Milwaukee Brewing Co. saves big on energy costs by brewing biodiesel

From an article and video on BizTimes:

Every Monday morning, a crew of workers inside the Milwaukee Brewing Company brews up a special batch of product. Unlike the brewery’s beer, this product is usable right away, and becomes fuel for the brewing process.

For more than one year, the company has been making biodiesel at its brewery at 613 S. 2nd St., in Milwaukee’s Fifth Ward neighborhood. The brewery is owned by Jim McCabe, who also owns the Milwaukee Ale House, which has locations in Milwaukee’s Third Ward and Grafton. The cooking oil from both locations is transformed into burnable biodiesel inside the brewery.

The brewery produces about 110 gallons of biodiesel on most Monday mornings. During warm months, that is enough fuel to power a full day’s brewing each week.

“When we look at our energy bill today compared to one year ago, there’s a big difference,” McCabe said.

Mega 'green diesel' project moves forward

From an article by Wayne Nelson in BusinessNorth:

The proposed $250 million addition at Flambeau River Papers in Park Falls that would expand the mill into commercial manufacturing of “green diesel” and other renewable woody biomass products has cleared more hurdles on the way to a potential construction later this year.

On Jan. 19, Flambeau River Biofuels, an affiliate of the paper mill, said it has signed letters of intent with two more major project vendors. William “Butch” Johnson, majority owner of the paper mill and biofuels companies, said it has selected AMEC, a British engineering firm, to design the project, and Miron Construction based in Neenah, WI, as primary contractor.

In October, Flambeau River Biofuels selected Honeywell, Inc. to supply and integrate automation equipment and building controls for what would be the largest second-generation U.S. green diesel plant. In addition to producing transportation fuels and chemicals from woody biomass, the steam and electricity also produced in the process would make the paper mill the first in the nation to be fossil fuel-independent.

The biorefinery would be designed to process 1,000 dry tons per day of bark, sawdust and other residue with little market demand into 19 million gallons of green diesel and wax fuels per year. The project would add about 40 fulltime employees to the 300 already working in the mill. The additional demand for woody biomass would create an estimated 125 logging-related jobs for the regional wood products industry.

Clean Energy Jobs Act bill includes low carbon fuel standard

From a question-and-answer summary of the Low Carbon Fuels Standard included in the Clean Energy Jobs Act bill written by Peter Taglia, Staff Scientist, for Clean Wisconsin:

The Clean Energy Jobs Act (SB 450 and AB 649), announced recently by Governor Doyle, has been introduced by both houses of the Wisconsin legislature. The bill incorporates many of the recommendations made by the governor’s Climate Change Task Force. The Clean Energy Jobs Act, if adopted, will increase Wisconsin’s use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, cleaner fuels and cleaner cars. The Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) in the bill would be established based on recommendations currently under development by a broad stakeholder group of the Midwestern Governors Association (MGA).

Below are a series of answers to frequently asked question about how an LCFS will impact biofuels and oil sands (compiled by Pete Taglia of Clean Wisconsin and member of the Midwestern Governors Association’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Advisory Group). If you have questions about the LCFS you can contact Pete Taglia at

Question: What is a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS)?

A LCFS is a fuel policy that will help break our dependence on foreign sources of oil and promote energy independence by gradually moving Wisconsin toward the cleanest and most efficient sources of transportation fuels. A LCFS rates different types of transportation fuels by their efficiency and carbon footprint and allows fuel providers to choose what mix of fuels will be used to meet the requirement.

Question: What types of fuels qualify for an LCFS?

An LCFS policy is unique in that all transportation fuels are able to compete in the fuel market, including the following resources:
• Ethanol: Alcohol fuel made from corn or cellulose (wood, plant stalks, harvest residues, etc.). Wisconsin has 8 corn ethanol plants producing almost 500 million gallons per year.
• Biodiesel: A diesel substitute (mono alkl ester) made from vegetable and animal oils that is then mixed with petroleum diesel (e.g., B20 is 20% biodiesel). Wisconsin has 8 biodiesel plants that use soybean oil, waste animal fats, and waste grease feedstocks.
• Renewable diesel: A fuel chemically similar to petroleum diesel (a hydrocarbon fuel) but made with renewable resources such as wood waste. Flambeau River Biofuels in Park Falls and New Page in Wisconsin Rapids both received Department of Energy grants to produce renewable diesel from wood waste.
• Compressed Natural Gas (CNG): Wisconsin has approximately 20 CNG fueling stations and two school district bus systems that use natural gas. ANGI Energy Systems of Milton is a leading manufacturer of CNG fueling systems and Wisconsin leads the nation in the production of biogas from dairy manure and food wastes.
• Electricity: Wisconsin has numerous electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles as part of state, utility and private car fleets. Wisconsin’s largest corporation, Johnson Controls, is a leading battery manufacturer that won a recent contract to supply batteries to Ford’s new electric van and Columbia Parcar of Reedsburg manufacturers a line of electric utility vehicles in WI.

Workshop: Sustainable Bioenergy & Local Climate Change, Jan. 30

From an announcement issued by the Wisconsin Farmers Union:

(January 16, 2009) – Grain and livestock farmers, agriculture professionals, government offices, policy makers, educators and bioenergy enthusiasts are invited to attend the Sustainable Bioenergy and Local Climate Change Solutions workshop at UW-River Falls Dairy Learning Center Classroom on January 30, 2009, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

The seminar is hosted by Wisconsin Farmers Union, Great Lakes Ag Energy, the Consortium for Education in Renewable Energy Technology (CERET), and UW-River Falls. Experts and leaders in the bioenergy field will present information on how to make and use biofuels in today’s changing global climate.

Featured presenters include: Sue Beitlich, WFU president, Jamie Derr of Kombi-Crush, LLC; Maria Redmond, biofuels specialist with the Wisconsin Office of Energy Independence; Dr. Ken Walz, chemistry instructor at Madison Area Technical College; Mike Clark past president of Prairiefire Biofuels Cooperative and current secretary of the Wisconsin Biodiesel Association; Robert Brylski, renewable energy instructor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College; and Mark Toddy of Pepin Biotech, LLC.

More details in the workshop brochure.

Port of Milwuakee will get biodiesel terminal

From an article by Rick Barrett in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

The old Shell Oil terminal at the Port of Milwaukee has been sold to a New York-based biodiesel company that plans to use the terminal for distributing biodiesel and other renewable fuels in the Midwest.

The terminal, built in the 1950s, includes a 20,000 square foot warehouse, offices and a garage. It also has access to railroad service and an idled connection to a petroleum pipeline.