Biodiesel Helping Hurricane Relief Efforts

Chuck Zimmerman

National Biodiesel BoardWith all the ways people are trying to help hurricane victims it was great to see how a “home-grown” renewable fuel is helping out. Yep, biodiesel in the news again. This story comes from the National Biodiesel Board.

Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort Fueled with Biodiesel

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Biodiesel deliveries are rolling into the Gulf Coast in an effort to provide the hurricane-stricken areas with urgently needed fuel. Biodiesel, a non-toxic, biodegradable fuel made from renewable resources such as soybean oil and other fats and vegetable oils, works in any diesel engine, including generators.

The Veggie Van Organization, a nonprofit advocacy group based in Venice, Calif., has partnered with West Central, a farmer-owned biodiesel company based in Iowa, and the Naples City Council in Florida to transport 13,000 gallons of biodiesel to help victims. The relief effort will focus on smaller coastal towns south of New Orleans that were among the areas most severely affected by Hurricane Katrina. The donated fuel will power a former military ship owned by Sub Sea Research, as well as makeshift medical facilities and emergency generators aboard the vessel. The ship is scheduled to leave Sept. 16 and will take several tons of food, water, ice and relief supplies to the victims in devastated areas near the mouth of the Mississippi River.

“This was the first area hit and it has received little emergency aid or attention,” said Josh Tickell, biodiesel advocate and founder of the Veggie Van Organization. “Thanks to the biodiesel fuel donated by West Central and the donations we received online, we’ll be able to help people who need it most and document the work on our website. A second biodiesel tanker truck will meet us in Louisiana.” Tickell, who is going on the voyage, grew up in Louisiana and has been promoting biodiesel since 1997, when he toured the United States in his biodiesel powered “Veggie Van.”

What’s really interesting about the Veggie Van Organization is that Josh has a blog hosted within his website so you can read about his experiences! He’s even using audio so you can listen to him, although when I tried to download the files they were unavailable.