The New Pollution

A green revolution is supposed to lead us to a utopia where the birds chirp and the human stain is smaller on the planet, but sometimes the new looks a little too much like the old.Take this story about biofuel plants dumping glycerin into rivers. Sure, it can be broken down by organisms, but it still causes big problems when dumped into ecosystems, just like the black stuff."They're really considered nontoxic, as you would expect," said Bruce P. Hollebone, a researcher with Environment Canada in Ottawa and one of the world's leading experts on the environmental impact of vegetable oil and glycerin spills."You can eat the stuff, after all," Mr. Hollebone said. "But as with most organic materials, oil and glycerin deplete the oxygen content of water very quickly, and that will suffocate fish and other organisms. And for birds, a vegetable oil spill is just as deadly as a crude oil spill." Link to nytimes articlevia treehugger

Topic by fungus amungus   |  last reply


Algae biofuel oil refining?

I have long been a fan of the idea of renewable energy from algae colonies, but I have yet to find any information on actually refining the oil produced with the algae.  I am well aware of how to remove the oil, however at that point it is just an organic crude.  Is their a process to refine it to a more diesel or gasoline-like state, or is it efficient enough to run an engine on the crude.  I am currently growing a reasonable algae colony and would appreciate assistance in doing something with the algae after it is grown.  

Question by jj.inc   |  last reply


Biofuel Solar Power Plant

PG&E; has a signed a deal with a Portuguese firm that is building a hybrid biofuel solar power plant in the Central Valley area of California. The plant will combine solar power with agricultural waste to produce energy--a very enterprising solution to get energy from an abundant, eco-friendly source.Link

Topic by joshf   |  last reply


Biofuel bus-train-road

The Guided Busway Essentially, this is like a railway for buses- a narrow concrete "road" open only to modified buses, following the path of an old railway to link commuter destinations together. Supporters say it's more practical than a rail link (as buses can drive straight off the end into town roads), opponents say the concept is flawed and that building a traditional railway would be cheaper. The buses are apparently "100% biofuel powered", though I'm having a hard time finding out exactly where those biofuels come from. The future of transportation, or greenwashed white elephant? Update 30-03-2010: I thought I should update this in light of bassman's comments, and because of something I wrote last October: "the busway is due to open in a few weeks (so by our bureaucracy time, make that spring 2010)" Well, it's spring 2010 and this morning on the train to work I finally saw a bus on the busway.  It was marked "not in service" and was populated by half a dozen men in high-vis jackets, so I assume it was a test run of some sort, but at least there is life on it.  Maybe I'll be able to post more about it before 2011?

Topic by PKM   |  last reply


Bio-fuels from pvc, etc. Some neat advances being made in the bio-fuel areas:

2002 articlehttp://www.brdisolutions.com/news/NewsletterArchive/dec2002.aspThis year....http://biodieselmagazine.com/article.jsp?article_id=1504&q;=&page;=allAnd then we have this:http://ec.europa.eu/energy/res/legislation/doc/biofuels/contributions/industry/waterman.pdfand a few articles from WIRED:http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2004/09/64862http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2004/06/63699plus: http://www.europabio.org/white_biotech.htmhttp://lib.wmrc.uiuc.edu/enb/?cat=2Info on Styrene: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/styrene/

Topic by Goodhart   |  last reply



The world's cutest biofuel: burning bunnies.

Stockholm has a pest problem - thousands of rabbits (the descendants of escaped pets) have to be culled every year to stop them eating all the green spaces.  The culled bunnies are frozen and stored. But the fate of these cute corpses is causing a stir amongst Stockholm residents. The rigid rabbits are collected by contractors, taken to the town of Karlskog, and burned to heat the town. Leo Virta, the Managing Director of Konvex - the plant's suppliers - told the BBC that Konvex has developed a new way of processing animal waste with funding from the EU as part of the Biomal project. He says that with this new method, raw animal material is crushed, ground and then pumped to a boiler where it is burned together with wood chips, peat or waste to produce renewable heat. "It is a good system as it solves the problem of dealing with animal waste and it provides heat," said Mr Virta. The Karlskogans don't mind what provides their heat, but in Stockholm, the urbanised residents think they're just too cute to burn... What do you think?  Clever use of waste biomass, or cruelty to bunnies?

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


BioFuel: fuel cells of lesser god?

I was just reading one of the biochemistry articles I have, and noticed that urea, the main componant of urine, has an extra, and not so tightly bound hydrogen atom attached to it.   I am thinking renewable fuel cell fuel here, but other then smell, are there any other draw backs to using this?  I mean, I realize the salt content may or may not be a bit hard on metal parts etc. ..  Feed back welcome !

Topic by Goodhart   |  last reply


What is the oil content of Eurasian Milfoil?

I would like to use the oil extracted from Milfoil to produce biodiesel. I would like to know what the oil content, if any, is of milfoil. I think it is great because it is unwanted and there is a lake near me that has two giant machines whose sole job is to cut milfoil. I could collect it, dry it, press it, and refine it for next to nothing. If you have seen anything like this let me know.

Question by jack.h   |  last reply


How can I turn algae into some sort of a biofuel?

I saw the instructable on the algae bio reactor. I then decided to use that as my Marine Biology final project but I also wanted to one up the instructable and put in my thesis that I would turn the algae into a bio fuel. How can I make this possible. Please help my grade depends on this.

Question by    |  last reply


A source for a small Diesel engine?

I'm doing a science fair project about algae biofuels, and was looking for a small, tabletop, less then 70 lb diesel engine. Oh, and cheap would be nice too :D.

Question by Rotten194   |  last reply


Biofuel powered water pump, no moving parts and modular!

I just added a video about how to make one. http://blip.tv/file/4142099 It is probably not what you are expecting. I made the prototype and it works. Brian

Topic by gaiatechnician   |  last reply


Are carbon neutral fuels good for the environment? Answered

I'm sort of confused about carbon neutrality and it's impact on our environment. I feel like I'm over thinking it, but could someone explain to me what exactly makes a carbon neutral fuel clean? If it's clean burning at all? I'm interested in making biofuels specifically algae fuel, and this is a term that keeps popping up.

Question by thecoonskin   |  last reply


My Appleseed Processor (for making biodiesel)

I just built my first appleseed prototype. What d'you guys think?So, for the sake of discussion... What's the general attitude in the instructables community towards biofuels in general? Who here's boycotting ethanol? If so, are you boycotting all ethanol, or just ethanol made from food-crops? Who else on i'Bles makes biodiesel? -DMC

Topic by drinkmorecoffee   |  last reply


My Biodiesel Blog

For anyone who might be interested I have started a blog about my biodiesel projects, hereFor anyone interested in my biodiesel instructables:Make an appleseed processor.Make biodiesel.

Topic by drinkmorecoffee   |  last reply


Study: Ethanol Worse for Climate Than Gasoline

Ethanol is under fire again: At first blush, biofuels such as corn ethanol and soybean diesel seem like they would be great from the standpoint of global warming. The crops soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow, and that balances out the carbon dioxide they produce when they're burned. But until now, nobody has fully analyzed all the ripple effects of this industry. And Tim Searchinger, a visiting scholar at Princeton University, says those effects turn out to be huge. "The simplest explanation is that when we divert our corn or soybeans to fuel, if people around the world are going to continue to eat the same amount that they're already eating, you have to replace that food somewhere else," Searchinger says.Searchinger and his colleagues looked globally to figure out where the new cropland is coming from, as American farmers produce fuel crops where they used to grow food. The answer is that biofuel production here is driving agriculture to expand in other parts of the world."That's done in a significant part by burning down forests, plowing up grasslands. That releases a great deal of carbon dioxide," Searchinger says.In fact, Searchinger's group's study, published online by Science magazine, shows those actions end up releasing huge amounts of carbon dioxide. The study finds that over a 30-year span, biofuels end up contributing twice as much carbon dioxide to the air as that amount of gasoline would, when you add in the global effects. The rest of the article (and radio broadcast) is here

Topic by Goodhart   |  last reply


Why cant this be used to do aquaculture? Answered

It is a 336-mile long system of aqueducts called the Central Arizona Project.   I don't see why its not used to do aquaculture of various sorts.  Farmed shrimp out here was great till the Asian imports got dirt cheap.  Now they have changed gears to grow algae for biofuels. Could that be done here?

Question by onrust   |  last reply


Ice Cream Sandwiches, Paper Clone, Make a Mermaid Tale

Ice Cream Sandwiches Paper Clone Make a Mermaid Tail Easy Water Guns Ninja vs Zombie Shadow Cast Baked Potato Chips Make Your Eyes Larger 5 Minute Camera Case Ink Blot T-Shirt Easy Stomp Rocket Button Down Shirt Dress Personal Applause Sign Biofuel Briquettes Ping-Pong Ball Gun Simplify Dish Washing

Topic by randofo 


Interview with IKEA on Sustainability

I knew about IKEA's cutting of costs with flat packing, but it's cool to hear them talk about dealing with several different issues of sustainability. ideas: - save on resources, save on environment - looking to use more renewable energy, even producing solar and wind energy themselves. Goal of 60% renewable by 2009 - thinking of biofuel transport - trying to get more local suppliershttp://www.grist.org/news/maindish/2007/02/27/ikea/index.html?source=biz

Topic by fungus amungus   |  last reply


I want to make photobioreactor which can be used for algae cultivation to produce hydrogen, which is the optimal way? Answered

Photobioreactor is a device or an arrangement used for cultivation of algae. Algae when produced can be used as a resource of biofuel, and hence hydrogen can also be produced from it. I have found many methods for algae production, but failed to know about the actual process of hydrogen production from it. so, what is the step by step process to produce hydrogen from algae economically?

Question by Deepak91   |  last reply


Green Crude?

"Sapphire Energy has built a revolutionary platform that uses photosynthetic microorganisms to produce a renewable, high-value replacement for fossil fuel petroleum. This domestic crude oil requires only sunlight, CO2 and non-potable water - and can be produced at massive scale on non-arable land."They call it Green Crude, an algae produced product that could one day replace gasoline. It's not biofuel, or ethanol, and it doesn't require any plants or farmland. The only things consumed are waste water and CO2. They say it could also be made into jet fuel. It seems too good to be true! I can't find anything about the cost, efficiency or speculated time line, but they do have some big investors and are planning on increasing production soon.The CompanyWhat do you guys think?

Topic by Weissensteinburg   |  last reply


Hands-on Weekend Algaculture Workshop

October 18-19, 2008@ The Algae Lab in Berkeley, CAalgaelab.org: a component of The Shipyard / All Power LabsIt's a fact. Food, fuel, fertilizer, fresh water, and arable land --all are running out. But there is a crop that can grow in salt water,on true waste land, creating all the products we need by eatinggreenhouse gases and water water. And can grow 100x faster thanconventional crops. Algae! A truly green crop for a sustainablefuture.We are the Shipyard algae lab community. We have created the world'sfirst community algae lab -- for development of open source,DIY-oriented algae technology, to facilitate the co-operative pursuitof this new form of agriculture -- and we invite *you* to come learnhow to raise algae and transform them into exciting products!Whether you are looking for a job in the exploding algae biofuelsfield, or thinking about creating your own farm, we can help you getup to speed! We have created an independent, non-profit algaelaboratory for teaching and research using low-cost, widely-availablematerials, and we qould love to teach you how! Get on board with thisexciting, expanding field that's truly "green"!Over the course of the weekend we will teach you:The current state of algae farming technology, and where it's headed,What algae are interesting, and for what purposes,How to obtain algae strains,How to figure out the right nutrients for your algae,How to design and build effective ponds and bio-reactors,How to "grow out" your algae into a full-sized pond or bio-reactor,How to monitor the health of your algae, andHow to harvest your algae and make them into food, fuel, and fertilizer!All levels of experience and expertise are welcome. Graduates areeligible to become members of our lab and to use its facilities.October 18 & 19th, 11am - 6pm1010 Murray St, Berkeley, CA 94710$150 per participantmore info: [www.algaelab.org algaelab.org]contact: workshop@algaelab.org

Topic by noahw   |  last reply


Antarctica-Bound Hybrid-Electric Hummers Visit Pier 9

Drive Around the World, a nonprofit founded in the Bay Area, revealed its latest innovation, a pair of hybrid­-electric Polar Traverse Vehicles, also known as the Zero South PTVs. These two unique vehicles are bound for a history­-making expedition across Antarctica and they came to Pier 9 today to talk about it.  These revolutionary vehicles, designed using Autodesk tools, have undergone an extensive transformation from gas guzzling Hummers to open source, environmentally conscious biofuel hybrid­-electric vehicles outfitted with ice tracks and capable of standing up to the Earth’s harshest environments. Vehicle designers and leading NASA scientists discussed the expedition's logistics and the latest in climate discoveries. From the Zero South team: There is intentional irony in repurposing the Hummer H1, which many view as a contemporary symbol of gross consumer waste and inefficiency. Others view it as a remarkable multipurpose machine capable of extreme on­ and off­-road performance. But no matter which way the audience is ³polarized² by the vehicle, this adventure will appeal to everyone. Zero South Electrical Engineer Brock Winberg

Topic by xxlauraxx   |  last reply


How to build a clockwork robot?

Http://www.dailykos.com/stories/1632015#comment_65467648 To enter the Fukashima U2 with radiation at 1000 SVR plus can a clockwork autonomous robot gathering data with sonar be designed to go where no autonomous robot has gone before. The reason is all electronic devices would cease to function at about half that  SVR level. The clockwork mechanism would need to be designed to provide autonomous movement  so all sensors would have to be non electronic devices. Might mechanical sound, pressure, temperature or other forces be used for controls? Is it possible to provide a mechanical power storage source Compressed air energy storage (CAES) Fireless locomotive Flywheel energy storage Gravitational potential energy (device) Hydraulic accumulator Liquid nitrogen Thermal Brick storage heater Cryogenic liquid air or nitrogen Eutectic system Ice storage air conditioning Molten salt Phase Change Material Seasonal thermal energy storage Solar pond Steam accumulator Thermal energy storage (general) Chemical Biofuels Hydrated salts Hydrogen Hydrogen peroxide Power to gas Vanadium pentoxide What sort of time/energy is achievable?

Question by Rowland Whittet   |  last reply


Power the American nation with waste food!

A new study shows that the energy used to produce the food wasted by Americans is greater than the energy stored in the oil and gas reserves around US shores. The situation is probably worse than the study suggests, since the only data available on wasted food was from 1995, when 27% of all food was wasted.  Since then, food prices have fallen, and waste has probably increased. Michael Webber and Amanda Cuellar at the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Texas at Austin calculate that this is the equivalent of about 2150 trillion kilojoules lost each year. That's more than could be gained from many popular strategies to improve energy efficiency. It is also more than projections for how much energy the US could produce by making ethanol biofuel from grains. Obviously, Americans (and every other similarly-wasteful society - we're just as guilty in the UK) should be doing their level best to reduce their wasted food, but it also strikes me; there is gold in them thar bins. Rather than persuade hundreds of millions of lazy "Westerners" to change their ways, why not exploit them?  Why not make money off them (or at least, save your own energy costs)? We already have a bus driving around for free, and a car running on garbage.  Can you come up with a house-hold scale scheme? Could you cut your energy bills to zero, just by collecting other people's garbage for them? Could you set yourself up as a supplier of motor fuels (gasoline or diesel replacements?  methane?) Come on, iblers, do your thing! New Scientist article Oil data The study itself. (I have attached a PDF of the study, if you're interested.

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


A New, Global Oil Quandary: Costly Fuel Means Costly Calories - Peak cooking oil?

The interconnectedness of the world can sometime be striking. I noticed yesterday that Safeway, a west coast grocery store chain, has converted it trucks to biodiesel. Due to increased fuel-demand for things that were previously only considered foodstuffs, the cooking oils carried by the biodiesel-fueled trucks were probably significantly more expensive. In Malaysia, this has even idled some plants design to refine oils into biodiesel:Here on Malaysia's eastern shore, a series of 45-foot-high green and gray storage tanks connect to a labyrinth of yellow and silver pipes. The gleaming new refinery has the capacity to turn 116,000 tons a year of palm oil into 110,000 tons of a fuel called biodiesel, as well as valuable byproducts like glycerin. Mission Biofuels, an Australian company, finished the refinery last month and is working on an even larger factory next door at the base of a jungle hillside.But prices have spiked so much that the company cannot cover all its costs and has idled the finished refinery while looking for a new strategy, such as asking a biodiesel buyer to pay a price linked to palm oil costs, and someday switching from palm oil to jatropha, a roadside weed.from the NYT article A New, Global Oil Quandary: Costly Fuel Means Costly CaloriesAnd there's more: as more and more baked goods eliminate trans-fats, those fats are often replaced with palm oil, so the pastries carried by the biodiesel-fueled trucks are themselves consuming more edible oil. While this will increase the price to make and ship a snack cake in the US, it has much greater effect elsewhere. Since people in the developing world get such a large percentage of their calories from cooking oil, increased prices have caused riots:No category of food prices has risen as quickly this winter as so-called edible oils -- with sometimes tragic results. When a Carrefour store in Chongqing, China, announced a limited-time cooking oil promotion in November, a stampede of would-be buyers left 3 people dead and 31 injured.

Topic by ewilhelm   |  last reply


I won!

I posted this topic before, but I don't think anybody saw it (instructables glitch?)From wendsday to saterday i went to a resort named 7 springs in champion, Pennsylvania. I was there for a national competition called technology student association (aka TSA). This competition was states, for I already went to regionals.I won 1st place in Electrical Applications, which is basically your knowledge of electronics (you take a test) and you have to create a circuit on a bread board, along with creating a schematic. I tell you, this was almost a joke. Questions on the test are like --| C---- what is that a symbol of? And what does IC stand for?The breadboard challenge was even easier. They gave you a breadboard, a 9 volt battery, a lightbulb, and some wires. The challenge was to make a circuit (and schematic) that light up the lightbulb whenever you touch the probes to the right spots. Like you know those question and answer things at science fairs where if you line up the right question with the right answer? That's basically it.I also won 1st place along with a couple of my friends for a medical challenge where we gave a presentation on alzheimer's disease. Not much to explainMe and my friends also won 3rd in another thing, I can't remember (I get my trophy on wensday because they didn't have enough trophies for the whol group). I think it was in agriculture and biotech where we talked about biofuels.Me and my friend got 6th in a challenge where they give you a random technology topic and they give you 10 minutes to prepare (no computers) and then you have to give a speach.Me and my friends got 10th in a thing called tech bowl where they give your random questions and you are in direct competition wire people nexy to you (you have a buzzer).Me and my friends got 9th place in a challenge where we talked about the enviroment (specificaly ozone depletion);)does anybody know where this came from, I'm pretty sure I saw it at TSA (I just remember a yellow wrapped transformer at an angle in a box with a phone and it's all in a box)http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2008/04/send_an_sms_to_save_your.html#comments.

Topic by guyfrom7up   |  last reply