Essay Preview: Liquid Gold
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“Three dollars and fifty cents per gallon for diesel, I cant afford that!”
These are the type of statements which are being said and heard all across our nation as fuel prices are reaching new heights. With supplies dwindling and demand rising along with the planets population, an energy crisis is on the horizon.
How would you like to pay only five cents per gallon to keep your vehicle running? Common diesel engines can be converted to run on a substance that most restaurants add to landfills each and every day. That substance is waste vegetable oil.
During the past year or so, I have researched this topic at length. Aside from the various books I have studied on this topic I have traveled the country and attended conferences and workshops. These experiences have given me much knowledge of the technical procedures required to convert a diesel engine.
Tonight I will give you a range of the benefits of using this resource as opposed to gasoline or diesel. I will discuss costs, cleanliness and renewability.
One major problem with petroleum based fuels is their current high prices. According to yesterdays Indianapolis Star newspaper, the national average price of gasoline was two dollars and fifty-one cents. Diesel jumped 34 cents in a single week in the wake of Hurricane Rita. The national average price of a gallon of diesel has barely budged in October. For the week ending Oct. 24, it increased less than a penny, to three dollars and 15 cents, still 94 cents more than in the same week of 2004. Solution: a conversion kit can turn your diesel engine into a waste vegetable oil burning engine decreasing your fuel costs significantly. I know youre wondering, “So how much would that cost me?” The short answer is about $1200. But the remarkable thing about this technology is that it pays for itself within the first year. According to the Sun Post newspaper, Dave Viksna, a Willow River, Minnesota native recently used his “veggie burner” for a one thousand mile trip to Copper Harbor, Michigan and back. His total fuel cost: five dollars.
Another problem with petroleum based fuels is their tendency to hurt the environment. Exhaust from all combustion engines combine to produce local adverse effects on the health of car users and all innocent bystanders. The book Power to the People, reports that fossil fuels emit nitrogen and other contaminants, which settle in water. They also emit sulphur dioxide, the main cause of acid rain. Americans dump enough oil to contaminate about 1.5 trillion gallons of water every year.
Oil, petroleum products and other toxins from automobiles kill fish, plants, aquatic life and even people. One quart of oil will contaminate thousands of gallons of water because it doesnt dissolve. These toxins as well as trace metals and degreasing agents used on automobiles contaminate drinking water and can cause major illness. Some of these toxins and metals are absorbed in various sea life and cause medical problems to people when eaten. Phosphorus and nitrogen