Calif. Hospital Generates Electricity and Heat With Biodiesel Fuel

Just outside the mechanical room of the St. Mary Medical Center campus in Long Beach, Calif., a scent comparable to popcorn fills the air. But it's not the smell of corn popping, rather the burning of soybean-based fuel that powers on-site electrical generators and boilers.

09/20/2001


Just outside the mechanical room of the St. Mary Medical Center campus in Long Beach, Calif., a scent comparable to popcorn fills the air. But it's not the smell of corn popping, rather the burning of soybean-based fuel that powers on-site electrical generators and boilers.

While about 100 hospitals around the country are currently using biodiesel fuel for power generation, St. Mary's has become one of the first to utilize the fuel to heat water.

This innovative application has already shown a significant decrease in emissions, with expected energy cost savings of $350 per day.

"We are very excited about the advantages this new fuel provides in responding to our statewide energy crisis," stated Tomi Hadffield, St. Mary's president, as quoted in the California Real Estate Journal. "This is very promising for our colleagues facing these same challenges."

The soybean-based fuel is significantly less toxic than petroleum-based fuels, and is considered to be the fast-growing alternative fuel in the U.S.





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