2011 Collective Biofuels Conference: August 5 – 7 at Vancouver Island, Canada

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There is little more pleasing than to see a motor vehicle tooling down the highway with its diesel engine powered by used vegetable oil. Not only does it smell great compared to the traditional cloud of diesel fumes, it leaves the air we breathe far cleaner.

Even so, biodiesel appears to have lost some of its social pizzazz of late, taking little in the way of headline and video space. Yet it remains a viable fuel alternative.

For those who want to remain abreast of this clean fuel option, the Collective Biofuels Conference (CBC) is scheduled August 5 – 7 at Vancouver Island, Canada.

The conference is being hosted by Cowichan Energy Alternatives and the Cowichan Bio-Diesel Co-Op. According to the sponsors, the CBC is a dynamic gathering of renewable energy experts, enthusiasts and interested beginners who will discuss all things having to do with biofuels, focusing on biodiesel.

The CBC was started in 2006 in Colorado and was last held in Washington, D.C. This will be the CBC’s first time outside the United States. The Vancouver Island location will take place in the spectacular Cowichan Valley!

This year’s conference features 20 workshops on sustainable community-scale biofuels – from grass-roots initiatives to successful business case studies from across North America. Talks will cover alternative bio-diesel feedstocks such as jatropha and algae, Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO) conversions, the mechanics of maintaining a bio-fueled vehicle, running a bio-diesel gas station, technical aspects of safe bio-diesel production, and a business development workshop facilitated by the CBC’s Gold Sponsor, Vancity.

The keynote speaker will be Lyle Estill, co-founder of Piedmont Biofuels. His talk, “Biodiesel’s New Leaf” will cover the success stories and failures of community scale fuel production. Estill is also the author of “Biodiesel Power” and “Small is Possible – Life in a Local Economy.” His third book, “Industrial Evolution; Community Solutions for a Low Carbon Economy,” was released in May.

CBC speakers include:

  • Jason Burroughs, owner of DieselGreen Fuels who has been speaking about biodiesel since 2006
  • Kyle Capizzi, a biodiesel aficionado, is currently working with Bonanza Labs, and the Sustainable Fuel Co-op on a handheld biodiesel testing unit
  • Todd Hill, who spends the majority of his day scouring the area for used cooking oil and producing ester fuel for Promethean Biofuels
  • Dara Lor, from Summit Greasecycling, will run a sandbox session to discuss forming an association for sustainable biofuel organizations
  • Kumar Plocher, who started Yokayo Biofuels in 2001, will talk about “Steps Toward a 100-mile Diet for your Car”
  • Jennifer Radtke, co-founder of BioFuel Oasis, will discuss running a worker-owned cooperative
  • Ohene kwadwo Akoto of Ghana-based Jatropha Africa, will present on “Jatropha: A Perfect Feedstock for Biodiesel”
  • Brian Roberts, Executive Director of Cowichan Energy Alternatives & president of the Cowichan Bio-Diesel Co-op, will present “Building something out of nothing: How a collective biofuels approach is working in the Cowichan Valley”
  • Dan Freeman of Dr. Dan’s Biodiesel will present on the mechanics of “Sustaining your sustainable car”
  • Jon Meuser, from Colorado School of Mines, presents “Algae: Not just green Kool-Aid”
  • John Bush, from Colorado School of Mines, will give an “Introduction to Oil Chemistry and Transesterification”
  • Graydon Blair, owner of Utah Biodiesel Supplies, discusses “Biodiesel Production: How To Make It & Test It”
  • Dr. Björn Ratjen of Dr. Björn’s Auto, will give a workshop titled “Ethanol, Biodiesel, Straight Plant Oil – a case for recycling”

For those able to attend, this will be worth the visit.

Photo: JSWenger

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Glenn Meyers

is a writer, producer, and director. Meyers was editor and site director of Green Building Elements, a contributing writer for CleanTechnica, and is founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.

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