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biofuels production best practices information request (served with a very small side of rant) - swag available for good work




Hi, all - apologies for cross posting - please forward to any who might have pertinent info and a willingness to share.  Are you someone who "will work for swag?"  Swag rewards described below.

We've been working off and on to gather the best current information for best practices in the corn ethanol side of biofuels production.  But we just received a request for the best practices in biodiesel production.   We could use your help in identifying the your favorite information sources on the subject of biodiesel production.  One of the things we've learned is that this is a batch process that  can be done with a minimal level of expertise, and is suitable for the do-it-yourselfer.  Quality of fuel is definitely variable.  A competent DIY effort can grow by adding tanks, and soon a small business is born.  Stories now accumulating on backyard biofuel production fires (most recent:  http://www.newswatch50.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=c7b78220-e924-4836-a24b-293c740de6db  ) and increasing cooking grease barrel thievery.  Just the kind of growth that could use a list of best practices.  Appreciate any help you can offer on this.

We are further along with information for corn ethanol production.  If you are willing, we'd love your editing to improve the information we already have for corn ethanol production.  I have attached a draft document of resources we have vetted, and linked to our copy in a wiki format so that you can edit it on the fly for others to see. [RANT: I am of the opinion that the greatest opportunity for greening ethanol now lies with producers greeing their supply chain - applying pressure for grain producers to incorporate the best practices that extension has been touting for years.  I'm not going to get into ag production systems impact too much, but simply note that many of my neighbors (and, sadly, even relatives) have been knocking down miles long rows of trees and brush you know as windbreaks (a.k.a. shelter-belts) to create more room to grow grain.  Ahem.  Nebraskans used to proudly call themselves the Treeplanter State.  I guess it's part of the ethic of making hay while the sun shines.]  

We are finding out some fun things related to ethanol production - such as the fact that the FDA has expressed concern about the antibiotics used to adjust the mix of the fermentation tanks in a process where a byproduct (distillers grains) becomes feed for cattle and therefore part of our food chain.  Also, spilled ethanol left in the ground for a while becomes a safety hazard due to a potential to explode.  Always an adventure working in this field.  

If you can help with ethanol, the wiki entry is here:  http://lib.wmrc.uiuc.edu/p2rx-wiki/index.php/Ethanol_refinery_best_practices
If you would rather comment on a more traditional document format, you can request the draft best practices for ethanol production  from P2RIC student staff member  jgrafton@unomaha.edu He will also be the best point of contact for suggested resources you want to make directly to us.  And, he is the keeper of the swag.

Swag offer:  If you offer us a best practice reference or resource for ethanol production we do not already have and which we add to the draft best practices, we will send you a very cool P2RIC mug.  We don't have much information collected for the biodiesel production, so the best ten P2 resources collected and used in a new draft and wiki for biodiesel will also be offered a mug. These mugs do more than just hold your beverage of choice, they also remind you to "Fight Waste".  To look at your reward for making a meaningful contribution to the ethanol Best Practices List follow this link http://www.p2ric.org/measurement/merchandise.cfm  

thanks in advance for your help.


Regards,

Rick

PS: I know, all of this is on the heels of this week's UN Food Conference. We're looking at improving these processes, not on arguing the merits of the use of ag-land for fuel production.  I acknowledge the issue in advance.  It used to be said that modern agriculture is the practice of turning petroleum into food.  now it's morphed into the practice of turning food into petroleum.


Richard Yoder, PE
Director, P2ric.org
University of Nebraska at Omaha
6001 Dodge Street, RH308
Omaha, NE 68182
fax: 402-554-6260

http://www.p2ric.org/
 

P2RIC, the Pollution Prevention
Regional Information Center, is
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