group of college students are trying to show drivers of diesel equipment
that alternatives to the petroleum-based fuel are viable.
1960s-style Project Bio-Bus will take a group of college students
and send them across the country in a diesel-engine powered bus
that will be fueled by various vegetable oils, the group said on
its Web site.
the most part, according to The Associated Press, the oil
will be provided by cafeterias and fast-food restaurants. The students
will strain the oil before using it to fuel the bus.
fuels made from non-petroleum sources have been gaining ground,
though they are not yet a significant factor in the U.S. market.
Biodiesel, a fuel made from refined vegetable oils and other products,
has been used in some diesel engines. That fuel, which is often
used in a blended form with standard diesel fuel, offers lower emissions.
It can be made from such products as soybeans or from waste food
oils. A large biodiesel plant is being built in Bakersfield, CA.
there are still barriers for truckers who want to try alternative
fuels. Many truck manufacturers will void the warranties on vehicles
that use straight biodiesel, but do allow a certain percentage to
be blended into standard diesel.
Bio Bus trip, which was scheduled to start May 20, is set to reach
the West Coast by June 11.
are some unexpected side-effects of the vehicle’s unique fuel source,
according to reports from the Bio Bus group and media.
oil causes the bus’s exhaust, according to Bio Bus passenger Thomas
Hand, 19, to smell "a little bit like whatever it was used
to fry — sometimes you get onion rings, french fries, chicken patties."