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How You Got Into Biodiesel--Inquiring Minds Want To Know
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Cool Just a fun "sort-of-off-topic-but-sort-of-not" post. Cool

I was chatting w/ Girl Mark today & she mentioned that we all have interesting stories to share about our experiences with Biodiesel.

That led me to this crazy post.

How did you get involved in biodiesel?
Inquiring minds want to know.

Tell us a bit about how you became involved in biodiesel. Some of you I know have really cool stories that led you to biodiesel....so let the story time begin.
-Graydon




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Location: Utah | Registered: October 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My story is likely very simple. Having been a "car buff" since a very early age, I have collected a rather large collection. Several years ago--I guess around 2000, while working on one of my "babies" while listening to Public Radio, I heard a spot about biodiesel and was intrigued manyfold.

About the same time, my little sister came home with a TDI Beetle. I was amazed driving the thing: it was fast and got fantastic mileage. My Jags were far faster but "fuel efficiency" is not in the Coventry vernacular.

The idea of turning waste oil into fuel seemed brilliant. Then there was this issue of a small soy farm I bought/inherited that I rent to a local farmer for less than the taxes on the property. I had thought of hydro-farming non-indigenous fruits and vegetables on the lesser quality land (some of it is swampy) but the cost was prohibitive and no one liked the idea. But a "BD Farm" that could use the surplus soy sounded interesting.

So I went to the Internet and learned of the "greasecar" project and read about Mike Pelly. Not owning an oil burner, I kind of filed the idea in the back of my mind.

But every once in a while, fuel prices would spike--or we would go picking on the Middle East and I would tell my then girlfriend that I was going to buy a TDI and drop off the fuel grid. She would roll her eyes and grin as she always did when I got fired up about something and decided on "radical" action.

Then we went to war and gas jumped again. I was running my electronics installation business from a big F-150 that got 12 MPG. Thinking about the number of times I actually had to use a full-size truck, I decided to try an experiment: I bought an old Volvo wagon for everyday use and saved the truck for "big hauls."

Well, the concurrent advent of more compact televisions (plasma & LCD) may have helped some. However, I maybe put 1000 miles on that truck in 1.5 years. Iwas enjoying the 20 MPG I was getting in the old Volvo but as I approached the 200,000 mile mark, I thought it was time for a change. Time for that TDI.

I offered the Volvo for sale and sold it two hours later.

One month later, the Passat Wagon was in.

While waiting, I started re-researching the BD issue. Found JTF first. Signed up for the mailing list and within two days had been chastized by the Emperor. Tilly politely suggested a link here. I followed and, well, now I am here with a 50 gallon processor in my back yard.

I mention this because the initial negative experience on that other mailing list had me wondering if I wanted to get involved with a bunch of angry environmental opinionists. I can go to church for preaching and I can go into politics if so inclined.

Here--and on the related sites--I found support, intelligent on-topic discussion and the ever present witty banter. Comfortable with the environment of the place I dove in.

And now I'm a junkie. Can't get enough and do not wish to be cured. The final nail was when my 4 year and ongoing restoration of a classic 911 took a turn for the different: it is getting a "different" motor and Stuttgart does not approve. Wink
 
Registered: March 09, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My journey all began years ago with an interest in car's. If it had 4 wheels and an engine, I was interested. My dad tinkered around car's all my life & so I grew up tearing engine's apart.

My father also has worked for Amtrak (the only national passenger rail service in the US) since '79 and being around all those diesel locamotives, he just had to try a diesel car out. Train locamotives are nothing more than big, honkin' diesel-electric hybrids. Most of them are even two-stroke diesels--at least in the US anyway.

His initial thought was to use some of the left-over diesel from fueling trains (when they fuel the trains they alway's have some left in the fuel hoses, the fuel truck driver's just pour it back into a bucket & then pour it in their fuel tank). His thinking was, "Hey, Free Fuel!"

Well, in '88 he picked up an '83 Isuzu Pickup Diesel and the diesel addiction (both his and mine) began.

He never did use the fuel from the trains (prob. a good thing as it's untaxed & dyed red), but that little Isuzu just kept on running. It began outlasting pretty much every car he had from that time forward. The crazy thing is still running today, although we don't own it. It has well over 350,000 miles on it & is going strong!!!

So, growing up around these incredible machines, I became totally enthralled with them (I swear, I must have diesel--well, ok, now biodiesel--running through my viens).

Now as any "diesel buff" out there knows, like the Lay's Potato Chip slogan goes, "betchya can't have just one". And so it went with us.

Over the course of the years I think we've owned, driven, worked on, drooled over, or tinkered with pretty much most of the diesel vehicles ever sold in the US between the early '80's and now.

As I grew up & moved on, got married, etc. I just had to have a diesel of my own. So, I picked up an old '84 Isuzu Pickup a couple years back.
http://www.utahbiodieselsupply.com/photos/84isuzutruck/

Over time, my dad & I have had several diesels, but we've developed an especial affinity for Isuzu Diesel's. They alway's just held up the best for us (by the way, we had a Peaugot diesel once, man, what a peice of crap!) Chevette's even offered a diesel engine that was an Isuzu diesel and my dad bought an older one about 2 years ago...ugly beast!!!

Well, one day while browsin' the net for Chevette information I stumbled on a guy running his Chevette on waste veggie oil. I thought, ooooo...cool!

Not wanting to convert my truck to run WVO, I stumbled across Biodiesel. So, one thing led to another and soon I'd ran into a guy in Utah that was actually using the stuff; Jack Jones, who I met on biodieselnow.com in the Utah section.

He let me try 5 gallons of Bio in my truck. I live about 45 minutes away from him & so I had the chance to do a fair amount of driving with the stuff in it. I'd heard about all the benefits of it (emissions, quieter engine, etc) but hadn't really tried it out (yeah, I was chicken & kind of doubtful) I thought, surely you can't use waste veggie oil in a diesel and surely not this biodiesel stuff, but then again, I knew diesel's would run on pretty much any kind of oil--we used to put about a quart of Auto Trans Fluid in our tanks about every 3rd fill-up to help lubricate our Injector Pumps on the old beasts.

So half-way home my rattle trap engine started sounding different. I thought, huh, something must be wrong w/ the engine...then it hit me. EUREKA!! It must be the Biodiesel!! This stuff's for real!!!

The engine had REALLY quieted down, so much so that at 80 MPH in the thing was actually a pleasant experience instead of an excursion requiring ear-plugs.

Then later that year I had the emissions done on it (they measure opacity at the tailpipe here) and it went from 14% opaque the year before to 7%. 50% reduction!!! I was amazed!!!

So, since then I've become totally addicted to biodiesel. I built a processor & got started making it with a lot of help from my local "Brewmaster", Jack Jones of Riverstones Biodiesel (http://www.riverstonesbiodiesel.com).
I helped form a coop (http://www.utahbiodiesel.org), organized a few events, then formed a company (http://www.utahbiodieselsupply.com), participated on tons of forum boards, helped build the collaborative biodiesel tutorial, and basically am just sucking up anything I can get my hands on that's biodiesel related.

Still a diesel nut too, but they've all gotta run Bio!

So, that's how this "gear-head" became a "biodiesel-junkie" and I love every bit of it.

And that's my shpeal!
-Graydon

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Graydon Blair,




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Location: Utah | Registered: October 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I was doing a strawbale building demonstration at one of the UK's largest country shows in 2003, the guys on the stand next to me were promoting their veg oil conversions, after chatting with them throughout the w/end of the show I became very interested and went and looked on the tinternet and also came across making biodiesel.
BUT being a petrolhead I had always dismissed diesel vehicles as being good for delivery vans and trucks because of their reliability but not good as a family car(too noisy and slow, especially uphill)

Then a friend came round in his Turbo diesel VW golf and I was impressed, next I got given a diesel citroen by a friend which I thought I would use as a parts chaser till the test and tax ran out, so started looking into veg oil and biodiesel again and started blending svo and dino, which was fine until the winter when the amount of veg oil I could blend dropped along with the temp, I looked into a two tank veg oil conversion, but ended up making my first batch of biodiesel instead as it didn't involve taking the car off the road which a conversion would have, and then testing it in the citroen, but I was worried about gelling in cold temps so I spent a lot of time on the web reading up on how to make better quality fuel, after playing with my recipe I finally got something that stayed liquid to below freezing and then I got offered the citroen ZX turbo diesel cheap from my stepsons mate and have not looked back since and went all through last winter running it on my b100.

I must add that I thought my strawbale building was addictive and the people within the SB building community soo friendly and helpful, but biodieselers and the bio and veg community is just as addictive if not more so. Massive thanks GM, tilly, neutral and all the others too numerous to mention.
I just wished we had things like the CBT when I started out as JTF was one of the few online sources of info then, newbies these days have so much more info to help them.

Chug


*************************
1996 Transit Tipper
1991 Mercedes 709D
1994 Citroen ZX 1.9TD engine now in peugeot 306D
*************************
http://www.biofuel-uk.net/

The Collaborative Biodiesel Tutorial
http://www.biodieselcommunity.org

 
Location: S.E. England | Registered: September 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What I really wanted was a way to supply Ethanol to my RX7, I just couldn't find a supply, the term E85 still hasn't connected in Canada (5ish years later).
Electric vehicles looked very interesting, the good ones that is, not the golf-carts with doors. Then the BigThree beat the tar out of CARB in court and electric vehicles from large resourced makers disappeared in a heartbeat. I was sickened by GM's arrogance to refuse to sell EV1's at any price to the people who were leasing them. The EV1's have all been crushed.
Which brings me back to topic because all the time I was looking at alternative vehicles and fuels the word biodiesel was always there (on the web). Cooking up fuel in your own backyard, from waste, and its environmentally sound, HOW COOL is that! I'm all over it like a geek on a new cpu Big Grin.

Glenn
 
Location: location, location | Registered: August 05, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Graydon Blair:


How did you get involved in biodiesel?
Inquiring minds want to know.

Tell us a bit about how you became involved in biodiesel. Some of you I know have really cool stories that led you to biodiesel....so let the story time begin.
-Graydon



I dont' remember... See blogs thread... this biodiesel stuff makes me have no life... no life... I can't remember what life before biodiesel was like...

Mark
 
Location: Pittsboro, North Carolina | Registered: March 07, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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I was a young teen in Iowa when the first OPEC contrived petroleum shortage occured. It was tough on farmers, and we eventually went broke. Not entirely Saudia Arabia's fault, but they were a contributor. I got interested in residential solar heating, ethanol and vacuum distillation back then, but never pursued the ethanol when I realized it was pretty much a zero sum game, about one unit of energy in for one out. (I realize that with super duper facilities, that might be 1.7 units out per unit in today...)

Fast forward thirty years. Now I'm an eye doctor with a passion for energy efficient housing, transportation, electricity generation, etc.

The hook for me was the periodical Home Power, which ran several articles about WVO in cars, biodiesel in cars and oil furnaces. That piqued my interest enough to go looking on the web. Was intrigued by the superficial attractiveness of the JTF website, and horrified and offended by the people who actually run it.

Eventually found this place by running down Google hits. Read the last few years worth of posts. Says to myself, "Hey, I have a degree in chemistry. I can do this."

Dumped my Subaru (which I loved...) and bought an '04 VW Spice Red Jetta TDI PD wagon. Just finished building a custom hitch and a custom trailer so I can now drive to California and back (from Indiana) without buying stinky diesel. Heee heeee heeeeeeee!

Bought a seven hundred pound Lister stationary six horse diesel engine and a generator head and scratch built a residential sized cogenerator, so I can have biodiesel powered computers, lights, showers, power tools, you name it. I can make electricity for cheaper than my utility if I ignore the $3,000 startup cost.

Looking real hard at my natural gas furnace and doing research on running an oil furnace on biod. I would have to double or triple the amount of oil I presently collect, so we'll see about that. Also contemplating bigger property, so not sure about totally converting my present house to heat on the bean.

That's me in a nutshell. Yes, I suppose that makes me a nut.

Finest regards,

troy
 
Location: north america somewhere close to the midwest, or not | Registered: May 29, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Girl Mark,

Re ...I dont' remember... See blogs thread... this biodiesel stuff makes me have no life... no life... I can't remember what life before biodiesel was like...

Ah yes, I see you have been having those bad dreams again. (Tilly, turn on the soothing music tape, Yes, the one with the sound of clean, water free wvo being pumped into a barrel). NOw, where were we. It seems that you may have picked up some silly idea that there is something called a Life that you are missing. But it isn't so. This is all part of a government plot to get you to go out and buy silly things that you don't need, like chinese meals, and even dresses with matching high-heeled shoes. These things are only figments of your overworked imagination. And did someone mention a vacation ? I thought so. Actually that was The Voices in your head. So just ignore them, eventually they will fade away and you will be returned to The True Way.
I'm afraid we have run out of time this session, but remember, there is no other world but the bio world. Yes, I'm afraid you are hooked, there is no known cure. Tilly, show the nice lady out.

regards
dva
 
Location: Yorks,England | Registered: June 30, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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WOW. ya'll have some interesting stories.

mine is bordering on boring..

I needed a different work truck...A friend planted the idea of converting a school bus into a motorhome. not a new idea but it got me thinking... what about using an old schoolbus instead of a puckup/trailer setup...hum... I was not happy using a pick and flat bed trailer for my business.

So I either needed to upgrade my trailer/pickup or move to a something else...instead of converting a school bus into a motorhome what a truck..

what!!! I can get a used schoolbus for less than 4k?..lets see.. a large emtpy truck..if I remove the seats... Aha perfect...bear with me..

A school would be perfect..now gas or diesel.. in theory a diesel should get better MPG...
now where did I hear the diesel can run on SVO??? doesn't matter. being and engineer and a techie. I searhed the Inet for answers...
nothing I found suggested the SVO, unless heated was a good answer(still a question in my mind)... I knew I wanted a diesel so I had fuel choices. As I dug more and more, much to my wife's annoance, I found info from... yes JTF. Yes the site has bad info. I found something that might work for me. I didn't think heating SVO would work for me, my bus with tanks in the rear and a front engine just didn't lend itself to SVO. At JTF I found out about BD...I search for more info about BD. bought some peanut oil to start with... then found someone with used oil from a turkey fryer...in the process I learn lots about titration, indicators, mistakes, fixing errors, washing and on and on. Somewhere I fount this site and check it every day, usually 2 or more times...Am I addicted??

Many thanks to Girl mark, neutral, johno, chung and other who help me thru my problems.. I just hope that I can help others and spread the addication for BD.

girl mark, I'm not sure there's hope for a cure...But stop looking. many people today wouldn't have a clue about making BD without your help. Smile thanks


'84 bluebird school bus, DD8.2L turbo( 4/2011, the bus tranny has died..Frown 8.23.11 bus driven to scrap yard Frown )
2006 Jeep Liberty CRD Smile - the wife's
99 dodge 2500 5.9l 24v..-mine Smile
everything run B100 when its warm enough Smile
 
Location: RTP, North Carolina | Registered: December 15, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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actually I had a silly thought last month (when I taught about four classes) about getting out of the whole Biodiesel "business"... then it passed. Thanks, DVA- LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Mark
 
Location: Pittsboro, North Carolina | Registered: March 07, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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now where's that clean, water-free WVO at?

Mark
 
Location: Pittsboro, North Carolina | Registered: March 07, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Below is how I responded when someone asked this same question on the Fred's TDI club forum recently. I did make it current.

quote:
I first learned about biodiesel in 1996 from a friend who worked in the Austin Greenpeace office. She gave me the Fat of the Land video of the five women who drove cross country in a 80's Chevy van making their own biodiesel as they went along. Not having owned a vehicle since 1991, I decided to buy a 1979 VW Rabbit to experiment with. I purchased 10 gallons of biodiesel from NOPEC (now Oceanair?) in Florida (at a cost of over $5/gal.), they shipped it via UPS in two five gallon buckets. Also contacted the Southwest Research Institute to find out how much straight vegetable oil I could run in the car, and they told me I could burn up to 30% SVO mixed with biodiesel in that engine. That was a short lived experiment as the car needed too much repair for my meager budget. I sold the car and decided to save up the money so I could move to Maui (always wanted to live in a year round warm weather climate).

Arrived on Maui in January 1997 and soon learned that a local company, Pacific Biodiesel, was making and selling biodiesel. How lucky is that! In 1998 I finally decided to purchase another diesel (1981 Rabbit pickup), hitchhiking 6 days a week to work was getting old and I wanted to promote biodiesel. Sold That truck to a friend and he is still burning B100 today, and moved on to a 2000 Golf, since I thought that burning B100 in a new car would be a much more powerful way to promote it. Now burning B100 in 16 vehicles, driving our 16th from St. Louis to LA right now. 5 recycling trucks, 9 Bio-Beetle Rentals and 2 personal vehicles, with more to come.

It's great to have the availability, I probably still wouldn't own a car if it wasn't for the biodiesel option. And certainly wouldn't be in the rental car business without it.


16 B100 vehicles
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Location: Maui, Hawaii | Registered: June 09, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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quote:
Originally posted by girl mark:
now where's that clean, water-free WVO at?

Mark

I don't have much, only about 40 liters a week, but it is delivered from the kitchen fryers into the poly drums (19 liter) that I provide and I pick it yup replacing the full with empties. The oil never sees daylight except when I filter it and when it goes in the Benz.
Titration shows it o be near new. High end restaurant and all that.They don't fry a whole lot as is evidenced by the mere 40 liters/week.
It's enough for my SVO end of things though. The B100 is made from similarly "protected" oil that comes in drums outside but inside a shelter built specially for it.(it doesn't leak)



**My reactor/processor :B100WH.com
**B100 Heated Winter System
** Biodiesel Glycerine Soap - The Guide
- on 5 continents helping people make & sell soap from the Biodiesel Glycerine.
** Interview with RolfQuo Biodiesel commercial use of wood chips for filtering biodiesel

** Don't tell me who you are, show me what you do and I will tell you who you are.- Jerry Rubin**

** Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value. -Albert Einstein**

**When truth cannot be refuted it is tyranny's job to silence the messenger - me**
 
Location: :-) Great White North eh ? | Registered: December 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Getting into BD. First came the Benz. Then came an email from a lady in Florida about Benz forums. hen I checked out the Benz forums and someone had posted about this thing called "Biodiesel" and included some links. I started snooping and one thing led to another and I started embarking on the odysee towards clean energy. It was and still is a challenge for me as I had never really done much in the way of construction or chemistry or troubleshooting much of anything let alone build a reaction chamber to producce fuel with.
At the last came the bug to go SVO as well as B100, so back to the Net and after many hours of "snooping" through every conceivable post I fell on one from 2002 where the guy stated he did 6-7 car conversions and left an email addy. I figured I had nothing to lose so I fired off an email and the next day got a reply (!)I was surprised, first to have gotten a reply at all then the speed with which it came and lastly by the fact the guy lives about 10-15 minutes from me, had just done a TV thing about SVO on a French station and was willing to help me do mine.For those who believe in Divine intervension ... I look forward to continuing my quest.



**My reactor/processor :B100WH.com
**B100 Heated Winter System
** Biodiesel Glycerine Soap - The Guide
- on 5 continents helping people make & sell soap from the Biodiesel Glycerine.
** Interview with RolfQuo Biodiesel commercial use of wood chips for filtering biodiesel

** Don't tell me who you are, show me what you do and I will tell you who you are.- Jerry Rubin**

** Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value. -Albert Einstein**

**When truth cannot be refuted it is tyranny's job to silence the messenger - me**
 
Location: :-) Great White North eh ? | Registered: December 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Girl Mark,
Re..LMAO

I had to google it to find out what it meant. Glad it amused you.

As for the clean, water free wvo; I lied. Big Grin

Regards
dva
 
Location: Yorks,England | Registered: June 30, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I’ve been trying to remember how I got started. If my memory serves my right I wasn’t
thinking about bio at all in the beginning. I had been watching something about
hydrogen. Then I saw the documentory that showed Ed Myers supposedly water
powered dune buggy. From this I considered the idea of converting water into it’s
constituent parts and looked at a whole slew of related topics before giving up on the
idea. Next came a visit to one of the hydrogen forums. Bad move. These guys really did
know how to slander and insult each other if they didn’t agree; and they rarely did.
Anyway, I saw an advert in an electronics magazine about a book on turning old cooking
oil into fuel. This may have been JTF, but I never found out as , after a month the
company sent me my cheque back saying that it was going to be a long time before they
got a new stock of books. They did, however, give me one or two web addresses. So I
started with Aleks Kecs method. I remember the problems I had getting my first drum of
methanol. I managed to do it through the company I worked for. But what a
performance. Eventually I found this site, and the rest, as they say, is history. I’m just
so glad I came here and not to one of the other forums.
regards
dva
 
Location: Yorks,England | Registered: June 30, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by dva:
Girl Mark,
Re..LMAO

I had to google it to find out what it meant. Glad it amused you.

As for the clean, water free wvo; I lied. Big Grin

Regards
dva

Acronyms, you want to dicipher acronyms?
http://www.acronymfinder.com/ Check it out, IMHO it is a fun place ROFLMAO.



**My reactor/processor :B100WH.com
**B100 Heated Winter System
** Biodiesel Glycerine Soap - The Guide
- on 5 continents helping people make & sell soap from the Biodiesel Glycerine.
** Interview with RolfQuo Biodiesel commercial use of wood chips for filtering biodiesel

** Don't tell me who you are, show me what you do and I will tell you who you are.- Jerry Rubin**

** Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value. -Albert Einstein**

**When truth cannot be refuted it is tyranny's job to silence the messenger - me**
 
Location: :-) Great White North eh ? | Registered: December 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Legal Eagle,
I was always under the impression that for a string of letters to count as an acronym they had to be pronucable as a word. I.e NATO.
regards
dva

IMHO of course. Smile

Update.

Just found these two somewhat different definitions.

a) A word formed from the initial letters of a name, such as WAC for Women's Army Corps, or by combining initial letters or parts of a series of words, such as radar for radio detecting and ranging.

b) <jargon> An identifier formed from some of the letters (often
the initials) of a phrase and used as an abbreviation.

So by the second definition LMAO is indeed an acronym.

Your round.
 
Location: Yorks,England | Registered: June 30, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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the best one is the random buzzword generator they have at that site.

Mark
 
Location: Pittsboro, North Carolina | Registered: March 07, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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How did you get involved in biodiesel?
Inquiring minds want to know.

As I am not the experienced contributor that most of the previous posters of this fine thread are, I will remain humble in my reply.

The internet is how I got involved. Reading first about the green machine and the trip of a van and other text-based stories peaked a curiosity. I am ever so glad that it did. I went out and purchased a test Jetta.

Today marks a special occasion for me as we acquired another diesel (1991 Jetta) to our personal home fleet. This one is ear marked for my lovely wife. I wish I had of had a camera to capture the excitement on her face when she said, "Now we can both use Bio."

Unfortunately the current processor will have to be refitted in order to meet the future demand. We are running out of Dr. Pepper bottles.

I will now take this opportunity to thank all here, for all their contributions. I have learned ever so much from every post I have read.

If I started to mention the people that have personally assisted in my questioning and offered mentorship like the Tilly's, DVA's, BioC and JohnO's the neutreals and Girlmarks, BillMc's, 12voltdans might get left out, so I will not mention any names individually. I just have to say that this forum is without a doubt as much a part of my life as gathering waste oil is.
Thank you all for everything.
RAVeman AKA Roger J.
 
Location: Way up north near the oil sands Canada | Registered: February 18, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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