Archive for the 'Biodiesel' Category

11th Annual Alaska Renewable Energy Fair – Sat Jul 25th, 2015 Anchorage!

July 21, 2015

AKEnergy-Festival-Poster

 

Come on out to the 2015 Renewable Energy Fair this Saturday July 25th, noon to 7pm.

NEW LOCATION AT 13th and NELCHINA ST, as this year it’s being held together with the Fairview Block Party!

We’ll offer a FREE BIODIESEL SEMINAR at 4pm, so if you want to come and chat about veg-fueled vehicles or check out our veg-burning VW Westfalia turbodiesel, then hit us up between noon and 4pm.

Kids activites, live music, renewable energy workshops, the whole shebang!

(P.S. if you miss us at the fair, we’ll be offering a 5-week biodiesel and SVO course at UAA Matsu College this October.)

Mat-Su College Biodiesel Class October 2014

August 28, 2014

VanniepooSorry for missing everyone at the 10th Annual Renewable Energy Fair, but we spent our summer veggin’ around the state of Alaska in our 1982 Vegoil-converted VW Vanagon Westfalia – lots of fun with cost-free carbon-free fuel!

Once again, UAA Mat-Su College is offering a BASICS OF BIODIESEL AND VEGETABLE OIL FUEL SYSTEMS course for one credit in the University of Alaska System this October, 2013.

Make your own biodiesel, design a SVO-fuel system for your diesel vehicle, investigate Alaskan vegetable-oil heating options.  Proper lab techniques, basic vegetable oil chemistry and appropriate vehicles for conversion will all be covered.

Classes will be held at Mat-Su College, off Trunk Road about a mile north of the Parks Highway, past Mat-Su Regional Hospital.

We will hold FIVE 3-hour Classes on Wednesdays: October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 from 5:00-8:00pm.

Register directly through Mat-Su College at matsu.alaska.edu. Course# RE A194F

Call the college at 907-745-9746 or instructor Will Taygan at 907-688-5288 for more information.

Full disclosure: I’ll be teaching this class. Veg On!

Mat-Su College Biodiesel Class October 2013

August 29, 2013

UAA Mat-Su College is offering a BASICS OF BIODIESEL AND VEGETABLE OIL FUEL SYSTEMS course for one credit in the University of Alaska System this October, 2013.

Make your own biodiesel, design a SVO-fuel system for your diesel vehicle, investigate Alaskan vegetable-oil heating options.  Proper lab techniques, basic vegetable oil chemistry and appropriate vehicles for conversion will all be covered.

Classes will be held at Mat-Su College, off Trunk Road about a mile north of the Parks Highway, past Mat-Su Regional Hospital.

We will hold FIVE 3-hour Classes on Wednesdays: October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 from 5:00-8:00pm.

Register directly through Mat-Su College at matsu.alaska.edu. Course# RE A194F

Call the college at 907-745-9746 or instructor Will Taygan at 907-688-5288 for more information.

Full disclosure: I’ll be teaching this class. Veg On!

Anchorage Renewable Energy Fair, Sat Aug 11, 2012.

August 2, 2012

Renewable Fair 2012

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!

Anchorage Renewable Energy Fair – Sat Aug 13

August 10, 2011

Yep, it’s time for Alaska’s 2011 Renewable Energy Fair!  We’re offering a FREE biodiesel and SVO seminar at noon, and will be there all afternoon with veg-converted vehicles at our booth. Hope to see you there!

Coming out of Hibernation.

March 9, 2011

Yes, we’ve had a bit of a brain freeze this past winter.  But, never fear!  Biodiesel and SVO is alive and well in the Arctic!

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.

Veg On!

Sep 8 Forum: Anchorage’s First Large Scale Biodiesel Plant

August 30, 2010

REAP, the Renewable Energy Alaska Project is kicking off its fall forums with a look at Anchorage’s new biodiesel plant!

September 8, 2010 6-8 p.m

Anchorage Museum auditorium, 625 C Street

Come hear how Alaska Waste and Alaska Green Waste Solutions’ large-scale biodiesel plant in Anchorage is turning recycled cooking oil into fuel for their fleet of garbage trucks. Opened in June, the plant is the first of its kind in Alaska. It is currently collecting about 4,000 gallons of used cooking oil each week from more than 200 restaurants, grocers and other businesses like the Peanut Farm, Lucky Wishbone and McDonalds.

Alaska Green Waste Solutions Manager Jeff Jessen will talk about the plant’s operation, plans for using the estimated 200,000 plus gallons a year of biodiesel and the benefits of biodiesel economically and environmentally.

More information at 929-7770 or s.nowers@REalaska.org.

The forum is free, but RSVPs are appreciated.

Alaska Waste opens Biodiesel Plant in Anchorage!

June 18, 2010

Alaska Waste Biodiesel PlantThe Anchorage Daily News reports that “Alaska Waste unveiled its new $3 million biodiesel plant in South Anchorage on Thursday. The company is collecting waste fryer oil from 240 local restaurants, groceries, hotels and hospitals from Girdwood to Wasilla. Last week, the plant churned out its first batches of biodiesel.”

Read more: http://www.adn.com/2010/06/17/1329094/alaska-waste-opens-biodiesel-plant.html

You can also listen to the story on APRN: http://aprn.org/2010/06/17/alaska-waste-opens-biodiesel-plant/

…and it’s Arctic Vegwerks, not Arctic Vegeworks 😉

Fatty Acid Profiles of Biodiesel Feedstock Fats and Oils

March 5, 2010
Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge.

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.

Veg On!

Biofueling Alaska: Case Studies and Design Considerations. Feb 10.

January 23, 2010

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