Seven Springs Speaker Spotlight: Andrew Rumbold, Biodiesel Maker

Reader Contribution by Erica Binns
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 Get to know Andrew Rumbold of Bucks County Freedom Fuel.

What are you going to speak about at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR?

I am going to do a demonstration on how to use simple chemistry to make biodiesel from vegetable oil using readily available ingredients. Biodiesel can be used in virtually any diesel engine or home heating burner with little or no modification. It is biodegradable, better for engines, and has a lower pollution factor. Most people produce biodiesel for less than $1 per gallon. I will be making a 1 liter batch of fuel, sharing photographs of our processor and answering questions.

What are you most looking forward to sharing with FAIR attendees?

How you don’t have to be a chemist or rocket scientist to make your own fuel.

Tell us about your background with your particular topic.

Three years ago a friend of mine told me about someone he met that was making his own diesel fuel from used cooking oil. I didn’t even own a diesel at the time but the idea of making my own fuel sounded intriguing. We met a few local folks, started learning making small 1 liter batches and then gradually moved to larger batch sizes. Today we make 200 gallon batches, about 1,000 gallons per month. Neither of us had a chemistry or science background. We make fuel for our 2 households and share the extra with local farms who use it to power their diesel equipment. It is very rewarding to make your own fuel and really makes you think about how much fuel you need to be comfortable.

Why should fairgoers attend your presentation?

To learn how to make your own biodiesel! Even if you are not interested in making it, you can see that there are viable alternatives to petroleum that exist right now.

How will you get to the FAIR, and how far do you have to travel?

We are coming from Southeastern PA and traveling about 5 hours in my truck which will be running on B100 – 100% biodiesel.

What are you most looking forward to at the FAIR?

Sharing not only our biodiesel process, but our Wash Tyme glycerin soap made from the vegetable glycerin byproduct of making biodiesel. Come see us at booth 716! That and connecting with other like-minded folks.

What advice do you have for attendees?

Get there early and have a plan for the workshops you want to see.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and could have only one thing, what would you choose?

A knife.

Thanks, Andrew. We’ll see you at the FAIR!

Please visit the FAIR website for more information about the Seven
Springs, Pa. FAIR September 24-25, and upcoming FAIRs in other locations. Tickets
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