OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATestimonial: Ferndale School District

Durring the summer of 2006 the Ferndale School District began a B99 (99% biodiesel & 1% petroleum diesel) pilot project in some of our bus routes. At the conclusion of the 2006 summer session we switched our entire fleet over to B20 (20% biodiesel & 80% petroleum diesel). This decision to switch the entire fleet to B20 was based on our favorable experience with B99.

The current school year has had some extremely unusual weather and even though our temperatures have reached into the low teens we have had no problems with the B20 blend. Ferndale School District has received many positive comments from the community in regards to the cleaner exhaust from our bus fleet. In the future we plan to continue our commitment to safer transportation for our students, and B20 is just one area we will pursue.

Darrell Clute
Transportation Director
Ferndale School District #502
(360) 383.9238
dclute@ferndale.wednet.edu

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATestimonial: LaConner School District

I am in my third year as Transportation Supervisor for LaConner School District, and a bus driver and parapro for thirteen years. I have always been concerned about the health and safety of children and our environment. I am also a mother and support physical and outdoor education and environmental learning.

It has become clear to me that we have a moral obligation to our future generations to fight pollution, global warming and improve the health of the earth and our children. So to mitigate the effects of diesel air pollution, I proposed a pilot program to run one bus on biodiesel for one year and to make performance comparisons on mileage and other effects on maintenance. Accordingly, I would record and evaluate the results to encourage further use for more busses.

The B20 blend our supplier at Rexville Store carries is 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum diesel. It is considered the most adaptable blend for most vehicles as most standard diesel engines can run on the fuel with no modifications. According to the EPA, the cleaner chemical properties may emit 10% less poison carbon monoxide gas and 15% less particulate matter, which are tiny solid or liquid particulates that can get into the lungs. B20 may also produce 10% fewer hydrocarbons, a key ingredient for smog and 20% lower sulfate emissions.

Effective June 1, 2009, 20% of all diesel purchased and used by state agencies for operating diesel-powered vehicles must be biodiesel. Even though this does not apply to school districts, I feel we need to follow suit to initiate change to help in this proactive transition towards a cleaner environment and supporting a clean burning alternative fuel, produced from domestic, renewable resources.

I have had good success so far with little effects on maintenance. I have received encouragement from parents who appreciate the efforts of the district to help fight increasing rates of asthma in our students. I hope more school districts will consider changing to this alternative.

Jane Stephens
Transportation Supervisor
La Conner School District #311
360.202.6426
jstephens@lcsd.wednet.edu
January 2007

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATestimonial: Whatcom Builders

Whatcom Builders is an asphalt paving and asphalt producing company. We operate two gravel pits, an asphalt plant, rock crusher, and a fleet of over 50 on and off road vehicles. We are located in Bellingham and have been in business since 1955.

We have been running B20 biodiesel in many of our dump trucks and B99 in some of our pickups since summer of 2006. We have had absolutely zero problems with the biodiesel and we plan to further implement the B20 into more of our fleet this coming summer.

We feel that by using the biodiesel from Whole Energy, not only are we burning cleaner with fewer emissions, but we are also helping to support a locally owned business. We are very excited to be running an alternative fuel and look forward to the day that Whole Energy is producing biodiesel in their new plant.

Loren Vander Yacht
Estimator Whatcom Builders

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATestimonial: City of Sedro-Woolley

Rob Macready
City of Sedro-Woolley
Wastewater Collection Specialist II

We recently began using biodiesel in our jet-vactor truck, and it gives me a sense of pride to know that we are doing our part in protecting earth’s precious resources. With a degree in environmental technology, I am very aware of our need to start the switch to alternative sources of energy. Biodiesel is the first step in the right direction.

In addition to the environmental benefits of using this biodegradable product, manufactured from renewable resources, there are also the health benefits of not breathing in all of the toxic fumes produced from the burning of petroleum diesel. Working from the front end of a jet-vactor truck, we encounter unpleasant odors from numerous sources, and the smell of biodiesel is actually a nice change.

Carrie Crisp
City of Sedro-Woolley
Wastewater Collection Specialist I

Fumes from biodiesel are much easier to tolerate than from pure petroleum diesel. Working in an environment that we constantly are subjected to these odors, it is much healthier. The vehicles still run great, with no noticeable loss of performance, and biodiesel has much less negative impact on the environment. I am happy to be using biodiesel, and recommend it to everyone with a diesel engine.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATestimonial: Marysville Fire Department

The Marysville Fire Department began a biodiesel pilot program in one 2006 International 4300 series ambulance in November 2006. The engine is a 466E. We have had zero problems with the B20 fuel since changing over from petroleum diesel. The unit has over 3000 miles with one fuel filter change at 1000 miles and another at the 3000 mile service. I would expect the Board to recommend using this fuel in as much of the fleet as possible.
 

Robert Spencer Deputy Chief
Fleet & Facilities
Marysville Fire District
1635 Grove Street
Marysville, WA 98270

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATestimonial: Gato Verde Adventure Sailing

I have been using biodiesel for marine propulsion since 1996 in a variety of, mostly older, diesel engines. There are many reasons why I have been willing to pay the (small) premium. It is renewable, domestic, clean burning, less toxic in its liquid state, has lower exhaust emissions & toxicity, and finally the exhaust doesn’t smell as bad as petroleum diesel.

When I moved to Bellingham and started Gato Verde Adventure Sailing I made it a part of the mission of the company to be “a platform for demonstrating existing and evolving sustainable technologies.” My customers appreciate the less offensive smell of the biodiesel exhaust and my client orientation always includes a moment to discuss biodiesel and the other sustainable technologies I have implemented aboard the Gato Verde. It is wonderful to be in a region with a consistent, high quality biodiesel supplier which shares my commitment to the environment and furthering the evolution of sustainable technologies and sustainable communities.

Todd Shuster
Skipper of theĀ Gato Verde
Bellingham, WA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATestimonial: City of Bellingham

In May of 2007, the Fleet Services Division began using a mixture of 5% biodiesel and 95% ultra low sulfur diesel as fuel in the Public Works Department vehicles and equipment. The total used through September was 10,000 gallons. Currently all City-owned diesel vehicles and equipment are assigned to the biodiesel project except fire apparatus, ambulance and emergency stationary generators.

During the past 5 months Fleet Services has experienced no fuel related problems that we can attribute to the use of biodiesel. Our current plans are to continue using biodiesel. It is the opinion of Fleet Services that biodiesel has favorable properties when used as fuel, not the least of which is reducing undesirable emissions produced by diesel engines, which helps keep our environment healthy which contributes to Bellingham’s goal of becoming a “Green” city.

Heather Higgins-Aanes
City of Bellingham Environmental Resources

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATestimonial: City of Anacortes

The City of Anacortes is using 20% biodiesel at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. We started using biodiesel in July 2007. We are anticipating lowering our co2 emissions by 53.15 tons per year.

John Franz
Manager- Anacortes Waste Water Treatment Plant

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATestimonial: Ken & Mariann Carrasco

My wife Mariann and I own a 32-foot powerboat which is powered by twin turbocharged Diesel engines. We keep the boat in Bellingham and do the usual family activities including camping and fishing, and we also donate a lot of trips at auctions for non-profit organizations because it helps them and we get to meet some new and interesting people. I’m also a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and will be using the boat to augment regular Coast Guard activities.

Our boat was built by Bayliner in 1994 and has a semi-displacement hull. This means we can cruise relatively fast, at about 15 knots, but we also consume relatively greater amounts of fuel as well. However, because we try to be aware consumers, three concerns about using petroleum Diesel began dogging us shortly after we purchased this boat:

  1. Because of our backgrounds, we are concerned about the impact of our boating activities on the water quality and air quality of this beautiful part of earth called Whatcom County and the San Juan Islands. I’m a marine biologist (with a master’s degree in Dungeness crab biology from the University of Washington) and Mariann is a wildlife biologist.
  2. My experience as a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard has given me a geopolitical perspective – among other similar activities, I was stationed aboard a polar icebreaker and monitored Soviet Navy activities north of Siberia. I’m aware of our fuel crisis, and I’m convinced that both national and global problems are coming our way unless we think about our use of petroleum.
  3. Several members of our family have shown signs of chemical sensitivity, and Diesel fumes exacerbate the situation. Like many other powerboats, we often encounter the “station wagon” effect where at cruising speeds our exhaust will be circulate forward into the habitable part of the boat.

Fortunately, shortly after we purchased our boat in 2003, we discovered biodiesel and Whole Energy Fuels which helped alleviate these environmental, geopolitical, and health concerns.

I quickly found that myths and misinformation are circulating in the public about biodiesel, and of course I did not want to cause some very expensive problems with my two engines. Dependable fuel for our engines are also a major safety concern, as it should be for any boater and especially when children are involved. So we performed a due diligence process on both biodiesel as a product and on Whole Energy as a company, and we ultimately not only started using biodiesel in our boat . . . but we also decided to invest in Whole Energy itself.

During my research about the product, I found that my main issue would be the tendency of biodiesel to act as a solvent and mobilize accumulated petroleum diesel “crud” in the tanks. So before I started adding biodiesel to my tanks, I took the following two steps.

First, I arranged with a local Bellingham company, PetroClean, to come to my boat and clean (“polish” is the jargon) my existing fuel. Because Bayliner did not install access ports in the two 100-gallon fuel tanks, I also had PetroClean install ports in the tanks and they used brushes and a vacuum to clean as much of the existing petroleum diesel “crud” as possible. (This is a step which should be done with older boats anyway no matter what the fuel).

Second, I replaced the stock “spin-on” primary fuel filters with turbine style filters with an integral fuel/water separator and with a higher capacity (so it would filter more fuel per hour and also over the lifetime of a filter element before the element needs replacement). I also added vacuum gauges to these filters so I would know to change the elements before symptoms of fuel starvation developed.

(For the non-technical: the “primary” fuel filter is the first filter the fuel passes through after leaving the fuel tank, and the “secondary” filter is the second filter the fuel encounters and is located on the engine itself.)

My engines have loved biodiesel; I swear that they run smoother especially at the maximum levels I’ve used, around B50. I’m very happy with the performance of biodiesel in my engines over the past several boating seasons and I have not had any mechanical problems at all.

My family report the fumes are much more tolerable than straight Diesel while we are cruising. Higher levels of biodiesel have proportionally alleviated the “station wagon” effect.

Besides the greater solvency of biodiesel, two other reported concerns include stability over time (because recreational boats sit idle much more than working boats or land-based vehicles) and biodiesel’s reported tendency to attract and accumulate water. To test these concerns, I exposed my boat to the worst possible scenario over the winter of 2006/2007: I purposefully left my tanks mostly empty of fuel over the winter which typically results in a great amount of water condensation within the tanks. In the spring, after six months, I had the fuel tested and found that the fuel was still potent (and later found that it worked just as well underway as fresh fuel). In addition, no water was detected in the fuel sample and, later, I observed no accumulation of water in the fuel/water separator which corroborated that laboratory result.

In this initial phase of the maturing biodiesel industry, the consumer must question the quality of the fuel and inform themselves about the product and the production process of the supplier. I was impressed by the attention Whole Energy applied to ensure a consistently high quality product which I could rely upon.

Regarding our investment with Whole Energy — I found Atul Deshmane and the other personnel with Whole Energy to be very knowledgeable and passionate about the potential of their fuel. Their passion is coupled with realism and the willingness to freely discuss both the pros and cons of biodiesel as a fuel. This combination of expertise and integrity very much impressed us. We felt their business model is sound and so we decided to invest in the company.

Please feel free to contact me at bluemountainfarm@yahoo.com if you have any questions. Oh, by the way, I am also using Whole Energy biodiesel in our Diesel tractor on our property near Acme, at about the B70 level, and am very happy with the performance of the fuel in that implement as well.

Ken Carrasco
Blue Mountain Farm
P.O. Box 108
6324 Saxon Road
Acme, WA 98220
www.bluemountainfarm.com