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Biotech Science

Utilizing Bio-fuel Beyond Experimental Use 384

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the put-a-tiger-in-your-tank dept.
grumpyman writes "A C$14 million factory near Montreal started producing biodiesel fuel two weeks ago from the bones, innards and other parts of farm animals. At full capacity plant will produce 35 million liters (9.2 million U.S. gallons) of biodiesel a year, the greenhouse gas equivalent of removing 16,000 light trucks or 22,000 cars from the roads."
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Utilizing Bio-fuel Beyond Experimental Use

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  • Automotive fuel (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PlayfullyClever (934896) <playfull@playfullyclever.com> on Saturday December 03, 2005 @10:38AM (#14173365) Homepage Journal
    For some time I've thought the future of automotive fuel lies in biodiesel rather than hydrogen. Hydrogen is just very hard to work with because of its low energy density and the fact it is normally a gas. Generation, transportation, storage and utilization all face large challenges.
    For biodiesel, all the steps except generation are already solved and the infrastructure in place, and the generation problems do not seem large. (Even without the existing infrastructure, I suspect biodiesel wins economically.)

    Generation from algae is particularly promising, as it doesn't require arable land, and can use salt water.
    • Re:Automotive fuel (Score:2, Insightful)

      by HankB (721727)
      From TFA:

      Biodiesel emits little of the smog of conventional gasoline or diesel fuel and almost none of the heat-trapping gases that most scientists say are driving up temperatures and could cause more floods, storms and rising sea levels in coming decades.

      I call bullshit on at least one claim. The primary greenhouse gas is CO2 and biodiesel is still carbon based so it still produces CO2. If that claim is wrong, what about the others?

      It may be true that biodiesel reduces our consumption of fossil fu
      • Re:Automotive fuel (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AndyChrist (161262) <.moc.oohay. .ta. .tsirhc_ydna.> on Saturday December 03, 2005 @10:57AM (#14173435) Homepage
        I call bullshit on at least one claim. The primary greenhouse gas is CO2 and biodiesel is still carbon based so it still produces CO2. If that claim is wrong, what about the others?

        Alright, genius, what do you think is going to happen to the carbon in the waste products used here if it isn't used to make fuel?

        A damn lot (all?) of it is going to end up back in the environment anyway as it decomposes. That's why this is "carbon neutral."

        It may be true that biodiesel reduces our consumption of fossil fuels, but that depends on how much fossil fuel is consumed to produce biodiesel.

        If more usable energy comes out of that process than went in, the increase in CO2 in the environment has been reduced.
        • Alright, genius, what do you think is going to happen to the carbon in the waste products used here if it isn't used to make fuel?


          He may have missed the mark with CO2, but cows produce 65 to 85 Tg [ciesin.org] of methane gas a year (which according to the EPA.gov is a greenhouse gas)
        • If more usable energy comes out of that process than went in...

          Then you've broken thermodynamics!

          -Adam
      • Re:Automotive fuel (Score:5, Insightful)

        by blakestah (91866) <blakestah@gmail.com> on Saturday December 03, 2005 @11:16AM (#14173490) Homepage
        I call bullshit on at least one claim. The primary greenhouse gas is CO2 and biodiesel is still carbon based so it still produces CO2. If that claim is wrong, what about the others?


        Biodiesel emits CO2, this is true.

        However, that CO2 was trapped by plants in the last year or two. Any large extent to which we switch to biodiesel will dramatically reduce net CO2 emissions.

        Petroleum based diesel emits CO2 that was trapped by plants tens of thousands of years ago (or more). This causes a shift in greenhouse gases. By and large, B100 biodiesel does not.

        The real problem, however, is cost. Yellow grease produced biodiesel has a wholesale cost 2-3 times greater than petroleum based diesel, and plant-based biodiesel costs 3-4 times more wholesale. Unless there is a tax or government subsidy for recyclable diesel (diesel in which the CO2 was trapped by plants recently), biodiesel will never take off b/c few consumers will double or triple their fuel costs to use a sustainable energy source.
        • Peak oil (Score:5, Insightful)

          by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Saturday December 03, 2005 @11:37AM (#14173567) Homepage Journal

          Unless there is a tax or government subsidy for recyclable diesel (diesel in which the CO2 was trapped by plants recently)

          Motor vehicle fuels are already taxed. Drastically cutting taxes on biofuels compared to petrofuels can subsidize them without "subsidizing" them, although European countries generally have more room to cut taxes than North American countries do.

          few consumers will double or triple their fuel costs to use a sustainable energy source.

          Unless worldwide crude oil extraction peaks and the supply curve moves so as to double or triple petrodiesel prices anyway. Then biodiesel will become even more attractive.

          • Europe (Score:3, Interesting)

            by StarKruzr (74642)
            "European countries generally have more room to cut taxes than North American countries do."

            And they don't. Cut them, I mean. A friend of mine lives in the UK and has told me stories about how you can go to jail for using biodiesel you make yourself because it isn't subject to the same exorbitant taxes their petrofuels are.

            What apparently goes right over Parliament's heads is that they have a huge opportunity to lead the way in alternative fuels technology, but I guess they just don't think their constitu
        • However, that CO2 was trapped by plants in the last year or two. Any large extent to which we switch to biodiesel will dramatically reduce net CO2 emissions. Petroleum based diesel emits CO2 that was trapped by plants tens of thousands of years ago (or more). This causes a shift in greenhouse gases. By and large, B100 biodiesel does not.

          Just curious... does this then mean that with bio-diesal, we are releasing C02, some of which is just recycled back to the atmosphere, but some of which might otherwise hav

      • > The primary greenhouse gas is CO2

        False: the primary greenhouse gas of note is water vapor. Look it up.
      • Re:Automotive fuel (Score:5, Insightful)

        by peterpi (585134) on Saturday December 03, 2005 @11:35AM (#14173561)
        It's a badly worded comment, but the intention is correct.

        C02 released from burning biodiesel was already in the Earth's carbon cycle. It's like if you were to burn a tree; you're not introducing any new C02 into the Earth's system.

        The C02 released from fossil fuels was not previously part of the carbon cycle. It was stored away underground as oil or coal.

        That's the key difference.

        • Re:Automotive fuel (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Ossifer (703813)
          C02 released from burning biodiesel was already in the Earth's carbon cycle. It's like if you were to burn a tree; you're not introducing any new C02 into the Earth's system.

          The C02 released from fossil fuels was not previously part of the carbon cycle. It was stored away underground as oil or coal.

          It seems to me that to have a positive effect on CO2 emissions, your act needs to not only lessen the amount of CO2 being released from otherwise permanently stored materials (oil, coal, natural gas), but
    • The biggest hurdle to biodiesel acceptance in automobiles is the fact that California doesn't allow diesel cars because they emit particulates. California is a big enough part of the American market that car makers won't make diesel cars for the rest of the nation. That's the big reason that the only diesel cars we've got over here are imports from Europe where diesel is more popular.
    • by prell (584580)
      Now that I know what bio-diesel is, I don't support it. I went vegetarian because I didn't like how people treat animals and because I don't want animals to die just so I can live my life. I won't support bio-diesel for the same reasons. In fact, I don't know which seems less personally moral to me: regular gas, or bio-diesel.
  • Experimental? (Score:5, Informative)

    by CapsaicinBoy (208973) on Saturday December 03, 2005 @10:39AM (#14173371)
    I've already put 6500 petroleum free miles on my VW TDI [tdiclub.com].

    Just because no one the submitter knows uses biodiesel doesn't make biodiesel an "experimental" fuel.


    •   I've already put 6500 petroleum free miles on my VW TDI.

      Just because no one the submitter knows uses biodiesel doesn't make biodiesel an "experimental" fuel.



      What biofuel do you use? That link says nothing about that. VW TDI is built to run on diesel.
      Were any modifications neccessary to run on biodiesel.

      • Re:Experimental? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Gordonjcp (186804) on Saturday December 03, 2005 @11:11AM (#14173472) Homepage
        I've posted this before, but I've been using straight waste veg oil in diesel cars for years. Some older diesels don't need any modifications - the PSA diesels found in Volvos and pretty much any French car (Peugeot, Renault, Citroën) run quite happily. You *do* need to find one that has a Bosch-type pump, otherwise you'll get about 1000 miles out of it before the pump seals break up. If it's very cold (over here in Scotland very cold is below 4C for more than a few days) you can chuck a gallon of unleaded in on top to thin it out a little.


        I found that in my Citroën CX 25DTR T2 (2.5 litre turbodiesel) I had quieter, smoother running, less exhaust emissions and a small increase in power. I could increase the boost (and thus excess fuelling) quite a bit without hitting the smoke point or cooking the turbo. All this from (effectively) free fuel.

        • Re:Experimental? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by amembleton (411990)
          If it's very cold (over here in Scotland very cold is below 4C for more than a few days) you can chuck a gallon of unleaded in on top to thin it out

          You put unleaded in with your biodiesel! Does that work? I would have thought you would mix in normal fossil based diesel fuel, NOT unleaded. Surely unleaded would cause damage to your engine.

          • By and large it's all the same stuff, and as long as it burns at nearly the same temperature and is a relatively small part of the mix it should be fine. My 74 Jeep's engine has been known to burn through anything that's petrolum based without really giving a hoot, but I'm sure if I stopped at a gas station and topped off the tank with all gasoline I'd probably burn out my seals and piston rings (and all kinds of other damage).

            But, on the topic I'd love to start making my own biodiesel and I've been read
          • It's a very bad idea on any modern diesel.

            However, the older diesels even *RECOMMENDED* such a practice.

            FWIW, the method usually used to lower gel point on commercial biodiesel is to add kerosene. Kerosene kills your lubricity, but since you're adding it to biodiesel, which has ridiculously high lubricity, you should be fine. I've heard numbers of 20 and 30% kerosene. The advantage of kerosene over gasoline is that kerosene is still closely related to diesel, and will burn in a diesel engine without any iss
        • Don't do this! By using vegetable oils you're depriving the government of tax revenues, so they'll have to raise taxes elsewhere!

          (actual argument used by a Dutch mayor)
      • Re:Experimental? (Score:5, Informative)

        by CapsaicinBoy (208973) on Saturday December 03, 2005 @11:19AM (#14173502)
        "What biofuel do you use? That link says nothing about that. VW TDI is built to run on diesel."


        I've used a mix of commercial ASTM spec biodiesel and homebrew biodiesel that my friend and I have made in our 'Appleseed reactor'.


        Appleseed Plans - http://www.biodieselcommunity.org/appleseedprocess or/ [biodieselcommunity.org]
        The parts kit - http://www.biodieselwarehouse.com/ [biodieselwarehouse.com] $229


        "Were any modifications neccessary to run on biodiesel."


        No modifications were needed on my stock 2003 Jetta TDI. Better yet, I can 'splash-blend' on the go - that is, I can add 5 gal of B100 to my car and then top off with regular #2 petrodiesel at the pump. They mix completely in the fuel tank and no special blending is needed.


        As far a warrantee issues, my dealer knows I use biodiesel (the big sticker on the back of my car might have something to do with that) and frankly, they don't care.


        VWoA officially allows up to a B5 blend and rumor has it B20 approval is coming shortly. Like all fuels, petro- or bio-, VW doesn't cover "misfueling" with bad quality fuel. If a tank of bad petrodiesel damages your injection pump, the retailer, not VW pays for the repair. So using biodiesel really isn't an issue as far as that is concerned.

    • Yeah, not exactly experimental. I have over 50,000 miles on a 2002 Volkswagen New Beetle TDI, and over 5000 miles on a Jeep Liberty CRD burning biodiesel. In the summer I use 100% (B100) biodiesel, in the winter depending on how cold it is I use 50% (B50) to 20% (B20) biodiesel.

      I know people with over 100,000 miles of biodiesel use.

      All with no modifications to their stock diesel engines.

      Our local city and state government use biodiesel in all their fleets.

      Here is a list [nwbiodiesel.org] of some local businesse
    • Last time I stepped on a bus, I noticed a "Biodiesel only" sign above the fuel cap. I have no idea how long I've been traveling with biodiesel without noticing. It didn't have a smell or a nasty smoke plume either. Any way, it can not be called 'experimental', since a Diesel engine was meant to burn vegetable oil from day one. It's only later that the petrolium industry saw it as a great way to get rid of their low-quality "diesel" fuels.
  • by SeventyBang (858415) on Saturday December 03, 2005 @10:42AM (#14173383)


    There's a shuttle service of ca. 6-8 tractors towing two trams circling the entire grouds and they've been running biodiesel from local farmers for years.

    I think there are plans for an "all natural" city in the northern part of the state, which will be limited to -E, biodisel, fuel cells, etc. due to switch over within the next year or two.


  • by Kermee (724928) on Saturday December 03, 2005 @10:48AM (#14173411)
    My DeLorean has a Mr. Fusion powerplant installed. I called the manufacturer and they said that bio-diesel can be used in it. Hooray!
  • by bobdole369 (267463) <[bobdole369] [at] [gmail.com]> on Saturday December 03, 2005 @10:58AM (#14173437) Homepage
    Biodiesel is PEOPLE!!! It's PEOPLE!!!!
  • by CapsaicinBoy (208973) on Saturday December 03, 2005 @11:04AM (#14173452)
    Premptively, let me make this very clear so we don't need to have the same discussion everytime biodiesel comes up.

    First, biodiesel has a positive energy balance, to the tune of about 3.2 units out for every unit you put in. http://www.nrel.gov/docs/legosti/fy98/24089.pdf [nrel.gov]

    Second, biodiesel is 78% carbon neutral with regard to greenhouse gas emissions (see previous pdf). That is because the majority of the carbon emitted when you burn a gallon of biodiesel was captured from the atmosphere when you grew the plant to make the vegetable oil. However, the methanol used to make the biodiesel (fatty acid methyl ester) is made from natural gas, at least in the US. You could make 100% renewable ethyl ester biodiesel from ethanol, or make methanol from landfill recovery biogas, but we don't currently.

    Third, soy and corn oil are crummy crops to make biodiesel from. But that's where the lobbying money is right now. Other plants have much higher yields.
    http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_yield.html [journeytoforever.org]

    Forth, no, it isn't a question of "food or fuel"? We can do both! Whenever you hear that argument ask yourself whether the person is well meaning but misinformed, or as been happening recently, is part of astroturf campaign to preserve the status quo of the petroleum economy.

    Want to try making some biodiesel yourself?
    http://www.biodieselcommunity.org/howitsmade/ [biodieselcommunity.org]

    Already making biodiesel and want to show it off?
    http://www.cafepress.com/RenewableWear [cafepress.com]
  • Go to the the following for a great update on the latest happenings with all alternate fuels/power:

    http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/007802.php [windsofchange.net]

    It covers: Bio, Electricity, Fossil Fuels, Geothermal, Hydrogen, Nuclear, Solar, Water, Wind

    US biodiesel production will reach 75 million gallons in 2005

    A former malting facility in Jefferson, Wisconsin will be converted to house an innovative, $200 million ethanol production plant that, in addition to 140 million gallons of ethanol a year, will produce 20

  • Seems to me that the bones, innards and other parts of farm animals such as cattle, pigs or chickens that Canadians do not eat are the yummiest, at least necessary to make stock (the basis of any proper kitchen) in which you can cook your vegetables, make your soups, use as a base for your sauces and equally important, give Rover some real marrow to eat as opposed to frustrating him with emptied, or worse, plastic bones. In most markets, the only place one can find bones, etc. is from the near-extinct loca
    • Montreal is known for its smoked meats. Pate is made from livers. Livers are an innard. Steak and Kidney pie is made from innards. So is blood sausage.

      Sausages are made from guts. Well - sausage casings are! When you eat polish sausage and breakfast sausage then you are eating innards.

      Gutz Gutz - GLORIOUS GTUZ!!! Please pass another sausage?
  • by cojsl (694820)
    Montreal stores report hot dog shortages
  • by mangu (126918) on Saturday December 03, 2005 @11:33AM (#14173552)
    Ethanol from sugar cane has been used in Brazil since the late 1970s.


    My first bio-fuel powered car was a Brazilian 1983 Chevette with a 1.6 liter motor burning 96% pure ethanol. For over 25 years there have been ethanol pumps in every Brazilian gas station.


    Besides the cars that burn strraight ethanol, the gasoline distilled from petroleum in Brazil gets a mix from 20% to 25% ethanol, depending on the season. Today, most new Brazilian cars are equipped with "flex" motors that can burn any proportion, from 0% to 100% ethanol.

    • And because ethanol has a higher octain rating, you can crank up the boost in engines that are turbo or supercharged. =) Just keep in mind that your MPG will go to utter shit, but it's ok if ethanol is cheap.

      And yes, ethanol does have less energy density per volume compaired to gasoline. It's all due to the hydrocarbon structure of the fuels.
  • I never really thought of bones as a fuel. I wonder what kind of interesting pollutants burning calcium in your engine produces.
  • Big hairy Deal (Score:5, Informative)

    by cdn-programmer (468978) <{ten.cigolarret} {ta} {rret}> on Saturday December 03, 2005 @11:39AM (#14173582)
    9,200,000/42/365 = 600 BOPD.

    The USA uses about 20,000,000 BOPD. Canada and the USA use over 22 million BOPD. This is a drop in the bucket.

    If they scaled this up by a factor of 1000 (a $14 BILLION plant) then this would still be small potatoes compared to what we need. Even the Alberta tar sands expansions which will take us to about 3.3 million BOPD with investments in the 10's of billions and maybe 100's of billions by 2015 are small potatoes compared to what we need.

    Yes - every bit helps but...

    Lets look at the 4 top oil fields:

    Ghawar (Saudit Arabia) 5 million BOPD Likely near decline
    Canaterall (Mexico) 2.2 million BOPD In decline, 14% per year
    Bergan (Kuwait) 1.6 million BOPD In decline, rate unknown
    DaQing (China) 1 million BOPD In decline, 7% per year

    These 4 feilds produce about 10 million BOPD, or about 12.5% of the world's 82 million BOPD production.

    A decline rate of 10% in these 4 feilds translates to a loss of over 1 million BOPD. If we multiply that biodiesel plant by 1000 we still do not make up for the lost production of the top 4 oil fields.

    The North sea went into decline in 1999 at a rate of about 14%. The UK became an oil importer this year.

    Indonesia became an oil importer this year.

    Australia use to be supplied by Indoneasia and since Indonesia can no longer supply Oz, Oz also has lined up at the Straits of Hormuz, hat in hand, asking for middle east oil.

    This plant is just a drop in the bucket! If we build a plant like this every day for the next 10 years it won't be enough. That is how big the world oil peak problem is. We do not have a workable energy policy in place.

    Has anyone even heard any of the damn pollies even dicusssing it seriously?

    The most believable estimate I have is that world oil production will peak in 2007 and this is an optimistic estimate taking into consideration every oil production project on the planet.
    • 2007? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by YesIAmAScript (886271)
      If you meant drilled oil, perhaps yes, it could peak in 2007. I don't think so, but it could be.

      But there are projects to unlock the oil sands in Canada, they'll be online and working soon, and they'll certainly take up the slack for any drop in liquid crude pumping.

      I'm not nearly as concerned about "peak oil" as I am about the precipitous rise in use. Yes, we're bad in the US, buying so many SUVs we don't get any better gas mileage than we did in the 70s. But the real issue is so many countries that are in
    • Not that I don't believe you, but I have to call in a fact check. Obviously you've done your homework and in a lot of ways that's better than a lot of slashdot articles that appear these days. A few links would be nice though.
    • If we build a plant like this every day for the next 10 years it won't be enough. That is how big the world oil peak problem is. We do not have a workable energy policy in place.

      So you claim this is such a big problem that the government needs to step in and force us to move to other fuel sources?

      An asteroid a mile wide is a big problem. Poverty is a big problem. Peak oil is not a big problem, especially in a capitalistic economy.

      As oil becomes more difficult to source, we'll simply be paying mo
      • Re:Big hairy Deal (Score:4, Insightful)

        by IgnoramusMaximus (692000) on Saturday December 03, 2005 @02:05PM (#14174207)
        The assumption of all of the above being, of course, that the market is capable of developing such a replacement strategy, even with gentle prodding, based on shifting financial incentives, and that this new equilibrium does not have some rather profound effects, like, say, complete and total change in the economics of transportation and manufacturing processes, great many of which depend on plastics. This is not to say that a positive outcome is impossible. I am merely pointing out what appears to be your unwarranted, blind faith in the infallability of free market and an out-of-hand dismissal of a possibililty of seismic shifts in the way of life of hundreds of millions of people, all of which can have far ranging effects well beyond the scope of pure economics, and with which the free markets are completely unequipped to deal with.
  • by wizard992 (176718)
    The City of Dallas is using BioDiesel in it's building maintenance trucks, 544 of them. Here is a link to the City web page http://www.dallascityhall.com/dallas/eng/html/gdal i_ebs_biodisel.html [dallascityhall.com]; I couldn't find one showing actual data on cost saving or emmissions tests, but the general consensus is that it it a Good Thing. Hell, even Willie Nelson has opened a chain of BioDiesel stations, and there are a number of independants spread over the metroplex. Most of these are using B20, a blend of 20% BioDiesel
  • When they said "Put a tiger in your tank" I didn't think they meant it literally.
  • Cities like Philadelphia will soon be handing out more parking tickets, in that case. When you run low of that group, you can start on jay-walkers. Think of it: At the same time you get a cheap source of energy, reduce vehicular and pedestrian traffic, and clear the way for urban renewal (fewer people, you see). I like it! Someone call Mayor Street and let him know the good news.
  • Biodiesel tax breaks (Score:5, Informative)

    by amembleton (411990) <aembleton@NosPam.bigfoot.com> on Saturday December 03, 2005 @11:54AM (#14173649) Homepage
    Although small, this processing plant in Canada is at least a good step, we need more setups like this.

    In the UK, there is a 20p/litre tax relief for biodiesel, but this isn't enough. Even with current oil prices biodiesel is still more expensive. What we need is to completely drop the tax on biodiesel, that way oil companies and others will see a reason to invest. The tax break would also need to be guaranteed for a decent length of time, say 20 years so that investments would pay off.

    There are problems with biodiesel. It would require vast tracts of land, and would probably end up using land in the 3rd and developing worlds to meet our needs for fuel. This land may have been better used for local food production. IMHO, this is not a huge problem, as it would provide much needed investment into developing and 3rd world nations, and of course many ppl would be employed to harvest the crops.

    Some interesting biodiesel sites:
    http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_make.html [journeytoforever.org]
    http://www.vegetableoildiesel.co.uk/ [vegetableoildiesel.co.uk]
  • Turkey guts (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 03, 2005 @12:23PM (#14173762)
    A couple of years ago, a company called Changing World Technologies was all the news. They had perfected a process for converting garbage to oil. There was an article in Discovery magazine. They built a plant to convert turkey guts and had plans to roll out the technology to several more plants. It really hasn't moved forward a lot. I presume they are having some kind of trouble. www.changingworldtech.com

    One of the statistics that Changing World cited was that if you could convert all the agricultural WASTE in the US to oil, that would do away with the need to import oil. If that statistic is true, then what Rothsay has done is really important. If their process is actually economical then they have beaten Changing World to the prize.

    The other thing not to be ignored is that the Changing World process, and this one too presumably, destroys the prions that cause mad cow disease. This process may take animal carcasses out of the livestock feed chain by providing an alternate market for slaughterhouse refuse and dead stock.

    On the other hand, their business stinks, literally, and I don't expect that to change. Anyway, I hope they succeed.
  • by Dynamoo (527749) * on Saturday December 03, 2005 @12:36PM (#14173815) Homepage
    They're not the first to do this.. there's a product called Petrel [petroldirect.com] made from seabirds. The same firm also makes fuel from surplus wine and other renewal sources, in addition to a range of other interesting fuels.
  • by haaz (3346) on Saturday December 03, 2005 @01:00PM (#14173904) Homepage
    I recently splurged and bought a VW Jetta TDI simply because the highway mileage is so good (~50 mpg) and it can run at least partially on biodiesel. My old newspaper The Wisconsinite ran a story on biodiesel (b.d.) in 2004, and I've been excited about it ever since. My Jetta seems to run a little more smoothly with it, and it doesn't smell bad in cold weather like dino diesel does.

    The problem currently I have with it is trying to find it in great quantities. I fill up at a CENEX agricultural co-op gas station. They have B2, which is 98% dino diesel, 2% bio. It's still mostly dino diesel, of course, which annoys me. But it's better than nothing. What I really want is B20, which is 20% bio, 80% dino. And during the summer, I want to try progressively higher ratios of bio to dino diesel. Volkswagen officially approves using B5. I'm pretty sure then it can take a higher grade biodiesel.

    The problem of availability will be overcome in good time. There are b.d. production centers opening up around the country, everywhere from Oklahoma to Nevada, and one coming soon near Madison, Wisconsin (which is near to me). I'm contemplating opening a biodiesel fueling station in Milwaukee. Anyone interested? I regularly post about b.d./alt.energy on my blog [wisconsinite.net]; you can easily reach me through there.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The article states that the plant processes animal remains that come from a rendering plant, having already been cooked down to glop. The question this raises is simply, does the analysis take into account the energy requirement of the rendering plant?

    The promotion of "gasahol" here in the US turned out in fact to be a scam. The alcohol (distilled from corn) that we add to our gasoline actually REQUIRES MORE PETROLEUM to run the farm machinery and the stills than the energy content it brings to your tank.
    • mod parent down (Score:3, Interesting)

      The notion that ethanol production is an energy loss stems from the eroneous conclusions of David Pimenthal, a Corenell university insect scientist. He should have stuck with his bugs.

      Making fuel from corn however is not nearly as good an idea as making it from plants such as hemp.

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