Roads Department's First Biodiesel Test A Success
Beginning in November 1996, the state's Roads Department of Roads tested a 90 percent diesel/10 percent soybean oil blend in six of its facilities in eastern Nebraska.
More than 100 vehicles of all types are operated in six of the agency's maintenance facilities in eastern Nebraska. During
the period of the test from November 1996 to July 1997, these vehicles traveled more than half a million miles and more than 126,000 gallons of the blended fuel.
Near the end of the test, the Roads Department assessed the blended
fuel's performance. "Biodiesel works. It is
safe and it is a renewable energy that supports our local economy. It does not harm the engine or affect performance or mileage to a noticeable degree," according to the Biodiesel Pilot Project Report issued in August 1997.
The primary deterrent to using the blended fuel is cost. During the
study period, the state purchased diesel for 99 cents a gallon. Blending the fuel with only 10 percent soybean oil added 22 cents a gallon to the cost. For the duration of the test, Roads shared the added cost of the fuel equally with the Nebraska Soybean Association and the Energy Office.