Put a Cow in Your Tank. Force 10 from New Zealand


Yup, it’s not only green beer and beds they know how to make make in the land of the long white cloud, but biofuel too. Whereas it's the very powerful corn lobby in the US that is pushing for ethanol-based biofuels, NZ has its own dominant industry, outside of sheep, that is:- Dairy. So why not make ethanol from all that by-product from milk production, namely whey. Gull Petroleum convinced New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Helen Clark, to pump their first public tank of Force 10 biofuel, which contains a 10% blend of whey-derived ethanol and 90% high octane petrol. Gull have calculated that someone who weekly uses a 30 litre (8 gallon) tank of Force 10 ($1.61 NZD a litre) will annually save more than 250 kilograms (550 lbs) of carbon dioxide emissions. Initially the biofuel will be only from three service stations, but the company plans to roll it out to most of their 30 sites over time, hoping it will soon account for 10-12% of their sales. Though the product is said to work best in newer cars. And Gull are eight months ahead of the regulations, which will begin to see New Zealand strive for targets of 3.4% biofuel.Although whey is a waste product this is not the first creative use of the residue. Anchor Ethanol, a subsidiary of Fonterra Co-op, who is making the ethanol for Gull, already supply the market with the milk-based raw material for production of pharmaceuticals, perfumes, printing inks and even vodka and rum. All derived from whey. At some Fonterra plants they’ve also generated a zero emission biogas power from whey wastes, apparently saving 2,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide in one production. If you want to know how its done and love schematics and tables check out this PDF for the low down. ::Gull Petroleum, via ecomedia and TVNZ.