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Permalink 10:26:12 pm, Categories: Background, 74 words   English (US)

Making Glycerin Soap from Biodiesel By-products

Interesting post by Terry McGleish over at about turning your left-over glycerine into bars of soap. Note the mention of "Be sure not to breathe the fumes." during the soap making. That's going to be because of the likely hood of leftover Methanol (or Ethanol) in the material. If you are considering doing this - look around for more details on why this happens, including:



Permalink 05:11:24 pm, Categories: News, Background, 55 words   English (US)

Cloud point calculator

I ran into this cloud point data recently. As most of the commercial biodiesel recently available in this area is produced from an animal fat feedstock, this can help you determine a safe blending ratio based on expected low temperatures:

Cloud point calculator

This is from the "SBA Good Book of Biodiesel" produced by the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance.



Permalink 01:54:06 am, Categories: News, Background, 141 words   English (US)

Native American philosophy applied to Energy - Biodiesel from Algae

The NYTimes reports on the Southern Ute's decision to invest in biodiesel from algae. Besides the potential profit, the group uses a longer philosphical viewpoint:

“It’s a marriage of an older way of thinking into a modern time,” said the tribe’s chairman, Matthew J. Box, referring to the interplay of environmental consciousness and investment opportunity around algae. ... “It reminded people of herbs that are helpful here, like bear root, which is harvested in the mountains,”

A co-founder of their Solix Biofuels company puts it this way:

They’re making decisions now for future generations as opposed to the next quarter, and that is just fundamentally different.”

That reminds me of the Iroquois law:

"In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation... even if it requires having skin as thick as the bark of a pine."


Permalink 08:44:52 pm, Categories: Background, 299 words   English (US)

Earth Week round up - part 2: AFV2009, Clean Diesels, and "Renewable Diesel" fuel

This week, the Alternative Fuel & Vehicle conference was held in Orlando. On Sunday, a parade of alternative fuel vehicles was held as a public part of the event. Between 50 and 100 viewers watched, and emcee Mike Holfeld of Channel 6 described, approximately 20 participants as they drove past the Disney Dolphin resort. Orange County Commissioner Linda Stewart was on hand to start the procession which included an electric bike, the 2010 Toyota Prius, a CNG powered lawn mower, an electric truck, a hydrogen powered bus, propane powered truck, and, most interesting from our point of, four "Clean Diesel" vehicles.

These vehicles use new exhaust technology to meet all 50 U.S. state emission regulations. They include the 2009 "Green Car of the Year" VW Jetta TDI,VW Jetta Mercedes-Benz ML 320 BlueTEC,Mercedes ML320 and the BMW X5 xDrive35dBMW X5. The National Biodiesel Board drove a VW TDI Cup Edition. All of these vehicles are on the market today.

Striking was the fuel 3 of the 4 diesels ran on: "Renewable Diesel". Renewable DieselThis is distinctly different from traditional biodiesel. While made from the same feedstocks (soy, algae, WVO, palm) as biodiesel - the chemical process and resulting fuel is much different from biodiesel and more similar to diesel. The hydrogenation process is very much like that used to "crack" crude oil, and is performed in similar refineries. With better cold weather properties than biodiesel, this second generation product is soon to be EPA approved in the U.S. It will be interesting to see how the U.S. market, and grassroots biodiesel advocates, differentiate this product from biodiesel. One hurdle for biodiesel to overcome with respect to new clean diesel exhaust systems, is lubrication oil dilution. That problem may limit users to strictly observing a B5 blend in 2009 and newer models, with no such limit necessary for the chemically-similar-to-petrodiesel Renewable Diesel fuel.


Permalink 12:52:35 pm, Categories: Background, 160 words   English (US)

Earth Week round up - part I: EarthFest, Energy Future

The week of Earth Day is a busy one for alternative energy topics - so we'll take a few posts here to cover items of interest.

EarthFest at FSEC
EarthFest at the Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa FL featured several exhibits dealing with alternative energy. There were electric bicycles to examine and take for a trial ride, a Florida Renewable Energy Associaion (FREA) table, Florida EcoSafari information, a Solar cooker, SunOven a Brevard EELS booth, Healthy Planet of Brevard, and
Alive and Healthy Eatery in Merritt Island had tremendous vegetarian fixings with hibiscus sangria to top things off.

On Sunday, Jay from Brevard Biodiesel presented a talk on "The Future of Energy". You can see the slides from that presentation in this 6MB PDF file from our Educational Information section.

In upcoming posts we'll cover the Alternative Fuel & Vehicle conference held in Orlando this week - specifically with regard to algae based biodiesel from Melbourne's own PetroAlgae and also a new topic: "renewable diesel".

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