According to a 2006 purchasing guide released by the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition, there are only two public pumps in Oklahoma City where consumers can purchase E85, a blend of fuel containing 85 percent corn-distilled ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.
The only other public consumption pump in the state is in Seminole.
Several workshops will discuss alternative “biofuel” and its many advantages at the sixth annual Oklahoma Sustainability Network Conference, to be held Friday and Saturday at the National Weather Center, 120 David L. Boren Blvd. in Norman.
Producing a biofuel “is the process of making a fuel that is generated from some sort of biological element that we can grow and renew,” said Todd Stephens, manager of Tulsa Biofuels.
A biofuel can be created from starches such as corn or sorghum. Biodiesel is formed from material such as soy oil, canola oil or waste oils.
Among its advantages, cellulosic ethanol production uses “cheaper, underutilized” biomass resources and doesn’t compete for food grains, said Ray Huhnke, a cellulosic ethanol researcher at Oklahoma State University.
However, cellulosic ethanol faces the same disadvantage as starch-based ethanol in that it is not widely distributed or produced. Currently, there are no commercial production facilities in North America.
“It’s a new technology,” Huhnke said. “It’s a proven technology. But it’s going to take some time to bring commercial units online because of their costs.” “Chris Willard