Unleaded, Diesel, Or Restaurant Grease? – biodiesel

Unleaded, Diesel, Or Restaurant Grease? – biodiesel – Brief Article

Nevada and California are the first two states to boast public filling stations that offer biodiesel fuel. Biodiesel is made by combining natural oils or fats with an alcohol and then removing the triglyceride molecule in the form of glycerin. Biodiesel can be used as either a diesel additive or substitute (for more details, see “Out of the Fryer and into the Engine” on page 4 of the March 2001 issue of Environment). Western Energetix in Sparks, Nevada, opened a pump in May that dispenses B20, a fuel blend that is 20 percent biodiesel. This fuel is created from standard diesel and the 50,000 gallons of restaurant grease that are used each year at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. Also in May, the Olympian station in San Francisco started selling B100, which is pure soybean oil without the glycerin component. Many customers mix their own 20 percent blend from this fuel. Tom Burke, Olympian’s division manager of cardlocks and mobile fueling, reports that 700 gallons of biodiesel were pumped in the first month. San Francisco airport shuttles and buses that run in California’s Yosemite Park have already been using biodiesel, but that fuel comes from bulk deliveries rather than from filling stations. Current diesel engines do not need to be modified to run on either pure biodiesel or a blend. Elsewhere in the world, biodiesel has already gained a strong foothold in Europe: Diesel engines are already installed in 34 percent of all European cars. Approximately 1,000 stations in Germany alone sell biodiesel made from rapeseed oil, which is known as canola oil in the United States. The European Union is considering legislation that will require a percentage of vegetable oil in all diesel supplies. Biodiesel fuel cuts greenhouse gas emissions associated with automobiles by 78 percent.

–Environmental Science and Technology, 1 August. (E.F)

COPYRIGHT 2001 Heldref Publications

COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group