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Fleet Management Information for Sweeping Professionals

Biodiesel's Impact on Public Fleet Operability and Economics

Biodiesel has many advantages and will soon be available nationwide. Make sure you make the right decisions about implementing biodiesel as a fleet fuel.

by Dr. Richard G. Nelson,
Member of National Biodiesel Board and
Department Head, Kansas State University College of Engineering

National Biodiesel Board Logo Editor's Note: In the fall of 2007, when this interview was conducted as a part of our APWA 2007 coverage, the availability and use of biodiesel as a fuel for sweepers was just starting to take hold.'s audio interview with Richard G. Nelson will assist managers of sweeper and related fleets in making an informed evaluation of the technical and economic aspects of using biodiesel instead of, or as an adjunct to, conventional diesel fuel. In it, Nelson:

  1. Evaluates the technical and economic aspects of biodiesel that impact on public works fleet operability and economics.
  2. Discusses implementation of a biodiesel fuel usage program that ensures the proper receipt and use of biodiesel and that ensures the fuel source meets the ASTM standards.
  3. Assists listeners in making the correct decisions regarding the appropriate and effective use of biodiesel.
In short, Nelson's evaluation of biodiesel will help you make a better, more informed decision about implementing the use of biodiesel in your sweeper (and other vehicle) fleet. In the 14-minute (approx. 14mb) .mp3 audio interview, Nelson discusses how to implement a program that ensures the proper receipt and use of biodiesel, along with the importance of ensuring that any biodiesel you use meets the current ASTM standards.

The audio interview also covers what needs to be done for using biodiesel, both to the vehicles and in storage tanks prior to storing biodiesel, so you can make the correct decisions about those aspects of biodiesel usage, as well.

Nelson also provided a PDF version of his APWA 2007 Powerpoint presentation on this topic for those who would like more written information.

The editor of, Ranger Kidwell-Ross, has also written a book entitled 'The Rise of Biodiesel.' In its 90+ pages, 'The Rise of Biodiesel' provides an overview of the current state of biodiesel use and production around the U.S. and the world.

Link to Audio

Dr. Richard Nelson is Director and Department Head of Engineering Extension at the Kansas State University College of Engineering. He may be reached via email sent to: rnelson or by calling 785-532-4999.

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