FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Platte River Power Authority has become the first utility in the nation to use Blue Sun's premium biodiesel fuel to restart a coal-fired generator for the production of electricity. During start-up this effort will effectively reduce the carbon monoxide emissions from the unit by 32 percent, the hydrocarbon emissions by 40 percent, particulate matter by 24 percent, and nitrogen oxides by 4 percent, according to a study conducted at the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden.
Before this pilot test burn with Blue Sun's fuel, typical petroleum diesel had been used to restart the Rawhide Energy Station since 1983, when the power plant first began generating electricity. "The test burn went well. The unit start-up proceeded as expected," said Rocky Knutson, engineering services manager at Rawhide.
"We plan to continue using Blue Sun's premium fuel for future startups," said Jason Frisbie, division manager of power production at Rawhide. "Utilizing this cleaner-burning fuel fits like a glove with Platte River's policy of being proactive in evaluating and implementing improvements in its operations that balance environmental and other socioeconomic concerns."
According to Blue Sun, advantages of the fuel include reduced emissions and improved performance. In this particular application, the fuel also helps keep the burners in the boilers clean, due to the lubricity and detergency of the fuel. In addition, the fuel is made from renewable resources, reduces dependence on foreign oil, and improves air quality in northern Colorado.
"This is an exciting breakthrough for Blue Sun and the alternative fuels industry, in general. We hope that other power plant operators in the U.S. will follow the example that Platte River has set for the rest of the industry," said Blue Sun President and CEO Jeff Probst.
Platte River Power Authority generates and provides reliable, low-cost and environmentally responsible electricity to its owner communities of Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland for delivery to their utility customers. Platte River's facilities are located along the Front Range, northwestern Colorado and near Medicine Bow, Wyoming.
Blue Sun Biodiesel has developed a nationally acclaimed high-performance diesel fuel, which contains 20 percent agricultural-based biodiesel and proprietary additives that make Blue Sun B20 a high-performance premium diesel fuel. Blue Sun is already available at more than 20 retail outlets in the region and is currently used by many public and private sector fleets, amounting to more than 200 million miles of travel.