WBIA BLOG

Bio Industry Basics #9: PSC Approves Xcel Biomass Plant

Xcel Energy Corp. will move forward converting their Ashland power plant from coal to biomass after the Public Service Commission unanimously voted in favor of the project last week. Here are a few facts about the project:

• Expected to be complete in 2012, the plant will be the largest in the Midwest burning biomass.

• The project will convert a coal-fired boiler to burn wood waste.

• With two out of three boilers already burning wood, the conversion will enable the plant to run entirely on renewable sources.

“Bio Industry Basics” is a series of weekly facts from the Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance highlighting the positive benefits of bio fuel, bio power, and bio products production and use in Wisconsin.

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Bio Industry Basics #8: Midwest States Support Ethanol and Biodiesel

The Midwest Legislative Conference of The Council of State Governments, a bipartisan association of state legislators from 11 Midwest states including Wisconsin, recently released a series of policy resolutions supporting ethanol and biodiesel. The resolutions called for:

  • Increased use of ethanol and biodiesel
  • Increased use of ethanol blender pumps
  • Sound scientific methods for calculating carbon emissions
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Bio Industry Basics #7: Honeywell to Help Design New Biodiesel Plant in WI

Flambeau River Biofuels has chosen Honeywell International Inc. to help design their proposed plant in River Falls, WI. Here are a few facts about the project:

  • Expected to be operational in 2012, the plant will use wood waste and forest residue to produce biodiesel.
  • Once completed, the plant is expected to produce 18 million gallons of biodiesel per year.
  • The plant will be the largest second-generation biodiesel plant in the U.S.
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Bio Industry Basics #6: Biodiesel Has Positive Energy Balance

A new study from the University of Idaho and the US Department of Agriculture has found that biodiesel produces 4.5 units of energy for every one unit needed to create the fuel. Here are a few key facts:

  • Farmers are using less fuel to grow soybeans because of technology advances that allow them to minimize cultivation of the soil.
  • Biodiesel plants production technology is more energy-efficient than ever before.
  • At 4.5 to 1, the energy balance of biodiesel is more than five times better than the energy balance of traditional diesel.
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Bio Industry Basics #5: Majority of Wisconsinites Support Biofuels

A recent study from University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers shows that approximately two-thirds of Wisconsinites support biofuels. Here are highlights from the study:

  • About 70 percent of Wisconsinites support biofuel production.
  • 60 percent of respondents would like to see higher investment in biofuel technology.
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Bio Industry Basics #4: Higher Ethanol Blends Increase Engine Efficiency

A recent University of Nebraska study has shown that higher ethanol blends can increase engine efficiency. Here are a few facts:

  • The study found that higher ethanol blends produce better energy conversion than other fuels, which means vehicles can travel farther using less energy.
  • E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 10 percent gasoline, improved energy conversion by as much as 14 percent compared to E10.
  • When considering fuel economy, a combination of fuel efficiency and price, researchers said E85 was the best choice every time in their study.

To view the complete study, please visit http://http://tinyurl.com/ethanolstudy

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Bio Industry Basics #3: Ford Unveils New Biofuel Compatible Trucks

Ford recently unveiled its new line of F-Series “Super Duty” trucks with engines compatible with biodiesel blends and E85. Here are a few facts:

  • The new 6.7L V8 diesel engine will be able to use biodiesel blends up to B20, a mix of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent regular diesel.
  • The new 6.2L V8 gasoline engine can run on ethanol blends up to E85, a mix of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.
  • Both engines offer significantly improved torque, horsepower and fuel economy.

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Bio Industry Basics #2: Ethanol Co-product Can Help Feed the World

Researchers at South Dakota State University have begun turning dried distillers grains, a co-product of ethanol production, into a protein- and fiber-rich flour. Here are a few facts:

  • The researchers have successfully replaced up to 20 percent of flour in bread products with distillers grain flour, significantly increasing the protein and fiber content of the products.
  • The distillers grain flour can provide extra protein for people in developing countries where meat is scarce.
  • That means ethanol plants are able to provide food AND fuel for people around the world.

“Bio Industry Basics” is a series of weekly facts from the Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance highlighting the positive benefits of bio fuel, bio power, and bio products production and use in Wisconsin.

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Bio Industry Basics #1: Proposed Biomass Plant Better for Environment and Economy

We Energies has proposed building a new biomass power plant in Rothschild, WI as a clean alternative to coal.  Burning low-quality and unusable wood and paper waste from the nearby Domtar paper mill, the plant would provide a boost to Wisconsin’s economy and its environment.  Here are a few facts:

  • Burning wood waste is nearly carbon neutral because the carbon dioxide generated is about equal to the amount a tree consumes during its life, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
  • The $250 million facility would create 150 permanent jobs and 400 temporary jobs during construction, and help make the Domtar mill more efficient.

“Bio Industry Basics” is a series of weekly facts from the Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance highlighting the positive benefits of bio fuel, bio power, and bio products production and use in Wisconsin.

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