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By Robert Rapier on Aug 18, 2010 with 31 responses

Range Fuels Produces Something

I began to hear rumors about a week ago that Range Fuels had started to produce some methanol from their plant in Soperton, Georgia. This week they announced that they have indeed begun to make some product:

Range Fuels Finally Gets its Cellulosic Plant Running

Georgia — After a two year delay, Range Fuels is producing methanol fuel from its commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol facility in Georgia. The company initially said the plant in Georgia would be producing up to 20 million gallons of fuel in 2008. Then it got pushed back to 2009. It is now finally operating in the second quarter of 2010.

The delay is not out of the ordinary for cellulosic ethanol producers. Because of the technical and financial problems companies have been facing, the Environmental Protection Agency scaled back its 2010 mandate for cellulosic fuels from 100 million gallons to 6.5 million gallons.

Let me first extend my congratulations to Range, and let’s hope that the start-up proceeds smoothly. Generally when trying to start up something for which there are not a lot of existing facilities, the learning curve can be bumpy because you have to figure it out as you go along. So do not be surprised to see that they are up and down a lot as they work out the kinks (not that those sorts of things make the news).

Oddly enough, a few people have e-mailed me with this news to claim that this vindicates Range from the criticisms I set forth in Broken Promises from Range Fuels. I don’t want to use this post to rain on their parade, but given these misconceptions let’s have a look at what I have said.

First, nobody ever doubted that Range could take biomass, gasify it, and produce methanol. That technology has literally existed in some form since 1923. And nobody doubts that they can make some ethanol in the same way. Again, very old technology, just not cost-effective. Range has their own particular version of the technology, but nevertheless there is nothing fundamentally new in their approach.

So that’s the first point that should be clear. My criticism was not that they can’t produce some alcohols, therefore production of alcohol doesn’t invalidate the criticism. My criticisms were based on historical claims that Range made and failed to deliver upon. These aren’t issues where the jury is still out; they are history. Range claimed they would build a 100 million gallon per year ethanol plant for $150 million and start producing in 2008. First production of methanol in mid-2010 after taking in more than double the money they claimed they would need for an ethanol plant does not invalidate my criticisms in any way.

People knowledgeable in this field knew when they started hyping this back in 2006 that they could not possibly deliver “cellulosic ethanol” via this process at the cost and on the schedule they were claiming. So when costs started to escalate, schedules started to slip, and they ended up switching to methanol, they were certainly open to criticism given how vocal they had been about hyping themselves.

Imagine if Walmart started to hype $100 Dell laptops — this week only. I go to Walmart to get one, and find that they don’t actually have any for sale. If I criticize them for the false advertising, my criticism isn’t invalidated if you go there a month later and buy a $300 VCR. Yes, Walmart would have delivered something – but that wasn’t what they said they would deliver.

As I have said before, people are accountable for what they write and say. That includes me. So my criticisms of Range are certainly fair game for discussion. Just make sure you understand what those criticisms are before you write to tell me the criticisms were wrong. Keep in mind that the criticisms revolve around costs and time delays that are historical. And contrary to what some people seem to think, I do not wish to see Range fail. If I criticize President Obama, that doesn’t mean that I hope he fails as a president.

Regarding their production of methanol instead of ethanol, a story at earth2tech missed the mark by suggesting this was the nature of my criticism. To the contrary, I favor gasification approaches to methanol (or ethanol, mixed alcohols, diesel, jet fuel, etc.) I like those processes because they don’t rely on a lot of fossil fuel inputs and can result in a higher efficiency to fuels than other approaches.

However, at present the gasification of biomass to methanol has to contend with the much cheaper method of gasification of natural gas to methanol. The latter presently sells for about $1/gallon, and Range’s methanol will struggle to compete with that. So their business plan will be to sell their methanol to the biodiesel industry, which reacts it with a vegetable oil or animal fat to produce biodiesel. Range will rely on a $1/gallon tax credit when they sell their methanol (again, only worth $1/gallon at market prices), and then the biodiesel industry will turn around and collect another $1/gallon tax credit when they sell the biodiesel (presuming this credit is extended as expected).

The path forward for Range is pretty clear. They have to get through this start-up phase and demonstrate that they can run their process consistently. We won’t know that until they have a year or so of operation behind them; any corrosion and reliability issues will take a while before they are obvious. Range will reportedly try to move production to ethanol next year, and that will present its own challenges. Given that they recently requested more DOE funding (which they did not receive), it is clear that the capital requirements for their process are high. So ultimately they must also show that they can run the process cost-effectively.

First production of methanol is a noteworthy achievement, but there is a long road ahead. Just ask Changing World Technologies, who also once started up a plant and began to produce some fuel. But instead of being remembered as an innovative biofuel company, CWT went bankrupt and is the poster child for the “over-promise and under-deliver” strategy. Let’s all hope for a better outcome for Range Fuels.

  1. By Dave on August 19, 2010 at 12:12 am

    Robert Rapier said:

    Dave,

    You are correct; I eyeballed the glycerin chain relative to the methanol and didn’t consider the relative length of the alkyl chain. But it looks to me like about 20%. Is your 10% based on personal experience?

    I will correct the essay. Thanks for the comment.

    RR

    Yes.  I finance renewable energy companies.  Methanol is about 8% of the reactants (I think), though refineries often use 20% to drive the reaction toward completion.  The methanol is distilled out of the glycerin and reused.

    BTW, I’m not sure if they are going to renew the tax credit.  The RINS are selling for about $.75/gallon (remember that biodiesel counts as 1.5 RINS).  This would be in accordance with your desire to not subsidize the fuel but have the mandate drive demand. 

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  2. By Rufus on August 18, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Are you sure you have the figures right on the “subsidies?”

    The cellulosic “producer’s credit” is $0.56/gal, right?

    And, the biodiesel credit expired Jan 1st, 2010, right?

    Is there something I’m missing? Would it still qualify for the $0.45/gal “ethanol blenders” credit?

    I wish’em well, also; but, color me dubious, I’m afraid.

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  3. By rrapier on August 18, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    The cellulosic credit is $1.01 per gallon:

    http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afd…..law/US/413

    A cellulosic biofuel producer that is registered with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may be eligible for a tax incentive in the amount of up to $1.01 per gallon of cellulosic biofuel that is: sold and used by the purchaser in the purchaser’s trade or business to produce a cellulosic biofuel mixture; sold and used by the purchaser as a fuel in a trade or business; sold at retail for use as a motor vehicle fuel; used by the producer in a trade or business to produce a cellulosic biofuel mixture; or used by the producer as a fuel in a trade or business. If the cellulosic biofuel also qualifies for alcohol fuel tax credits, the credit amount is reduced to $0.46 per gallon for biofuel that is ethanol and $0.41 per gallon if the biofuel is not ethanol.

    They may have to get an IRS ruling on which credit they qualify for, but I would imagine they will lobby hard for the $1.01 credit.

    As for the biodiesel tax credit, most of the commentary that I have read expects the credit to be renewed (perhaps retroactively).

    RR

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  4. By Dave on August 18, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    A couple of small points:
    1) It takes approximately 1 gallon methanol and 10 gallons triglycerides to make 1 gallon glycerin and 10 gallons biodiesel. The subsidy contribution of the methanol is $.10 not $1.
    2) The biodiesel credit expired on Jan 1st, 2010, as previously mentioned.
    Therefore, total subsidy is $.10, not $2

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  5. By Rufus on August 18, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Okay, here’s my takeaway:

    If the cellulosic biofuel also qualifies for alcohol fuel tax credits, the credit amount is reduced to $0.46 per gallon for biofuel that is ethanol and $0.41 per gallon if the biofuel is not ethanol.

    Biodiesel does Not, at present, qualify for fuel tax credits. So, the Producers credit would, indeed, be $1.01/gal. If they were to reinstate the biodiesel tax credit the producers credit would be $0.41/gal. (at least, according to THAT section of the law. :o

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  6. By rrapier on August 18, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    Dave,

    You are correct; I eyeballed the glycerin chain relative to the methanol and didn’t consider the relative length of the alkyl chain. But it looks to me like about 20%. Is your 10% based on personal experience?

    I will correct the essay. Thanks for the comment.

    RR

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  7. By Perry on August 19, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Butanol might be a way around the blend wall dilemna. This guy drove 10,000 miles on 100% butanol and the car wasn’t even flexfuel. His MPG improved 10% and emissions were significantly cleaner. He claims his patented process doubles the butanol obtained from a bushel of corn to 2.5 gallons, which is comparable to ethanol. Robert, you could probably get him to drop by and comment with an e-mail. dramey@butanol.com

    http://nabc.cals.cornell.edu/p….._Ramey.pdf

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  8. By rrapier on August 19, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Robert, you could probably get him to drop by and comment with an e-mail.

    Actually Larry and I are friends on Facebook. We correspond fairly often. As I have said before, I have a soft spot for butanol since I was a butanol engineer for seven years. But the biological route has some unique challenges to overcome.

    RR

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  9. By rrapier on August 19, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    By the way, the media coverage of this Range story has been awful. There is this story at CNET that is full of inaccuracies:

    Georgia biofuel plant open for business

    An energy plant in Soperton, Ga., has perfected a process for commercialization that can produce both biodiesel and ethanol from non-food biomass.

    That’s the first sentence of the article, and has two gross errors right away. First off, they certainly haven’t perfected the process. They have merely begun a difficult startup phase. Second, the process doesn’t produce biodiesel.

    Another that appeared in Reuters looked like it was written by Range’s PR firm:

    Range Fuels opens plant to commercialize methanol

    That story begins:

    Range Fuels, one of the more successful biofuel startups backed by Khosla Ventures,…

    I would have to ask the author how exactly she is defining success. If it is based on being able to raise money, then she is correct. But I think most of us would describe a successful biofuel startup as one that had moved into commercialization and begun to develop a track record of producing and selling their product.

    The article then blames Range’s problems on the economy and the EPA:

    It initially said that the plant would be up and running in 2008, then 2009. Now, finally, it has come to fruition two years after the fact — mostly due to the limping economy and the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to cut back support for cellulosic fuels.

    Really? They raised over $300 million, and they couldn’t deliver because of the economy? That might be an excuse if they couldn’t raise money, but the money was raised.

    This just continues the theme of gushing stories about Range that aren’t the least bit critical. They just regurgitate Range’s press releases, often butchering the facts in the process.

    RR

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  10. By rohar1 on August 19, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    RR: On the bio-butanol topic, what do you think of this?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/envi…..l-scotland

     

    On a totally unrelated topic: We were down in the Black Hills, Yellowstone, Cody WY and back through Billings for vacation last week. I am guessing the COP refinery by I90/94 we drove by is where you used to work?

     

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  11. By WILLIAM RICKS on August 19, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Reporting from the backwoods: The coffee conferences in Soperton have included “They made some ethanol at Range Fuels yesterday, and more than what they expected” — attributed to one or more plant employees by name. At least the official company proclamation was not so extreme.

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  12. By rrapier on August 19, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    William, I wonder if people are confusing methanol and ethanol. Range had announced and told the EPA that they were starting up on a methanol catalyst, and would not transition to ethanol until next year at the earliest. The ethanol process for them will be significantly more complex than just producing methanol, so my guess is that it is accurate that they are producing methanol, but not ethanol unless it is a small amount of byproduct from their methanol process.

    RR

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  13. By rrapier on August 19, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Bob Rohatensky said:

    RR: On the bio-butanol topic, what do you think of this?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/envi…..l-scotland

     

    On a totally unrelated topic: We were down in the Black Hills, Yellowstone, Cody WY and back through Billings for vacation last week. I am guessing the COP refinery by I90/94 we drove by is where you used to work?

     


     

    Bob,

    The story indicates that they will be using the ABE process. The reason that process isn’t used commercially today is that butanol is toxic to the microbes at low concentrations. So while they can produce butanol, it is at a concentration of less than 2%. If that is the case, then it takes more energy to get the butanol out than is contained in the butanol.

    Yes, that COP refinery that you drove by is the one I used to work at. If you drove west of Billings about 10 miles, you would have seen a Cenex refinery, and then toward the east there is an ExxonMobil refinery. The ConocoPhillips refinery is right in the city of Billings.

     

    RR

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  14. By Optimist on August 19, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Let me see if I got this straight: methanol currently sells for $1/gal? Natural gas-based gasification is profitable at that price? Can flex-fuel cars use methanol as a fuel? Methanol gets what, just over 50% of the mileage of RUG, without any engine modifications, right?

    If the answer is yes to all four questions, there is a rather obvious route to (the holy grail of) energy independence. One that leaves us to work out whether biofuels are feasible at our own sweet leisure.

    (Nervously waiting for RR to pounce on my mistake…)

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  15. By rrapier on August 19, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Optimist said:

    Let me see if I got this straight: methanol currently sells for $1/gal? Natural gas-based gasification is profitable at that price? Can flex-fuel cars use methanol as a fuel? Methanol gets what, just over 50% of the mileage of RUG, without any engine modifications, right?

    If the answer is yes to all four questions, there is a rather obvious route to (the holy grail of) energy independence. One that leaves us to work out whether biofuels are feasible at our own sweet leisure.

    (Nervously waiting for RR to pounce on my mistake…)


     

    That was the basis of my essay on methanol versus ethanol. I wrote:

    As has been pointed out, you can buy methanol today for around $1.00 per gallon.
    This is a big, well-established business that does not receive heavy
    subsidies and government support as ethanol does. On a per BTU basis, unsubsidized methanol costs $17.61 per million BTUs. You can buy ethanol today – ethanol that has received billions in taxpayer subsidies – for $1.60 per gallon. On a per BTU basis, heavily subsidized and mandated ethanol sells for $21.03 per million BTUs.

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  16. By Perry on August 19, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Methanol receives the same subsidy as ethanol…..as long as it’s made from a renewable source. It’s kind of counter-productive to subsidize fuels derived from petroleum, when the idea is to lessen our dependence on petroleum.

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  17. By rrapier on August 19, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    The methanol that sells for $1/gal isn’t subsidized, and it isn’t derived from petroleum. It is derived mostly from domestic natural gas.

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  18. By Perry on August 19, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    I should have said hydrocarbons, I guess. Methanol from nat gas doesn’t qualify either. I’m not sure it would matter. Methanol had its day in the sun, and didn’t fare well at all.

     


    “The near-term potential of methanol as a fuel oxygenate or neat fuel in the United

    States is questionable. Its use in this capacity is marred by numerous problems ranging

    from consumer and industry acceptance to its lack of economic competitiveness. Despite

    its relative abundance, consumption of methanol in gasoline has declined steadily from

    its high point of 400 million liters (106 MM gallons) in 1985 to less than 15 million liters

    (4 MM gallons) in 1987 . By 1988, the demand for methanol as an octane enhancer

    had virtually disappeared.

    Historically, this trend has been attributed to methanol’s acceptance problems and its

    recent lost cost advantage over other octane enhancers. Many of the acceptance problems

    are a result of adverse publicity as well as mechanical problems. In the 1980′s, several

    automobile manufacturers stated warranties would not be honored if owners used

    methanol enhanced gasoline blends in their cars. While these manufactures discouraged

    the use of gasoline containing methanol as an octane enhancer, they warranted the use of

    gasoline blends containing up to 10% ethanol. Methanol’s acceptance was further eroded

    by technical problems such as fuel foaming, aldehydes emissions, vapor locking in hot

    weather, and starting problems in cold weather, along with numerous corrosion problems

    in the engine and fuel system. 


    Reports of these problems prompted the EPA to limit the

    amount of neat methanol in unleaded gasoline to 0.3% by volume despite the fact that


    neat methanol concentrations of up to 3% (vol) have been used in Germany for several

    years without any reported problems .”


    http://www.fischer-tropsch.org…..5_ch07.pdf

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  19. By Rufus on August 20, 2010 at 1:48 am

    We’re still importing natural gas from Canada, right?

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  20. By rrapier on August 20, 2010 at 1:54 am

    We’re still importing natural gas from Canada, right?

    Yes, some. That’s what powers those Midwestern ethanol plants. ;)

    RR

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  21. By Kit P on August 20, 2010 at 8:47 am

    And PRB coal. I do not have a problem
    importing energy from Canada.

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  22. By Rufus on August 20, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    I don’t have a problem with it, either, Kit. I was “tweaking” RR a bit (which he, immediately, recognized.) He’s always made reference to “Canadian” natural gas powering the midwestern ethanol plants, but when it came time to make methanol it was, voila, “Domestic” natural gas that was to be used.

    It was just a friendly “jab,” and recognized as such, I’m sure.

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  23. By Jim Takchess on August 20, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Robert,
    is this our next column?
    Jim

    http://earth2tech.com/2010/08/…..uel-baron/

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  24. By Wendell Mercantile on August 20, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Rufus~

    A friendly jab no doubt, but there is a big difference in how the natural gas is consumed — whether from Canada or the continental U.S. Natural gas is the feedstock used to make methanol, while when making ethanol, NG is converted to synthetic nitrogen to provide the nutrients corn needs to grow, and also supplies the thermal energy needed to distill the fermented mash and separate the alcohol from water.

    When making methanol, NG undergoes a transformation; when making ethanol the NG supplies the energy that is a necessary cost of doing business, and becomes part of the EROEI calculation.

    Energy is consumed transforming NG to methanol, but that is part of the process efficiency ratio. Process efficiency is different than EROEI.

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  25. By rrapier on August 20, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Robert,
    is this our next column?

    Nah, people might get the impression that I dislike Khosla if I keep going after him. :)

    The next two are going to be along the line of what is holding back biofuels (based on a recent MIT Technology Review article) and then a case study of Iowa.

    RR

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  26. By Kit P on August 20, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Wendell after someone points out
    inconsistent application of criteria, try not to provide another
    example.

     

    For example, I am for increasing
    domestic production of transportation fuel. I especially like
    biomass produced ethanol because I can use without modification of my
    POV.

     

    However, there is this endless attack
    on midwest farmers. It is hard to understand. If a systematic
    approach to evaluating issue was applied in an unbiased manner that
    would be fine.

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  27. By Walt on August 21, 2010 at 4:44 am

    Robert Rapier said:

    The methanol that sells for $1/gal isn’t subsidized, and it isn’t derived from petroleum. It is derived mostly from domestic natural gas.


     

    I assume you mean domestic gas located outside the United States.  I think there might only be one plant left in the United States producing methanol from natural gas.  I believe the other one or two are produced from coal, but I could be mistaken since I have not updated my research in several years on those 3/4 methanol plants left standing in America.

    I guess Range would be the 4th or 5th methanol plant producing in America, and certainly the tax credit could make it viable.  There is good news if they are producing commercial quantities of methanol as there could be a price spike coming in the 4th quarter which will give them the opportunity to trade some of their volumes into the market at peak pricing over the past couple years.

    We run our domestic economics at $1.00/gal but the spot cargos have been selling for $0.90/gal and after it arrives into port there are some taxes and transportation costs to get those volumes delivered to the customer door.

    Does anyone know the cost of importing methanol into the USA?  The $0.90 spot prices are not domestically delivered to your door.

     

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  28. By Walt on August 21, 2010 at 5:00 am

    Perry said:

    I should have said hydrocarbons, I guess. Methanol from nat gas doesn’t qualify either. I’m not sure it would matter. Methanol had its day in the sun, and didn’t fare well at all.

     

    “The near-term potential of methanol as a fuel oxygenate or neat fuel in the United

    States is questionable. Its use in this capacity is marred by numerous problems ranging

    from consumer and industry acceptance to its lack of economic competitiveness. Despite

    its relative abundance, consumption of methanol in gasoline has declined steadily from

    its high point of 400 million liters (106 MM gallons) in 1985 to less than 15 million liters

    (4 MM gallons) in 1987 . By 1988, the demand for methanol as an octane enhancer

    had virtually disappeared.

    Historically, this trend has been attributed to methanol’s acceptance problems and its

    recent lost cost advantage over other octane enhancers. Many of the acceptance problems

    are a result of adverse publicity as well as mechanical problems. In the 1980′s, several

    automobile manufacturers stated warranties would not be honored if owners used

    methanol enhanced gasoline blends in their cars. While these manufactures discouraged

    the use of gasoline containing methanol as an octane enhancer, they warranted the use of

    gasoline blends containing up to 10% ethanol. Methanol’s acceptance was further eroded

    by technical problems such as fuel foaming, aldehydes emissions, vapor locking in hot

    weather, and starting problems in cold weather, along with numerous corrosion problems

    in the engine and fuel system. 

    Reports of these problems prompted the EPA to limit the

    amount of neat methanol in unleaded gasoline to 0.3% by volume despite the fact that

    neat methanol concentrations of up to 3% (vol) have been used in Germany for several

    years without any reported problems .”

    http://www.fischer-tropsch.org…..5_ch07.pdf

     


     

    This is an interesting statement…although my stomach tells me that it is not entirely factual.  I think there was a lot of politics that supported these claims and that is evidenced by the lawsuit reported on the State Department website here:

    http://www.state.gov/s/l/c5818.htm

    There has been some politics surrounding the “evil” nature of methanol as a fuel substitute, but China and EU seem to be moving forward with methanol based fuels and blends.  China is now encouraging up to 30% methanol blended fuels for cars in some provinces.  You can purchase a kit for both ethanol and methanol that will give you up to 85% blended ethanol/gasoline.  I wrote to the company, and they have no experience with methanol (M85) but claim extensive experience using the kits with ethanol.  They wrote:

    —————————–

    Thanks for your interest.
     
    Our kits have Cold Start assist which makes starting in the
    winter easier. We have done extensive testing here in Colorado. Our kits do work
    with E100. Our kits work with methanol too.
     
    Note: The greater the ethanol concentration, the harder it is
    to start in the winter. If you are running E100 in the dead of winter, consider
    installing a block heater.
     
    http://www.change2e85.com/serv…..ail?no=123 is
    the kit to order.
    Sincerely,

    —————————-

    The order above was for the vehicle that I am going to test both methanol and ethanol up to 85% blends…so you will need to do your own research on your type of vehicle.

    I’ll let the politics over methanol vs. ethanol rage in Washington and see if I can bring domestic methanol production back into America, and at the local community level see if we can make it work.  After reading the posts above about the media attention at Range Fuels announcement, and Robert nicely clarifying the facts as he understands them…I’m loosing as much faith in our national media, to report the facts, as those in DC.  Sad.

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  29. By Walt on August 21, 2010 at 5:23 am

    Jim Takchess said:

    Robert,

    is this our next column?

    Jim

    http://earth2tech.com/2010/08/…..uel-baron/


     

    Interesting.  Khosla is sitting back ready to give Bill Gates a run for the money!  The one thing I would like to see with VC investors is their success record, not just the home runs.  If my stock broker invested in 50 stocks, and all of them were duds by 10 of them, I would likely seek out another broker to manage my money.  It does seem that Khosla has not yet invested in any bad investments by the sounds of it, and those that were identified turned out to be no investments at all.  You cannot hardly criticise a guy who did not invest money in a company that failed.  In fact, you could probably congratulate him if he pulled out before he invested someone elses money.  He should now be a hero in the press and with his sources of money.  However, I still wonder what is the average success of VC investors and whether these technologies are used as a means to get-in and get-out via IPO, etc. or if they are long-term wealth creation.  I know they have some mandates to exit at certain triggers, but do they make money?

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  30. By takchess on August 21, 2010 at 7:30 am

    Walt,
    Khosla has been very successful in the IT space. What I admire about him is that he is very active among a wide range of investments in alt energy/green and is very active in promoting it. There isn’t a week where he hasn’t offered his opinion on something.

    http://www.zdnet.com/videos/gr…..ech/222297

    He has consistently said he is backing a lot of “Science Projects” with the idea that he will lose on most but will have some big hits on one or two (The Black Swan) which will make all the difference.

    He invests heavily himself and his funds has a large percentage of outside investors including some State of California Retirement Funds.

    Watching his investments have been a interesting spectator sport for me. I have no investments in them, I work in the Computer Storage field.

    http://www.tracked.com/company…..te_family/

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  31. By John on August 22, 2010 at 11:43 am

    The “15 Most Recent Comments” feature on this site is really irritating. Why would the software assume I don’t want to see all comments when I click the “(X) Comments” link following a story? Please fix.

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