Local Industry Helps Push Biodiesel

Landscape companies around Braddock, Pennsylvania, are moving away from fossil fuels. Many frequent Fossil Free Fuel, a local gas station that offers biodiesel fuels. Biodiesel is a mix of regular diesel and plant-based oil, such as corn, peanut or soybean.

The biodiesel mix has been used often by landscape business’ trucks and equipment. “You’re not drilling somewhere thousands of miles away and don’t have the political ramifications that come with tar and oil,” said Dave Rosenstraus, co-founder of the station. “In a more scientific sense, you get less emissions out of the tailpipe.”

Fossil Free Fuel offers a biodiesel blend that is 50% to 99% plant-based oil during the summer, and 20% during the winter. (Diesel fuels run the risk of thickening in colder temperatures.) Rosenstraus sells the fuel at the same market rate as conventional diesel, making less profit than his local competitors.

He made that choice consciously, to entice more customers to switch to biodiesel. “Despite the environmental intentions of businesses and individuals, everyone has a bottom line,” Rosenstraus said. “If biodiesel isn’t cost-effective, then it will not be used by the masses.”