Lonely Man of Cake

April 20, 2007

Animal Fat Diesel?

Filed under: America,Automotive,Biofuel,Diesel,Transportation — lonelymanofcake @ 7:41 am

Read the about the announcement by ConocoPhillips and Tyson here.

Why does this irk the Ethanol Lobby?  Read here.


March 28, 2007

Pesach Petrol

Filed under: Biofuel,Diaspora,Faith,Judaism,Orthodoxy,Passover,Religion,Transportation — lonelymanofcake @ 3:59 pm

In thirty years, when rabbis will have issued a real prohibition against fueling with Ethanol on Pesach, people will find it hard to believe that this was a parody. (UPDATE: The New York Times caught the story [Times Select req’d].)

Of course, there is no (current) prohibition against deriving benefit from kitniyot, of which Ethanol is a derivative. I put “current” in parentheses because earlier last century kitniyot derivatives, like corn syrup, were permitted for use on Pesach as they fall under neither of the main “rationales” for kitniyot. This is no longer the case, with the Kosher for Pesach Coca Cola craze being a prime example. It wouldn’t surprise me if those who follow the mistaken custom of not consuming kitniyot on Pesach continue to expand the scope of the ban, much as they already have, until the innovated stringencies are so expansive that the people forget that kitniyot are not chametz. It is precisely in that type of atmosphere in which the ground would be fertile for a declaration that would prohibit even benefiting from kitniyot, Ethanol fueled vehicles included.

Many folks have extra sets of dishes for Pesach. Some people even have a totally separate kitchen for Pesach. Are we going to see special Pesach cars?

March 20, 2007

Alternative Fuel News

Filed under: Automotive,Biofuel,Conservation,Diesel,Environment,Technology,Transportation — lonelymanofcake @ 12:55 pm
  • The fuel economy of diesel, which I’ve blogged about a number of times, enabled the 650 horsepower (!) V12 Audi R10 TDI to cruise to victory at the 12 hour LeMans, despite being forced by race officials to install a smaller fuel tank in order to keep the race competitive for “regular” gasoline cars. Catch the full story here. I’ve seen reports that Audi plans to equip a high-end version of it’s hulking Q7 luxury SUV (=Volkswagen Touareg/Porsche Cayenne) with the V12 found on the R10. If you want to get an idea of what V12 power means on an SUV, check out this video of what even a V10 can do. You won’t believe your eyes.

March 14, 2007

Free Seaweed Biofuel

Filed under: Biofuel,Conservation,Environment,Israel — lonelymanofcake @ 6:07 pm

Seaweed combines two of my favorite things: sea, and, um… biofuel.

A fledgling Israeli biotech company which goes by the name Seambiotic Ltd. (so fledgling that they have only two Google hits) has found–and is attempting to patent–an ingenious process which would harness the CO2 emissions from power plants and use them for cultivating seaweed, which can then be used as biofuel.

As stated in this study, “Increased CO2 concentration should lead to greater biological productivity with an expected increase in the photosynthetic storage of carbon and also stronger growth in many plants.” Using the scrubbed CO2 from the power plants is thus the equivalent of a free superfood for plants, which drastically reduces the cost of production, creates an attractive biofuel alternative, and ensures that power plant emissions stay out of the air we breathe. Apparently, one liter of fuel can be produced from every five kilograms of seaweed. (And I’ve just learned that algae is also a viable biofuel!)

And yet Israel is still hopelessly addicted to oil.

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