Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Want to really stick it to the oil companies?

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU
 
garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:47 AM
Original message
Want to really stick it to the oil companies?
Want to stick it to the oil companies? Drive on vegetable oil instead!
Diesels offer advantages over hybrids

8.1.06
Gary Beckwith

With today's high gas prices, people are waiting in line to buy hybrid vehicles - cars that have an electric motor to assist the gas engine, which makes for better gas mileage. Some do it to save money, some to save the earth from global warming. Either way, demand for the hybrids is strong and increasing.

But for those who really want to drive an environmental car and save a few bucks too, the better choice is to get a diesel. You can burn biodiesel, now available in most cities. Biodiesel is refined vegetable oil that comes from American farmlands and has a lot of environmental benefits. And if you really want to go for it, you can tweek your diesel car to run on "SVO" (Straight Vegetable Oil) without much effort. I know this because I've been driving my 1985 Mercedes on used vegetable oil collected from restaurants for several months now, while some people are still waiting for their Hybrids to arrive. And just recently the 35ft long, 12 ton Solar Bus was adapted to run on pure, sweet smelling vegetable oil. If a big bus can do it, you can too.



The advantages of diesels over hybrids are many:

Emissions: A hybrid car will get slightly better gas mileage than an diesel car. But diesel cars, if running on SVO or biodiesel, are burning a product that comes from plants, which absorbed CO2 while they were growing. And get this - the plants that grew to produce a given gallon of SVO actually absorbed more CO2 than is emitted from your car while you drive. So when the life cycle of CO2 is considered, you are actually removing CO2 from the atmosphere as you go!

rest of article:
http://www.solarbus.org/articles/060801-diesels.shtml

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
1. Great idea!
Since I cannot afford another car I ride a bike. :)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
2. How many days before a shortage of vegetable oil?
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 11:50 AM by kentuck
One day or less?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. My thought, also
There aren't enough Fryolators in this country to support a move to biodeisel.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. not true
your comment :

"There aren't enough Fryolators in this country to support a move to biodeisel."

is not correct

the short term answer is there is MORE THAN ENOUGH NOW. Most cities are overflowing with vegetable oil that is being thrown out. As well there is much unused farmland that could grow crops for vegetable oil.

it is true that the current infrastructure could not support an overnight switch to all vegetable based fuels. But there is A LOT MORE capacity than what is currently being used, and the vast majority is being thown away.

There is NO SINGLE ANSWER to the energy crisis and global warming. the answer lies in a widespread solution approach, including, among other things, using biofuels for transportation.

having said that, there actually IS enough space within our boarders to create all the vegetable oil we need to run all our vehicles and completely stop using petroleum. This could be accomplished if we used man-made algae ponds to create the vegetable oil. Algae is by far the most efficient plant at producing oil. more info on this:

http://www.unh.edu/p2/biodiesel/article_alge.html


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. there is PLENTY right now
most cities are overflowing with waste vegetable oil that is being thrown away.

for the long term, we could satisfy our needs if we used algae to produce the oil. also other non-petroleum fuels like ethanol can contribute to the solution.

for the short term, just get a diesel and go for it. you'll have plenty of free fuel if you just call up a few restaurants in your area.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Pacifist Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #2
22. I've had a group of friends actively advocating for biodiesel....
for the last three years. Still no shortage around here. They haven't even been able to attract a consortium to help lower the price per gallon. *sigh*
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
poverlay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:34 PM
Response to Original message
6. We all need to start clamoring for electric cars. Do away with the
internal combustion engine for good. The power plants can burn vegetable oil and switch grass. They can also make the large investments needed in wind, tidal, and solar. It's the only way to ruin the oil industry, take back our country, and save millions of lives.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. electric cars...
unless you change the fuel source of the power plants, as you say, electric cars are not a solution, they just remove the point of combustion from the car to the power plant, which would overload our power production in seconds.

the great thing about running a car on veg is that you can do it NOW. you don't have to wait for the power companies to vegetable oil.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
poverlay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. You write as if everyone is suddenly going to switch. They're not.
Power plants can change and diversify fuel sources. It would make the utilization of renewables a much easier(and cheaper) prospect. Vegetable oil is great, but would be terrible environmentally if everyone started using it. We need long term solutions and veg oil is only a stopgap(A good one for sure, but not remotely plausible as a long term solution. Electric is).
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. getting people to change vs. getting the power companies to change
my experience in working in this industry for 15 years is that the people want change more than the power companies do. so I disagree that it's easier to get the power companies to change.

as far as getting "everyone" to change, i never suggested that everyone would change overnight. i'm only saying that if a person wants to stop supporting the oil companies, here's an option for you now. you don't have to convince the power companies to build new powerplants that burn other fuels or anything at all, besides find a diesel vehicle.

vegetable oil is not a stopgap. it's part of the solution. as well, everyone changing to all electric vehicles is NOT a long term solution in itself either. you have to change the power companies too if you want to have any affect. i have never seen any suggestion that coal plants (currently 65% of our nation's power source) can be converted to run on any kind of alternative fuel, so you're talking about redoing the entire grid. This is a good idea too, but it is not something that people can do right now, today. the article is only a reference to what people can do on the personal level,and something they can do now.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
poverlay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 05:36 PM
Response to Reply #18
28. Yes, but if people don't start creating a demand for the products
that will truly create change there will be none. My point is that the power companies and oil companies can be leveraged by a demand for electric cars.
Without that catalyst, there will never be a change. The change I'm seeking is lower demand for fossil fuels and fewer emissions when they are used. Natural gas and even coal burning power plants are far cleaner than millions and millions of internal combustion engines spread all over... Soon they'll realize that renewables are way cheaper in the long run and they'll start switching.
You've got to start somewhere.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Scriptor Ignotus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. true
except that power plants can run on nuclear, wind, solar, or coal, and not oil.

Although our current power production capacity would be overwhelmed it is reasonable to believe that a sustainable infrastructure could be created as people trade in their gas guzzlers for electric cars. Check out this site for some better information.

www.teslamotors.com

Bio-diesel is certainly better than what we're doing now though.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Pacifist Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #10
23. If the power plants are not dependent upon fossil fuels...
I could back that 100%.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
democrank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
7. This is great, garybeck.
We have to change the way we`re doing things. I love the idea of using "used" vegetable oil. That`s even a big help to our landfills.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
8. Europeans has been driving diesels for years
Someone told me that it has something to do with the quality of the diesel fuel that is sold in the US and that it is not high grade enough to run a lot of the cars they use over there. However, supposedly in the next year or two the US is going to switch to the higher grade diesel and we are going to have a lot more options has a result.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:39 PM
Response to Original message
9. I happily bicycle
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 12:39 PM by gratuitous
And what with the global warming and all, there's lots more sunny days on which to ride.

Suck it, Mobil; you're not getting any of my money!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
meisje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
12. I heard it makes the car smell like a french fry, including the person
driving
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Pacifist Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #12
20. Nah!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #12
27. not any more than driving a regular car makes you smell like gasoline...
if you sand in front of the exhaust, you might get some fumes in your clothes, regardless of what you're burning. otherwise you're fine

however I will say this. if you run on veg oil, you will have to collect oil from restaurants, filter it in your home and pour it into your tank. some of this can get messy and you may end up smelling like vegetable oil, not when you're driving, but when you're messing with the oil, transporting it, etc... don't wear your nice clothes!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Chemical Bill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:20 PM
Response to Original message
13. I bought a diesel in March, 2003...
And put 100% biodiesel in the tank. Everybody remembers what happened in March 2003, right?

Bill
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Pacifist Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #13
21. Um, well, I don't.
It was the one year anniversary of me becoming a vegetarian, but that's all March 2003 means to me. What am I forgetting?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #21
26. i don't remember either but let me guess...
Bush did something stupid?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Chemical Bill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #26
30. Bush did something stupid?
Like invade Iraq.

Bill

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LSK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 03:03 PM
Response to Original message
15. my parents neighbors just bought an old mercedes
They intend to run on biofuel with it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
atomic-fly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 03:19 PM
Response to Original message
16. I want to run my furnace with bio fuel...
I just need a source and maybe a tune up for my furnace.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. biodiesel can burn in a furnace, and if you want to
burn vegetable oil, it is also possible, but you'll need to modify the burner and preheat the fuel
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
unpossibles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
19. I have a few friends with these and they love it
my friend in Florida drove from Tampa to Columbus on less than a tank of diesel, which his Jetta burns at 50 mpg anyway. He gets most of his oil from restaurants for free, and in FL it doesn't take long for the veg oil to heat up.

as far as America not being able to support it... judging from the amount of fried food all over, I don't see this as a huge stumbling block yet. May not be a permanent solution but better than nothing.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #19
25. right,
there isn't enough waste vegetable oil to run every single car, but there is certainly a lot being thrown away today so why not use it instead of petro? if/when we get to the point where every drop of waste veg oil is being used by cars, then we can worry about it. and there are solutions for that too, like creating more vegetable oil with unused farmland, and growing algae on manmade ponds(which produces more oil than anything else there is)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 12:57 AM
Response to Reply #25
29. I use the stuff for heating.
Most resturaunt here use mel-fry, which is a liquid vegitable shortening with a few additives (citric acid and something to prevent crystalization). I pour it into a waste-oil burner after they use it, it works great. It;s a lot less prone to clogging our filters than the waste oil (motor oil, petrodiesel, mineral spirits, etc) we've tossed in there from time to time.

The burner is at work, and I work at a mechanic's shop, before people bitch at me - I'd rather filter the oil a few times, burn it, and scrub the smoke through four more filters than to either pour it in a can to rust in a dump, or worse, do like some twep mechanics do, just pour it out the door.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #29
31. questions
hey, glad to hear you're burning WVO in a waste oil burner. have you ever hear of someone putting a furnace like that into a residential application? it seems like all the mechanics shops have them but i'd like to put one into my home. also wondering how that furnace works - I assume it's vented outside - is it a direct vent or a standard chimney? and does it have to preheat the oil before it goes in? Can you point us to a link to the manufacturer?

gary
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #31
35. Hmmm
1) If you mean like a home furnace, I would hesitantly say no - most of them have very fine nozzeles that clog really easy - Used cooking oil has a lot of grit and protiens and stuff in it that would likely clog up most furnaces. I wouldn't doubt you could find one made for biodiesel, though.

2) Standard chimney. And yes, it has to preheat the oil.

3) Couldn't tell you. The tank and flue are homemade, the motor's cobbled together out of a billion parts, and I'm not the guy who put it together :) I do the job, but I'm not the jerry-rig genius 'round these parts.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 01:51 AM
Response to Reply #35
36. check these out.
Edited on Sat Aug-05-06 01:53 AM by garybeck
Waste / Used Oil Fired Equipment
By Econo Heat





http://www.econoheat.com/boilers.htm
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
24. ttt n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #24
33. ttt one more time
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
32. Cal Cars Initiative combined with biodiesel (trucks/commercial)
Cal Cars Initiative
http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/northcoast/programs/sampl...

for domestic vehicles and biodiesel for mostly trucks/commercial vehicles IMHO are a great start. This should be a Democratic Party talking point. Look what Republicans are pushing now, nuclear. In today's paper the story 'Parts Order First Step Toward Nuclear Revival ?' by Matthew L. Wald of the NYTimes appeared.

Also this from MIT's weblink on the future of nuclear power in the US

http://web.mit.edu/nuclearpower/
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 02:31 PM
Response to Original message
34. And Willie Nelson sells it, too.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 02:10 AM
Response to Reply #34
37. but his is only 20% biodiesel and 80% regular diesel
you can run your car on 100% biodiesel instead
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Fri Oct 31st 2014, 05:09 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC