Alternative Fuels

Bio-based fuel gets high marks at Pennsylvania school district

Teresa Basich
Posted on February 1, 2005

NEW OXFORD, Pa. — Conewago Valley School District (CVSD), in conjunction with Aero Energy and Soy Energy, has implemented the first voluntary clean school bus program in Pennsylvania, using a soy-based diesel additive. Dan Sharrer, president of Soy Energy, approached Conewago about beginning a clean fuel program at the end of the 2003-04 school year.

CVSD Transportation Director Bobbi Loy was receptive to the idea. “Last May we actually started running one bus as a pilot, to see how the soy would run, and it was wonderful, so we took it to our board this fall and they agreed to put it in our whole fleet of buses,” she said.

The bio-based fuel is being used in 51 buses, including nine operated by the district and 42 by two contractors.

Soy Energy’s new bio-based fuel is different from biodiesel, which is a combination of chemically processed soybean oil and petroleum diesel fuel. The most common blend is called B20, which has 20 percent biofuel and 80 percent diesel.

Loy said the cost of the biodiesel is about the same as regular diesel, and the buses are getting better mileage, about one mile more per gallon. “And there is no harsh smell at all,” she said.

Soy Energy’s purification process uses no chemicals, resulting in naturally refined oil. “We have a fuel station right here that has been willing to donate their tanks to us, so the soy is literally splash- blended with the diesel,” Loy said. The blend usually has 5 percent additive and 95 percent diesel.

 

Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
Product

Air-Conditioning Platform

The E-Control platform is designed to provide centralized control of all the thermal management components aboard a bus.

Planning has begun for the 17th National Congress on School Transportation (NCST) in 2020. Murrell Martin and Bill Loshbough are shown here leading a discussion at NCST 2015.
News

NCST 2020 Planning Begins

Planning for the 17th National Congress on School Transportation is now in the works, with committee members being re-established and selected through this summer.

Product

Timer Switch

The 5600 Timer Box is designed to provide flexible, efficient switching of LED lights in a compact unit.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!