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. More
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. More
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.” More