Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Renewable Fuels Helping to "Save the Bay"

Save the Bay Renewable Fuels BiodieselNarragansett Bay in Rhode Island is getting some environmental help from an unlikely source-- leftover restaurant grease and soybean oil.

Save The Bay is an organization whose mission is to ensure that the environmental quality of Narragansett Bay and its watershed is restored and protected from the harmful effects of human activity.

Among its many educational program, Save the Bay uses its 45-foot tour vessel, the Alletta Morris, to take students and other adventurers around the bay. This summer the Alletta Morris is running a little cleaner and a little greener these days because it began to transition to biodiesel, a renewable domestic fuel made from soybeans and recycled restaurant grease and regular diesel.

The vessel's captain, Eric Pfirrmann, says that it burns just like diesel. “And we’re running it without any adjustment or retrofitting of our engine. The message to boaters is that, in the near future, they will have this easy option to reduce dependence on foreign-produced oils from fossil fuels and help the environment. It’s a sweet deal, if you ask me.”

Perks of Using Biodiesel
  • No eye irritation and a more palatable odor to humans — sometimes compared to the smell of French fries!
  • Does not harm fish.
  • It’s biodegradable.
  • Made from renewable, domestically produced sources such as fats, oils and soybeans.
  • Therefore, it reduces our dependence on foreign oil.
  • It’s safer to store and handle.
  • Offers superior lubricating properties.
  • Because it’s oxygenated, engines using biodiesel have more complete combustion than with petroleum.
  • The B20 mix requires little or no engine modifications to replace or blend with petroleum diesel — this is true for boats as well as cars and trucks with diesel engines.
Source: Save the Bay photo courtesy of Save the Bay

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