The story of Neil Young and his Lincvolt has had its ups and downs. From an idea first made public in 2008 to its SEMA debut in 2010, the 1959 Lincoln Continental Mark IV convertible was shepherded through a lot of engineering work by the Canadian rocker to become an E85-burning plug-in hybrid. In late 2010, the car caught fire but Young brought it back to life earlier this year. Long may you run, indeed.
Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has made its case against Big Oil getting its way, stopping E15 and fulfilling the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Now, Bob Dineen, president and CEO of RFA, is pleading with environmentalists to stay away from Big Oil and to support biofuels.
China-based Shengquan Group and the Danish company Novozymes are partnering to make enough cellulosic ethanol for commercialization. Shengquen and Novozymes have reached an agreement in which Shengquen will invest $100 million and Novozymes will provide the "enabling enzyme technology" for production of cellulosic ethanol, a "second-generation" biofuel because it's made from plant waste.
Oil companies will pay $6.8 million in fines for not meeting federal quotas for blending in cellulosic biofuels – those produced from grasses, wood and plants – even though there weren't enough of those biofuels available for use, the New York Times reported. Those fines are likely to rise in 2012 because the cellulosic biofuel quotas that refiners have to meet will rise more than 30 percent to 8.65 million gallons.
Yet another cellulosic ethanol project launched recently, this time in Alpena, MI with Governor Jennifer Granholm on hand for the ribbon cutting. The facility will be run by American Process Incorporated (API) and will produce ethanol from waste materials produced by an adjacent hardwood plant that is run by Decorative Panels International.
This weekend's round of the American Le Mans Series at Miller Motorsports park in Utah will see the four Ferrari F430 GTs of Extreme Speed Motorsports and Risi Racing switch from running on an E10 ethanol/gasoline blend to using cellulosic E85. With this change, 10 of the 13 cars running in GT2 will be using the second-generation biofuel. The Corvette Racing team was the first to use E85 in early 2008 and since then the Flying Lizard Porsches and Rahal Letterman BMW M3s have also made the switch
Back in the early days of mass-produced biofuels, corn-based ethanol and soy-based biodiesel were all the rage. But criticism about food vs. fuel and scalability abounded and, by 2008, cellulosic ethanol became known as a so-called second-generation-biofuel and, maybe, the answer to our oil-addicted prayers. Blame Congress, blame the economy, heck, blame T. Boone Pickens if you want to, but the fact of the matter is that in the two years since cellulosic ethanol's big appearance, large-scale pro
Canadian cellulosic ethanol developer Iogen Corporation and its joint venture partner Royal Dutch Shell have committed further funding to keep the venture going for two more years. Iogen Energy is currently running a demonstration plant near Ottawa that is producing ethanol from wheat straw. The demonstration plant has produced over 170,000 gallons of ethanol over the past year. This ethanol is blended with gasoline and is commercially available at Shell stations in and around Ottawa.
Scientists in Germany have engineered the common industrial yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to ferment the sugars pentose (C5) and hexose (C6) from biomass feedstock to create ethanol and butanol. Translation: cellulosic ethanol may be one step closer to being more than the green automotive buzzword of 2008 or, worse, one of the biggest losers of 2009.
BP could become the first major energy company to start commercial scale production of cellulosic ethanol in 2010 if all goes according to plan. BP has been partnering with Verenium Corporation to commercialize the latter company's process for breaking down cellulose into sugars.
Representatives from one of the GM-backed cellulosic ethanol concerns, Coskata, have been visiting the Asia-Pacific region recently to tout their anything-into-ethanol technology. In Thailand, they recommended that the Thai government work to make "Thailand the ethanol manufacturing hub for Asia," according to the Thai newspaper The Nation. Before committing to a Thai location, though, Coskata wants the government to have "clear-cut tax regulations, lower import tariffs for machines, and support
Codexis and Shell are expanding their collaboration on developing non-food based biofuels. Codexis develops what the company calls biocatalysts, the enzymes used to break down cellulose into simple sugar molecules. Codexis and Shell have had a cooperative agreement since 2007 and the expansion will see Iogen Energy participating as well. Iogen is already operating a cellulosic ethanol pilot plant near Ottawa, Canada. The hope is that the work of Codexis will be able to improve the efficiency of
Mascoma Corporation's first pilot plant in Rome, New York has now begun to produce cellulosic ethanol. Mascoma is one of two cellulosic ethanol companies that got equity investments from General Motors in early 2008, the other being Coskata. The Rome plant has an annual capacity of 200,000 gallons of ethanol produced from non-food biomass. Mascoma recieved grants from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York State Power Authority (NYPA) to help pay
BP goes on the offensive and plays defense in two news stories yesterday. First, we learn that BP Products North America Inc. has agreed to pay $161 million for "pollution controls, enhanced maintenance and monitoring, and improved internal management practices" because of Clean Air Act violations committed at a Texas refinery. The EPA's Catherine McCabe said that, "BP failed to fulfill its obligations under the law, putting air quality and public health at risk."