Researchers Find That Alligator Fat Could Be a New Source of Biodiesel. Alligator farming is alive and well in the United States and elsewhere but traditionally it's all about the animals' skin and meat. Now it seems that there may also be a use for the 15 million pounds of alligator fat that are currently being deposited in land fills every year: bio diesel.
There is contention in Sweden over the use of rabbit cadavers as bioenergy to provide heat in Värmland. The rabbits are invasive species, initially pets that were released into the parks in the city of Stockholm. Lacking any natural predators, the rabbits thrive on vegetation, eating their way through the city's central parks. The culling last year set a local record with nearly 6,000 rabbits removed from Stockholm's parks, mostly from Kungsholmen. Some concerned citizens have formed a group, Vilda kaniners värn (Society for the Protection of Wild Rabbits, Google translation). They speak out against the culling and provide alternatives to killing the rabbits, citing methods used in Helsinki (including plant protection) as more humane alternatives. (Biofuel details and more after the break.) [more inside]
Inspired by a recent Wall Street Journal* article, Robert Rapier, chemical engineer, peakist, blogger, and currently chief technology officer for a bioenergy company, reviews the pretenders, contenders, and niche players in the emerging field of green energy, with particular consideration of liquid fuels. Meanwhile, the boffins at Foreign Policy consider the risks of the coming of the green energy era, and depict the end of the oil age. (Both part of FP's extensive look at the end of oil; previously.) [more inside]
A story in three parts from a volunteer in Sierra Leone about the begins of a small homegrown biodiesel industry: getting their vehicle, making fuel for it, and scaling it up. For those curious how it's done, they got their recipes online here.
Biofuels worsen global warming, according to two studies published in Science last week. Current US biofuel policies would double carbon emissions over the gasoline alternative. More details: ScienceExpress fulltext pdf of study #1, powerpoint summary of study #1, abstract of study #2, summary of both, policy recommendations pdf (via: 1, 2). [more inside]
The Dervaes Institute is an 'off the grid' homestead in Pasadena, CA and supports 4 adults full time. It also produces 3 tons of produce annually. It's all run from solar panels and biodiesel. Over 350 different plants and a handful of farm animals thrive on a 1/5 acre lot, not too far from the middle of Los Angeles. An 'urban homestead' indeed!
Will algae defeat global warming? "Fed a generous helping of CO2-laden emissions, courtesy of the power plant's exhaust stack, the algae grow quickly... The cleansed exhaust bubbles skyward, but with 40 percent less CO2... The algae is harvested daily and a combustible vegetable oil is squeezed out: biodiesel".
Worse than Fossil Fuel. I keep telling people to take note of where their biodiesel comes from....
From Oakland to Argentina in a 1981 VW Dasher modified to run on vegetable oil and biodiesel/diesel. David Moders posts updates to a message board of veggie car enthusiasts throughout his five month journey through Latin America with his wife, Mali, and son, Emilio, while trying to power his car with used restaurant grease. Here are some pictures of his journey.
Your Mr. Fusion is ready. Sort of.
Brew your own Biodiesel! My brother just bought a new VW Jetta Turbo Diesel, and one of his reasons for picking this particular car was it's ability to run on reformulated fatty acid alkyl esters.That got me Googling, and I found this site where you can purchase your own home-brew kits. They even have demo starter kits.
Darwin's Paradise Lost. I'm really suprised no one's mentioned the oil spill that's threatening some of the most rarest animals in the world right now. With oil spill after oil spill, it really amazes me that we're not experimenting with safer, cleaner fuels. Although I wonder what would happen to wildlife should you spill 144,000 gallons of ethanol or biodiesel....though you can't really spill hydrogen or solar fuel, can you?