Workshop to examine benefits of biodiesel
MOSCOW The advantages of using biodiesel fuel for public or private transportation will be the topic of a national workshop to be held Thursday and Friday, Sept. 9-10, in Boise's Centre on the Grove.
The workshop is the kickoff event of a five-year, national U.S. Department of Agriculture grant awarded to the University of Idaho. The $950,000 grant will bring nationwide education to the public about biodiesel fuels made from oil crops.
Representatives of state departments of transportation, the general public and engineering students may learn about biodiesel production, availability and use from leading experts and users nationwide. Barriers to the use of biodiesel in transportation fleets also will be discussed.
I encourage individuals and agencies interested in using biodiesel to attend this educational workshop to shed light on the sometimes misunderstood nature of the developing fuel, said Jon Van Gerpen, University of Idaho researcher and workshop co-chair. This event is just the place for people to bring questions about biofuels to which they haven't been able to find answers.
Biodiesel is an alternative fuel made from renewable resources such as rapeseed and mustard oil and is one of the most thoroughly tested alternative fuels in the marketplace, added Van Gerpen.
The Environmental Protection Agency, after having reviewed more than 80 biodiesel studies on emissions using stringent protocols, concluded that biodiesel significantly reduces carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons and particulates, thus improving air quality.
Biodiesel also reduces the causes leading to environmental damage and dependence on foreign fuels, and is renewable. Evidence from the EPA study may be found on its web site at http://www.epa.gov/otaq/models/biodsl.htm
Other workshop coordinators from the university are Charles Peterson, interim dean of engineering; Bingjun "Brian" He, biological and agricultural engineering; and Douglas Haines, business and marketing.
Workshop participants may register at the Web site: http://www.biodieseleducation.org