Powered By Kudzu

first_imgNobody in the country is promoting cellulosic ethanol this way, and nobody has our distilling process. Traditionally, you use intense heat to distill ethanol. That’s what makes it so energy intensive and expensive. We’ve created a way to do it without heat. What’s holding you back from taking Kudzunol nationwide? Funding. But we’re close. We’re talking to investors. We need $3.5 million to put up a proofing plant that could put out 15 million gallons a year. One oil company with a chain of gas stations has already promised to buy all the ethanol we can produce once we’re up and running. The USDA has a guaranteed loan project for alternative fuels where if you have 20% of the funds in place, it will put up the remaining 80%. It’s part of the new energy policy. We think it’s a precursor to even better things.kudzu close-up_FIX_HR When did you discover kudzu can be used as a biofuel? I started working on turning kudzu into ethanol in the late ‘90s. It occurred to me that if a plant grew this fast, it must have high concentrations of chlorophyll, which is a natural sugar. Being a good southern boy, I figured it could be a good source for moonshine. I made my first batch of kudzu moonshine on a table-top still that we called the African Queen. It was a 30-gallon milk jug with $300 worth of copper tubing. Even though I was making moonshine, I knew it could be used as a fuel, but it wasn’t commercially viable in the ‘90s. So I waited for the right time. And $4 gasoline seemed like the right time. Why make ethanol from kudzu? Why not corn? If you’ve spent any time in the South, you’re familiar with the invasive green vine called kudzu. It was introduced to America in 1876 as part of a Japanese garden display during the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. Gardeners thought it was pretty and began using it in decorative landscaping, but kudzu didn’t really spread until the 1930s, when the Civilian Conservation Corps planted it across the country for erosion control. It worked so well at halting erosion that farmers were paid $8 an acre to plant the vine in the ‘40s. By the ‘70s, the federal government realized their mistake and declared kudzu an invasive weed, but the damage was done. The Southeastern climate proved to be perfect for growing the vine (heavy rainfall, hot summers, no natural predators), which now covers more than 7 million acres throughout the region. The weed can grow a foot a day in ideal conditions and now threatens the life of our natural forests. The U.S. Forest Service has been researching how to kill kudzu for two decades but has yet to find an effective method. Industrious southerners have used the vine for basket weaving, livestock grazing, and even medicine (Harvard Medical School is researching kudzu in the treatment of alcoholism). Some folks even eat the plant (fried kudzu leaves, anyone?). Now, Agro Gas Industries, a small company in East Tennessee, wants to use kudzu as a stock for biofuel. They call it Kudzunol, and they claim it can become the country’s next great fuel source. BRO talked with Agro Gas Industries founder, Doug Mizell, about the future of this southern weed. There are 7.2 million acres of kudzu in the South. It’s growing unchecked at 125,000 acres a year. And you can harvest it twice a year without affecting its growth pattern. We have the potential to make eastern Tennessee and north Georgia the Saudi Arabia of this country. It’s not just kudzu, but agriculture waste products. It’s all readily available right here. What exactly are the agriculture waste products added to Kudzunol? Grass clippings, saw dust, food waste, the tops of potato plants and melon patches and peanut plants. We can make fuels from anything green. If it’s got cellulosic sugar, I can make fuel from it. We’re fortunate enough to live in a place where kudzu is plentiful, so we use that as the hook to our country song. But there should never be a fuel shortage in this country. You can make gas from amazing things. That’s been part of our sermon all along. Our company will never make fuel from food or feed. Corn is a commodity, so as soon as you put another pressure on it, their price goes up. But fuel from zero value feed stocks like kudzu is cheap and has none of the negative environmental or social implications. Do you have any competition in the field of kudzu ethanol?last_img read more

Berger, Fannie Mae CEO talk housing issues

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger met Tuesday with Fannie Mae CEO Hugh Frater to discuss issues related to the housing market, including credit unions’ mortgage lending trends and access to the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs).Berger was joined in the meeting by NAFCU Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt, Vice President of Research and Chief Economist Curt Long and Director of Regulatory Affairs Ann Kossachev.Fannie Mae is a leading source of financing for mortgage lenders in the U.S. The association works closely with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and GSEs to ensure credit unions’ mortgage market needs are taken into account in housing goals and process changes.Last week, FHFA Director Mark Calabria indicated that the GSEs would be released from government conservatorship in the near future, but hoped that Congress would lead the effort by passing housing finance reform first. continue reading »last_img read more

Coleman: Keane to be captain if fit

first_imgSeamus Coleman would happily hand the captain’s armband back to Robbie Keane for Ireland’s final World Cup qualifier. He said: “I’d say Robbie might be back, hopefully. We need our best players back, and obviously John O’Shea is back as well. “I enjoyed tonight, but if we can get the best players back, I will be more than happy to give it back.” Coleman only learned of his elevation on the afternoon of the game, and he admitted interim boss Noel King’s decision took the edge off his advancing age. The former Sligo Rovers defender said: “It was a very good birthday present. It makes the 25 not so bad – I don’t like being 25, I’m pushing on a bit. “It was a good present. Noel just called me aside and asked me how I would feel about it, and obviously I was delighted. “Obviously it’s disappointing, the result, and everyone in there is disappointed that we were beaten, but to captain your country is something I will always have and it’s a very proud moment for me.” That Coleman was unable to cap his big night with a positive result was not unexpected as the runaway Group C leaders eventually wore Ireland down, although they had to wait until injury time for Mesut Ozil to ease them clear with the visitors threatening on several occasions to drag themselves back into the game. However, there was at least no repeat of the humiliation the Irish suffered on their own pitch in October last year when Germany left Dublin having torn them apart in a 6-1 romp. Press Association The 33-year-old LA Galaxy striker missed Friday night’s 3-0 defeat by Germany in Cologne with an ankle injury, but is battling to be fit for Tuesday night’s visit of Kazakhstan to the Aviva Stadium as a difficult campaign draws to a close. Everton full-back Coleman was asked to lead the team out at the Rhein Energie Stadium on his 25th birthday, and although he was thrilled at the honour, he would welcome Keane’s return along with those of Richard Dunne and John O’Shea, who were suspended for the Germany game. Coleman said: “It was important not to come away and let the same thing happen. I know it was a 3-0 scoreline and our keeper was brilliant, but I thought we played better.” While Germany start preparations for their trip to Brazil, Ireland will continue the process of recruiting a replacement for sacked manager Giovanni Trapattoni and turn their thoughts towards the next qualifying campaign for Euro 2016. In the meantime, they will complete their fixtures against Kazakhstan at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday evening hoping to end a run of three successive defeats. Coleman said: “We want to finish on a win. As players playing for your country, you want to win as many games as you can, but for Noel as well. “He’s come in for two games and it would be nice to get a victory for him. “Hopefully on Tuesday night, we can show the other side of our game, how good we are on the ball at times, when we are at home to Kazakhstan.” last_img read more

Henri Saivet hopes to help Newcastle push further up Premier League table

first_img The 25-year-old Frenchman made his debut as a substitute in Saturday’s 2-1 Barclays Premier League victory over West Ham, which lifted the Magpies out of the relegation zone. However Saivet, who played twice against Newcastle for Bordeaux in the 2012-13 Europa League, knows there is still much work to be done not only to ease the club to safety, but to restore them to their former standing. New signing Henri Saivet has vowed to play his part in returning Newcastle to where they ought to be. Press Associationcenter_img He said: “The image people have in France of Newcastle is that it is a massive club, it is just struggling to get on track. “Everything we like about Newcastle. It is a good traditional English club. It is a little bit of a shame that they are not at the top of the Premier League where they deserve to be.” Saivet was introduced as a 57th-minute replacement for injured full-back Paul Dummett against the Hammers and formed a central midfielder partnership with fellow new boy Jonjo Shelvey. The pair will compete with Jack Colback for a regular starting berth, although it seems likely that Cheick Tiote will not fight the same battle as he closes in on a move to Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua. The Ivory Coast international was allowed to travel to China last week to talk to the Shenhua, although the deal is yet to be finalised. Whatever happens on that front, Saivet has insisted he is ready to be called upon as he attempts to establish himself in the team. He said: “The most important thing is I am ready and ready to play. If I am called upon, I will go out there and try to do my best. “What matters more than anything at the moment is the club. There’s no player bigger than the club, that’s all that is important. “But I am ready when called upon and I will make sure I give my best.” Meanwhile, Newcastle remain in talks with Tottenham over winger Andros Townsend, while Florian Thauvin’s hopes of a return on loan to former club Marseille are likely to depend on Newcastle’s success or otherwise in landing a replacement. last_img read more

Spring practice off to early start

first_imgIt was fitting that on the nicest day of the young year — a very spring-like day — the University of Wisconsin football team kicked off its spring practice schedule. And if the adage holds true that the early bird gets the worm, head coach Bret Bielema’s team is well on its way to nabbing a few night crawlers.As opposed to last season, when spring practices began at 4:30 p.m., this season’s workouts are scheduled to take place at 6:30 a.m. Despite the rough, early wake-up call, some players actually looked forward to the early start time and were itching to get out and practice.”It’s tough; I think we’ll eventually get used to it, but no one said college football was easy,” tight end Travis Beckum said.”I actually was kind of looking forward to it the last week or so,” Beckum continued. “Get the rhythm back and get back in the swing.”Bielema was happy with the energy the team brought to its first practice.”I liked the tempo,” Bielema said. “There were guys flying around, and you shouldn’t have to motivate them too much the first couple days.”Part of getting back in the swing for Beckum will entail establishing receiver-quarterback chemistry similar to that he had with departed starter John Stocco. Last season, the Stocco-to-Beckum combination was the most consistent and lethal of any the Wisconsin offense featured. This season, however, the explosive tight end will be catching passes from either fifth-year senior Tyler Donovan or newcomer Allen Everidge, a left-handed transfer from Kansas State.”[With Donovan], it’s pretty much the same as Stocco,” Beckum said. “But I am close with Everidge. We’re getting close to being on that same level. I just haven’t taken as many reps with him.”Along with Stocco, the Badgers offense lost All-American left tackle Joe Thomas to graduation. The two were the clear leaders of the offense, and the Badgers will look to players like Donovan and fifth-year offensive lineman Marcus Coleman to fill the void.”We’re trying to find that right now as an offense,” Donovan said, “find an identity as an offense.””We’re all trying to be leaders right now, [and] obviously at the quarterback position you try to step up … in that situation,” Donovan added.While Thomas’ left tackle spot may be the only turnover front for UW, his loss poses more issues than simply filling a hole in the line.”Not only was he a great player, [Thomas] was a great leader. It’s always tough to lose guys like that,” Coleman said. “I am going to be a fifth-year senior, and I feel like I am more responsible to step up and take a leadership role.””Whoever steps in there at the left tackle spot, I am confident, and I know the rest of the guys are confident he will do a good job.”Practice notes Donovan looked sharp in seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 drills, while Everidge was a bit off on his accuracy and threw a loose spiral at times. … Redshirt freshman Maurice Moore briefly practiced catching punts, although the low ceiling on the McClain Center knocked down many of the punts before he could field them. … Shane Carter and Aubrey Pleasant practiced with the first team defense at the safety positions. … Fullback Chris Pressley practiced on a limited basis, but Bielema said he is expected to be “full-go” after spring break. … Coleman (ankle) practiced briefly because of an injury sustained a few weeks ago and should be healthy soon, while both Brandon Kelly (disciplinary reasons) and Bill Rentmeester (mononucleosis) did not practice.last_img read more

Caribbean leaders to address UN General Assembly

first_imgSeveral Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders are scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) this week as UN Secretary General António Guterres called for a “renewed commitment to a rules-based global order.”Guterres spoke of key themes for discussion during the 73rd session of the UNGA that started in New York on Monday.He said that with 84 Heads of State and 44 government leaders taking part in the debate this week, it showed the UN was still “the world’s indispensable forum for international cooperation.”According to the UN’s provisional list of speakers, the prime ministers of Haiti, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, the Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Barbados are expected to participate in the General Assembly Debate this week.The vice president of Guyana and foreign ministers from Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Dominica and Grenada will do so in the absence of the president, as in the case of Guyana, and the prime ministers for the others.Most CARICOM countries will take part in the debate on Friday with Guyana, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, the Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Barbados expected to address the forum.Haiti and Jamaica will address the General Assembly on Thursday; and Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Dominica and Grenada will do so on Saturday.The prime ministers of St. Kitts and Nevis, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Barbados will also address, on Thursday, the General Assembly’s Third High-Level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).Grenada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Peter David will also address that High-Level Meeting.last_img read more