Petroleum From Poop – Definitely Crude

Cindy Zimmerman

Poop Petrol Illinois is using pigs, the Japanese are using cows – both are trying to get fuel from manure. The University of Illinois is designing “a pilot plant for a large commercial livestock farm that will convert swine manure to crude oil,” according to this press release from the university’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences or ACES.

The pilot plant is based on research led by Yuanhui Zhang, an agricultural and biological engineer at the U of I. Zhang and colleagues developed a system using thermochemical conversion (TCC) to transform organic compounds (like swine manure) in a heated and pressurized enclosure to produce oil and gas. “The process we developed is different from most conventional TCC processes,” said Zhang. “There is no need for the addition of a catalyst, and our process does not require pre-drying of the manure.” Involved in the project are the Illinois Pork Producers Association, Worldwide BioEnergy (which is supposedly based here in Jefferson City, MO but I can’t find a website for them), Innoventor Engineering Inc., and BioCrude LLC (can’t find them either).
In Tokyo, according to this AP story, scientists are using cow manure to create gasoline. Sakae Shibusawa, an agriculture engineering professor at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, said his team has successfully extracted .042 ounces of gasoline from every 3.5 ounces of cow dung by applying high pressure and heat. “The new technology will be a boon for livestock breeders” to reduce the burden of disposing of large amounts of waste, Shibusawa said. Meanwhile, according to the article, “another group of researchers has successfully extracted an aromatic ingredient of vanilla from cattle dung.” I found this story from a link on humor columnist Dave Barry’s blog – and as he would say, I am not making this up.
I’m sure he would appreciate the graphic montage I put together to accompany this post.


EPIC & the IRL Get Tropical In Miami

Chuck Zimmerman

Ethanol Miami TestOn Saturday I was travelling back from last week’s Commodity Classic so I didn’t get to attend the press conference held in Miami for the Indy Racing League and our sponsor, EPIC. However, we bloggers have our ways of getting information. You can find out what the things on the table in this picture are by reading below. So here’s what happened:

On Saturday March 4, the Indy Racing League and EPIC (Ethanol Promotion and Information Council) held a joint news conference at the Homestead Miami Speedway in Homestead Florida. The focus was the IndyCar Series fuel partnership, which kicks off this year. In 2006, the IndyCar Series racing vehicles will use a blend of 10% ethanol and 90% methanol (as opposed to 100% methanol that was used last year). In 2007, the IndyCar Series switches to 100% ethanol.

Ethanol Miami TestTeam Ethanol driver Paul Dana (pictured) participated in the news conference and told his story about how he was instrumental in bringing the ethanol opportunity to the Indy Racing League. IRL executives Jeff Horton and John Lewis shared the reasons behind the switch. From the League’s perspective, it was a natural way to continue its leadership in racing to include burning an environmentally responsible fuel that performs beautifully in racing machines.

During the news conference, the biggest hit of the day was the “commodities”
Ethanol Miami Testtable (pictured above) where EPIC displayed various raw ingredients that are used to make ethanol. Reporters came over to run their fingers through the barley and wheat and find out just exactly what milo looks like!

EPIC representatives Steve Rust and Tom Slunecka (pictured) talked to reporters from the racing media as well as local Miami radio and TV stations and newspapers.

EPIC, Ethanol, Promotion

Students Driving Cross Country On E85

Chuck Zimmerman

ICARE Group in DCIn case you’ve wondered if you can drive across the U. S. on E85 fuel only the answer is “you can.” Some college students are doing just that as I write. I just spoke with Jim Richardson, Iowa Central Community College, and they’ll wind up in Des Moines tonight after starting out in Washington, DC yesterday morning. He said they had just done a few laps around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway!

I invited Jim to have the students send in daily reports to DomesticFuel that we can use here. I think it would be interesting to see their perspective on the trip and renewable fuels like ethanol. He thinks that after they get in tonight they can send us a report.

Here’s some more information about the trip they’re on:

Beginning on Monday, March 6, 2006, students from the Iowa Central Community College (ICCC) will begin a cross-country trip in a 2005 Chevrolet Avalanche with E85 FlexFuel capability, demonstrating the possibility of coast-to-coast travel solely on E85, a mostly renewable fuel containing 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.

The students, who are part of the Iowa Central Aggies for Renewable Energy (ICARE), and a chaperone, will start their voyage from Washington D.C., with a scheduled arrival in Los Angeles at noon on Saturday, March 11.

“This is a great demonstration of the increased awareness and availability of renewable fuels such as E85,” said Jim Richardson, lead coordinator and professor at Iowa Central Community College. “With automakers like General Motors producing an abundance of flexible-fuel vehicles, we can help boost our country’s agriculture industry, save the environment, and reduce our dependence on petroleum.”

The students are Tami Davis, Ashley Heflin, Alex Lundgren and Bradley Westrum – posing in the picture with RFA president Bob Dineen, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Senator Conrad Burns of Montana.

Ethanol, Flex Fuel Vehicles

“Fill Up, Feel Good” Podcast

Cindy Zimmerman

e-podcast The latest “Fill Up, Feel Good” podcast from the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council was recorded last week at the 2006 Commodity Classic in Anaheim, CA. EPIC executive director Tom Slunecka talked with Chuck Zimmerman about the organization’s role in helping the ethanol industry serve the needs of major markets looking for alternatives to MTBE. EPIC also sent out an audio news release addressing this same issue. Slunecka’s message to corn growers and other ethanol industry players is that they need to be very focused in these major markets now on reaching out to consumer influencers, such as mechanics, gas stations and car retailers.
“I don’t think we’ve had a more critical point in time where we need the support of the ethanol industry. These are very large markets; when we look at the east coast market and Dallas for example, we are talking millions and millions of consumers and it simply takes a volume of materials to communicate to those folks.”

The “Fill up, Feel Good” podcast is available to download by subscription (see our sidebar link) or you can listen to it by clicking here. (8:56 MP3 File)

Audio, EPIC, Ethanol, Fill Up Feel Good

Secretary Johanns Meets With EPIC

Chuck Zimmerman

EPIC Commodity Classic BoothI’m sure that Tom was just standing around his booth (EPIC) at Commodity Classic and looks up and lo and behold, there’s the U. S. Secretary of Agriculture stopping by for a visit. I hope he took a spin in the ethanol car simulator.

Ag Secretary Mike Johanns (second from right) visits with EPIC Executive Director Tom Slunecka (fourth from right) at the 2006 Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif., held March 2-4.

EPIC, Ethanol, Government

Renewable Fuel Group Staff Meet With Sec. of Ag

Chuck Zimmerman

EPIC Commodity Classic BoothOur U. S. Secretary of Agriculture not only mentioned renewable fuels in his speech last week at Commodity Classic but he made sure he met with all the folks there working for the various organizations involved with the industry.

Ag Secretary Mike Johanns (dark suit, center) poses with staff and leaders from various groups promoting renewable fuels, including EPIC, during the March 2-4 Commodity Classic.

Biodiesel, EPIC, Ethanol

IL Corn Marketing Board is Team Ethanol Sponsor

Chuck Zimmerman

EPIC Commodity Classic BoothWhile exhibiting at last week’s Commodity Classic in Anaheim EPIC got to put a new team ethanol sponsor decal on the car (simulator).

Illinois Corn Marketing Board Chairman Bryan Fogerson (left) proudly applies an ICMB sponsor decal to the Team Ethanol Indy Car simulator with assistance from EPIC Executive Director Tom Slunecka (right). ICMB is a 2006 Team Ethanol Indy Car sponsor.

EPIC, Ethanol

EPIC Welcomes USDA Undersecretary

Chuck Zimmerman

EPIC Commodity Classic BoothOur sponsor here at DomesticFuel is the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC). They were in Anaheim this past week exhibiting at the Commodity Classic and had some very distinguished visitors like Tom Dorr, USDA Undersecretary for Rural Development. I just got the pictures and wanted to share. There’s more to come.

(L to R) USDA Undersecretary for Rural Development Tom Dorr, EPIC Executive Director Tom Slunecka and EPIC board member Greg Krissek.

EPIC, Ethanol

Pawlenty of Renewable Fuel In MN

Chuck Zimmerman

Commodity Classic 37Minnesota Governor, Tim Pawlenty, spoke to a crowd here at Commodity Classic in Anaheim on Friday. I think some of the folks here would like to see him run for President. He gave a great talk about how his state has led the way in the development of renewable fuels and challenged other states to follow their lead in what he called the “Energy Revolution.”

I know there’s a lot of you who have never heard him talk. I think you’ll enjoy taking a few minutes to listen to him.

You can listen to Governor Pawlenty’s speech here: Listen To MP3 File Governor Pawlenty Speech (21:21 MP3 File)

New HollandAgWired coverage of Commodity Classic is being made posssible by our good friends at New Holland.

Audio, Biodiesel, Ethanol, Government, Legislation

220MPH Is Not Mickey Mouse

Chuck Zimmerman

Commodity Classic 21The Ethanol Promotion & Information Council wants you to experience fuel performance at 220 miles per hour. As they say, “There’s nothing Mickey Mouse about that.” Here at their booth at Commodity Classic in Anaheim, CA, they’ve got an IndyCar racing simulator. So strap yourself in and hold on. You can hear what this baby sounds like here: Listen To MP3 File Simulator Sound (1:29 MP3 File)

To better see what it’s like to be in the simulator you can watch a short video clip of it here: Watch WMV File IndyCar Simulator (:31 wmv file)

New HollandAgWired coverage of Commodity Classic is being made posssible by our good friends at New Holland.

Audio, EPIC, Ethanol, Promotion