The rise in fuel costs is finally forcing people to get creative with their alternative fuel ideas. Scientists have been warning that some day the cheap petroleum that fuels most nations would run out and alternatives would be necessary. However, most of us are wait-and-see personalities who do not react to such warnings until we have to. As gas prices threaten to hit $4 per gallon in the US, and are well past that in other nations, some of the most viable solutions are coming form The Little Men of industry. Check out the videos to follow and see what some of the alternatives to Big Oil that are right under your noses.
The majority of the home remedies for fuel shortages that are out there are for Diesel engines. Take a look at the FuelMeister and Bill Bolch from New England Biodiesel and what promises to be a .70 cents per gallon solution.
If you live in an area where Biodiesel cannot be found at any local filling stations (and that is most of us) there are a few vegetable oil alternatives are open to you. Two very specific options are to either get Scientific and build your own system or to purchase a ready-built system to convert used vegetable oil into biodiesel. Below you will find two videos that offer a glimpse at each of these alternatives.
The Little Industrialist… and the Understanding Mom
The Home Diesel Bio-Kit
VEGGIE-DIESEL’S PROVING GROUND
There have been a few tests from disbelievers that have made it onto your TV screen. Both Mythbusters and Top Gear have dedicated segments to testing whether used vegetable oil can fuel a non-modified diesel car. While parts of the episodes are pure entertainment, the process that they are testing the validity of is factual.
Jamie and Adam of Mythbusters concluded that the corn oil fuel “Myth” was “Busted” because at some point the free supply would dry up as the commodity’s demand rises. But as a low cost bridge between high priced diesel and lower cost biodiesel the veggie car is a winner. Check out the Mythbusters clip below to follow their process.
Now Jamie Clarkson of Top Gear is an automobile enthusiast and a BBC bafoon, which is part of his charm. An interesting point that came up in the Top Gear episode is that the production of home brewed fuel is taxable in the UK. In the US the law has been that you could produce and sell up to 10,000 gallons of biodiesel at home before the need to tax your fuel kicked in. Either way it is essential that you check your state, Federal and local laws before taking off on your veggie fueled adventure.
When you look deeper into the home brewing alternatives available for biodiesel you find that there are a number of viable solutions. At this point none of the solutions are posing any serious competition with one another (nor with Big Oil) and the science that drives them is free to anyone who wants to try them.
The introduction of any home brewed biodiesel into your vehicle is an automatic voiding of your warranty, so if you have a brand new diesel vehicle that is under warranty you may not want to make a test case out of it. However, there are still a number of used Volkswagen and older Mercedes diesels around that can be purchased at a very reasonable price. Just do not expect to break any land speed records with your unmodified Veggie Car.