Archive for the 'Biodiesel' Category

Farm chores

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

Last weekend, I got some shit done. This is the “mother of all compost piles” … 25 wheelbarrows of manure with 100 gallons of glycerin from my biodiesel production. The pile in the back is the biggest one I have yet built. The one in the front will be ready in the spring. I also […]

Pi Day for my Benz

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Today was Pi Day for my 1991 300D. This morning the car’s mileage rolled over 314159 miles and the number pi is 3.14159.

500 000 Kilometers

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

With all the crazy weather last week, I almost forgot that Wednesday night, the Mercedes passed 310,686 miles, which is equal to 500,000 KM. Nice milestone for this 24-yar-old car.

New life for my old Mercedes

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Over the last few months, my 1991 300D ran pretty badly. At first, I was able to get the engine’s power back to acceptable levels by fixing various leaks in the vacuum system, especially in the lines that control the turbo waste-gate. Without the turbo, I could start at the bottom of a small hill […]

Biodiesel batch #120

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Today, I cooked my 120th bath of biodiesel. With every batch I convert 50 gallons/200 liters of used fryer oil to fuel for my vehicles. So at this point I have converted roughly 6,000 gallons/24,000 liters of used fryer oil to fuel. Recently, I have been cooking a lot more frequently – almost every other […]

Biodiesel batch #100

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Tonight, I pulled batch #100 from my biodiesel reactor and started washing the fresh fuel. Back in Aug. 2006 I brewed my first batch and I’ve been cooking fuel ever since. I collected almost 5,000 gallons (20.000 liters) of used fryer oil from local restaurants and processed it with 1,000 Gallons of Methanol and about […]

Mercedes engine mounts replacement

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

This weekend I replaced the two front engine mounts on my 1991 Mercedes 300D. The driver side mount was completely destroyed by several biodiesel leaks from the fuel lines that run directly above it. The passenger side mount was probably OK, but I replaced it anyway. I spent about $100 on the parts and another […]

288888 Miles

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

A couple of days ago my 1991 Mercedes 300D counted Mile # 288888 288888 Meilen hat der Mercedes jetzt auf dem Buckel. Das sind 464920 KM. And yes, it’s 12/12/12 today. Funny numbers. PS: that’s 44,000 miles (70.000+ KM) on homebrew biodiesel just for that car.

Vacation with horses

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Auf Deutsch hier … During spring break we took Wally and Cleo on their first over night trip with us. We loaded  them on their trailer and hauled them 100 miles South, to a horse farm near Southern Pines. The weather was great – dry and sunny and in the 60s – so not too […]

Earth Day biodiesel batch

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Happy Earth Day! Today I made biodiesel batch no. 82.* It is still in the processor right now. Today was a rainy, cool day. It rained all day, and that’s great, because we really need the water. Yesterday I cleaned my two 250 Gal (1000 Liter) rainwater containers. One of them was already 1/3 full […]

1998 Dodge RAM 2500 starter rebuild

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Last week the starter on my truck died. I had had some problems starting the truck, but I blamed the old batteries. I installed new(er) batteries, and all seemed fine. Until last week. The starter was dead – not even a “click” – nothing. I was just lucky that we made it home. At the […]

Mercedes for sale

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Yes … I am selling the Mercedes. It’s a great car. I really enjoy it, but we can’t afford 3 cars any more. The untimely demise of that POS Ford truck tore a big hole in our budget, and so the Mercedes has to go. Here is the listing: This is an original E-series Mercedes […]


Saturday, January 1st, 2011

Boy – what a surprise that year had in store for us! Perhaps the greatest change in lifestyle for Laura an me since we had children … and a much bigger surprise than the children! Of course I am talking about our horses, Waldo and Cleo. While building our horsefarm and figuring out the ins […]

Biodiesel batch no.60

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Today I started drying biodiesel batch no. 60 – which means I have produced 3,000 Gallons (12,000 liters) of the “good juice” since November 2006. Praise the Lard! Collecting oil in Durham has become increasingly difficult. The competition is fierce and the restaurants are not as busy as they used to be and therefore they […]

Biodiesel and poop

Monday, October 4th, 2010

… or horse manure, to be precise, is a wonderful thing.That’s because the biodiesel production process produces also a significant amount of glycerol that needs to be disposed of (circa 10 Gallons per 50-gallon batch of biodiesel). For years I have taken the stuff to various horse farms in the area and blended it into […]

The farm truck

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

One of the first things you do when you start a farm is to buy a farm truck. We bought the land a few weeks ago and last week we bought a 1999 Ford F250 pickup with a 7.3 liter  Powerstroke Diesel engine that produces 235 horsepower (175 kW) and 500 foot-pounds force (680 N·m) of torque. The odometer […]

Biodiesel batch #40

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Last weekend I made batch #40, which means that over the last 3 years I turned 2000 Gallons (8000 liters) of fryer oil into fuel for my cars, using my fuel production setup in the basement. Currently I collect oil from these restaurants in Durham: ElRodeo, Piazza Italia (at Brightleaf), Dain’s Place and the Down […]

Loremo in the wild

Monday, May 11th, 2009

The German upstart car maker Loremo did a first test of its EV prototype on public roads. Eventually, this vehicle is supposed to be available in three flavors: gasoline (petrol), diesel or electric. The YT video below shows the electric version. Sadly – no sound, just ambient music bubbling along …

Footheads on a beer pilgrimage

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Once a year, the good people at Foothills Brewery brew their Sexual Chocolate Stout, and this weekend they began making the ’09 edition available at the brew pub in Winston Salem. To their loyal customers, known as “Footheads”, this is special day, indeed. Foothills brewery does not usually bottle any beer – so its beers […]

New research shows corn ethanol improvements

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Corn-based ethanol fuel may not be a “crime against humanity” after all. New research (pdf) shows that newer plants can produce a fuel that reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent and replaces a lot of fossil fuel: The ethanol industry currently is producing a fuel that is 48 to 59 percent lower in direct-effect […]