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NATSO Blog: Fuel and Trucking

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How Biodiesel Can Help Increase Your Fuel Margins

Posted in: Fuel and Trucking, Biodiesel

Winter is finally in the rearview mirror and the busy summer travel season is almost here. This is the time of year many of the travel centers REG works with increase their biodiesel blend levels to take advantage of the economic benefits the renewable fuel brings.

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Get The Inside Scoop On The Newest Renewable Fuel Blend

Posted in: Fuel and Trucking, Biodiesel

The latest innovation in the fuel industry takes advantage of the benefits of two leading renewable fuels — ones many truck stops are familiar with.

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3 Ways Distilled Biodiesel Can Give Truckstops a Competitive Advantage

Posted in: Fuel and Trucking, Biodiesel

Each year around this time, when temperatures are at their lowest, is when the number of questions I receive about biodiesel Cloud Point seem to hit their peak.

Cloud Point is the temperature at which wax crystals cause fuel to appear cloudy — and it’s commonly used to determine biodiesel’s cold performance properties.

When I get those questions — or when I hear concerns about a higher Cloud Point product — I use it as an opportunity to share with that person the advantages of biodiesel that has been purified using distillation.

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5 Common Biodiesel Myths — And The Facts That Debunk Them

Posted in: Fuel and Trucking, Biodiesel

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.

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.

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Tips From a Truck Stop Located in a ‘Major Hub for Trucking’

Posted in: Fuel and Trucking, Biodiesel

If you could pick an ideal location for a truck stop, you’d have a hard time doing better than Fontana, California's Fontana Truck Stop Center.

It’s in an industrial area full of distribution centers, manufacturers and equipment dealerships. And it’s near the intersection of two interstates that funnel traffic to and from Los Angeles, which is about 40 miles to the west.

“Fontana is a major hub for trucking,” says truck stop co-owner Lonnie Tabbaa. “You have all the big industries here. And we service all the major fleets and the smaller ones, both local and out-of-state drivers.”

That it’s a great location is not a secret, however, and the fierce competition for drivers means success is not guaranteed for Fontana Truck Stop Center.

So how does it differentiate itself? One way is by offering renewable fuels, including biodiesel blends and a blend of biodiesel and renewable hydrocarbon diesel (RHD).

“The sustainability trend is very important to us,” Tabbaa says. “A lot of fleets are sending their trucks to places that have cleaner-burning fuels. Also, we see better margins with renewable fuels than regular diesel fuel. They’re good for business.”

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Biodiesel, Food Service Innovations On Display At NATSO Tour

Posted in: Fuel and Trucking, Biodiesel

This summer, the NATSO Foundation brought truck stop operators from across the country to Illinois to learn how biodiesel can help their businesses and to see the latest food service innovations during NATSO's Food and Fuel Study Tour.

Along with sponsoring the event, REG hosted attendees at our biorefinery in Seneca, Illinois.

They toured the facility and learned about biodiesel production, the financial and performance benefits of biodiesel and blending systems. Then they were off to two travel centers to see firsthand how the locations had successfully incorporated biodiesel blends into their fuel lineups.

If you couldn’t attend, don’t worry. You can watch the highlights in our video of the tour.

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When To Buy Blended Biodiesel And When To Blend Yourself from Food and Fuel Study Study Tour Expert

Posted in: Fuel and Trucking, Biodiesel

To blend or not to blend? That is the question many fuel retailers, including travel center operators, ask themselves when they make the decision to add biodiesel to their fuel offerings.

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Each location needs to weigh its individual circumstances. But there is information that can help you make that decision.

Let’s take these one at a time.

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5 Tips For Finding A Biodiesel Supplier for Your Truckstop

Posted in: Fuel and Trucking, Biodiesel

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.

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Compliance Corner: NATSO Toolkit Outlines UST Requirements

Posted in: Fuel and Trucking, Compliance Corner

Several new requirements related to underground storage tanks (USTs) have taken effect over the past few years. As fuel retailers, most NATSO members own and operate USTs for motor fuels and must comply with state and federal regulations. To help truckstop and travel plaza owners stay current on UST requirements, NATSO has compiled a regulatory toolkit outlining the latest UST standards.

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Learn How Distilled Biodiesel Can Help Your Truckstop Business

Posted in: Fuel and Trucking, Biodiesel

What are the benefits of distillation?

Distilled biodiesel has advanced cold flow properties because distillation does a superior job of removing minor components, such as steryl glucosides, that can contribute to filter plugging. Even with a higher cloud point, distilled biodiesel can outperform undistilled low cloud biodiesel in cold weather.

Distilled biodiesel has a lower carbon intensity score than undistilled biodiesel made from vegetable oils, such as soy. That’s especially important in regions with air quality standards, like California and some Canadian provinces, as well as with the growing number of fleets that have sustainability goals.

Distilled biodiesel is the purist type of biodiesel. This helps it blend more easily with petroleum diesel because there are fewer minor components to hinder blending.

The minor components found in biodiesel depend in part on the feedstock, and because distillation does such a good job removing those, the producer has more freedom with feedstock. This feedstock flexibility can be a benefit when there are price and supply fluctuations in commodity markets.

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