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5 Common Biodiesel Myths — And The Facts That Debunk Them

Posted in: Fuel and Trucking, Biodiesel

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/// Guest post by contributor Jon ScharingsonRenewable Energy Group

You may think the cold weather so many of us are experiencing would make me reluctant to boast about biodiesel.

You’d be wrong.

Questions about cold weather operability are common for those of us in the biodiesel industry, and I’m happy to answer them — because biodiesel blends are used by fleets and truckers problem-free throughout North America, including during the depths of winter.

Yet biodiesel’s alleged cold weather issues is one of the most persistent myths related to biodiesel. So in my last blog post of the year, I’m going to give you the facts on this and a few other myths.

  1. Myth: Biodiesel doesn’t work in cold weather.

    Fact: Just like with petroleum diesel, proper additive use and storage and blending methods allow biodiesel to be used even when the temperature drops below freezing. And keep in mind that 90 percent of a B10 blend is petroleum diesel, which impacts its cold weather properties much more than the biodiesel.

    You don’t have to take my word on biodiesel’s cold weather capabilities, though. Click here for a short video on G&D Integrated, an Illinois-based for-hire carrier that has seen engine performance stay strong since switching its large diesel fleet to a B20 blend year-round.

  2. Myth: Biodiesel does not perform as well as diesel.

    Fact: Biodiesel has superior lubricity and higher Cetane than petroleum diesel and provides similar horsepower, torque and fuel mileage. Blends up to B20 can be used in existing diesel engines and fuel-injection equipment with little effect on operating performance.

  3. Myth: Biodiesel fuel quality is inconsistent.

    Fact: Biodiesel meets stringent ASTM fuel specifications. The industry’s BQ-9000® accreditation program offers additional quality assurance.

  4. Myth: Biodiesel use will void warranties.

    Fact: Nearly 80 percent of OEMs producing diesel vehicles for the U.S. market support B20 or lower blends. That rises to almost 90 percent for medium- and heavy-duty truck OEMs.

  5. Myth: Biodiesel produced from animal fats is inferior to vegetable oil-based biodiesel.

    Fact: A skilled producer can make high-quality biodiesel out of a variety of feedstocks. A feedstock-flexible approach allows for more predictable pricing and availability, lets the producer capture the best qualities of different feedstocks and can help the end product achieve a lower carbon intensity score. Even better is distilled biodiesel, which has improved ease of blending, the potential for lower carbon intensity because of feedstock flexibility and performs better in the cold weather than biodiesel purified under the traditional method. Read more about distilled biodiesel in this free white paper.

Visit regi.com for more information.

 /// Read more guest posts on biodiesel posts here

Photos credit: Renewable Energy Group

{Guest Post} Guest post provided by NATSO Chairman's Circle member Jon Scharingson, Renewable Energy Group. REG is a leading North American advanced biofuels producer and developer of renewable chemicals. REG utilizes a nationwide production, distribution and logistics system as part of an integrated value chain model to focus on converting natural fats, oils and greases into advanced biofuels and converting diverse feedstocks into renewable chemicals. Learn more about Renewable Energy Group.

The opinions and advice given by guest post contributors are not necessarily those of NATSO Inc. The posts should not be considered legal advice. Qualified professionals should be sought regarding advice and questions specific to your circumstances.

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About the Author

Jon Scharingson

Jon Scharingson