Government Fleet Top News

Caltrans May Switch to Biodiesel for Some Trucks

June 13, 2007

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) may switch many of its diesel-powered trucks to biodiesel fuel following a $100,000 six-month pilot project that is wrapping up, according to the Central Valley Business Times.

About 20 Caltrans vehicles (trucks and construction equipment) in Indio have been running on B-20 biodiesel since the project started in January. The project will conclude in July, followed by a one- to two-month analysis by the University of California, Riverside. If the results are favorable, Caltrans could begin fueling up to 4,500 diesel vehicles in its fleet with B-20, a blend of 20 percent non-diesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel.

Caltrans uses about three million gallons of regular diesel from its fuel sites annually. A switchover to B-20 would decrease its consumption of petroleum by as much as 600,000 gallons yearly, according to the Central Valley Business Times.

Biodiesel is seen as viable because the infrastructure is already in place. Caltrans has about 230 diesel fuel sites statewide and only minor, relatively inexpensive modifications would need to be made to these facilities.

The B-20 biodiesel fuel being tested is derived mainly from recycled cooking oil in Southern California.

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