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Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 12:00 AM  Printer friendly page | Send this story to a friend

Oil recycler asks to make biodiesel fuel


A Lindon motor oil recycling company has applied for permission to operate the state's first biodiesel production facility.

Indian Oil, at 1155 W. 135 South in Lindon, applied to the Utah Division of Air Quality for permission to produce biodiesel. The fuel is made from used plant and animal oils, burns cleaner than diesel fuel and costs about the same as diesel at current


John Taylor, a partner in the company, said the facility could be in operation within 60 days.

"It's a huge deal, and we are ecstatic about it," said Andre Shoumatoff, director of the Utah Biodiesel Cooperative. The Lindon facility would likely produce much more than the estimated 3,000 to 5,000 gallons a week currently consumed in the state, he said. The plant would possibly be able to produce as much as 2.2 million gallons a year.

The Energy Policy Act of 1992 requires federal agency fleets to use more alternative fuels and less petroleum to decrease dependence on foreign oil, and in 1998, biodiesel was declared an alternative fuel by the federal government.

Biodiesel in Utah currently comes mostly from Las Vegas and Colorado, Shoumatoff said. The fuel is used mostly by companies that operate fleets of trucks, and local consumers include Hill Air Force Base, the Salt Lake City International Airport and the Canyons Resort.

Besides being made in the United States, Shoumatoff said, biodiesel also is a boon to farmers; reduces greenhouse gas and sulfur emissions; is a renewable, "never-ending" source of energy; and is better for car engines than regular diesel fuel.

Park City is conducting a pilot program using biodiesel in municipal vehicles, and the U.S. Postal Service, Utah Transit Authority and the Utah Department of Transportation also are conducting pilot programs, he said. About 120 private citizens and small businesses that use biodiesel are registered with the cooperative.

Shoumatoff said biodiesel was cheaper than regular diesel fuel during the spike in gas prices over the summer. A Web site for Utah Biodiesel Supply says it can be made for as little as 80 cents a gallon and used in any unmodified diesel engine.

Adam Cowie, planning director for Lindon, said Indian Oil would likely need to apply for a conditional use permit to produce biodiesel in its light industrial zone. The city has not received an application, he said.

The county lists the owner of the property as Kaskade LLC, Cowie said. Shoumatoff said the company would be called Bio-D.

Randy Schmitt, owner of Horizon Biofuels, said he also plans to operate a burner fuel plant, which would produce fuel used in furnaces, boilers and other open-flame applications, at the facility. "It would be the first of its kind in the U.S. other than Hawaii."

Graydon Blair of Syracuse, owner of Utah Biodiesel Supply, said Indian Oil is one of three companies attempting to set up biodiesel production. "I am tickled pink that they're doing it." He started his business, which supplies parts and teaches people all over the world how to make their own biodiesel, after he made a fuel processor and posted it on the Internet. "I was just flooded with calls from all over the U.S."

This story appeared in The Daily Herald on page A1.

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