|Biodiesel Shines in Extensive Corps of Engineers Testing |
the last five years the US Army Corps of Engineers have carried out an in-depth
biodiesel trial in portions of their 2,300 floating plant assets, including barges,
tow boats, floating cranes, survey boats, patrol boats, and dredges. The trial
began following the 2009 executive order requiring federal agencies to reduce
energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and fossil fuel use, while increasing
the use of renewable energy.
USACE’s trial evaluation of biodiesel began with
four vessels in Baltimore, St. Louis, San Francisco, and Buffalo. They began evaluating
B100 in field trials and comparing it to the same workload with regular ultra-low
sulfur diesel. Though fuel consumption differences varied with engine power, they
showed that, in general, less B100 was consumed than ULSD at the same respective power settings.
The success in the initial field
trials led to an expanded study with increased numbers, more diverse types of
vessels, and improved monitoring of fuel consumption and emissions. The expanded
study involved 14 corps vessels, different levels of monitoring, and blends of
biodiesel ranging from B5 to B100.
Fleet operators said using biodiesel put out less
emissions and odor, and maintenance personnel liked the cleaner appearance of
the insides of the engines. No maintenance issues were associated with biodiesel,
and none of the vessel operators had issues related to engine power or efficiency.
Fuel usage and costs were reported to be comparable to ULSD.
From February 2011 to April 2014,
the total volume of biodiesel consumed was about 3.1 million gallons and all of
the Corps Districts that participated in the expanded study intend to continue their biodiesel use.
Read more in the <a class="Biodiesel
Magazine Link" href="http://KCE.informz.net/z/cjUucD9taT0zNzAzNTE1JnA9MSZ1PTgxNjMxMjkwNCZsaT0yMjAyMTY4NA/index.html" target="_blank" choice="1">September/October issue of Biodiesel Magazine.
2014 RFS Final Decision in Sight
Almost a year after
the Environmental Protection Agency published its preliminary proposal for the
2014 Renewable Fuel Standard volumes for biodiesel, a decision appears to finally
be in sight. The EPA sent its latest proposal to the White House Office of Management
and Budget on August 22 for a final review process, which is expected to take
between 30 and 90 days.
During OMB’s final review, many industry
and trade groups impacted by the RFS have met with OMB to present a final case
on the volumes. In early September, the National Biodiesel Board organized a group
of more than a dozen NBB members representing a broad cross-section of the industry
to meet with OMB and Administration officials. NBB also brought in several economists
and other experts to help convey the best data and supporting information. Participants
made a strong case for the Administration to finalize a meaningful increase for
biodiesel volumes to 1.7 billion gallons – consistent with last year’s actual
It is still uncertain as to exactly when the final rule for
the 2014 volume will be published. During the meeting officials largely listened
and didn’t share information regarding the latest proposal, but based on the
90 day maximum for review, the final volumes could be released anywhere from late-September
to sometime in November after the elections.
Awarded to Groundbreaking Ram Diesel
Lots of praise has come since Ram announced the introduction
of a diesel option for their 1500 series pickups in late 2013. The 2014 Ram 1500
with theV-6 EcoDiesel is the only diesel option available in the half-ton truck
market. It also came online with full B20 support. Not surprising since Ram has
approved B20 in their 2500 diesel models since 2007, but still a major bonus for
the only diesel option in its class. The groundbreaking truck can add another
trophy to its case, the title of, “Best Pickup” from Consumer Reports magazine.
This <a class="Ram USA
Today Article" href="http://KCE.informz.net/z/cjUucD9taT0zNzAzNTE1JnA9MSZ1PTgxNjMxMjkwNCZsaT0yMjAyMTY4Nw/index.html" target="_blank" choice="1">USA Today article highlights the results of the
test where the Chrysler Group’s Ram pickup outscored Ford and Chevrolet’s
full-size trucks when equipped with a new diesel engine.
According to the article, the EcoDiesel engine not
only saved substantially more fuel than similar models with gas engines, but also
performed better on road tests. The EcoDiesel engine scored an 82 in road tests-
a point better than a Ram with a gas engine. It averaged 20 miles per gallon in
overall testing and 27 mpg on the highway, well above the Ram with the V-8 gas
engine and the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT.
Consumer Reports' testing is considered critical
to automakers because of the magazine's notorious independence.
Biodiesel Powers the U.S. Navy
Retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Len
Hering knows firsthand the importance of decreasing America’s reliance on petroleum-based
fuel sources, and believes biodiesel is an important part of the solution.
a recent article by the United Soybean Board, Hering calls soybean farmers
“Warriors of the Next War for Independence.” He began to advocate that biodiesel
could and should be used by the US military while actively serving in the Navy.
His efforts paid off when by 2005 most of the diesel-powered, non-tactical Navy
and Marine Corps vehicles in the southwestern United States ran on biodiesel.
represent a step in the right direction for the long-term security of the nation,”
said Hering. “Fossil fuel is a finite resource. This is an alternative that
provides us with continued opportunity and prosperity.”
The Navy plans to expand its
use of biofuels and will launch the “Great Green Fleet” in 2016. During which
renewable fuels will power all vehicles, including ships and aircraft. Hering
adds that the U.S. Department of Defense, the largest consumer of fossil fuels
in the world, is engaging in sustainable energy technology. For example, in 2010
and in 2011, Air Force and Navy pilots broke the sound barrier in a supersonic
combat aircraft powered by a 50/50 blend of biofuel and traditional petroleum
fuel, and experienced no noticeable performance differences.
New Videos Highlight
Asheville, North Carolina’s Biodiesel Success
The Land of Sky Clean Vehicles Coalition recently produced
two new videos, which help tell the biodiesel success story
and clear-up misconceptions about the fuel. The first video, “Planting the Seeds
- Biofuels in Western North Carolina” highlights Asheville, North Carolina’s
success with biodiesel and emphasizes its environmental and economic benefits.
The City of Asheville uses B20 in all 250 of their diesel vehicles. Asheville
based, Blue Ridge Biofuels produces biodiesel from recycled cooking oil.
second video, “Biofuels - Myths and Misconceptions” is designed to answer
questions and address concerns about biodiesel. It explains that biodiesel
is not the same thing as vegetable oil and must meet strict American Society for
Testing and Materials standards. The video also highlights the industry’s BQ-9000
fuel quality assurance program.
According to Linda Giltz, Senior Planner
for Land of Sky Regional Council, the videos have been used at regional workshops
and presentations. Local partner organizations will be posting the video links
on their websites as well.
The Clean Vehicles Coalition is a U.S. Department
of Energy Clean Cities program of the Land of the Sky Regional Council. The Coalition
represents a five-county area surrounding Asheville in western North Carolina.
Counties included are Buncombe, Henderson, Haywood, Madison, and Transylvania
counties. To view the videos and learn more about Land of Sky Clean Vehicles Coalition
Features Latest on Biodiesel Quality, Technical Developments
During a recent interview with Biodiesel Magazine, Scott Fenwick,
Technical Director for the National Biodiesel Board, shared the latest information
on biodiesel quality, ASTM developments, OEM approvals, and technical progress.
Fenwick talked about the tremendous improvements in fuel quality
over the years and the industry’s commitment to “Making a Positive Difference
in Today’s Society.” He explained there have been 18 revisions to the D6751
specifications since they were first published in 2002.
“The BQ-9000 programs have helped with quality assurance. But the industry is
now to a point where it has begun to police the quality of its own product.”
asked what have been biodiesel’s greatest technical achievements, Fenwick explained,
“Each new study continues to paint a better picture of biodiesel. Whether it
is greenhouse gas reductions, energy balance, life-cycle analysis, or emissions,
each new study comes out with almost continual improvement.”
NBB last year, bringing with him extensive experience in the oil industry and
the laboratory. He was introduced to biodiesel in the mid-to-late 1990s when he
was working in a New Orleans lab. You can find the full interview <a class="Fenwick
Interview Link 2" href="http://KCE.informz.net/z/cjUucD9taT0zNzAzNTE1JnA9MSZ1PTgxNjMxMjkwNCZsaT0yMjAyMTY5NQ/index.html" target="_blank" choice="1">here.
Don’t Miss Out:
NBB Conference Registration Now Open!
Registration is now
open for the 2015 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in Fort
Worth, Texas, January 19-22, 2015. Don’t miss out!
for every dollar, and you need every advantage. The 2015 conference is your
opportunity to gain a year’s worth of knowledge in just four days. It’s about
keeping up with improving technology and navigating changing policy. It’s about
industry insiders, regulators, policymakers, scientists, economists, clients,
customers, and you.
In addition to engaging speakers, unique and targeted sessions
and the latest industry advances, you’ll enjoy exploring the, City of Cowboys
and Culture. From the Stockyards, to sports venues and cultural attractions, Fort
Worth offers something for everyone. Plus, the shopping and dining options are plentiful.
are a few sites to help you get started in planning your visit:
Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau website
• Things to do in Fort Worth
Click here to register for what promises to be
the best National Biodiesel Conference & Expo ever!.