Category Archives: Biodiesel Production

Biodiesel-powered breweries bring together two of our favorite things

That would be beer and biodiesel.

As more breweries invest in sustainable practices and green initiatives, biodiesel is a preferred fuel for use in delivery trucks, generators, tractors, and other brewery vehicles. A recent Biodiesel Magazine article provided an informative list of several breweries utilizing biodiesel in one capacity or another—including a couple California breweries. And I’ve tacked on a couple more sustainable breweries to the list.

Sierra Nevada

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Based out of Chico, California, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has been using biodiesel blends for the past six years. According to the company website, Sierra Nevada acknowledges that “getting beer from our brewery onto store shelves is no small feat. We recognize the toll it takes on the environment and we’re doing what we can to minimize our impact.” Biodiesel fuel is used to power both long-haul and local delivery trucks as well as the tractors working the eight acres of hops and gardens in Chico.

Ryan Arnold, Sierra Nevada communications manager, told Biodiesel Magazine, “At the brewery we’re always striving to essentially close the loop, and biodiesel helps us turn what could be a waste product into something useful.The trucks perform well. With up to B20, we don’t see much change in mileage.”

Stone Brewing Co.

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The 10th largest craft brewer in the United States, San Diego’s Stone Brewing Co.  strives to use stainable methods in all aspects of its business. According to Biodiesel Magazine, “The company has a fleet of 40 box trucks, one hybrid truck, two Sprinter vans, and four single axel daycabs that all use B20.” In addition to using renewable biodiesel fuel, Stone also produces energy from rooftop solar panels, repurposes “spent grain” in their gardens, composts some kitchen waste, and offers electric car charging.

New Belgium Brewing Company

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This Colorado brewery has an extensive sustainability program that focuses broadly on reducing New Belgium’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in all aspects of the operation. And this includes using low-carbon “biodiesel made from recycled restaurant grease to fuel trucks and generators for its famous Tour de Fat, a philanthropic “bicycle, beer and bemusement” event that will travel to 10 cities this year.”

Red Lodge Ales

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According to Biodiesel Magazine, this Montana brewery “has used biodiesel for almost 10 years in its small fleet of delivery vehicles. The company collects waste grease from its restaurant customers and trades it for finished fuel from a local supplier. Other efforts include a large solar thermal array that heats water, and a system that introduces outside air into a cold storage during the winter months, reducing refrigeration needs.”

Steam Whistle Brewing

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Our Canadian neighbors are on the sustainable bandwagon too. Steam Whistle touts on their website that it has been using biodiesel to power their delivery trucks since 2006. Steam Whistle partners with local biodiesel producer, Canada Clean Fuels, to fill up all of their delivery trucks with Biodiesel B20 overnight, making filling with renewable fuel hassle-free for Steam Whistle’s truck drivers.

Milwaukee Brewing Co.

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This Midwest gem proclaims that is was “founded on principles of crafting and creating beers using the best local ingredients and suppliers in a sustainable, creative and innovative environment.” And in order to adhere to these principles, the brewery hunts out sustainable operation processes—including, of course, using biodiesel.

One of the company’s boilers is designed to burn oil, so, according to the website, “the brewery scoundrels engineered a process to burn vegetable oil in that boiler. Waste vegetable oil from the Milwaukee Ale House and other local restaurants is used to provide VOC-free energy. In 2011, this furnished about 30% of the heating needs, and we continue to seek new sources of dirty vegetable oil. Fortunately, Milwaukee enjoys fried food, and the staple Friday Fish Fry alone could fuel the brewery for years to come.”

We’re thrilled to see so many brewers taking on a variety of sustainably measures, including the decision to seek out biodiesel fuel as a way to reduce petroleum oil use in the transportation and production of tasty, tasty beers.

kettle-beerAlso, if you’re looking for a crunchy treat to accompany your green-brewed beer, opt for Kettle Brand chips. They turn 100% of the waste vegetable oil from their production process into biodiesel. Plus, all of their inventive flavors are downright delicious.

Audi gets behind renewable gasoline made from sugar

Audi  sees renewable biofuel alternatives as an integral part of the future of motor fuels—in fact, according to a recent report from Wired, the automaker is investing in gasoline made from sugar. This sweet fuel can run in any gasoline-powered vehicle, without modification!

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image: audi

Audi has partnered with Global Bioenergies, a French company creating bio-isooctane by fermenting sugar with specially engineered E. coli bacteria. This reduces production cost and increases efficiency.

“Bio-isooctane can be used as a direct replacement for gasoline, or blended with conventional gasoline much like ethanol. The company has demonstrated the process in a lab, and is in the process of building two production plants. The goal is to produce more than 100,000 liters of gasoline annually — a pittance from a global perspective, but the program is a working proof-of-concept, and that’s where Audi’s investment comes in.”

Bio-iooctane is not the only “drop-in” fuel headed to the pump. Renewable diesel made from tallow and other renewable oils is in production and ready to replace petroleum diesel in the near future. And it just so happens that Audi has several turbo diesel models on the roads and more on the way—looks like Audi is on board with renewable fuel and ready to offer drivers choice at the pump.

Read more from Wired.

Five surprising things that can be made into fuel for your car

You may be familiar with the most common feedstocks for renewable fuel, but there is a whole host of lesser-known products that can be made into fuel for your car. Below we’ve listed  a few of our favorites.

1. CHRISTMAS TREES!

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Once January rolls around, un-tinseled and de-decorated Christmas trees line the sidewalks, waiting for garbage trucks headed to the dump. But in some cities, like San Francisco, California, discarded trees are turned into more than just landfill fodder. Instead, the trees are processed into biomass, which can be used as a renewable fuel feedstock.

Photo credit:  CINDY CHEW/S.F. EXAMINER

2. SUNFLOWERS

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Sunflowers, as it turns out, aren’t just for brightening up long stretches of rural highway or yielding seeds for snacking and spitting: they can also help power your diesel car. Those same seeds you seed scattered under the bleachers at the local Little League diamond have a high oil content that makes an ideal biodiesel feedstock. Next to solar-powered vehicles, it just might be the closest you’ll get to running on sunshine.

3. ALGAE

These little photosynthesis machines are masters of turning sunlight and CO2 into energy. Industrious producers, like the fermenting engineers at Solazyme, can capture the processing power of algae to create a super-efficient source of  renewable oil. Last year, in a successful month long pilot program, Propel Fuels and Solazyme partnered up to launch the nation’s first publicly available algae-derived biodiesel at Propel stations across the Bay Area. Hopefully, a full-scale launch is in the near future.

Photo credit:  National Algae Association

4. CORN COBS

Forget the kernel, just give me the cob! Ethanol producers are developing methods to use agricultural waste, like corns cobs and stalks, as feedstock for producing cellulosic ethanol, an alcohol-based fuel. In fact, “Project Liberty,” a 20-million-gallon cellulosic fuel plant operated by POET is slated to open this year, and the resulting fuel can be plugged right into today’s growing network of ethanol retail stations.

Photo credit:  Domestic Fuel

5. ANIMAL FATS

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Turns out you can make biodiesel from pretty much any fatty oil including the leftovers from rendering plants a.k.a tallow a.k.a animal fats. In fact, the diesel Mazda6 NASCAR racer was loaded up with some “chicken guts, beef tallow and pork lard” biodiesel for the Rolex 24 Endurance Race in Daytona this past spring. Perhaps the bumper sticker, “My Car Eats Meat” is apt?

Producer Spotlight: New Leaf Biofuel

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Driving with Propel biodiesel in Southern California? Here’s a look at the amazing people & process behind your favorite fuel. New Leaf Biofuel based out of San Diego California has been producing high quality biodiesel with pride and purpose since 2005.  Started by a group of innovative recent college grads, New Leaf has a mission firmly grounded in their San Diego community: to enhance air quality, sustainability, and strengthen the local economy.

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The high quality biodiesel produced by New Leaf starts off as fryer grease and waste oil from local restaurants, hotels, schools, hospitals, and other businesses. New Leaf collects the used cooking oil and brings it back to their production facility, which is conveniently located right in San Diego. Once at the plant, the waste grease is filtered, purified, and cleaned up–all to prepare for the processor that turns the oil into high grade biodiesel ready to be distributed to fleets and retailers, like Propel Fuels!

“The best thing a potential consumer of biodiesel can do is to find a manufacturer who is strict about control,” said CEO Jennifer Case in a Union-Tribe San Diego article highlighting New Leaf. “We are trying to make a product that is going to be accepted in the marketplace. Therefore we have to be really strict about our quality standards. If everybody else who makes biodiesel did the same thing, we would be able to go into the next level and become a fuel that people used commonly and that states, cities and commercial fleets were confident that it wasn’t going to harm their engine.”

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The waste-grease-to-biodiesel-fuel is win-win setup on several levels. First of all, instead of paying  to dispose of waste grease, businesses and organizations with industrial kitchens have a reliable revenue stream from selling their used cooking oil New Leaf. Secondly, as a domestic (really, hometown) facility, New Leaf creates valuable industrial jobs that support the local economy. And, last but not least, New Leaf produces a cleaner-burning fuel from renewable resources for use in diesel engines across San Diego.

Creating value for business. Supporting the domestic economy. And helping to make a healthier, more sustainable community. All in a days work. Nicely done, New Leaf!

Fill up with New Leaf’s biodiesel at select Propel locations in Southern California.

Learn more about Propel’s renewable fuel producer partners.

Ethanol proves to be a sweet opportunity for California farmers

Most of California’s sugar mills have closed up shop in recent years, leaving sugar beet farmers without a market for their crop. But now ethanol derived from sugar beets is providing a new opportunity for these farmers and their communities.

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Farmers in the small community of Mendota, California are leading an effort to bring back the once widely-grown sugar beet crop. In 2008, Spreckels sugar plant was shuttered, leaving many residents without a job and farmers without a purchaser for their beets. In a stroke of ingenuity, the seed company suggested the community grow beets for ethanol. Thus, the Mendota Bioenergy company was formed!

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According to a recent report from California public radio, “Mendota Bioenergy has a $5 million grant from the California Energy Commission – and the partnership of university experts from UC Davis and Fresno State – to complete the test site. It should be up and running this winter and, if all goes as planned, the company will then build the nation’s first commercial sugar beet biorefinery in Mendota by 2017.”

Mendota Bioenergy will not only produce a domestic alternative to petroleum gasoline, but the ethanol plant itself will also have a sustainable focus with measures in place to let nothing go to waste. Plus, beets grow well on marginal lands and require very little fresh water. Overall, ethanol produced from California-grown sugar beets and processed in the Mendota refinery will have a much lower carbon footprint than petroleum gasoline, lower even than typical corn-based ethanol. Now that sounds like a sweet deal.

Read more from The California Report.

From Festive to Feedstock, San Franciscans “Treecycle”

Christmas trees are collected curbside in San Francisco. Credit: SFGate.com

In many American cities, nothing quite marks the end of the holiday season (or the beginning of the New Year) like gutters strewn with discarded Christmas trees.

But for the past 25 years, the city of San Francisco has been breathing new life into these signs of yester-yule with Recology’s “Treecycling” Program — an initiative that not only rescues Christmas castoffs from the local landfill but goes one step further by chipping the trees into valuable biomass, which can be used for things like renewable fuels.

According to Bob Besso, Recology’s waste reduction and recycling manager, who spoke with the Bay Citizen about the program, more than 500 tons of Christmas trees were collected in San Francisco in 2010.

Because of fir trees’ high acid content, they shouldn’t be mixed with regular compost, so turning the trees into wood chips is the preferred, if not perfect, alternative.

While the chipping process does result in air pollutants, it’s superior to allowing the trees to decompose, which would produce methane and 21 times the gases associated with chipping, according to Kevin Danaher, outreach and communication program manager with San Francisco Department of the Environment.

Perhaps the best solution for a city constantly on the cutting edge of eco-friendly practices? Renting fresh, if unconventional, Christmas trees that can be replanted following the holiday season through organizations such as Friends of the Urban Forest (the program was so popular, it sold out in 2011).

Still, fans of tradition and the environment can rest a little easier knowing that the fresh-cut variety can fuel more than the holiday spirit thanks to Treecycling efforts. To learn more about the program and to read the full story, vist The Bay Citizen online.

B20 Biodiesel powers land speed record

This is not your granddady’s diesel pickup truck. The Hajek Motor’s Ford F250 Super Duty powertrain truck recently broke the land speed record for diesel vehicles on the Bonneville Saltflats–then they filled ‘er up with Biodiesel B20, turned around, and broke the record again!

The previous speed record was set by a BMW motorcycle at 130 mph. The Hajek Ford F250 had slight modifications to upgrade the fuel injectors, fuel system, and turbocharge, but was otherwise mostly stock. Running petroleum diesel, the truck reach over 177 mph, but with biodiesel B20 they smashed the record, reaching speeds over 182 mph.

Depending on the feedstock, biodiesel delivers greater energy density than petroleum diesel. According to the National Biodiesel Board, the B20 used by Hajek was produced by a Missouri biodiesel plant and purchased and donated by the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council.

Read more from Autoblog.

“I believe in biodiesel because…”

Why do you believe in biodiesel? As this montage of video testimonials compiled by the National Biodiesel Board demonstrates, there are countless reasons to stand behind this renewable fuel. Biodiesel is clean. Sustainable. Green. American. It supports the domestic economy and creates green jobs. It’s the fuel the diesel engine was designed around. And according to biodiesel enthusiasts, the list goes on!

Do you believe in biodiesel? Let us know by sharing your comment, below — or, to learn more, including where you can find biodiesel near you, vist Propel Fuels or the National Biodiesel Board online.

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.

Propel Hosts First Stop of EcoTREK’s “Best of America Tour”

EcoTREK is driving 10,000 miles crosscountry in an American-made Flex Fuel vehicle, powered with cellulosic ethanol provided by POET — all with the goal of increasing awareness of the economic, environmental and national security benefits of domestically grown biofuels.

Tom Holm, Executive Director and intrepid driver for EcoTREK, made Propel’s Oakland Clean Fuel Point the tour’s first destination. Propel CEO, Matt Horton welcomed Tom to the station and shared his enthusiasm for EcoTREK’s goal. “Today we got a preview of ultra-low carbon fuels from non-food sources, representing the next level of sustainability for fuels that can run in our vehicles today. Propel, EcoTREK and POET each represent critical pieces to reducing our dependence on petroleum; widespread consumer access, advanced vehicle technologies, and the next generation of renewable fuels.”

POET’s cellulosic ethanol is produced from corn cobs and light stover (leaves, husks, some stalk) at a pilot pant in Scotland, South Dakota. Work is underway at Project LIBERTY, POET’s planned 25 million-gallon-per-year cellulosic ethanol plant, which will be built in Emmetsburg, Iowa.

Read more about EcoTREK’s Propel visit.

Follow Tom’s journey on the EcoTREK blog.

EcoTREK in Oakland

Music: Quiet Life hailing from Portland, OR. Check out their music.

Waste Grease Biodiesel Plant for San Francisco

Plans for a biodiesel plant at Pier 92 in San Francisco have finally gained approval from the city’s Port Commission. The plant will produce 10 million gallons of waste-grease biodiesel each year, creating local production jobs as well as locally-produced, renewable fuel.

The plant will be in an old rendering facility run by Darling International, who has been in operation on the pier since the 1960s. The facility is already equipped to create tallow from grease and other waste products. The switch over to biodiesel production will include new odor-regulation devices and alert systems.

Read more from San Francisco Gate.

Waste fats into renewable Dynamic Fuels

In Geismar, LA, Dynamic Fuels’ production facility is converting non-food grade tallow and other animal fats into ASTM-certified renewable diesel fuel.

The production facility, a joint venture of Syntroleum Corporation and Tyson Foods, Inc., began processing fuel in early October and is currently producing 2,500 barrels a day.

Dynamic’s diesel fuel is made from renewable sources, reducing carbon emissions by  75%. What’s more, the performance specifications outshine petroleum diesel, boasting cetane rating of 88, more than twice that of regular diesel.

Read more from Syntroleum.

Propel tours San Diego’s New Leaf biodiesel production facility

New Leaf Biofuel is a waste-source biodiesel production company located in San Diego, CA. Propel had the opportunity to tour the New Leaf facility earlier this week.

Jennifer Case, CEO of New Leaf, hosted the facility tour, walking through the production process of using waste-oil and waste-grease refined into quality biodiesel fuel ready to put straight into tanks. New Leaf collects waste oil and grease from local San Diego restaurants to use as the feedstock for their biodiesel production.

New Leaf is a great example of a local producer working within a community to process waste products into quality renewable fuel.

Learn more about New Leaf Biofuels.

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.

Can’t recycle that soiled cardboard? Try fuel.

Of all the tons of corrugated cardboard recycled by the Cedar Rapids paper mill in Iowa, 5 percent of fibers from old containers cannot be recycled, which equates to about 50,000 tons of paper waste ending up in a landfill every year. Fiberight LLC plans to change this.

Fiberight has partnered with International Paper Cedar River to convert waste paper into cellulosic ethanol fuel. The clean tech company converted a first-generation corn ethanol plant in Blairstown, Iowa into a cellulosic ethanol production facility.

According to Todd Olstad, the paper mill’s operations manager, “through Fiberight’s new facility, we can now be assured that whatever recycled fiber can’t be made into new packaging can be used to create green energy, while helping us offset our disposal cost.”

By 2011, Fiberight’s facility will reach a final commercial production capacity of about 6 million gallons of cellulosic fuel per year.

Read more about Fiberight’s cellulosic fuel plant.

Next generation biorefinery breaks ground in Boardman, OR

With production expected to begin next year, Colorado-based ZeaChem has broke ground on a cellulosic ethanol biorefinery in Boardman, OR. The plant will use ZeaChem’s core technology, to produce ethyl acetate, a salable chemical intermediate that can turn poplar tree waste into cellulosic ethanol. The biorefinery is expected to produce up to 250,000 gallons per year.

“Breaking ground on ZeaChem’s biorefinery in Boardman is a significant milestone,” said Jim Imbler, president and chief executive officer of ZeaChem. “As a leader in this industry, ZeaChem is committed to producing economical and sustainable advanced biofuels and bio-based chemicals, creating jobs, and being a good neighbor in the community.”

ZeaChem is receiving $25 million in stimulus money for the plant that will create 300 direct and indirect jobs.

Read Press Release.

Advanced fuel test crops flourish in California

UC Davis test plot yields for advanced biofuel crops prove fruitful.

Findings from a three year switchgrass trial have shown increasing yields, from twelve to eighteen tons per acre depending on the site. Several switchgrass varieties were tested at facilities in El Centro & at UC Davis. Switchgrass has the potential to be a whole-plant cellulosic ethanol feedstock and is considered an important crop for the future of renewable fuels. The hardy grass begins its annual growth in the spring and can grow 4-7 feet tall. Leaves measure 30-90 centimeters in length.

Switchgrass uses C4 carbon fixation which means it is fairly efficient in the photosynthesis process and tolerates drought and high temperatures. The grass has low fertilizer requirements and grows well on marginal land.

Many of these hearty crops can grow on marginal lands and have the potential to produce biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol, and provide a new revenue source for American framers.

Read more about advanced feedstock research from Western Farm Press.

Biodiesel Bulletin: Biodiesel delivers sweet treats

Propel customer, Essential Baking Company, is highlighted in the latest edition of the National Biodiesel Board’s monthly bulletin.


“The Web site for The Essential Baking Company in Seattle says it all: “We’re fussy. Fussy about taste, the texture of our bread, the flakiness of our pastry, the richness of our desserts, and preserving the time-honored techniques of baking. And don’t even get us started about the importance of the pureness of what we put into our bodies or our impact on the environment.”

That commitment to the environment is fulfilled in part by using 99 percent biodiesel . . .” Read more from the National Biodiesel board.

Waste into power, POET teams up with the city of Sioux Falls

The joint project by leading ethanol producer, POET, and the city of Sioux Falls uses landfill gas to help power POET’s Chancellor, South Dakota ethanol production facility. Methane gas created by the Sioux Falls Regional Sanitary Landfill is transported down an 11-mile pipeline to POET’s biorefinery, helping to power ethanol production.

Methane, a major factor in global warming, is captured, converted and put to use producing process steam for ethanol production–using methane offsets 15 percent of the facility’s  energy needs, reducing overall CO2 emissions by more than 26,000 tons per year.

Revenue from selling methane to POET and subsequent carbon credits, earns an additional 1 million dollars per year for the city of Sioux Falls.

Earlier this month, the Environmental Protection Agency recognized the innovative work of the POET-Sioux Falls project in an award ceremony for programs that “employed unique project structures and took creative approaches to utilize (landfill gas) from municipal solid waste landfills.” The project will continue to grow as the supply of landfill gases increase, doubling capacity by 2025.

Read more about POET and Sioux Falls.

500,000 jobs created by U.S. ethanol industry

The 2010 U.S. Ethanol Industry Salary study estimates nearly a half-million direct and indirect jobs generated by the ethanol industry nationally.

Jobs tied to the ethanol industry are heavily concentrated in rural America, and makeup a significant portion of the economic impact of the industry.  As Mike Bryan states in his editorial for the January issue of Ethanol Producer Magazine, “the importance of the domestic ethanol industry to the vibrancy of the U.S. economy, especially the rural economy, cannot be overstated.”

On a local level, Propel Fuels has teamed up with the Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps to provide life and skills training for at-risk youth in the area. Involvement in the program provides corps members training in critical skills such as job responsibility, timeliness and teamwork, while exposing them to the promising industry of renewable energy.

As the domestic economy struggles back to its feet, the burgeoning alternative energy industry provides a bit of hope for new jobs and economic growth.

Read full article about Propel and SRCC.

More on the 2010 U.S. Ethanol Industry Salary survey.

UC Davis research shows sustainable biomass energy potential for California

A recent article published in California Agriculture illustrates the potential for sustainable biomass energy crops in California.  California Agriculture is a peer-reviewed journal reporting research, reviews and news from the University of California and its Agriculture and Natural Resources division.

Article Abstract
Biomass constitutes a major renewable energy resource for California, with more than 30 million tons per year of in-state production estimated to be available on a sustainable basis for electricity generation, biofuels production and other industrial processing. Annually, biofuel production from these resources could exceed 2 billion gallons of gasoline equivalent, while providing opportunities for agricultural and rural economic development. Continuing research and large-scale demonstrations now under way will test alternative technologies and provide much-needed information regarding costs and environmental performance. Biomass can help meet state goals for increasing the amounts of electricity and fuels from renewable resources under the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), and can similarly help meet national biofuel targets under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Internationally consistent sustainability standards and practices are needed to inform policy and provide direction and guidance to industry.

>> Read More

Article Authors
Bryan M. Jenkins, UC Davis
Robert B. Williams, UC Davis
Nathan Parker, UC Davis
Peter Tittmann, UC Davis
Quinn Hart, UC Davis
Martha C. Gildart, UC Davis
Steve Kaffka, UC Davis
Bruce R. Hartsough, UC Davis
Peter Dempster, UC Davis

Production advances create fuel from forest waste

Fuel sourced from waste derived feedstock is the gold-standard in sustainable energy production. And the pine forest waste left over from Georgia’s paper industry will soon be turned into fuel.

Range Fuels’ cellulosic ethanol production facility aims to utilize the limbs, needles and tops of timber typically left out in the woods as an entirely new source of fuel. A technology that is a perfect fit for the State of Georgia that has an abundance of forest-derived feedstocks.

“This is zero carbon footprint fuel” says David Aldous, Range Fuels’ CEO.

The Soperton, Georgia-based plant held ground breaking ceremonies in 2007 and is scheduled to be producing this fuel in 2010. The project is permitted to produce 100 million gallons of fuel per year.  In addition to vehicle fuel, the plant will generate renewable power from energy recovered during the process of converting biomass into fuel.

Watch Video from WSBTV.

Cellulosic Plant takes a big step towards converting Corn Cobs into Fuel

South Dakota based POET is pioneering commercial-scale next generation ethanol Poet_Libertyproduction with their Project Liberty plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa. The 25 million-gallon-per-year plant reached a significant benchmark yesterday receiving a 20 million dollar commitment from Lt Governor Patty Judge. Former four-star General Wesley Clark spoke to attendees about the important role they would play in providing more homegrown fuel for the nation.

“We are involved in something that is historic,” Clark said. “We are going to significantly reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources, and we will strengthen America’s national security.”

POET currently operates a pilot-scale cellulosic plant in Scotland, S.D. currently producing 20,000 gallons per year of cellulosic ethanol. The newly funded Iowa plant will commercialize the process creating hundreds of new green jobs.

Watch coverage by KTIV News 4

U.S. jets on alterative fuel

The U.S. Air Force plans on using domestically produced Camelina-based jet fuel supplied by Sustainable Oils. The Defense Energy Support Center agreed to use 100,000 gallons through 2010 with the possibility for using another 100,000 gallons in the following two years.

fromcleantechnica.com

Camelina is a non-food oilseed crop grown in parts of Oregon, Washington and Montana. In addition to the high quality of fuel produced from camelina, it can reduce carbon emissions by more than 80%.

“This is a great opportunity for Montana farmers to not only drive additional revenue, but also participate directly in decreasing our country’s reliance on foreign oil,” said Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer in the press release. “I know our agricultural community is up to the challenge to supply our armed forces with camelina-based fuels.”

Read more from Sustainable Oils.

1000 Acres of Next Generation Fuel

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Cellulosic feedstock projects are beginning to scale in size and frequency. An example of this is the 1,000 acre switchgrass plot in Oklahoma, now in its second year. The project is led by the Ardmore-based Noble Foundation, and strands are reaching 3 ft in height.
Unlike corn, switchgrass doesn’t need to be replanted each year. It also takes less tractor-fuel and fertilizer to produce, can be grown on marginal land and doesn’t require as much water.

Read More

Fulcrum Advances Ethanol from Waste

fulcrum_sierraHigh quality biodiesel refined from waste sources is becoming common, and has the lowest carbon footprint of any liquid fuel. In fact, much of the biodiesel sold by Propel, the highest-quality clean fuel available, comes from recycled fats and oils. And now strides are being made in waste-to-ethanol production through advances by companies like Fulcrum Bioenergy. Fulcrum is working to derive commercial-scale ethanol from municipal waste — and recently ran their first demo proving they are on their way to reaching that goal.

The successful demonstration has spurred the development of commercial scale production. Construction on Fulcrum’s municipal solid waste to ethanol plant, Sierra BioFuels, is set to begin this year. Located in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, in the City of McCarran, Storey County, Nevada, the plant will convert 90,000 tons of MSW into 10.5 million gallons of ethanol per year.
More from NY Times

More on Fulcrum

Biodiesel station’s green features earn Propel ‘Project of the Month’ title

Propel’s downtown Seattle station  is selected as the Daily Journal of Commerce’s Project of the Month for July.

SLU_Project of the Month

photo by Lara Swimmer

An American icon goes green, smells good too.

Propel Biodiesel’s Seattle station is an urban oasis. Filling up there can be a meditative experience.

If you’re green at heart but still attached to your internal combustion engine, don’t give up hope. If it’s diesel you need, pull your Bug or your tractor-trailer into the South Lake Union station at Broad and Westlake and fill up. It’s roughly the same price per gallon as regular diesel . . .”

Read more from the Daily Journal of Commerce

Fuel from Waste – New Revenue for American Farmers

stoverNot Corn…Cobs. This harvest refuse, typically plowed back into the field, is now a source of fuel for American drivers, and new profit for American farmers.
Making this possible are the leading edge cellulosic ethanol plants like the Iowa based plant currently being built by Poet Energy. The $200 million plant will make cellulosic ethanol, which comes from plant material such as cobs, wood chips and switchgrass. About two dozen cellulosic ethanol projects are being developed or built around the country, according to the Renewable Fuels Association.
Poet spokesman Nathan Schock said the company hasn’t yet figured out how much it will pay farmers, but it could be $30 to $60 per ton for corn stover, which includes cobs and some stalk. An average acre in Iowa yields about 1.5 tons of corn stover.
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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.