Friday, April 28, 2006

Global Oil Production May Peak Soon - Experts: Global Oil Production May Peak Soon - Science News | Current Articles:
by Ker Than -- 4/28/2006
"...many scientists warn that there will come a day when rising oil prices will not be due to political or economic pressures, but because a natural peak in global oil production will have been reached."

Air Force to Test Crop-Derived Jet Fuel - Air Force to Test Crop-Derived Jet Fuel - Science News | Current Articles:
AP -- 2/28/2006
"GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- University of North Dakota researchers say a new jet fuel they have developed from crop oils is almost ready for testing by the Air Force."

S.F. hopes to harness power of dog poop with methane digester - San Francisco Hopes to Harness Power of Dog Poop - Science News | Current Articles:
AP -- 2/22/2006
"The droppings will be tossed into a contraption called a methane digester, which is basically a tank in which bacteria feed on feces for weeks to create methane gas.
The methane could then be piped directly to a gas stove, heater, turbine or anything else powered by natural gas. It can also be used to generate electricity."

Japanese Scientists Refine Gasoline From Cow Dung - Japanese Scientists Refine Gasoline From Cow Dung - Science News | Current Articles:
AP -- 3/6/2006
"TOKYO -- Scientists in energy-poor Japan said Friday they have found a new source of gasoline -- cattle dung."

New Way to Make Diesel From Coal - New Way to Make 'Green Diesel' From Coal - Science News | Current Articles:
By Bjorn Carey -- 4/14/2006
"Scientists have improved the technique for transforming coal into 'green diesel,' potentially making the process economically feasible to bring the fuel to a pump near you. "

Texas Plans Offshore Wind Farms - Texas Plans Offshore Wind Farms - Science News | Current Articles:
AP -- 11/7/2005
"DALLAS -- Wind turbines supplying energy to homes and businesses will one day line Texas' 376-mile coastline if the state's Land Office Commissioner has his way. "

Electric vehicles finally coming of age

Drive and EV and Never Buy Gas Again:
by Bill Moore -- Apr/May 2006
"Several independent studies have shown that even if all the electricity used to recharge an EV�s battery pack came from an entirely coal-fired power grid, the power plant�s emissions still would be significantly less per mile driven than those from the average gasoline-powered vehicle. For details on these studies, see �Electric Vehicles and Pollution.�"

Ethanol pipelines to be built in Brazil

Yes, it is possible to transport ethanol in pipelines. Many press reports and lists of ethanol drawbacks make it sound like ethanol simply cannot be transported by pipeline, which would lower costs. The story below shows this is false. The limitation is that ethanol and gasoline cannot be shipped in the same pipeline without special cleansing procedures in-between. These dedicated ethanol pipelines in Brazil are not affected by that issue. If cellulosic ethanol and ethanol derived from waste biomass comes online in a big way in the U.S., then sumilar pipelines might become viable in the U.S. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
"Brazil's Petrobras plans to build a $500 million network of sugarcane
ethanol pipelines by 2008 in a move that could help the oil company become one
of the world's largest distributors of the popular fuel additive, a Petrobras
official told Platts Thursday. "

Holographic solar concentrator could cut PV cost

This looks promising. It reduces the amount of expensive silicon cells needed by concentrating sunlight on a small area. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Technology Review: Emerging Technologies and their Impact:
by Prachi Patel-Predd
"Now Prism Solar Technologies of Stone Ridge, NY, has developed a proof-of-concept solar module that uses holograms to concentrate light, possibly cutting the cost of solar modules by as much as 75 percent, making them competitive with electricity generated from fossil fuels."

Solar Power Rooftop Going Up in Kansas

This April 28 demonstration involves installation of standing seam roof panels with PV integrated into the roofing material itself. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller | Be Part of a Solar Power Rooftop Going Up in Kansas:
"The demonstration is sponsored by Mother Earth News magazine, which is published in Topeka. While the event begins at 8 a.m., the media may attend after 3 p.m. To assist, observe or report on this free solar power demonstration in south Topeka, contact for information and directions."

Schwarzenegger Directs State Agencies on Biofuel Use

These new goals for biofuel use are non-binding, but significant considering the the size of California and its government agencies. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller | Schwarzenegger Directs State Agencies on Biofuel Use:
"Sacramento, California [] This week, Governor Schwarzenegger directed several state agencies to take steps toward the wider use of biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel. "

China making fuel ethanol from Cassava

Editor's Choice News Article |
by Nao Nakanishi & Niu Shuping -- 4/28/2006
"Sen Yang, a professor from China Agricultural University, told a conference last week that cassava alone could supply as much as 4 million tonnes of fuel ethanol in China.
China could grow cassava also on 1 million hectares (2.471 million acres) of barren land, which would add 21 million tonnes to the crop, she said. There was also scope to achieve another 7 million tonnes by raising yields."

Turbocharged race car runs on E85

Pontiac Unveils Red Bull Solstice GXP for Drifting Competition - Auto Racing Daily:
"The heart of the Solstice GXP Drift is the ECOtec 2.0-liter turbo engine, producing over 500 horsepower, roughly double the horsepower of the street-legal GXP available in dealerships this fall. This competition ECOtec turbo engine, running on E85 ethanol-based fuel, uses thick-wall iron cylinder liners, a race-ported cylinder head, tubular stainless steel exhaust headers, a performance camshaft, a unique engine control system and a water to air intercooled turbocharger."

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Purdue students unveil BioTown study results

Purdue students unveil BioTown study results:
by Abby Lietz -- 4/27/2006
"The theme carrying through the Purdue study centers on symbiotic relationships between components in the renewable energy system of operation."

Bringing together plug-in and flex-fuel E85 for super efficiency

The plug-in hybrid flex-fuel car really is the best near term solution. All the technologies already exist. The flex-fuel engine, however, should not be of the type currently used in the U.S. Rather, it could be a downsized variable compression turbo boosted flex fuel engine such as that already used in the Saab 9-5 biopower available in Sweden. Such an engine gets better gas milege on E85. This would cut the amount of biomass needed for ethanol production even more, making American energy independence all the more achievable. Use in this application would be quite complimentary since it gets the best savings in mileage at high speeds. The electric motor, on the other hand, is better suited to low speeds and would be the primary propulsion system around town. The resulting overall fuel efficiency would be phenomenal. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Plug-In Car to the Rescue? ::
by David Morris -- 4/27/2006
"...instead of the gasoline engines used today, it could easily be a flexible-fuel engine of the type now powering more than 4 million vehicles on U.S. roads. These engines operate on any combination of ethanol and gasoline, and the additional cost to manufacture one has fallen to about $100."

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Concentrated Solar Power Collectors Reach Energy Milestone Reached | Solar Energy Milestone Reached in the Arizona Desert:
by Jesse Broehl -- 4/24/2006
"CSP power plants are gaining increasing attention and notoriety because they appear to offer the best chance of all solar technologies to achieve cost parity with traditional power plants such as natural gas plants. They're still more expensive, by a factor of around 2 to 1, but the fact they don't rely on an increasingly expensive input like natural gas has the renewable energy industry and the wider power industry paying close attention to their progress."

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Chrysler to expand ethanol lineup

This is fine, but what we really nead are flex-fuel cars optomized for E85. These optomized cars are available in other countries. They would not suffer a loss in mileage on E85. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Chrysler to expand ethanol lineup:
by Justin Hyde -- 4/25/2006
"Chrysler officials confirmed Monday that LaSorda, in a speech following Bush, will announce the addition of flex-fuel engines for the Jeep Commander and Grand Cherokee by 2007."

Where Will America's Energy Come From?

It seems politicians in every midwest state tout their state's potential to become the next energy powerhouse, the next Saudi Arabia. In my view, every state must develop local renewable energy resources in order to satisfy our energy appetite. No one area will be as dominant in the future. The midwest may have an edge because of our soil and biomass potential, but every state can tap into large mounts of biomass now being shipped to landfills. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
"Sometime this century, world oil production likely will reach its peak as developing economies gulp a finite supply at an ever-increasing rate. Some experts think that Iowa could be a leader in producing the world's next generation of fuels, transforming the state's abundant natural and agricultural resources into fossil-fuel replacements. "

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Green Driving: Ethanol, Fueling Up With Ethanol

A good article on E85 and Flex-Fuel Vehicles, though their 10% reduction in mileage running on U.S. Flex-Fuel vehicles is a bit optomistic. The average reduction according to EPA data is closer to 25%. The SAAB 9-5 biofuel suffers no reduction in mileage on e85, but it is not yet available in th U.S. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Green Driving: Ethanol, E85 - AOL Autos
by Editors

Friday, April 21, 2006

MN legislation would encourage combining flex-fuel, hybrid, plug-in technologies

The proliferation of plug in hybrid flex-fuel vehicles with engines optomized for ethanol would go a long way toward making the U.S. energy self sufficient. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
AlterNet: Driving Toward Energy Independence: "A bill that begins to put in place a plug-in, flexible-fuel strategy is on the floor of the Minnesota State Senate and is wending its way through the Minnesota House. In five committees there has not been a single negative vote in either the Republican-controlled House or the Democrat-controlled Senate. We hope such unanimity sends American car companies a message. "

GM Helps Michigan Develop 20 E85 Gas Stations | GM Helps Michigan Develop 20 E85 Gas Stations:
"...collaboration between GM, the state of Michigan, Meijer and CleanFUEL USA."

Sweden goes for green as Nordics mull energy future

Sweden goes for green as Nordics mull energy future - Yahoo! News:
by Simaon Johnson -- 4/20/2006
"STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Twenty years after Sweden alerted the world to the meltdown at Chernobyl, it aims to phase out nuclear power and end dependency on fossil fuels, putting the country in the vanguard of green energy policy. "

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Toyota plans on ethanol

Report: Toyota plans on ethanol:
by Muhammed El-Hasan -- Daily Breeze -- 4/20/2006
"Toyota Motor Corp. will announce in a few months its plans for vehicles powered by ethanol, a company spokeswoman said Wednesday."

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Iowa Biodiesel refinery to be powered by pelletized trash

Similar technology has been heating the campus of Northwest Missouri State University for several years. They have their own pelletizing plant on campus and a network of tunnels forming a sort of district heating system. They can burn wood chips or paper pellets. The system paid for itself long ago and savings grow each year as the cost of fossil fuels rise. -- Jeffrey Goettmeoeller
by Anne Fitzgerald -- 4/19/2006
"Soy Energy, the company, will use pelletized biomass from a local landfill as a primary source of steam and thermal energy, said Mark Buschkamp, executive director of Cherokee Area Economic Development." | Restaurants May Help Cut Oil Dependence | Restaurants May Help Cut Oil Dependence:
by William McCall -- AP -- 4/19/2006
"'The dog' is a small, stainless steel tank and pump combination on wheels that the Northwest restaurant chain has pioneered to channel used cooking oil to a biodiesel producer."

Improving Energy Balance of Ethanol | So is Ethanol a Net-Energy Producer or Not?:
by Scott Sklar -- 4/18/2006
"Most studies show the production of ethanol fuels from the 1990's and onward to have a positive energy balance, meaning more energy comes from using the ethanol as a vehicle fuel than making it."

Shell pioneers solar, wind powered natural gas

Independent Online Edition > Business News:
by Michael Harrison -- 4/19/2006
"The world's first gas platform powered solely by wind and solar energy has begun production, in a breakthrough for the offshore industry in low-cost exploitation of marginal fields. "

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Study says national defense may be best rationale for ethanol subsidies

Illinois Farm Bureau:
"Federal and state tax subsidies for ethanol production may not necessarily be bad but they do need a new rationale, conclude two University of Illinois agricultural economists."

CO State Geologist on Peak Oil

ColoradoBiz Magazine:
by Allen Best -- 4/1/2006
"Petroleum is too valuable to be burned in motor cars. We need to cut back on our use in transportation in order to have oil for use in other things for which there are not necessarily substitutes."

Oregon's Renewable Energy Action Plan

A proposed renewable energy action plan in Oregon would include a Renewable Fuels Standard for ethanol and biodiesel. -- Jeff Goettemoeller
Celebrate Earth Day: Oregon's Renewable Energy Action Plan - (Medford Article):
"Salem, Oregon - At the request of the Governor a number of state agencies were asked to develop a Renewable Energy Action Plan with input from stakeholders."

The Canadian Oil Rush :
by Marianne Lavelle -- 4/24/2006
"How high-tech prospectors are trying to squeeze fuel--and fat profits--out of the earth while transforming the petroleum market"

Monday, April 17, 2006

Blazing a trail with whisky and cow poop - Blazing a trail with whisky and cow poop:
by Sherryll Sobie -- 4/15/2006
"TV show crosses U.S. without using gasoline
30 different vehicles in series starting Tuesday"

Friday, April 14, 2006

Cheaper fuel: a pipe dream?

Cheaper fuel: a pipe dream? - Minnesota Daily:
by Angela Gray -- 4/11/2006
"Throughout the University, experts, researchers, professors and students are addressing the idea of creating a sustainable oil economy."

Will E85 cut the cost of driving? Secrets revealed

This message is especially for American car makers and anyone who might influence them. As a preface, let it be known that I am a supporter of ethanol because I see its huge potential. So it is in the spirit of "tough love" that I give this warning. It costs considerably more to drive on E85 than on the usual brew in American Flex-Fuel vehicles. Official EPA mileage ratings confirm this fact. If gasoline costs $2.50 at your favorite gas station, E85 would have to cost about $1.88 in order to deliver the same cost per mile in the average American Flex-Fuel vehicle. E85 usually sells for less than gasoline, but not anywhere near this much. Furthermore, consumers are going to find out sooner or later. Most press reports do a good job of keeping this secret, and those that reveal the secret take it as an unavoidable fact of science that can't be helped. Ethanol has fewer BTU's per gallon, so it's just going to take more, the reasoning goes. End of story. If that were the end of the story, I could forgive car makers and ethanol apologists who fall back on arguments about supporting farmers and reducing dependence on foreign oil. Sure, these factors do lead some of us to use E85 even when we know it's costing us more. But eventually the truth will be revealed to the general public, a public that lends more weight to cost in making their purchasing decisions. Car makers must decide if they are truly serious about bringing E85 into the main stream. If they are, they will stop making excuses and sart making Flex-Fuel vehicles that get us as many miles down the road on E85 as they do on old-fashioned gasoline. Yes, another secret revealed! It is indeed possible and has been done. BTU's don't tell the whole story. The burning characteristics and high octane of ethanol allow it to burn with much greater efficiency in a vehicle designed with a variable compression ratio and turbo boosting. This is not just a theory. Such cars exist, including the SAAB 9-5 biopower on the roads of Sweden. Who owns SAAB? General Motors. American car makers are beginning to hint at bringing this technology to America. Those of us who know the secret should encourage them to act with all possible haste in this regard, lest the general public learns the true cost of running on E85 and turn away from it permanently in their disgust at having been duped. We do not want E85 to suffer the fate of diesel fuel by which today's fabulous, energy efficient diesel burning models are largely ignored because of past experience with the smelly, noisy, polluting models of a past era. It's hard to change a reputation once it is embedded in the psyche of millions. Has the auto industry learned this lesson? Let's hope so for the sake of our economy, environment, and energy security. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Northwest Indiana News:
by Andrea Holecek -- 4/14/2006
"TRANSPORTATION: Customers look at E85 vehicles to cut gas cost"

Citrus peels could yield 80 million gal of ethanol per year

This is just one example of research into converting under-utilized waste streams into ethanol. Sweet potatoe waste, for instance, shows great promise. All these new feedstocks put together could make a real dent in fossil fuel imports. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Cattle Network - Connecting The Beef Industry Worldwide:
" 10,000-gallon pilot facility is currently under construction, and should be finished by sometime this year. With further research, according to Widmer, Florida's citrus peel waste could yield up to 80 million gallons of ethanol per year."

U.S. Dairy Uses Renewable Energy from Manure

As energy prices rise, we will no longer see animal manure as waste, but as a valuable energy and fertilizer resource. These initial projects show how to tap this gold mine of energy. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
U.S. Dairy Uses Renewable Energy from Manure:
"Krakow, Wisconsin [] Green Valley Dairy in Krakow, Wisconsin, generates approximately four million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy a year, using manure from 2,500 head of cattle. That is enough to power about 400 average Wisconsin homes for one year. "

Prototype refinery able to produce ethanol from biogas & waste biomass

This technology would utilize waste materials not only for process fuel but as the actual feedstock for ethanol production. It is one of the avenues being explored for moving beyond grain and sugarcane for ethanol production. These are the kinds of technologies that will enable ethanol to make a much bigger dent in fossil fuel imports than is possible with ethanol from corn alone. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller | NetCo Acquires Technology to Produce Ethanol:
"Syntec's catalysts will produce ethanol from unlimited sources of feedstock using waste gas, i.e., biogas from landfills, sewage, manure, wood waste, and producer gas (thermal gasification of biomass or other carbonaceous material such as municipal solid waste). This process reduces both CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions."

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Refineries slowly switch to ethanol

As gas prices increase, we can't really blame it on ethanol. Other substances that could increase octane or oxygen content in place of ethanol have proven to be quite unhealthy for human health and the environment. Without ethanol, it is very possible that we would have to use even more expensive octane and oxygen enhancers. Also, ethanol can be shipped in pipelines, but generally not in pipelines that also carry fossil fuels. Future economies of scale could very well make dedicated ethanol pipelines viable. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Refineries slowly switch to ethanol - Nightly News with Brian Williams -
by Kevin Tibbles, Correspondent -- 4/12/2006
"In the lab, it's a clear liquid, and at the pump it's liquid gold: Ethanol is the corn based-clean air additive U.S. refiners are scrambling to add to the nation's fuel supply. "

Study optomistic about agricultural solutions to world energy & food issues

This study supports the idea that we should work to make a biofuel economy work better rather than dismissing biofuels because they are not perfect today. We have no other choice since fossil fuels cannot serve all our needs indefinetly. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Porterville Recorder:
by Don Curlee, The Porterville Recorder -- 4/10/2006
"It recognizes total U.S. cropland slightly in excess of 430 million acres, but points out that an additional 578 million acres are available for producing crops such as switchgrass. It expresses enthusiasm for the expanded use of cellulosic alternatives such as grasses, woody crops, wood waste, paper and perhaps rice straw for ethanol production."

Landfill Methane Recovery Plant Shows Community Stewardship

Landfill methane recovery is a viable example of using the huge waste energy potential we are now throwing away, including animal wastes and food processing waste. Investors and governments who realize that eneregy prices are not likely to collapse will increasingly tap these resources. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller | Landfill Methane Recovery Plant Shows Community Stewardship:
"Johnson City, Tennessee [] Energy Systems Group (ESG) and Johnson City entered into an agreement to harvest methane gas from the Iris Glen landfill and provide this fuel to local commercial customers."

New lighting technology might reinvent bulbs

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Natural light to reinvent bulbs:
"The OLEDs do not heat up like today's light bulbs and so are far more energy efficient and should last longer.
'We're hoping that this will lead to significantly longer device times lifetimes in addition to higher efficiency,' said Professor Mark Thompson of the University of Southern California, one of the authors of the paper."

Will America Face an Oil Crisis Soon?

CBN News - Focus- Will America Face an Oil Crisis Soon?:
by Dale Hurd, Washington Correspondent
"(CBN News) - Some believe that the world as we have known it is about to change.
Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) is talking about what he thinks could be the biggest challenge in our nation's history.
'The world has never faced a problem like this,' Bartlett said.
A huge and sustained increase in the price of oil that would devastate our economy and the world economy, and would force all of us to change the way we live. "

Iowa Gov. to sign renewable fuels mandate
by Tim Higgins -- 4/13/2006
"The bill, now headed to Gov. Tom Vilsack, requires that 25 percent of all fuel sold in 2020 be renewable. Currently, renewable fuel accounts for about 10 percent of sales. The bill gives retailers tax incentives and money to install equipment needed to sell more highly concentrated ethanol to help meet the goal."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

One man's garbage is another's gold : One man's garbage is another's gold:
by Egle Procuta -- 4/11/06
"From sawdust food flavouring to 'jungle-rot' fuel, turning waste into profit is big business, writes EGLE PROCUTA"

Monday, April 10, 2006

Ethanol Boom Continues
by Alan Guebert -- Lincoln, NE -- 4/10/2006
"In his opening address to the 11th National Ethanol Conference Feb. 21, Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen declared loudly and proudly that 'ethanol has arrived.' Dinneen ticked off fact after fact to bolster that belief with the biofuel faithful."

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Not Enough Corn for all the Ethanol U.S. Needs

If the ethanol industry wants to meet demand, it must use more alternative feedstocks and renewable process fuels. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Stock Market News and Investment Information |
by Barani Krishnan -- 4/5/2006
"Pringle said water scarcity was limiting global production of corn and China was on its way to becoming a major grains importer as industrial development crowds out agriculture."

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

James Woolsey, hemp advocate

James Woolsey, hemp advocate | | Peak Oil News Clearinghouse:
by Kurt Cobb, Resource Insights -- 3-4-2006
"To their surprise he offered a lengthy disquisition on the merits of cellulosic ethanol as an alternative fuel, the myths about industrial hemp and the potential advantages to American farmers. And, he announced that he is a board member of the North American Industrial Hemp Council."

Monday, April 03, 2006

2006 Saab BioPower Hybrid Concept

2006 Saab BioPower Hybrid Concept - Saab Concept Car:
by Justin Couture, American Auto Press -- 3/2/2006
"Anyway, what kind of car could contend with the inspired-by-jets look and form of the X? How about the worlds first 100-percent ethanol-powered, hybrid, all-wheel drive convertible. That sounds like a worthy title, and its exactly what the BioPower Hybrid Concept serves up. "