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Posts Tagged ‘Biodiesel’

Automakers Divided Over Bio-Diesel

Mercedes-Benz stops selling diesel models in Illinois.

by on Jul.26, 2013

At 46 mpg highway, the new Chevy Cruze Turbo Diesel gives even hybrids a run for their (gas) money.

It’s the stuff of dreams for some environmentalists: a fuel you can make from renewable sources as diverse as algae and used cooking oil. But for some automakers, bio-diesel is a nightmare so worrisome one major maker has pulled out of the Illinois market after lawmakers there approved incentives meant to boost demand for bio-diesel.

Mercedes-Benz isn’t the only maker worried that bio-diesel could have a downside far different from the green image proponents present. The German maker warns that if poorly blended, the fuel could gunk up its engines and worsen air quality. That led the maker to recently stop selling diesel models like the new E250 BlueTec diesel in the land of Lincoln.

A Good Investment!

Illinois lawmakers recently approved a plan to drop the state’s 6.25% sales tax on fuel with a bio-diesel content of at least 10%. Mercedes, which has been one of the strongest proponents of diesel fuel in the U.S. market, has set a limit of 5% biodiesel content, or B5. (more…)

From Pond Scum to Gas Tank

California drivers now can fill up on algae-based bio-diesel.

by on Nov.16, 2012

An algae biofuel production system.

No, you can’t simply pump the green scum that forms on your swimming pool into your gas tank, but motorists in the San Francisco area now can fill up on a new biofuel derived from algae.

There are plenty of proponents searching for ways to replace petroleum with renewable fuels, though some alternatives, such as corn-based ethanol, have come under fire, especially in the wake of last summer’s nationwide drought. But the biofuel system developed by South San Francisco-based Solazyme, Inc. won’t tap the food supply.

The Last Word!

“We are putting a stake in the ground,” said Matt Horton, chief executive officer of Propel Fuels, which is supplying the fuel to four stations near San Francisco and which would like to expand distribution to “hundreds of stations like this in California.”

(more…)

U.S. DOE and GM to Test Grow Jatropha in India

Oily weed holds promise as a sustainable biodiesel feedstock.

by on Mar.30, 2010

The goal of the project is to demonstrate that jatropha can produce significant quantities of oil for conversion to biodiesel.

The goal of the project is to demonstrate that the weed can produce significant enough amounts of oil for conversion to biodiesel fuel.

General Motors Company announced today a five-year partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to help develop the jatropha plant for what could evolve into a sustainable biofuel energy crop.

Jatropha plants produce an oil that can be refined into biodiesel fuel.

The drought-resistant, non-edible plant can be grown commercially with modest care on marginal land.

To explore whether new varieties of the plant can produce high enough yields to make it viable while thriving in temperate climates in the U.S. is the point of the experiment.

“Discovering new sources for biodiesel production is an important part of DOE research and development efforts,” said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. “The expertise of this team can help speed the pace for the development of jatropha as a biofuel crop.”

Two jatropha farms will be established in India: a 16-hectare (39.5 acre) plot in Bhavnagar and a 38-hectare (93.9 acre) plot in Kalol, near GM’s India Car Manufacturing plant. An existing 30-hectare (74.1 acre) jatropha farm in Bhavnagar also will be managed under this project.

Lab-optimized strains of jatropha will be cultivated at these farms.

The joint DOE-GM funding, an unspecified amount, will also enable the Central Salt & Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI)—an Indian Government research facility, to  manage all of the 84 hectares (840,000 m2).   (more…)