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Biodiesel now powers select ASU vehicles

February 27, 2013

Arizona State University continues making strides in sustainability with the implementation of biodiesel use in select vehicles of its facilities truck fleet.

The public and media are invited to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the arrival of biodiesel at ASU slated for 10 a.m., Feb. 28, at the Material Services Building, 1711 S. Rural Road in Tempe.

Previous diesel consumption for ASU trucks and equipment averaged 10,000 gallons per year. It is estimated that ASU will reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory by 75 metric tons annually by switching to biodiesel fuel for its fleet.

Using biodiesel in ASU trucks and equipment squarely aligns with the university’s sustainability efforts and its Carbon Neutrality Action Plan: ASU’s sustainability goals include the mitigation of carbon emissions from transportation by 2035.

“Although converting 9,000 gallons of used vegetable oil into 7,500 gallons of biodiesel doesn’t seem like a large quantity for an institution the size of ASU, this project matches a material that would otherwise be a waste with a concrete reduction in our GHG inventory,” said Nick Brown, director of university sustainability practices at ASU. “As we take advantage of many small opportunities like this, we move closer to our goal of climate neutrality by 2035.”

Future plans include expanding biodiesel availability to other ASU campus departments and to local municipalities.

ASU’s biodiesel provider is REV BioDiesel. The company uses oil waste from ARAMARK, ASU’s food services provider, and converts it to biodiesel fuel. Many of ASU’s diesel fuel vehicles can run on B20, which is 20 percent biodiesel mixed with 80 percent petroleum diesel fuel. The majority of lawn and garden equipment the ASU grounds crew uses now runs on straight B99 fuel, 99 percent biodiesel that is mixed with only one percent petroleum diesel fuel. Brown Evans Distributing Company transports the biodiesel to the Tempe campus and fills the 1,000-gallon tank, located in the parking lot of the Material Services Building.

Brown Evans is owned and operated by ASU alumni, making it an ideal choice to be the distributing partner.

“Brown Evans has a long history of supporting ASU and is pleased to supply the university's biodiesel and participate in its fuel management,” said Kathye Brown, president of Brown Evans Distributing Co. “As a graduate of ASU’s School of Business and an ASU Alumni Association member, I am very proud to be able to play a role in supporting ASU in its sustainability efforts by being involved in the installation of the new biodiesel fueling station.”  

Shereen Shaw,
ASU Parking & Transit