Veggie Van – Click above to watch video after the jump
Deciphering the new vocabulary of the green car movement can sometimes be a real head scratcher. To alleviate as much confusion as possible, we would like to present our readers with a list of common acronyms and what they mean, with plenty of links for more information. If you have some TLAs (that's three-letter acronyms) that you'd like us to add to our glossary, just let us know in the comments.
We like to answer reader questions with our Greenlings series whenever possible, and thought that Timothy H. had a good topic. He sent in the following question/suggestion about straight vegetable oil (SVO):
It's no secret to the majority of our readers that it is possible to run many older diesel engines on nothing more than straight vegetable oil. In fact, the first diesel engine, invented by Rudolph Diesel, ran on peanut oil. This fact is also well known by the students at the Michigan Technical Academy who have converted their own school buses to run on waste vegetable oil. Garden Fresh Foods in Ferndale, Michigan is providing used veggie oil that was first used to fry tortilla chips for no char
Click on the image for high-res shots of this diesel 1967 Mercury Cougar
In many places around the world, roads are financed at least in part by a tax added to the price of fuel. When we head to the pumps, we pay for a little bit of the road we drive out onto as we leave the station. But people who make their own biofuels don't pay these taxes and yet they drive on roads other people pay for. To make sure the load is balanced out a bit, many governments tax biofuels whether they are home-brewed or purchased. To get an idea of how this plays out in Alaska, check out t
The 20th World Solar Challenge took place in Australia in October. One of the more unusual fuel types in the Greenfleet Class of the Darwin to Adelaide race was used by a "Troupy," a lightly modified 1989 Toyota Landcruiser.
So, they've made ads that are dumb, and possibly even offensive, depending on who you ask, and they just opened their first B20 station recently. But San Francisco is really putting some effort into greening their city. The newest evidence of this fact is that the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) will be collecting much of the city's waste vegetable oil (WVO) and using it as a base to create biodiesel. This biodiesel will then be used in a B20 blend to power the city's bus fleet
Last August, AutoblogGreen feature writer Ray Holan wrote about his adventure in converting a BMW 3 series from the mid-'80s to run on VegOil. In his introduction, he posted four lessons he learned about the process, and lesson #4 (choose your mechanic carefully) is something that Blogging New Orleans writer Matt Robinson is probably reflecting on right now.
As of November 3rd, the National VegOil Board (NVOB) is a non-profit operating in California. Ethanol and biodiesel have their national boards and coalitions, so why not vegetable oil (for transportation)? The group's mission is to, "provide education about and support for VegOil as a fuel; to facilitate VegOil discussions and events; to promote VegOil research, analysis and funding." NVOB founder Cynthia Shelton sent out an email recently explaining why there should be another SVO group.
Ed Beggs grew diesel fuel in Ontario on his Canadian farm for years without realizing it. He called it soybeans back then. Today the British Columbia resident knows better. He likes to call it premium diesel fuel. Why the paradigm shift? Because Ed and his U.S. business partner, Craig Reece, operate PlantDrive, one of the premier companies producing Straight Vegetable Oil/Waste Vegetable Oil (SVO/WVO) conversion kits and components for fueling diesel engines with straight plant oil.