The Chicago Park District (CPD) is working to improve air quality by fueling park refuse haulers with 100% biodiesel (B100).
As part of a pilot program in partnership with the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff program and the American Lung Association (ALA), it is aimed at reducing vehicle carbon emissions and creating more sustainable operations. The Park District’s B100 program reduces greenhouse gas emissions and particulates by 84% compared to standard, low sulfur diesel fuel. As the B100 pilot program enters its second year, CPD states the improved air quality and emission reductions are equivalent to planting 419 trees in Chicago parks annually.
The B100 pilot project began in early 2019, when CPD fitted two refuse haulers with fuel systems from Optimus Technologies that allow the vehicles to start on diesel fuel and then automatically switch to 100% biodiesel after warming up. Refuse haulers typically travel at low speeds and require frequent stops, creating potential for increased soot and emissions.