Gladstone students aim to make Chevy S-10 sustainable using alternative fuels, fluids

Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 5:03 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 17, 2023 at 8:22 PM EST
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GLADSTONE, Mich. (WLUC) - A Munising man is helping students in Gladstone get a hands-on automotive education.

Over the next few months, students in the auto shop class at Gladstone High School will be converting a Chevy S-10 into a vehicle that is completely bio-based and will run off of soy-based fuel and fluids.

Munising Biobased coach, Chris Case, with the United Soybean Board donated the car and is going to teach the students about the way the fluids are used.

He wants students to get hands-on experience working with alternative fuel sources. “We are going to try and make this vehicle bio-based, there will be no petroleum products in this vehicle when it’s done,” Case said. “The anti-freeze, the engine, the grease, the gear lube, the transmission fluid.”

He says the project gives students a way to work on the cutting edge of the industry.

“Agriculturally grown products, bio-based products, biofluids, biofuel, those are all ways of the future, and these students get the exposure now and hopefully that is something they carry with them as they continue their education when they get into the workforce,” Case said.

Senior Joey Martinson says although he is skeptical about the bio-based fuel, he is looking forward to learning more about it. “I don’t know how it is going to work, I don’t know how I feel about them, but if everything works out how it is supposed to, I am hoping it will change my mind in how I think it all works,” Martinson said.

Senior Brennon Detiege says this experience will help further his passion for becoming a mechanic. “I have always wanted to go into some sort of mechanical field because I am not very book smart. This will push me on into the mechanic field,” Detiege said.

After the students finish the vehicle, they will sell it. The profits will go toward improving the shop program at the high school.