LifeLine’s Vision for Corn and Ethanol

Domestic Fuel CastLifeLine Foods sells ethanol, but ethanol is just one of many products the company produces. The St. Joseph, MO-based corn milling plant started off as a manufacturer of snack foods in 2001. Today, LifeLine’s identity is continually evolving. The 51 percent farmer-owned company is committed to innovation and is now partnered with ICM, Inc, a world leader in ethanol facility design and engineering, in the production of ethanol.

In this DomesticFuel Cast, we hear from LifeFine Foods CEO Bill Becker about the company’s current innovations with corn, food and fuel and what’s in store for the future.
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Evidence that Ethanol Works

IndyCar Driver Jeff SimmonsThe ethanol industry in Brazil has been developing some major traction. Marcos Jank, President of UNICA, says the demand for ethanol in Brazil is now matching that of the demand for gasoline. He says ethanol is gaining ground and Brazil “won’t move back to gas.”

Marcos was one of seven speakers at today’s Ethanol Summit held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today. General Motors sponsored the event. The object of the Summit was to explore Brazil’s strong and sustained success with ethanol while also taking a look at where and how the U.S. ethanol industry has room to grow.

Marcos and Indy racing legend Emerson Fittipaldi – a Brazilian ethanol producer – highlighted a number of milestones the Brazilian ethanol industry has already attained:

  • All fuel sold in Brazil contains a 20 to 25 percent blend of ethanol
  • The unsubsidized ethanol industry offers a fuel that is on average one dollar below the price of gasoline
  • Virtually all 33,000 gas pumps offer E100
  • Just one percent of the 40 percent of arable land in Brazil is being used to produce sugarcane ethanol
  • Forty-five percent of fuel for cars is from sugarcane
  • Sugarcane ethanol production is 100 percent self-sufficient
  • The food industry is growing faster than the ethanol industry
  • Ninety percent of all new automobiles sold are flex-fuel automobiles
  • One-hundred percent of GM vehicles produced in Brazil are flex-fuel
  • Twenty percent of all cars are flex-fuel vehicles today
  • Fifty percent of all cars will be flex-fuel vehicles by 2012
  • Three percent of electricity is from sugarcane
  • Honda and Yamaha are introducing flex-fuel motorcycles this year

Continue reading

Indiana Corn Goes Mobile with Ethanol Education

Indiana Corn Marketing Council Mobile Marketing UnitThe 2008 Indy Pace Car corvette wasn’t the only shiny new toy to check out at the giveaway this morning. The Indiana Corn Marketing Council debuted its new interactive mobile marketing unit complete with videos detailing the production of ethanol and a database of local fuel retailers that offer E10 and E85 fuel blends. Visitors can even print off a list of local stations.

Mike Shuter President of the Indiana Corn Marketing CouncilI caught up with Indiana Corn’s Mark Walters again, as well as ICMC’s Mike Shuter (pictured), the council’s President and a Frankton, IN farmer. We talked about the new mobile marketing unit, the truth about ethanol as they see it and how IN corn fits into the ethanol industry. You can listen to my interview with Mark and Mike here: [audio:]

2008 Indy 500 Photo Album

Biodiesel Gets Even More Bio Friendly

XcelPlus Global HoldingsAs if biodiesel isn’t green enough. But, Maverick BioFuels has found yet another way to make bio-diesel even more sustainable and XcelPlus Global Holdings is jumping at the opportunity to put this new technology to use. XcelPlus will equip itself with the necessary tools from Maverick to covert glycerin, a byproduct from biodiesel production, to a fuel suitable for use in turbine engines.

Gly-Clene (TM) can be made from any crude glycerol, regardless of the feedstock, including yellow grease. The fuel has the ability to power up turbine engines for electricity production or any other non-aircraft use associated with turbine engines. Gly-Clene can also be used to heat fluid bed reactors as it also performs well in oil gun furnaces.

With the ever-increasing biodiesel production, the glycerin market grows as well. Subsequently, the fear of another glut has concerned biodiesel manufacturers, scratching their heads looking for a stable way to dispose of this by-product. There is currently enough glycerin produced in the U.S. alone for Gly-Clene to produce 27,000 megawatts of electricity per day or over 8 billion megawatts per year without even adding steam turbines to take advantage of the excess heat produced by the turbines.

Visit to view video updates on the Gly-Clene technology.

Clean Diesel Hot Topic at Alternative Fuels & Vehicles Expo

av.pngThe Alternative Fuels & Vehicles Expo in Las Vegas that I mentioned in an earlier post is wrapping up and participants have expressed excitement about sustainable fuel choices. Supporters of clean diesel for example, say the fuel offers more power, improved fuel economy and reduced emissions. Gale Banks, chief executive officer of Gale Banks Engineering, says clean diesel turns conventional diesel thinking on its head.

“With clean diesel power, drivers can have approximately 30 percent better fuel economy and 50 percent more torque, as well as reduce emissions by up to 25 percent, when compared to gasoline-powered passenger car engines. With clean diesel no longer are fuel economy and performance mutually exclusive,” Banks said. Continue reading

BioBox Mini Offers Small-scale Biodiesel Production

Pacific Natural EnergyBiodiesel production is going from large-scale to small-scale. Pacific Natural Energy is introducing the BioBox Mini to offer smaller companies efficient and effective biodiesel production through a single 20-foot cargo container.

With minimal cost and equipment, entry-level customers have the ability to lead the masses towards biodiesel independence. The BioBox Mini can process up to 400,000 gallons per year of ASTM-quality biodiesel and costs less than $250,000. That translates to a ROI of approximately six months, including a production build-up period.

The BioBox Mini includes all the required equipment to start your own complete commercial biodiesel production business:

— PNE 25 SS “Mini” – Turnkey Biodiesel Processor
— 2,750-gallon total capacity WVO filtration/dewatering/storage system
— 400-gallon WVO vacuum suction tank
— One-hundred 55-gallon WVO collection lids

“No one gets left to fend for themselves. We want biodiesel to succeed, and that means every customer must succeed,” says Eric McLeod, PNE’s founder and CEO.

PNE says the BioBox Mini offers a minimum of 400 gallons of biodiesel per 8-hour batch. The company also promises to offer both training and an on-site PNE representative to run the facility for the first several weeks of BioBox operation.

PNE has a YouTube video to help customers understand how their products can help them become biodiesel-independent:

Brown Gets Even Greener

UPSBack in March John posted info that the shipping giant UPS was ramping up its efforts to do business the GREEN way when it added 167 compressed natural gas (CNG) powered delivery trucks to its fleet.

Now, old brown is outdoing itself. UPS has placed an order with DTNA’s Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation for the largest order of alternative-fuel and drive-train commercial vehicles to date. This time, UPS will be adding 300 CNG vehicles to its fleet, plus, 200 hybrid electric vehicles.

These environmental friendly vehicles are part of Daimler’s world-wide “Shaping Future Transportation” initiative and will be used by UPS for daily delivery operations across the United States and will function in concert with their current fleet of conventional diesel powertrain vehicles.

Daimler FreightlinerFCCC is the first manufacturer in the industry to introduce hybrid commercial vehicles into fleet operations, with over 160 HEVs in service since 2004, in addition to over 1,000 CNG-fueled chassis in service since 2000.

The hybrid-electric power train, combined with a diesel engine and electric motor, drive the FCCC chassis to achieve an over 40% improvement in fuel economy and an over 90% reduction in emissions compared to baseline non-hybrid vehicles.

UPS expects its fleet of hybrid trucks to save 176,000 gallons of fuel and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1,786 tons each year.

Alternative Wine

Parducci Wine Cellars is harnessing all sorts of alternative energy to produce its wine. The carbon neutral vintner now uses solar power, wind power and biodiesel tractors.

Parducci effectively transferred all of its energy needs to non-polluting, renewable sources by supplementing its on-site solar power with Green-E(R) certified wind energy purchased from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. The annual positive environmental impact of the winery’s 100% green power use is equivalent to:

— removing 172 cars from the road for a year, or
— planting 242 acres of trees, or
— not driving a passenger vehicle 2,171,450 miles.

The oldest family-owned winery in Northern California’s Mendocino County, Parducci Wine Cellars is committed to responsible land stewardship, sustainable viticulture and green business practices that yield superior wines while protecting the environment.

In 2007 Parducci received the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award, California’s highest environmental honor, for the company’s efforts to combat climate change. In addition to buying grapes from local family farmers, Parducci uses sustainable farming practices including bio-diesel tractors in the vineyards and 100% green power as well as earth friendly packaging at the winery. Parducci’s respect for the land yields quality wines as evident by recent 90+ point scores in several national wine publications.

Ethanol Fires Up LPP Gas Turbines

LPP CombustionLPP Combustion has successfully created a way to operate gas turbines using ethanol. The company says their operation offers another alternative for clean, renewable energy.

LPP Combustion, LLC, using its patented LPP Combustion System, has recently demonstrated natural gas-level emissions from bio-derived ethanol (ASTM D-4806) during gas turbine combustor testing. Emissions of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter (soot) were the same as natural gas-level emissions achieved using current dry low emission (DLE) gas turbine combustion technology. In addition, the combustion of this bio-derived ethanol produced virtually no net carbon dioxide emissions.

LPP Combustion has developed a Lean, Premixed, Prevaporized (LPP) combustion technology that converts liquid biofuels, such as biodiesel and ethanol, into a synthetic natural gas. This LPP Gas can then be burned with low emissions in virtually any combustion device in place of natural gas, providing users with substantial fuel flexibility. A DLE gas turbine utilizing LPP Technology to burn biofuels creates a low emissions power plant with no net greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in the cleanest use of renewable fuels.

Get Schooled in Coal-To-Liquid

The Shaw GroupEngineers wanting to learn more about coal-to-liquid clean fuel projects have some new options for getting the education. Fuel Frontiers, Inc. has developed a CTL engineering program with Shaw, Stone and Webster.

Fuel Frontiers, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Nuclear Solutions, Inc., has announced that it has transferred funds to Shaw Stone & Webster (Shaw), a division of The Shaw Group Inc., to launch the engineering program that will provide a technical basis for a 400 Tonne per day Coal-To-Liquid (CTL) Ultra-Clean Diesel fuel production facility in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky.

Nuclear SolutionsFFI is planning to employ a commercially proven plasma gasification system designed by Westinghouse Plasma Corporation (WPC) coupled to commercially available Fischer-Tropsch (FT) gas-to-liquids (GTL) diesel fuel production systems, to be designed and constructed by Shaw Stone & Webster (SS&W) for its coal to ultra-clean diesel production facilities.