Meijer To Pump Biodiesel

Aug 20, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Meijer will begin pumping biodiesel at one of its gas stations in Ann Arbor, Mich. before Christmas as part of a partnership with the city and the Michigan Soybean Council.

According to the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), “Biodiesel is the name of a clean burning alternative fuel, produced from domestic, renewable resources. Biodiesel contains no petroleum, but it can be blended at any level with petroleum diesel to create a biodiesel blend. It can be used in compression-ignition (diesel) engines with little or no modifications. Biodiesel is simple to use, biodegradable, nontoxic, and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics.”

Dave Konkle, Ann Arbor’s energy coordinator, told the Ann Arbor News there are 950 alternative fuel vehicles in the city. The city also operates an additional 150 biodiesel fueled vehicles.

Ann Arbor, according to the report, has been trying to get fleets operating on diesel to make the switch to biodiesel, which costs approximately 15 cents more per gallon.

With the presidential election drawing near, both candidates have expressed support for biodiesel initiatives.

President Bush’s Energy Taskforce has signaled it favors legislation with a tax incentive for biodiesel development.

The Democratic nominee for President, John Kerry (D – Mass.), has endorsed renewable fuels such as biodiesel in his energy plan. Mr. Kerry’s proposal also calls for tax incentives for alternative fuels such as biodiesel.

Moderator’s Comment: Does selling biodiesel represent
a viable retail business? Does it make business sense for retailers to convert
their fleets to biodiesel or other more environmentally-friendly sources of

Matt Naud, Ann Arbor’s environmental coordinator, said
Meijer is contributing $6,500 in cash and spending $64,500 for two 8,000-gallon
storage tanks, dispensing equipment and other equipment to get up and running.

There was no comment from Meijer as of press time if the
retailer currently runs any of its fleet on biodiesel or if it has plans to
do it
George Anderson – Moderator

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