According to Channel 11 in Houston, Texas a biodiesel company has converted a 1960’s era turbine generator to run off of pure biodiesel.Â
“There are 2,200 of these units around the U.S. There is no reason for them not to run (on) biodiesel,” said Bell. “We have not found another in the world of its size. What it does, is show that we can have a commercial renewable project.”
Bell said the power output from the turbine in Montgomery County is huge.
“This site should do over 50,000 homes. It is going to combine steam and combined heat steam to generate power. All generated with 100 percent biodiesel,” he said.
The generators were generally retired because of the pollution issues they caused, but running biodiesel makes it a viable alternative.Â General Electric, the turbines manufacturer, had said that these units would never work on bio-fuels.Â But in the real world apparently they do.Â This gives me hope that many of the new cars coming out that the manufacturers say won’t run on biodiesel will in fact.
“We have the capability to run just about any type of biodiesel in there,” said Bell.
From various vegetable oils to animal fats.
“This site has run all of those vegetable oils and all of those animal fats in the last six months,” said Bell. “So we have to alternate the feed stock based on the availability and the price.”
This generator apparently was surplus from Elgin Air Force Base.Â Like many of the old diesel cars and trucks that are finding a new life in the biodiesel revolution, maybe some of these old units will be able to take up some of the slack over more polluting or fossil fuel dependant methods.Â