YouTube video documents Alabama biodiesel success stories

By Luke Geiver | November 08, 2011

For several years the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition has been providing informative workshops, seminars and just about everything else to help Alabamans understand the benefits of biodiesel. Now, led by Mark Bentley, executive director, the ACFC has taken its message to YouTube. Sponsored in part by the United Soybean Board, ACFC has created a 10-minute video chronicling the stories of three separate Alabama entities that have experienced the benefits of biodiesel.

In the city of Brewton, Ala., the video points out that the schools have been running a B20 blend since 2009 in all buses used for daily routes and extracurricular activities. After attending a biodiesel workshop on B20, Brewton City Schools Superintendent Lynn Smith decided the switch to biodiesel-blended fuel made sense. “Our interest was really twofold at the time with biodiesel,” Smith said. For one, Smith liked the lubricity quality of biodiesel and the decrease in maintenance time required for the fleet. “We don’t have a mechanic on site,” he explained. “We have to travel with our buses to be repaired.” In addition to the maintenance time advantage, Smith also said the schools were drawn to the idea of running a cleaner burning fuel around the kids.

In the city of Hoover, Ala., a community well-known for its commitment to alternative energy (88 percent of all city-owned vehicles run on alternative fuels ranging from B100 to CNG), ACFC has shown how a city with a population of more than 81,000 can implement biodiesel use. Since 2006, Hoover has been running roughly 165 municipal fleet vehicles on a B20 blend following the mayor’s wish to get into the business of alternative energy. In 2007, the city started a homeowners’ waste cooking oil program, and now the city makes its own biodiesel. David Lindon, Hoover Fleet Manager Director, said the city has had nothing but success with the biodiesel program.

Danny Kings, Alabama Power Company engineer also has firsthand knowledge of biodiesel. The company began running B20 blends in its vehicles in 1999, using roughly 100,000 gallons per year until 2008. Kings said about three years ago he started measuring the emissions on the biodiesel blend, and his tests showed that the biodiesel fuel ran cleaner. “So,” he said, “I got the fleet management and the management of Alabama Power Company to expand our biodiesel usage to 300,000 gallons a year.” The company uses a soybean-based biodiesel, and Kings said they plan on continuing to use it.

To view the video in its entirety click here

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