Maine city trials locally made biodiesel in select vehicles

By Ron Kotrba | October 27, 2016

The city of South Portland, Maine, began a pilot project Oct. 24 in which select city vehicles will run a 20 percent blend of biodiesel (B20) for a full year “to test the efficacy of the fuel in all conditions, including during the coldest months,” the city stated. If successful, South Portland will incorporate biodiesel in the city’s entire diesel fleet.  

South Portland has partnered with Maine Standard Biofuels, a community-scale grease collector, biodiesel producer and distributor located in Portland, Maine, for fuel supply in the pilot. MSB collects used cooking oil from restaurants all over New England, including more than 30 in South Portland.

The city’s Climate Action Plan (2014) identified examining biodiesel use as a way to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, reduce petroleum fuel consumption and move toward nontoxic alternatives. The city cites U.S. EPA and California Air Resources Board’s modeling, which demonstrate that biodiesel is one of the cleanest and most efficient ways to achieve GHG emissions reductions and decrease petroleum use.

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