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

Just another biofuel play?

Just a day after presenting our business opportunity to one of Montana’s largest companies recently, we were informed that “everyone” in this company thinks it’s a great opportunity.  We also were informed that people (executives, legal team, marketing) running the company were not yet willing to consider being first to back our venture to build the world’s first commercial scale up of a mixed alcohol production facility in western Montana.

Why so difficult to gain traction if it’s such a great business model? Is it hard to understand a money printing press printing currency in all denominations by making a better liquid fuel the world needs all that it can get? Well, in a word, no.  Quite simply, it’s because none of the companies so far has the vision or confidence to put money and resources where its mouth is.  At least not until some other company with money does it first.

Hence the quote from Jerry Garcia: “Somebody needed to do something, and it was incredibly pathetic that it had to be us.”

We have vision. We have confidence in the technology. We don’t have the money yet. But we will.

Think we’re just another biofuel startup with a big idea that will never fly? Not quite sure? Take some time to understand our technology. Learn how E4® ENVIROLENE® water soluble, biodegradable fuel will be commercially made.  Learn what kinds of carbon-based “stuff” it can be synthesized from.  Think about the huge problems that manufacturing and blending this powerful and cleaner fuel into gasoline and diesel fuels used in America’s gas and diesel engines can address.  Think about the economic opportunities it can create.  Then, finally, think about where these opportunities could come to pass: everywhere in America!

By understanding how E4 ENVIROLENE is different; cleaner, cheaper, better in all respects from other liquid fuels—from gasoline and diesel, all the way to ethanol and biodiesel—you’ll begin to appreciate what Bioroot Energy is all about.

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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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Skepticism about gasification’s potential is healthy

Healthy skepticism is the business person’s best friend. It’s  keeps our feet planted firmly on the ground as we go about the lofty business of changing the world by changing how we manage trash.  And addressing honest skepticism as it arises is a great way to make the Bioroot Energy story that much more compelling!

We’ve been interacting lately via email with a very knowledgeable person with a background in global marketing. After reviewing our site, he was upfront in saying it will be difficult to find investors willing to fund such large projects, especially with the downturn. He then pointedly asked:

“Is it safe to assume that you are interested in putting together an investor group to fund a production facility in the Bitterroot?”

Here’s some of our response to his email:

Seeing such a facility built in the Bitterroot is my [our] goal, absolutely. The history of ethanol and corn isn’t good of course, but we’re talking next gen ethanol (or other fuel types, perhaps even di-methyl ether, used as aerosol propellant in cosmetics, etc., that sells for $9/gallon.) made from stuff nobody eats or has yet found a use for. And there’s plenty of it in the Bitterroot.

This is a profoundly different scenario that includes everybody as real feedstock producers (at least in theory), not just farmers in the Corn belt.

As far as show me don’t tell me [about current gasification projects] goes, there are several good examples: One municipal gasifier project in Toronto by Plasco Energy is probably the most “mainstream” urban deployment to date, and has been very successful so far. It’s currently running 80 TPD and generating electricity but will eventually scale well past that. Toronto obviously has a huge waste footprint, so they’ll need to add a lot of capacity to make headway…

It is true that earlier gasification projects were for internal remediation, but modern invocations of the technology are designed and will be warranted to make transportation fuels at a profit (the “wraps” or production guarantees by the technology vendors). The Reno project referenced below is huge.

Reno project:

You say this [Bioroot] project could be “quite difficult” and I concur it will be! But the only thing more difficult will be if we fail, and humanity doesn’t learn how to clean up its messes and does nothing constructive with solid waste. Today’s waste is not the benign agrarian output of yesteryear, it’s amazingly toxic stuff, the accumulation of which could eventually threaten all life on earth. (Yes I am an armchair environmentalist…:-) A sweeping generalization, but pathogen loading is a very real long-term threat (ask your local pathologist) if we continue to treat earth as our sewer.

Finally there is a viable, carbon-negative technology that will consume everything short of radioisotopes, and make nearly anything in the way of energy with basically zero pollution. So, I ask, what’s not to like aside from the barrier to entry? ROI in 4 years is pretty standard for this level of investment, and that’s surely what investors will care about. There is great interest in developing new approaches to old problems, even with the downturn, and I think the Renewable Fuels Standard is all the evidence needed to see there is a large market demand that will continue well into the future.

And, after thanking him for his input, so ended my response; most of the skepticism is understandable because the technology and the opportunity are brand new and essentially unproven in the marketplace.

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Energy Provisions of the American Recove…

Energy Provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

3 Billion in Renewable Energy funding from Obama administration holds great promise. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) provides energy incentives for both individuals and businesses.

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