Itarumã, Mitsui and Petrobras Form Ethanol JV
Mercedes-Benz Expands Center of Competence for Natural Gas Engines

Pennsylvania Legislature Passes Renewable Fuels Mandate; B20 and Cellulosic E10

Both houses of the Pennsylvania General Assembly have passed HB 1202, a bill requiring that transportation fuels sold in Pennsylvania include increasing amounts of biodiesel, synthetic diesel or renewable diesel (in diesel fuel); and cellulosic ethanol (in gasoline), based on levels of in-state production.

The General Assembly also passed a second bill, (Special Session SB 22) extending the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program (AFIG) to provide funding of $0.75 per gallon for all biodiesel produced in Pennsylvania by Pennsylvanians and sold in Pennsylvania. The AFIG fund will rebate up to $5.3 million each year for the next three years, with no single producer receiving more than $1.9 million each year. No funding will be available for corn-based ethanol.

Under HB1202, all gasoline sold in the state will have to contain at least 10% cellulosic ethanol by volume one year after the in-state annualized production volume of cellulosic ethanol reaches 350 million gallons and is sustained at that level for three months. Substitution of another renewable fuel for cellulosic ethanol is approved if it meets state requirements and has an emissions profile at least as good as that of cellulosic ethanol.

HB1202 outlines a scaling biodiesel requirement beginning at 2% (B2), one year after in-state production reaches an annualized volume of 40 million gallons and is sustained for three months. Subsequent blend requirements and threshold points are:

  • 5% biodiesel (B5) at 100 million gallons of in-state production;

  • 10% biodiesel (B10) at 200 million gallons of in-state production; and

  • 20% biodiesel (B20) at 400 million gallons of in-state production.

(ASTM recently approved a B6-B20 blend specification. (Earlier post.))

Coal-to-liquids (CTL) synthetic diesel may be substituted in place of biodiesel, provided that the CTL fuel’s carbon emissions are fully offset, either through carbon sequestration or by participation in carbon offset programs.

Renewable diesel—e.g.,hydrotreated oils and fats resulting in bio-hydrocarbons—may be used in place of biodiesel up to a maximum of 25% of the volume of biodiesel required.

According to the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), total actual biodiesel production in the US from 1 October 2006 through 30 September 2007 was 450 million gallons, on capacity of 2.24 billion gallons per year. NBB lists the current capacity of Pennsylvania biodiesel producers at 56.5 million gallons per year as of 25 January 2008, with another 10 million gallons of capacity under construction.

The Renewable Fuels Association lists only one Pennsylvania ethanol producer—a corn ethanol plant with 110 million gallons annual capacity.

Comments

ejj

Mandates are fine....but you also have to provide incentives for producers. When states want to lure big manufacturing operations to their regions, they use tax incentives. Let's implement a phased reduction and elimination of corn & soybean ethanol subsidies, and new incentives for cellulosic ethanol and non-food based biodiesel.

Axil

@ejj


but you also have to provide incentives for producers.

Did you read this

The General Assembly also passed a second bill, (Special Session SB 22) extending the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program (AFIG) to provide funding of $0.75 per gallon for all biodiesel produced in Pennsylvania by Pennsylvanians and sold in Pennsylvania. The AFIG fund will rebate up to $5.3 million each year for the next three years, with no single producer receiving more than $1.9 million each year. No funding will be available for corn-based ethanol.

Coskata’s demonstration plant will be built in Madison, Westmoreland County.

Clearfield County, PA is a 110M gallon per year fuel Ethanol biorefinery under construction in Clearfield Borough, Pennsylvania. With the backing of $22 million in grants & loans from Governor Rendell and the State of Pennsylvania, the project closed debt financing of $205 million in February 2008. It features a unique tolling contract with Getty Petroleum & Marketing


Governor Edward G. Rendell announced that Pennsylvania’s first ethanol plant will be built by BioEnergy International LLC and Lukoil Americas in Clearfield County. The Governor presented $17.4 million in grants, tax credits, and capital assistance funding for the $250 million project.

A study commissioned for Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future by LECG LLC examined the benefits of offsetting 900 million gallons of petroleum-based transportation fuel with renewable and coal-derived fuels by 2017, as called for in the Governor’s plan. The study concluded that the plan would:

• Add nearly $1.5 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy;

• Create as many as 25,775 new jobs in all sectors of the Pennsylvania economy by increasing gross output from the production and construction of new capacity; and

• Put an additional $6.6 billion into the pockets of Pennsylvanians over the next decade.

ejj

Axil:

Thanks - I need to learn how to finish reading these things & not fly off the handle right away.

Lucas

At least somebody is doing something.

The feds should have done something like this when Carter was president, and those who followed should have expanded it. Had that been done, we wouldn't find ourselves in the mess we are in today.

Biodiesel and cellulosic alcohol are the way to go. I have long advocated biodiesel from Algae as the most sensible approach.

Common sense reveals that we are not going to be able to sustain converting food to energy.

That is the most certain path to continuing war.

ejj

Lucas: If the EEStor technological revelation "in the next several weeks" is as revolutionary as the hype suggests, all liquid fuels may be obsolete in 5 to 10 years.....everything will be electric. Imagine: wind farms and solar farms with utility scale EEStor energy storage - released at night or when the wind isn't blowing....constant, regulated energy. Liquid fuel down to bargain prices - food prices back to normal.....maybe someday.

http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2008/06/27/eestor-to-prove-chevy-volt-obsolete-before-launch/

http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/calgarybusiness/story.html?id=7e7224ee-beae-45ad-a31a-3960320e6f3b

Neil

ejj: I'm crossing my fingers for the EEStor as well, but even with that we still need aviation fuel, plastics and liquid fuel for a legacy fleet that will still be around for a couple of decades. I'd rather see these biofuels used than fossil fuels.

gr

Looks like Governor Edward G. Rendell, is leading the way on this one. Congratulations for taking a position and supporting renewable fuels!

Remember guys even if EEStore can demonstrate this technology - there will be significant safety issues raised by any system storing that much energy. We hope it works but have plenty of alternatives in the mean while.

Jonas

Biodiesel is killing hundreds of millions of people and destroying all the tropical forests and the species.

Biodiesel is a crime against the planet.

sjc

Carter's synthetic fuels program from 30 years ago has been called a "boondoggle". I do not know what that means, but I assume it is negative. When the big money machine pumps out propaganda labels like that, you know there is a not too hidden agenda.

Trolls are people too.

HarveyD

This seems to be one more step in the right direction.

Of course,limited liquid fuel production may be essential for the next few decades. Electrified aircraft, ships, rails, large trucks and large machines may not be around for another half century.

As fossil liquid fuels are phased out, non-food stock alternative liquid fuels could fulfill special requirements.

Using various types of wastes could be a win-win solution, if it can be done (more or less) economically and without increasing GHG.

Interesting challenges ahead.

P Schager

The bill looks good until you read it; I think the biodiesel provisions at least are pretty hollow. That's because the mandates are voided if all the vehicle manufacturers don't play ball and warrant their vehicles for that biodiesel concentration. For the forseeable future, at least some of the auto and truck makers are going to continue to behave like marketing departments for their big money-making big brothers in oil. They don't take the public responsibility to allow for even a little biodiesel in their warranties seriously (even though it works fine in reality). The bill has a provision to allow for renewable-sourced diesel that is chemically compatible with standard diesel so the warranty limitation doesn't logically matter, yet this provision is catch-22'ed because the fuel has to be matched up with three times as much biodiesel, and the biodiesel has been disqualified.

If they really wanted biodiesel to happen, they might start with requiring vehicle manufacturers who wanted to sell in the state to give a public explanation of why they can't warrant their vehicles for the next stage concentration.

Combine the above catch with the fact that the law is set up to put a chicken-and-egg barrier in front of biodiesel producers, holding out the promise of a quota of assured sales but only after they have started selling a large (I assume comparable) amount, without the benefit of that quota to get them there. And nobody will make the big investment in advance knowing that they're probably charging for a matador's cape. Remember the quota-fullfilling sales are to come through oil companies' filling stations, and they are going to be no allies.

Coal-To-Liquids diesel is the only fuel that seems like it makes it through the gauntlet, so that seems to be the real aim of this measure. The CTL diesel has to either have its carbon sequestered (unlikely) or accounted for in an offset program. That will be the low-cost option, especially if they can find a gimmicky offset program they can get OK'ed.

Pennsylvania has a lot of coal, so I guess it is not surprising they would want to jump-start the CTL industry. But the legislature should have the integrity to not sneak it under the noses of the general population hiding under the green flag of renewables.

gr

Good points PSchager. It would be hard to sell a State mandate that voids an automaker warranty. Thus the legislation should, like California's CARB/AQMD emissions requirements, demand that new vehicles sold in PA warranty flex fuels including biodiesel.

While a coal State like PA will benefit from CTL in the short term, hopefully policy makers will think ahead far enough to design transition from liquid fuels to pure EV.

"That's because the mandates are voided if all the vehicle manufacturers don't play ball and warrant their vehicles for that biodiesel concentration."

Before making this claim, try doing a google search on "Cummins B20"

You might also look at www.JohnDeere.com/biodiesel

sjc

I think we can see the wisdom in having Federal fuel standards. You would not want every state setting their own and then expect the car makers to comply with many different requirements.

If there is a specific standard for biodiesel, I see no reason why this can not be spelled out as a requirement. It should have no basis on whether the state is a coal state, oil state, farming state nor anything else.

Can the state get the fuel with the specified standards in sufficient quantities to meet the market demand? If not, do not bother mandating that cars run on it, that would just be a waste of time and mess things up worse than they already are.

The comments to this entry are closed.