Submitted by More Better on Tue, 11/08/2005 - 10:52.
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Thoughts on Biodiesel

I'm looking forward to hearing more from Biodiesel thought leaders Ray Holan and Phil Lane - there has been notable activity on the biodiesel front in recent months, with an operating biodiesel station in the region, new upgrades available that can turn any conventional diesel vehicle into one which can run on vegetable oil (for a relatively negligible cost) and new innovations in blended fuel technology making ethanol a more viable option for the near term.  I really like the opportunity to close loops presented here- area restaurants donate their used kitchen grease to various vendors who filter it for re-use as fuel for other processes.  These 'Waste equals Food' processes are going to become more important to capitalize on as time passes.

 Biodiesel offers a great natural alternative to conventional synthetic or fossil fuel and contributes less to global warming in burning cleaner and not raising CO2 levels like fossil fuels do.  As more innovations happen with technology that processes or filters these fuels these solutions will not only be ideal but more cost-effective as well.  If only people would incorporate external cost in calculating total cost -  they would already have incentive to experiment with possibilities in Biodiesel.


Easy Facts About Biodiesel

Here are two websites which have easy to understand overviews of Biodiesel and links to more detailed sites:


Thanks Karen!   I'll check these out and maybe we can post a summary on this thread.  I'll also invite Phil Lane of Midwest Biofuels and others who might be considered thought leaders on this topic to join the conversation.  Raising awareness regarding biodiesel as well as other alternative energy sources like wind, fuel cells, and solar will help our region's people establish NEO as a sustainability hub for the midwest, if not the nation.  All of these technologies continue to become more cost-effective as R&D continues at our region's universities and research centers.  It is certainly an exciting time.  Let's utilize technology and portals like RealNEO to ramp up awareness and understanding of this terrific potential!

Incentive Program will Increase Retail Availability of Bio-Fuels

 The following article was excerpted from the quarterly newsletter of the Ohio EPA's Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention (OCAPP).    Full text at



As ever-rising petroleum prices increase the demand for alternative fuels, a new incentive program will help make them available. The Central Ohio Clean Fuels Coalition (COCFC) is spearheading the pilot project. It will initially make $135,000 available to increase the availability of ethanol and biodiesel at retail fuel stations throughout Ohio. COCFC has been tapped to
operate the program on behalf of the State of Ohio in partnership with Ohio Soybean Council and Ohio Corn Marketing Program.

The Ohio Biofuels Capital Incentive Program (OBCIP) will provide up to $15,000 per location to fuel marketers. This will cover costs for E85 retailers
to convert existing fuel dispensing equipment and conduct marketing
efforts. Funds for B20 will defray costs to install new equipment for B20, support marketing efforts and cover a portion of the small additional cost for B20 fuel. OBCIP was created by the Ohio GeneralAssembly and Governor Bob Taft as part of the state budget approved in June 2005.

B20 is a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel. It may be used in any on or off-road diesel vehicle today. E85 is a blend of
85 percent ethanol and 15 percent unleaded gasoline. Flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) can use E85 or regular unleaded gasoline. According to the Ohio
Bureau of Motor Vehicles and other data, there are about 140,000 FFVs in Ohio, with many more expected in the future.

To qualify for the incentives, retailers must commit to sell E85 and/or B20 at the retail facility for at least two years; post the fuel price prominently and visibly from the street and/or highway; and provide equipment designed to store and dispense thechosen fuel.

A review committee is charged to further evaluate applications based on location of the stations, marketing plans and other factors. Application
forms for E85 and B20 facilities, with instructions and contact information, are available at or by calling (614) 292-5435.



My two cents is as follows: My bosses car is a TDI, he gets 60+ mpg so he says... which is a great step in the right direction of lowering his eco_impact.  Plug b20 into his tank and he is looking even greener.  On the flip side he is still running around driving a extractive resource powered vehicle.. but who am I to talk.   Plus the military seems to love the stuff.  B20 tanks are all over military bases in this hemisphere. 


Of course if I had a diesel I would convert to greasel, of course I am reminded that the used cooking oil option is not commercially viable, and it is also downcycling.  On the flip side does not everyone downcycle used cooking oil these days?  Shampoo, soap, fine chemicals.... heck to see for yourself check out the site of one of the largest used cooking oil rendering outfits around, Darling International.  -

Why they convert used cooking oil into such fantastic innovations as: "Bleachable Fancy Tallow", "Special Tallow", "Choice White Grease", and theever popular "Yellow Grease".

 My gas tank sounds likes a better place for used cooking oil... that is until we look at lab analysis associated with air emmissions.  Now I just need a diesel to tinker with.  Where did that Matthew and the Earthwise Traveler Ambulance run off to again? 


Biodiesel in IN

Hey John,  good to see you onilne, my friend.  Thanks for the great news, links, and insights.  I realize more and more how much of the drive toward sustainability in NEO will rely on incentives.  Raising awareness is a great start but incentives seem to really drive the initial uptake and participation in sustainability efforts.  Biodiesel is no exception - though the value of eco-friendly fuel has been made clear for some time - (clean air, noncontributive to global warming, regenerative supply) the economic incentive has been lacking.  Despite breakthroughs that have substantially reduced the cost of biodiesel - unfamiliarity, persistent cost gap, and unfamiliarity with needed conversions or behavior changes have created obstacles in the past.  Direct incentives like those you mention, John, are so important!