Mayor Don Wesely today said StarTran's OxyDiesel Demonstration Project again puts the city's bus service at the forefront of new fuel technology. Wesely made the comments at the kick-off for the project, which makes Lincoln one of the first cities in the world to power buses with a new blend of ethanol and diesel fuel.
"In light of recent fuel price spikes and supply concerns, we are more determined than ever to find domestic fuel sources that are kind to the environment, reduce imports of fossil fuels and provide jobs for our citizens," Wesely said. "If this new fuel delivers the performance and environmental advantages we expect, Nebraska-produced ethanol will continue to have access to the 50-billion gallon a year U.S. diesel fuel market."
The experimental fuel is designed to meet increasingly stringent federal clean air standards by reducing harmful engine emissions. Since 1992, StarTran has operated four buses with experimental, prototype engines designed to use straight ethanol. Transit Manager Larry Worth said StarTran has also operated buses on bio-diesel, a blend of soybean oil and diesel. But until now, he said, blending ethanol with diesel has been impractical.
"A concern for ethanol as a fuel component has been its tendency to
separate from diesel fuel at low temperatures like those we often
experience in Lincoln," Worth said. "However, the recent development of
an emulsifying agent called OxyDiesel appears to solve the separation
The test will last at least one year, and each of the four buses using the new blended fuel is expected to travel about 35,000 miles per year in all types of driving conditions.
"We are very excited to gather the performance and emission data to see if this blend of ethanol and diesel can do the job," said Steve Sorum of the Nebraska Ethanol Board. "We thank the City of Lincoln for partnering with us in this project, which has the potential to have an enormous impact in our state and our nation."
Other partners in the project are the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board; AAE Technologies, the additive manufacturer; Agriland FS, the blender and supplier of the fuel blend; and Nebraska ethanol producers: Cargill, Inc.; Chief Ethanol Fuels, Inc.; and Williams Energy Company.