Biodiesel use favorable in fleet vehicles

By | May 01, 2004
The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) conducted a survey of 53 fleets representing more than 50,000 diesel-powered vehicles, and the results in May showed 91 percent of fleets are in favor of using biodiesel. With such a high approval rating, it's no surprise that a growing number of fleets are switching to the renewable fuel.

In Union County, Ky., the Fiscal Court voted unanimously to use funds from a grant to purchase a B20 blend for county equipment, which uses approximately 12,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year.

In Scott County, Iowa, biodiesel fuel has become the warm-weather fuel of choice for the Secondary Roads Department. The county plans to use B10 during the summer but switch back to diesel in the winter to avoid cold-weather jelling problems.

The Blount County, Tenn., Highway Department, along with the cities of Maryville and Alcoa, have begun to use B20 in some of their truck fleets in order to comply with federal clean air standards. The biodiesel use is part of a pilot program to see how the fuel performs before the whole fleet uses it.

In Windsor, Calif., garbage trucks will be refueling with B100, which costs more than diesel but will be funded by a seven percent increase in garbage pick-up for customers. Town officials figured being environmentally friendly was worth the additional cost.
In Denver, 60 city vehicles began using B20 as part of a pilot project unveiled on Earth Day, according to the Rocky Mountain News. Mayor

John Hickenlooper said he expects the city to use approximately 50,000 gallons of the blend by 2005. During the project, the fuel will be evaluated for emissions, vehicle performance and mileage. The cost of the program totaled $15,000.

A resort in New Hampshire has decided to implement biodiesel into its snow-grooming machines. Cranmore Mountain Resort, near North Conway, collaborated with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and the Granite State Clean Cities Coalition in the endeavor. The fuel is being provided by World Energy of Chelsea, Mass. Cranmore is the first winter resort to adopt biodiesel on the East Coast, according to

In Toledo, Ohio, city bus fleets, trucks, off-road vehicles and school buses are experimenting with different biodiesel blends up to B50.
In Minnesota, Bernard Bus Service Inc., which runs in Plainview, Chatfield and Rushford school districts, and the Fillmore-Mower Soybean Growers Association have teamed up to fill buses with B20. Since the renewable fuel costs slightly more than regular diesel, the Fillmore-Mower County Soybean Growers Association offered to cover the difference in cost at least until the end of the school year, giving the company a chance to try out the environmentally-friendly fuel.

Universities and colleges across the United States have started putting biodiesel in their fleets as well. Harvard University in Massachusetts is using B20 in 25 shuttle and maintenance vehicles. Purdue University in Indiana is using B2 to fuel its transportation fleet, including buses, ambulances, semi-trucks and the university's mascot, the Boilermaker Special. Penn State has begun to put B20 in its 200 trucks, tractors and agricultural equipment, and in Montreal, Quebec, Concordia University put B2 in its five shuttle buses.

St. Johns Public Schools recently reported saving $1,750 each of the past two years by using biodiesel fuel for 31 school buses and approximately 10 maintenance vehicles. Although biodiesel is a more expensive fuel, the school district is saving money because of fewer oil changes and engine problems, lower maintenance costs and more miles
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