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World Biofuels Symposium
November 13-15, 2005
Beijing, China

2nd Annual Canadian Renewable Fuels Summit
December 13-15, 2005
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Hosted by:
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National Biodiesel Conference & Expo 2006
February 5-8, 200
6
San Diego, California
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11th Annual National Ethanol Conference: "Policy & Marketing"
February 20-22, 200
6
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Sponsored by:
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22nd Annual International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo
June 20-23, 200
6
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA


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Posted on  

September 21, 2000

RFA FUEL CELL TASK FORCE PROMOTES ETHANOL AS MOST ACCEPTABLE FUEL

Ethanol Most Efficient, Cleanest Fuel in Fuel Cell Processor

WASHINGTON, DC - The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) today held a meeting of its Fuel Cell Task Force to continue promoting ethanol as the fuel of choice for both stationary and mobile fuel cells. The task force believes ethanol is the most acceptable near-term fuel for fuel cells, which use hydrogen to produce electricity with few harmful emissions. The RFA is a member of the U.S. Fuel Cell Council.

"The ethanol industry believes the transition from the internal combustion engine to fuel cells presents exciting new opportunities and will have
some real potential for ethanol," said Jeff Oestmann, chair of the RFA Fuel Cell Task Force and Cargill executive.

"Ethanol use in fuel cells is a great opportunity for consumers, the environment and the ethanol industry," said Eric Vaughn, president of the RFA. "The same benefits that ethanol brings to the internal combustion engine hold true for fuel cells. Ethanol is renewable, domestic, clean, low-cost, and readily available. On balance, ethanol is clearly the best fuel."

Because of the difficulties storing and refueling with hydrogen directly, auto companies have expressed interest in using other fuels as the source of hydrogen. While scientists hope to one-day power fuel cells with hydrogen extracted from water, current fuels under consideration for hydrogen processing include ethanol, gasoline, and methanol. Efficiency of conversion, availability of a fuel distribution network, and environmental impact are factors that should weigh on the fuel choice.

"The clear choice for fuel cells is ethanol," said Vaughn. "Unlike methanol, ethanol distribution is already available in all 50 states at the terminal level. Ethanol can also utilize existing tanks and equipment at service stations. Unlike gasoline, ethanol is a renewable and domestic product. Ethanol is safe for the environment and won't put us at the
mercy of OPEC."

The RFA Fuel Cell Task Force heard from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the California Air Resources Board. California has initiated a Fuel Cell Partnership designed to put fuel cell vehicles on the road by 2003. The RFA task force members discussed how ethanol will help meet that goal.

The DOEs Fuel Cell Program is supporting development of a flexible fuel system for fuel cells. They believe the best near term fuels for
stationary power generation are ethanol and natural gas. By utilizing a flexible fuel process, the fuel cell is not dependent on one particular type of fuel.

Nuvera Fuel Cells, formerly Epyx, has developed a fuel cell processor capable of converting ethanol, methanol, and gasoline to hydrogen.
"Ethanol provides higher efficiencies, fewer emissions and better performance than other fuel sources, including gasoline," said Jeffrey Bentley, current Senior Vice President of Nuvera and former Epyx CEO. "Coupling ethanol, a domestically produced fuel, with this new technology will dramatically improve the next generation of vehicles while at the same time reducing our reliance on imported energy."

"Whether you want to power a fuel cell car or generate electricity from a stationary fuel cell, ethanol is the best choice for fuel," said Vaughn. "Ethanol is renewable and safe for the environment. Ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions and our use of fossil fuels. Ethanol is domestic and reduces our dependence on foreign oil. At a time when crude oil prices are setting record highs, ethanol can strengthen U.S. energy independence. Ethanol creates American jobs and boosts the rural economy. And ethanol is easily converted to hydrogen and is readily available across the country. Other fuels require tremendous capital expenditures to build a
distribution network. Ethanol can be easily dispensed from existing gasoline stations and the people involved in the distribution know and are comfortable handling ethanol. The choice for fuel cells is clear. The choice is ethanol." 

 

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