BEREA, OH (WOIO) - Some local schools are turning to a new fuel refining process for their buses, to save money and help the environment.
A piece of equipment called a "mobile refining unit" was recently parked in the lot of the Berea Schools bus garage, connected to the underground diesel fuel tanks.
The refining unit belongs to EcoChem, a Columbus company.
The diesel from the storage tanks runs through the unit and, according to Eco Chem, is refined to another level.
Peter Hamer of Eco Chem ran the unit in Berea.
"We're processing fuel in a closed loop system so it just means we're taking it out and putting it back in," Hamer said.
Eco Chem says that fuel goes back in as what they call "high performance clean diesel."
The process refines and cleans the diesel, which in turn means more fuel efficiency.
Since signing on, Berea school officials say their fuel efficiency has improved almost 11 percent, which means a savings of 20 to 25 cents per gallon.
That could mean thousands of dollars of savings to a large district like Berea.
The savings appear to carry over to maintenance.
Mike Kall, the Berea Schools bus fleet supervisor believes the cleaner fuel has led to a reduction of expensive fuel injector issues, as well as longer lasting fuel filters.
Eco Chem also claims their testing shows that high performance clean diesel reduces the carbon emissions of the buses.
"It's ideal that businesses and going green can work together," Hamer says. "To save some money and save the environment, that's a very strong statement."
Berea was the first district in northeast Ohio to use the mobile refining unit.
Twinsburg Schools have since agreed to a deal with Eco Chem.