Tulsa Transit starts using Syntroleum ' clean' fuel

Tuesday, August 23rd 2005, 10:33 am
By: News On 6

Fuel is at the top of everyone's minds these days. For the next year, a Tulsa Transit bus will be part of a federal test program of a synthetic diesel fuel that's made in Oklahoma. Which bus is it?

As News on 6 reporter Steve Berg tells us, you can't miss it. With its brightly colored artwork, the Syntroleum Corporation's test bus is certainly attention-getting.

So you might overlook the fact that there's none of the usual smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe. "So you can see how clean it is and because there's no contaminants in the fuel, it burns very clean." Kenneth Agee and Tulsa-based Syntroleum have already made more than 200,000 gallons of the crystal-clear diesel fuel. It's made from natural gas and can also be made from coal.

They've had long-term tests in Washington DC and in Denali National Park, where they've proven its superior to conventional diesel in every way, from emissions to engine performance. And someday it could very well help in one more way, reducing our dependence on foreign oil and reducing prices. "Having this fuel being produced either from coal, domestic coal or from remote, stranded natural gas, which will bring new resources of supply to the market, which hopefully will contribute to keeping the cost down."

The federal government is paying for the fuel that will be tested in the Tulsa Transit bus, as part of its effort to develop alternative, ultra-clean fuels. One good thing about the synthetic diesel is it can be used in today's engines and gas pumps with no modifications.

First district Congressman John Sullivan: "Someday we will run out of gas and oil won't happen in our lifetime, but it'll happen, and we need to be prepared. And Syntroleum is poised to fill that void, that demand."

The Tulsa Transit test-bus will be used on a variety of routes to get a greater variety of data. That will also give more people a chance to see it.