[MUSIC PLAYING] JONATHAN EWING: We're here today working with the Cornell students installing are Optimus Vector system. That allows the John Deere tractor to run 100% biodiesel year-round, no matter what the climate is.
SOPHIA OPENSHAW: The Biodiesel Engine Project task force, there is five of us-- me, Lawrence, Greg, Sai, and Ian.
SAI MALLIPEDHI: The problem with biodiesel is that it solidifies at cold temperatures, which is a problem in the winters. So we needed to attach a system that will be able to heat up this biodiesel before it enters the engine so solidification won't be a problem.
IAN STARNES: Yesterday, we installed this Vector system.
LAWRENCE LI: What the Vector system does is it regulates whether or not the tractor is using either diesel or biodiesel. So there's a valve inside that switches between diesel and biodiesel.
GREGORY BRUMBERG: And so what we're trying to do is we're setting up a portable emissions monitoring system on the tailpipe, that way we can compare the emissions from the tractor running on diesel to the emissions from the tractor running on biodiesel. The tailpipe, we're setting a pipe there so that it can go into like-- and go to emission monitoring system, the very back of it.
SAI MALLIPEDHI: So it's happy. It's finally nice to see this actually happening.
JONATHAN EWING: They're running a soy-based biodiesel, a bit of a cost savings, the same level of efficiency as diesel. So if you can imagine, 60% to 70% less particulate matter. You have a lot of soot with diesel, so a lot of black smoke, a lot of gray smoke. With biodiesel, it comes out clear or a slight white, and the smell of it is a bit different as well. It's not as offensive. It kind of smells like a fryer at a McDonald's or something like that. So all these are great benefits in running the fuel.
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Collaborating with Cornell’s Center for Transportation, Environment and Community Health and Optimus Technologies of Pittsburgh, Cornell students from Engineers for a Sustainable World converted a tractor that used diesel fuel exclusively into one that can switch to biodiesel – to make a greener world.