Mississippi Ethanol Plans

Cindy Zimmerman

Bunge The largest ethanol plant in the southeast is planned for Mississippi. According to a release from Bunge North America, they are teaming up with Mississippi-based Ergon Ethanol, Inc. to build an ethanol plant with an annual capacity of at least 60 million gallons. “The state-of-the-art facility will provide a key link between Bunge’s grain handling facilities in Mississippi and Louisiana, and Ergon’s petroleum refining assets.”

Ethanol

Another Corn Fuel

Cindy Zimmerman

Butanol According to this website, there is another fuel that can be made from corn – butanol. These folks – Environmental Energy, Inc. – claim to have run cross country last year on 100 percent butanol, getting 24 miles to the gallon with no engine modifications.
Why have we never heard of it? According to the website, production of butanol from corn and other biomass has been stymied by the lack of technology to make it economically viable. The problem has been historically low yields and low concentrations of butanol compared to those of ethanol….EEI’s patent changes everything. We are now able to produce yields of 2.5 gallons of butanol per bushel of corn.
If this has real potential, these guys need a better PR engine to make it work and need to get support from the corn growers.
Thanks to Gary Dikkers for pointing me to the website.

Miscellaneous

Clean Cities Congress Bloggers

Chuck Zimmerman

Clean Cities Congress & ExpoThe Clean Cities Congress & Expo is coming up starting this weekend in Phoenix, AZ. I’m looking forward to bringing you all the action and information I can. And guess what? I’ll have help! Guest bloggers. Guest student bloggers. They will bring a fresh and interesting perspective to our coverage of the event. I want to take this opportunity to introduce them to you.

Peter WestFirst of all let’s meet Peter West. According to Peter’s bio he sent me: Peter West grew up in a log cabin at the top of a cliff in Colorado. Though the mountains were an amazing place to be, he left them for city life on the East Coast. Currently he is a marketing major at Emerson College in downtown Boston. Welcome to Domestic Fuel Peter. I’m really looking forward to meeting you and working with you.

Lauren CiemnakAnd our next student blogger is Lauren Ciemniak. I am a straight A student with a 4.0 GPA. I received the outstanding citizen of the year award. I plan to major in journalism in college. I have been dancing for 13 years and I love to travel!Welcome to you too Lauren.

They’ll be writing on Domestic Fuel by the end of the week and start out providing their expectations for this experience. After we get together in Phoenix we’ll work out who will cover what and you can expect to hear and see more. So stay tuned.

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Clean Cities Congress, Lauren Ciemniak, Peter West

Editorial Ignorance

Cindy Zimmerman

Ill Corn Illinois Corn Growers are a bit ticked about an editorial last week in the Chicago Tribune. Today’s Chicago Tribune has an editorial that contains just about every fallacy and piece of misinformation ever to see print about ethanol. This is nothing new and once again it raises the question; is it editorial ignorance or a hidden agenda driving this apparent vendetta?
IL Corn is probably not very happy with a follow-up editorial in the Trib on Sunday either. ILCG does note, however, that the news reporters at the Trib have been covering ethanol with increasing frequency and with a noticeable effort toward balance and objectivity. This phenomenon of increasingly positive coverage is happening nationwide as the media learns more about the fuel, as car manufacturers give E85 their stamp of approval, and as it becomes more readily available.

Ethanol

Ethanol Jackpot

Cindy Zimmerman

PVFETalk about a big payoff for investing in ethanol! Central City, Nebraska hit the ethanol jackpot last week with a huge donation from the ethanol industry. Platte Valley Fuel Ethanol and its majority owner, Fagen, Inc., gave the town $1 million for economic development efforts. “It’s just our way of saying thanks,” said Doug Anderson, general manager of the plant. “We wanted to do something that would continue to enhance economic growth in the area.”
The 50 million gallon/year plant started operation on May 5th, 2004. The company is merging with US BioEnergy of Brookings, S.D. and recently announced expansion of the plant to 100 million gallons.

Articles about the gift are accessible only by registration from the Omaha World Herald and the Grand Island Independent.

Ethanol

Converting Biomass from Bull

Cindy Zimmerman

El Toro Accelerated Genetics recently sponsored a bus tour to Green Bay, WI to visit ‘El Toro’, a Biomass Conversion Unit that converts animal waste into valuable and renewable energy products. A select group of Wisconsin dairy customers, Cashton Area Development Corporation (CADC) members and Accelerated Genetics management were given a demonstration of a working prototype of ‘El Toro’ – pictured here.

El Toro is, of course, Spanish for Bull – reason being, the project was started last year when Accelerated Genetics was approached by CADC about “managing the manure from our sire facilities in a different manner.” The corporation then embarked on a Biomass Conversion project through an Australian company Biomass Energy Service Technology (BEST). This project converts animal waste into valuable and renewable products. They recognized the raw product created by our bulls as desirable for use in this new energy recycling process. The opportunity would allow the manure from our bulls to be used in a process that would convert both the manure and bedding into a gas and a solid material, comprised mostly of charcoal.
After a successful test where Accelerated Genetics’ bull manure was converted into a gas that would be suitable for burning as a fuel and “char”, a dark charcoal based material that could have use as a fuel, filter or fertilizer, the Cashton group purchased a BEST biomass conversion plant in May.

Read more here.

Miscellaneous

Xethanol and Xiodiesel

Cindy Zimmerman

Xethanol Last I posted about Xethanol Corporation they were California dreaming. But, back on the east coast, they’re not just dreaming about it, they’re doing it. According to a company release this week, Xethanol “has organized NewEnglandXethanol LLC accelerating its growth plans to roll out ethanol production throughout the East Coast. NewEnglandXethanol will be a strategic alliance between Xethanol and Global Energy Management LLC. Its mission is to develop ethanol production in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.”

Meanwhile, Xethanol may need to change its name to be more inclusive, since the company recently got into the biodiesel business also. According to a news release, Xethanol “entered into an agreement with H2Diesel, Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, Xethanol will manage the business of H2Diesel, which is to deploy the proprietary biodiesel conversion technology that H2Diesesl owns under an exclusive license for North America, Central America and the Caribbean.”

Biodiesel, Ethanol

Another New Record

Cindy Zimmerman

RFA Ethanol production increased another 14,000 barrels per day in February to 302,000 barrels (or 12.7 million gallons). That’s yet another new record, according to figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) publicized by the Renewable Fuels Association. RFA president Bob Dinneen says, “These numbers completely dispel the myth of ethanol shortages this driving season.”

Ethanol

Shrubby Willow Biofuel

Cindy Zimmerman

shrubby willow A company called Genesis in New Zealand is studying the use of a shrubby willow to produce ethanol. Genesis CEO Dr. Stephen Hall was at BIO 2006 in Chicago where Chuck met him. He gave us a call last week to do an interview over the phone about this plant and its potential as an ethanol source. Hall says salix could be a good alternative to using corn or sugarcane because of the amount of biomass it can produce and that it can grow very rapidly on marginal land. “We’re getting yields of 11 to 16 tons of dry matter per hectare per annum,” he says. In addition, Hall says salix can also produce lignin, “which can be used as a raw material for plastics or other polymers.”
I did some checking on salix and found out that is the genus name for willow and there’s a bunch of them. The one that is termed “shrubby” is the Common Osier (Salix viminalis), according to Wikipedia. That’s what I think Dr. Hall is talking about. He can correct me if I’m wrong.
Listen to Chuck’s interview with Dr. Hall here: Listen To MP3 Stephen Hall (8:00 MP3)

Cellulosic, Ethanol