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Old 06-15-2004, 11:32 PM
H-townbenzoboy's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Houston, TX
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Talking Biodiesel story on local news

I tuned in just as the story was finishing, but I was able to go to the news channel's website, and since you have to be registered to get it, I've provided it right here for all to read.

I've put in bold too.
-Joe
P.S. That's no pun, the reporter's last name is Desel (sounds like Diesel).

Up Close: Biodiesel, fuel for U.S. economy?

10:00 PM CDT on Tuesday, June 15, 2004


By Jeremy Desel / 11 News



It has certainly been tough not to pay attention at the gas pump lately.

Prices have been the highest ever.

In the 1970's, many people switched to diesel fuel because of its lower price.

This gas crunch has many folks looking to a new kind of diesel that is completely renewable. And to get it you don't have to drill an inch.

When you think of diesel fuel, you might think of the kind that's used in old Mercedes and big trucks.

Believe it or not, you might want to start thinking of something completely different.

KHOU-TV
When Jess Hewitt fills up his 2005 diesel Mercedes the first stop isn't the pump, it's the trunk.

"People do ask a few questions when I pull up to the pump and pull out the biodiesel cube," said Hewitt, as he lifted a box out of the trunk.

"There it goes," Hewitt said as the gold liquid fed into his gas tank.

He is talking about biodiesel, made from soybean oil. It's 100 percent renewable and clean burning.

"Good to the last drop," Hewitt said, "The engine likes biodiesel."

Hewitt doesn't just use biodiesel, he sells it. For now he mainly sells the box, with a few tankers here and there.

"It kind of smells like cooking oil," said Hewitt.

Biodiesel starts in soybean fields as far away as rural Missouri.

"You are harvesting the oil for this diesel from above the ground. You don't have to drill," said soybean farmer Warren Stemme.

There are no fields of equipment pulling reluctant black gold from the earth, just fields of gold, bursting with possibility.

"We can grow a crop of soybeans, harvest it, process the soybeans to make the oil, use the oil to make biodiesel," said Stemme.

The soybean oil is processed at a facility very similar to a refinery, and the output can be mixed at any level with petroleum diesel.

"It will help both rural and urban folks. It will help the rural economy because we are using a product that is produced here at home in rural areas. It will help the urban areas reduce their smog," said Stemme.

Biodiesel is different because it "makes the engine run more efficiently and reduces particulate emissions," said Hewitt.

So much so, that in St. Louis all of the heavy equipment at Lambert International Airport runs on 20 percent blends of biodiesel.

"It's working great," said Bill Korte, of Lambert International Airport.

Last year, the airport used 300,000 gallons of the stuff. It's been in use for several years here.

"Other than the environmental benefits, it was no extra cost to the airport in terms of converting the equipment. You just pour it in the tank and go," said Korte.

That's not the only user. Many cities across the Midwest use the fuel to power city vehicles.

In Denver, there are 10 pumps where city vehicles fill up, as well as the public.

For now, biodiesel is slightly more expensive than the pure petroleum version, but still cheaper than gas.

If there were certain government tax breaks, it could be cheaper still.

"Then there is really no reason why everyone shouldn't use it," said Stemme.

Not everyone, however, thinks that biodiesel is perfect.

"A truck using biodiesel, versus a truck using diesel, is going to make a difference to us if it is driving by right now, but not if it is a mile away," said John Wilson, of Galveston-Houston Association for Smog Prevention.

That's because here the problem is ozone, and on its own, biodiesel actually increases NOx , the active agent in ozone production.

"We want to see that move forward, but we don't want to get locked into one that's good is some ways, but not in another. We want to see one that is good on all fronts," Wilson said.

Additives are being used to reduce NOx emissions, but none have completed government testing.

"It's kind of a no-brainer. I mean if you look at the problems that we are having in the Middle East, we want to reduce our dependence on them. Let's use this stuff that we make right here at home," Stemme said.

An all-American image, but the amber waves are not grain. They are gold, not black gold, but golden gold.
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Old 06-16-2004, 12:13 AM
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Zen And The Art Of Diesel
 
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The guy's last name is Desel. Irony?
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