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  • The National Biodiesel Board

National Biodiesel Foundation receives DERA grants for 2021

The National Biodiesel Foundation was awarded two U.S. EPA grants through the 2021 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act program. The first is in partnership with the District of Columbia Department of Public Works and DC Department of Water. The second is with the Iowa Department of Transportation. The foundation is also partnering with Optimus Technologies and Renewable Energy Group on projects supporting the purchase of new vehicles equipped to run on 100 percent biodiesel (B100).

Image: Optimus Technologies

The DC project will support the purchase of 24 short-haul utility replacement vehicles equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems. The Iowa project will replace a multipurpose vehicle in both Ames and Des-Moines. All replacement vehicles will use Optimus Technologies' Vector system, allowing the vehicles to operate exclusively on 100 percent biodiesel to optimize fuel savings, increase performance and reduce emissions. The projects include an educational effort to persons and organizations owning and operating the fleets and public outreach conducted through local partnerships.

"We are excited to be able to work with DC Public Works, DC Water, and the Iowa Department of Transportation to reduce emissions in their cities," said Tom Verry, executive director of the foundation. "Utilizing Optimus technology on the vehicles will allow them to fuel with higher biodiesel blends and provides a future of clean and sustainable diesel."

Tim Fitzgerald, DC Water and Sewer fleet director, added, "The thought leaders at DC Water welcome this award and are working hard with our partners to increase the diesel emissions reductions in the area. This is a good legacy and a great way to help improve the future we leave for our children."

Colin Huwyler, CEO of Optimus Technologies, said, "We're proud to partner on these EPA and foundation projects with sustainability leaders from across the country. These projects expand the use of 100 percent biodiesel and showcase biodiesel's ability to assist fleets in achieving carbon neutrality today for the most severe-duty applications, like snow removal and refuse collection vehicles. Optimus’ technology enables these fleets to achieve a larger carbon reduction than an equivalent electric vehicle, while at the same time utilizing their existing vehicle specifications."

REG is also a project partner and is providing the B100 refueling infrastructure for the fleets. Community engagement will be done through coordination with fleet partners and community leaders. In Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and Greater Washington Regional Clean Cities Coalition will provide outreach and education. In Iowa, the Iowa Biodiesel Board and Iowa Renewable Fuels Association will assist in promoting the results and benefits of the Iowa DOT vehicles.

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