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!

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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.


Biodiesel at the State Fair – Sat Aug 28, 1pm.

August 26, 2010

Hey folks, I’ll be putting on a quick biodiesel/SVO song-and-dance this Saturday at the State Fair. Swing by the Valley Recycling booth on the purple trail and say hi!

Backyard Biodiesel 1-2pm
Saturday August 28, 2010

Valley Recycling (VCRS) Booth
Purple Trail, Alaska State Fair, Palmer.

Learn all about biofuels from Will Taygan of Arctic Vegwerks. He will explain the difference between straight vegetable oil (SVO) and biodiesel, and answer questions about using them to fuel your vehicles.


6th Annual Alaska Renewable Energy Fair.

August 4, 2010

August 7, 2010 from 11 AM – 9 PM • Anchorage Park Strip, Between I & L Streets

Don’t miss the fun! Held annually on the first Saturday in August, the Alaska Renewable Energy Fair is a FREE opportunity for people to come see for themselves how renewable energy and energy efficiency development is taking off across the state. Last year, more than 2,500 people came to the park strip to enjoy the live music, food, informational booths and and to listen to expert panels on a variety of topics. The fair also features a silent auction and a variety of children’s activities!

The Backyard Biodiesel seminar will be at 4 pm in tent 3!


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 😉


Diesel VW Vanagon T3 Coolant Hoses – Part Three – Heater Hoses

March 9, 2010
Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge.

All Vanagons, diesel or gas, use the same heater core.

But once again, the ’82 hoses are different, as the heater shutoff valve is located under the dash, behind the glove box close to the heater core.

’83 and later Vanagons put the shutoff valve under the floor.

See Part One – Diesel VW Vanagon T3 Coolant Hoses – Engine Compartment – for details on how to read the information below:

(23) Heater Core
* ALL 251-265-303C

(9) Heater Hose (Feed) Front Heater Control Valve to Heater Core
NLA 82CS 251-265-053 (valve under dash)
* 83CS+Later 251-265-053C (valve under floor – could be cut to fit 82CS.)

(10) Heater Hose (Return) Heater Core to Adapter Fitting.
* ALL 251-265-054A (under floor)
Note:
my ’82 has both connections under the dash, and used the shorter (NLA) 251-265-053 for both feed and return, as both (9) and (10) are similar at the heater core end.

(11) Heater Hose (Feed) Cylinder Head to Front Heater Control Valve – 3900mm
NLA 82CS 251-265-055B
* 83CS+Later 251-265-055F
82 DIY:
The ’82s have 5/8” hose the entire length, except for a 1” connection to the cylinder head. Alan Felder from the Diesel-Vanagon yahoogroup suggests splicing standard 5/8” heater hose to a Gates 19663 hose (NAPA NBH11663) , which has a 1” end and a 5/8” end and is about 43” long. (Gates 18965 – NAPA NBH10965 also has a 1” to 5/8” reduction but is only 35” long). At $215 (list price 02/2010), the stock hose is pretty spendy.

(15) Heater Hose (Return) From Front – 3530mm – Connects to 3-Way Hose (6)
* ALL 251-265-057 (available but discontinued)
82 DIY:
if this isn’t just a $225 (list price 02/2010) length of 5/8” hose, I don’t know what is! Most folks recommend about 30 feet of 5/8 hose to replace the stock heater hoses.

Previous: Diesel VW Vanagon T3 Coolant Hoses – Part Two – Radiator Hoses

Next: Diesel VW Vanagon T3 Coolant Hoses – Part Four –  Expansion Tank

Not surprisingly, the 1982 Diesel Vanagons have a unique radiator, as gas Vanagons were still aircooled.  The next year, everyone go the same radiator, gas or diesel.  '82s also have a metal additonal metal feed pipe leading to the top of the radiator from the long underbody coolant pipes.  '83s also share the smaller (1.25”) diameter metal coolant pipes, while later gas Vanagons moved to larger (1.5”) diameter plastic coolant pipes.

(Radiator)
NLA 82 CS 068-121-253A  (CS >>24-C-175 000)
* 83CS+Later 068-121-253E (CS 24-D-000 001>>)

(8a) Radiator Feed Hose from Pipe. (not 82)
* 83CS+84?? 251-121-083G from small diameter (metal 1.25”) pipe.
* late CS 251-121-083H from large diameter (plastic 1.5”) pipe.

(9) Radiator (Feed) from Front Pipe & to Front Pipe from Rear (small diameter metal 1.25”) Feed Pipe. (82 only)
* 82 N900785.02  32x4x70mm (2.75" – need two - 82s have an additional front metal pipe for the radiator feed)
DIY: 1.25” heater hose.

(10-10a) Radiator Hose (Return)
* 82CS+83CS+84?? N901666.01 32x4x650mm (25.5”) to small diameter (metal 1.25”) pipe.
* late CS+KY+JX 251-121-082 to large diameter (plastic 1.5”) pipe.
DIY: 1.25” heater hose.

Diesel VW Vanagon T3 Coolant Hoses – Part Two – Radiator Hoses

March 9, 2010

Click to Enlarge.

Not surprisingly, the 1982 Diesel Vanagons have a unique radiator, as 1982 gas Vanagons were still aircooled.  Starting in 1983, a new style radiator was used for both gas and diesel models.

The ’82s and ’83s share the smaller (1.25”) diameter metal coolant pipes, while later gas Vanagons moved to larger (1.5”) diameter plastic coolant pipes.

Note that 1982 models also have an additonal metal feed pipe leading from the long underbody coolant pipes to the top of the radiator, while the later radiator style uses a rubber hose for the feed from the underbody pipes.

See Part One – Diesel VW Vanagon T3 Coolant Hoses – Engine Compartment – for details on how to read the information below:

(Radiator)
NLA 82 CS 068-121-253A (shown on right)
* 83CS+Later 068-121-253E (shown on left)

(8a) Radiator Feed Hose from Pipe. (note ’82 uses NLA (8) metal pipe)
* 83CS+84?? 251-121-083G from smaller (metal 1.25”) pipe.
* late CS 251-121-083H from larger (plastic 1.5”) pipe.

(9) Radiator (Feed) from Front Feed Pipe and from Underbody (smaller metal 1.25”) Pipe. (82 only)
* 82 N900785.02 32x4x70mm (2.75″ – need two for the ends of (8) front metal radiator feed pipe)
82 DIY: 1.25” heater hose.

(10-10a) Radiator Hose (Return)
* 82CS+83CS+84?? N901666.01 32x4x650mm (25.5”) to smaller (metal 1.25”) pipe.
* late CS+KY+JX 251-121-082 to larger (plastic 1.5”) pipe.
82-83 DIY: 1.25” heater hose.

Previous: Diesel VW Vanagon T3 Coolant Hoses – Part One – Engine Compartment

Next: Diesel VW Vanagon T3 Coolant Hoses – Part Three – Heater Hoses

2 Diesel Vanagons have a unique radiator, as gas Vanagons were still aircooled.  The next year, everyone go the same radiator, gas or diesel.  '82s also have a metal additonal metal feed pipe leading to the top of the radiator from the long underbody coolant pipes.  '83s also share the smaller (1.25”) diameter metal coolant pipes, while later gas Vanagons moved to larger (1.5”) diameter plastic coolant pipes.

(Radiator)
NLA 82 CS 068-121-253A  (CS >>24-C-175 000)
* 83CS+Later 068-121-253E (CS 24-D-000 001>>)

(8a) Radiator Feed Hose from Pipe. (not 82)
* 83CS+84?? 251-121-083G from small diameter (metal 1.25”) pipe.
* late CS 251-121-083H from large diameter (plastic 1.5”) pipe.

(9) Radiator (Feed) from Front Pipe & to Front Pipe from Rear (small diameter metal 1.25”) Feed Pipe. (82 only)
* 82 N900785.02  32x4x70mm (2.75" – need two - 82s have an additional front metal pipe for the radiator feed)
DIY: 1.25” heater hose.

(10-10a) Radiator Hose (Return)
* 82CS+83CS+84?? N901666.01 32x4x650mm (25.5”) to small diameter (metal 1.25”) pipe.
* late CS+KY+JX 251-121-082 to large diameter (plastic 1.5”) pipe.
DIY: 1.25” heater hose.

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!


Diesel VW Vanagon T3 Coolant Hoses – Part One – Engine Compartment

February 25, 2010

Click to Enlarge.

Most diesel VW Volkswagen Vanagons (and diesel Vanagon Westfalia Campers) in the USA are from 1982, with some 1983s floating around. Both sport the 1.6 liter naturally aspirated (NA – non-turbo) engine. The ’83s have the “newer” water-cooled 5-speed style transmission. Both have a weird, mostly “no longer available” coolant hose system.

Luckily VW continued to sell Vanagon “T3” diesel models in other parts of the world. These included the same 1.6NA CS engine, as well as a 1.7NA KY engine and a 1.6TD JX Turbodiesel engine. Although these later models aren’t exactly the same, the coolant hoses should fit the USA 1982 and 1983 CS diesel Vanagons with minor modifications.

Note: The 1982 models had smaller diameter metal coolant pipes under the chassis, and smaller diameter hoses leading to the coolant pressure tank. For the 1983 models, VW moved the engine back 2 inches, kept the smaller diameter metal coolant pipes, but used larger diameter hoses on the coolant tank. Later models also had the engine further back, used the larger plastic coolant pipes common with gas models, and had the larger diameter hoses on the coolant tank (also the same as later gas models).

Basically, the 1.7 KY diesel hoses are still available (and the KY 3-way and 4-way hoses are the same as a TiiCo conversion), and should be pretty close to a stock 82 or 83 Vanagon diesel.  The 1.6TD JX hoses are close, but have an extra electric water pump.

(#) EKTA VW Electronic Parts Catalog number – see diagram.

NLA = No Longer Available 02/2010

* = Available 02/2010

82, 83 (>#CS149999), 84 (#CS150000>) = Model Year (approx.)

Engine Codes:

CS = 1.6 NA diesel

JX = 1.6 Turbodiesel (non-USA)

KY = 1.7 NA diesel (non-USA)

TiiCo = South African imported inline gas engine.

(1) Bypass Hose, Block to Water Pump
* all-CS+KY+(NOT TiiCo)+JX 068-121-053M

(3) Lower 3-Way Hose (Return) From Radiator Pipe & Oil Cooler to Water Pump
NLA 82CS 068-121-073A
* 83CS 068-121-073C
NLA 84?? 068-121-073B
* late-CS+KY+TiiCo 068-121-073G
* JX: see (JX3) note.

(6) Lower 3-Way Hose (Return) From Front Heater Core Hose to Water Pump & Expansion Tank
NLA 82CS 068-121-081
NLA 83CS 068-121-081B
* late-CS+KY+TiiC0+JX 068-121-081C

(17) Upper “Octopus Hose” 4-Way Hose Feed From Block to Radiator, Oil Cooler & Expansion Tank
NLA 82CS 068-121-101C
NLA 83CS 068-121-101E
NLA 84?? 068-121-101F
* late-CS+KY+TiiCo+JX 068-121-101H

(JX3) Note: The JX (and KY with a/c) 3-Way Hose (Return) From Radiator Pipe & Oil Cooler to Water Pump has an ADDITIONAL ELECTRIC WATER HEATER between the 3-way hose and oil cooler.
* JX+(KY with a/c) (JX3) 068-121-073H 3-Way Hose to Electric Water Pump
* JX+(KY with a/c) (JX33) 034-965-561C Electric Water Pump (also needs mount/wiring)
* JX+(KY with a/c) (JX7) 068-121-105 Oil Cooler to Electric Water Pump Hose

Note: Please support businesses that support old VW buses and vans: Van-Cafe in Santa Cruz has a TiiCo set for sale (same as KY except for the $5 bypass hose?) and The Bus Depot in Pennsylvania always has great prices, if somewhat slow shipping – I guess some parts need to come from Germany..  (P.S. thanks to Bus-Boys for the NLA list.)

Cost: You’re looking at $350-$400 (02/2010) for just the engine compartment hoses.  Nearly all of the cost is in the three funky hoses.  Used JX hoses from Germany are available from vanagon.eu (ebay/thesamba seller), while Justin over at Greaseworks sells a “lifetime” silicone set of the engine compartment hoses.

Next: Diesel VW Vanagon T3 Coolant Hoses – Part Two – Heater Hoses

I’m not quite sure what changed between 83 and 84, why some hoses are different from the later KY? Please comment for any corrections or other hose number options!