Wednesday, December 13, 2006

U.S. Could Plug In Most Cars

The U.S. Department of Energy release a study on Monday finding there is enough “off-peak” electrical capacity to power 84 percent of the country’s 220 million vehicles if they were so-called “plug-in” hybrids.

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Indonesia’s Pertamina launches high octane biofuel

Pertamina of Indonesia announced that they are going to start selling high octane E5 gasoline (with 5% ethanol) on monday. The price will be 4,750 rupiah (50 US cents) per liter. This new fuel blend will be marketed under the name Biopertamax E-5.

Earlier this year Indonesia had started mixing ethanol and biodiesel into their fuel supplies.

Friday, October 20, 2006

B5 B20 or B100?

You know, when most people think of biodiesel, they probably think it's 100% made from soybean oil. The truth is, biodiesel comes in different blends and is most often mixed with regular diesel fuel. The reason for this is due to the fact that biofuels tend to "gel" more easily in the winter and require special additives or vehicle modifications to keep the gas tank, fuel line and fuel filter warm. A B5 or B20 blend, however, should operate just fine in all but the coldest weather conditions. In these cases, an anti-gel diesel fuel additive should be sufficient to keep the engine running.

Note: VW has authorized use of B5 blends in its diesel cars. See

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Quick, Like a Rabbit

When I first considered the idea of buying a diesel car - almost three years ago now - I thought, "Gee, aren't they kind of smelly and noisy?" I mean, I knew they had great gas mileage and all, but I grew up on a farm, and diesel tractor fumes are still in some of my outdoor clothes. Well, after I leased my VW Golf TDI, I changed my tune. This car was not only quiet and odor-free, it more than held its own on the freeway with great torque for passing. In Germany, you see Golfs (they recently changed the name back to Rabbit) all the time on the Autobahn and not in the slow lane.

Back to the Future with BioFuels?

When Rudolph Diesel invented the first diesel engine in 1892, it was designed to run on coal dust or vegetable oil. One of these is a renewable resource that you can buy at Costco for under $3 a gallon. Modern-day diesels aren't as smelly or noisy as the old variety and can run unaltered on biodiesel, which is made from vegetable oil. This is a no-brainer folks. Let's start the G Machines rolling -- I'm interested in hearing from anyone who is going off the Big Oil grid to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, helping to Save the Planet in the process.

This link has a pretty good tutorial on how to make your own diesel fuel (biodiesel is non-toxic and good for your engine):