New Fill Up, Feel Good Podcast

Cindy Zimmerman

e-podcastThe latest “Fill Up, Feel Good” podcast from the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council is about Jeff Simmons, new driver for the #17 Team Ethanol Honda/Panoz/Firestone Indy Car (see previous post). The podcast features comments from both Jeff and EPIC executive director Tom Slunecka discussing the future for Team Ethanol and how Paul Dana’s legacy will live on in the IRL.
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. (5:00 MP3 File)

EPIC, Ethanol, Fill Up Feel Good, Indy Racing

IL Gov Blagojevich Mentions Renewable Fuels

Chuck Zimmerman

IL Gov Rod BlagojevichIt wasn’t real easy but I was able to ask llinois Governor, Rod Blagojevich, a quick question after he cut the ribbon prior to the trade show here at BIO 2006.

I asked him about agriculture since I only had one question and in his answer he mentions renewable energy and corn and soybeans.

You can listen to his answer here: Listen To MP3 Governor Blagojevich (1 min MP3)

AgWired coverage of BIO 2006 is made possible by: Rhea & Kaiser Marketing Communications

Audio, BIO, Biodiesel, Ethanol, Government

Enzymes And Ethanol

Chuck Zimmerman

Novozymes BoothThe #17 Team Ethanol car is on display here at BIO 2006 in the Novozymes booth. Nobozymes is one of the sponsors of the car. It seems like the presence of biotech companies at BIO is on the increase.

I interviewed company VP, Jorgen Thorball about how Novozymes is involved in the production of ethanol. It’s all about enzymes. The enzyme products his company produces are being used in the production of ethanol to increase the efficiency and cost-effectivess of the process. He says they’ve made great strides and that this will only continue.

You can listen to my interview with him here: Listen To MP3 Jorgen Thorball (6 min MP3)

AgWired coverage of BIO 2006 is made possible by: Rhea & Kaiser Marketing Communications

Audio, BIO, Biotech, Ethanol

Finding E85 With OnStar

Cindy Zimmerman

OnStar Auto news site InsideLine posted an exclusive story last weekend that OnStar will soon be able to help drivers find E85 stations.

OnStar President Chet Huber said his company will unveil a new service in June to let customers know if their vehicle is E85 compatible and help them find ethanol filling stations.
Customers will receive an e-mail telling them where ethanol filling stations are in their area — or they can press the OnStar button in their vehicle and get help from a representative.

That’s very cool. Now we just need to get more E85 pumps for OnStar to find!

Ethanol, Flex Fuel Vehicles

Ethanol Imports

Cindy Zimmerman

Analysts are saying that the US will be importing more ethanol this summer to keep up with demand caused by the phase-out of MTBE. According to a Dow Jones story,

U.S. cane-based ethanol imports are expected to more than double in 2006 from 511 million liters in 2005. “Moving U.S. ethanol, produced in the heartlands, to population centers on the coasts, where demand is heaviest, is a logistical challenge,” said Edward Murphy, downstream general manager of the American Petroleum Institute in Washington. “Because ethanol absorbs water and corrodes pipelines, it must be trucked or moved by rail to consumption areas for final blending.” More tanks are needed to store and blend ethanol on the East Coast, where it’s difficult and expensive to construct them. Imports, however, have the advantage of arriving at major population centers.

In other words, the petroleum industry is contending that it’s easier to import ethanol than it is to truck it from the midwest. Not sure I believe that.

The article also notes that with the increased demand – guess what? – the price of Brazilian ethanol is going up. It’s also significant to note that while there is a tariff on ethanol imports from Brazil, the Caribbean Basin Initiative allows a limited amount of ethanol to come in duty free from 24 nations. So, the call to lift the tariff on foreign ethanol is being sounded by lawmakers. One is Connecticut Governor Jodie Rell, who is asking her state’s congressional delegation to support lifting the tariff to provide “much needed relief” from rising gas prices, according to an AP report.
I think it makes good political sense to lift the tariff, at least temporarily, to help with the short supply situation here – but I have serious doubts that it will provide any relief from rising gas prices since it’s as good as any excuse to raise gas prices.


I’ll Be Blogging The BIO

Chuck Zimmerman

BIO 2006Beginning late Sunday I’ll be blogging the BIO 2006 Convention in Chicago. This is a very large event that covers the full range of biotechnology, including alternative fuel technology. I’m going to be on the lookout for news related to our subject and already have some press releases about announcements that will be made while I’m there. I will then bring it to you!

I want to say a big thank you to my sponsor that’s making it possible for me to attend BIO 2006.

Domestic Fuel coverage of BIO 2006 is made possible by: Rhea & Kaiser Marketing Communications

BIO, Science

Guster Raises Biodiesel Consciousness

Cindy Zimmerman

Guster Members of the band Guster joined officials from the City of East Lansing on the Michigan State University campus this week to announce the growing use of biodiesel in the town, according to the National Biodiesel Board. Guster was in East Lansing for a performance at MSU as part of the Campus Consciousness Tour, which raises awareness in college towns about sustainable practices like using biodiesel. Their tour bus is fueled by B20, a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent diesel.


Plant Plans

Cindy Zimmerman

IndianaThe Andersons Inc. is considering a third ethanol plant in Dunkirk, Ind. (Toldedo Blade) (see previous post)
FloridaUnited States EviroFuels LLC received a state permit to construct an ethanol production plant at Port Sutton. (Tampa Bay Business Journal) (see previous post)
Michigan – A company formed by former state Rep. Rick Johnson wants to build a $73 million ethanol refinery in Grand Traverse County’s Paradise Township. (Traverse City Record-Eagle)
Illinois – Marquis Energy LLC. of Hennepin and global investment and advisory firm, Babcock & Brown, have entered into a memorandum of understanding to construct, manage and provide investment financing for a two-phase development of a 200-million gallon fuel-grade ethanol facility. (News Tribune Online)
South Dakota – Not everyone in the community is thrilled over the $88 million Prairie Ethanol plant being built at Loomis, a town of 47 residents a few miles northwest of Mitchell. (AP-Aberdeen News)
Missouri – Bootheel Agri-Energy LLC announced its decision to purchase the option on approximately 160 acres at the Sikeston Business, Education and Technology Park. (SE Missourian)


First Fuel Cell Police Car

Cindy Zimmerman

Chrysler Wayne State University in Detroit is the proud owner of the world’s first fuel cell-powered police car introduced this week by DaimlerChrysler. According to their release, the Wayne State University Police Department will operate the Mercedes F-Cell as a supervisor’s vehicle on and in the immediate vicinity of the campus, located in Detroit’s Cultural Center. Outfitted with a third-generation police radio, decals, lights and sirens, the Wayne State University Police Department F-Cell is a look into the future use of fuel cell vehicles. The demanding operation of a police car will produce valuable data to help develop fuel cell technology.


Energy Secretary Promotes Energy Initiative

Cindy Zimmerman

Bodman U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman made lots of friends in the hydrogen fuel cell business yesterday when he announced plans to award $50 million over the next three years in research grants to advance the technology. AP reports that universities, national laboratories and private companies will compete for the grants starting later this month. They are part of the Bush Administration’s goal of making fuel cells a viable technology by 2020.
While announcing fuel cell research grants in a speech to the Society of Automotive Engineers in Detroit, Bodman also called on automakers to produce more flex fuel vehicles. “It should be our common goal that E85 become a nationwide fueling option,” Bodman said. “In the coming days, I will be asking that we do more to make consumers aware of the flex-fuel option both when they are considering a new car purchase and for existing owners of flex-fuel vehicles.” The Renewable Fuels Association “welcomed the continued, full-throated support of the Bush Administration” for ethanol.

Ethanol, Government