If your ethanol facility already uses an efficient CHP system, similar to ones these award-winning facilities operate, you may be eligible for a CHP award. Any ethanol facility that has a year’s worth of data proving that it reduces emissions and uses at least 5% less fuel than comparable, state-of-the-art, separate heat and power generation systems, and 5,000 hours of measured operating data, can submit an application. The EPA’s website has more information about the CHP program and award.
Biofuels in the News
Tennessee biofuels project to expand local farmers’ opportunities
DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol LLC (DDCE) will partner with the Tennessee Biofuels Initiative led by the University of Tennessee Research Foundation to construct a pilot-scale biorefinery and state-of-the-art research and development facility for cellulosic ethanol. The facility, to be built in Vonore, TN, will process two nonfood feedstocks — corncobs and switchgrass — from local farms. The 250,000-gallon/year biorefinery is expected to give Tennessee farmers additional market opportunities.
Site preparations are scheduled to begin this fall, and ethanol should be available from the pilot plant by December 2009 .
“Obviously, the cost of energy has gone up, and shows little sign of retreating,” says Doug Lawyer, the Knoxville Chamber’s director of economic development. “The Innovation Valley is uniquely positioned to lead the way to the commercialization of new technologies. The region’s assets will also help the companies that develop those technologies become successful.”
FoodPriceTruth.org reveals smear campaign against ethanol
The nation’s largest food companies, all members of the trade group Grocery Manufacturers of America, have recently been accused of funding a public relations smear campaign to blame biofuels for rising food costs. Now, a new analysis by FoodPriceTruth.org reveals that the corporate profits of these same giant food companies have soared during the past 12 months as much as 121% in the case of the Campbell Soup Company.
“Food corporations would rather spend millions of dollars on an ethanol smear campaign than explain to consumers why their food prices are so high,” said Brooke Coleman, a FoodPriceTruth.org spokesperson. “Blaming biofuels for high food prices is a great trick for these large food corporations. They get to raise their prices, increase their profits and not worry about how it affects American families.”
BioFuel reports hedging losses
Biofuel Energy Corp. announced that it had realized approximately $36 million of hedging losses resulting from closing out various corn, ethanol and natural gas hedges. All of the related contracts were entered into with Cargill, Inc. Cargill has not yet been paid for approximately $22 million of these amounts and the parent company currently does not have sufficient liquidity to retire these obligations. Cargill delivered a notice of default with respect to certain contracts to the company, and exercised its right to liquidate those contracts (approximately 60% of the company’s hedge position), resulting in the associated losses.
As a result, BioFuel Energy Corp.’s operating subsidiaries, which own and operate the Wood River and Fairmont ethanol plants, amended their credit agreement to permit them full access to their $20 million working capital facility and permits daily access to their revenue account, solely for the purchase of corn, natural gas, chemicals, enzymes, denaturant and electricity. The operating subsidiaries now appear to have sufficient liquidity to complete the commissioning of the ethanol plants.
The amendment still will not permit it to completely meet its obligations to Cargill. The company indicated it intends to continue to review possible solutions with Cargill and its operating subsidiaries’ lenders. However, there can be no assurances these efforts will prove successful.
Miscanthus can meet U.S. biofuels goal using less land than corn
In the largest field trial of its kind in the United States, University of Illinois researchers have determined that the giant perennial grass Miscanthus x giganteus out-performs current biofuels sources by a significant amount. The new findings were published in the journal Global Change Biology.
Using corn to produce enough ethanol to meet the current White House goal would take 25% of current U.S. cropland out of food production. The same amount of ethanol from miscanthus would require only 9.3% of current agricultural acreage. Miscanthus can generate enough biomass to produce two and one-half times more ethanol than can be produced from corn.