DaimlerChrysler, Michigan State University and NextEnergy Turn Former Dump Site Into Research Lab for Bio-fuels

* Oakland County brownfield fuels green vehicles of the future

* MSU Researcher harvests soybeans, sunflowers, corn and canola from Rose

Township site

* Testing of the crop from the site may lead to "greening" of additional

brownfield sites

Oct 19, 2006, 01:00 ET from Chrysler Group

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- A Detroit-area
 brownfield site was anything but brown this year due to a unique experiment
 by a Michigan State University researcher. Sunflowers, corn, soybeans and
 other crops lent their colors to a section of the former dump site under
 the watchful eye of Professor Kurt Thelen, Ph.D.
     Thelen has partnered with DaimlerChrysler, the State of Michigan, the
 United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and NextEnergy of
 Detroit in a project to reuse the former dump site to research and develop
 better renewable fuels. He is leading the investigation into the
 possibility that crops can be grown on former industrial sites for use in
 ethanol or biodiesel fuel production. His first crops of soybeans, corn,
 sunflower, canola and switchgrass -- harvested this fall -- will be tested
 for their potential to be refined into renewable fuels.
     The Rose Township Project will serve as a model for potential reuse of
 hundreds of Superfund and brownfield sites nationwide. The EPA has endorsed
 the research under the agency's Return to Use initiative, designed to
 encourage the reuse of Superfund sites. Approximately two acres of the 110-
 acre site are being used for research.
     "This site may seem like a drop in the bucket, but we're looking at the
 possibility of taking land that isn't productive and using it to both learn
 and produce," said Professor Thelen. "The research we're conducting in Rose
 Township could have major implications for both rural and urban brownfield
 sites nationwide. If I had a brownfield in my neighborhood, I know I'd
 prefer it be 'greened' and put to a constructive use."
     "Bio-fuels represent a huge opportunity to reduce our nation's
 consumption of petroleum," said Deb Morrissett, Vice President - Regulatory
 Affairs for the Chrysler Group. "The Rose Township Project could give us a
 homegrown solution to our energy, environmental and economic challenges,
 and a chance to return these contaminated lands to use."
     Fuels produced in Thelen's research will be tested at the National
 Biofuels Energy Laboratory located at NextEnergy Center, the headquarters
 of Michigan's non-profit alternative energy business accelerator program.
 "This research, and related work here at NextEnergy, will further position
 Michigan as a leader in the national effort to reduce our dependence on oil
 and reduce the impact of transportation on our environment," said
 NextEnergy CEO Jim Croce.
     DaimlerChrysler is a global leader among automakers in using and
 promoting renewable fuel sources. More than 15,000 Jeep(R) Liberty CRD
 diesels have already been delivered to customers running on B5, a fuel
 comprising 5 percent biodiesel and 95 percent conventional diesel made from
 petroleum. In early 2007, DaimlerChrysler will launch the Jeep Grand
 Cherokee CRD with 3.0-liter, common rail, turbo-diesel engine, and the
 Dodge Ram diesel, both of which also will be fueled with B5 at the factory.
 These vehicles are also approved for regular use with B5 biodiesel fuel.
 The company has emerged as the leader in supporting the development of a
 national B20 -- 20 percent biodiesel fuel -- standard, and has approved the
 use of B20 in the 2007 Dodge Ram for commercial, government and military
     In 2007, DaimlerChrysler will produce more than 250,000 Flexible Fuel
 Vehicles (Fives) capable of running on E85 fuel, conventional gasoline or
 any combination of the two fuels. The company's FFV fleet will increase to
 nearly 500,000 in 2008. The 2007 FFV lineup includes:
     *  The Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Commander, Dodge Durango and Chrysler
        Aspen SUVs (4.7-liter engine)
     *  Dodge Ram and Dodge Dakota pickups (4.7-liter engine)
     *  Chrysler Sebring sedan (2.7-liter engine)
     *  Dodge Caravan, Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans
        (3.3-liter engine)
     The Rose Township site was used by waste haulers for the unauthorized
 disposal of oils, paint sledges and solvents in the late 1960s. More than
 5,000 drums of waste were removed from the site between 1979 - 1986. While
 DaimlerChrysler wasn't responsible for all the pollution at the Rose
 Township site, an agreement was reached between all responsible parties and
 the company took over the cleanup project in 1988.
     The Chrysler Group, headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., produces
 Chrysler, Jeep(R), Dodge and Mopar(R) brand vehicles and products. The
 company increased worldwide sales in 2005 by five percent to 2.83 million
 vehicles, making the Chrysler Group the only North American-based automaker
 to achieve a sales increase last year. Its product lineup features some of
 the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300, the
 Jeep Commander and the Dodge Charger. The DaimlerChrysler Corporation Fund,
 the company's philanthropic arm, gave $26 million in grants in 2005. The
 Chrysler Group is a unit of DaimlerChrysler AG, the world's fifth largest
 automaker, which produces passenger and commercial vehicles including the
 Mercedes-Benz, Maybach, smart and Freightliner brands.
     For more information on the EPA's Return to Use initiative, visit their
 website at http://epa.gov/superfund/programs/recycle .

SOURCE Chrysler Group