Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Propel Biofuels new site and blog

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Biodiesel powered by Propel Fuels

Propel biodiesel powers new biodiesel station (Seattle Times) :

Rob Elam of Propel Biodiesel featured InterActivist at Grist Magazine:

Rob Elam of Propel Biofuels authors how to biodiesl in Make Magazine Issue 03:

Biodiesel: Congressman Dave Reichert, Grange General Manager Chip Perrault, Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisenger welcome new Proepl biodiesel pump.

Propel Biodiesel web site


Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Bookmark Propel Biodiesel for all further blogging and updates:

Friday, February 18, 2005

Seattle PI Front Page

A series of articles on biodiesel in the Seattle area


Saturday, February 05, 2005

Ford and EPA team up on clean diesel technology

From Treehugger

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

More on the new Jeep Liberty Diesel

"This is an important first step in encouraging wider use of these clean, renewable, environmentally-friendly fuels in the United States,” said Dieter Zetsche, Chrysler Group President and CEO. More

Blogging the NBB Conference

Martin is blogging the NBB Annual Biodiesel Conference over at

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Motor fuel from vegetables, not the Middle East

... So Cascio, a 50-year-old homebuilder, has gone cold turkey. For more than five years, he has avoided the gas pump and instead uses a form of vegetable oil in his pickup truck, station wagon, lawn tractor and the generator that powers his electric drills and saws. More...

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Propel Fuels Site Launchb

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Artcles from The Foundation for the Defense of Democracy

Left and right, hawks and doves. Alternative energy and biodiesel benefit everyone, and should not be framed as exclusively a green issue. Notes on security and political stability:

1. On Nov. 12, Columbia University will be given an opportunity to make history. At the Columbia University Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing community hearing, the committee can decide to recommend that the University divest its holdings in two of the largest corporations in the oil industry, ChevronTexaco and ExxonMobil, and instead invest in the construction of an extensive facility for the study of alternative energy production and storage in the potential Manhattanville campus. MORE

2. In World War II, it was mostly up to Americans to fund the Allied war effort. Imagine if we had been obliged to fund the Axis effort, too. Actually, that shouldn't be hard to imagine because right now we are indeed funding both sides in the War on Terrorism. We finance the defense of the Free World against its sworn enemies through our tax dollars. And we support the terrorists every time we go to a gas station and fill up the tanks of our cars. MORE

3. Some 4,000 tankers carry 60 percent of the world's oil on the high seas. And while much has been done to improve maritime security since Sept. 11, the sea remains relatively unpoliced. Terrorists are well aware that an oil market with little wiggle room offers an ideal target for undermining the world economy. Oil supplies are, in the words of Al Qaeda, "the provision line and the feeding to the artery of the life of the crusader nation." MORE

4. "Energy is a key component of this war; we simply must reduce our reliance on Middle East petroleum, on oil produced by vulnerable autocracies and pathological predators." MORE

5. The wealth produced by oil underlies the power of the three totalitarian movements in the Middle East that have chosen to make war on us: the ruling Iraqi Baathists and Iranian mullahs, and al Qaeda, the latter spawned by Saudi money. MORE

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Former CIA Director favors biofuels for national security

James Woolsey is a firm believer in alternatives fuels, especially those derived from biomass
or plant matter, as a means of reducing America's dependence on imported oil. He calculates
that the nation could eventually replace two-thirds of its current oil consumption, most of
which is used in transportation, with a combination of biomass fuels and hybrid-electric
vehicle systems. Full interview in PDF format

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Biofuels Become Minnesota Bragging Right

Currently, three new biodiesel production facilities are under construction in Minnesota. When the facilities are operational they should produce more than 50 million gallons of fuel.
Article Link

Monday, January 10, 2005

H2: The Giant Red Herring?

The harder we look, the further away the promise of "The Hydrogen Economy." In fact, the H2 future, as supported by Detroit big auto and Big Oil, seems to be a pr red herring in place to keep control in the hands of current corporate energy barons. Considering big oil and Detroit have done little or nothing to support US energy independence, this should come as no surprise.

Physics Today posts a fine article explaining the tremendous hurdles facing the theoretical "H2 future." Of course, biofuels, particularly biodiesel, are ready for prime time, right now. You do the math.

Link: Physics Today Article

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Biodiesel: Growing A New Energy Economy

Finally, the book we've been looking for. Greg Pahl's new biodiesel book offers a comprehensive review of all things veggie oil powered. From the history of the diesel engine to the developemnt of the biodiesel industry, past current and future. This is the ultimate primer.

Buy it!

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

New blog and discussion board

Martin has started a new blog for us share biodiesel experiences, thoughts and questions:

Saturday, December 18, 2004

OPEC bets against US innovation

OPEC sees no threat from US fuel innovation, will cut production and consolidate power: OPEC upshot: Pricey oil here to stay

Monday, December 06, 2004

A little song for anyone who's ever hated...

Courtesy Green Car Congress, a wonderful animated diesel commercial from Honda:

Flash file will open in browser

Commentary links:

Guardian Unlimited


The Grrrr Game

Monday, November 29, 2004

Biodiesel America

The Veggie Van has a new look and new attitude. The introduction letter in their blog is most excellent.

The biodiesel tax incentive....

what does it mean? Who benefits? How and when will price reductions be felt at the pump? At $.01 per % biodiesel blend excise tax reduction, this incentive is significant. Given a constant set of competitive pressures for suppliers, we should see price drops of $1.00/gallon for b100 by early February. Will this indeed be the case?

Also of note, the full credit applies only to virgin oil biodiesel, WVO based biodiesel is only eligible for 1/2 the credit amount. The farm lobby did the work on this bill, and they'll receive the benefit. This should be a good thing, as cheaper WVO has been responsible for several loads of spoiled biodiesel in the Seattle area. With feedstock costs between WVO/virgin oil more even, large distributors (that's YOU World Energy!) should prioritize virgin fuels meeting ASTM standards. A consistent, high quality fuel supply is a biodiesel industry hurdle. Not only have early-adopting fleet owners been burned from bad fuel, this issue is the primary roadblock preventing auto maker endorsement.

The incentive looks well crafted with perfect timing.

Information links:

NBB Tax News

RFA Bill Highlights

Biodiesel in Industry

Earthwise Excavation of Maltby featured in Snohomish County Biz Journal article.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Sleeping with The Devil

Friday, October 08, 2004

School buses, kids, and petro-diesel

Edutopia, Sept 04

The switch to biodiesel isn't just good for the environment; it's also better for students. Children riding in diesel-fueled buses -- particularly buses built before tougher emissions controls were introduced in 2000 -- are exposed to significantly higher levels of harmful exhaust.

Petroleum-fueled diesel engines, which power most school buses, are notorious polluters. Regular exposure to diesel fumes has been linked with respiratory problems, cancer, and asthma -- a condition from which 6.3 million U.S. children now suffer. Children run a greater risk of developing health problems associated with air pollution than do adults, according to the Coalition for Clean Air, because their lungs are still developing.

But alternative-fuel advocates say the cheapest -- and most immediate -- solution to the dirty-bus problem is to switch to biodiesel, a nontoxic fuel derived from vegetable oils that requires no new equipment purchases or expensive engine modifications. More than 100 U.S. school districts have already switched, according to the National Biodiesel Board, and many got their funding through the EPA's grant program...
Read complete article.

Biodiesel Tax Incentive Passes the House

From NBB newsletter

Oct 08, 2004

The House last night passed the FSC/ETI conference report H.R. 4520, including the biodiesel tax incentive, by a vote of 280-141. Senate leadership has indicated that the Senate will vote on this legislation before they recess on Saturday, Oct. 9. If that happens, it will go to the President for signature, as its final step. As it stands now, we are cautiously optimistic about our chances for final passage.

The biodiesel tax incentive is part of the Foreign Sales Corporation/Extraterritorial Income Tax (FSC/ETI) regime, commonly referred to as “JOBS” legislation. The biodiesel tax incentive, which amounts to a penny per percentage point of biodiesel blended with petroleum diesel, was included in the FSC/ETI legislation at the insistence of biodiesel champions like Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Blanche Lincoln (D-AR). It is part of the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) originally introduced as S. 1548 that Senators Grassley and Lincoln sponsored, and H.R. 3119 sponsored by Representative Kenny Hulshof (R-MO). House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA) chaired the conference committee and included the biodiesel provision.

We thank all who have made this crucial step to passage possible: to those who made calls to specific legislators in answer to our plea yesterday, we thank you! We all know how precious this tax incentive is to our industry and we appreciate your volunteer hours of help. Your voice as a stakeholder is the loudest. We will keep you informed as developments unfold.

Thank you very much,

Joe Jobe
Executive Director
National Biodiesel Board

Thursday, September 30, 2004

MN takes a stand

Minnesota, traditionally one of the most progressive states in the USA (Gov Jesse Ventura not withstanding), has announced an aggressive approach to our domestic security/economic/environmental fuel issues:

Governor Tim Pawlenty today declared Minnesota the "renewable fuel capital of America" and said Minnesota will lead the nation toward its renewable fuel future.

More commentary at Green Car Congress

Disclaimer: I grew up in MN.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Oil at $50

Oil hits $50

The U.S. light crude front month contract rose a further 36 cents a barrel in after-hours electronic trading to hit $50, its loftiest level in the 21 years of trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Thursday, September 23, 2004


Wednesday, September 22, 2004

...the policy-makers and the consumers

More top notch analysis from Green Car Congress:

What’s the “Best” Green Transpo Technology?

"There are many different technology options and possible combinations available and emerging for sustainable transportation, short and long term. The complexity and number of variables makes it difficult for stakeholders to sit down and to evaluate definitively the environmental and energy impact of these systems. For automakers faced with different types of regulations, policy makers trying to craft those regulations and consumers trying to do the right thing, the problem can become very confusing."

Jeep Liberty

The '05 Jeep Liberty diesel is factory filled with b5.

Liberty promo site

As the first diesel-powered, mid-size SUV available in North America, Liberty CRD is blazing a new trail so you can go further off road between fill-ups.

  • Best-in-class driving range*
  • Nearly 500 miles to the tank
  • Up to 32 percent better fuel
    economy than comparable gas
  • >>

    Wa State Incentives

    Thinking along the same lines as Martin:

    Considerable B&O and sales tax breaks for biodiesel business (WA State)

    House Bill 1241 – Tax incentives for the distribution and retail sale of biodiesel and alcohol fuels.

    Business & Occupation Tax Exemption

    Summary: All persons engage in business in Washington State pay Business & Occupation Taxes. Amounts received from the retail sale or distribution of alcohol or biodiesel fuel are exempt from the Business & Occupation Tax.

    Eligibility: Any person engaged in the business of retail sale or distribution of biodiesel fuel or alcohol fuel, if the alcohol fuel is at least 85% of the volume of the fuel being sold or distributed.

    Sales and Use Tax Exemption

    Summary: Certain investments in equipment and labor are eligible for an exemption from state and local sales and use taxes.

    Eligibility: Sales and use taxes do not apply with respect to:

    · Machinery and equipment, or to services rendered in respect to constructing structures or installing repairing, cleaning, altering, or improving structures or machinery and equipment used directly for the retail sale of a biodiesel or alcohol fuel blends. Structures and machinery and equipment that are also used for purposes other than the retail sale of biodiesel and alcohol fuel blends are exempt only on the portion directly associated with the retail sale of biodiesel or alcohol fuel blends.

    · Fuel delivery vehicles or to sales of or charges made for labor and services rendered in respect to installing, repairing, cleaning, altering, or improving the vehicles including repair parts and replacement parts if at least 75% of the fuel distributed by the vehicles is a biodiesel or alcohol fuel blend.

    Additional Definitions:
    “Alcohol fuel blend” means fuel that contains at least 85% alcohol fuel by volume.
    “Biodiesel fuel blend” means fuel that contains at least 20% biodiesel fuel by volume.
    “Machinery and equipment” means industrial fixtures, devices, and support facilities and tangible personal property that becomes an ingredient or component thereof, including repair parts and replacement parts that are integral and necessary for the delivery of biodiesel or alcohol fuel blends into the fuel tank of a motor vehicle.

    References: RCW 82.08 and 82.12

    Expiration Date: July 1, 2009

    National Biodiesel Board

    The National Biodiesel Board, a Soy focused biodiesel trade organization, has made the Federal biodiesel tax incentive priority #1. They believe the political muscle is there, but legislative traffic is at a stand still during this election year. The proposed incentives would mean: A one penny ($.01) per percentage point of biodiesel blended with PetroDiesel. (i.e. .20 for b20, 1.00 for b100). We should see this hit consumers by early 06. This would put b20 at same price as petrodiesel, and b100 around premium gas price. If this comes together, combined with local and state incentives- we are looking at price competitive with regular gas, possibly cheaper. Get ready for hyper-growth.

    Additional info: National Biodiesel Board


    There are now two options for wholesale biodiesel in Puget Sound region:

    1. Pacific Functional Fluids has product from World Energy
    2. Pacific Northwest Energy is selling West Central Soy (SoyPower)

    Both are coming in on rail from Iowa. Rail is adding approx $.28/gallon to b100 costs in WA. Yikes! Also, World Energy seems to be a broker as well, sourcing biodiesel all over North America. While West Central Soy is a producer. We need a quality WA grown/produced product available.

    Tuesday, September 21, 2004

    Four Ways to Pick a Winning Product

    From HBS Working Knowledge:

    "The four dimensions fall into two categories, purchase motivators and purchase barriers. The new product has to excel at:

    1. Providing high purchase motivators
      A. It must be less expensive than existing products (lower price).
      B. It must provide better features than existing products (greater benefits).

    2. Eliminating purchase barriers
      A. It must not have any switching or adoption costs (easy to use).
      B. It must be readily available (easy to buy)."
    1. Purchase Motivators:
    A. More expensive (at the pump anyway, indirectly much cheaper)
    B. Better mpg, enviro benefits, USA made, feel good factor?

    2. Purchase barriers:
    A. Zero switch costs if you own a diesel vehicle, otherwise need a new car.
    B. Currently hard to find

    Motivators: Consumers have demonstrated a willingness to pay a premium for products across the board, if the motivation is there. Will they do it in numbers for biodiesel? I know several folks pay for performance with high octane additives. Will less direct motivators- support USA jobs, clean environment, higher mpg vs. gas, or geo-political (terrorism, war), prove to motivate? We are accustomed to cheap gas. Wildcard: "Made in USA" factor. This motivator waxes and wanes, but has tremendous power. See anti-Japanese car buying sentiment circa 77-85. My thinking: Another large domestic terrorist attack and we'll see this motivator move off the charts. If biodiesel was widely available on Sept 12, 2001, would consumers have embraced a fuel with zero profit flowing into Middle East? Other wild card is gas price. I'm not betting on sustained high gas price ($2.75+) anytime soon.

    Barriers: Diesel auto supply barrier is shrinking. DaimlerChrysler (e300, Jeep liberty), and VW are betting on diesel passenger cars in the US. Trucks are available now. Fleet use is happening, particularly in Gov't. Biodiesel availability remains a barrier, yet within reach.


    Winning the Oil Endgame

    Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) today released Winning the Oil Endgame: Innovation for Profits, Jobs, and Security, a Pentagon-cofunded blueprint for making the United States oil-free.

    "A fuel-efficient military could save tens of billions of dollars a year," said Lovins, who served on a Pentagon task force studying this issue. "As our nation stops needing oil, think of the possibilities of being able to treat oil-rich countries the same as nations that don't own a drop. Imagine, too, our moral clarity if other countries no longer assume everything the United States does is about oil."
    The RMI report says that by 2015, more efficient vehicles, buildings, and factories will turn oil companies into broad-based energy companies that embrace biofuels as a new product line.

    Read more or download the full report.

    Monday, September 20, 2004

    Medici Effect

    The Medici Effect, from

    British biodiesel IPOs

    Two British biodiesel producers have gone public this summer. Thanks to Green Car Congress for the link.

    Hello World

    Hello World