U.S. fleets demonstrate ability of biodiesel

By | January 28, 2004
As consumers around the world explore the viability of clean, renewable biodiesel blends, government and private industry fleets are continuously proving its value. Fleets across America are utilizing various blends with little or no engine modification, reduced emissions and sustained performance.
Biodiesel Magazine caught up with some of these fleets in November. Here's what we learned.

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah-About 90 percent of vehicles here are filling up with biodiesel, according to Senior Master Sergeant Todd Esler, superintendent of the vehicle maintenance element. No engine conversions were necessary; military personnel simply cleaned the regular diesel out of the fuel tanks and replaced it with B20. The base has used 36,930 gallons of biodiesel since September.

FREEPORT, Maine-The state's Department of Transportation (DOT) is planning to run its maintenance vehicles on B20 this winter to test the fuel's cold-flow properties.

"We want to see how [biodiesel reacts] in the winter," DOT representative Gary Williams told Biodiesel Magazine. "We'll at least see how the blend reacts and decide whether we want to continue using biodiesel in the future."

Six vehicles, including a backhoe and patrol trucks, will run on the alternative fuel. The department has received 4,500 gallons of biodiesel to blend the fuel on site.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.-About 170 city equipment vehicles, including recycling, refuse and fire trucks, as well as graders, tractors and plows, started using B20 in October.

One of the reasons Flagstaff implemented the change was to improve exhaust emissions. According to The Arizona Daily Sun, Flagstaff's air quality has ranked in the top 15 for clean air.

BRATTLEBORO, Vt.-The Windham Solid Waste Management District is starting to use biodiesel in its fleet of recycling collection vehicles in order to cut down on exhaust emissions. The switch makes the district the first municipality in southern Vermont to use the alternative fuel.

A skid-steer and a front-end loader began using B50 in September, and two more trucks will begin to use B20 in the future.

MISSOULA, Mont.-The city's snowplows will be running on biodiesel this winter, according to Montana Magazine. The University of Montana already runs a "Bio-bus" on its campus shuttle route. The city will test the alternative fuel in street sweepers and possibly lawn mowers in the spring.
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