CRFA News Archives

Minnesota Introduces Biodiesel Legislation
Minnesota State Representative Torrey Westrom has introduced legislation that would require diesel fuel sold in the state to contain a minimum of 5 per cent biodiesel fuel by weight. If passed, the 5 per cent requirement would go into effect on and after January 1, 2002. From January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2001, all diesel fuel would have to include 2 per cent biodiesel fuel by weight.

Snowmobile Competition Participants Prefer Ethanol

Ethanol blends are the choice of six of the seven participating teams in the 2000 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Clean Snowmobile Challenge (CSC) in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The ten per cent ethanol blend being used reduces harmful emissions and optimizes sled performance.

"Ethanol is known to be an excellent performance-enhancing and emissions-reducing additive in gasoline", said Jim Johnson, President of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association. "The SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge will confirm ethanol's ability to generate these benefits in equipment with two-stroke engines. The fact that almost all the teams have chosen to use ethanol should alleviate any doubt in the advantages of using ethanol blends in snowmobiles."

The SAE CSC will take place from March 28-31, 2000, and involves the participation of teams from seven North American colleges and universities, including the École de Technologie Supérieure (Montreal) and the University of Waterloo. The event, organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers, challenges the students to reduce hazardous emissions from snowmobiles while maintaining optimal performance.

Competition cofounders Dr. Lori Fussell, an environmental engineer, and Bill Paddleford, a commissioner in Teton County, Wyoming, are hopeful that the results of the SAE CSC 2000 will help find a solution to the controversy around snowmobile use in environmentally sensitive areas. "A blend of ten per cent ethanol is already being used in the Greater Yellowstone Area to reduce emissions from snowmobiles. I believe that the SAE CSC 2000 will show that greater reductions are possible with machines specifically designed to take advantage of the ethanol blend", said Fussell.

Experience using ethanol in snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park in the U.S. has shown marked improvements in air quality. Ten percent ethanol-blended gasoline reduced emissions of hydrocarbons by up to 25%, particulate matter by up to 30%, and carbon monoxide by up to 20%, depending on the engine technology.

Governor Vilsack is New GEC Chairman

Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack (D) is succeeding Kansas Governor Bill Graves (R) as Chairman of the 23-state Governor's Ethanol Coalition (GEC), and will lead the organization in the year 2000. Vilsack's strategies include ensuring the role of ethanol in California's gasoline markets and other emerging markets, supporting the role of ethanol in phase 2 RFG, increasing ethanol's market share through state rules and incentives, facilitating the implementation of a regional/national marketing campaign to increase the market share of ethanol-based fuels, and encouraging the involvement of other governors and countries through expansion of GEC membership.

Nebraska Governor Mike Johanns (R), the new Vice Chairman of the GEC has launched a statewide, six-month campaign promoting 10% ethanol-blended fuels.

Biodiesel Use is Growing in the U.S.

The U.S. biodiesel industry is experiencing significant growth. Between March and October, 1999, fleet use of biodiesel increased by over 700% (from 3 to 25 fleets using B20, a blend of 20% biodiesel and 80% conventional diesel). The biodiesel supplier base has grown from 2 in 1996 to 13 in 1999.

Political support for biodiesel is also on the rise. With increasing attention to air quality issues and global warming, biodiesel is now being included in major U.S. national and state legislative efforts to recognize and quantify the energy security, agricultural, and environmental benefits that biodiesel provides in order to help make it a cost-competitive option. Pressure on the petroleum industry to lower sulphur levels and increase cetane number is presenting a major opportunity for biodiesel.

The Minnesota Corn Growers Join the Clean Air Fuels Education Alliance through Ethanol

The American Lung Association of Minnesota (ALAMN) welcomed the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) into the Clean Air Fuels Eduation (CAFE) Alliance. The CAFE Alliance is building a public education and awareness campaign to alert consumers about cleaner fuels and vehicles that are available. To be recognized under the CAFE Alliance, a new product must demonstrate air quality benefits that exceed clean air requirements. Ultimately, wider use of these products will reduce the impact of fuel and vehicle emissions on the environment and human health.

MCGA's focus within CAFE wil be the alternative fuel E85, a blend of 85% ethanol and just 15% petroleum that is used in new low emission-certified flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs). In Minnesota, ethanol is produced from the fermentation of corn, cheese whey, and brewery wastes.

Approximately 50,000 FFVs will be registered in Minnesota and nearly 40 fueling sites will be operating by mid-summer. MCGA will work through CAFE to help educate consumers on E85.

Using Ethanol in Winter Reduces Emissions and Saves Money

Choosing to use ethanol blends in the winter is an important step in protecting the environment. In addition to reducing harmful automotive emissions, ethanol can save consumers money by eliminating the expense of gas line anti-freeze.

Carbon monoxide (CO), a toxic gas that contributes to smog, is of particular concern when vehicles are operating at low temperatures. Using ethanol can reduce emissions of CO by up to 30%, compared to conventional gasoline, and also helps reduce greenhouse gases that induce global warming. Up to ten per cent ethanol-blended fuel is available at the same price as conventional gasoline at 1,000 retail outlets across Canada. These blends can be used without modifications in all vehicles built since the 1980s, and meet all major auto manufacturers' warrantees.

"Using renewable ethanol is a simple way to contribute to the fight against global warming", said Jim Johnson, President of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association. "Additional benefits of using ethanol blends include ethanol's ability to reduce smog-forming emissions and its capacity to act as a gas line anti-freeze."

Gas line anti-freeze contains alcohol (usually methanol, ethanol, or isopropyl), which can be used up to a 0.3% level in a car's fuel tank. All alcohols have the ability to absorb water, and therefore condensation in the fuel system is absorbed and does not have the opportunity to collect and freeze. If an ethanol blend contains 10% ethanol, it is able to absorb more water than a small bottle of isopropyl, and eliminates the need and expense of adding a gas line anti-freeze.

Study Demonstrates Benefits of Replacing MTBE with Ethanol

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has found that replacing MTBE with ethanol could be beneficial to the farm economy and the economy as a whole, as demand for ethanol and ethanol feedstocks increase. The analysis assumes MTBE is phased-out during 2000-2004 across the U.S., and that the oxygen requirement for reformulated gasoline remains in effect.

"The review indicated that a four-year adjustment period is sufficient to enable ethanol production and distribution capacity to expand to meet the projected increase in demand," said USDA secretary Dan Glickman.

The economic analysis projects that the demand for corn would increase by over 500 million bushels per year as of 2004. The increase in demand for ethanol and total farm cash receipts would reduce the need for emergency assistance payments and lower loan program spending. U.S. trade would also be enhanced. Employment opportunitites would be generated in ethanol, agriculture, trade, transportation, food processing, energy and service sectors.
Budget Rent-a-Car to Purchase 10,000 FFVs

Budget Rent-a-Car announced that it will purchase 10,000 flexible fuel Ford Taurus vehicles, designed to take advantage of the high octane of ethanol, and run on any blend of ethanol and gasoline with up to 85% ethanol in the blend.

Don't Throw the Baby out with the Bath Water! Ethanol is not MTBE.

In the hub of the U.S. controversy around MTBE, the public should be seriously concerned about misinformation on the use of ethanol. Ethanol is not MTBE, and the lack of awareness around the distinctions between the fuels is to the detriment of ethanol, an important environmentally friendly, renewable fuel.
Amounts of MTBE, an ether of methanol (derived from fossil fuels), have been detected in ground water in several U.S. states, and are suspected of being carcinogenic. To address the issue, the Governor of California is phasing out the use of MTBE in the state's gasoline supply, and ethanol is an excellent replacement. Unfortunately, ethanol, also a fuel oxygenate, is being coupled with MTBE and its negative effects.
"Ethanol is being caught up in the California MTBE ground water controversy", said Jim Johnson, President of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA). "That is not appropriate. Ethanol provides significant benefits to air quality and is not damaging to ground water."
Studies conducted by the California Environmental Protection Agency confirm that ethanol is neither a ground water contaminant nor a carcinogen. Ethanol has also successfully been used in the Reformulated Gas Program (RFG) in the Chicago and Milwaukee areas, with no water quality problems.
Further, ethanol provides substantial air quality benefits, such as reducing toxic carbon monoxide emissions by 30% by oxygenating gasoline. Because it is produced from renewable resources, ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions that lead to global warming, and helps to avoid the health and environmental risks associated with fossil fuel exploration, extraction, and transportation.

Clinton Wants to Boost Spending on Biofuels
U.S. President Clinton has proposed more than doubling federal spending on development of new technologies that use crops, corn stalks and trees to make cleaner, renewable fuels for cars and buildings.
The White House said Clinton's Fiscal Year 2001 budget request to Congress would propose an increase of more than $240 million over the 2000 budget for such efforts.
"This initiative will increase the viability of alternative energy sources, help meet environmental challenges like global warming, support farm incomes, and diversify and strengthen the rural economy," the White House said in a memorandum.
At present, biomass accounts for three percent of U.S. energy use, mostly in the wood industry and in ethanol distilled from corn as a clean-fuel additive.
If the goal of tripling biomass use is met, it would equal 348 million barrels of oil a year, equal to 258 super tankers, the White House said in August. Emission of greenhouse gases would drop by 100 million tons, the amount emitted by 70 million cars.

Ford Announces Flex-fuelled Taurus will Receive LEV Certification
Ford Motor Company has announced that during model year 2000, approximately 168,000 Tauruses will be produced as E85 flex-fuelled vehicles (FFVs), designed to take advantage of the high octane content of ethanol and run on any mixture of gasoline and ethanol, with up to 85% ethanol in the blend.
The FFV Taurus has been certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a Low Emission Vehicle (LEV), which means these vehicles can be sold in areas across the U.S. that require fleets to purchase clean fuel vehicles. It is the first E85 vehicle to be LEV certified.

Ethanol Reduces Emissions in Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is combating snowmobile emissions by using ethanol. All of Yellowstone's gasoline pumps currently dispense 10% ethanol-blended fuels, resulting in a consumption rate of approximately half a million gallons of ethanol per year. The park plans to use ethanol blends year-round for its fleet of 400 to 500 vehicles.

"We are preserving the integrity of the park and visitors are breathing cleaner air produced from renewable resources", said Yellowstone National Park management assistant Jim Evanoff. One million gallons of ethanol blends reduces carbon monoxide emissions by 61 tons.

Leading Presidential Candidates Support Ethanol
A recent survey of U.S. presidential candidates released by the Sustainable Energy Coalition provides an overview of their perceptions on government support for ethanol.

Both Vice President Al Gore and Texas Governor George W. Bush, the leading Democratic and Republican presidential hopefuls, have expressed their support for ethanol. Reform Party candidate Pat Buchannan also supports tax incentives for ethanol because it is an integral part of national energy security.

Ethanol Blends Lead the Fight Against Global Warming
In its efforts to identify options for mitigating climate change, the federal Transportation Climate Change Table has found that renewable ethanol is the most cost-effective measure of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from road vehicles and fuels.

The Transportation Table, established as part of the national climate change strategy by Canada's transportation ministers, was charged with identifying greenhouse gas reduction options from transportation that would help meet Canada's targets under the Kyoto Protocol. Low-level ethanol-blended fuels were noted for their immediate ability to help close the carbon cycle.

"The Canadian Renewable Fuels Association is pleased that this national body of experts has acknowledged the potential of ethanol in the fight against global warming," said Jim Johnson, President of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA). "The industry is working hard to expand ethanol production and availability across the country."
Low-level ethanol blends (with up to 10% ethanol in the blend) are available at the same price as conventional gasoline at 1,000 service stations across Canada. Ten per cent ethanol blended with 90% gasoline has been shown to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4%. These low-level blends can be used without modifications in existing vehicle technologies. They present a very simple and effective way for Canadians to contribute to the country's efforts in curbing global warming.
A separate, but related, study found that 85% ethanol with 15% gasoline (E85) has the potential to benefit the fight against global warming even more significantly. E85, which can be used in flex-fuelled vehicles (specially designed to take advantage of the high octane value of ethanol), can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 40%.

New Technology Helps Shape the Ethanol Market for Grains
Research at the University of Saskatchewan has helped overcome some of the factors that have limited the use of grains such as barley, oats, rye, and triticale, for ethanol production. This has included hydrolyzing the viscosity-causing components of these grains, almost doubling the concentration of fermantable substances through very high gravity (VHG) technology, and a preprocessing method to remove the non-starch bran layers of rye, barley, and triticale.

Top North American Engineering Students will be in Canada for an Automotive and Environmental Challenge
The Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA) is pleased that the Ethanol Vehicle Challenge (EVC) will be coming to Canada next year, the first time the event will take place outside the United States. The competition challenges top engineering students from across North America to optimize an award-winning Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck to run on E85, an 85% blend of renewable, environmentally friendly ethanol, with 15% gasoline.
Research shows that E85 can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 40%, and also contributes to reducing smog," said Jim Johnson, President of the CRFA. "The EVC motorcade will travel through different parts of Ontario, with a stop in Quebec, providing Canadians with a chance to see first-hand how reducing transportation emissions through ethanol can be accompanied by great performance and driveability in state-of-the-art vehicles. We are very excited that Canada will be hosting the event next May."
The EVC 2000 will take place May 13-20, and involves a motorcade with stops and/or competitions planned in Ottawa, Toronto, Oshawa, Chatham, and Windsor, Ontario, and in Luskville, Quebec. The University of Waterloo has been the sole Canadian participant in the event to date, and the team's outstanding results have demonstrated that ethanol is, indeed, an excellent alternative fuel. In 2000, Canadian participation will increase, as the Universities of Alberta and Windsor will be joining the competition by forming partnerships with two U.S. schools.

Link to Federal Government News Release on EVC 2000
"The students are gaining hands-on expertise and experience in ethanol, an important contributor to our effort to combat climate change," said Minister Goodale. "To succeed in the knowledge economy, we must be prepared to innovate, quickly adopt the latest technology, invest in new skills, create ideas and put these ideas to work. This Challenge accomplishes several of these objectives, and helps build a stronger foundation for the use of cleaner transportation fuels."

More than 775,000 FFV's to be Manufactured in 2000
According to the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition, over 775,000 flex-fuelled vehicles will be manufactured during the 2000 model year. These vehicles are designed to take advantage of the high octane of ethanol, and can operate on any blend of ethanol and gasoline, with up to 85% ethanol in the mixture. Flex-fuelled vehicle models include the Ford Taurus, Ford Ranger, Mazda B3000, DaimlerChrysler minivan, and the GM S10 Chevy and GMC Sonomo light duty pick-up trucks. FFV's are available on request at little to no premium cost.

New Study Confirms Ethanol no Threat to Water Quality
The U.S. Governor's Ethanol Coalition has released a report confirming that ethanol poses no threat to surface and ground water. It has been submitted to state officials in California, who are seeking alternatives to MTBE, a petroleum-derived oxygenate that has been found to contaminate water resources. The report is available at It makes the following conclusions:
1. Because biodegradability decreases with increased chemical branching, highly branched oxygenated organic compounds including MTBE will have a higher residence time in the environment. In contrast, the structural characteristics of ethanol favour rapid biodegradation.
2. Microorganisms capable of metabolizing ethanol are widely distributed in the environment and relatively rapid rates of ethanol biodegradation have been measured under aerobic and anaerobic conditions.
3. Ethanol is a short-lived compound in surface waters and subsurface aquifers.

U.S. Military is a Major Potential Biodiesel Customer
As a result of discussions between the National Biodiesel Board and officials from the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), the two entities have entered a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement. They will be collaborating to test, evaluate, implement, and exchange information on biodiesel. This agreement establishes the U.S. military as a major potential biodiesel customer.

New Links
The Greenfuels web site now features links to articles and research on using ethanol and biomass-based lubricants in snowmobiles. Follow the information under Links.

Snowmobile Competition Features Ethanol
The Society of Automotive Engineers is organizing "Clean Snowmobile Challenge 2000", an event that will take place in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in March of next year. In this competition, North American university students are challenged to reduce hazardous emissions from snowmobiles. The competing schools have the choice of using 'straight' gasoline or a 10% blend of renewable ethanol. It is anticipated that most, if not all, of the schools will be using ethanol for its emissions-reductions benefits. Two of the schools selected to participate are Canadian - the École de Technologie Supérieure (Montreal) and the University of Waterloo.

The seven teams will compete against each other in numerous categories, including emissions, noise, acceleration, hill climb, fuel economy, design, and cold start. The goal is to reduce emissions while maintaining power and performance. The Clean Snowmobile Challenge will provide an excellent opportunity for student engineers to gain hands-on experience in engineering, leadership and management. It also will provide important information for snowmobile operators and parks concerned about air quality and the environment. The intent is to follow the 2000 competition (the first year of the event) with a second, larger competition in 2001.

For more information on Clean Snowmobile Challenge 2000 or sponsorship of the competition, contact Dr. Lori Fussell at (307) 733-9745 or There is a web site for the challenge at

Aldehyde Emissions from Ethanol are Negligible
Contrary to critics, aldehyde emissions from ethanol are not a major issue in the analysis of cleaner-burning fuels. In fact, all oxygenated fuels produce aldehyde emissions. According to the independent Royal Society of Canada, aldehyde emissions from ethanol-blended fuels are negligible as they are effectively removed by the car's catalytic converter.

"Consumers are expressing an increasingly strong interest in using transportation fuels that reduce harmful emissions", said Jim Johnson, President of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA). "They should be aware that low-level ethanol blends result in an important reduction of emissions that lead to smog and global warming. Allegations to the contrary are detrimental to improving air quality."

Several recent articles, quoting vested-interest sources, have dismissed ethanol as a clean fuel because it increases aldehyde emissions. In fact, all fuel oxygenates, including ethanol, are known to increase emissions of these suspected contaminants. The impact of aldehyde emissions from ethanol, however, have been determined as negligible by the Royal Society of Canada, the senior national body of distinguished Canadian scientists and scholars.

News on the Web
The Canadian Renewable Fuels Association's newsletter, "Renewable Fuels - Canadian Journal" is now available free of charge on the Greenfuels web site. Keep informed on issues and events in the ethanol and biodiesel industries by viewing the November 1999 issue at For links to other publications, visit

E85 Refuelling Opportunities Expand in Minnesota
Fourteen retailers in the Minneapolis-St Paul area have joined Minnesota's E85 Project to create a 'renewable motor fuels market place'. This will provide additional E85 refuelling opportunities for the 25,000 flexible fuel vehicles (capable of operating on blends of ethanol and gasoline with up to 85% ethanol in the blend) currently registered in Minnesota, a number which is expected to double in the next few months.

Oxygenated Diesel can Reduce Hazardous Emissions
Southwest Research Institute has determined that a new blend of ethanol and diesel fuel can reduce particulate matter emissions by as much as 41%, nitrogen oxides by as much as 5%, and carbon monoxide by 27%. Pure Energy Corporation hopes to commercialize the oxygenated diesel fuel next year.

Ethanol from Sewage
A waste disposal company in Birmingham, Alabama, says it can build a processing plant that turns sewage sludge and solid waste into fuel grade ethanol. By reducing the need for landfill space, it would save the city $430 million over the next 20 years. The plant could produce 13.5 million gallons/year of ethanol.

Ethanol Offers Better Margins
Nebraska officials have begun a direct mail campaign encouraging state marketers and retailers to foster greater ethanol sales, saying that ethanol blends offer better margins for Nebraska's fuel dealers. According to the Nebraska Ethanol Board, terminal prices for E10 were 3 cents per gallon lower than regular unleaded. Ethanol blends account for 21% of the motor fuel sales in the state - a number which could be boosted by making it more available in regular and premium grades.

Ethanol is Certified by U.S. Air Authorities
The Federal Aviation Aministration (FAA) recently certified a new aviaition fuel (AGE85) that contains about 85% ethanol, as well as a high-octane petroleum product and biomass-derived biodiesel for lubrication. This is hoped to be an excellent low-cost, lead-free alternative to current aviation gasolines, which contains high levels of lead. Tests indicate that AGE85 meets or exceeds FAA performance, materials compatibility, and engine component wear specifications.

Corn Growers Lobby California
The president-elect of the U.S. National Corn Growers' Association was in California recently to lobby state officials on behalf of ethanol. The corn growers were removing fears that not enough ethanol can be produced to meet the market and that ethanol is a good replacement for MTBE which is expected out of U.S. gasoline in the next few years, due to concerns about groundwater contamination.

Methanex Sues State of California
Vancouver-based Methanex has launched a $970 million suit against the State of California under the North American Free Trade Agreement. The company says its product, MTBE, was unfairly treated by Governor Gray to end its allowance as an additive in California gasoline, by 2002.

Green Fuels Workshops Across Canada

Over the next weeks, the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association will be conducting an intensive series of free workshops across the country. Geared towards a cross-section of individuals, including mechanics, fleet managers, teachers, auto dealers, farmers, the media, consumers and environmental groups, these sessions are intended to provide information on renewable fuels and dispel existing myths. Topics that will be covered include an introduction to renewable fuels, their production and availability, their impacts on vehicles and equipment with small engines, and their environmental benefits.

Renewable fuels from biomass, including ethanol and biodiesel are important and viable alternative fuels. To decrease our dependence on limited reserves of fossil fuels and imported light crude oils, it is important for Canadians to be informed about the availability of renewable fuels and the environmental and mechanical benefits that they provide. It is crucial, especially for those involved, interested, or communicating on transportation to be knowledgeable on the subject.

The launch of the workshops is scheduled to coincide with Clean Air Day, on June 2nd, 1999, as the use of renewable fuels offers substantial benefits for improving air quality. Low-level ethanol blends, available at approximately 1,000 retail stations across the country can reduce smog-forming emissions of carbon monoxide by up to 30%. They also reduce greenhouse gas emissions, notably carbon dioxide, by up to 10%.
The workshop series entitled "Green Fuels for the Next Millennium", will take place at the following times. To confirm your attendance at a specific session, or for more information, please contact the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association per telephone at (519) 767-0431, per fax at (519) 837-1674 or per e-mail at



Guelph, Ontario

June 2 (Clean Air Day)

Hamilton, Ontario

June 3

London, Ontario

June 7

Abbotsford, British Columbia

June 14

Red Deer, Alberta

June 15

Winnipeg, Manitoba

June 16

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

June 17

Windsor, Ontario

June 23

Chatham, Ontario

June 24

Barrie, Ontario

June 28

Hanover, Ontario

June 29

Ottawa, Ontario

July 12

Brockville, Ontario

July 13

Kingston, Ontario

July 14

Peterborough, Ontario

July 15

Toronto, Ontario

July 19

Montréal, Québec

July 20 (in French)

St. Hyacinthe, Québec

July 21 (in French)

Québec City, Québec

July 22 (in French)

Excellent results for biodiesel
The U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest and Alaska Regional Bioenergy Program recently reported test results using biodiesel. The test results demonstrated that biodiesel reduced emissions of hydrocarbons by 63%, carbon monoxide by 48%, and oxides of nitrogen by 12%.

Bilbray/Feinstein Legislation Unnecessary and will Forfeit Clean Air Benefits
Lifting the oxygenate requirement in federal reformulated gasoline in California is unnecessary and would result in backsliding in air quality, Eric Vaughn, President of the U.S. Renewable Fuels Association testified before the house Commerce Health and Environment Subcommittee in a hearing on H.R. 11, legislation introduced by Congressman Brian Bilbray. Similar legislation (S.645) has been introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein and would apply nationwide. More information is available at

Tax Exemption on Low-Level Ethanol Blends in
British Columbia
The 1999 British Columbia budget makes a provision for a tax exemption on low-level ethanol blends once a commercial scale ethanol plant is in operation in the province. The budget reads that "this measure is intended to encourage the development and construction of an ethanol production plant in British Columbia, increase the future use of ethanol in gasoline, and develop commercially viable ethanol production technologies using readily available wood residues".

15th International Fuel
Ethanol Workshop and Trade Show
The 15th International Fuel Ethanol Workshop and Trade Show will be held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, from June 22-25. Topics to be covered include fibre extraction and new by-products for dry mills and the latest developments in cellulosic hydrolysis processes. There will also be an opportunity to visit the Archer Daniels Midland wet mill ethanol plant. Contact Bryan and Bryan, Inc. for more information, at (719) 942-4353 per telephone or (710) 942-4358 per fax.

Iogen Demonstration Plant Receives $10 Million
Natural Resources Minister Ralph Goodale has announced that Iogen Corporation, an Ottawa-based industrial biotechnology company, has recieved $10 million in funding from Technology Partnerships Canada in cooperation with the Climate Change Action Fund. Iogen and Petro-Canada will invest the remaining $15.3 million to contruct an ethanol from cellulose demonstration plant.

1999 Ethanol Vehicle Challenge
The University of Waterloo is once again Canada's only entrant in the North American Ethanol Vehicle Challenge. The Waterloo team placed second overall in 1998 and claimed the award for lowest vehicle emissions. Fourteen university student teams from across the United States and Canada have taken delivery of 1999 four-wheel-drive Chevrolet Silverados. The student teams are blending high-tech engineering with state-of-the-art agricultural research to convert the pickup trucks to run on ethanol fuel.

Bill 34 Passes Committee
Legislation to require oxygenates in Ontario gasoline passed the legislature's Resources Development Committee last month. After a one-day hearing which included witness from the renewable fuels industry, oil industry, health professional and automakers, the committee approved Bill 34 without amendment. The law must now go to the legislature for final consideration.

U.S. Postal Service Buys 10,000 Flex-Fuelled Vehicles

The U.S. Postal Service has awarded a $206.4 million contract to Ford Motor Co. for 10,000 carrier delivery vehicles that can be powered by either gasoline or ethanol.  They will replace aging postal vehicles used for daily delivery to city and business customers.  The customized Ford vehicles will have an Explorer chassis, right-hand drive and can be powered by either fuel, as required by the Energy Policy Act of 1992. 

Public Information Co-ordinator Appointed

Jim Johnson, president of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association has announced the appointment of Ellen Klupfel as the association's new bilingual eklupfel.jpg (8217 bytes)public information co-ordinator, and the launch of a new two-year Renewable Fuels Public Awareness Program in Canada.  The project is a partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada under the Agri-Food Trade 2000 program.

"We have a lot of work to do in providing information to Canadian consumers and retailers on the importance of renewable fuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, to the environment, the economy, agriculture and rural development," said Johnson.  "Ms. Klupfel will play an important role in increasing that understanding.  We appreciate the strong support demonstrated by the federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food in accomplishing our goals."

Ellen Klupfel is a graduate of the University of Guelph, with a Master of Science degree in Rural Extension Studies and a Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) with Honours in Environmental Biology.   Ellen will be working out of the CRFA Head Office, 90 Woodlawn Rd. W., Guelph, Ontario and can be reached at (519) 767-0431, or by e-mail at

Ottawa Settles with Ethyl over MMT

In response to a recommendation by a dispute-settlement panel established under the Agreement on Internal Trade, Industry Minister John Manley and Environment Minister Christine Stewart have announced the lifting of restrictions on the interprovincial trade and import of MMT.  The government says the current scientific information fails to demonstrate that MMT impairs the proper functioning of on-board diagnostic equipment in vehicles, but if new information on the effects of MMT on health or the environment appears, action will be taken to re-impose the ban under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.    The Government of Canada will also pay Ethyl Corporation $20 million (U.S.) for lost revenue and court costs in a resolution of challenges by Ethyl under the North American Free Trade Agreement and in Ontario court.

Ontario Clean Air Legislation Passes Second Reading

Jack Carroll, MPP for Chatham-Kent, introduced legislation, on June 8, calling for an amendment to the Environmental Protection Act enhancing Ontario's environment by curbing harmful tail pipe emissions from motor vehicles through the expanded use of blended fuels, such as ethanol.  The legislation has received all party support and has been referred to the Resources Development Committee of the Ontario legislature. Carroll's bill would require all gasoline sold for motor vehicles to have at least 2.7 per cent oxygen by weight.  Such an oxygenation is equal to about 7.8 percent ethanol by volume.  This requirement would take effect on January 1, 2005, giving ethanol producers time to increase supply to meet anticipated demand.

Johnson Re-elected as President of CRFA

The Board of Directors of CRFA has re-elected Jim Johnson to a fourth term as president.  Elected to his second term as vice president was Doug MacKenzie, President of Commercial Alcohols Inc.  The regional vice presidents are: Zennith Faye, Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission (Western Canada); Bob Peden, UPI Inc. (Ontario); and Denis Couture, La Fédération des producteurs de cultures commerciales du Québec (Eastern Canada), replacing Germaine Chabot.

Waterloo Places Second in Ethanol Vehicle Challenge  

The Ethanol Vehicle Challenge is over and the University of Wateroo, Canada's only entry in the competition, placed second.  Congratulations Waterloo! The first place team was Wayne State University of Michigan. The alternative fuels team from Waterloo was presented with the award for lowest emissions and second place overall.   (Meet the team and get complete results)

U.S. Senate and House Extend Tax Incentive to Year 2007

The U.S. Congress has voted overwhelmingly, as part of the Building Efficient Surface Transportation and Equity Act of 1998, to extend the ethanol tax incentive to the Year 2007.  The House voted 297-86, while the Senate passed the measure 88-5.  The incentive will be slightly reduced to 5.1¢ by the end of the term of the legislation.

UPI Increases Ethanol Content in Gasoline

Ontario's ethanol industry received another boost this month as UPI Inc. announced that the company has increased the ethanol content of its gasoline to 8%.

This change in alcohol content has been made possible by additional ethanol production brought on by the new Commercial Alcohols Chatham plant.   Based on an 8% blend, one bushel of Ontario-grown corn will be used to produce 130 litres of UPI Ethanol-blended Gasoline.

"The move to increase the ethanol content in our gasolines further demonstrates our commitment to the Ontario farmer and the environment," commented UPI President & CEO, Robert Sicard. "We have also increased the availability of Ethanol-blended Gasoline within our network which means that consumers have a greater choice at the pumps".

UPI is the fuel supplier to Ontario's agricultural co-operatives and their customers, and operates a chain of gas bars located throughout the province.  The company has been credited with pioneering the marketing of Ethanol-blended gasolines in Ontario.

Fuel Ethanol - 60% Reduction in Greenhouse Gases

Ethanol from corn results in a substantial reduction in fossil fuel use, generally in the 50% range.  Recent studies indicate the effect on greenhouse gas emissions could be even more important. 

A major study, completed in late 1997 by Argonne National Laboratory, Illinois analyzed the energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions associated with corn grown in four midwestern states and used in the manufacture of ethanol, for use in either E10 or E85 gasoline.  On a per-mile-of-travel basis, the replacement of normal gasoline with E10 and E85 fuel meant respective reductions of 2.8-2.9 per cent and 35-36 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions (expressed as carbon dioxide equivalents).  These are equivalent to 28-29 per cent and 41-42 per cent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions per unit of ethanol production.

Even higher efficiencies were calculated in an as yet unpublished analysis of ethanol production at the new Commercial Alcohols Inc. plant at Chatham, Ontario, using corn grown in southwestern Ontario.  This study, endorsed by the Argonne National Laboratory, calculted that when ethanol is blended in gasoline, there is a 60 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide equivalents) on a per-equivalent-energy-content basis.  The higher efficiency in the Ontairo study is attributable, in part, to the high efficiency of the state-of-the-art Chatham facility.

Sunoco Retails Ethanol-enhanced Fuels in Ontario

On January 1, 1998, Sunoco Inc. combined vehicle and environmental performance through the retailing of ethanol-enhanced fuels at 270 retail outlets across Ontario.

The ethanol used by Sunoco in the new renewable fuel was purchased from the Commercial Alcohols Inc. ethanol manufacturing facility in Chatham, Ontario.  The state-of-the-art ethanol plant produces 150-million litres of ethanol per year from 15-million bushels of corn, benefiting Ontario farmers and the provincial and Canadian economies.

"We are extremely pleased to see an industry leader like Sunoco introducing renewable ethanol to their product line," said Jim Johnson, president of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association.  "The additional Sunoco locations provides consumers, particulary those in urban Ontario, with the combination they having been looking for - vehicle and environmental performance.  They no longer have to choose one over the other."

The new Sunoco locations are now included in the Ethanol Retail Directory on this Internet site.  We encourage consumers to visit their Sunoco outlet and help in the fight against greenhouse gases by purchasing renewable ethanol-enhanced fuels.


A Bill to amend the Environmental Protection act to require that gasoline used to power motor vehicles have a minimum ethanol content was introduced by Jack Carroll, MPP for Chatham-Kent in the Ontario Legislature on December 16, 1997.

The Bill would legislate a minimum ethanol blend of 6% by volume to take effect by January 1, 2005 - which would allow time for phasing in, while setting out a general penalty for non-compliance.

Motorists will benefit from the renewable, cleaner-burning, ethanol-blended gasoline.   There is increasing evidence that ethanol blends are a potential contributor to reducing greenhouse gases.  Any development that increases its use is a positive step," said Doug MacKenzie of Commercial Alcohols Inc.

All car manufacturers approve the use of ethanol blends in their warranties.

We are extremely pleased with the introduction of this legislation," said Dennis Jack, 2nd Vice President of the Ontario Corn Producers' Association.  "The develop of the ethanol industry has been a long road and this is certainly a milestone along that road."


After years of planning, and 13 months of construction, the 150 million litre per year Chatham Ethanol Plant is now open for business. The first loads of corn were delivered to the plant on November 11, 1997 by Kent County farmers Steve McGrail and Scott McGeachy, who were among the original proponents of an ethanol plant for Chatham.

Matt James, Vice President of Operations for Commercial Alcohols, said "This day marks a significant milestone for the ethanol plant, and on this occasion we want to recognize the important contribution of corn producers to the success of the plant. By starting to receive corn, we are indeed 'Open for Business'. We plan to start processing the corn within a week and be in full operation by the end of November.

The construction of the $153 million plant started in October 1996. When fully operational, the plant will process 1,100 tonnes of corn per day, equal to 15 million bushels per year.

Motorists will benefit from the renewable, cleaner-burning, ethanol-enhanced gasoline available from Sunoco and UPI. All car manufacturers approve the use of ethanol blends in their warranties.


Mohawk Oil Co. Ltd. has announced that their Premium Plus fuel now has an ethanol content of 10% in British Columbia and Alberta. This increase, up from the previous content of 5%, can result in higher vehicle performance and is a cleaner burning fuel, reducing harmful emissions into the atmosphere by up to 30%. Ethanol-blended gasolines are better for the environment, decreasing the amount of air pollutants, while helping to slow down global warming. Now, British Columbia and Alberta join Mohawk locations in Manitoba and Saskatchewan in offering Premium Plus fuel with an ethanol content of 10%, making it available across Western Canada.

Low-level ethanol blends, such as Mohawk's Premium Plus, that contain 10% ethanol or less by volume, are manufacturer approved for use in all gasoline-powered automobiles and light trucks sold in North America. The 10% blend also produces a higher octane rating. Mohawk's Premium Plus has a 94 octane rating.


Jim Johnson, a Lambton County farmer in Ontario, has been elected to his fourth consecutive term as president of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA), an organization representing the interests of the ethanol and biodiesel industries in Canada.

"1997 is proving to be a banner year for the renewable fuels industry in Canada," said Jim Johnson, president of CRFA. "Production facilities are under construction, in Chatham and Cornwall, Ontario, which will provide over 200 million litres per year of ethanol that can be used in making ethanol-blended fuels."

Johnson (Ontario Corn Producers' Association) has been the president of the association since 1989, and was the first elected president under incorporation, which occurred in 1994. Also re-elected to executive positions were Doug MacKenzie, Vice President (Commercial Alcohols Inc.), Germaine Chabot, Eastern Vice President (Federation des Producteurs Cultures Commerciales du Quebec); Bob Peden, Ontario Vice President (UPI); and Zenith Faye, Western Vice President (Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission).

"Ethanol-blended fuels are now sold at close to 700 retail outlets in six provinces and one territory," said Johnson. "Retailing of renewable blended fuels is expected to reach 1,000 outlets by late 1997, or early in 1998, with the introduction of ethanol-enhanced fuels by Sunoco Inc."

Election of the board of directors of the CRFA took place as part of the association's annual meeting in Ottawa on March 16. The Canadian Renewable Fuels Association, headquartered in Guelph, Ontario, is dedicated to the development and promotion of biomass-based renewable fuels for use as transportation fuels.

Sunoco Inc Announces 8 New Locations in Metro-Toronto and Ottawa for Ethanol-enhanced Fuels

Sunoco Inc. has added six new retail locations in Metro-Toronto and two new retail locations in Ottawa for ethanol-enhanced fuels. The new locations are:



Commercial Alcohols Inc. NEWS RELEASE


Jobs and investment a major boost for region's economic renewal

Chatham, Ontario. The dream of a $153 million ethanol plant in Chatham is now official with the announcement by Commercial Alcohols Inc. President Doug MacKenzie that the financing is now secured and all legal considerations have been completed for the plant to be operational next winter.

"Dreams really can come true, and today's announcement is an incredible example of what is possible when a community, government, financial institutions and business work together to create not only new jobs and investment, but an important new industry for the region's economic future," MacKenzie said.

Commercial Alcohols Chairman Ken Field said, "From the small company in Tiverton, Ontario with annual sales of $6 million in 1990 to a $145 million company, Commercial Alcohols Inc. is a true Canadian success story."

As one of the largest and most efficient in the world, the state-of-the-art, computerized Chatham plant will operate 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, producing over 150 million litres of fuel ethanol and industrial alcohol. In addition, the plant will produce Distillers Dried Grains (DDGS), a high protein, high energy animal feed; and carbon dioxide which will be used by the food and beverage industry.

MacKenzie said the construction of the $153 million world-class plant is a catalyst for rural economic renewal in the region.

Among some of the benefits are:

For further information on the announcement contact Doug MacKenzie, President of Commercial Alcohols Inc at 1-905-790-7500 or visit the Commercial Alcohols Web Site.

BioClean Fuels Inc. NEWS RELEASE


EDMONTON - At a formal announcement in Edmonton, Alberta Premier Ralph Klein welcomed the worldscale Alberta BioClean (ABC) renewable ethers facility as "the latest example of private sector confidence in the Province of Alberta". Premier Klein noted that the ABC Project would be a first-of-its-kind application of patented technology that would convert North American barley and butane into renewable ethers (ETBE and MTBE) used to reduce automobile emissions.

"This is truly a unique blend of benefits for farmers, natural gas processors, workers and the environment," Premier Klein said. "Alberta is proud to have been selected for commercial application of this exciting advancement in technology."

Top executives of the three Omaha, Nebraska-based project sponsors were present at the announcement. The companies are among the largest in the world in their respective industries: CalEnergy Company Inc. (NYSE:CE), one of the world's largest independent energy producers; ConAgra, Inc. (NYSE:CAG), one of the world's largest food companies; and Kiewit Energy Group Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of privately held contruction giant Peter Kiewit Sons', Inc.

David Sokol, Chairmand and CEO of CalEnergy, recognized Premier Klein as a proven leader who has successfully established Alberta as a can-do province that is open for business. "CalEnergy and its partners are investing in the ABC Project because Alberta has the unique combination of raw materials, logistics, skilled labour and the proper attitude to justify a commitment of this magnitude," Sokol said. "When these factors are blended with our patented technology, we are confident that the ABC Project will be a powerful 'win/win' situation for the farming community, work force, environment and the Alberta economy."

Tom Manuel, President and COO of ConAgra Trading and Processing Companies, emphasized the ABC Project's significant impact on the North American agricultural economy. "This project will require over 650,000 metric tons of grain each year," said Manuel. "Today, ConAgra is a significant processor and merchandiser of grain. We have the expertise in our grain operations and our feed ingredient merchandising business to provide the necessary support to the project. Recent changes in Canadian grain transportation policy, including the removal of previous distortions in the freight rate structure for grain, have helped to create an economic environment on the Prairies which is more conducive to new investments in strategic grain handling facilities and more value-added processing and diversification. ConAgra is proud to be a partner in a project that is as good for North American agriculture as it is for the environment," Manuel commented.

Walter Scott Jr., Chairman and CEO of Peter Kiewit Sons', Inc. spoke for the third Omaha sponsor. "Kiewit has a long record of leadership in the realm of infrastructure development, from major construction projects, both public and private, to mining, power and communications. Kiewit has done work in Canada for many years," Scot observed, "and we feel very much at home here. This plant is a strong vote of our confidence in Alberta, and the wisdom of North American motorists in protecting their environment by demanding the world's highest standards for gasoline."

CalEnergy and Kiewit Energy Group are majority owners of BioClean Fuels Inc. (BCF) which owns the patented Multiple Oxygenate Production (MOP) technology that will be utilized at the facility. The MOP Process is a method patent that integrates fully commercial and proven process units in a novel way to convert grains and butane to ethanol, methanol and their ether derivatives (or "oxygenates").

The primary advantage of the MOP Process is that it captures waste gases from other parts of the process to make high value materials in a very efficient, environmentally clean fashion. Raw material requirements and operating costs are substantially reduced, and the final ether products are of the finest quality.

Due to environmental requirements set by the U.S. 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, the ethers produced by the ABC Project - especially ETBE - are in increasing demand. Much of the gasoline sold on the West Coast of North America is now "reformulated", which requires the substitution of ethers for traditional aromatics (benzene, toluene, xylene) in gasoline to reduce toxics and other forms of harmful pollution. "We are particularly proud that this facility will be the first of its kind in the world capable of producing commercial volumes of ETBE, a renewably-derived, low volality gasoline additive," stated David Hallberg, President and COO of BioClean Fuels Inc., and inventor of the MOP Process. "ETBE will enable North American refiners to produce the most environmentally friendly gasoline possible."

The ABC Project will create over 2,000 jobs during its two-year construction period and will permanently employ approximately 150 people. Raw materials will include over 250 million gallons of butane per year; 650,000 metric tons of grains; and significant volumes of natural gas and electricity. Plant construction will commence in 1997, and startup is scheduled for early 1999. Fluor Daniel Canada, Inc. is providing engineering services.

Contact: David Hallberg, President and COO, BioClean Fuels Inc. - 1-402-231-1674.

BioClean Fuels Inc. is a corporate member of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association.