Green Fleet

Kettering University Debuts Biomethane Fuel Truck

August 23, 2010

FLINT, MI - Kettering University, officials from Swedish Biogas International, the City of Flint, Mich., and others, unveiled Flint's first biomethane fuel truck during a ceremony on the university campus Aug. 19, according to a release issued by the university.

Kettering University President Stan Liberty officiated at the ceremony and introduced Flint Mayor Dayne Walling who said, "The city is proud to be a partner with this world-class research university right here in Flint."

Students, working with faculty members at Kettering University, converted a 2500HD Chevy Silverado to run on a dual-fuel system. The vehicle can be powered by biomethane gas, which will be produced at the new biomethane plant in Flint.

To accomplish this dual-fuel use, Kettering called on one of its alums to help out. Rebecca Royer '81, owner and president of Baytech Corp., installed a kit in April that allows the biofuel truck to run on both natural gas and gasoline. The natural gas is stored in a tank in the truck bed and is piped into the engine bay, ending at the top of the engine.

The on-board computer switches automatically between gasoline and natural gas while driving. Because the composition of natural gas and biomethane are so similar, the truck should run well with biomethane in the tank instead of natural gas, said student Nolan McCann, research assistant to Brenda Lemke and Dr. Ahmad Pourmovahed, who are working on the project.

Researchers plan to run the vehicle on the biomethane produced from the Flint Wastewater Treatment Plant and Swedish Biogas project. The Swedish Biogas Project will produce alternative energy from waste removed from the city's wastewater treatment plant.

To see photos of the truck, click here.

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