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Archive for September, 2005

Off to convert some diesels

Well, the car is packed, and we are getting ready to leave for our action packed weekend. We have 5 Diesels to convert this weekend, 2 VW’s, 2 Mercedes, and a big straight truck. More details at Veggie Conversion Class, plus we will have lots of pics and documentary on our Forum next week. Stay tuned!

Pictures on our new photo album –

For more info on Biodiesel and SVO/WVO conversions, see our

Bio Differences and Biofuels pages.

Make sure you checkout ESSN magazine, as the new issue goes live tonight at midnight! More off-grid and renewable energy info, including Methane and Ethanol.


Minnesota becomes first US state to require biodiesel

MINNEAPOLIS, United States (AFP) – Minnesota will from Thursday demand that all diesel fuel sold in the US state be partly distilled from soybeans in a bid to take a bite out of the nation’s appetite for crude oil.

The northern state is the first in the United States to pass a law to promote biodiesel, fuel made from agricultural oils and fats, said Ralph Groschen, senior marketing specialist at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Read the full story at Yahoo News


Univ. of Michigan, Day 3 – Australian Solar Car Race

Day 3

Start: 20km S. of Alice Springs
Finish: 100km N. of Glendambo
Current standing: 3rd

With just 800 km of racing left to go, over two years of hard work is nearing completion. We started this morning in 2nd with Aurora behind us in a close 3rd. By midday Aurora decided to speed things up and we swapped places with them. Aurora is now 2nd and we are about 10 kilometers behind them in 3rd. I’ve heard a lot of worrisome talk about Wednesday’s weather from other teams at the checkpoints, which may have pushed them to make risky decisions. Clouds had already moved in as we pulled off the road for the night, but they fortunately look like they are blowing south.


TV Series "COOLFUEL ROADTRIP" promotes renewable fuels

Beginning the week of September 5, 2005, stations across the U.S. will air the first episode of COOLFUEL ROADTRIP™ ( In 18 episodes, viewers will travel with a crazy bunch of adventurers, meet celebrities including Daryl Hannah, Jack Johnson, Ed Begley, Jr., and Alexandra Paul and get to know America’s new innovators. These COOLFUEL ROADTRIP pioneers are involved in a 16,000 mile road-trip across the U.S. and are sure to change U.S. fuel woes into a happier reality.

In episode one, while trying to get from San Francisco to the Oregon border on geothermal charges, show host, Shaun Murphy, takes an unexpected turn and meets eco-friendly actor, Ed Begley, Jr. Using his dry wit, Begley reminds Murphy of the great energy that resides within and gives Murphy an opportunity to power an entire home with energy produced via pedaling; quite the electrifying work out. “Shaun is an excellent guest to have over when you have a home that can be powered by pedaling. That Aussie can pedal for hours on end,” commented Begley, Jr. “The COOLFUEL ROADTRIP seems pretty impressive too. I’d like to have Shaun come over and cycle so that I can watch it on TV.” The remaining episodes continue to deliver a wonderful mix of celebrities, comedy, adventure and entertaining education.

COOLFUEL ROADTRIP is a raucous ride on American back-roads, by-ways and highways exploring the variety of non-fossil fuel dependent vehicles and fuels available. Hosted by Murphy, Australian TV adventurer and personality, the show delivers the all-American road trip, complete with humor, drama and adventure. Murphy, his loyal dog Sparky (a better scene-stealer than Rupert Everett in My Best Friend’s Wedding), and their crew travel around the U.S. without using gasoline.

“A coolfuel is anything besides gasoline,” explains Murphy. “You can grow it, squeeze it, fry it, heat it up, or catch it. Heck, you can even generate coolfuel with your own two legs!” And in 18 episodes the energetic and passionate Aussie takes on the challenge of finding and using coolfuels. Murphy says, “Along the way we have a great time with the celebrities who are really into coolfuels, and we meet the innovators and inventors who know a thing or two about designing and building vehicles and developing fuels from a wide range of resources. It’s just fantastic!”

Throughout the episodes, the COOLFUEL ROADTRIP crew films the entire epic on cameras, powered by soybeans, as they try anything and everything to complete the ultimate road challenge. They take on a Ferrari 360 Modino in a road-race; visit Martin Luther King’s home in Montgomery, Alabama; battle raging forest fires in Northern California and spend time on Daryl Hannah’s Colorado ranch. A host of celebrities deliver comic relief, musical interludes and entertainment as the crew find their way in and out of mishaps, miscommunications, and mysteries.

Using a variety of fuel sources including; hot rocks, cow manure, garbage, hempoline, food, sugar and vegetable oil, the COOLFUEL ROADTRIP crew drives, flies, floats and peddles its way around the United States. They’re not worried by continuing barrel price increases or the unsightly $2.35 per gallon average pump price. They drive Hummers and Harleys, fly planes and jet-turbine trucks.

Guaranteed to please every member of the family, the show is FCC-friendly, environment-savvy, and literally, a breath of fresh air. COOLFUEL ROADTRIP, produced by Balance Vector Productions, Inc., is executive produced and hosted by Shaun Murphy.

Media Contact
Vendely Communications
Maggie Nye


Hurricane Risk for New Orleans

In September 2002, this was written:

Some scientists suggests there’s a roughly one in six chance that a killer hurricane will strike New Orleans over the next 50 years.

3 years later, BAM …..

Meanwhile, ESSN headquarters in Texas is getting prepared for a deluge:

The US National Hurricane Center said Rita had become “an extremely dangerous” Category 5 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 165 mph (265 kph) as it moved over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. A Category 5 storm can cause catastrophic damage.

And now, the winds are at 175 mph. How fast does it have to spin before they come up with a Cat 6 designation?

Hurricane Rita is history’s third most intense

Hurricane Rita: winds of 175 mph

How to get help or prepare.


VeggieVan Needs Help in Atlanta, GA

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your continued donations and support for our relief work in Louisiana. If you are reading this email, then our ship has passed the Gulf oil derricks and dipped back into cell phone coverage, and we are likely close to, or inside of the mouth of the Mississippi River. It has been an amazing voyage and I will soon have updates available on my blog at

Until then, we need help organizing the next portion of the Veggie Van’s trip across the Southeast.

We are in need of the following:

1) A car and driver to follow the Veggie Van from Lake Charles, Louisiana to Atlanta, Georgia. We will depart from Lake Charles on Wed. Sept. 21 and arrive in Atlanta on Saturday Sept 24. (This may slide forward a day depending on conditions). Car and driver will travel with a cameraperson to get shots from the road. We will be staying with families affected by the Katrina disaster. This is semi-voluntary work. We will pay for your food, fuel and take care of your accommodations as well as give you $25/day.

2) A qualified diesel or truck mechanic in Atlanta, Georgia that can take receipt of the Veggie Van upon arrival. Known problems so far include a coolant hose that must be replaced and a leaking brake system. Other problems may arise with the old van before she lands in Atlanta.

3) A friend who can offer two or three people a place to stay in Atlanta for one night.

4) A safe place to keep the Veggie Van in Atlanta for about a month. The van is 21 feet long, 8.5 feet wide and 8 foot 8 inches tall.

Please let us know if you can help us on this incredible voyage by emailing the item you can help with and your contact details to:

And don’t forget to read my blog and listen to my audio updates on

Thank you!

Josh Tickell


UK based Veggie Fueled Co-Gen (CHP)

CHP – Combined Heat & Power
Co-Gen – Cogeneration

The Fuel Facts:

Vegetable oil contains between 3392 kJ and 3700 kJ per 100ml – as read off the side of the bottle. This approximates to about 9 or 10kWh per litre.

A litre of vegetable oil will generate about 2kWh of electricity and about 6kWh of recoverable heat. Unfortunately some of the fuel energy will be inevitabley lost as waste heat.

Fuel consumption from waste vegetable oil will be approximately 1 litre per hour when running a 2kW electrical load.

New vegetable oil can be bought from supermarkets for around 45p per litre – almost half the cost of diesel.

However the real economies are achieved by using waste vegetable oil available for less than £0.10 per litre.

Waste vegetable oil should be first strained through a perforated metal screen to remove the burnt crispy bits (BCB’s).

Then it is filtered using a 10um cartridge filter. Allow the oil to stand for some time so that debris and water can settle to the bottom of the can. Decant only the top 75% of the oil from the top.

The oil should be pre-heated before it enters the injector pump. This can be done by making a coil of 6mm copper tubing around the hot exhaust and passing the fuel through this, before it enters the injector pump.

Waste vegetable oil is widely available from pubs and restaurants, they will be glad to let you have it. Tell the chef or publican what you want it for and offer him/her a couple of quid (or a pint) per 20 litre drum!



Build your own Emergency Generator

Want your own Emergency Generator? We have put together a kit which includes a 3hp vertical shaft gasoline engine, 94 amp alternator, mounting bracket, 4″ pulley, V-belt, battery cables, 115ah deep cycle battery with case, 700 watt inverter, and mounting base with casters. You get both 12vdc and 120vac outputs. Will power a small TV and a 15 watt fluorescent light for 15 hours between engine charging. Can be used for pumping water from rain barrels and many other purposes. Additional battery capacity, 12vdc appliances, and custom configuration available.

2 year manufacturer’s warranty on engine, 1 year on rest of system.
$750 (includes S&H, continental USA)

Add our PV kits to help keep the battery charged, and reduce engine run times. Propane conversion available for $200 extra. Horizontal shaft kits, and higher hp/amp systems available .


Heating Oil Prices Expected to Surge

Auburn, Maine – Richard F. Smith tried to prepare for high heating oil prices: He applied for home heating assistance, he’s ready to seal off three unused rooms, and he has insulated his cellar and electrical outlets.

Despite all that, the 75-year-old expects to dip into his life savings to keep warm this winter, even with federal heating assistance.


You can make your own Home Heating Oil and Diesel Fuel for less than $1.00 / gallon with one of our Biodiesel processor kits.

Only $375 (includes S&H Continental US).

You supply a electric water heater of 30 – 80 gallon capacity, and consumables, consisting of new or used vegetable oil, methanol and lye. Assembly instructions are included, or order the complete biodiesel bible, the Biodiesel Homebrew Guide.

ETA, 4 weeks or less.

We have wash tank kits, carboys, labware, titration kits, scales and books ready to ship.

Ask us about our Waste Veggie Oil conversion kits for your diesel truck, car, generator or boat.


Letting people know you are green!

How do you tell folks that you are driving an environmentally responsible vehicle? One way is through bumper stickers. We all see funny ones, ones with a message, or bragging about how smart our kids are. How about telling the world that you are running a clean renewable fuel, you get higher than average fuel mileage, or that you are mitigating your pollution contributions in one way or another. These are some of the ways you can show the world you are trying to make a difference:

Are you running a clean burning, renewable fuel?

Does your car get higher than average miles per gallon?

Maybe you have an average (or not so average) vehicle, and just want to eliminate your green house gas contribution?

Leave comments about other sources of materials that tell folks your are doing your part to make this world a cleaner place to live!