Cooking Oil Makes A Statement

By: Summer Knowles
By: Summer Knowles

May 29, 2005

It's big, green, and environment-friendly and it will be taking a local group of people from Afton, VA all the way to Alaska using alternative fuel. "A lot of people don't know you can run a bus on vegetable oil," says Scott Wilcox.

The group says initially it was just about going on a cool, but inexpensive road trip. But over the months, it turned into much more.

"We couldn't afford a real RV or the gas for it, so we started looking around for alternatives and this presented itself," says Luke Scruby. "We think it's a good opportunity not just to get to Alaska, but to put out a positive example of alternative fuels."

Emily Scruby agrees and says, "alternative energy isn't just something the government is looking into, or that major corporations are looking into, or that nobody can really achieve in their regular life. This is something that is possible for regular people."

The process entails dropping a hose into a vat of vegetable oil, sucking it into the bus, heating it, and then filtering it a few times before using it as fuel. "If you're a shade tree mechanic with any proficiency at all with working on cars, you can do it," says Luke Scruby. "It's not hard."

By using the technique, the group hopes to make a difference, even if it is a small one. "Hopefully it's kind of baby stepping to an alternative to petroleum products," says Wilcox.

With diesel, the trip would run about $4500 for fuel alone, but by using vegetable oil instead, they hope to save about 95% of that cost.

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