After presenting three Biodiesel Backer Awards in July 2009, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association last week announced that it will be awarding two additional $2,500 grants to Iowa school districts this coming December. In order to be eligible for one of the two newly available Biodiesel Backer Awards, a school must educate its community about biodiesel, incorporate biodiesel and renewable fuels into its school programming, and submit an application to IRFA by the deadline of December 11, 2009.
IRFA has created the Biodiesel Backer Toolkit to help schools in this endeavor. The toolkit includes a variety of informational materials as well as communication tools that will assist schools in teaching their communities about biodiesel. These resources include fact sheets, brochures, curriculum, PowerPoint presentations, and a public service announcement. The Biodiesel Backer Award Application is also located in the Biodiesel Backer Toolkit, which can be found online at www.iowarfa.org/educators.php.
Fueling school buses with biodiesel is safer for children
"IRFA is excited to keep the Biodiesel Backer Award program rolling for Iowa schools," says IRFA biofuels manager Grant Menke. "Fueling Iowa's school buses with biodiesel - rather than conventional petroleum-based diesel—is safer for children, healthier for Iowa's economy, and friendlier to the environment. We strongly encourage Iowa schools to continue educating students about the benefits and uses of biodiesel and to apply for a Biodiesel Backer Award today."
Biodiesel is a cleaner burning fuel made here in Iowa from natural, renewable resources such as vegetable oil and animal fats, he adds. It is blended with petroleum diesel to create a biodiesel blend. Biodiesel is simple to use, biodegradable, non-toxic and free of sulfur; which is vital to protecting our children and our environment.
Biodiesel provides many benefits for the environment
Biodiesel provides many environmental benefits. Using biodiesel in your child's school bus fleet can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, giving your children cleaner air to breathe. A 20% biodiesel blend (B20) reduces hydrocarbon emissions by 20%, carbon monoxide emissions by 11% and smog by up to 10%. In 2008 alone, emissions reductions attributed to biodiesel use were equivalent to the removal of 980,000 passenger vehicles from America's roadways.
Iowa is the nation's leading producer of biodiesel with 15 plants capable of producing 325 million gallons of biodiesel annually from products grown in the state of Iowa. Encouraging your school to fill its buses with biodiesel is a step toward a healthier community, a cleaner environment, and a more energy independent nation.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state's ethanol and biodiesel producers. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development. For more information, visit the association's Web site www.iowaRFA.org.