Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

May 22

San Francisco Greasecycle Program

Posted in Biodiesel Fuel | Biofuels | Environment and Sustainability | Transportation | Waste to Energy

Greasecycle For the past several months the San Francisco Public Utility Commission (SFPUC) has begun picking up used cooking oil from restaurants and businesses for free in an effort to find fuel alternatives for its municipal fleet. The city hopes to expand the grease recycling program (called SFGreasecycle) to include small-scale household pickups and eventually power all city vehicles on biodiesel, including public buses and fire trucks. The oil is picked from local restaurants by SFPUC trucks, dropped off at a transfer station, filtered, transferred into a multi storage tank settling system, then decanted for three days. The oil is then sold to a biodiesel plant using bulk transport tractor-trailer pickups.


“Even a little grease causes problems. Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) down kitchen drains dramatically impact the flow and performance of our combined sewer system. Many residents generate only a bit of used cooking oil. But the cumulative effect from a lot of homes contributes to clogging sewers. Please don’t pour ANY used oil down the drain. Instead, collect it in a container and throw it in the trash.”

  • http://www.sustainablefocus.org Marquis Hunt

    I am upset that in this poll 65% of the correspondents somehow believe bio-fuels is going to be an alternative to our current energy process.

    Bio-fuels, as a waste system, as the diagram proposes above, is using the by-product of an already utilized item to be used as energy.

    Bio-fuels, on the other hand, in terms of industrial growing of corn and supplying it for fuel, is unsustainable on so many levels. Even the practices surrounding mass-farming of corn ( tractor & milling vehicles, fertilizer ) are fossil-fuel dependent.

    In terms of subsidies, and being a SMALL supplement to the energy market, mass-farming for bio-fuels could be essential. But it is unsustainable in the long run.

  • Dave

    Marquis, you are wrong in many, many ways. Shortsighted at best. Corn is just one of many biofuels options, and it is definitely a poor biofuels crop, but is one of many options. And don’t forget corn is being used primarily for ethanol, so you exclude biodiesel all together by focusing on your corn complaint. What you should look at are feedstocks like algae which can be produced using 5% of the water of typical agriculture (brackish water at that), and grown in arid waste lands. Algae farms can product up to 10,000 gallons of biofuels per acre (versus 55 to 700 gallons per acre for current typical biofuels feedstocks). Algae is completely sustainable and can produce more than enough biofuel, and not only that it can create human and animal feed oils rich in nutrients, protein and triglyceride oils. Read up, you are focused on a negative and very narrow view of biofuels crops. There are incredible options developing, you would do well to educate yourself better.

  • Curtis Lamont

    Dave,

    You prove to be quite right in this subject. Just curious to know if you’re in the algae biofuel business/research.

  • http://juuble.com Marquis Hunt

    I think algal pools will prove to be successful, but the carbon dioxide pumping, the water usage, exacting the environment to prevent fuel contamination, and the technology that is still in its infancy, will prove to be great.

    My whole point is that when bio-fuels did become a forefront topic, the only thing people looked to was corn. I don’t count algae development as the same as bio-fuels. Taxonomy-wise yes, but in terms of the investments needed, it needs to have its own name since it has such a better and more powerful prospect than corn transformation.

    Currently, all these systems run on a great deal of fossil fuel energy, whether it is to create corn ( phosphorus and petroleum ) or algae ( pumping manufacturing, water transporting, and closed-lab creations. ).

    I am not trying to be pessimistic; I am hoping that if someone see the whole picture, they can come up with a solution, and not just a quick fix that the corn craze was going to be.

    Things like this and oil-shale should’ve kept us out of this mess, and it hasn’t. I will wait and be content when the prospect of algal fuel can affect at least 10% of the population without any damage to our energy infrastructure to be happy.

    We’ll find out in 2011 I guess.

  • Keira

    Whilst I am all for using renewable sources to power cars and energy plants, such as biofuels would, I would also like to point out that it would involve burning the by product, whether thats corn, algae or landfill gases. And burning releases the carbon stored in the fuel, thus leading to even more greenhouse gases and an even bigger problem in the future. So whilst this may be a step in the right direction, it leads sideways more than forwards.

    The least efficient ways of generating electricity are solar and noise (still only an idea), with other non-polluting ways coming in close. Maybe we should be spending more time and money developing those that will not lead to heating up the planet even further, rather than ones that will create pollution that can last indefinitely.


Converting Waste Heat to Electricity

Converting Waste Heat to Electricity

With rapid industrialization, the world has seen the development of a number of items or units, which generate heat. Until now this heat has often been treated as a

Water into Hydrogen Fuel with Waste Energy

Water into Hydrogen Fuel with Waste Energy

With each passing day, scientists are coming out with unique solutions to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels. They are now thinking of turning stray forms of energy such

Fuel from Chicken Feathers?

Fuel from Chicken Feathers?

If we go by the stats, every year 11 billion pounds of poultry industry waste accumulates annually, because we have gigantic appetite for poultry products. They can’t be stuffed

Waste to Energy Continues to Gain Steam

Waste to Energy Continues to Gain Steam

While new energy solutions are being discovered, refined and brought further and further into the public light, something that does not get a lot of headlines is waste to

Converting Water and CO2 into Fuel

Converting Water and CO2 into Fuel

Researchers are trying to duplicate the natural process of photosynthesis. If successful, we can use the “evil” carbon dioxide emitted by power plants and industrial units to good use.

Waste Heat Could Double Battery Life on Laptops, Cell Phones

Waste Heat Could Double Battery Life on Laptops, Cell Phones

When we utilize any gadget or means of comfort we know that these devices consume energy. But the energy is not utilized by devices. Some of the energy is

Turning Wastewater into Ethanol

Turning Wastewater into Ethanol

As the world continues to search for alternative fuels to fuel our cars and heat our homes, many different opportunities are being explored and there has finally been a

Getting Biofuel from the World’s Garbage

Getting Biofuel from the World’s Garbage

There is plenty of garbage on this planet; in fact there is so much garbage that many developed countries are trying to dump their garbage on the lands of