Biodiesel Program

  • What is Biodiesel?

    Biodiesel is a clean-burning fuel for diesel engines made from domestically produced, renewable fats and oils such as soybean oil, rapeseed, hemp, and algae. Biodiesel can be used in existing diesel engines without modification. It burns substantially cleaner than petrodiesel and it can be a powerful tool for improving our environment. In addition to the known benefits of biodiesel, Sugarbush is striving to be an industry leader in the use of renewable fuels in its operations. Sugarbush Resort used the following criteria to evaluate the implementation of our biodiesel program:

    Environment - Climate change poses a serious threat to Vermont ski areas. With its increased temperatures and changed weather patterns, climate change has the ability to derail the entire ski industry. Investing in biodiesel is investing in Sugarbush’s future and the greater public good. Emissions drastically reduced from use of petrodiesel include smog/ozone, particulates, CO2 and Carbon Monoxide. See Table 1 for a summary of emission reductions resulting from use of B20 blend biodiesel over 100% petrodiesel.

    Publicity - Sugarbush is a Vermont biodiesel pioneer and is established as one of the state’s environmental leaders. No other ski areas in Vermont are known to be using 100% biodiesel blends for similar mountain operations.

    Economic Benefits - Oil is projected to become unaffordable while biodiesel may become more affordable. Using and becoming familiar with biodiesel today puts Sugarbush one step ahead of a potential future oil crisis, decreases our dependence on foreign oil by investing in a domestic renewable fuel source can help boost the local economy.

    Mechanical - Acts as a solvent and lubricant by cleaning out engines, increases engine efficiency and helps extend equipment life.

    Table 1. Biodiesel Emissions Table

    Unburned Hydrocarbons (smog/ozone) -21%
    Particulate Matter (respiratory disease) -10%
    C02 (greenhouse gas) -16%
    NOx 2%
    Carbon Monoxide (toxin) -11%
    Cancer Risk -20%
    Ozone Formation -10%


    Our primary goal for using biodiesel is to put a renewable fuel source to work during our most critical operation period during the year. We’ve found that this renewable fuel can perform, and potentially out perform petrodiesel, in our winter environment. Sugarbush is a pioneer in the use of biodiesel and is one of Vermont’s environmental leaders. With the addition of the Biodiesel Project, Sugarbush has further reduced its greenhouse gas emissions and implemented use of a fuel stock that has numerous environmental benefits.

    Information Contacts & Useful Links
    If you require additional information, please follow these web links for more detailed biodiesel program information:
    The National Biodiesel Board - http://www.biodiesel.org/
    Soy Power Diesel - http://www.soypower.net/

    Read the Report on our Biodiesel Pilot Project Experiences (adobe acrobat)

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