Biodiesel is beginning to make its way into the aviation jetfuel market, several flights have already been made using various biofuel combinations. This Delfin L-29 was the first jet aircraft to fly on 100 percent biodiesel and the first to fly trans-continental on biofuel.
At the time of this writing, the current bid is over $30,000 but the reserve is not met. They'll take a MiG 21 in trade though, if you have one in the hanger.
Link: BioJet - auction has ended
Vegawatt is the next step in biofuel evolution from waste product to low priced commodity to valuable resource. Vegawatt is an onsite generator installed next to a restaurant or any food service facility that uses cooking oil. The waste oil is poured into Vegawatt and out comes electricity and preheated water, eliminating disposal costs and reducing electric bills at the same time.
The Vegawatt filters the waste vegetable oil producing a very clean fuel, though they are very specific in saying this is not biodiesel, no chemicals such as lye are needed. The diesel generator produces electricity which is delivered to the restaurant's power panel through a single wired connection. Water lines are run through the system's heat exchanger to preheat water before going to the restaurant's boiler, reducing energy needs there as well. The compact unit sits outside looking like the backup generators commonly found outside many businesses though this generator runs any time waste oil is available. The company says it is sized for a facility with 3 to 5 deep fryers.
Vegawatt eliminates disposal costs completely and, though some restaurants were selling their waste oil for 25 cents to 40 cents per gallon, the Vegawatt can save about $2.50 per gallon in electric charges depending on the energy costs in the area it's installed. The unit costs $22,000 with estimates of energy savings of $1,000 per month.
The Vegawatt is made by the Owl Power Company of Boylston, MA, founded by James Peret. Mr. Peret holds his engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
This is a great idea and makes you wonder why it took so long before someone did it.
Link: Vegawatt via Wired
Engine #9 at the Mount Washington Cog Railway has been converted to run a diesel engine on biodiesel instead of coal powered steam. The formal unveiling will take place September 6th.
Located on Mount Washington in New Hampshire, the Cog Railway has been taking visitors to the 6288 foot summit since 1869. It was the world's first mountain climbing cog railway. The steepest section of the climb, named Jacob's Ladder, is a 37 percent grade where the front and rear of the train are separated by an elevation difference of 13 feet. Sounds like an interesting ride!
Link: Cog Railway