Category Archives: Big Oil

USDA visits Propel, highlights 10,000 pump plan

Judith Canales, Administrator for Rural Business and Cooperative Programs for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), stopped by Propel Fuels’ Oakland, California location to promote access to renewable fuel. Administrator Canales highlighted the beneficial economic and environmental impacts of American-produced biofuels.

Administrator Canales emphasized that a thriving domestic fuel industry will benefit the US economy. “The USDA is committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in rural America and we believe a strong renewable fuels industry, including convenient access to these fuels, is critical to this goal,” said Canales.

The USDA plans to increase access to domestically produced fuels by helping to fund the build out of 10,000 renewable fuel pumps across the country over the next five years. Retailers selected to receive USDA funds have yet to be determined.

“Propel shares the USDA’s vision for quickly increasing consumer access to renewable fuels in order to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, boost local economies, and reduce emissions,” said Jim Iacoponi, Vice President of Operations of Propel. “Through a partnership between private investment and public funds, Propel will continue to build the critical link between California’s drivers and the next generation of fuels.”

More on Administrator Canales’ visit to Propel:

Nuts for biodiesel!

It’s big, it’s shaped like a peanut and, best of all, it runs on biodiesel.

The latest incarnation of the Planters Nutmobile is going green, using a biodiesel-powered modified Isuzu NPR box truck as the base for its fiberglass body. The nutty vehicle also touts a rooftop wind turbine, solar panels, LED interior lighting, recycled parts and reclaimed-wood floors.

It is fitting that the Planters Nutmobile should be powered by biodiesel since Rudolf Diesel originally designed his engine to run on peanut oil. There’s no word on if the biodiesel used will be of a nutty variety.

Read more from the New York Times.

BMW diesel Super Bowl ad. Fueling ch-ch-change.

From Moonshine to Fuel: Ethanol is an American Tradition

Clean, American ethanol is a part of our history! Click the images below to learn more.

Run faster, cleaner? Use E85.

The old rules of racing are being challenged as cleaner and more efficient automotive fuels find their way to the track. Project Green, a group of researchers from the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory has found that modern fuel-injected engines powered by E-85, outperform the same engine with a carburetor and leaded racing fuel. The cleaner burning fuel injection engines have been replacing carburetors since the 80s, except on the track.

“The testing disproves two widely and firmly held beliefs in the circle track racing community: that carbureted engines are inherently more powerful than engines equipped with a fuel injection system; and that E-85, which is less expensive than leaded racing fuel, is not well-suited as a fuel for race cars”, says Forrest Jehlik, principal mechanical engineer at Argonne’s Center for Transportation Technology.

Read more http://www.anl.gov/Media_Center/News/2010/news100707.html

US Senator Patty Murray and Propel discuss economic impacts of biodiesel industry

Monday morning, Senator Patty Murray (D – WA) & Propel hosted a press conference to discuss support for the Biodiesel Blenders Tax Credit and its positive impacts on job growth, carbon emissions reduction and national security. Since the tax credit was left to expire in January, US biodiesel production has largely screeched to a halt. As a result, many producers including Imperium Renewables have looked to markets outside of the US to sell its fuel. The industry’s message was clear; renew the tax credit and our industry will immediately increase production, and create jobs.

The event was held at Propel Fuels Clean Fuel Point, the first renewable fuels station in downtown Seattle, Senator Murray was joined by the leaders of companies from up and down the biodiesel value chain (bioscience, refining, production and retail consumer access), who discussed the importance of the extension of the tax credit currently being debated in Congress.

Speakers included Matt Horton, CEO of Propel Fuels, Todd Ellis, VP of Business Development for Imperium Renewables, Dr. Margaret McCormick, COO for Targeted Growth, and Cameron Hewes, President and CEO of General Biodiesel.

A Step Toward Algae Into Ethanol

Algenol Biofuels announced plans for a pilot algae-biorefinery to produce ethanol from captured CO2. The demonstration plant will have the capacity to produce 100,000 gallons a year, with desired cost of the ethanol at $1.00 per gallon.

algenol_biorefinery

Algenol Biofuels

Paul Woods, CEO of Algenol, said in a recent press release, “this project sets the stage for commercial scale production by proving two critical principles: first, that ethanol can be made economically without consuming fresh water or displacing valuable farmland better suited to food and feed production; second, that atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide can be reduced by capturing CO2 from a variety of industrial sources and using it to produce fuel that can displace conventional, high carbon gasoline.”

The project will move forward in partnership with Dow Chemical Company, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Membrane Technology & Research.

Propel’s fueling platform currently delivers advanced low-carbon fuels including biodiesel from waste stream feedstocks like recycled fats and oils, and locally grown, marginal land crops like camelina. The fueling platform is designed with the flexibility to accommodate low-carbon fuels today, as well as future fuels such as algae- and cellulosic-based fuels, hydrogen and electric chargers. As petroleum extraction becomes more harmful and invasive, today’s alternative fuels are already more sustainable, with next generation fuels on the horizon providing even greater benefits.