Bio Bus Visits NOLS
Give Them Gas!
For Immediate Release
June 6, 2003
Students Slide Across Country on Vegetable Oil
A school bus fueled by french fries is making its way across
the country carrying 13 college students and a strong message
about alternative energy.
The bus runs on vegetable oil and the students, all from Middlebury
College in Vermont, are on a road trip called Project Biobus that
has captivated the nation's attention. Their journey, which began
in Vermont, has taken them to Kentucky, Illinois, Colorado and
Wyoming and will wrap up in Conway, Wash. when the bus drops off
its last passenger for a North Cascades Mountaineering course
with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).
Along the way, the bus is making stops not at gas stations,
but at fast food chains, chinese restaurants, and other grease-producing
venues. "Every single time we pull into a place, people ask
us, 'how does this work?' They are always impressed," says
Logan Duran, one of the students who started Project Biobus and
a 2001 NOLS semester graduate.
It works quite simply, say the students. For $250 Thomas Hand,
19, converted an old bus' diesel engine to a system that runs
on vegetable oil. The bus starts on diesel fuel and then immediately
converts over to run entirely on vegetable oil, which Hand says
has the same fuel efficiency as diesel but is easier on the engine.
While on the road, the students have just rolled up to restaurants
and said, "I'll have a cheeseburger, fries and all your veggie
oil," Duran says.
The tour, which will total more than 3,000 miles, aims to demonstrate
that switching from fossil fuels to alternative domestic energy
sources is easy, safe and less expensive.
With 1,300 miles to go on the trip, Hand says the bus has been
running smoothly and will conclude the journey June 10 at 5 p.m.
at the NOLS Pacific Northwest facility located at 20950 Bulson
Road in Conway, Wash. For more information on the project, visit
www.projectbiobus.com. For more information on the National Outdoor
Leadership School, visit www.nols.edu
Bruce Palmer (NOLS) 307-335-2230
Steven Swank (Project Biobus) 310-429-2035