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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
San Diego, California
National Biodiesel Board

11th Annual National Ethanol Conference: "Policy & Marketing"
February 20-22, 200
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Sponsored by:
Renewable Fuels Association

22nd Annual International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo
June 20-23, 200
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

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Posted on  

April 12, 2004

State Corn Producers Support College Students in Developing Quicker, Quieter and Cleaner Burning Snowmobiles

DEWITT, Mich.—Michigan has long provided a winter wonderland for hundreds of thousands of snowmobile enthusiasts each year. Now, thanks to cooperation between the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan (CMPM) and Kettering University, snowmobilers may soon have the option of buying high performance sleds that will actually help to keep Michigan’s trails and environment in pristine condition.

Kettering University engineering students again competed this year in the Society of Automotive Engineers Clean Snowmobile Challenge, March 15-20 at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mich. The team’s machine, which runs on 10 percent ethanol, or E-10, took home second place honors in both the acceleration and noise reduction categories and placed seventh overall out of 15 teams.

“Thanks to the support of sponsors like as CMPM, we’ve been able to research the use of ethanol-blended fuels in recreational vehicles such as snowmobiles,” said Dr. Greg Davis, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and competition advisor at Kettering University. “We have as many as 20 students working on this project year-round, and it gets them excited to be able to work on real-world problems and find solutions that can really make a difference.”

Dr. Davis said he was very proud of his team. “I believe the team did really well in spite of the number of setbacks that we encountered this year. I know that they are really looking forward to being on top in the competition again next year.”

“This is something we’re very pleased to be a part of,” said Richard Godfrey, CMPM President and corn producer from Jonesville. “Any automobile can use a blend of 10 percent ethanol but it’s important that innovative work, like that by Dr. Davis and his team, continues to show the benefits of using ethanol in other vehicles as well. It’s always exciting, too, to work with students in this capacity. Today’s students are tomorrow’s engineers, so it’s important they develop an understanding of alternative fuels now.”

Dr. Davis also explained how the team’s new sled and engine hold exciting commercial possibilities. “In past years, we’ve manipulated a 100 lb. small car engine to achieve noise and emission reduction as well as increased fuel economy. This year, we switched to a 4-stroke motorcycle engine, which is not only smaller but also gives the machine more power. We believe this will greatly help in commercializing more environmentally-friendly snowmobiles.”

CMPM Executive Director Jody E. Pollok said this type of program exemplifies what the check-off program is trying to accomplish for the state’s corn producers. “A few years ago, Kettering came to

CMPM with a research funding request for this type of snowmobile. We granted their request and have watched as the snowmobile continually evolves. Now that a cleaner-burning machine is closer to commercialization, we need to develop the new market by educating consumers that this new product exists.”

Headquartered in DeWitt, CMPM is a legislatively-established statewide program that utilizes one-cent per bushel of Michigan corn sold. Investments are made in the areas of research, education and market development in an effort to enhance the economic position of Michigan corn producers. CMPM works cooperatively with the Michigan Corn Growers Association (MCGA), a grassroots-membership association representing the state’s corn producer’s political interests. For more information on CMPM and MCGA visit the web site at www.micorn.org.



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