Tri-State Biodiesel’s triple play: fashion, tribute, heating

By Ron Kotrba | October 28, 2013

In September, New York City’s Lincoln Center, one of the most well-known arts and cultural institutions in the world, was fashion central as the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, New York City's single largest media event, kicked into high gear. Designers from across the globe rolled out their spring 2014 lines sported by supermodels strutting down runways whose lights were powered by B20. 

Dehran Duckworth, a managing partner at Tri-State Biodiesel, said this was the first year Tri-State Biodiesel won the contract to supply the Aggreko plc generators and temperature control equipment for the virtual “tent city” with its 20 percent biodiesel fuel. “It was an uphill push getting them to agree to run on B20,” Duckworth tells Biodiesel Magazine. Bidding against other suppliers, Duckworth said Tri-State Biodiesel was able to hit the right price point since New York State only taxes the petroleum portion of a B20 blend.

Also in September, the Twin Towers Tribute Lights shined brightly, as they have each year since the terrorist attack violently took the World Trade Center Twin Towers down on Sept. 11, 2001. The lights, said to be the strongest shafts of light ever projected from Earth into the night sky, are a visual memorial to those who were lost on that fateful date, and are turned on at sunset each Sept. 11 and off at dawn Sept. 12. In 2009, Tri-State Biodiesel began supplying the generators that run the tribute lights with a 50 percent blend of biodiesel. This year, however, the generator supplier, Cat Entertainment Services, agreed to run the lights on B99.9 supplied by Tri-State Biodiesel.

This year also marks the fourth year for Tri-State Biodiesel’s Bioheat program that seeks to convert B20 Bioheat users in the New York City area to B99. For B20—and No. 2—users who want to make the switch, Tri-State Biodiesel offers free servicing, which includes changing filters and adjusting the air mixture; since there’s a lack of carbon and hence a lack of color in the B99 flame, the infrared eye can have difficulty with detection. Tri-State Biodiesel works with its customers to optimize their systems for use with B99 home heating oil. The company also includes equipment guarantees for the pumps and seals. “In our fourth year, we’ve not had to change one single pump,” Duckworth says. “We’ve got a 99 percent customer satisfaction rate.”

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