Bus fleet performance, biodiesel tested through NREL

By | January 01, 2006
NREL and the Regional Transportation District (RTD) of Denver are evaluating the in-use performance of buses operating on B20. NREL has released a report that summarizes the interim results for one year, beginning in August 2004. The findings show no significant differences in fuel economies between B20 and conventional diesel fuel, and it found reductions in nitrogen oxides and other emissions.

Nine mechanically identical 40-foot transit buses (five operated on B20, four on conventional diesel) are being compared over the same duty cycle in Boulder, Colo. In addition, laboratory tests compared the buses' fuel economy and emissions. With fuel, labor and parts data from RTD, NREL is documenting and analyzing vehicle operation. The objective is to compare B20 and conventional diesel fuel for engine performance, component wear, fuel economy, vehicle maintenance and emissions. The results will help RTD-and other potential biodiesel users-consider future use of biodiesel fuel blends. Engine manufacturers can use the findings to evaluate the effects of B20 on engine durability.
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