Seb in Mali (Dr F S Rodriguez-Sanchez)

Among his friends and colleagues he’s known as Seb (Sebastian). He’s a hard core hands on DIYer who knows what it’s like to be off grid.. I mean ‘really’ off the grid. We find DIYers on the Ranch, in Research, and everywhere in between.  Seb knows the Lister CS, his hands are all over it, and what he learned in Mali can be valuable to us all. The Mali Biocarburant study is and interesting read…  (links below). BTW, this is not the end of Seb’s studies, and his projects are not limited to bio-fuels, but are focused on improving the quality of life for people in third world countries through the application of technology.

Mali Project, Matt on left Visits Sebastian's Project, Seb on right

Picture to the Left is of Sebastian (on right). He and his group in this Mali field study hosted a visit of University of Columbia Students.  Matt Basinger from Columbia U is on the left and is fitting a modified CS plug for study.

Here’s a youtube link to an overview of the mail project.

A good link to Sebastian’s Work:

In a recent conservation, Seb said he is now working with a Dutch organization ‘FACT’ where they are attempting to make use of innovative bio-digesters to partially fuel the Lister CS type engines. Seb mentioned that this will help increase the profitability of the Mali business model, but they have some work to figure out a cost effective metering system for the gas that will respond to engine load. A good thing to share at this point is FACT is looking at a business model overall, if they have an excess of vegatable matter that could be placed in the biodigester, they can use the gas and what’s left over is returned to the soil.  As I touched on before, this is about business and making a profit for the investors, this helps keep the project honest. 

Seb is the Scientist, and not into the politics, I on the other hand will comment on the incredible amount of energy in a gallon of petrol and just how difficult it is to make an alternate fuel with similar energy density and shelf life.  Just today, I talked to a Mechanical Engineer in Eastern Washington who is off grid running 36 solar panels, he said he has far more energy than he can find a use for in the summer and near nothing in the winter. He was calling to see how he might construct an oil fueled small power plant that runs slow.  The reason I mention this is there are a lot of people who believe you could power a large factory with 36 panels…. winter or summer.  I think it’s imparative that we teach our children the value of energy, and make sure they don’t believe in the Hydrogen Propaganda. We see it everwhere, this week I see an oil company advertising the potential to increase overall efficiency of an automobile by 80% using hydrogen, now there’s a joke if I ever saw one.  Just sketch out the process from ‘energy in’, to the rear wheels turning, let’s blackboard the BTUs into the fuel processor, the losses in the drive system, the weight of the vehicle and the drag cofficient. My bet is the present Euro version 1.3 liter Suzuki Diesel is far more efficient…. sorry you can’t own it, because the EPA Czar says you can’t.  Hard to beat the energy density of oil,  a pound of kerosene or diesel. The Russians knew that years ago, that’s why they use kerosene to visit the space station.  If hydrogen was such a grand idea, wouldn’t they use it? I mean who cares what it cost to make, if it were a better fuel than kerosene, wouldn’t you use it? An 80% increase in efficiency might mean you can make one trip instead of two right? The simple truth is the power density is lower, and no one can afford to make the stuff, not for any use other than propaganda that is..

All the best,


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One Response to Seb in Mali (Dr F S Rodriguez-Sanchez)

  1. Greg says:

    That is general idea.

    Henry Ford

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