Friday, December 14, 2007

Josiah's New Wheels

Famous UC CLE senior Josiah, whose other recent claim to fame was that he was this years TA for Introduction to Firearms, caused a stir on campus this year with his Model T pick-up truck. Josiah was hoping to find a local source of (legal) ethanol so he could run his truck on a biofuel, but struck out so far. Early American automobiles like this one were truly "dual fuel" as in some parts of the country during the early part of the century, moonshine or "corn squeezins" was more easily available, and cheaper, than refiner's gasoline. With low compression, adjustable mixture settings, easily adjustable spark advance and other low-tech solutions to combustion adjustment, it was relatively easy to run them on the highly variable octane ratings that were then the norm. This is an actual picture of Josiah's truck in period setting, not a file photo. He really did drive this vehicle to class all fall. Go Josh!

But did he try to pick up girls with it?

Josiah might be able to make his ethanol ambition come true soon, as the great State o' Maine begins to get into the production of cellulosic ethanol from Maine forest biomass. Cellulosic systems solve the EROI problem in liquid biofuels, as does algal production and waste oil recycling. See earlier post about Unity's grease cars. In the meantime, one Maine company, Safe Handling Inc. opened the first ethanol terminal in-state, using midwestern product.

Maybe they'll let Josh buy a couple barrels.

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