Big City Emergencies Prove No Problem for Biodiesel
NYC Depends on Renewable Fuel Throughout the Year
New York City looks a little greener these days thanks in part to biodiesel. This renewable, soy-based fuel powers Big Apple vehicles, furnaces and generators year-round and can be found throughout the city from Central Park to John F. Kennedy Airport.
Representatives from the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) and other soybean checkoff boards recently visited New York to learn more about the soy oil market within the nation’s largest metropolitan area.
The New York Port Authority also relies on biodiesel. It fuels the department’s operations at JFK Airport. From airport shuttles and buses, to the plows clearing snow during emergencies, the port authority uses a B20 blend 365 days a year. That blend could increase to B50 in the future, according to port officials who rely on biodiesel to perform.
“I was really impressed with the Port Authority’s operations and the way they used biodiesel in their equipment daily and during snow emergencies,” says Brian Kemp, soybean farmer from Sibley, Iowa, and Iowa Soybean Association director.
In addition, the New York Parks Department uses a B20 blend of biodiesel when fueling diesel vehicles and generators, as well as replacing the oil heat with biodiesel to warm their buildings. The department has used strictly B20 in these applications for nearly two and a half years.
Aside from diesel engines on the roads, New York City also will use biodiesel to heat homes. Beginning in October, all Big Apple residents will make the switch from their petroleum-based heating source to Bioheat®, a renewable heating oil made by blending biodiesel and home heating oil.
A city law requires that all heating oil used in New York City contain at least 2 percent biodiesel, or a B2 blend of Bioheat. The entire home heating oil market holds huge potential for biodiesel as well as the soybean oil that can be used to produce it.
According to Grant Kimberley, ISA director of market development, “The oil heat market in the northeastern United States is approximately 7 billion gallons per year. That industry is starting to adopt and embrace biodiesel blends. Bioheat could potentially use around 350 million gallons of biodiesel if an across the board B5 blend was adopted as some in that industry are talking about. That would be more biodiesel usage than what is currently produced in the entire state of Iowa.”
“There’s a green state of mind in New York and biodiesel certainly fits into that attitude,” adds Kemp. “They’re making investments and that shows that there is a market for biodiesel.”