Friday, September 14, 2007

Vegtruck goes to Burning Man

Last week concluded this years Burning Man, which you can read more about [here].
It wasn't difficult to tell which vehicles had been on the playa for 8-days. After a brief rain and several dust storms, everything was plastered white, and I leap-frogged burners all the way back to Oregon.

This year's theme, the Green Man, warranted additional consideration for reducing personal impact. Before leaving Corvallis I was able to fill myauxiliary 36-gallon tank with vegetable oil from a local restaurant (thanks to Enviofuel for topping it off with filtered oil), and also picked up a spare fuel filter for the SVO system (Davco 234). My stock tank was filled with b100, as per usual in the summertime. I figured that at 26 mpg (which is possible when the truck is fully loaded with 388 lbs. of fuel and steel tank - 30 mpg is standard) I would need exactly 36 gallons to make it to Burning Man and back - about 850 miles or so.

My calculations were right on, and I'm happy to report that I used a grand total of less than one gallon of biodiesel on the trip, relying solely on 100% vegetable oil. It went something like this: as I was getting onto the highway in Corvallis, I switched over to the SVO system. I drove through Oregon and into Northern California, stopping for less than 30 minutes per stop (I don't like to let it sit on SVO for too long), and thenswitched back to b100 to camp. I did the same thing on day 2, and the whole way back. My stock tank fuel gauge was pegged slightly below 'F' when I pulled into the driveway in Corvallis.

Total fuel cost for the trip: < $3.30 + $8.64 (Road Tax) = < $11.94


Upon arrival I hurried over to a scheduled biofuel demonstration which turned out to be a friend from Corvallis representing Enviofuel (it's a small world we live in). They were making french fries and talking about SVO systems - always a good time.