The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not going to decide just yet how much biofuel to add to the national fuel supply in the future. Last year, the EPA said, for the first time ever, that it might reduce the biofuel component in American gas, but is now saying that the 2014 standards rule will be "significantly delayed."
Singer's Biofuel Plans Looked Good In 2008, But Not In 2014
Here's a blast from the past, the name BioWillie hasn't been heard on these pages since 2008, and its reappearance today isn't a bit of good news. The ambitious plan from country music singer WIllie Nelson to help American farmers by turning their crops into American fuel for American truckers (are you noticing a theme?) has officially come to an end.
A new Minnesota law that requires biodiesel blends goes into effect in just a few days, says KELO. Diesel drivers in Minnesota will be pumping soybeans into their tank beginning July 1. Every year, diesel will be sold as a B10 blend (ten percent biofuel) from April through August, and will scale back to a cold-hardy B5 blend from September through March. The biofuel largely comes from soybean crops grown within Minnesota, and the biodiesel industry pumps more than $900 million into the state eco
For many of us, coffee runs our lives. Without the bitter, caffeinated brew, most of us wouldn't be able to get up in the morning or avoid fading in the afternoon. Now, new research from the University of Bath suggests we might want to get our cars as hooked on java as we are. Regardless of the variety of coffee used, the UK institution has found that coffee grounds are a great source to create biodiesel.
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."
And now for something completely different. That would be from our friends at Extreme Biodiesel, which is in escrow to buy 40 acres of farmland in California. The reason? It wants to cultivate hemp specifically for the conversion to biodiesel. Tailpipe emissions have never been as sweet.
A Toyota subsidiary is preparing to enter a Toyota Land Cruiser for a very long off-road ride while emitting 60 percent less carbon dioxide than its regular diesel competitors. Toyota Auto Body Co. has enrolled a team into the 2014 Dakar Rally that will race a biodiesel-fueled Land Cruiser 200 with fuel made from used cooking oil.
Biodiesel can be an affordable alternative fuel, but when there's RIN fraud involved, it can cost over $100 million. That's the cost to victims – biodiesel buyers and the IRS – in a biodiesel fraud case in Indiana perpetrated by six individuals and three companies, as announced by the Justice Department today. The alleged criminals committed a whole heap – that is, 88 - illegal acts, including "conspiracy, wire fraud, false tax claims, false statements under the Clean Air Act,
Brazil gets to showcase two of its passions next year: biofuels and soccer. The world's largest biofuel producer is hosting the World Cup next year, and visitors will be traveling around in biodiesel buses. It should be cleaner – and safer – than hanging out of car windows.
As if one of the world's largest automakers needed additional advertisement, General Motors now is getting big-time support from biodiesel advocates for being the first US automaker to have made one of its light-duty models be able to run on diesel with a 20 percent biodiesel mix, i.e. B20. The National Biodiesel Board calls GM "proactive and progressive" for making its 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel B20-ready. Biodiesel Magazine even goes so far as to instruct its readers to "tell GM thanks."
Mention the term "e. coli" here in the US, and one gets visions of sick cows and poisonous burgers. Reference e. coli with some groundbreaking work performed by UK's University of Exeter, and things get a little more positive.
Photosynthesis is one of the very first topics taught in biology. The process by which plants use the sun to convert light energy into chemical energy is at the basis of life as we know it. And while humans have adapted solar technology to build off of Mother Nature's time-tested solution, a few companies have begun to use algae as a source of energy, again catalyzed by the sun.
As we learned when we visited last fall, Solazyme is doing some interesting things in its South San Francisco lab. Now, our friends over at Translogic put together a video showing the algae-derived diesel being used in a Volkswagen Passat TDI – as well as getting burned by the US Navy.
Rodney Hailey, who was in the news last summer for selling more than $9 million in Renewable Identification Numbers (RIN) credits for biofuel that, well, didn't exist, has been sentenced to nearly 12 years and six months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.
Instead of clogging drains and hurting waste water treatment plants, what if your used cooking oil could power your car? A new device called the BioBot 20 tabletop diesel processor promised to make it easy to recycle cooking oil and convert it into biodiesel, right inside your home.
If you know what renewable identification numbers (RIN) fraud is, and want to avoid it you a.) are most likely involved in biofuel production or an oil company and b.) might want to hire an auditor. That's the advice from RINAlliance, which has made a strategic partnership with EcoEngineers to make sure RIN fraud stops happening.
Propel Fuels is acquiring $21 million in funding to add more than 200 fuel stations in new and existing markets over the next two years, offering more drivers E85 ethanol and biodiesel blends. The company currently sells fuel out of 31 existing retail stations in California and Washington, sharing gas pumps with gasoline and diesel.
Biodiesel appears to be a tough business to enter, whether you're talking lawsuits over federal mandates or crackdowns on fraud. CBC News in Canada has investigated a cross-border mystery over biodiesel that thickens the plot.