Biodiesel began fueling the 25 diesel vehicles in Harvard’s fleet during Spring 2004 as the University Operations Services constructed its very own biodiesel filling station. The 20% soybean oil, 80% diesel oil blend promises to reduce the emissions of particulates and greenhouse gases. The University saves an estimated 15 cents per gallon with biodiesel over the cost of diesel fuel at retail pumps.
Work first began on this project in Summer 2001 when HGCI researched various alternative fuel vehicles. The team determined that biodiesel out-performed conventional gasoline, diesel fuel, compressed natural gas and electric vehicles in relation to net environmental impact and cost.
University Operations Services' (UOS) Transportation Services was so impressed by this research that they became seriously committed to bringing biodiesel to Harvard University. Over an 18 month period, a trial was undertaken, an assessment of fuel access and storage options was conducted, all necessary approvals were gained, and an on-site facility established.