Hennepin County Fleet Vehicles to Use Biodiesel
Hennepin County commissioners Mike Opat and Peter McLaughlin announced at the Hennepin County Public Works facility in Medina on October 15 that Lubrication Technologies will provide 368,000 gallons of B5 Biodiesel to Hennepin County over the next year. In an effort to reduce air pollution and comply with a new state law, Hennepin County began using biodiesel fuel in all of its fleet vehicles in September. “We plan to use 368,000 gallons of 5 percent biodiesel blended fuel in our fleet during the next year,” Opat said. The county’s fleet has 175 diesel vehicles made up of snowplows, ambulances, road pavers, and other vehicles. Biodiesel is a fuel made from domestically produced renewable resources such as soybean oil, or recycled cooking oil. It is then mixed with regular diesel fuel at different percentages. Hennepin County will be using a 5 percent mixture, which is referred to as B5. A state law was passed last year that requires all municipalities in Minnesota to use at least 2 percent biodiesel by 2005. It is known as the B2 law and is believed to be the first law requiring biodiesel use in the country. Advocates of biodiesel say that it is a cleaner burning fuel that pollutes the air less than petroleum diesel and will decrease dependence on foreign oil. They also contend that biodiesel emissions contain less polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which have been linked to cancer. Biodiesel can be used in almost all petroleum diesel engines without modification.