Dec 7 2012
65¢ a Gallon: Biodiesel Workshop

Homesteader and science teacher Samuel Wu makes his own fuel for 65¢ a gallon. He will lead a hands-on workshop on how to make biodiesel safely and inexpensively at home. You’ll also take a tour of his biodiesel car. And, you’ll go home with a booklet on how to convert to a biodiesel lifestyle.

• Sunday, January 13

• Whittier, CA (TBD)
• 12pm-3pm (Lunch included 12pm-1pm)
• Tickets: $20 ($15 early bird price ends Wednesday, January 9)

In the luncheon before the class, we’ll discuss potential biodiesel co-ops in Whittier and Pasadena. A co-op would share the load when it comes to collecting waste oil (transportation and restaurant relations), making and storing biodiesel, and potentially selling biodiesel at a profit to local users.


Homesteader and science teacher Samuel Wu fuels his converted Mercedes vehicles (’83 300D; ’87 300SDL; ’99 E300) with biodiesel at about 65¢ a gallon. In this workshop, he’ll teach you how to make biodiesel from SVO (straight vegetable oil), including mixing, washing, and drying.

Part laboratory science and part creative recycling, biodiesel manufacturing uses chemicals appropriate for older teens and adults; no children please. Biodiesel itself is non-toxic, and is legal to make and store.

The workshop will address permitting questions as well as the science behind making biodiesel. Wu will also discuss volume biodiesel manufacturing and the principles of diesel auto conversion.

You will learn:

– Simple equipment needed to make and store biodiesel
– The chemistry behind biodiesel manufacture
– How to approach restaurants for used cooking oil
– Pros and cons of older and newer model diesel cars
– Principles of converting your car to biodiesel


65¢ a Gallon: Biodiesel Workshop is a part of the Build-Your-Skills workshop series curated by the Whittier Time Bank in support of community self-reliance.

This event is planned in collaboration with Whittier Backyard Farms.

To learn about more upcoming workshops for self-reliance, email


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