Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Hosts needed for biodiesel fillup sites!

Originally uploaded by BlogAdmin.
Biodiesel is a vegetable oil based fuel that can be safely used in any diesel engine without modification. No "conversion" to the diesel vehicle or engine is necessary. It does not contribute to global warming and offers substantial reductions in emissions over petroleum-based diesel fuel. And, biodiesel contributes to engine life and performance due to its higher lubricity.

This renewable, cleaner burning fuel is available for purchase in various locations throughout the greater Sacramento area through a network of consumer membership co-ops, thanks to the organizing efforts of biodiesel booster Steve Bash of The Information Exchange. Access to biodiesel
through this grassroots network depends on the membership capacity of each coop site and currently only two sites are accepting new members. To expand availability to the latest wave of local biodiesel purchasers, more "fill-up" sites are needed. This means more people are needed
who are able to host a "tote", which is a small tank to store biodiesel at their home or business.

These heavy duty plastic totes are available in 275 to 330 gallon sizes which occupy a space about 4 feet by 4 feet square and 4 feet tall. A host site can simply be a residential garage, a shed or an industrial warehouse with vehicle accessibility. Since biodiesel is nontoxic, biodegradable, and not directly flammable, it is completely safe and legal to store in these plastic tote containers above ground with only maintenance considerations for potential leaks or spills.

All new tote hosts will be provided with complete guidance for smooth set up and operation through a sample Biodiesel Buyers Co-op Agreement and are free to determine all terms of operation such as designated fill-up times and the number of members to be accommodated. Once set up, they can take advantage of periodic biodiesel group purchasing sessions organized with the other local tote hosts to receive greater quantity price discounts and shipping charge reductions. Totes are generally refueled by a medium size tanker truck by pump and hose without the tote itself needing to be moved.

The initial equipment expenses usually include only the cost of the tote, pump and filter. If the host fronts the cost of these initial equipment expenses, they are generally recouped through membership or service fees by agreement with the members, separate from the price of the fuel which is sold at cost. Discounts and purchasing assistance is available for all these initial equipment items regardless of who fronts the cost.

All the biodiesel provided through the group purchasing sessions for any of the Sacramento co-ops is ASTM certified for quality, the highest standard in the business. And whenever possible, sources are from recycled cooking oil rather than the less sustainable raw feedstocks
from soybean oil.

The more tote sites we can get running in Sacramento, the more likely we can bring down the price of biodiesel in the area and make it a real alternative to petroleum fuels. So step forward to host a tote, or recommend someone who can!

Call Steve Bash at (916) 966-2375 to talk about hosting a tote, or email him at


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