Biodiesel and Burgers

(Cross-posted at the new Appalachian Voices blog)

From the Fayetville Online

Its first nickname was “R2D2” after the “Star Wars” robot, butnow they just call it “the dog” when it’s time to drain the grease at Burgerville USA.

“The dog” is a small, stainless steel tank and pump combination on wheels that the Northwest restaurant chain has pioneered to channel used cooking oil to a biodiesel producer.

Because of projects like these, biodiesel is becoming increasingly popular for folks who are looking for an alternative to gasoline. Today I saw one of those huge F350 type trucks - the kind that are bigger than my house. On the back it had a little bumper-sticker that said "Powered by Biodiesel." It made me smile. :)

Not only is biodiesel better for the environment, cutting Carbon Dioxide emissions by up to 75% and most other pollutants by 10-20%, but it isbetter for your engine.

The emergence of biodiesel in the last few years has been astounding. Appalachian State University students are working on an easily replicable sustainable biodiesel processor.
The work they have done has been AMAZING. Passive solar greenhouse, soap-making, and solar thermal heating for the Boone winters.

Biodiesel is emerging as a locally sustainable alternative to gasoline. You can already pour it into any diesel engine without modification.
What is biodiesel exactly?
From the ASU site.

Biodiesel is an alternative to petroleum-based diesel fuel made from renewable resources such as vegetable oils or animal fats. Unlike petrodiesel, biodiesel is biodegradable and non-toxic, and it significantly reduces toxic and other emissions when burned as a fuel. Biodiesel can be used in its pure form (B100). It is commonly used as B20, a blend of 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum diesel which improves the emissions and lubricity of pure ultra low sulfur petrodiesel fuel.

Car good, environment good, cost good. Its all good!

Just pour it in your car and go!
Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research for the National Restaurant Association, says that the emergence of biodiesel as a profitable side project of the fast food industry could be sooner than later.

With the price of crude oil soaring, the restaurant industry — already the nation’s largest single employer — could make a serious contribution to the fuel supply if most of its waste cooking oil can be recycled as biodiesel, according to industry and renewable fuel experts.

“It really does hold long-term benefits, not only for the restaurant industry, but for the environment on a national basis,”


Prospects for Biodiesel

Recyclying used cooking oil for fuel is certainly a wonderful thing. However, I saw some reports suggesting that if we were to grow soybeans or any other crop and then convert it to biodiesel straight away, the production and conversion would spend more energy than the biodiesel that was produced would create (much like ethanol now). I could not find those studies now. If anyone knows about this one way or the other, please enlighten me.


...haven't seen that.

Though it makes sense. Ethanol in Brazil and rainforest destruction has presented the same problem.

We have the technology, but realistically, all energy change is going to have to be diverse and gradual. Don't let people tell you that wind cant power everything. Of course not. Neither can nuclear. We shouldnt expect it to. We should have a diverse system. Our cars should be running on trash and cow dung, not fossil fuels.

Just what I need....

to be encouraged to eat more french fries. :)

The good news is...if there's a market for their used oil, restaurant owners will be encouraged to change it more often...ewwwww

Great story! There's been a news story on one of the shows about Willie Nelson and his biodiesel producing truckstop. It was interesting.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Willie's the man

I actually first started listening to him when I was part of the Kucinich campaign as a young and eager 19 year old in 2003.

(Kooch won Watauga County with 51% by the way)

I'm not far from you

if you're in Boone. Any Drinking Liberally nights there?


...yes. :)

None officially though.

Exams start next week, but would you be down with a drinking liberally this fall? Weve got some kick ASS local candidates, and Taco Tuesdays out at the Saloon, or Flipside on anyday besides Thursday, or maybe black cat.

Anyways...thats a must!

If youre in Watauga and havent voted yet, Im proud to vote for Moretz (county commiss) and Utter and Wheeler for school board. Im supporting Sharpe for the congressional seat, but dont really care, cause Im not that impressed with our candidates for that seat, and thats sad because Foxx is a pirate hooker.

this fall sounds fine

I'm just across the Avery line in Burke but I come your way some. Between Boone, Morganton, Marion, Elizabethton, and Spruce Pine, where would you go for fun?

Yeah, I've heard the 5th is strange right now. Pirate Hooker? I need to know more.

pirate hooker

Its just slang for sleazy beeeyatch

Of the four candidates, Syndi HOlmes is probably the most progressive, Mark Glen is probably the nicest looking (but poorest speaker), and Roger Sharpe is the only one with any legislative experience. He is a novelist and actually has had a very distinguished career in many different areas. I don't think any of them stand a chance though, and that makes me mad.

Hey jw, Jerry Meek's gonna

be at the Espresso News and Mosaic Books coffee house, 267 Howard St tonight at 9 in Boone. You probably already heard.

I have a guest comin' from DC but I'm trying to route her through Boone so we can all go.

Hey DQ

How was it?! I was out of town.

It was really fun

A small but potent crowd. There's a photo of some of the attendees at See the next day's canvassing group in the banner for the whole site. It was crossposted at MyDD, where some Coloradan noticed no ethnic minorities. So everyone had to 'splain WNC demographics.

I'm trying to think who came that night after the photo. Cullie Tarlton. Overall, it was a good opportunity to give JMeek some shit. And he took it well. From me, at least. I think people were giddy about the next day. Apparently some people were ready to bag out (too tired, laundry to do, etc.). When they heard the Meeked one was coming, all of a suddent they weren't so tired (and the laundry wasn't so urgent). They really needed to be paired with Jerry, they told Pam. But, they came. They came and they canvassed. So, all is good.


How about doing an official BlueNC interview with the Meeked One. He promised to grace us with his presence a few months ago, but got busy and the interview didn't materialize. Now that you have personally given him shit, ya'll have an intimate relationship . . . right?

Get on him woman.

OK what kind of questions

do you want me to ask? Taking suggestions. nothing is off limits.

But it'll blow my cover . . .

looks good

I'll put out some 'feelers.'