Teacher & Students Complete Cross-Country Biodiesel Trip

John Davis

A group of students and a teacher from Ponaganset High School in Rhode Island has completed a cross-country trip running their 1997 GMC pickup truck, that had been donated by Con Edison Solutions, on recycled cooking oil made into biodiesel.

This story from the Providence (RI) Journal has details:

“The vehicle handled really great,” teacher Ross McCurdy said when the group marked its return to Rhode Island yesterday at Roger Williams Park.

“We had one catastrophic problem,” said Zane Lewis, a former Ponaganset student. “It was a headlight. We had to change it.”

The foursome left Rhode Island two weeks ago with the truck’s tank full of biodiesel and three reserve tanks holding 250 gallons in the bed of the pickup.

“That was plenty of fuel to get us all the way to California, right down to the water,” said Wylie Smith, another former student.

“We did this to demonstrate that biodiesel is a viable fuel that’s easy to use and it works and it’s reliable,” said McCurdy.

The trip turned out to be more than simply a demonstration of biodiesel, though. The travelers saw a big slice of America.

“There were probably about 50 in ‘coolest things we saw,’ ” said Lewis.

Among the coolest things in the trip from Rhode Island to Los Angeles was a chance to see the Northern California coast and the opportunity to run the truck on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

So what did you do on your summer break?