Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Perfect Eco-Car?

By Maiko Minami, Earth Ministry Intern

Do you know Cherry Blossom festival? There is an annual Japanese cultural festival at Seattle Center in April. This is my third year in Seattle, but it was my first time going to the festival. I went there as a volunteer. I wanted to do volunteer work to let visitors know Japanese culture, but there was another (main) purpose for me to go this festival this year. There was a lecture by a Japanese scientist in the field of renewable energy. So, after the volunteer work, I went to a room for the lecture to listen how a Japaese scientist has contributed to the environement in Seattle.

His main topic was about a Biodiesel car. He makes biodiesal oil by himself at home. Do you want to know how he collects bio-oil in order to make it? He asks Japanese restaurants in Seattle to share some used oil after they cook with it. Like tempura, some Japanese food uses a lot of vegetable oil, but they throw it away after they use. So, he decided to recycle the oil and convert it to oil for biodiesel.

What is Biodiesel? This is renewable energy while gasoline is fossil fuel which is non-renewable. Biodiesel energy is made of vegetable oil. Even though vegetable oil does expel carbon dioxide when it is burned and when it is produced, it is much less than in the case of fossil fuel such as natural gas, gasoline, and coal. Moreover, when cooking oil is used, there is much less carbon dioxide emission through the production of biodiesel oil.

Then, a man asked a question 'How about Hybrid car? Isn't it better than biodiesel?' He answered, 'You know what? We can combine two, making hybrid-biodiesel car.' It is a perfect feasible eco-car!

I do not drive now, but in the future, if I need to drive, I will buy the perfect car for the environement.


Y-Maeda said...

Hello nice to meet you.
I am Japanese.
I saw your wonderful site.
Please link to this site !

Anonymous said...

This is great information. Thank you for writing about this, Maiko.