A somewhat new technology based on the fact that diesel engines are very much like Mr. Fusion of Back To the Future Part II in that they can, with proper tuning, run on essentially anything containing hydrocarbons. This allows renewable resources, such as grain alcohol, vegetable oil, and methane from rotting garbage to be used as fuel. Many communities, notably the Bay Area of California are powering their public transportation using ordinary cooking oil. The eventual plan is to recycle used oil from restaurants for this purpose, but so far, the logistics of the situation have prevented this.

In an interesting side note, the exhaust of these vehicles smells exactly like french fries.

Over the years, Willie Nelson has earned himself quite a reputation. From boozing redneck outlaw to pot smoking peace lovin' hippie, from kicking ass with Waylon Jennings to crooning right along side the likes of Julio Iglesias and from celebrated citizen to vilified tax evader. During that time, he's tried to save a lot of things over his long and storied career and the number of benefits and causes that he's played for and the effort he has given to them probably can't be measured in terms of time or dollar figures.

(For those of you who might be thinking "What the hell does Willie Nelson have to do with this node?" please read on.)

As it turns out, he might have been saving his best for last. His latest venture, which I believe was started last year, attempts to tackle some very broad issues when it comes to the environment and alternative fuel options. It looks like he wants to take on the big boys and has lent his name to a company called "Willie Nelson's Biodiesel".

According to their website, (http://www.wnbiodiesel.com/services.html) all of the ingredients in Bio Willie's Diesel Fuel are grown right here in America by family farmers that have seen their regular farming methods swallowed up by corporations and left them with little or no alternatives.

I won't go into all the technical and scientific jargon that the website does. That's mainly because I couldn't understand it anyway and would probably botch any attempt to translate it into something readable. They do claim that by using Bio Willie's Diesel Fuel the following benefits could be reaped.

  • Carbon dioxide exhaust emissions could conceivably be reduce by up to 80%
  • Biodiesel produces not 10, not 20 but 100 percent less sulfur dioxide when it's burned. Sulfur dioxide has been identified as one of the major culprits when it comes to acid rain.
  • Exhaust smoke and fumes can be reduced by up to 75%. No more of of those black clouds you see when the engine first gets fired up.
  • Anybody hungry? According to the site and probably in homage to Willie's pot smokin' days, the exhaust fumes that are dispelled often smell like pop corn or doughnuts. Anybody got the munchies?
  • I don't know of too many people who enjoy the aroma of diesel fuel but according to Willie and his buddies, your friendly neighborhood filling station wouldn't smell as bad due to the nature of the fuel itself. I still wouldn't want to live next to one though.
  • Remember that Palmolive dish washing liquid commercial? The one where one lady says to the other "You're soaking it" and she pull her hands out like they were on fire but is soon reassured that all is ok? Well, if their claim is correct, mechanics worldwide need to offer Willie a pat on the back since they'd no longer need to plaster "barrier cream" all over themselves like they have to do when working on regular diesel engines.
  • Bring back the Ford Pinto! The flashpoint of Willie gas is 300 degrees Fahrenheit as opposed to its evil cousin diesel which clocks in at a mere 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • For the sake of argument, let's say that a spill could occur. Should that happen, biodiesel will degrade about four times faster than petroleum diesel. Most the spill would be broken down in about a month.
  • Engine knock, usually associated with diesel engines, would not be gone entirely but would be reduced.
  • No special handling would be required. Any tanks that presently store petroleum diesel would not have to be modified to store Willie's version. More importantly, the same can be said for the diesel engine itself.
  • Last but not least, we would lessen our dependence on foreign fuel sources and could become more energy independent right here at home. See ya Saudi's?
  • On a personal note, this almost sounds all too good to be true but if anybody can pull it off, my money's on Willie. With all the shit he's been through during his career, he's got a lot to fall back on.

    I still can't picture him in a suit and tie though.

    Source(s) http://www.wnbiodiesel.com/services.html

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