Gassing up at the University of Central Florida has never been “greener.”
Beginning this month, UCF’s fleet vehicles have access to a 12,000-gallon fueling station filled with a cleaner-burning fuel made from a blend of plants and grains.
The new E85 station pumps an alternative fuel made up of 85 percent ethanol combined with 15 percent gasoline. The ethanol, which is completely renewable, comes from corn produced in Florida.
E85 produces about 50 percent fewer emissions than gasoline. It’s also water-soluble, biodegradable and less toxic. Additionally, it is domestically produced, reducing the United States’ dependence on foreign sources of energy.
“We believe the E85 fueling station represents a positive step toward our sustainable transportation goals for the university,” said David Norvell, UCF’s director of Sustainability & Energy Management.
The station holds enough E85 fuel for all of UCF’s 45 flex-fuel fleet vehicles to each fill up more than 16 times. It is located next to the existing fueling station behind the Facilities & Safety Building. The station currently is not open to the general public.
E85 can only be used in designated flex-fuel vehicles designed to run on different blends of energy. The vehicles also can run on gasoline and be filled up at regular stations, but adding gasoline to a tank containing E85 will dilute the amount of ethanol in the tank.
UCF’s E85 station is one of about 50 in Florida. The University of Florida is the only other university in the state with an on-campus ethanol fuel station.
The new station reflects UCF’s commitment to sustainability and green initiatives and supports the Climate Action Plan, an ambitious guide to the steps that the university will take to become climate neutral by 2050.
The environment and global climate change also are UCF’s undergraduate unifying theme. The topic was selected by students and is weaved into courses by faculty, allowing students to reflect on the theme and its impact on their lives and on the planet. Outside the classroom, workshops, forums and activities also focus on protecting the planet and promoting climate change.
For more information on UCF’s sustainability efforts, go to http://sustainable.ucf.edu/.