The Voice for Industry
August 7, 2009
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The 1979 Oldsmobile Salon came equipped with a V8 diesel engine that is often cited as one of the hundreds of crappy screw ups that eventually brought General Motors to its knees. The head gaskets were the same as the ones used for gasoline engines and they proved too weak, leading to breached seals, broken bolts, multiple trips to repair shops and a reputation for unreliability that helped put the kibosh on the market for diesel cars in the United States for a good 20 years.

But, the fuel injection systems for the engines were pretty good and that's one reason why Don Reynoldson figures his auto shop class at Ingraham High School might be able to power an old 1979 Salon with fish oil from the Bering Sea as part of a class project next fall. But, first they'll have to work out the chemistry of transforming the raw Pollock oil into fuel stock. "After the students figure that out, the regular curriculum will make a lot more sense," Reynoldson said.

If the project works, the Pollock-powered Salon will be among the lead exhibits at the Second Annual Green Industrial Business and Career Expo on October 9, 2009 at the Puget Sound Industrial Excellence Center (PSIEC) at the Georgetown Campus of South Seattle Community College.

Other exhibits will include wind and geothermal power demonstrations, electric car displays and workshops for teachers. The key note speaker will be the new state superintendent of public instruction, Randy Dorn. The kick-off speaker will be Bernie Karl, a geothermal power pioneer and owner of the Chena Hot Springs Resort in Alaska.

General admission is $45. Admission for teachers is $25. October 9th is a state inservice day and teachers can receive clock hours for participating. Admission includes lunch. For more info call 206-762-2470. Additional details will be available in future issues of Seattle Industry eBulletin.

The Green Expo is cosponsored by the Manufacturing Industrial Council, South Seattle Community College, the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development, the Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), Nucor Steel Seattle, The Boeing Company and a growing list of other companies and agencies.

The fish oil car project was inspired by Seattle seafood companies that rig the power systems for their factory trawlers to run on fish oil when they begin processing Pollock at sea. The main engines are too refined and important to rely on fish fuel, but many of the other power systems on the ships work just as well powered by fish oil as by diesel.

Using fish guts to create the oil that creates the fuel helps the fishermen because it makes productive use of all parts of the fish and 100% fish utilization is always an industry goal. It also helps save fuel. That saves costs. By saving fuel, it also makes the boats more energy efficient. Put that all together, and it makes the fish oil car "green" enough to qualify for the Expo.

The Expo is dedicated to highlighting industrial technologies and processes that reduce carbon emissions, save fuel, create renewable fuels or help the environment in any other way. The goal is to help educators find new ways to teach applied math, science and technology skills that are essential to the transition away from our present reliance on fossil fuels.

Don Reynoldson found the fish oil for his project through Kim Suelzle with the CityIce Cold Storage company based at Interbay. Don needed about 20 gallons. Kim found him 300 gallons courtesy of American Seafoods.

Finding that much fish oil inspired Don to partner up with two science teachers and a math teacher at Ingraham. The four of them will cooperate next year on a series of biofuel projects involving fish oil, vegetable oil and mineral oil. The students will refine fuel from each source, try out different additives, then test which ones and combinations are best for energy efficiency and emissions.

Each class project will be coordinated with visits to fishing boats at Interbay to find out how the technology was developed and to learn more about careers and professional skills in the Alaskan-Seattle seafood industry.

The 1979 Oldsmobile Salon was donated to the school by Barbara Cummins. Now retired, she used to teach business education and the yearbook class at Ingraham. The Salon was owned by her father-in-law, a mechanical engineer.

Salons might have been clunkers, but Barb says this one will wind up serving its highest and best use. "My father-in-law would have loved what will be happening with that car at Ingraham," she said.

Hopefully that will include running on fish oil at the Green Expo.

Give Your Opinion -
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is engaged in a parking planning effort around the SODO and Stadium light rail station areas. With the project goal of supporting businesses and preventing hide and ride commuter parking, SDOT would like to hear from you about your parking needs. Please spend a few minutes on a brief 11-question survey - your comments are critical. Thank you!

Link to the survey here:

Please contact SDOT project manager Allison Schwartz with any questions or additional feedback at or (206) 386-4654.

We're all in the same boat!
Share the ride and get some relief . . .Sharing the ride is like a life jacket for your wallet. It helps keep your wallet afloat as ever-increasing gas prices drag it down. It's easy. It's flexible. And best of all you could WIN PRIZES!

Register at, share the ride and WIN! Between August 10 and September 18, 2009, share the ride at least two days per week and you could win a weekend getaway for two. Three days, two nights AND a $50 gas card for travel expenses. Your commute could give you a better return than the stock market.

New Project Means Nighttime Lane and Ramp Closures in Renton

Driven on I-405 between SR 167 and SR 169 lately? Perhaps you've noticed some new striping and orange barrels on the road. It's all part of the Renton Stage 2 Project which began last week. Crews restriped the road to give them more room to work along the shoulder of I-405. In the near future, crews will begin clearing vegetation and removing dirt from the hillside along northbound I-405 and Talbot Road. This is the first step in building a new on-ramp from Talbot Road to northbound I-405.

To help keep you moving, most of the lane and ramp closures will be at night. Visit our construction update Web site for all the latest for the closure information.

Downtown Seattle Street Getting Facelift

The Seattle Department of Transportation is paving Second Avenue through downtown, from Denny Way to South Jackson Street. The work started last weekend. The intersection will remain open, but eastbound traffic on Spring Street will have to turn right onto Second. Click here to view the updated city paving map.

SR 99: Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Program
Paul E. Johnson , Project Engineer, 206-768-5680

  • Until further notice - Crews will limit lanes on Colorado Avenue S. between S. Atlantic and S. Massachusetts streets for electrical line work. Business access will remain open.
  • Closed - The center turn lane of Alaskan Way S. is closed around the clock between S. Atlantic Street and Jack Perry Park for utility relocation.


  • Saturday, Aug. 15 - Crews will close the three left lanes on northbound I-405 from 112th Avenue SE to SE Eighth Street from 5 a.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. the following morning for paving.
  • Saturday, Aug. 15 - Crews will close two left lanes on northbound I-405 from SE Eighth Street to NE Sixth Street from 5 a.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. the
  • Sunday, Aug. 16 - Crews will close all the lanes except the carpool lane on northbound I-405 from 112th Avenue SE to NE Sixth Street from 5 a.m. Sunday to 5 a.m. the following morning for paving.

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