Biodiesel in Monroe County Vehicles

The County continued using B5 biodiesel during the winter months. It experienced a problem with their airport shuttle vans which had significant water in their fuel and caused engine malfunctions. The project extracted samples that did contain substantial water. Other County vehicles fueled from the same tank had no problems. Problem isolated as low-speed, constant use of the shuttles. Data showed that vehicles spend anywhere from 60-75% of their engine-on time idling which is well above average for other vehicles in the fleet. The vehicles also spend the balance of their running time under 30 mph. Supplier commented that this type of problem was common with diesel vehicles that only operate at low speed in cold temperatures. The situation is made worse by the use of biodiesel due to its tendency to absorb water. The supplier recommended an additive to dissolve the water and the County added it to their fuel storage tank. The project continued to monitor the vehicles, but no further issues were identified during the winter months.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Program Information: Advanced Research, Alternative Fuels and Lifecycle Engineering


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    Office of Research, Development, and Technology
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC    20590
  • Project Managers:

    Johnson, Shawn

  • Performing Organizations:

    Rochester Institute of Technology

    Brighton, NY   
  • Start Date: 20120510
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 31286

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01467616
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Department of Transportation
  • Files: RIP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 3:36PM