We aren’t just going to wake up one day and no longer use oil. It’s going to take a lot of baby steps to get there. Preem, a Swedish oil “giant,” will go another small step towards an oil-free world by offering B15 biodiesel at stations throughout Sweden.
These photos show the final production version of Saab’s long-anticipated 9-4X Biopower concept, which will feature Saab’s new design language and slick new turbo-charged gas and diesel engines which should deliver on the concept’s flex-fuel promises.
Saab first showed its 9-4X Biopower concept more than 2 years ago, to largely positive reviews in the press. Since the January, 2008 reveal of the 9-4X concept, Saab—and the rest of the automotive world—has changed. Saab—then a part of GM—almost didn’t make it through that company’s bankruptcy, and was eventually sold to Dutch supercar maker, Spyker.
The 9-4X—along with the ePower wagon set to be shown at this week’s Paris show—has a lot of the brand’s future riding on it, as well as Saab’s desire to be thought of as a green, ecologically-conscious car company.
No word yet on final specs, since the car hasn’t officially been released yet. Still, Saab has a press conference planned for tomorrow morning, which might yet reveal all.
SOURCE: Saabs United
A research paper published by the American Chemical Society indicates that biodiesel production from municipal sewage is tantalizingly close (within several pennies) of being profitable. Although kind of disgusting, few would argue there isn’t a tremendous, renewable supply of the stuff. Nor would they say that every municipality doesn’t already have its’ own sources.
Many of us have often dreamed of traveling the world one way or another. I usually dreamed about it during math class. But say you’re someone who takes the environment and your carbon footprint into consideration. How would you cross the globe without creating a huge footprint from all the flying, staying in hotels, and eating out all the time?
You could do what Jay Shapiro and his family are doing: build an “EcoRoamer.” This massive truck is a self-contained house with a Caterpillar biodiesel engine, solar panels, water purification, and accommodations for four. Jay is embarking on an epic journey that will take him across five continents and tens of thousands of miles on the vacation of a lifetime.
I try to stay out of politics. It is an ugly, ugly arena, especially these days. I like cars much more.
But so far I have liked Obama’s stance on automobiles. He is pushing for alternative fuels, electric cars, and better fuel efficiency. I can definitely dig that. But in my mind, the best leaders lead by example. Although the Presidential limo is already powered partially by biodiesel, Obama had been pushing to get a hybrid drivetrain fitted to it as well, but the Secret Service seems to have nixed the idea. I just don’t think they are trying hard enough.
Some interesting tidbits are coming out of the American Chemical Society conference in San Francisco this week. First we heard about a product made from renewable materials that could substitute a large portion of the crude oil currently used to make tires.
And now comes word from a scientist at the University of Orleans in France that he has constructed a compact, relatively inexpensive, low tech plasma gasifier that can take all sorts of waste materials and turn them into a variety of different drop-in fuels, including diesel, gasoline and kerosene.
The plasma gasifier is based on what is known as “gliding arc” technology. During the process, a gliding arc of electricity creates a plasma inside the reactor. The plasma then creates a cauldron where low temperature chemical reactions can occur that change waste materials such as used cooking oil or agricultural biomass into clean fuels.
Already the largest market in the world for sustainable, cost-competitive ethanol production, Brazil may be setting its sights on another interesting biofuel: biodiesel made from the leftover entrails of the Tilapia farming industry.
If you don’t like big trucks loaded with torque, you should just stop reading now.
But if you’re like me, you love you some torque and towing capacity. The 2011 Ford Super Duty truck has best in class towing capacity and payload hauling, as well as two new engines; a 6.2 liter gas engine good for 405 horsepower and 385 ft-lbs of torque, and a new Powerstroke diesel that makes 390 horsepower and a mammoth 735 ft-lbs of torque. Even more impressive? It is the cleanest diesel Ford has ever put into a truck. How awesome is that?
Here in the US, tea is essentially a niche product, falling way behind coffee in terms of popularity. But in places like the Middle East, Europe, and Asia, tea far surpasses coffee as a national past time. In 2008 alone, the world production of black tea was more than 3.8 million tons.
Typically, all those spent tea leaves and remaining liquid are tossed out with the trash, but now two Pakistani researchers have decided to tackle what they perceived as a waste of resources, and have figured out how to completely recycle the leftover tea and tea leaves into biodiesel, ethanol, methane, propane, fertilizer and even chemical spill absorbent.
Pretty ingenious if you ask me.
Last year the U.S. produced 11.1 billion gallons of biofuel. Obama’s new plan states that by 2022, 21 billion gallons of renewable fuels will need to come from so-called advanced biofuels.
[Ed. Note: Yesterday, Tim Hurst over at Ecopolitology asked me to break down the recently released Obama administration plan to increase the amount of renewable fuels produced in our country from the current 11.1 billion gallons per year to 36 billion gallons per year in 2022. I happily obliged. The following is an excerpt from the post on Ecopolitology with a link at the end to read the full post.]
A group of scientists from both the public and private arenas has announced that they’ve successfully engineered a microbe that contains all the bits required to turn raw plant matter directly into diesel without any refinement or intermediary steps required.
The microbe is a modified strain of E. coli (that’s right, the same type of bugger that’s responsible for some nasty gut infections) that has been enhanced to produce tailor-made diesel molecules, alcohols and waxes directly from hemicellulose—one of the main components of plants. Not only can the microbial products be used for fuel, but the team is also setting their sights on directly producing environmentally-friendly—and industrially-necessary—surfactants, solvents and lubricants.
We’ve talked a lot about electric motorcycles here at Gas 2.0. But what about biodiesel? Once the darling of many eco-modders, the fuel has largely fallen out of favor. But not with everyone.
Meet the Metalback motorcycle concept. Designed by Jordan Meadows, a man with plenty of street cred when it comes to vehicular design. The Metalback concept combines alternative fuels and recycled materials in a missle-shaped machine drawn straight from some science fiction dystopian future. And it just plain old looks cool.
Volkswagen has announced that the documentary “Racing Under Green”—detailing the trials and tribulations of the Jetta TDI Cup, the U.S.’ only professional green racing series—will premiere the week of January 18 on the various channels of Discovery Networks, including Planet Green, Discovery Channel, and The Science Channel.
In addition to following the stories of last season’s 25 drivers, the hour long documentary will examine some of the “green” aspects of the Jetta TDI Cup, including the use of biodiesel blends and the support of carbonfund.org.