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$9,414
pledged of $26,000pledged of $26,000 goal
158
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, April 25 2015 7:46 PM UTC +00:00
$9,414
pledged of $26,000pledged of $26,000 goal
158
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, April 25 2015 7:46 PM UTC +00:00

About

What the heck are we up to?

The goal of this Kickstarter is to create a documentary that will serve as an educational resource about alternative energy with a focus on gasification. And to keep it interesting, we’re going to attempt to set a new land speed record for a gasifier-fueled vehicle, running on bio-waste.

The Green Dragon gasifier fueled vehicle
The Green Dragon gasifier fueled vehicle

In spite of widespread concern about the effects of carbon on our climate, there is an abundant source of carbon-neutral energy that is largely being ignored. With a relatively low-tech process called gasification, it is possible to convert almost any carbon-based material into a clean-burning fuel.

The world has a substantial supply of carbon-based materials in the form of bio waste:  logging residues, lumber waste, sewage sludge, animal waste, crop waste, and food processing waste – all of which are a potential source of carbon-neutral energy. That is, they are fuels which have no net greenhouse gas emissions. In many cases, these waste materials represent an expensive disposal problem. In some cases they are a source of soil contamination and ground-water pollution. Gasification technology can address the issue of disposing of these waste materials in an environmentally friendly manner while simultaneously providing a sustainable source of green energy.

What exactly is gasification?

The process of gasification involves heating a carbon-rich material such as bio-waste to about 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit.  This produces a gas containing hydrogen, methane and carbon monoxide, which can then be used as a clean-burning fuel. The exhaust from a motor running on gasifier fuel is generally quite clean, consisting of water vapor and CO2. And since the carbon dioxide in the exhaust gases originated from plant materials which pulled carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere as they were growing, the process is carbon-neutral. In fact, if left to decompose, that bio-waste would naturally return that carbon into the atmosphere without producing useable energy.

Why should you care?

A typical automobile produces between 200 and 500 grams of carbon dioxide per mile. That may not sound like much, but it adds up. A gallon of gas, which only weighs about 6 pounds, produces about 19 lbs. of carbon dioxide. In fact, vehicles in the US produce about 1.2 Billion metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. And US power plants generate about twice that much every year. So we’re producing nearly 4 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide per year – the vast majority of which was extracted from the ground in the form of fossil fuels. And that’s only in the US.

A whole lotta carbon
A whole lotta carbon

While there is ongoing controversy regarding the long-term effects of the vast amounts of CO2 released into the atmosphere by humans each year, there is no denying that CO2 levels are increasing. In the 1960’s atmospheric CO2 levels were at about 320 PPM and now they are exceeding 400 PPM in some locations. We find that alarming.

...and More Carbon
...and More Carbon

So what’s the deal with the land speed record?

While the idea of an educational documentary on alternative energy will undoubtedly provide fascinating and enlightening entertainment to some folks, we also want to reach the people who wouldn't normally be interested in the subject. We happen to think the health of our atmosphere and the future of our planet are important subjects for everyone to know about and understand so they can make informed decisions about their energy future. The land speed record attempt provides a means of broadening the audience for the film.

Ready to set a new land-speed record
Ready to set a new land-speed record

The documentary will start in Seattle, where the vehicle is currently on loan to the Lake Washington Institute of Technology. Students are involved in making improvements to the vehicle in preparation for our trip to The Bonneville Salt Flats. Once the vehicle is ready, we’ll drive it to Utah, making stops along the way to meet and interview other people involved in alternative energy, talking with them about what they are doing, how they're doing it and why.

How are the Students at Lake Washington Institute of Technology Involved?

Students at LWIT are working on the vehicle as a way to practice their newly acquired technical skills. This has provided a unique educational opportunity for the students and saved the Green Dragon Project a lot of money, since they work for free. They've been a great addition to the team and loads of fun to work with. Here are just a few of the modifications they are making to the vehicle:

Jessica checking the fit of the dual super charger assembly
Jessica checking the fit of the dual super charger assembly

  1. Installing Superchargers -- The fuel produced by the gasifier is in a gaseous state, rather than a liquid.  Compared to gasoline, it has a low energy density.  The superchargers enable us to compress the fuel and air, increasing the power of the vehicle.  The mounting system for the superchargers is being designed, manufactured and installed by the students.

Jeff finalizing the CAD Design for the Supercharger Mounts
Jeff finalizing the CAD Design for the Supercharger Mounts

   2. Converting to Fuel Injection

The students are designing and fabricating a spacer with ports that will accommodate fuel injectors. We believe this is the first time anyone has employed fuel injection on a gasifier fueled vehicle. If there's someone else out there who's tried it successfully -- please let us know and we promise to be suitably impressed. Fuel injection will enable us to conserve fuel, and drastically increase the coolness factor of the project.

Chad and Joe making room for the fuel injection system
Chad and Joe making room for the fuel injection system

  3.  Designing and Building an Automatic Fuel Feed System

The fuel hopper on the vehicle currently only holds enough material to drive about 20 miles before it needs to be refilled. The students are designing a large bin which will sit in the bed behind the gasifier, along with an auger feed system and a sensor to control it.  As the fuel gets low in the hopper, the auger will activate and refill the hopper.

How do you plan to use the film once it’s made?

In addition to showing the film at film festivals, we plan to make it available to schools as a free download for educating students about alternative energy and climate/carbon concerns. One of our stretch goals will be to develop an age-appropriate curriculum which would be provided as a free download as well.

Where do you come in?

We can’t do this without your help. We need money to purchase parts for the vehicle and make modifications to prepare it for an attempt at a new land speed record for gasifier fueled vehicles. We also need funds to cover expenses while shooting the film. As committed as we all are to this cause, we’ll still need to feed the cast and crew and provide lodging for them on our convoluted pilgrimage from Seattle to Utah. And as any film maker can tell you, after all the fun of shooting is over, the editor gets to spend endless weeks trying to make a coherent story out of all that footage.

Having said all that, we hope you’ll join us as we embark on this adventure.

The Green Dragon gasifier
The Green Dragon gasifier

Follow us on Twitter.

Visit the Green Dragon Team website.

Rewards 

Items in image not to scale
Items in image not to scale

Risks and challenges

The Green Dragon truck is already operational on bio-waste pellets. But we need to improve performance. Upgrades to the vehicle are currently being performed by a dedicated group of students at the Lake Washington Institute of Technology, in conjunction with other members of the team. While they are doing brilliant work, they are constrained by the timing of the school year. So all the mods and upgrades have to be completed before the end of the Spring term. In the meantime, we've run out of funds for additional parts and materials. That means they won't be able to perform any more work on the vehicle until this Kickstarter gets funded. We need to get them the funds to purchase the additional parts they need in order to complete the project before the end of the school year -- something we're confident we can do, with your help.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Save the Planet!

    You'll be added to our email updates distribution and experience the warm fuzzy feeling of being part of a Really Good Thing. In fact, you'll probably sleep better at night, knowing you've Helped Save The Planet.

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    Download the Film

    In addition to receiving updates on the project, you'll receive a link to download the final version of the documentary. Be the first in your neighborhood to have access to the video!

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    The DVD

    In addition to a downloadable version, we'll send you a shiny new DVD of the the documentary, all your very own. (Delivery date is estimated.)

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    Back to the Future

    $88 gets you all the previous premiums PLUS this cool T-shirt. If you're asking yourself the question, "why $88?", -- it's because we think any vehicle that could be mistaken for a time travel device should be able to go 88 MPH. And if we do get hurtled back in time to the year 1985, we plan to arrive wearing one of these stylish T-shirts.

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    Get The Hat

    You'll receive the Level 4 awards plus this cool hat. Needless to say, you'll be the envy of all your friends, since this exquisite head gear will only be available to our Kickstarter partners!

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    Your Name in Lights!

    In addition to the previous perks, you'll be listed in the Special Thanks section in the credits in the documentary. See your name in lights -- or at least in a fancy typeface as it scrolls past at the end of the movie.

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    Assistant Producer

    In addition to the Level 6 awards, you'll be listed in the credits of the documentary as an Assistant Producer.

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    Associate Producer

    In addition to the Level 6 awards, you will be listed in the credits as an Associate Producer. You'll show up on IMDB.com as a movie producer. Next stop, Hollywood!

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    Join Us at the Release Party

    Level 8 awards AND your name ON the Green Dragon as a Supporter, a listing in the Special Thanks section of the documentary film credits and an invitation to join us for the Green Dragon Documentary Release party in Seattle (travel/accommodations not included).

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    Sponsor a School Visit

    A personal visit to the school of your choice (within a 4 hour drive of Richland, Washington) with the Green Dragon, a 2-hour age-appropriate presentation on alternative energy and an explanation and demonstration of the working of the Green Dragon’s gasifier AND a photo of the students with the Green Dragon for the classroom.

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    Be Part of the Action at Bonneville

    Be part of the action! Level 9 awards PLUS a pass to join us on the Bonneville Salt Flats for the Green Dragon Speed Run, and an invitation to join us for the premier of the film in either Seattle or Toronto. (Transportation and lodging not included)

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    Executive Producer

    Level 11 awards PLUS your name as Executive Producer in the credits and on IMDB.com. When it comes to fame and glory on IMDB, this is the role that really counts.

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    Corporate Supporter

    Let the world know your company cares about the environment -- let us put your your corporate, collegiate or personal logo on the side of the Green Dragon. Logos limited to 12" by 24".

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Funding period

- (30 days)