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biodiesel tanksThese plastic tanks in Josh Tickell's backyard are used to demonstrate how biodiesel fuel is made. The process involves mixing vegetable oil with an alcohol, typically methanol, and a catalyst, usually lye (or sodium hydroxide), to extract glycerin from the vegetable oil and "thin" it to make it compatible with the diesel engine.
"If you can make a margarita, you can make biodiesel," Tickell says.
biodiesel fueling station
Biodiesel fueling stations are scarce. On Jan. 7, the Biodiesel Co-op--a group of artists, writers and designers living in the Los Angeles area--opened their own, members-only biodiesel fueling station in nearby Marina del Rey. Housed in a trailer behind a group of office buildings off U.S. Highway 90, the station serves as a convenient place for co-op members to fuel their diesel-engine vehicles.