E85 Sales Shoot Upward in Iowa
As gas prices climbed last year, the cheaper and cleaner E85 blend seemed an especially attractive alternative to Iowa motorists. So much so that sales of E85 by the state's retailers in the first six months of 2008 surpassed sales for the entire pre-ceding year, according to the Iowa Department of Revenue.
Total sales of E85 in Iowa for 2007 were 3.4 million gallons, while sales for the first two quarters of 2008 had already passed the 3.5-million-gallon mark. The rate of sales is increasing as well: Second quarter 2008's 2.2 mil-lion gallons were nearly double the first quarter's 1.3 million gallons. (As gas prices lowered, E85 sales slowed somewhat in the fourth quarter.)
Iowa added 20 E85 retail outlets in 2008 for a total of 98. With a combined annual capacity from its 34 ethanol refineries of 2.7 billion gallons, Iowa is the nation's leader in renewable fuels production.
Indiana Adds a Facility
Cardinal Ethanol LLC Indiana's 12th ethanol facility, began production in November. The plant's 100 million gallons per year will boost the state's total production to 1.1 billion gallons. Located near Union City, the plant will use 36 mil-lion bushels of corn per year and have 48 full-time employees. It will also produce 340,000 tons of dried distillers' grains with solubles for livestock and poultry producers.
From Pennycress to Biodiesel
Innovation Fuels Inc. of Albany, N.Y., is planting pennycress at sites across New York with the intention of producing biodiesel. The program is the first U.S. effort to produce alternative energy with pennycress.
"We are very excited about the possibilities of producing and providing a low-cost alternative energy source to the residents of New York state and beyond for home heating, electricity and transportation," says Joe Dickson, the company's senior vice president of business development.
The pilot program uses Thlaspi arvense, or field pennycress, which is 36% to 40% oil by weight. The company estimates that it will produce 100 gal. per acre per planting and, by rotating the pennycress with another crop, there can be two plantings per year.
Innovation Fuels manufactures, markets and distributes biodiesel and has customers around the world. The company recently acquired Milwaukee-based North American Biodiesel and plans to reach a combined production capacity of more than 5 million barrels by 2010.In