01.25.05 NOTES Tuesday@REI, 4PM-5:45PM; A Biofuels Primer

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 01/25/2005 - 19:03.

Fascinating presentation - will post here - Phil provided
an overview of the meaning, history, variations, sources, uses, applications
and issues surrounding biodeisel.

When the source of fuel is plant matter, organic or
biomass, the fuel is a renewable source of energy.

Global carbon cycle is delicate and human impact is
pushing the balance over the edge - cement is second highest carbon emitting
factor - 9% growth in China is impacting this greatly now and will get worse. Many
other great perspectives on ecology - again China and India are greatest
factors.

Phil points out these is exciting R&D in hydrogen
fuel cells and a researcher from Case is in the audience - working on standards
- local companies are active in this and Phil refers to Case as an epicenter in
the field - Swagelock makes fittings, for example... GM says they will have
fuel cell cars out by end of decade and Bush has committed federal funding so
that is likely, but biodiesel is viable now.

Diesel was the inventor of the first biomass engine - ran
on peanut oil and powered the Paris World's Fair around the turn of the
century. Henry Ford was a major believer in biofuel - quote referred to plant
matter as powering vehicles and Model T was designed to run on ethanol - and
early vehicles we're heavily into electric - but Kettering invented the
electric starter, which killed the electric vehicle - Spindletop oil well hit
increased availability of petroleum

First step forward in well to tank efficiency is hybrid -
captures energy from braking and idle stop - get better mileage in city then highway.

When you consider all the costs associated with gasoline,
it is $5-15 per gallon

There are many options...

"The perfect is the enemy of the good"

We need to develop a coalition of experts in the area to
plan best projects for the area. Tim Curtis has started business in Medina to
make fuel grade ethanol