Seven fleets convert to biodiese

By | April 01, 2005
Month to month, Biodiesel Magazine brings interested readers the latest information from on diesel fleet conversions to biodiesel across North America. Here's a look at the most recent municipalities, businesses and universities that have switched to the clean-burning domestic fuel:

The city of Chattanooga, Tenn., has begun using a B5 blend in its entire city fleet of more than 400 vehicles, from dump trucks to its smaller passenger vehicles. The city's fleet manager Brian Keische said the city will soon increase the blend to a 20 percent mix. Outside of Chattanooga, in Ooltewah, the Stafford Bus Service also runs its eight buses on Benton Oil-supplied biodiesel, and the owners of the bus service said power and mileage have never been better.

A $5,000 grant from North Carolina State University will help initiate a trial use of biodiesel in the 25-truck diesel fleet in Forsyth County, N.C. Environmental technicians will be testing the diesel fleet's emissions over the next several months while running the B20 blend. Provided the county gets favorable test results, Forsyth could use the renewable fuel in its county diesel trucks regularly.
In Indiana, two diesel hybrid buses were added to IndyGo, the Indianapolis Public Transit Corporation. The hybrids will burn B20, joining

IndyGo's five eBuses already in use. In addition, Fort Wayne Mayor Graham Richard said his city's fleet of diesel trucks will soon run on blended biodiesel. Boone County's Zionsville School District has also converted fuel supplies for its 60-bus diesel fleet to run on B20 supplied by Frontier Co-op.

The University of Wisconsin in Madison announced plans to convert its diesel fleet to a B20 blend with 80 percent ultra-low sulfur diesel. The university's senior transportation planner, Rob Kennedy, said his university was the first in the state of Wisconsin to blend biodiesel with the ultra-low sulfur petro-product.

With teamwork from the Biodiesel Initiative, Laidlaw buses, Corvallis Biodiesel Cooperative and Oregon State University, diesel bus shuttles servicing Oregon State students have begun burning B50, using biodiesel feedstock of recycled yellow grease collected on campus from the university's cafeterias.

For a month, Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company (CVEC) near Benson, Minn., has been running its diesel-powered fleet-including a front-end loader, forklift and skid steer tractor-with B5 distributed by Glacial Plains Cooperative, CVEC General Manager Bill Lee said.

In Nova Scotia, the city of Moncton has launched a pilot program to investigate the use of biodiesel in its fleet, starting with the city's use of B20 in six of its vehicles. Fish oils will constitute the methyl ester feedstock, produced by Ocean Nutrition of Canada and retail-supplied to the city by the Esso station, owned by Halifax-based Wilson Fuels. The city plans to run the pilot program through next winter, testing the fuel's cold flow performance and storage properties before making the decision to convert its entire 150 diesel-powered vehicles to the blend, which would also include any city-leased transportation.
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