Kentucky buses powered by soy-based fuel
Kentucky buses powered by soy-based fuelPrinceton, Kentucky, USA. 4/25/2001 (Soyatech.com) - This Spring,passengers on city buses in Lexington, Kentucky might notice a faint smellresembling vegetable oil in the air. The Lexington Transit Authority(LexTran) announced today its buses are running on biodiesel, aclean-burning alternative fuel made from soybean oil.LexTran is using B20, a common blend of 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleumdiesel, in its fleet of 46 city buses. LexTran joins the ranks of othercity transit authorities using the fuel, like New Jersey Transit,Cincinnati Metro and Five Seasons Transportation in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.Biodiesel is not raw soybean oil, but rather is made through aconventional chemical process called transesterification. The use ofbiodiesel reduces emissions such as carbon monoxide, particulate matterand hydrocarbons compared to petroleum diesel. Biodiesel offers similarperformance to diesel, has excellent lubricity and is the safest of allfuels to use, handle and store."I'm very excited about biodiesel being used in our buses," said SteveRowland, LexTran executive director. "This is the first alternative fuelI've ever been exposed to that is truly practical for our operation. Wecan immediately begin cleaning up the air in our state without having toinvest in special vehicles or even having to make changes in our currentbuses. We literally became a cleaner-burning, alternative fuel fleetovernight."The initial biodiesel program runs through June. It is a joint ventureinvolving LexTran, the Kentucky Soybean Promotion Board and GriffinIndustries, Inc. Griffin Industries will produce the soy-based biodieselfuel and have the B20 blend delivered by LexTranÃs fuel distributor.The grant will be used to finance the slight price increase of thesoy-based biodiesel to run LexTranÃs buses. They will cover about 450,000miles during the program.Ã¬The grant is part of an effort to create more demand so farmers can getbetter prices,Ã® said Debbie Ellis, executive director of the KentuckySoybean Board. Kentucky has 6,500 soybean farmers with average productionyields of 42 to 44 million bushels of soybeans per year."Even though this initial biodiesel program only goes through June, it islikely that LexTran will continue using biodiesel as Kentucky continuesefforts to clean up the air," Rowland said.Biodiesel has been used in Europe for about 20 years. Although biodieselis not yet as well known as other alternative fuels in the U.S., it is anestablished fuel with a proven track record. More than 60 major U.S.fleets currently use biodiesel. It is available in all 50 states and hasbeen proven successful in 40 million road miles.Biodiesel is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asa fuel and fuel additive. It is the only alternative fuel to have passedthe rigorous Health Effects testing requirements of the Clean Air Act.Those test results show biodiesel reduces carcinogenic air toxics by75-90% compared to diesel. The results, submitted to the EPA in 2000, alsoshow biodiesel is non-toxic, biodegradable and free of sulfur.Readers can learn more about biodiesel by visitinghttp://www.biodiesel.org. The National Biodiesel Board is funded in partby the United Soybean Board and state soybean board checkoff programs.