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Thunderstar
There’s new diesel bike called the Thunder Star 1200 that gets 150 mpg, the folks over at Kneeslider points out it might make a good candidate for some biodiesel action. I’ve been on the look out for all things new and interesting with biodiesel, so I’m adding this to my list. In our 3rd issue we’re going to have a lot about biodiesel, modding your cars and some pretty amazing transportation “hacks”. Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. trinivini says:

    Dude,
    I’m sure making stuff run on old french-fry oil is a lot of fun. But biodiesel is in no way a sustainable, large-scale alternative to petroleum;

    http://www.libertyguys.org/articles/detail.asp?ArtID=782

    Don’t just take my word for it – click the links.

  2. gg2 says:

    The comment above makes an error that’s common in discussions of energy solutions, “looking for the magic bullet.” Today petroleum is our magic bullet energy source that does nearly everything. In the new world of peak oil and climate change, we’ll need a multitude of energy sources to replace it: biodiesel, alcohol, wind, solar, nuclear, aggressive conservation and redesign of infrastructure, and more. No one of these by itself is sufficient; all will be needed.

    Consider the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) running on biodiesel. 50 to 100 mile range on batteries; the diesel engine kicks in for longer driving ranges. At night you plug it into you household electric socket to recharge via your local wind farm or nuclear reactor. Typical fuel efficiency is in the range of 100 miles per gallon (www.calcars.org) for a full-size car. For non-hybrid designs (that use their diesel engines full-time), VW’s production model Lupo is a comfortable compact that gets 100, and VW has a prototype 2-seater that gets 300 (three hundred: that is not a typo).

    Hybrid powertrains are also making their way into heavy trucks. A major European manufacturer has developed a hybrid-power refuse vehicle. Refuse collection is one of the most demanding trucking applications on the road, with constant stops and starts under full load, and lots of auxiliary apparatus (bin lift, compactor, etc.) to operate. Hybrid power works in that application, so it should work in numerous less-demanding ones.

    Consider the Sun Frost refrigerator, which uses about 10% of the electricity of a conventional fridge of the same size and capacity, and doesn’t cause your fresh veggies to get all dried out as conventional fridges do. Consider high-efficiency washing machines that use half the power of conventional washers and have high-speed spin dry functions that reduce time in the dryer by 75%.

    These are just a few examples; there are plenty more. And as the biodiesel motorcycle demonstrates in no uncertain terms (zoom!), you don’t have to lose performance to gain efficiency.

  3. gg2 says:

    (Oops, comments are listed in LIFO order. Okay, “the comment two comments below, by trin, makes the common error…”)

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