Truck conversion to bio fuel cuts down CO2
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 1:12 PM
For some months now, Bermudians may have been under the impression that a mobile French fry stand has been operating on the island.
The smell of fries, which has drifted along the roads, has left an intoxicating aroma, which is a by-product of the true value and purpose of Bermuda's latest green endeavour.
Water Now, was established on the island in 2009 and, whilst still a recent addition to the water trucking industry, has continued its stated ambition of utilising the latest technology to provide a first-class customer service.
The customer is still king with the company, but the additional responsibility that we have to the environment has seen the introduction on Bermuda's roads of a specially converted Mack truck that runs on bio fuels or, to be more specific, a recycled vegetable oil blend (RVO). For owner/operator Darren De Silva, the decision to replace his original diesel Chevrolet truck with the converted high capacity Mack was a no-brainer.
He explains: "In its factory form Water Now's high capacity Mack truck would have added better than 15-30 tons per year of new C02 to the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels."
Warming to his theme, he continues: "Now upgraded, our truck contributes less than 1 per cent of this, as its primary fuel sources are 'carbon neutral'.
"We start up on a blend of petroleum and biodiesel (B30), and then switch over to a recycled/processed vegetable oil based fuel.
"In addition to the CO2 reduction, when running on our fuel (99 per cent of running time) carbon monoxide emissions are reduced by 43 per cent, hydrocarbons by 56 per cent, particulates by 55 per cent, sulphurs (a key cause of acid rain), are reduced by 100 per cent - plus it smells good!"
So what does carbon neutral actually mean?
For those who haven't seen the film An Inconvenient Truth, it is another buzzword that is trotted out by environmentalists who are convinced of an impending global catastrophe brought on by our continued dependence on fossil fuels.
To put it simply, being 'carbon neutral" means removing as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as we put in.
De Silva has certainly done his research, but comments that bio fuels are nothing new.
"Chemically, the energy dense structure of many plant-derived oils make for an attractive petroleum diesel substitute, and always have, for good reason.
"In 1898, Rudolph Diesel's then new compression ignition engine design was first unveiled at the Paris World Fair, and it ran on...peanut oil.
"Diesel's vision was to empower farmers and small industry with independence from the growing monopolies of the time.
"But this technology has remained sidelined for many years, as the stranglehold on fuel by the major oil companies has continued."
Darren adds, "We are now better than 7,000 miles on RVO, and climbing rapidly as the summer season starts. There are many that say 'French fry grease' and 'popcorn oil' simply can't work, but as my grandfather taught me, 'there is no can't'... it's just a matter of how.
As we continue towards an uncertain environmental future and governmental dithering, it will be increasingly down to the individual to point the way forward and start reducing the carbon footprint that years of fossil fuel burning has left behind.
Darren De Silva is just one crusader for a greener future; all he needs to do now is stop making Bermudians hungry when he delivers their water.
To order from Water Now, call 504-5555 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit their website at www.waternow.bm.