URI Fuels Research Ship with Biodiesel
February 2, 2012
When the University of Rhode Island’s research ship Endeavor topped off its 53,000 gallon fuel tanks last month, it filled up with refined biodiesel, making it the first ship in the U.S. research fleet to use the alternative fuel. It’s the first step in the University’s plan to transform the 185’ vessel into the most energy-efficient and “green” research vessel in the country.
“It is vitally important that as we study the marine environment around the world on this great research vessel that we have the smallest environmental impact possible,” said Dennis Nixon, the associate dean for research and administration at URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography.
About 14,000 gallons of B5 biodiesel, produced by Newport Biodiesel and blended and delivered by Malloy Biodiesel, were delivered to the ship in December. The fuel contains about five percent biofuel mixed with diesel, and it generally costs slightly less per gallon than regular diesel fuel. Nixon said the goal is to gradually increase the percentage of biofuel to about 20 percent.