie Institution Department of Plant Biology. "

Missouri could enact 10 percent ethanol Mandate

Mo. gas could have 10 percent ethanol - Columbia Missourian:
by Katie Peterson -- 12/6/2005
"JEFFERSON CITY -- All Missouri drivers would have corn in their gas tank if a bill filed for the next legislation session that addresses a key Missouri agriculture issue passes.
The bill would require all gasoline sold after Jan. 1, 2007, to be blended with at least 10 percent ethanol. Ethanol is a renewable fuel made from fermented agricultural products, such as corn.
The sponsor of the bill, Sen. John Cauthorn, R-Mexico, said he filed the bill to provide a safe, clean renewable fuel that would create less dependency on foreign fuels."

Monday, December 05, 2005

Energy in the 21st century - OPINION
By John D. "Jack" Edwards -- 12/4/2005
"I believe world oil production will peak between 2020 and 2040, and the United States' only way out of this fossil fuel "bear trap" is to encourage increased use of sustainable, alternative less-polluting fuels. These fuels, in order of economic viability, include: hydrogen fuel cells, nuclear, wind, coal bed methane, solar, biomass, geothermal and hydroelectric."

Saudis shun role of last resort for oil

We need to take this seriously. It shows that world reserves are no longer able to grow with world demand, even according to Saudi Arabia itself.
Saudis shun role of last resort for oil - Business - International Herald Tribune
by Jad Mouawad, New York Times -- 12/5/2005
"They now say that consuming nations need to look at alternative energies and conservation and not look at Saudi Arabia to make up for the growth in demand."

Shenandoah's ethanol plant construction begins

Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil - 12/04/2005 - Shenandoah's ethanol plant construction begins
"Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. and citizens from southwest Iowa celebrated the ground breaking for the new ethanol plant in Shenandoah on Thursday but did so from inside the Elks Club due to the cold winter weather."

Cassava to be used in pilot ethanol plant

Cassava to be used in pilot ethanol plant - 05/12/2005
Australia -- "It is called the 'potato of the tropics' but soon perhaps it might be dubbed the 'potato of power'.
Cassava is a tropical shrub that grows large starchy tubers and it could be the perfect feedstock for a Northern Territory ethanol plant.
Jim Sullivan from Mataranka says with a small pilot ethanol plant, the industry could easily be worth $20 million to the Katherine region."

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Saab Biopower 9-5 for Germany too

Trollhattan Saab: Biopower 9-5 for Germany too:
"The Saab 9-5 Biopower's initial sales in Sweden have been encouraging. It's coming to the UK soon. It's coming to the United States as a concept in 2006 for possible sale in the future.
I didn't know this, but it's coming up for release in Germany as well."

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Volvo starts production of ethanol-powered cars

Motoring - Volvo starts production of ethanol-powered cars -- 11/30/2005
"Volvo has begun production of FlexiFuel cars powered by engines running on E85 (85 percent ethanol / 15 percent petrol). The 92kW 1.8F engine will available on S40 and V50 models, initially only on the Swedish market.

Ethanol can be made from biomass such as wheat, sugar cane, corn or cellulose. When running on E85 bio-ethanol, emissions of fossil carbon dioxide are as little as 20 percent that of a petrol-fuelled car.

…BUT these figures relate to running on 100 percent petrol. Fuel consumption when running on E85 bio-ethanol is about 40 percent higher since ethanol contains less energy than petrol."

Another Peek at Peak Oil

Another Peek at Peak Oil Commentary -- 11/30/2005
"Brian Gorman recently took a look at BP's big investment in alternative energy. He suggested that the driving factors behind this investment are the desire for energy independence, consumer consciousness, and government support for alternative energy. From my perspective, when I see a major oil company investing $8 billion outside the oil patch, I think of peak oil."

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Search for U.S. Natural Gas Intensifies

For oil majors, U.S. is a gas - Oil and Gas - Energy - General:
"SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- The world's three largest energy companies are intensifying their hunt for natural gas in the U.S., reversing a years-long trend, according to a media report Tuesday."

Midwest is key player for Biofuels industry

Midwest is key player for Biofuels industry | WTN:
by Michael Rosen -- Wisconson Technology Network -- 11/28/2005
"Traditionally, some of the arguments against biofuels have been:
? The cost of creating theses fuels is much higher than traditional petroleum exploration, production and refining.
? More energy is needed to create a BTU of biofuel than biofuel itself produces.

However, these arguments have fallen by the wayside due to:
? The impact of biotechnology on crop yield productivity
? Improved biomass refinery methods
? The significant increase in the price of oil
? The continued rise in oil needs in the U.S. and the reliance on oil imports particularly from countries at odds with the U.S. (Venezuela, Iran, etc.)"

With woodchips in the burner, college cuts costs and pollution -

With woodchips in the burner, college cuts costs and pollution -
by Adam Gorlick, AP -- 11/27/2005
"Gardner, Mass -- Although some were worried that burning 1,000 tons of woodchips wouldn't generate enough energy to heat the 500,000-square-foot campus, their doubts melted away when the system worked and heating costs plunged with winter temperatures.
Instead of shelling out nearly a half million dollars for electric heat, the college paid a mere $31,000 for the woodchips. The savings is so great that school officials say the $2 million heating system conversion cost will pay for itself within 10 years.
At the same time, Mount Wachusett has so far reduced its greenhouse gas emissions -- a polluted mix mostly containing carbon dioxide -- by nearly 19 percent."

Ethanol booms

Ethanol booms:
KSTP TV -- Minneapolis (AP) -- 11/29/2005
"Ethanol plants that have long relied on a 51-cent per gallon excise tax credit to keep in business are becoming competitive and profitable. At the same time, producers are installing technologies to burn less natural gas in the production of the alternative fuel and cut emissions of global warming pollutants - a step that could muffle critics of ethanol."

Making sense of ethanol wars

JS Online: Making sense of ethanol wars:
by Brooke Coleman -- 11/27/2005
"Wisconsin is not the first state to propose mandatory ethanol blending in its regular-grade gasoline. But Madison has become the latest battleground in what could be termed the ethanol wars."

Monday, November 28, 2005

Time running out for oil, gas reserves - Journal Star News
Wiltowski said recent research shows the known oil reserves currently are peaking and will be depleted 30 to 40 years from now at the current rate of consumption. "It's a simple mathematical equation," he said. "Not rocket science

Is coal the answer? - Journal Star News
"Three coal gasification plants currently are proposed in Illinois; only three are operating in the nation. A 260 megawatt gasification plant in Florida currently uses Illinois Basin coal. The state government, coal companies and even utilities have banded together to lobby for an Illinois siting of the federally-subsidized near-zero emission coal plant of the future known as FutureGen."

Compressed air wind energy storage

Compressed air wind energy storage | | Energy and Peak Oil News
"Earlier in 2005, a Vancouver, B.C. company, Encore Clean Energy Inc., released news about a system it is working on that will allow wind energy producers to store energy in the form of compressed air in underground steel tanks or pipes, and release it through a special generator to create electricity when it is needed."

Finding new ways to fuel the farm

Grand Forks Herald | 11/01/2005 | AGRICULTURE: Finding new ways to fuel the farm:
by Mikkel Pates -- 11/1/2005
"FARGO - Should the United States ditch the commodity export business and shift all of its surplus corn and soybeans into the production of biofuels?
That was just one of the widely varying ideas put on the table at the second and final day of an ag summit in Fargo on Monday. The summit, titled '21st Century Farm Policy,' was sponsored by North Dakota State University and Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D."

Chasing efficiency - clock is ticking on production peak

Chasing efficiency - clock is ticking on production peak | | Energy and Peak Oil News:
by John Funk & Chris Seper, Cleveland Plain Dealer -- 11/27/2005
"Frequent price spikes followed by temporary declines in the coming years could easily blind the public to what is happening, said James Halloran, energy analyst with National City Private Client Group in Cleveland. They will believe what they hope -- that the problem has been solved.

'Conservation is fine as long as you don't have to change your lifestyle,' said Halloran. 'What people want is cheap energy, and they will not change until they are forced to.'

Revisiting old oil and gas fields with new production techniques, drilling deeper wells, producing oil from tar sands and synthesizing motor fuels from natural gas could delay real shortages, he said, and maybe buy enough time for new technologies to mature."

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Peak Oil resolution in U.S. House of Representatives

Peak Oil resolution in U.S. House of Representatives - Global Public Media:
"A peak oil bill has been filed in the House of Representatives with the support of the newly formed Peak Oil Caucus, founded by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (Rep, MD) and a number of co-sponsors. The members of the caucus are James McGovern, Vern Ehlers, Tom Udall, Mark Udall, Raul Grijalva, Wayne Gilchrest, Jim Moran, Dennis Moore."

Friday, November 25, 2005

Saab 9-5 biopower delivers variable turbo boost on E85

GMInsideNews Forums - Liquor does it quicker!:
"Turbos push extra air into the cylinder, and higher octane allows a fuel to better endure the increased pressure. So Saab cranked up its fans and created the BioPower engine, the first commercially available ethanol turbo. A computer samples the fuel mixture and adjusts the boost pressure -- from 5.8 PSI for pure gasoline to 13.8 PSI for E85. Running straight gasoline, the engine produces 148 horsepower, but E85 jacks it up to 184, with no penalty in fuel economy. -- MATHEW PHENIX

From the July 2005 issue of Popular Science, page 22"

Saab 9-5 biopower gets better fuel economy on E85

Saab Global - Pressreleases:
"On the road, the 180 bhp/ 280 Nm Saab 9-5 BioPower running on E85 delivers sportier performance due to a significant 30 bhp lift in maximum power and 40 Nm more torque, compared to its gasoline-powered equivalent. Whilst fuel economy in SEK/km in city and mixed driving conditions is unlikely to show an improvement, testing indicates that a useful 15 per cent gain in fuel cost in SEK/km can be expected at cruising speeds because of a better combustion with higher efficiency."

Saab Announces UK Launch of 9-5 BiuoPower Flex-Fuel Model

Trollhattan Saab: Biopower UK Launch announced:
"As its name suggests, the Saab 9-5 BioPower not only offers purer power, but more of it. Because Saab's turbocharging technology and engine management systems make it possible to take advantage of bioethanol's higher octane rating, an impressive 20 per cent gain in brake horse power (bhp) and 16 per cent growth in torque can be enjoyed when the car runs on E85 compared to when running on regular petrol."

Saab 9-5 Biopower wins 'Popular Science' award.

SaabCentral Forums - 9-5 Biopower wins 'Popular Science' award.:
"The ethanol-powered Saab 9-5 2.0t BioPower has been honored with Popular Science magazine's 'Best of What's New' award, an annual ranking of 100 breakthrough products and technologies that represent a significant leap in their categories."

The Saab 9-5 2.0t BioPower will be featured in the December issue of Popular Science, the most widely read issue of the year. The vehicle also will be on display at the Popular Science ?Best of What's New? winners exhibition in Grand Central Terminal in New York City Nov. 8-10."

Saab 9-5 Biopower possibly being developed for U.S. market

Inside Line: Saab Won't Get a Version of the Pontiac Solstice -:
"The next Saab concept will be a 300-horsepower 9-5 BioPower sedan that will be powered by a 2.3-liter turbo engine and run on ethanol. It will be shown at the Los Angeles auto show and the Detroit auto show in January. Saab introduced a version of the 9-5 BioPower this year in Sweden and Germany.

Spenchian said the automaker is using the new concept to test consumer reaction. 'We could offer it within the next year and a half in the U.S.,' he said."

Peak Oil or not, we can no longer rely on cheap oil | Politics:
by Greg Gordon, N&O Washington Bureau -- 11/25/2005
"'Whatever you think about peak oil,' Woolsey said, 'you need to be concerned about the possibility that in the very near term at any point, ... regime change, government policy change or terrorist attacks could put a major, and perhaps even a long-duration spike on oil prices. ... We need to move away from oil in either case.'"

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Is UK oil output running on empty?

BBC NEWS | Business | Is UK oil output running on empty?:
by Adam Porter -- 11/22/2005
"'These declines do seem to be irreversible now,' says Deborah White, senior energy analyst at Societe Generale.
'In my experience, even when [oil] prices are extremely high and spending [on extraction] is extremely high, it has been virtually impossible to reduce decline rates below 3%.'"

Monday, November 21, 2005

How to Avoid Oil Wars, Terrorism, and Economic Collapse

How to Avoid Oil Wars, Terrorism, and Economic Collapse - by Richard Heinberg:
Museletter -- 8/2005
"The SAIC Report concludes that substantial mitigation of the economic, social, and political impacts of Peak Oil can come only from efforts both to increase energy supplies from alternative sources and to reduce demand for oil. With regard to the claim that efficiency measures will be enough to forestall dire impacts, Hirsch et al. note that, 'While greater end-use efficiency is essential, increased efficiency alone will be neither sufficient nor timely enough to solve the problem. Production of large amounts of substitute liquid fuels will be required.' Further, 'Mitigation will require a minimum of a decade of intense, expensive effort, because the scale of liquid fuels mitigation is inherently extremely large.' Hirsch, et al., also point out that 'The problems associated with world oil production peaking will not be temporary, and past 'energy crisis' experience will provide relatively little guidance.'"

Experts Debate if Ethanol is a Good Energy Buy

The Southern Illinoisan:
by Donna Farris, lee New Service -- 11/20/2005
"Other energy sources also have an energy balance. To create gasoline, which is a product of crude oil, it takes energy to explore for oil, extract oil from wells, transport it overseas and refine it.
All those processes added up make gasoline an energy loser because a gallon of gasoline contains 26 percent less energy than it takes to produce.
'Philosophically, we've decided that that's OK because we can't use crude oil in our cars,' Lamberty said.
'We're staring at $60 to $70-per-barrel oil. That means it's a lot easier for ethanol to compete on an equal basis.'"

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Senate group unveils oil-saving plan with biparstisan support

Incentives for alternatives such as cellulosic ethanol are increasingly supported by everyone, including those usually on the opposite sides of issues.
Senate group unveils oil-saving plan
by Josef Herbert, AP writer -- 11/16/2005

Farm Bureau president: Ethanol one bright spot in country's energy plight Story: Farm Bureau president: Ethanol one bright spot in country's energy plight:
by Scott Moyers -- 11/17/2005
"The one bright spot -- perhaps the only one, Kruse said -- is the recent rise of ethanol, a renewable fuel that is made from corn. He noted that a new ethanol plant that will produce 100 million gallons of ethanol a year is in the works for Southeast Missouri. "

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Experts discuss 'Peak Oil' at Denver conference

Durango Herald Online:
by Joe Hanel -- 11/12/2005
"Peak Oil doesn't mean the world is running out of oil, several speakers said. But it does mean the end of the buzz from cheap oil and increasing supplies.
'I have these discussions with my grandchildren,' said Henry Groppe, an energy consultant from Houston. 'They say, 'Gramps, are we going to run out of oil?' I say, 'No. Many years ago we ran out of $2 oil. Then we ran out of $10 oil. Then we ran out of $20 oil. And now we're running out of $40 oil.''
Oil closed at $57.53 a barrel Thursday, a three-month low.
U.S. oil production peaked in 1970. Speakers at the conference disagreed on when worldwide production might peak. Some said 2015; Groppe said it might have already happened. "

Kuwait's biggest field starts to run out of oil

Kuwait's biggest field starts to run out of oil | | Energy and Peak Oil News:
AME Info -- 11/14/2005
"The implications for the global economy are indeed serious. If the world oil supply begins to run dry then the upward pressure on oil prices will be inexorable. For the oil producers this will come as a compensation for declining output, and cushion them against an economic collapse.
However, the oil consumers then face a major energy crisis. Industrialized economies are still far too dependent on oil. And the pricing mechanism of declining oil reserves will press them into further diversification of energy supplies, particularly nuclear, wind and solar power. "

The Case For Ethanol

The Case For Ethanol -
by Brian Jennings, American Coalition for Ethanol -- 11/16/2005
"There is no panacea, no silver bullet solution that will fix our system overnight. But there is one important step already being taken: a growing supply of homegrown, clean-burning, high-performance, renewable fuel that can operate in every single automobile on the road today--ethanol.
While no new oil refineries have been built in the U.S. in nearly three decades, new ethanol-production facilities are coming online at a rate of almost two per month. Today, 92 ethanol plants are operating across the country with a total production capacity of 4 billion gallons of fuel annually. Two dozen more plants are now under construction to provide an additional billion gallons of ethanol."

Sugar In The Tank

Sugar In The Tank -
by David Adams -- 11/16/2005
"SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - A group of U.S. Senators visited Brazil in August to take a look at the country's ethanol industry. 'It was a real eye-opener. I was just amazed what we learned,' said Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla).
What most impressed the delegation was the choice Brazilians have at the pump. Since the 1973 oil embargo, Brazil has battled to achieve energy independence, replacing gasoline with ethanol, an alcohol distilled from sugarcane."

Virgin Airways boss eyes cellulosic ethanol for fleet fuel

Virgin Airways boss eyes plants for fleet fuel - Green Machines -
Reuters -- 11/16/05
"DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Tired of skyrocketing jet fuel prices, Virgin Atlantic Airways boss Richard Branson said on Wednesday he plans to turn his back on hydrocarbons and use plant waste to power his fleet.
'We are looking for alternative fuel sources. We are going to start building cellulosic ethanol plants (to make) fuel that is derived from the waste product of the plant,' he told Reuters in an interview in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates."

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Biofuels seen as way to ease prices, foreign dependence

The Southern Illinoisan
"MFA is one of the farmer-owned cooperatives that have invested with Biofuels LLC, a farmer-investor group that is building a new biodiesel plant in Mexico, Mo. The facility will have the capacity to make 30 million gallons of biodiesel a year from soybean oil."

High pump prices fuel interest in cellulosic ethanol

High pump prices fuel interest in renewable altenatives
Southwest farm Press -- Nov 14, 2005 -- By Caroline Booth Lara
"Switchgrass, a fast-growing perennial warm-season native grass with a wide geographic distribution, is one of the most promising energy biomass sources because of its adaptability, hardiness, longevity and high biomass production."

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Energy From Agriculture

Farm Foundation
"Sound economic research findings and first-hand energy production experience will be featured at the Energy from Agriculture Conference, Dec.14-15, 2005, at the Marriott St. Louis Airport, St. Louis, Mo.
Presented by Farm Foundation and USDA?s Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, this conference will provide farmers and ranchers, rural community leaders, energy executives and state and regional government officials with practical, science-based information on agriculture?s role in energy production.
USDA's Office of Rural Development and Natural Resources Conservation Service are helping to sponsor this event."

Chicago to build first ethanol-hydrogen fueling station

Waste News | Waste Management/Recycling/Landfill Headlines:
"Nov. 10 -- The city of Chicago plans to build the world's first ethanol-to-hydrogen fueling station thanks in part to $2 million funding included in the federal Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, according to members of the Illinois congressional delegation."

BioTown, USA in Mid-America

FOCUS - BioTown, USA in Mid-America:
by Stewaer Truelsen -- 10/17/2005
"According to Morehouse, one reason Reynolds was chosen to be the first BioTown is its location near major highways and its proximity to Purdue University. There also are more than 150,000 hogs in a 15-mile radius of Reynolds. Phase 1 of the plan is built around ethanol and soy biodiesel, but Phases 2 and 3 will explore turning livestock waste into electricity, natural gas and other products through anaerobic digestion and manure gasification.
In addition to the energy benefits, all the technologies being employed and planned for in the BioTown are environmentally friendly. The systems to turn livestock waste into energy also reduce odors. In the end, the whole town's energy needs could be met from biorenewable fuels."

Biotown USA Residents to Receive Free GM Vehicles

Newsroom - Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick:
"Phases 2 and 3 of the BioTown, USA project include potential plans to transform animal waste from area livestock farms into electricity and natural gas. Set in a rural area, there are more than 150,000 hogs within a 15 mile radius of Reynolds, as well as several sources of organic waste products, making it an ideal location for a digester, manure gasifier or some similar type of technology to turn manure and biomass into energy for the homes and businesses in Reynolds. A consultant has been hired by ISDA to analyze which system would be most appropriate for Reynolds in Phase 2 of the BioTown, USA project.

BioTown, USA is a project of ISDA. In mid-May ISDA rolled out its strategic plan, Possibilities Unbound: The Plan for 2025, Indiana Agriculture's Strategic Plan. This document describes the Department's focus and guiding principles for the next several years. The plan contains seven strategies to grow Indiana agriculture; one of the seven strategies is bioenergy. The action plan for this strategy calls for the development of a pilot community that meets all of its energy needs through biorenewable resources.
Source: Indiana State Department of Agriculture"

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Running on Empty - BUSINESS:
by Steve Raabe -- 11/8/2005
"Theories abound on when oil production will reach a peak. Some analysts say this year; others say untapped sources will fuel supplies for years."

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Four big questions for Big Oil

Four big questions for Big Oil - Nov. 8, 2005:
"NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - The oil industry's top executives Wednesday head into dangerous public relations territory when they appear at a joint Senate committee hearing on energy prices and profits."

Swedish Housing Cooperative uses shallow geothemal heating

Ground source heat pumps are the most promising technology for reducing the cost of heating and cooling buildings.
Inventing for the sustainable planet: Swedish Tenant Owner Cooperative starts oil break with geothemal heating
"This is how the system works: heat energy is drawn from a drilled hole in the bedrock. The hole contains a collector pipe filled with liquid (70 percent water, 30 percent ethanol). The liquid is circulated via a heat pump and down the hole. The heat is then transferred into the water borne central heating and hot water system."

Monday, November 07, 2005

Autos continue to tank

Econbrowser: Autos continue to tank:
"What's hot? Toyota's fuel-stingy hybrid Prius, whose sales were up 68% compared to October 2004. What's not? American gas-guzzling SUV's, down over 50%. Sales of all vehicles combined were down 25% for GM and Ford."

E85 Hybrids: The Next Big Step

Hybrid Cars - What's Next for Hybrids? E85 Hybrids.:
by Chris Ellis
"What makes real sense is the upgrading of current hybrid offerings to become 'flexible fuel hybrids', and full support from manufacturers that all new hybrid models will run on any mix of gasoline and E85. Less than $200 is added to the production cost of a conventional gasoline vehicle in upgrading it to handle E85. Congress, realizing that we are confronted by Global Warming, Peak Oil, and Energy Insecurity, has put the necessary ethanol pump-priming into the new Energy Policy Act.
The argument basically runs as follows. Take the current annual U.S. consumption of gasoline. Assume that 'aggressive hybridization' cuts it by a quarter (mainly in city driving), and that a further quarter is cut by better aerodynamics and engine downsizing (enabled by hybridization), mainly in freeway driving. Now take a further slice out for plug-in electric drives, and assume that the U.S can continue to source at least 25 percent of its gasoline internally. That leaves an ethanol target of less than a quarter of current gasoline consumption to make the U.S. 'gasoline independent' again. The United States Departments of Agriculture and Energy have recently produced a joint report which confirms that producing this quantity of ethanol is readily achievable without impinging on the current food producing capacity of the United States."

Tiger Truck First in Class to Offer E85 Capability

Tiger Truck Is First to Deliver Off-Road Multi-Fuels:
"DALLAS, Nov. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- For the first time, single users and large fleet operators of off-road vehicles now have a true multi-fuel choice. Tiger Truck is the first in its class to receive EPA approval for its E85-compliant engine. The US Department of Energy defines E85 as fuel having 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. It burns cleaner and comes from US agricultural output to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. Tiger Truck gives unprecedented choice to vehicle buyers of being powered by gasoline, E85, all-electric, electric hybrid or E85 hybrid."

Missour's Fourth Ethanol Plant Breaks Ground
"The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) today welcomes Missouri Ethanol, LLC, as the fourth ethanol plant to be built in Missouri. The facility, located near Laddonia, MO, will produce 45 million gallons of ethanol annually while utilizing 17 million bushels of corn from local producers."

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Policy Paper Supports Biofuels for National Security

Committee on the Present Danger:
by George P. Shultz & James Woolsey
"Old or misstated data are sometimes cited for the proposition that huge amounts of land would have to be introduced into cultivation or taken away from food production in order to have such biomass available for cellulosic ethanol production. This is incorrect. The National Commission on Energy Policy reported in December that, if fleet mileage in the U.S. rises to 40 mpg -- somewhat below the current European Union fleet average for new vehicles of 42 mpg and well below the current Japanese average of 47 mpg ? then as switchgrass yields improve modestly to around 10 tons/acre it would take only 30 million acres of land to produce sufficient cellulosic ethanol to fuel half the U.S. passenger fleet. (ETES pp. 76-77). By way of calibration, this would essentially eliminate the need for oil imports for passenger vehicle fuel and would require only the amount of land now in the soil bank (the Conservation Reserve Program ('CRP') on which such soil-restoring crops as switchgrass are already being grown. Practically speaking, one would probably use for ethanol production only a little over half of the soil bank lands and add to this some portion of the plants now grown as animal feed crops (for example, on the 70 million acres that now grow soybeans for animal feed). In short, the U.S .and many other countries should easily find sufficient land available for enough energy crop cultivation to make a substantial dent in oil use. (Id.)
There is also a common and erroneous impression that ethanol generally requires as much energy to produce as one obtains from using it and that its use does not substantially reduce global warming gas emissions. The production and use of ethanol merely recycles in a different way the CO2 that has been fixed by plants in the photosynthesis process. It does not release carbon that would otherwise stay stored undergro"

Closed Loop Ethanol Refinery Powered by Cattle Manure

Press Release 10.27.05:
"The system incorporates a dairy or feedlot, an ethanol production process, and an anaerobic digester into a self-sustaining, closed-loop system. The manure from the livestock is handled by an on-site waste management facility and turned into biogas. This biogas powers the ethanol production process, eliminating fossil fuel costs. Wet distillers grain � a co-product of the ethanol production process � is fed to the livestock, completing the loop.

The E3 BioFuels Complex has been designed around the existing Mead Cattle Company feedlot, which has a capacity for 30,000 head of cattle. The ethanol production component was tailored to fit the size of the feedlot and will produce approximately 24 million gallons of fuel-grade ethanol annually. The ethanol plant will process more than 8 million bushels of corn annually and produce 100,000 tons of wet distillers grain."

Sustainable Triad: Peak oil: our gift to our children

Sustainable Triad: Peak oil: our gift to our children:
by Peter Kauber -- 9/16/2005
"I have been studying the "peak oil" controversy for approximately a year. As I progressed through the published work of authors whose credentials were beyond reproach, I became increasingly uneasy about our energy future. But until now, I continued to view peak oil as a controversy, not an inevitability. I have come to see that I can no longer "wait for things to play out."

The tipping point for me was a presentation made at Duke University on Tuesday (9/13/05) by Dr. Robert Hirsch, a scientist who has served at very high levels in multiple energy fields--oil and gas, nuclear, renewables. There was no hesitation on Dr. Hirsch's part regarding what we face. Unless we're extremely lucky, and peak oil is 20 or more years down the pike, we are going to experience a crash. What Dr. Hirsch had discovered, in the course of completing a research contract for the Department of Energy, is that there are no feasible approaches to avoiding huge liquid fuel shortfalls unless a mitigation strategy is undertaken, as a crash program, at least 20 years prior to the oil production peak. And most reputable predictors are saying that the peak will come well before 20 years from now."

Friday, November 04, 2005

Sir Richard Branson to Build Cellulosic Ethanol Refineries

It looks as if one of the world's leading business luminaries sees potential in cellulosic ethanol. | 10/19/2005 | Virgin Group's leader eyes Florida:
by Jim Wyss
"If being the father of space tourism isn't enough, Branson is also taking on another problem -- the global fuel crisis. After recently telling MSNBC that he wanted to build an oil refinery, Branson said he has modified his thinking to focus on environmentally friendly cellulosic ethanol refineries. The plants would use cutting-edge technology to turn staple grains into fuel.
''[The technology] is in its infancy but if it succeeds, and I think it will -- it will basically replace conventional oil and we'll actually have a clean world one day,'' he said. ``So yes, we're going into the oil industry but we plan to go into it in a way that we believe will drive down the price of oil but equally help the environment.''
A team of technicians is currently scouring the Equator for ideal sites to set up three to four cellulosic ethanol plants within the next year to 18 months, he said."

Cows make fuel for biogas train

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Cows make fuel for biogas train:
by Tim Franks -- 10/24/2005
"Yes, he says, the train between Linkoping and Vastervik will cost 20% more to run on methane than on the usual diesel. But the oil price is going up and up, and in any case, Swedes care about being able to pick our mushrooms and their fruit.
Nor is it just trains. In Linkoping, the 65-strong bus fleet is powered by biogas. Indeed the city boasts that it was the first in the world to try out its buses on methane."

Midwest Farmers Struggle with High Energy Prices

Rockford's Newspaper Rock River Times | rockford illinois news information:
by Joe Baker -- 11/4/2005
"Jimmy Westerfeld, president of the McLennan County, Texas Farm Bureau, said farmers in his area are very worried. 'Many of us will not be able to farm this year or the next,' he said. 'The doubling and tripling of fuel and petrochemical prices are the last link in a chain of bad economic events.'"

Ford and Verasun Announce Partnership to Increase E85 Availability

VE85 - 85% Ethanol from VeraSun Energy for Flex Fuel Vehicles:
"The Ford/VeraSun partnership will concentrate on growing the E85 infrastructure in 2006. The initiative will serve to convert existing fuel pumps to VeraSun's branded E85 - VE85 - in existing retail outlets. A consumer awareness campaign to promote the benefits and use of E85 will also be launched. Local retail outlets and Ford dealerships will be asked to participate in the campaign."

Thursday, November 03, 2005

An interview with peak-oil provocateur Matthew Simmon

An interview with peak-oil provocateur Matthew Simmons | By Amanda Griscom Little | Grist Magazine | Main Dish | 03 Nov 2005
"There are some 220 million cars currently on the road in the U.S. alone. The problem with that concept, which so many people think is the way you end the energy war, is it will take 30 years to turn over the entire vehicle fleet. We don't have 15 or 20 years, much less 30.

We need to think on a grander scale. We have to find, for instance, far more energy-efficient methods of transporting products by rail and ship rather than trucks. We have to liberate the workforce from office-based jobs and let them work in their village, through the modern technology of emails and faxes and video conferencing. We have to address the distribution of food: Much of the food in supermarkets today comes from at least a continent or two away. We need to return to local farms. And we have to attack globalization: As energy prices soar, manufacturing things close to home will begin to make sense again."

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

New Concept for Home Solar Electricity uses Concentrator

Green and Gold Energy
New Concept Solar Electricity uses Rooftop Concentrator
"To execute this strategy, our Australian Design Award winning development team are developing our first Solar Appliance, the visually striking, innovative and ground breaking SunBall™. Incorporating a high efficiency (>30%) solar energy concentrator, automatic dawn to dusk Max kWh Tracking™ internal 2 axis tracking system and Cool PV™ low operational PV cell temperature. Extensive testing will be done to ensure 25+ years of life, high reliability, ease of installation / servicing. Once these characteristics are achieved, the SunBall™ Solar Appliance will be released to solar resellers and installers through a “hands on” two way training and support program designed to ensure complete customer satisfaction and a strong focus on maximum kWh energy delivery."

IEA warns of 50% oil price rise by 2030 / International economy / Oil for food - IEA warns of 50% oil price rise by 2030
By Carola Hoyos in London -- Financial Times -- 11/2/2005
The International Energy Agency, the oil sector monitoring body, on Wednesday said that oil prices by 2030 would be 50 per cent higher than today if Saudi Arabia did not muster the political will to invest billions of dollars in new production.

Coconut oil gets engines running

New Zealand news on Coconut oil gets engines running:
by Alisha Skerrett -- 11/1/2005
"A Samoan-born Auckland university student Dominic Schwalger has discovered coconut oil will run a diesel engine.
He hopes his discovery will be used in the islands to improve people's lives.
'I hope it will be useful for people in rural villages. I hope they take it up and use the oil for diesel generators and water pumps,' he says."

Prospects for Cellulosic Ethanol Attract D.C. Supporters

AutoWeek - The Auto Enthusiast's Online Resource:
by Harry Stoffer -- 11/2/2005
"Evidence is growing, though, that ethanol can be made efficiently with genetically engineered enzymes applied to nonfood crops and plant waste. These include cornstalks, rice and wheat straw, sugar beet waste and even byproducts of beer making, proponents say.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., plans legislation that would require carmakers to build more flexible-fuel vehicles. Lieberman cites Brazil's success with ethanol made from sugar cane."

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Cellulosic Ethanol Prospects for Japan

The Japan Times Online
By MASAYOSHI MINATO -- 11/2/2005
It is more difficult to extract ethanol from lumber than from agricultural products, but the company has succeeded in developing a system that can produce some 200 liters of ethanol from 1 ton of lumber using a genetic engineering technology introduced by a U.S. company.

"This (new system) has led to the possibility of commercializing ethanol at a per-ton production cost of about 50, yen although the production cost will differ depending on how we procure and transport the waste lumber," said Masanori Sato, a group leader at the company's biomass business promotion headquarters.

Representatives of bioenergy firms discuss benefits of technology to lumber industry

Converting waste to ethanol could decrease cost and increase environmental benefits. Story: Representatives of bioenergy firms discuss benefits of technology to lumber industry:
by Matt Sanders -- 11/1/2005
"Ensyn's biomass conversion system quickly converts wood waste with 10 percent moisture or less, such as sawdust, to a variety of products from food additives to fuels. With few emissions and little solid waste, the process is a relatively clean way to generate energy, Boulard said.
Phoenix's system is slightly different, using a variety of biomass sources, from tires to sewage to garbage to wood, to produce synthetic gas to replace natural gas or catalytically converted to ethanol and methanol.
Unlike a proposed ethanol plant in Cape Girardeau that would require a fermentation system, the Ensyn and Phoenix conversion systems quickly become self-sustaining shortly after being put online."

E85 and lots of wind: ways to beat Big Oil

MISSOURI VALLEY TIMES - NEWS - News - 10/31/2005 - Farming and your Freedom - E85 and lots of wind: ways to beat Big Oil
by Pete Graham, Editor
"Farmers are ready to provide clean, reasonably-priced energy for the long-term. All they need is the protective economic climate necessary to develop those fuels and infrastructures to get them to consumers. It ain't cheap, but it will, ultimately, beat going head-to-head with China and India for the world's diminishing supply of petroleum."

Ethanol from potato waste

Ethanol potato waste - Vincent Corporation:
"We recently visited an interesting ethanol plant in Idaho. It is one of two owned by the J. R. Simplot Company that uses potato peel waste as a raw material.
The potato peel is a zero value waste from nearby potato processing plants. These plants peel the potatoes as part of the production of french fries, instant potatoes and similar products. The resultant waste is hauled to the ethanol plant."

Italian waste-to-energy plant to be expanded

Oil & Gas Journal - Italian waste-to-energy plant to be expanded:
by OGJ editors -- 10/28/05
"The existing plant processes 200,000 tons/year of municipal solid waste (MSW), converting 60% of the MSW into refuse-derived fuel (RDF), which is combusted to generate 15 Mw of power. "

Monday, October 31, 2005

Ethanol Terms Cause Confusion

The Capital Journal - Pierre, SD newspaper since 1881:
by Chuck Clement -- 10/31/05
"The CEO of Ford was most likely talking about flexible-fuel vehicles and E-85, a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Ron Lamberty, market development director for the American Coalition for Ethanol in Sioux Falls, said from now on, the ethanol industry will probably have to speak more precisely about their product and encourage others, such as Ford, to do the same.

�Ethanol is a term that gets thrown around a lot, and it can become confusing on what you�re actually talking about,� Lamberty said. �I think as an industry, we�re pretty good about using the correct terms. We often use E-10 or E-85 when we talk about fuels.�"

Fueling the ads: Gas-price concerns drive new automotive campaigns

Crain's Detroit Business
By Jennette Smith -- 10/31/2005
"Even though gas prices are declining a bit, concern about energy costs long-term are fueling new advertising campaigns by Detroit agencies.

A series of new ad campaigns and promotions launched this summer and fall tout fuel economy and hybrid engines. The strategies range from event marketing to traditional media advertising."

Why Buy Ethanol?

"Today, I filled up with six gallons of E85 and six gallons of E10 gasoline. You need to understand that my car and pickup are not flexible fuel vehicles – they are run-of-the-mill gas burners like most people use...

I could go on and on about how ethanol plants help the community and the farmers, but there is something even more important to talk about. I did not spend $10 with some foreign government that is likely funding terrorists around the world.

I did not spend $10 that ends up part of our billions of dollars in trade deficit. I did not spend $10 with those who are bad for America. Instead, I spent $10 with those who are and try to do good for America."

Ethanol Innovations Will Lower Fuel Bills

Ethanol� Alternative Energy Innovations Will Lower Gas Bills -- 10/30/2005
"In summary, we live at a unique moment in history when innovative processes utilizing transgenomics are being developed at a recently accelerated rate. And, I predict that these technological advances along various steps of the corn breakdown stage from biomass to lignocellulose to pentose sugars to (the zymomonas-mobilis step) to the 2-carbon alcohol will soon yield lower cost Ethanol."

Friday, October 28, 2005

Ford launches ethanol-compatible car in Thailand

Ford launches ethanol-compatible car : Mail & Guardian Online:
by Hua Hin, Thailand -- 10/27/05
"'In keeping with our commitment to innovation and building a better world, it [Ford Focus] also offers the latest ethanol technology which allows it to run on ethanol blends up to 20% as well as normal benzene,' Ford told a press conference.

'The Ford Focus is the first E20 capable sedan to be introduced in Thailand,' said the Ford CEO." Esquire Magazine: The Five-Minute Guide: Oil Esquire Magazine: The Five-Minute Guide: Oil:
by Robert Thompson -- 10/21/05
"IT CAN BE FASHIONED into a Chewbacca action figure or the fuel that propels a stealth B-2 Spirit. One sixth of the world's economy is devoted to exploiting it. Boiled by refineries into a phalanx of hydrocarbon products -- gasoline, diesel, kerosene, you-burn-it-they'll-make-it -- crude oil has set us free. We've employed it to unlock the atom, explore outer space, map the human genome. It's the most potent, important resource ever gifted to mankind. And it's pretty much gone. "

'Closed Loop' system a boon for ethanol production

This is another example of the super-efficient ethanol production systems that must be the future of the entire industry if ethanol is to become a major part of our energy solution.
by Art Hovey -- 10/28/05
"MEAD -- The management of E3 BioFuels has pulled the publicity wraps off a $45 million complex that will use manure
from 30,000 feedlot cattle as the energy source to make ethanol.

In what's billed as the world's first 'closed-loop' system of its kind, the wet distillers grain left over from 24 million gallons in annual ethanol production will be a major part of the cattle's diet.

It's a three-way, all-in-one-place marriage of earth, energy and environment and, more specifically, of cattle feeding, ethanol production and anaerobic conversion of animal waste into biogas.

'This is the first time all three of these have been done in the same triangle -- not just in the United States, but in the world,' Company President David Hallberg of Omaha said Thursday."

Understanding peak oil

Understanding peak oil: "
by Greg Pahl -- 10/28/05
"According to a Feb. 8, 2005, report prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy, 'the world has never faced a problem like this. Without massive mitigation more than a decade before the fact, the problem will be pervasive and will not be temporary. Previous energy transitions were gradual and evolutionary. Oil peaking will be abrupt and revolutionary.'"

Demand drives return of E85 to Des Moines area William Ryberg -- 10/28/05
"Government incentives will help prime the pump. The federal energy bill will require motorists to double the use of ethanol nationally, and the Iowa Legislature approved using money from the Iowa Values Fund to pay up to half the cost of switching retailers' pumps to E85 or putting in new pumps and storage tanks.

General Motors, Ford and other automakers are introducing more flexible-fuel vehicles that can use E85.

Supporters say E85 helps Iowa's economy. More E85 consumption will boost the state's already-booming ethanol industry and increase prices paid for corn."

Saudi Arabia Oil Production Tapped Out

We don't need to know when peak oil happens. All we need to know is that cheap oil will never return.
RIGZONE - Today's Analysis: Report: Saudi Arabia Oil Production Tapped Out:
by Dr. Joe Duarte -- 10/27/05
"Our own view on peak oil remains unchanged. The easy oil has been found. What's left, whether plentiful or not, is hard to get at, and hard to get out of the ground, as much for political reasons, as for logistical and methodological limitations.
From a pragmatic point of view, it doesn't really matter whether peak oil is here or not. Oil is more expensive now, and it is likely to have been reset at a higher price that where it was 5 years ago. Whether that price is $40 or $60 is practically irrelevant from an investment point of view, since higher oil prices are starting to be factored into the logistics, and the price structures of all goods and services. "

Iowa renewable energy forum & ethanol production tour

Mt. Pleasant News Inc.:
by Larry Kershner -- 10/26/05
"A Mt. Pleasant businesswoman and the Henry County Convention and Visitors Bureau have designed a two-day seminar to explore the practical application of using renewable energy fuels in everyday life.

The event is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 17 and Friday, Nov. 18 at Iowa Wesleyan College. The seminar will include an open forum, a trade show and a tour of a grain farm, grain elevator and ethanol plant."

Thursday, October 27, 2005

food and fuel compete for land -- food and fuel compete for land
"For net energy yield, ethanol from sugarcane in Brazil is in a class all by itself, yielding over 8 units of energy for each unit invested in cane production and ethanol distillation. Once the sugary syrup is removed from the cane, the fibrous remainder, bagasse, is burned to provide the heat needed for distillation, eliminating the need for an additional external energy source. This helps explain why Brazil can produce cane-based ethanol for 60¢ per gallon.

Ethanol from sugar beets in France comes in at 1.9 energy units for each unit of invested energy. Among the three principal feedstocks now used for ethanol production, US corn-based ethanol, which relies largely on natural gas for distillation energy, comes in a distant third in net energy efficiency, yielding only 1.5 units of energy for each energy unit used."

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Fuel prices usher in new coal age

Fuel prices usher in new coal age - The Boston Globe:
by Peter J. Howe -- 10/24/2005
"He will still pay KeySpan Energy Delivery New England for gas. But for $330, he willl get 2,000 pounds of coal, to be delivered this week to his condominium, in neat bags on pallets in his driveway.
That delivery should last him two or three months. And, he hopes, it may take up to 80 percent off his December and January gas bills.
''It's just a matter of economics,' Rose said. ''I can't afford $500 a month for gas, and that's what we're looking at.'
Companies that sell coal and wood stoves and fuel for them say they are seeing lots of people like Rose."

Renewable. Rechargeable. Remarkable

"Renewable. Rechargeable. Remarkable.", Feature Article, September 2005:
by Mark T. Kuntz and Justin Dawe -- Mechanical Engineering magazine
"Like a fuel cell, a flow battery has a long life and is both energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. Also, like a fuel cell, the energy rating of the system is a separate design variable from the power rating. Increasing the volume of the electrolyte tanks increases the amount of energy that the system can store and release; increasing the number of cell stacks increases the power that the system can generate.

Like traditional batteries, but unlike fuel cells, flow batteries are an 'electricity in, electricity out' system. There is no external fuel source, such as hydrogen, that is added regularly to recharge the system. Instead, electric energy is supplied to the system at one time, and the system stores that electric energy in electrochemical form until it is needed later. For grid applications, this simpler arrangement avoids the need to create new fuel or distribution systems.

In addition, unlike fuel cells, flow batteries are not based on rare or valuable materials. Fuel cells typically use platinum or other expensive catalysts to speed the oxidation of their energy carrier. Instead, the material at the heart of a flow battery cell is vanadium, a plentiful, nontoxic metal."

The Petroleum Bomb

"The Petroleum Bomb," Feature Article, October 2005:
by George P. Shultz and R. James Woolsey -- Mechanical Engineering Magazine
"A single well-designed attack on the petroleum infrastructure in the Middle East could send oil to well over $100 per barrel and devastate the world's economy. That reality, among other risks, and the fact that our current transportation infrastructure is locked in to oil, should be sufficient to convince any objective observer that oil dependence today creates serious and pressing dangers for the United States and other oil-importing nations."

On-board distillation system cuts cold start hydrocarbon emissions

A team of engineers from Ford Motor Company and the University of Texas first developed this system for E85 fuel, but it can be used for other fuels as well.
Beating the Cold:
By Harry Hutchinson, Managing Editor -- Mechanical Engineering Magazine -- April 2001
"Matthews, along with Rudy Stanglmaier, a former UT Austin doctoral student now with the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, and two Ford engineers, Wen Dai and George Davis, have patented an on-board distillation system that can refine fast-evaporating species from fuel while the engine is running and set aside the product as a reserve to be used at start-up. "

Purdue economists assess the impact of ethanol

Brownfield: Purdue economists assess the impact of ethanol:
by Gary Truitt -- 10/24/2005
Corn growers, beef producers and the dairy industry stand to gain from an ethanol boom, according to economists Chris Hurt and Otto Doering. On the flip side, hog and poultry producers, grain elevator operators and grain shippers might be negatively affected. Soybean and wheat growers could go either way. Hurt and Doering outlined possible impacts to Indiana agriculture from a new federal renewable fuel standard. 'The standard calls for the production of 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuel by 2012 -- a near doubling of current annual production,' Doering said. 'Ethanol and biodiesel are expected to make up most of the 7.5 billion gallons. To meet that goal, ethanol plants would use 2.5 billion bushels of corn, an increase in current usage of 1 billion bushels.'

Monday, October 24, 2005

Fuel Use Spreads Vegoil too Thin for Margarine Firms

Planet Ark : INTERVIEW - Fuel Use Spreads Vegoil too Thin for Margarine Firms:
"AMSTERDAM - Fierce competition over rapeseed oil for use either in biodiesel fuels or foods has margarine makers worried about a shortage for the spread people put on their bread. "

Imagine an E85 plug-in hybrid

This concept could outperform future fuel cell prototypes.
EV World: The World of Electric, Plug-in Hybrid, Fuel Cell and Alternative Fuel Vehicles:
by Chris Ellis -- 10/21/05
"The engine will be almost identical to the 180 bhp BioPower unit already offered with the latest Saab 9-5 in certain markets, except that it will be mounted at the rear and almost flat, under the floor of the trunk. The transmission will be a five-speed AMT. The Surge Power Unit will be mounted under the hood and have an available energy capacity of over 300 Wh and a peak power rating of over 150 kW (200 bhp). The optional plug-in battery will have a usable capacity of 7 kWh, sufficient to support engine-off running for up to 30 miles at up to 65 mph, and the associated electric motor will have a continuous power rating of 15 kW. In this configuration, the Prequel qualifies as a PBH (Plug-in Biofuel Hybrid capable of over 300 mpg of gasoline), with all the associated tax credits, access rights, etc. "

Would Saab Biopower Technology sell in US Automobiles? Bring it on!

It's time US Auto Makers design flex-fuel vehicles to get the most out of E85. The Saab 9-5 biopower shows it is possible.
EV World: The World of Electric, Plug-in Hybrid, Fuel Cell and Alternative Fuel Vehicles:
by Chris Ellis -- 10/9/05
"Let's assume 'our' Saab's owner is based near a gas station with an E85 pump. So most of the time the Saab is refueled with E85, and can deliver up to 180 bhp from its 2.0 liter engine. And its fuel cost per mile is much better than on gasoline, because E85 burns more efficiently and is priced to compete on a cents per mile basis with two dollar a gallon gasoline (of blessed memory). But now our heroine has to go into darkest Gotham, where the wicked Oil Barons live who won't let E85 be sold anywhere within 100 miles. (Bruce Wayne has his own E100 flown in from Scotland for the Rolls-Royce gas turbine in the Batmobile, just in case you were wondering.) And she will need to refuel with dirty old GASOLINE! (Later, when she becomes Bruce's true love, no problem.)
But the Saab is smart. However much gasoline our heroine mixes in with however much E85 is still swilling around in the gas tank, the car senses the new mix and signals the variable boost turbo charger to back off appropriately. Now the E42.3 (say) is fed in, with air boost at a pressure low enough to avoid pre-ignition, and the Saab shoots off into the night. If 'shoot's the right word, because the 180 peak power has now dropped back to a mere 162 bhp. Not exactly dangerously slow, but still a little sluggish. Mind you, it's still more than the 150 bhp of the standard issue gasoline Saabs favored by Gotham's yuppies."

Saab's Biopower: Getting more fuel efficiency, performance from e85

EV World: The World of Electric, Plug-in Hybrid, Fuel Cell and Alternative Fuel Vehicles:
by Chris Ellis -- 10/9/2005
"Equally interesting is Saab's BioPower engine. While the application of flexible fuels has been pretty casual in most US designs, Saab have done a professional job on their latest engine, now that Sweden is committed to biofuels. As any petrol-head knows, high compression is good in a gasoline engine, and a key limitation is the octane rating of the fuel, typically 95 or so globally. But E85 is 104 octane, which potentially means more power and better efficiency, and a reduction in the compression ratio advantage enjoyed by diesel. As a general statement, US E85 engines are naturally aspirated and must run with gasoline compression ratios. That means they take no advantage of the superior efficiency that E85 affords. Bearing in mind that GM owns Saab, let's imagine what a US Saab might be able to do by next year, using technology that is already shipping all over Sweden. "

Will a Future 'World Fuel' be Ethanol Based?

EV World: The World of Electric, Plug-in Hybrid, Fuel Cell and Alternative Fuel Vehicles:
by Chris Ellis -- 10/9/05
"However, the vehicle manufacturers would prefer a single 'World Fuel', identical in specification wherever their engines are sold around the world, but derived from a range of feed stocks, each appropriate to its region. (Of course, the oil companies may insist on 'almost identical', because some fuel additives apparently have quite incredible marketing properties, vying with Viagra in their potency.) The concept is that 'World Fuel' (VW have already registered the name Sunfuel) could be made from petroleum in Norway, sugar cane in Brazil, natural gas in Dubai, switchgrass on the Great Plains, in South Africa and in the Ukraine, and wheat in Somerset. And guess what? The 'World Fuel' specification bears a striking resemblance to E85. Naturally, engine designers know the characteristics of their ideal liquid fuel, and these are dominated by considerations of overall efficiency, not just combustion efficiency. They are asking Big Oil for a World Fuel, and are hoping most of us will want to use it. "

The Cellulosic Ethanol Hybrid of 2015

EV World: The World of Electric, Plug-in Hybrid, Fuel Cell and Alternative Fuel Vehicles:
by Chris Ellis -- 10/3/2005
"Now take a look at CELLULOSIC ethanol, apparently the favorite fuel of hawks and tree huggers alike, and that wonder of the 21st century, the 'cellulosic hybrid' surges forward. Finally, offer the option of 30 miles or more of plug-in capability, and even the guys and gals at the California Air Resources Board will break into a smile! And the generals in the Pentagon already know that, even if the Army continues to use kerosene-based J-8 as it's 'single battlefield fuel', the sooner everyone else is on biofuels, the easier their lives (and those of their soldiers) will be. So the Governor of California's next Hummer just might be the first of the stunningly beautiful, ultra-sleek H0 models, a cellulosic hybrid with a suspension system capable of varying the ride height by more than ten inches, off-road. Crouch like a tiger, hover like a hawk. Should appeal to more than the Governor. Might even appeal to the generals. (Great staff car, sir!) H0 Hum, I wish! "

We could be 'Saudi Arabia of Ethanol'

Wisconsin State Journal:
by Jason Stien -- 10/24/05
"Welch is also a spokesman for, though not a principal in, Jefferson Grain Processors, which recently announced an ambitious plan to buy the Cargill Malt plant in Jefferson and convert it to an ethanol plant, tilapia fish farm and an electricity plant that would employ 150 and produce 140 million gallons of ethanol a year - more than the rest of the state's plants combined.
In the past, ethanol groups in the state have had to enlist farmers and other small-time investors to finance plants of some $60 million. The Jefferson investors group is led by Paul Olsen of Utica Energy, which owns an Oshkosh ethanol plant. Welch said the group hopes to invest some $200 million in renovating the Cargill plant - and that's not even counting the price of the plant itself.
'I think a lot of the (ethanol) plants are looking at expanding,' Welch said.
Nationwide, ethanol production is expected to rise from 3.4 billion gallons last year to nearly 4 billion this year. The Doyle administration figures that Wisconsin's ethanol production capacity could rise from 120 million gallons a year to 210 million gallons a year once plants under construction in Milton and Wheeler come on line. "

US Closer to Building Natural Gas Pipeline

US Closer to Building Natural Gas Pipeline - Yahoo! News:
"ANCHORAGE, Alaska - State officials agreed Friday to key terms of a contract with one of three oil companies negotiating to build a 2,100-mile natural gas pipeline from Alaska through Canada and into the Midwest."

Ethanol from Coors Beer Waste

Ethanol production from waste products has great potential to improve ethanol's net energy balance and reduce the cost of production. - Search - FAST:
by Robert Sanchez, Denver Post -- 10/24/05
"Golden, CO -- One 9-year-old plant distills residuals from beer making and has been such a success, officials from the brewer and engineering company said, that a second, $2.3 million plant will open later this month on the same site.
The second plant will double ethanol production at the brewery, partly through inputting millions of gallons of spilled Coors, George Killian's Irish Red and other beers directly into the process via an underground pipeline."

Friday, October 21, 2005

Energy Balance/Life Cycle Inventory for Ethanol, Biodiesel, and Petroleum Fuels

Energy Balance/Life Cycle Inventory for Ethanol:
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
"In summary, the finished liquid fuel energy yield for fossil fuel dedicated to the production of ethanol is 1.34 but only 0.74 for gasoline. In other words the energy yield of ethanol is (1.34/0.74) or 81 percent greater than the comparable yield for gasoline. "

Petroleum Demand More Serious Issue than Production

National Post:
by Peter Foster -- 10/20/2005
"This year's price increases have much more to do with an unexpected surge in demand from developing nations and with geopolitical instability than with imminent resource limits."

Oil Forecasting Legend Discusses Peak Oil, Share Prices

Resource Investor - Energy - Oil Forecasting Legend Discusses Peak Oil, Share Prices:
by Michael J. DesLauriers -- 10-19-2005
"Groppe believes that, 'we are at the point where production is peaking and the price required to restrain consumption to match this future available supply is in the 50-60 dollar range on an annual average basis. This or next year might very well be the all time peak year in world liquid petroleum production.'"

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Impacts of peak world oil production addressed by worldwide experts at Denver Conference

ENN: Environmental News Network [[Affiliate News 939]]:
"DENVER -- The Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO-USA) has announced that the first conference of its kind is taking place in Denver addressing the impacts of an imminent peak in world oil production. The Denver World Oil Conference -- Beyond Oil: Intelligent Response to Peak Oil Impacts, will feature worldwide oil and energy experts and political leaders who will convey important facts about the world's past, current and future oil supply, the fundamentals driving peak oil, the status of alternative fuels, the economic risks of peak oil, demand reduction strategies, national security and foreign policy issues, and policy options at municipal levels."

The latest investor in green energy - the CIA |

The latest investor in green energy - the CIA |
by John Dillin -- 10/18/05
"SkyBuilt Power Inc. has begun building electricity-generating units fueled mostly by solar and wind energy. The units, which use a battery backup system when the sun is down and the wind is calm, are designed to run for years with little maintenance.
Depending upon its configuration, SkyBuilt's Mobile Power Station (MPS) can generate up to 150 kilowatts of electricity, says David Muchow, the firm's president and CEO. That's enough to power an emergency operations center, an Army field kitchen, or a small medical facility.
Privately owned SkyBuilt now has a new investor - In-Q-Tel, a venture capital firm set up by the US Central Intelligence Agency. Skybuilt and In-Q-Tel will announce Tuesday that they have signed a strategic development agreement, including an investment in SkyBuilt."