CityLink promotes B20 use in buses

By Bryan Sims | October 25, 2010
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Posted Nov. 17, 2010

In an effort to reduce emissions by taking environmental action, municipal transit service provider CityLink unveiled a fully wrapped 1999 model bus to promote the use of B20 blends in its diesel-fueled fleets during a media event on Nov. 12 in Peoria, Ill.

Using biodiesel isn't new to CityLink. The service company has been using biodiesel in its fleets since 2005, beginning with B2 and then B11. Most recently, the company moved to B20 in August last year. According to Rick Tieken, assistant general manager of CityLink, the wrapped bus serves as a reminder of CityLink's commitment to the public and other municipal fleet organizations the benefits of using B20 in fleets.

"We've had zero diesel fuel-related fuel problems," Tieken said. "We're extremely pleased with the product."

Kevin Lockart, energy consultant for Tremont, Ill.-based agricultural cooperative and petroleum distributor Ag-Land FS Inc., which helped organize the event, said that the company has been supplying CityLink with B20 year-round for more than a year. Ag-Land FS buys all of its biodiesel from Renewable Energy Group Inc., which has production plants in Danville and Seneca.

"We're proud to be able to be a supplier of B20 and diesel fuel to CityLink," Lockart said. "We feel it's kind of a milestone because they run it year-round, even through the winter months. The message we wanted to leave was, it can be done."

Prior to adopting B20, CityLink was aware of the technical challenges associated with engine performance and fuel economy. But, Tieken said the company didn't dive into it without doing its research first. "We went into it knowing we may have to change some fuel filters and we had some initial concerns, but once we got passed that we had no problems," he said, adding that CityLink burns about 660,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually in its bus and van fleets. "I'm proud to say that about 135,000 gallons of that fuel is going to be grown in the Midwest and reduce our dependence on foreign oil," Tieken added.

He said CityLink will also be getting 46 new buses over the next year outfitted with the most up-to-date engine technology to run on B20, to replace its old fleet. "We're pleased to be part of the solution of the Peoria area, and not part of the problem," he said.

Also in attendance at the media event was John DeRosa, director of environmental programs for the American Lung Association of Illinois; Bill Wykes, secretary and board member for the Illinois Soybean Association; Alicia Clancy, manager of corporate affairs for REG; Patrick Kirchhofer, Peoria County Farm Bureau manager; and Floyd Heller, general manager at Ag-Land.
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