05 December, 2008

Beginnings of an idea

My major and main interests are in sustainable development so needless to say, buying a car had never been an option for me, at least, not until our first baby was born.

Living in the far north East corner of Kyoto, has the benefit of clear cool air and on-the-doorstep access to Hiezan forest. However, this comes with a cost; a long gradual climb finished off by a short but extremely steep ascent, which only a small percentage of the local population can regularly conquer by bicycle. So, with our house positioned as it is, and the growing weight of our daughter on the back of our bikes, the need for a car steadily grew

Over the past year, we were lucky enough to car pool a small k-van with some friends but this was only a short-term answer. By the summer of 2007, I was faced with the realisation that, as I saw it, I would have to fork out some real cash, and get a Toyota hybrid Prius. However, after a couple of months of prevarication, I started thinking more about the opposite end of the spectrum, opting for an old, cheap car, that might allow me to drive with an even smaller and less guilt-ridden carbon footprint experience than even a Prius could offer. And, it was more of a challenge - to run a diesel car on waste vegetable oil (WVO). Also referred to as SVO (straight vegetable oil) it is different than biodiesel in that, as the name suggests, only oil is used as fuel and no chemicals or heating is needed to process the fuel. This was the way I wanted to go, and in September 2007, my WVO project officially started.

Information and a complete log of developments (so far) with this project can be found at
http://homepage.mac.com/ifd66/WVO.html. A shortened version should be appearing here soon ....

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