Southeast Alabama City Makes History With Alternative Fuel - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

June 30, 2004 5:45 P.M.

Southeast Alabama City Makes History With Alternative Fuel

Imagine paying only 46 cents a gallon for fuel. Too good to be true? Not necessarily. Eufaula city officials made their first batch of bio-diesel and they're ready to start filling up school buses this fall. Eufaula is believed to be the only city in the country with its own alternative fuel.

"It's exciting to be part of something you accomplished," says Eufaula Public Works Superintendent Buddy Lawrence.

Lawrence and partner Bill Clark have a 300 gallon tank currently filled with oils such as cooking and soybean oils. The cooking oil is the primary ingredient for bio-diesel. Making bio-diesel involves a complicated filtering process which takes about 8 hours.

Diesel fuel typically produces black smoke from exhaust pipes but not bio-diesel. It's a much cleaner smoke and some people say it smells good.

"It smells like you're about to fry chicken or fish," says Project Director Bill Clark.

Clark and Lawrence say their filtering system still needs some work, but come fall they'll be ready to fill more than a tractor's tank. All of the city's 18 school buses will run on bio-diesel, saving the school system more than $10,000.

Reporter: Bryan Henry

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