I recently stopped by to fill my car up at Global off of exit 8 on 84W and thought I'd see what would happen if I asked the cashier when we could expect bio-diesel. She looked at me like I had three heads, and then a guy behind me said, "I don't think we have any of that stuff here in Connecticut."
Maybe I'll stop by the White House next week and ask when we can expect World Peace.
From the Hartford Courant July 20, 2007
By Lynn Doan
SUFFIELD - A bio-diesel company is looking to build the state's first large-scale bio-diesel production facility on an 18-acre plot at the end of Firestone Drive.
Representatives from CT Biodiesel, a Hartford-based renewable fuel company, came before the board of selectmen Wednesday with plans for a 25,000-square-foot building, in which soybean and canola oil would be transformed into 50 million gallons of bio-diesel a year. Bio-diesel is currently produced in Connecticut on a much smaller scale, with UConn's Biofuels Consortium producing 50 gallons a week out of restaurant waste oil for the university's vehicles.
The move would mean more than $20,000 in property tax revenue for Suffield, not including tax revenue from the series of holding tanks that would be on the property, said Patrick McMahon, the town's economic development director.
P. Wayne Moore, vice president of CT Biodiesel, said the plant would also create 25 to 30 new jobs.
"This would really be the first bio-diesel facility in Connecticut," Moore said. "Fifty million gallons is way more than what exists in the state right now. We probably couldn't produce a million gallons right now."
Moore said canola and soybean oil would be shipped directly to the plant by train and undergo a process called "transesterification," which transforms certain chemicals in the oil into fuel. A maximum of 30 trucks a day would ship the bio-diesel to customers.
Unlike gasoline, Moore said, the chemicals used to produce bio-diesel are biodegradable and environmentally sound.
"This stuff is safe," he said. "You can pour this out on the streets and it'll degrade just like salt or sugar. It's not even flammable. If you threw a match on this, it'll go out."
The company must obtain permits from the town's conservation and zoning and planning commissions before beginning construction.
McMahon said the site on Firestone Drive is ideal for a bio-diesel facility because it is surrounded by trees, offering a natural cover for the holding tanks and production plant, and is a half-mile away from the nearest residence on Suffield Street.
And though the initial vegetable oil would be shipped from the Midwest, the company would eventually look for oil closer to home.
"With Suffield being an agricultural community, maybe some of our farms could benefit in the future," McMahon said.