Biodiesel provides cleaner and ‘greener’ public transit in Muncie - Indiana Corn and Soy

Biodiesel provides cleaner and ‘greener’ public transit in Muncie

Since 2005, the Muncie Indiana Transit System (MITS) has been making transportation in Muncie, Ind., a little greener by fueling up their fleet of public transit buses with cleaner, greener biodiesel.

Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and distillers corn oil, biodiesel is a cleaner fuel available now for use in existing diesel engines without modification.

Amanda Price-Clark

This low-carbon, cleaner burning fuel is helping to reduce emissions today from trucks, buses, emergency vehicles and large equipment. Biodiesel is derived from renewable feedstocks and its use does not typically require expensive investments in refueling or recharging infrastructure.

Benefitting the environment

MITS is proud to be a member of the B20 Club of Indiana — a collaboration between the Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA) and the American Lung Association that recognizes and supports the efforts of Indiana-based fleets using biodiesel blends of B20 or higher for at least six months out of the year.

Larry Pete Shields

“My whole team really embraces the use of biodiesel,” said Larry (Pete) Shields, MITS Director of Maintenance. “Not only does the cleaner-burning fuel mean less maintenance for my team, we love that it lowers our carbon footprint and provides the residents of Muncie with cleaner transit options.”

A single commuter choosing one of their 33 full-size buses over driving a personal car will reduce approximately 5,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually. By using nearly 150,000 gallons of biodiesel annually instead of conventional diesel, MITS contributes to an annual carbon reduction equivalent to planting over 4,000 trees.

“MITS has a very strong responsibility to the community,” says Amanda Price-Clark, General Manager. “It’s part of our core mission to serve Muncie and to be cognizant of how we’re affecting the community.”

In addition to their buses, MITS uses B20 to fuel 50 percent of their service trucks.

Reducing reliance on foreign oil

Biodiesel is currently the second largest user of soybean oil in the United States. According to Biodiesel.org, an online library of biodiesel resources maintained by Clean Fuels Alliance America, the demand for soybean oil has grown 300 percent in the last decade, offering a clear benefit to soybean farmers.

“I grew up around farm families, so biodiesel use at MITS is really important to me,” says Larry Featherston, group leader at MITS. “Both my grandfathers were farmers as well as my uncle and cousins. Knowing the benefit biodiesel has to farmers and the environment, it’s an obvious choice to keep using it at MITS.”

Today biodiesel accounts for 13 percent more profit for soybean farmers while also positively impacting the price of soybean meal for the poultry and livestock industries.

“It’s incredible to know that the soybeans we grow are helping our planet while also reducing our reliance on imported oil,” said ISA Board Chair Jim Douglas, a farmer from Flat Rock, Ind. “And since biodiesel is made from soy byproducts, it doesn’t require any extra land or resources on our part to contribute to the growing demand.”

To learn more about how biodiesel is keeping Muncie To learn more about how biodiesel is keeping Muncie cleaner and greener, go online to b20clubindiana.org/members/MITS.

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