CONTACT: Lindy Eichenbaum Lent
CONTACT: Nancy KuhnDenver to Begin Using
Mayor John Hickenlooper announced at the city’s Earth Fair
on Thursday that the City and County of Denver is going to
begin using B20 biodiesel fuel in a pilot program that will
begin next week and run through December 2004. The purpose of
the pilot program is to evaluate biodiesel and its effects on
vehicle performance, fuel economy and emissions.
“This is a giant step forward in terms of the city’s
commitment to conservation, energy efficiency and
environmental health,” said Mayor Hickenlooper, whose official
car is a gas-electric hybrid vehicle from the city’s fleet. “I
commend our Public Works and Fleet Management Departments for
their innovation and look forward to the results of this pilot
project. Biodiesel represents a tremendous opportunity – both
environmentally and economically – for the region.”
The city’s pilot program will involve approximately 60
vehicles at the Wastewater Management Building. For the next
eight months, these vehicles will fuel with B20 biodiesel.
Information will be gathered on vehicle fuel mileage,
maintenance, repairs, performance and emissions.
Studies have shown that biodiesel can substantially benefit
human health and the environment. Biodiesel has been shown to
emit lower levels of carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons,
and particulate matter than regular petroleum diesel. Tests
also show that biodiesel produces lower emissions of PAH
(Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) and nitrated PAH compounds,
which have been identified as potential cancer-causing
Biodiesel is a clean-burning, alternative fuel produced
from domestic renewable resources, such as soybeans and
mustard seed. Biodiesel can be used in its pure form or
blended at any level with petroleum diesel. The City and
County of Denver will use B20 biodiesel, which is a blend of
20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum diesel.
An estimated 50,000 gallons of B20 biodiesel fuel will be
utilized in the pilot program. The total cost of the pilot
program is estimated at $15,000. [More details on the
parameters and benefits of the biodiesel pilot project are
Also at Thursday’s Earth Fair, the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency awarded the Webb Municipal Office Building
with a prestigious ENERGY STAR designation for its
environmentally conscious design and technologies.
City and County of Denver Biodiesel Pilot Program
Approximately 60 diesel engine vehicles are identified for
use in the pilot program, which will run from April through
December of 2004. The vehicles will fuel with biodiesel
instead of regular petroleum diesel. Fueling will occur at the
Wastewater Management facility.
The following data will be gathered and analyzed during the
Fleet Maintenance will test the fuel’s effects on
particulate emissions by performing opacity tests on a
sampling of vehicles before and after biodiesel use.
Fleet Maintenance will gather fuel mileage data on all
vehicles and determine if mileage increases or decreases in
new and older vehicles.
Fleet Maintenance will survey vehicle operators on vehicle
Fleet Maintenance will monitor vehicle repair and
maintenance histories and perform specialized vehicle
inspections and oil analysis.
Fleet will collaborate with Gray Oil and Blue Sun Biodiesel
to obtain any data they are currently gathering on fuel
additives that reduce NOx emissions.
What the City Hopes to Gain
Information: City and County of Denver will increase its
working knowledge of biodiesel and the effects it has on
vehicle mileage and performance.
Valuable data: Denver hopes to identify potential costs
savings associated with biodiesel that could help offset its
A cleaner environment: Based on emissions reductions
substantiated by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
(NREL) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the City
of Denver expects that using B-20 biodiesel in a 50,000 gallon
pilot program will result in the following smog, ozone, and
greenhouse gas emissions savings: A. CO reduced - 711
B. HC reduced - 84 lbs
C. PM reduced - 64 lbs
SO2 reduced - 44 lbs>br> E. CO2 reduced -161,210
F. NOx 0 to 3% decrease is possible with combustion
The Benefits of Biodiesel
Fleet Maintenance recommends the use of biodiesel based on
its environmental benefits and ease of implementation.
Biodiesel is a domestically-produced, renewable fuel,
typically made from seed oil (soybean, rapeseed, brown mustard
seed, etc.) or used fryer fat.
Biodiesel could be utilized in all of the City’s existing
diesel vehicles with no modifications required to the
vehicles, to the City’s maintenance facilities, or to the
City’s fueling infrastructure.
Biodiesel is readily available in Denver.
Biodiesel reduces serious air pollutants such as soot,
particulates, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and air toxics.
Use of biodiesel could end up providing a boost to the
local agricultural community/economy and create new jobs.
Use of biodiesel would reduce City’s dependency on foreign
oil and shift spending to domestically produced energy
Biodiesel is simple to phase in and out of use.
Four local municipalities (Lakewood, Aurora, Arvada, and
Littleton Public Schools) are already using biodiesel with no
Biodiesel mixes with popular diesel fuels.
Cetane rating is approximately 50, which equates to
better/faster combustion, less knocking and improved
Reduces Carbon Monoxide (CO) emissions by 12%, reduces
Carbon Dioxides (CO2) by 16%, reduces Hydrocarbons (HC)
emissions by 11%, and particulates (PM-10) by 18% compared to
conventional diesel fuel.
Biodiesel’s higher lubricity can reduce
Studies show biodiesel performs similarly to petroleum
diesel while benefiting the environment and human health
compared to petroleum diesel.
Use of biodiesel won’t void parts and materials
workmanship warranties of any major U.S. engine manufacturer,
according to the National Biodiesel Board.