Published on February 16th, 2008 | by Max Lindberg1
"…If you have faith as small as a mustard seed"
It’s kind of ironic that officials in California are placing their faith in mustard seed as a home-grown feedstock for biodiesel fuel, to move their busses from “here to there.”
Monterey-Salinas Transit has proposed producing its own sustainable biodiesel fuel for its fleet operations, planting the seed as a cover crop during the Salinas Valley agriculture industry’s off-season. The beauty, they say, is that the it will not replace food crops normally grown in the area.
Once the seeds are harvested, they’ll be pressed into raw oil, which will then be refined into biofuel. The transit company says it will use the industry standard of 80 percent fossil fuel and 20 percent biodiesel to power its busses.
Testing will begin next week with the planting of two varieties of mustard seed on 30 acres of land owned by San Bernabe Vineyards in South Monterey County. After harvesting, scientists will determine which variety will be the best for biofuel production.
Watsonville-based Energy Alternative Solutions, Inc. has partnered with the transit company to convert the crop into fuel, keeping the entire process in the local area.