RPN member, Snohomish County, just north of Seattle, is moving ahead with an ambitious plan to "homebrew" its own fuel, by drying, storing, and crushing canola seed to produce biodiesel. The county purchased a 24-ton machine to crush canola seed and in a month or so, hopes to test the machine by smashing leftover seed into oil. Should all go well, the machine will go into full production with the fall canola harvest.
To purchase the seed crusher, Snohomish County secured a $500,000 grant from the Washington State Department of Community Trade and Economic Development. Last August, the County Council approved a $464,000 bid from Whole Energy Fuels Corp. of Bellingham to procure and install the crusher and train county employees to use it. In September, a $1.2 million center in the small town of Cathcart was opened for the project, with an eye toward supporting local farmers.
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