The Greaseball Challenge, a biofuel-car rally from the United States through Central America, began March 30 in Washington, D.C. when bioenergy researcher Suzanne Hunt began her 4,500-mile southbound journey in a biodieselfueled Volkswagen Rabbit named “Greased Lightning.”
Along with 12 other participants in five cars, Hunt will collect grease and oil from biodiesel producers, restaurants, supermarkets, factories and farms to fuel the cars as the group travels from the United States to Costa Rica, according to a statement on the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Web site. The goal, aside from reaching San José: raising $20,000 for small-scale Central American biofuel projects, by donating the five vehicles at the end of the race.
The bank is sponsoring the rally through Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Participants are expected to arrive here April 22.
Along the way, participants are visiting bioenergy projects to gather information about the challenges facing the biofuel sector.
“This rally is a great way of publicizing in our region the potential for biofuels… not just as an energy alternative but also as a development tool,” IDB Executive Vice-President Daniel Zelikow said in the statement.
The Greaseball Challenge, as well as a recently released study entitled “A Blueprint for Green Energy in the Americas,” commissioned by the bank, complement the IDB’s Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Initiative.