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19

Sometimes, you just need some simple pictures to prove your point. If you're the Union of Concerned Scientists and you want to let people know that "we can half it" (oil use, that it) by supporting more electric cars and biofuel use, then a couple of bright infographics might do the trick.

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Fear not, American ethanol advocates, the world biofuel community is taking a stand. The Renewable Fuels Association, the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance and the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association are among those crying foul about a recent United Nations report that looks at how biofuels (like corn-based ethanol) impact farming and are potentially a cause for food shortages, Ethanol Producer reports.

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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,

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recognizes that ethanol will likely continue to predominate the renewable fuel pool in the near future, and that for 2014 the ability of the market to consume ethanol in higher blends such as E85 is highly constrained as a result of infrastructure- and market-related factors. EPA does not currently foresee a scenario in which the market could consume enough ethanol sold in blends greater than E10, and/or produce sufficient volumes of non-ethanol biofuels to meet the volumes of total renewable fu

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The battle over selling a higher ethanol blend of gasoline in light-duty vehicle fuel is back in the headlines, as some members of Congress are now suggesting an overhaul of the 2007 ethanol mandate, the Detroit News says.

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Cellulosic bio-ethanol is poised to see large scale production for the first time next year. Poet-DSM Advanced Biofuels, LLC, is ready to start construction of a plant in early 2014 that will produce 20 million gallons of cellulosic bio-ethanol annually, later ramping up to 25 million gallons. That's a lot, but to compare, the US uses 8.7 million barrels of gasoline per day (2011 average), not counting diesel fuel, and the US makes an average 832,000 barrels of corn-based ethanol each day.

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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.

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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.

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Count Pearson Fuels, and the state of California for that matter, is among proponents of boosting ethanol content in light-duty vehicle fuel. San Diego-based Person received a $1.35-million grant to add pumps that distribute fuel with an 85-percent ethanol mix – i.e. E85 – at 19 new gas stations throughout the Golden State.

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Those keeping score of the pro vs. against biofuel camps can add another point for the advocates since the federal government has agreed to divert more funds towards the expansion of biofuels. Specifically, the US Department of Energy (DOE) will award more than $10 million to five products designed to speed up technology related to converting biomass to fuel.

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With the so-called fiscal cliff looming like a New Year's Day hangover, US lawmakers were able to strike an eleventh-hour deal that should prove beneficial to couples making less than $450,000 a year. Like any piece of US legislation, though, there was enough pork stuffed inside to ensure lobbyists and well-connected constituents remain happy. As a part of the deal, a few tax credits were extended that pertain to the automotive world.

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A US ethanol glut is causing some biofuels producers to go full circle by diverting their corn from fuel production towards food products such as energy bars and fish food, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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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.

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In alphabet soup terminology, the API's mad at the EPA, and the RFA thinks it's a bunch of BS.

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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.

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Yes, this sounds like something straight out of the The Onion, but it appears to be the real deal. Toto Ltd., a Japanese toilet company, has apparently constructed a highly efficient motorcycle that runs on, well, excrement. The project, which has been ongoing since 2009 called "Toilet Bike Neo," made its debut on Thursday in a Fujisawa showroom.

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Yes, this sounds like something straight out of the The Onion, but it appears to be the real deal. Toto Ltd., a Japanese toilet company has apparently constructed a highly efficient motorcycle that runs on, well, excrement. The project, which has been ongoing since 2009 is called 'Toilet Bike Neo,' made its debut on Thursday in a Fujisawa showroom.

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The food vs. fuel debate over ethanol continues, this time through the actions of a handful of U.S. states that are asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to lift – temporarily, at least – the rules that require a "large share" (to use Reuters' words) of the corn crop in America to be used to make ethanol. Instead, says Georgia, the latest state to join the chorus, the corn should be used to feed chickens to counteract the effects of the drought affecting America this summer

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As it was four years ago during another election year, corn ethanol is once again the focal point for heated exchange in the U.S. The federal government is feeling the vise tighten in the corn ethanol debate, as the issues flip and flop between gasoline prices going up and global food prices increasing. The worst drought in more than 50 years is also playing a role.

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