Why Corn-Based Ethanol Sucks

On May 17, 2010, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

by Richard T. Stuebi While it is increasingly recognized that subsidies for corn-based ethanol are bad policy, a nod must be given to C. Ford Runge, a professor at the University of Minnesota, for his pithy and merciless analysis in his note “Biofuel Backlash” published in the May/June issue of Technology Review. In the space […]

Biofuel Industry Hopes to Recover with Next Generation Fuels

On May 15, 2009, in Blog, by John Addison

By John Addison. Scientists know how to make fuel from prairie grasses growing on marginal land. They know how to make fuel from fast growing trees with root systems that extend 25 feet into the ground, sequestering carbon emissions and enriching the soil. They even know how to make fuel from algae. They do all […]

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Biofuel Industry – No Money, No Respect

On May 11, 2009, in Blog, by John Addison

For the moment, the price at the pump is reasonable. A spike in demand or a terrorist disruption, however, will quickly remind us that we are desperately dependent on oil as we continue to consume 140 billion gallons of gasoline per year. Even in these recessionary times of moderate demand, we are running out of […]

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Ethanol – the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, the Beautiful

On March 6, 2009, in Blog, by John Addison

The Good By John Addison. The 9 billion gallons of ethanol that Americans used last year helped drive down oil prices. For those of us who fuel our vehicles with gasoline, as much as 10 percent of that gasoline is ethanol. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires that more biofuel be used […]

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Ethanol in the Tank

On December 1, 2008, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

by Richard T. Stuebi The news seems everywhere these days that ethanol is dead as a doornail: October 21, Financial Times: “Investors Suffer As U.S. Ethanol Boom Dries Up”November 5, Bloomberg: “VeraSun Doomed; Goldman Stops Ethanol Stock Coverage” It’s easy to pin the tough times for ethanol on the left-right combination of precipitous declines in […]

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Biofuel Innovators with Alternatives to Oil

On May 14, 2008, in Blog, by John Addison

By John Addison (5/14/08). Oil soars to $125 per barrel and economies around the world sputter or fall into recession. Enough is enough. Many biofuels can be blended with gasoline and diesel refined from oil, then pumped into our existing vehicles. Even making our fuels with ten percent biofuel and ninety percent refined oil is […]

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Is Ethanol’s Carbon Footprint Bad? It Depends.

On April 15, 2008, in Blog, by Neal Dikeman

In the cleantech and carbon worlds, the carbon footprint of ethanol, whether from corn or sugar feedstocks and fermentation processes, or enzymatic or thermochemical cellulosic sources, is always good fodder (or perhaps, “fuel”) for debate. And depending on which process and which study you personally ascribe to, the answer on how carbon clean ethanol looks […]

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Ethanol Under Pressure

On April 7, 2008, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

by Richard T. StuebiA good friend of mine sent me a provocative email the other day: “Last year, your government spent more than $8 billion of your tax dollars to achieve the following results: Dramatically increase the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere Accelerate the destruction of the Amazon rainforest […]

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Cellulosic Ethanol – Always the Bridesmaid?

On April 1, 2008, in Blog, by Neal Dikeman

I have a new set of predictions for ethanol technology, and so far my predictions on ethanol have been dead on. Cellulosic ethanol has been the thin film of the ethanol industry, always the bridesmaid. But perhaps, like with the breakthrough by First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), it’s time is coming. I have written extensively on the […]

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Cleantech Blogroll Review: Sulfur, Flipper, and Cellulose

On March 7, 2008, in Blog, by Frank Ling

by Frank Ling Sulfur Batteries The EPA has banned sulfur in gasoline but not in batteries. Sulfur, in the form of a sodium salt, has been used as large-scale storage systems. Pioneered in Japan, these batteries are gaining acceptance in the US as a reliable form of energy storage. Due to the intermittent nature of […]

2007 Roundup

On December 31, 2007, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

by Richard T. Stuebi As has become my custom, with the year drawing to a close, I now look in the rear-view mirror and try to distill what I see. In no particular order, here are my top ten reflections on 2007: 1. Popping of the ethanol bubble. Not long ago, it seemed like anyone […]

California’s Low Carbon Diet

On December 5, 2007, in Blog, by John Addison

By John Addison (12/5/07). When Coke and Pepsi were in the middle of their diet wars, California was an early battle ground. It is a state which tends to do much in excess, including drinking colas. In fact, only a handful of countries spend more money on beverages. Parties of happy and surprisingly fit youth […]

Triple-Digit Oil Prices Ahead?

On October 8, 2007, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

by Richard T. Stuebi Last week, as reported on Yahoo!, the chief economist of the investment bank CIBC went on record that “We’re in a world of triple digit oil prices for the foreseeable future,” beginning by the end of 2008. Increasingly, I’ve been hearing through the grapevine prognostications of $100/barrel oil. I put a […]

Blogroll Review: Sinks, Oranges, Woz

On July 21, 2007, in Blog, by Frank Ling

by Frank Ling Power Bathroom For many years, the Japanese have recycled sink water for their toilets. Now an American company is taking it further. WaterSaver Technologies from Kentucky has developed the AQUS system, which Philip Proefrock at EcoGeek says: “…collects the water from a bathroom sink and filters and disinfects it before it gets […]

Fuels from Wood and Waste not Food and Haste

On July 4, 2007, in Blog, by John Addison

By John Addison (7/3/07) Americans are screaming for lower gasoline prices. In São Paulo, Brazil, the price of gasoline is R$2.43/liter, ethanol is only R$1.48/liter, disclosed Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency. Brazil has reduced its petroleum dependency by 40% with sugarcane ethanol. The United States and Brazil together produce about 90 percent of global fuel ethanol. […]