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Home > Feature Articles > Alternative Energy Solutions > Fuels & Renewable Energy

Biodiesel for Trucking

Biodiesel basics for trucks and commercial fleets

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California trucks air conservation reduce emissions According to "BioTrucker.com", Biodiesel is produced from any fat or oil such as soybean oil, through a refinery process called transesterification. This process is a reaction of the oil with an alcohol to remove the glycerin, which is a by-product of biodiesel production. Fuel-grade biodiesel must be produced to strict industry specifications (ASTM D6751) in order to insure proper performance.

Biodiesel is the only alternative fuel to have fully completed the health effects testing requirements of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. Biodiesel that meets ASTM D6751 and is legally registered with the Environmental Protection Agency is a legal motor fuel for sale and distribution. Raw vegetable oil cannot meet biodiesel fuel specifications, it is not registered with the EPA, and it is not a legal motor fuel.

Biodiesel can be used as a pure fuel or blended with petroleum in any percentage. B20 (a blend of 20 percent by volume biodiesel with 80 percent by volume petroleum diesel) has demonstrated significant environmental benefits with a minimum increase in cost for fleet operations and other consumers.

Can biodiesel help mitigate “global warming”?

A 1998 biodiesel lifecycle study, jointly sponsored by the US Department of Energy and the US Department of Agriculture, concluded biodiesel reduces net CO² emissions by 78 percent compared to petroleum diesel. This is due to biodiesel’s closed carbon cycle. The CO² released into the atmosphere when biodiesel is burned is recycled by growing plants, which are later processed into fuel..Is biodiesel safer than petroleum diesel? Scientific research confirms that biodiesel exhaust has a less harmful impact on human health than petroleum diesel fuel. Biodiesel emissions have decreased levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and nitrited PAH compounds that have been identified as potential cancer causing compounds. Test results indicate PAH compounds were reduced by 75 to 85 percent, with the exception of benzo(a)anthracene, which was reduced by roughly 50 percent. Targeted nPAH compounds were also reduced dramatically with biodiesel fuel, with 2-nitrofluorene and 1-nitropyrene reduced by 90 percent, and the rest of the nPAH compounds reduced to only trace levels.

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) maintains a list of registered fuel marketers. A current list is available on the biodiesel web site at www.biodiesel.org or by calling the NBB at (800) 841-5849. A list/map of truck-accessible locations is available on this website, under Biodiesel Fueling Sites.

The NBB maintains the largest library of biodiesel information in the US. Information can be requested by visiting the biodiesel web site at www.biodiesel.org, by emailing the NBB at info@nbb.org, or by calling NBB’s toll free number (800) 841-5849.

http://www.biotrucker.com/faqs/



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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