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."

Fossil Fuels are Here to Stay, Says Expert

Vancouver Sun:
by Gordon Jaremko, CanWest News Service -- 10-17-05
"It has been assumed for decades societies will gradually switch to renewable energy forms and wean themselves off oil, gas, coal and atomic power, Jaccard said.
But he concluded the assumptions he was taught were wrong. His forthcoming book forecasts that oil, gas and coal will still satisfy 58 per cent of world energy needs in the year 2100.
That market share will be down from today's 85 per cent but still require high production because total global consumption of all energy forms will grow as developing countries strive for North American-level living standards."

Oil guru says crude could hit $190 this winter - Oil & Energy -

Oil guru says crude could hit $190 this winter - Oil & Energy -
Reuters -- 10/19/05
"'Everyone keeps thinking there is a (price) ceiling...There is no ceiling,' said Simmons, who wrote in his book 'Twilight in the Desert' that Saudi oil output is at or near its peak.
He said he has seen little sign that higher prices so far have done much to reduce consumption.
Simmons said supplies of heating fuel oil were in okay shape, but could drain fast if the weather turned cold. Diesel is tight and shortages of jet fuel had caused some planes to be diverted from some airports.
'It's going to be painful for people to get used to actually paying real money for a really valuable resource,' he said. "

Residents bracing for an oil crisis

Residents bracing for an oil crisis:
by Martha Elson -- Louisville Coourier-Journal -- 10-20-05
"Robert Hirsch, an oil consultant and engineer who has worked at the Department of Energy and Arco Oil and was the lead author of the report, said that cutting back on driving to the grocery store and other conservation measures are good for the environment, but they won't make any real difference in the oil supply.
'We're talking about a problem that is so much bigger than any of us,' he said from his home in Alexandria, Va.
'Because our whole system operates on oil, it's like blood in your body. If you drain a significant amount of blood out of your body, you're not going to perform very well in a whole lot of ways. If you keep draining it out, the situation gets worse and worse.'
Hirsch said the only hope for avoiding economic upheaval would be to quickly start building facilities on a massive scale to produce alternative fuels for vehicles, or 'trash half the vehicles out there.' "

Farmers Fret Over Fertilizer Costs

Farmers Fret Over Fertilizer Costs - Yahoo! News:
by Emily Fredrix, Associated Press -- 10/19/05
"'There's just a lot of uncertainty in agriculture right now because of the energy costs, and fertilizer is probably the best example of what the uncertainty means in their financial picture next year,' said Rob Robertson, vice president of governmental relations at the Nebraska Farm Bureau.
Although most farmers are still harvesting, many have their minds on next year. Their options include using less fertilizer and planting more soybeans or wheat, which can thrive with less fertilizer than corn.
At his farm in northern Lancaster County, near Lincoln, Nielsen decided to plant 25 percent more wheat in the hopes of curbing his consumption of anhydrous ammonia."

World Needs to Face Saudi Oil Output Limits

Schlumberger | World Needs to Face Saudi Oil Output Limits:
by John M. Biers -- 10-19-05
"While Bartlett's views are consistent in some ways with the peak oil school, he rejects Saudi critics like Houston investment banker and analyst Matt Simmons, who has questioned the longevity of Saudi reserves. Saudi output can increase significantly, but it does have limits, Bartlett said.
'I believe the Saudis would make 15 million barrels per day for 50 years if they have to,' he said. But Saudi Arabia has 'never promised 20 million... Where is this 20 million coming from?' he asked.
Even though the kingdom's huge reserves would seem to theoretically allow for higher production, operators risk reducing the volume of ultimately recoverable oil if they try to produce fields too quickly, Bartlett said. Even if it were possible to produce at higher rates, Bartlett said such a strategy would risk robbing the fields of the natural pressure that makes the Saudi fields uniquely copious.
'The problem is the field itself has certain dynamics,' said Bartlett, adding that a decision by Saudi Arabia to produce at 22 million 'is a very dangerous thing for them to do.' Sustained production at that level would be amazingly expensive and is 'almost impossible,' Bartlett said in a recent interview in Houston, which he visits during periodic consulting assignments for Aramco."

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Peak Oil Confusion and the World Economy

American Chronicle: Peak Oil Confusion and the World Economy
By Thomas Dawson -- 10/18/05
"Has oil production peaked? Probably the light sweet variety has peaked in the last couple of years or is peaking now. Other heavier and sour types have probably not peaked and will not peak soon. Oil from tar sands is just in the infant stage. So what is the point of this brouhaha?

The point is that we have entered a period where energy costs will continue to rise for the foreseeable future unless there is a major breakthrough in an alternative cheap source. Currently there is no cheaper source of abundant energy than liquid crude oil. The extraction of other currently available sources is either not commercially feasible or more expensive as well as hazardous to the environment. In the long run, our government will not allow environmental considerations to stand in the way of the expansion of business and globalization."

Fargo station top E85 seller

by Craig McEwen -- 10/19/05
"Kent Satrang’s Cenex gas stations in Fargo and West Fargo sold 66,359 gallons of E85 fuel last month, an 800 percent increase over the 8,000 gallons sold in September 2004"

Monday, October 17, 2005

Save money with ethanol

MSN Money - Save 30 cents a gallon on gas:
"When the price of unleaded in Springfield, Ill., was at $2.49 a gallon, E85 was going for as little as $1.98 a gallon. Drivers in Indiana have reported a spread of as much as 60 cents a gallon."

Debate brews: Has oil production peaked?

If even the Peak Oil naysayers are predicting an 'undulating plateau' in oil production, we should be very, very concerned. A plateau in production would mean huge shortfalls if demand continues to rise as it has, especially in emerging economies. - Debate brews: Has oil production peaked?:
Oct 16, 2005
"In June, Yergin's consulting firm, Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) in Cambridge, Mass., concluded oil supplies would exceed demand through 2010. Plenty of new oil is likely to be found in the Middle East and off the coasts of Brazil and Nigeria, Yergin says.
'There's a lot more oil out there still to find,' says Peter Jackson, a veteran geologist who co-authored the CERA study.
Based on current technology, peak oil production won't occur before 2020, Yergin says. And even if it does, oil production volumes won't plummet immediately; they'll coast for years on an 'undulating plateau,' he says."

Brazil's Efficient Ethanol Production

by Marla Dickerson -- June 15, 2005
"In contrast to U.S. corn-based ethanol, which requires substantial amounts of fossil fuel to plant, harvest and distill, Brazil's industry uses crushed sugar cane stalks known as bagasse to feed the steam boilers that power its mills and distilleries. The process is environmentally friendly and so efficient that these centers are generating more energy than they can use. Ethanol producers are supplying Brazil's grid with more than 600 megawatts of electricity. The near-term potential is at least 10 times that."

Brazil: An Ethanol Fuel Success Story

Worldandnation: Ethanol: Is it the answer?:
by David Adams -- Oct 17, 2005
"But today Brazilian consumers are delighted to find themselves ahead of the times - and many first-world economies - as the country finally reaps the rewards of its ethanol revolution.
Because of decades developing alternative fuel, Brazil, a country larger than the continental United States with a population of 186-million, boasts an infrastructure of 29,000 gas stations that offer everything from 25 percent ethanol-blended gasoline, known as 'gasohol,' to straight alcool (pronounced alko-oll).
This means huge savings for Brazilian consumers. Alcohol costs on average about half of gasoline, selling for barely $2 a gallon. Car buyers also receive an annual tax credit on alcohol cars, which have cleaner tailpipe emissions.
Brazil is now almost impervious to the instability of gasoline supplies that has bedeviled the United States in the aftermath of two massive hurricanes and the war in Iraq."

Friday, October 14, 2005

Motorists flock to ethanol/gas blend

Green Bay Press-Gazette - Motorists flock to ethanol/gas blend
by Dan Wilson -- 10/14/05
Luker, of Butte des Morts, was one of about 300 motorists who took advantage of an opening-day special offered by Renew LLC to promote its new ethanol blend fuel E85 offered at its station on Wisconsin 76 just off U.S. 41.

“I had to wait in line about 45 minutes, but it was worth it,” he said.

It is the first E85 station in the Fox River Valley, and to mark the event, the owners, Renew LLC of Oshkosh, sold the 85 percent ethanol blend fuel for 85 cents a gallon between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Geothermal Power Heats Up

RED HERRING | Geothermal Power Heats Up
"US Renewables Group said Wednesday it bought Bottle Rock Power, a California company that owns a defunct geothermal power plant in the state, in another sign that interest in clean energy is growing as fossil fuel prices remain high.
The company plans to refurbish and restart the power station next year. The company expects the 55-megawatt station to produce about 200 gigawatt-hours per year, enough to power about 25,000 homes.
Founded in 2003, USRG owns two landfill methane facilities in California, and is building another facility in Texas. It is also in negotiations to buy biomass and ethanol plants."

1st Sales of Hydrogen Fuel Cells | Krystal Planet announces 1st Sales of Hydrogen Fuel Cells:
October 7, 2005
"Using hydrogen gas, a fuel cell produces clean, safe electricity with no combustion or fumes and pure water and some heat as its only by-products. The Krystal Hydrogen System(SM) utilizes clean solar and wind energy to produce hydrogen on site from water. It produces enough renewable energy to power 100% of a typical energy efficient home plus makes enough extra hydrogen to power up to two vehicles (nearly any vehicle can be easily converted to burn hydrogen in its existing internal combustion engine). The company reports receiving over 70 serious inquiries already, some from celebrities, and expects to sell 50 systems in 2006 and over 200 in 2007."

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Oil Depletion? It's All In The Assumptions

EnergyPulse - Insight Analysis and Commentary on the Global Power Industry
by Ronald R. Cooke -- 10-12-05
"...the issue is NOT how much oil do we have left in the ground. The issue is – How much oil can we produce? Sure. Calculating available reserves (proven, probable, and possible) is important because these projections give us a rough idea when peak oil production will occur. But when we talk about oil as a business, we have to include the challenges of exploration, production and transportation. It will be tough, for example, to find and pump this stuff from black holes in remote Siberia or the cold blue ice of the Artic. Emerging technologies may permit us to drill 10,000 meters below the surface of the ocean, but it's still an incredible operations headache. Producing oil from shale and sand is possible, but finding enough water and natural gas to sustain production will be difficult. And then there's another problem. Most of the world's remaining reserves and transport routes are located within the boundaries of nations that are politically unstable, have unpredictable regimes, may ignore their contractual obligations, or have a large faction of politically active extremists."

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

E10 fuel efficiency slightly lower, but lower cost

Editorial Matters: "There's a lot of negative hype about ethanol and Nick Wagoner tells skeptical auto mechanics not to believe it. The ethanol advocate's support for the increasingly popular fuel, however, doesn't blind him to a fact many motorists may not know.
'E10 can slightly drop mileage because ethanol does not have the energy content of gas,' said Wagoner, who works as an automotive and alternative fuels instructor at Central Community College in Columbus. His workshops are sponsored by the Nebraska Ethanol Board.
The ethanol industry's own recent studies have reached the same conclusion. A study by the American Coalition for Ethanol and released late last month found vehicles filled with E10, a fuel blended with 10 percent ethanol, averaged 1.5 percent lower mileage than those with regular unleaded. Previous studies by other groups have also concluded ethanol blends produce lower mileage."

Monday, October 10, 2005

NREL responds to flawed Pimentel study on ethanol energy balance

Seattle Biofuels: NREL responds to flawed Pimentel study:
Sept 21, 2005
"Studies by Argonne National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have demonstrated that ethanol from energy crops and from agricultural residues like corn stover offer large fossil energy savings: savings of 90% or more in the case of energy crops like switchgrass and residues from corn production. Why the big difference? Pimentel and Patzeks cursory review of the technology missed one very important design aspect for this new technologythe conversion of grasses and residues to ethanol is completely energy self-sufficient. That is, all of its energy needs are provided by the biomass, eliminating the need for the fossil energy that Pimentel and Patzek claim are needed to provide steam and power in the facility. It is unfortunate that such an uninformed claim has now been widely spread in the general media."

Shell Oil Shale Extraction Technology Economically Viable?

FuturePundit: Shell Oil Shale Extraction Technology Economically Viable?:
Sept 5, 2005
"The development of an economically viable way to extract oil from oil shale would put a ceiling on oil prices and would extend the oil era by decades. It would also increase the odds of significant global warming. Well, in light of all that a variety of media outlets are reporting that Shell Oil thinks it can produce oil from oil shale at $30 per barrel using an in situ process where the shale is cooked without first mining it onto the surface."

Ethanol Production Uses Fossil Fuel Energy more Efficiently than Gasoline Production Does

Energy Balance/Life Cycle Inventory for Ethanol:
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
"The concept of 'input efficiencies for fossil energy sources' was introduced as a component of the study. This was meant to account for the fossil energy used to extract, transport and manufacture the raw material (crude oil) into the final energy product (gasoline). According to the study, gasoline has an energy ratio of 0.805. In other words, for every unit of energy dedicated to the production of gasoline there is a 19.5 percent energy loss."

Energy Tsunami On The Way

Realty Times - Agent News and Advice:
by Jim Gillespie, Ph.D -- Oct 10, 2005
"Of the approximately 300 articles I've written on the subject of real estate, this one could be the most important one.
If you've never heard the term 'Peak Oil' before you're definitely not alone. I estimate that less then one in twenty people in North America have ever heard of this term before, and know of its implications. "

Green Fuel Revolution a Challenge for Grain Sector

Planet Ark : FEATURE - Green Fuel Revolution a Challenge for Grain Sector:
by CHristine Stebbins, Rueters -- Oct 10, 2005
"For the food sector, part of the void left by energy producers siphoning off corn and soybeans could be filled by higher-yielding crops or varieties bred for higher energy value.
Research laboratories across the country are looking at other sources of feedstock -- everything from wood pulp and exotic grasses to potatoes -- to turn into green fuels.
'There are a lot of 'ifs' in the equation, but with the up-and-coming technology ... the advances in conservation and efficiency on the vehicles, they could potentially play a very significant role in our fuel mix,' said Suzanne Hunt, biofuel manager with Worldwatch, an environmental think tank in Washington, D.C. "

Lieberman calls for end to big oil, dependence on foreign oil

The Herald - 10/08/2005 - Lieberman calls for end to big oil, dependence on foreign oil:
"WASHINGTON -- Declaring that 'the era of big oil is over,' U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, D-Conn., said Friday the country must act quickly to end its dependence on foreign oil or jeopardize its status as a world superpower.
Lieberman announced plans for legislation that would mandate the phasing in of traditional hybrid and second-generation 'plug-in' hybrid cars, and would require a dramatic transition from fossil to ethanol fuels made from domestic biomass like corn."

This Flex-Fuel Vehicle Gets Better Fuel Efficiency, Power from E85

The Saab biofuel (Flex-Fuel) is huge news for improving the energy efficiency and cost equation of Ethanol fuel (E85). By getting more work from the available BTU's, this optimized engine could transform the net energy balance and lower the cost of driving on ethanol, making it quite cost competitive with gasoline. We really need to push for this kind of technology in the United States. There is no technical reason GM and other car makers couldn't make these cars available across their product lines immediately. The Saab biofuel sold in Sweden has a small engine, but the E85 optimization with a turbo and higher compression could easily be done for the larger, more powerful cars and trucks preferred in the United States.
EV World: The World of Electric, Plug-in Hybrid, Fuel Cell and Alternative Fuel Vehicles
by Chris Ellis -- Oct 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."

Europe Embracing Biofuels

EV World: The World of Electric, Plug-in Hybrid, Fuel Cell and Alternative Fuel Vehicles
by Chris Ellis -- Oct 9, 2005
"The European Commission and most European governments have just started a major push towards biofuels, and we can anticipate aggressive promotion of E85 (or similar) across Europe in order to achieve the demanding targets already set. The success of E85 in Sweden has not gone unnoticed in Brussels, Berlin, Paris and Madrid, even if London has only just woken up to its attractions."

Ohio governor orders biodiesel, ethanol use

Taft orders biodiesel, ethanol use
American City Business Journals -- Sept. 20, 2005
"The governor signed an executive order requiring the Ohio Department of Transportation to use at least 1 million gallons of biodiesel and 30,000 gallons of ethanol each year. The governor also ordered all the department's new cars be able to run on fuel with high blends of ethanol."

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Growing more fuel

Journal Gazette | 10/09/2005 | Growing more fuel: "Detractors of ethanol have argued that it is an inefficient energy source. A study by Cornell University Professor David Pimentel reports that ethanol takes 30 percent more energy to produce than it creates. But Michael Ladisch, Ph.D., director of the Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering at the Energy Center, says, 'The numbers Pimentel is using are based on earlier technology.'
According to Ladisch, it takes 20 percent more energy to process petroleum into gasoline. 'When we transform one form of energy into another, it always takes more energy," Ladisch says. 'The question is how much more. The efficiency of processing corn into ethanol has dramatically increased over the last 20 years, and the bottom line is converting corn into ethanol produces more energy. That has been proven by the USDA.' A USDA study states ethanol produces 34 percent more energy than it takes to grow, harvest and distill the corn.
'You can't get more than you pay for,' says Ladisch. "But renewables put you pretty darn close."

Friday, October 07, 2005

Ontario to require at least 5% Ethanol in all gasoline

News Release October 07, 2005:
Oct 7, 2005
"To further protect the air Ontarians breathe, the government:
Has finalized Ontario Regulation 535/05 - requiring an average of at least five percent ethanol in all gasoline sold in Ontario beginning January 1, 2007
...When added to gasoline, ethanol helps to mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, results in cleaner vehicle exhaust and reduces our dependency on non-renewable fossil fuels. The requirements of the new regulation will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equivalent to taking 200,000 cars off the roads."

Biomass -- the future of agriculture?

Claremore Progress - Local News:
by Dick Hagen, CNHI News Service -- Sept 30, 2005
"'We're looking at a production system for ethanol completely different from current technologies, which ferment the corn, then through a fermentation process produce alcohol, distills dried grains and carbon dioxide in a ratio of about one-third of each product from a bushel of corn.
'With our system, we bring in the biomass, run it through a reformer, a gasification process that produces synthesis gas, which then gets filtered to remove the ash, which is about 100 pounds per ton of corn stover. The filtered gas next goes through a reactor which rearranges the synthesis gas molecules into alcohol.'
An obvious bonus of this system: only the stover portion of the corn plant is used. The grain is still available for livestock feed use, food use, export or for traditional ethanol production plants."

Growing Expectations: New Technology for Biofuels from Biomass

Growing Expectations: Science News Online, Oct. 1, 2005:
by Naila Moreira -- Oct 2005
"'Cellulosic biofuels are at least as likely as hydrogen to be a future sustainable transportation fuel of choice,' says Yerina Mugica of NRDC.
Champions of biofuels still have technical, economic, and political barriers to overcome. For one thing, no one has yet found a commercially viable process for making large amounts of cellulosic biofuel. But with a host of cost-cutting advances now working their way through the pipeline, many researchers say biofuels from both cellulosic feedstocks and corn grain are fated to play vital roles in the world's energy equation."

U.S. energy future rests with development of Canadian oil sands

U.S. energy future rests with development of Canadian oil sands - Yahoo! News:
by Kevin G. Hall, Knight Ridder Newspapers -- Oct 6, 2005
"The sands contain a tarlike grade of crude oil called bitumen, which must be separated from the dirt through a costly, complicated boiling process. Hydrogen is added, sulfur and nitrogen removed, and the final product is synthetic crude oil.
Shell's Athabasca Oil Sands Project - a joint venture between Shell, ChevronTexaco and other companies - already produces about 155,000 barrels of oil a day. Within a decade, it should produce half a million barrels per day."

Thursday, October 06, 2005

16th Annual EPAC Ethanol Conference June 2006

Ethanol Producers and Consumers
16th Annual EPAC Ethanol Conference: Renewable Fuels - Making Progress in America
June 11, 12, 13, 2006 at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake
Plan to join us for an information-packed conferenece on Ethanol, Biodiesel and E85 fuel. Learn how these fuels enhance the Economy, the Environment and Energy Security!
WHAT: The most informational, the most fun and the most affordable Ethanol conference.

Would ethanol plant run clean? Depends on whom you ask

Would ethanol plant run clean? Depends on whom you ask
By SETH SLABAUGH -- Oct 5, 2005

Katrina May Boost Efforts to Produce Ethanol From US Sugarcane

IATP | AgObservatory:
Sept 22, 2005
"Brazil has the potential to boost U.S. ethanol supply with its lower priced, sugar-based product. Sources say several ships carrying Brazilian ethanol are bound for the U.S. Still, the high price of ethanol, driven by increased demand, could hasten domestic production of sugar-based ethanol with Hawaii leading the way.
Louisiana, Texas and Florida may not be as capable due to hurricane devastation to begin production as readily as Hawaii. This being the case, Hawaii will likely be the most aggressive in pursuing the funds, given its historically high fuel prices and long history of sugarcane production."

A balanced assesment of ethanol fuel

This article is one of the fairest pro and con discussions I have seen. It looks at arguments from all sides of the issue.
New Rules Project - Ask Dr. Dave:
"Fuel ethanol has many critics. Some are concerned that we may end up feeding our cars at the expense of our stomachs. That is a legitimate, although by no means an inevitable problem. When ethanol is made from corn, for example, as noted above, it is made from the corn starch. The plant's protein content is untouched. Indeed, the resulting product concentrates the protein. That product, called distiller's grain, is a high-grade animal feed. It often displaces corn itself. The world does not suffer from a shortage of starch or sugars."

MN Ethanol Plant to use Coal Power Rather than Natural Gas

MPR: Coal's comeback:
by Mark Steil, MN Public Radio -- Feb 16, 2005
"Heron Lake BioEnergy board member Milt McKeown says this is a perfect time to build. Investors are interested in ethanol because the corn based fuel is profitable. About a thousand farmers and other investors pledged nearly $40-million to help build the Heron Lake plant. Most Minnesota ethanol plants use natural gas, but McKeown says coal was an easy choice.
'When we looked at the economics of it and compared it to natural gas, that's what started us off on the search to find a way to put together a coal-fired plant,' says McKeown.
By one estimate coal is a half to a third cheaper than natural gas. ICM, a Kansas based engineering company, designed the Heron Lake plant. ICM's Bill Roddy says Heron Lake BioEnergy will use what he calls clean coal technology to reduce pollution. Roddy says most of the pollutants released at Heron Lake will be equal or less than those released by burning natural gas."

Ethanol Plant to Use Waste Steam from Coal Electric Plant

Energy Services Bulletin:
Oct. 2005
"Great River Energy gave the phrase, 'waste not, want not,' new meaning when it signed an agreement with Headwaters Incorporated to build a new ethanol plant near the power wholesaler's Coal Creek Station powerplant in Underwood, N.D.
The Blue Flint Ethanol plant will use waste steam from the powerplant to process corn into 50 million gallons of ethanol annually. 'We were looking for a way to use that steam instead of just cooling it down,' said Lyndon Anderson, Great River's North Dakota communications director. 'An ethanol plant was a good way to do that and support alternative fuels at the same time.'"

Miscanthus Grass: Huge Potential for Ethanol and Electricity Production

EV World: The World of Electric, Plug-in Hybrid, Fuel Cell and Alternative Fuel Vehicles:
Oct 4, 2005
"The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been conducting field trials. Based on their findings, they are convinced that Miscanthus shows great promise. They calculated, based on projected average yields, that if only 20 percent of Illinois' 11 million acres under cultivation were used to produce Miscanthus, the crops would provide 145 Terra watt hours (Twh) of electricity, exceeding the total amount of electricity (137 TWh) consumed by the entire state, including the city of Chicago.
UIUC also did some number crunching to see if Miscanthus cultivation would be profitable for the agriculture community. Calculated on a per hectare basis, after ten years, a conventional rotation of corn and soybeans showed a $903 loss while Miscanthus demonstrated a $2,900 profit. "

xperts paint troubled picture for future of world oil supply

The Seattle Times: Experts paint troubled picture for future of world oil supply:
by Nicholas K. Geranois, Associated Press -- Oct. 6, 2005
"Roger Bezdek, a consultant for the U.S. Department of Energy, told the Global Oil Depletion conference that it will take more than a decade to find alternative sources of energy if oil production reaches a peak, which may be imminent.
'No one knows when oil will peak,' Bezdek said. 'But if we wait until the peak, we will be in deep economic troubles for decades.'
The conference was presented by the Thomas S. Foley Institute at Washington State University and painted a gloomy picture of a future in which there is increased competition for diminishing resources."

A wine of character served up at the gas pump - Europe - International Herald Tribune

A wine of character served up at the gas pump - Europe - International Herald Tribune:
by Craig S. Smith, The New York Times -- Oct 6, 2005
"France has periodically turned oceans of lowly table wines into vinegar and ethanol. But bottles of quality French wine have been piling up on supermarket shelves and in vineyard cellars across the country, to the point that some of it is now cheaper than bottled water."

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Potential for growing use of palm oil as raw material

MPOA: Potential for growing use of palm oil as raw material
By Loong Tse Min AND Chan Ching Thut -- Oct 6, 2005
He said “the world has been sleeping” and more palm oil should have been used in the production of consumer goods.
A Financial Times report yesterday said that P&G was turning to oil palm and coconut plantations in Asia to produce alternative raw materials for its Tide laundry detergent and Head & Shoulders shampoo, as it made a strategic bet on the future cost of crude oil.

Trees for Ethanol Project Well Advanced

Newstalk ZB:
May 10, 2005
Auckland -- "Mr. Delany says trees will mature in two to three years, but until then LTDC will look to secure funds to progress a pilot biorefinery."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Forecasting Peak Oil

Those with eyes could see it coming - ASPO Ireland (Peak Oil):
by Matt Simmons -- Oct 2005
"Subsequent actual production statistics show that the UK reached a secondary peak in 1997/98 at just above 2.6 Mb/d and now struggles to stay above 1.6 Mb/d. All the optimists about the role of technology were totally wrong. But the same folks still believe the same hype. They have merely moved the goal posts. I wonder how long it will take mainstream energy thinkers to awake to the threat that the world is approaching peak oil output and might have already passed this crucial global milestone.
Will Katrina perhaps serve as a genuine wake-up? Time will tell but I sense we are now in a very crucial sea change of energy thinking."

Sugar Prices May Rise From Seven-Year High on Ethanol Demand News & Commentary:
Oct. 4, 2005
"(Bloomberg) -- Sugar prices, which reached the highest in more than seven years in New York yesterday, may rise further as record oil prices prompt cane growers to use more of the crop to produce ethanol, said investor Michael Coleman.
Raw sugar for March delivery rose 2.7 percent to 11.53 cents a pound on the New York Board of Trade yesterday. That's the highest closing price for a most active futures contract since Jan. 14, 1998. The futures have risen 26 percent this year."

Monday, October 03, 2005

emulsions of hydrated ethanol in gasoline and diesel

Hydrated ethanol is less expensive and takes less energy to make than anhydrous ethanol, in addition to the emmissions advantages listed below. If the emulsion technology would allow Hydrated ethanol to be mixed with gasoline and diesel without too much added cost for the emulsifiers, it could be a significant development in the cost and net energy balance of ethanol. This product might also be shipped more easily by pipelines if phase separation is reduced.
emulsions of hydrated ethanol...:
"The hydrated ethanol/petrol emulsion researched in this project directly addresses issues relating to the use of ethanol/petrol blend in unmodified vehicles. Such an emulsion has a lower vapour pressure, greater water tolerance and, potentially, reduced NOx emission on combustion compared to the 10% anhydrous ethanol/petrol solution currently used internationally. If these advantageous physicochemical properties are confirmed there is potential to replace the use of anhydrous ethanol/petrol solution internationally."

Common Thread to Ethanol Debate: Reducing Petroleum Dependence

Green Car Congress: Common Thread to Ethanol Debate: Reducing Petroleum Dependence:
Aug 23, 2005
There was one point of agreement among the four scientists presenting their opposing positions in a debate on the net energy balance of ethanol: the US needs a replacement for its petroleum-based fuels. They just don't agree on how to do that.

Dr. Dale, a supporter of ethanol, would rather see the entire net energy balance issue go away. He commented that the concept of net energy is "dangerous...a convenient fiction, an academic toy."
"[The net energy balance] treats all energy as equal. That's simply not true. It ignores energy quality and deals only with quantity."
Using Pimentel's and Patzek's method, Dale calculated the net energy value of other fuels. By his calculations, ethanol, with an energy balance of -29%, is better than converting crude oil to gasoline at -39% and coal to electricity at -235%
"Are we going to stop burning coal for Electricity or refining crude for gas because they have negative energy balances? Of course not. But that is the direction the net energy argument takes us."
Dale's point is essentially a pragmatic one--he'd rather see the discussion focus on petroleum displacement than net energy balance.

Electicity Generating 'Turbocharger' Could Boost Fuel Efficiency

Motoring - Power generation of another stripe:
Sept 21, 2005
"London, England - A group of engineers in the UK have hooked the equivalent of a turbocharger to an exhaust pipe to generate electricity instead of pressurising the fuel supply.
Now, they say, they have a simple but revolutionary (well, it is a turbine) way to recover energy that would normally be blasted out of the exhaust pipe at 200km/h which, we're told, is how fast exhaust gases can travel."

Ethanol Plant Could Produce Byproduct Edible by Humans
by Jim Sabin -- Oct 2, 2005
"...And Ohio's first ethanol plant, being built by Greater Ohio Ethanol on Hanthorn Road, could be the first in the country to also produce a grain byproduct edible by humans."

Ethanol cuts oil dependence

Kansas City Star | Ethanol cuts oil dependence:
by Bob Dineen -- Oct 2, 2005
"As part of a broad strategy to shift to renewable fuels, expanding the production of domestically produced ethanol has numerous local, regional and national benefits. As a high-quality, high-octane fuel, gasoline blended with 10 percent ethanol reduces the need for imported oil. Burning ethanol produces fewer pollutants, including toxins and carbon dioxide. And in some areas, particularly with the high price of gasoline, sales of lower-priced E-85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, cannot keep up with demand.
It may surprise some that ethanol plants are not only operating, but new ones are being built, outside of the traditional Midwestern corn belt. There are plants in Tennessee, Colorado, California, New Mexico, Texas, Kentucky, Wyoming and Washington. And efforts are under way to build facilities in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey"

High Oil Prices Prompt New Look at Shale

High Oil Prices Prompt New Look at Shale - Yahoo! News:
by Sandy Shore, AP Business Writer -- Oct 3, 2005
"Companies have spent years researching how to melt oil out of rock, but it could be 2010 before any decide whether shale mining is commercially and environmentally feasible. It takes a large amount of water to recover the oil and the process can take months."

All's not well when the oil runs dry

All's not well when the oil runs dry -
by Claire Miller -- Oct 2, 2005
"Significantly, Colin Campbell, a former oil industry executive, has calculated that 'conventional' oil -- the sweet stuff that is easy to extract and cheap to refine -- peaked 18 months ago. That means increasingly relying on low-quality, heavy oils and oil sands to maintain supply levels. These sources are more expensive to extract and process, which means even higher prices at the bowser, not to mention higher greenhouse emissions from the heavier fuels."

Saturday, October 01, 2005

E85 Fuel Available in Moberly, Missouri

The Moberly Monitor-Index Online:
by Connie Duvall -- Oct 1, 2005
"People gathered at the MFA Oil Company Petro-Card E85 Pump located east of Moberly on Highway 24 to hear about the introduction of the all new E85 fuel option. This is the 10th E85 site owned by MFA Oil and the 25th public facility available in the state."

Direct Injection Ethanol Boosted Gasoline Engines: Biofuel Leveraging For Cost Effective Reduction of Oil Dependence and CO2 Emissions

Direct Injection Ethanol Boosted Gasoline Engines: Biofuel Leveraging For Cost Effective Reduction of Oil Dependence and CO2 Emissions:
by D.R. Cohn, L. Bromberg, J.B. Heywood -- MIT
"This ethanol boosted engine concept uses a small amount ethanol to increase the efficiency of use of a much larger amount of gasoline by approximately 30%. Gasoline consumption and the corresponding CO2 emissions would thereby be reduced by approximately 25%. In combination with the additional reduction that results from the substitution of ethanol for gasoline as a fuel, the overall reduction in gasoline consumption and CO2 emissions is greater than 30%. The concept uses appropriately controlled direct injection of ethanol into the engine cylinders. The direct injection provides suppression of engine knock at high pressure. This allows high pressure operation of a much smaller, highly turbocharged engine with the same performance as a larger engine. The engine can also use a higher compression ratio. "