BioFuel Oasis

Berkeleyside -BioFuel Oasis: Eight years on, and still powered by idealism

Original Berkeleyside Article By Nathan Pensky

Even in a community as amenable to progressive values as Berkeley, there are few small businesses so powered by idealism as BioFuel Oasis, which this month is celebrating its eighth birthday.

An environmentalist mainstay since 2003, the company specializes in the sale of biodiesel fuel chemically rendered from recycled vegetable oil, and shipped in from an off-site manufacturer. Read More »

SF Gate -Berkeley’s Biofuel Oasis Pumps Up Local Living in the Bay

Biofuel Oasis in Berkeley is an all-women worker-owned cooperative and urban resource for folks who want to lighten their ecological footprints and maybe raise a chicken or two. Besides selling biodiesel and farm supplies, the Oasis regularly offers workshops on diesel car maintenance; raising chickens, ducks and goats in urban environments; and rainwater harvesting and graywater for gardens, to name just a few.

Biofuel Oasis evolved from the Berkeley Biodiesel Collective, an offshoot of the Ecology Center. The collective was formed on Sept. 11, 2002, in response to the 9/11 tragedy. To help reduce gasoline consumption, the collective taught people to brew fuel from used vegetable oil.
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Bay Area Bites  Goat-Curious? Take Urban Goats 101 with Novella Carpenter


Mother’s Day this year was a bit atypical. My interest in urban farming had peaked with the possibility of raising goats in my Oakland backyard and I needed a dose of reality. So instead of brunching with Mom I spent the morning learning about goat husbandry in an Urban Goats 101 class at the BioFuel Oasis.

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ABC News   KGO-TV San Francisco


— Mix the troubled economy with the desire to eat healthy food – and what do you get? A backyard turned into a barnyard. Here’s a look at the growing world of urban farming. The farm is a small backyard behind a pink house. It’s across the street from an abandoned building, just a few blocks from Downtown Oakland. There are rabbits living on the front deck, chickens patrolling the side yard and a big vegetable garden growing in the empty lot next door. Novella Carpenter is the farmer.

“When I am ready to make dinner, I can just sort of come down here, pick stuff, eat whatever is in season or whatever I find. I just feel healthier doing that and the food tastes really good too,” she said.

About half of the food Novella eats comes from her urban farm. She even shares with her neighbors. Raymond Jackson has lived in the neighborhood for years and this is the first farm he’s ever seen here.

Watch the News Story here

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Bust Magazine – Tank Girls Fill ‘er up at the all women run biofuel station


Many of us try to do our part for the environment: we recycle, bike to work, or buy eco friendly cleaners. The ladies of Biofuel Oasis, however, have gone beyond what most of us would ever dream of trying in their war against pollution. Melissa Hardy, Margaret Farrow, Ace Anderson, Novella Carpenter, and Jennifer Radtke, (whose ages range from early 30’s to early 40’s) have dedicated their lives to the BioFuel Oasis, a Berkeley, CA-based alternative filling station that dispenses biodiesel, a non-toxic, renewable, biodegradable fuel source that may change the way America drives. “We’re total scrappers,” explains Hardy of their crusade. “We do this for the love in our hearts for this movement.”


Hardy met her future BioFuel buddies in 2003 while volunteering for a group dedicated to finding petroleum alternatives. The most promising of these options, biodiesel, is an animal fat or vegetable oil based fuel that can power engines currently running on standard petroleum diesel. There’s no need to modify most diesel engines (found in lots of ’70s-era cars and new models from manufacturers like VW, BMW, and Mercedes) to accept the fuel, and it can be mixed with petroleum inside the tank. “You can make biodiesel in your backyard,” Hardy says, ” which totally appeals to our DIY personalities.”

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Diablo Magazine – Women to Watch


The Biodevas / The Environmentalists

This spring, in the weeks before opening what they call the “most sustainable filling station in the nation,” the owners of Biofuel Oasis in Berkeley were smoothing gravel in trenches they had dug themselves. In one trench, they had laid pipe to carry the biodiesel—made from recycled cooking oil—from a storage tank to their station’s two new fuel pumps.

The term “sweat equity” certainly applies to the effort these eco-entrepreneurs have put into refurbishing a historic 1933 gas station on Ashby Avenue. Because their worker-owned collective has a limited budget, they have done much of the trench digging and other construction themselves.

“We learned to do all this crazy man stuff,” says Novella Carpenter, who, like her four sister “biodevas,” has a white-collar day job—she’s a journalist. (Their spelling of devas is a nod to forest spirits.) “We’re all in much better shape. We call it the Oasis gym.”
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SF Style Philes: BioFuel Oasis Happy Hour

SFUnzipped takes it to the streets with StylePhiles — where we talk to real people about how they pull their look together.

Last Thursday, The fabulous BioDevas of Berkeley’s BioFuel Oasis threw a fundraising Happy Hour at Trumer Pils Brewery to raise cash for their new biofuel station. (The Biofuel Oasis is a worker-owned & operated cooperative that resells ASTM quality biodiesel, specializing in biodiesel made from waste oil purchased from California plants whenever possible.)

Chez Panisse chefs (and biodiesel devotees) prepared the food, which included West-Oakland raised goat meat, uber-local produce, and artisan breads. Local foodies, sustainability freaks and clean-air heroes hobnobbed and noshed the night away. And most importantly, they brought their earthy ideology to the very clothes on their backs

Read the full article here:

Photo Essay by Célia Pernot

Biofuel Oasis office

We’re among others featured in this beautiful photo essay by Célia Pernot

Fueling Green Machines

calogoheader.gifSeptember 2008 — Co-op America

As reported in our fuel-ranking chart in a recent issue of the Co-op America Quarterly, the use of virgin materials for biofuels can’t be a sustainable replacement for our society’s reliance on fossil fuels. Waste oil for fuel, however, is another matter entirely, and is one of the very best sources of fuel available today.

margaret98wThat’s why BioFuel Oasis has had a commitment to selling fuel produced in the greenest way possible – from waste – since the very beginning. We asked Margaret Farrow, one of the worker-owners at BioFuel Oasis to tell us more about recycling used restaurant oil into fuel, and about Biofuel Oasis’s future plans, including their construction of a new all-solar facility landscaped by indigenous edible and medicinal plants. Read More »

Consortium pumps up biodiesel

bizjournal.gifSilicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal – by Emma Ritch

Austin Mader-Clark of Autopia Biofuels has teamed up with two other biodiesel station owners to promote the alternative fuel.

Austin Mader-Clark’s new fueling station and convenience store in San Mateo is in the red, yet she makes time to confer with her competition weekly. That collaboration is critical to the success of the fledgling industry, she said.

Three women-owned biodiesel stations — Mader-Clark’s Autopia Biofuels LLC, BioFuel Oasis Cooperative Inc. in Berkeley and Dogpatch Biofuels Cooperative Inc. in San Francisco — are establishing a consortium that could help them improve pricing, government regulation and public opinion. Read More »