B20 Club Member Spotlight: Ball State University
With a campus-wide goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2030, Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, depends on several options and technologies to reduce harmful vehicle emissions.
When it comes to fueling diesel vehicles, Ball State is all-in on B20 biodiesel to help achieve carbon-reduction goals. The cleaner-burning, renewable fuel runs the university’s 31 diesel shuttles, buses, delivery vehicles, pickups and work trucks.
“Our fuel choices are an important part of our campus environmental goals,” says Brian Naylor, Ball State University fleet maintenance supervisor. “B20 is a win-win from any perspective. Its environmental benefits fit university goals and fit with our students’ goals for a cleaner today and tomorrow. I don’t see any downside.”
B20 integrates seamlessly into the campus fleet operations, according to Bruce Piner. As supervisor of bus operations, Piner oversees Ball State’s fleet of shuttles and buses that provides nearly 1 million rides to passengers per year. Each shuttle seats 24 to 30 people and can accommodate up to 50 with standing-room only between stops. Larger buses transport students to off-campus athletic events and field trips.
“There is nothing we have to think about or do differently with B20. It doesn’t change our maintenance profile and we have no fuel problems related to biodiesel,” says Piner. “It is cleaner than regular diesel and less aromatic so it’s more pleasant when working in the maintenance shop.”
With proper anti-gelling fuel additives, Ball State also runs vehicles on biodiesel in cold weather. The fuel supplier, AgBest Cooperative, tests cold flow parameters and determines the proper additives to lower the cold flow plug point, the temperature at which cold weather can cause fuel filter plugging.
Naylor notes that new users of B20 should be aware of its engine cleaning properties. “We’ve used biodiesel for a long time. But I understand that when some fleets first start with biodiesel, they may temporarily need more frequent fuel filter changes because biodiesel cleans up any deposits in fuel tanks, fuel systems and fuel delivery lines,” he says.
“You just need to be aware of your fuel supplier, your environment and any temporary adjustments you need to make during the clean out process. Beyond that B20 is great, with zero headaches,” says Naylor.
Learn more about how B20 impacts Ball State University.