Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Why are we not talking abou the realistic alternative fuels?

You hear tons and tons of reports, discussions, articles, protests, demonstrations, and flat out arguments on fuel cells, ethanol, electric cars, etc. as alternatives to gasoline, but there are realistic alternatives that don't take a lot of investment that have been available for decades. In fact Henry Ford's first Model T ran on hempoline and Rudolf Diesel (yes, that would be the inventor of the diesel engine) made it to run on vegetable oil even using peanut oil for the 1900 World's Fair.

Diesel engines have a lot of advantages today and require no changes to run bio-based diesel that can be created out of most any vegetable oil, hemp, soy, jojoba, peanut and even used vegetable oil. There is a TV show called Coolfuel that I caught an episode of where they used biodiesel to run a motorhome and even a turbine powered pickup. When the pickup stalled several times they figured out it was because the biodiesel was so clean it was pushing impurities from the previous fuel into the fuel filter. When the filter was changed they had no problems.

So why isn't everyone buying diesel powered cars and creating a market for biodiesel? Hempoline is a banner issue for people who would like to see marijuana legalized, not that I have a problem with that. But everybody talking up the Peak Oil scenario (let's not even get into the problems with that theory). My theory is that the enviromentalists want us to feel pain in converting from petroleum based fuels. This is just too easy for them!

I know that my next car/pickup (some years from now) will be diesel so that I have a choice. Meanwhile there are people out there making biodiesel in the own garage to run their cars on. This site is dedicated to how to make your own biodiesel. Check it out and then think twice about plopping down the extra bucks a hybrid car costs.

Here are a few sites which speak to biodiesel and hempoline.

2 Comments:

At 10:59 AM , Blogger GodlessMom said...

How about a diesel hybrid? That would be cool.

I've been a fan of Willy Nelson's biodiesel program for quite a while but I've never heard of hemp fuel, I'll go read your links now.

It seems like the goal should be twofold, cut back on our reliance on fossil fuels but also reduce the amount of stuff we dump into the air. Do you know how emissions compare when burning these alternate fuels?

 
At 1:45 PM , Blogger JB said...

The EPA has done a study however it is primarily for heavy duty highway engines pre-1997, the report is 126 pages and I haven't finished going over it. http://www.epa.gov/otaq/models/biodsl.htm
Just looking at a few tables they show for a Bio20 (20% bio/80% petro) a 5% increase in NOX up to a Bio100 (pure bio based) is a 28% increase. While the opposite occurs for PM showing 10% reduction for Bio20 to a 40+% reduction for Bio100. (Numbers vary depending on clean fuel or average fuel). HydroCarbons show up to a 70% reduction for Bio100 and CO shows up to a 47% reduction for Bio100.

Course the real advantage is in it's renewability. One of the advantages of hemp for biodiesel is that it is low care and can be grown almost any where and provides a large crop (oil per acre) compared to other plants.

 

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