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PROJECTS BLOG 12/17/2009

Evolution Takes Too Long-Embrace Mutaytion!

The BWB BioDiesel project in Pisco, Peru is rockin’ it hard as summer arrives to our desert home here by the sea. But suntans and ceviche aren’t the only good things currently on our radar!

The biggest news is the recent visit from Peru’s Minister of the Environment, Mr. Antonio Brack. Mr. Brack is a Cabinet-level minister in the national government of Peru, led by President Alan Garcia. He heard of our BioDiesel operation from someone on his staff that I had met a few weeks prior at a regional environmental conference, and took time out of his schedule to visit us. His entourage of Vice-Minister, university professors, local and regional leaders and the press spent quite a while visiting, asking questions and offering support. Here in South America the arrival of tinted black SUV’s with police escort to your front door is not generally regarded as a good thing. But in this case, it was a really special treat to share our biofuels vision with someone from the very highest levels of government.

Although our little operation is humble compared to some, it’s a quality setup and is pretty impressive in a place like this. Running and maintaining it all is a full-time job for 2-3 people, so the recent arrival of Stu Gilman from Maryland to take over the mechanical side of things is more than just good news, it’s a milestone. Stu is a former merchant marine, a wiz of an engineer and a skydiver. His skills will be greatly appreciated during his 3 month stint here in Pisco. Although he hasn’t been to BRC yet, he plans to join the crew of Burning Sky in the near future. You have to admire anyone who will leap out of a perfectly good aircraft and plummet down to the playa.

In 2008 the BWB crew in Pisco was pleased to learn that someone had written a song especially for us, and that the online sales of this piece of artistic genius would be donated to support our efforts here. And who do you suppose was behind such a thing – that crazy band of burners known as The Mutaytor!!

The Pisco crew played “On Fire Like This” at least a thousand times while we worked, played, cried and cheered. Thus, as a small token of respect and appreciation for our mutant brothers and sisters I have decided to name our BioDiesel reactor after them. Henceforth and forever after, our crazy collection of misfit pipes, valves, bowls and hoses will be known as “The Mutaytor”. Furthermore, the act of creating diesel fuel from veggie oil, previously known as Transestrification, will now be known as “Mutation” – cuz evolution takes too long!!

Look for new photos of the Mutaytor in holiday garb in the next coming weeks.

Sadly, we’ve lost our original BioDiesel crew but their legacy and imprint will live on here forever. Richard Vinson has left and is visiting his brand new granddaughter in New Zealand. Anton Post (with his lovely wife Wendy) has continued his travels. Rebecca Chojnacki (MiSalsa) is back in the US looking for new challenges and adventures. It takes a special kind of person to dedicate so much time and energy to a project they can’t see through to the end. We send them all our deepest admiration and gratitude for helping to further the recovery efforts here in Pisco.

Our Biodiesel project is based on donated waste veggie oil from factories and local restaurants. This gives the earthquake victims a chance to support the volunteers who are out in the hot sun supporting them. It’s a strange, yet nice, feeling to turn up at a kitchen door and be welcomed with a big smile and a bucket full of fryer fat. But getting there is a trick since transportation can sometimes be an issue. So our next project is a small Mutant Vehicle to help us get around and do oil collection more efficiently. This will really add sustainability to the project, and visibility as well. Biodiesel is based on good relations with the oil donors and the more we visit them, the more fuel we get to power our reconstruction efforts. And what better way to feed the Biodiesel Mutaytor than with a fully-mutated delivery vehicle!!

We’re currently looking at making something based on a small motorcycle, with a deck-like platform on the rear for the buckets. It’s a pretty common vehicle here so we should be able to find a good one nearby. We’re keen to start with a solid base and add some paint and cool lettering to start the mutation process.

Next, of course, we’ll need some EL wire, a sub-woofer, a propane cannon and a 5-gallon margarita blender so we can party to Mutaytor music on the way to Spike’s Vampire Bar. But we may have to wait until next year for all of that, we’ll see what the DMV here in Peru has to say.

In the meantime, donations are being accepted to get this first-of-a-kind “Mutant Vehicle En Espanol” off to a roaring and fire-breathing start.


Click Here to donate to the Biodiesel Project and support our Biodiesel Mutant Vehicle.


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