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Posts tagged “E3 Biofuels”

By Robert Rapier on Mar 2, 2011 with 52 responses

Setting the Record Straight on Cello Energy and E3 Biofuels

The Art of Spin Politicians are known for their ability to spin any situation to make sure it doesn’t present them in an unfavorable light. In that vein, I’m beginning to feel as if Vinod Khosla would make a fine politician. As much as I am tired of writing about him (and I am sure he long-ago grew tired of me writing about him), his recent response to a Wall Street Journal editorial called The Range Fuels Fiasco warrants its own response. While Khosla does not point a finger directly at me in his response, a number of readers e-mailed or commented on my blog that they believed Khosla was accusing me of misrepresenting his relationship with some of the… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 27, 2011 with 65 responses

Vinod Khosla and the Gasification/Fermentation Debate

Vinod Khosla Prognosticates Vinod Khosla is once more offering up his prognostications on the future of the energy business: What Matters in Biofuels? Given the likely continued dominance of the internal combustion engine, cellulosic and sugar-derived fuels offer one of the lowest risk advances to quickly and affordably achieve low-carbon transportation. I predict that long before 2022, half a dozen technologies within and outside our portfolio will be market competitive and will blow away the cost structure of corn ethanol. In the same article, he offers his view on those he deems energy Luddites: The old fashioned bias among traditionalists, mostly Luddites unfamiliar with the vibrant new research especially in startups, is that Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FT) of liquid hydrocarbons from… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 1, 2007 with no responses

Responsible Ethanol Goes Bankrupt

Last year I wrote a story about an ethanol company that was trying to produce ethanol in a more sustainable fashion: E3 Biofuels: Responsible Ethanol They had a great idea. Use corn to make ethanol, feed the byproducts to cattle, digest the manure to produce methane, and use that to fuel the boilers. Complicated? Yes, but definitely a more sustainable way of producing ethanol – if they could pull it off. During the construction of the plant, I had some contacts who kept me in the loop with respect to what was going on. However, once they began the start-up, all news updates stopped. There was nothing new on their website. (The last time I checked was last week). I… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Aug 15, 2007 with no responses

National Geographic Story

Update: This was a story originally posted in August of 2006 (Wow, that’s been the fastest year of my life), but E3 Biofuels has come up in discussion quite a few times lately. I am going to be traveling over the next 5 days with intermittent Internet access, so I thought I would bump this up top. Note that this story was prior to their plant startup. Ah, and that solves a long-term mystery for me. I wondered why some people refer to me as an “oil industry analyst.” This must have been where that originated. ————————- Last night I noticed some traffic being directed here from National Geographic. Being a curious sort, of course I followed the link back… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jul 13, 2007 with no responses

A Seamless Transition to a Post-Fossil Economy?

I am going to be covered up through the weekend, but there have been some good discussions down the page that I want to bump up as stand alone posts. One is a discussion of the situation in Venezuela, and whether the IOCs were/are exploiting the people there. I will pull bits of that up at some point, but it will take more time to extract the relevant portions. But, following my most recent essay, reader Benjamin Cole made some comments that are worth bumping up for discussion. I won’t have time until after the weekend to address them in detail, but maybe other readers would like a crack. And maybe some will agree with his assessement. Below are the… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Sep 24, 2006 with no responses

CAFE Loophole

The ethanol bubble has been bursting a bit lately. I don’t say that with glee, because I hate to see people lose money, especially when it was due largely to misleading claims. (I say that even though 95% of the hate mail I get comes from ethanol investors). I hope the end of the irrational exuberance we have seen in the ethanol market will lead to a more fact-based look at which technologies are needed to replace or supplement fossil fuels, and what technical challenges must be overcome before that happens. There are certain things we can do to help ethanol along that I completely agree with. Because of the great potential, I think we need to heavily fund cellulosic… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Aug 29, 2006 with no responses

Integrated Bioenergy Center

Believe it or not, I was working on this post before I got massively distracted by the efficiency questions surrounding ethanol and gasoline. To some, I may seem to be a bit of a Jeckyll and Hyde with respect to ethanol. One day, I am bashing it. The next day, I am endorsing it. So what’s the deal? I fully acknowledge the need to move away from fossil fuels, but most grain ethanol in this country is primarily recycled fossil fuels. I object to taking fossil fuels, converting them to ethanol, subsidizing the ethanol not on the basis of energy “created”, but instead on a per gallon basis, while mining our topsoil in the process. However, ethanol does not have… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jul 22, 2006 with no responses

Kicking the Oil Habit Road Trip

A recent e-mail brought my attention to a coast-to-coast road trip that is being sponsored by Kick the Oil Habit. The purpose of the road trip is primarily to raise E85 awareness and to promote E85 as “clean burning, American made fuel.” You can read a blog of the road trip here: Kick the Oil Habit Road Trip While I am dedicated toward the goal of energy independence for the U.S., E85 boosters are ignoring facts in their zest to promote E85. There is a great deal of misinformation and flat out factually incorrect information out there. For example, I just finished listening to a conversation between Mark Pike, who is the guy driving the E85 car cross-country, Tom Daschle,… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 26, 2006 with no responses

E3 Biofuels: Responsible Ethanol

Update: E3 Biofuels, with their promising ethanol technology, has declared bankruptcy. I hope it is clear that my opposition to ethanol has nothing to do with the fuel itself. If we could make sufficient ethanol with little or no fossil fuel inputs, ethanol could be a very important piece of a post-petroleum future. If ethanol could be produced with an EROEI of 3 or 4, as opposed to the current 1.0-1.3 or so, then ethanol begins to look attractive from a sustainability standpoint. My opposition to ethanol is due to the way we typically make it in the U.S., and is specifically focused on grain ethanol. We take fossil fuels and basically recycle them into ethanol in a very inefficient… Continue»