June 27, 2010

BNSF To Test Biodiesel

The dean of Montana State University-Northern’s College of Technical Sciences announced Thursday that Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) will soon begin testing the use of biodiesel — testing fuel produced on the Hi-Line in its Havre station.

Dean Greg Kegel said the tests could result in a significant demand for biodiesel if BNSF, one of the country's largest railroad companies, is satisfied with the results. The Havre refueling station alone uses 35 million gallons of diesel a year, he said.

Kegel said that, because Northern’s facility cannot produce enough biodiesel for the tests, Earl Fisher Biofuels in Chester will supply the rest — all Montana grown, locally produced biodiesel.

BNSF will rebuild two switch engines so both essentially have brand new engines. One will run on standard diesel; the other will run on the locally produced biodiesel, certified in Northern’s lab.

BNSF will periodically tear the engines apart to test the parts and see what the difference is in engine wear. The hope is that they will not be unhappy with the results.

“They won’t be, I can guarantee that,” Kegel said.

Source : Havre Daily News

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