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Northwest's Alternative Fuels Program

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With the cost of fossil fuels skyrocketing, Northwest Missouri State University continues to be a national leader in using alternative fuels to heat and cool our campus.

In addition, Northwest has added a number of E-85 compatible automobiles to our University fleet. These cars have engines equipped to use a fuel mixture that is 85 percent ethanol, an alternative fuel distilled from corn.

As you prepare your coverage of Northwest's unique alternative fuels program, here are some points to consider:

  • The University has been burning chipped wood waste since 1982 in order to generate most of the power needed to heat and cool all campus facilities. It has been burning pelletized paper waste since 1993.
  • Our unique alternative fuels technology heats and cools 1.9 million square feet of floor space on a campus serving 6,400 students.
  • Currently between 75 and 80 percent of the University's thermal energy needs comes from alternative fuels.
  • The savings from this effort are real and dramatic. In fiscal 2004-2005 Northwest spent $949,000 for thermal energy. Had fossil fuels been used exclusively, the estimated cost would have exceeded $1.7 million. Using alternative fuels cut energy costs nearly $842,000 - a 47 percent savings.
  • Since 1996, Northwest's alternative fuels program has saved the University nearly $6 million.
  • To support its alternative fuels initiative, Northwest started a comprehensive campswide recycling program and worked with regional partners to establish a five-county recycling network.
  • Northwest has acquired a U.S. patent for an animal waste-to-energy production process.