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
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
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
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.