Biodiesel business booms

DENVER, Colorado, June 3, 2004 (ENS): Denver's first retail biodiesel filling station has opened in an area known for having some of the worst air quality in a city known for its brown cloud of pollution. The Offen Petroleum station is located at 5201 York in Denver and is selling B20, a mixture of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent diesel, to the public.

Some 50 U.S. cities currently use biodiesel commercially, but Denver is the largest city to use B20 to date. More than 400 major fleets use biodiesel nationwide.

Biodiesel is a cleaner burning fuel that can be made from domestic renewable resources such as vegetable oil. It can be used in any diesel engine with few modifications or none at all. The fuel can be burned in its pure form, known as B100, or blended with petroleum diesel at any level.

Denver's biodiesel pump opened for public sale on May 19, with the enthusiastic support of Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, whose official car is a gas-electric hybrid vehicle from the city’s fleet.

“This is a giant step forward in terms of the city’s commitment to conservation, energy efficiency and environmental health,” said Hickenlooper, “I commend our Public Works and Fleet Management Departments for their innovation and look forward to the results of this pilot project."

Blue Sun Biodiesel, the Colorado company that is supplying biodiesel to both the city and the Offen Petroleum pump, also announced nine other pumps opening on the same day throughout the state.

"Biodiesel represents a tremendous opportunity – both environmentally and economically – for the region," the mayor said.

“Colorado’s beauty would inspire anyone to become an environmentalist, and it has become a leading state in retail biodiesel pumps as well fleet users,” said Joe Jobe, executive director of the National Biodiesel Board.

Other users in the state include the town and ski resort of Breckenridge, the City of Lakewood, the University of Colorado, Littleton Public Schools and Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs.

Tim Cunningham, Denver Metro Clean Cities coordinator and air quality program manager the American Lung Association of Colorado, is hopeful the availability of biodiesel will encourage more drivers to use the cleaner fuel.

“The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment estimates that diesel exhaust is responsible for 60 to 80 percent of urban air toxics, and the use of biodiesel is one tool that people can use to reduce air pollution and protect public health,” Cunningham said.

“The station is conveniently located near a major interstate and in an area of the Denver region that has a high concentration of diesel vehicles. I am hopeful that public demand will increase biodiesel fueling stations in and around the Denver metro region," he said.

Biodiesel reduces emissions such as carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons and particulate matter. It is nontoxic, biodegradable and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics. Biodiesel offers similar fuel economy, horsepower and torque to petroleum diesel while providing superior lubricity.

In Tennessee, managers at the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area (NRRA) are convinced of the benefits of biodiesel, and this season they have begun to use the fuel to run their fleet of maintenance vehicles.

Big South Fork NRRA vehicles will be using B20 to fuel its vehicles. Low-NOx additive is being added to the B20 to reduce the formation of ozone gases and increase overall fuel efficiency.

Several public biodiesel pumps have opened in Tennessee and Arkansas. McNutt Oil recently opened the first public B20 pump in Tennessee at the Mr. Gas Texaco fuel station in Alcoa. Another B20 pump opened in Newport and a B100 pump opened in Loudon.

In neighboring Arkansas, a biodiesel pump recently opened in Stuttgart.

Biodiesel will soon be even more readily available. World Energy Alternatives, LLC has announced the re-opening and upgrading of the largest multi-feedstock biodiesel production facility in the United States, the National Biodiesel Board reports. The 18 million gallon per year plant located in Lakeland, Florida is managed by Purada Processing, LLC, a World Energy subsidiary.

Gene Gebolys, founder and CEO of World Energy, said, “Biodiesel is booming because it is the easiest, most effective, and most affordable way available today to integrate renewable energy into our main stream energy supply.”

For a map of biodiesel retail stations, visit:

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