Popular Science Magazine about Biofuels.

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May 7, 2004
.... or was it Popular Mechanic? They had an excellent article about Biofuels. I highly recommend reading it.

Using BioDiesel with a VW Golf was the most cost effective way of traveling when compared to a Gasoline engine..

Using E85 on a Ford Taurus FFV vehicle is least cost effective but still poops out less pollutants even with its 14 MPG vs. a Honda civic that gets over 35 MPG

VW recommends the use of B5 at max but Popular science or Mechanic said that it can run at B20 or B100.

I would choose the Natural gas vehicle out of all of them but the nearest natural gas station is about 250 miles from me. Or I can jerry rig my Water heater and make it as a filling station
There's a guy I read about in the local paper that's taking a cross country trip in a retofitted Volkswagen Jetta diesel running off of used french fry oil. He says the oil has to be heated to 165F before it can flow well enough to be introduced into the engine. When the oil gets warm enough, he just flips a switch, and it starts running off of french fry oil. He says there is no difference in performance or mileage.
I like this for a few reasons:

- To get away from the oil oligopoly.

- Any alternative-fuel seen as a decent competitor would cause a drop in oil prices.
I thought we decided most biofuels aren't worth it unless you get free waste cooking oil, but growing crops is a net fuel user, Especially ETOH, maybe biodeisel is a bit better....

Did the article mention this?
They had a sidebar about a guy who used WVO in his truck. He got the kit from Greasel.com and just had to pour filtered WVO into the tank on his truck bed.

Home Biodiesel refining towers is an idea whose time has come.

Originally posted by Pablo:
but growing crops is a net fuel user, Especially ETOH, maybe biodeisel is a bit better....

Did the article mention this?

It depends on who funded the research...like everything.
According to PM article, the DOE (Dept. of Energy) the growing, fermenting, and distillation chain results in a net surplus of energy that ranges from 34-66%. PM does talk about the intensive process including pesticides, herbicicdes, heaby equip. etc. In addition the article states 1 acre of corn can produce 300 gal of ethanol per season--to replace 200 billion gallons of petroleum products we would need 675 million acres (71% of the nations farmland)--we still need food crops so this isn't an option. In my opinion from the information provided by the PM article, Hydrogen looked to be the worst option at this point-- hands down. The energy and cost needed to make it a viable source at this point just doesn't add up.
As far as the we still need food crops so this isn't an option--the artice just concluded on ethanol that it is not a viable total replacement; however, I get the vibe that they see increases in the ethanol content in gasoline blends as a real option.
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