General Motors and Detroit Renewable Energy have just released a joint press statement with a provocative title. Apparently, the two companies are getting "steamy" with each other. What they really meant is that GM and Detroit Renewable Energy, a consortium of renewable energy generation and distribution companies, are working together to turn solid municipal waste from the Detroit metro area into process steam that will heat and cool portions of GM's Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. We can har
When production of the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano kicks off this fall, 40 percent of the energy that powers General Motors' Orion Assembly Plant will come from methane captured from a nearby landfill site. This use of the landfill gas will reduce GM's energy costs by $1.1 million a year and cut the amount of greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides released into the atmosphere.
Since 2002, BMW's assembly plant in Spartanburg, SC has been using methane captured from a nearby landfill site to fuel electrical generators. As part of the current expansion of the plant to support the addition of X3 production, BMW has invested another $12 million to expand power generation from methane. The original system of four turbines has been replaced by two larger, more efficient turbines. The result is that the turbines can now generate 30% of the plant's electricity needs from the s
The House is currently looking at a Cash for Clunkers bill that would give owners of eight-year or older vehicles up to $5,000 to turn in their car or truck for a more fuel efficient vehicle. The deal sounds great for the owners of beaters, and automakers wouldn't complain much either. The most politically friendly aspect of the legislation, though, is the perceived positive impact on the environment. More fuel efficient vehicles emit less CO2 than an older model, and less oil use means less dri
The company formerly known as Xethanol Corp, is now known as Global Energy Holdings Group. As a renamed and reorganized company, it has dropped its focus on cellulosic ethanol in the face of falling ethanol prices. Instead, the company will take a more wide-ranging approach that includes tapping into landfills to harvest the methane contained within. The methane can be filtered and either used to produce electricity or blended with other natural gas sources. In addition the company will work on
Talk about going full circle. A garbage truck running on methane picks up the trash out in front of your home and deposits it in a landfill. Over the next few years, that garbage begins to deteriorate, releasing methane gas in the process. That methane waste gas is captured and re-used by the same garbage trucks to pick up your trash. While we aren't necessarily proponents for landfills, at least some good can come out of their creation. Methane gas is a pretty horrible greenhouse gas, so it's m
Next time you're driving in Denton, Texas, and smell french fries or catfish from the big rig or school bus near by, don't cuss or give it the finger (unless it illegally cuts you off.) That vehicle is most likely powered by biodiesel made by a local company.
We could probably fill up the pages of this blog with all the different announcements of new biodiesel plants across the country (and the world), but I thought this one stood out from the others, just because it's in Texas. The Dallas Morning News reports the city of Denton in Northern Texas is making the biodiesel fuel produced at the local landfill available to the public. The city vehicles have been using the fuel for over a year, and customer interest led to the fuel being offered to the gen