If you missed the advanced biodiesel how-to classes last month, biodiesel pioneer Maria "Girl Mark" Alovert will be teaching three more such classes before July 2007, and this time you don't need to be in California to participate. Well, at least for two of them.

Girl Mark's upcoming classes will focus on "advanced biodiesel production techniques," and it's best if you already know something about making biodiesel before attending (being proficient at basic transesterification, for example).

This series of classes will deal with the science of making better biodiesel, and not with the activist or political side of the biofuel (there are other classes OASIS for that). You can see a list of topics covered – directly from Girl Mark – after the jump.

The only date set for the classes right now is February 24 and 25 in Berkeley, California and this class will cost $120. In June or July, Girl Mark will travel to Pennsylvania and the Upper Midwest for two more two-day sessions, but dates have not been set yet. Check out Girl Mark's site for more information. There is also a discussion forum set up to discuss these classes. Check it out here.

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[Source: Girl Mark]

Topics covered:
Quality control, two-stage acid-base and 80/20 base-base processes, other processes for free fatty acid reduction and quality improvements, advanced dewatering options, some discussion of methanol recovery and flash evaporators, ethanol for biodiesel production, advanced equipment topics such as solar heating, larger batches, 'balance of system' equipment tricks to make your processing neater, magnesol, etc. There is a hands-on lab component to this class which covers setting up careful experiments, as well as covering advanced topics in testing- soap tests, soap neutralisation, testing recovered methanol for purity and various methods of increasing purity of methanol or ethanol, dealing with unknown strengths of methoxide or other common mistakes, safer mixing of KOH and methanol, fire safety, glycerine acidulation and purification, glycerine burning for process heat, proper composting tricks, better handling of wash water.
There will be some pre-requisite reading required for the class (about 50 pages).

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