Kum & Go Offers E85 Fuel for $0.85/Gallon

Drivers of flex fuel vehicles will be able to fill up with E85 for just $0.85/gallon during four upcoming promotions at Omaha-area Kum & Go locations. E85 is a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent unleaded gasoline.

The promotions take place at Omaha Kum & Go locations as follows:

MONDAY, JUNE 16

  • 10 a.m. to noon at 168th Street just north of Maple in Omaha
  • 1-3 p.m. at 4443 S. 84th (Just south of I-80) in Omaha

TUESDAY, JUNE 17

  • 10 a.m. to noon at 108th & Giles Road in Papillion
  • 1-3 p.m. at 195th & West Center in Omaha

For more information, visit E85Omaha.com.

“One in ten drivers in Nebraska and Iowa has a flex fuel vehicle, but many of them don’t realize it,” said Kim Clark, director of biofuels development for the Nebraska Corn Board. “You can read your owner’s manual or check to see if you have a flex fuel insignia on your vehicle. If you’re driving an FFV, you can take advantage of this price promotion on E85.”

A flex fuel vehicle operates on any blend of gasoline and ethanol from E10 to E85 as well as regular unleaded gasoline. “You can fill up with any blend at any time in any amount because a computer in the fuel system automatically adjusts for the ratio of ethanol to gasoline,” Clark added. “It’s the ultimate in consumer choice.”

The E85 promotion is being sponsored by the Nebraska Corn Board, Iowa Corn Promotion Board, Nebraska Ethanol Board and Growth Energy in cooperation with Kum & Go.

Mowing Dilemma: High-ethanol Fuel May Ruin Small Motors

Original article published in the Lincoln Journal Star.

Tim Brodd has fixed small engines — lawn mowers, rototillers, chainsaws, string trimmers — since the early ’90s.

He started tinkering in the garage of his northeast Lincoln home and now owns a small business with six employees.

When he makes his monthly trip to get gas for his own yard machines, Brodd prefers fuel without ethanol, if it’s available, but he doesn’t go out of his way to find it.

It’s a choice backyard botanists, mechanics and boating enthusiasts face each time they head to the pump: Should they buy fuel blended with ethanol to run their small engines?

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, a trade association representing more than 100 manufacturers and suppliers, says using gas with up to 10 percent ethanol is OK but warns against anything higher, unless the machine is specifically designed for it.

The organization has launched a public awareness campaign called “Look before you pump” aimed at keeping those higher blends out of the tanks of boats, utility vehicles, lawn mowers and power equipment.

“Midlevel ethanol fuels, E15 and other midlevel blends dispensed at blender pumps for flex fuel automobiles, will destroy outdoor power equipment and other non-road products,“ said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute.

“We think folks ought to be educated about it.”

Historically, Kiser said, the fuel paradigm was that whatever went in your car or truck could go in the gas can. And whatever went in the can could go in the boat, generator, chainsaw or mower.

“And for the first time in history, that isn’t the case. And putting a 3-by-3 pump label on an E15 pump and putting no label on a blender pump is frightening,” he said.

Equipment can safely use the most common ethanol blend, E10, but mixes with 15 percent ethanol and higher burn hotter, which can ruin engines and possibly cause unintentional clutch engagement — like a chainsaw that suddenly powers up its chain.

The Nebraska Ethanol Board says concerns are overblown and the campaign only serves to confuse consumers.

“In most communities in the state it is going to be difficult to find an E15 pump, unfortunately,” said Ethanol Board Administrator Todd Sneller.

“The idea that there is some perceived threat out there is overblown. That is just not a realistic concern.”

Sneller said there are about 70 E15 pumps in the United States and they are marked as dispensing a fuel approved only for vehicles model 2001 and newer and for flexible fuel vehicles.

With 150 million people using 300 million non-road powered products, the labels on those E15 pumps aren’t enough, Kiser said.

“Everyone wants to call us anti-ethanol because we’re drawing attention to these fuels. We’re not. As engineers, we can build an engine to run anything. Except that the engines we’re building today are designed based on a certification of fuel given to us by the government,” he said.

The institute’s “Look before you pump” campaign graphics and written warnings will be at national retailers including Lowe’s, Wal-Mart and True Value, according to a news release.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association also plans to adopt it, Kiser said.

From a service standpoint, Brodd said fueling a lawn mower with E10 or a clear unleaded gas doesn’t make a huge difference. What does is not letting the fuel sit. Ethanol is an alcohol, which can absorb water.

“It is possible that alcohol will absorb moisture and that moisture will end up in the fuel system and cause corrosion issues and hard-starting, poor-performing engines,” Brodd said.

He recommended that if fuel, either ethanol or non-ethanol, sits in equipment more than three days it should be drained and to get new gas monthly.

“When my fuel gets within that 30-day window I will pour it in my vehicle, then the next time I go to the filling station I fill up the can and I have fresh fuel again,” Brodd said.

“That is usually the best prevention that you can do.”

Formula SAE coming to Lincoln Airpark

Original article from Midwest Producer Magazine.

The Formula Society of Automotive Engineering series will be in Lincoln June 18-21.

More than 250 universities from across the world will compete at Lincoln Airpark to showcase their fabricated Formula-style vehicles.

Formula teams will compete in acceleration, autocross, skid pad, endurance and fuel economy. The creation of a Formula car also encompasses sales, manufacturability, cost analysis and safety.

The Husker Motor Sports team, sponsored by the Nebraska Ethanol Board, is comprised of engineering students of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Gasoline Exhaust is Linked to Serious Health Problems

Original article from Ethanol Across America.

Gasoline exhaust is a much greater source of toxic emissions than previously reported, and lethal, ultra-fine particulates are not being adequately regulated and controlled according to a new White Paper produced by The Clean Fuels Development Coalition’s Ethanol Across America Education Campaign .

The paper was written by David E. Hallberg, a former Nebraska Ethanol Board member and the founder and first president of the Renewable Fuels Association. Hallberg writes that the petroleum industry is refining gasoline with high levels of toxic aromatics that combust into benzene and other carcinogenic pollutants. This gasoline that is reaching consumers represents a serious health threat but cost effective alternatives are available.

“At a time when the petroleum industry is spending millions to discredit clean octane products that can be used to protect public health,we need to remember why we cannot fall back into the trap of oil use and dependency, said CFDC Executive Director Doug Durante. He added that mid-Level ethanol blends can provide significant health and economic benefits

“Whether its for the health impacts, oil spills, the drain on our economy, the loss of jobs, and the lack of consumer choice, we simply must use more biofuels and get off of oil.”

UNL Report Casts Doubt on Use of Corn-crop Leftovers for Ethanol

Original article by Russell Hubbard, Omaha World Herald

A University of Nebraska-Lincoln research team has produced a report that concludes using corn-crop leftovers such as stalks and cobs to make ethanol generates more greenhouse gases than gasoline does, while reducing the farmland soil carbons that are a key to agricultural production.

A paper authored by UNL assistant professor Adam Liska, the lead researcher, was published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change, UNL said in a statement.

The study’s findings, the university said, “cast doubt on whether corn residue can be used to meet federal mandates to ramp up ethanol production and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

The ethanol industry disputes the paper’s findings, said Todd Sneller, administrator of the Nebraska Ethanol Board. Other highly credentialed researchers, Sneller said, are submitting an academic research paper with opposite conclusions. Because that paper is in the publication review process, Sneller declined to identify the authors.

The debate is over material known as corn stover — the stalks, leaves and cobs found in fields after harvest — that has been considered a ready resource for making ethanol, or motor fuel from organic sources such as corn, sugar cane or waste products. Nebraska is the second-largest ethanol producer in the country, Iowa the first. And both have a lot of corn leftovers, as Iowa is the largest corn producer and Nebraska the third.

Using what the industry calls “biomass” to create a motor fuel known as cellulosic ethanol has been an endeavor long in the works. It has not reached commercial success. But efforts continue, with about $1 billion of capital investment in cellulosic plants being built in Iowa and Kansas.

About $50 million was spent on a test plant in York, Neb., part of the biofuel company Abengoa, which plans to take the technology live this year or next at a commercial refinery in southwest Kansas.

The UNL research, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, used a supercomputer to estimate the effect of corn leftover removal on 128 million acres across 12 Corn Belt states. The team found that removing crop residue from cornfields as opposed to leaving it as is generates an additional 50 grams to 70 grams of carbon dioxide per megajoule of biofuel energy produced.

The UNL research found that total annual production emissions from turning the biomass into ethanol, averaged over five years, would equal about 100 grams of carbon dioxide per megajoule, a unit of energy equal to that possessed of a one-ton truck traveling at 100 mph.

Those production emissions are 7 percent greater than gasoline emissions and 62 grams above the 60 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions required by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, UNL said.

“If this research is accurate, and nearly all evidence suggests so, then it should be known sooner rather than later, as it will be shown by others to be true regardless,” lead researcher Liska said in a statement.

The study’s findings, UNL said “likely will not surprise farmers, who have long recognized the importance of retaining crop residue on their fields to protect against erosion and preserve soil quality.”

The three cellulosic ethanol plants under development in the Midlands are the Abengoa plant in Kansas, a DuPont refinery in Des Moines and one by South Dakota-based bio-refiner POET in Emmetsburg, Iowa.

Doug Karlen, a USDA soil scientist in Ames, Iowa, who is a technical consultant for POET on the Emmetsburg plant, said the UNL research based its conclusions on unrealistic stover harvest assumptions. He said the paper contemplates a 75 percent stover harvest from corn fields, which Karlen called unrealistic and impractical.

“First, you would have stover stacked to high heaven,” Karlen said. “’Excessive removal’ are the key missing words from the research paper.”

Jan Koninckx, global business director for biorefineries at DuPont, also disputed the findings.

“The core analysis depicts an extreme scenario that no responsible farmer or business would ever employ because it would ruin both the land and the long-term supply of feedstock,” Koninckx said.

Koninckx said an analysis of DuPont’s 2013 corn-stover harvest using USDA soil models indicated soil carbon was stable or increasing on the “overwhelming majority” of the acres tested..

The Advancement of Ethanol in Nebraska