Research Finds Biodiesel Performs Well in Harsh Environments

Soy biodiesel successfully used in Yellowstone, Grand Teton and other national parks.

Soy biodiesel has stood up to the test of time and harsh environment conditions, according to decade-long look at use in national parks including Yellowstone and Grand Teton.

In 1995 YellowstoneNational Park began serving as the soy biodiesel testing ground for the National Park Service. The park boasts over 300 pieces of machinery operating on soy biodiesel, the centerpieces being the park's well-known yellow buses and a 1995 Dodge pickup. Yellowstone's trademark yellow tour buses have evolved into a high tech, biodiesel-powered riding experience including on-board electronic and communications gear. The pickup has been running on 100% biodiesel for over 10 years and 181,000 miles. This is no small feat, with an elevation of 6,241 ft., the mountainous region surrounding the park experiences a variety of extreme weather throughout the year, the United Soybean Board says.

Tuesday soybean leaders joined U.S. Department of Energy, National Park Service and National Biodiesel Board officials at the DOE's Central Regional Clean Cities Workshop near Jackson, Wyo., to recognize the implementation of biodiesel use at over 20 parks.  

"With the Clean Cities Program, we are working with community leaders to educate them on how they can implement programs to decrease the use of petroleum in their community," says Ernie Oakes, Regional Clean Cities project manager. "Biodiesel blends have been a cornerstone of this program, specifically soy-based biodiesel produced in the United States."

Also showcased at the event was soy products with which the Teton staff has taken on an "early adopter" role. Some examples included soy cleaners, lubricants, solvents and hydraulic fluids.
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