TulsaTech Launches Alternative Fuels Program

Tuesday, January 4th 2011, 9:00 pm
By: News On 6

Dan Bewley, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Tulsa Technology Center is launching a program to teach students about alternative fuels. The Broken Arrow campus will be home to the new course.

We're a nation addicted to fuel. For decades, the fuel of choice has been gasoline, but now there's a movement to alternative fuels.

TulsaTech is trying to stay ahead of that curve and a garage-type classroom will soon be the home of a one-of-a-kind program in Oklahoma.

"This is the alternative fuel lab and we've created this for a new program that will be opening next August," Leo Van Delft said.

Leo Van Delft is the transportation program coordinator at TulsaTech. He's proud to announce the school has created the only course in Oklahoma that will teach students the ins and outs of alternative fuels.

"It'll feature CNG, propane powered vehicles, hybrid electric, and electric vehicles," he said.

Alternative fuel vehicles are becoming more and more popular. Right now, for example, 10 percent of all vehicles in production run on alternative fuels, mostly hybrid electric, but the biggest user of alternatative fuels is the trucking industry.

"A lot of it is emission related, in terms of the trucks do a lot of idling, reduced emissions out the tail pipe, reduced operating expenses, and in some areas where you have a lot of trucks that are idling together the amount of pollution that's being created is pretty substantial," Van Delft said.

Van Delft says trucking fleets across the country are converting to alternative fuels.

Tulsa Public Schools, for example, is switching more than 140 of its buses to compressed natural gas.

9/13/2010 Related Story: Tulsa Public Schools Gives CNG Buses A Second Try

Van Delft says changes like that make all the more important for future technicians to have a complete understanding of alternative fuels and what makes it tick.

"Industry recognizes that this is a movement that is not going to stop, it's not a flash in the pan, it's actually a movement that will continue," he said.

TulsaTech is now taking applications for its alternative fuels program.