Trucks at Work

Diesel from debris

Ever heard of a company called Green Power Inc.? How about a waste-to-fuel process called catalytic pressure-less depolymerization, or CDP for short?

I'm no engineer, and I didn't understand a third of what I looked at, but this interesting company reputedly takes everything from plastics, discarded tires, waste oils, medical wastes, biological materials such as wood pulp, leftover refinery tars, even spoiled foood and makes diesel fuel out of it -- all using a nice handy refinery system build into a 53-foot truck trailer.

It sounds too good to be true -- and lord knows I've seen a lot of snake oil in my short time covering this industry -- but you can't help but be curious about this. Green Power reportedly uses special crystal catalysts that, combined with their unique mobile refinery process, makes diesel fuel with a cetane rating above 54, a fuel Green Power calls 'NanoDiesel.'

Now, mind you, I saw this on the Waste Expo trade show floor, without any independent chemist at hand to tell me if this is really feasible on a large scale. But you can't help but think about the possibilities -- turning all those landfills scattered across the U.S. into our very own Saudi-style oil fields -- no drilling necessary. Heck, we wouldn't have a littering problem in the U.S. anymore if this process really worked, because everyone would carefully hoard their garbage as raw fuel stock for their cars and trucks.

Of course, this fuel has to be tested using the SAE standards we all know and love to see if it really works for commercial trucks. But I really hope someone does step up to test NanoDiesel very soon. Check out Green Power at and tell me what you think.