Backhoe Vegetable Oil Conversion:

Summary:  In May 2012,  The EDGE Fund approved an efficiency loan of $3,500 dollars for the parts and labor costs of equipping a facilities backhoe with a recycled vegetable oil fuel system. This project was part of a now larger-scale initiative to convert the Oberlin College facilities vehicle fleet from diesel  to vegetable oil systems.

Background Premise: This project has clear and calculable fossil fuel and monetary savings through avoided diesel fuel costs.

Cost-Benefit Estimation:  Given the truck’s yearly use by facilities and its projected lifespan, the conversion is projected to save over 2000 gallons of diesel annually, resulting in approximately 6,400$ per year. This particular investment, and the tractor conversions in general, have 100% payback periods of a single year.

Additional Benefits:  Beyond savings on diesel fuel, vegetable oil offers similar gas milage with fewer polluting emissions. Moreover, vegetable oil is recycled and sourced directly from within the city of oberlin, thereby increasing the self-reliance of our local community.