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August 29, 2007

more on boeing's biofuel plans

the key is cold flow properties and heat rate. It is COLD in them thar wings. -50 F. and the power per gallon needs to be the same as jetA which is hard to do with veggies. But it can be done :)

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August 28, 2007

some pictures from IRI Grays Harbor opening two weeks ago


The dignitaries. John Plaza, Martin Tobias, Rep. Norm Dicks, Sen. Patty Murray, Sen. Maria Cantwell.

Adrienne Barnes from Hawaii and Martin.

Lisa Marthe from IGH and Martin.

Bob from Royal Carribean, our largest customer

Sid Watts, plant general Manager and Martin

Martin and John Plaza's biodiesel mercedes.

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Distillate demand running 200K barrels a day greater than last year

Diesel is on the rise as predicted...
this from the EIA today

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Hawaii petroleum assets changing hands

Very interesting. Very low price for 51 stations in Hawaii and half a terminal (Aloha).

Posted on: Friday, August 17, 2007
Mid Pac Petroleum of Hawaii being bought out
Advertiser Staff
Mid Pac Petroleum LLC, a Hawai'i-based petroleum marketer and the licensee of the Union 76 brand, is being purchased by an investment firm that includes retired banker Walter Dods.
Koko'oha Investments Inc. will buy Mid Pac Petroleum from Singapore investment firm K1 Ventures Ltd. for $44 million. The sale is expected to close Sept. 1.
In addition to Dods, Koko'oha Investments includes David Hulihee, Bill Mills and Jim Yates. Hulihee is president of Royal Contracting Ltd. and Mills is the founder and chairman of the Mills Group real estate investment company.
Yates will serve as the new president and chief executive of Mid Pac Petroleum, replacing Richard Parry, who left the company at the end of July. Yates last week resigned as head of The Gas Co., where he had served as president and CEO since 1995.
Mid Pac Petroleum has annual sales of $170 million and Dods said customers and employees should notice very few changes once the acquisition is completed.
"Mid Pac Petroleum has already proven itself as a strong company doing business in Hawai'i, thanks to its employees, dealers, marketers and commercial customers," Dods said. "As a stock transaction, this will be a smooth and virtually transparent transition for our customers and employees," he said.
The purchase will give Koko'oha Investments exclusive rights to use the Union 76 brand for fuel sales in Hawai'i and contracts to supply third-party dealers, marketers and commercial customers. Of the 51 Union 76-branded stations in Hawai'i, 36 are owned by Mid PacPetroleum and the remainder are independent operators that the company supplies fuel to.

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Malaysian palm trader buys into US biodiesel production

2007-05-10 10:08:12 EDT
***MALAY PALM FIRM BUYS BUDDING U.S. BIODIESEL PRODUCER
Felda Holdings Bhd, a Malaysian company said to be the world's largest palm oil producer, announced yesterday that it agreed to buy a U.S. oleochemical and biodiesel producer with big plans for expanding its biofuel output.
With an eye to expanding its biofuel presence around the world, Felda inked a memorandum of understanding with Quincy, Mass.-based Twin Rivers Technology that would give it a controlling interest in the company. Terms of the deal, which is still subject to due diligence and approval of both company boards, were face down, but sources said Felda had sought a 70%-80% stake infamily- owned Twin Rivers. The deal should be completed over the next three months.
Annual revenues at Twin Rivers were said to top $200 million. Some of its biggest customers include biodiesel producers Peter Cremer and Stepan Co.
Twin Rivers has a long history in biodiesel, though not extensive. The company was formed in the mid-1990s with the idea of retrofitting a former Procter & Gamble plant in Quincy to make its "EnviroDiesel" biodiesel. The company instead ended up focusing on fatty acids, glycerin and other products used in soap and cosmetics industries -- only producing small volumes of biodiesel at Quincy.
However, Twin Rivers aggregated additional facilities and other assets over the last several years that it planned to, in part, devote to biodiesel. Along with its Quincyoperation, the company has facilities in Cincinnati and Painesville, Ohio, as well as the Fore River Transportation Co. short line railroad that services Quincy with access to the national rail system.
In essence,it has been back to the future as far as its latest biodiesel plans. Twin Rivers recently set out a phased expansion into commercial biodiesel production that would eventually push its output to 70 million gal/yr. Next year, the company expected to beginretrofitting its Cincinnatiplant to make biodiesel at the rate of about 35 million gal/yr. Following that, expansion work to around 35 million gal/yr was pegged for Quincy. The Painesville plant has also been tapped as a future biodiesel production site.
Twin Rivers also offers ship access, as well as bulk liquid terminals and warehouse facilities scattered through several Midwest and East Coast states.
The Felda deal provides strong financial backing for Twin Rivers growth projects, commented one industry player, as well as a very special connection to the palm oil markets. By some accounts, Felda provides up to 8% of world palm oil demand. Felda officials said they expect to grow Twin Rivers operations, but provided little specific details.
Spencer Kelly,
skelly@opisnet.com


Copyright, Oil Price Information Service

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Hawaii gas prices last week


glad you don't live there?

Posted by Martin at 8:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

new mountainbike

The summer is nearly over, but I just got my new mountainbike

A custom Seven IMX hardtail. Ti with carbon fibre. XTR, Mavic. Watch out hills!

Posted by Martin at 8:49 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Oil is getting harder to get

The largest oil find in decades is 5 years behind production and may never come online. Read about the Kazakstan find in the Caspian sea. Just another example of how the next barrels of oil we get out are going to cost more to get than the last ones. This oil comes with a special complication: potentially lethal, with high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide gas. So workers carry oxygen canisters and gas detectors and do daily evacuation drills. High-tech getaway boats stand ready to whisk them to safety. The place feels more like a hazardous-chemical plant than an oil rig. Fun huh?

Posted by Martin at 11:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

deleting Scribfire

Rich turned me onto it, but I am not a geek enough to continue using it. Rich likes early software with lots of bugs. I don't have the time for it anymore. Scribfire could not retreive my categories from Movable Type and there was no answer to my question on their support forum and no obvious config file to edit, so asta la vista Scribfire. Welcome back old friend w.Bloggar.

Posted by Martin at 10:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

VeraSun cheap

Good analysis here on Seeking Alpha.  The sector has overcorrected in my opinion.

Posted by Martin at 9:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 22, 2007

Tacoma News Tribune has nice editorial on Biodiesel

and what it means to Washington to have the largest biodiesel production facility in the nation right here in Washington state.

EDITORIAL: Grays Harbor biodiesel: Toward a cleaner future

The News Tribune, Tacoma, Wash.

Released : Saturday, August 18, 2007 4:00 AM

Aug. 18--Not too long ago, biodiesel was a novelty. The newly opened Imperium Renewables plant by Grays Harbor shows that, today, it's anything but.

John Plaza, founder of Seattle-based Imperium Renewables, said the plant "represents a coming of age for the biodiesel industry." Hard to argue with that. Nine months in construction, it will soon be producing 100 million gallons a year of the vegetable-oil-based fuel.

It's a massive complex that occupies 12 acres at the Port of Grays Harbor between Aberdeen and Hoquiam. Its significance is obvious from its capacity. Last year, the roughly 150 biodioesel plants in America -- all much smaller than this -- were pumping out a total of about 250 million gallons. So this single project's output equals 40 percent of that entire 2006 total.

The plant's opening Wednesday was a huge coup for the state of Washington, and particularly for the economically distressed Grays Harbor area. The region has suffered a relentless and painful collapse of the timber industry that once supported a healthy base of high-wage jobs.

Imperium Renewables won't make up all the losses, but it will eventually create 60 industrial jobs, sustain many other jobs indirectly and bring a big infusion of cash to the local economy.

Washington agriculture may also prove a winner -- though the jury's still out on that question. Imperium has contracted with a Yakima Valley farm to supply 1 million gallons of canola oil. But canola oil can come from other places, including Canada, and palm oil from overseas is a particularly economical feedstock for biodiesel production.

The Imperium plant should be welcomed, not because it is an economic godsend, but because it's a big stride into a cleaner energy future.

Its 100 million gallons of biodiesel equals a tenth of all the diesel burned in Washington. And unlike conventional diesel, which is derived from petroleum, biodiesel comes from the most renewable of resources -- plants. It generates a quarter of the carbon dioxide that fossil-fuel diesel does, and the quantity of CO2 it does emit is recaptured from the atmosphere as the feedstocks grow back.

Biodiesel isn't the energy panacea that will save the earth and wean America from foreign oil. But it promises to be an important part of what will have to be a package of alternatives to fossil fuels. As of Wednesday, Washington acquired the nation's single biggest source of this benign fuel. That's definitely good for some bragging rights.


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Be ware who you believe will make biodiesel

Biodiesel developer goes bust.

Posted by Martin at 4:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

US Renewable energy consumption up 7% year-on-year 2006

US renewable energy consumption up 7% year-on-year in 2006: EIA Picture (Metafile)
Washington (Platts)--21Aug2007
US renewable energy consumption increased 7% from 2005 to 2006, at a time
when total US energy use declined 1%, according to report from the US Energy
Information Administration.

     The increase was largely the result of greater reliance on biofuels for
transportation and wind for electricity production, the report, released
Tuesday, said.

     Renewable energy's market share stood at nearly 7% in 2006, slightly
higher than the prior year's level, with more than 6.8 quadrillion Btu
consumed, the report, which is based on preliminary statistics, said. And
consistent with historical patterns, the electric power sector used most of
the renewable energy at 56% of consumption.

     While conventional  hydroelectric power had the largest absolute annual
change, at 186 TBtu, this represented only a 7% increase, the report said.
Biofuels use rose by 164 TBtu, or 28%, and wind increased by 80 TBtu, or 45%.

     Ethanol production increased 25%, from 3.9 billion gallons in 2005 to 4.9
billion gallons in 2006, it said. Among the factors for the growth were
continued replacement of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) by ethanol as a
gasoline additive, and strong world oil demand and higher crude oil prices,
which raised the price of gasoline and thus the demand for ethanol as a
substitute, it added.

     Other factors included federal tax laws that provide incentives for
biofuels, such as a tax credit of 51 cents for each gallon of ethanol blended
into gasoline, and the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which mandates annual
renewable fuel use in gasoline of 7.5 billion gallons by 2012.  Ethanol
accounted for nearly 4% of US gasoline production in 2006, the study said.

     "While this had a significant impact on the energy sector, the impact on
the agricultural sector may have been greater," the study said. The US
Department of Agriculture estimates that 14% of corn use in the 2005/2006 crop
year went for production of ethanol, up from 11% in the 2004/2005 crop year
and 6% in 1999/2000. Moreover, corn prices hit nearly $4 per bushel in 2006,
the highest price seen in the last 20 years and much higher than the average
price of $2.40 seen over that period.



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August 21, 2007

A story about "The Clean Tech Revolution: The Next Big Growth and Investment Opportunity"

by Ron Pernick

I am in the book page 83, 85 and 278. You must read this book even if just the pages about me.

Posted by Martin at 7:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A story about "The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (Purpose Driven Life)"

by Rick Warren

started it and couldn’t finish. Too preachy. Too much TV talk show host. The ideas are laudable, but the presentation format is too much. Bad user interface.

Posted by Martin at 7:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

an oldie but goodie




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August 19, 2007

A story about "Chasing Destiny"

by Eric Jerome Dickey

useless tripe. couldn’t finish it.

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August 16, 2007

KomoTV coverage of Imperium opening

click here



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KIRO TV covers the IRI Gray's Harbor plant opening

Click here.
The plant opening was very good.  Lots of fun. 


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August 13, 2007

BMW go faster biodiesel motorcycle

Many of you have probably already seen the PopSci article about this bike.  Built by the crazy folks at The Crucible, it is a one-off concept.  Actually something I thought about doing with a VW 1.9 TDI engine.  While it is cool that they are drawing attention to biodiesel in motorcycles, this is not a production bike and never will be.  I am focusing my efforts on getting production bikes on the market.  I already bought the ecorider and am working on getting a Neander.  Also motorcycles with car engines do not perform very well as motorcycles. You will notice that the Crucible bike is a top speed straight line machine. That is because it turns like crap and the wide engine makes it ugly and hard to handle.  I want a motorcycle that looks like a Vtwin and rides like a motorcycle.  And is Biodiesel!


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Imperium Renewables Gray's harbor plant at Sunset

very cool pic of IRIGH at sunset in the daily world.

Posted by Martin at 12:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Green surfboards, now that is something I can get into...

thanks aron for the tip.

'Green' surfboards are more environmentally friendly
Last updated August 12, 2007 6:48 p.m. PT
By JENNI MINTZ
SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE
VENTURA, Calif. -- When the Clark Foam company unexpectedly shut down in December 2005 because of environmental reasons, some said it spelled doom for the surfing industry.

Many thought the price of surfboards would double because the limited supply of polyurethane foam blanks, which serve as the lightweight core of a standard surfboard, would cause production to tank.

But the industry's future now looks greener than ever.
Chuck Menzel of Ventura, Calif., has invented a recipe for biofoam, which is nearly 50 percent plant-based.
Made from renewable agricultural resources, biofoam does not contain any toxic materials known to be harmful to the environment or people, said Menzel, owner of Ventura-based WetSand, an international online surf shop, that is preparing to open its first retail store.

Biofoam is like a regular foam blank, but its cell structure is denser, and petroleum-based polyol has been replaced with organic and domestic soy polyol.

Biofoam boards, which hit some surf shops earlier this year, will cost an average of $500 to $700.
There are an estimated 700 to 800 biofoam boards out there, said Ned McMahon, general manager of the Homeblown US manufacturing plant in San Diego. The company makes and sells foam blanks to surfboard shapers. Menzel has licensed the formula for biofoam blanks to Homeblown US, which launched production Feb. 1. About 500 biofoam blanks are produced per month.

Many foam blank manufacturers were apprehensive when Menzel pitched biofoam, but the concept was well received by Homeblown US.

"It's what needs to happen. It's just the necessary steps to move forward," McMahon said. "We play in the ocean -- that's what our whole lives are based around."

The biofoam is the first step toward something more environmentally friendly, but "it's not the Holy Grail," McMahon said.

The soy polyol has 25 percent to 30 percent less environmental impact than the petroleum-based product, McMahon said.
"We go surfing on a pretty toxic piece of mess," McMahon said. "They don't biodegrade; you can't recycle them. It's not sustainable, not very green." In Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and San Francisco, "everyone wants a biofoam board," McMahon said. But other parts of California, including Orange County, have been slower to catch on. He said some have been dissatisfied with the colors because the browns and reds seem to crystallize and don't come out as well as on polyurethane boards.

In 2006, Menzel founded GreenSurf.org, a non-profit that promotes environmental awareness about surfing and the ocean. It also encourages surf companies to develop green products.

WetSand's new retail shop is "built around the cultural integrity of surfing," and will be an environmentally driven store. Cardboard packaging for shipping products is made from recycled paper. There aren't any paper towels in the bathroom. All eight employees are assigned a cloth towel to dry their hands.

And products are as green as Menzel can get, from organic clothing to a surfboard changing bucket made of recycled rubber. He's also developed an environmentally friendly surf wax, made of clay and beeswax instead of petroleum.

"It allows us to bring to walk-in customers what we do online," Menzel said.
The private company, founded in 1998, generates more than $1 million in annual sales, and it is growing steadily. More than 40,000 people a day visit WetSand's Web site to get weather forecasts, with more than 250,000 unique visitors worldwide as month. The company will soon launch a new state-of-the-art surf forecasting system.

It wasn't the closure of Clark Foam, but the industry's response to the company's shutdown that prompted Menzel to ask himself: "Is anyone thinking of environmental foam?"

After Clark Foam closed, China and other countries stepped up production of foam blanks and began to mass produce surfboards, flooding the market. All of a sudden, there was too much foam, and not the good kind, Menzel said.

When green became popular, foam out of China was touted as green because the blanks were stronger and would supposedly last longer, even though surfboard blanks were made using TDI, or toluene diisocyanate, a raw toxic material that is a known carcinogen.

"That would be like calling a Hummer environmentally sound because it's going to last longer," Menzel said.
So Menzel decided to pursue biofoam, made with a manufacturing process called MDI, or methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, that doesn't have the release of volatile organic compounds of TDI.

He took a basic recipe to chemists who specialize in biomaterial. It took a year to get the flexibility, shaping, characteristic, weight and strength to match that of regular foam.

Biofoam boards cost, function and look the same as regular boards, except they are a light creamy yellow instead of bright white.

"It was very important that biofoam was not disruptive material that shapers would have had to relearn how to shape," Menzel said, adding that no one expects biofoam to replace regular foam, but at least people now have a choice.



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August 10, 2007

Mercedes ML320 the future is illegal in 5 states

But you can get it in Washington.  Very good article on how good the new diesel cars are and how backward the US system is for enabling these new technologies. 


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Biodiesel to take up 10% of US soy crop this year

Soybean oil use in biodiesel production
The Census Bureau reported methyl ester production at 254,476,000 pounds in June. That was down from 271,911,000 in May. There is one less day in June, and these numbers are subject to later revision. For the crop year, production totals over 1.7 billion pounds. If the latest monthly production pace continues, crop year production of methyl ester will exceed the USDA forecast of 2.4 billion. That will be over 10% of the total soybean oil supply. This remains a bullish factor for soybean oil.



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August 2, 2007

Biodiesel to take up 10% of US soy crop this year

Soybean oil use in biodiesel production
The Census Bureau reported methyl ester production at 254,476,000 pounds in June. That was down from 271,911,000 in May. There is one less day in June, and these numbers are subject to later revision. For the crop year, production totals over 1.7 billion pounds. If the latest monthly production pace continues, crop year production of methyl ester will exceed the USDA forecast of 2.4 billion. That will be over 10% of the total soybean oil supply. This remains a bullish factor for soybean oil.



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