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FUEL Biodiesel gives alternative



Published: Sat, August 13, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



CLEVELAND (AP) -- A gas station has begun selling a biodiesel mix at the pump, encouraging its customers to generate fewer air pollutants and decrease dependence on foreign oil.

The Rapid Stop station is the first retailer in the city to offer the fuel, which is 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent standard diesel. Biodiesel is a cleaner-burning alternative fuel made from chemically altered vegetable oil.

"We're trying to do something different for the community. It's worth a shot," said Todd Deegan, co-owner of Rapid Stop.

The station is the second retailer in the state to report offering a 20 percent mix to the National Biodiesel Board, according to the trade organization's Web site. The other is in Delaware, north of Columbus.

Several stations in Ohio offer a biodiesel mix with a lower amount of the additive, usually 2 percent.

'Small step'

The initial cost of the fuel at Rapid Stop will be the same as regular diesel, but the station will raise the price in the future.

Without a cost incentive, the fuel's promoters are emphasizing what they see as its environmental and political benefits.

"We thought it was important to not be so dependent on foreign oil," Rapid Stop President Jeanne Carmosino said. "Even though this is a small step, it might be something that more and more people are willing to look at as an option for the future."

Customer Julie Lindstrom of Cleveland said she bought her 2002 Volkswagen Jetta so she could use biodiesel. Along with the environmental attributes, she likes the exhaust odor.

"My car doesn't smell like gas," she said. "It smells like vegetable oil about a week past its prime."




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