1. Would the University be willing to convert some of their vehicle fleet to CNG? If so, how many?
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Develop Scenarios for Converting the UI Fleet to Renewable Fuels (In Progress)
The 2015 iCAP, chapter 4, objective 3 is "Conduct a detailed study by the end of FY17 to develop scenarios for complete conversion of the campus fleet to renewable fuels." Options to be considered might include sustainably-produced biodiesel, compressed natural gas from anaerobic digestion of organic wastes, and electricity from zero-carbon sources such as solar and wind. The proposed study would review the types and usage of campus vehicles, evaluate the expectation for vehicle availability on a ten-year horizon, and propose various plans (i.e., conservative, moderate, and aggressive) for greenhouse gas emission reductions along with approximate fiscal impacts for each plan.
To lay the groundwork for more significant and longer-term reductions in emissions from the campus fleet, the campus could perform a study of the potential to transition the fleet to renewable fuels. This study could be conducted by a task force formed under iSEE, with a faculty chair and appropriate campus representation.
Additionally, there has been research done by an undergraduate student group, about using methane-laden biogas from the Urbana-Champaign Sanitary District wastewater treatment plant as a fuel source for fleet and/or MTD bus system. In this research, they found 18,444 lb CO2/day emissions produced by UI fleet, and after utilization of biogas, there can be a net CO2 per day reduction of 5,275 pounds, accounting for 28% of fleet emissions. The payback period of converting vehicles and facilities using Unison technology is just 6.5 years, which shows it’s a hopeful fuel option.