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Archives for: January 2006


Permalink 04:29:00 pm, Categories: Announcements [A], 82 words   English (US)

NASA engineer makes his own fuel

This weekend, I visited with Elias Victor who was demonstrating his Appleseed type biodiesel processor in Cocoa FL. Elias is a NASA engineer who became excited about the possibilities of making his own biodiesel when his co-worker Ed pointed out the Trucks episode to him in the Fall of 2005.
Since then Elias has made tremendous progress - making many mini-batches and his first full-sized batch. I was there to see his second full batch underway and describe it in detail with photos here.



Permalink 11:52:52 pm, Categories: News, Background, 217 words   English (US)

Collection of recent biodiesel tidbits including recent Florida Energy Plan...

First up, here is an 11 minute video from Trucks demonstrating making biodiesel. They used the Fuelmeister system (theirs was from Freedom Fuel America). We prefer the open source Appleseed system.

Secondly, some information about producing biodiesel from biowaste (such as sawdust) using gasification and Fischer/Tropsch process. This story mentions that, for Canada,

"biodiesel produced from just 10 percent of the country's agricultural wastes would satisfy 16.7 percent of its appetite for diesel."
"studies that account for each joule of energy consumed in growing or pumping feedstock and fuel production show motoring on gasification biodiesel produces 85-90 percent less climate-changing carbon dioxide than using fossil diesel, while conventional biodiesel offers only a 50 percent reduction."

Using waste is a great feedstock vs. virgin palm trees!

Third - another movie link, this time with guys from the Hudson River Valley Biodiesel Co-Op chat about biodiesel.

And some recent Florida related news links:
Gainesville meetings about biodiesel
Pensacola biodiesel business
Florida's Energy Plan was recently submitted to Gov. Bush. The plan recommends among other things:

Raise public awareness for alternative fuel vehicles through public programs. Encourage public entities, including school districts and local governments, to use biofuels in fleets.


Provide corporate sales and income tax incentives to improve production, develop distribution infrastructure and increase availability of clean fuels, including biodiesel and ethanol.


Permalink 07:30:08 pm, Categories: News, Background, 396 words   English (US)

Book review of "Biodiesel Power"

"We have it in our power to begin the world over again."
Thomas Paine

Lyle Estill documents his journeys into the future of biofuels with his recent work "Biodiesel Power" published by New Society Publishers. Peppered with anecdotes and entries from his Energy Blog, he describes the landscape of the biodiesel movement including the production, people, and policies encountered.

=> Read more!



Permalink 06:33:32 pm, Categories: News, 316 words   English (US)

Gainesville FL biodiesel roundup

Here is a recap of the two day's of biodiesel related events held in Gainesville, FL 11 && 12 January 2006.
The first two events were classroom talks given to full houses at Santa Fe Community College and the University of Florida. Lyle and Evan from Piedmont Biofuels in North Carolina were the feature attraction at these events and really got into depth at the second talk.
That evening Evan brought the two blender sized batches of B100 he had brewed at the days talks to a table at the Union Street Farmer's Market in downtown Gainesville. Biodiesel fit right in between local organic produce (paper bag of kumquats for $1!), compact fluorescent lights, drum troupes, grass fed milk, Friends of Paynes Prairie, jewelry, orange blossom honey, baked goods, herbs and incense. I met Kiara, Mark, Joanne, Doug, and lots of other good people here for the first time. With a local artist singing Kris Kristofferson's words "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose" in the background it was a pleasant Florida January evening.
The next day brought a car show and talk at Sweet Dreams Ice Cream shop.Sweet Dreams
Cars included a FlexFuel pickup with computer exposition, a Suburban GreaseCar conversion greasecar, 1987 Mercedes sedan driven by Mark of FreedomFuels, Mercedes, Jetta
biodiesel powered VW Jetta and Passat wagons, VW and the one of a kind "Creampuff" - a Mercedes gasser converted with a 300SD diesel engine to run biodiesel - on her maiden voyage from North Carolina.Creampuff

After the show, Goering's bookstore hosted a book talk and question/answer by Lyle on "Biodiesel Power". Tom from the bookstore was receptive and kind to the group and joined in the discussion.

You can read Lyle's take on the events at his Energy Blog here and here.

Thanks to Kiara for organizing the events! It is obvious Gainesville has the right "environment" for biodiesel activity along with an abundance of energetic, bright, and kind people.



Permalink 02:20:10 am, Categories: News, 80 words   English (US)

Rumors of rejection of large foreign biodiesel shipment to Florida?

While chatting with some of the biodiesel folks here in Florida, talk surfaced that a recent large shipment of palm oil feedstock based biodiesel from Ecuador arriving at the port of Tampa has been completely rejected due to high glycerine content.
I had not heard of these large shipments before, but had just had not been paying attention. "EarthFirst Americas" brought in over 250,000 gallons into Tampa in November 2005. Possibly it is this shipment involved, we'll try and flesh it out...


Permalink 10:50:06 pm, Categories: News, Background, 126 words   English (US)

NPR story on Biodiesel

All Things Considered covered BioDiesel today in a story titled "Popularity of Biodiesel Grows Amid High Gas Prices".

They were in Santa Fe NM and talked to Blue Sun Biodiesel co-founder John Long.

They mentioned use by New Mexico Public Service, Department of Defense, and Denver Public Schools who have recently expanded use in school buses to the entire 450 vehicle fleet. A spokesman there noted that biodiesel was 11-14% cheaper for them.

An NREL spokesman refuted the lone complaint that biodiesel production is not a net positive gain noted that at least 6 other studies showed that it indeed was a net positive energy gain.

Also noted was that overall biodiesel production was 30 million gallons last year and expected to grow to 800 million gallons in a few years.

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