With gas prices near or above $3 per gallon, Governor John Lynch, the University of New Hampshire and officials from the New Hampshire Department of Transportation are doing their part with a new biodiesel fueling facility in Durham, which officially opened on Wednesday, Aug. 2.
One of the fuel tanks at the Durham fueling depot will be filled with B20 fuel, which is comprised of 80 percent pure diesel fuel and 20 percent biodiesel fuel.
The University of New Hampshire has been persuing for this project for about two and a half years.
“It’s part of our bigger mission as a clean climate and climate education campus,” says Steve Peschi of the University of New Hampshire planning office. Peschi says the University is behind it because it’s a cleaner fuel source. “We want to support this,” says Peschi.
Along with the environmental benefits, “It will decrease our dependence on a foreign petroleum supply. It has a lot of advantages over pure diesel fuel,” says Kathy Brockett, education and outreach supervisor at the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.
The installation of the new facility in Durham is the first use of B20 by UNH and Department of Environmental Services vehicles. Sixty transit and nontransit vehicles from the university will run on B20 fuel. There are also a number of farm and off-road vehicles that will be in transition from pure diesel to B20.
“In the future we want to have all of our diesel fleet using B20 and we’d like to see it come from regionally produced biofuel,” says Peschi. The current likely source of biodiesel is soybeans from the Midwest. In the future, the university would like to see them grown in New England. “It’s a win-win situation,” he says.
Brockett hopes that the new Durham facility will help spread the use of biodiesel fuel. “We hope to see more public sites. We would love to see the Department of Transportation put more of their refueling sites across the state,” she says.
There are currently 10 other biodiesel fuel outlets in New Hampshire. All are privately owned, and most sell a blend of B20. Currently, B20 costs approximately nine cents per gallon more than pure diesel.
“But the more we have a demand for, the lower the prices will be,” Brockett says.
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