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The 5th annual Sustainable Biodiesel Summit (SBS) just so happens to be held in central Florida this year. Each year this grassroots oriented national meeting precedes the National Biodiesel Board's conference.
The SBS, in their own words is:
An annual conference to raise awareness of sustainability and to facilitate the adoption of sustainable practices in the biodiesel industry. Industry professionals meet to exchange best practices, brainstorm ideas, and support each other’s efforts to conduct successful businesses in an environmentally sustainable and socially just manner. The summit focuses not biodiesel for its own sake, but biodiesel as a means to realize greater environmental stewardship, shared economic development (particularly through smaller, community-scale businesses), and a stable, secure, self-reliant energy future.
UPDATE: Public demo of the bus at Canova Beach park 11am-1pm Wed Dec 5
Ethan Burke and Alan Palm purchased a used school bus in 2006 and have since traveled to over 20 states, racking up over 30,000 miles (largely powered by used restaurant fryer oil) in a mission to raise awareness about alternative energy. They plan to visit the remaining states, ramp up with more buses, and participate in the 2008 US campaign trail.
On the tech front, the bus has several drums for storage of WVO - which is pumped directly from the restaurant dump bins. Two large parallel inline filters along the side of the bus perform the first stage of filtering. An Elsbett system coordinates fuel and tank heating with cutover from diesel to the WVO. The bus also has a solar panel rack on top driving an inverter/battery setup inside which provides compact fluorescent lighting and additional AC outlets.
Looking for a way to dispose of your used Thanksgiving turkey/turducken oil other than the landfill? Near the Cocoa, FL area? A biodiesel homebrewer there can turn that oil in to biodiesel fuel. Use the "Contact Us" link above for more information.
Girl Mark is bringing her renowned biodiesel classes to Brooksville FL (about 1.5 hours west of Orlando, 1 hour north of Tampa) on January 26-28 2008. You can read her description in this message. More on the Appleseed processor you can build. Detailed information from a post about a recent class in Mississippi.
From my point of view, the highlights of the weekend Essentials class are these extras:
I will have an Amberlite column, an improved Appleseed with a venturi-based methoxide addition and possibly an eductor, static mixers, hydronic heating system, and some other equipment changes in place on the processor by then. We'll discuss some cheaper alternatives to some of this new equipment, and process alternatives that compensate. We'll use my motorized methoxide mixer for the large-scale batch. Tour a variac-based methanol recovery system, discuss vacuum pumps, discuss other methanol recovery and dewatering oil alternatives, see a Turk Burner in action and discuss what to do with it to use it safely, and more. We'll even run a lab batch of acid-base biodiesel and discuss how to apply it to an Appleseed.
She is being hosted by Michael who has started a Florida Biodiesel Yahoo group.
"He takes the hugest American cars on the road and rejiggers them to get up to quadruple their normal mileage and burn low-emission renewable fuels grown on U.S. soil--all while doubling their horsepower."
Vid of his upgraded biodiesel powered Chevy Impala beating a Lamborghini down the dragstrip:
I have decided to sell out all of my bio-diesel making equipment. Its all basically brand new. I was just about to start production and my job situation has changed dramatically. I hate to sell but hopefully someone can take advantage and make an impact with what I have already put together.
Two 100 gallon fiberglass tanks, New 80 gallon hot water heater with plumbing changes made and sight tube added, Two pumps with tubing, Vacuum pump with cooling element and tank for methanol recovery, 55 gallon drum of methanol, 50 gallons new cooking oil, 30 gallons used oil. And tons of extra plumbing, books, Girl-Mark manual on how to, blender samples of 1 liter made bio-diesel from soy oil, canola oil and even pig lard and more things than I can remember.
Available only for pick up in Central Florida
I am asking $500. I've got that much in the reactor, oil and 55 gallons of methanol not to mention the twin 100 gallon fiberglass wash tanks with custom built stand pipes (pictured in front of tanks). The methanol recovery pump can be used to suck methanol from the drum as well as suck out the methanol from the waste glycerin using the radiator and fan as a cooling element. You can't really see it in the pictures but there are a ton of extra fittings as well. The reactor was never used for oil. I just about had everything set up when life got in the way.
Email me at ... at ...
But my loss is your gain. The altruistic part of me really hopes this goes to a good home where someone is really serious can make a difference in the environment by making a few batches a week. But if nobody steps forward in the near future I would consider selling it piecemeal.
Florida Today reports on the use of biodiesel by Brevard Public Schools and the City of Palm Bay.
Palm Bay is reported to use B20 in 141 heavy vehicles, saving $12,000 per year.
The school has been using B20 in 130 school buses for 14 months.
Glover Oil is selling 100,000 gallons per month to these and other customers including Patrick Air Force Base and the Orlando Airport Authority.
Maybe other local municipalities (Melbourne, Cocoa, Titusville) will see the green light and start getting the environmental and financial benefits of biodiesel?
Brevard Biodiesel participated in the the SunDay Challenge Alternative Fueled Vehicle Road Rally on Sunday.
Starting line at FSEC. Vehicles include Hybrid, Electric, and Biodiesel.
This company focuses on a distributed generation unit that converts the byproduct of biodiesel production, glycerol, into electricity. The process uses "Brute Force Physics" as described at the related Brevard Research Inc web site.
Co-founder John Sessa says in the article:
We’re capitalizing on a rising waste product created by the biodiesel industry. The biodiesel industry is starting to ramp up because America wants renewable energy. We are creating a clean, synthesis gas, which is a term loosely applied to any combination of hydrogen and carbon monoxide.
The product will be a "a 100–kilowatt unit, which comes in at $120,000 using the standard pricing model." and stand about 5 feet tall.
The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) in Cocoa, FL will be hosting a 3 day SunDay Challenge "An Alternative Energy Vehicle Rally" on October 6th, 7th, and 8th. Day 1 features Autocross, Day 2 a Road Rally from FSEC to FIT in Melbourne, and Day 3 an Electric Drive and Hybrid Vehicle Workshop. Full agendas for each day here.
Biodiesel vehicles are invited to participate in the Road Rally on Sunday the 7th. Biodiesel blends of B10 and up are permitted. The registration, risk, and publicity forms are required to be filled out by October 1st with $20 entry fee.
29 Sep Update:
Expected vehicles include: AC Propulsion eBox, Electric Porsche 959, Plug-in Prius, Electric PT Cruiser, Lithium-powered electric Subaru Impreza, Vectrix, CommutaCar CitiCar, Honda Civic GX CNG, and more.
Thursday, September 20 09:00 PM
Friday, September 21 01:00 AM
Sunday, September 30 09:00 AM
Logan from Morin Motorsports indicates they are now stocking Methanol in 5 and 55 gallon quantities. Current prices are $28/5gal, $190/55gal. Contact Logan at 407-951-2583 for more information.
Saving 10 gallons of gasoline per day per truck, FPL now has 8 hybrid diesel medium duty trucks on the road. These trucks are running B20 fuel. (The press release makes the mistake of calling the 20% component "virgin soybean oil"). The electric motors give FPL this capability:
# FPL line specialists can operate a hybrid truck’s bucket using just the electric motors for as long as two hours and then recharge them in three minutes.
# Each hybrid truck is capable of producing 25 kilowatts of electricity.
It's not clear when we might see these trucks in Brevard County - currently the listed locations are: Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade County and Sarasota.
Florida Today coverage is here.
Chris was an inspiration by way of his energy, kind smile, and willingness to share and talk about biodiesel.
Our sincere condolences to his family, friends and co-workers.
If desired, donations can be made to the American Diabetes Association.
The Summer 2007 issue of Co-op America Quarterly has an excellent cover article comparing alternative fuels. The full issue in PDF format is available for free. Read the articles in the issue for lots of information - their bottom line:
There is much more information in the articles in this issue - most highly recommended!
Co-Op America is a not-for-profit membership organization founded in 1982. Becoming a member is an excellent way to support their work.
The recently announced wikiscanner has been used by folks to tie many "interesting" edits of wikipedia (the most popular online encyclopedia) back to the organizations making the changes.
Readers of the Wired ThreatLevel blog have noted that ChevronTexaco deleted the entire entry on Biodiesel! You can see their edit here. The IP address used to make the edits was "184.108.40.206" which reverses to "chvpkntproxy2.chevrontexaco.com".
In related news:
Exxon modified the entry on the Exxon Valdez oil spill to say that "species in Prince William Sound were never affected ".
The Cocoa Beach Public Library is showing Who Killed The Electric Car at 2pm on Wednesday August 15th. Admission is free, healthy snacks are provided, and a panel discussion will follow.
Sol Atlantic Biodiesel and SMU Lending is sponsoring a Bio TDI Club Get-Together & Environmental Fair on Sunday August 5th in Miami.
Miami Herald article updates news about biodiesel happenings in Florida. Of note:
Charles from the Florida Electric Auto Association will be bringing a brand new Vectrix Electric Maxi-Scooter to the Summer Fest event (that Brevard Biodiesel is also part of) on July 22nd at the Eau Gallie Civic Center.
While waiting for plug-in biodiesel hybrids to arrive, the Vectrix is available today.
Max Speed 62 mph / 100 km/h
Acceleration 0-50 mph (80 km/h) - 6.8 seconds
Range 68 miles (110 km) @ 25 mph (40 km/h) Simulated urban driving - 5 hours
Recharge Time 2 hours (80% charge)
Bluetooth wireless sytems diagnostics and communication
Florida Governor Crist is expected to sign an Executive Order this week at the Climate Change Summit that include among other directives:
- Reduction in Greenhouse Gas emissions for state agencies:
"a 10 percent reduction from current emission levels by 2012, a 25 percent reduction from current emission levels by 2017, and a 40 percent reduction from current emission levels by 2025"
- Reduction in state Greenhouse Gas emissions: "by 2017, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 2000 levels; by 2025, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels; by 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% of 1990 levels"
- "All state agencies and departments under the direction of the Governor shall use ethanol and biodiesel fuels when locally available."
Biodiesel provides a 78% lifecycle reduction in CO2 emissions. United States CO2 emissions data shows that diesel fuel used for transportation contributes 7% (or 110 million metric tons per year) of overall CO2 emission totals.
We* can knock out 78% of that using B100 (or 16% using B20) which would get us halfway (or one tenth using B20) of the way to a ten percent total reduction by 2012.
Fire up those Algae ponds and Jatropha farms!
*(Assumes Florida energy usage ratios are similar to overall national energy ratios).
The July/Aug 2007 issue #89 of BackHome magazine features a nice article by Ray Holan with the title of "Vegetable Oil as Diesel Fuel". Ray is the president of Biodiesel Cleveland and author of "Sliding Home: A Complete Guide to Driving your Diesel on Straight Vegetable Oil".
The article starts out with a good introduction to biodiesel and vegetable oil used as fuel. It then has a section with details on using vegetable oil with additives. The next section talks about the Elsbett Single-Tank adaptation (featuring a diagram originally produced by Brevard Biodiesel). This is followed by a section on two-tank diesel/SVO systems.
Overall a clear and informative article that shows that the author has had years of experience with the topic. Recommended!
Thanks to co-founder Jim W. for the heads-up on this piece.
Brevard Biodiesel will be at the upcoming 3rd Annual Progressive Fest held Sunday July 22nd at the Eau Gallie Civic Center in Melbourne FL.
We plan to have a few biodiesel vehicles and would be happy to chat about biodiesel with any visitors. We'll also have prizes for people trying to answer an energy based quiz.
Food including locally roasted Fair Trade Coffee
The "Transportation Land Use, Planning, and Air Quality Conference 2007" will be held at the Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, FL on July 9,10,11 2007.
Of particular note to biodiesel interests are these two sessions:
MONDAY, JULY 9, 2007
Review of the Impact of Biodiesel, Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel, and Conventional Diesel on Emissions from Orange County School Bus Fleet-Ali Bayat, University of Central Florida.
TUESDAY, JULY 10, 2007
The Impact of Biodiesel on Emissions from School Buses - Mohamadreza Farzaneh, Josias Zietsman, and Dennis G. Perkinson, Texas Transportation Institute, College Station, TX.
Diesel ships and trains are not subject to the same fuel and exhaust requirements that on-road vehicles are subject to by the EPA. The pollution from trains in the Chicago area is estimated to be equivalent to over 53 million cars! (Compare to 6 million registered automobiles in all of Illinois).
The pollution from ships in the Houston area is estimated to be equivalent to over 76 million cars! (Compare to 9 million registered automobiles in all of Texas).
The EPA is stepping up controls on both ships and locomotives. The proposed rules are intended to reduce particulate emissions from ships and locomotives by 90 percent, NOx by 80 percent, and "sizeable" reductions in HC, CO, and other air toxics. Comments on the new rules are due by July 2nd. Instructions for submitting comments are located at this page under the "Public Participation Opportunities" section.
Honda has seen the light with regard to its hybrid Accord and is dropping that model for the upcoming year.
The 2007 Honda Accord hybrid model boasts a whopping 2 more MPG (combined) than the gasoline only model. Honda must have figured that consumers would go for the extra power the 6 cylinder hybrid model provided - but consumers didn't bite. Last month, only 1.4% of the Accords purchased were the hybrid type. Meanwhile, the hybrid Toyota Camry, which gets 10 more MPG than the gasoline mode, accounts for 15% of the model sold.
A surge in demand for biofuels derived from agricultural products has unleashed a chaotic land grab by a new breed of gangster entrepreneurs hoping to cash in on the world’s thirst for palm oil and related bioproducts.
The Columbian Institute for Rural Development reports that 95% of the palm has been planted illegally (without consulting the land owners, using force).
In a 2003 order by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights it was noted that:
Since 2001, the company URAPALMA S.A. has initiated cultivation of the oil palm on approximately 1,500 hectares of the collective land of these communities, with the help of “the perimetric and concentric armed protection of the Army’s Seventeenth Brigade and armed civilians in their factories and seed banks.” The goal of the armed raids and operations in this territory has been to intimidate the members of the Communities, so that they either join in the production of oil palm or evacuate the territory. The company’s preparation of the land in order to expand the crop continues to advance toward the community of Nueva Esperanza, near the place chosen by the members of the Communities to set up their “humanitarian refuge zones.” Moreover, under these circumstances, the cultivation of African palm and the exploitation of the natural resources on the Communities’ territory endanger the lives and survival of these families;
Pictures from a Solidarity walk in Uraba, Columbia including pictures of land taken over for palm growth.
Ed from Rockledge has 2 55 gallon metal drums that are free to whoever would like them. Contact him via email at: Esarog at Yahoo dot Com
Dr. Friendly and the Chlorophyll Collective are part of an awareness of biodiesel at Burning Man 2007 - The Green Man held Aug 27 - Sep 3 in Black Rock Desert. Daniel Terdiman reports for CNET News.com that:
... touted a project called the Single Cell Solution (PDF) by an artist known as Dr. Friendly. This is designed to take exhaust from generators and feed it through a bed of algae, which eats the carbon dioxide, secretes an oil, and produces biodiesel that is then fed back into the generators.
As part of this project, Burning Man is switching its fuel supply for the hundreds of generators necessary to power various projects from diesel fuel to biodiesel from french-fry cookers in Reno.
The project proposal (PDF) includes the mention of 200 6ftx5in acrylic tubes for algea and 200 LEDs (presumably for the "at night strobing LEDs will capture the shifting shapes of the bubbles" effect).
And how can you not want to see this: "Chihuly-esque clusters of clear tubing full of algae further processing exhaust will hang like tendrils along the way, along with informational plaques and LED-bar carbon dioxide meters showing the greenhouse gas content of the exhaust before and after passing through the algae."
Save me a seat at the Algae Bar in the "giant living mandala" of the Green Genesis Dome!
G E E K N E S S meets A R T meets S U S T A I N A B I L I T Y
The Orlando Sentinel reports that Orlando based Xenerga is planning on growing a patented version of the Jatropha plant in Florida for use as a biodiesel feedstock. A 5000 acre plot in Lake Wales, FL will grow the special version of this high oil yield crop. At 1600 gallons of oil per acre per harvest, that's enough oil to supply one or two of Xenerga's 5 MMgy refineries.
The Jatropha oil and resulting biodiesel seems to have cold weather properties that are somewhat better than Palm Oil, but worse than Soybean Oil.
Reports and Pictures:
Above photos courtesy of Bobbie Richardson
The IRS has issued a ruling allowing big oil companies that dump some vegetable oil into their conventional refining process to then claim credit for biodiesel blending tax credits under the thermal de-polymerization (TDP ) section of the Energy Policy Act.
Brevard Biodiesel will take part in these upcoming events in April here in Brevard County Florida. Come on by and chat about biodiesel!
The Orlando Utilities Commission is sponsoring a special screening of the acclaimed documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car" at the University of Central Florida in Orlando FL on Monday April 16th from 6pm to 9pm in Communications 101.
On March 18th, Earthrace was involved in a collision with a local fishing boat off the coast of Guatemala. One fisherman was killed, and two hurt with one requiring surgery after life saving treatment on board Earthrace (using supplies from an earlier stop in Charleston SC). The crew was allowed to leave after a 10-day say in Guatemala with a judge ruling the collision was an accident.
The Ground Crew blog and Captain's blog document their thoughts and actions during this turbulent time, and capture the grace of the Guatemalan people and their colonial city Antigua. Video blog of collision aftermath.
Our best wishes to those involved on both vessels, and their family members. Examples of the words from Captain Bethune:
"These people are poor, but there’s also a great sense of community and family spirit amongst them."
"There’s a couple of other things I’m learning about the people here. Firstly, they are incredibly happy. It doesn’t matter who you meet here or what they are doing, they will always have a smile on their face. And secondly, they are extremely courteous. While at the Navy base I was always impressed at how polite everyone was, but I’d assumed it was part of the military discipline. It seems this politeness carries on all over the place."
Sail on Earthrace, Sail on “Pajarito”.
The story highlighted Seattle Biodiesel, who is putting together a 100 MMgy (million gallon per year) biodiesel refinery on the Pacific coast (with 3 more to come).
Also mentioned are various viewpoints on feedstock choices, including sustainable palm oil,
Professor Tim Dittmer says the biodiesel industry is likely to make money *if* it stays eco-friendly.
Calvert Chief Social Investment Strategist Dr. Julie Gorte comments on feedstock choices at the end of the piece.
Brevard Biodiesel presented information on biodiesel to the Renewable Energy class of Professor Frank Leslie at the Florida Institute of Technology today. Elias and Jay concentrated on the practicality and chemistry of making biodiesel. There were lots of good comments and questions from the class of 17. Students from a mix of disciplines were represented - most in engineering fields. It was great to hear about another professor investigating algae strains - in raceways that are currently under construction. Thank you to Frank and the class for their hospitality and interest.
The powerpoint used today is available here:
2007 Class PDF [2MB]
NYTimes reports on founders of LiveFuels Inc. that are part of a wave of green energy companies searching for startup money.
Mike Briggs at University of New Hampshire originally produced some numbers regarding the amount of land necessary to produce enough algae to turn into biodiesel to replace all petroleum transportation fuels in the US.
The founders of LiveFuels didn't think wave energy, hydrogen fuel cells, wind energy, solar energy, cellulosic ethanol, or cow manure to methanol made good business sense - but biodiesel from algae piqued their interest.
The company projects that in three years it can produce some biofuel, which theoretically could eventually be produced in quantities of as much as 20,000 gallons of fuel a year per acre of algae.
Much of the interest was spurred by the previously abandoned DOE Aquatic Species Program. It closed in 1998 saying algae-to-biodiesel could only be effective if petro-diesel prices rose to 2x the current levels. 2006 levels are 3x then
Click link for story. This is the kind of red tape that awaits some homebrewers!
The Sunday business section of Florida Today featured several articles on alternative fueled vehicles. Along with
an article on Electric Cars, and Hybrid Cars, Brevard Biodiesel was mentioned in the biodiesel article.
Volkswagen is running a "VW Heritage Search Contest" looking for the oldest VW diesel still in service, and the VW diesel with highest mileage.
Winners will have the use of a Touareg V10 TDI for 6 months.
Freedom Fuels is a 49 minute documentary movie about alternative fuels, including biodiesel, now available as a FREE download.
This movie won the Environmental Preservation Award at the 2006 Artivist Film Festival.
A local biodiesel user moving out of state is selling his 1981 VW Rabbit pickup, the information is below. Noted these VW brochures online from back then.
1981 VW rabbit pickup 1.6L diesel
- rebuilt cylinder head
- new head gasket
- new water pump and timing belt
- new alternator and battery
- new radiator / hoses and belts
- new injectors and glow plugs
- new springs and shocks
- new brakes and rotors
- new exhaust
- new shift linkage
- newer Jetta style seats
- new headliner
- new CD player and speakers
- new paint with rabbit decal and custom biodiesel emblem
- roof rack with ability to carry a canoe
- 12v plug connection in bed for wvo pickup
- Recently inspected at Mark's VW Werkshop who can verify that this truck runs great.
Of note to biodiesel users in the full agenda is the section from 2-4pm on Wednesday March 7th which will include:
- John Thomas Research Professor, Dept of Biological Sciences,
Florida Institute of Technology
"Biofuel Research Efforts at Florida Tech"
Update: The fee for attending only the RENEWABLE (SUSTAINABLE) ENERGY half-day on March 7th is $25. Details from FIT reply:
The charge would be $25. Please register online (http://research.fit.edu/sustainability/wordpress/), check the "pay by check or money order" box at the bottom of the registration form and mail a check or money order or pay on the day of the event with exact cash, a check or money order. Make payable to Florida Tech College of Science, Attention: Linda Ward.
The biodiesel powered boat "EarthRace" arrives in Florida this week prior to its attempt to set a world record for circumnavigation of the earth. EarthRace will be at the Miami Boat Show Feb 15th-19th. Having just visited EarthRace while it was docked in Charleston SC, I can vouch for the stunning appearance of the vessel. From the Maori inspired designs covering the futuristic curved hull, to the high tech cockpit, and including the Lord-of-the-Rings audio-book I noted stashed inside - this Kiwi skippered trimaran is definitely worth a visit!
A local biodiesel homebrewer is upgrading his system and looking to unload his existing Appleseed processor. (We've seen (and envied) Dan's VW diesel rabbit pickup.)
This will be a turnkey operation with everything from a pump to pick up wvo, a kit to perform proper titration, a How to Handbook, and a phLip test kit to test fuel quality. Storage drums and initial start up catalyst and alcohol can also be provided. All anyone would need is WVO!
Brian at the White Rabbit Acres organic farm in Vero Beach reports he has over 500 gallons of Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) filtered to 1 micron available.
He can dispense directly or deliver in bulk loads of 275 gallons.
His contact number is: xxx-xxx-xxx
A commenter at greenermiami.com indicates one and a half 55 gallon drums of used cooking oil free for the taking. Contact the poster at greenermiami for more information.
A Cocoa FL biodiesel user is selling a white 1986 190D "Rare" diesel that has already had the fuel lines updated with Viton material (which is biodiesel resistant vs. the original natural rubber material).
He notes the good and bad items for this vehicle as:
Asking price is $3000 firm. Contact Seller.
Sherry Boschert will be presenting a free slideshow talk on the subject of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles at the Florida Solar Energy Center located on the campus of Brevard Community College/University in Cocoa, FL on Sunday January 21st at 4pm.
Sherry is the author of Plug-In Hybrids, The Cars that will Recharge America. (Also available at Amazon.com, however purchases at the link benefit Plug In America - mentioned in Who Killed the Electric Car).
She is also co-founder and President of the San Francisco Electric Vehicle Association.
A member of the Florida Electric Auto Association will also be on hand to show a pure battery Toyota RAV4-EV vehicle.
We'll make sure to show up in a biodiesel vehicle
The picture is of a line in my refueling station that has partially gelled palm oil derived B99 biodiesel in it. The station is in an enclosed garage. Overnight, the outside temperature dropped to 47.7 degrees F. The garage temperature near the station dropped to 56.1 degrees F. The outside temperature at the time of the photo was 66.2 degrees F. The garage temperature at the time of the photo was 61.6 degrees F. The temperatures were collected using a $20 weather station.
Past experience says long enough time in warmer weather will re-melt the gel. This visual aid is the main reason a clear fuel line is in use.
A restaurant in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area goes through 2 15lb. containers of waste fryer oil per week and is looking to move it out thru a biodiesel user. If you are interested contact us (using the link at the top of the page) and we'll get you in touch with the restauranteur.
Simple homebrewing info
Free monthly pub.
Papers, free online course
Best collection of BD/VO links