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Event Details

DOE Ethanol Workshop Series

Pennsylvania Ethanol Workshop
Ethanol for a cleaner, more prosperous Pennsylvania

September 19, 2000
9:00 am to 2:00 pm

Holiday Inn Harrisburg/Hershey
Grantville, Pennsylvania

Workshop Summary


About 60 people attended the Pennsylvania Ethanol Workshop held at the Holiday Inn in Grantville. Approximately 45% represented government agencies, 40% private companies, 10% associations and the balance from academia.


The theme for the workshop was "Ethanol for a cleaner, more prosperous Pennsylvania." The focus for the Pennsylvania Workshop was value-added, economic development in rural areas and enhancing the agricultural climate in the state while at the same time improving the environment. The emcees for the workshop were Dave Bingaman, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, and Susan Summers, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Sam Hayes, Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture, welcomed the delegates and explained the need for value-added processing in Pennsylvania. Mr. Hayes expressed his departmentís commitment to support development of an ethanol industry in the state. Robert Harris, Special Assistant, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. DOE, informed the group of the opportunities offered by the Federal Bioenergy Initiative. It is a goal of the US DOE to increase the use of bioenergy three-fold by 2010. Bob Dinneen, Vice President of the Renewable Fuels Association, comprehensively reviewed the environmental significance of ethanol use. Mr. Dinneen also addressed the need for domestic energy security especially in light of the current oil shortage and stronghold that Iraq and the other middle-eastern countries once again have over the United States. He asked the audience in whom they would rather place their trust and future Ė Saddam Hussein or the Pennsylvania farmer?

Following a networking lunch, concurrent sessions were held. One focused on ethanol use and the marketplace. Considerable discussion was held on the future and logistics of E85, including the increasing improvements in the infrastructure for refueling. One company based in Florida offers a mobile fueling service for fleets, thus potentially reducing the need for some stationary fueling stations. The potential demand for ethanol that may be generated through the use of Ediesel is over 400,000,000 gallons annually. The second session discussed the production aspects of ethanol and the significance to the state. Feedstocks, both agricultural and forestry residue, were overviewed to show where the greatest potential might be. The production technologies for grain are now state-of-the-art, whereas cellulose technology is not quite yet ready for commercialization. Cellulose technology is approximately where grain technology was 20 years ago, so itís level of sophistication will only go upward. Also, very important to helping grow an industry in the state are the current applicable in-state incentive programs. At the end of the concurrent sessions, discussion leaders, Michelle Knapik, Clean Cities Philadelphia, and Rick Handley, NRBP, respectively, asked their participants to gather together in one group again and share an overview of what each session had discussed.


In the concluding group discussion, several activities were identified that will help with the investigation of how to develop an ethanol industry in the state:

  • Organize a task force or steering committee to keep the momentum going. That committee will then address all barriers and challenges that arise, prioritize them and determine what action are necessary. That meeting will be held in the near future in order to start developing a pathway from potential near-term grain-ethanol to longer-term cellulose ethanol.
  • Work with Penn State about how the numbers have changed on ethanol production from corn, possibly holding a farm summit
  • Learn what the potential for new cellulose ethanol technology for "lignin washing" that would help with biomass co-firing
  • Investigate what the potential for increased farm productivity from "wet grains" is.
  • The committee/task force should work with state Economic Development to evaluate state incentives
  • Form a coalition with similar needs should be sought out and formed.

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

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.

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