Kum & Go, E15 Leader #ACE Award Honoree

Jim Pirolli Kum and GoKum & Go is well known in the Midwest, especially in states like Iowa and Nebraska where this year’s #ACE annual Ethanol Conference took place (Omaha). During the event, Jim Pirolli, Vice President of Fuels for Kum & Go talked about his company’s commitment to rolling out E15 stations as well as their efforts to continue to sell more E85. The retailer opened their first E15 station in Des Moines, Iowa recently with 6 more planned over the coming months.

How are they successful? Well, for starters they are price competitive at the pump. Pirolli said that Kum & Go recognizes that alternative fuels such as ethanol support local economies, better for the environment and help them deliver more to the customer than they might expect via an expanded product portfolio and also offering the economic and performance benefits. This summer they have done a very aggressive promotion campaign for E85 in Omaha and also for E15 in Des Moines. He did ask for help in helping to educate consumers about E15.

Listen to Jim Pirolli’s presentation here: Jim Pirolli, Kum & Go

Paul Dana Marketing Vision Award

American Coalition for Ethanol’s (ACE) Ron Lamberty (left) awards Jim Pirolli with Kum & Go the Paul Dana Marketing Vision Award.

Also during the event, Kum & Go was awarded the Paul Dana Marketing Vision Award, to honor a retailer who is supportive of ethanol. Ron Lamberty with ACE noted that the retailer has been an ongoing leader in ethanol selling E10 back in 1979, today as 170 E85 stations in 11 states. He praised them for stepping up for ethanol and for marketing the fuel aggressively and for being a leader in offering E15 to consumers.

Listen to Ron Lamberty’s remarks about Kum and Go here: Kum & Go Honored with Paul Dana Marketing Vision Award

2015 ACE Annual Meeting Photos

Minnesota Coop to Offer E85 For 85 Cents A Gallon

pump3E85 (85 percent ethanol/15 percent gas) will be available for 85 cents a gallon at the Farmers Coop Elevator in Bellingham, Minnesota on Wednesday, August 19 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Located at 300 Railroad Road, the promotion will also offer a 30 cents per gallon discount on E30 and a 15 cents discount per gallon on E15. The fuels are only available for flex fuel vehicles (FFVs). To see if your car can run on higher blends of ethanol, visit www.MNFuels.com.

“These promotions are a great opportunity for drivers of flex fuel vehicles to give these cleaner-burning fuels a try,” said Robert Moffitt, communications director for the American Lung Association in Minnesota. “Because flex fuel vehicles can also run on conventional gasoline blends, many owners don’t realize they can also use a fuel that reduces air pollution and usually costs less than gas.”

The American Lung Association in Minnesota recognizes the role cleaner-burning fuels like E85 have in reducing harmful tailpipe emissions and reducing air pollution. Other supporters include the Bellingham Farmers Elevator, Lac qui Parle County Corn & Soybean Growers, Minnesota Corn Growers Association and the Minnesota Clean Air Choice Team. For more information on the ethanol and other cleaner fuels available in Minnesota, visit www.CleanAirChoice.org.

RFA Intern Pumps Ethanol for Bikers

sturgis-15-austinAustin Ludowese is a Minnesota farm boy majoring in business education at the University of Wisconsin-Stout but this week he is pumping E10 at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip Campground to help educate bikers about ethanol.

This is Ludowese’s last week of a two month internship with the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) which he says has been a great experience. “Working with RFA has been great,” he said. “It’s good to see how passionate people are in the industry and the kind of work they put in to promote not only using ethanol but educating as well, which is what we’re doing here in Sturgis.”

During his time with RFA this summer, Ludowese has traveled to Washington DC and to the EPA hearing in Kansas City where he testified about the importance of ethanol to his family farm in Minnesota. “Ethanol has always been a huge part of my family, as far as farming, we deliver all of our corn to ethanol plants,” he said, adding that learning more about the policy side of the industry will help him when he returns to farming after graduating from college. His brother Evan interned with RFA last year.

RFA will be continuing “Free Fuel Happy Hours” at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip Campground where Ludowese will be filling motorcycle tanks with 93 octane E10 from 1-4 pm today and tomorrow.

Listen to an interview with Austin here: Interview with Austin Ludowese, RFA intern

2015 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally with RFA at the Buffalo Chip Photos

Ethanol to Help Fuel 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

rfa-sturgis14-fuelThe Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) will once again partner with the Buffalo Chip Campground at the 75th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which will be held Aug. 3-9 in Sturgis, South Dakota. More than 1.5 million motorcycle enthusiasts are expected to attend the event this year for the big anniversary and RFA Vice President for Industry Relations Robert White the event offers a perfect venue to dispel some of the misconceptions about the use of ethanol blended fuel in motorcycles.

“We do that around the “Free Fuel Happy Hours,” said White. “From Sunday August 2nd through Thursday August 6 from 1 to 4 pm, any motorcyclist can come up and fuel for free with 93 octane 10 percent ethanol.” This is the fourth year that RFA has sponsored the free fuel happy hours and White says it also offers them the opportunity to talk one on one with bikers and provide them with information about ethanol.

sturgis-guideIn addition, White says messages about ethanol can be found throughout the Buffalo Chip Campground during the rally. “We have everything from banners to commercials on the Jumbotron at the main stage and we sponsor the Essentials Guide that goes out to every camper this year,” said White.

The event sponsorship has become more important in the last 2-3 years as the oil industry has worked with the motorcycle association to spread misinformation about 15% ethanol, which is not approved for use in motorcycles – a fact which is stated clearly on all pumps that sell E15. But White says the information they provide goes beyond motorcycles. “If there is 1.6 million or more people there, they all own lawnmowers, cars, trucks, SUVs, boats back at home,” he added.

Listen to this edition of “The Ethanol Report” where White talks about what they will be doing in Sturgis to connect with those attending and help them come away with a better understanding of ethanol. Ethanol Report Preview of 2015 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

EcoTech Institute Releases New Career eBook

Ecotech Institute has released another installment of their Ditch the Desk eBook series. The latest free book is a comprehensive guide covering everything from networking tips, industry trends, required electrical-engineering-coverskills and insights from Peter Luciano, a service manager with Konecranes.

eBook Ditch the Desk: The Complete eBook To Starting A Career in Electrical Engineering Technology also delves into how the renewable energy movement has created a new demand for tools, technologies and equipment to help companies and individuals use energy efficiently and finds there is an increased demand for trained professional technicians to assess these needs. These electrical engineering occupations take specialized training, cleantech industry knowledge and passion.

Now, future electrical engineering technicians have one place to access vital information about the industry, including:

  • Key industry facts about the electrical engineering sector;
  • Tips for job seekers in the clean energy field;
  • Expectations and requirements for electrical engineering jobs;
  • States where hiring is hot; and
  • Advice from current students, working industry experts and technicians.

The eBook is available for download at EcotechInstitute.com/eBook.

Trevor Day School Uses Geothermal for Energy, Education

Trevor Day School, located in New York City, is using geothermal for energy and education. The technology used is the first by an educational institute as well as the first on the East Coast to contribute to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 80 percent prior to 2050.

The system contains structural piles that are made from reinforced concrete. They are turned into heat exchangers by adding loops of plastic pipes down their length with some going more than 80 feet deep. They provide both support for the building, but also allow the structure to extract and store heat from the earth to use in heating and cooling the building.

A view from First Avenue of Trevor's new LEED qualifying, state-of-the-art, geothermal school building; a first of its kind on the East Coast. (Photo: Business Wire)

A view from First Avenue of Trevor’s new LEED qualifying, state-of-the-art, geothermal school building; a first of its kind on the East Coast. (Photo: Business Wire)

To learn more about the project, DomesticFuel spoke to several of the project team members including Michael Paquette, P.E. senior project engineer for Langan. He explained that this technology was different than many current geothermal projects.

On ‘traditional’ geothermal projects, the geothermal loops are installed in boreholes drilled specifically to install the geothermal loops, or in shallow trenches excavated specifically for geothermal loops, explained Paquette. However, at Trevor Day School, the geothermal loops were installed in pile foundations that were already required for the building (hence the term ‘energy piles’).

“The value of the energy piles is that the piles must be installed for the building’s foundation support, so adding geothermal loops inside the piles themselves is a relatively lower cost compared to drilling dedicated boreholes for the geothermal loops,” continued Paquette. “The piles serve dual purpose as foundation support and energy transfer. Although energy piles are becoming more common in Europe, Trevor Day School is one of the first projects in the USA to use this technology and will hopefully serve as a catalyst for other developers in the U.S. to consider this technology.”

What is the return on investment of this clean energy technology? Continue reading

IBB Features Mechanic Training Program

The Biodiesel for Diesel Technicians,” is currently available for free at community colleges in Iowa and surrounding states complements of a federal grant. The class has been supported by the regional Clean Cities along with the Iowa Biodiesel Board (IBB) and was developed by the National Biodiesel Board and IBB together.

Instructor Jerry Burns signs students up for training. Photo Credit: Iowa Biodiesel Board

Instructor Jerry Burns signs students up for training. Photo Credit: Iowa Biodiesel Board

“This training program helps mechanics better understand how biodiesel works in diesel engines, particularly in today’s New Technology Diesel Engines, and advise their customers about the true impacts of using biodiesel blends,” said Grant Kimberley, IBB executive director. “This program is mission critical to the long-term success of biodiesel becoming ingrained in our domestic fuel supply.”

Upcoming free training sessions are scheduled for:

  • 6:00 – 8:30 pm, June 11, 2015 at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon, Iowa, and
  • 8:00 – 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 – 3:00 pm, June 16, 2015 at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa.

The course offers the latest information about:

  • Original Equipment Manufacturer support for biodiesel
  • Fuel quality
  • Service requirements
  • Impacts on technology found on new diesel engines

The Biodiesel for Diesel Technicians program received Automotive Service Excellence accreditation in June 2012. Since its founding, the program has served as a model for a number of other organizations across the country. Click here for registration information.

Novozymes Ethanol Game Educates at #FEW15

few15-novo-rachel“Gamification” is the concept of applying game-design thinking to non-game applications as engaging learning tools, particularly for the younger generation and Novozymes had a great example on display at the 2015 Fuel Ethanol Workshop.

The Ethanol Challenge game features characters like Alphie the alpha amylase, Glucador the glucoamylase, and a number of enzyme buddies who help them out throughout the ethanol production process as they navigate through dangerous doughballs and bacteria. Rachel Burton with Novozymes says the Ethanol Challenge is their foray into gamification as part of a training program they have developed called Bioenergy University. “We’re launching that this summer for our customers,” said Burton. “We have three tiered learning tracks – a basic beginner track, an advanced track, and we have an expert level track.”

Rachel explains more in her FEW presentation on “Next Generation Training for Ethanol Plants.” Rachel Burton, Novozymes, at 2015 FEW

Watch Rachel demonstrate the Ethanol Challenge game in this video:


2015 Fuel Ethanol Workshop Photo Album

Coverage of the Fuel Ethanol Conference is sponsored by
Coverage of the Fuel Ethanol Conference is sponsored by Novozymes

Lallemand Makes #FEW15 Fashion Statement

few15-lallemand-pantsLallemand Biofuels and Distilled Spirits really stood out at the opening of the 2015 Fuel Ethanol Workshop trade show with logo patterned pants that were definitely attention-getting.

“We just decided we wanted to try something a little bit different and stand out a little bit,” said Lallemand VP of Marketing Craig Pilgrim, who came up with the idea. “I looked on line and saw some crazy, swirly pants and said we could probably incorporate our logo in there and figured most people wouldn’t be wearing that the night of the trade show.”

few15-lallemand-logoThe crazy pants helped draw attention to the fact that Lallemand is celebrating its 35th Alcohol School this year in Montréal September 13-18. “Started off very small, 10 or 12 people in a room,” said Pilgrim. “We have roughly over 4,000 people that we’ve educated over the 35 years.”

The course provides detailed information on both fuel ethanol and beverage alcohol unit processes and is designed for lab, plant, and management personnel with lectures, laboratory demonstrations, seminars, and lab visits. Find out more in this interview: Interview with Craig Pilgrim, Lallemand

2015 Fuel Ethanol Workshop Photo Album

Coverage of the Fuel Ethanol Conference is sponsored by
Coverage of the Fuel Ethanol Conference is sponsored by Novozymes

DOE Offers $32M for Solar

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $32 million in funding to train Americans to enhance the country’s solar energy workforce. The monies are part of the DOE’s SunShot Initiative. The funds will also go to company’s that can develop innovative, low-cost concentrating solar power collectors and to increase access to solar data.

DOE STEP programAccording to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) the new opportunities will:

  • The Solar Training and Education for Professionals funding program will tackle soft costs by addressing gaps in solar training and energy education, both within the solar workforce and in professions that play a crucial role in solar deployment.
  • The Solar Bankability Data to Advance Transactions and Access funding program will increase data accessibility and quality, and will facilitate the growth and expansion of the solar industry by creating a standardized data landscape for distributed solar. The goal of this funding program is to support the creation and adoption of industry-led open data standards for rapid and seamless data exchange across the value chain from origination to decommissioning.
  • The CSP: Concentrating Optics for Lower Levelized Energy Costs funding program seeks to further CSP system technologies by soliciting disruptive, transformative projects for the concentrating solar collectors in the CSP plant. These innovative projects will seek to enable CSP to be cost-competitive with conventional forms of electric power generation.

“Last year, a new solar energy project was installed every two and a half minutes in the United States,” said Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall. “To ensure the continued growth of the U.S. solar industry and our clean energy economy, it is critical that we support workforce training programs that will give American workers the skills they need for well-paying jobs and also make sure American consumers have access to highly-trained, credentialed professionals when they choose solar to power their daily lives.”  Continue reading