Biodiesel from BioRoute...Benefits the Operator...Benefits the Environment
 
B20 and other users' experiences
Forestry Commission - favourable results. More...
Biodiesel end-user survey - majority favour Biodiesel. More...
B20 saves money. More...
Biodiesel in St Louis. More...
Deer Valley School District - Phoenix Arizona. More...


Forestry Commission - favourable results


The Forestry Commission first used a mix of 5% biodiesel with 95% ultra low sulphur diesel (ULSD) in 40 vehicles operating in the North East of England in 2002. Since then its use has been extended to various locations throughout Great Britain and in mid 2005 it was being used in 120 vehicles.

Trials are being conducted in Scotland with one vehicle using 100% biodiesel and another 100% used cooking oil that has simply been filtered to remove food particles. These vehicles had power outputs and emissions measured periodically with favourable results.

A 25% mix (B25) is now being used in some vehicles. Citroen, whose vehicles make up 48% of the Forestry Commissionís fleet, endorse use of up to 30% biodiesel mix. Other manufacturers are more cautious but Mechanical Engineering Services has had no problems to date and have decided that the low risk of mechanical failure attributed to the use of biodiesel is more than offset by the environmental benefit.

Biodiesel is made from soybean or rapeseed oils, animal fats, or waste vegetable oils. It has a lower calorific value than diesel produced from mineral oil but it has the desirable effect of enhancing the lubricant qualities of the fuel, which compensates for the removal of harmful sulphur. The basis for biodiesel being sustainable is that vehicle exhaust emissions of co2 are balanced by the take up of co2 by the plants used in its production.
Ready blended B20 grade now available!
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Biodiesel end-user survey - majority favour Biodiesel

Extract from ASG Renaissance report February 2004 commissioned by National Biodiesel Board of America.
Survey Response: Overall Disposition Toward Biodiesel

Majority of Users/Potential Users are Favorably Disposed to Biodiesel:

o Over 4 out of 10 (45%) of the fleet operators surveyed are presently using Biodiesel.
o All of the present users are favorable with regard to their Biodiesel experiences.
o Over 4 out of 10 (46%) were non-users of Biodiesel, and were favorably disposed to using
the fuel.
o Among the total sample of fleet operators, over 9 out of 10 (91%) had favorable impressions of
Biodiesel, with about half this number (45%) the result of positive experience.
o Less than I out of 10 (9%) had a negative impression and did not want further information.
Comments from this group suggested that cost was the major roadblock to further consideration.
o Because this was not a random sample of all fleets, the results cannot be portrayed as
representative of all diesel users. It would appear, however, that there is a significant majority of
diesel-powered fleets that are having positive experience and an even larger group who are
interested in using the fuel.

Survey Results: Biodiesel User Footprint

Fleets presently using biodiesel

o Among Biodiesel Users: (45% of the fleets interviewed)
o Multi makes encompass the Biodiesel user fleets, which collectively number almost 4,300 vehicles
o 88% of these end-users run on B20 or higher blends:
- 71% use B20, 4% B60, 13% B 100
- Only 16% use B5 or less
- Note: Above includes multiple blend users
o 54% have two years or more run time on Biodiesel:
o Two-thirds (67%) have experienced virtually trouble free operation
o 29% had minor problems (solvent related)
o Only 4% had fuel quality difficulties
o 71% did not have to make modifications to their storage or maintenance procedures
- Storage tank cleaning, more frequent fuel filter changes were the most frequently mentioned
changes to routine
o Almost all (96%) would recommend Biodiesel use to other fleets (The lone holdout was concerned about price, not performance)
Ready blended B20 grade now available!
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Michigan School District Reports that using B20 Saves Money


The first Michigan school district to switch its entire bus fleet to B20 has logged one million miles on the alternative fuel, and maintenance records reveal that the district has saved money as a result.

The district's 31 school buses, including 13 powered by Cummins, 2 powered by Mercedes, and 16 powered by International, have achieved this milestone "with no challenges and no modifications," according to Wayne Hettler, garage foreman and head mechanic. The district also uses B20 in nine support vehicles including a foodservice truck and a Toro Diesel 3-wing mower.

Part of the incentive leading to the switch to B20 was the receipt of a grant in 2003 through the Michigan Department of Consumer and Industry Services which funded St. Johns for the incremental cost difference of the B20. Even though the grant ended in December of 2003, Hettler's been able to show his staff and the school board that they are still saving money by using B20. The main cost savings is on the extended intervals between oil changes.

"I'm convinced that we are able to extend the oil changes because the B20 burns cleaner and isn't dirtying the oil as quickly," said Hettler. "We're using oil analysis to determine the oil change times. We solely credit biodiesel for cleaning up the oil, thus saving the district the costs of oil, filters, labor and the like. We have our records for each bus before a single drop of biodiesel was ever put in the tank, up through our present usage. I challenge other fleets to 'read' their fleet records and make these cost-saving changes after switching to B20."

Hettler also reports an increase in miles per gallon, and improved lubricity, leading to longer fuel pump life. "Prior to April '02 we averaged one fuel pump change in our fleet per year. We haven't had to change any fuel pumps since April '02," he said.

According to the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee, Hettler has used the oil from more than 15,000 bushels of soybeans to fuel his fleet with biodiesel. "There is much less smoke at the B20 level and both the mechanics and bus drivers have noted the difference, not to mention the kids," Hettler said. "We're using soy biodiesel for the health benefits for all of us, the environment, and to support America's soybean farmers."
Ready blended B20 grade now available!
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Bi-State Transit Agency - BioDiesel in St. Louis


For over ten years, the Bi-State Development Agency, a mass transit provider for the St. Louis area, has done extensive testing of BioDiesel for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL).

Test results have been very favorable with the agency noticing a significant reduction in vehicle emissions without an impact on fuel economy and performance. Use of the fuel posed no operational problems and conversion was simple because no infrastructure or engine modifications were required.

Bi-State conducted the tests using a fuel blend known as B20 (20% biodiesel and 80% conventional diesel) in some of their transit buses. Besides reducing vehicle emissions and particulate matter, Bi-State also noticed that the high lubricity of B20 increased injector life and decreased the need to maintain their vehicles.

Passengers riding the B20 transit buses appreciated this alternative fuel because the acrid smell and black smoke from exhaust, normally associated with diesel buses, was no longer present. When told that the buses were fueled with biodiesel, customers also liked the fact that the transit agency was using a renewable fuel that reduces the nation's dependence on foreign oil.

Bi-State Development Agency has been very satisfied with their experience using biodiesel and is currently pursuing a plan to incorporate B20 into its entire fleet on a long-term basis.
Ready blended B20 grade now available!
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Deer Valley School District - Phoenix Arizona


The Deer Valley School District in Phoenix, Arizona, began using biodiesel in 1999 following a state mandate that school districts use alternative fuel vehicles to curb air pollution.

In a total fleet of 250 vehicles, 140 school buses and 5 maintenance trucks run on biodiesel.

These vehicles will travel 2.5 million miles annually in Deer Valley. The buses use a B20 blend of biodiesel mixed on site by school district staff; the other vehicles run on B100. Vehicles run on both reused oil and virgin biodiesel, depending on suppliers and availability, with no apparent differences in performance.

While the school district spends more money on fuel, its alternative fuels program receives state grant money. The district also encourages surrounding school districts to use biodiesel so they can order bulk quantities at a reduced price.

A blind pilot study in Deer Valley revealed that school bus drivers noticed performance increases with biodiesel.
Ready blended B20 grade now available!
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