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Archives for: 2005

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Permalink 12:09:38 am, Categories: Announcements [A], News, 105 words   English (US)

BioDiesel in Gainesville workshop series

Several biodiesel workshops/talks are scheduled for January 11th and 12th in Gainesville, FL. The events are a collaboration of Freedom Fuels, Inc. and the North Florida Biofuels Network. Contact information is here.

I think Lyle Estill (of Piedmont Biofuels, writer of the Energy Blog, and author of "Biodiesel Power: The Passion, the People, and the Politics of the Next Renewable Fuel" will be on hand so that should be neat.

The "Car Talk: Car Show and Ice Cream Shop Talk" sounds fun!

At least one of us from Brevard Biodiesel plans on being there for some of the events. Stop in and say hi!



Permalink 06:12:41 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], News, 71 words   English (US)

Looking to get rid of fryer oil?

Deep frying something over the holidays and don't know what to do with your used oil? A local biodiesel maker is willing to accept that oil. He "homebrews" biodiesel from the vegetable oil and can find a good home for your used oil. Certainly do not throw it away!

If you have oil you'd like to get rid of this way, contact Jim at 321-253-9434 or via email at: [email protected]



Permalink 01:18:24 am, Categories: Announcements [A], News, 108 words   English (US)

Next group Biodiesel order in Brevard area...

If you are interested in getting in on a group biodiesel order for the Brevard County area in the next two weeks, Contact Us to let us know how much you would like.

Jim Robertson of BioFuels America is able to bring up to 900 gallons now. He would like a minimum order of 15 drums = 825 gallons. The cost will be around $3-$3.25/gallon This is soy based B95 (95% biodiesel) product. Delivery would be to your residence/business and coordinated with us for delivery on the same day.

Let me know how much you would take delivery of if interested
and I will see if we have enough for the order.



Permalink 01:30:28 pm, Categories: Background, 40 words   English (US)

Viscosity of biodiesel fuel

We've put together a chart to try and show many of the different viscosity values related to use of biodiesel as a fuel. The idea is to show the overlap and relation among various biodiesel specifications and several biodiesel feedstocks.
Click for report....



Permalink 02:07:25 pm, Categories: Background, 462 words   English (US)

ScanGauge on Stage

(This is a follow-up review to our first look at the ScanGauge)
Before leaving for the Elsbett Workshop, I stopped by Jay's place to borrow his Jetta Maintenance Manual, and he asked if I would like to borrow his new ScanGauge also. Sure! Sounds like a good chance to gather some fuel economy statistics.

=> Read more!


Permalink 12:19:22 pm, Categories: News, Background, 86 words   English (US)

No Elsbetta Jetta Yetta

The Elsbett SVO conversion workshop took place last weekend in Pittsboro NC, but my Jetta remained an innocent bystander. For now, software issues block the Elsbett path for VW TDI Pumpe Düse diesels newer than 2003. Still, I decided to attend the workshop as an observer and photograph the process for future reference should I decide to convert an older TDI. Here's my report.

Elsbett conversion group at NC

(Thanks to BrevardBiodieseler Jim for this comprehensive trip write-up and photos!)

Update: More details on the workshop at the Piedmont Biofuels website.


Permalink 08:03:46 pm, Categories: News, Background, 146 words   English (US)

"Bio-Diesel-Man" episode on _Dirty Jobs_ - Discovery Channel

Heads up (thanks for the A-Lert from George) - An episode of Dirty Jobs on The Discovery Channel is airing again tonight called Bio-Diesel-Man. It will also re-air on or around the 29th of October.

TiVo description is "turning cooking oil into a gasoline alternative". Well okay that isn't quite correct but close enough for TV Guide accuracy?

If anything interesting is shown I'll post again with details.

10/27 post viewing:
Just finished watching - very nice job! They packed in all the key points and covered the WVO -> Biodiesel process from collection, through titration, test batch, and final conversion. It didn't look like there were any washing done. They did not mention what this user does with his glycerine byproduct. I didn't notice any technical inaccuracies which can be a problem when trying to present the information to the public in one quick swoop. Well worth the view.



Permalink 02:05:28 pm, Categories: News, 462 words   English (US)

Mileage analysis tool - "ScanGauge" - initial review

I installed a Linear-Logic "ScanGauge" in my 2004 TDI Jetta to try and help gather additional mileage data for future biodiesel reports.
ScanGauge. The ScanGauge scans the built-in car computer to gather and report various engine and fuel data, along with a trip computer function.
Read on for review...

=> Read more!


Permalink 04:47:43 pm, Categories: Background, 138 words   English (US)

VW Diesels take 4 of top 10 2006 mileage spots

The new 2006 mileage ratings from the EPA place Volkswagen diesel powered vehicles in 4 of the top 10 spots. No other manufacturer has more than 2 spots.
In 3rd:
Volkswagen New Beetle and Golf (diesel, manual) -- 37/44

In 4th:
Volkswagen Jetta (diesel) -- 36/41

In 6th:
Volkswagen New Beetle and Jetta(diesel, automatic) -- 35/42

In 7th:
Volkswagen Golf (diesel, automatic) -- 33/44

Here is the full 2006 Fuel Economy Guide.

The diesel section of the guide notes:
"Diesel-powered vehicles typically get 30-35% more miles per gallon than comparable vehicles powered by gasoline. Diesel engines are inherently more energy efficient, and diesel fuel contains 10% more energy per gallon than gasoline. In addition, new advances in diesel engine technology have improved performance, reduced engine noise and fuel odor, and decreased emissions of harmful air pollutants. New low-sulfur diesel fuels available beginning in 2006 will help reduce emissions from these vehicles even more."



Permalink 06:32:47 pm, Categories: News, 320 words   English (US)

Woody Harrelson, Biodiesel and Late Night

Woody Harrelson was on CBS Late Night with David Letterman last night and they talked about biodiesel a bit. Here is my attempt at a transcript of that part of the interview:

W: The main thing we gotta do is get off fossil fuels. *Applause* Fossil fuels are really destructive.

D: That would then start a reduction in the rising temperature?
Is that the way that would work?

W: Well it would take a while before it will effect it. It seems like this darn oligarchy that calls itself our executive branch and all the people associated with them are making a lot of money. *Applause* So I think it's going to take a while to turn around. But I do know a lot of people who...You know you can buy a Mercedes that is diesel engine, or any kind of diesel car and you can run biodiesel.

D: What is biodiesel?

W: Biodiesel is vegetable oil along with ethanol or methanol and some kind of pH balancer. Rudolf Diesel, when he designed that engine, he meant for it to run off of vegetable oil from the farmers. I don't think he imagined the petrochemical industry taking over the world.

D: Do you drive one of these cars you can run the biodiesel on?

W: Yeah, I have a Volkswagen. I didn't have to adapt the engine at all and it runs off of biodiesel.

D: And where does one get biodiesel?

W: Well, you know, we have a website called, my wife and I,and we can help direct you to biodiesel in your neighborhood - hopefully.

D: Is it expensive?

W: Well now that the price of gas has skyrocketed. It's a lot more reasonable and it's actually less than regular gas or regular diesel.

D: You know, it's nice to see somebody living their commitment, it's

W: Thank you Dave!

D: You're quite welcome.



Permalink 11:45:49 am, Categories: News, 152 words   English (US)

BioDiesel how-to in MAKE Magazine

I picked up a copy of MAKE Magazine Vol. 3 at the bookstore. Inside, there is an 8+ page how-to guide for small batch (1 litre) biodiesel production. This guide is the best all-in-one version I have seen, with coverage of inputs, procedures including titration and washing, and outputs. Nice job! I paid the $14.99 sticker price, but you can get it thru Amazon for around $10. (This issue also has sections on Cold Fusion, adding a Mac Mini into a Volkswagen GTI, turning a vehicle into a mobile WiFi Hotspot, VCR powered cat feeder, spud-gun, and a lot more).
Back to biodiesel - the article was put together by Rob Elam of Propel Fuels in Seattle and based on articles by Girl Mark in the Energy Self-Sufficiency Newsletter.
(Propel fuels looks like an interesting business for helping commercial biodiesel startups.)

10 October:
Followup: Audio interview with article available here. (When he says "more viscous" he meant "less viscous").



Permalink 12:18:39 pm, Categories: Background, 66 words   English (US)

Old style "Lister" Diesel generator and Florida hurricanes

Lots of pictures and two movies document Rocketboy's Diesel Lister generator installation I noticed recently via boingboing.

10kw at .3 gallons diesel/biodiesel per hour.

Note the magnets used in the sump to collect small metal bits and his use of an auto muffler.

One of these days Jim of BrevardBiodiesel will have his Lister cranked up and running on biodiesel! :)

Other related links:



Permalink 12:00:50 am, Categories: News, 97 words   English (US)

BrevardBiodiesel at Volkstoberfest

The "Sunshine State" came through with no rain today at the well attended Volkstoberfest VII. We manned a booth to provide information about biodiesel to attendees. BrevardBiodiesel Booth.
I'd estimate we handed out 50 flyers which was a great show of interest.
We also used a new magnetic/vinyl mat Magnetic sign on Jetta hoodon the car hood to display information about the vehicle. I think this made a great presentation and conveyed the basic information at a glance to passersby.
Many of the visitors were already aware of biodiesel, some had never heard of it. There were also very cool VW's to see!
View of show



Permalink 01:23:37 pm, Categories: News, 46 words   English (US)

Oil from Algae Yahoo group

In Florida we tend to have algae "volunteering" in many locations - so maybe it is an ideal source especially around here...

See this Yahoo discussion group on getting Oil from Algae (which could then be converted to biodiesel).

For background see the Mike Briggs/UNH article.



Permalink 12:19:18 am, Categories: Background, 94 words   English (US)

B20 + NOx reduction additive testing in Texas

B20 with three different additives, including GTAT Viscon will be some of the fuels tested to meet the TxLED (Texas Low Emission Diesel fuel) in the next several months. The blended fuels + additives must be tested to meet TxLED low emission standards. The additives such as GTAT Viscon function to reduce NOx and other emissions and as such are of interest to biodiesel users.
Two other additives (DTBP - di-tert-butyl peroxide and EHN - ethyl-hexyl nitrate) are discussed in this NREL report (PDF) which is worth looking at for NOx reduction discussion and raw emission data.



Permalink 08:20:40 pm, Categories: News, 46 words   English (US)

Biodiesel in Gainesville

An article on the Alachua County Biofuels Co-Op from the Gainesville Sun.

"Members plan to build a mini-refinery to produce biodiesel on their own. They're in discussions to help Alachua County Public Works again use biodiesel in the county's vehicle fleet."

Way to go Alachua County! :)



Permalink 02:11:56 pm, Categories: Background, 23 words   English (US)

Nice pics and info from


CO2 cycle picture
BioDiesel pump picture (possibly only B5?)

Brand name for biodiesel in France: "Diester"

Biggest biodiesel producer outside Europe: Brazil



Permalink 03:14:46 pm, Categories: News, 394 words   English (US)

"Betting My TDI on Elsbett"

A Brevard BioDiesel member describes his upcoming conversion below. (note:
an Elsbett one-tank system can run SVO, BD, or a mixture of both)

Elsbett is a German company with long experience in designing and modifying diesel engines to run on straight vegetable oil (SVO). They make the only single-tank SVO system available today. Originally, I didn't consider SVO because my driving is mostly short commutes--too short to use a dual-tank SVO system (start on diesel and switch to SVO after the engine is hot). But a few developments have changed my perspective:

1. I had planned to make my own biodiesel, but now that I've learned a lot about it, the methanol hazards make it a more serious venture than I care to start.

2. A pleased Prius driver for four years before switching to Jetta, I have followed the technology closely, and would be even more pleased to drive a plug-in diesel/electric hybrid, so I watch developments with interest.

3. Piedmont Biofuels in Pittsboro NC held an Elsbett conversion workshop where they converted two cars in 2004. I know the people there and have confidence in their abilities. With the single-tank system, short trips are OK, but if it helps, I'll even try adding plug-in heating units to make cold-starts work better. After all, if a plug-in hybrid is the ideal, a plug-in SVO is not so different in terms of convenience. The energy used to pre-heat the fuel system should still be much less than making biodiesel. And if it destroys my engine--oh well, it was for a good cause!

Here's a link to the Elsbett web site - unfortunately not very revealing.

Here's Eric Henry's web site, where he has posted info about the 2004 workshop at Piedmont Biofuels.

I talked at length with Eric a few weeks ago, and he remains very pleased with his Elsbett system. By the way, Eric is in the custom T-shirt business, and the way he runs his business is a superb model for any business person who cares about the environment! If you need a batch of T-shirts made, call him.

Piedmont Biofuels scheduled their second Elsbett conversion workshop for September 25, and I signed up. At last count, 14 owners will convert their cars under the direction of an Elsbett technician. The cost is $1000 plus expenses for the trip. I hope to post photos and descriptions soon.


Permalink 12:00:34 am, Categories: Background, 1588 words   English (US)

Diesel vehicle availability and statistics, background

A recent article in the LA Times was mentioned in a forum at the wonderful TDIClub site. Here are some highlights:

  • $3400 tax credit for diesel car buyers in the 2005 Energy Act. (I also note a 30% tax credit for installation of a B20 or greater refueling station.)
  • Chryslers CEO says if 20% of the US passenger car fleet were diesel we'd save 350,000 barrelts of crude each *day*.
  • VW sells more diesel cars in the U.S. than all of its competitors combined.
  • The diesel Passat is being phased out of the U.S. market next year because European demand is going to account for every model VW can make.
  • BMW reportedly has a small diesel SUV on tap
  • Diesel sales in the U.S. were up 33% in 2004 accounting for 3% of the passenger vehicle market - but over 90% of those sales were diesel powered pickups

Article text follows:

=> Read more!



Permalink 04:47:41 pm, Categories: News, 33 words   English (US)

TDI shortage/demand?

Locally VW dealers report no TDI models on the lot. Also reports that this shortage extends across at least Florida and Georgia. The latest price quote for B95 we have received is $2.95 delivered.



Permalink 03:21:05 pm, Categories: News, 34 words   English (US)

More musicians using Biodiesel on tour...

Neil Young and Willie Nelson were only the beginning of biodiesel powered musical tours - add to the list:
David Wilcox
Jack Johnson
String Cheese Incident
Bonnie Raitt
Indigo Girls
Concrete Blonde
Perry Farrell/Lollapalooza



Permalink 09:58:57 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], 88 words   English (US)

Visit us at Volkstoberfest VII

Brevard BioDiesel will be present at Volkstoberfest VII, the annual gathering of VW enthusiasts in Central Florida. Info:

Sunday, October 2, 2005 - Starts at 8am
Held at:
Brevard Community College
3865 N. Wickham Road
Melbourne, FL
Proceeds to Benefit Hospice of Health First

Much more information including a pre-registration form for entrants/vendors
at the German Accents Volkswagen Club web site.

We'll have several stock Volkswagens running biodiesel and be glad to
see and chat with others interested in biodiesel - stop by and say
"Hi" while you ogle all the Volkswagens.



Permalink 06:44:00 pm, Categories: Background, 113 words   English (US)

Two worthwhile energy stories in NYT Sunday mag.

The main feature "The Breaking Point" by Peter Maass investigates the "Peak Oil" concept , specifically Saudi oil reserves. The message Maass gets from the retired head of Aramco exploration is "... the world is heading for an oil shortage. His warning is quite different from the calming speeches that Naimi and other Saudis, along with senior American officials, deliver on an almost daily basis."

A more domestic, in the kitchen sense, article is also included, "Kitchen Voyeur: Sunny Side Up" by Jonathan Reynolds that takes a look at solar powered cookers. (We mentioned solar cookers here 3-4 months ago.) These items can provide a sustainable solution for third world families looking to cook their dinners.

Permalink 06:24:06 pm, Categories: News, 107 words   English (US)

More Brevard area users pump it up

Last week a set of Brevardians (and one adopted Orlandoian) took another delivery of biodiesel - about 400 gallons total. In this case the delivery was of B95 (95% biodiesel, 5% petrodiesel) care of Jim from BioFuels America from Ft. Lauderdale. Users run vehicles such as an '85 Mercedes 300TD Sedan, a VW Golf TDI, and various VW Jettas. Said one of the customers:
"I feel like I am floating on air driving on what is
basically Solar power. At $2.90 a gallon delivered,
biodiesel is competitively priced. It makes my Jetta a
no guilt sports car. Our delivery man, Jim, makes it
easy. He arrives on time and has been very flexible."



Permalink 10:20:18 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], News, 134 words   English (US)

Retail biodiesel locations on Google Maps

I got the itch to program up a custom Google Maps display showing all the U.S. retail biodiesel locations. Using the location list from and after few days of figuring out how to parse the HTML down into an XML data file, it looks to be a useable map for seeing the locations.

see the Map

Each location is plotted with a marker corresponding to the location. The marker also indicates the highest blend (B100, B99, B50, B20, B2/B5) available at that site. Currently there are 489 locations in the data file. There are a few locations that are only accurate to the zipcode for plotting as their address did not resolve via the Tiger census data. 4 locations didn't even resolve via a zipcode and were hand corrected. Have fun looking :)


Permalink 01:51:18 am, Categories: Announcements [A], News, 58 words   English (US)

Homebrew presentation online

We've placed our homebrew presentation slides from tonight online here. Email us if you have any questions or comments. It was great to see the turn out at both the presentation and the table for the SCPA summer social. Thanks to Larry from Orlando for inspiring us to have a meeting and coming over to check it out.



Permalink 12:52:14 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], 98 words   English (US)

Upcoming events - July 30, August 1

Brevard BioDiesel will be at the Space Coast Progressive Summer Social at Kiwanis Island Park, Merritt Island on Saturday July 30 from 5pm - 8pm. Stop by and say hello while enjoying the entertainment.

Brevard BioDiesel will present will present information about "home-brewing" biodiesel fuel on Monday, August 1 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Eau Gallie Public Library, 1521 Pineapple Avenue, Melbourne. (Next to Conchy Joes, link to map). Free to the public. We'll review some of the procedures commonly used today, review some of the systems out there, and discuss trade-offs with buying commercially made biodiesel. Email with any questions.



Permalink 12:18:32 am, Categories: Background, 174 words   English (US)

Hybrid Greenwashing?

In a New York Times story entitled "Hybrid Cars Burning Gas in the Drive for Power", author Matthew L. Wald reports that while the 2005 Honda Accord hybrid achieves only marginally better fuel economy than its non-hybrid equivalents, it does provide much stronger acceleration. He cites several similar examples to show that marketing has again prevailed on engineering to produce cars that are more powerful instead of more fuel-efficient.

Honda's progression from the 2001 ultra-efficient Insight to the
ultra-marketable 2005 Accord Hybrid is not unique. Toyota has made similar
moves from their first Japan-only hybrids to the Prius series and now the
Highlander. And General Motors didn't even bother with efficiency - their
first announced hybrids are strictly to provide extra power for large pickup trucks.

For now, the word "Hybrid" provides a marketing and tax-saving advantage,
and the manufacturers are slanting its benefits to best short-term financial advantage. Perhaps if we're lucky, Volkswagen's engineers will be allowed to maintain more focus on fuel efficiency as they develop their first hybrid diesel during the next couple of years.



Permalink 12:37:56 am, Categories: Background, 133 words   English (US)

All kinds of good biodiesel information

I was just reviewing some of the large amount of detailed biodiesel information available at Iowa State University's biodiesel site. I'll point out a few highlights:

The Technical Papers section. I found two terrific reports on biodiesel emissions tests here: The Effect of Timing and Oxidation on Emissions from BioDiesel-Fueled Engines (PDF) and Comparison of Engine Performance and Emissions for Petroleuim Diesel Fuel, Yellow Grease BioDiesel, and Soybean Oil Biodiesel (PDF). There was good information on NOx variations and engine timing and the associated mechanisms.

The BioDiesel Course. Good detailed information and numbers, with "Digressions" :) from time to time. Here is a digression on "Diesel Combustion and Emissions"

There is also a gargantuan bibliography, only in PDF or Word format.

Thank you to the ISU Biodiesel Workshop Team for sharing all this information.



Permalink 08:13:03 pm, Categories: News, 149 words   English (US)

Delivery to Brevard area pics/info

Four biodiesel users in various Brevard County locations took delivery of B100 fuel today from BioFuels America Inc out of Ft. Lauderdale.
The delivery truck arrived Click for large view with around 250 gallons of B100. Each of the four deliveries was for 55gallons pumped into existing drums.
Here is a closer look at the delivery tank: Click for large view
The electric pump was powered off the truck system. The counter was reset to zero prior to pumping and off we went.Click for large view
This B100 fuel was Griffin Industries product indirectly thru Ward Oil of Tampa. This is ASTM D6751 certified fuel and the same as two of us have been running for about a year without issues.Click for large view.

This delivery method is convenient. We paid a price of $3.50 per gallon. Thanks to Jim Robertson of BioFuels America. We may not be as exciting a customer as Willie Nelson was for delivery, but will happily use the B100 anyway :)



Permalink 05:08:51 pm, Categories: News, Background, 114 words   English (US)

Honda diesel ad, Jetta TDI vs. Prius

This Honda ad won awards recently for its innovative message about clean diesel technology.

More on it from Honda UK and BusinessWeek

Here is a recent real world comparison of a 500+ mile drive using a Jetta TDI vs. a Prius. I noted this section:

The advantage in premium paid for the technology goes to diesel. The premium for a hybrid version of a vehicle is about $3,000. The Jetta diesel is $1,200 more than a gas-powered Jetta. VW's Passat TDI diesel, which just went on sale, is only $205 more than the similar gas model.

And the VW Touareg TDI diesel, also just now on sale, is priced about the same as a similarly accessory-laden gasoline V-8.



Permalink 08:43:31 pm, Categories: News, 15 words   English (US)

Diesel powered motorcycle - 150 mpg

This motorcycle is diesel powered. This story mentions the use of biodiesel in said motorcycle.



Permalink 02:21:44 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], 475 words   English (US)

Answers to questions asked during survey...

Here is a collection of questions asked by survey participants at our site:
  • What about small equipment ie pressure washers lawnmowers etc? Check out HUGR Systems They are located in Apopka.
  • Concerning Green House effects, does the oxygen given off during the growth phase of the plant, make up for the Carbon Dioxide given off when burning the biodiesel? CO2 absorbed by the feedstock plants makes up for CO2 emitted during combustion. There are other CO2 components taken into account (transportation and manufacturing etc) in the overall lifecycle which result in the 78% reduction in CO2 emissions relative to petro-diesel.
  • Can my current Toyota Tacoma be retrofitted to burn biodiesel? In theory you could do it, but probably not practical. There are rumours of a 2006 Diesel Toyota Truck in the states?
  • How to join/start a local co-op? We're trying to get that going. For example we now have at least 3 consumers that are going to go in on the next bulk buy of biodiesel fuel. Let us know you're interested in participating in that buy.
  • Where in Brevard Co. can I buy equipment and supplies for making Biodiesel? Not sure there is any place in Brevard specifically oriented to biodiesel. Check out Biodiesel Research which does have some products and other services. Located in Apopka.
  • What I was wondering was how somebody switches from oil to organic diesel. Are there certain steps one needs to take to convert the car? Also, are there any hybrid cars that could run bio diesel? So far there are no consumer diesel hybrids in the U.S. - but a lot of us think that will be the ideal vehicle and they will be arriving in the future. New diesel vehicles should have no problem running biodiesel. Older cars can get there, you should read over items such as this for guidelines.
  • Why is it taking some long to get down here in Florida and Orlando? Agreed!
  • How to set up a cooperative in the Naples/Bonita Springs area? You probably want to investigate various co-ops out there and pick and choose the components you like. Here are some starters:
  • How to make it? A starting point to read:
  • Do you hold any types of gatherings to exchange info, stories...? Not yet - stay tuned to this site.
  • Does VW have any reservations about the use of biodiesel in 2004 1.9 TDI engines? VW of America has announced warrany coverage for use of B5 earlier this year. People are using blends above B5 without problem, but these are not officially covered by warranty - yet.


Permalink 01:43:37 pm, Categories: News, 14 words   English (US)

BioDiesel in Florida Today today

Jim, from Brevard BioDiesel, is quoted in today's article on Hybrid and BioDiesel vehicles.



Permalink 08:26:07 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], 199 words   English (US)

President Bush's remarks about BioDiesel

President bush gave these remarks at Virginia BioDiesel today. Some good things - glad to see him putting a spotlight on BioDiesel. But continues to tout his so-called "Clean Skies" program, for example, which is a gift to energy companies (largest industrial component of CO2).

Of note in the remarks pertaining to BioDiesel.:

About half of newly registered passenger cars in Western Europe are now equipped with diesel engines. Yet in America, fewer than 1 percent of the cars on the road use diesel. According to the Department of Energy, if diesel vehicles made up 20 percent of our fleet in 15 years, we would save 350,000 barrels of oil a day. That's about a quarter of what we import every day from Venezuela.

I have proposed making owners of clean diesel vehicles eligible for the same tax credit as owners of hybrid vehicles.

Biodiesel can be used in any vehicle that runs on regular diesel, and delivers critical environmental and economic benefits.

every time we use home-grown biodiesel, we support American farmers, not foreign oil producers.

A recent study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory projected that biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, could provide about a fifth of America's transportation fuel within 25 years.



Permalink 05:20:24 pm, Categories: News, 61 words   English (US)

"Open-Source" homebrew reactor in Home Power

The June/July issue of HomePower magazine has an article by Maria Alovert (aka "Girl Mark") describing the Appleseed Reactor for producing BioDiesel. About 5 pages in length with pictures and a diagram. The solar cooker article in the magazine is also informative with respect to third world countries. See Solar Cookers International and the Solar Oven Society for more on that.



Permalink 09:41:19 pm, Categories: News, 43 words   English (US)

Vid of Methanol/Ethanol etc. experiment on Leno

Here is a little writeup along with 10MB Divx video of an experiment shown last night on the Tonight Show what compared three types of alcohol including Methanol and Ethanol (which can be used in BioDiesel production) undergoing ignition in plastic "whoosh" bottles.



Permalink 11:51:54 am, Categories: News, 36 words   English (US)

Bill Maher say BioDiesel is "Bio-Delicious"

My favourite quote from this blog post by Bill Maher on BioDiesel:
"Joining Bush on the biodiesel bandwagon is a man who’s successfully tested some of the world’s most powerful substances: Mr. Willie Nelson."



Permalink 10:19:24 pm, Categories: News, Background, 28 words   English (US)

Photos from Solar Music Fair table

Here are two shots of the Brevard BioDiesel presentation table at the first annual Solar Music Fair held on the Florida Institute of Technology on Earth Day.

Photo 1

Photo 1

Permalink 08:49:04 pm, Categories: News, 90 words   English (US)

Proprietary biodiesel process with impressive specs...

Resodyn Corp has parterned to make BIOSOURCE Fuels LLC and use some form of proprietary acoustic separation in their continuous biodiesel production process. Called an "Acoustic Grease Conversion Reactor, the process has been awarded a $70,000 EPA award this year.

What seems the most interesting:

  • Insensitive to the free fatty acid content of feedstocks
  • No wash step required
  • Recovered glycerine 97% pure!

A little confusing - one of their articles says this process removes the need for catalysts and solvents, but another diagram on their site has the conventional Feedstock + Catalyst + Methanol diagram.



Permalink 01:11:24 am, Categories: News, 57 words   English (US)

Army demo's diesel/electric hybrid

In this story an interesting vehicle is described:

- $20,000 to manufacture
- 3 cylinder diesel + 2 hybrid motors
- 50 mpg
- made from off-the-shelf components
- potentially easy to repair
- diesel engine removable to act as 5KW generator

That generator angle sounds great for hurricane survivors here in Florida!

Other diesel/hybrid news:
NYC going diesel/hybrid on city buses

FedEx getting 75 diesel/hybrids.



Permalink 02:47:42 pm, Categories: News, 76 words   English (US)

NASA wins transportation energy award inc. BioDiesel

NASA won a Closing the Circle enviromental award this month. Go NASA and Brevard County!

From the press release:

"The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) exceeded the 75 percent alternative fuel vehicle acquisition requirement for 125 vehicles by acquiring 330 total credits in FY 2004.
NASA acquired 308 light-duty vehicles in 2004, 167 of which were EPAct-covered, and gained 61 credits for using biodiesel. The agency also used alternative fuels for 27 percent of its operation of AFVs, an increase of 18 percent over FY 2003."

Permalink 02:30:17 pm, Categories: News, 63 words   English (US)

Cheaper biodiesel from soy

A biochemist has come up with a new method to extract soybean oil from soy flakes that is estimated to cost 1/3 the convential price. Plus it uses no Hexane (a regulated air pollutant). The new method uses dry soy flakes, methanol and sodium hydroxide - the latter two components the
same as those commonly used in the transesterification step of converting oil to biodiesel.



Permalink 02:01:10 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], 52 words   English (US)

Brevard BioDiesel Survey results so far...

Some of the results from our ongoing local survey:

  • 2/3 of respondents have a diesel vehicle
  • these same 2/3 are ready to try biodiesel now
  • 75% willing to pay more for biodiesel than petrodiesel
  • Cocoa is the most requested fueling station location
  • 90%+ willing to purchase biodiesel from unattended co-op
  • 60%+ interested in making their own biodiesel


Permalink 08:02:03 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], 133 words   English (US)

Notes on Florida AFV Odyssey Day

Caught a bit of the Alternative Fueld Vehicle (AFV) Odyssey Day program held at Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa, FL this morning. Noticed HUGR Systems from Apopka, Biodiesel Research (also from Apopka) were there. Many fleet people from along the Florida coast. Also many other individuals and all seemed to be interested in biodiesel.
David Dunagan of the US DOE had lots of good information including:

  • website for searching on grants available for biofuels. Search there on something like "biomass" and you get 17 hits.
  • Research into castor beans as an oil feedstock, at Mississippi State University, show promise. 3 times the oil as peanuts. Natural pesticide properties of plant help during crop rotation.
  • CSX railway locomotives use 450 million gallons of diesel/year. 40% of that is used while the locomotives are idling.


Permalink 08:47:35 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], 324 words   English (US)

see us at Solar Music Fair

We'll be present at:

First Annual Solar Music Fair
Earth Day, Friday, April 22, 2005
Noon until 4 p.m.
Florida Institute of Technology
150 West University Blvd.
at/near the Panther Plaza

=> Read more!



Permalink 03:51:49 pm, Categories: News, 66 words   English (US)

Brevard BioDIesel goes back to school

Brevard BioDiesel was pleased to be ask to present information about biodiesel at the Florida Institute of Technology on 7 April 2005. We gave a 45 minute presentation to Frank Leslie's Renewable Energy Course. This presentation closely followed the powerpoint information available in our Education section on this site. Speaking of the education section, there is a new writeup there titled "Global Warming or Climate Chaos" - check it out.



Permalink 03:00:22 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], Background, 142 words   English (US)

BioDiesel Stability && Iodine Value (IV)

We've put together a new writeup in our education section that covers the topic of biodiesel chemical stability and the chemical property called Iodine Value. Take a gander at the pretty molecular model pics and our take on what information is out there in this area. Here's the concluding paragraph for the short attention span crowd:

To try and wrap things up, it is clear that both vegetable oils and biodiesel can eventually degrade thru oxidation. The commonly used measurement for this property, Iodine Value, should be reasonably understood as only a rough guide to a process that is better understood by examining the chemical makeup and breakdown process involved. Alternative properties, specifically OSI and APE/BAPE, more accurately reflect the chemical stability of biodiesel.

Wanted to note this US Navy excellent stability report thanks to M.B. at biodieselnow forums.


Permalink 12:33:20 pm, Categories: News, 60 words   English (US)

Orange peels -> Methanol

Biodiesel production from waste (or other) vegetable oil (WVO) requires methanol (or less commonly, ethanol). This news story points out a company that is producing methanol from a Florida waste product - orange peels. The company, Ener1 Inc., received grant money from the Florida Hydrogen Initiative for a Clean Power for an Interstate Rest Area project which will use the methanol.



Permalink 04:32:58 pm, Categories: News, Background, 123 words   English (US)

Diesel hybrids: 60mpg sedans, 30mpg trucks

Wired News reports on the upcoming diesel hybrid model vehicles and the possibility they will overtake gasoline hybrids. Also mentioned is the NOx reduction due to hybrid technology usage.

On a related note, these two articles, while not that recent, have some interesting comments by Robert Bosch regarding the diesel engine market.
Article 1
Article 2
Look for these thoughts:
"This means the average driver can save nearly $600 on fuel costs every single year by driving a diesel here in the United States."
"In the last 10 years, diesel engines have reduced particulate emissions by more than 80 percent, nitrous oxide (NOx) and unburned hydrocarbons by approximately 90 percent, and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions by 97 percent. These successes stem primarily from a combination of injection and aftertreatment technology."



Permalink 05:24:47 pm, Categories: News, 108 words   English (US)

ADM and Volkswagen announce BioDiesel warranty coverage

Though officially limited in scope to B5 (5% biodiesel blend), this announcement is an important first step in the furthering of official auto manufacturer biodiesel endorsement as shown earlier with the factory B5 fueled DaimlerChrysler Jeep Liberty.
User reports of successful use over 10's of thousands of miles of B100 in various VW TDI models have preceded this announcement for years. Scoping thru the Biodiesel form at the site reveals anecdotal reports of:

  • 18,000 miles on B20 in 2004 Passat TDI
  • 22,000 miles using B0-B100 on 2004 Jetta Wagon
  • 10,000 miles B100 on 2005 Jetta Wagon

Another place to see user's success with vehicles is the testimonial page at



Permalink 02:07:21 am, Categories: News, 106 words   English (US)

Tickell, Girl Mark in Maxim

The March 2005 issue of Maxim magazine, more well known for it's "lack of coverage" in certain areas, has a 4 page article titled "Have Fries, Will Travel" that actually has some truths about biodiesel. Josh Tickell ("From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank") appears in several pictures and is the main biodiesel proponent in the story. Maria Alovert (aka "Girl Mark") gets several paragraphs of the story (and a photo) promoting the "open source" analogy of the biodiesel scene. Sprinkled with undergrad humour, there isn't a consistent high level of information density in the article, but it might plant a seed of interest in a wider audience.



Permalink 08:28:01 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], News, 41 words   English (US)

Brevard County student BioDiesel project

Local Edgewood Jr./Sr. High student Melissa Ingram has kindly allowed us to place her recent winning Biodiesel Research project paper online. You can find this information in our Educational section. Good luck to Melissa at the upcoming fairs in Orlando!


Permalink 02:18:37 am, Categories: News, 90 words   English (US)

Algae filter

This episode of Scientific American Frontiers on PBS mainly dealt with Hydrogen economy issues - one segment especially caught my attention. Many tubes of bubbling green algae were being used to filter smokestack emissions, specifically NOx and CO2. Every 24 hours the newly grown algae was removed from the tubes for drying (via power plant heat) into a powder. The company behind this idea is here. How could this apply to biodiesel?
- a source of algae which can be used to produce biodiesel?
- a way to filter NOx and CO2 from exhaust?


Permalink 01:19:57 pm, Categories: News, 45 words   English (US)

Orlando area co-op

Just saw a post at BioDieselNow forums from Keith that mentions the formation of a new biodiesel co-op in the Orlando/Apopka central Florida area. Their website is Seems like a nice site with good information. Glad to see interest blooming in Florida!



Permalink 07:12:12 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], News, 58 words   English (US)

A Biodiesel logo/design, what do you think?

This is a design that I threw together. Thinking of getting it in vinyl for the car. Over a tie-dye shirt would be cool too - anyone know a place to get such a thing made up? Here is a link to a bigger higher quality version. I've also put a shirt with it on the front at CafePress.


Permalink 02:25:03 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], News, 46 words   English (US)

SCPA photo and information

BrevardBioDiesel at SCPA 2005Here is a pic of our table at the SCPA 2005 celebration.
We handed out this brochure with information culled from various places all about biodiesel. (Requires Adobe Acrobat reader).
Thanks for all the interest! Those of you that signed up, we'll get an email out shortly.



Permalink 08:41:36 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], 59 words   English (US)

Come see us in Cocoa FL

Brevard BioDiesel will be at a table as part of the 1st Annual Progressive Celebration put on by the Space Coast Progressive Alliance. We'll have some handouts with biodiesel information, a biodiesel fueled vehicle or two, and be happy to discuss biodiesel options with any and all. See you on Sunday January 23rd at F. Burton Smith Regional Park!



Permalink 11:02:56 pm, Categories: News, 31 words   English (US)

Willie is the man

This article at MSNBC touts Willie Nelson's BioDiesel efforts including a new truck stop serving up biodiesel.
Willies Biodiesel company web site is here, and it has lots of good information!


Permalink 12:15:54 am, Categories: News, Background, 141 words   English (US)

Emissions, an oddity

A strange thing somethings happens on the weekends in the LA area - the smog/ozone levels get *worse* than on the weekdays (when more truck traffic occurs). See this story for some details. It seems to be that NOx emissions can react to *reduce* ozone. The reduced amount of NOx on weekends, due to less diesel trucking, lowers the amount of NOx available to convert ozone into elemental oxygen and nitrogen.

Regarding emissions, here is a paper on various reduction techniques that combat particulate matter and NOx. I noted this statement: "Volkswagen has reported NOX reductions of 71 percent on its diesel Passat car with the NOX adsorber catalyst."
Also noted is the problem that many of the reduction techniques require a low sulfur diesel fuel - BioDiesel to the rescue. :)

Here is the start of a new educational item on BioDiesel emissions.



Permalink 11:28:23 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], 124 words   English (US)

Odds & Ends

Here are some tidbits of note.

  1. We've added a new educational article on the different types of vegetable oil used to make BioDiesel. Check out the "cool" pictures. :)
  2. The US DOE has produced a *fantastic* 2004 updated version of their BioDiesel Handling and Use document. It is about 2MB in PDF format and available here.
  3. The National Biodiesel Board has some IRS memos online now regarding the Tax Incentive effective 1 January 2005.
  4. Maybe the Hydrogen economy is further away than some think? BioDiesel is here today!

That US DOE document is just super. For example, check out this graph extracted from page 32. It shows how the cold temperature variable "cloud point" varies as a function of biodiesel blend concentration for 7 different feedstocks including soy and canola.


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