Biodiesel Set to Take off at Miami Airport

In what could turn out to be fairly large application of biodiesel fueling, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Florida Energy Office are teaming up to test the clean fuel as an alternative to regular diesel at the Miami International Airport. Researchers are examining the prospect of using the bio-based fuel, made from vegetables, oil and fats, to power baggage handling and ground support equipment at Florida’s busiest airport.

Tallahassee, Florida – April 19, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] In what could turn out to be a rather large application of biodiesel fueling, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Florida Energy Office are teaming up to test the clean fuel as an alternative to regular diesel at the Miami International Airport. Researchers are examining the prospect of using the bio-based fuel, made from vegetables, oil and fats, to power baggage handling and ground support equipment at Florida’s busiest airport. “Florida is preparing for future growth and energy demands by exploring alternative, cleaner fuels,” said Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Colleen M. Castille. “Using ‘green’ fuel to operate everyday equipment at major commercial centers reduces reliance on petroleum and protects air quality.” The Florida Energy Office, together with Gold Coast Clean Cities Coalition and the Miami Dade Aviation Department, will assess the feasibility of replacing diesel with biodiesel fuel in baggage transport equipment and fuel trucks. The $54,000 project will also assess the market potential for biodiesel, explore its compatibility with current systems and test fuel quality, performance and storage requirements. “This project will increase our knowledge of biodiesel fuel for future statewide applications,” said Department of Community Affairs Secretary Thaddeus Cohen. “Through this research we hope to discover new ways in which communities can prepare for growth and protect their environment.” Among the top national and international airports in freight, cargo and passenger traffic, Miami International is located in one of the country’s fastest growing regions. Over the next two decades, projected growth in South Florida is expected to increase the airport’s petroleum needs dramatically. Biodiesel may help the airport meet its 10 percent petroleum reduction goal. According to Florida’s The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Biodiesel yields 280 percent more energy then petroleum diesel fuel, while producing 47 percent fewer exhaust emissions. The DEP is using biodiesel to operate seven field trucks that tow tractors and heavy equipment over the 110-mile Cross Florida Greenway. The average vehicle travels more than 300 miles a week.
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