Join REAP for the 8th annual Alaska Renewable Energy Fair on Saturday, August 11th from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm on the Anchorage downtown parkstrip between I & E Street. Admission is FREE, and it’s guaranteed to be fun for the whole family! Enjoy the live music, a beer garden, great food, kids activities, informational booths, and renewable energy workshops. Includes a 4pm Biodiesel workshop, SVO converted Volkswagen Westfalia, SVO converted school bus and more veggie goodness!
Posts Tagged ‘WVO’
Fuel prices dropped this past year, and with it the biodiesel and SVO tirekickers dwindled to a mere trickle. A few guys were once again trying to make a fortune brewing and selling biodiesel. One in particular, Denali Biodiesel, got up and running with a few mid-scale plants, but as of this spring they’re relocating out-of-state. Best of luck to them!
We at Arctic Vegwerks had ZERO conversions for 2010. But, with Alaska’s Home Energy Rebate program we kept busy making our humble abode less dependent of fossil fuels, and took advantage of that nice $10k grant the state was offering.
Alaska Waste is plowing ahead with their biodiesel and composting efforts, and we applaud them. We estimate they’re using about half of the grease in Anchorage in their private fleet of trash haulers.
This still leaves a quarter of a million gallons of grease out there. With our remote market, obtaining enough SVO for personal vehicles is still a viable option. We had it pretty cush when Alaska Mill and Feed was the grease processor: no contracts, and cheap grease for sale in bulk. With Alaska Waste’s new 3-year contracts, many of the larger restaurant and institutions are taken, but there are plenty of little restaurants looking for someone to pick up grease for free.
Which leads to another dilemma: GREASE DISPOSAL. Yep, SVO folks with too much grease on their hands are left to the Alaska Biodiesel Yahoogroup or Craigslist to cheaply dispose of oil. Anchorage’s hazardous waste collection center at the landfill and transfer stations will take up to 40lbs of residential waste a day for free (one cubie), but charges $.25/lb for more ($4.00 a cube). Businesses must to pay for all oil disposed. Emerald Alaska is the city’s hazardous waste contractor, and their commercial rates are similar, but they do accept drums of oil. Last time I checked, Alaska Waste was charging $2.50 a cube ($.50 a gallon) for oil disposal during business hours (call ahead), but will only take good clean oil – no sludge.
Bottom line: don’t stockpile more than you need.
Of course, we’ve got some friends heating their shop in Wasilla off SVO, with a modified Turk Burner setup. Yellow Heat from Massachusetts has a neat Babington Ball heater. Anyone else in Alaska doing SVO heat? We’d love to hear from you.
The Renewable Energy Group has released a free Feedstock and Biodiesel Characteristics Report, a fairly comprehensive analysis of – yep, you guessed it! – a whole bunch of animal fats and vegetable oils.
One area they analyzed was the fatty acid profiles of common fats and oils used as biodiesel feedstocks.
If you don’t know already, fatty acid chains are the long skinny carbon chains dangling from the alcohol on a fat or plant oil molecule. In naturally occurring oils the alcohol is glycerol, and holds onto three fatty acid chains. In biodiesel the glycerol has usually been replaced with a methanol, and connects to a single fatty acid chain.
(Note: most biodiesel brewers will have heard of free fatty acids, or FFAs. These are fatty acids that are no longer attached to their alcohol.)
As a reference point, the cetane molecule in diesel is 16 cabons long, and is fully saturated (coated, for lack of a better word) with hydrogen. (Of course the fossilized diesel fuel lacks the alcohol on the end.)
Okay, how to read this chart:
The first number shows how many carbons long the fatty acid is, and the second number tells how many hydrogens it’s missing (in these places the carbon double bonds to itself and the oil is considered unsaturated). If you look, most of these natural fats and oils are 16-18 carbons long, very similar to diesel!
You can guess cold weather flow properties by how unsaturated an oil is. Straight fully-hydrogenated chains pack together tightly, like uncooked spaghetti, and usually make a butter-like solid. Unsaturated chains (missing some hydrogens) have kinks and bends where the carbon double bonds to itself, making a tangly mess like cooked spaghetti. These unsaturated oils tend to flow better at cold temperatures (note: “hydrogenated” oils are unsaturated ones that have been treated to become saturated.)
Although unsaturated oils flow better, they also have slightly less power (less dense), and are less stable. Those double bonds are more susceptible to degradation by oxidation, breaking apart and/or reconnecting into a varnish.
Biofueling Alaska: Case Studies and Design Considerations will be one of the many seminars at this year’s Alaska Forum on the Environment at the Anchorage Dena’ina Convention Center.
We will be in the K’enakatnu Board Room, Feb 10, 2010 from 9:00-11:45am.
Join us for a look at small and medium scale biofuel and biomass projects in Alaska. Basic design and function of biodiesel and fish oil systems will be covered as well as an update on what is happening in wood-based biomass thermal and combined heat and power (CHP) systems.
Presenters: Will Taygan, Arctic Vegwerks and Thomas Deerfield, Dalson Energy
Moderator: Win Westervelt, CH2M HILL
Yep, after a year’s reprieve from our lowest-in-the-nation $0.08 per gallon state motor fuel tax, we’re back to our monthly payments.
Alaskans who burn homebrew fuel in an internal combustion powered vehicle are supposed to submit form 04-530. I sent my $1.60 in today.
Check with the Alaska Department of Revenue for details.
Yesterday’s fifth annual Alaska Renewable Energy Fair had beautiful skies, free local coffee, good food, solid music, nice organic beers and booths from pretty much everyone who’s involved in renewable energy in the state.
We were lucky to be the featured interview on KTUU channel 2 last night!
This FREE Fair features food and craft vendors, business and non-profit exhibitors, live music, and workshops on renewable energy. Keynote speaker at 5pm, Melissa Mitchell sings in the afternoon and the Whipsaws will rock the evening.
We’ll have a number of veg-converted vehicles to show off and will be offering a backyard biodiesel basics demonstration, time TBA.
Check out http://alaskarenewableenergy.org/events/renewable-energy-fair/ for more details.
The festivities will include presentations, food, coffee, kid crafts, entertainment and informational
We’ll be there with biodiesel demonstrations, straight veg information and class flyers. Anyone want to come out and help table?
Take the George Parks to Talkeetna Spur Road (mile 98). Turn onto Talkeetna Spur and take it all the way into town to the stop sign. Go through the stop sign (stay on Main Street) and take your first left (just after Nagley’s). It’s directly ahead on the left in a renovated airplane hanger