Adam Curry’s Daily Source Code (DSC) is one of the most popular podcasts on the web. One of the on-going segments on the show is a discussion about the use of biodiesel, and the way that this entertaining show introduces the rather serious topic is to involve a character named Trinity.
Trinity (now there is a name with rather ominous undertones in the nuclear world) is a 1984 “baby poo” yellow Mercedes station wagon that has been converted to using straight biodiesel produced from vegetable oil. Adam has been playing around with Trinity for almost a year, but with his jet setter schedule (he shares time between his UK home and his Podshow main office in San Francisco) Trinity sits in a parking garage much of the time.
As anyone who has ever operated a diesel engine of any kind knows – they really do not like to sit around for weeks at a time. It is almost inevitable that without some real TLC, such an engine will become a bit unreliable due to issues in the fuel system. Trinity has experienced such issues, so Adam decided that it is time to get rid of the car.
He put out a call on his show for ideas and one of his listeners came up with the concept of “Free Trinity”. This new promotional idea is getting a lot of traction. The idea is that this listener and his son (who happens to be a student at a maritime academy and a trained diesel mechanic) will fly to San Francisco – on Curry’s dime – and pick up Trinity for a cross country trip powered exclusively by biodiesel.
Listeners from all over the country are getting into the idea by suggesting stops along the way, uses of social media and geolocation sites for keeping tabs on the trip, and gadgets that Trinity should have to make the trip more interesting. Adam is playing audio feedback from these listeners in a segment of his show – I thought it might be an opportunity to highlight some of the thoughts about energy that we have shared on The Atomic Show.
Adam played my feedback with an interesting introduction and reaction. My comment was at the end of a series of Trinity comments and here is how he introduced it – “One more on Trinity – and again the whole idea about backyard biodiesel – that’s exactly what I am looking for. I’m looking for Mom and Pops, just people who are doing something independent, and in my mind, completely revolutionary.” Here is the text of my comment:
I love the Free Trinity idea. Maybe you can route her through Washington DC and make a stop by the Pentagon where there is an alternative fuel station that sells both ethanol and B-20 (20% biodiesel). I fill my Jetta TDI there whenever possible.
On DSC 537, you made some excuses for the excessive profits of Big Oil.
I agree that they will need tons of investment dollars if they are going to keep us supplied with as much oil in the future as they are today – it is getting harder and harder (translate that to more expensive) to find and produce the massive quantities of oil that the economy demands.
My preference would be for oil companies to invest some of their cash into atomic power, where the technology offers huge room for improvement. As I told you on DSC 367, I spent a few years driving around a few hundred feet under water on a zero emission atomic submarine that ran for about a decade and a half without any new fuel.
The boats that my friend, Rear Admiral Willie Hillardes, is building today will operate for a full 30 year lifetime without any new fuel at all.
Just imagine what the world could do if we would do a better job of harnessing the incredible power of the Atom for peaceful purposes like electricity and maybe even airplanes!
If you want to hear more about a better way to produce power, check out The Atomic Show at atomic.thepodcastnetwork.com.
You can also find out about a really cool engine technology company at adamsengines.com.
Good luck on the Free Trinity tour and think about getting more Power from Adams.
Adam’s reaction was energizing and made my day. (Keep in mind that the following is a transcript of an audio show that the host/producer does not edit – speech is sometimes much less refined than we think if we try writing down every word we say. Adam is a very smart guy with a long history of business success.)
“Oh, dude! I’m telling you, if you could put an atomic engine in Trinity – absolutely! I am all for that. I don’t know much about it, and I do not want to sidetrack the Free Trinity project with a whole bunch of talk about atomic energy and the pros and cons and what you do with the waste and all that. But I’m TOTALLY into it. I want to try all that stuff and maybe that is the next step. But still, that’s not something that you do in your backyard. Or can you? Does all that it really takes is a flux capacitor and you’re set? Please, don’t send anything about atomic energy. Let’s just – definitely go listen to that podcast, but let’s keep it on track here.”
Here is an interesting exercise – put the following search term into Google – “backyard nuclear power”.
I think that a cross country biofuels trip is a great idea for showing the state of the art in US biofuels production and distribution capacity in an interesting way. The concept of converting waste materials to fuel is seductive, but has some limitations like the actual availability of the material. Often what seems to be a lot of waste becomes a small amount of raw material once a good use is found.
In one of my previous lives as a plastic product manufacturer, we often used “regrind” materials left over from other suppliers sprues and seconds. As long as our product market was small enough to be supplied by the waste material, life was good and profitable, but if the market expanded past the waste that was available or if the supplier figured out how valuable his waste material was to us, we could get squeezed by rising raw material costs in a market where the selling price of our finished product was limited by the competition. I hope that effect does not kill the biodiesel industry – I think it has more potential than ethanol.
Anyway, all of the above is a long winded way to provide background for one of those minor accomplishments that can make your day. Since Adam specifically requested his listeners not to derail his show’s path by discussing atomic energy please honor that request but feel free to comment and discuss it here.