Speaker advocates alternative fuel source

Russ Evans, owner of a bio-diesel fueled car, spoke to students about fuel and energy conservation on Oct. 8 during activities period. He discussed methods of conservation and alternative fuel options to alleviate high gas prices.

“I’m just someone who likes to find answers to problems, and I had a problem with rising fuel costs,” Evans said.

Evan’s bio-diesel fuel is a biodegradable, non-toxic fuel made up entirely of animal and vegetable fats and oils from which the glycerin component has been separated. This renewable fuel source is significantly less expensive than gasoline, and along with oil and grease donations from restaurants, Evans pays little to no money to fill up his tank. Evans was invited by Upper School science teacher Antonio Nassar, who saw an article about Evans and wanted him to speak to his Directed Study: Scientific Research students.

“It called my attention because some of my students in DSSR are working on alternative energies, and bio-diesel is a very interesting topic for research,” Nassar said.

Evans outlined his “Four Stages of Gas Prices” — denial, outrage, acceptance and finally amnesia. Evans focused his discussion around the acceptance stage, in which consumers look to improve the gas price situation. Walking, bike-riding and use of public transportation are ways to conserve gas, and buying more fuel efficient cars is also a practical option, Evans said. Still, Evans stressed alternative fuels as the best way to reduce gasoline consumption and save money, adding that the availability of gasoline is quickly fading.

“China’s population is starting to get money, and they’re going to want cars,” he said. “India’s demand is growing like crazy, and oil is finite. It’s going to run out in 30 or 40 years.”

Evans listed both ethanol and bio-diesel fuel as options, but he believes bio-diesel is the best because of the limited access to ethanol. As of right now, the sale of diesel cars has been outlawed in California due to nitrogen oxide emission, but Evans believes that will change shortly.

“At the present time, we’re a little bit limited with what we can do with alternative fuels, but the best solution is using bio-diesel fuel,” he said. “By next year, you’ll start seeing diesel cars in the showcases.”