Category Archives: biodiesel

What could be more perfect than a fuel made from recycled veggie oil? ME using that fuel!


so actually owning a biodiesel vehicle has reinstalled in me my LOVE for the biodiesel technology. I’ve been surfing blogs and communitites for the last several days and reading up on all the great new stuff that’s been developed since I started poking around the technology. Like the cool appleseed processors, both cleverly designed and cleverly named.

All this punk rock grass roots biodiesel development stuff is really reminding me of my desire to make my own fuel. Seriously. It wouldn’t be that crazy to start doing it, and dan aaron says his buddy (who owns a bar) will give me his fry oil. I just need a little patch of land to put a reactor and wash tank on. And I KNOW my brother would be totally into it. I bought the biodiesel homebrew guide today and once it comes I will absolutely be setting aside Harry Potter to learn all I can.

Last night while I was DRIVING somewhere (ahem, NEW JERSERY) I started thinking about the possibility of the hybrid civic not having a manual transmission. If that happens, y’all, here are my options:

1. buy a used insight, forgo the tax credit from the federal government, boycott the attempts of car manufacturers to not do their best, to produce cars that aren’t as efficient and as fun to drive as I now they could (besides, if I need a back seat I’ve got the NEW CAMPER VAN, right? so having a very small 2-seater won’t be a bad thing. It will actually be very funny to have a Very Big Car and a Very Small Car). or,

2. Buy a used late-model diesel car, and run it on B100. That would rule. Seriously. And I don’t need a new car, I find the concept to be kind of scary. What if I break it? And having to pay a car loan and full insurance coverage premiums, now, that’s something I could REALLY do without.


Would you like a tour of my new camper van?

YAY VAN! me 072305

(please note the NRA sticker. heh. I’ll be adding a NWA sticker to keep it company.)

The awning is in beautiful condition!
and an awning!

here’s the drivers area, check the CB radio and original 1983 radio with tape deck. V. Nice. Also, these seats fully swivel around to face the back or each other.
front seats

looking forward from the rear:
front of van from rear

the couch dan aaron is sitting on has seat belts and folds out to a bed. The bunk area above the drivers seats slides out to be a full bed also, like so:

upper bunk and drivers area

here’s the rear of the van:
rear of fan from front
you can see the sink, stove, and refrigerator (below stove). I’ve got the back doors open. You can’t see the cutsie spice rack, but there’s one of those too! The water pump and the fridge run on a battery under the counter which is charged by pluging into an outlet, and perhaps from the car bettery when it’s running. Maybe not though. If I get serious about this stuff I’ll buy photovoltaics and an inverter for that battery and to run the appliances. there’s a propane tank under the van and it’s about 5/8 full. sweet. Also, a furnace for winter camping!

To the right of that is the terlit:

It’s all winterized right now (there’s antifreeze in the pipes) and I’m not sure that I want to unwinterize it, because this way I won’t have to rewinterize it later. Plus, I’m not sure I’m into dumping holding tanks. yuck.

all that, and she’s the same size as a conversion van! which I learned to drive on! This is so great.

Immediate work to have done on van:

1. fix the brakes (they’re waaaay gone, I had to leave a LOT of room to stop)
2. change the oil (it’s been 2 years)
3. add transmission fluid
4. change the fuel filter
5. inspect the van, but I’m a little worried that
6. the non-working reverse lights might cause a problem.

Something else that is totally funny is 7. the speedometer doesn’t work — my car speedometer doesn’t work either. Le sigh.

NON-immediate stuff includes:
1. solar panels for the lights/fridge/water pump so I don’t have to charge the battery with the really long electrical plug
2a. a grey water recycling system, wherein water from the sink is used to run through the toilet. this would require 2 holding tanks and a new pump but would be more efficient and would reduce toilet use. Because I have to buy a holding tank regardless, I might as well make it a cool recycling water situation.
2b. replace current water flush toilet with a composting model or a foaming super low flow toilet, thereby removing the whole “nasty holding tank” situation entirely!
3. I need a little trailer to put my biodiesel stuff on. also, I need a place to park the trailer full of biodiesel junk, and while I’m at it a place to park the camper van. that isn’t behind my folks house in a field full of mice.

But: YAY!