Here something neat.

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Messages: 1 - 4 (14 total)

3/25/2002 3:49 PM
1 out of 14

Used french fry fat a petroleum-free fuel source

PORTLAND ó French fries show up on almost every menu in Maine, and that means a lot of used frying oil is generated.

Peter Arnold estimates that restaurants generate 1 million gallons of used vegetable oil each year ó then pay to dispose or recycle it.

Arnoldís got an environmentally friendly idea for getting rid of all the waste oil: Burn it in cars, trucks, buses and tractors.

It already powers Arnoldís 1982 Volvo diesel station wagon, whose engine emits a fried fish smell when itís burning oil Arnold gets from three local restaurants.

ďWhat really catches peopleís attention is that itís really possible to make a liquid fuel thatís not petroleum-based,Ē said Arnold, who coordinates renewable energy projects at the Chewonki School, a nonprofit environmental school.

He won a $10,000 matching grant from the Maine Technology Institute to build and operate a pilot biodiesel production plant, in which he expects to make 100 gallons a week.

If itís successful, Chewonki hopes to launch a business that could pave the way for a small, decentralized biodiesel industry in Maine.

Arnold said itís possible to make hundreds of thousands of gallons to power commercial and private trucks and cars that would generate much less pollution than fuel now being used.

If demand grows, grease that accumulates in sewage treatment plants can be turned into biodiesel. And farmers can grow rapeseed and soybeans for biodiesel, giving a boost to local agriculture.

Biodiesel is produced on a much larger scale in some Midwestern farming states, leaving Maine on the fringe of biodiesel development in the United States.Still, Maine has been a leader in renewable energy development for electric generation, with hydroelectric dams and wood-fired power plants.

Chewonki is hoping that the idea of a Maine-made transportation fuel will generate interest from investors, and ultimately, vehicle owners. Biodiesel, which costs more than petroleum-based diesel fuel, can be burned in any conventional diesel engine.

It can be used in pure form, but the most popular method is to blend 20 percent biodiesel with 80 percent petroleum diesel.

Biodiesel is common in Europe and more than 100 government and municipal fleets in the United States use it to run vehicles. They include the U.S. Postal Service, the federal Department of Energy, military branches, city buses in Cincinnati and St. Louis, and some utilities.§ion=&tt=3PM

3/25/2002 9:03 PM
2 out of 14

Now that is neat.

It is amazing all the clever people that contribute something positive to all. I hope we can all remember that it is the little ideas that turn into big ideas. Let's nurture them, rather than continue to let the big bucks keep the little ideas down and out.

3/26/2002 7:35 AM
3 out of 14

dbible let's hear it for french fry fat!

3/26/2002 4:51 PM
4 out of 14

I agree it sounds pretty cool to me.

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