NPR’s CarTalk and Biodiesel

Posted By on March 20, 2006

CarTalk and guest - Tom, Ray and JayTom and Ray Magliozzi host a radio program (and newspaper column) called CarTalk and it has been an entertainment mainstay for National Public Radio listeners for many years. Last month they inflamed a few biodiesel nuts (including myself) by making an incorrect comment regarding biodiesel by assuming it was the same thing as virgin or waste ‘unprocessed’ vegetable oil. (listen to the original ‘BOGUS’ comments: MP3 audio clip)

Needless to say a few of us made comments on their forum and by email, eventually receiving a comment first in email from their producer, second on their forum (attached below), and third on their radio program this past weekend. (listen to an even shorter MP3 correction) Nice work to all who pushed for a correction!

We gave out some incorrect info about biodiesel a few weeks ago on the show.

During a call with Ben from Oregon, we were asked about using biodiesel or vegetable oil in a diesel engine. We said they would both require an engine modification. We were wrong. And we’d like to thank the 600 biodiesel Nazis who wrote to us (14 times each) to scold and correct us. Thanks for having our backs, guys!

While using vegetable oil in a diesel engine WOULD require a prior modification, biodiesel fuel requires NO engine modification, and can be dumped directly into the diesel engine of your choice.

What, exactly, IS biodiesel fuel, anyway? It’s fuel that’s made from fat or plant oils, which have been processed through something called, “transesterification,” and removes the glycerin that cruds up your fuel lines. In case you were wondering.

So, biodiesel = no modification required. KFC cooking vats = modification required.

Got it?

We’ve posted updated information right here on our web site, in our eco area.

You can also read a plethora of posts on the topic, right in here in the (Boy, did those morons blow it!) Second Opinion bulletin board.

Sorry for the confusion and thanks to everyone who wrote to correct us.

Yours in fueling facts,

Tom and Ray


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