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Biodiesel stations to expand in Colorado
Distributor to add 10 sites to Front Range
By Kris Hudson
Denver Post Staff Writer
Post / Craig F. Walker

Blue Sun Biodiesel intends to add 10 new stations to the four that now pump its B20 biodiesel, a mixture of 80 percent diesel and 20 percent processed soybean oil.

"Going from four to 14 is a representation of the kind of people that we have here on the Front Range," said Jeff Probst, president and chief executive of 2 1/2-year-old Blue Sun. "Going from diesel fuel to biodiesel takes an investment" from drivers willing to pay more at the pump.

Blue Sun's expansion comes after the city of Denver announced plans last week to fuel 60 of its Public Works vehicles with biodiesel for the rest of this year.

Among Blue Sun's new sites are stations in Boulder, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Fort Lupton, Fort Collins and in Denver at 5201 York St. Those sites add to Blue Sun's four established sites in Boulder, Fort Morgan, Carbondale and Commerce City.

Proponents of biodiesel note that it produces fewer emissions than regular diesel and, in some cases, produces better mileage per gallon. However, it typically costs 15 percent to 20 percent more per gallon than regular diesel. Friday, a gallon of diesel in Colorado averaged $1.87.

"Up to some point, people are willing to pay extra for a more environmentally friendly product," said Bob McCormick, a senior fuels engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratories in Golden. "But I don't know how big the market could get."

Aside from Denver's Public Works department, other biodiesel users in Colorado include Colorado Springs Utilities, the Regional Transportation District, the city of Boulder, the University of Colorado and Rocky Mountain National Park. Denver Public Schools intends to fuel 100 of its buses with biodiesel.

In Denver, Offen Petroleum will convert three commercial pumps and one regular automotive pump at its Sinclair station on York Street to biodiesel in May. "It's going to be our sole offering here at the station," Offen managing director Bill Gallagher said.

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