The Biodiesel Page: August 2007

November 23rd, 2009

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Unlike some enthusiast magazines, we really do read our mail about all things diesel. Seems there is a lot of confusion over biodiesel. This is understandable for a number of reasons. Hobbyists got the jump on industry with the “refining” of free waste cooking oil. The “f” word caught a lot of attention-especially among the young, bucks-down gear heads. The articles persisted and the number of converts grew, and still are growing. Burning waste vegetable oil is one highly economical form or biofuel, but there are differences between that and what you’ll see coming out of the pumps in the future.  That could be why there are still a lot of myths and misconceptions about biodiesel.

 




Recently, we met a young man who owned TDI VW Golf. He loved the car and would like to run biodiesel but said had no place to put the fuel tank.

Basically the same complaint came from a guy with a late model diesel pickup. He had plenty of room for the tank-but lived in an apartment complex and had no place to brew his own bio. Different questions, but a common lack of knowledge. The young man with the TDI VW did not know he didn’t need to do anything to run bio-no extra tank, no fuel heater-just fill it up and drive. The truck owner didn’t know he could buy biodiesel at all. Both had confused the recycling of used fryer oil with the larger picture. For most of us, the future will involve B5 or B20 premium diesel, which is a whole different thing than 100 percent vegetable oil.

Turns out that major biodiesel plant construction-or expansion-is underway all across America.  For example, Momentum Biofuels Inc. is ramping up production in a 20 Million Gallon plant in Pasadena, Texas. Green Earth Fuels recently doubled its production capacity from 43 million gallons a year to 86 million gallons a year. Companies like Golden Gate Petroleum, Biodiesel of Las Vegas, BioSelect fuels, Blue Ridge BioFuels, Verde BioFuels are building or expanding plants in the U.S.

One innovative company we’re aware of, Blue Sun, is headquartered in Westminster, Colorado, and sells its Blue Sun Fusion fuel in three states in the region. They position their brand as premium diesel that is guaranteed to exceed ASTM specifications. In fact, they insist it will not void an OEM warranty, and guarantees to make repairs if damage should occur because of their fuel. (Check:www.goBlueSun.com)
This is important in two ways. First, now that there are ASTM standards for B20 fuel, it allows biofuel producers to go full steam ahead in producing fuel anyone can burn, so the guy with the VW and the guy with the pickup don’t have to make their own. They may still WANT to, but converting used veggie oil is not for everybody, and now, it doesn’t need to be.

Second, since the OE manufacturers specifically do not warranty fuel, when you have a company like Blue Sun guaranteeing their formula, that hurdle is cleared away. 
These days, Blue Sun seems to have the chemistry and production worked out. When they get enough distributors and retailers signed up, you’ll be able to buy it and burn it without concern.

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