Enterprise Rent-A-Car commits to biodiesel

By Ron Kotrba | January 19, 2010
Posted February 9, 2010

Enterprise Holdings, owner of the Alamo Rent-A-Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental brand names, made a big announcement in support of biodiesel during day two at the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in Grapevine, Texas.

The company announced its commitment to move its entire fleet of more than 600 shuttle buses to B20 within the next 5 years, beginning with incorporating at least B5 in all its buses this year.

Nine Enterprise Holdings markets will convert to using B20 in its shuttle buses immediately, said Lee Broughton, director of corporate identity and sustainability for Enterprise Holdings, and by the end of next year, 50 percent of Enterprise Holdings' shuttle buses will be running on B20.

Broughton said the company will have reduced its petroleum consumption by 420,000 gallons in the first year alone.

Also announced was the appointment of Richard Sayre as director of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis.

Sayre, former cellular plant and molecular biology professor at Ohio State University, and his team of 10 researchers will work to develop algae for biofuels, and will focus efforts in ways such as utilizing CO2 from coal-fired power plants to help grow algae, which would act as a carbon sink. Sayre said nutrients could be provided to the algae with water from sewage treatment facilities.

"We can use the contaminants as fertilizer," he said. "Algae doubles it biomass in 24 hours, and it can be harvested daily," he added-which captured the attention of the Department of Defense.

Sayre said algae's energy balance today is only about 2:1, but theoretically this can increase four to six times with research and development.
 
 
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