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Meet “The Kernel”: Stony Brook University’s First Vegetable Oil-Powered Bus Gets A Name

May 14, 2009 - 11:48:21 AM

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STONY BROOK, N.Y., May 14, 2009 - The Stony Brook University Department of Transportation & Parking Operations randomly selected Nicole Hadley’s winning entry to Earthstock’s “Name This Bus” contest.  Nicole submitted the name “The Kernel” for the University Bus Service’s first vegetable oil powered bus, which is utilized on various routes on campus.  

Dennis Consorte, Carolyn Osiecki, David McAvoy, Nicole Hadley, James O'Connor and Samantha Thomas surround "The Kernel" logo.
“We are very happy and excited about selecting the new name of our vegetable oil powered bus and we look forward to decreasing fossil fuel consumption and increasing sustainability at Stony Brook University,” said James O’Connor, Director of Transportation & Parking Operations.  Entries for the “Name This Bus” contest were accepted at Earthstock, Stony Brook University’s annual Earth Day event on April 17 and were also accepted at the SBU Men’s Lacrosse game on April 18.
 
“We received 535 entries in total for the contest over two days and were very impressed with many of the creative names we received,” said Dave McAvoy, SBU’s Transportation Fleet Manager.    

“The Kernel” is a 2001 Thomas Built bus which holds 39 seated passengers.  With the support of the SBU Facilities & Services and Environmental Stewardship, Transportation & Parking Operations converted the bus which previously was powered by biodiesel. “The Kernel” was converted by adding a secondary heated fuel tank which holds the vegetable oil and when the oil reaches a certain temperature, a computer system switches over the fuel source from biodiesel to vegetable oil. Through conversion, the bus operates off of biodiesel when it starts and stops, and vegetable oil while in service. The vegetable oil used in the bus comes directly from the food fryers in the Kelly Quad Dining Hall.

According to McAvoy, some of the goals for “The Kernel” are to increase awareness of alternative fuels and to decrease our carbon footprint.  By re-using used vegetable oil and buying less diesel fuel, we will be increasing sustainability and lowering our expenses related to buying a fossil fuel.  

“We proudly welcome The Kernel to our University Bus Service fleet and look forward to considering and implementing future alternative fueled vehicles at Stony Brook University,” said O’Connor.

The Office of Transportation and Parking Operations provides essential transportation and parking solutions for Stony Brook University on the following campuses: Main Campus (East, West, and South), Stony Brook Southampton, and the Research and Development Park.

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