By Christie Post
LITTLEFIELD, TX (KCBD) - In the heart of Littlefield's cotton industry, you will find a biodiesel plant called Texas Green. Anyone can use their alternative fuel with little or no modifications to their car, simply if they have a diesel engine.
Jeffrey and Jerry Bigham started the alternative fuel plant three years ago when they noticed they could provide energy to local people from local products. "It is a local fuel and can be used locally. So we can take our products you can take cotton seed oil, you can take tallow, you can take waste vegetable oil from our restaurants," says Jeffrey Bigham.
Texas Green uses mostly beef tallow, or animal fat from local slaughter houses, mixes it with chemicals to create their biodiesel fuel. "Clean it up and recycle it and make it into a fuel we can use in our tractors to plow the fields of cotton or sort them. Or to use it in our diesel trucks that we use to move our cattle or work on our ranches," says Bigham.
Bigham says some states have mandates put in place that forces gas stations to use a percentage of biodiesel in every gallon of diesel fuel. "For instance in Minnesota, 2 percent of biodiesel has to be in every gallon of fuel sold," says Bigham.
Bigham says these mandates limit the use of foreign oil and better yet recycles local products instead. "One of the most famous biodiesel stations is in Texas Carl's Corner, where Willie Nelson has his truck stop. That truck stop has three million gallons per year bio diesel. Willie Nelson is very, very supportive of biodiesel and uses biodiesel blends of the material he makes and sells it to the truckers right there," says Bigham.
The benefits of biodiesel, according to Bigham, include it's the safest fuel to store, use and handle, along with reducing greenhouse gas emissions. "Our biodiesel is a 90% greenhouse reduction over regular diesel fuel," says Bigham.
Another benefit, Bigham says is biodiesel is completely tax free in the state of Texas, which can save people some green in their wallet. "Biodiesel is not taxed in the state of Texas, so basically every gallon of biodiesel that a service station uses they save 20 cents," says Bigham.
The Bighams say they continue to learn new techniques to make better biodiesel fuel everyday. Currently they are not in commercial production, but they hope in the future to have their own biodiesel pump located at their plant for local farmers and people in the community to use.
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