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Clean Fuels Ohio to talk about the future of transportation

For those who might be interested in what is happening in transportation here in Ohio (and the nation), Clean Fuels Ohio is hosting a lecture and a facilities tour at the Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research. The February 16th lunch will be a great opportunity to hear about the changes coming to the vehicles that we’re all accustom to driving as well as the fuels we will be using. A reservation is requested so be sure to contact Jill if you would like to attend … click on the image below for a PDF version of the flyer.

Clean Fuels Ohio PDF

VW's Chattanooga TN plant to build the new 2012 Passat

It looks like the new Chattanooga, Tennessee Volkswagen plant will build the 2012 VW Passat … and offer a diesel, and according to Autoblog, they also look to be keeping the entry level price down for this larger mid-sized sedan. (yet to be seen for the diesel powered option, which with a 2.0 liter TDI should get impressive fuel economy)


As part of the Volkswagen quest to carve out an ever-larger slice of the American auto market, the German manufacturer has unveiled the newest addition to its lineup – the 2012 Passat. Penned specifically to cater to big-boned tastes of American buyers, the next-generation sedan wears a 110.4-inch wheelbase to make it larger than any of its predecessors. Even so, VW says that when the Passat goes on sale later this year, it will arrive with a price tag of less than $20,000. Buyers will be able to choose one of three different power train options, including two gasoline engines and one diesel powerplant.

Biodiesel primed to flourish in 2011

With an expected economic recovery underway and oil prices rising, the biodiesel industry is looking to produce "as much as a billion gallons" and be profitable in 2011.

Washington, D.C. — Boom times are ahead for a biodiesel industry that struggled just to stay alive in 2010.

The industry could produce as much as a billion gallons in 2011, nearly triple this year's production, said Gary Haer, chairman of the National Biodiesel Board.

Congress this month revived a critical $1-a-gallon tax subsidy that had lapsed at the end of 2009, and the industry also will benefit in 2011 from increased federal mandates on refiners to use biodiesel.


Federal stimulus funds available for Ohio Biofuel companies

Federal stimulus funds are political hot potato as the Novemeber 2010 election draws near, but it is still good to know where the money is being spent. According to Biodiesel Magazine,  the Ohio Department of Development will be using "$8 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to help biodiesel and ethanol companies fund new or additional refining equipment." The $8 million is being awarded to applicants in amounts from $500,000 up to $1,000,000 in order to make Ohio a leading biofuels producer her in the U.S. The state of Ohio received a total of $96 million in total from the ARRA State Energy Program.

Interested applicants must reside in the state of Ohio and be able to invest at least 25% of the total equipment cost. The project must also be completed with 12 months and provide a direct economic benefit to Ohio. According to the article, "applicants will be judged on four categories: project readiness, financial ability to meet the 25 percent requirement,biowillie economic/employment impacts on Ohio and possible job creation and retention during construction phases." Perhaps a group like CinciTDI should initiate a business venture to produce and distribute biodiesel like BioWillie?

Diesel to emerge as a leading fuel of the future

The demand for diesel vehicles and improvments will continue to grow in North America if Hart Energy study is accurate.

"Because of diesel fuel's unique attributes - its energy density, low-sulfur content, widespread availability and compatibility with biofuels - it is easy to recognize diesel's emergence as a leading fuel of the future." - Hart Energy Consulting

Mocroalgal biodiesel within the next 10 to 15 years

According to a Journal Science article by René H. Wijffels and Maria J. Barbosa, we are still a few years away from algae biodiesel becoming an affordable alternative to petroleum diesel, synthetics or grown feedstocks, but opportunities for companies are on the horizon for microalgae visionaries.

Microalgae are considered one of the most promising feedstocks for biofuels. The productivity of these photosynthetic microorganisms in converting carbon dioxide into carbon-rich lipids, only a step or two away from biodiesel, greatly exceeds that of agricultural oleaginous crops, without competing for arable land. Worldwide, research and demonstration programs are being carried out to develop the technology needed to expand algal lipid production from a craft to a major industrial process. Although microalgae are not yet produced at large scale for bulk applications, recent advances—particularly in the methods of systems biology, genetic engineering, and biorefining—present opportunities to develop this process in a sustainable and economical way within the next 10 to 15 years.

Softening up America's resistance to diesel engines

With buyers paying  a premium for diesel cars on the second hand car market, and new car demand strong, European car manufacturers are selling more and more clean diesel vehicles compared to gas only vehicles. With this trend, one would think U.S. car companies would be planning ahead and making more of an effort to include a diesel or two in their models line up? 

An article, Diesel Picks Up Speed in the WSJ, writes that Audi's 3 million dollar campaign highlighting clean diesels help to turn Audi buyers on to their A3 TDI and Q7 TDI. Buyers now choose a diesel TDI  "in about half of the A3 compact sedans sold in the U.S., and 40% of Q7s." Although their advertising focuses on "green," the excellent power and better efficiency is equally as attractive.

Engines running on diesel now emit about 30% less in greenhouse gases than gasoline engines and fetch up to 40% better mileage, according to auto maker estimates.Diesel also burns more efficiently than gasoline, and so generates power more effectively than either gasoline or hybrid.

  WSJ - Diesel Picks Up Speed 

National Traffic Safety Administration investigating HPFP issue

The folks on the TDI Club have been tracking and reporting a problem with the "High Pressure Fuel Pumps" on A6 VW TDI models. According to an article in the Detroit News and a Left Lane News blog post, the National Traffic Safty Administration has now launch an official investigation.

According to posts on the TDIClub forum, owners suffering damage from a HPFP failure have expensive repair costs nearing $10,000. Hopefully VW will positively address this for current and potential TDI owners.

The agency is looking into 37,889 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI models after getting seven complaints on that model and year "alleging that while driving and without warning the engine limped and then stalled almost immediately."