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Rudy Fusco, Bio Diesel innovator / Sponsor- Mr Parking Lot

March 31, 2006 @ 12:00 am EST


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Rudy Fusco, President of Mr. Parking Lot, made a presentation this morning about Bio-Diesel. Bio-disel has been around for a long time. When Otto Diesel invented the compression ignition engine he planned on using a vegetable derived oil.

With the advent of abundant and relatively inexpensive petroleum based oil, we abandoned the concept of “growing” our oil in favor of drilling our oil.

Today we have to rethink our approach to fueling our economy, and Mr. Fusco was very effective in making that case. We are faced with not only the questions of cost and availability of petroleum based oils, but of the consequences of the continued burning of these fuels. As we address the problems of air pollution we find that the petroleum based products are far more detrimental to our health than vegetable based oils. Bio fuels also have a lesser effect on the problem of global warming

But one could legitimately ask, why would the effect on global warming be different than burning petroleum? The answer was made clear in Rudy’s presentation. Bio fuels release carbon dioxide when they burn just like any other carbon based fuel, but bio fuels absorb carbon dioxide when they are grown. The net effect is that there is no net increase of CO2 when Bio fuels are used.

We considered the element of cost. The cost of bio-diesel is competitive only because it is subsidized. However petroleum is also subsidized by tax policy. But it is also subsidized by the military protection of the sources of oil that we provide through the use of our military. And, that subsidy is enjoyed by the entire world. Europe, China, India, Japan and every other industrial nation is aided by our costly military that serves to protect oil production.  As Mr. Fusco pointed out it, takes one unit of energy to produce 3.2 units of bio diesel. The closing thought on cost was that, when the industry matures $1/gallon could be acheived without subsidy.

Mr. Fusco pointed out that Brazil, back in the early 70’s, embarked on a bio-diesel program and an ethanol program that has taken that country out of the grip of the international oil trade. Today Brazil produces most of it’s fuel from home grown sugar cane, and all of the money that is spent remains within the territory of Brazil, further enhancing that economy.

We also discussed the ability to use these new fuels in the engines we have in use today. Some modifications may be needed, but most engines can already handle a blend of bio and petrol fuels without modification.. And as Rudy pointed out the infrastructure for transporting these fuels are exactly the same. The implication here is that the introduction of these fuels need not be a long drawn out process. 

The audience that attended was well versed in the topic, making the discussion quite lively. Andria Adler program Coordinator of “Clean Cities” .. Harry Davitian of Entek Powers Systems, Technical writer, Frances Whittelsey, and Alan Binder of VisionFuels were among the people contributing to the conversation.

Thank you Rudy Fusco, and the audience that added measurably to the discussion.