CleanTechnica is the #1 cleantech-focused
website
 in the world. Subscribe today!


Biofuels Ford and Georgia Tech collaborate on biofuel hybrid school bus

Published on May 15th, 2011 | by Tina Casey

4

Biofuel and Energy Harvesting for Green School Bus of the Future

Share on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookPin on PinterestDigg thisShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someone

May 15th, 2011 by
 
Ford and Georgia Tech collaborate on biofuel hybrid school busIn a first-of-its-kind demonstration project, the Ford Motor Company and Georgia Tech are transforming a conventional school bus into a lesson in sustainability. The new bus will run on biofuel made from reclaimed cooking oil, and it will sport a new hydraulic system that captures the energy from its own brakes. The demo bus is small – it only seats 16 – but it will serve as the platform for a cost-benefit analysis in hopes of showing that school districts can reap the environmental benefits of similar conversions without incurring additional expenses.

Hydraulic Hybrid Vehicles

Hydraulic hybrid vehicles use pressurized fluid as a power source, thereby reducing a vehicle’s use of fuel. The school bus will use kinetic energy captured from braking to pump the fluid up to its working pressure. It’s an ideal energy-recycling system for school buses and other vehicles characterized by heavy stop-and-go usage. Another recent example is the hybrid hydraulic garbage truck developed in a partnership between Eaton Corporation and Peterbilt. Energy reclamation from brakes is also being given a workout in general-duty trucks, shipping yard cranes, and trains.

Biofuel from Used Cooking Oil

The Ford/Georgia Tech project was designed as a learning tool for the Mary Lin Elementary School in the Atlanta Public Schools District, under a Ford community grant. It also includes a civic engagement component, consisting of a school-based drive to collect enough used cooking oil to convert into biofuel for the bus. As an education project with the potential to save money for school districts, hybrid hydraulic/biofuel bus conversions could become quite popular, at least on a small scale. On a larger scale, though, school districts would have to compete for access to used cooking oil with commercial recyclers and grease thieves, too.

Image: School bus by Cast a Line on flickr.com.

Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

Print Friendly

Share on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookPin on PinterestDigg thisShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someone

Tags: , , , ,


About the Author

Tina Casey specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.



Back to Top ↑