Purdue fleet vehicles revs up on soy diesel

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – If it belongs to Purdue University and it runs on diesel fuel, chances are it’s now powered by a force friendlier to the environment and farmers.

Boilermaker power. Purdue is switching to soy biodiesel to fuel the diesel-engined vehicles in its transportation fleet.

Most of the Purdue Agricultural Centers and farms around the state also pump soy biodiesel into tractors, trucks and other vehicles.

Among the university’s diesel fleet are buses, ambulances, semi-trucks and the university’s mascot, the Boilermaker Special.

The Purdue transportation center uses a soy biodiesel blend that contains 2 percent biodiesel derived from soybeans.

So far, so good. “We have about 80 vehicles running on the soy biodiesel blend and we’ve experienced no problems,” said Mike Funk, transportation services director.

The university started using biodiesel in late November. No modifications were made to any of the vehicles.

Farm equipment. The Purdue Ag Centers utilize various soy biodiesel blends, promoting biodiesel use and benefits around the state, according to Jerry Fankhauser, director of the Purdue Ag Centers.

“We’ve been using biodiesel for nearly a year in about 50 pieces of farm equipment and we’re very pleased with the performance,” he said.

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