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July 23, 1999

Ryan, CTA Dedicate First Urban Ethanol-Powered Bus Fleet

CHICAGO -- Governor George H. Ryan joined the Chicago Transit Authority in dedicating the first fleet of urban transit buses in the country powered by E-15 Oxygenated Diesel, a blend of ethanol and diesel fuel that shows strong support for Illinois agriculture and a cleaner environment.

"This is a prime example of how renewable ethanol fuel, made from Illinois corn, can help support our state's rural areas, while making our cities cleaner," Ryan said."I believe in the benefits of this project so strongly that I have committed $100,000 in funding to the CTA for emissions testing and monitoring of this innovative new bus fleet."

The grant will be administered by the state Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, through its Bureau of Energy and Recycling. Illinois is the leading producer of ethanol in the United States, with annual production of more than 600 million gallons.

"This venture would not be possible but for the high level of state and local cooperation. CTA is a strong supporter of a cleaner environment which benefits the people we serve in Chicago and the state of Illinois," said Valerie B. Jarett, Chairman of the Chicago Transit Board. Added Frank Kruesi, president of the Chicago Transit Authority, "we have committed 30 buses to test the new ethanol-diesel fuel -- 15 operating on E-15 oxygenated diesel fuel and 15 as control vehicles -- if this trial is successful and cost effective we could expand the program to more of our 1800 plus fleet because we believe this new fuel could significantly benefit our environment."

Oxygenated diesel fuel is composed of 15 percent ethanol, 83 percent No. 2 diesel fuel, and 2 percent blending agent and cetane improver. (The winter formulation will be 15 percent ethanol, 81 percent diesel fuel, and 4 percent additive package.). The special blending additive, developed by Pure Energy Corp. of New York, is designed to keep the two fuels from separating under adverse conditions.

"The additive developed by Pure Energy is the key ingredient that allows us to mix ethanol and diesel fuel together while maintaining chemical stability under a wide variety of climatic conditions," said Irshad Ahmed, senior vice president of Pure Energy. "This fuel will offer urban transit fleets across the country, and other companies that use diesel-powered vehicles, an alternative fuel that can be used in new and existing diesel engines in a cost-effective manner."

The fuel will be tested in unmodified Detroit Diesel Corporation (DDC) Series 50 diesel engines. The buses will be used on normal daily routes in south Chicago with fuel economy and maintenance and repair records closely monitored.

"Illinois corn growers are always looking for new ways to increase demand for corn-based products," said Floyd Schultz, chairman of the Illinois Corn Marketing Board. "If sales of oxygenated diesel fuel reach the same 12 percent market share as ethanol-blended gasoline enjoys, the annual demand for ethanol could increase by over 400 million gallons, using an additional 175 million bushels of corn each year."

Over 27 billion gallons of diesel fuel is used annually in the United States by the transportation industry. In addition, more than 60 percent of the gasoline sold in Illinois, and over 95 percent of the gasoline sold in Chicago, contains ethanol.

Although the research is still in progress, oxygenated diesel could have other significant benefits such as reduced sulfur content, a lower gel point than normal diesel fuel, and the ability to absorb excess water in the fuel.

DCCA also provided a $100,000 grant to a project allowing Archer Daniels Midland in Decatur to test oxydiesel fuel in two new unmodified Mack trucks. The trucks have logged more than 80,000 miles each since last November.

"DCCA is a leader in the development of ethanol as an alternative fuel for transportation," said Pam McDonough, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs. "The CTA oxygenated diesel project is just another example of that leadership."

The state of Illinois, through DCCA, is coordinating the effort to develop and test oxygenated diesel fuel in partnership with Pure Energy Corp., the Illinois Corn Growers Association, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Williams Energy Services, GROWMARK Inc., U.S. Department of Energy, the Council of Great Lakes Governors, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Mack Trucks Inc.


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