Western United Resource Development, Inc. (WURD) has been selected to receive a $400,000 grant from U.S.-EPA Region 10 for an innovative project that will convert biogas into vehicle fuel.

WURD will collaborate with Western United Dairymen, Sustainable Conservation, University of California-Davis, CalStart, Hilarides Dairy, Hilmar Cheese Company, California Department of Food and Agriculture, and SWENTEC to convert four heavy-duty diesel powered milk trucks to run on methane.

The ultimate goal of the five-phase project is to develop a new model for reducing diesel emissions by substituting renewable biomethane for diesel fuel, with biomethane generated from agricultural sources such as food processing and dairy waste. It is anticipated that a new renewable vehicle fuel paradigm will be demonstrated for the food and agriculture industries that can reduce the present dependency on fossil fuels.

This model also eliminates the transportation costs associated with distributed fuel by locating fueling stations where agricultural products are grown or delivered. The benefits of such a system have been demonstrated in Sweden where fossil fuel reserves are scarce or nonexistent. California’s dairy industry alone is the largest in the U.S., and turning a portion of the 65 million pounds of dairy manure produced annually into a successful biofuel product will reduce pollution from both manure and diesel trucks.

 “We are very excited about the opportunity to be involved with a project such as this, which is on the cutting edge of renewable energy technology,” said Michael Marsh, CEO of Western United Resource Development. “California’s dairy producers, facing unique challenges, are boldly seeking solutions that will satisfy both their financial and environmental goals.” And in doing so, he added, they will be leading the nation in developing new ways of meeting energy needs.

  Western United Dairymen