News Blog

You can keep up with the latest project developments from the people on the ground making them happen via the BWB Blog. We want to hear from you and welcome your comments.

Pisco Biodiesel Team Delivers

It is great to work with Kevin and Will. Kevin is from Ireland and Will is from England. I am learning more English and representing California while here. Yesterday we worked all day to perform a titration test on the oil to determine the catalyst needed for our reaction.  I thought finding a flammable liquid pump was a challenge, then Kevin and I were out trying to find a digital scale accurate to a gram and less in a market that sells kitchen supplies and food. We ended up estimating on amounts accurate to a gram with the scale that we have and made four liter size mini-reactions with different amounts of catalysts. Once we had a successful mini-batch we pushed our first batch of biodiesel through in the new methoxide reactor. It got stuck, but Kevin with his gentle giant strength was able to turn the pump through. We let the reactor process for two hours before turning it off and letting it sit for the night. Today I drained the reactants to discover glycerol and a liquid that appears to be Biodiesel. A quick ph test and the golden brown fluid tests right for BIODIESEL!!!

Today I got to drive the PSF truck to Paracas and around Pisco. It was a blast and I understand how the moto drivers swerve, slow, and maneuver their vehicles around the holes and bumps in the road. We had a great time collecting oil from restaurants and even made a few new contacts.  A wonderful fried fish plate for lunch for 7 soles ($2.50) and we were stuffed. Before we set off for the day we filled the truck with Biodiesel made right here in the PSF house (Pisco Sin Fronteras). That is a wonderfully gratifying feeling to drive on our own homemade fuel!

Today I also got to break glass wine bottles into the cement mixer to make sea glass. An idea I have wanted to try, and when there is an extra cement mixer and some glass…well. It actually worked and we will put the crushed polished glass around the tree we are going to plant out front.

We celebrate birthdays, and everyone has an opportunity to speak their voice at the morning meetings if they choose. The cake lady is great about laundry, but I still don’t understand why if I am wearing the same stuff for at least two days, how am I making so many dirty clothes. Time is just flying by!!!

When I was driving the truck today a Peruvian called out, “AMIGO.” It was the taxi driver from the other day. Great! People say to us, “Pisco Sin Fronteras,” and stick out their hands to meet us as we walk by on the street. This is not all the encounters, but some people really appreciate who we are and what we are doing. Others get jealous thinking, ‘why does my neighbor get a house build for them and not one for me?’ We have a huge list of projects that people ask us to do. We evaluate each one and decide what has priority. This is a group with minimal resources, and a lot of the money we have is from the volunteers themselves. Thankfully we get a lot of wood donated from the steel company. Tools are always in need and supplies. In fact….if anybody has any inclination to raise any sort of funds it would be AMAZINGLY appreciated. I am serious; ten dollars will disappear in the US in a second, but here ten dollars (depending on what) will go a long way. Brilliant!!!

Now it is time to prepare for Biodiesel phase 2, the Methanol recovery project. This will be a week project I imagine. Lots to do here!

Cheers All, and I appreciate any sort of effort anyone can do for us. A little bit goes a long way!!   Thank you!


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