Gilead’s energy independence secured; new fuel source found

As with other articles, this one degrades toward the end due to file-corruption. It is the last article in the May 27, 2019 issue.

In a development that is likely to have wide-ranging impact on the Gilead’s long-term viability as a community, dairy owner Sam Chambers and Gilead Garage owner Eric Quinton put their heads together and identified a fuel source that will eliminate the need for diesel fuel or vegetable oil to run the Chambers’ farm equipment.

Sam Chambers at work in his barn; it now appears his dairy will be a source of fuel as well as milk products, making the Gilead energy-independent.

“It just sort of hit me out of the blue one day,” Chambers said. “Everyone knows that one of the products made from  milk is butter, which is mostly fat, with some milk-solids and moisture in it. But it’s a pretty simple process to remove those impurities, and you’re left with clarified butter, which is not much different from the vegetable fat we use to run Eric’s ‘grease-car’ engines.”

Chambers said he ran his idea by Quinton, who gave it a tentative endorsement. “I had never tried it before, but I told him that as long as it’s not tainted with impurities and it’s liquid at about 100 degrees, it should be fine as a fuel,” said Quinton.

He put the idea to the test, clarifying about a gallon of butter, which yielded about three-quarters of a gallon of clarified butter. Quinton tested the fuel in one of his older vehicles, and said it ran just as well as any other fuel he has used, although it burned slightly faster. “But all that means is that if diesel fuel or vegetable oil would run an engine for six hours, this stuff would run it for maybe five,” he said. “It really is on par with the other fuels I’ve been using.”

The ramifications for the Gilead cannot be understated, said GDC Chairman Jim Nash. “One of the things we’ve been most worried about is fuel supplies,” he said. “We were thinking about how we could keep our fuel supplies up after running out of restaurants to raid for vegetable oil, and we kept coming back to land-use issues, which were absolutely killing us.”

The problem, Nash explained, was that the only way to keep the Gilead in fuel oil would be to grow oil crops like soybeans, flax, corn, or other plants that yield oil, which would have required large amounts of land. And land-use issues don’t even take into consideration that fact that nobody in the Gilead area knows how to press oil out of these seeds efficiently, even if enough could be grown.

“Thank goodness, being able to rely on the Dairy for our fuel means we know, as a drop-dead fact, that we have enough land to meet our fuel needs as long as we have engines that work,” Nash said. “The land in Gilead before the Collapse was enough for Sam to have 50 producing cows, so if we can have that many in production again, we’ll ¥Ñ Çö=‹ò3óÂ×Îÿ î?êsrÔzw  e_ÿ $†cøf>L5 c­Ä9¾ƒÕnôØtÝFóVÔ ÚÇJµ–âìÈ(%^<¸r§Jf¯E:›‰§™ÆøÏú×å’畽–´‹Ë[]Là¶ñ3ñ‘Ùz“NKÇéÎ÷ ®0qæ$z¤:GäííºêE›Ãõ[¢¢æ@)<º p

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