A Future for ‘Futuregen’?

  • FutureGen would burn coal and capture carbon dioxide produced in coal plants like this one. (Photo by Erin Toner)

The federal project known as FutureGen now has a home. The zero-emissions coal-to-
hydrogen plant is to be built in Illinois. It’s been in the planning stages for several years.
But, there are skeptics who doubt FutureGen will ever be built. Sean Crawford reports:

Transcript

The federal project known as FutureGen now has a home. The zero-emissions coal-to-
hydrogen plant is to be built in Illinois. It’s been in the planning stages for several years.
But, there are skeptics who doubt FutureGen will ever be built. Sean Crawford reports:


Many power plants already burn coal, but there is growing concern the
emissions they release into the atmosphere contribute to global warming.
The solution would be a way to use this plentiful, domestic resource – coal –
without emissions.


That’s where FutureGen comes in. The plant, a research facility, would
burn coal and capture nearly all the carbon dioxide produced in the
process. Instead of floating into the atmosphere, the greenhouse gas
would be stored underground. Other emissions such as sulfur dioxide and
nitrous oxides would be removed.


If that plant is successful, it means coal could be a more popular fuel.
Since there’s billions of tons of it in the U.S., it would mean much less
dependence on foreign fuel such as natural gas. Coal could even be a
substitute fuel for automobiles if it’s converted to hydrogen or a coal diesel
fuel.


That potential for FutureGen to start a coal resurrection almost sounds too
good to be true, and Ken Maize believes that’s the case.


Maize is editor for Power Magazine, which is a publication that for
more than a century has focused on electricity generation. He says for all
the hype over FutureGen, power companies remain uninterested. He says
it would be expensive for them to install technology FutureGen promotes.


Power providers in the private sector, who had been expected to put
money toward the building of FutureGen, have mostly stayed on the
sidelines. That means the cost to the federal government has ballooned to
nearly twice what it was when FutureGen was introduced. Maize has taken
to calling the project Never Gen because he doubts it will be built:


“You know it’s been political from the beginning of course. Bush wanted to show he
was doing something for energy. It has all of the elements of projects, scores of projects that I have seen in the past, that
looked like they were going to go somewhere and the wheels begin to
wobble and pretty soon they come off.”


But the coal mining industry hopes that doesn’t happen with FutureGen.
Phil Gonet lobbies for Illinois’ coal companies. He thinks FutureGen has a
future:


“I’m cautiously optimistic that the funding will proceed. What started as a 1
billion dollar project, the last figure I saw was about 1.4. So you kinda get concerned. And when government is
funding even a portion of that, I think there is some concern but I’m optimistic, the
funding has been included in President Bush’s budget and hopefully
whoever the next president is will see the wisdom of this.”


FutureGen has come under scrutiny for the rising cost, but it still has a lot
of support in environmental circles. Harry Henderson is with the Natural
Resource Defense Council. He likes the potential FutureGen brings, but
says no one should expect a lot of new clean burning coal plants to come
online in the near future, unless the federal government requires tighter
emission controls for existing facilities. As for only building new plants
with the carbon capture technology, he says it won’t make financial sense:


“Presently, an investment in highly, highly expensive infrastructure when they would be
competing against people who would be competing against people who
had absolutely almost no burden to do this, like the current plants that capture absolutely no carbon, when you’re competing against them, it is an unfair competition.”


But FutureGen is a model. It could show what could be done with coal.
That’s important to Illinois, since coal is becoming an increasingly
unpopular fuel because of the growing concern about global warming.


Jack Lavin is the Economic Development Director for the State of Illinois.
He’s put countless hours, energy, and dollars into landing FutureGen in
his state. But while Lavin celebrates Mattoon, Illinois’ selection as home to
the nearly zero-emissions coal-burning power plant, he knows his work is
far from finished:


“There’s lots of competing interests for budget priorities. And we believe that clean coal is a very high budget priority. And that’s going to
take work with the Congress, the Department of Energy and whoever’s in
the White House, to make sure those projects are fully funded… including
FutureGen.”


It’s unclear if there’s a long term commitment to FutureGen at the federal
level. Construction could begin in another year, but the Department of Energy is already talking about restructuring the project with a hefty price tag, there’s speculation President Bush’s initiative could be shelved once he
leaves office. For those in the coal industry, and the State of Illinois, making sure the federal
government follows through with its promise could be the toughest sell job
of all.


For the Environment Report, I’m Sean Crawford.

Related Links

Barnyard Animal Extinctions

  • Milking Devon cattle are rare domestic breeds from an earlier day, some dating back to the 18th century. The animals hold genetic information that some people think is too valuable to lose. (Photo by Lester Graham)

When you think of endangered species, farm animals might not top the list. But some types of farm animals are in danger of going extinct.
Certain breeds of common barnyard creatures are no longer considered commercially viable, and are being allowed to die off. But as the GLRC’s Chris Lehman reports, there’s an effort to preserve some rare varieties of
livestock:

Transcript

When you think of endangered species, farm animals might not top the list. But some
types of farm animals are in danger of going extinct. Certain breeds of common barnyard
creatures are no longer considered commercially viable, and are being allowed to die off.
But as the GLRC’s Chris Lehman reports, there’s an effort to preserve some rare varieties
of livestock:


When you buy a pound of ground beef or a pack of chicken legs, you probably don’t
think about what kind of cow or chicken the meat came from. And in most stores,
you don’t have a choice. Beef is beef and chicken is chicken.


Of course, there’s many different kinds of cows and chickens, but most farmers stick with
just a handful of types. They prefer animals that are specially bred to produce more meat
in less time.


That’s all well and good if your motive is profit.


But some people think the move towards designer farm animals is risky.
Jerome Johnson is executive director of Garfield Farm Museum.


(Sound of turkeys gobbling)


Johnson says breeds like these Narragansett turkeys carry genetic traits that could be
desirable in the future. They don’t require as much food, for instance. That could be an
attractive feature as costs continue to rise:


“Some of the high-producing, high-yielding animals today, they may require a lot of
input. In other words, a lot of feed, more expense since so many things are derived from
petroleum, from the diesel fuel that powers the tractors to the production of fertilizer
and the like, and chemicals for herbicides and all… that as the cost of that goes up, it may
actually be cheaper to raise a different type of animal, that doesn’t require that much.”


Johnson also says some common poultry breeds get sick more easily. That’s part of the
risk farmers take when they choose meatier birds. Normally that might not be a problem,
but if Avian flu spreads to the US, some of the older breeds might carry genes that could
resist the disease. If those breeds disappear, that genetic information would be lost.


But some farmers choose rare livestock breeds for completely different reasons.


(Sound of baby chicks)


Scott Lehr and his family raise several varieties of pure-bred poultry, sheep, and goats on
their northern Illinois farm. These chicks are just a few weeks old…


(Sound of baby chicks)


“These are all pure-bred birds. These are birds that have been around a long time. Some
of the breeds that are in there, there’s Bantam Brown Leghorns, Bantam White Leghorns.”


Some of the poultry breeds are so rare and exotic they’re practically collector’s items.
Lehr’s son enters them in competitions. But the animals on their farm aren’t just for
showing off. Scott says they use the wool from their herd of Border Cheviot sheep for a
craft studio they opened in a nearby town:


“There’s quite a bit of demand growing for handspun wool and the rising interest in the
hand arts, if you will… knitting and spinning and weaving and those kinds of things… are
really beginning to come into, I guess, the consciousness of the American public in many
ways. It’s evolving beyond a cottage industry.”


And the wool of rare breeds like the Border Cheviot sheep is popular among people who want handspun wool.


(Sound of Johnson calling to giant pig, “Hey, buddy, how ya doin’?”)


Back at the Garfield Farm Museum, Jerome Johnson offers a handful of grass to a 700
pound Berkshire hog. This Berkshire is different from the variety of pig with the same
name that’s relatively common today. Johnson says these old-style Berkshires have a
different nose and more white hair than the modern Berkshire. They also tend to be fatter,
which used to be a more desirable trait.


The museum’s pair of old-style Berkshires are literally a dying breed. Johnson says the
boar isn’t fertile anymore:


“They were the last breeding pair that we knew of. These were once quite common but
now are quite rare. And we maybe have found a boar that is fertile that is up in
Wisconsin that was brought in from England here a couple years ago that we could try
crossing with our sow to see if we can preserve some of these genetics.”


(Sound of pigs)


Advocates of rare livestock breeds say the animals can be healthier and sometimes tastier
than the kinds raised on large commercial farms. And although you won’t find many
farm animals on the endangered species list, they could have important benefits for future
farmers.


For the GLRC, I’m Chris Lehman.

Related Links

Revving Up Sales of Cleaner Diesel Cars

When you think of diesel engines, you might think of big, noisy, stinky trucks. But that’s changing. And a domestic automaker has plans to bring a cleaner, higher performing diesel engine to passenger cars. The company insists: it’s not your father’s diesel. The GLRC’s Julie Halpert has the story:

Transcript

When you think diesel engines, you might think of big, noisy, stinky
trucks, but that’s changing and a domestic automaker has plans to bring a
cleaner, higher performing diesel engine to passenger cars. The
company insists: it’s not your father’s diesel. The GLRC’s Julie Halpert
has the story:


In Europe… people have been hearing this catchy little tune on a
television commercial…


(Sound of commercial)


If you hate something, improve it. That’s the message of this Honda UK
commercial that highlights the historically loud, smelly diesel engines.
It’s intended to promote Honda’s new, cleaner diesel, something it’s
launching in Europe.


Diesels have always been more popular in Europe than the U.S. That’s
because there diesel fuel is roughly 20 to 30 percent cheaper than
gasoline there, and diesels get great fuel economy… 30 percent better
than in gasoline engines.


Here in the U.S., diesels haven’t sold well. In the 1970s, when diesel
fuel was cheaper than gas, diesels gained in popularity briefly, but people
didn’t like the stench of the smoky fumes and the clunky sounds of diesel
engines. Those lingering attitudes have scared Honda off from bringing
its new diesels here.


But Daimler/Chrysler is trying to change all that. The company is
drawing on its European expertise to bring advanced technology diesels
to more U.S. passenger cars, and now, they think Americans will buy
them.


Jim Widenbak is a manager of small diesel systems for Daimler/Chrysler.


“We think that there’s a niche for diesels in the North American market,
and We’re not sure exactly how big, but I would characterize us as kind
of bullish on diesels. We really think there’s a place for them and
that customers will ultimately be very happy with diesel products.”


Daimler/Chrysler currently offers a diesel engine on its newer models of
the Jeep Liberty and the Mercedes E-320. Sales of these vehicles were
more than double what the company expected – 10,000 for the diesel
Jeep Liberty and 5,000 for the E-320.


Widenback says that electronic controls have improved over the past 30
years, making diesels better performing, more fuel efficient and cleaner
burning.


The company is in negotiations with the Environmental Protection
Agency to use a new technology, currently in use in Europe, that cuts
pollution further – just in time for tough new federal emission controls
that take effect by 2008. The process uses a material called urea that’s
injected into the exhaust before the exhaust hits the pollution control
device. This ultimately removes troublesome emissions of nitrogen
oxides.


There is one problem with the pollution control system, though.
Anthony Pratt directs power train forecasting for J.D. Power Automotive
Systems. He says the car periodically will run out of its supply of urea.


“So, in other words, you’re not getting the injection of urea in the
exhaust, the vehicles will continue to perform normally as if the urea
tanks were full but they will not meet the more strict emission
standards.”


If the company finds a way to ensure the tanks stay full, Pratt thinks it
will work. Pratt projects diesel engine sales will grow from 3 percent of
the market in 2005 to seven and a half percent in 2012, overtaking sales
of hybrid vehicles, which are only projected to be 4% of the market.


“I think the vehicle manufacturers will be successful in ultimately
educating the consumer in that the new diesel technology is not the dirty,
clanky, loud and sluggish technology they may be familiar with from the
late 70s and early 80s.”


(Sound of car dealership)


That message – that diesels are worth buying – is falling on deaf ears for
the customers of Schultz Motors. Tyler Shultz, the general manager, doesn’t
think it will fly, based on what he’s seen.


“As diesel prices went up in the last six months to a year, we virtually
have lost interest. Again, it’s not that the consumer doesn’t want it, but
when they see fuel prices go above gasoline prices, it was almost like
somebody flipped a switch.”


Shultz says it’s too expensive to buy and maintain a diesel and customers
won’t recoup the cost savings from better fuel economy unless they own
their car for several years. He, and some other dealers in the area don’t
think diesels will ever become popular.


Daimler/Chrysler’s Widenbak disagrees. He expects those fuel prices to come
down, and as they do, he says people will start buying diesel vehicles.


“We’re confident that our vehicles, diesel vehicles in general and our vehicles
specifically, can appeal to people.”


Daimler/Chrysler is so confident, it expects to roll out diesel engines in
more of its passenger cars over the next few years.


For the GLRC, I’m Julie Halpert.

Related Links

Budget Calls for Cleaner School Buses

The Bush administration has proposed a funding increase for a nationwide program to reduce pollution from diesel school buses. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Erika Johnson reports:

Transcript

The Bush administration has proposed a funding increase for a nationwide
program to reduce pollution from diesel school buses. The Great Lakes Radio
Consortium’s Erika Johnson reports:


The Environmental Protection Agency launched a program last year to cut
emissions from diesel school buses. Five million dollars was divided among
a handful of school districts nationwide. The money was used to replace or
retrofit diesel school buses with pollution control devices and to provide
cleaner burning diesel fuels. Now, the Bush administration has proposed
that an additional 65-million dollars be added to the program next year.


Tom Skinner is EPA’s Region 5 Administrator.


“The reason for the big jump is that we’ve seen the kind of success, the
kind of results that can be created by the program, and what we’ve found is
it’s tremendously effective. We started with a relatively small pilot
program with limited funding, and now is really when we’re going to kick it off, and
expand it dramatically and really reach across the country.”


Skinner says EPA hopes to replace or retrofit all diesel school bus engines
by 2010.


For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Erika Johnson.

Related Links

Study Highlights Cost-Benefits of Cleaner Buses

A new Harvard study indicates that of two new types of alternative fuels for urban buses, it might be better in the long run to go with the cheaper fuel. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham reports:

Transcript

A new Harvard study indicates that of two new types of alternative fuels for urban buses, it might
be better in the long run to go with the cheaper fuel. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester
Graham reports:


Soot spewing diesel buses will soon be a thing of the past. But two different alternative fuels are
being considered for mass transit buses. One is compressed natural gas. The other is a low
sulfur-filtered diesel called emission controlled diesel.


A Harvard School of Public Health study of the fuel systems appears in the current issue of the
journal Environmental Science and Technology. Senior Researcher, Joshua Cohen says
compressed natural gas buses might be cleaner, but the health benefits cost six to nine times more
than the same health benefits of the clean diesel.


“If you spend your money on compressed natural gas buses, you’re not going to be able to buy as
many new clean buses as you could if you bought the clean diesel buses. So, that’s an important
consideration to keep in mind.”


So, while a single bus burning compressed natural gas might be cleaner, it’s so much more
expensive that, system-wide, it might be more beneficial to the environment to use the cheaper
clean diesel system in more buses.


For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, this is Lester Graham.

Biodiesel Enthusiast Brews Own Fuel

  • Joe Rappa holds up the final product: biodiesel made from used vegetable oil. Photo by David Sommerstein.

This winter, U.S. automakers have unveiled more environmentally friendly cars, SUVs, and trucks. They include gas-electric hybrids, even hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles. The new models will reduce smog and other emissions and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. But a cleaner domestic fuel already exists for diesel cars and trucks, and you can find it at most restaurants. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s David Sommerstein profiles a man who brews his own biodiesel from used vegetable oil:

Transcript

This winter U.S. automakers have unveiled more environmentally friendly cars, SUVs, and
trucks. They include gas-electric hybrids, even hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles. The new
models will reduce smog and other emissions and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. But a
cleaner domestic fuel already exists for diesel cars and trucks, and you can find it at most
restaurants. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s David Sommerstein profiles a man who brews
his own biodiesel from used vegetable oil:


Joe Rappa’s VolkSwagen Quantum looks like any older car. It’s a maroon station wagon with
180,000 miles on it. It’s got a diesel engine with the tell-tale diesel rattle.


(car starts)


But even though we’re inside an enclosed garage in an auto lab, there’s no black exhaust, no acrid
diesel smell. Instead, it smells like a kitchen.


“Some people say it smells like French Fries, some say it smells more like hamburgers on the
grill than anything else. But everyone smells something different with biodiesel.”


Rappa teaches automotive courses here at the State University of New York in Canton. He lives
120 miles away. Several times a week he commutes in this car powered by biodiesel – a fuel
made from used vegetable oil he collects from local restaurants. He says anyone with a diesel car
can do it themselves.


“It might be a bit unnerving at first because we’re so conditioned to put the same fuel in our car,
that y’know that you go make something in your garage and then go pour it in the tank of your
car goes against everything you’ve been ever taught for the last 20 years that you’ve been
driving.”


Joe Rappa has a mischievous smile when he talks about brewing his own fuel, especially with
most people worrying about the price of gas, the places our oil comes from, and what it does to
politics and the environment. But Rappa insists he’s not an environmentalist.


“I don’t consider myself a big polluter, either. I’m a tinkerer. I always have to fool around with
something. It’s funny, my dad always used to kid me from the time I was a little kid, ‘You’re not
happy unless you’re screwing around with something.’ My bicycle worked fine, I’d take it apart.”


As an adult, he bought a diesel car. One day, he started reading about biodiesel on the Internet.


“And the more I looked at it, the more I thought, that’s kind of silly, but I bet I could do that, and
got a hold of the chemicals and started fooling around and making mini-batches, and once I was
confident the mini-batches were actually biodiesel and something I can burn in an engine, I
started making bigger batches and putting the stuff in my car.”


Today Rappa spends Sundays in his garage brewing up to 120 gallons of it at a time. He’s
considered a leading expert on biodiesel bulletin boards on the Internet.


Most of the enthusiasts he e-mails with are environmentalists. They see biodiesel as a way to
reduce our reliance on foreign oil and clean up the choking exhaust cars and trucks belch out their
tailpipes. Rappa says biodiesel creates less than half the smog-causing emissions of regular
diesel.


“The particle emissions out of the tailpipe, 70% less simply by switching fuel, 70-80% less
hydrocarbon, 70-80% less carbon monoxide, those are some serious numbers.”


Nitrous oxide levels are a little higher, though. Those also contribute to smog. But for Rappa,
the big number is price. It costs him 54-cents a gallon to brew the stuff.


Rappa snaps on rubber gloves to show me how it’s done. Basically you mix methanol and lye to
make methoxide. Then you add the methoxide to the oil. The ratio depends on the amount of
animal fat in the vegetable oil, which you figure out through what’s called a titration, and the
amount of biodiesel you want to brew.


“Now we just add the methoxide to the vegetable oil.”


Rappa uses old Pepsi bottles for this demonstration and a wine carafe to hold the oil.


“Put our lid on there. Give it a shake. Immediately it turns to a milkshake consistency. And the
reaction only takes a couple seconds to take place. You mix it thoroughly and it’ll start to get
dark as my biodiesel starts to form.”


The result is honey-colored biodiesel. Glycerine – basically soap – settles on the bottom as a by-
product. Rappa cautions this takes practice. You have to boil the vegetable oil to remove any
water in it. You need to make sure you separate the biodiesel from the glycerine.


In fact, most people who use biodiesel in their cars buy it commercially. Their number is
growing. The National Biodiesel Board predicts biodiesel production will increase by 20 million
gallons this year. Most it is made from soybeans. Some producers use other vegetable oils. But
a U.S. Energy Department-funded study says there’s enough used vegetable oil and other waste
grease to produce 500 million gallons of biodiesel each year.


(sound up of driving)


That’s plenty to keep Joe Rappa’s car on the road and encourage others to join him.


“I still chuckle every time I pour in fuel I made in my garage in the tank of my car.”


For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m David Sommerstein.

Reining in Diesel Exhaust

  • The EPA is planning to regulate smoke from diesel engines in farm and construction equipment. Photo courtesy of NESCAUM.

You see them every time you pass a construction site: big machines belching thick diesel smoke. The smoke isn’t just annoying. It causes major health and environmental problems. Now, after years of dealing with other issues, the EPA is taking on this major source of uncontrolled pollution: emissions from farm and construction equipment. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Julie Halpert looks at the challenges the EPA faces in this far-reaching regulatory effort:

Transcript

You see them every time you pass a construction site. Big machines belching thick diesel smoke. The smoke isn’t just annoying. It causes major health and environmental problems. Now, after years of dealing with other issues, the EPA is taking on this major source of uncontrolled pollution: emissions from farm and construction equipment. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Julie Halpert looks at the challenges EPA faces in this far-reaching regulatory effort.


Emissions from diesel engines create problems for both the environment and people’s health. Diesels release nitrogen oxides, which are a factor in acid rain and smog. They also spew very fine particulates that can lodge deep in the lung when inhaled. And that causes respiratory problems.


Controlling these emissions is no easy task. That’s because most diesel engines still burn fuel containing high amounts of sulfur. The sulfur clogs up existing pollution control devices. And that makes it a lot tougher to come up with ways to reduce emissions. But Christopher Grundler, deputy director of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality in Ann Arbor, Michigan, says its an important challenge.


“In the year 2007 we estimate that off road or non-road emissions will make up over 40% of the air pollution from mobile sources or transportation sources, so it’s a big deal.”


In tackling air pollution, EPA’s first job was to clean up gasoline car emissions. Now its moving onto diesels. The agency’s first challenge came when they issued a rule for highway trucks last year. That plan drops sulfur content in diesel fuel from 500 parts per million to 15 parts per million. It also reduces overall diesel emissions by 90% by the year 2007. The EPA now wants to use this rule as a model for farm and construction equipment as well. But the agency is likely to face opposition from refiners, who are fighting the on road rule. Jim Williams is with the American Petroleum Institute.


“We feel that the ability of the refining industry to make sufficient volumes of 15 ppm in the timeframe that EPA wants us to is highly questionable, whether we can do that. We’ve done some studies that show there will be supply shortfalls with the 15-ppm limit.”


Williams is pushing to phase in the requirement over a longer period. He says that would give refiners more time to produce the necessary quantities of low sulfur fuel. Until then, refiners also want to continue providing high sulfur fuel.


But Engine Manufacturers don’t like that idea. They’ve agreed to support tough standards only if the switchover to low sulfur fuel happens quickly. Jed Mandel runs the Engine Manufacturers Association. He’s worried that if cheaper, low sulfur fuel remains abundant; users could continue relying on the dirtier fuel.


“If there are dual fuels available — if there’s cleaner fuel on the marketplace for some time, as well as higher sulfur dirtier fuel, and there’s a price differential in that fuel, there will be a disincentive for users to buy the cleanest engines.”


Mandel says that could cause a delay in purchasing these engines for several years.


Like Mandel, Jason Grumet, executive director of the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, also wants tight standards. Northeast states, plagued with acid rain and smog caused largely by these diesels, are pushing the EPA to develop the tightest standards possible to meet clean air goals and also to better protect equipment operators.


“The particles from diesel emissions can lodge very deep within the human lung and we know that these particles are carcinogens, so for folks who work with construction equipment every day or on construction sites, for people who farm or plow fields for several hours a day, we think that the emissions of diesel pollutants cause a very substantial and real threat to their health.”


(sound of tractor)


Herb Smith isn’t worried about his health. Smith hops off his tractor and stands on the land that his family has farmed in Ida Township, Michigan since 1865. Despite years of inhaling diesel fumes, Smith said he’s in perfect physical condition. Though he supports regulations to control diesel emissions, he’s worried that the EPA will place undue hardship on farmers.


“I am concerned about fuel costs because our margin in farming is very slim and anything we add to fuel costs, we have to absorb it.”


Smith fears that some of the smaller farmers may not be able to bear higher fuel and engine costs and could go out of business.


Despite the many different viewpoints on the issue, EPA’s Grundler is confident that his agency can develop a rule that will bring tremendous public health benefits at a reasonable cost.


“We’ve shown we can do it for cars and SUVs. We’ve shown it can be done for heavy duty on highway engines. I’m absolutely certain it can be done for these sorts of engines as well.”


The agency expects to issue a technical report outlining emission control options by the end of the year. A proposal is due by the middle of next year. For The Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Julie Halpert.

Corn Diesel Fuel Cuts Emissions

Diesel engines power everything from big rigs, to bulldozers, to buses.
But emissions from diesels can cause respiratory problems…and may be a
potential cancer risk. So the Environmental Protection Agency has
started targeting diesel engines with new regulations to cut their
emissions. Now, it looks like a new fuel – made partially with corn —
may help. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Wendy Nelson reports: