October 31, 2005
Harvesting Clean Energy conference Feb 27-28, 2006 Spokane WA
This is a good one. I will be attending.
Harvesting Clean Energy Conference
October 23, 2005
Biodiesel is for racing...
October 21, 2005
Club Bio opens BY JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE For the Tribune's Accelerate section
High performance and diesel used to be opposite concepts. I had a friend in high school who drove a diesel Volkswagen Dasher. You had to measure the 0-to-60 mph time of that car with a calendar. But that was long ago, and the world of diesel engines has come a long way. Bill Isbister and other biodiesel advocates in Northwest racing want to see the venerable "rattle can" motors make the jump to serious competition. "I founded Club Biodiesel in 2001 to get biodiesel on track literally. We did the first Clean Air 1/4 Mile run at PIR with biodiesel in 2002," Isbister says. "I want to get biodiesel and the new diesel technology into the mainstream, and racing is the quickest way to do it." There are two successful diesel racing programs going on right now. Ken Rakoz of Centralia, Wash., has a diesel-powered rail dragster, and Dan Carchano from the Seattle area campaigns a Mercedes-Benz diesel in Sports Car Club of America racing. The Rakoz machine is powered by an 8V92 Detroit diesel engine. The 736-cubic-inch engine that's 12 liters, by the way features twin turbochargers, nitrous oxide injection and a supercharger. The behemoth engine makes 1,200 horspower and weighs 2,300 pounds. "I built the whole thing myself. This engine normally revs to 2,200 rpm. We're cranking this one up to 3,800 rpm and running 118 mph in 11.8 seconds in the quarter-mile," Rakoz says. Carchano's Mercedes is a consistent winner in SCCA Solo1 competition, which involves single-car time trials on a racetrack. "As the only oil-burning entrant on the grid, and the first diesel-powered Solo1 racer in the SCCA nationwide, it has raised a few eyebrows and now has fueled a fascinating debate on the future of diesel in the world of circuit racing," Carchano says. With the recent rise in fuel prices, interest is rising in fuel-efficient diesel engines and biodiesel fuels. Biodiesel is typically made from soybeans, a renewable grown in quantity in the United States. "America should be a lot farther ahead of the curve than it is. Biodiesel should be in all forms of racing, and I hope I can get it into club and pro racing," Isbister says. "The crown jewel will be the BioSpirit of Oregon, a Mercedes silhouette racer that will beat and establish new speed/fuel mileage records at all race venues, here and abroad," Isbister says. Rakoz is a passionate advocate for biofuels. "We're so dependent on the oil companies, and every time they have a little disaster, they use it to raise prices on us," Rakoz says. "If we can raise feedstock and make our own fuel, we're not dependent on anyone else. There's a trickle-up economic benefit when we produce our own fuel." In the search for alternative fuels, cars have been converted to use batteries, liquid propane, pedal-power and even used french fry cooking oil. The advantage of biodiesel is that if you have a diesel engine, you can use the new fuel without making any change to your car. You can even use biofuel by itself or in combination with standard diesel. "To convert to biofuel, you just pick up the biofuel can instead of the diesel can. There's no conversion cost," Isbister says. If all this has piqued your interest, there's an event Sunday at the Portland Metropolitan Exposition Center where you can learn about biodiesel cars and trucks. The inaugural Northwest BioFuels Car Show & Conference runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 23 in Hall A. Admission is free if you arrive via TriMet bus or MAX, which goes directly to the Expo Center. Bring two cans of food to donate to the Oregon Food Bank and receive one ticket for drawings that will occur throughout the day. There will be speakers, exhibitors and even an area with biodiesel-powered cars for sale. "This is something that all Oregonians can support. Let's clear the air and support American farmers," Isbister says. You can find out more about Sunday's biodiesel car show and conference by going to the Web site www.energyelement.com. And you can find out more about biodiesel in general at www.biodiesel.org. firstname.lastname@example.org
October 16, 2005
Jeep Liberty review
Here is the review from Car and Driver. They liked the truck with the exception of the rattle sound which yes is too loud. They also cautioned that this car may be outdated when tier 2 emissions standards com in in 2007, but the reviewer is short sighted I believe.
Car and driver diesel article.pdf
BioFuel car show in Portland Oct. 23
There are getting to be more of these. Oct. 23 at the Portland Exhibit center is the next one. A couple years ago these were mostly home hobbiest with various flavors of home hacked cars duct taped together. These days the majors are showing up with hybrids, biodiesel, etc. I am taking my chipped and lowerd bioBeetle to this one!
Updated IRS guidance on Excise tax incentive
Here is the latest IRS rules. Biodiesel Notice 2005-62.pdf (application/pdf Object). Very useful for any producer. I am still unclear if the end user can file for the credit themselves or if only the producer or reseller can file for it and pass it along (or not).
October 12, 2005
Woddy talks Biodiesel
So I'm stuck in Atlanta at the BBI Biofuels Workshop and flipping through the channels cause I can't sleep. There on David Letterman is Woody Harldson giving David a primmer on Biodiesel and how it can save the planet! He points David to his activism web site: Woody Harrelson and Laura Louie's VoiceYourself where you can find all sorts of biodiesel resources. Very cool day for biodiesel.
October 5, 2005
Clean cars and diesel avaialbility
Here is what is happening with clean diesel standards as they relate to deisel car availability.
Clean Car Standards and Diesel Car Availability
Many Oregonians are interested in purchasing diesel cars because they get superior mileage and because environmentally-friendly biodiesel is available in many parts of the state. Some drivers are worried that if Oregon adopts the California tailpipe standards, they will no longer be able to purchase diesel cars.
It is true that several diesel passenger cars and light trucks are not available in California. These include the VW diesel Jetta and Passat, Mercedes diesel E class, and the diesel Jeep Liberty. They are currently sold outside of California where federal emission standards are less stringent. However, the clean car standards will not come into effect in Oregon until model year 2009, and three important changes will result in greater diesel availability by that time:
#1 Federal emission standards for diesel cars are being tightened, as well. In fact, by 2009 the federal tailpipe standards will require diesel cars to be so much cleaner that they will also meet the California standards. Diesel car manufacturers must produce cleaner diesels or they wont be able to sell anywhere in the United States.
#2 European auto manufacturers (the leaders in diesel emission control) indicate diesels should meet both the federal and California tailpipe standards by the end of the decade.
#3 The federal government is also requiring cleaner diesel fuel. All on-road vehicles, from small cars to semis, will be filling up with ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel as of October 2006. This diesel fuel will be far cleaner, making it easier for diesels to meet the federal and California tailpipe standards.
Note that large diesel pickups (e.g., ¾ ton) have been and will continue to be available in California and states that adopt its tailpipe standards. And the clean car standards do not apply to heavy-duty vehicles, like semis and buses.
With cleaner petroleum diesel fuel and cleaner diesel engines, diesel car owners will be able to greatly reduce their contribution to air pollution and global warming (especially those who purchase biodiesel, an American-made, renewable fuel).
For more information on the clean car standards, visit www.cleancarsoregon.org
Program Director, Oregon Environmental Council
Green Barets going Biodiesel
October 1, 2005
California passes alternative fuel bill
While not a Renewable Fuel Standard, the new california bill is a step in the right direction: ab_1007_bill_20050908_enrolled.pdf (application/pdf Object). It basically tells the state agencies to figure out how to increase alternative fuels. This will help biodiesel. But unfortunately natural gas is also listed as an alternative fuel (which it is not) and their lobbiest have done a good job at blackening the eye of biodiesel in the bus sector. Lets hope reason prevails.