Veggie Oil Tractor Conversion 2: New Holland

Project implemented by Full Circle Fuels


Summary:

The Green EDGE Fund made an Efficiency Loan of $5,250 to convert a second facilities tractor to operate on waste vegetable oil, and a filtration system to purify the waste vegetable oil to fuel-grade SVO for both of the tractors.

Background Premise:

In an era of peak oil, uncertain energy prices, and climate change, it is crucial we find alternative means of powering the vehicles that maintain our society. In this case, the Green EDGE Fund has taken a stand by partnering with Full Circle Fuels and facilities to convert another tractor to run on waste vegetable oil. Using a waste product for fuel is more environmentally sustainable than using a new source of fuel, be it a biofuel or diesel. This is the case because of its lower CO2 emissions than diesel, not competing for land for agricultural crops in the case of biofuels, and preventing methane emissions by utilizing the oil and burning it, rather than sending the waste vegetable oil to a landfill. Purchasing a filtration system will centralize the process of fuel processing and consumption on-campus, lowering the operating costs of the tractors for facilities and giving ownership of the oil to facilities.

Cost-Benefit Estimation:

The conversion for the New Holland tractor cost $3,500, while the filtration system cost $1,750.  The cost of the first tractor converted, the Kubota tractor, was $2,896.  The total cost for both conversions and the filtration system was $8,146.  The annual fuel cost savings, assuming $2.90 per gallon of diesel and $0 per gallon of vegetable oil is $2,141.60 for the 1,300 gallons of waste vegetable oil supplied for both tractors.  Between the two conversions and the filtration system, the payback period is 3.8 years, with a 26% ROI.

Additional Benefits:

Not only does this save the college money, reliance on fossil fuels, and carbon emissions, but it also supports Full Circle Fuels, a local business that promotes sustainability in the community, no less one operated by an alum of Oberlin College (Sam Merrett, OC 2005).

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