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Biodiesel To Fuel SD School Buses

Audio

Aired 1/2/12

More than 500 buses in the San Diego Unified School District will run on biodiesel fuel by the summer of 2012.

New Leaf Biofuel is a San Diego based company. In 2006 it began producing biodiesel with recycled cooking oil from more than 1,500 local restaurants and businesses.

Jennifer Case, CEO and owner of the company said the school bus fleet is the newest addition to many government and Navy vehicles that use their biodiesel.

“In the city of Chula Vista, their entire municipal diesel fleet including the fire trucks runs on a B-20 blend. The city of San Diego has a municipal fleet, including their parks and recreation vehicles, that use our biodiesel blend,” said Case.

Biodiesel is a blend of petroleum-based diesel fuel and vegetable oil. It’s considered a renewable resource. The EPA reports it also decreases harmful greenhouse emissions.

But, biodiesel’s most important advantage, said Case, is its potential health benefits to students.

“If you’re traveling behind a school bus and see a big black cloud, that cloud of soot and exhaust is going into the windows. It's been known to cause asthma and cancer in children," she said. "Biodiesel will significantly reduce a child’s harm to those dangerous diseases because it has less tail pipe emissions.”

No engine or pump conversions will be necessary to swap from traditional diesel to the biodiesel fuel in the school buses.

Typically the cost of biodiesel tracks petroleum-based diesel.

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