From Fast Food To Fast Trucks Biodiesel Is On Its Way


| May 31, 2002 Issue


From Fast Food To Fast Trucks: 'Biodiesel' Is On Its Way, Dave Williamson, TomPaine.com
Virtually edible and less toxic than table salt, biodiesel could be coming to a filling station near you. We've been hearing about biodiesel for years, but now the Ecology Center in Berkeley, which last year installed the first biodiesel fueling station in the country, is proving it's not all hype. When the Center first started running its truck fleet on biodiesel, said recycling director Dave Williamson, there were two immediate effects. "First, there was a decrease in engine vibration." he writes on TomPaine.com. "Second, instead of spewing a sooty cloud, the tailpipe ran clean and emitted an aroma of French fries." Biodiesel fuel, he adds, can be produced locally from a variety of substances, including used cooking oil. "We don't have to go above the Arctic Circle to get biodiesel," Williamson states. "No oil wells need be drilled to obtain biodiesel: it is available anywhere there is a deep-fat fryer."
--Sara V. Buckwitz
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Dana Bates
10/10/2010 7:27:52 PM

I'm glad you like biodiesel. recycling is great compared to just throwing it out. However, I won't have anything to do with it. It does not smell like french fries; it is nausiating. Furthermore, we tried it on our trucks at work to save a few cents per gallon. It cost us dozens of hours of downtime and thousands of dollars for repairs. This was two years ago, and our trucks are still not running right (Cummins 250's). Recyle if you like, but as soon as we start to use corn from the field (food) to make biodiesel the energy inputs are ten to one the energy output. The only reason ethanol works is due to heavy agricultural and DOE subsidies -- an extremely bad idea. DB