Dixie Forum to present lecture on alternative fuels


Running vehicles on methane from cow manure or soybeans and other crops may sound a bit futuristic, but Dr. Cliff Ricketts is currently having success with such alternative fuels. Learn more about these fuels when Ricketts presents at the next installment in Dixie State University’s weekly lecture series “Dixie Forum: A Window on the World.”

Ricketts will present “Running Engines Off the Sun, Hydrogen from Water, and Several Other Alternative Fuels” from noon to 12:50 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12, in the Dunford Auditorium in the Browning Resource Center on the DSU campus. Admission is free and the public is encouraged to attend.

A professor of agricultural education at Middle Tennessee State University since 1976, Ricketts, with the help of his students, has developed and adapted vehicles to run on everything from ethanol, methane from cow manure and soybeans to solar electricity and hydrogen. With more than 30 years of experience in the area, he is considered a pioneer in alternative fuel.

Ricketts has driven from coast to coast of the U.S. on only 2.15 gallons of gasoline and has taken another cross-country trip powered solely on hydrogen from water separated by a solar operated electrolysis unit. Additionally, he has traveled from Bristol, Va., to West Memphis, Ark., purely on solar power.

Counted among the highlights of his career are presenting on ethanol at the 1982 World’s Fair, testifying before congress on flex-fuel hybrid plug-in vehicles, exhibiting his work at the Smithsonian and holding the World’s Land Speed Record for a Hydrogen-Fueled Vehicle at the Bonneville Salt Flats for more than 15 years. In addition to these accomplishments, Ricketts has written five textbooks and delivered nearly 1,000 presentations.

Dixie Forum is a weekly lecture series designed to introduce the St. George community and DSU students, faculty and staff to diverse ideas and personalities while widening their worldviews via a 50-minute presentation. Dixie Forum will continue at noon on Tuesday, April 19, in the Dunford Auditorium with a presentation from DSU Sustainability Advisor Tracey O’Kelly and members of the Sustainability Committee and Sustainability Club in celebration of Earth Day.

For more information on Dixie State University's Dixie Forum series, please contact DSU Forum Coordinator John Burns at 435-879-4712 or burns@dixie.edu or visit www.dixie.edu/humanities/dixie_forum.php. Stay up to date on the forums by liking the Dixie Forum Facebook page at www.facebook.com/dixieforum or following @dixieforum on Twitter.