Bioenergy, Monitoring

Bus Fleet Converted to Ethanol-Diesel Blend

Delaware-based O2Diesel Corporation is playing a key partnership role in the CityHome program, a national clean air initiative that focuses on reducing diesel fuel emissions in municipal transit systems. O2 Diesel’s latest project involves retrofitting a fleet of 67 buses for a Nebraska transit agency.

CityHome is the result of a partnership involving municipal transit systems, O2Diesel and corporate sponsors whose contributions offset the program costs to the transit operators. Sponsors allocate specific marketing budgets to support CityHome through transit advertising. StarTran of Lincoln, Nebraska was the first city to sign up for a fuel conversion by converting its entire available fleet of 67 transit and paratransit coaches to O2Diesel’s ethanol-diesel fuel blend, which can reduce black smoke, particulate matter and exhaust gases shown to be unhealthy and damaging to the environment. The fuel conversion came after three years of testing and monitoring, and the transit authority has operated coaches using O2Diesel exclusively since mid-February of 2005. According to a recent study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, a Boston-based non-profit environmental organization, approximately 20,000 Americans die annually as a result of diesel engine-related pollution. Reducing harmful diesel emissions, the report says, can also help reduce serious public health problems such as asthma attacks, respiratory disease, heart attacks and premature death. “CityHome represents a tremendous leap forward in helping cities tackle the problem of noxious diesel emissions that, until now, were inherent with traditional diesel-fueled bus fleets,” said Alan Rae, president and CEO of O2Diesel. “(The program) not only enables cities to reduce diesel emissions from their transit buses, but also creates an opportunity for environmentally-conscious corporations to take an active role in helping their communities.”