Southeastern Illinois College wants to create a biofuel processing certification program. The school is waiting to hear about receiving $750,000 from a US Department of Labor grant that would allow it to expand its Biofuels Education curriculum to include certification for manufacturing biodiesel and ethanol. There are currently no such programs in existence, and its development would require Labor Department approval as well as input from biofuel companies. Southeastern Illinois College believe
As is its job, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) continues to bang the drum of what it says is a stacked deck against alternative fuels like ethanol. Earlier this month it took on Big Oil. Now, it's the US Department of Energy (DOE). Go big or go home, huh?
More Toyota Hybrid Battery Production; Pennsylvania Keeps Incentives
Tesla Model S owners can now control their car with Android Wear. A new, free app for the Android wrist devices, called Tesla Command, allows the user to control car functions such as the locks, horn, and sunroof from outside the vehicle. The developer promises more features are coming soon. Watch the video below for a demonstration, or head over to 9 to 5 Google to read more.
New Street-Legal Polaris Utility EV; Formula E Is Free At Long Beach
A UC Davis white paper maps out "Three Routes Forward for Biofuels," balancing investment risk with carbon benefits. The first option is "incremental," in which we tinker with the existing biofuel manufacturing infrastructure for small improvements over time. The "transitional" plan suggests integrating cellulosic production and other innovations with existing operations. The third route, called "leapfrogging," would mean building refineries based on new technology such as cellulosic and algae-b
Formula E has revealed the circuit layout for the Buenos Aires ePrix, which will take place on January 10, 2015. The 1.5-mile track designed by Santiago Garcia Remohi features 12 turns of varying speeds. Bruno Senna, driver for Mahindra Racing, says, "Looking at the track, you have to say it's got a good combination of corners. There's a chicane, some high-speed turns with a change of direction and slow-speed as well." The third race of the all-electric series' inaugural season will take place i
Earlier, we mentioned the Renewable Fuels Association's report that most major oil companies are blocking the ethanol blends E15 and E85 from their gas stations. According to the RFA, "Distribution contracts routinely include provisions that make it difficult, needlessly expensive, or simply impossible for a retailer to offer consumers choices like E15 or E85." The report has the attention of two senators who want the Federal Trade Commission to look into the matter of Big Oil engaging in anti-c
Big Oil companies help keep renewable fuels out of your tank, a new report shows. No surprise there, right? The Renewable Fuels Association published a report card grading the country's largest retail gasoline chains on fuel offerings like E85 and E15. The report gave failing grades, with less than one percent of stations offering E15 or E85, to "Big Five" companies Exxon, BP, ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Shell, among other oil company and convenience/grocery store brands. The only major oil comp
At the end of the month, Missouri will begin to allow the sale of the controversial E15 fuel. Currently, most available gasoline is sold as a blend with up to 10 percent ethanol. Missouri will become the 13th state to approve the 15-percent ethanol blend to be sold at the pump.
One recent report from Nature Geoscience will have ethanol advocates convinced that Big Oil's political influence goes far beyond the reach of US borders. That publication, according to Nebraska's Grand Island Independent, says that greater use of ethanol as a light-duty vehicle fuel actually boosts smog levels. That runs counter to many other reports on the subject, though ethanol's environmental prospects have, like everything else related to the subject, been a subject of debate.
Over 100 teams converge on Houston for last time ever
The skies threatened rain, but aside from a few fat drops struggling down through the Texas air, the track remained dry through the end of the 2014 Shell Eco-marathon Americas. Given the haphazard way some of the vehicle bodies were held together – a bit of velcro or pieces of tape doing the job door hinges do on normal cars – this was a very good thing. The dry roads also meant that all of the teams were competing on an even footing, in this one aspect at least. After all, the 100-p
Like a tractor harvesting an Iowa cornfield, biofuel advocates aren't using a ton of subtlety in their approach to take down Big Oil. The coalition Fuels America used April 22, i.e. Earth Day, to kick off a campaign for higher renewable fuel mandates. And, while that corn field may be a lovely shade of maize, the advocates are talking green, as in the money oil companies are pulling out of Americans' pocketbooks by insisting on reuced use of biofuels.
The fight over converting the national supply of gasoline from a maximum 10-percent ethanol blend (known as E10) to E15 have quieted down somewhat when it comes to passenger cars. For other applications - like "motorcycles and nonroad products" - the struggle continues.
The Department of Energy has made it clear that it favors a technology-somewhat-neutral, "all-of-the-above" strategy for developing energy alternatives for the US, as the new Strategic Plan 2014-2018 (PDF) states. What this looks like in the real world is another $10 million for "Technologies to Produce Advanced Biofuel Products from Biomass."
It's been quite a while since we've heard anything from Sakti3, the Ann Arbor-based battery company that has been working on next-generation solid state lithium batteries for many years. Heck, even the company's website doesn't have any news that isn't a year old. Thankfully, our friend Jim Motavalli, who blogs for Car Talk, recently talked to Sakti3's Ann Marie Sastry on the eve of her company being named an affiliate of the US Department of Energy's Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JC
E85. It's not just for flyover states anymore. That could be the newest slogan of the 85-percent ethanol blend now that the biofuel is proliferating in areas other than the Midwestern corn-growing states.
Some of the largest retailers in the US are trying to inject either a little good sense or paranoia into part of their customer base. Lowe's, Walmart and True Value are putting out written warnings about the dangers of filling up non-light-duty-vehicle engines with fuel that contains a higher ethanol blend. It's all part of a campaign backed by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), which represents 100 small-engine, utility vehicle and outdoor power equipment makers.
Hundreds of thousands of people are waiting for the US Environmental Protection Agency to issue its final ruling on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Over 110,000 signatures were collected by the group VoteVets.org (often politically active on energy issues), which delivered its petition with Congressman Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. Over 35,000 of those signatures were from veterans and military family members.
The green car rhetoric of President Obama's State Of The Union speech last night was much, much softer than it was three years ago. That was when he spoke about a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. It was even less vociferous than last year, when Obama said we could take money given to oil and gas companies and put it into an "Energy Security Trust." So, what is the state of the green car union for 2014? In a word: renewable. In two more words: natural gas.