« October 2005 | Main | December 2005 »

November 30, 2005

the move to Biofuels continues to be driven by the states...

Four Governors Order Their States to Save Energy, Use Biofuels

Governors throughout the country have been wielding their powers of
executive order in recent weeks, as state agencies in Wisconsin,
Minnesota, and Texas have been ordered to save energy and New York
state agencies have been ordered to use biofuels. Last week in
Wisconsin, Governor Jim Doyle ordered the state's executive branch
agencies to hold their energy use to minimum practical levels and
directed the Secretary of Administration to issue energy conservation
guidelines. In Minnesota, Governor Tim Pawlenty ordered all state
agencies to cut energy use in state-owned buildings by 10 percent over
the next year. And in Texas, Governor Rick Perry has ordered state
agencies to submit energy conservation plans by tomorrow. See the
November 21st executive order from Governor Doyle, Governor Pawlenty's
executive order, and Governor Perry's press release at:

In New York, Governor George Pataki issued an executive order last
week that requires all state agencies and public authorities to
increase their purchase and use of biofuels for heating their
facilities and fueling their vehicles. The order mandates that by
2007, biodiesel must supply 2 percent of the fuel used in the state
fleet, increasing to 10 percent by 2012, at which time biodiesel will
also supply at least 5 percent of the heating fuel used in state
buildings. See the governor's press release at:

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

November 28, 2005

New NorthWest BioFuels logo

OBN Members-

As you know, one of the goals of OEC's work on biofuels is to raise the public profile of biodiesel and ethanol in the region. To that end, we worked with Lloyd|Maris, an ad agency based in Portland, to refine the concept and develop a logo. We are very excited about the end product, and are happy to announce that it is now available for you to use.

The Northwest Biofuels logo provides a seal of recognition to anyone who is engaged in supporting a regional biofuels economy. By displaying the Northwest Biofuels logo, producers, distributors and users of biofuels can help elevate mainstream knowledge about biofuels while receiving well-deserved recognition for being a part of the biofuels effort. Businesses displaying the logo will be recognized on the biofuels4oregon website and included in future biofuels media outreach.

This logo is currently available for use in two forms:

-Electronic. If you would like to use the logo on letterhead, websites, press releases, in newsletters, bill stuffers, etc., we can send it to you in the appropriate format, color or B&W.

-Truck decals. Printed in color on white vinyl with an adhesive backing and protective laminate finish, these 2 ft. square decals proclaim your use of biofuels loud and clear. Great for fuel delivery trucks. We are providing them at cost for $47 apiece.

Stay tuned for bumper stickers and window decals.

If you are interested in obtaining the logo or truck decals, please email Kathy at kathyh@oeconline.org. For more information about the logo, please visit http://www.biofuels4oregon.org/nwbiofuels.

Please help us spread the word- forward this message on to other biofuels supporters!

Kathy Hyzy
Program Assistant
Oregon Environmental Council
222 NW Davis St Ste 309
503-222-1963 x 105

Posted by Martin at 8:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 27, 2005

Pataki moves NY greener

this came over the wire last week
Great to see the progress. NorthEast has some of the highest heating oil prices in the nation and some of the worst air. Expect more of this.

Pataki mandates biodiesel use for N.Y. buildings

By 2012, at least 5 percent of the fuel used to heat state buildings must be biodiesel, Gov. George Pataki has decreed.

Pataki said Sunday he has issued an executive order that also directs state agencies to maximize the use of vehicles that burn biofuels. The order lays down a schedule of a minimum of 2 percent use of biofuels in the state's motor fleet by 2007 rising to at least 10 percent in 2012.

Biofuels can be derived from basic agricultural products, such as corn.

Pataki said the development of home-grown biofuel products will help the state lessen its dependence on foreign oil as well as being a boon to farmers.

Incentives will be made available through the state Energy Research and Development Authority to companies willing to create bio-refineries in the state.

State Agriculture Commissioner Nathan Rudgers estimates that there are as many as 2 million acres of "underutilized" farmland in the state that could sustain the crops needed to sustain biofuel refineries.

Posted by Martin at 2:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 21, 2005

42 degrees and CRanking!

Came back from a four day business trip today. The Beetle had been sitting for four days in 40 degree weather outside. Got in with a heavy fog and 42 degrees on thermostat. Running 100% Canola biodiesel from : Seattle Biodiesel. Cranked right up no problem. Runs like a champ.

Posted by Martin at 9:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

biodiesel out of sticks and stones?

Still in the lab: Biodiesel: A New Way of Turning Plants into Fuel but may be a way to produce biodiesel cheaper than current transesterfication processes. Any one with experience on this?

Posted by Martin at 9:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 20, 2005

Washington making canola progress

HEre is the latest on Washington State: KING5 Seattle News | Environment. The article is actually more pessimistic than I believe is reality. There will be a crusher built in washington in 2006.

Posted by Martin at 2:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

How bout a biodiesel dragster?

Diesel can go fast: Club Bio opens | PortlandTribune.com

Posted by Martin at 10:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Two new biodiesel plants in Singapore

Peter Cremer and ADM. Channelnewsasia.com

Posted by Martin at 10:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Biodiesel on the Farm workshops in Oregon in December


Curious about using biodiesel on your farm or ranch, in your nursery operation or vineyard? Join us for a day-long workshop featuring experts from Idaho, Washington and Oregon. Learn about:

* production and processing of oilseed feedstock for biodiesel
(including what to do with the processing by-products),
* small scale processing options for making biodiesel on-farm,
* biodiesel use in agricultural equipment,
* storage and handling of biodiesel, and
* federal and state financial incentives for using biodiesel in
your agricultural operation.

This workshop will be held in two Oregon locations:

* 1 December 2005 at the CH2MHill Alumni Center on the OSU Campus,
* 8 December 2005 at the Pendleton Conference Center, Pendleton

Workshops will run from 8 am to 4:30 pm, and lunch will be provided.

Admission is $25, and pre-registration is required.

To register or if you have questions, contact Kathy Hyzy, at kathyh@oeconline.org or 503.222.1963 x105

These workshops are hosted by the Oregon Environmental Council and are made possible through a generous grant from the Lamb Foundation.

Kathy Hyzy
Program Assistant
Oregon Environmental Council
222 NW Davis St Ste 309
503-222-1963 x 105

http://www.oeconline.org <http://www.oeconline.org/> http://www.biofuels4oregon.org <http://www.biofuels4oregon.org/>

Posted by Martin at 9:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Amarican Trucking Association endorses Biodiesel

One of the major groups concerned about the cost implications of adoption of biodiesel has been the American Trucking Association. Last month they did the math and figured out the truth - Biodiesel is a net positive for their industry. More goods to move, better long-term economics than diesel. Here is the announcement:

ATA Endorses Biodiesel
Thomas L. Gallagher Web Editor

The American Trucking Associations is endorsing limited use of biodiesel, claiming a blend of biodiesel and regular diesel could help prevent fuel shortages, restrain fuel price increases and help reduce pollution.
The association's board of directors unanimously endorsed a resolution promoting low blends of biodiesel at the ATA management conference in Boston Oct. 15-18.(br>
"ATA is proud to endorse the use of biodiesel in blends of up to 5 percent," said Rich Moskowitz, ATA regulatory affairs counsel. "It fits in with our mission of ensuring an adequate diesel fuel supply - something important to the trucking industry. Promoting B5 is a step in the right direction."

Biodiesel is a domestically produced, renewable fuel that can be manufactured from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant greases. The U.S. Department of Energy says that biodiesel is safe, biodegradable, and reduces serious air pollutants. Blends as high as 20 percent biodiesel with 80 percent petroleum diesel can generally be used in unmodified diesel engines, according to DOE.
A growing number of truckers fill their rigs with biodiesel blends, said ATA. Biodiesel blends meeting the American Society of Testing and Materials standard are available to truckers at fueling sites throughout the country.

Biodiesel is currently somewhat more expensive to produce than petroleum diesel, but rising diesel prices are rapidly narrowing that gap and economies of scale may overcome the difference if biodiesel is produced in much larger quantities. The energy yield of biodiesel is generally considered to be 3.2; that is, for every unit of fossil energy put into producing biodiesel, 3.2 units of energy are gained. A 1998 study by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture determined that petroleum diesel fuel has an energy yield of 0.843.

A controversial study from Cornell University in March 2005 determined that making biodiesel from soybean plants requires 27 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced and producing biodiesel from sunflower plants requires 118 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced.

Posted by Martin at 9:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Where to get fuel tanks

Thest guys: Fuel Tank Home supply the fuel tanks and retail filling stations for BioWilly. They also have smaller sized pre-engineered for co-ops. I am buying a small one for my house.

Posted by Martin at 8:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 18, 2005

B100 production tripples in 2005

According to the NBB: [E] - U.S. Biodiesel Production Expected to Triple in 2005 (Reporting by Roddy Scheer).. They called me at Seattle Biodiesel as well so I know they did a bottoms up analysis. From personal experience though I would say they are low. It will be closer to 100M gallons this year and 200M next year.

Posted by Martin at 11:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 17, 2005

First meeting of Northwest Energy Angels group today

I have been talking to people in the region about starting an energy focused angel group for some time. With the help of NWETC: Northwest Energy Technology Collaborative it happened and we had our first meeting today. Standing room only in a room built for 25 people we received 38 RSVPs and over 20 regrets that will come to the next meeting. I gave an overview presentation of what brought me from tech to energy and why everyone in the room should focus on Energy Technology. Here is the presentation: NW Energy Angels 111705.pdf. We had two companies present, Optimum Energy with a set of technologies for reducing chiller energy drain in large buildings and WesTtech Energy with an innovative silent vertical axis home wind turbine. I am quite hopeful that this is the start of something good that we will have meetings every two months. Keep posted for more.

Posted by Martin at 10:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 11, 2005

Seattle City Light is now officially carbon neutral!

The PI reports today that Seattle City Light has achieved its goal of having zero net carbon emissions.

Posted by Martin at 2:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wired.com article on bioheat

Seems like everyone is talking bioheat. Wired News: Biodiesel Keeps Home Fire Burning Tis the season.

Posted by Martin at 1:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 7, 2005

Lister slow long cycle diesel engines

I am buying one of these to use for home power generation running on b100.

Efficient home electrical generator
Listeroid Diesel Engine

From 1930 to 1987 the Lister company made diesel motors for pumps, generators, and general-purpose use, using mostly the same design of big, slow-speed, heavy flywheels and simple, easily-repaired parts. The Lister company then sold the designs. Today there are many Indian and Chinese companies that produce Lister copies (aka: "Listeroids") for export. These are fairly faithful to the original design -- with varying quality. The price for these engines *per kilowatt* is cheap, when compared to the more commonly found gasoline-powered generators, though they are not very portable. What is truly amazing is the efficiency of the Lister: one user reports an average of 8000 watts and 0.3 gallons of diesel per hour. They can be made nearly silent with cheap car mufflers or a water muffler. They run fairly cool, and home-built radiators (water tanks, house radiators, car radiators) seem to work well. These slow-rotating workhorse machines are good for nearly 100% duty cycle if properly maintained. (A 100% duty cycle means running 24/7, with no down time due to heat and lubrication needs). The Listers can run all the time, and there are even some people who have figured out how to do oil changes while the motor is still running, thus removing even the lubrication issues. Their efficiency and raw power makes them perfectly suited for electrical generation for long-term use versus "emergency-only" generators which have an extremely short lifespan. They are also works of mechanical art, and will keep a mechanically-minded hacker occupied for weeks, experimenting and tuning. I'm sure that vegetable oil or waste motor oil would work as fuel in these engines as well, but more research is needed.
There are quite a few US-based vendors for engines and gensets. You'd still need to rig a mount for it (concrete pad) and a radiator. This is as close to a "complete" system as you can get. The utterpower.com website sells a cheap CD with loads of useful information; well worth the cost before you start looking.
-- John Todd

One home-built Listeroid-powered 7.5 kilowatt generator with water-tank cooler.
Listeroid Engine
$800 and up
Available from
How-to information from:

Posted by Martin at 9:12 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 3, 2005

Minnesota runs into a quality glitch with Soy biodiesel

Minnesota temporarilly suspended their B2 mandate for 10 days due to "off spec" soy biodiesel found at the oil refinery. The report onReuters.com is the best I have seen. While we do not have any information as to what the "off spec" issue was, this does reflect the difficulty many producers are having with soy as a feedstock and scaling up to produce large quantities of biodiesel. It takes the extensive R&D a company like Seattle Biodiesel is making to stay on top of these issues and quickly implement process improvements to stay ahead of the curve. It is interesting that the diesel refinery "found" the out of spec fuel. I wonder if Minnesota has a third party testing system to take any potential bias out of the equation.

Posted by Martin at 7:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack