Energy / Climate Change

May 1, 2007


Biodiesel School Bus Launches Operation at University in Japan

Keywords: Energy Conservation Transportation / Mobility University / Research institute 

On November 1, 2006, the Tottori University of Environmental Studies started to operate a school bus powered by a blend of light oil and biodiesel fuel refined from used household cooking oil. Prior to regular operations, a test run had been conducted from early October.

Students, faculty and administrative staff can ride for free with valid ID or a parking permit issued by the university. Local residents can also pay the bus fare with "TUES," a community currency used locally to encourage environmentally friendly behavior. People can earn 100 TUES every time they bring in used cooking oil to the designated sites for recycling and 10 TUES each time they refuse disposable plastic and paper bags at participating stores. The bus fare is 100 TUES per ride. The university plans to introduce an IC card system in December 2006.

As a public relations activity, the university organized a bus trip in what it calls the "Tempura Car" ("tempura" means deep-fried food) powered by cooking-oil waste, visiting other prefectures from September 14 to 16 in 2006. The purpose of the trip was to conduct an operational test of the biodiesel vehicles under current traffic conditions in Japan and to promote the university's CO2 reduction campaign. The fuel was filled at biodiesel fueling stations during the trip around the Seto Inland Sea. The university's Department of Information Systems can pinpoint the location of the vehicles with a GPS system called "Dokodesu Car" (Where is the car?).

The biodiesel school bus plan, which was proposed to and adopted by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), is part of the university's Eco Project launched in 2005. The Eco Project, consisting of five project teams, aims to help reduce CO2 emissions in Japan by publicizing the activities and outcomes of work by project teams at the university.

Posted: 2007/05/01 09:15:48 AM
Japanese version