June 30, 2005
Your support is needed to extend federal support for Biodiesel
This came from the NBB today. Please call your representative and senator for this.
BioFuels support included in Senate energy package passed today
This came in an e-mail from Maria Cantewell's office (our senator on the Appropriations committee):
Here is the PDF file with all the details:
The excise tax credit was officially extended today when the Senate passed the Energy Bill (S. 10). Attached is our press release and an outline of the biofuels provisions of the bill for biodiesel and ethanol. Look under "Federal Support for Biofuels Infrastructure" for the extension information. There is also $550 million set aside over five years, look under "Seizing the Technology Lead" for research, infrastructure development and pilot projects. This is the money that we think we could use for a crusher and use Seattle Biodiesel and other potential partners like WSU, Growers etc. Kind of like that research grant proposal but for a crusher this time. Our office will work with you on that. Let me know if you have any questions. This is all public information so feel free to share it with anyone you like. I am going to email to email it out to everyone from our biodiesel events etc.
Oregon biodiesel round-up
Bloomberg just did a good article on the state of biodiesel in Oregon: Bloomberg.com: Germany
Brazil starting finace program for biodiesel
Brazil already beat us in Ethanol. There ethanol is half the price of unleaded and 70% of the cars on the road are flex fuel. Now they are setting their sights on biodiesel. Portal da Cidadania. We better get moving.
June 28, 2005
US House introduces Renewable Fuels Act of 2005
The US House of Representatives is trying their hand at a Renewable Fuels act to require on a Federal level biodiesel and ethanol. I am skeptical of these efforts being successful as the lobbiest at the Federal level are more effective. I expect the states to lead the way. But who knows, maybe the Feds will get the message sooner rather than later. One can only hope.
News from the House Agriculture Committee http://agriculture.house.gov
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: June 28, 2005 Alise Kowalski (202) 225-0184
GUTKNECHT INTRODUCES RENEWABLE FUELS ACT OF 2005
Herseth and Goodlatte Co-Sponsor Bill Introduced Today
WASHINGTON, D.C. -Congressman Gil Gutknecht, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Dairy, Nutrition, and Forestry, and Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth today introduced the Renewable Fuels Act of 2005, H.R. 3081, in the House. Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Ranking Minority Member Collin Peterson, Congressman Tom Osborne, and Congressman Jerry Moran joined in introducing the bipartisan legislation.
The Renewable Fuels Act would establish a renewable fuels standard of eight billion gallons per year by 2012. It would also call on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to monitor the supply and demand of renewable fuels, report on the economic impact renewable fuels production has on rural America, consult with the United States Department of Energy on renewable fuels blending and strengthen USDA's Bioenergy Program, which promotes agricultural commodities as sources of ethanol and biodiesel.
"As gas prices continue to rise, renewable fuels are not part of the problem. They're part of the solution," Rep. Gutknecht said. "By implementing a national renewable fuels standard, we can lower fuel costs, enhance our environment and reduce our dependency on foreign oil. The good news is we have farmers all across the Midwest who are producing renewable fuels, including ethanol and biodiesel.
"Rep. Herseth said, "Renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel are clean, homegrown energy sources that decrease our dependence on foreign oil, enhance our national security, and drive rural agricultural economies. For all of these reasons, Congress should care about renewable fuels, and renewable fuels should be a major component in our nation's long-term energy policy.
"Chairman Goodlatte added, "The renewable fuels standard, the hallmark provision of this bill, opens the door to new economic opportunities in congressional districts across the country. I support the use of products such as forestry biomass, livestock waste and commodities such as sugar cane and beets, wheat, corn and soybeans, in the manufacture of renewable fuels, and I intend to work hard as the chairman of the Agriculture Committee to ensure that we continue to have an affordable and ample supply of feed for our livestock producers."
Oregon needs your help
Cross post from Oregon Biodiesel site. Their biodiesel support pacakage of legislation has been combined with others and watered down. If you have any influence in Oregon, your help is needed now. Here is an editorial from Capital Press with the details:
Also, if you havent been to the biofuels4oregon.org website for a while, there are a number of new articles posted under the news sidebar, and a factsheet for fleets using biodiesel can be found under the biofuels section.
Biofuel Bill Lacking its Original Balance
Jackie Dingfelder & Jeff KropfGuest CommentCapital Press Friday, June 24, 2005Regardless of whether you live on a farm or in a high rise, a strong biofuels industry in Oregon would benefit us all. Biodiesel and ethanol production will foster rural economic development as well as cleaner air. It will enable us to diversify our fuel supply by tapping a secure, home-grown fuel source.A broad coalition of legislators and advocates worked hard this session to launch a sustainable biofuels industry in the state. Republicans and Democrats, farmers and environmental advocates we came together to advance the environmental and economic benefits renewable fuels will provide for Oregon.The original bill package was finely balanced, reflecting recommendations from a variety of stakeholders. The package contained a spectrum of incentives for biofuels production and use. It created a steady market for biodiesel and ethanol through a Renewable Fuels Standard and provided financial support for biodiesel processors and feedstock producers. It also created a Clean School Bus Grant Fund to increase the market for biodiesel and clean up diesel school buses.However, when this package was rolled into a single bill in the House, called HB 3481, it lost much of the balance necessary to make it truly beneficial to all Oregonians.The Legislature must restore the balance of the original package of bills. HB 3481 includes a provision to expand the controversial Pollution Control Tax Credit that has nothing to do with biofuels production. This may alienate many who would otherwise support the legislation. It also removes the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). The RFS would ensure that Oregon uses renewable alternatives to gasoline and diesel, reducing our dependence on petroleum and potentially saving consumers money at the pump. The RFS helps to create local markets for locally produced biofuels, which benefits small businesses and agricultural producers.Another serious omission is the lack of a funding mechanism for the Clean School Bus Grant Fund. Every year, Oregons schools miss out on millions in federal funds for cleaning up school buses because the federal grants require a match as little as 5 percent in state funds. The Clean School Bus Grant Fund would provide this match, creating tremendous benefit with little fiscal impact. Shouldnt the Legislature resolve this funding problem now to improve our childrens health?Much good does remain in HB 3481. Tax relief for producers of feedstock for biofuels and for building biofuels facilities, expedited siting for biodiesel plants, and creation of a Clean School Bus Grant Fund are all important steps in the right direction. Banning MTBE, a poisonous gasoline additive already found in Oregons groundwater, is a welcome addition, since ethanol is a natural replacement for MTBE. HB 3481 is passing up the opportunity to broadly address the challenges facing the emerging biofuels industry. We urge our colleagues to honor the spirit of bipartisanship out of which the original package was born. Lets produce a law that creates the foundation for a viable biofuels industry, which will truly benefit all Oregonians for generations to come. For more information on the biofuels legislation, visit www.biofuels4oregon.org/legislation.State Reps. Jackie Dingfelder, D-Portland, and Rep. Jeff Kropf, R-Sublimity, Ore., are sponsors of House Bill 3481 in the Oregon Legislature.Kathy Hyzy
Oregon Environmental Council
222 NW Davis St Ste 309
503-222-1963 x 105
June 26, 2005
Who says Open Source is only for software? Biodiesel Appleseed Reactor Plans Girl Mark is doing a great job here keeping the DIY side of things going. I saw a couple of these in use at University of New Hampshire last week. Very slick for home use. And also saw these reviewed in the latest issue of Home Power. Way to go!
June 21, 2005
$1B for diesel retrofits
Congress is passing out the PORK! Green Car Congress: Senate Considers $1-Billion Legislation for Diesel Emissions Reduction. What exactly are diesel retrofits? You can get WAY better emissions benefits just by switching to biodiesel. I hope if this passes some of the money will be available for biodiesel (and i expect it will).
June 20, 2005
Biodiesel in New Hampsire
If you are up in NH, go to this: NH Industries of the Future: June 28, 2005 Biodiesel Conference. You will get a chance to meet Michael Briggs, one of the leading researchers on algae for the purpose of making biodiesel!
June 16, 2005
Washington State incentives for Biodiesel production
Wonder what they are. Look no further: Biodiesel Legislation. Washington state has not been out in front here. They basically allow you to defer some taxes on capital equipment and get a lower rate on some local taxes on capital equipment, but this is not a real incentive. What the state needs is a renewable fuel bill that requires a certain percentage in all fuels across the state.
Another Biodiesel motorcycle
Wow, StarTwin has one running. The Kneeslider � Thunder Star 1200 Diesel by Star Twin. 120bhp and 250ft pounds at 5500rpm, bike weighs 450 pounds. Wow.
I want one!
Conference of Mayors and biodiesel
Last week was the Conference of Mayors meeting. Seattle was voted "most livable city"" Environment News Service ENS Latest Environmental Information Education Current Issues RSS. In part due to its commitment to green building, biodiesel and Kyoto. The mayors also passed a resolution (promoted by seattle mayor Nichols) tha committed mayors to Kyoto.
Now you may ask what does Kyoto have to do with Biodiesel? Well it turns out the the quickest and cheapest way for a municipality to meet the Kyoto standards for carbon emmissions is to switch to biodiesel! That has been the largest driver of biodiesel consumption in Seattle. Bring this up to your local government if they signed on to this new initiative.
New process to extract biodiesel grade oil from Corn
Looks like Sunsource Biofuels has a plant in the works: Rapid City Journal: New technology turns corn into biodiesel. Apparently it is a new mechanical process instead of chemical. This is another one of those "build the $50M plant first" technologies and the unit economics are not discussed, but it could be good. The biodiesel industry definitely needs to diversify out of Soy as a feedstock.
June 15, 2005
Another biodiesel plant in works in eastern WA
Biodiesel plant could increase profitability for Wash., Oregon farmers. Humm. $32M. That is alot. I wish Dwight the best.
June 11, 2005
Three weeks with the Rocket Chip
So I am driving my new Beetle with the RocketChip stage 3 tuning for about three weeks now. Now the Beetle comes standard from teh factory with 100hp. Stage 3 puts your boost up to 20psi, adds 55hp and 90ftlbs. Yea, you read right, a 55% increase in HP. And all that extra torque on such a light car. I haven't received my other "upgrades" from TVA yet, so the car isn't finished. Took it over to the VW dealer to get my plates friday. I tossed the salesman the keys. He came back five minutes later with a big grin on his face and said "are you kidding me?". He has never had so much fun in a Beetle in his life. Neither have I. I tried driving it without traction control and the tires spin totally out of control. Remember this is a front wheel drive diesel! Jeff over at RocketChip said that I shouldn't punch it with the wheels turned more than 25 degrees because I might rip my CV joints off. Yea, that is the one I want! I recommend it for everyone!
June 9, 2005
Jeep Liberty off to a good sales start
thanks for this green car congress: Green Car Congress: Jeep Liberty Diesel Off to a Solid Sales Start
3,000 units and a 1/3 the normal time on the showroom floor. That should et manufacturer's attention.
Cargill entering Biodiesel market
Cargill to build biodiesel plant and glycerin refinery in Iowa. This is good news. Validation. Will be interesting to see how they do.
June 7, 2005
The Japanese make biodiesel without glycerin waste
So says a post last year from the Japan National Agricultural Research Center: Japan for Sustainability. Getting the yield up would be great. The real question with all these new catalyst systems is do they scale economically? If it costs more to use the new catalyst than it recovers in biodiesel, it won't work. And how to fit it into the production process. This is where most of these R&D projects fall down.
Anyone know if this one went any further?
June 6, 2005
More biodiesel production coming to the Northwest
Joint Venture Building First Oregon Biodiesel Refinery A joint venture between SeQuential Biofuels (earlier post) and biodiesel pioneer Pacific Biodiesel is developing the first biodiesel refinery in Oregon. This represents Hawaii-based Pacific Biodiesels first joint venture on the mainland US. Ground-breaking on the SeQuential-Pacific refinery is targeted for August on a one-acre industrial parcel on the Kelly Point peninsula in Portland. Production would begin in November with the facility expected to produce in its first year a million gallons of ASTM-certified biodiesel from used cooking oil. Our goal from the beginning has been to make renewable fuel choices readily available to local businesses and individuals. Nothing is more sustainable than using recycled cooking oil to produce a healthy fuel choice, especially when we can manufacture it here in Oregon, reducing environmental impact of biodiesel transport and contributing to the local economy through job growth. With demand growing, were working aggressively to expand biodiesel availability, as well as fleet and retail markets for biodiesel throughout the Pacific Northwest. Tomas Endicott, managing partner of SeQuential Biofuels Investors in the project include Wells Fargo Bank, the Oregon Department of Energy and a group of minority investors that includes Cameron Healy, founder of Kettle Foods; John Miller, a biodiesel user and Oregon businessman committed to sustainability; Ron Tyree, owner of Tyree Oil, a Eugene-based petroleum distributor; and country music artist Willie Nelson, who helped launch the Willie Nelson Biodiesel Company, which provides biodiesel fuel to tanks and truck stops in Texas. Oregon-based Kettle Foods, a maker of all-natural potato chips and nut butters, will supply all of its used cooking oil to the new facility. The company is the first natural foods manufacturer to recycle all of its waste oil into biodiesel and the first of its size to contribute to the new facility. The company already runs a fleet of company cars on biodiesel. Kettle Foods also maintains one of the largest commercial solar arrays in the Pacific Northwest that last year produced 5 percent of the companys electricity. Employees also led efforts to restore a nearly two-acre wetland system at its headquarters, which improved environmental conditions, prompting the return of nesting herons and other wildlife. SeQuential Biofuels is a biofuels marketing and distribution company with offices in Eugene and Portland, Oregon, and is currently the states largest distributor of biodiesel. Founded in 1996, Pacific Biodiesel developed the first biodiesel plant in the Pacific Rim and the first retail biodiesel pump in the US. The company owns and operates two biodiesel plants in Hawaii. It was commissioned to build the Virginia Biodiesel plant visited by President Bush in recent weeks, has built a biodiesel plant in Japan and has two additional US biodiesel plants currently under construction.------ End of Forwarded Message
FT diesel in Alaska
these guys are apparently trying to get a plant build to do Biomass to Diesel in Alaska. ANGTL - Alaska Natural Gas To Liquid. It is not clear from their site if they have been sucessful. I have e-mailed them.
Germany working on synthetic Biodiesel that may sidestep current technologies
Today most biodiesel is made by the transesterfication of vegitable oil into methyl ester. Some smart Germans say they have a way make biodiesel from the ENTIRE PLANT much like some people are trying to make Ethanol from Cellulous rather than just the sugar part. Synthetic Diesel May Play a Significant Role as Renewable Fuel in Germany.
Now don't call me a skeptic yet, but lets get serious. It took the Ethanol industry 20 years to even get a permit to build their first cellulous ethanol plant. In that time, the old process worked just fine and made everyone alot of money. On biodiesel, I will call this one too early as well. But will of course keep my eye on it. The real question I have is what does the chemical molucule look like? If it is not a methyl ester (and it is not), they are going to have to replicate all the work that biodiesel industry has done so far on soy and rapeseed biodiesel to prove efficacy. This is a 5-10 year process folks.
AVL ceo talks about diesel tech improvements
While reading the Society of Automotive Engineering reports, I ran across this little ditty: 1-113-5-76.pdf AVL diesel ready for prime time. I am sure there are more. He just reminds us how far diesel has come since the last time the nation called upon those engines to save it from a fuel crisis.
June 5, 2005
BioFuel Age and Alternative Fuel Index get bought
this is a good thing. It means the larger analyst in the fuel market see that biodiesel is getting large enough to be a real business. Energy Management Institute Acquires BioFuel Age. The Alternative Fuel Index has become the de-facto standard for setting biodiesel prices. Very good for biodiesel overall.
D1 oil raises over $40M in a PIPE
this news: Latest Business News and Financial Information | Reuters.co.uk caught many state side by surprise and made some optimistic. I say hold your horses.
First, the stock is VERY lightly traded. Little to no institutional ownership. Second, it was totally flat thru Feb then spiked about 300%. This smells of a pump and dump to me. Then they do a PIPE at 265 pence, a 16 percent discount off the market. Meaning the investors could immediately make 16 % on their money. Now did the investors really invest for the long term because they believe in the company, or because they could make 16 percent in one day by flipping the stock? I guess some at the company don't care because they have lots more money to persue their business. But the individual shareholders should care. I hope D1 finds a business because Biodiesel doesn't need an Enron this early in the industry.
The EPA and economics of Camelina
It is always fun to read Green Car Congress. They scooped me on this: Green Car Congress: EPA Awards $75K for Waste-to-Biodiesel Project. And a commenter went into the economics of Camelina which is about double the oil productivity of soy. The Camelina story was much in the news this week as well.
While I applaud the commenter's search for a cheaper alternative to soy, his math is not quite right. With all oil seed crops the main economic driver of the crop (meaning the reason it is grown) is the MEAL, not the oil. In every case the oil is the lesser value product. The great thing about soy is that there is a HUGE and growing market for the meal. That makes the oil relatively cheapy. You don't grow soy for the oil. With camelina, if you grew it for the oil primarilly, you would have to charge WAY more for the oil to make up for the fact that there is not a well developed market for the meal.
Today farmers get more per pound for the meal of Soy than the oil. The total revenue per pound is what makes the crop economic. If you grow a higher oil content crop, it is wrong to assume the oil price will be lower. In fact it may have to be higher to make up for the fact that there is less meal. The total revenue per pound needs to be the same or greater than soy or farmers won't switch.
Finally some press about Bush and Biodiesel
After reading all the national coverage about Bush's biodiesel plant visit you would think he just re-hashed tired old Energy Bill themes. But as you know from reading here that is not the case. Finally a local press source gets it right. NewsAdvance.com | Biodiesel could relieve fossil fuel dependency
June 4, 2005
Where to buy biodiesel
June 1, 2005
Laurelhurst oil launches site
This is a local retailer of biodiesel that opened up a seattle pump of B99. Laurelhurst Oil: Seattle, WA