A J.R. Simplot Co. tractor-trailer running on a unique fuel made from used french fry oil and diesel will soon cover 200,000 miles in a special test drive.
The 18-wheeler will help develop ways the country can reduce its dependency on imported oil and clean up the air.
Gov. Phil Batt will launch the project July 9 in Boise. It will run on a 50-50 mixture of “biodiesel” made from waste cooking oil and regular diesel in a 435-horsepower Caterpillar engine donated by Caterpillar Inc. The semi, provided by the Kenworth Truck Co., will be operated by Simplot employees in their daily operations from the Caldwell plant.
Scientists contend biodiesel burns cleaner than regular diesel, producing less pollution. It also can replace fuel that must be refined from imported petroleum.
The truck’s fuel will be made in 500-gallon batches at the plant. Company officials said it takes about 1.25 gallons of waste french fry cooking oil to make one gallon of biodiesel.
The experiment also will involve a second identical engine to be tested in Illinois with 3,000 gallons of biodiesel made at the University of Idaho.
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