Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Aptera goes for 300 mpg for under 30k

This airplane-inspired electric or plug-in hybrid car looks really cool and actually sound practical and reliable. I hope it lives up to the billing and becomes widely available. They say rollout will be in 2008. -- Jeff G.
Aptera: The 'Wingless Bird' - MSN Autos

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Branches from Ice Storm become Biomass Biofuel in Maryville Missouri

Residents of Northwest Missouri experienced their biggest ice storm in at least 40 years this December. Thousands of households were without power for a week or more as tree branches and power lines came crashing down from the weight. Northwest Missouri State University  in Maryville found  a way to help residents and save on fuel costs at the same. Years ago they built a bioenergy center that is fueled by wood or paper waste. They are 
accepting all the wood waste they can get, allowing residents to drop off branches on University property. They will then transform the debris into wood chips for fuel that can be used in place of fossil fuels to heat the campus. Residents would need to haul their branches somewhere, so this is a very efficient way to make use of biomass fuels on a local basis without incurring any extra cost for transporting the biomass. If cities, schools, hospitals, and other institutions would develop similar projects all
over North America, fossil fuel use would be curtailed considerably. Find out more about the NWMSU biomass program through this case study: Wood to Energy: Wood and Paper Trim the Energy Bill.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dynamotive Energy Systems to Bringing Pyrolysis BioOil Production to Missouri

Fast Pyrolysis is yet another currently viable process for making a renewable biofuel from cellulosic materials. We don't need to wait for cellulosic ethanol technology to be perfected! Rather, we can go ahead with other biofuels. This company is already making BioOil in Canada, and this new facility in Missouri will use wood waste products as the feedstock. BioOil can directly replace heating oil, meaning that it can immediately displace some of our petroleum imports. Bio-gas is another renewable biofuel that can be made from cellulosic materials. It directly replaces natural gas when upgraded. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Dynamotive Energy Systems to Build First Commercial Plant in U.S. to Produce BioOil From Wood Residues in Willow Springs, MO
Dec. 20 -- Grainnet

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Facility to make ethanol from sweet sorghum

Sweet Sorghum could be an important new ethanol feedstock without the need for cellulosic processing technologies. Sorghum canes contain sugars that need little processing for conversion to ethanol. This project could be the start of something big. It sound like they'll even be able to sell excess electricity generated from left-over cellulosic materials. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
The Daily Advertiser - - Lafayette, LA:
by Bob Moser -- Dec. 15, 2007
"Sweet sorghum crop to fuel plans for mill, ethanol plantSweet sorghum crop to fuel plans for mill, ethanol plant"

Saturday, December 08, 2007

New Study Finds Mid-Range Ethanol Blends Can Provide Better Fuel Economy Than Gasoline

Previous studies had already shown that some cars get better fuel economy on E10 as compared to ethanol-free gasoline. This new study cosponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Energy and the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) shows that the same is true for mid-level ethanol blends such as E20 or E30 and tailpipe emmissions are reduced as well. More study needs to be done on optimizing cars and fuel blends to take full advantage of this phenomenon. It would be a huge boost for ethanol if motorists know they are saving money by using ethanol. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
New Study Finds Mid-Range Ethanol Blends Can Provide Better Fuel Economy Than Gasoline Dec. 5, 2007 --

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Glycerol as an ethanol feedstock a solution to glut?

Somewhere I read someone has developed a system to use glycerol as a feedstock for ethanol. The ethanol could then be used in the biodiesel production process or sold into the fuel market. This would be a way to get more fuel from the soybeans or other biodiesel feedstocks. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
National Biodiesel Surge Creates Bittersweet Co-product with Glycerol by Raphael Shay, Dec 3, 2007 --

E85 not cost effective in today's Flex-Fuel Vehicles

This study is not telling us anything we can't figure out on our own by looking at e85 prices and EPA fuel economy ratings for the Flex-Fuel vehicles that use E85. It's usually going to cost more to drive on E85. What this story fails to mention, however, is that a new generation of flex-fuel vehicles could get much better fuel economy by taking advantage of ethanol's high octane rating. This would make E85 quite cost competitive even without reductions in ethanol price. Let's hope the car companies start offering these new Flex-Fuel Vehicles and ethanol-capable plug-in hybrids. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Ethanol E85 fuel loses cost-benefit test to diesel - "Conclusion: Unless gasoline prices, averaging $3.10 a gallon now, rise above $4 and average $3.50 or more the next few years, or ethanol prices drop a lot, diesel's the best overall solution; E85's the worst."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Austrian motorists can choose a cellulosic biofuel

It looks like cellulosic biogas may be the first fuel to market made from cellulosic feedstocks. Grasses are digested in a fairly simple process that results in a biogas. The biogas can be upgraded so that it can directly replace natural gas. Cars can be converted to run on this upgraded biogas or natural gas. It looks like an idea that may rival cellulosic ethanol, especially when you consider that energy crops developed to maximize biomass could result in much increased yields over the grass being used in Austria. Also, many areas of the world already have a natural gas pipeline system for transporting and distribution. There would be no problem with tranporting biogas in these pipelines. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Bioenergy pact between Europe and Africa:
Novemeber 24, 2007
"Austrian energy company Salzburg AG has opened its first biomethane gas station for cars in Eugendorf."

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sequential Extraction could get more value from a bushel of corn

This story is about sequential extraction--a method of extracting valuable proteins and other useful substances from corn kernels in which the ethanol is extracted as a by-product of the extraction of these potentially more valuable substances. This makes a lot of economic and environmental sense if they can make it work. -- Jeff Goettemoeller
Sequential Extraction Process Could Provide Many High-Value Ethanol Co-Products: Iowa State Professor: "'You have to think like a protein company,' Johnson said. 'Ethanol becomes a co-product. Zein is more valuable on a per pound basis. Oil is more valuable on a per pound basis. The other food-grade protein fraction is more valuable. We envision that being used for food purposes for human consumption.'"

Lee Lynd and the Genesis of Cellulosic Ethanol

This is a fascinating story about the early development of cellulosic ethanol. -- Jeff Goettemoeller
Bates College From Mulch to Motor: "A senior thesis project launched Lee Lynd ’79 on a quest to turn common plant materials into inexpensive, sustainable ethanol."

Thursday, November 22, 2007

National Biomass Producers Association

This new membership organization focuses on production of biomass that will be increasingly in demand for many purposes. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
National Biomass Producers Association - Home Page: "NBPA is a grass-roots organization focused on independent or family owned farms."

10 Million Gallon/Year Commercial Cellulosic Ethanol Facility to be built in MN

This project is noteable because it is being built next to an exiting corn ethanol biorefinery that has been using cellulosic materials as process fuels (in place of the usual natural gas). This means they already have experience in sourcing and processing the material that will now be used as ethanol feedstock in the new facility. This should improve their chances for commercial success. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
SunOpta BioProcess Inc. Announces Plans to Develop a 10 Million Gallon Per Year Commercial Cellulosic Ethanol Facility - Business - RedOrbit:
Nov. 20, 2007
"The plant will be environmentally friendly and use locally contracted woodchips as the cellulose source, with residual lignin serving as fuel stock for an energy efficient gasification and co-generation system that will provide the required power for both the corn starch and cellulosic ethanol operations."

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Is ethanol driving up food prices?

One of the criticisms of ethanol is that it drives up corn prices, in turn driving up food prices -- the "food vs. fuel" debate. The implication is that ethanol is immoral because it causes people to go hungry. At the grand opening of an ethanol biorefinery in Shenendoah, Iowa Monte Shaw Addressed this issue. Shaw is the executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. He pointed out that corn farmers actually get very little of the money you pay for food items that had corn inputs. He gave a few current examples. The corn farmer, 
he said, gets 6.4 cents from an 8 oz chicken breast, 5.6 cents from a quarter 
pound hamburger, 13 cents from an 8 oz. pork chop, and 3.9 cents from a 
14 ounce box of corn flakes. So what does cause higher food prices these days? The rising cost of crude oil. This impacts the cost of transportation, processing, and packaging. Shaw pointed out one other factor -- record profits reported by some of the major food processing companies. They have been able to make a success of their business models despite higher input costs.
Shaw also addressed the complaint that ethanol production requires uses valuable water supplies. Fortunately, water use per unit of ethanol production has gone down over the years. Now, says Shaw, it takes a little less that 3 gallons of water for every gallon of ethanol. And in facilities such as the one at Shenandoah, municipal gray water is being used--water that would otherwise usually be wasted. Shaw then compared this to water 
requirements for other things. It takes 150 gallons of water, he said, to produce 1 copy of 
the Sunday paper. And 90 gallons of water per gallon of gasoline! Now that really puts the issue in perspective. 

New Iowa Ethanol Biorefinery Uses Gray Water

The new Green Plains Renewable Energy biorefinery at Shenandoah, Iowa held a grand opening on November 17, 2007. One the plant tour, I learned that they use gray water from the city of Shenandoah. Then some of the water leftover from the ethanol production process is used to water a golf course. The limited water supply available from the city water plant had threatened to stop plans for the ethanol facility until this solution was found. The ethanol biorefinery employs almost 40 people and provides a new market for area corn farmers. It also provides leftover distiller's grain for feeding livestock. A large crowd attended the grand opening, listening to speeches and taking the tour on a warm and beautiful November day. 

WLRM Celebrates Completion of Its Cellulosic Ethanol Breakthrough

This is the first I've heard of this waste managemnet company and their cellulosic ethanol process. It sounds promising if it works out. I'm assuming their first feedstocks would be materials currently going to landfills. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Press Release - WLRM Celebrates Completion of Its Cellulosic Ethanol Breakthrough

Friday, November 16, 2007

POET to Power SD Ethanol With Wood Waste, Saving Up to 60% in Natural Gas

Much of the wood waste that will be used to produce steam for this ethanol biorefinery would otherwise go to landfills. This kind of efficiency will be increasingly important as cheap fossil fuels become more scarce. Waste could be usilized in this way at all ethanol biorefineries, not just those using new cellulosic technologies. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
POET to Power Chancellor, SD Ethanol Plant With Wood Waste to Produce Steam, Saving Up to 60% in Natural Gas:
Nov 15, 2007 -- Grainnet
"Waste wood from pallets, construction sites and area landfills will be the primary fuel source for the solid waste fuel boiler."

Thursday, November 08, 2007

LS9 moving ahead with biofuel replacement for diesel and gasoline

This new biofuel will be made from the same feedstocks as ethanol, but will act more like fossil fuels in how it burns, where it can be used, and ease of transportation through pipelines. -- Jeff Goettemoeller
Inside Bay Area - 'Designer biofuels' may replace gas
11-5-2007 -- by Julia Scott

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Researchers make ethanol from biodiesel byproduct

Biodiesel can be made from corn oil left over from ethanol production. Now researchers have developed a way to inexpensively produce ethanol from glycerine--a byproduct of biodiesel production in plentiful supply these days. With the implimentation of both processes, biofuel production will become more efficient, less reliant of fossil fuels, and less expensive overall. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Biofuels News (Green Portal):
Nov 2, 2007 -- by Andiun Kirkbride McElroy

Thursday, October 25, 2007

First "Closed Loop" Ethanol Biorefinery up and Running

This Biorefinery is fueled by gas from cattle manure and they feed byproducts back to the cattle, closing the loop. It's a revolutionary system that is developing a track record on a commercial scale at Mead, Nebraska. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Suburban Newspapers - Mead Ethanol continues to produce:
October 22, 2007
"'We've been really pleased, especially with the quality of the gas,' he said. 'It's excellent.'"

Grand Opening at Shenandoah, IA Ethanol Biorefinery

This event is set for Novemebr 17th. Should be a good opportunity to hear some speakers and visit an ethanol biorefinery.
Grainnet -- October 23, 2007
Green Plains Renewable Energy to Hold Grand Opening in Shenandoah, IA For Company's First Ethanol Plant

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Giant corn stalks may be better for ethanol

Here we are talking about getting sugars from the stalks--even easier to convert to ethanol than the starch from corn kernels. The long days of midwest summers cause high sugar production instead of forming ears in tropical maize (corn) varieties. This could mean a large increase in ethanol yield per acre and decrease in fertilization without the need for new cellulosic processing technology. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
If Corn Is Biofuels King, Tropical Maize May Be Emperor:
Science News -- Oct. 16, 2007
"Without ears, these plants concentrate sugars in their stalks, he adds. Those sugars could have a dramatic affect on Midwestern production of ethanol and other biofuels."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ethanol plant with reduced emissions

These significant advances in ethanol production technology will reduce cost and environmental impact. -- Jeff Goettemoeller
The Times-Tribune - Ethanol plant a new breed:
by Elizabeth Piet -- 10/07/2007
"the facility will use 25 percent less thermal energy and 50 percent less water than existing U.S. ethanol plants, with the goal of eliminating both in the future."

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Moving Wind to the Mainstream: Leveraging Compressed Air Energy Storage

Underground compressed air storage could move wind power to a new level in inexpensive production of electricity. Traditional coal or natural gas powered generators have always had a huge advantage over wind and solar because they could deliver power when needed. Batteries were never efficient or cost effective enough to compete with this. Underground comrpessed air storage powered by wind-driven compressors could close this gap, making wind power extremely attractive and competitive with fossil fuels. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Moving Wind to the Mainstream: Leveraging Compressed Air Energy Storage :
by David Marcus -- October 1, 2007
"The study's results indicate that compressing air with wind power can deliver measurable economic value and make renewable wind power more cost-effective and grid-friendly."

Mid-America economy up on farming, ethanol

Mid-America economy up on farming, ethanol -survey | News | Economic News | Reuters

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Texas A&M, Ceres To Develop Sorghum For Cellulosic Ethanol

When you consider sorghum requires much less water than corn, a 2000 gallon per acre per year ethanol yield would be a tremendous breakthrough for ethanol production in North America. It would expand the range of production well beyond the Corn Belt. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Texas A&M, Ceres To Develop Sorghum For Cellulosic Ethanol: -- Oct 1, 2007
"Rooney's first breeding lines - the precursors to hybrids - can grow to almost 20 feet under favorable weather conditions and could produce more than 2,000 gallons of ethanol per acre, more than four times as much as a conventional cornstarch-to-ethanol process."

Monday, October 01, 2007

Tennessee hosts U.S. first switchgrass ethanol plant

Emerging Energy News: Tennessee hosts U.S. first switchgrass ethanol plant:
October 1, 2007
"Construction of the 5 million gallon per year biorefinery will begin by the end of 2009, with the aim of commencing operation in 2009."

Friday, September 28, 2007

AAA Begins Posting Daily Average Price of E-85 Ethanol Fuel

AAA Begins Posting Daily Average Price of E-85 Ethanol Fuel on Fuel Gauge Report Website: -- September 27, 2007
"Pricing information for E-85 is also available on AAA’s TripTik� Travel Planner, an interactive mapping, routing and travel planning tool that is available free at"

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Researching on-farm Ethanol from Sweet Sorghum

The sweet juice from sweet sorghum stems is easily fermented to ethanol, but must be done quickly after harvest. An on-farm approach might just work. -- Jeff Goettemoeller
ScienceDaily: 'Sweet' Biofuels Research Goes Down On The Farm
September 4, 2007
"Science Daily — Oklahoma State University’s sorghum-related biofuels research is taking a localized approach, with the aim of making possible the effective production of ethanol in the farmer’s own field."

Friday, August 31, 2007

Missouri Biorefinery makes food and fuel

This ST. Joseph Missouri biorefinery is a good example of efficient grain processing--providing both food and ethanol. -- Jeff G.
Cattle Network - Connecting The Beef Industry Worldwide: "This new generation ethanol facility features a mill in the front of the plant that separates the corn kernel into its component parts. This technique enables increased utilization of the starch within the kernel. The resulting higher quality starches will be used for food customers whereas the lower quality starches will be used to produce ethanol."

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hot compost bugs could be better for cellulosic ethanol

This British company believes their new bacteria will make cellulosic ethanol more feasible. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Hot compost bugs promise greener car fuel | Environment | Reuters : "'We believe what we've found is not far from the silver bullet, and our demonstration plant will be about showing that,' Curran told Reuters during a visit to the group's laboratories in Guildford on Wednesday."

Thursday, August 23, 2007

UF chooses Florida Crystals for ethanol plant

This commercial scale cellulosic ethanol biorefinery will apparently use bagasse as a feedstock. Bagasse is the portion of the sugar cane left over after extracting the sugar. It will be available without extra transportation expense as with many other potential feedstocks. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
UF chooses Florida Crystals for ethanol plant - South Florida Business Journal:

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Food & Fuel: Biofuels Could Benefit World's Undernourished

Farmers around the world finally have a chance to sell their goods at a profit. -- Jeff Goettemoeller
Food & Fuel: Biofuels Could Benefit World's Undernourished : -- Aug 21, 2007
"The increase in world agriculture prices caused by the global boom in biofuels could benefit many of the world's rural poor. This is one conclusion of a new 450-page book, 'Biofuels for Transport: Global Potential and Implications for Energy and Agriculture,' authored by the Worldwatch Institute and published by Earthscan."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

New reports examine corn, ethanol, food price connection

Ethanol and corn prices have just a tiny effect, if any, on food prices. The bigger effect is from oil prices, especially for transportation. Jeff G.
New reports examine corn, ethanol, food price connection
Southeast Farm Press -- August 9, 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tennessee biorefinery will turn switchgrass into cellulosic ethanol

The University of Tennessee is partnering with Mascoma to build a biorefinery in Tennessee that will turn switchgrass and woodchips into cellulosic ethanol. -- Jeff Goettemoeller
Monroe County Online information
by Melissa Kinton, the Monroe County Advocate -- Aug 13, 2007
"Biofuel Company Selects Vonore Site"

Friday, August 10, 2007

DOE to Provide funding for increasing efficiency of FFV's, E85 Ethanol

This is certainly a step in the right direction for ethanol. These technologies will allow vehicles to go more miles on fewer BTU's from ethanol. The lower cost of E85 could reflect a real savings when fueling these new ethanol-optimized vehicles. This will also effectively improve rthanol's net energy balance because a given amount of ethanol will do more work. -- Jeff Goettemoeller
Department of Energy - DOE to Provide up to $21.5 million for Research to Improve Vehicle Efficiency:
DOE press release -- August 7, 2007
"Seven of the eleven projects selected total up to $15.3 million in DOE funding and will focus specifically on improving flexible-fuel engines and light-duty vehicles that operate on ethanol-gasoline blends up to 85 percent ethanol by volume (E-85). Research will seek to take advantage of favorable properties of ethanol blends without diminishing gasoline fuel efficiency. "

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Gulf Ethanol Plans to make ethanol from super-tall sorghum

Gulf Ethanol Corp. Advances Production Plans for Sorghum Ethanol Plant Along Texas Gulf Coast:
Grain Net -- Aug. 7, 2007
"Houston, TX--Gulf Ethanol Corporation, (OTC:GFET), has advanced its plans for an enhanced ethanol production facility along the Texas Gulf coast that could use the new sorghum plant developed by Texas A&M as its primary feed stock"

Senators urge blender pumps for ethanol

A group of senators is urging UL to approve "blender pumps" that would allow the customer to choose the percentage of ethanol. This would allow selling various ethanol belends with just two storage tanks--one for ethanol and one for gasoline. The two would be blended at the pump. If we would go a step further and remove the prohibition-era requirement for denaturing ethanol, expenses at ethanol biorefineries could be reduced. Currently, most ethanol producers use gasoline as the denaturant. They need tanks and infrastructure for blending at the biorefinery that would not be needed if the requirement for denaturing were removed. -- Jeff Goettemoeller
Obama Works to Expand Use of Biofuels Nationwide | U.S. Senator Barack Obama:
March 17, 2007
Contact: Ben LaBolt
Urges Underwriters Laboratories to certify 'blender pumps' to make E85 fuels more accessible to motorists across the country"

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Modest Proposal For the Future of Ethanol: Cellulosic Beef

An interesting idea. Grass-fed beef certainly is a healthy alternative. We buy grass-fed bison from a local farmer and love it.-- Jeff G.
A Modest Proposal For the Future of Ethanol: Cellulosic Beef - Seeking Alpha:
July 31, 2007 -- by Tom Konrad
"We don't have to wait until the technology for converting grass into ethanol becomes economic to use grass to increase ethanol production: Instead, all we need to do is to supply the grass to the cattle, and use the corn that they would have eaten instead to produce ethanol."

Gulf Ethanol Enters Final Negotiations for Cellulosic Plant Site

Looks like Sorghum will be the primary feedstock for this project. -- Jeff G.
Gulf Ethanol Enters Final Negotiations for Plant Site: "HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Gulf Ethanol Corp. (OTC:GFET), a Houston-based alternative energy company focused on the development of cellulosic ethanol rather than corn-based ethanol, has entered final negotiations for the purchase of a site location in East Texas where sufficient land is available for sorghum production which will be used as a feedstock by GFET."

Monday, July 30, 2007

LS9 promises 'renewable petroleum'

Interesting idea -- using fatty acid metabolism and separation from water without the need for distillation. The resulting fuel will be able to go in existing engines and distribution pipelines. This will be worth watching. -- Jeff Goettemoeller
LS9 promises 'renewable petroleum' | Gristmill: The environmental news blog | Grist
by David Roberts -- July 30, 2007
"Picture a liquid fuel that is derived from the same feedstocks as cellulosic ethanol (switchgrass, sugar cane, corn stover) but contains 50% more energetic content and is made via a process that uses 65% less energy."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Cleantech Blog: Is IBM Going Solar?

Cleantech Blog: Is IBM Going Solar?
July 25, 2007 -- Cleantech reports on IBM developing solar power technology.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Organic farming can feed the world, U-M study shows

Sustainable farming methods will be especially important as petroleum becomes more expensive. The fertilizers made from petroleum will be expensive as well. -- Jeff Goettemoeller
Organic farming can feed the world, U-M study shows:
July 10, 2007 -- U. of Michigan News Service
"ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Organic farming can yield up to three times as much food on individual farms in developing countries, as low-intensive methods on the same land—according to new findings which refute the long-standing claim that organic farming methods cannot produce enough food to feed the global population."

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

DuPont invests $58M to construct two biofuels facilities

This marks an important step toward developing biobutanol as a motor fuel. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
DuPont invests $58M to construct two biofuels facilities:

Engineers make ethanol from glycerine

Biodiesel production creates glycerine as a coproduct. Making it into ethanol might be a good option. -- Jeff Goettemoeller
Rice University News & Media:
by Jade Boyd -- June 19, 2007
"Rice engineers find way to make ethanol, valuable chemicals from waste glycerin"

Saturday, June 30, 2007

POET produces cellulosic ethanol from corn cobs

POET produces cellulosic ethanol from corn cobs: "Cobs and fiber to be feedstock for commercial cellulosic production facility constructed in joint effort with U.S. Department of Energy
Press Release from Poet
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (June 27, 2007) "

DOE Invests $375 M to Three Bioenergy Research Centers

DOE Invests $375 M to Three Bioenergy Research Centers:
Renewable Energy Access -- June 26, 2006
"Federal U.S. funds will cover the centers for the first five years of operation."

The Problem's Not Peak Oil, It's Politics

Petroleum supplies are likely to be restricted by government actions around the globe, causing a peak in production long before it would happen due to geologic limitations. -- Jeff Goettemoeller
The Problem's Not Peak Oil, It's Politics:
By Stanley Reed -- Business Week -- June 28, 2007
"Go-it-alone governments are choking back output to perilous levels"

Friday, June 29, 2007

New American Biofuels Council Founded

Wisconsin Ag Connection - National/World News - New American Biofuels Council Founded : "In a major initiative to build a grassroots communications network for the advancement of biofuels adoption, a new national association called The American Biofuels Council has been formed. ABC's mission is to advance the uses of alternative fuels and other products derived from biomass derivatives, by promoting research, development and education on the use of biofuels."

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Biodiesel From Algae

Popular Science looks at the prospects for biodiesel from algae, a route that could expand production tremendously. -- Jeff Goettemoeller
The Greenest Green Fuel - Popular Science:
by Elizabeth Svoboda -- July 2007
"Looking for a clean fuel that grows anywhere, needs only sunlight and water, and could produce enough oil to free the U.S. from its petroleum addiction? Here’s one start-up’s plan for converting oil from algae—yes, algae "

Monday, June 25, 2007

Fruit-based fuel could beat out corn-based rival

It wouldn't be very soon, but DMF is one of the many options that could become an important part of the energy solution. -- Jeff G.
Fruit-based fuel could beat out corn-based rival - Houston Chronicle:
June 23, 2007 -- By Rick Barrett
"University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers said last week they have found a better way of converting fructose, a common sugar, into a fuel called 2,5-dimethylfuran, or DMF."

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Kansas prairies could produce biofuel and more

The Hutchinson News, Hutchinson, Kan., Regional News: "'Multi-use systems are possible,' Jackson said. 'Biofuels are potentially compatible with livestock, honey, wildlife - both game and nongame - conservation and wind farms.'"

Friday, June 15, 2007

Ethanol group blames oil prices for costly U.S. food

Ethanol group blames oil prices for costly U.S. food - Jun. 14, 2007: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Blame surging oil and gasoline prices for driving up the cost of U.S. groceries, the ethanol industry said Thursday, defending itself from charges that the corn price spike was making food more expensive."

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Give Ethanol a Chance: the case for corn-based fuel

Biofuels News (Green Portal):
June 13, 2007 -- by David Morris
"In the last few years, the environmental community has begun attacking corn-derived ethanol. Although imperfect, there are reasons to give ethanol a fair trial."

Gulf Ethanol Targets Sorghum for Cellulosic Ethanol

By exploiting both the sugar content of sorghum stems and the cellulosic material, sorghum could deliver greater ethanol yields per acre than corn kernels do. -- Jeff Goettemoeller
Gulf Ethanol Targets Sorghum for Cellulosic Ethanol:
"Houston, TX -- Gulf Ethanol Corp. (OTC:GFET), a Houston-based ethanol company, announced June 13 the launch of its advanced initiative to develop alternative fuel stock for the production of Ethanol. "

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ethanol Byproduct Could Play Role in Fighting World Hunger

The "DG" referred to below is distiller's grain, a by-product left after ethanol production from corn. Most of the important nutrients are in the DG. Ethanol is made from the starch portion of corn kernels. Starch is usually not in short supply for diets around the world. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Ethanol Producers & Consumers breaking news:
October 9, 2007
"DG can enhance our food. We can add protein and fiber to our regular foods with the inclusion of DG as an ingredient in those foods. Think of kids and the junk foods they devour. We can enhance pizza crusts, bread sticks, cereals and chips. Think of older people and their nutritional needs. We could include DG in the Meals on Wheels program. Sprinkle DG on the foods we regularly eat to add protein and/or fiber. Think of overseas programs. We send our whole grains to poor countries. Yet, missionaries return home and tell us they do not have a means of preparing whole grains. They need the protein and vitamins, and already have many forms of starch. So, why not keep the starch here in the U.S. and turn it into the fuel we need in this country, and send them the nutritional parts of the grain. Make the DG into a food bar, which can be easily transported, distributed and eaten. Just imagine the savings in transportation costs. Find a way to add the DG to their traditional foods."

Cellulosic Ethanol in South Dakota?

The Rapid City Journal
by Kevin Woster

ScienceDaily: Extreme Environment Biology Research May Help Solve Lignocellulosic Ethanol Puzzle

ScienceDaily: Extreme Environment Biology Research May Help Solve Lignocellulosic Ethanol Puzzle
June 13, 2007 -- Sandia National Laboratories

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Vinod Khosla: Betting Big On Green

Vinod Khosla: Betting Big On Green - Newsweek: International Editions -
June 18, 2007 -- By Barrett Sheridan

Is Ethanol Responsible for Higher Food Prices?

Press reports periodically blame ethanol for higher food prices, but the facts don't support the assumption that corn prices have a significant impact on food prices. Other factors such as labor and transportation costs play a bigger role in food prices today. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Reusable fuels: Good goal, good policy�-�Commentary�-�The Washington Times, America's Newspaper:
by Ken McCauley -- June 10, 2007
"...the value of all raw food ingredients (including grains) accounts for less than 20 cents of each dollar an American consumer spends on food. Even at $4 per bushel, the amount of corn represented in a pound of pork comes out to about 17 cents."

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Prairie Cordgrass for Cellulosic Ethanol on the Northern Plains

On the northern plains, cordgrass may yield the best for cellulosic ethanol, while other regions will do better with switchgrass or miscanthus. Cropping systems and crop selections need to be developed for every different region of north America. The potential is huge for cellulosic ethanol if we optimize it in this way. -- Jeffrey Goettemoeller
Newswise Science News | Prairie Cordgrass for Cellulosic Ethanol Production:
June 8, 2007 -- South Dakota State University
"Even unimproved genotypes of prairie cordgrass have produced nearly 10 tons of dry matter in SDSU forage breeder Arvid Boe's experimental trials in recent years. That is roughly twice as much as the best switchgrass will produce in South Dakota."

Still Too Cheap | Brian Lewis:
June 9, 2007 -- Brian Lewis
"But as we move towards energy independence, we're likely going to find that cheap energy will be a thing of the past. That's good. We get ripped off when we don't know the value of what we're buying. If we don't value something we just throw it away."

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Missouri GA Passes Easy Connection Act for Renewable Energy

Missouri GA Passes Easy Connection Act for Renewable Energy :
June 1, 2007 --
"The Missouri General Assembly's passage of the Easy Connection Act (ECA) establishes uniform procedures to allow Missourians to connect a small renewable energy system to the electric grid in a quick, safe, and reliable manner."

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Companies plan to make cellulosic ethanol by pyrolysis

BioCentric Energy and Core Venture Announce Joint Venture Agreement With Sustainable Power Corp:
(MARKET WIRE) -- 06/04/07 -- BCEI/Core announces today the signing of a Joint Venture Agreement with Sustainable Power Corp. (PINKSHEETS: SSTP) to capitalize on their unique Rivera Process of Hydrolysis/Pyrolysis which delivers Cellulosic Ethanol. The first negotiated facilities to deliver this revolutionary solution are in Mason City, Iowa with a projected completion date of first phase by October 15, 2007 and Caruthersville, Missouri with a projected completion date of June 1, 2008."

Mascoma Corporation Adds Former Senator Tom Daschle to Board of Directors

Mascoma Corporation Adds Former Senator Tom Daschle to Board of Directors:
June 4, 2007
"CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mascoma Corporation, a leader in cellulosic biomass-to-biofuels development and production, today announced former United States Senator Tom Daschle has joined the company’s Board of Directors."

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Chevron Invests in Cellulosic Ethanol Research

Autopia - Wired Blogs:
"The energy company is teaming up with universities across the country to develop biofuels that will supplement the dwindling supplies of oil."

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Friday, May 25, 2007

"Sugar Car" could make hydrogen on-board from sugar or starch

Perhaps we will one day be able to put starch or cellulosic materials directly into our fuel tanks, by-passing the need to make ethanol or other biofuels. That's what this research at Virginia Tech seems to be aiming for, increasing efficiency vs. the ethanol route. -- Jeff G.
News Story | Virginia Tech News | Virginia Tech :
By Susan Truelove -- May 23
"The vision is for the ingredients to be mixed in the fuel tank of your car, for instance. A car with an approximately 12-gallon tank could hold 27 kilograms (kg) of starch, which is the equivalent of 4 kg of hydrogen. The range would be more than 300 miles, Zhang estimates. One kg of starch will produce the same energy output as 1.12 kg (0.38 gallons) of gasoline."

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cleantech Blog: Gas Misers or Corn Guzzlers

Cleantech Blog: Gas Misers or Corn Guzzlers:
by John Addison -- May 15, 2007
"People buying new cars are asking if they should get a high mileage hybrid that runs on gasoline, or a flex-fuel vehicle that could run on E85 ethanol."

Wave Energy Development Moves Forward

Wave Hub Names Fourth Developer for Wave Energy Farm
May 15, 2007

Biodiesel from Algae, Powered by Geothermal

Biodiesel from Algae, Powered by Geothermal :
by Karen Woodmansee -- May 15, 2007
"'It (algae) starts out in a test tube and replicates itself,' he said. 'We can grow it in our test ponds. It is about a thousand times more productive to grow algae than growing oil seed in the dirt."

Monday, May 14, 2007

Brothers invent corn cob collection attachment for combines

Nebraskans Jay and Ty Stukenholtz of Nebraska have invented a device that can retrofit a combine for collecting corn cobs as it also collects corn kernels. Cobs could be used as a feedstock for cellulosic ethanol or butanol production. -- Jeff G.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

GreenShift Executes Letters of Intent for Corn Oil Biodiesel Facilities

This system will use corn kernels more efficiently by producing biodiesel from the oil portion that cannot be used for ethanol production. -- Jeff G.
GS AgriFuels Corporation - Press Room - GreenShift Executes Letters of Intent for Corn Oil Biodiesel Facilities: "NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GreenShift Corporation (OTC Bulletin Board: GSHF - News) today announced the execution of letters of intent that provide for the design, construction and operation of integrated corn oil extraction and biodiesel production facilities on-site at selected ethanol facilities."

Friday, May 04, 2007

U.S. to Invest in Small-Scale Cellulosic Biorefineries

It's good that a vatiety of cellulosic technologies are being tested to see which ones should be scaled up. -- Jeff G.
U.S. to Invest in Small-Scale Cellulosic Biorefineries : "The full-scale biorefineries will focus on near-term commercial processes, while the small-scale facilities will experiment with new feedstocks and processing technologies."

Monday, April 30, 2007

Research might lead to building materials, paints and biofuels from cellulosic biomass

Researchers think the same cellulosic biomass might yield biofuels and the raw material for many products such as building materials and paints currently derived from fossil fuels. -- Jeff G.
Ceres and Rohm and Haas to Study Plant-Based Bioproducts :
April 2007
"THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. and SPRINGHOUSE, Pa., April 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Energy crop company Ceres, Inc. and Rohm and Haas Company , a leading manufacturer of specialty materials, today announced a research collaboration that will work toward producing plant-based alternatives to a petroleum-derived material used in thousands of home and industrial products."

Biobutanol Performance Similar to Unleaded Gasoline, According to New Fuel Testing

Here's more evidence that biobutanol could be a good fuel. -- Jeff G.
DuPont :: Biobutanol Performance Similar to Unleaded Gasoline, According to New Fuel Testing: "DETROIT, April 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- New fuel testing results shared today by DuPont and BP indicate that biobutanol has proven to perform similarly to unleaded gasoline on key parameters, based on ongoing laboratory- based engine testing and limited fleet testing."

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Producing Renewable Fuels From Renewable Energy

This biorefinery expects to achieve a 10:1 net energy balance -- better than even the most efficient standard corn biorefineries. -- Jeff G.
Producing Renewable Fuels From Renewable Energy : "In the fall of 2008, XL Dairy Group, Inc. will begin operations at its Vicksburg, Arizona, facility as a self-contained biorefinery designed to produce high-grade ethanol, biodiesel, milk and dairy products, and animal feed -- along with 100% of the energy required to run the plant."

Monday, April 23, 2007

The answer isn't oil, either

When evaluating alternatives like ethanol, it always needs to be done in comparison to the commodities they replace, like petroleum. It's easy enough to find problems with any energy solution. Yet we still need energy, so we must choose the solution with the least problems. -- Jeff G.
The answer isn't oil, either -
by Diana Christopulos -- April 23, 2007
"The true price of oil is much higher than what we pay at the pump."

In search of fuel's holy grail In search of fuel's holy grail:
by Shawn McCarthy
"Companies in Canada are closing in on a profitable way to turn wood waste into ethanol to use as an alternative to gasoline."

Monday, April 16, 2007

Joint ADM and Purdue University Cellulosic Ethanol Project Selected for Funding by U.S. Department of Energy

Joint ADM and Purdue University Cellulosic Ethanol Project Selected for Funding by U.S. Department of Energy : "DECATUR, Ill., April 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- A joint BioEnergy
project of Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) and Purdue University
has been selected to receive funding by the U.S. Department of Energy to
further the commercialization of cellulosic ethanol. Specifically, the
Purdue-ADM project is focused on commercializing the use of
highly-efficient yeast which converts cellulosic materials into ethanol
through fermentation."

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Grasses could start as process fuel, then feedstock

In order to establish the infrastructure for eventually using gasses as an ethanol feedstock, we can start by using them as a fuel to replace natural gas and coal process fuels in existing corn kernel biorefineries. Some facilities have already installed gasifier systems that can use a variety of biomass materials. -- Jeff G.

Farm & Ranch Guide: North Dakota's Ag Newspaper
: "Current corn ethanol production uses large amounts of fossil fuels at the ethanol plant for milling, fermentation, and distillation,” Hill said. “Diverse prairie biomass could be used in their place, thereby reducing fossil energy use, fostering a fledgling cellulosic biomass production industry and realizing the many environmental benefits of restoring native grassland ecosystems."

E=mc2- For ethanol, Einstein was a little too optimistic

E=mc2- For ethanol, Einstein was a little too optimistic:
by Ken Root -- 4-12-07
"If 'E' equals ethanol and 'c' equals corn, then the noted physicist would have been wrong because the 'm' mass of corn can't yet be squared as it's turned into a biofuel."

Friday, April 13, 2007

Chevron, Weyerhaeuser in Cellulosic Deal

United Press International - Energy - Briefing:
April 12, 2007
"FEDERAL WAY, Wash., (UPI) -- Chevron Corp. and Weyerhaeuser Co. Thursday announced they signed a letter of intent to jointly assess the commercial feasibility of cellulosic biofuels."

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Single Microbe Yields Ethanol, Plus Eco-Friendly Glue

This microbe could streamline cellulosic ethanol production, hopefully lowering costs. -- Jeff G.
Single Microbe Yields Ethanol, Plus Eco-Friendly Glue / April 12, 2007 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service

Thursday, April 05, 2007

BlueFire expects cellulosic production costs under DOE target

BlueFire plans to make ethanol and other products from municipal waste with the help of landfill methane. If the technology works, it appears they have a good model because of their low feedstock cost and not needing to transport the feedstocks far. -- Jeff G.
PRESS RELEASE BlueFire CEO Addresses Shareholders: "BlueFire's current production cost estimate for the project is significantly lower than the DOE's cellulosic ethanol goal of $1.07/gal in production costs by 2012, and DOE's current estimate of approximately $2.26/gal."

Monday, April 02, 2007

Utilities plan Iowa project to store wind-generated power with pressurized air

In this project, electricity from wind generators, even a great distance from the site, would power generators to pressurize air into an underground aquifer. Release of that air at a later time would power generators to make electricity at times of greatest demand. -- Jeff G.
Utilities plan Iowa project to store wind-generated power:
U.S. Water New Online -- April 2007
"...the utility owners will be able to store and produce energy at a price equivalent to 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour, then sell the energy at peak times for 8 to 10 cents a kilowatt hour."

Friday, March 30, 2007

Company develops compressed air storage for wind power

This looks like it could be a viable alternative to batteries for storing energy. Wind turbines compress air rather than making electricity directly. -- Jeff g.
"The high-pressure pipeline network collects and stores 6-12 hours of energy. If the project is sited near a geologic feature such as a salt dome, aquifer, limestone cavern, or depleted gas field, energy storage times can exceed a month."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

China reports major offshore oil find

China reports major offshore oil find - International Herald Tribune:
AP -- March 28, 2007
"Daily production could reach 200,000 barrels within three years, Xinhua said. But that still would be equal to just a fraction of China's imports of 2.9 million barrels per day."

Biofuels demand will increase, not decrease, world food supplies argues scientist

Interesting take on the food vs. fuel topic. -- Jeff G.
Biofuels demand will increase, not decrease, world food supplies argues scientist

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hong Kong Engineers Develop Micro-Wind Turbine

This looks like it might be a true affordable micro-turbine that could be installed almost anywhere without the problems of mounting, vibrations, etc. Importantly, they say it generates electricity in winds as low as 2 meters per second (about 4.47 miles per hour). Units can be linked to produce greater amounts of electricity. Conventional wisdom says wind generators must grow ever bigger to become more competitive. Perhaps microturbines can be competitive by going smaller, with more of them. Every homeowner could have one in most areas, especially where net metering is available. Cumulative power production could be considerable -- Jeff G.
Hong Kong Engineers Develop Micro-Wind Turbine:
March 25, 2007
"Unlike conventionall wind turbines with 50-meter-diameter rotor blades, the compact micro-wind turbines are equipped with specially designed plastic gearwheels with a rotor diameter of just 26 centimeters."

Ethanol boom creates water use dilemma

Water use might be the biggest dilemma for dry areas like western Kansas when it comes to corn ethanol. This article points out that the extra water for irrigating corn may be more critical than water use at ethanol biorefineries. The best solution would be tapping cellulosic ethanol crops like grasses and wheat straw that take much less water. Even starch and sugar crops like wheat grain, barley, grain sorghum, sweet sorghum, and Jerusalem Artichokes take much less water than corn does. Some of them are high yielding as well. -- Jeff G.
Ethanol boom creates dilemma for farmers and small towns | "“That’s what’s really going to kill the water situation here,” says Brakey, a businessman from nearby Dodge City. “The amount of water it will take to irrigate all that corn.”"

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Proposed wood-fired ethanol plant in Wisconsin

This biorefinery will convert wood liquor into ethanol, using wood waste as the process fuel. -- Jeff G.
The Daily Press - Ashland, WI
: Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Let's stop nay-saying and get behind ethanol

Kansas City Star | 03/19/2007 | AS I SEE IT: Let's stop nay-saying and get behind ethanol: "...The lesson is twofold. One, if we truly want an alternative to petroleum-based fuels, the public needs to back the use of cellulosic ethanol or the plan will fail."

Saturday, March 17, 2007

DuPont's biobutanol strategy could deliver multiple benefits

If DuPont and BP can perfect a viable production process, it's hard to see how it would not make sense to switch from ethanol to biobutanol production and use in most cases. The ability to mix at higher levels with gasoline and greater ease in pipeline shipping alone would be huge advantages. -- Jeff G.
DuPont Leader Reviews Strategy to Bring Next Generation Biofuels to Market : "It resolves fuel stability issues in that
biobutanol-gasoline blends can potentially be distributed via the existing
fuel supply infrastructure; it improves blend flexibility allowing higher
biofuels blends with gasoline; it improves fuel efficiency (better miles
per gallon) compared to incumbent biofuels; and, it enhances
ethanol-gasoline blends by lowering the vapor pressure when co-blended with
these fuels. Biobutanol is targeted for introduction later this year in the
United Kingdom."

Friday, March 16, 2007

Kentucky considers biofuel production incentives

Cellulosic Ethanol Could help put states like Kentcuky in the Ethanol game without the need for importing corn. States in the southeast U.S. have as much potential for biomass yield per acre as anywhere in the nation. -- Jeff G.
Fletcher backs help for alternative fuels : "Fletcher said he also believes the incentives could help 'seal the deal' for cellulosic ethanol plants in Eastern Kentucky when that technology becomes commercially feasible."

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

800 gallons/acre of ethanol from corn within 10 years

DuPont Innovations to Help Agriculture Meet Global Challenges:
Press Release -- March 1, 2007
"'By applying cutting-edge science across the biofuel value chain, we will be able to help farmers more than double the gallons of ethanol produced from an acre of corn -- 600 gallons from grain and 200 gallons from stover -- within the next 10 years,' said Niebur."

Friday, March 02, 2007

New Vehicle Design Surpasses State Global Warming Standards

New Vehicle Design Surpasses State Global Warming Standards:
Union of Concerned Scientists -- March 1, 2007
"The Vanguard is designed to run on either pure gasoline or a mixture of gasoline and as much as 85-percent ethanol. Using 85-percent corn-based ethanol can reduce global warming pollution from 10 percent to 30 percent. Using 'cellulosic' ethanol could cut global warming pollution by as much as 90 percent. There are currently 32 types of flex-fuel vehicles on the road."

Thursday, March 01, 2007

DOE announces cellulosic ethanol grants

Six projects were awarded funding. -- Jeff
Ethanol Producer Magazine
by David Niles -- Feb. 28, 2007

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A (Re)Birth for Offshore Wind

Cleantech blog: A (Re)Birth for Offshore Wind
by Richard T. Stuebi -- Feb. 26, 2007

Monday, February 26, 2007

Dupont's Commercialization Strategies for Cellulosic Ethanol, Biobutanol Advancing

Cellulosic biobutanol looks like our best renewable transportation fuel option in the next 20-30 years. It can be used in our existing vehicles and pipelines much more readily than ethanol can. -- Jeff
Dupont's Commercialization Strategies for Cellulosic Ethanol, Biobutanol Advancing:
Feb. 22, 2007
"Fleet testing of biobutanol has begun in the United States and the European Union. Biobutanol market testing is targeted for later this year in the United Kingdom."

Sunday, February 25, 2007

New crops could fuel new wave of ethanol
by Jerry Perkins -- Feb. 25, 2007
"Corn is not enough. Researchers hope to increase the yields from dedicated energy crops, such as switchgrass."

Thursday, February 22, 2007

FIU, Florida Crystals to Develop Cellulosic Ethanol Technology

FIU, Florida Crystals to Develop Ethanol Technology: "
Feb. 22, 2007
The grant, the product of a unique partnership between FIU-ARC and
FCC, will identify a pretreatment process that can cost-effectively convert
sugar cane bagasse to ethanol."

DuPont outlines commercialization strategies for cellulosic ethanol and biobutanol

Biofuel Review - international biofuel news updated daily - DuPont outlines commercialization strategies for cellulosic ethanol and biobutanol:
by Giles Clark, London -- Feb. 21, 2007
"A 25 million gallon per year commercial-scale plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa, will begin production of cellulosic ethanol in the next four to six years."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ethanol's future not dependent on corn

The debate continues about how far along cellulosic ethanol technology really is. This article touches on some of the companies planning to make it in the near future. -- Jeff - Business - Ethanol's future not dependent on corn:
by Tyler Hamilton -- Feb. 19, 2007
"From a technology perspective, there's always room for improvement. But, far from what the oil CEOs suggest, there's no breakthrough or invention required to make cellulosic ethanol an economic alternative to corn-based ethanol."

Friday, February 16, 2007

Cellulosic Ethanol Demonstration Biorefinery under Construction

"The Celunol facility in Jennings is the first demonstration plant under construction in the U.S."

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Vinod Khosla: President Bush, Please Declare a War on Oil!

Vinod Khosla with his latest pitch for cellulosic ethanol. Well worth reading. Comes from someone putting his money where his mouth is, investing in several cellulosic ethanol companies. -- Jeff
The Blog Vinod Khosla: President Bush, Please Declare a War on Oil! The Huffington Post

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Researchers Help Take Natural Gas Out Of Ethanol Production

Biomass could replace Natural gas as the fuel for operating ethanol refineries -- Jeff
ScienceDaily: Researchers Help Take Natural Gas Out Of Ethanol Production
Sept. 27, 2006

Engineers Devise Process To Improve Energy Efficiency of Ethanol Production

Jan. 26: Engineers Devise Process To Improve Energy Efficiency of Ethanol Production - Carnegie Mellon University:
Jan. 26, 2007
"Carnegie Mellon researchers have used advanced process-design methods combined with mathematical-optimization techniques to reduce the operating costs of corn-based bio-ethanol plants by more than 60 percent."

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Manure for Fuel

Farmers will give this Herford, Texas ethanol refinery their cattle manure. Then the refinery will use the manure for power. Sounds like a good model for reducing costs while helping farmers and the environment. -- Jeff
Biomass Energy: Manure for Fuel: "Local farmers have contracted with Panda to supply the manure free of charge just to get rid of the mounds of waste rather than paying to have it carted away."

HBS BioEnergy Forms Joint Venture With Dairy Development Group to Convert Waste to Power in Proposed Ethanol Plant

This sounds similar to the project in Meade, Nebraska, but it will use manure from multiple farms for ethanol process fuel rather than incorporating its own feedlot. Let's hope this model works and is implimented wherever enough feedlots are operating. -- Jeff
PRESS RELEASE HBS BioEnergy Forms Joint Venture With Dairy Development Group to Convert Waste to Power in Proposed Ethanol Plant:
Press Release -- Feb. 12, 2007
"The Energy Park will utilize waste from surrounding dairies to provide the power needed to fuel a proposed ethanol plant to be located on site."

Monday, February 12, 2007

butanol may soon be the biofuel of choice

British Scientists are getting into the biofuels game with research on a better way to make butanol for fuel. -- Jeffrey
Green Fuel Plan Nets Cash (from Oxford Mail):
by Maggie Hartford
"We believe butanol will replace ethanol and biodiesel as the bio-fuel of choice within 10 years."

Diversa and Celunol Merge to Create Cellulosic Ethanol Technology

Looks like commercial production of cellulosic ethanol is getting close. -- JeffreyDiversa and Celunol Merge to Create Cellulosic Ethanol Technology:
Feb. 12, 2006
"Celunol has recently commenced operations of the nation's first cellulosic ethanol pilot facility in Jennings, LA and expects to complete a 1.4 million gallons-per-year, demonstration-scale facility to produce cellulosic ethanol from sugarcane bagasse and specially-bred energy cane by the end of 2007."

Saturday, February 10, 2007

What Chance for Bio-Butanol?

A British take on Biobutanol. -- Jeff
Energy Balance:
February 9, 2007
"Much discussion on biofuels circles around bioethanol, as I mentioned most recntly in the posting 'U.S. May Need to Import Corn', since this is provides a better crop-fuel yield than say, biodiesel and ceratainly biohydrogen. However, there is a new kid on the block and that is biobutanol. "

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Key Questions on Energy Options

A discussion of whether ethanol and biodiesel are sustainable with various feedstocks. Talks about solar and wind as well. -- Jeffrey
The Oil Drum | Key Questions on Energy Options

Ethanol production must adhere to state's water rules

Wichita Eagle | 02/01/2007 | Ethanol production must adhere to state's water rules

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Could DDG power ethanol biorefineries?

If they can make this work it might bode well for ethanol's energy balance since natural gas is one of the largest fossil fuel inputs currently. -- Jeffrey
"An engineer looks at refining a byproduct into methane, and using that gas to power the plant."

Friday, January 26, 2007

Sunopta updates current cellulosic ethanol projects

News Release:
News Release
"TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 18, 2007--SunOpta Inc. (NASDAQ:STKL) (TSX:SOY) today provided an update on the four cellulosic ethanol projects which are or will be operational using SunOpta's patented technology and equipment to produce ethanol from cellulosic biomass including woodchips, corn stover, sugar cane bagasse, and wheat straw."

DuPont's Cellulosic Butanol Technology Can Help Farmers Meet President Bush's Renewable Energy Challenge

DuPont's Technology Can Help Farmers Meet President Bush's Renewable Energy Challenge:
Jan. 26, 2006
"The first product will be biobutanol. Biobutanol has low vapor pressure and tolerance to water contamination in gasoline blends, facilitating its use in existing gasoline supply and distribution channels."

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Colorado Company Pursues Low-Cost, Low-Impact Technology to Develop Nation's Oil Shale Resources

This technology could make shale oil mining more feasible, but it would still require considerable power input for heating the rock. It would be interesting to see how much energy this will require -- Jeffrey
NETL: News Release - Colorado Company Pursues Low-Cost, Low-Impact Technology to Develop Nation's Oil Shale Resources:
News Release -- Jan. 10, 2007
"Composite Technology Development Inc. (CTD), Lafayette, Colo., is developing a technology that can heat the oil shale in situ, several thousand feet below the surface, separating the kerogen without mining the oil shale rock. If proven viable, the process could extract the petroleum-like liquid and render it mobile enough to be pumped to the surface."

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ethanol Plants May Increasingly Use Methane for Power

Some ethanol biorefinereies will soon be powered by methane from cattle manure or landfills, improving profits and energy balance. -- Jeffrey
Cattle Network - Connecting The Beef Industry Worldwide
Mead, Ne. (AP)-- 1/22/2007

Bush calls for 7 times more ethanol use by 2017
by Philip Brasher -- Jan 23, 2006

MIT ethanol analysis confirms benefits of biofuels including ethanol

This latest ethanol life cycle analysis of ethanol is by an MIT graduate student. It looks at ethanol from corn kernels, corn fodder, and switchgrass. The good thing about this attempt is that she looks at a range of variables and comes up with probabilities for various outcomes. This approach is necessary because of the many uncertain variables in these calculations. -- Jeffrey
MIT ethanol analysis confirms benefits of biofuels - MIT News Office: "Regardless of the energy balance, replacing gasoline with corn-based ethanol does significantly reduce oil consumption because the biomass production and conversion process requires little petroleum. And further MIT analyses show that making ethanol from cellulosic sources such as switchgrass has far greater potential to reduce fossil energy use and greenhouse gas emissions."

MIT-led panel backs 'heat mining' as key U.S. energy source

MIT-led panel backs 'heat mining' as key U.S. energy source - MIT News Office:
Jan 22, 2007
"A comprehensive new MIT-led study of the potential for geothermal energy within the United States has found that mining the huge amounts of heat that reside as stored thermal energy in the Earth's hard rock crust could supply a substantial portion of the electricity the United States will need in the future, probably at competitive prices and with minimal environmental impact."

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

MIT: Hot Rocks could provide significant power source

This technique of fracturing hot rocks, injecting water, and extracting that water after it is heated is not limited to areas with natural geothermal activity at the surface. Hot rocks could be tapped close to where the power is needed. -- Jeffrey
Technology Review: Abundant Power from Universal Geothermal Energy:
by Kevin Bullis -- August 1, 2006
"An MIT chemical engineer explains why new technologies could finally make 'heat mining' practical nearly anywhere on earth."

Monday, January 22, 2007

Vinod Khosla responds to Terry Tamminen on ethanol

What I like about Khosla's approach is that he does not let the mirage of some unachieveable perfect answer stop him from pursuing answers that are imperfect. Rather, he works to improve the imperfect solutions including cellulosic ethanol. -- Jeffrey
Vinod Khosla responds to Terry Tamminen on ethanol | Gristmill: The environmental news blog | Grist

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

U of N. Dakota Developing Biomass Technologies to Advance Ethanol

EERC Developing Biomass Technologies to Advance Ethanol
Renewable Energy Access -- January 15, 2007

Iowa to Combine Wind Energy & Compressed Air Storage Technology

Iowa to Combine Wind Energy & CAES Technology:
Renewable Energy Access -- Jan 12, 2007
"75-150 megawatt wind farm with Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) technology."

Monday, January 08, 2007

Cheverolet Volt Electric Plug-in Concept Could burn Ethanol

GM Media Online:
January 1, 2007
"In addition, the Chevrolet Volt is designed to run on E85, a fuel blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Using E85, fuel economy of 150 mpg would translate into more than 525 miles per petroleum gallon."

Gentlemen, Start Your Plug-Ins

Gentlemen, Start Your Plug-Ins: Electric Plug-in Hybrid | Committee for the Present Danger | R. James Woolsey:
By R. James Woolsey, Jan. 2, 2007
"Electricity is about to become a major partner with alternative liquid fuels in replacing oil."

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Renewable Energy Roadmap: Rural America Can Prosper

Renewable Energy Roadmap: Rural America Can Prosper:
Dec. 28, 2006
"Report from the University of Tennessee finds the 25x25 goal will boost farm income and create millions of jobs. "