Center for Advanced BioEnergy Research, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ethanol Industry Supports Farm Bill Changes

Posted by Cindy Zimmerman

A tentative agreement reached by conference committee members on funding for a new farm bill would reduce the tax incentive for blenders to use ethanol from 51 cents a gallon to 45 cents. The president of the Renewable Fuels Association says they can support that.

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Bush backs ethanol despite concern about food costs

International Herald & Tribune
By Russell Blinch
Published: April 29, 2008

WASHINGTON: President George W. Bush said on Tuesday he is deeply concerned about high food prices but believes ethanol production is responsible for only a small part of food inflation.

"In terms of the international situation, we are deeply concerned about food prices here at home, and we're deeply concerned about people who don't have food abroad," Bush told a news conference.

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FAO to host high-level conference on world food security
2008-04-29 06:02:54

ROME, April 28 (Xinhua) -- The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will host a high-level international Conference on World Food Security and the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy in Rome from June 3-5.

Heads of state and government and ministers will discuss the current global food situation with soaring food prices, how climate change affects agriculture, and how agriculture can contribute to reduce climate change, according to FAO's latest press release.

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Renewable Fuels Association Admonishes TX Gov. Perry's RFS Waiver Request That Opposes His Own Commissioned Study
Date Posted: Apr. 25, 2008

Washington, DC—The Renewable Fuels Association on April 25 criticized Texas Governor Rick Perry's decision to seek a waiver of the Renewable Fuels Standard.

Reducing the use of ethanol, as sought by Governor Perry, will not appreciably reduce grain prices for livestock producers and food processors in Texas.

But eliminating 4.5 billion gallons of fuel from the marketplace -- as the 50% waiver of the Renewable Fuels Standard sought by Governor Perry would do -- will increase gasoline and diesel prices even more.

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Food for fuel-Gov. Rick Perry's request to curb ethanol mandate is the right response to soaring agricultural costs.


April 28, 2008, 7:39PM

Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

Using a global staple such as corn for biofuel rather than food seemed to make sense when there was a surplus of cheap grain and worsening U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

The federal government was quick to boost the new industry with escalating mandates that require 8 billion gallons of renewable fuel be blended with gas sold at the pump this year. As a result, more than 30 percent of the nation's corn harvest goes to fill our tanks instead of our stomachs. Now the world's stomachs are starting to growl.

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Gwinnett E85 pump popular with flex-fuel crowd

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 04/29/08

Lewis Woodruff almost looks forward to filling up the tank on his 1999 Dodge Caravan.

Woodruff, a 52-year-old manufacturer's representative from Lawrenceville, bought the used minivan in September for a bit less than $6,000, unaware that it was a flex-fuel vehicle.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Byproduct of biodiesel production effective in swine and poultry [GLYCERIN!]

High Plains Journal ^ 04/28/2008 Staff
Posted on Monday, April 28, 2008 7:50:45 AM by Red Badger

With the rapid expansion of ethanol and biodiesel production in Iowa, there are questions about possible uses for what remains after these alternative fuels leave the plant. So far, the use of ethanol by-products in animal feed has received most of the attention.

But researchers at Iowa State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Services also are studying a biodiesel by-product in swine and poultry feed.

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National Algae Association Forms to Develop Alternative Biodiesel Feedstock

Date Posted: Apr. 21, 2008
by Myke Feinman, BioFuels Journal Editor

The National Algae Association (NAA), a non-profit organization formed to help promote algae as an alternative feedstock for biodiesel, officially launched at its inaugural meeting, April 10, in The Woodlands (Houston), TX.

More than 150 people from all over the United States and the world attended the meeting, which included eight presentations from industry and university experts on algae research and production.

Barry Cohen, founder and executive director of the association which is based in The Woodlands, said he formed the organization to bring together all facets of the algae industry-research, algae oil production companies to assist the biodiesel industry.

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MicroFueler Fuels Your Car With Homebrewed Ethanol

The Uber Review

[ April 27th, 2008 @ 10:11 am ] ... [ C. S. Magor ]

Distilling ethanol can be a tricky and highly precise business, but Floyd S. Butterfield and Thomas J. Quinn claim to have created a backyard ethanol distillery that turns sugar and yeast to a fuel that is clean enough to fill a gas tank with. According to Quinn, the cost of fuel produced by the E-Fuel 100 MicroFueler is approximately $1 per gallon; cheap enough to strike fear into an oil baron’s heart.

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Manure Gasification System at Panda Ethanol's New Hereford, TX Plant Could Save Up to 80% in Energy Costs

Date Posted: Apr. 25, 2008
by Myke Feinman, BioFuels Journal Editor

Panda Ethanol has a smelly solution to fuel their new ethanol plant in Hereford,TX: instead of utilizing odorless natural gas they will be using manure from local feedlots to fuel the 105 million-gallon-per-year plant.

According to Bill Pentak, director of corporate communications and investor relations for Panda, by gasifying manure, the plant is projected to reduce its annual energy costs by 80% given the current price of natural gas.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Group discusses solutions to energy crisis

By Shay Tilander, Hudson Star-Observer
Published Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wisconsin’s rich natural resources and agricultural crops put the state in an enviable position when it comes to developing new sources of bioenergy. But educating people and getting consensus on the best ways to tap into that potential will be a challenge.

With energy costs soaring and gasoline prices reaching new highs on a weekly basis, a group has formed to develop ideas and act as a clearing house for information regarding development of alternative energy solutions.

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No hunger for bioenergy
By Hao Zhou (
Updated: 2008-04-24 17:10

China will strictly control bioenergy development at the cost of grain and oil crop shortage, declared Agriculture Minister Sun Zhengcai, on April 21 in a talk with the Danish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Eva Kjer Hansen, in China on a visit.

As crude oil prices have continuously broken new highs in reaching the current level of $110 per barrel, developing bioenergies is heating up around the world. Some 40.5 million tons of fuel ethanol and 5.4 million tons of bio-diesel were produced worldwide in 2006, increasing two and three fold respectively from the figures in 2001.

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ANALYSIS: Livestock producers want legislators to repeal ethanol law

Columbia, Missourian
By Chris Blank/The Associated Press
April 27, 2008 5:41 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — A newly implemented ethanol mandate coupled with rising livestock feed prices is dividing Missouri’s farmers.

It pits corn farmers, who are getting record prices for their grain, against livestock producers, who are struggling to feed their herds.

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Lula to rich nations: 'Stop your hypocrisy,' buy Brazil biofuel

17 hours ago

BRASILIA (AFP) — Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva blasted wealthy nations for their punitive agricultural tariffs and urged them Sunday to "stop your hypocrisy" and start buying Brazilian biofuel.

"We have said that if we want to achieve success in the Doha Round (of World Trade Organization negotiations), then rich countries must lower their agricultural tariffs for poor countries' products entering their markets," Lula told Correio do Brasil newspaper in an interview.

"So, stop your hypocrisy and start buying biofuels," he said.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Stocker Cattle: Establishing Switchgrass For Grazing & Energy
4/23/2008 9:18:00 AM

The purpose of this article is to describe a research project that has been designed to examine the economic feasibility of utilizing switchgrass in a dual-purpose production system that allows for 1) springtime grazing by stocker cattle and 2) fall biomass production that can be harvested and delivered to a biorefinery that will convert it into ethanol. We would also like to report on the production and economic activities associated with establishing the switchgrass that will be used for the study.

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In food crisis, U.S. may cut support for ag research

Yahoo! News

By Missy Ryan
Thu Apr 24, 5:02 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States may slash support for pioneering agriculture research this year, just as surging food prices and supply concerns prompt increasingly urgent calls for a revolution in global farm productivity.

A network of premier research centers, which helped drive the first Green Revolution in the 1960s, which transformed crop yields and saved millions from starvation, is predicting a "major reduction" in some of its work if Washington follows through with plans to cut core support by 75 percent.

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No hunger for bioenergy

By Hao Zhou (
Updated: 2008-04-24 17:10

China will strictly control bioenergy development at the cost of grain and oil crop shortage, declared Agriculture Minister Sun Zhengcai, on April 21 in a talk with the Danish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Eva Kjer Hansen, in China on a visit.

As crude oil prices have continuously broken new highs in reaching the current level of $110 per barrel, developing bioenergies is heating up around the world. Some 40.5 million tons of fuel ethanol and 5.4 million tons of bio-diesel were produced worldwide in 2006, increasing two and three fold respectively from the figures in 2001.

Read the full story

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Brazil Ethanol Consumption Overtakes Gasoline

4/24/2008 5:42:00 AM

LONDON (Dow Jones)--Brazil's ethanol consumption now outstrips gasoline consumption and as a consequence the alternative fuel's influence on the sugar market is becoming more prevalent, sugar analyst Czarnikow said Thursday.

Ethanol demand is currently near 65 billion liters, compared with 23 billion liters in 2003, and sugarcane is the feedstock for around 40% of world ethanol production, said the report.

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Gulf Ethanol Corp. to stop using food-based crops as feedstock

Monday, April 21, 2008 - 3:24 PM CDT
Houston Business Journal - by Ford Gunter

Houston-based Gulf Ethanol Corp. said Monday that it will no longer use food-based crops to produce biofuels.

The move follows continued pressure from critics who claim ethanol is contributing to a rise in the price of certain food groups.

Instead, the company will use feedstock such as sorghum, switchgrass and other non-food biomass.

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CHINA: High on Ethanol Despite Rising Food Prices

IPS News
By Antoaneta Bezlova

BEIJING, Apr 24 (IPS) - Studies debunking the environmental benefits of ethanol have made little impression in this country, which is betting on bio-fuels as the green answer to coal and oil to help clear its increasingly smog-filled skies.

But even as the ethanol dream survives unscathed, economic realities of surging food prices and global inflation are beginning to bite.

Prices for non-grain feedstock as cassava promoted here as a safe alternative to the conversion of precious corn into ethanol fuel are quickly rising.

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Indiana increases E85 incentives

Ethanol Producer Magazine
May 2008
By Timothy Charles Holmseth

Web exclusive posted April 21, 2008 at 11:52 a.m. CST

Retailers and fleets in Indiana may be more inclined to add E85 pumps to their operation with the passing of new legislation that provides up to $20,000 for companies to cover the cost of installing and converting E85 equipment.

Cary Aubrey is program manager for Bioenergy Development at Indiana State Department of Agriculture. Aubrey said a lot of interest has been generated by the $1 million legislation. “The phone has been ringing off the hook,” he said.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ethanol's Failed Promise

The Washington Post
By Lester Brown and Jonathan LewisTuesday, April 22, 2008; Page A19

The willingness to try, fail and try again is the essence of scientific progress. The same sometimes holds true for public policy. It is in this spirit that today, Earth Day, we call upon Congress to revisit recently enacted federal mandates requiring the diversion of foodstuffs for production of biofuels. These "food-to-fuel" mandates were meant to move America toward energy independence and mitigate global climate change. But the evidence irrefutably demonstrates that this policy is not delivering on either goal. In fact, it is causing environmental harm and contributing to a growing global food crisis.

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Ethanol mandate is questioned

The Joplin Globe

Published April 22, 2008 12:58 am - JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A House committee will consider Tuesday whether to repeal Missouri’s 4-month-old ethanol mandate.

A 2006 law requires most Missouri gas to be blended with 10 percent ethanol whenever it is cheaper than regular gas. That requirement kicked in Jan. 1.

Rep. Mike Dethrow, among the lawmakers who voted for the ethanol mandate, said Monday that it is time to re-examine how it’s affecting the motorists, the state’s economy and farmers.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A House committee will consider Tuesday whether to repeal Missouri’s 4-month-old ethanol mandate.

A 2006 law requires most Missouri gas to be blended with 10 percent ethanol whenever it is cheaper than regular gas. That requirement kicked in Jan. 1.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Report: Ethanol Production Efficiencies Improve

4/21/2008 Editors

According to analysis conducted by Argonne National Laboratory, America's ethanol industry has shown efficiency gains in ethanol production. The report suggests ethanol facilities are using less energy and water than just five years ago while producing more ethanol.

Check this link for full report.

The analysis compares ethanol industry data from 2001 to 2006. In 2001, U.S. ethanol production was 1.77 billion gallons. In 2006, U.S. ethanol production was 4.9 billion gallons, an increase of 276%. During this period of production growth, the Argonne analysis shows significant improvement for ethanol's already green footprint. In the past five years, according to the analysis:
Water consumption -- down 26.6%
Grid electricity use -- down 15.7%
Total energy use -- down 21.8%

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Science focused on creating domestic supply

By Kay Brookshire,

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tennessee could become the "Saudi Arabia of cellulose" with its farm-to-market plan to produce ethanol from switchgrass, beginning with a demonstration refinery being developed in partnership with the University of Tennessee.

Fueled by the best science from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and UT, and with funding from the state, the refinery is expected to produce ethanol for less than $1.50 per gallon within five years.

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UNL adds minor in energy sciences

Associated Press - April 21, 2008 8:55 AM ET

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will soon be able to learn more about energy and how our energy choices affect the economy, society and the environment.

The university will offer a minor in energy sciences beginning with the fall semester. It will be open to all students, regardless of major.

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MU grant funds three fellowships to study effects of biofuels on world food and fuel markets

Posted 4-21-08

( - COLUMBIA, Mo. - The University of Missouri has been awarded a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant that funds three National Needs Fellowships for training of master's and doctoral students in bioenergy economics.

Such fellowships are intended to train students in areas where there is a national need for greater scientific and professional expertise, said Wyatt Thompson, assistant professor of agricultural economics.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Ethanol incentives, farm payments may be cut

Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:51pm EDT
By Charles Abbott

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ethanol tax incentives and crop subsidies including "direct" payments to farmers could be reduced as part of the new U.S. farm law, a House chairman and two Senate staff workers said on Thursday.

House Agriculture Committee chairman Collin Peterson told reporters that $1 billion in cuts in commodity programs over 10 years was an element in the House proposal to offset a spending increase of $9.5 billion. Commodity programs include the direct payments of $5.2 billion guaranteed annually to farmers.

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ETHANOL, PRO AND CON: New energy source means brighter future

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By Newt Gingrich
For the Journal-Constitution
Published on: 04/18/08

The pursuit of 21st-century energy solutions is an urgent concern of American consumers and our government. With the average price of gasoline in the United States climbing to more than $3.50 a gallon in some cities, drivers cringe when they pull up to the pump. And while the economic impact of a petroleum-based energy system affects virtually every American, so do the consequences for national security.

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Water Needed to Produce Various Energy Types

Virginia Tech University
Released: Thu 17-Apr-2008, 08:50 ET

Newswise — It is easy to overlook that most of the energy we consume daily, such as electricity or natural gas, is produced with the help of a dwindling resource – fresh water. Virginia Tech professor Tamim Younos and undergraduate student Rachelle Hill are researching the water-efficiency of some of the most common energy sources and power generating methods.

Younos, associate director at the Virginia Water Resources Research Center based at Virginia Tech and research professor of water resources in the College of Natural Resources and undergraduate researcher Hill, of Round Hill, Va., majoring in environmental science and aquatic resource concentration, in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, have analyzed 11 types of energy sources, including coal, fuel ethanol, natural gas, and oil; and five power generating methods, including hydroelectric, fossil fuel thermoelectric, and nuclear methods.

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Ethanol industry still favors corn

Belleville (IL) News Democrat

Although other alternatives may be better for cars

McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON --The nation's new energy law means that corn is likely to rule the U.S. ethanol industry for years, but soaring food prices and questions about whether corn-for-fuel can reduce global warming have sparked a debate about whether the United States is going down the wrong road in the search for alternatives to fossil fuels.

Venture capitalists, oil and ethanol companies and the Department of Energy have pumped billions of dollars into efforts to make ethanol from cellulose, a material found in all plants, in a quest to find an alternative fuel that has less impact on food supplies and on the environment.

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Dordt awarded grant for bioenergy project

Sioux City Journal

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa -- An agricultural research project to be conducted by Dordt College's Agriculture Department, Practical Farmers of Iowa and Marshalltown Community College has been awarded $138,000 in grant funding from North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.

"Bioenergy and Diversity from Sustainable Systems and Crops" was among 15 proposals awarded full funding by NCR-SARE, out of 127 projects initially submitted.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

‘Probably the best bus in the world...’
United Kingdom

By Fiona Gray
17/ 4/2008

The world’s first ‘super green’ double-decker could be on the roads of Reading in two years.
The ethanol-electric hybrid bus would have almost zero emissions with very low fuel consumption rates and would be one of the world’s most environmentally friendly buses.

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RFA: Ethanol Reduces Food/Fuel Prices

4/17/2008 Editors

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) says as consumers throughout the world face record oil and food prices, the impact of ethanol production is being criticized rather than appreciated for helping to keep oil prices lower than they otherwise would be. It is also often overlooked that prices for commodities like wheat and rice have risen higher than others and that these are crops not used in ethanol production, says the group.

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Time for changes in agricultural production

Research4Development: Department for International Development (UK)
Research News

The way the world produces food will have to change radically to better serve the poor and hungry if the world is to cope with a growing population and climate change while avoiding social breakdown and environmental collapse.

This is the message from the report of the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) launched on the 15 April 2008.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Central Florida Pipeline to carry first ethanol flow

By Asjylyn Loder, St. Petersburg Times Staff Writer
Published Monday, April 14, 2008 10:11 PM

Florida will soon be home to the nation's first ethanol pipeline.

The 104-mile Central Florida Pipeline has carried gasoline from the Port of Tampa to the Orlando International Airport since 1965. Workers have been upgrading the 16-inch pipeline in preparation for its first batch of ethanol, slated for the third quarter of this year.

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Pork processor opens biodiesel plant

Biodiesel Magazine
May 2008

By Kris Bevill
Web exclusive posted April 16, 2008 at 3:57 p.m. CST

Seaboard Foods, a U.S. pork producing company, has announced the official start up of its subsidiary biodiesel plant – High Plains Bioenergy. The facility, located in Guymon, Okla., conducted start-up procedures in March. The first product shipment was delivered during the second week of April, according to company spokesman David Eaheart.

The plant is expected to produce 30 MMgy annually, although Eaheart wasn’t sure if the plant would reach nameplate capacity by the end of this year. The project has cost Seaboard more than $40 million to date. Final cost totals have yet to be released.

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Is the long-term price of ethanol too high?

By Mark Young, The North Platte Telegraph

Robert White, communications specialist for Ethanol Promotion & Information Council said the debate about corn being a contributing factor to the soaring costs of food often makes people in the ethanol industry smile.

"Ethanol is probably one contributing factor, but there are many more contributing factors,” he said. “What we use to produce fuel is the starch from the corn. The corn you see in the can or eat off the cob is sweet corn and we don’t use that. We use the hard, yellow corn. This kind of corn is used in certain types of chips, but even that is minimal. The debate about ethanol being a big factor in rising grocery costs borders on the ludicrous side.”

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Biogas production is all in the mixing Green farms

Washington University in St. Louis
By Tony Fitzpatrick

April 15, 2008 -- Engineers at Washington University in St. Louis, using an impressive array of imaging and tracking technologies, have determined the importance of mixing in anaerobic digesters for bioenergy production and animal and farm waste treatment. Anaerobic digesters employ reactors that use bacteria to break down organic matter in the absence of oxygen.

They are studying ways to take "the smell of money," as farmers long have termed manure's odor, and produce biogas from it. The major end product of anaerobic digestion is methane, which can be used directly for energy, converted to methanol, or, when partially oxidized, to synthesized gas, a mix of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Synthesized gas then can be converted to clean alternative fuels and chemicals.

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Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc. Announces Preliminary Approval for $2.3M Research and Development Grant

Press Release
Source: Green Plains Renewable Energy

Monday, April 14, 6:00 am ET

OMAHA, NE--(MARKET WIRE)--Apr 14, 2008 -- On April 9, 2008, Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc. (NasdaqCM:GPRE - News) (NasdaqCM:GPRE - News) received preliminary approval from the Iowa Power Fund for a $2,315,407 grant to fund research and development of algae-based biofuel feedstock production. The award is subject to negotiation and completion of definitive agreements among Green Plains, GreenFuel Technology Corp. and the State of Iowa.

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Demand growing for employees in renewable energy

Ashland Daily Tidings
April 14, 2008

By Diane Dietz
The (Eugene) Register-Guard

EUGENE — Thomas Brex is on top of the world now that he's on the roof at a massive construction project at Goodpasture Island Road.

He sought a purposeful career in renewable energy. He enrolled in the two-year energy program at Lane Community College and bam, before he could finish his second term he was snapped up by Advanced Energy Systems, a commercial solar energy company that installs massive photo voltaic arrays.

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Senate Moves Towards Clean Energy Future by Extending Efficiency and Renewable Energy Measures

Natural Resources Defense Council

Press contact: Eric Young, NRDC, 202-289-2373 or 703-217-6814 (cell)

Bill extends tax breaks to wind, solar and other renewable energy projects set to expire at the end of 2008

WASHINGTON (April 10, 2008) – Today’s Senate vote (88-8) paves the way for roughly $6 billion worth of renewable energy and efficiency tax credits for the renewable energy industry. The Cantwell-Ensign Clean Energy Tax Stimulus Act (S 2821) passed as an attachment to a housing bill tax designed to provide relief for homebuilders and tax breaks on purchasing foreclosed properties.

“Extending these tax incentives is essential to moving our country in the direction of a clean energy economy that will help reduce energy bills and reduce global warming pollution,” said Jim Presswood, energy advocate with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “With the help of this bill, we’re giving companies and individuals across the country a huge boost to invest in their clean energy future.”

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists, served from offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Beijing.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Department of Energy Announces Up To $4 Million in University Grants for Biomass Conversion Research

Date Posted: Apr. 14, 2008

Fontana, CA—U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Under Secretary Clarence "Bud" Albright today announced up to $4 million in funding available to U.S. universities for research and development of cost-effective, environmentally friendly biomass conversion technologies.
Advancing biomass technology is critical to diversifying our nation's energy sources in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on foreign oil.

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MSU hosts inaugural Inventors Day

WZZM13 News

By Derek Wallbank, Lansing State Journal
Created: 4/14/2008 11:08:37 AM
Updated: 4/14/2008 11:24:24 AM

EAST LANSING - Sang-Hyuck Park has a vision for Michigan's economy.It involves complicated terms like carbon sequestration and bioprospecting. In short, he hopes to make renewable fuels created from agricultural products more efficient."We need to lower the cost of bioenergy," Park said.Park presented his ideas as part of Michigan State University's first Inventors Day, a student-created event where five research teams presented research-based solutions aimed at improving Michigan's biofuels industry.

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Synthetic Biology: Its Promise And The Challenge

Medical News Today
Date: 15 Apr 2008 - 4:00 PDT

Synthetic biology is a new area of biotechnology research that holds a great deal of promise and controversy. Using in-depth understanding of genomes, scientists are now designing and building DNA from scratch. The results are useful organisms that can efficiently produce advanced biofuels and medicines. Researchers in the field have proposed policies that can ensure continued research and development while preventing possible misuses of the technology.

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Jebb Bush Indicates a Change in Florida's Energy Policy

Press Release
Source: Alfapress Comunicacoes

Monday April 14, 3:30 pm ET

Declaration Closes out the Bioenergy Alliance, an event promoted by FMC Agricultural Products

SAO PAULO, Brazil, April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Bioenergy Alliance, an event spearheaded by FMC, wrapped up its tour of North and Central America in Miami with the noteworthy participation of Jebb Bush, former governor of Florida and president of the Interamerican Ethanol Commission. Bush provided an update, with concrete proof of the change in Florida's energy policy: a law in progress mandating the use of 10 percent ethanol in gasoline by 2010.

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Boater sues over ethanol-laced gasoline's effect on fiberglass fuel tank

By Elizabeth Douglass, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
April 15, 2008

Something was wrong with Sally Ann.

For months, she sputtered and choked, and Barry Treahy's remedies weren't working. He kept changing her fuel filters. Then he rebuilt her carburetor. Finally, he cut into her gas tank, cleaned out the mysterious caramel-colored gunk and patched her up -- twice.

Disaster struck on a summer day in San Diego, when Treahy's beloved 20-foot fishing boat was parked street side with the outer hull plug open to drain any residual water. The boat's 55-gallon gas tank failed and gasoline streamed into the bilge and down the street.

"I wasn't smart enough to figure it out at first," Treahy said of Sally Ann's chronic troubles. Finally, he found the answer in a boating magazine. Ethanol-laced gasoline was dissolving his boat's fiberglass fuel tank, sending bits of resin to clog filters and ultimately eating a hole all the way through the tank.

Years of adding ethanol to gasoline to reduce air pollution and foreign oil dependence has had a nasty side effect: The stuff appears to damage boat fuel tanks made of fiberglass. And California is a floating testing ground for the ethanol effect.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Ethanol Being Blamed for Global Food Riots

New York Times columnist praised by Pulitzer board for 'clarity of vision' didn't foresee global food shortages that resulted from the realities of his vision.
By Jeff Poor
Business & Media Institute
4/11/2008 5:48:11 PM

As riots over food shortages are breaking out in Haiti, Egypt and other parts of Africa, the media are looking for a culprit. ABC’s April 10 “World News with Charles Gibson” identified one culprit of this global strife: biofuels.

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Ethanol byproduct might be cattle health risk

Apr 12 2008 12:43PM
Associated Press

Minot, N.D. (AP) The ethanol production byproduct known as distillers grains has been touted as a cheap, high-protein livestock feed.

Now cattle experts say it might also pose a health risk for cattle.

Cattle experts and the North Dakota Agriculture Department are urging ranchers to pay close attention to combined sulfur levels in distillers grains and water consumed by their cattle. High sulfur doses can be toxic and even deadly for cattle.

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All about algae: Can pond scum power our future?
Mon April 14, 2008
By Rachel Oliver for CNN

HONG KONG, China (CNN) -- Thirty years ago, the last time the world faced an oil crisis, the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) launched a program to analyze the potential algae had as a renewable fuel. It didn't take it long to realize algae was a godsend.

Actually being able to take advantage of it was another matter.

The program, run by the DoE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) lasted nearly two decades, but by 1996, it came to a close. Getting an algae biodiesel program running was deemed economically unfeasible when faced with the technology costs at the time versus the costs of using other fuels.

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Thailand to produce 2 million litre of ethanol daily from cassava chips

The Financial Express (India)
Joseph Vackayil
Posted online: Monday , April 14, 2008 at 2227 hrs IST

Chennai, Apr 13--Cassava or tapioca has erupted into the first decade of the third millennium as a crop that can contribute to agro-industrial and small-farmer development in the tropics. It is the safest and most economic feedstock for the production of biofuel. The carbohydrate-rich cassava is a food crop, both for humans and animals, and also an ideal crop for biofuels. New processes and technologies are being developed by researchers for the cost effective production of ethanol from cassava.

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Scientists Urge Conservation in Ethanol Production

Environmental Protection News
April 14, 2008

Expanded grain ethanol production will lead to further growth of corn acres in the near term, with unintended negative water quality impacts, according to a group of scientists.

Currently, U.S. grain-based ethanol production is concentrated in the "Corn Belt;" however, several large production plants are under construction or planned near population centers in the eastern United States. An interdisciplinary group of scientists evaluated potential impacts of grain- and cellulose-based ethanol on nutrient and animal management as they relate to water quality impacts on U.S. inland and coastal waters, particularly the Northern Gulf of Mexico (Mississippi River Basin discharge). The results of their evaluation were published in the March–April issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality and were also considered in the U.S. EPA Scientific Advisory Board's 2007 Hypoxia Advisory Panel's report.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

New energy sciences minor offered for fall semester
Evan Cotten
Issue date: 4/9/08 Section: News

The United States' energy crisis has made the energy industry a powerful force for the nation's well-being.

That's part of the reason the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has announced a new minor in energy sciences. The new field will allow students to study the capture, production, storage and utilization of energy, along with choices societies make related to economics and the environment.

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Iowa sees promise in algae-to-biodiesel project

The GazetteOnline (Iowa)
By David DeWitte

Green ponds of algae could someday join golden waves of corn in Iowa's renewable energy industry if a project advanced for likely state funding through the Iowa Power Fund board this week is realized.

The Iowa Power Fund board agreed Wednesday to entered funding negotiations for the state's first algae-to-biodiesel project, offering the promise of a new feedstock for Iowa's renewable fuels industry.

A pilot plant proposed by Green Plains Renewable Energy would use three byproducts from the company's Shenandoah plant - waste water, waste carbon dioxide, and waste heat from dryers - as feedstock to grow algae. The algae would then be harvested and processed into biodiesel

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BIO International Convention To Highlight Biotechnology's Effort To Fuel The World
Main Category: Pharma Industry / Biotech Industry
Article Date: 11 Apr 2008 - 4:00 PDT

Biotechnology's contributions to a cleaner, more sustainable world will be highlighted during the 2008 BIO International Convention. Hosted by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the global event for biotechnology will take place June 17-20, 2008 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, Calif. "The biotechnology industry strives to create new, cleaner, more sustainable ways in which to fuel the world," said Brent Erickson, BIO's executive vice president, Industrial and Environmental Section. "The 2008 BIO International Convention will help put a spotlight on the latest innovations in biofuels and other sustainable energy sources."

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Plane runs on ethanol

Friday, Apr 11, 2008 - 04:02 AM
By NBC News Channel WCBD, Charleston, SC

Aviation enthusiasts are constantly looking for the latest and greatest in aircraft technology.

And one plane is hoping to soar to the top of the class with environmentally friendly advances.
When aerobatic pilot Greg Poe thinks about going green he thinks about his red MX2 aircraft.
It’s a high performance airplane fueled by ethanol.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Brazil produces more fuel ethanol than gasoline in February
Wednesday, April 09, 2008; Posted: 10:48 PM

RIO DE JANEIRO, Apr 9, 2008 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- -- Brazil produces more fuel ethanol than gasoline in February for the first time in 10 years thanks to the country's campaign for renewable energies, the National Oil and Gas Agency said Wednesday.

The fuel ethanol produced in the country totaled 1.43 billion cubic meters in February, 21 million cubic meters more than the total produced volume of gasoline in the month.

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Biomass committee looks to stretch budget

Associate Editor

ALBANY, N.Y. — As members of the Northeast Regional Biomass Program’s (NRBP) steering committee meet today, the main item on the agenda is how the program can continue to function without further funding.

The NRBP is part of an initiative created by Congress in 1983 and funded by the Department of Energy along with four other regional biomass programs nationwide. In 2005, the department stopped funding the programs and moved its money into research-based applications.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Path to Commercial-Scale Cellulosic Ethanol Production

Ethanol Producer Magazine
May 2008
By Jessica Ebert

It’s not a leap of faith that’s going to make cellulosic ethanol production on a commercial level a reality. In most cases, it’s going to take a plotted course that sequentially informs the evolution of cost-competitive and efficient technologies. EPM spoke with companies about the significance of piloting their technologies before scaling up to a demonstration-size facility.

Last year, California-based AE Biofuels Inc., a worldwide developer of next-generation biofuels, acquired an enzyme technology company called Renewable Technology Corp. For the principals of the Montana-based corporation, Bob Kearns and Clifford Bradley, the deal was a long time coming. The pair has been developing enzymes capable of breaking down starch and cellulose into fermentable sugars for more than 20 years. “While the U.S. DOE funded a lot of the work in the ’80s on these enzymes until AE Biofuels got involved, nothing had happened to them,” explains Kearns, who now serves as a consultant to AE Biofuels. Next month, however, the company is set to showcase its newly acquired technology at a demonstration plant in Butte, Mont.

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High US Corn Opens Window For Brazilian Ethanol Producers

4/8/2008 5:40:00 PM

SAO PAULO (Dow Jones)--As high corn prices continue to pressure U.S. ethanol companies, Brazilian competitors see a window of opportunity this summer for their home-grown ethanol made from less-expensive sugarcane.

"Demand from oil companies for Brazilian ethanol is very high right now," said Eduardo Correa, a trade manager at Brazilian ethanol exporter Equipav Milling Group. "There's going to be plenty of opportunities for us to export this summer, either directly or through the Caribbean," Correa said.

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Lift your game on ethanol, Iemma tells depts

Australia: ABC News
Posted Wed Apr 9, 2008 10:46am AEST

New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma has demanded that more State Government departments use ethanol fuel in their vehicle fleets.
The call comes after figures revealed that only the Premier's Department met the Government's sustainable fuel targets in February.

New South Wales has a mandate that 2 per cent of all fuel sold in the state must be ethanol blend.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Protein Purification Process for BioEnergy Recognised on Front Cover of Microfluidics Journal

The paper is titled Rapid, continuous purification of proteins in a microfluidic device using genetically-engineered partition tags. Authored by Sandia/California’s Robert Meagher, Yooli Light, and Anup Singh, it describes a rapid, automated microscale process for isolating specific proteins from sub-microlitre volumes of E. coli cell lysate.

Sandia is a National Nuclear Security Administration laboratory.

“This novel approach addresses the need for high-throughput purification of minute amounts of native and recombinant proteins, which is currently necessary in drug discovery, enzyme engineering, and other life sciences”, says Sandia’s Robert Meagher, the lead author. High-throughput screening requires availability of large numbers of purified proteins, but current purification techniques are too slow, expensive, and hard to automate.

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Bacterium from Bay could help to develop cellulosic ethanol

Bay Journal
April 2008
By Karl Blankenship

A type of bacteria taken from the Chesapeake may eventually help prevent pollution from reaching the Bay.

Researchers at the University of Maryland in March said they had developed a new process to convert biomass material into ethanol using a bacteria discovered two decades ago that decomposes marsh grasses in the Bay.

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Coskata CEO explains how to get to $1 a gallon ethanol
Green Tech Blog
Posted by Michael Kanellos
April 7, 2008 1:48 PM PDT

Nearly every cellulosic ethanol company claims it will be able to produce fuel at $1 or less a gallon in a few years. William Roe, CEO of Coskata, in a meeting on Monday explained how his Warrenville, Ill., company will do it.

It's one of the more interesting processes out there, because it combines both biological (i.e., microbes) and thermochemical (heat and chemicals) processing. Menlo Park, Calif.-based ZeaChem is also taking a mixed approach, but it combines thermochemical and biological processes in a different manner. Most other companies are using primarily chemical or biological processes. We don't know who will win, but the mixed approach on paper does seem to have advantages.

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Sales of Ethanol-Burning Cars Up 10%
April 7, 2008

Downside: Price of corn rising quickly

U.S. consumers purchased close to 1.8 million Alternative Fuel Automobiles in 2007, according to the automotive research firm R.L. Polk. That's nearly a quarter of a million more than were sold in 2006.

Sales of E-85 capable/flexible fuel vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles were up significantly while clean diesel vehicle sales fell slightly.

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Monday, April 7, 2008

India: Existing vehicles not ready for 10% blending

Business Standard - India

Rakteem Katakey & Ajay Modi / New Delhi April 7, 2008

The mandatory 10 per cent ethanol blending in petrol may not happen for the existing 101 million vehicles on the Indian roads without introducing technical changes in them.

The central government plans to make 10 per cent blending compulsory from October from the current 5 per cent.

“We can introduce 10 per cent blending in new vehicles from October, after making the necessary changes in them. However, we are not ready to introduce 10 per cent ethanol blending in the existing 101 million vehicles from October since there is no domestic study on the impact of 10 per cent blending,” said an automobile industry official.

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China's Fuel Ethanol Output Reached 1.6 Million Tons

April 06, 2008 09:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

Research and Markets:

In 2007, China's Fuel Ethanol Output Reached 1.6 Million Tons, of Which 80% Used Corn as Raw Materials

DUBLIN, Ireland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of “China Bioenergy Industry Report, 2007-2008” to their offering.

In 2007, China's fuel ethanol output reached 1.6 million tons, of which 80% used corn as raw materials. Based on the proportion 1:3.3, more than four million tons of corn was consumed.

In 2008, China's fuel ethanol production capacity will increase rapidly, thanks to several fuel ethanol projects to be put into operation successively in the year. It is estimated that China's annual fuel ethanol output will reach five million tons in 2010 and utilization rate of ethanol gasoline will be more than 50%. Moreover, corn-based ethanol has stopped expanding production capacity, as government policies have clearly restricted the development of grain-based ethanol. Therefore, developing non-grain ethanol has become an inevitable trend.

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Brazilian Ethanol Seeks Market in the United States, Mexico and Guatemala

Fox Business

SAO PAULO, Brazil, April 4, 2008/PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- FMC will be launching the Bioenergy Alliance (BEA) in Miami, an important event starting April 6 that will gather together leading businessman and political figures in ethanol from the Americas on a tour through the United States, Mexico and Guatemala. The event seeks to strengthen the actions and initiatives of its clients in the international ethanol market. A major challenge to be met in this regard is the definitive designation of ethanol as a commodity, a fundamental step for conquering new markets.

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Mass Media Distribution Newswire
American Le Mans Series and IndyCar Series Show Ethanol BenefitsSt. Petersburg, Fla.

(April 4, 2008) – St. Petersburg, Florida will be the site of the greenest racing event in history April 5-6 when both the IndyCar Series and the American Le Mans Series will compete on the streets in the Honda Grand Prix and Acura Sports Car Challenge. This is the second year that the IndyCar Series is racing on 100 percent ethanol and the first year the American Le Mans Series is offering cellulosic E85 racing ethanol to its teams.Doug Robinson, executive director of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), which is the sanctioning body of the American Le Mans Series, says allowing the use of 85 percent cellulosic ethanol in that racing venue is part of their “green racing” platform that helps test alternative fuels and create public awareness.

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Friday, April 4, 2008

Algae farms could thrive on CCS

Environmental Finance
Chicago, 3 April:

Concerns about the potential for leakage of pressurised carbon dioxide (CO2) from proposed carbon capture and storage (CCS) facilities could be addressed by using the gas to supply algae farms, said Jeff Mettais, vice-president of international business development at algae technology company A2BE Carbon Capture. These farms could then convert the gas into biofuel and other useful products.

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NDSU begins BioEPIC journey

Biomass Magazine - April 2008
By Jerry W. Kram

From seed to harvest to factory to final product, all phases of the biomass industry are fair game for study at the Bio Energy and Product Innovation Center, part of North Dakota State University in Fargo, N.D. BioEPIC offers a focus on research, education and technology for the biomass industry, said center Codirector Ken Hellevang, a professor in NDSU’s Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering Department.

The program is looking at more than just biofuels. One set of projects is looking at composites of biomass-based resins and fibers, which can replace fiberglass and plastics in a multitude of applications. One project is focusing on making tiny cellulose fibers called “nanowhiskers” from wheat straw. Preliminary work indicates that manufacturing nanowhiskers could add as much as $770,000 to the bottom line of a cellulosic ethanol plant using wheat straw as a feedstock.

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Freshly Squeezed Ethanol Feedstock

Biomass Magazine - April 2008

Seventy-five percent of U.S. oranges are grown in Florida. The sunshine state’s citrus processing industry produces nearly all of the orange juice consumed in the country, resulting in up to five tons of citrus waste each year. Options for turning that waste into something useful are limited, so the possibility of using citrus waste as a feedstock for ethanol plants is being closely monitored.

By Kris Bevill

Americans love oranges. According to the USDA, the fruit consistently ranks third among the nation’s favorite fresh fruits and it’s the No. 1 fruit juice. Americans consume two and half times more orange juice than apple juice, making juice production a huge industry for Florida citrus processors. But before you drink that next glass of OJ, consider that half of the orange used to make that juice becomes waste material. In fact, the Florida citrus industry produces 3.5 to 5 tons of citrus waste every year. Which begs the question: What possibilities are being explored to turn that waste into something useful, and who’s brave enough to try?

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Verenium struggles in cellulosic ethanol quest

Biomass Magazine
By Sarah Smith
Web exclusive posted April 3, 2008 at 2:47 p.m. CST

Successfully commercializing cellulosic ethanol technology has become a quest that many companies have tried – and failed at. For Massachusetts-based Verenium Corp., the difficulty of that quest started on page 37 of its 200-page annual regulatory filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and extended through the remainder of the report.

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Time for Second Thoughts on the Ethanol Mandate

The Heritage Foundation
April 2, 2008
by Ben Lieberman
WebMemo #1879

America's energy policy has been on an ethanol binge, and now the hangover has begun. The federal renewable fuels mandate is an unfolding failure, and more Members of Congress are taking notice. If repeal of the mandate is not yet possible, Congress should at least freeze ethanol use at current levels while the nation reassesses its renewable fuels policy.

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SE Arkansas poised to become national leader in cellulosic ethanol

Advanced Monticellonian
By Beverly Burks Advance Editor

A panel of biofuels experts assembled at the University of Arkansas at Monticello Thursday at the invitation of Congressman Mike Ross to discuss the future of that industry - and how Southeast Arkansas can play a part in it - with community leaders, about 25 members of the state legislature and many other interested persons.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Nebraska professor says switchgrass beats corn ethanol in several ways

Radio Iowa News
Tuesday, April 1, 2008, 8:51 AM
by Josh Mackey, KOGA, Ogallala, NE

While Iowa remains the nation's leading ethanol producer, researchers are finding products other than corn may make a better bio-fuel. Dick Perrin, a professor of agricultural economics at the University of Nebraska, says cellulosic ethanol made from switchgrass shows promise -- in terms of pollution and in terms of cost.

Perrin says ethanol made from switchgrass may become competitive with corn-based ethanol. He says the fuel made from switchgrass can be delivered for about 80-cents a gallon, versus a $1.25 a gallon for ethanol made from corn. The study found that ethanol made from switchgrass produces 540% more energy than is consumed to make it.

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Grassley prods car makers on higher ethanol blends

Brownfield Network
Tuesday, April 1, 2008, 5:51 PM
by Tom Steever

Senator Charles Grassley is sending letters to auto makers to find out what they’re doing to move toward higher blends of ethanol in the non-Flex Fuel cars they make. The Iowa GOP lawmaker says the market for 10 percent blends of ethanol in gasoline will become saturated by 2012 or 2013, and he thinks there’s room to double the amount of renewable fuel in non-Flex Fuel cars.“When I was in Brazil in 2006 I saw first hand, non-Flex Fuel vehicles capable on running on blends of 20 percent to 25 percent ethanol,” Grassley told reporters Tuesday.

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Federal grants will boost biofuels research at the University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota
Contacts: Becky Beyers, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, (612) 626-5754
Luisa Badaracco, University News Service, (612) 624-1690

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL ( 3/5/2008 ) -- Three ongoing research projects at the University of Minnesota have been awarded approximately $2.27 million over the next three years as part of a joint effort by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to encourage biomass research and development.

The agencies said the awards, part of a national $18.4 million investment, are aimed at addressing barriers to making production of biomass more efficient and cost-effective, with the eventual goals of reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil and mitigating climate change. The University of Minnesota was the only institution to receive more than two grants.

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Norway to use forests to double bioenergy output
Tuesday April 1 2008
By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

OSLO, April 1 (Reuters) - Norway will double production of bioenergy by 2020 by tapping its vast pine forests and seek to become an exporter of renewable energies to diversify from oil and gas, the government said on Tuesday.

"This is alchemy at its best," Oil and Energy Minister Aaslaug Haga said of the plan to turn forests into what she called "green gold." The scheme would also help Norway reach targets for axing greenhouse gas emissions.

Norway, the world's number five oil exporter, would double output of bioenergy from wood, other plant material and farm waste to total about 28 terawatt hours (TWh) a year.

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What Are Chemical Engineers Doing About Energy?

Posted on: Wednesday, 26 March 2008, 03:00 CDT
Source: Chemical Engineering Progress

The first annual energy survey conducted by AIChE's Research and New Technology Committee provides insights into the energy-related research of chemical engineers. The global demand for energy, coupled with concern about climate change, has led to an explosion in interest in energy research, use, production and policy. Chemical engineers, from the moment we take courses in mass and energy balances, are involved with energy and the environment.

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Bush budget boosts cellulosic research

Ethanol Producer Magazine
April 2008

The Bush Administration released its 2009 budget proposal Feb. 4, which included a $1 billion increase in the U.S. DOE budget. Within that, $1.25 billion was requested for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, a $1 million increase from 2008. The budget requests $225 million for biomass fuels and vehicles research out of a total $592.3 million for fuels and vehicles research and development. In the USDA’s budget briefing, officials said they’ve proposed additional funds for high-priority bioenergy research for converting cellulose materials into biofuels. (story complete)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

$350M ethanol plant planned for Port of Albany

The Business Review (Albany) - by Pam Allen The Business Review
Tuesday, April 1, 2008 - 8:36 AM EDT

The Albany Port District Commission on Monday approved a proposal to build a $350 million ethanol plant on 20 acres of riverfront property.

Albany Renewable Energy LLC will pay $20,000 a year per acre to lease the 20-acre site for at least 20 years, commission Chairman Robert Cross said. The project is expected to generate between 300 and 400 jobs during construction and employ between 50 and 60 full-time employees with average salaries of $60,000.

The plant is scheduled to create 600,000 tons of cargo and bring 350 barges a year in and out of the Port of Albany, Cross said. Currently no barges travel through the port.

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New Report is a Complete Handbook on Cellulosic Ethanol and its Position in the Global Energy Scenario
February 27, 2008 11:00 PM EST


Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of "Analyzing the Market for Cellulosic Ethanol" to their offering.

The constantly upward spiraling demand for energy worldwide has also led to a consequent investment of industrial and scientific efforts into securing sources of fuel which will be able to feed the increasing needs of civilized society and industry.

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USDA Rural Development offers renewable energy funding

Elizabeth Larson
Capital Press

With the push for renewable, alternative fuel sources continuing to grow rapidly, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development division is now taking applications for a series of renewable energy loans and grants.Chuck Clendenin, program director for USDA Rural Development's California business program, said the agency will offer $15.8 million in grants and $204 million in loan guarantees.

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Doyle launches 'Clean Energy Wisconsin' with renewable energy purchase pledge

By Brian E. Clark

MADISON – Gov. Jim Doyle on Tuesday committed the state to buying 92,000 megawatt hours of electrical energy from renewable sources over the next decade – enough power to light 15,600 homes annually.

The renewable energy purchase – which Doyle said is the equivalent of eliminating the tailpipe pollutants of 23,110 cars a year – is part of his new "Clean Energy Wisconsin" effort.

Doyle unveiled the program at C5-6, a young Middleton company that is developing enzymes to make corn, soybean and cellulosic ethanol. The governor said the plan, some of which has already been discussed, will move the state forward by promoting renewable energy, creating jobs, increasing energy security and efficiency and improving the environment.

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