Bio Tour Brings "Vegetable Oil" Bus To Mississippi Gulf Coast - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Bio Tour Brings "Vegetable Oil" Bus To Mississippi Gulf Coast

The aging blue bus that pulled into the parking lot at the foot of Courthouse Road in Gulfport Thursday is actually a "green" machine.

"There's estimates that we've already reached peak production of world oil last year. And if it wasn't last year, it's coming soon," said Ethan Burke, as he told visitors about the alternate fuel which powers the bus.

No worries about oil prices here. The "Bio Bus" runs on used vegetable oil.

"78 percent less carbon dioxide," explained Alan Palm, "The same engine as it was when this was in the Maryland school system like 15 years ago. It's just the fuel delivery system that's been modified."

That modification allows the diesel engine to recycle restaurant oil that's been used to fry foods.

"So, we welded these three drums underneath there. And you can see in the center one, that's full of waste vegetable oil we got from a Chinese restaurant," Palm explained to a visitor.

Restaurants are happy to give away their waste oil.

"There's not enough of this stuff for us all to start running on waste vegetable oil. But there's enough that it should definitely be applied to reduce our demand on petroleum," said Palm.

Along with producing a cleaner emission, burning vegetable oil also produces a better smelling emission. Some say what comes out of the exhaust smells like fried doughnuts, others say more like fried egg rolls.

Solar panels provide another alternate energy source to recharge batteries aboard the Bio Bus. The Bio team says public awareness and acceptance of alternative fuels will prompt more government funding.

"Truthfully, the large scale changes we need in society require governmental action. Because all the industries that provide our fuel today have been subsidized in their development," says Burke.

The Bio Tour team is sharing its success all across America.

"Definitely for the amount of money that we've saved on fuel traveling as much as we do, it's paid for itself many times over," Palm said.

Waste oil that powers the engine is usually free. The cost of a fuel conversion system is 12 hundred to four thousand dollars. The "Bio Bus" gets about 10 miles to the gallon of vegetable oil.

By Steve Phillips

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Pascagoula River Audubon Center terminates Director

    Pascagoula River Audubon Center terminates Director

    Friday, June 22 2018 8:12 PM EDT2018-06-23 00:12:14 GMT
    Mark LaSalle, confirmed to WLOX News Now the National Audubon Society ended his employment as of June 6. (Photo source: Facebook)Mark LaSalle, confirmed to WLOX News Now the National Audubon Society ended his employment as of June 6. (Photo source: Facebook)

    The man who helped establish the Pascagoula River Audubon Center is out as the center’s director. 

    More >>

    The man who helped establish the Pascagoula River Audubon Center is out as the center’s director. 

    More >>
  • Hancock County pilot killed in single-engine plane crash

    Hancock County pilot killed in single-engine plane crash

    Friday, June 22 2018 6:53 PM EDT2018-06-22 22:53:19 GMT
    A Hancock County man died Friday morning when his single-engine plane crashed shortly after taking off from the Diamondhead Airport. (Photo source: Diamondhead Fire Dept.)A Hancock County man died Friday morning when his single-engine plane crashed shortly after taking off from the Diamondhead Airport. (Photo source: Diamondhead Fire Dept.)

    The scene was horrific: A Cessna 172 plane torn apart, pieces melted. Trees smashed from the impact.  And in the middle of it all was the body of the male pilot burned beyond recognition.

    More >>

    The scene was horrific: A Cessna 172 plane torn apart, pieces melted. Trees smashed from the impact.  And in the middle of it all was the body of the male pilot burned beyond recognition.

    More >>
  • Accident sends 18-wheeler in ditch; traffic backed up on 28th Street

    Accident sends 18-wheeler in ditch; traffic backed up on 28th Street

    Friday, June 22 2018 6:42 PM EDT2018-06-22 22:42:52 GMT
    Officials say no one was hurt, but the dump truck was full and has to be unloaded before a tow truck can get it out of the ditch. (Photo source: Susan Johnston)Officials say no one was hurt, but the dump truck was full and has to be unloaded before a tow truck can get it out of the ditch. (Photo source: Susan Johnston)
    Officials say no one was hurt, but the dump truck was full and has to be unloaded before a tow truck can get it out of the ditch. (Photo source: Susan Johnston)Officials say no one was hurt, but the dump truck was full and has to be unloaded before a tow truck can get it out of the ditch. (Photo source: Susan Johnston)

    A traffic mess on 28th Street just outside Long Beach will be clear soon. 

    More >>

    A traffic mess on 28th Street just outside Long Beach will be clear soon. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly