Archive for the 'Biodiesel' Category

Brewing stuff

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

Lots of stuff is brewing. I started a Mr Brew keg – 2 gallons of Märzen – I am very curious how that’s going to turn out. I also have 50 gallons of biodiesel settling in the basement. I am running low on methanol – need to make a run to the Roxboro Dragway for […]

Biodiesel nuts in the news

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

Our local paper, the News & Observer, ran a story today about the status of alternative fuels in the Triangle area and yours truly is mentioned as one of the local “biodiesel nuts” :) … I wish Bull City Biodiesel got a bit more credit for providing 1000 gallons of biodiesel a month to Durham. […]


Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

Last night it was freeeezing – the low was 10.9 °F / -11.7 °C. Big OOOPS! I did not add more petro diesel to the blend in the fuel tank in my car and the dam juice gelled up. I was worried about it, but when the car started I thought I was good … […]

Heat mining potential in the US

Friday, January 26th, 2007

Heat mining apparently has much greater potential in the US as previously thought. The idea of exploiting geothermal energy by drilling deep holes into hot rocks deep underground is not confined to Iceland and Yellowstone. According to a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) this awesome, abundant source of energy (the hot core […]

65k milestone

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

Today, on the way home from work, the Jetta passed its 65,000 miles marker (and the airbag light came on). That means, it’s been running on mostly biodiesel for over 27,000 miles. :) Yippee!!


Monday, January 1st, 2007

Last year had a couple of surprises for us, although most of these have yet to be completely realized: we found a new house, but we have yet to move there; we began planning our trip to Togo (and Ghana) for the upcoming July; and the Democrats won back the U.S. Congress. One of the […]

Pimentel interview comments

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

Tom Philpott (Grist) questions entomologist and biofuels skeptic extraordinaire David Pimentel (Cornell) about why crop-based energy won’t work. Interesting interview, but Pimentel does need to get out a bit more. And I wish Philpott had been a bit more probing on some of Pimentel’s assertions – like this one: Pimentel: Conserve! One word. And no […]

Biodiesel from algae

Monday, December 11th, 2006

CSU announced a partnership with Solix Biofuels to get serious about commercializing technology that can produce huge amounts of very oily types of algae for biofuels production. “Algae are the fastest growing organisms on the planet, and can produce 100 times more oil per acre than conventional soil-tilled crops that are now being grown for […]

washing biodiesel

Monday, November 27th, 2006

Today I got my Wash Pro Stainless Steel Washer & Dryer from Utah Biodiesel Supply and I installed it on one of my wash tanks, where I had been bubble washing my latest batch for about a week. The washwater was still a bit soapy, but it looked like it was pretty well done. I […]

batch no.4 progress

Sunday, November 26th, 2006

My latest batch of biodiesel is looking pretty good. I washed it all week. I even built another washtank (left). Maybe tomorrow I’ll start drying part of the batch. There is no hurry – I still have about 30 gallons in stock. Yesterday, after I built the new washtank, I filled it up with 25 […]


Thursday, November 23rd, 2006

How many types of computer networks do you know? There is the most common TCP/IP networking, across copper, fiber or wireless (very likely that is what you are using to read this page). IPv6 is the new kid on the block, and some may remember the old stuff, like Tokenring and IPX, and when all […]

Batch no. 4

Sunday, November 19th, 2006

Last week I spent two evenings getting 200 liters of veggie ready for processing. After I filtered the oil, I pumped it into the waterheater and heated it to 120 Deg. F. Then I pumped the warm oil into an empty tank to evaporate the water and to dry the oil. Yesterday, I finally got […]

Piedmont Biofuels offers internship

Monday, November 6th, 2006

Piedmont Biofuels in Moncure, North Carolina, has openings for interns next year (see flyer). If I were 20, I’d jump on this one myself! This is a great opportunity for a “total immersion” experience in the biofuels-powered, sustainability-focused lifestyle on a small biodiesel refinery/produce farm in rural North Carolina. Contact Matt if you’re interested (see […]

Senegal starts brewing biodiesel

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

The Senegalese department of Agriculture last week announced a collaboration with Brazil and India to begin producing biofuels in Senegal. As part of the program “retour vers l’agriculture” the government aims to replace Senegal’s oil imports with homegrown fuel. A pilot project calls for 4000 hectares of jatropha for vegetable oil to produce 10 percent […]

Apple turnover

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

Last weekend I got my latest batch of homebrew ready and I made some modifications to the reactor. I added a intake valve, so that I can easily use the pump as a transfer pump from the washtank to the drying tank and from the drying tank to the storage tank (on the right). I […]

Buying methanol

Saturday, October 7th, 2006

Looks like I found a good source of methanol for my fuel production. Last Thursday I drove out to the Roxboro Motorsports Dragway and procured a 55-gallon drum of this critical ingredient for biodiesel. Racetracks have methanol supplies because they use it as a racing fuel – “racing alky.” So this German guy and this […]

1,500 miles on homebrew fuel

Sunday, September 24th, 2006

Last week we drove up to Michigan for a visit with Laura’s mom. We did the entire 850 miles north on homebrew, and I had already been feeding my Jetta homebrew for over 700 miles. So the first part of the trip marked the first 1,500 miles straight on homebrew! Going north, the Jetta was […]

Fastest diesel ever

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

350.092 MpH (529km/h) – that is the new land speed record for a diesel-powered vehicle. Andy Green, a British RAF officer set this new landmark this morning with the JCB DieselMax. The vehicle is powered by two 4-cylinder diesel engines that deliver a peak power of 750hp and torque of 1500Nm at 2000 RPM. The […]

Cruisin’ on homebrew

Monday, August 21st, 2006

Yesterday I decided that the biodiesel I made last weekend looked good enough for a fill up. I spent last week washing the stuff in my washtank – first is sprinkled water on it and drained the soapy water from the bottom. Then I put a bubbler in the water below the biodiesel. The rising […]

My first batch of biodiesel

Monday, August 14th, 2006

This weekend I brewed my first 30-gallon/120 liters batch of biodiesel, using the modified appleseed reactor I built in the basement. I used fryer oil from a local restaurant that titrated at 1.6 with KOH, so it’s pretty decent quality feedstock. Saturday, Manfred came over and we did the titration, mixed the Methoxide and started […]