WBIA BLOG

New startup uses technology developed by the University of Wisconsin

Categories: Bio Fuels

A new biofuel startup will be using technology developed by the University of Wisconsin- Madison.

“A renewable chemical and biofuel production method developed by a team led by University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher Ron Raines has been licensed to the company he founded.

Raines, a biochemistry professor, has established Hyrax Energy Inc., which will license the technology from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), the patent and licensing arm of UW-Madison.”

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Researches from Wisconsin pioneer new biofuel production process

Categories: Bio Fuels

A team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin – Madison have pioneered a new way to develop biofuels.

A University of Wisconsin-Madison chemical engineer and his team have developed a new process that uses water, electricity and biomass to make biofuels.

The team developed a technology that uses a fuel cell to convert the compound acetone from biomass into isopropanol, a chemical that’s used as a gasoline additive as well as pharmaceutical and industrial applications.

“It’s what we call electrofuel,” said George Huber, a UW professor of chemical and biological engineering. The technology, he said, creates a “renewable liquid fuel that fits into the existing infrastructure.”

To read more about the team’s research, click here.

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US Automakers Approve Use of E15 in New Vehicles

The two major US automakers made a great announcement for the US ethanol industry today. Check out what The Hill reported:

Ford and General Motors Inc. have approved use of a higher concentration of ethanol fuel in new vehicles — a significant victory for the biofuels industry.

New GM and Ford vehicles will accept a fuel blend that’s 15 percent ethanol, as opposed to the standard 10 percent blend. For GM, that will begin with 2012 models, while Ford will accommodate the fuel in 2013 models, according to Oil Price Information Service, which first reported the news.

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“Freedom” rolls out big in DC

“Freedom,” the compelling documentary investigating the repercussions of America’s addiction to foreign oil and a proposed solution for our energy independence will have its red carpet premiere in DC tonight with a slew of special guests.

Preceding the film’s premiere a press conference will take place at 2pm ET. The debate and Q&A hosted by Dennis McGinn, retired Vice Admiral and President of the American Council on Renewable Fuels, will include filmmakers Josh and Rebecca Tickell as well as General Wesley Clark, who ranked at a four-star general and director of strategic plans and policy for the Joint Chief of Staffs.

“Freedom” covers a wide range on our country’s oil issues ranging from last year’s Deepwater Horizon explosion, Keystone XL pipeline, and the economic impact of foreign oil on American citizens. The film also highlights a path to long-term sustainable path to domestic fuel.

To learn more about “Freedom,” click here. Or, check out the trailer here.

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Wisconsin company advances in US Air Force renewable fuel testing

A Madison based company has developed a renewable jet fuel which has recently received the green light after the first round of testing  by the US Air Force.

The one hundred percent renewable fuel produced by Virent was recently tested at US Air Force Laboratory as a result of a strong push by the Pentagon to depend less of foreign fuels. The chemical conversion process which Virent uses to produce its biofuel was developed in the labs of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Aaron Imrie, Virent’s commercial fuels manager, expressed his excitement over the results from US Air Force by stating:

“These ARFL results are exciting because they demonstrate the potential of Virent’s catalytic process to create renewable plant-based jet fuel that can meet or exceed petroleum.”

Earlier this year, the US Air Force completed a test flight using a 50-50 blend of petroleum and a biofuel derived from camelina. Honeywell also announced this summer the first successful trans-Atlantic flight using the same biofuel-petroleum blend.

To read more about Virent’s biofuel success, click here.

Or, to learn about Virent, click here.

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Ag. Secretary Tom Vilsack at Wisconsin State Fair on biofuels

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Clean Snowmobile Challenge

At the last WBIA meeting in May, students from UW-Platteville’s Clean Snowmobile Challenge came and spoke about their experience this past winter competing in the competition. Afterward, they presented WBIA Executive Director Josh Morby with a plaque recognizing the WBIA’s sponsorship of the team.

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Dueling Fuels: Minnesota and Wisconsin to Face Off in Friendly E85 Rivalry

Two gas stations on opposite sides of the St. Croix River will compete to sell the most E85 fuel on June 2. The Freedom Valu Center in Maplewood, Minnesota and River Hills BP in Somerset, Wisconsin will sell their E85 fuel at a $.85 cent discount between 4-6 p.m. Thursday as a way to promote the use of cleaner fuels.

The ethanol-based fuel can save drivers money as well as improve the quality of air we breathe. The beginning of summer is also the kickoff for ozone season, the main ingredient of smog.  Using the ethanol based fuel E85 can combat the increase of smog during summer months and decrease the risk of adverse health effects including asthma.

The promotions are supported by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, Wisconsin Corn Growers Association, Bob & Steve’s BP Amoco Shops, Erickson Oil, American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest and MN & WI Clean Air Choice Teams.

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New List of Wisconsin E85 Stations Available

Categories: Bio Fuels,ethanol

An updated list of gas stations in Wisconsin that offer E85 is now available, using data compiled by the Wisconsin Office of Energy Independence.

There are currently 125 stations across the state that offer the fuel, with another six opening in the near future.

To download the list, and find a station near you, please click here.

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Restructuring of VEETC

Earlier this week Rachel Gantz, a reporter at OPIS, was the first to break the news story about whats happening at the national level as it relates to our industries efforts to restructure VEETC. The WBIA is excited to be able to be part of these discussions and work closely with our friends across the county.  The WBIA and our members have been in contact with members of our congressional delegation such as Congressmen Ron Kind and Reed Ribble and Senator Herb Kohl as recently as this week to educate them about the importance of the ethanol industry and the ideas we have about the importance of a tax credit.

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