Biodiesel Helping Ohio Schools

John Davis

It’s the middle of summer, and the last thing on students’ minds is how they’ll get to school. But those rides to classes this fall might be a bit cleaner as more schools across the country switch their buses over to biodiesel.

In Ohio, schools are getting incentives to run their diesel buses on the cleaner-burning biodiesel. This story from the Marion (OH) Star says the money is to help make up any difference in the cost between petroleum-based and plant-based fuels:

The Ohio Department of Development started taking applications in January for grant funding up to $25,000 for schools that commit to using B20 fuel, which is a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel.

Since the grant’s introduction, more than 20 Ohio schools have been approved for reimbursement in the difference between using biodiesel and petroleum diesel. Engines do not need any modifications to make the switch from petroleum to biodiesel. Soy biodiesel costs anywhere from the same as petroleum diesel to 10 cents more per gallon, according to [Shelby Brammell, an educational consultant representing Clean Air for Kids] said it can cost up to 20 cents more.

Brammell is making the circuit around county fairs this summer to see how much interest there is in biodiesel for school buses. And after she tells parents that the green fuel is as biodegradable as sugar and 10 times less toxic than table salt, that interest increases dramatically.

Now, if only we can increase the students’ interests in scholarly activities that much.