One Wiregrass company is making the dream of alternative fuels a reality.
Along with fulfilling that dream will be the addition of new high paying jobs for the area.
After three years in the planning phase, Perihelion Global Energy in Opp is open for business producing biodiesel fuels.
The emerging energy source is made from mixing a variety of animal stocks and vegetable oils with lye and alcohol.
Plant Manager Lamar Lindsey said, “Technology is changing and a lot of things we thought would work a year ago would not work today. So, we've been taking our time trying to get something that's economical and will work.”
A series of chemical reactions and a filtering process produces a clear product that meets federal guidelines for 100 % biodiesel. The finished product will run in almost any diesel engine.
Once the biodiesel is processed, it can go right into the tank of your vehicle. It helps get better miles per gallon and it also keeps the engine cleaner. However, because of the fumes the vehicle produces, you might get an intense craving for fast food.
While the exhaust smells like fried chicken or steak, the emissions produced are almost 100% cleaner than regular fuel. And, the benefits don't stop there. Traditionally, noisy diesel engines run quieter on this alternative fuel.
“It lessens our dependency on foreign oil, it gives our local economy a boost, it helps us out by selling to the local community in case we do have an energy shortage,” Lindsey added.
Opp Mayor H.D. Edgar said, “Once this plant is up and going, it will work quite a few people when it's at full production and create employment for our citizens and create economy for our city.”
The plant is currently producing 9600 gallons of fuel. Expansion plans could increase that amount to 60 million gallons and create 100 new jobs by the end of the year.
The cost of biodiesel is comparable to current diesel prices.
For more information about this fuel alternative, you can log onto the company's website at http://perihelion.com.