Biodiesel in the garage

I am now the proud owner of a biodiesel gas pump in my garage: Two 55 gallon barrels of biodiesel with a handcrank that allows me to fill up my Landcruiser right in my driveway.

biopump.jpg

This came about because the SFBiofuels coop’s biodiesel pump got shut down (due to neighbors complaining), which has made getting biodiesel in San Francisco somewhat of a pain. The coop apparently has plans/permits in the works for 4 potential new locations around San Francisco, but in the meantime I decided to take matters in my own hands. I called up Peoples Fuel, they gave me a quote for a biodiesel home setup (about $400), came out to my house to install it, and filled up the barrels right from their biodiesel delivery truck. They’ll come back for refills anytime I run out. Peoples Fuel have been great to deal with. Apparently they deliver/quality monitor biodiesel for lots of places around town, including the SF Zoo (I believe they run 100% biodiesel) and the SF city buses (they’ve just switched their entire fleet to B20, 20% biodiesel).

PS: Before Diane let me put a gas station in our house, she asked me to look into the safety issues. I’m happy to report that biodiesel has a flash point of over 200 degrees Celsius (I think that means that the garage will burn down before the biodiesel will ignite). It’s also been shown to be 10x less dangerous than table salt when ingested – I’ve no plans to try this, but apparently it’s safe to swallow.

Published by

Toni Schneider

Partner at True Ventures. Team lead at Automattic. Advisor at Atipica, Bandcamp, Handshake, Hatch Baby, Madefire, Renovo Motors, and Tend.ai.

4 thoughts on “Biodiesel in the garage”

  1. That's pretty cool. My XC90, which got great gas mileage back home in the country, has been getting on my nerves now that I'm constantly driving in the city. To be able to just fill up before I leave the house… nice. My roommate wants to know how it works out per gallon (after the setup costs)?

  2. Sweet!

    I think I am going to have to go the same route to make the switch to B100 in my G-Wagen. Just too hard to find stations that are easily accessible.

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