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Iowa DOT to have 10 biodiesel trucks for this winter

The Iowa DOT will run ten B100 trucks in Ames and Des Moines this winter.
The Iowa DOT will run ten B100 trucks in Ames and Des Moines this winter.
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The Iowa Department of Transportation is gearing up their 901 snowplows as winter steadily approaches.

This year, a few of those trucks will be slightly different. By partnering with Optimus Technologies and Renewable Energy Group, the DOT is working to have ten B100 snowplows by this winter

"We're up to 8 trucks at the Iowa DOT that are running on B100 and we've got two more on order, so we'll hopefully have ten by this winter," said Todd Cogdill, Iowa DOT Fleet Manager.

B100, also known as biodiesel, is made up of 100% vegetable or natural sources. In Iowa, both corn and soybean oil will be heavily utilized.

"The Iowa DOT believes in the biodiesel fuel and wants to be a supporter of biodiesel fuels to support Iowa farmers and the agricultural community," said Cogdill.

Initially launched a few years back, the DOT is working to add more snowplows to their fleet. Thus far, nearly 8837 gallons of B100 have been pumped offsetting 166,135 lbs of carbon dioxide.

"It utilizing our agricultural bioproducts that we have pinnacle supplies of. This has great benefits overall because it adds economic development and on top of that this products burns cleaner than diesel fuel," said Grant Kimberly, Executive Director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board.

The B100 trucks run just as efficiently, even in sub zero temperatures. These trucks will allow carbon emissions to decline by 75% in addition to decreasing reduction in soot and particulate matter by 50%. The cost of biodiesel is similar to that of standard diesel, but prices do fluctuate regularly.

"Biodiesel is helping us reduce those emissions which is improving our climate, it's good for our air, it's good for our children who breathe this in and the next generations to come," said Kimberly.

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Cogdill says the trucks will look the same as all the other plows, but will have a few additional parts on the side. The trucks will be utilized in Ames and Des Moines where the biodiesel garages are currently stationed.

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