Thursday, October 30, 2008

Carolina Tour: Chatham County, Part Two

Piedmont Biofuels (

After a quick lunch, we made it out to Moncure to spend some time with folks from Piedmont BioFuels, a cooperative that is leading the way in the region's "energy revolution." Much of the tour was complicated by the language of Biofuels (all kinds of chemical reactions and words for equipment), and the on-site biofuels guru, Eric, spoke super fast, but Amanda did an amazing job translating (and it helped that SFS communities have already begun producing biodiesel on a small scale).

Toward the end of our tour of the coop facility, P'Nok began to ask some significant questions about the affordability of biofuels technology, which for mature operations like Piedmont Biofuels is a negligible point. Eric was quick to acknowledge the prohibitive costs of reactors, chemicals, and tanks, and he offered to spend some extra time with P'Nok to show her an AppleSeed reactor developed by Maria "Girl Mark" Alovert ( P'Nok learned that old water heaters, 55 gallon drums, some tubes and fixtures, and some chemicals could work together to create an affordable, easy-to-build and easy-to-manage biodiesel operation.

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