Bio-Diesel: Lack of Reliable Supply Prevents Widespread Use
The bio-diesel experiment ended almost as unexpectedly as it began, and the abrupt end reveals a tough issue managers must deal with in deciding whether to make such a changeover: Make sure the department has access to a reliable supply.
“Our reliable and trusted source went away,” McManus says, referring to MMRI, which had been producing the fuel as part of its research. The institute moved on to other research, and the flow of bio-diesel stopped. McManus checked with the fuel supplier for the university’s airport, as well as with another local fuel supplier, but neither carried bio-diesel nor planned to in the foreseeable future.
Fortunately for the department, the move to bio-diesel fuel, as well as the move back to diesel, did not require any investments in equipment adaptations. Still, the lack of bio-diesel fuel did end plans to expand the department’s use of the fuel.
“My plan, if the source had continued, was to implement (the use of bio-diesel) at the golf course and the airport,” says McManus, whose responsibilities also include those two operations. “Those guys were excited, as well, but it never got going.”
The return of bio-diesel, however, is more a matter of when than if.
“Once we have another reliable source and supply, we will follow the same cautious steps and use it in each of our mowers,” he says.