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May 31, 2005

New biodiesel pump in Central Oregon

Bend gas station offers biodiesel at the pump
http://www.bendbulletin.com/news/story.cfm?story_no=16399
Published: May 27, 2005

By Ernestine Bousquet
The Bulletin

Up to four times a week, John Flannery drives his 12-person tour and shuttle bus into the Red Carpet Express fuel station on Greenwood Avenue in Bend, fills up with earth-friendly biodiesel and drives off with a clean conscience.

Since last September, Flannery, who owns Green Energy Transportation and Tour, has been able to buy B-20 biodiesel, or fuel that is 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent diesel, from Red Carpet.

Red Carpet is the first and only public fuel station in Central Oregon to sell biodiesel at the pump. Since last month, it has also been offering B-99, which is 99 percent biodiesel.

Manufactured from vegetable oil, biodiesel can be used in pure form or blended with diesel to make a cleaner-burning fuel that reduces vehicle emissions, according to the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), a biodiesel trade association.

Much of the commercially sold biodiesel, including most of Red Carpet's, is domestically made from soy beans and shipped from the Midwest.

For the past few years, the only way for a Central Oregon driver to get biodiesel was to buy it through the Bend Biodiesel Cooperative as a member, or to use homemade biodiesel.

With a retail source now available, Red Carpet has jettisoned the alternative fuel into the public eye. That is why Flannery chooses to buy his biodiesel from Red Carpet, even though he is a member of the biodiesel co-op.

The co-op tapped into a growing niche, and Flannery wants to support that effort by being a member. But he believes stations like Red Carpet can open the door to mass-market appeal.

"People recognize ... Red Carpet, and it's easier for them to use it than the co-op. But the co-op got the groundswell," said Flannery, who also owns a bike taxi service called Bend Cycle Cab.

Selling a philosophy

Red Carpet owner Mike Fassett decided to sell biodiesel after he was able to free up a fuel dispenser. Building a new one would have cost too much.

Fassett ended up spending $27,000 to convert a fuel dispenser to hold biodiesel. He buys the fuel from SeQuential Biofuels, a marketing and distribution company with offices in Eugene and Portland, through petroleum wholesaler Bend Oil.

"I'm not real green, but everyone wants to help," said Fassett, who owns two other Red Carpet stations in town. "The key is getting the dependence away from the imported oil."

Business has been slow so far. Out of roughly 200 customers a day, Fassett estimated about 10 of them buy either grade of biodiesel. He sells about 120 to 150 gallons of biodiesel a day.

But Fassett caters to a core of regular biodiesel users, most of whom buy B-99 versus the B-20, he said.

"I think people that are into this are really into this," said Fassett, who uses both grades of biodiesel for his three personal vehicles. "It's a dedicated group of people."

The higher price may deter some drivers. Red Carpet's biodiesel generally sells for 20 to 40 cents more than regular diesel.

On Thursday, B-20 was $2.75 a gallon and B-99 sold for $2.81 a gallon. Regular diesel was selling for $2.49 a gallon, while regular unleaded was $2.39 a gallon.

A federal tax credit for petroleum distributors has been established to level the playing field for the now-taxed biodiesel. Credits are given for every percent of biodiesel in blended fuel that comes from vegetable or recycled oils, according to the NBB.

For instance, the credit that Fassett gets for B-99 knocks almost a dollar off the retail price for drivers.

The price of biodiesel can be affected by production or crop problems in the domestic soybean market. But Fassett said the price doesn't fluctuate as much as regular fuel made from imported oil. In the nine months he has sold biodiesel, he estimated that the price of B-20 had only changed four times.

Fassett said he is selling the biodiesel just above cost to build up demand. He typically ends up with a roughly 1 percent gross profit margin on biodiesel, before subtracting business costs or credit card sales fees. He tries to retain a 10 percent margin on gasoline before business costs.

"I think (biodiesel use) could build really fast if the price was more competitive," Fassett said. "I think several years down the road it will be."

Building a market

Wade Fagen, the president of the biodiesel co-op, believes there is plenty of room for Red Carpet on the biodiesel market.

"You might think of us as competitors, but I think that it's fantastic that they introduced biodiesel to the public in the commercial product," Fagen said. "It assures there is a good market, and the public does have a choice."

The co-op buys about 2,000 gallons of B-99 biodiesel a month for its 95 members. The members initially pay a $75 fee for infrastructure costs, then pay per gallon based on the cost to buy the biodiesel from the distributor. The last batch of B-99 sold for $2.80 a gallon, he said.

Like many drivers, Fagen's willingness to pay more for biodiesel stems as much from political reasons as it does from environmental concerns.

"I thought of it as a self-imposed tax that I'm happy to pay to get us out of the Middle East," said Fagen, who uses biodiesel for his business, Fagen Tree and Chips.

"Trucks smell better, and it puts farmers to work."

The city of Bend has also dabbled with biodiesel.

Glenn Crawford, the shop supervisor for the city's public works department, said the department bought B-20 biodiesel from Red Carpet from November to April. The department used it to fuel dump-truck sweepers and one Dial-A-Ride van as part of a pilot project.

The department ended up buying about 2,500 gallons of biodiesel during that time. The equipment worked well with biodiesel, and the public works department is deciding whether to use it permanently, he said.

A growing industry

The amount of biodiesel sold in the U.S. jumped from 500,000 gallons in 1999 to an estimated 25 million gallons in 2003, according to the NBB.

Last year, the U.S. used approximately 36 million gallons of biodiesel, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

By comparison, Americans consumed roughly 140 billion gallons of gasoline in 2004, the energy administration statistics show.

Biodiesel has become one of the fastest-growing alternative fuels, according to Jenna Higgins, the communications director for the biodiesel board.

Right now, the biggest biodiesel users are fleet-users, such as a school district, businesses, the government and the military, she said. Biodiesel is also being used more in farming, for home heating and in the marine industry. The trucking industry is another huge potential market, she said.

About 400 public pumps have sprouted up throughout the nation, catering to the small but growing number of diesel-fueled passenger vehicles. Some are card-lock stations, which are secured fueling networks, but most are retail sites.

According to Tyson Keever, a managing partner of SeQuential Biofuels, demand for biodiesel is booming. The company supplies the biodiesel to Red Carpet through Bend Oil and also sells to the Bend co-op.

The company's sales are growing about 20 percent a month, he said. The company is also planning to build a processing facility in Oregon to make biodiesel regionally.

After starting in 2002, SeQuential now sells biodiesel to 10 retail outlets throughout Oregon. It also sells it at bulk and card-lock locations. The company distributes about 20,000 gallons of biodiesel in Oregon every two to three weeks. Most of it is bought from Midwest producers.

"People choose biodiesel because it's domestically produced, it's renewable and improves the performance of your vehicle," Keever said. "The more available it is, the more it will be consumed, and the cheaper it is."

Ernestine Bousquet can be reached at 541-504-2336 or atebousquet@bendbulletin.com.

Posted by Martin at 1:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Economist has great Biofuels article

Many of you may have already seen this: Economist.com | Biofuels. Some interesting excerpts:

Germany, the big producer of biodiesel, is raising output 40-50% a year.

The reason is simple. Forget greenery or energy security, the grounds on which governments justify subsidising biofuels. Just take the past year's soaring price of mineral fuels, subtract the biofuel subsidy, and the answer is plain: for the user, biofuels are currently cheaper.

American output of biodiesel is still trivial: last year 30m gallons, in a total on-road diesel consumption of 36 billion. A year ago, biodiesel cost about 20-30 cents a gallon more than petro-diesel. But in October a new law gave it too a federal tax credit: one cent for every 1% of biodiesel in the mix. Oil prices are higher now. And new rules requiring diesel in 2006 to be all-but free of sulphur will help. Taking the sulphur out makes the fuel less slippery; adding biodiesel can make it more so.

As in America, there is also political pressure, though the politics, so far, is more that of the green lobby than the farmers. The European Union, unlike the United States, has ratified the Kyoto treaty on emissions and the environment, and the EU authorities in 2003 issued indicative targets for translation into national law: 2% of motor-fuel consumption should be biofuel by 2005, and 5.75% by 2010.

Posted by Martin at 12:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 23, 2005

Pile o WVO/Biodiesel links

A friend sent me all these. I don't have time to go to them all to verify, but if you do....

http://www.baldwinfilter.com/

http://www.fleetguard.com/fleet/en/index.jsp

http://www.wixfilters.com/

http://www.biodieselnow.com/

http://www.greasel.com

http://www.greaseworks.org/

http://www.greasecar.com

http://www.davcotec.com/index.html

http://www.nbb.org/

http://www.pathtofreedom.com/pathproject/offthegrid/biodiesel.shtml

http://www.biodiesel.com/

http://www.azurebiodiesel.com/

http://www.usda.gov/agency/oce/oepnu/biodeisel.htm

http://www.orckl.com/ORCKLS_renewable_energy.html

http://www.renewable-energy-group.com/

http://crrh.org/cannabis/petroleum.html

http://www.bbibiofuels.com/

http://highfuelsn.goemerchant7.com/

http://www.itscb.com/newsitetest/news/biodiesel03102003.shtml?OVRAW=biodeisel&OVKEY=biodiesel&OVMTC=standard

http://www.electricitybook.com/

http://www.superiorprocesstech.com/

http://www.eugeneweb.com/~bios/biod.htm

http://greencarclub.org/

http://www.realgoods.com/renew/shop/product.cfm/dp/3700&sd=3704&ts=4000001

http://www.greenlab.ca/

http://www.biodieselamerica.org/biosite/index.php?id=141,0,0,1,0,0

http://www.soygold.com/biodiesel-lubricity.htm

http://www.projectbiobus.com/

http://www.biolyle.com/

http://www.statepress.com/issues/2005/01/26/arts/691381

http://www.energybulletin.net/

http://www.localb100.com/

http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel.html

http://www.veggieavenger.com/

http://www.greenincubator.com/

http://www.worldenergy.net/

http://ctbiodzl.freeshell.org/votdi.html

http://www.localaction.biz/elsbett_conversion.htm

http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com/oilburners.html

http://www.dancingrabbit.org/

http://www.wasteoilheat.com/

http://www.oilprocess.com/about_the_company.html

http://www.veggiebus.com/biodiesel.html

http://www.americasprideonline.com/oil-heaters.shtml

http://www.fusel.com/forums.html

http://www.elsbett.com/engl/index.htm

http://www.thevoicenews.com/news/2003/0411/Features/f01.html

http://www.elements.nb.ca/theme/renewable_energy/wayne/groszko.htm

http://donnelsonbiodiesel.com/

http://www.gobiodiesel.org/tiki-index.php

http://www.eere.energy.gov/news/about.cfm

http://www.bulkoil.com/scripts/bulkoillist.asp?p=b

http://www.pathtofreedom.com/

http://www.nwbiodiesel.org/default.aspx/NorthwestBiodiesel.NorthwestBiodieselNetwork

http://www.pacificrenewables.com/biodiesel_production.htm

http://63.135.115.158/article.asp?ID=1009

http://www.ybiofuels.org/bio_fuels/history_diesel.html

http://www.energybulletin.net/3986.html

http://www.unh.edu/p2/biodiesel/goals_index.html

http://www.veggie-velocity.com/index.html

http://www.pacfuel.com/

http://www.wasteoilheat.com/about.shtml

http://www.biotour.org/

http://www.ohiou.edu/researchnews/extracredit/story02.html

http://www.dangerouslaboratories.org/biodiesel.html

http://www.vegpower.com/

http://www.ecoforums.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=244&sid=c065175cd034b558f75b7231b894d763

http://homepages.ucalgary.ca/~ajgagnon/

http://www.ford-trucks.com/

Posted by Martin at 10:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Qatar to spend $20B to make Natural Gas to Liquid diesel

Aparently there are other ways to get clean Diesel. The Seattle Times: Oil giants gambling on "green" fuel. Of course the existing oil giants are pushing Natural Gas liquification as a diesel alternative (keeps them in power), but I am totally astounded at the level of investment. If it really is $20B, it DWARFS the amount being spent on Biodiesel. Anyone know more?

Posted by Martin at 2:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Gizmondo tracks biodiesel

Wow, the tech community is starting to take notice!
Seattle Gets New Biodiesel Station : Gizmodo

Posted by Martin at 10:45 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 19, 2005

Biodiesel Magazine industry directory on-line

Here it is: Biodiesel Industry Directory - 2005. Searchable and indexed. Everyone involved in the industry.

Posted by Martin at 3:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Indiana claims to have consumed 50 Million gallons of Biodiesel so far

If this report: Newsroom - Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick is true, it woul mean that the country is on the road toward a 100M gallon 2005 in biodiesel instead of a 50M gallon that had been predicted. I have got to believe that there is something wrong with their numbers though. 50M gallons just in Indiana? I hope it is true.

Posted by Martin at 12:37 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Local media gets it right

Local media: Southwest Nebraska News - from the Republican Valley Media Group, McCook, NE picked up on the President's biodiesel message rather than harping on the Anwar and Nuclear parts like CNN and NPR did. Glad to see local media still actually reports the substance of stuff.

Posted by Martin at 12:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 18, 2005

Energy Trust of Oregon offers grants for Biomass Electricity generation

The Biopower Energy program of Energy Trust of Oregon recently announced over $4M in grants available for biomass projects that will be generating electricity in 2006. I wonder if biodiesel generators qualify? On the surface it looks like they are targeting methane and other solid wastes.

Posted by Martin at 9:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A letter from Climate Solutions...

From KC Golden over at Climate Solutions...

Clean Slate
May 2005

Beyond Crisco - Growing our energy future

What's important about vegetable oil?

If you're thinking French Fries, you're thinking too small. Think rural economic development. Think environmental protection. Think national security.

While vegetable oil has been putting the flip in your flapjacks all these years, it's been harboring higher ambitions. Now it's emerging as an affordable alternative to war, economic decay, and environmental disruption - the byproducts of fossil fuel dependence.

(If we require disclosure of side-effects in advertising for Viagra, shouldn't we do the same for oil companies? "This product may cause you to experience chronic trade deficits, difficulty breathing the air, and persistent threats to national security.")

Republican Senator Richard Lugar and former CIA director James Woolsey think veggie oil and other plant-based fuels are the way to cook a brighter future: "If the hundreds of billions of dollars that now flow into a few coffers in a few nations were to flow instead to the millions of people who till the world's fields, most countries would see substantial national security, economic, and environmental benefits."

The Spokane County Conservation District sees biodiesel - made from oil crops like mustard and canola -- as a big driver for Eastern Washington's farm economy:

"With these industries will come jobs and economic growth to the region, energy security through the use of domestically produced fuel, and cleaner air due to reduced emissions from diesel vehicles. In addition, the development of the biodiesel oil seed industry and on-farm energy production can ultimately mean the difference between having a viable farm operation or having to sell the family farm."

Biodiesel is a hot commodity in Seattle -- up there with coffee and connectivity. People can't get enough of the stuff. They're burning it in ferries and construction equipment, school buses and garbage trucks, Volkswagens and Mercedes. A King County Metro bus is shrink-wrapped to look like a giant Canola bottle; the side says: "This bus runs on veggie oil. Homegrown. Fights global warming." A new refinery just opened in South Seattle and another is planned. Farmers in Eastern Washington are eyeing the energy-hungry city as a market for a potentially lucrative new cash crop.

Further east, in Idaho farm country, a Canadian company proposes to turn straw into gold with the nation's first large bioethanol plant. Using waste wheat straw as a feedstock, the facility will make ethanol that can be burned in conventional gasoline engines. Most ethanol today is made from corn, which requires a lot of energy to produce. Today's starch-based ethanol provides some energy benefits and emission reductions, but when we start harvesting energy from crop wastes, we'll really be cooking clean.

While offering a promising remedy for our petroleum addiction, biofuels can also help cure what ails us politically. Check out this story about Oregon's political odd couple -- Representative Jeff Kropf, R-Sublimity [yes, Sublimity!] and Rep. Jackie Dingfelder, D-Portland - and their package of biofuels legislation:

"SALEM - He's a radio talk-show host and one of the most conservative members of the Oregon House. She's an environmental consultant from Portland and one of the most liberal members. Yet they've joined forces on a package of bills promoting cleaner-burning ethanol and biodiesel made from canola and mustard seeds.

He's not thrilled about the mandates or fee increases included in the biofuels package. She's not happy about extending pollution-control tax credits to farmers. Yet Kropf sees a potential economic boon, and Dingfelder wants the environmental benefits….

Katie Fast, lobbyist for the Oregon Farm Bureau, said the potential here goes beyond passing a package of legislation: 'It could help heal the urban-rural divide.'"

This week, Senator Maria Cantwell helped celebrate the opening of a new biodiesel fuel pump at Laurelhurst Oil in Seattle. She's swimming against the fossil-fueled tide in Washington D.C. by offering amendments to the energy bill designed to accelerate domestic biofuel production.

When you drive up to the pump at Laurelhurst Oil, near University Village, you can choose your energy future: regular petroleum-based diesel or biodiesel. Windfall profits for big oil, or a new cash crop for struggling rural economies. Disrupt the climate by releasing carbon from the earth's crust into the atmosphere, or protect the climate by recycling carbon from plants.

Mine and drill, or sew and reap.

Instead of digging ever deeper into foreign deserts and wildlife refuges and geopolitical quagmires for fuel, we can start picking it from our fields.


Posted by Martin at 9:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 16, 2005

How biodiesel REALLY gets done

Seems like everyone (including the President) these days is talking about Biodiesel. Reflecting on the flurry of events even in our little town of Seattle, something very obvious yet profound occured to me. While the politicians are making hay around this issue, it actually takes committed hard working people to DELIVER. I thought I would take a moment to give props to one of our local guys actually bringing biodiesel to the pump.

In the case of the recent Laurelhurst biodiesel pumps, Propel Fuels put the whole thing together. Rob, Mike and their merry band of biodiesel pioneers went out evangelizing the product. They found Laurelhurst Oil and convinced them to take the chance on a new fuel. They organized the station upgrade (even sanding, repainting and rebranding the site) and the distributor to deliver the fuel (from Seattle Biodiesel). They organized a killer grand opening that was covered by both local TV stations and produced a three hour long line of diesels to fuel up. Rob also got Maria Cantwell's people to use the site to launch some new legislation.

Without companies like Propel Fuels, many existing fuel jobbers, distributors, retailers and customers would proably not change. We need more Propel Fuels.

Posted by Martin at 10:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The whole speech transcript

Wow, in the very next mail: President Discusses Biodiesel and Alternative Fuel Sources

Reading it, the President spent about 2/3 of the speech talking SPECIFICALLY about alternative fuels like boidiesel. Only a tiny portion was on his "stump" issues of the energy bill. The mainstream press decided to ignore all the positive news around alternatives and focus on the parts with the highest negatives. Typical. Here are some interesint excerpts:

One of the things that is really important for government is to make sure that the environment is such that the entrepreneurial spirit remains strong. Ever since I've been elected, I tell people that the role of government is not to try to create wealth, but an environment in which people are willing to take risks. That's the role of government. And across our nation, small businesses like Virginia BioDiesel are taking risks and are developing innovative products. As a matter of fact, small businesses create most of the new jobs in America. I don't know if you know that or not, but 70 percent of new jobs in this country are created by small businesses and entrepreneurs. And I'm pleased to report that the small business sector of America is strong today. As a matter of fact, over the last two years we have added 3.5 million new jobs. More Americans are working today than ever in our nation's history. (Applause.)
A recent study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory projected that biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, could provide about a fifth of America's transportation fuel within 25 years. And that would be good for our kids and our grandkids. (Applause.) So there are some things we can do to bring that prospect closer to reality. We have extended federal tax credits for ethanol through 2007, and last year I signed into law a 50-cent-per-gallon tax credit for producers of biodiesel. (Applause.)

There's ways government can help. Congress needs to get me a bill that continues to help diversify away from crude oil. (Applause.) My administration supports a flexible, cost-effective renewable fuel standard. Its proposal would require fuel producers to include a certain percentage of ethanol and biodiesel in their fuel. And to expand the potential of ethanol and biodiesel even more, I proposed $84 million in my 2006 budget for ongoing research. (Applause.) I think it makes sense. I think it's a good use of taxpayers' money to continue to stay on the leading edge of change. And in this case, by staying on the leading edge of change, we become less dependent on foreign sources of oil. (Applause.)

Posted by Martin at 9:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Here are the President's official talking points on Biodiesel

It helps to have friends in high (or the right low) places. Here is a link to the official talking points released by the White House for today's photo op at the Virginia Biodiesel refinery. Fact Sheet_biodiesel 5 16 05.pdf While NPR and CNN decided to focus on the President's promotion of the two pillars of his Energy Bill, drilling in Anwar and Nuclear power, they totally failed to pick up on the fact that the President was in fact at a Biodiesel refinery! I don't have a complete transcript of the event, so maybe he did too, but reading the news coverage you wouldn't know anything about Biodiesel. Glad the local media here in Seattle is not so myopic.

Posted by Martin at 8:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Driving the Touareg V10 to Portland

Had the chance to take the 2004 Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI out for a little road trip this weekend. Down to Portland from Seattle, around the city and back. All on B100. It was about a 400 mile trip all together. The EPA says I should get 17/23 city/hwy. According to the onboard computer, the Touareg turned in 22.5mpg average over the whole trip. Now when have you actually gotten mileage the EPA says? Usually it is 20-30% less. But I was running Seattle Biodiesel, straight out of the refinery. Ran like a champ. And beat a tuner toyota off the line at the stoplight too! Gosh I wish they would let these things back into the country!

Posted by Martin at 9:49 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Cantwell proposes more Biodiesel incentives

She was down at the new Biodiesel station in Laurelhurst: komo news | The Push For Cheaper Alternative Fuel. With the price of biodiesel already close to the price of regular diesel, this ammendment (if she has the chops to get it passed) would ensure that is is 30-50 cents CHEAPER. Very cool. I understand she is taking some Seattle Biodiesel to the Senate floor this week to help make her case.

Posted by Martin at 8:47 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 14, 2005

New Oilcrop outlook out...

The USDA has a new forecast out: USDA Economic Research Service Product. basically US soybean output (and soy oil) should be up 2% in next year. Brazil and Paraguay had lots of crop losses in 2004/5 which caused increased damand on US supplies and spiked the price. If Brazil and Paraguay don't have those losses next year there should be more WW capacity. But the USDA still expects us demand to outpace US Supply resulting in a lower end of season inventory. I bet this means another hard year for Soy oil prices.

Biodiesel needs to find other feedstocks and scale those up fast.

Posted by Martin at 8:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More about the Laurelhurst station opening today

komo news | 'It's A Viable Fuel'

Posted by Martin at 7:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sustainable Systems gets $$ and more hands at the wheel

Good article recently in the Missoulian: Missoulian: Sustainable Systems founder riding biodiesel wave. Paul has hooked up with some $$ and oil industry talent. This is good to see for the business. I am betting more ex-oil industry executives will be coming into the biodiesel business. Looking forward to seeing what they come up with in terms of a production plan.

Posted by Martin at 6:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 11, 2005

New biodiesel pump to open in seattle Saturday

The PSBJ has the story a bit early: New biodiesel fueling station opens in U District - 2005-05-10. Propel fuels has organized the pump, Seaport Petroleum is distributing biodiesel made by Seattle Biodiesel. This is the second biodiesel station in as many months. While some are starting to complain about the competition, I am not worried at all. Biodiesel stations are like telephone or computer network nodes. They work on the network effect. The more there are, the more customers there are. It is all about convenience. The more convenient it is to buy biodiesel whenever and whereever you may be, the more people will be interested in it. When it is a niche thing that people have to go out of their way to buy/use, the market will be small. These new stations are the beginning of something much larger.

Posted by Martin at 7:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 10, 2005

City of Denton finally opens Biodiesel production facility

This week the long-planned biodiesl refinery in Denton Texas opened: RenewableEnergyAccess.com | Biogas Powers Biodiesel Production Plant. This three million gallon refinery has the cute extra of running on biogas from a nearby landfill. Daryl Hannah was there. Good job Rus.

Posted by Martin at 12:42 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

South Africa plants 45000 hectacre Jatropha farm for biodiesel

SABCnews.com - economy/business. Doesn't say if they have a biodiesel processor yet, but they are planting the trees. This is a VERY large area to be dedicated to fuel feedstocks. Would be nice to get these dedicated farms going in America. Too bad it is too mild for Jatropha.

Posted by Martin at 12:36 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Another biodiesel plant succumbs to excess

Why do people always want to build big huge biodiesel plants? Then they can't get funding for them.

PJStar.com - Journal Star News

The plans for a Pekin plant died when Wisconsin-based Biodiesel Systems LLC was unable to secure the proper financing needed to build what would have been only the state's second biodiesel processing plant, city officials said.

The only plant in Illinois making biodiesel is in Joliet and is owned by Stepan Co. It has been producing the fuel for about three years.

Posted by Martin at 12:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 9, 2005

Clean Diesel day in DC

Meet Clean Diesel: Wide Range of Vehicles Showcased on Capitol Hill | American International Automobile Dealers | all the politicians were out getting their pictures taken. I expected to see one of maria Cantwell as she has a large piece of legislation around biodiesel, but Hillary got the shot.

Interesting to see that diesel passenger vehicle sales in the US are up 50% in the last 5 years! I am doing my part by buying two in the last six months!

Posted by Martin at 11:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

STAC has $4.95M for distributed energy

I wish I were a "state office of energy" or affiliated organization. these guys: State Technologies Advancement Collaborative are administering $4.95M in funding for projects in distributed generation. I know a b100 generator would qualify.

Posted by Martin at 11:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

the big enchellada of feedstock stuff

The billion ton feedstock report came from this site: DOE/USDA Joint Feedstock Portfolio Review Through the Stage Gate Process. A feedstock conference put on by the DOE/USDA in March. Lots of good info.

Posted by Martin at 1:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New US Biomass study shows the way to replace 30% of our oil

Thanks Green Car Congress. Green Car Congress: The Billion-Ton Vision: US Biomass Could Displace 30% of Current Oil Consumption

Posted by Martin at 1:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 3, 2005

BPA study on biodiesel in standby generators on Olympic Peninsula

Here it is: BiodieselOlympicPeninsula _7_04.pdf Done in July of 2004, there are all the facts and figures comparing D2 diesel with B20 and B100. This is before the $1 per gallon credit for B100. The basic conclusion is that B20 would work fine in standby generators and the BPA should do it. They cautioned with B100 due to limited experience and shorter shelf life. They actually didn't recommend running all the time because it costs about $250 per mw/H to generate electricity with B100 at $2.70 per gallon ($1 per gallon more than D2 diesel) and my latest figures is that the grid will only pay you $100 per mw/H for "green" taged power and only $80 per mW/H for net metering power. Now that is on a day in and day out basis. I wonder what the cost per MW was in the height. I would like to know how often and for how long the Mw/H cost for a utility to buy power off the grid goes over $200. If that were long enough, it may make sense for peak load generation. I will run the numbers.

Posted by Martin at 1:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

European goals for biodiesel replacement of diesel in each country

GAVE over in Europe is tracking biodiesel adoption very closely. THey recently posted 2003-2010 actuals and goals for percentage of diesel consumption to replace with biodiesel. The stats are here: SenterNovem GAVE, Climate neutral gaseous and liquid fuels / biofuels. Looks like Germany is already up to 2% of diesel replaced with biodiesel. Everyone else is behind, but most have a goal for 2010 of 5.75% biodiesel replacement. Wow, that is slow.

Posted by Martin at 10:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 2, 2005

New oilseed crop forecast good for biodiesel production

The latest research report from USDA Economic Research Service Product shows soybean acreage plantings are goign down in 2005 and all other oilseed crops are going up. Largely due to the fact the soy is the cheapest oil crop and farmers are chasing the ever elusive buck in a higher price crop. Even though soy prices spiked in February, farmers still plan to reduce acreage. I was surprised to read that the reduction was mostly due to crop price and not to the treat of soy rust in the country. Maybe the farmers were being cagey. I bet they know that next growing season the price will still be low, but the costs will go up and the risk of crop loss goes up as they fight the rust.

What is good in here for biodiesel is the diversification of the farm economy to other oil crops. We need variety to keep farmers interested. We need variety to provide competition for soy. We need variety to get regional biodiesel economies going. This can't be an industry in Iowa only.

Posted by Martin at 9:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A couple of new energy reports

The National Commission on Energy Policy came out in December with one. Some of the parts relevant to biodiesel include:

- Cumulative federal expenditures for tax incentives, research, development, demonstration and deployment of low carbon technologies (IGCC & sequestration, biofuels, renewables, advanced nuclear, efficiency etc) are fully offset by revenue generated from the sale of greenhouse gas permits.

- Provide $3B over ten years in manufacturer and consumer incentives for domestic production and purchase of effecient hybrid-electric and advanced diesel vehicles.

- Establish a $1.5B program over ten years to increase domestic production of non-petroleum renewable transportation fuels.

the bad part is that the guys were basically appologist for Coal. The attitude was "hey it is here now and the cheapest per pound source we have, dig more of it". I don't agree. I think you drive adoption of alternatives.

The NRDC came out with one on biofuels mainly talking about economic impacts thru 2050. Some interesting take aways:

- By 2025, production of the crops that make these fuels could provide farmers with profits of more than $5 billion per year.
- Biofuels could be cheaper than gasoline and diesel, saving us about $20B per year in fuel costs by 2050. (I think this number is WAY low. And with federal incentives b100 is ALREADY cheaper than diesel, but I guess they were talking without incentives.) (yea, the bogey here is $0.86 per gallon which is the 4 year average wholesale price (without taxes) of diesel. Today I know it costs closer to $3.00 per gallon to produce a gallon of biodiesel from virgin oil).
- Biofuels could reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 1.7 billion tons per year - equal to more than 80 percent of transportation-related emissions and 22 percent of total emissions in 2002.

drawback of this report: it is focused on growing switchgrass for cellulosic ethanol. Good goal, great product. Not hear yet. Could be soon though.

I wish they had spent a smuch time on algae for biodiesel.

Posted by Martin at 9:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

summer biodiesel events

They are constantly updated here: Green-Trust.Org :: View Forum - Events. Thanks Girlmark for keeping this going!

Posted by Martin at 8:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Another biodiesel fuel pump in Washington

Sunday a new biodiesel B100 pump opened in Tacoma run by Associated Petroleum Products: KING5.com | News for Seattle, Washington | KING5 Top Stories. Now I can fill up on my way to Portland. This is only the second B100 pump I know of in Washington, but I know of a third coming online in two weeks.

I believe these pumps will be like network nodes. The value of the network increases exponentially with the number of nodes, not geometrically. What that means is that more is WAY MORE. 2x the pumps means probably 4x the consumers rather than 2x. And Dr. Dan should't worry about canibilization, he should worry about growing. The easier it is to find B100, the more people will use it.

Posted by Martin at 12:53 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

here are the pictures of the new Beetle

Ask and you shall receive.
Just filled it up at Dr. Dan. He had a cool chrome "Biodiesel" emblem to put on instead of a TDI emblem. I like it...



Posted by Martin at 11:37 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 1, 2005

Just bought a NewBeetle 2005 TDI

After reading the TDI forum alot: TDIClub forums: Viewing forum: New Beetle TDIsI had the Beetle TDI itch.

Have been itching to buy another TDI (after the Touareg). Sunday I decided to get the New Beetle and called all over town (Seattle). Found a great one at University VW, Platinum Grey, DSG Auto, leather, Xenon, MonSoon, etc. Being the end of the month they were dealing and I just went down and picked it up.

After some searching here, I ordered the following upgrades:
Weathertech rubber trunk liner black (TVA)
VW Splash gaurds (TVA)
fog lamp covers - the metal mesh, are the solid orange ones better?(TVA)
Clear G2 tail lamps (TVA)
TVA aluminum sport locks (an impulse) (TVA)
and the RocketChip (rocketchip)


Posted by Martin at 9:14 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack