In just a few short months the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC) has done a tremendous job to bring good information to consumers who want to know about putting it in their cars. The man behind EPIC is Tom Slunecka, executive director. I interviewed Tom for a weekly program on our sister website, AgWired.
It’s off to Watkins Glen tomorrow for the Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix! Why do we care? Because these cars will be powered by ethanol by 2007. That’s why. That’s because ethanol is a high performance fuel and it’s got to be if these guys are going to put in in their cars and cruise at 220mph plus.
Although he’s not in this race you need to be following team Hemelgarn’s #91, currently driven by Jimmy Kite. You may remember how he stepped in for the injured Paul Dana at the Indy 500. You can see quite a bit of that race experience by visiting our sister site, AgWired, which was around before DomesticFuel. Anyway, it’s Ron Hemelgarn and Paul Dana who have had a lot to do with helping convince the IRL to make the switch to ethanol. That’s why #91 is the “ethanol car.”
Update to this post: Scott Dixon won the race today and Dan Wheldon won the IRL title.
You’ve really got to sit up and take notice when a company like Archer Daniels Midland decides to invest so heavily in a project like the one they announced yesterday. This is a very successful company and they see that the future growth of the ethanol business is a positive one. I say let’s keep turning that corn into ethanol. I’d much rather put that in my car than something imported from another country!!
Archer Daniels Midland Company announced plans to expand ethanol capacity by 500 million gallons through the construction of two new dry corn milling facilities. The facilities will be located adjacent to the Company’s existing ethanol plants. “We are pleased to leverage our extensive experience in the ethanol market to help meet increased demands for ethanol,” stated Edward A. Harjehausen, ADM Senior Vice President. “Ethanol demand is growing rapidly as the world’s energy requirements are being met increasingly from renewable agricultural sources such as corn.” Construction, expected to be complete in early 2008, is dependent on final engineering and permit approval.
I know we’re all about “domestic” fuel here so all I’m trying to do is show you that this is big time stuff. I think the regular media sometimes tries to make people think this ethanol thing is just something dreamed up by a bunch of corn farmers. Not!
Anyway, the folks at BBI International put on some great conferences if you want to learn about ethanol. This one’s in China of all places. It’s the World BioFuels Symposium and it’ll be held in Beijing.
It gets started with a tour of what they claim is the world’s largest ethanol plant – the Jilin Fuel Ethanol Company in Jilin, China November 11. This is one of two plant tours they have arranged. Apparently China is facing a big fuel shortage and with severe air pollution problems they’re looking to renewable fuels like ethanol.
Doesn’t that just make sense?
Did you know that there’s almost 5 million vehicles on the roads that can run on E85, an 85 percent blend of ethanol in gasoline? Most of the owners don’t even know it. The reason is that there’s no easy way to know if your car will accept this high level blend. On many of these FFV’s (flex fuel vehicles) you can check inside the fuel door and you might see a sticker that tells you but not all of them.
That’s why it was good news to see in USA Today a story about about how both Ford and GM will be taking some extra steps to educate their customers and produce even more FFV’s. GM is going to make sure all their FFV models have a yellow gas cap, which will let you know that it can accept the E85 blend! That’s the spirit. Make it easier on people to know they can put the higher octane, domestically-produced fuel in their cars.
Well we’ve got day one under our belt here at DomesticFuel. As we stated from the start we hope to be a resource for news and information about renewable fuels like ethanol, which we believe will help us become less dependent on foreign sources of fuel. In the coming weeks and months we’ll continue to develop the site to include links to resources providing factual information for anyone who wants to know the truth. Although we’re going to be dependent on financial support from industry-related organizations we want to offer an independent look at the issues and news coming out on the business. Can we do that? Sure we can. Just watch us.
Our title was chosen because renewable fuels being developed here are often referred to as “domestic fuels.” Do a Google search for those words using the quote marks and you’ll see the large number of results. We want to distinguish our subject matter and perspective. It’s just downright American to want to support our own industries and the people who make them work.
We’re looking for feedback so don’t be shy. We can take it if you don’t like something we say. You can count on our quoting our sources and in fact often directing you to them so you can surf on over and “see for yourself.”
It’s going to be an interesting journey!
In case you’re wondering where things stand with new national renewable fuels standards you can hear an update from Missouri Senator Jim Talent. Senator Talent (pictured speaking at an E-85 fuel station in St. Charles, MO) was a guest on the Missouri Corn Growers Association weekly CornTalk program. Talent speaks about his efforts to get the Environmental Protection Agency to move forward on this issue.
U.S. Senator Jim Talent (R-Mo.), co-chair of the Senate Biofuels Caucus, is asking the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to move quickly to implement the new national standard for renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. In a letter to EPA Administrator Steve Johnson, Sen. Talent, together with Senators Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), John Thune (R-S.D.) and Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), said time is of the essence, as the Renewable Fuels Standard will take effect next year.
“Given today’s record oil and gasoline prices, the need to diversify our energy supplies by expanding the use of renewable fuels is clear,” the senators wrote. “The Renewable Fuels Standard will provide for the use of 4 billion gallons of renewable fuel next year, growing to 7.5 billion gallons in 2012. The program is a necessary and important part of our nation’s new energy policy.”
You can hear an excerpt from the program here:
The American Coalition For Ethanol just released a study on the how well vehicles operate on an ethanol fuel blend.
The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) released the results of its recent Fuel Economy Study, a pilot study that researched the fuel economy, cost per mile, and driveability of various blends of fuel, including unleaded gasoline, E10, E20, and E30.
“As ethanol production and use continues to expand from coast to coast, increased public discussion and media attention have often turned to a debate over ethanol’s fuel efficiency,” said Ron Lamberty, ACE Vice President / Market Development. “Because there was very little scientific information out there, ACE commissioned a pilot study to determine whether there are variances in gas mileage between ethanol blends and gasoline.”
The research tested unleaded gasoline, a 10% ethanol blend (E10), a 20% ethanol blend (E20), and a 30% ethanol blend (E30) in three late-model vehicles. The Chevrolet Impala, Ford Taurus, and Toyota Camry were not flexible fuel vehicles, and no modifications were made to them for this research. Care was taken to eliminate any human inputs that might render the tests unscientific, including the use of a computerized data logger and strict controls on the vehicles, fuel, and terrain.
Miles per gallon
The three vehicles averaged only 1.5% lower mileage with E10, 2.2% lower mileage with E20, 5.1% lower mileage with E30, and increased mileage of 1.7% when using the specially denatured E10 blend.
Cost per mile
Although the MPG of ethanol blends was slightly lower than the unleaded, the cost per mile of operation was generally lower. Also, the higher the concentrations of ethanol, the lower the cost per mile. Using the study’s average MPG, E10 is less expensive per mile than unleaded until ethanol’s cost is nearly 30 cents above unleaded. On a $20 bill, drivers can travel up to 15 miles farther on ethanol-blended fuel than on straight unleaded.
Contrary to statements commonly made by vehicle manufacturers and technicians, no warning lights were displayed at any time while operating on any of the fuel blends. The data logger used for the research monitored all systems and detected no malfunction indicator lights (MIL), diagnostic trouble code lights (DTC), or emissions DTCs.
It isn’t just the United States that’s in on the ethanol growth wave. According to a story in the Mumbai, India, Financial Express, “India’s demand of alcohol for blending and other purposes is expected to reach 2,300 million litres by 2009-10 at 5% blending level.” That’s about 608 million gallons if I did my math right. (1 litres = 0.264172051 US gallons)
The story also says that they make ethanol from molasses and that there won’t be enough sugarcane and molasses production there to meet this expected need.
How’d you like to show your support for ethanol? You can with a free Ethanol magnet from the Ethanol Promotion & Information Council. All you have to do is visit the website here: Free Ethanol Magnet
Hey, wouldn’t it be great if we were all running on E?
If our cars and trucks were running on ethanol-blended gasoline, we’d all be breathing a lot easier. That’s because in addition to delivering superior performance and reliability, ethanol-blended gasoline is a renewable, earth-friendly fuel. Because ethanol burns more completely it cuts down on harmful tailpipe emissions. And it’s made right here in America contributing to local economies across the country.
When you fill up your car with ethanol-blended gasoline you’re making a real difference. You’re not only using a fuel that provides superior performance, but you’re protecting our environment and supporting our economy. That’s got to be a feel-good moment!