PO Box 1146 - Salida, CO USA  81201
(719) 539-0300 - Fax: (719) 539-0301

Event Locations

Back to Main DOE page

Renewable Diesel Workshops
    New York
    Tri-State (OH,KY,IN)
Producer Workshops
EWS Newsletter
EWS Participating States
    New York
    North Carolina
Puerto Rico
    South Carolina
    South Dakota


Event Details

DOE Ethanol Workshop Series

A New Frontier: Benefits & Opportunities for Fuel Ethanol Production and Use

August 24, 2001
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Caribe Hilton San Juan
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Workshop Summary

The Puerto Rico Ethanol Workshop was held at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Friday, August 24, 2001. Approximately 50 people attended with about equal participation from the private sector and government agencies. With a majority of the audience Spanish speaking, much of the program was presented in Spanish with some translation.

We thank Dr. Rafael Nieves of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, fluent in Spanish and one of the workshop presenters, for providing this summary of the program:

Puerto Rico’s Secretary of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources attended and gave the opening speech. The meeting was also attended by Dr. Guillermo Riera, Administrator of the Puerto Rico Energy Affairs Administration, Gerson Santos-Leon, U.S. Department of Energy, Ted Berglund of Masada, and various industry and local government officials.

Puerto Rico is just now beginning to consider the serious possibility of using alternative energy sources, and the Puerto Rico Power Authority is beginning to become interested in such technologies. Oil is the major power source for energy production, and all is imported. The local sugar cane producers and related industries would have great interest in having a resurrection of their feedstock for ethanol production. This industry has been quite depressed for many years.

Mr. Gerson-Santos Leon gave a brief overview of the DOE's projections for fossil fuel use and shortages. Dr. Rafael Nieves (NREL) made a presentation entitled "Introduction to Ethanol" in which he covered legislative history of ethanol, ethanol production from corn and biomass, and ethanol production today in the U.S. Mr. Ted Berglund (U.S.-based Masada) covered the Masada process and the potential application to the island of Puerto Rico. The island produces 8,000 tons per day of Municipal Solid Waste, although industrial cardboard is recycled and shipped to Venezuela and could be looked at as a viable feedstock for a biomass-to-ethanol facility.

Approximately 1.2 billion gallons of gasoline are used in Puerto Rico in a year, all of that blended with MTBE. The use of MTBE has not been addressed, but a 10% blend market of ethanol could justify the construction of a biomass/soluble sugar-based plant on the island.

Wrap-Up Session

Dr. Guillermo Riera, Administrator of the Puerto Rico Energy Affairs Administration, directed the wrap-up session at the end of the day. Inocencio Rodriguez recorded audience comments. Recommendations discussed included the following:

  1. Mayors, farmers and government agencies, universities and others interested in the use of biomass as a renewable source of energy should work in accordance in order to support and implement these projects.
  2. Meetings should be established between all government agencies (10-15 participants) to enhance consistent and accurate information.
  3. Places to relocate solid wastes should be identified while recycling practices (many landfills are closing) are taken into account in all municipalities.
  4. Recycling methods should be taught in public schools; in other words, education plays an important role.
  5. Creation of committees:
    • Committee of investigation.
    • Committee of education and promotion.
    • Committee of legislation.
    • Committee of technology transfers and lead projects.
    • Committee of agriculture.

Each committee should have a coordinator to maintain participants informed about meeting and other important information. Dr. Riera’s office will serve as the contact point for these future activities.

Workshop Participant Survey

Participants evaluated the workshop by completing a survey form passed out during the meeting. The following represent responses and comments made.

Topics Not Covered but Participants Considered Relevant
  • Crops other than sugar cane
  • Cost analysis of ethanol production
  • Program a follow-up workshop ASAP
  • Economics and the cost of constructing an ethanol plant
  • Relative yields- gallons; ethanol per acre of various crop
  • Efficiency of the fuel in cars
  • Comparative studies – need of energy alternatives
  • Knowledge of new enzymes
  • Federal bioenergy initiative and biomass consortium in the tropics

Future Actions Suggested by Participants
  • Very aggressive legislation
  • Secure available land and decide what to do regarding the sugar industry
  • Educational program directed at citizens
  • Very clear public policies and incentives
  • More formal and informal meetings
  • More research of new technologies for poor city people

  • Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources
  • Puerto Rico Energy Affairs Administration
  • Colegio Universitario del Este
  • University of Puerto Rico
  • Southeast Regional Biomass Energy Program
  • U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fuels Development

Workshop Location:
Caribe Hilton San Juan
San Geronimo Grounds
Los Rosales Street
San Juan, Puerto Rico

For PROGRAM Information:
Irma Pagan, Phone: 787-724-8774, ext. 2043
or Ana B. Gonzales, Phone: 787-724-8774, ext. 2045
Puerto Rico Energy Affairs Administration
Email: coral_negro@hotmail.com or abgcpr@yahoo.com

If you would like to be notified about the US DOE Ethanol Workshop Series Workshops, please provide your contact information to Anne Wester:

Anne Wester
Conference Planning Assistant
BBI International
PO Box 1146
Salida, Colorado 81201
Phone: 719-539-0300
Fax: 719-539-0301


  8:00 AM    Registration and Continental Breakfast
  8:30 AM    Welcome
Dr. Carlos Padin, Secretary, Department of Natural and Environmental Resources
  8:45 AM    The Federal Bioenergy Initiative and a Biomass Consortium: Visions for Greater Self-Reliance
  • Gerson Santos-Leon, Program Manager, U.S. Dept. of Energy, Office of Fuels Development
  • Kathryn Baskin, Managing Director, Southern States Energy Board
  9:15 AM    Setting the Stage: A Relevant Overview of Puerto Rico
Dr. Guillermo Riera, Administrator, Puerto Rico Energy Affairs Administration
  9:35 AM    Introduction to Ethanol
Dr. Raphael Nieves, Senior Scientist, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  10:00 AM    Break
  10:15 AM    Understanding Important Aspects of Ethanol
Dr. Guillermo Riera, Administrator, Puerto Rico Energy Affairs Administration
  • The Aspects of Ethanol as a Transportation Fuel: Frank Moore, General Manager, Parallel Products
  • The Energy and Environmental Significance of Ethanol Use: Dr. Luis R. Pérez-Alegría, Professor, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, University of Puerto Rico
  • Resources Available in Puerto Rico for Producing Ethanol: Dr. Wilfredo Colon, Director, Agribusiness and Food Management Program, Colegio Universitario del Este
  12:00 PM    Questions and Answers
  12:30 PM    Lunch
Luncheon Speakers:
"The Potential Economic Impact on Puerto Rico":
  • The Honorable Ramon Ruiz
  • Ingrid Vila - Governor's Assesor
  • The Honorable Cirilo Tirado
  2:00 PM    Case Studies: Learning from the Experiences of Others
Moderator: Luis Rodriguez, Executive Director, Puerto Rico Solid Waste Authority
  • Ethanol from Municipal Solid Waste: Ted Berglund, Exec. Vice President and CFO, Masada Resource Group
  • Production from Starch and Sugar Wastes: Phil Badger, President, General Bioenergy
  • Innovative Legislation: Nohemi Zerbi, Program Manager, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fuels Development
  3:30 PM    Break
  3:45 PM    Workshop Review & Defining the Next Steps
Dr. Guillermo Riera, Administrator, Puerto Rico Energy Affairs Administration
  4:30 PM    Adjourn

About the Programs

Renewable Diesel Workshops:
NREL Goals: ..."to educate key public officials and the general public about biodiesel as a transportation fuel" and ..."to build state and local coalitions that would form the nuclei of a support group that would promote and eventually lead to local biodiesel production and use."

Ethanol Producers' Technical Workshops:
Perspectives from ethanol producers, production technology providers, and government researchers. Those in attendance were given the task of exploring the challenges and opportunities presented by combining cellulosic ethanol streams with existing grain streams.

US DOE Ethanol Workshop Series:
A series of one-day, state-level workshops to educate key public officials and the general public about ethanol as a transportation fuel.

For best results when printing pages from this website, try setting your browser or printer driver to print in landscape orientation instead of portrait to avoid cutting off text.


Company Info | International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Trade Show | Biofuels Recruiting | Publishing

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner.
Remainder of content Copyright © 2003 BBI International.