Monday, April 16, 2007
Well, after 1 1/2 years, we've made 540 gallons of biodiesel in our appleseed processor and driven somewhere north of 13,000 miles on this renewable, CO2 neutral fuel. We've spent $1670 to build the processor, wash tank, storage tank/fueling station, a small shed to house it all, and the methanol and KOH needed for the process. With the current batch of homebrew B100, our total cost per gallon will be $3.09, now under the market price for dino-diesel. From here on out, the basic costs will be around $1.00/gallon for biodiesel and $0.25/gallon for filtering used vegetable oil. We currently have a Jetta TDI at 43mpg and by next month we'll have the '87 Westy Syncro TD Vanagon running biodiesel with a vegetable oil conversion getting an estimated 28-30mpg. Assuming that we drive a combined 15,000 mi/yr and take into consideration mileage, we'll spend $269 on biofuel as opposed to $1394 for fossil fuel, saving $1125, reducing our cost by 80%, negating the CO2 emissions, and no longer require foreign or domestic petroleum. Granted, it takes time to do all this, but now that I have the process fairly wired, it takes less than 3 hours for a batch of 30 gallons.
I officially consider our biodiesel experiment a success! At the very least, we've broken even, decreased our fossil fuel use, and learned a ton. Plus, from here on out we'll be saving money as well as being part of the solution not the problem.
Seek out biofuel options in your area!