Testing facility helping to fuel the future
I was tasked with the job of creating a biofuels technology programme and teaching laboratory for students, who could then learn the basic skills to allow them to work in one of the many surrounding biofuels processing facilities here in Iowa and in the Midwest.
In 2006, we were approached by a local trucking firm (Decker Truck Lines) with an interest in studying the effects of biodiesel in an OTR (over the road) application.
The proposal quickly involved several interested parties: the National Biodiesel Board (now Clean Fuels Alliance America), Renewable Energy Group (recently acquired by Chevron Corp.), Iowa Soybean Association, Caterpillar Engine Company and the US Department of Agriculture. It ran for two years from the autumn of 2006 through to the fall of 2008.
The study involved 10 tractor trailers using diesel and 10 tractor trailers using B20, all with matched equipment and vehicle configurations, running dedicated routes for a combined two million miles over two years.