Biodiesel Use in Fargo-Moorhead MAT Buses

Biodiesel is a naturally grown, alternative fuel source. It’s a cleaner burning fuel than traditional fossil fuels and, therefore, substantially reduces emissions of pollutants, such as air toxics and hydrocarbons. It also provides significant reductions in greenhouse gases that cause global warming. The technical definition of biodiesel is a fuel comprised of mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oils or animal fats and meeting the requirements of American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D 6751 (National Biodiesel Board 2007). Biodiesel is most often blended with petroleum-based diesel fuel, at varying concentrations, for use in existing diesel engines, with little or no modifications required. Because it is homegrown, it reduces America’s dependence on foreign oil, and it is renewable. Studies have also shown that it can reduce wear on the life of an automotive engine by up to half (National Biodiesel Board, 2007). The Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Area Transit (MAT) has been using biodiesel mixed fuels in its buses since 2005. The Small Urban & Rural Transit Center (SURTC) examined the direct effect on the bus fleet of switching to biodiesel. Attributes such as fuel economy, ridership, and service records were analyzed. MAT and city officials were also interviewed to identify changes they have seen since the switch to biodiesel from both a bus fleet and public relations perspective. The study begins by reviewing the current state of biodiesel and its usage in public transportation. This serves as a premise for MAT’s experience as well as a means of comparison. Next, a synopsis of biodiesel in the United States is presented followed by an overview of MAT and its biodiesel experience. Data analysis follows with comparisons drawn from similar transit providers located in other regions of the country. Finally, conclusions highlight the major findings of the research. The objective of this research is to determine the overall effect biodiesel blended fuel has had on MAT’s bus fleet as well as the auxiliary effect on the F-M community.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Bibliography; Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 42p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01472450
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 19 2013 8:46AM