School buses run on bio-diesel fuel
|Photo taken by: Susanne Hinkle|
Buses lined up at the St. Charles Parish School Board. Parish recieved funds to run buses on Bio-diesal fuel.
In an effort to reduce pollution in the New Orleans area, the St. Charles Parish School System's Transportation Department received a grant from the EPA's Clean School Bus USA program for bio-diesel fuel to be used in 98 of its 149 bus fleet. The fuel, produced from a number of renewable sources including soybean old, rapeseed oil and animal fats, will replace the standard fuel normally used in the buses.
"We are excited that we received the funding to test out this new fuel," said Gary Martin of the St. Charles Parish School System's Transportation Department. "We plan to implement this fuel in more busses as soon as its efficiency and reliability are proven," said Mr. Martin.
The Transportation Department of St. Charles Parish Schools know that one bus won't make a huge difference, but it is a step in the right direction. With more buses being switched over to bio-diesel fuel in the future, St. Charles Parish and the surrounding areas are one step closer to cleaning up the rich environment that Louisiana has to offer its residents.
Bio-diesel is a clean-burning fuel containing no sulfur or aromatic compounds. The renewable sources used to make the fuel can be obtained from agriculture feed stocks or by recycling used oil, such as cooking oil. In the United States, the most common form of bio-diesel is derived from soybean oil. The environment friendly fuel can be used in its pure form or can be blended with conventional diesel. The district is using a 20 percent bio-diesel blend, with the remaining 80 percent standard diesel. The performance of a vehicle running on bio-diesel is no different than a vehicle powered by standard fuel.
There are many benefits to using bio-diesel, as opposed to ordinary diesel. Along with environmental benefits, the benefits include enhanced lubricity and fuel system cleaning properties. The increased lubricity can increase the life of a heavy duty engine such as those used in school busses. In addition to enhanced lubricity, bio-diesel acts as a solvent and cleans engine systems.
The most important advantage of bio-diesel is its environmental impact. According to the EPA's draft report, "A Comprehensive Analysis of Biodiesel Impacts on Exhaust Emissions" from October 2002 indicates that soybean based bio-diesel reduces particulate matter by 10 percent, hydrocarbons by 21 percent and carbon monoxide by 11 percent.
While the use of bio-diesel has more advantages than disadvantages, there are some drawbacks. The bio-diesel is costly at about 20 percent more than standard diesel. As more oil companies in the area begin to produce bio-diesel the cost will decrease over time. Bio-diesel also has a very short shelf life. The current industry standard is that bio-diesel is used within six months. With buses running on fuel almost every day, this drawback should not present a problem to the school system.
Subscribe Today and Save!!!
St. Charles Herald-Guide is an award-winning newspaper that covers all aspects of St. Charles Parish - from schools and parish government news to social events, features on our local residents and sports.
Order your subscription today!
A man accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death before attacking her mother has a...
Former Hahnville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Arthur Tregre has returned home...
Mia Waite was going to graduate from beauty school this week. Instead, the...
The chairwoman of the St. Charles Parish Housing Authority said that no one’s job...
A woman was found stabbed to death in her Destrehan home and her mother, who walked...
One of TV’s biggest shows, “American Horror Story,” recently wrapped up a two-week...
Acadian Flooring America is a family owned and operated floor covering store that has been proudly serving our customers since 1980. Our experienced staff at our Marrero, LA location is eager to serve you and help you transform your room and bring your dé
Hahnville slugger lands on national All-Tournament team - 833 views
Austin Perrin, an upcoming sophomore at Hahnville High School, was named to the All-Tournament team for his performance during the Perfect Game 15U WWBA National Championship.