The Brotherhood of Biodiesel

John Davis

As naysayers try to bash the promise of biofuels, a man in Washington state is doing his part to spread the word through his brotherhood of biodiesel.

This story in the Othello (WA) Outlook says Bill Riley, the director of Big Bend Economic Development Council, has been making his own biodiesel for several years. He’s taking the approach that every little bit helps:

“It isn’t rocket science,” he said, referring to making biodiesel fuel at home. “It’s easily done.”

Riley opted to start making his own biofuels because it helps lower pollution, is a form of recycling (using restaurant waste oils), means he can save on his own fuel bills and is a way of keeping more money in America. For every gallon of foreign oil coming into the U.S., $2 per gallon goes to the country of origin, he said.

Riley had a $99,000 USDA grant to tout the benefits of biodiesel around the Basin, and gave his last demonstrations last week in Othello and Ritzville and in Lind this week to show people how easy it is to make biodiesel and how inexpensively a processor can be made.

“You can make a processor for a couple hundred bucks — all the guys I’ve met who make their own processors have all used different methods,” he said. “And some guys are making biodiesel fuel for less than a buck a gallon.

Riley admits that making biodiesel is a bit addictive. But he adds the real addictive part is spreading the Gospel of biodiesel to more members of the biodiesel brotherhood.