Double hit of good news on the alternate fuel front.

First United Environment and Energy LLC has announced they have developed a method to produce biofuel from algae oil that is 40% cheaper than other methods currently used.

They claim that algae is at least twice as efficient as soy for producing biofuel. I want to know how it compares to switch grass.  A pilot program is in place with a production capacity of nearly 1 million gallons of algae biodiesel per year.  Their estimates are that they could produce  50 million gallons of algae biodiesel annually.

The other source of alternate fuel is coal, which the US has in abundance. Wired isn’t happy with this, but I am.  Internal Combustion engines are too efficient to go away anytime soon and there isn’t a “clean energy” source available in the quantities needed to make widespread use of electric vehicles practical.


Biofuel from Coffee grounds

Amazing stuff coffee. In addtion to it’s other amazing properties, including being good for the roses, the grounds can be used to produce biofuel.

The estimates are the coffee ground biodiesel industry could generate as much as $8,000,000 in profits annually using waste from Starbucks stores here in the United States  alone.  Ok, probably less given falling crude oil prices, but I’m still a big fan of any domestic fuel souces. 

To add to the overall awesomeness of coffee, at the end of the biodiesel extraction and conversion process, the leftover grounds can be turned into fuel pellets for wood stoves and boilers.

Not only does coffee keep you moving, it can keep your car moving and heats your home!

A Weed-Powered Passenger Jet

No! Not that weed, jatropha, a plant that is not a food crop and can be grown in marginal agricultural land.

Air New Zealand is planning on flying a Boeing 747 with a mixture of equal parts biofuel made from jatropha  and conventional fuel running in one of the engines.

Unlike many other biofuels, UOP’s jatropha jet fuel can replace conventional fuel without requiring changes to existing engines. Indeed, by several measures, the fuel is better than conventional jet fuel. It has a lower freezing point and can be exposed to higher temperatures onboard a plane without degrading. It also contains slightly more energy than conventional jet fuel, so a plane powered by jatropha could travel farther.