Snowmobiles Running on Green Fuels

John Davis

cleansnowmobile.jpgThis year has been an exceptionally snowy one for much of the U.S., and some students in Michigan are making use of all the snow… while learning about the benefits of biofuels.

The SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge is going on now through Saturday at Michigan Technological University’s Keweenaw Research Center at Houghton County Memorial Airport. The Daily Mining Gazette reports that 17 teams of university students have brought their machines to compete in quietest and cleanest competitions:

A new challenge is in the mix this year. More accurately, it’s in the fuel mix.

“This year we have made each team use bio-fuel and that can be either E85 or B10, which is a biodiesel fuel,” event coordinator Jay Meldrum said.

He said the bio-fuel requirement is a precursor to next year, when snowmobiles will have to run on flex-fuel — different fuel types that will change from day to day.

Last year, the University of McGill took 1st place in the Zero Emissions Class and the University of Idaho won top honors in the Internal Combustion Class.

The first competition was held in 2000 at Yellowstone National Park after a controversy over snowmobiles in the park prompted organizers to look for cleaner, quieter snowmobiles.

Biodiesel, E85, Ethanol, News