Transition Whatcom

I enjoyed the meeting last night discussing the great unleashing. It got me excited and thinking. One suggestion was to have the event powered using only sustainable power. Well, I think I can help. I convert diesel engines to run on waste vegetable oil (WVO). Whereas WVO is not a clean fuel (but it does pollute significantly less than diesel and does not contain any sulfur compounds) it is generally considered sustainable. Obviously, we can not grow enough plants to produce oil to replace our use of fossil fuels (maybe algae?), but burning WVO is carbon neutral (it releases as much CO2 as the plants absorbed when growing) and when using waste veggie oil, it is recycling a waste product of deep frying.

Well, we could either rent a diesel generator or perhaps find someone to loan us one for the event and I could fuel it using 100% waste veggie oil, which in turn could provide all the power needed for the event. The exhaust produced will smell about the same as what comes out of the exhaust hoods at fast food restaurants. When I convert an engine to run on WVO I actually do not do anything to the engine, my conversion involves setting up a means to switch between the WVO and diesel AND provides a means to heat the oil prior to burning. Cold WVO does not burn very well, if at all. When heated to 180 F or more, it is about the same viscosity as diesel and burns about the same.

What do you think? Maybe also tie in some bicycle power (I like the idea of a bike powered blender to make smoothies using local fruit), solar and wind too. What about rain power? That would be a good thing for Bellingham in March, no? :) And regarding the bike produced electrical power, I am currently working on building a bike generator too.

I also have a 100,000 BTU forced air heater that that is fueled with veggie oil, incase we need some heat!

My website has some more info on my veggie oil conversions. http://www.greenconversion./net

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Have you contacted the sustainability group at Whatcom Community College. I'm sure they would love to help out with your event.

Have you researched Geothermal Energy. I think it would be great if Bellingham got on board and used geothermal power to light up the city.
Your description sounds much like the Age of Stupid premier.
Is that a good or a bad thing?
Travis, Having any local event run on sustainable power would encourage so many of us to keep taking our steps away from the unrenewable energy our western culture has become addicted to. I really appreciate your energy, your posting here, and your skills as a mechanical engineer, who knows how to create with the things that are at hand! I wonder if the hosts of our upcoming Seed-Swap on Oct 18th would be interested in having you help them have the lights be run on sustainable energy....I encourage you to keep the vision and keep speaking out!

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