December 2, 1996 – Vol.1 No.36
ENERGIES... week of December 2, 1996
DON”T FORGET LUBRICANTS in the big energy picture. A well-oiled engine will save fuel and usually have lower emissions. Consider PetroMoly produced by Worldwide PetroMoly of Houston, Texas as proof. Used in the sump of 85 ground support vehicles operated by Continental Airlines at bases in Boston, Houston, and San Francisco, PetroMoly reduced fuel consumption by 4.5% - not a small number when you consider the total fuel for that many tugs, tractors and trucks. Continental thinks the savings are large enough to use the lubricant system-wide.
NO SNAKE OIL HERE.The fully formulated hydrocarbon-based lubricant incorporates molybdenum disulfide, a hard, low friction metal to prevent metal-to-metal contact by filling imperfections on rings, cylinder walls and bearing surfaces.
PetroMoly has been been tested with success in engines running on alternative fuels such as natural gas, methane and propane. It also meets American Petroleum Institute (API) standards for passenger vehicles.
BIODIESEL FROM BOSTON. Since 1995 the Massachusetts Port Authority has been operating 35 parking shuttle buses at Boston’s Logan Airport on a 4:1 mix of conventional diesel fuel and soybean based biodiesel fuel. Now Twin Rivers Technologies of Quincy, Mass, maker of the fuel, wants to sell nationwide.
Given a boost by approval from the Environmental Protection Agency, biodiesel fuel might get its day in the sun. The Clean Air Act, which the EPA must enforce, includes reducing particulates from city buses in 48 urban areas over the next few years.
In competition with other alternative fuels and technologies, biodiesel may have the edge, according to Twin Rivers. Biodiesel burns well in conventional diesel engines outfitted with a catalytic converter. Overall costs, including the almost-double cost of the fuel, are cheaper than a complete engine and fuel system conversion, and far cheaper than a new $250,000 bus that meets the new emission standards.
There are questions about biodiesel, however. Could a bad soybean harvest cause fuel shortages and skyrocketing prices? If popular, could soybeans become the crop of choice for many farmers instead of food to feed the hungry masses? Are other alternative energy technologies, some even cleaner than biodiesel, more attractive in the long run? But from the renewable energy standpoint, biodiesel fuel is certainly worth looking at.
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