Not a Gas Station Zine

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A History of the BioFuel Oasis and How to Create Your Own Biodiesel Filling Station by Jennifer Radtke, BioFuel Oasis co-founder.

This is a 110 page book of how to start your own biodiesel filling station with lots of information on starting your own business.

It has stories of the trials and tribulations of going through permitting but also practice knowledge and experience that you can apply to your business.

Upon purchase, the ebook can be downloaded for 60 days in both EPUB or PDF format.  The PDF format is more accurate when it comes to the photos, but for reading the text, the EPUB format is fine.

Here are the Table of Contents:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction...................................................................................... 1

Create, Don’t Replicate....................................................................... 1

Copyright Common Courtesy............................................................... 2

PART I: Biodiesel Basics........................................................................ 6

Why Diesel Engines Rock!................................................................... 6

Starting a Diesel Engine................................................................... 7

Diesels in the EU............................................................................. 7

Running Your Car on Biodiesel or Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO)................ 7

Benefits of Biodiesel........................................................................... 9

Cautions of Using Biodiesel in Your Vehicle.......................................... 11

Overview and Chemistry of Making Biodiesel....................................... 12

Main Reaction............................................................................... 12

Side Reactions – Making Soap......................................................... 13

Cleaning the Biodiesel.................................................................... 14

Homebrewing Resources................................................................ 14

PART II: How I Fell in Love with Biodiesel.............................................. 15

Biodiesel – Nectar of the Gods........................................................... 15

Baptism by Oil................................................................................. 16

March 18 Speech............................................................................. 16

Not at a Gas Station!........................................................................ 18

Birthing the Business........................................................................ 19

A Biodiesel Fairytale......................................................................... 19

Journey to the Emerald City of Ames, Iowa, August 2003...................... 20

PART III: Beginnings: Excitement, Idealism, and the Best Laid Plans......... 22

Timeline of the Oasis........................................................................ 22

The BioFuel Oasis Vision................................................................... 22

The Anti-Gas Station..................................................................... 22

Integrity...................................................................................... 23

Community.................................................................................. 23

Short Concentrated Hours.............................................................. 23

Above Board................................................................................. 24

Creating your own vision................................................................ 24

Questions to ask yourself when visioning:........................................ 25

Cooperation, Not Competition............................................................ 26

Location, Location, Location - Summer 2003....................................... 26

Business Type................................................................................. 28

Sole Proprietor............................................................................. 28

Partnership.................................................................................. 29

Corporation.................................................................................. 29

Non-Profits................................................................................... 30

Get Professional Advice.................................................................. 31

Business Plan.................................................................................. 31

Day-to-Day Operation.................................................................... 32

Your Market................................................................................. 33

Financials..................................................................................... 34

Just Do It..................................................................................... 34

Funding.......................................................................................... 35

The Nitty Gritty Paperwork................................................................ 37

Employer Identification Number from IRS......................................... 37

Fictitious Business Name (FBN) Statement....................................... 37

Credit Union/Bank Account............................................................. 37

Seller’s Permit.............................................................................. 37

Web Domain................................................................................ 38

Logo............................................................................................ 39

General Liability Insurance............................................................. 40

California DMS (Department of Measurement Standards of the Department of Food & Agriculture) Variance        41

PART IV: Red Tape: Fall 2003 to FALL 2004........................................... 42

Zoning – August 2003...................................................................... 42

Opening – December 9, 2003............................................................ 43

Building Permit – January 2004......................................................... 44

Hazardous Materials/Toxics Department.............................................. 44

Fire Dept........................................................................................ 45

Business License.............................................................................. 46

Weights & Measures......................................................................... 46

Tips for Understanding and Working with Bureaucrats........................... 47

Our Pump Grand Opening – November 13, 2004.................................. 48

PART V: Running the Business.............................................................. 51

A Day at the Oasis........................................................................... 51

“Marketing”..................................................................................... 52

The Press..................................................................................... 54

Biodiesel: Our #1 Product................................................................. 56

Why We Don’t Make the Fuel We Sell............................................... 56

Fuel Procurement.......................................................................... 57

Where to Get Fuel From................................................................. 57

Fuel Quality.................................................................................. 58

Making Biodiesel Issues................................................................. 59

Storing/Handling Biodiesel Issues.................................................... 60

Testing Biodiesel........................................................................... 61

Frozen Biodiesel, No Thanks........................................................... 62

How do you check a delivery for gelling?.......................................... 63

Running Out of Fuel....................................................................... 63

Lessons Learned Around Fuel Procurement....................................... 64

Merchandise.................................................................................... 67

Burn-out......................................................................................... 68

Our Customers................................................................................ 69

Becoming a Women Owned & Worker Owned Cooperative..................... 69

No Bosses!................................................................................... 70

Making Decisions, or How to Have Productive Meetings...................... 71

Why Are We All Women?................................................................ 72

More New Members....................................................................... 72

Getting Along.................................................................................. 73

Taxes on Biodiesel........................................................................... 75

Accounting/Financial........................................................................ 78

Cash Register............................................................................... 78

Monthly Profit & Loss Statements.................................................... 80

QuickBooks.................................................................................. 81

Balance Sheets............................................................................. 82

Budgets/Planning.......................................................................... 82

Income Taxes............................................................................... 83

Payroll service.............................................................................. 83

Getting Rich................................................................................. 83

Our Truck....................................................................................... 84

Big Spill Disasters............................................................................ 86

Two Lessons Finally Learned.............................................................. 87

“Change the Fuel Filter” Mantra....................................................... 87

$150 Consultants.......................................................................... 88

Fuel Filter Changing Workshops......................................................... 89

Event Series: Biodiesel, Driving Still Sucks.......................................... 90

Future Dreams................................................................................ 92

Afterword.......................................................................................... 93

Appendix A: Business Startup Checklist................................................. 95

Appendix B: Equipment (including Diagrams)......................................... 97

Tanks.......................................................................................... 97

Containment................................................................................ 99

Plumbing.................................................................................... 100

Public Pump................................................................................ 100

1 Micron Filters........................................................................... 101

Biodiesel Handling, Storage, and Compatibility................................ 102

Plumbing for Beginners................................................................ 102

Proper Storage of Biodiesel........................................................... 103

Appendix C: Fuel Filter Changing Instructions....................................... 105

Volkswagen TDIs (1996-2006) Fuel Filter Changing Instructions........... 105

Mercedes (1978-1985) Fuel Filter Changing Instructions..................... 108