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.
It looks like one Nobel Prize winner groups biofuels with another, ahem, organic and somewhat odorous material. Prize winner Hartmut Michel, who's the director of the Molecular Membrane Biology at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysics, has gone on record criticizing the use of biofuels for alternative energy because of their lack of efficiency, according to ClimateSanity.
Researchers at the University of Michigan have discovered a fast way to turn algae into biocrude oil, a clean substitute for conventional crude oil. Chemical engineering professor Phil Savage and doctoral student Julia Faeth were able to pressure cook microalgae in 1,100-degree-Fahrenheit sand for about one minute, converting 65 percent of it into biocrude.
There might be only one veggie-powered Chevrolet Corvette in the world, and it's part of the 24 Hours of LeMons endurance racing series that showcases $500 beater cars. "Spank," the owner and builder, has pieced together the Cor-Vegge on a a C4 Corvette body, powered by a 1980s Oldsmobile diesel engine and fueled by waste vegetable oil.
Whoever wins the presidential race will likely be pleased to hear this news: farmers (at least soybean farmers) are getting into biodiesel. Soybean farmers, through their checkoff program, are supporting the National Tractor Pullers Association spreading the word about biodiesel among tractor pulling fans. It will be showcased by NTPA allowing the use of 100 percent biodiesel in all diesel pulling competition classes starting next season.
US ethanol production for September dropped to its lowest level in at least 27 months, in large part because of plant shutdowns. Ethanol plants produced 983.9 million gallons in September, down 9.4 percent from August. The previous low since the EPA started keeping such records in July 2010 was the 1.051 billion gallons produced in February 2011. The numbers come from the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Moderated Tracking System website and were reported in the energy-pricing publicat
The current and past presidents of Iowa Renewable Fuels Association were able to chat with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Tuesday, asking for his endorsement of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and ethanol. IRFA president Brad Albin and past president Walt Wendland approached Romney and put him on the spot while an associate filmed (watch it below). Romney's response? "I do support the RFS and ethanol."
Albin works for Renewable Energy Group and Wendland with Golden Grain
Brad Albin, president of Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, and Joe Jobe, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board, were thrilled to see the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approve a 28-percent increase in the amount of biodiesel that will be mandated for the nation's diesel engine vehicles in 2013. Up until last year, under the 2007 Renewable Fuels Act, biodiesel had been sort of a stepchild to ethanol. Ethanol enjoyed large mandates with the passage of that bill, but biodiesel was later added
Alternative energy and cleantech have been a platform for political jabs and Congressional hearings in Washington over the past year – the Solyndra scandal, Chevrolet Volt post-crash-test battery fires, and Fisker Automotive's Department of Energy grant loan quickly come to mind. The latest one deals with companies committing fraud tied into the federal renewable fuel standard, and it's not pretty.
BMW may have dibs on being the "Official Automotive Partner to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games," but that doesn't mean there aren't other automotive-related promotional opportunities to be had at the games. Exhibit A: BP's new "Wayne Helix" fuel dispenser.
We've seen cars that run on biodiesel and even those propelled by wood pellets, but neither of these alternative fuel sources pose a near-term alternative to petrol-based gasoline. But, what if we could produce gas from a more abundant, clean source of energy than oil? That's exactly what Primus Green Energy hopes to do.
Will there be enough feedstock to support a massive biofuel boom? It sure seems possible, 'cause Pike Research predicts that the value of the biofuels industry could double in the next ten years, depending on the emergence of advanced feedstocks.
As one might expect, Europe's biodiesel industry rejected the findings of a draft study showing that the cultivation of rapeseed for biodiesel is likely significantly worse for the environment than manufacturing conventional diesel, i.e., from petroleum.
Over in the Netherlands, Neste Oil has celebrated the opening of Europe's largest renewable diesel facility. Located in Rotterdam, Neste Oil's new site boasts an annual production capacity of 800,000 tons of the firm's NExBTL renewable diesel fuel. NExBTL technology allows Neste to use a wide variety of oils, greases and fats as feedstock to make the fuel.
PetroChina, the world's third most valuable company as of the second quarter of 2011, says it will add 1.1 million tons of biofuel production capacity by 2015, according to a company official who spoke with Reuters. Additionally, PetroChina says it will import 470,000 tons of biofuels by 2015, as China aims to make use of more alternative fuels.
Global production of biofuels soared to an all-time high of 105 billion liters (28 billion gallons U.S.) in 2010, according to research conducted by Worldwatch Institute for the website Vital Signs Online. That output represents a 17-percent increase in compared to the estimated 90 billion liters (24 billion gallons) that were cranked out globally back in 2009. Worldwatch Institute says lofty oil prices, a global economic rebound and mandates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China and the United St