Hartford, Connecticut [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] BioPur Inc., a locally owned and operated biodiesel fuel plant in Bethlehem, Connecticut, was launched in a ceremony officiated by Governor M. Jodi Rell and other state and local officials. It is said to be the first plant of its kind in Connecticut and the largest in southern New England.According to BioPur founders George Linardos, Sr., and Chris Glynos, the plant in Bethlehem will produce 450,000 to 1.5 million gallons of biodiesel a year, meeting the transportation and heating needs for clients throughout New England. The new facility will allow BioPur to double its current production to meet ever-increasing demand. “With this state-of-the-art facility, Bethlehem is helping to define our economic future as a region — and is paving the way for greater energy independence as a nation,” said Governor Rell. “This plant will help expand and preserve agricultural jobs throughout Connecticut. The production of biodiesel is an important step in the nation’s ongoing efforts to reduce our reliance on foreign oil — and Connecticut is at the forefront of those efforts.” Biodiesel is a fuel additive made from soybeans that can be used to power diesel engines and is commonly mixed with regular diesel fuel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. More than 400 vehicle fleets throughout the U.S., including many school transportation companies and the U.S. military, already use biodiesel. “I am proud that these local businessmen decided to invest their time, money and expertise into producing this very beneficial product,” said Senator Louis C. DeLuca (R-Woodbury). “Renewable fuel sources are a key to energy independence.” Biofuel, an emergent industry in the U.S., is supported by the Department of Energy and viewed by many as a potential long-term energy solution. It can reduce dependence on foreign oil supplies while providing a much cleaner burning diesel alternative that reduces harmful emissions. Pure biodiesel is currently about 10 percent less efficient than regular diesel, so the two are often mixed to provide a cleaner fuel while still maintaining fuel economy. Even a 20 percent mix of biodiesel to 80 percent diesel will result in a 12.6 percent reduction in CO2, as well as 18 percent fewer particulates.