Clean Fuels at a Glance

  • • Higher Mixed Alcohols
  • • Methanol
  • • Grain Ethanol
  • • Cellulosic Ethanol
  • • Synthetic Ethanol
  • • Biodiesel
  • • Butanol
  • • Dimethyl Ether (DME)
Synthetic gasoline? Syndiesel from coal? Oil-based fuels from algae, grasses or waste grease? Single alcohols like ethanol? What about higher mixed alcohol fuel?

Which fuel is the best and why?

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Fuel For Thought

There is no energy crisis, only a crisis of ignorance."

- Buckminister Fuller

Somebody needed to do something, and it was incredibly pathetic that it had to be us.

- Jerry Garcia

We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities.

- Walt Kelly

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.

-Richard Feynman

More Fuel For Thought

The Green Fuel Prescription

At Risk: Economy, Environment
Disease: Fossil Fuel Dependency
Symptoms: Pollution, Oil Sheiks
Cure: Higher Mixed Alcohol Fuel
Dosage: Continuous 24/7
Contraindications: None
Manufacturer: Bioroot Energy, LLC

DOE ‘Billion Ton Study’ Update

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DOE ‘Billion Ton Study’ Update Shows Biomass Still Sufficient to Meet Goals

The DOE this week released an update to its 2005 Billion Ton Study that says biomass feedstock under baseline assumptions remain sufficient to meet near- and long-term bioenergy goals, including the production of 85 billion gallons of biofuel annually, enough to displace a third of the nation’s transportation fuel demand. In fact, the update says, under a high-yield scenario, more ambitious goals may be feasible. Unlike the 2005 version, the update takes into consideration environmental sustainability and identifies the likely costs to access the biomass resources.

More information from DOE

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Why Here? Why Now? Why Not?

There’s never been a more opportune time to develop an alternative energy company from the ground up to meet the needs of a dramatically changing world.

Or, one could easily understand, it might well be the worst time to start an alternative energy company, especially considering today’s horrible economy. Good thing we’re not looking for a loan yet. Nobody’s lending money, especially to punk startups like Bioroot Energy. Yet, here we are being “contrary” to conventional wisdom: Launching our startup in the midst of a severe downturn, and in the great state of Montana, with under 1 million residents no less.

Smurfit-Stone Missoula facility to cease operations on 12/31/09. What will become of this facility?

photo: Linda Thompson, The Missoulian

The entire industrialized world needs sustainable green energy, all it can make, and from wherever and whatever sources it can be made from. As long as those energy sources are truly sustainable and environmentally responsible.

We think there’s no better place to prove ourselves and deliver the right technology to convert our trash and non-crop biomass into clean, green, sustainable and renewable biofuel.  If you’re a Bitterroot valley resident, think about what this choice of locations means for a moment. If we can prove our business model here, we can prove our methods, technology and know how anywhere on the planet that it makes good financial and environmental sense.

Towns. Cities. Coal fired power plants. Methane Fields. Landfills. That’s a whole lot of places!

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A Radical Solution That’s Neither Left Nor Right


History shows we are on same path as Roman Empire

Are we ignoring the road signs?

We have all heard the expression that “history repeats itself.” It has been uttered for centuries, by intelligent and studious men in Greek, Roman and Chinese literature, and has been expressed so many times over the centuries that we just naturally assume that it is true. Well let’s look at some statements from the past and see if they relate to what is happening today. I believe that we will all agree that it is beneficial to study the past so as to see the mistakes, and the successes, of men and nations (empires) that preceded us. We are then able to replicate that which is useful for success and survival, and we can also avoid that which has proved to lead to failure. It is dangerous for us as individuals, and for we as a nation, to ignore the mistakes of the past.

Clark Fork Chronicle, October 1, 2009

Tomorrow’s history is being created today, as we go about our personal business and family lives amidst great financial and environmental turmoil in the world around us.  Will our history be marred by  negligence and default or will we become active creators of value and better managers of our future legacy? It’s our choice.

In Montana, life goes on more or less as it has since frontier days. The deer and the antelope still play. The buffalo still roam, at least in some areas of the state. The bear, the elk, and the reintroduced wolf, still thrive.

Of course, western Montanans stopped shooting up the saloons and at each other long ago, traded their horses for cars, and built the highway (Highway 93) that today serves as a key economic lifeline to dozens of far-flung communities from south of the Idaho border north to Missoula.

We’ve come a long way since horse and buggy days. But the real work is ahead. Our quality of life is second to none, but we still don’t know the first thing about digging ourselves out of the massive hole we’ve dug along the way with regard to energy, our economy and the environment.

We’ve only just begun to investigate clean coal technology which uses gasification to greatly reduce carbon emissions, letalone retrofit any power plants. But it’s coming, sure as the sun shines, because it’s important and needed.

It’s also time to focus on taking a truly radical action with gasification tech in our own backyard: cleaning up our municipal trash and excess biomass, profitably and sustainably, right here in the Bitterroot valley.  Gasification is a compelling solution for lots of reasons, both environmental and economic!

With America facing a steep uphill climb to economic stability, there’s never been a better time to develop locally owned gasification facilities to convert household waste and biomass to energy. Trash and sustainable biomass to make these projects profitable is almost everywhere!  What’s more, the revenue generated from energy created by these facilities can belong to the communities where they will be located.  Gasification is a compelling solution for lots of reasons, both environmental and economic!

The human race has never been good about cleaning up after itself. We’ve always had plenty of room to dump our trash and waste somewhere and cover it with dirt. Or pile and burn it or incinerate it.  Sure, some elements of trash get recycled (aluminum, steel, cardboard, etc.) but not very much in the big scheme of things.

Just another day in Montana.  And another 340 tons of solid waste on its way to the Missoula landfill.

You can bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow and every day thereafter there will be another 340 tons of trash heading to the landfill. And hundreds of slash piles from thinning and logging projects going up in smoke too.

Nothing about how we manage trash has changed. And nothing will, unless we choose to actively support a venture to build a gasification facility right here in the Bitterroot.

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The Trash Pipeline

One way of understanding our mission is to look at your own trash and excess biomass in a different way. Instead of seeing trash as stuff to be thrown away, landfilled or incinerated, think of trash in aggregate terms as intrinsically valuable raw material moving through a maze of pipelines that wind their way through every home and business in America.

Remarkably like the toilet you flush and the sewer pipes in your home that carry away human waste, your trash pipeline begins at your trash can.  Each week, millions and millions of tons of trash are emptied into trucks and carried off to be disposed of somewhere you nobody wants to live next to, like a landfill or an incinerator. Virtually none of the stored energy value moving through America’s byzantine trash pipeline “system” is currently being extracted.

Some trash system, you’re probably thinking.  No value is being created from the current trash methodology. The air and water are being fouled. And we (you and me) are paying a heavy price for the privilege, as have all humans since the Stone Age.

What if this trash pipeline got connected to community-friendly facilities that could cleanly and efficiently process this pipeline of trash into biofuels?  Almost all of the infrastructure to release the stored energy value from trash is already in place: the raw materials exist in abundance, and the waste management companies who haul it away for you.  All that is needed is are well run local businesses to convert it into energy!

Why do all our trash pipelines terminate at dumps and incinerators? Is this the best America can do? Are we going to wait for  companies who own the landfills and incinerators to do something about it, or are we going to roll up our sleeves and build 21st century businesses that become key players in revitalizing our communities, not to mention cleaning up the environment?

Bioroot Energy doesn’t want to build huge behemoth regional waste to energy plants that look like Soviet-era architecture run amok, complete with belching smokestacks.  We want to see “right sized”  plasma conversion facilities that enable the technology to be deployed at a community level, with each community making the investment and reaping the reward.

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