City of Oakland Drives Environmental Progress with New Renewable Diesel Model

Posted: April 18th, 2019 12:00 AM

Last Updated: April 18th, 2019 10:41 AM

News from: Oakland Public Works


April 18, 2019

City of Oakland Drives Environmental Progress with New Renewable Diesel Model

City fleet has run on renewable diesel since 2015, and now that fuel is produced with raw materials gathered from Oakland itself, establishing a circular fuel economy and reducing greenhouse gases

Oakland, CA – In a huge step forward for sustainability and environmentally-friendly investment, the City of Oakland and its vehicle fuel provider, Neste, announced Thursday a new model for providing fuel for City vehicles: gathering raw material such as cooking oil from Oakland’s own businesses, processing that material into renewable diesel, and using that renewable diesel to operate City vehicles.

The City, Neste, fuel distributor Western States Oil and local collectors joined forces to gather waste cooking oils from restaurants and cafeterias in the Oakland metropolitan area and convert it to fuel the city’s fleet. By making waste more valuable and supporting jobs that collect and treat it, this concept helps the local economy, while the cleaner-burning fuel improves the lives of Oakland residents by reducing local emissions from the city’s fleet.

“Oakland is a proud leader in protecting our environment and practicing the highest levels of sustainability,” Mayor Libby Schaaf said. “This bold move will give our residents cleaner air, and it takes us one important step forward in our work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Switching from petroleum diesel to renewable diesel automatically converts the City’s oldest and dirtiest polluting vehicles into alternative fuel vehicles - overnight and with no additional costs,” Oakland Public Works Director Jason Mitchell said.

"We are excited to partner with the city of Oakland to make 'from city waste to city fuel' a reality and do our part to improve the lives of the people in the city,” said Jeremy Baines, Vice President of Sales, Neste US, Inc. “Oakland's choice for a more sustainable diesel fuel and their support for making local waste part of their energy solution sets an example for the Bay Area, for all of California and beyond.”

In 2015, the City switched 100% from using petroleum diesel to cleaner-burning renewable diesel produced from waste feedstocks. This renewable fuel is a drop-in replacement for petroleum diesel, requiring no equipment or vehicle modifications. Renewable diesel is priced similarly to petroleum diesel. Offering emissions benefits of up to a 75% GHG reduction over petroleum diesel, renewable diesel is currently in use in all 366 vehicles in the City inventory, including emergency response vehicles.

The emission reductions from the estimated 230,000 gallons consumed annually is more than 1500 metric tons of greenhouse gases each year. The use of renewable diesel has expanded to stationary standby generators due to its strong performance and lower emissions.

City staff project that reduced vehicle emissions from using renewable diesel will allow the City of Oakland reduce its carbon footprint and help meet aggressive Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reductions implemented by the State of California:

  • Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions: -40-75%
  • NOx-emissions: -10 %
  • PM-emissions: -30 %
  • CO-emissions: -35 %
  • THC-emissions: -40 %

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