Biodiesel Goes Underground

John Davis

It’s not a move to put the green fuel incognito … biodiesel is literally going underground.

This article in Biodiesel Magazine says a new, 206-page report from the Mine Safety Health Administration talks about how miners have found that biodiesel keeps clean a precious commodity underground: air:

After testing multiple biodiesel blends, MSHA concluded that biodiesel reduces emissions—especially when combined with the use of aftertreatment devices on diesel engines. “The result is a cleaner and healthier working environment for miners,” MSHA states.

hutchinson_saltmine1Hutchinson Salt was the first mine of any kind to use B99. Since 2003, the company has used between 17,000 and 30,000 gallons of B99 a year, depending on the demand for salt.

Its employees noted cleaner air in the mines within days after the switch to biodiesel. B99 powers all its underground diesel equipment, ranging from loaders to diesel pickups to tractors. Max Liby, vice president of manufacturing, says they have seen no reduction in performance even when machines run 20 consecutive hours.

The article goes on to say that the National Biodiesel Board has identified mines that use biodiesel and is spreading the news of the clean air the green fuel is bringing below ground.