B100 pilot program cuts carbon emissions from garbage vehicles by 84%

CHICAGO—June 22, 2020 — As Chicagoans begin to resume their outdoor activities, they can expect to breathe a little easier. That’s because the Chicago Park District (CPD) strives to improve air quality by fueling park garbage trucks with 100% biodiesel (B100).

This is all part of a pilot program in partnership with the Illinois Soy Association (ISA) direct debit program and the American Lung Association (ALA), aimed at reducing carbon emissions from more sustainable vehicles and operations. As the B100 pilot program enters its second year, CPD celebrates improved air quality and emission reductions equivalent to the annual planting of 419 trees in Chicago parks.

Garbage trucks pick up trash at Chicago’s lakeside and nearby city parks, areas where many people go to enjoy the fresh air. Garbage trucks generally travel at low speeds and require frequent stops, which creates the potential for increased soot and emissions.

“Through this B100 project, we are seeing unprecedented reductions in carbon emissions, promoting a healthier and more sustainable environment for Chicagoans,” said Mike Dimitroff of the Chicago Park District’s Department of Natural Resources.

“You would be hard pressed to find a more sustainable option for our garbage trucks than B100 biodiesel,” says Dimitroff. “Our B100 is made from recycled cooking oil, which comes from soybeans grown by farmers in the Midwest. Since the fuel is produced in the state, we are really closing the loop on local renewables and boosting the local economy. ”

The Park District’s B100 program reduces greenhouse gas emissions and particulates by 84% compared to standard low sulfur diesel fuel. This huge reduction is based on a life cycle analysis by biodiesel maker, Renewable Energy Group (REG). REG conducted the analysis based on the CA-GREET model, which considers the process of recycling cooking oil from Chicago restaurants to make B100, as well as transporting the finished fuel to Chicago from the plant. REG of Seneca, Illinois. Darling Ingredients is partnering with the Park District to supply the recovered cooking oil as a raw material for transformation into biodiesel to REG.

The B100 pilot project began in early 2019, when CPD fitted two garbage trucks with Optimus Technologies® fuel systems that allow vehicles to start on diesel and then automatically switch to 100% biodiesel after warming up.

In the pilot’s first year, participating trucks covered 12,000 miles and 2,690 hours of operation, generating important data on engine performance as well as carbon emissions.

“Many municipalities have set themselves the goal of reducing their carbon footprint by 50% or more by 2050,” explains Dimitroff. “This pilot program demonstrates how biodiesel can be a route to achieving carbon reduction targets and paves the way for other fleet equipment to operate either with higher biodiesel blends or with B100. “

CPD is a member of the Club B20, a partnership between ISA and ALA that recognizes Illinois-based fleets committed to operating on 20 percent or greater biodiesel blends. In addition to participating in the B100 pilot project, CPD uses biodiesel blends of up to 50 percent in a variety of equipment ranging from lawn mowers to log loader trucks. In April, CPD partnered with ISA to produce hand sanitizer using glycerin, which is a byproduct of biodiesel production.

“The Chicago Park District has been recognized and honored as a leader in the management of parks and recreation,” said General Superintendent Michael Kelly. “Our biodiesel program, as well as many of our initiatives from the Department of Natural Resources, demonstrate the importance of our organization at the head of our sustainable development efforts. With our increased use of biodiesel, the Park District is enjoying a convenient, immediately usable alternative fuel that reduces emissions and will provide cleaner air for a healthier Chicago.

The ISA Levy Program supports the CPD pilot program and other biodiesel projects in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois. In addition to improving air quality and reducing harmful emissions, biodiesel provides additional business opportunities for soybean producers in Illinois.

“Partnering with the American Lung Association and the Chicago Park District to pilot year-round use of the B100 is a huge step forward for the environment and Illinois,” said Doug Schroeder, chairman of the board of administration of the ISA. “Our investment in this program and biodiesel research strengthens Illinois soybean production and contributes to sustainability in the communities where biodiesel is used. “

The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) membership and membership programs represent more than 43,000 soybean producers in Illinois. The levy funds market development, soybean innovation and profitability efforts, problem analysis, communications and education. Membership and advocacy efforts support the interests of Illinois soybean growers in local areas, in Springfield and Washington, DC, through the Illinois Soybean Growers. ISA programs are designed to ensure that Illinois soybeans are of the highest quality, most reliable, most durable and most competitive in the market. For more information visit the website


For more information, contact:

Rachel peabody
(309) 808-3617
(217) 825-7654
[email protected]


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