US Military in Afghanistan installs biodiesel technology

Small-scale biodiesel processing equipment from Springboard Biodiesel, a California-based, clean-tech manufacturer, is to be installed at Bagram Airfield in the Parwan Province of Afghanistan.

Springboard Biodiesel's BioPro 380EX and SpringPro T76 comprise a small-scale biodiesel processing system designed to inexpensively convert the base's used cooking oil into ASTM-grade biodiesel that can then be used in diesel vehicles on base.

The company's CEO, Mark Roberts, says: 'In Afghanistan, the fully burdened cost of diesel fuel is extremely high. We've heard estimates north of $10 per gallon (€9.1/gallon). The BioPro systems made by Springboard will enable the base to produce high quality biodiesel fuel for less than $1 per gallon – not to mention biodiesel made from used cooking oil burns up to 90% cleaner than regular diesel.'

Springboard Biodiesel has worked with a number of institutions that have access to used cooking oil. 'We refer to these groups as "captive kitchens", Roberts continues, 'meaning that as a natural consequence of their mission, they cook for large groups of people: schools, restaurants, hotels, prisons, casinos and, of course, military bases, where there is the added element of fuel security. Making a cleaner burning fuel, safely and inexpensively onsite gives these groups a huge advantage. We're hopeful that the success of Bagram's small-scale biodiesel production initiative will resonate with other bases that want to copy the model.'

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