Biodiesel Comes to the Mile-High City
Denver's air is a little cleaner and Colorado's economy is a little stronger now with help from Blue Sun biodiesel and Shoco Oil in Commerce City, Colorado. The Denver area's first biodiesel pump opened November 14, 2004 in Commerce City supplying B20 diesel fuel to the general public. B20 is a blend of 20% refined vegetable or animal oils and 80% petroleum fuel.
Introductions by Blue Sun president Jeff Probst preceded congratulatory speeches from local and state government representatives and business leaders and a ribbon cutting. Then a long line of school buses representing many of the Denver school districts, trucks from Shoco and Blue Sun clients including New Belgium Brewery, farm tractors, some pickups and a few Volkswagen TDI's started filling up at the pump for 20 cents a gallon over the "regular" price.
Shoco Oil, a division of Sam Hill Oil and a leading independent petroleum distributor, has been providing fuel and premium lubrication products to the trucking and farming industry in Colorado for 50 years.
The owners, Scott and Becky Hohnstein pursued biodiesel because of requests from their customers and as a way to close the economic loop for farmers. According to Ray Christensen, Executive Vice President of the Colorado Farm Bureau, energy is a farm's largest cost. Buying biodiesel allows farmers to start putting some of that money back into their businesses. biodiesel also increases the cetane (energy) rating of the fuel and increases diesel's lubricity. Shoco Oil is located along highway 6 between I70 and I76 in Commerce City. The pump will be available 24 hours a day for credit card operation. B100 (100% biodiesel) is also available for bulk purchases.
Blue Sun biodiesel (www.GoBlueSun.com), was founded in 2001 and is focused on producing and selling premium biodiesel at a price equivalent to petrol diesel. They are working directly with farmers to develop cooperatives and oilseed crops that will work best for biodiesel production on the high plains of Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas.
Specifically, they plan to plant canola or mustards in-rotation with dry land winter wheat so that no current crops need to be displaced. This is their second retail distribution point. Bartkus Oil, a fuel distributor in Boulder, also supplies B20. According to Sean Lafferty, VP of Operations, Blue Sun plans to build a 2.5 million gallon per year production facility in northern Colorado by next summer and plans to have up to 60,000 acres of feedstock crops planted by the spring of 2004.
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