Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tulsa BioFuels Taps Restaurant Grease for Alternative Fuel

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tulsa BioFuels Taps Restaurant Grease for Alternative Fuel

Article excerpt

And, after starting up five years ago, Tulsa's first operating biodiesel plant is focused on tripling its current production, said Randy Kimberlin, chief operating officer for Tulsa BioFuels.

Ted Banzhaf, company president, is working to expand the operation at a site north of downtown.

The company currently produces an average of 12,000 gallons a month.

Metropolitan Tulsa Transit Authority purchases about a third of that, or an average of 4,000 gallons a month, said Melvin Kilgore, director of maintenance for Tulsa Transit.

Across the U.S., more than 500 fleets are using biodiesel. Other Tulsa organizations using biofuel are Tulsa Public Schools, the city of Tulsa and electric utility Public Service Company of Oklahoma.

The transit authority is happy with the results, said William Cartwright, Tulsa Transit general manager.

"We blend the biodiesel with our regular diesel at a ratio of about 15 percent and it works very well for us," Cartwright said.

Tulsa Transit is glad to see a locally produced alternative fuel, Cartwright said. At the blending ratio Tulsa Transit uses, the authority has not noticed any change in the fuel mileage of the buses.

Tulsa is faced with the possibility of being placed on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's so-called "dirty air list" and must work to keep emissions low, Cartwright said.

"Anything that large fleets can do to reduce emissions will help the situation," he said.

The Transit Authority uses the biodiesel from March through October, Kilgore said, as the product performs best in warm weather and helps reduce emissions. The biodiesel goes into all of Tulsa Transit's diesel vehicles - 60 fixed-route buses and 35 Lift Program minibuses.

Tulsa BioFuels charges the daily rate for its diesel, currently hovering at about $2.35 a gallon, Kilgore said.

Last year, Tulsa Transit made the decision to convert its diesel bus fleet to CNG fuel, Cartwright said.

"We are in the process of doing that and expect to receive our first CNG buses in late 2010 or early 2011," Cartwright said. "We hope to have all of our fleet vehicles running on CNG fuel within six years. …

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