I just finished reading an older thread on here about powering two-strokes on biofuels (yes, it is possible). There was discussion on using an E-85 and Hempoil/Hemp-biodiesel mixture, which provided a boost in power. Another thread on a dedicated bio-diesel website suggested an 80% methanol, and 20% biodiesel mixture, which resulted in a very low-smoke exhaust, and easy start. Does anyone else here have any expereince with biofuels? If so, what mixture do you run? I'm trying my best to avoid corn, but I'd love to hear of a biofuel mixture of any sort. Thank you!

- Rob.

Re: Biofuels?

Corn allergies? Monsanto, DuPoint Pioneer and Syngenta want all of the world to go for corn as their number one biofuel source.

Make your own fuel and get a bike with a 4 stroke and dont worry about premixing or adding the extra hydrocarbons from the oil mixed in the fuel.

Re: Biofuels?

problems with ethanol

degrades most rubbers

eats tanks linings

needs to be jetted much richer than gas. might be untunable on some bikes?

and I dont know what reaction it has with two stroke oil

you could build a bike special for ethanol, but almost noone uses it and not every station has a pump for it

Re: Biofuels?

I am actually avoiding corn simply to avoid Monsanto's GMO products!

I don't have too much moneyto get another bike, I'm going to have an XK verysoon; I'm simply looking at what options I have as to alternative fuels. Sunflower seed oil is supposed to be a fantastic two-stroke lubricant, but I suppose I'd have to try it for myself!

Re: Biofuels?

I don't plan to use E-85 myself, I only mentioned it for the purpose of a conversation starter. That is great info though, I didn't know it wreaked so much havoc on your powertrain! I don't intend to use regular two-stroke oil. I'm hoping to use a mixture of Biodiesel and High Oleic Sunflower Seed oil as my lubricant, but I'm not sure what fuel I'm going to use. That's true, I could try a dedicated build, though I wonder what that would entail.

Re: Biofuels?

If you are avoiding the big three (Monsanto, DuPoint Pioneer and Syngenta) for the GMO products what do you eat? rocks? They feed that crap to all of the livestock in North America that is not certified organic.

Start growing jerusalem artichoke and sunflowers.

Robert Burns Wrote:


> I am actually avoiding corn simply to avoid

> Monsanto's GMO products!

> I don't have too much moneyto get another bike,

> I'm going to have an XK verysoon; I'm simply

> looking at what options I have as to alternative

> fuels. Sunflower seed oil is supposed to be a

> fantastic two-stroke lubricant, but I suppose I'd

> have to try it for myself!

Re: Biofuels?

Alcohol is the only carbohydrate I know that you can burn in an engine that is not a diesel. Have you researched producer gas made from partly oxidized wood? Carbon monoxide is the result and it burns

Re: Biofuels?

Chris Davis /

Wood gas. Yeah look that up.... They used that extensively during WWII cause of the gas rationing.

Re: Biofuels?

I do not understand the interest in this for moped use. Mopeds are very efficiant (stock anyway). If you can't afford aprox 4.00 for every 80-100 miles traveled, well break out the bicycle. I would think it would cost you more to secure a reliable fuel supply than you would ever see in savings. Now if one owned/operated a fleet of trucks, this would make more sense. If you are just trying to see if you can do it, well go for it. I just do not see how the conversion and procurement of fuel would be worth it. The Germans used the wood gas thing in WWII, but it was an elaborate set up, not suited to a moped, or a motorcycle for that matter. If you are trying to be green look into electric power, it is the wave of the future. There are some very impressive electric motorcycles and scooters avail, no emissions. Some have a pretty decent range as well. You also do not have the hassle of converting an engine do do something it was never meant to do.

Re: Biofuels?

I laugh every time I see an advertising for the "green alternative" of electric vehicles. The are only green dependent on where and how your grid you plug into sources the electricity... still way too much hydrocarbon generating plants making electricity.

Re: Biofuels?

I have never done the computation and don't know how reliable the result would be but considering the cost of rice or maybe corn (cheaper) is it cheaper to buy gasoline and travel at 15 mph or fuel yourself with corn and ride a bicycle at 15 mph?

Re: Biofuels?

Luke “Funkenet” Hosfield /

I would love to see someone try and put a wood gasifier on a moped.

Re: Biofuels?

it would be cool to run a honda pc-50 on ethanol

Re: Biofuels?

Chris Davis /

I Know It would be hillarious, probably have to be towed behind on a trailor

Re: Biofuels?

#CrazyWayne™ rocks. #CrazyWayne /

Just down the rood from me they do it.

New Monthly Open House series

This month we're starting a new open house series at ALL Power Labs. We'll be holding these events every second Friday of the month, from 5-7pm, at APL in Berkeley, CA. This puts the first one this coming Friday, June 8th. Sorry for the short notice. The next one (in July) will be Friday the 13th.

The goal of the open house events is to offer all interested a regular time to visit APL, see a Power Pallet run, and generally tour the details of our operation. We get many people stopping by randomly to kick various tires, which is fine and encouraged, but we don't always have something set up to demo, or someone available to answer questions at length. The regular open house schedule will create a formal visit time where we can guarantee a good tour and related conversation.

Each open house will have a short talk introducing gasification and the Power Pallet particulars. This will not be as in depth as our full workshop weekends, but it will get you through the fundamentals, and help you assess the relevance of our machines for your application. If there is something more specific you would like to see or discuss, please write us beforehand so we can arrange the details.

If you would like to join us this Friday, please RSVP ahead of time to "". We are located at 1010 Murray Street in Berkeley, CA.

Videos and Pictures from the March 30 - April 1st Workshop Weekend

Our last workshop weekend was a great success, as well as our largest to date. We had 110 people join us for this round, and as usual it was a deeply interesting collection of people from around the world, with many unique applications being explored. We are finding more and more people coming to these workshops with the intent of proposing a specific regional endeavor, or new fork for our product development, or otherwise trying to leveraging the base we've created into something that engages their particular local need. Good things usually come from these conversations, so don't be shy in telling us what you think we should be doing.

Here's our video record of the workshop. It is a 10 minute tour of the facility, machines, events and people of the weekend. This is likely the best overview video we've done to date, so I encourage you to have a look. Thank you to Ike for making it.

The still photos from the workshop are here:

Our next full workshop weekend at APL in Berkeley is likely in October. In the interim we are working on workshops for Tulum, Mexico and Maui, Hawaii. More info on these as we figure it out.

APL in Indonesia

Yoav and Bear just returned from a trip to Indonesia to help with the set up and operational instruction for 2 Power Pallets. The Power Pallets are being integrated into a pilot stage “Village Hub” project next to a palm sugar factory run by the Masarang Foundation (

The factory uses waste geothermal heat from a 35 MW geothermal plant to dry and prepare palm sugar. This sugar is prepared from the sap of the Arenga Palm (, a species studied by Willie Smits who studied forestry in the Netherlands (and gave a great TED talk ( The sap is collected by bruising the fruiting branches, which release the sap, up to 100 liters per tree per day. It can be processed into sugar and ethanol. The Arenga palm can grow on poor soils, allowing deforested areas to be reforested, acting as a nurse tree to re-introduce more diverse species (see Willie’s TED talk above).

The Village Hub concept is to create smaller scale plants that can operate with zero external inputs and zero waste. These would collect sap from a collection of local farmers allowing economic opportunities to stay and protect reforested areas. The Hub would provide extra electricity to the villages and a medical office with internet access for doctors. The Power Pallet would provide electricity for plant operations and other uses.

We successfully installed and operated the Power Pallets and provided training to the workers at the facility, who were quite excited to be involved and learn about gasification and the equipment.

More info on and pictures of the project are here:


Jim Mason


Current Projects:

- Gasifier Experimenters Kit (the GEK):

- Escape from Berkeley alt fuels vehicle race:

- ALL Power Labs on Twitter:

- Shipyard Announce list:


ICP mailing list

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Re: Biofuels?

Here's a minibike running on a wood gassifier:

You would need either a four-stroke or oil injected engine to do this, not to mention the big trailer full of burning stuff.

Also, most methanol is made from either coal or natural gas so it's not really a biofuel.

Ethanol or methanol might be good for a race bike since they're really high octane and (IIRC) burn a little cooler than gasoline, but I don't think either one would be practical for everyday use.

If there was such a thing as a diesel moped you could easily run one on biodiesel or maybe even straight vegetable oil.

Personally, I'm waiting until someone makes a steam-powered moped that I can run off of burning arugula.

Re: Biofuels?

My interest in biofuels is not rooted in efficiency, or in the cost of fuel; I'd just rather use biofuels than petrol, as a matter of preference. Plus, I don't enjoy the smell of burning petrol fuel, but I guess I could get used to it. Yes, I am essentially just seeing if I can do it, and if other people on this forum have ever experimented with it. I'm honestly not too interested in the wood gas setup, as I'm not sure if it is practical at all, though it is interesting from an engineering stand-point. Electric power is great, but if I want to have any sort of decent setup, I'd have to go with an AC motor, and a Lithium-Ion battery, something I wouldn't mind doing if I had the money, but I do not have the money for such a setup. I understand that it wasn't ever "meant" to run off of these fuels, but if I can even manage it to work, then I'd like to give it a try. Thank you for your input!

- Rob.

Re: Biofuels?

There are plenty of Non-GMO foods available. Infact, there's an association dedicated to verifying Non-GMO foods, the "Non-GMO Project". A fitting name, right?

Sunflower seed butter is pretty tasty, so that's a good idea.

Re: Biofuels?

#CrazyWayne™ rocks. #CrazyWayne /

Gasafier powered bikes.

Re: Biofuels?

Start growing jerusalem artichoke and sunflowers. Jerusalem artichoke is a higher yield then corn. Make a solar distiller so you dont burn off 30-50% of your fuel to crack the alcohol from the beer.

Beer is just mash, water and brewers yeast left to ferment for a week, drain off the liquid which will be water laden alcohol which the yeast would have created as a byproduct from consuming the sugars from the artichoke.

Run through a solar still to separate the alcohol from the water. The water is good for watering plants, the yeast cake can be used to run a new batch, the left over mash can be fed to livestock (it will contain some alcohol so they will eagerly get drunk).

Re: Biofuels?

@Rebel, I know what you mean about the generation of electricity, but operation an electric bike does not in and of itself create emissions, there is also the issue of recycling the batts. But a scooter with a 20 mile range and 30mph speed would cover most peoples commute. Also safer to store inside than gasoline, a plus for those without a garage.

Re: Biofuels?

Luke “Funkenet” Hosfield /


The mash wouldn't contain alcohol unless it too had fermented.

Re: Biofuels?

Just an observation after seeing Alex's pigs a little drunk after a couple of buckets of mash

Re: Biofuels?

Luke “Funkenet” Hosfield /

Anyone ever watch the show on Discovery called "The Colony"? Its a experiment on how ten people cope in a post-apocalyptic world.

They built a generator that ran on wood gas, then adapted the gasifier to put on a truck.

They also built this sweet custom trike that ran on solar panels, that was their coolest build, until the throttle broke and Mike crashed it.

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