In an effort to promote both Illinois agriculture and alternative-fuel usage, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has implemented Illinois Green Fleets, aimed at encouraging the utilization of environmentally-friendly fuels. This section first details the Illinois Green Fleets program, followed by an overview of some agriculturally-based alternative fuel resources.
IEPA initiative aimed at encouraging businesses to utilize vehicles powered by biodiesel fuels. A voluntary program, the Green Fleets website has information on benefits and incentives for prospective members.
Biodiesel is the name of a clean-burning, alternative fuel that is based on the natural oils derived from domestic, renewable resources, such as soy bean crops. . Biodiesel contains no petroleum, but it can be blended at any level with petroleum diesel to create a biodiesel blend. It can be used in compression-ignition (diesel) engines with little or no modifications. Biodiesel is simple to use, biodegradable, nontoxic, and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics. For more biodiesel information visit:
Biogas energy is derived from manure and other farm wastes through the use of methane digesters that convert the incoming solid materials into a methane gas. This gas can then be captured and used as a viable source of power. Additionally, methane digesters reduce the green-house gas emissions and odor of livestock-based farms. For more information on biogas, please visit:
Ethanol is an alcohol produced from a variety of crops—corn, sorghum, potatoes, wheat, sugar cane, and even cornstalks and vegetable waste—that can be combined with gasoline to create a useable fuel that produces fewer harmful tailpipe emissions while additionally increasing engine octane levels. For more information, please visit:
Solar energy is derived from sunlight hitting a photovoltaic cell, which reacts to the sun’s rays and generate electricity that may be then be stored for later use. In order to create a larger amount of electricity, a great number of these individual photovoltaic cells are typically laid out on panels, which in turn are often wired together to create a “solar array”. For more information, please visit:
Wind turbines create electricity when wind blows over the blades of the turbine, which in turn spins a generator. In order to create enough energy to power a populated area, a multitude of wind turbines are placed together, constituting a “wind farm”. For more information, please visit: