New webcast informs schools about biodiesel

By | May 14, 2008
Every school day, approximately 440,000 school buses transport more than 24 million children to and from schools in the United States. The vast majority of school buses are powered by diesel engines. Several thousand of those buses are running on biodiesel to reduce particulate matter (airborne fine particles) and provide a healthier ride for children.

A recent webcast, "Biodiesel for Buses and Children: News to Use," was designed to show why biodiesel is an excellent choice for school bus fleets, particularly in terms of health, equipment, economy and the environment. Plus, despite the school year closing, the summer represents a time when fuel procurement may be considered in preparation for the fall.

The webcast, available at, was developed by the Missouri School Boards' Association and the National Biodiesel Board with the support of the U.S. DOE, United Soybean Board, Missouri Soybean Board and the city of Columbia, Mo. Originally broadcast live, the webcast was designed to educate decision makers (school bus fleet managers, contracted fleet operators, school board members and other interested personnel) about the use of biodiesel blends. Topics include health effects, emissions reductions, fuel quality, storage and handling guidelines, procurement specifications and pricing. The one-hour program also details why biodiesel is the fastest growing alternative fuel in the United States.

The American Lung Association reports that particulate matter is linked to greater hospital admissions for respiratory diseases, such as asthma. Asthma is also the leading cause for school absenteeism nationwide. Biodiesel reduces particulate matter by up to 30 percent at a 20 percent blend. Because B20 works in any diesel engine with no modifications, it offers schools a transparent, cost-competitive option for an immediate solution to air quality concerns.
The program can be viewed at

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