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

Hearing From The President of ASA

Chuck Zimmerman

Commodity Classic 24The President of the American Soybean Association is Bob Metz, from South Dakota. Bob is very happy with the way things are going with the whole renewable fuels initiative in the U. S. and especially with biodiesel. I don’t think you’ll find a bigger supporter out there.

Besides the impact biodiesel development has on the soybean business Bob also thinks all growers should become members of ASA so that their voice will be heard as policy decisions are made here as part of the grassroots effort that takes place at Commodity Classic, the combined annual meeting of the National Corn Growers Association and ASA.

You can listen to my interview with Bob here: Listen To MP3 File Metz Interview (3:30 MP3 File)

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

Audio, Biodiesel

NCGA President Happy About Ethanol Progress

Chuck Zimmerman

Commodity Classic 23Hello from Commodity Classic, the combined annual meeting of the National Corn Growers Association and the American Soybean Association. The first press conference here at Commodity Classic is always with the leadership of NCGA and ASA. To get us started I interviewed NCGA President, Gerald Tumbleson.

Gerald talks about the success his state has had with their ethanol mandate in Minnesota and the issues facing corn growers that will be discussed here. You can listen to my interview with Gerald here: Listen To MP3 File Tumbleson Interview (4:05 MP3 File)

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

Audio, Ethanol

Ethanol Car Takes Wing

Cindy Zimmerman

Saab Car Now this is a cool car! This Saab concept car, which runs on 100 percent ethanol, was unveiled this week at the Geneva Auto Show. According to an MSNBC story, “The 400-hp, twin-turbo, BioPower V6 engine is fueled entirely by ethanol,” Saab said in a statement touting the environmental benefits of reduced emissions of carbon dioxide, a gas that many scientists tie to global warming. The Aero X has a cockpit and aerodynamic design based on Saab’s aviation roots. While there is no promise from Saab that this car will ever make it beyond the concept stage Kjell Bergstrom, executive director of Saab Automobile Powertrain says some of the Aero X technology, especially turbocharging, could find its way in future models. “Turbocharging and bioethanol make excellent partners,” Bergstrom said. Saab stated that turbocharging with ethanol “allows the use of a higher compression ratio — giving more engine power — than is possible with gasoline because of the risk of harmful ‘knocking’ or pre-detonation.” Bergstrom also touted another advantage with ethanol: “If there is no bioethanol available, the customer can still use gasoline at any time.”
More info on this nifty little vehicle can be found by going to the Saab link above or here.

Ethanol

EPA Proposes Equal Treatment for Ethanol Plants

Cindy Zimmerman

EPA An Environmental Protection Agency proposal would treat ethanol plants the same as corn milling plants for grain when it comes to Clean Air Act standards. According to the EPA announcement, ethanol is produced at corn milling facilities for use as fuel or human consumption. While the processes are similar, these facilities are currently treated differently under Clean Air Act permitting programs. EPA’s proposal would provide equal treatment for corn milling facilities, regardless of whether they produce ethanol for fuel or human consumption. The proposal would establish the same emissions limits under the PSD program – 250 tons per year – regardless of whether the ethanol end product is used for fuel or human consumption
Seems reasonable to me, if they are essentially creating the same product just for different uses – and the idea is to help generate more ethanol production. The proposal led to headlines like this: “EPA proposes allowing ethanol plants to emit more pollution” which is true, but makes it sound kind of sensational unless you read the actual article on the proposal which explains it very well.

Ethanol

Ethanol Transport Concerns

Cindy Zimmerman

Transportation issues have been added to the growing list of concerns about how demand for ethanol will be able to be met this year. According to a Reuters business wire story, officials with the US Energy Information Administration think there may be a shortage of trucks and rail cars to move ethanol.

“We’ll need to find a whole lot more rail cars that may not be readily available,” EIA analyst Joanne Shore said in an analyst conference call. “There’s also concern about trucks, and the truck drivers needed for moving this are in short supply.”

Ethanol

Mixing Alcohols

Cindy Zimmerman

Power Energy Ecalene A trademarked ethanol cocktail called Ecalene™ may offer the potential to solve some of the issues relating to pure ethanol use. Power Energy Fuels in Colorado claims that Ecalene™ is “Ethanol Plus” because it has higher mixed alcohols which act as a binding agent in fuel blending, has higher octane than ethanol, is its own denaturant, has higher btu’s than ethanol with high octane that will increase mileage and performance – all according to their website. Certainly sounds promising. Power Energy has the patents on the product, they are working with NREL and have two patents on the process. Here’s another link that gives some more info about Ecalene.
I found out about Ecalene™ through a comment from Power Energy president Gene Jackson who wrote asking why I don’t “promote mixed alcohols?” Well, that would be because I didn’t know about it. Now I do – but I would ask you why YOU don’t promote it? The media is eating up anything that has to do with ethanol right now but if you do a news search for Ecalene there’s nothing. Send out a press release, for goodness sake!

Ethanol

Governors Want More E85 Vehicles

Cindy Zimmerman

GEC The Governor’s Ethanol Coalition met this week in Washington, DC and passed a resolution urging major auto makers to make more flex-fuel vehicles that can run on 85 percent ethanol. Thirty-two of the country’s governors are members of the coalition, which was formed in 1992 to promote ethanol use. So far only midwestern governors have chaired the organization, but governors of states like New York, Arizona and Washington are listed as members. Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is the new chairman of the coalition and she was quoted as saying this week, “There’s a new energy behind our efforts to promote biofuels.”
Here are a couple of links to regional stories about the meeting this week.
Wichita Business Journal
Kansas City InfoZine
KXMC-News North Dakota

Ethanol, Flex Fuel Vehicles, Government

MO Rally for Ethanol Mandate

Cindy Zimmerman

MCGA Rally MCGA Rally 2Here are some pictures from the “Energy Independence Rally” yesterday at the Missouri State Capitol. According to the Missouri Corn Growers Association press releaseOver two hundred farmers and ethanol advocates met at the Missouri State Capitol (Tuesday) to show their support for increased energy independence and the Missouri Renewable Fuel Standard (MoRFS), legislation that would require nearly all the gasoline sold in the state contain 10 percent ethanol. It was a nice crowd and I would say that estimate is just about right. The event started at the Missouri Farm Bureau Building and ended in the halls of the capitol. The large crowd of farmers, ethanol plant members, business officials, community leaders, FFA students and others traveled to Jefferson City, Mo., to meet with lawmakers and push for passage of the statewide ethanol standard.
Once passed, Missouri will join Minnesota, Montana and Hawaii to become the fourth state in the nation to establish a statewide renewable fuel standard. Ethanol legislation is also currently pending in Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin and most recently, Idaho.
Thanks to Becky Grisham with MCGA for the pictures. I really need to start carrying a camera with me in my car like my husband does!

Ethanol