As of this week, the Beaverton School District stopped using petroleum-based diesel fuel in its school buses in favor of renewable diesel.
Renewable diesel is a fossil-free alternative derived from agricultural waste products like vegetable oils and animal fats, making it a fully renewable and sustainable source of energy. Renewable diesel burns cleaner than regular diesel, releasing less carbon and potentially reducing CO2 emissions by up to 100% (depending on the blend) compared to petroleum diesel. Additionally, it lowers tailpipe emissions such as particulate matter, carbon monoxide, total hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide.
Other benefits of using renewable diesel over traditional diesel include better vehicle performance, reduced maintenance and maintenance costs, cleaner burning exhaust and improved mileage.
The transition required no physical changes to the district’s current bus fleet. While the cost of renewable diesel is slightly higher at present, it is expected to drop as the supply of renewable diesel expands and more businesses make the switch. The district expects the transition to be cost-neutral in the long run.
“Reducing harmful emissions and improving the welfare of our students is one of our top priorities,” says Craig Beaver, BSD Administrator for Transportation. “Incorporating renewable diesel along with renewable propane and the expansion of electric school buses rounds out our strategy for improving the ride experience for our students, reducing our carbon footprint and propelling us to the forefront of environmental leadership in Oregon student transportation.”
The Beaverton School District, the third largest school district in Oregon, includes 54 schools with over 38,000 students. The Transportation Department has 310 buses including four electric buses and is made up of over 280 drivers and mechanics plus operations, training and safety personnel. The department transports over 22,000 students each day.
Source: Beaverton School District