‘Energy Unplugged’ podcast series debuts

Stuart Weidie, president of Alliance AutoGas and CEO of parent company Blossman Gas, and Mark Denton, vice president of business development for Alliance AutoGas, launched “Energy Unplugged with Stuart Weidie,” a new podcast series that explores modern energy solutions.

Co-hosts Weidie and Denton plan to bring energy experts onto the show to speak on the current and future state of the energy industry and its technologies.

“I am excited to work with Stuart Weidie on our new podcast, where we will debunk some of the myths and misinformation about various energy sources and data,” Denton says. “Our objective is to have guests who have expertise in different areas of energy in order to get to the facts about energy options for U.S. and international consumers.”

Hyliion Forms Council to Pilot Hybrid Natural Gas – Electric Powertrain

Hyliion Holdings Corp., a company that specializes in electrified powertrain solutions for Class 8 semi-trucks, has formed the Hypertruck Innovation Council, a select group of fleet, logistics and transportation companies that will support the development of Hyliion’s Hypertruck powertrain solution.

The Hyliion Hypertruck ERX is an electric powertrain charged by natural gas for Class 8 commercial trucks designed to provide a long-haul, electric powertrain solution that delivers lower operating costs, emissions reductions and superior performance to the global commercial trucking industry. Representing over 100,000 Class 8 commercial trucks globally, the council says it will collaborate closely with Hyliion to provide key user insights in the development of the platform.

Shell invests in LanzaJet

Our world is at an inflection point—one that requires action today, solutions that work, and meaningful progress toward decarbonizing industries and our society. LanzaJet Inc., a leading sustainable fuels technology company and sustainable fuels producer, announced today that Shell joins as an investor in the company to advance LanzaJet’s global growth, accelerate commercialization of its technology, and scale the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

Shell joins founding investors in LanzaJet, including LanzaTech, Suncor Energy Inc., Mitsui & Co., Ltd., and more recently, British Airways, as well as participation from All Nippon Airways. In addition to its initial investment in LanzaJet and similar to the phased investment approach used with all of the LanzaJet investors, Shell will have the opportunity to make further investments in the construction of larger-scale production facilities over the coming years. This innovative phased investment approach significantly accelerates commercial deployment at a time when reducing emissions, especially of aviation, is increasingly important and demonstrates a joint commitment to creating a resilient, low carbon future. With the right policies to support the uptake and production of SAF, aviation can achieve net-zero emissions.

Hydrogen benefits highly utilized trucks

There is no denying the move towards alternative fuel solutions is gaining momentum with hydrogen and battery electric each surfacing as leaders depending on the use cases. For high utilization assets in particular, hydrogen is a winner, according to Brent Koski, vice president of hydrogen energy at Plug Power. “Whether it’s energy density or refueling times, hydrogen fuel cells are a better option than battery electric vehicles for high utilization assets like delivery trucks. For consumer vehicles, which are parked 95% of their lifetime, batteries make more sense,” he says.

And Plug Power is making solid inroads. Specifically, Plug Power and Brookfield Renewable recently announced plans to build a green hydrogen production plant utilizing 100% renewable energy from Brookfield Renewable’s Holtwood hydroelectric facility as part of previously announced partnership. The plant will be located along the Susquehanna River in south-central Pennsylvania.

Green hydrogen from this facility will support decarbonization of the broader transportation and logistics industries in the Northeast and the mid-Atlantic. The plant is expected to be online by late 2022, with construction slated to begin by in the first quarter of 2022. Once operational, the plant is projected to produce approximately 15 metric-tons of 100% emissions-free liquid hydrogen per day. It is also expected to create more than 25 green energy jobs in Pennsylvania.

Fleets Invest in B-100 to Reduce Emissions

The City of Ames, Iowa, and the Washington D.C. Department of Public Works have both used B-100 in their fleets, expanding use of the fuel after successful pilots.

B-100 is 100% biodiesel, and by using Optimus Technologies’ technology, it can be used in conventional diesel-powered vehicles, according to Renewable Energy Group (REG). REG provides B-100 as well as turnkey services including storage tanks, dispensers, and logistics solutions.

The City of Ames began using B-100 in 2020 on five city-owned vehicles. They were successfully used during a polar vortex, where temperatures reached -20 degrees F.

FAPRI predicts increased demand for E15, higher ethanol exports

The University of Missouri’s Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute in mid-March released its 2021 U.S. Agricultural Market Outlook, predicting an increase in demand for midlevel ethanol blends, a recovery in ethanol net returns, and increased exports over the next decade.

The report notes that the COVID-19 pandemic upended agricultural markets over the past year. Looking ahead, FAPRI said the outlook for agriculture “is uncertain, but certainly more optimistic than it was a few months ago.”

For ethanol, FAPRI predicts some recovery in motor fuel demand this year, but does not expect gasoline use to reach pre-pandemic levels through the 10-year projection period to 2030. The report, however, predicts that an expansion in midlevel ethanol blends, such as E15, will lead to slow but steady growth in domestic ethanol use.

US farmers to plant 87.6 million acres of soybeans in 2021

U.S. agriculture producers intend to plant an estimated 87.6 million acres of soybeans in 2021, up 5 percent when compared to last year, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service’s March 31 Prospective Plantings report.

If realized, the USDA said this will be the third highest planted acreage on record. When compared to 2020, planted soybean acreage is expected to be up or unchanged in 23 of the 29 states estimated.

NASS also released its quarterly Grain Stocks report on March 31, reporting that soybeans stored totaled 1.56 billion bushels as of March 1, down 31 when compared to the same period of last year. On-farm soybean stocks were down 41 percent, while off-farm stocks were down 22 percent.

Does Your ‘Zero-Emissions’ Vehicle Really Offer the Lowest Emissions?

In recent years, the conversations surrounding the future of sustainable transportation have centered around two buzzwords: zero emissions. Those buzzwords have gained so much traction, that local and federal regulations are focusing on transitioning fleets to only zero-emissions vehicles in the next 10-20 years. While there are certainly good intentions behind these regulations, they may also be misguided.

That is, there is certainly more to vehicle emissions than measuring only what is produced at the tailpipe.

A new study produced in cooperation with the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) looks at all the steps involved in providing fuel for electric vehicles, which many states are looking to as a way to quickly reduce emissions in medium- and heavy-duty (MD-HD) fleet vehicles. As the study explains, there is no such thing as a fully zero-emissions vehicle.

Fitting Renewable Fuels into Your Fleet’s Sustainability Strategy

Corporate sustainability is a growing topic across every transportation sector. Fleets may be making long-term plans to purchase and deploy zero-emission vehicles, but regulators, internal stakeholders, and community members are looking to see substantial emission reductions now. Customers not only expect fleets to have a plan to reduce emissions, but also prove it with verifiable numbers.

With growing pressure for fleets to slash emissions and deploy zero-emission vehicles, can renewable fuels still fit into an organization’s sustainability strategy?

Galileo Technologies Unveils Hydrogen Fueling Solution

Galileo Technologies has introduced the H-Patagonia Station, a compact hydrogen fueling station equipped to rapidly fuel vehicles in only three minutes.

The module offers hydrogen compression, storage and fueling for light-duty vehicles or fleets of buses, trucks, boats or other fuel cell propelled vehicles (FCVs). The new product will have public and private applications as it advances net-zero emissions goals in transportation and drives innovation around FCV technology.

Equipped with two dispensing nozzles for H2 compressed at 35 and 70 MPa, H-Patagonia’s three-minute refueling speed puts hydrogen ahead of other zero-emission options such as electric cars.