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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday I was driving my daughter around and we got behind a Mercedes diesel with a big rear window sticker:

"Power by 100% vegetable oil"

and the West Virginia plate read "GREASEL." I rolled my window down and said "Everybody says these things smell like French Fries." We were stopped at a light, and we got a big whiff and we looked at each other and said

"STEAK!"

Seriously, it smelled more like somebody was grilling out in their back yard doing steaks and burgers. We followed the guy through town about a mile before he got away, and it really was him.

Man, we were both hungry after that.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
After seeing the car Friday, there was an item in today's paper:
http://www.wvgazette.com/section/News/2007041415
...On Saturday at West Virginia State University, (Sally) Shepherd and WVBioFuels/Renewables Co-op held a public demonstration and meeting about alternative fuel and power sources, including biodiesel and solar power, as part of the National Day of Climate Action.

Inside a small shed at West Virginia State University’s Bioplex Project site is a small biodiesel manufacturing setup, opened by the co-op in October.

The 110-gallon reactor takes used cooking oil collected from area restaurants and institutions and turns it into biodiesel, which is used by co-op members to run diesel engines...

While the process appears complicated, it’s actually pretty easy, (Lou Kapicak of the Mid-Atlantic Technology Research and Innovation Center) said.

“You could do it in your garage,” he said. “The process can be that simple.”

And that’s exactly what a nationwide network of homebrewing biodiesel makers do, using recycled water heaters, Shepherd said.

Co-op members use the biodiesel made at the WVSU facility, which is parceled out primarily on a bartering basis, she said.

For example, (Charleston Area Medical Center) donates used cooking oil for the production and, in turn, uses the biodiesel in its garbage trucks, Shepherd said.

And the generator that runs the co-op’s system is powered by biodiesel made in the facility, she said...

Shepherd and Kapicak hope the biodiesel production at WVSU can grow, possibly adding two more reactors so production is semi-contiguous.

The co-op is also looking for smaller restaurants to donate their used cooking oil so none of it ends up in the trash, she said...

Along with making the product for members' use, Shepherd wants the facility to offer community awareness about the importance of conservation. And she hopes that other communities will set up similar programs.

“We want people to know that alternative fuels really aren’t that alternative,” she said.
 

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With the obesity numbers in WV, I don't think we need more biodiesels. :(
I don't know. Look at it this way. You know how people who work at fast food places and have to smell it all the time get sick of it and won't eat it. Well if that could be the case, biodiesel might cause people to stop eating and start losing weight. Probably not, but it is worth a try.:lol:
 

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I don't know. Look at it this way. You know how people who work at fast food places and have to smell it all the time get sick of it and won't eat it. Well if that could be the case, biodiesel might cause people to stop eating and start losing weight. Probably not, but it is worth a try.:lol:
Yeah ...having to smell backyard BBQ steaks and burgers all the time would be horrendous. :crazy:
 

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I wonder if fast-food-derived bio would ever become popular in a place like India. Food for thought (sorry).

An old Jain classmate used to tell me the smell of meat cooking revolted her, just like burning hair or something like that.
 

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Imagine numerous biodiesel cars pumping out all types of BBQ odors... that would be dreamy and really save the earth from the imminent global disaster these greenhouse gases are staging.
 

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Imagine numerous biodiesel cars pumping out all types of BBQ odors... that would be dreamy and really save the earth from the imminent global disaster these greenhouse gases are staging.
Nope, if you believe man made global warming, the increase in methane caused by the increased population of livestock would off-set the decrease in CO2. Never mind the increase for feed land that would lead to additional deforestation.:lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thought I'd bring this one back to life thanks to an Op-Ed piece in today's NY Times.

Greased Lightning
FRYER grease bandits? Have people really begun pilfering waste oil from behind restaurants around the country to use as biodiesel, as I’ve been reading? I certainly hope so. Not that I’m condoning such an act. In addition to its illegality, waste oil banditry makes my own fuel search — in my grease-powered 1985 Mercedes diesel station wagon — more difficult. But at least the $4-a-gallon times are leading more drivers to find fossil fuel alternatives, just as I did when I converted my car a couple of years ago.

Yes, I drive on free fuel, with the scent of fried onion rings billowing from my tailpipe. At the time of my conversion, gas was around $2.20 a gallon. My neighbors laughed at me. With gas at double the price today, more and more people want to check out what’s in my garage. Of course, what they find there isn’t entirely pleasant. Waste vegetable oil power is a dirty business. My supplier Alex sets aside used grease in five-gallon containers that I pick up each week from his restaurant down the street. I take them to my garage and open the lids to invariably find a dark brown goo garnished by French fries and a sediment of meat scraps. I heat the contents for a few minutes in a metal gas can and pour them through a felt filter bag to be cleansed of impurities. Beneath my work area, a tire-sized slick coats the concrete floor, and whenever I open the garage door from the outside, I’m blasted by the scent of fast food.

The grease is then deposited directly into a 15-gallon tank installed in the back of my wagon, as part of the grease-power kit I bought for about $1,000. I paid $1,000 more to get everything installed in the wagon by a local mechanic. The kit heats the grease to a watery viscosity, so it travels quickly through the fuel lines. No major work was done to the engine, because when hot vegetable oil is ignited in a diesel engine’s combustion chamber, it produces almost as much energy as petro diesel does — so my fuel economy on grease is nearly the same as with petro diesel, about 20 miles per gallon. Better yet, my carbon footprint when driving is reduced by well more than half.

Does it work? Well, not long ago a friend and I, armed with a mobile pumping and filtering system, drove cross-country. Relying on the generosity of other grease-powered drivers (there are more of us than you think!) and many restaurant owners, we made it from Vermont to California in six days. I should note that our clothes were soaked with oil stains by the time we arrived, and the car’s interior smelled like the back of a garbage truck on a July afternoon.

Unfortunately, Americans don’t gorge themselves on enough French fries and jalapeño poppers to power every car, but vegetable vehicles like mine suggest that fossil fuel dependency is not as intractable a problem as we may believe. I mean, if I can drive across the country in a grease car — and I’ve never been accused of having mechanical skills — shouldn’t American automobile companies and the government be able to find inexpensive and ingenious ways to improve fuel efficiency in all vehicles?

Greg Melville is the author of the forthcoming “Greasy Rider: Two Dudes, One Fry-Oil-Powered Car and a Cross-Country Search for a Greener Future.”
Actually, yes, they should.
 

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