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."