MONTGOMERY, Ala. — In August, Gov. Bob Riley urged school districts to apply for a new grant that will assist in covering the cost of switching to B20 biodiesel fuel to run their buses.
While B20 biodiesel can be used in traditional diesel engines, the fuel has a solvent effect that can release accumulated sediment from the inside walls of diesel storage tanks.
Through the “Biofuels for Schools” program, public school systems can apply for grants of up to $2,500, and the money will be used to pay for cleaning of their above- and below-ground fuel tanks that previously contained diesel to ensure that deposits do not clog fuel filters.
Districts awarded a grant will be required to use B20 biodiesel in school buses for at least three years and must report the number of gallons used during that period.
“Biodiesel is an all-American, renewable fuel,” Riley said. “It’s also better for the environment because it reduces air pollutants like soot and carbon dioxide. Our hope is that if we help school systems with the cost of switching to biodiesel, more school buses in Alabama will be running on this cleaner-burning fuel that reduces our dependence on foreign oil.”
Funding of $50,000 is available from the program, which is being administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.
School district officials can apply for a grant at www.adeca.alabama.gov/energy.