Credit: The New York Times
Look what some students in Virginia are doing in the name of alternative energy:
Roanoke, VA – EMORY – Students here have found a new way to harness the power of vegetables: fuel for spring break. Participants in the outdoor program at Emory & Henry College plan to drive more than 1,500 miles to Big Bend National Park on waste vegetable oil. “It’s not like kind of a crazy, outlandish idea,“ said Ryan Hasty, a senior chemistry and environmental studies major. “It’s very realistic.” Last semester, the program spent $5,000 to buy an old bus from the Knoxville, Tenn., school system, said Jim Harrison, its director and an English professor at the college. With about $4,000 worth of work, they have it running on vegetable oil discarded by the college cafeteria. The main modifications are heaters to get the oil hot enough to behave like diesel and an on-board filtering system so they can refuel on the go. The fuel sources they hope to find along the way? Fast-food restaurants. In a pinch, the bus can run on regular diesel fuel, but the students are confident they will be able to find vegetable oil to refuel.
“We kind of saw the contradiction between driving burning fossil fuels to go to a place to go hiking or kayaking or something like that, enjoying the environment and at the same time kind of … destroying it,“ Hasty said. “With vegetable oil, you’re not adding any more (carbon to the atmosphere) than was already there before those plants were grown.” Reduced pollution is one benefit of the veggie bus; reduced cost is another…”
Rest of the story here.