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5 Tips For Finding A Biodiesel Supplier for Your Truckstop

Posted in: Fuel and Trucking, Biodiesel

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/// Guest post by contributor Jon ScharingsonRenewable Energy Group

What do I need to do to offer biodiesel blends at my location?

That’s a common question among travel plaza and truck stop owners and managers interested in adding biodiesel to their fuel lineup but unsure of the first steps. 

There are several things that should be considered. For example, what blend level are you interested in providing your customers to maximize your profitability? Blend level is how much biodiesel is in the diesel fuel — B20 means it has 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel. If you are going to purchase B100 and blend yourself, then you should review your storage tank options and look into blending systems.

But perhaps the most basic step is getting the actual biodiesel. And for that, you need a reputable supplier.

Here are five tips for travel plazas and truck stops looking for a biodiesel supplier.

1. Develop a list of potential suppliers by checking the National Biodiesel Board website, contacting state petroleum marketer associations or even doing a simple web search.

2. To narrow the list, answer these questions:

  • How long has the supplier been marketing biodiesel?
  • Are they a producer or a broker?
  • How many biorefineries are in the supplier’s network?
  • What does the supply chain look like to retail location(s)?
  • What is the supplier’s knowledge of federal and state incentives for biodiesel?
  • What is the quality of their product? One measure is whether they are part of the biodiesel industry’s BQ-9000® quality assurance accreditation program.
  • Is the supplier knowledgeable about the travel plaza and truck stop industry?

3. Consider the benefits of being supplied by a biodiesel producer. This could help you maximize blending economics.

4. Understand how offering biodiesel differs from petroleum diesel or gasoline. A lot of the differences are financial, such as taking advantage of incentives for selling biodiesel. Another is understanding the value proposition of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). A RIN is assigned to every gallon of biodiesel for compliance reasons, but it’s also a commodity that can be traded. Some producers sell RIN-less biodiesel.

5. I’ll add a tip for those of you already offering biodiesel but at a lower blend level, like B5. Talk with your supplier about the benefits of moving to a higher blend. There may be a great opportunity to improve your fuel margins.

These tips will help get you started, but a more detailed review, based on the specific needs of your business, will be necessary to find the right biodiesel supplier for you.

If you’d like some assistance, feel free to contact me at jon.scharingson@regi.com

NATSO and REG are offering a webinar on Grow Your Business With Biodiesel Blended Fuel tomorrow. Learn more and register here.

 /// Read more guest posts on biodiesel posts here

{Guest Post} Guest post provided by NATSO Chairman's Circle member Jon Scharingson, Renewable Energy Group. Renewable Energy Group, Inc. 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