Wednesday, August 31, 2005

As gas prices rise, E85 price will stay low

IN-FORUM
The Associated Press - August 31, 2005
"As the retail price of gasoline rises across the country, 40 service stations in west central Minnesota will drop the price for E85 - a fuel blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline...

E85 typically sells for about 40 cents less per gallon than regular gasoline in Minnesota, according to Joel James, manager of the Glacial Plains Cooperative Cenex station in Benson.

James said he was eager to start the program - and he changed his gas prices Wednesday afternoon to reflect the 70-cent-per-gallon difference..."

Study Urges Careful Oil Shale Development

Study Urges Careful Oil Shale Development
By JENNIFER TALHELM, The Associated Press -- August 31, 2005
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, a champion of oil shale development, said the report's statistics on the amount of available oil prove the United States must move as quickly as possible.

"Our country runs on energy," he said. "We can't sit back and hope we're going to get all we need from world production."

Monday, August 29, 2005

Katrina Targets Oil, Refinery Operations - Yahoo! News

Katrina Targets Oil, Refinery Operations - Yahoo! News:
by Justin Bachman, AP Business Writer -- Aug 29, 2005
"The Category 4 storm was on a path to hit New Orleans early Monday, shutting down an estimated 1 million barrels of refining capacity and sharply curbing offshore production in the region.
'This is the big one,' said Peter Beutel, an oil analyst with Cameron Hanover. 'This is unmitigated, bad news for consumers.'
Light, sweet crude for October delivery climbed as much as $4.67 a barrel to hit a high of $70.80 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price had slipped back to $68.95 by midday in Europe. That was still up $2.08 from its close on Friday in New York. Gasoline traded at $2.12 a gallon, up 19 cents, or nearly 12 percent, while heating oil rose nearly 14 cents to $1.98 a gallon."

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Storm aims for heart of U.S. oil industry

Storm aims for heart of U.S. oil industry
By BEN RAINES -- Mbbile Register -- Sunday, August 28, 2005
"Last year's Hurricane Ivan, which came ashore along the Alabama-Florida line moving through an area mostly devoid of rigs, caused widespread destruction both above and below water in the fields off Alabama and eastern Louisiana. Floating rigs were found drifting hundreds of miles from the wells they had been plumbing, while some rigs with legs fixed to the bottom toppled into the sea. Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of pipelines were tangled and torn to pieces by sea currents and massive underwater mudslides."

U.S. economy's oil-shockproof, for now - Aug. 26, 2005

U.S. economy's oil-shockproof, for now - Aug. 26, 2005
By Parija Bhatnagar, CNN/Money staff writer -- August 29, 2005
"I look at this situation as our trial by fire," said Gheit. "Rising oil prices are inevitable. It's like we've been enjoying rent control for a very long time and now we find ourselves having to pay market prices and we're complaining."

"Higher oil prices aren't hitting industrial output so far. I think companies will make a concerted effort to become even more energy efficient," he added. "This is a new era that we live in and consumers have to learn to adapt. If we curtail our energy consumption, ultimately it's a good thing for the economy."

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Suburbia's Adaptability to Life After Cheap Oil

Suburban development is usually looked at as detrimental to the environment and energy conservation, but David Holmgren envisions suburbia's adapdability to life after cheap oil.
EnergyBulletin.net | Peak Oil and Permaculture: David Holmgren on Energy Descent | Energy and Peak Oil News:
by Adam Fenderson -- June 7, 2004
...we can look at our suburbs and say they are an infrastructure. Our cities water system has the biggest articulated agricultural landscapes in Australia. So the water is there. We have an infrastructure of hard surfaces that actually harvests storm water, which is seen as a problem at the moment, which allows augmentation of natural rainfall to direct that water into the remaining areas that are potentially productive. We've got mostly individual houses that can be retrofitted to have solar access because they're generally set far enough back from neighboring houses to get that. Now that might involve cutting down a lot of gum trees in those leafy suburbs, but there's a lot of ways in which the suburbs can be incrementally retrofitted in an energy-descent world.

One of the things I think a lot of the urban planners miss is that they assume that any future framework will be driven by public policy and forward planning and design. Whereas, I think, given the speed with which we are approaching this energy-descent world, and the paucity of any serious consideration of planning or even awareness of it, we have to take as part of the equation that the adaptive strategies will not happen by some big, sensible, long range planning approach, but will happen just organically and incrementally by people just doing things in response to immediate conditions. So if you live in an apartment in a multistory building, and you've got to work out how to try and retrofit that in an energy-descent context, there's a lot of complex, technical infrastructure and organization involved. In the suburbs people can actually just start changing houses and doing things—give or take planning regulations—without the whole of society agreeing on some plan. The suburbs are amenable to this organic, incremental, adaptive strategy.

In practical terms, what that really means is that big suburban houses that have one to three people living in them, mostly not present, will actually re-adapt to have people work from home based businesses and retrofitted garages with workshops and people making things, even with food production in them, will increase. The street, which is a dead place at the moment in suburbia, will again become an active space because people will be present rather than commuting away. Now that re-creation of active urban life will be not that much different to what existed prior to and even into my childhood in the 1950s. It's not really a radical a thing to envisage suburban life where there are larger households—whether that's a family or shared households where people are taking in borders to help pay the rent or mortgage or whatever, and help share the tasks that need to be done in larger, more self-reliant households. So I'm quite optimistic about how the suburbs can be retrofitted.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Oil's peak:The end may be nearer, it seems

Editorial: Oil's peak/The end may be nearer, it seems
Startribune.com --August 27, 2005
"Because it's the nature of oil fields to go into steep declines after reaching their peak, this clearly is not a problem that can be solved -- or perhaps even postponed -- by drilling new wells. Sooner or later, the United States and every other industrial nation will have to make the switch from oil to renewable alternatives. The advantage will belong to those who act soonest to develop the fuels and technologies of the future.

Just now, the sky-high gas prices are making biofuels more competitive. But even if they were to recede tomorrow to the levels of the early 1990s, there would still be cause for the U.S. government, U.S. companies and U.S. citizens to invest far more aggressively in the necessities of a post-petroleum era -- which may be arriving sooner than we like to think."

Why ethanol-blended (E10) petrol is a good thing

William J. Wells explains why ethanol-blended petrol is a good thing - On Line Opinion:
by William Wells -- 5/3/2003
The Australian press for the past few months has printed many articles about low-percentage blends of ethanol and petrol. The public has been left with the feeling that something is 'wrong' with these fuels, and that the parties promoting ethanol in fuel are trying to foist something on an unsuspecting public that is somehow bad for them.
This article seeks to lay out the truth about ethanol, and as well tell the rest of the story: that it is fuels without ethanol that should give us cause for concern, because of the levels of toxic chemicals that they contain or emit during incomplete combustion.

Scientists Try to Harness Wave Energy

Scientists Try to Harness Wave Energy - Yahoo! News:
Aug 25, 2005
Gardiner, OR -- 'There is tremendous potential in the oceans to supply energy for the world,' Annette von Jouanne, an Oregon State electrical engineering professor told the crowd. 'A 10-square-mile wave power plant could supply the entire state of Oregon.'
The electric institute and the Bonneville Power Administration identified the Gardiner site as the ideal place for the project in their feasibility study.
The former mill has an outflow pipe already in place -- a structure that could reduce the cost of building a power plant. Electricity from the Gardiner site could be transmitted to other stations up and down the coast.
Money is the biggest obstacle. It will take about $5 million to complete the project's initial phases. But the recently passed federal energy bill could reduce much of that burden.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Ethanol a real option to high gas prices

USATODAY.com - Ethanol a real option to high gas prices
8/25/2005
"Ethanol is non-toxic, water soluble and biodegradable. Use of ethanol can reduce toxic emissions such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and benzene. Traditional gasoline is just too expensive on our pocketbooks and our environment. Instead, we can boost our economy and lessen our dependence on foreign oil by switching to this promising fuel."

Avoiding ethanol will raise gas prices

Avoiding ethanol will raise gas prices:
by Ron V. Lamberty -- Detroit News -- 6-25-04
"Contrary to the advice offered in the May 19 Detroit News, "Get the most at the pump," choosing gasoline without ethanol will not save motorists money. In fact, using less ethanol would likely lead to even higher prices at the pump.
The 10 percent ethanol blend (E10) used by many motorists contains almost the same energy content as unleaded gasoline (111,000 btu per gallon compared with 114,000 btu per gallon). However, because other properties of ethanol help gasoline burn more completely, that variance does not translate directly to gas mileage."

ACE Study shows minimal mileage drop for E10

Grainnet - News & Information for the Grain, Milling, Feed & Seed Industries:
by Susan Reidy, Biofuels Journal Editor -- Aug 19, 2005
During a live broadcast of AgriTalk Wednesday morning, Ron Lamberty, ACE vice president/market development, shared the results of a pilot study ACE commissioned on the fuel economy of ethanol.
The study involved researching the fuel economy, cost per mile, and driveability of various blends of fuel including unleaded gasoline, E10, E20, E30, and a specially denatued blend.
Three late-model, non flex-fuel vehicles were tested using each type of fuel.
E10 was less expensive per mile than unleaded gasoline, according to the study.
The higher the concentration of ethanol, the lower the cost per mile.
Simply put, on $20 worth of gasoline, a drive can go up to 15 miles farther on ethanol-blended fuel than on straight unleaded.
The vehicles averaged only 1.5% lower mileage with E10, 2.2% lower mileage with E20, 5.1% lower mileage with E30, and increased mileage of 1.7% with the specially denatured blend.
If drivers want to save money at the pump as gas prices reach new record highs, this pilot study confirms that ethanol is the fuel of choice, Jennings said.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Queen bores hole to heat palace

Queen bores hole to heat palace - Sunday Times - Times Online:
by Lois Rogers, Social Affairs Editor -- Aug 21, 2005
THE Queen is planning to create an underground network to extract heat from the earth's natural warmth and cut energy bills at Buckingham Palace.

Dodge Sprinter Diesel Van Gets 29 MPG

13abc.com: Dodge Sprinter Has 26-Gallon Tank
August 22, 2005
A van that runs on diesel is becoming more popular in the Glass City. It's a Dodge Sprinter and it gets more almost 29 miles to the gallon.

Researchers evaluate ethanol as energy option

Researchers evaluate ethanol as energy option - Ohio Farm Bureau Federation:
Aug 23, 2005
According to Dale and Sheehan, Pimentel and Patzek routinely inflate the energy inputs of both farming and fuel production. Their estimates of fossil inputs for farm production are twice as high as those estimated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and their grain processing input estimate is 40 percent higher, Sheehan said.
'Their analyses are simply wrong in many important details,' said Dale. 'They really need to update their information.'
'Pimentel and Patzek ignore the huge benefits of petroleum savings for all biofuels,' Sheehan said. 'For every unit of petroleum energy consumed in corn ethanol production, more than six units of fuel energy are produced.'

Simulated Oil Crisis Raises Eyebrows

FOXNews.com - Politics - Simulated Oil Crisis Raises Eyebrows:
June 24, 2005
The message in the exercise: If consumers don't like spending $2 per gallon for gasoline, they will probably like $5 per gallon even less.
In a sobering reminder of the need for a long-term energy strategy, a nonpartisan group forming the National Commission on Energy Policy held a simulated National Security Council meeting to grapple with a frightening sequence of events.

Cogeneration Facility to Feature Biodiesel, Ethanol, Coal Electric

RedNova News - Science - Investors to Build Biodiesel, Ethanol Plants:
The Salina Journal -- July 6
GOODLAND KS ...'The reason it's so feasible is because the power plant is co-generational,' said Jerry Fairbanks, vice president of First National Bank in Goodland, which is an investor in the project.
'There are a lot of products from each plant that can be recycled and used by the others.'
That keeps costs lower and is better for the environment, he said.
He said he's not sure anything like it has been done in the same compound.
The 20 to 28 megawatt coal-fired power plant will produce electricity and steam. Steam is required to run the ethanol plant, which will produce a molasses-like substance needed to create fuel at the biodiesel plant.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Biodiesel the new player in energy mix

St. Paul Pioneer Press | 08/23/2005 | Biodiesel the new player in energy mix
But few Minnesotans recognize the powerful, dramatic effect that biodiesel will have on our energy-rich state. Minnesota will open two plants that will provide more than 60 million gallons to the rapidly growing biodiesel market. This is all the more remarkable considering that last year only 30 million gallons of biodiesel was used in the U.S. and Canada.

New Ethanol FFV for Saab: Improved fuel consumption, power

Saab Global - Pressreleases
2005
Apart from qualifying for tax incentives, the Saab 9-5 flex-fuel engine can give improved fuel consumption under mid to high load conditions. Whilst fuel economy over the official EU city and mixed cycles is unlikely to show an improvement, testing indicates that a useful 15 per cent gain can be expected at higher speeds because fuel enrichment for engine cooling is no longer necessary.

In its Saab turbo application, the high 104 RON octane rating of E85 fuel, the 85 per cent ethanol/gasoline blend most commonly available at filling stations, also produces a significant 20 per cent increase in maximum engine power, up from 150 to 180 bhp.

New Cold-Climate Biodiesel Study Gives Marketers More Confidence

New Cold-Climate Biodiesel Study Gives Marketers More Confidence
Aug. 24, 2005
Biodiesel blends of B20 (that is, a 20% biodiesel and 80% regular diesel blend) and lower can be used in cold climates if the finished blend has appropriate cold flow properties for the time of year and geography where it is used. This study addressed questions from the petroleum industry about how to achieve that stable blend in cold weather, especially for a B2 blend, when the temperature of the diesel fuel is colder than the point at which the pure biodiesel starts to freeze and become cloudy (known as cloud point).

The Oil Supply and Demand Situation

One of the most comprehensive discussions of energy issues I have seen.
The Oil Supply and Demand Situation. An ATSNN Outlook:
April 1, 2004
80 million barrels a day (b/d). That?s how much oil the world consumes to meet its energy needs. The United States alone uses 20 million b/d. To put this in perspective, if Bill Gates spent $80 million a day he would be bankrupt in just over a year. Of course the world has more oil than Bill Gates has money, but one advantage that Bill Gates has is that he can earn more. Oil is a finite resource than cannot be replenished. Once we run out we must find other means to move our cars, trains, and airplanes. How much oil do we have, and how long will production keep up with the growing demand? What other energy sources can we use when oil is too expensive or not easily obtained?

Friendlier Fuel

The Hawk Eye Newspaper:
by Aimee Tabor -- Aug 21, 2005
The high-octane, high-performance fuel, which can only be used in certain flex-fuel vehicles, is designed to reduce greenhouse gases and the country's reliance on foreign fuels. Ethanol is an oxygenate, meaning it adds oxygen to gasoline so it burns cleaner, according to the American Coalition for Ethanol.

P-Series fuels from ethanol, waste products

This new renewable fuel utilizes waste products from natural gas refining, as well as biomass sources normally sent to landfills, in addition to ethanol. This fuel is meant for the flex fuel vehicles designed for E85.
P-Series fuels:
Institute for the Analysis of Global Security
P-Series is a family of renewable, non-petroleum, liquid fuels that can substitute for gasoline. They are a blend of 25 or so domestically produced ingredients. About 35% of P-Series comes from liquid by-products, known as 'C5 ' or 'pentanes-plus', which are left over when natural gas is processed for transport and marketing. Ethanol, fermented from corn, comprises about 45%, and the remaining 20% is MeTHF, an ether derived from lignocelullosic biomass -- paper sludge, wastepaper, food waste, yard and wood waste, agricultural waste, and so on...

Monday, August 22, 2005

Anti-Ethanol Study Refuted

High Plains Journal Farm and Ranch Magazine
August 23, 2005
OMAHA (DTN) -- A recent study that said ethanol takes more energy to produce than it delivers in a gas tank is simply untrue, said USDA economist Hosein Shapouri during this week's ethanol conference in Omaha, Neb.

Bacteria Purify Ethanol Plant Wastewater

Farming for Energy: Araerobic Digesters -- bur boost for ethanol; manure to methane - does it pay; for digester farmer wannabes.:
by E.M. Morrison -- Ag Innovations News -- July 2001
Wastewater from the plant flows into a 30,000-gallon bioreactor, which looks like a tall, silver silo. Inside the reactor is a floating bed of hardworking bacteria. These "methanator bugs" break down chemical wastes in the water, removing more than 90 percent of the impurities that interfere with ethanol processing. The water is left clean enough to be reused in fermentation, Coler says.

Nebraska Ethanol Plant Powered by Manure

WOWT | Ethanol With A Twist:
Critics of ethanol say it takes too much energy to produce but the people behind Nebraska Bioclean say that's not the case with the new facility near Mead.
Hallberg says a feedlot packed with 27,000 head of cattle will fuel production with cow manure.
'We won't purchase fossil fuels,' Hallberg says. 'We'll make our own energy inputs and the manure will be converted to biogas. We patented the technology and it's the first time we're using it at this scale.'

Ethanol Plant Powered by Manure, Cotton Waste

Analysis: Ethanol industry growing - (United Press International):
by Phil Magers -- The Washington Times -- May 4, 2005
Panda said its plant will be one of the most energy efficient ethanol facilities ever built because it will convert cattle manure -- which is readily available in the Panhandle -- and cotton-gin waste into bio-gas to power the plant instead of natural gas, saving the equivalent of 1,000 barrels of oil per day.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Canadian Petroleum Companies Want Ethanol Mandate Delayed

National Post:
by Gillian Livingston, Canadian Press -- Aug 18, 2005
...Teneycke noted that cars built since the 1970s are equipped to handle the fuel, and gas producers such as Suncor already mix ethanol with their gasoline.
He said there's no reason why Ontario can't reach its ethanol target by 2007, considering larger markets such as California, New York and Connecticut were able to implement similar policies within two years without major problems....

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Cost of Oil And Hubbert's Peak

RIGZONE - The Cost of Oil And Hubbert's Peak:
The Record, Bergen County, NJ -- August 16, 2005
There is now a theory that world oil production is approaching the same 'Hubbert's Peak.' Kenneth Deffeyes of Princeton, author of 'Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage,' is one of the principle proponents. Applying Hubbert's techniques to world oil, Deffeyes found that non-OPEC discoveries peaked in 1975. That means we should be approaching peak production right about now.
As for OPEC production - who knows? The Saudis are still highly secretive about both their reserves and their production capacity - as are all OPEC nations. OPEC parcels out its production quotas on the basis of reserves - which prompts all OPEC members to exaggerate their capacity.

Phoenix firm to build huge solar farm

This solar instalation is expected to produce electricity at a cost similar to electricity from fossil fuels -- a huge breakthrough in large scale solar electricity.
Phoenix firm to build huge solar farm - Phoenix - MSNBC.com:
'This is a breakthrough event for solar energy,' said Stirling Chief Executive Bruce Osborn. 'This is the world's most efficient solar technology.'
Stirling's concentrated solar dish -- unlike photovoltaic panels that collect sunlight on a much smaller scale -- harnesses heat from the sun with 82 mirrors and reflects it toward a series of hydrogen-filled tubes that expand when heated. The expanding gas cycles back and forth from cold to hot, and its movement powers a piston that creates up to 25 kilowatts of power.

Cellulose ethanol critical to Canada's green future

Iogen, a Canadian Ethanol company, expects to open the first commercial scale cellulose ethanol plant in 2007The Globe and Mail: Cellulose ethanol critical to Canada's green future:
by MICHAEL VAUGHAN -- Aug 18, 2005
"Vaughan: In the United States you get ethanol made from corn in the gasoline; in Brazil you get ethanol that's made from sugar. But Iogen uses straw?
Passmore: That's correct. Iogen is not in the business of making ethanol from grains such as corn. We are in the business of making ethanol from agriculture residues such as straw or corn cobs and stalks.
By using enzymes, we turn the cellulose material in this residue into sugars and then turn the sugars into alcohol. This alcohol (ethanol) can be used in today's cars just like grain-based ethanol. In fact, all car manufacturers warrant ethanol blended up to 10 per cent with gasoline.
Cellulose ethanol, as it is known, is not commercially available at this time, but Iogen has the world's largest demonstration plant converting wheat straw into ethanol fuel.

Ethanol Producers will Unite to Make Biodiesel

DesMoinesRegister.com:
by Jerry Perkins -- June 24, 2005
The technology will make it possible for ethanol producers to extract oil from distillers dry grain, a co-product of the ethanol-making process.
Using the new technology will allow processors to turn corn oil into biodiesel, said Matt Janes, vice president of technology at VeraSun Energy in Brookings, S.D.

Janes said the new technology gives ethanol plants another product to sell and improves the handling characteristics of distillers dry grain, which is used mostly as a high-protein livestock feed.

VeraSun will make the new technology available to other ethanol producers at no cost and buy the oil that is extracted from the distillers dry grain, Janes said.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Ethanol's fuel additive benefits continue to spark debate

mcall.com - Ethanol's fuel additive benefits continue to spark debate:
By Robert Manor -- August 12, 2005
And the ethanol industry is growing more efficient.

The plant in Lena, built in 2002, sometimes extracts as much as 2.8 gallons of ethanol from a bushel of corn. An output of 2.5 gallons used to be considered good.

The plant is highly automated, which holds down the cost of the ethanol it makes.

Meanwhile seed companies are developing new corn varieties that will yield more ethanol, which would cut prices and make it more competitive with gasoline.

John Urbanchuk, an agricultural economist with the LECG consulting firm, said if gasoline prices remain high and ethanol continues to grow cheaper, it will some day need no government money.

''That time is on its way,'' Urbanchuk said.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Kansas Biofuels

This site has the latest news on biofuels in Kansas.
Kansas Biofuels

Kansas Wind Conference

The Conference will be September 20-21, 2005
Kansas Wind Conference
The Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency conference is an opportunity for all interested parties to get up to date on renewable energy production and discuss ways to increase energy efficiency in our homes, schools and workplaces. This year’s conference will also address energy education, and I know that well-informed Kansans will help keep our prosperity growing in every corner of the state

'Peak oil' issue piques interest

'Peak oil' issue piques interest - Denver - MSNBC.com
By Cathy Proctor, The Denver Business Journal -- Aug 14, 2005
Some experts say the world's oil production peak could be five to 15 years away. Others scoff, noting it's been predicted for decades. And besides, skeptics say, new technologies will bring more oil to the market.

The city of Denver will wade into the debate when it hosts a two-day seminar Nov. 10-11 on "peak oil" and what it may mean to Denver and the nation's economy. The U.S. arm of the International Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas (www.aspo-usa.com) will co-host the event.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Ethanol powered Saab 9-5 - Autoblog - www.autoblog.com _

Ethanol powered Saab 9-5 - Autoblog - www.autoblog.com _
Jun 18, 2005
Who better to be pursuing this angle on flexible fuel turbo's then Saab who has had one of the richest histories in developing turbocharging? Heck, throw Subaru into the developement program and we would have WRX fans filling up on E85 no matter what the cost/savings just for kicks.

I think this could really help promote the viability/benefits of E85.

Record high gas prices have consumers searching for alternatives - August 11, 2005

WNDU-TV: Story: Record high gas prices have consumers searching for alternatives
Judi Lykowski -- 8-11-2005
E85 is 85% ethanol, which is a bio-based fuel made from corn.

"What we find is the E85 has less miles per gallon, however they say their engine runs a lot cleaner and smoother,” said Maust.

The fuel is recommended for flexible fuel vehicles. Dealers say you might own one and not even realize it.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

2005 Saab 9-5 Flex Fuel: More Horsepower, Better Fuel Economy with E85

2005 Saab 9-5 Ethanol Preview - Automobile.com:
by Justin Couture -- Nov 26, 2004
The added kick in E85s octane number allows the small, turbocharged motor to produce 180 horsepower, an improvement of 20 percent over the regular Euro-spec models 150 horsepower output. Saab claims that the extra 30 horses wont come at the expense of fuel consumption either. At low speeds there is unlikely to be any impact of the flex-fuel, however, its a totally different story at higher speeds. During testing runs, the 9-5 EFF posted a welcome 15 percent gain in fuel economy, as fuel-enrichment for motor cooling is no longer necessary when a vehicle is run on ethanol.

'Clean' diesel fuel in works for 2006

This new mandate for lower sulfur will allow the development of diesel engines that get eeven better miles per gallon than they do now. It will also be very good for biodiesel demand.
'Clean' diesel fuel in works for 2006:
by Bob Golfen -- The Arizona Republic -- Aug. 13, 2005
Clean diesel fuel may sound like an oxymoron, but a fundamental change starting next year will help clear the air and possibly bring diesel engines into the mainstream.

Under a federal mandate, oil producers must reduce the amount of sulfur in diesel fuel by September 2006, bringing it down from an average of 500 parts per million to a nearly non-existent 15 parts per million.

The changeover to ultralow-sulfur diesel fuel will allow the nation's fleet of trucks and buses to run cleaner, emitting less nitrous oxides and fewer particulates.

It's also expected to spawn a new generation of clean-diesel cars and trucks that still get 25 to 30 percent better mileage than comparable gasoline-powered vehicles.

Henry Ford and Fuel Ethanol

Why Henry's plans were delayed for more than a half century - Canadian Renewable Fuels Association:
But gasoline had many disadvantages as an automotive source. The "new" fuel had a lower octane rating than ethanol, was much more toxic (particularly when blended with tetra-ethyl lead and other compounds to enhance octane), was generally more dangerous, and contained threatening air pollutants. Petroleum was more likely to explode and burn accidentally, gum would form on storage surfaces, and carbon deposits would form in combustion chambers of engines. Pipelines were needed for distribution from "area found" to "area needed". Petroleum was much more physically and chemically diverse than ethanol, necessitating complex refining procedures to ensure the manufacture of a consistent gasoline product.
Because of its lower octane rating relative to ethanol, the use of gasoline meant the use of lower compression engines and larger cooling systems.

Ethanol and Gasoline

Institute for Local Self-Reliance - Media Coverage - Ethanol and Gasoline:
by David Morris -- April 22, 1997
Back in the early 1920s car companies were designing more powerful, higher compression cars. They needed an additive to boost octane and eliminate engine knocking. With an octane rating of 110 ethanol was a perfect choice. But ethanol displaces about 10 percent of the gasoline. The oil companies were determined not to give that business to America's farmers.
Instead, the industry chose to mix a small amount of lead into the gas. By 1940 leaded gasoline was the norm. Thirty years later the evidence of the resulting damage to human health from lead in the air and soil had become so compelling the federal government banned leaded gasoline.
Did the oil companies then choose ethanol? Nope. They reformulated gasoline, a chemical stew of over 200 noxious ingredients. To achieve higher octane they increased the proportion of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals like benzene, toluene and xylene to 30, 40 even 60 percent of the gasoline.

Friday, August 12, 2005

American Coalition for Ethanol to Host U.S. Debut of Saab 9-5 2.0 BioPower (Flex Fuel)

Press Release 8.3.05:
American Coalition for Ethanol -- Aug 3, 2005
Sioux Falls, SD ...This will be the first chance for people to see the Saab 9-5 BioPower in the United States, and ACE is excited that Saab will introduce the new technology at our conference this month, said Ron Lamberty, ACE Vice President / Market Development. Saab is committed to the environmental benefits of ethanol-blended fuel, and their new technology shows that E85 can also offer significant benefits in power and performance.

Saab reports that the 9-5 BioPower produces more power and performance when running on E85 than on conventional gasoline. The engine delivers 180 brake horsepower (bhp) with E85 and 150 bhp with gasoline. In addition to this 20% increase in maximum power, 16% more torque is offered with E85 over gasoline.

The North American debut of the Saab 9-5 BioPower will take place the morning of Wednesday, August 17 at the Qwest Center Omaha, located at 455 North 10th Street. Jan-Willem Vester, Saab USA Corporate Communications, will introduce the new technology and be available for interviews...

Thursday, August 11, 2005

U.S. Department of Defense using Biofuels

DefenseLINK News: DoD Has Enough Petroleum Products for Anti-Terror War
By Gerry J. Gilmore -- American Forces Press Service -- Aug 2005
...With an eye to the future, DESC has been "an active participant" in DoD's future fuels initiative, Pam Serino, chief of product technology and standardization, said. She noted DESC is the U.S. single largest purchaser of biodiesel, which is composed of 20 percent vegetable oil and 80 percent diesel fuel. The center also supplies E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, to the armed forces. Serino said DESC also coordinates with the military to obtain nonpetroleum-based energy-producing technologies such as solar and wind power...

Fuming over fuel prices

Herald & Review Newspaper Website - Decatur, Illinois
Fuming over fuel prices
by MIKE FRAZIER, H&R Staff Writer -- Aug 10, 2005
...Endrizzi, too, is seeking cheaper alternatives to diesel.

In recent months, he has filled his dump trucks with biodiesel, a fuel mixture made by combining diesel petroleum with natural or renewable resources such as rapeseed oil, also known as canola, or soybean oil.

"It's 10 cents a gallon cheaper," Endrizzi said. "Every 500 gallons, that's 50 bucks. If I can save 10 cents, I'm doing everything I can to save 10 cents.

History of Ethanol Fuel in America

Fuel's Paradise? - Popular Science:
by Matthew Phenix -- July 2005
Mistrusted and misunderstood, ethanol has time and again enjoyed surges of popularity, only to stumble and fall before hitting the big time. Championed by the auto industry, bashed by the oil industry, and never able to separate itself from its intoxicating alter ego, ethanol has never been more than an also-ran at the American pump.

New SAAB Turbocharger Gets More Mileage, Performance from E85

The New turbocharged SAAB gets more power out of E85 without lowering miles per gallon by taking advantage of a high octane rating, increasing the comression when using E85. This kind of technology, if widely implimented by car makers, could improve the economic viability and net energy balance of Ethanol.
Liquor Does It Quicker - Popular Science:
by Matthew Phenix -- July 2005
E85 typically delivers inferior fuel economy; it has about 75 percent of the potential energy of gasoline, so it takes up to 20 percent more hooch to keep horsepower on par. But E85 also has a high octane rating (around 110), and Saab realized that a turbocharger could harness it. 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 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.

New SAAB Flex Fuel Car Performs Better on E85

It's only available in Sweden, but a new SAAB flex fuel car is optimized for E85. This means it takes advantage of the unique qualities to deliver more power and better mileage at high speeds than a similar car running on regular gasoline. This capability would make E85 cars much more competitive in the US market. Car makers would do well to develope more flexible fuel vehicles optimized for running on E85.
Saabnet.com Press: BioPower Flex-Fuel 9-5:
On the road, the 180-hp Saab 9-5 BioPower running on E85 delivers sportier performance due to a significant 30-hp boost in maximum power and 30 lb.-ft. more torque, for a maximum of 206 lb.-ft., compared to its gasoline-powered equivalent. While fuel economy in city and mixed driving conditions is unlikely to show an improvement, preliminary testing indicates that up to a 15 percent gain can be expected at cruising speeds because of better combustion with higher efficiency.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

How to Live Without Oil

Amory Lovins argues that oil alternatives such as biofuels could actually be profitable.
How to Live Without Oil - Newsweek: International Editions - MSNBC.com
By Amory B. Lovins -- Newsweek International -- Aug. 8, 2005
Once the United States has saved half its oil, it can cost-effectively replace an additional 20 percent with advanced biofuels, and the rest with saved natural gas. Biofuels (based on woody, weedy plants—not corn) will need a $90 billion investment, too, but they'll beat $26 oil, revitalize farming, protect topsoil better and preserve food crops' land and water. Harvesting biofuel crops, carbon credits and wind power all from the same land, much of it now unproductive, can also double or triple net farm and ranch income.

Breakthrough Energy Cell Captures Vibration To Produce Electricity

gizmag Article: Breakthrough Energy Cell Captures Vibration To Produce Electricity:
February 28, 2005
A renewable energy device that captures vibration to produce electricity looks set to replace or complement small conventional batteries for a range of every day applications and enable the reliable powering of new technologies. The Kinetic Energy Cell is a micro renewable energy source able to generate electricity from vibration or motion such as from cars, trucks and even people. This means that so long as there is access to movement or vibration the cell produces energy. Because the cell can replace standard and alkaline batteries in some applications, it is a non-polluting solution to small power requirements. Six billion dry cell batteries are produced annually by the world's largest manufacturer.

Diesel Hybrid Electric Cars Now!

Biodiesel-Electric and Ethanol-Electric Hybrids appear to be the best approach for our transportation system in the next 50 years, with the addition of a plug-in option for charging batteries off the grid. These technologies are already developed and need only be made available to the motorist.
WorldChanging: Another World Is Here: Diesel Hybrid Electric Cars Now!:
June 3, 2004
The irony is that diesel hybrids could be far more efficient and clean than anything now on the market, without any leaps in technology. The combination of modern clean diesel engines, Prius-style serial hybrid-electric systems, and biodiesel/vegetable oil fuels could provide amazing mileage, cleaner air, and vastly reduced petroleum dependency. Comfortable, powerful sedans could get upwards of 80 miles per gallon and be carbon-neutral.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Ford Motor Company - Ethanol Vehicles

This Ford site is all about their Flexible fuel vehicles that run on E85, an ethanol/gasoline mix.
Ford Motor Company - Ethanol Vehicles
Benefits of Ethanol Vehicles:
• Ethanol vehicles are called Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFV) due to their ability to run on Ethanol (E85), gasoline or any combination of the two fuels. E85 is a blend of 85 percent denatured ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.
• Today, Ethanol is produced mainly from corn, but can be made from virtually any starch feed stock such as sugar cane, wheat, or barley.
• Because Ethanol is produced from crops, it is a renewable fuel and reduces the United States' dependence on imported oil.
• The adaptable fuel is grown in popularity and there are approximately 100 refueling sites in North America, and a continually developing infrastructure.
• Ford FFVs automatically adjust for any mixture for a hassle-free and environmentally sound driving. Onboard sensors monitor the fuel mixture and the on-board computer adjusts spark timing and fuel flow to optimize performance.
• Flexible Fuel vehicles can be ordered and serviced through any North American Ford Dealership including those vehicles that meet California emission standards.

Ford - Low-emission Vehicles and Fuel-cell Technology

This site answers lots of quetions about Ford's various Alternative Fueled Vehicles.
Ford Motor Company - Low-emission Vehicles and Fuel-cell Technology

Oil Shale Recovery Faces Uncertain Future

The Heartland Institute - Oil Shale Recovery Faces Uncertain Future
by Greg McConnell -- Environment News -- August 1, 2005 -- Publisher: The Heartland Institute
Steve Smith, associate regional director of the Washington, DC advocacy group The Wilderness Society, told the June 23 Tracy Press that most U.S. oil shale would be more difficult to process than Alberta's oil sands. It would have to be mined out of Western states using large amounts of water; one mining method, pumping superheated water into underground deposits, might seriously pollute groundwater. The heating, in turn, could create extensive air pollution, he claimed

Energy executives: Oil prices are expected to remain high

Energy executives: Oil prices are expected to remain high - Denver - MSNBC.com:
By Cathy Proctor, The Denver Business Journal -- Aug. 7, 2005
Oil and gas industry executives meeting in Denver recently have a gloomy message for business: Get used to high energy prices -- and don't be surprised to see them climb even higher.
Oil is expected to remain in the range of $50 to $70 per barrel for two years, said Mark Rodekohr, director of energy markets and contingency information for the federal Energy Information Administration. He spoke at the opening session of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association's annual conference held Aug. 1-3 at the Colorado Convention Center.

Dirty Oil: the West's Saviour, the Greens' Worst Nightmare

RedNova News - Dirty Oil: the West's Saviour, the Greens' Worst Nightmare:
August 1, 2005
All the auto manufacturers have hydrogen prototypes and all the oil companies - Royal Dutch/Shell, Chevron, and even Exxon Mobil - have hydrogen programmes.
But even with the best will in the world, the hydrogen age is probably more than half a century away. Bjorn Skulason, managing director of Iceland New Energy, a Shell-sponsored project to turn Iceland into a hydrogen-only economy, says: 'It will take at least 40-50 years before you replace everything with hydrogen,' he says.
That means what powers the car of the future may not be hydrogen, as Honda predicts, nor biofuels, nor electricity generated from unsightly wind turbines, but yet more fossil fuels - and dirtier ones at that. The world's never ending need for energy is about to send the global oil companies in search of a whole new barrel of nastier hydrocarbons.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

This government agency web site is a great source of information on all kinds of renewable energy.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Home Page

Beyond Hybrid: Plug in Hybrid with Biofuels

Hybrid plug in vehicles with the engine running on ethanol or biodiesel could be developed and deployed much more quickly than hydrogen, and provide more freedom from imported oil than standard hybrids. These vehicles have standard engines, but can also be plugged in at night. They are more flexible than all-electric though, because they need not be plugged in if it is not convenient, and the on-board engine gives them the range we are used to in our cars.
Hybrid Cars and Vehicles - MixedPower.com - Plug in to New Hybrid Vehicle Concepts (PHEV)
What if the battery in a hybrid car was more powerful and had greater range? What if owners had the option of charging that battery by plugging the car into a wall socket at night? What if, instead of using gasoline to fuel the internal combustion engine component of a hybrid, domestically produced biodiesel or ethanol-blended fuels became the dominant and cleaner-burning option?

Midwest Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Supports Biofuels

MSAWG, A coalition of sustainable agriculture, environmental, food, religious and rural organizations in the midwest, developed this position paper supporting sustainable agriculture for the production of biofuels, wind energy, and other farm energy options. These groups are convinced that biofuels can be part of the energy solution if farmed in a sustainable manner. These sustainable methods are already proven in food farming, and farming in general is growing progressively more energy efficient.
Midwest Sustainable Agriculture Working Group | Sustainable Energy Position Paper:
We envision a transformation of our energy system from a fossil and nuclear-based system to a renewable, clean system. Aging coal plants and nuclear plants will gradually be phased out in favor of wind, biomass, solar and other renewable technologies. In the coming years, biofuels will increasingly replace petroleum fuels. We also see hydrogen-based fuel cells powering our transportation network, virtually eliminating our current dependency on petroleum.
This clean energy transformation will drastically reduce air emissions, mitigate global warming impacts, and significantly improve public health and the environment. Energy crops will be grown in a way that improves soil quality and reduces the need for fertilizer, pesticide and herbicide applications.
The ownership of renewable generation technologies will be in the hands of multiple individuals and local entities, such as farmer cooperatives. But even under utility ownership, renewable energy projects will benefit local economies, such as through lease payments to farmers for wind turbines on their land. The scale of the renewable projects will be suitable for the local circumstances.

Energy and agriculture: Making it work

Agriculture can be a big part of the energy solution, but only if it becomes less reliant on imported energy inputs through sustainable farming practices.
Leopold Center - Energy and agriculture: Making it work - Spring 2005 Leopold Letter:
'A typical community spends 20 percent of its gross annual income on energy and 80 percent of that leaves the community,' Lovins explained. 'If you're looking for ways to ways to revitalize your community, look no further than your light switch.'

Farms can provide both alternative means of power -- wind, solar, biomass fuel -- and become a source of on-farm income, all within the local economy. Lovins added that wind energy is growing rapidly in the Midwest 'for very good economic reasons.'

'Around the world, wind power is the fast growing electric supply, delivering over 5 gigawatts of new energy every year,' she said. 'Wind is one of the cheapest sources of new electricity -- very competitive with natural gas turbines.'

She noted that although Iowa leads the nation in the production of ethanol at a million gallons annually, there's still room for growth. Germany produces 750 million gallons of ethanol each year, she said.

'What's going on in Iowa with the production of ethanol and other bio-based fuels for the production of energy and other products is really exciting but we need to do it sustainably,' she warned. 'If not, we can easily substitute one problem for another.'

Ethanol plants gather steam, but at a price

Chicago Tribune | Ethanol plants gather steam, but at a price
By Robert Manor, Tribune staff reporter -- August 7, 2005
LENA, Ill. -- ...Pimentel said ethanol's subsidy would be spent wiser on renewable energy sources like wind and solar power, which indisputably produce more power than they consume.

Much research leads to the opposite conclusion, however, finding ethanol gives off more energy than required to make it.

Michael Wang, a fuel systems analyst at the Argonne National Laboratory, recently studied the issue and concluded that ethanol's net energy surplus amounts to 26 percent.

"Ethanol has energy from solar," Wang said, referring to the energy imparted to corn by the sun. "That is why you have positive energy."

And the ethanol industry is growing more efficient.

The plant in Lena, built in 2002, sometimes extracts as much as 2.8 gallons of ethanol from a bushel of corn. An output of 2.5 gallons used to be considered good.

The plant is highly automated, which holds down the cost of the ethanol it makes.

Meanwhile, seed firms are developing new corn varieties that will yield more ethanol, which would cut prices and make it more competitive with gasoline.

John Urbanchuk, an agricultural economist with the LECG consulting firm, said if gasoline prices remain high and ethanol continues to grow cheaper, it will some day need no government money.
"That time is on its way," Urbanchuk said.
He could not say when it would arrive.

Weighing Transportation Fuel Options

This article proposes biodiesel from algae powering hybrid plug in electric cars as a better option than hydrogen fuel cells. This is one of the most comprehensive comparisons of these technologies available.
UNH Biodiesel Group:
by Michael Briggs, University of New Hampshire -- Aug 2004
One of the biggest advantages of biodiesel compared to many other alternative transportation fuels is that it can be used in existing diesel engines without modification, and can be blended in at any ratio with petroleum diesel. This completely eliminates the 'chicken-and-egg' dilemma that other alternatives have, such as hydrogen powered fuel cells. For hydrogen vehicles, even when (and if) vehicle manufacturers eventually have production stage vehicles ready (which currently cost around $1 million each to make), nobody would buy them unless there was already a wide scale hydrogen fuel production and distribution system in place. But, no companies would be interested in building that wide scale hydrogen fuel production and distribution system until a significant number of fuel cell vehicles are on the road, so that consumers are ready to start using it. With a single hydrogen fuel pump costing roughly $1 million, installing just one at each of the 176,000 fuel stations across the US would cost $176 billion - a cost that can be completely avoided with liquid biofuels that can use our current infrastructure.
With biodiesel, since the same engines can run on conventional petroleum diesel, manufacturers can comfortably produce diesel vehicles before biodiesel is available on a wide scale - as some manufacturers already are (the same can be said for flex-fuel vehicles capable of running on ethanol, gasoline, or any blend of the two). As biodiesel production continues to ramp up, it can go into the same fuel distribution infrastructure, just replacing petroleum diesel either wholly (as B100, or 100% biodiesel), or blended in with diesel. Not only does this eliminate the chicken-and-egg problem, making biodiesel a much more feasible alternative than hydrogen, but also eliminates the huge cost of revamping the nationwide fue

Start-up drills for oil in algae

GreenFuel Technologies aims to produce biodiesel from algae fed by power plant emissions, resulting in cleaner air.
Start-up drills for oil in algae | CNET News.com:
by Martin LaMonica -- May 20, 2005
Berzin is the founder and chief technology officer of GreenFuel Technologies, a Cambridge, Mass.-based start-up that has a novel approach to energy and pollution control.
Using technology licensed from a NASA project, GreenFuel builds bioreactors--in the shape of 3-meter-high glass tubes fashioned as a triangle--to grow algae. The algae are fed with sunlight, water and carbon-carrying emissions from power plants. The algae are then harvested and turned into biodiesel fuel.

Friday, August 05, 2005

New technology turns corn into biodiesel

Rapid City Journal: New technology turns corn into biodiesel:
June 15, 2005
SIOUX FALLS (AP) ...The new technology extracts oil from corn through a mechanical process that can be installed at any dry-mill ethanol plant within 30 days, Endres said.

'They'll get more money for the oil than they're receiving today,' Endres said. 'We then have a secure source, too, for our plant.'

Endres said using corn will help the whole biodiesel industry, which is largely based on soybean oil.

'If there are shortages of soybeans or it becomes too expensive, the corn will be able to continue to supply the market and industry,' Endres said.

Until now, chemical extraction was the only way to remove oil from corn. The chemical process only extracts food-grade oil, which is not suitable for biodiesel...

Ethanol from Waste Sweet Potatoes in Canada

I would love to see a net energy balance study on this one -- looks quite promising. This could make Sweet Potatoes a perfect replacement crop for tobacco.
Sweet potato alliance pushing ahead with ethanol project -- Tillsonburg News:
by Jeff Helsdon -- August 5, 2005
...Tillsonburg, ON -- Traditionally with sweet potatoes, there is a 40 to 50 per cent waste rate of product that never makes it to market. The proposal is to use the waste to produce ethanol at a plant built in either Tillsonburg, Aylmer or in Norfolk County.
Murray cited figures that show the crop will produce 6,000 litres of ethanol per acre, as compared to the 1,420 produced by corn. The end result is the farmer can net $1,500-plus per acre, dependent on his/her growing skills and the market...

Lack of pumps limiting E85's appeal

The News-Gazette Online:
by CHRISTINE DES GARENNES, Aug 3, 2005
"It's almost a Catch-22 situation, people say. Gas station owners are hesitant to spend the money to install pumps because not many people know or ask about flexible fuel vehicles. But people won't buy flexible fuel vehicles if there are no gas stations near them that carry E85.
'My greatest concern is not on the supply side of ethanol, but the demand side. Consumers are not demanding ethanol. Unless there's a demand for flexible fuel vehicles and E85 pumps, the future of ethanol is limited,' said Martha Schlicher, director of National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

Big Oil warns of coming energy crunch

Big Oil warns of coming energy crunch - Yahoo! News:
by Carola Hoyos in London -- Aug 4, 2005
The world's five largest energy groups generally maintain that oil projects are viable with the price at around $20 a barrel. But their advertising and some of their own statistics appear to tell a different story.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Ethanol in East Tennessee

East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition
2005
In East Tennessee, although there are many vehicles that are ready to use ethanol (as E85 -- 85% denatured ethanol in 15% gasoline) that are in the community, few use it. The fleets that do are Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Oak Ridge Operations division of DOE.
Ethanol Users in East TN

Technology Breakthrough Enables Biodiesel Production from Ethanol Plants

This technology allows the extraction of corn oil for biodiesel in addition to ethanol production. Perhaps this could be a path toward improving the net energy balance in addition to improving the bottom line for ethanol producers.
VeraSun Energy, Press Releases:
Contact: Bill Honnef, Vice President of Sales and Marketing
...The technology enables ethanol producers to extract crude oil from the dry mill process. By extracting the oil, producers have the opportunity to increase plant income and improve handling characteristics of distillers dry grains.
'This is exciting new technology. We believe this breakthrough will improve the economics of ethanol production by creating another product revenue stream,' explains Don Endres, CEO of VeraSun Energy.
SunSource BioEnergy hopes to extend the benefits industry-wide by offering producers extraction units and oil purchase agreements. The company plans to build a 50 million gallon biodiesel production facility that will purify the corn oil and convert it to biodiesel fuel...

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

ETHANOL ACROSS AMERICA

Ethanol promotion and information web site.
ETHANOL ACROSS AMERICA : : WHERE

Ethanol Today

Monthly Magazine from the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE)
Ethanol Today

Ethanol and biodiesel from corn and other crops is not worth the energy

Science Forums - Ethanol and biodiesel from corn and other crops is not worth the energy
July 5, 2005
Turning plants such as corn, soybeans and sunflowers into fuel uses much more energy than the resulting ethanol or biodiesel generates, according to a new Cornell University and University of California-Berkeley study.

"There is just no energy benefit to using plant biomass for liquid fuel," says David Pimentel, professor of ecology and agriculture at Cornell. "These strategies are not sustainable."

Pimentel and Tad W. Patzek, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Berkeley, conducted a detailed analysis of the energy input-yield ratios of producing ethanol from corn, switch grass and wood biomass as well as for producing biodiesel from soybean and sunflower plants. Their report is published in Natural Resources Research (Vol. 14:1, 65-76).

EthanolFacts.com

Facts about Ethanol from the National Corn Growers AssociationEthanolFacts.com

Ethanol's Potential: Looking Beyond Corn

Analysis: Ethanol's Potential: Looking Beyond Corn:
by Danielle Murray, Environmental News Service -- organicconsumers.org -- July 1, 2005

WASHINGTON, DC, (ENS) - At the fuel pumps in Sao Paulo, customers have a choice: gas or alcohol? Since the mid-1970s, Brazil has worked to replace imported gasoline with ethanol, an alcohol distilled from locally grown sugarcane. Today ethanol accounts for 40 percent of the fuel sold in Brazil. Ethanol can be produced from a wide variety of plant-based feedstocks, most commonly grain or sugar crops...

...Biofuel production also can improve rural economies by creating new jobs and raising farm incomes. As a locally produced, renewable fuel, ethanol has the potential to diversify energy portfolios, lower dependence on foreign oil, and improve trade balances in oil-importing nations...

The MDI Air Car adds bi-energy, increases range

The revolutionary "air car" will be available with dual engines -- the compressed air engine and an internal combustion engine working in tandem. In the city at slower speeds, it will run totally on compressed air, producing zero emmissions. The fuel engine will increase range, operating at higher speeds and recharging the air tanks. If this engine could be flex-fuel, it could easily run on Ethanol or Biodiesel.
The MDI Air Car - the world's cleanest car.:
MDI -- 2005
After twelve years of reserch and development, Guy Negre has developed an engine that could become one of the biggest technological advances of this century. Its application to CAT vehicles gives them significant economical and environmental advantages. With the incorporation of bi-energy (compressed air fuel) the CAT Vehicles have increased their driving range to close to 2000 km with zero pollution in cities and considerably reduced pollution outside urban areas.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Drilling for Broke? Experts Debate 'Peak Oil'

WSJ.com - Drilling for Broke? Experts Debate 'Peak Oil'
Wall Street Journal Online -- August 3, 2005
You will never wake to the headline, "Today, the world ran out of oil." Rather, global oil production will rise, reach one or more "peaks," and decline. Forecasts for the peak vary between Thanksgiving of 2005 and 2050. Personally, I think global oil production will peak between 2015 and 2025 and be a greater challenge than the "looming crisis" in Social Security.

The Next Petroleum (biofuels) - Newsweek

Biofuels are getting more press -- a comprehensive Newsweek article.
The Next Petroleum -- Newsweek: International Editions - MSNBC.com
By Stefan Theil, Newsweek International -- Aug 8, 2005
Has the inevitable transition from petroleum to next-generation fuels begun, right under our very eyes? Certainly no one expects oil to disappear overnight—or even in the next one or two decades. Even after the recent surge, farm-grown biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel still account for only a small fraction of fossil-fuel use, as do other renewables such as wind and solar power. But thanks to skyrocketing oil prices, worries about climate change and growing anxiety over the future security of the world's supply of crude, the prospects for ethanol and other biofuels to make major inroads in oil use are bright.

Additive firms try to derail ethanol drive in Thailand

Bangkok Post Monday 01 August 2005 - Additive firms try to derail ethanol drive: "Additive firms try to derail ethanol drive
by SOONRUTH BUNYAMANEE -- Bangkok Post -- August 1, 2005
Lobbying effort already in motion

Gasoline additive producers are lobbying Thailand and other developing countries to give up their efforts to develop ethanol for use in automobile fuel, according to a senior local official involved in the promotion of ethanol.

Thailand has embarked on an ambitious programme to promote the production of ethanol to replace imports of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), a gasoline additive, which currently total 300 million litres worth up to four billion baht annually. Specifically, it aims to replace MTBE with ethanol in octane 95 gasoline by January 2007 and in octane 91 gasoline in 2009.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Proponents claim ethanol produces net energy gain

Scientist continue to find ways to increase ethanol output per bushel and better utilize co-products.
The News-Gazette Online
by CHRISTINE DES GARENNES -- THE NEWS-GAZETTE -- August 1, 2005
"Technology has changed a lot. Before, one gallon of ethanol was made from one bushel of corn. Now it's 2.8 gallons (of ethanol) per bushel," said Darrell Blackmore, plant manager with Lincolnland AgriEnergy ethanol plant in Palestine, Ill.
And those ratios could increase in the near future, they said. Researchers at the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville are looking at ways to get more ethanol from a bushel of corn.
"Now you can get 2.7 gallons (of ethanol) for every bushel. Maybe we can get that to 3.5 gallons in the next year. We'll be able to find new ways of using the co-products. There's continuing research going on there," Sy said.

Is ethanol the best bet to ease energy woes?

HoustonChronicle.com - Is ethanol the best bet to ease energy woes?
by ASHLEY M. HEHER, Associated Press -- July 30, 2005
Proponents say the U.S. needs to produce more ethanol, a corn-based fuel additive made from distilled grain mash, to reduce its reliance on foreign oil. Oil prices have hovered around $58 a barrel recently, driving up costs for gasoline, airline tickets and other consumer goods.

Ethanol was used in cars in the early 1900s, but mass production of the fuel didn't begin until the 1970s. In 2004, 81 plants produced about 3.4 billion gallons of ethanol nationwide, according to the Renewable Fuels Association...