September 2008

Issue CoverView Full Print Edition

Business Briefs

The second issue of Vital was mailed July 7.

Poet launches publication



The Food before Fuel campaign—designed to convince the public that biofuels are responsible for rising food costs and to press the government to rein in its renewable fuels' mandate—has caused a lot of heartburn. The question is whether consumers believe that the companies supporting this campaign are looking out for their best interests.

Roger Guzman added E85 and biodiesel pumps at his Rocky Mountain Market to compete with a big-box retailer that was selling its fuel as a loss-leader. In April, 2007, Guzman's fuel sales had increased 66 percent, compared with the same time period th

Rocky Mountain E85

By Timothy Charles Holmseth

From a good idea, to a better idea, to a comprehensive governor's coalition, the state of Colorado has invested in an ethanol economy that's a long way from the Corn Belt, but motorists, business owners and foreign countries are taking note of Rocky Mountain E85.

As E10 has gained acceptance as a standard fuel in the United States, efforts are moving ahead to increase the amount of ethanol to 20 percent. Several studies have tested the effects of midlevel ethanol blends on vehicles, but more work remains to convince naysayers that midlevel blends are efficient, environmentally friendly and safe to use.

'It does impact the environment, but is it severely disturbing our life? No.' -Sister Romona Fallon, prioress of the Mother of God Monastery

Good Neighbors

By Story and Photos By Susanne Retka Schill

Residents of Watertown, S.D., are basking in the benefits that have accompanied the building of an ethanol plant on the edge of town. From lower utility bills for city residents to plentiful feed for surrounding dairy farmers and cattle feeders, Glacial Lakes Energy LLC has had a positive impact on the community.

According to CHS Inc., ethanol blender pumps located at Cenex brand retail sites must be clearly labeled to show that mid-grade ethanol blends are for use in flex-fuel vehicles only.

Beginning of the Blender Pumps

By Erin Voegele / Photos by Susanne Retka Schill

A grassroots biofuel revolution that's been brewing in South Dakota for years is on the verge of sweeping the country. Ethanol blender pumps, considered by many as a means to increase the demand for ethanol while reducing America's dependence on foreign oil and mitigating high gasoline prices, are popping up in various Midwest locations.

Mississippi State University engineering students pose for a photo in the back of their vehicle before the start of the Challenge X competition. Pictured in front, left to right, are team leader David Oglesby, Michal Trcalek and Matthew Young; in bac

Challenge X: The Last Lap

By Bryan Sims / Photos By Roy Feldman

The Challenge X: Crossover to Sustainable Mobility competition completed its fourth and final year in May. EPM talked with some of the teams who used E85 to gauge their opinions about using the renewable fuel.

Two years ago, ICM Inc. began a project to integrate a 40 MMgy ethanol plant with an existing food-processing facility. The same engineering firm that standardized the dry-grind ethanol plant design now prepares to deploy its latest technology package—and dry fractionation is just the beginning.

From hurricane winds and flooding, to radicals piloting passenger jets into skyscrapers, disasters are a tragic part of life. After people are safely removed from harm's way, proper planning and technology could be used to revolutionize debris management.

Furfural, a sister chemical to the increasingly popular hydroxymethylfurfural or HMF molecule, is regaining attention as a biobased alternative for the production of everything from antacids and fertilizers to plastics and paints.

Sustainability is a buzzword in the biomass industry. But sustainable can mean many things. You can do your best by Mother Earth, but if you don't make money, your operation isn't sustainable. You can have the ability to make money hand-over-fist, but if you can't get the biomass to your plant, that's not sustainable either. A collaboration of researchers studied a biomass operation in the Superior National Forest in Minnesota to look at all the different components of a sustainable biomass harvesting operation.

Seawater distillation tents, a project of Radulovich's and the Sea Gardens.

Oceans of Biomass

By Anna Austin

From animal manure to crop residue, all options are being explored to reduce global dependency on fossil fuels. In response to this quest, one Costa Rican scientist poses a novel question: What about the ocean? Seaweed is primarily grown in the Eastern Hemisphere to produce fertilizer and food, but what potential do these plants and our oceans hold for biomass applications?

The Biomass '08 Technical Workshop was held July 15-16 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D.

Biomass, Wind, Coal, Hydro, Petroleum ...

By Ron Kotrba, Jerry W. Kram, Bryan Sims, Anna Austin

The Energy & Environmental Research Center in Grand Forks, N.D., hosted the Biomass '08 Technical Workshop in July. Hundreds gathered from the United States and six countries to learn about the latest developments in the production of fuels, power and chemicals from biomass. The main message that came out of the conference was the need for strong partnerships and many different fuels.

2008 Proposed Biodiesel Plant List

By Craig A. Johnson, Timothy Charles Holmseth, Erin Vogele, Anna Austin, Suzanne H. Schmidt and Ryan C.

Biodiesel Magazine presents its annual roundup of proposed plants from across the United States and Canada. This year's list includes 26 plants somewhere between concept and construction. This number is lower than in past years, reiterating a slowdown in projected growth but also confirming continued interest in the industry's potential.


Paying a Premium

By Ron Kotrba

Oil prices of $140 a barrel will naturally apply significant upward pressure on all transportation fuels, but diesel prices have ballooned relative to gasoline in recent times. High global demand and slow-to-catch-up diesel refining capacity are largely to blame, so what's being done about it?

Biodiesel producers are on the lookout for low-cost feedstocks and the means to process those feedstocks as the cost of soy oil remains out of reach for many operations. This isn't stopping a group in north-central Missouri, who may have a solution to tight profit margins. Producer's Choice Soy Energy plans to build and operate a soybean crushing facility next to a biodiesel plant.

IJM Plantation's corporate headquarters are in Sandakan, in the Malaysian state of Sabah.

Plantation-Scale Oil Production

By Susanne Retka Schill / Story & Photos

Some aspects of palm oil production parallel American soybean production practices, but many others reveal a radically different system.

To avoid high-priced virgin vegetable oils, many in the industry are looking for alternatives. But inexpensive feedstocks are cheap for a reason-they carry high levels of undesirable components such as free fatty acids that make it difficult to produce biodiesel. Pretreatment systems, however, can clean up less than desirable feedstocks and improve producers' bottom lines.

Sign up for our e-newsletter!
BBI International Logo

@ Copyright 2024 - BBI International - All rights reserved.