Biodiesel Fuels the Sioux Area Metro: New Bus Wrap on Display

January 16, 2024

Sioux Area Metro (SAM) used a B20 biodiesel blend in its fleet of 26 fixed route buses and 13 paratransit buses from April to October 2023.

B20 is an 80/20 blend of diesel and biodiesel. Biodiesel is a cleaner, renewable fuel produced from diverse, sustainable feedstocks, including vegetable oils like soybean oil, used cooking oils, and animal fats. The City’s bus fleet has successfully used the fuel blend since April.

Switching to a biodiesel blend was a seamless transition that achieved multiple benefits immediately. Using B20 this year decreased SAM’s use of petroleum diesel fuel by 14,216 gallons, helping the city reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15% compared with straight petroleum diesel.

Fleets throughout the country are utilizing biodiesel blends to help meet their sustainability goals, making a positive environmental impact today that lasts for future generations.

B20 is a drop-in fuel, meaning that neither the existing fleet vehicles nor the refueling equipment require any modification to use the fuel. This makes biodiesel an affordable option for fleets without an up-front investment in new technology.

Approximately one-half of the biodiesel produced in the U.S. is made from soybean oil. Soybeans are 80 percent meal and 20 percent oil. Biodiesel production uses only the oil portion, leaving nutritious protein available for food and feed. Agriculture is South Dakota’s No. 1 industry, and soybeans contribute approximately $3 Billion to the state annually. Biodiesel is homegrown energy brought to you by South Dakota soybean farmers.

SAM partnered with the South Dakota Soybean Checkoff for this B20 pilot program. Through this partnership, the city received a 25-cent discount on each gallon of B20 purchased.

“This project has proven that biodiesel is a valid option for fleets and a more environmentally friendly fuel with no modifications to vehicles needed. Biodiesel also helps with the economic stability of South Dakota farm families and communities,” said David Struck, South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council Chairman and fourth-generation farmer from Wolsey.

SAM’s bus fleet drove 359,675 miles from April to October on 71,083 gallons of B20. Making the switch to B20 means:

• The Biodiesel replaced 14,216 gallons of petroleum diesel that wasn’t used.

• Carbon emissions were reduced by more than 310,848 lbs.

The carbon reduction by this one fleet for six months is equivalent to taking 31 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles off the road for one year or driving 361,460 fewer miles in a gas-powered car. The environmental benefit is equivalent to planting 2,331 trees this year and having them absorb carbon through 2033.

A SAM bus with an eye-catching soy-biodiesel-themed wrap will be transporting passengers in Sioux Falls for 12 months beginning in November.

This bus is traveling on soy-based Goodyear Tires.