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Sprague and Biodico launch BioGenset programme

Energy supplier Sprague Energy of White Plains, New York, in the US, and privately owned Biodico have launched a pilot programme – Bio Genset – that will encourage the use of biodiesel and biodiesel blends in diesel-powered generators and power units, with a goal to reduce emissions from diesel fuel generators, decrease the dependence on foreign oil and promote local jobs.


The New York State Energy Research and Development authority (NYSERDA) is part-funding the project, which will be aided by the New York City and Lower Hudson Valley Clean Cities Communities. All diesel generators, including private businesses, maintenance contractors, schools, hospitals, municipalities, utilities and public buildings can participate in the pilot programme.


According to the managing director of Sprague Energy and president of the New York City and Lower Hudson Valley Clean Cities Communities Steven Levy says: 'BioGenset is an opportunity to reduce our reliance on foreign oil, reduce greenhouse gases, and create local jobs. We are looking for leaders in industry, government and academia to become involved.'


BioGenset is actively seeking diesel generator owners and operators to become involved. Participants may include private businesses, maintenance contractors, schools, hospitals, municipalities, utilities, and public buildings.


According to Trey Teall, technical director for Biodico, 'New York State consumes roughly one-fifth of the petroleum distillate used in the United States and has close to a billion-gallon annual demand for diesel fuel. Currently the majority of biodiesel produced in the United States is used in the transportation sector. However, roughly 50% of petroleum diesel in the United States is used in electrical generation and boilers. An estimate by NYSERDA indicates use of 720,000 gallons a day, or over 250 million gallons annually, in electric generators. For every gallon of biodiesel used, up to 9 gallons of petroleum diesel greenhouse gas emissions are mitigated.


'Existing infrastructure for electricity generation from petroleum diesel can be used to create electricity from biodiesel with little or no modification. The use of a 5% blend of biodiesel in generators has the potential to annually eliminate 110,000 tonnes of carbon emissions in New York and displace 13.6 million gallons of imported petroleum.'