So, where’s your fuel coming from next? Out of thin air. Scientists around the country continue to innovate new fuels that reduce dependence on petroleum and improve air quality. And this development caught our attention.
Ethanol from Carbon Monoxide Gas
No corn, sugarcane or switchgrass needed. Stanford University scientists have developed a method to produce ethanol out of carbon monoxide gas.
As quoted in a recent Ethanol Producer magazine article, Matthew Kanan, an assistant professor of chemistry at Stanford and coauthor of the ethanol study says, “we have discovered the first metal catalyst that can produce appreciable amounts of ethanol from carbon monoxide at room temperature and pressure – a notoriously difficult electrochemical reaction.”
Unlike current ethanol production, this method does not require fermentation of biomass, typically corn, sugarcane or other starchy crops. The technique is similar to a process that reduces water into hydrogen—but in this case, reducing carbon monoxide into liquid ethanol.
While petroleum will only get more difficult to find and more costly to produce in the future, alternative fuel sources will increase, improving upon existing renewable fuel methods and inventing new and diverse sources.
Read more about the Stanford study.
Posted in Emissions, Ethanol, Ethanol Research, Flex Fuel E85, News Links, Technology
Tagged alternative fuel, domestic fuel, E85, ethanol, ethanol from carbon monoxide, Flex Fuel, Green Business, low-carbon fuel, Stanford study
In honor of Earth Day, we want to say a big THANK YOU to all of our customers who choose renewable fuel—even when it’s not Earth Day. Together, Propel customers have a significant and positive impact on our planet, reducing both harmful emissions and petroleum use. Just check out our Community CleanDrive Report:
Interested to see your own impact? Any Propel customer can have a personalized CleanDrive report that shows the positive benefits of choosing renewable fuel. Simply register at propelfuels.com/CleanDrive and start racking up your numbers every time you fill. Plus, each time you track a fill you’ll be entered to win monthly prizes like free fuel and exclusive Propel gear.
What better day to start seeing your positive impact than Earth Day? Sign up now.
Posted in Biodiesel, blog, Climate Change, Emissions, Ethanol, Flex Fuel E85, Green House Gases (GHG), Nox, Particulates, Personal Carbon Credits, Propel Biofuels, Propel Customers
Tagged alternative fuel, Biodiesel, biodiesel driver, biofuel, carbon emissions, CleanDrive, diesel, domestic fuel, E85, E85 driver, earth day 2014, ethanol, propel, Propel Fuels, renewable fuel
The only egg I want to find in my Easter basket is a Koenigsegg supercar—specifically, the CCXR or the new One:1. Not to be picky, but both of these ultra-performance vehicles run on E85 or E100. And what’s a sports car without a high-octane fuel?
Koenigsegg, the Swedish manufacturer of these high-performance sports cars, proudly touts its development of “green technology.” The CCXR was the first Hypercar in the world designed and calibrated to run on high ethanol blends (E85 or E100), as well as regular petroleum gasoline.
The One:1 is following in the CCXR green tracks by also running on E85.
If you’re wondering about the name, here is what Koenigsegg has to say:
The hp to kg curb weight ratio is an astonishing 1:1. This is the “dream” equation previously thought impossible. On top of this the One:1 is the first homologated production car in the world with one Megawatt of power, thereby making it the world´s first series produced Megacar.
I might not fully appreciate the engineering ramifications of this ratio, but I am throughly impressed regardless. Learn more about the CCXR and the One:1 at the Koenigsegg website.
Looking for a more sensible vehicle that can still run the same high-performance, high-octane fuel as these supercars? Check out our list of E85 vehicles.
Posted in Emissions, Ethanol, Ethanol Racing, Flex Fuel, Flex Fuel E85, Green Business, Technology, Vehicles
Tagged alternative fuel, CCXR, domestic fuel, E85, E85 driver, ethanol, FFV, Flex Fuel, koenigsegg, megacar, one:1, race fuel, renewable fuel, supercar
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released the finalized “Tier 3″ standards for vehicle emissions levels. The standard promises to “quickly and effectively cut harmful soot, smog and toxic emissions from cars and trucks” and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles on the road today, while bringing more fuel-efficient cars and trucks to market. The new standards closely align with emission levels and greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions set forth by the California Air Resources Board, allowing carmakers to focus on meeting one cohesive standard for the entire country.
Together, the federal and California standards will maximize reductions in GHGs, air pollutants and air toxics from cars and light trucks while providing automakers regulatory certainty, streamlining compliance, and reducing costs to consumers.
Tailpipe emission standards will phase in gradually starting in model year 2017 though 2025. The focus is on limiting emissions of non-methane organic gasses (NMOG), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particular matter (PM) for light-duty and some heavy-duty vehicles. All told, the tailpipe standards represent an 80% reduction from today’s average.
In addition, starting in 2017, gasoline refiners will be required to reduce sulfur content to no more than 10 parts per million on an annual average basis. That is a reduction of 60% from the current levels. According to the EPA, the “new low-sulfur gas will provide significant and immediate health benefits because every gas-powered vehicle on the road built prior to these standards will run cleaner – cutting smog-forming NOx emissions by 260,000 tons in 2018.”
The ultimate outcome of the standard will benefit consumers’ pocket books as well as overall public health. The changes promise to save Americans “more than $8,000 by 2025 over a vehicle’s lifetime” in fuel cost—and that adds up: “the fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards covering model year vehicles from 2012-2025 are projected to save American families more than $1.7 trillion in fuel costs.” Plus, by cleaning up air pollutants and harmful emissions, “once fully in place, the standards will help avoid up to 2,000 premature deaths per year and 50,000 cases of respiratory ailments in children.”
Renewable fuels play a part in the program too—the program finalizes standards for E85 as an emissions test fuel (for the first time) in Flexible Fuel Vehicles and calls for the standard test gasoline to contain 10% ethanol by volume.
Read more about the EPA’s finalized Tier 3 emission standards.
Posted in Biodiesel, Climate Change, Emissions, Ethanol, Green House Gases (GHG), News Links, Nox, Particulates, Politics
Tagged alternative fuel, biofuel, domestic fuel, E85, emission standards, EPA standards, epa tier 3, ethanol, fuel efficiency, ghg, global warming, Green Business, greenhouse gas emissions, low-carbon fuel, nox, renewable fuel, tier 3 emission standards
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!
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.
Posted in Ethanol, Ethanol Research, Feedstocks, Flex Fuel, Flex Fuel E85, Green Business, News Links, Next Generation Feedstock
Tagged alternative fuel, audi, audi biofuel, audi ethanol, bio isooctane, biofuel, biofuel feedstock, bioisooctane, domestic fuel, ethanol, Green Business, low-carbon fuel, next generation, next generation fuel, renewable fuel, sugar ethanol
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.
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!
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.
Posted in Biodiesel, Emissions, Ethanol, Ethanol Research, Feedstocks, Flex Fuel E85, Green Business, News Links, Next Generation Feedstock
Tagged alternative fuel, biofuel feedstock, domestic fuel, E85, E85 driver, ethanol, ethanol from beets, Flex Fuel, Green Business, low-carbon fuel, renewable fuel, sugar beet ethanol, sugar beets
We know racers love E85–the fuel increases performance and helps vehicles go, well, fast. Just how fast you ask? According to The Scoop Blog, the fellows over at No Regret Performance, optimized a 2006 Suzuki GSX-R750 motorcycle to run E85 and managed to reach over 209.98 miles per hour in a standing mile. Talk about zoom.
No Regret Performance- 200mph club members
The racers of No Regret Performance, Jean-Pierre Trzebiatowski and Thomas Cronan, made several modifications to the motorcycle in order to run the high-blend ethanol fuel, including upgrading the fuel system, replacing injectors, and reprograming the bike’s computer. For the full scoop on the team’s technical modifications, check out Holly Jessen’s post.
Not mechanically savvy? Me neither. Luckily, there are plenty of cars right off the assembly line ready to run high-performance E85. Check out our list of Flex Fuel E85 compatible vehicles: www.propelfuels.com/vehicles.
Posted in Ethanol, Ethanol Racing, Flex Fuel, Flex Fuel E85, Vehicles
Tagged 2006 suzuki gsx r750, alternative fuel, cars, domestic fuel, E85, E85 driver, e85 motorcycle, ethanol, Flex Fuel, low-carbon fuel, suzuki gsx r750, thomas cronan