Michigan Department of Consumer & Industry Services (CIS) Director David C. Hollister announced that the CIS Energy Office has awarded US$3,840 to Kettering University of Flint and US$5,000 to Urban Options of East Lansing for biofuel education projects.Lansing, Michigan – February 25, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Kettering University will develop a web page to explain the use of ethanol-blended transportation fuels. The web page will focus on disseminating objective information based on experience with ethanol-blended fuel in their Silverado truck and snowmobile. The truck and snowmobile have both been converted to run on ethanol blends up to 85 percent. Urban Options will educate students about biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel) and organize a biofuel motor rally, which will tour various areas of the state. Students will inventory school buses and family vehicles and determine the emission reduction and other environmental impacts from using biofuels versus traditional petroleum-based fuels. The biofuel motor rally will start on Earth Day and tour various areas of the state for five days, stopping at schools along the way. Ethanol is an alcohol made through the fermentation of plant sugars from agricultural crops and other biomass resources. It can be used in blends up to 10 percent in all vehicles and up to 85 percent in specially manufactured flexible fuel vehicles. Ethanol has many potential environmental benefits because it burns cleaner than gasoline and reduces most exhaust emissions. Biodiesel can be used in all diesel engines and is typically used in 2 percent or 20 percent blends (B20). Biodiesel can also be used alone (B100). Benefits from using biodiesel include lower exhaust emissions and particulates, reduced odor, and minimized black smoke. “In addition to the environmental benefits, biofuels can be produced domestically, which will increase local economic development,” said Hollister. “Education is one of the keys to increase the use of these fuels and potentially reduce our dependence on foreign oil. This is of particular concern due to these uncertain times with respect to international relations.” Funding is made available through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The grant is administered by the CIS’ Energy Office through the Michigan Biomass Energy Program (MBEP).