Winter’s No Match for Harvard’s Biodiesel Fleet

Who can forget the images of record snowfall last year in Boston and throughout New England? According to the National Weather Service, Boston’s Logan Airport received 108.6 inches of snow, making the 2014-2015 season the all time snowiest for the city. Through it all, Harvard University’s biodiesel-powered fleet didn’t miss a beat.

David E. Harris Jr., Harvard’s Director Transit and Fleet Management, reports they had no problems even on the most frigid days. “After the snowiest and coldest winter since we started using biodiesel 11 years ago, we were up and running providing transit service and keeping campus operations running smoothly,” Harris said. “Biodiesel is the fuel that helped us do that.”

Harvard uses approximately 2,000 gallons of B20 per week, for a total of more than 100,000 gallons a year. Their diesel fleet includes about 75 service vehicles – such as shuttle buses, solid waste and recycling trucks, mail delivery vehicles and more – and about 25 pieces of off-road maintenance equipment.

Source:  Biodiesel Ambassador David Harris of Harvard and NBB technical resources.

Related curriculum: Soybeans as an energy feedstock

Make biodiesel and create a scale model of an anaerobic digester, while investigating bioenergy and how it is produced.

(photo courtesy of