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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Soy Biodiesel a Success on Ohio State Campus

October 13, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Thanks to Ohio soybeans, the Ohio State University campus community is breathing a lot easier.

A portion of the university's public transportation vehicles are running on Soy Biodiesel, a fuel partially made from soybean oil. The product is meant to reduce the health risks associated with and burn cleaner than its diesel counterpart. And that means that choking on black, toxic fumes from Ohio State buses is now a thing of the past.

Soy Biodiesel is just one type of alternative fuel created from biomass resources that will be showcased at the Ohio State University BioEnergy Conference on Oct. 28. The conference, sponsored by Ohio State Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Buckeye Hall of Fame Café in Columbus, Ohio.

The goal of the BioEnergy Conference is to discuss opportunities for developing biomass energies, such as ethanol, butanol, hydrogen production, and biodiesel, as current supplies of petroleum and natural gas continue to tighten.

"We would deem the (Soy Biodiesel) program very successful in that we've accomplished the goals we set out to achieve: environmentally friendly, transparent to students and employees, no disruption in service and no performance issues," said Robert Summerfield, operations coordinator with the Ohio State University Transportation and Parking Services, which launched the program last year. "We expect that success to continue."

Last year, 20 percent of the university's Campus Area Bus Service (CABS) transit coaches were fueled by B20 — a blend of 80 percent diesel fuel and 20 percent soybean oil. This year that numbered jumped to 50 percent and next year, the goal is get all 34 buses running on the alternative fuel.

Registration fee for the BioEnergy Conference is $45, which includes lunch. Fee for students is $15. Registration deadline is Oct. 22.

Topics to be discussed throughout the day include developments in the ethanol industry, biofuels for transportation, Ohio's biomass inventory, anaerobic digestion, engineering hydrogen, and bio-based opportunities from an investor's perspective. Speakers include industry individuals as well as Ohio State researchers. Keynote speakers include Bob Dinneen from the Renewable Fuels Association, and Dan Reicher with the American Council on Renewable Energy/ New Energy Capital.

For more information, contact Lois Grant at (330) 202-3537 or, or log on to http://

Candace Pollock
Denny Hall