WBIA BLOG

Media Release – Wisconsin adds more E-15 pumps

Monday, May 5, 2014
Contact: Joshua Morby 414.791.9120

Grassroots effort to gather signatures gains momentum

MILWAUKEE – Almost a year ago today, as gas prices continue to rise, the Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance is excited to announce even more fuel choices for consumers.

Beaver Dam based United Cooperative is now offering E15 at 10 stations throughout Wisconsin. The addition of these Wisconsin convenience stores bumps the total number of E15 stations to 75 in 12 states. United Cooperative now has blender pumps at their Cenex convenience stores in Beaver Dam, Baraboo, Hustisford, Iron Ridge, Pickett, Poynette, Reedsburg, Watertown, and Wyocena.

E15 made up of 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline. The fuel has been approved for use in model year 2001 and newer cars, light-duty trucks, SUVs, and flex-fuel vehicles since January 2011.

“It’s important for consumers to know that E15 is not for all engines, but it can be used by more than 75% of light duty vehicles on the road today, representing more than 85% of the unleaded fuel sold,” said Joshua Morby of the Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance.

E15 was first made available to consumers in Wisconsin one year ago at the SmartStation in Platteville, a wholly owned subsidiary of Badger State Ethanol.

“The expansion of E15 in Wisconsin is only the beginning as retailers continue to see the economic benefits of installing blender pumps and offering higher-level ethanol blends to their customers,”

 said Morby. “As an industry we’ve been working with small engine manufactures, trade groups and retailers to educate them about E15. At the end of the day when consumers start to see cheaper options that don’t harm their engines and burn cleaner that oil, we’re going to see more E15 sold in Wisconsin. It’s just a matter of time.”

The Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance is a diverse group of businesses, environmental groups and statewide and local organizations that have come together to build both public and legislative awareness of the Bio Industry in Wisconsin.

For more information about the Alliance, or to find out how to join, please visit our website: http://www.wisconsinbioindustry.com.

You can find audio clips of the quotes  from WBIA Executive Director Josh Morby here.

Permalink + Share This

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.

Permalink + Share This

Future of the Bio Industry from Georg Anderl

Following our last WBIA meeting, we asked our speaker Georg Anderl, Vice President of Engineering for DDCE, to talk briefly about the future of the bio industry. Hear what he had to say.

Permalink + Share This

Fueled by cheese

Categories: Bio Fuels,Development

These days, your car could be fueled by corn, grass, wood, alcohol or even garbage. Leave it to Wisconsin researchers to add cheese to the list. Researchers at Concordia University say the microbe Lactococcus lactis, used to produce cheese, buttermilk and yogurt, can also be used to produce biofuels.

The research paper explains that scaffolding proteins on the surface of the microbe could be engineered to break down plant material into biofuels. Researchers say this study could lead to studies of other microbes that could be used to create biofuels.

Read more about the study here.

Permalink + Share This

Ethanol Plants Planning Upgrades

Here is a great story from Ethanol Producer Magazine about how several ethanol plants in the Midwest, including Wisconsin’s very own Ace Ethanol, are planning upgrades. Check it out here. Ace received $595,000 in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money to upgrade its waste heat recovery system. These plants are all at the forefront of technological innovation as they upgrade.

Permalink + Share This

Following initial backlash, biomass plant supporters emerge

For the past several weeks, we have posted blogs and news stories about the opposition facing the proposed biomass plant in Rothschild, Wisc. The plant’s supporters are now taking their turn to speak up.

The Wausau Daily Herald ran Tom Tyskiewicz’s letter to the editor on June 17 in which he stated his support of the project. Tyskiewicz asked  Rothschild residents to embrace change and progress for the sake of our future. He said he believes renewable energy is a big part of that future.

Tyskiewicz reminds us that Domtar and WE Energies are two companies “held in high standards by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, EPA and DNR.” He adds that “nothing will be built without their final stamp of approval.”

Tyskiewicz was not alone in his sentiments. Today the Wausau Daily Herald ran Kathleen M. Ruenger’s letter to the editor pledging her support of the plant and calling it “a win-win situation for all involved: Domtar, WE Energies, the Village of Rothschild and all other communities involved.”

Ruenger address concerns that the new biomass plant would reduce air quality in the area. She refers to the Rothschild Paper Mill’s storied past in which it was always environmentally and socially responsible. Ruenger believes the new plant will be no different.

We at the WBIA are glad to see Wisconsin communities rise up in support of a good cause. The support of Wisconsinites like Ruenger and Tyskiewicz is crucial if the WBIA hopes to achieve it’s goal of helping Wisconsin be the nation’s leader among states to improve the efficiency, conservation and profitability of bio fuel production.

Permalink + Share This

Biofuels advancement taking place right here

Wisconsin continues to lead the way in bio industry advancement.

A University of Wisconsin-Madison research group at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center developed a strain of bacteria which could lead to more cost-effective cellulosic biofuels. The team’s findings were published online by the Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology on June 11.

The breakthrough has made it possible to perform genetic analysis on the bacteria, which has long been known to convert biomass to sugars. The team developed a way to mutate any gene with the bacteria, which should bring greater success to the difficult process of breaking down plant cell walls to extract sugar molecules for producing biofuels.

Also advancing the bio industry is Milwaukee-based Lallemand Ethanol Technology, which just introduced Thermosacc® GOLD, a new fresh-cake yeast better able to withstand fermentation. Thermosacc GOLD was designed to use sugars more efficiently and increase yield.

The WBIA is proud to see Wisconsin leading the way in the biofuels industry, and we hope this is just the beginning of Wisconsin’s contribution to the global movement toward bio power.

Permalink + Share This

Newest protester of Rothschild biomass power plant baffling

In a great Wednesday article, the Wausau Daily Herald reported that the D.C. Everest Area School District is looking to join the decision making process behind the proposed $250 million Rothschild biomass power plant.

The district wants “intervenor” status along with such groups as the Wisconsin Public Service Co., Citizens Utility Board, Wisconsin Paper Council, Memominee Tribal Enterprises, labor unions and a group opposed to the power plant called Save Our Air Resource.

The Superintendent Kristine Gilmore said the district’s involvement is crucial because it is responsible for the health and safety of all its students and staff. The district believes that the plant’s emissions could be harmful to students with asthma and other respiratory conditions and that nearby schools do not have the proper ventilation or cleaning equipment to handle the emissions.

The district’s intervenor request was filed well past the April 30 deadline, but  WE Energies spokesman Brian Manthey said PSC typically grants intervenor requests even if they are filed after deadline.

Superintendent Gilmore’s concerns are genuine and respectable, but perhaps the district is missing the bigger picture. It is precisely this younger generation that will suffer if we do not continue to strongly pursue bio power.

Also important to remember is that use of biomass as an energy source results in little net production of carbon dioxide, because the CO2 generated during combustion of plant material equals the CO2 consumed during the lifecycle of the plant. Biomass reduces air pollution by being a part of the carbon cycle, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 90 percent compared with fossil fuels.

We understand the school district’s concerns, and considering its stake in the matter, it should be granted intervenor status, but the pursuit of bio power will benefit these child in the long run.

Manthey, however, did say that WE Energies plans to have the plant operational by 2013 and that opposition by the D.C. Everest Area School District, SOAR and others should not slow the project.

Permalink + Share This

WBIA Member Boldt Wins $255 Million Biomass Plant Contract

WBIA member The Boldt Co. won the construction contract for WE Energies new $255 million biomass plant in Rothschild.  Boldt will provide all construction services for the plant that is to be built at the Domtar paper mill, and will use wood waste to produce electricity.

The project is now pending approval by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.  If approved, work will begin in spring 2011.

This project will help Wisconsin toward complying with the mandate that 10 percent of all the state’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2015. It is another important step for advancing Wisconsin’s biomass industry and securing energy security for our state and nation.

Permalink + Share This

Didion Works to Increase Energy Efficiency

WBIA Member Didion Ethanol has begun work to increase the plant’s energy efficiency using $5.5 million from a recent DOE grant.  The project, which will cost a total of $11 million, will decrease energy use while allowing the plant to produce more ethanol.  We are proud to see one of our members taking such a big step towards energy efficiency and the improvement of the ethanol industry.  The project will also created an estimated 10 permanent positions, plus 75 temporary construction jobs.

Read more about the project in this article in Ethanol Producer Magazine.

Permalink + Share This
Older Posts »