A bus parked in Fairfield has been making its own fuel as it travels the country, and Saturday the operators will teach Iowans about “do-it-yourself” diesel made from soybeans. Blair Phillips with the organization Common Vision says they carry their own refinery along on the bus. That’s how easy it is to make, he says, claiming two 55-gallon drums can be used to create soy diesel from waste vegetable oil, methanol, and lye they find along the way. He says it uses a product that would be thrown away.He says they get it from restaurants that otherwise pay to have waste oil hauled to dumps. An Iowa byproducts company says part of that statement is false, because while restaurants pay to get rid of used fat, landfills won’t allow it, and it’s processed instead into pet food and other products that are sold for a profit. Phillips admits while that may be true, it’s still a good raw material for the bus.He says anyone who comes to the workshop will leave knowing how to build their own refinery for a “very cheap price,” and make their own fuel for diesel engines including a bus, tractor or generator. Founder Blair Phillips says Common Vision is a nonprofit organization that does environmental education and documents such projects for positive change, and tries to use traditional arts of cultures to tie it all together with ecological concepts. Phillips says the tour will also stop in Decorah for the nationally known “Seed Savers” exchange.
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