Joe Levi:
a cross-discipline, multi-dimensional problem solver who thinks outside the box – but within reality™

The Great Biofuel Debate

No one would ever mistake me for a "green freak" or a "tree-hugger," though I do try to do my part to keep our environment (the area in which we all live) clean. Maybe it’s my Native American ancestry that’s calling to my subconscious, maybe it was my brother and Dad teaching me to respect the wilderness on my childhood camp-outs. I don’t know, but I’ve always had an appreciation for the world in which I live, and have always tried to leave it cleaner than I found it.

For that purpose I have replaced the majority of my lighting with LEDs and CFLs, I’ve replaced my "normal sedan" with a hybrid, I’ve planted my yard with native species of plants, and I grow my own (small) garden. It’s not enough, but it’s a start.

There aren’t many hybrid mini-vans (and unfortunately, I need a mini-van to cart around my whole family), so what is one to do? We recently replaced our old mini-van (which had 120,000 miles on it) with a new one (we got it from a rental agency, so it wasn’t terribly expensive). It gets about 8 – 10 MPG better than the old one, so that helps. But I’d still like to run E85 in it ("Flex Fuel" as one manufacturer calls it), which is basically 15% unleaded gasoline, and 85% ethanol. Ethanol is more acidic than normal gasoline, so you need to have fuel lines, filers, bladders, gaskets, etc. that can handle the increased acidity without being eaten through. They also have "bioethanol" which is theoretically better for the environment than "normal" ethanol. Of course, for trucks and other vehicles, there’s always biodiesel. The cool part about biodiesel is that it’s easily made (relatively speaking) and will (theoretically) work in any diesel engine. To do this, you just need to know a little biofuel basics, build (or buy) some specialized equipment, and follow a recipe. (Check out the biofuel forum for more details.) this got me thinking, biodiesel, bioethanol… what other biofuels are out there? Are they even the "right" thing to be pursuing? Where can I get this questions answered? Then I found the biofuel forum.

First and foremost, I like the idea of a forum over a biased and opinionated article system (my ‘blog excluded, of course 😉 ). The BioFuel Debate is a community where members can easily exchange ideas and advice through a forum. Moreover, the users there help out newcomers (without making us feel like idiots). Subjects include bio oil, biodiesel, biofuel, and bioethanol.

Their forums include information on all aspects of biofuels, from how to make your own biofuels, to the latest news examples and innovation in biofuels (and other sources of sustainable, environmentally friendly energy).

If you’re interested in bio fuels, or are looking for a place to be able to freely discuss bio and alternative energy related topics, the BioFuel Debate community is probably just what you’re looking for.


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