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Purchasing & Using Biodiesel. Brian D. Bontempo, Ph.D. “Benign”. Topics. Introduction What is Biodiesel? Why Biodiesel? The Diesel experience Purchasing a diesel vehicle Introduction a diesel vehicle to Biodiesel Purchasing Biodiesel Other Uses of Biodiesel. Who am I?.

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purchasing using biodiesel

Purchasing & Using Biodiesel

Brian D. Bontempo, Ph.D.


  • Introduction
  • What is Biodiesel?
  • Why Biodiesel?
  • The Diesel experience
  • Purchasing a diesel vehicle
  • Introduction a diesel vehicle to Biodiesel
  • Purchasing Biodiesel
  • Other Uses of Biodiesel
who am i
Who am I?
  • Biodiesel user for about 2.5 years running it in three different vehicles
  • Traveled extensively on the West Coast using Biodiesel
  • Former member of the Portland Biodiesel Co-op
sources of information
Sources of Information
  • Portland Biodiesel Co-op
  • National Biodiesel Board
  • Personal Experience
  • Talking to folks while traveling
  • www.biofuels4oregon.org
  • Guru’s
    • Brian Jamison
    • Loren Fennel
    • Capra J’neva
    • Jahmez Reismiller
    • Justin @ Greaseworks
why alternative fuels
Why Alternative Fuels?
  • Reduce toxic emissions
  • Eliminate support for oil based politics
  • Eliminate environmental impact of harvesting, transporting, and manufacturing gasoline
  • Fossil Fuels are not sustainable
what is biodiesel
What is Biodiesel?
  • Biodiesel is the name of a clean burning alternative fuel, produced from domestic, renewable resources. Biodiesel contains no petroleum, but it can be blended at any level with petroleum diesel to create a biodiesel blend. It can be used in compression-ignition (diesel) engines with little or no modifications. Biodiesel is simple to use, biodegradable, nontoxic, and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics. (National Biodiesel Board)
how is biodiesel made
How is Biodiesel made?
  • Biodiesel is made through a chemical process called transesterification whereby the glycerin is separated from the fat or vegetable oil. The process leaves behind two products -- methyl esters (the chemical name for biodiesel) and glycerin, a valuable byproduct used in soaps and other products. (National Biodiesel Board)
alternative fuels
Alternative Fuels
  • Vegetable Oil
    • Biodiesel
    • Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO – also known as Waste Vegetable Oil or WVO)
  • Electric
    • Electric Vehicles (EV)
    • Electric Hybrid
  • Propane
  • Ethanol
  • Hydrogen Fuel Cell
  • Air Car
why vegetable oil
Why Vegetable Oil?
  • Plenty of new and used diesel vehicles are available today
  • Primary fuel sources (biodiesel) are widely available on the West Coast
  • Secondary fuel sources (petrodiesel) are available worldwide
  • Parts manufacturers & repair mechanics are available worldwide
  • Fuel production can be localized
  • When the fuel source expires, there is no toxic end product (such as a battery)
why vegetable oil10
Why Vegetable Oil?
  • Energy Yield: The production of biodiesel yields 320% more energy than is used in manufacturing it (US Dept of Agriculture)
  • Mileage: Diesels are very efficient engines (20-50% more efficient than gas)
  • Emissions:
reduced emissions
Reduced Emissions

Source: GoBiodiesel Cooperative

why choose biodiesel over svo
Why choose Biodiesel over SVO?
  • Biodiesel is legal, SVO is not
  • Less car maintenance required
  • Less operational headaches
  • More consistent fuel sources
  • Backed by your engine’s warranty
the diesel experience
The Diesel Experience
  • How does a diesel engine work?
  • Characteristics of older diesel vehicles
  • Today’s diesel engine
rudolph diesel
Rudolph Diesel
  • Invented Diesel Engine in 1892 to run on Peanut Oil
  • “The use of vegetable oils may seem insignificant today. But such oils may in the course of time be as important as petroleum and the coal tar products of present time.” – 1912
  • (courtesy of the National Biodiesel Board)
  • A gasoline engine intakes a mixture of gas and air, compresses it and ignites the mixture with a spark.
  • A diesel engine takes in just air, compresses it and then injects fuel into the compressed air. The heat of the compressed air lights the fuel spontaneously.
  • Gas engines have spark plugs to ignite the air-fuel mixture.
  • Diesel engines have glow plugs that help the diesel turnover in cold-start circumstances when the air-fuel charge cannot be brought up to combustion temperatures.
  • A glow plug works like a heated wire and raises the air temperature inside the cylinder for cold-start, after which it turns off.
engine compression
Engine Compression
  • A gasoline engine compresses at a ratio of 8:1 to 12:1, while a diesel engine compresses at a ratio of 14:1 to as high as 25:1. The higher compression ratio of the diesel engine leads to better efficiency.
diesel fuel
Diesel Fuel
  • Diesel is heavier than gasoline.
  • Diesel is a better lubricant than gasoline.
  • Diesel evaporates much more slowly than gasoline
  • Diesel’s boiling point is higher than water.
  • Diesel fuel contains more energy per gallon than gasoline. (155 x 106 joules vs. 132 x 106 joules)
  • Biodiesel is non-toxic (does not contaminate water or soil)
  • Biodiesel is more lubricious than petrodiesel (B2 is 66% more lubricious than diesel)
  • Biodiesel is a solvent (rots rubber)
  • Biodiesel decomposes more quickly than petrodiesel
  • Biodiesel gels at a higher temperature than petrodiesel
  • Biodiesel has a higher flash point (260°-425° F vs. 125 ° F)
  • Biodiesel can be mixed with petrodiesel at any ratio
characteristics of old diesels
Characteristics of old diesels
  • Noisy
  • Dirty
  • Smelly
  • No pick-up
  • Difficult to start in winter
  • Great mileage
  • Low maintenance
  • Last forever
  • Accountants love em for the overall cost savings
today s diesels

Increased pickup

Increased efficiency

Burn more particulates

Electronic Fuel Injection

Increased pickup

Increased efficiency

Burn more particulates

Quick Glow Plugs

Decreased waiting time before cold-starting

Increased the probability of successful starts

Exhaust Enhancements

Particulate Traps

Oxidation Catalysts

Better engine design


Today’s Diesels
purchasing a diesel vehicle
Purchasing a Diesel Vehicle
  • Considerations
  • Sources
  • Makes & Models
  • Type of fuel lines (before or after 1994)
  • Type of fuel injector pump
  • Fuel Filter
  • Difficulty in starting
  • Oil Consumption
  • Availability of parts
  • New Car Dealers
  • Web Sites
    • ebay.com
    • virtualclassifieds.net
    • portland.craigslist.org
    • gobiodiesel.org
    • greaseworks.org
makes models
Makes & Models
  • Older
    • VW – Rabbit, Truck, Vanagon, Jetta, Dasher
    • Mercedes – 240D, 260D, 300D, 300TD, 300SD
    • Ford & Chevy – Full Size & Panel Trucks
    • 1980s Small Truck – Datsun, Toyota, Isuzu, Mitsubishi
    • Obscure – Volvo, Peugeot, BMW
    • Import – Toyota, Mercedes
    • School Buses - International
makes models26
Makes & Models
  • Newer
    • VW (TDI) – Jetta, Beetle, Passat
    • Mercedes – E320CDI
    • Large Trucks – Duramax (Chevy), Cummins (Dodge), Detroit (Ford)
    • Freightliner Sprinter
breaking in biodiesel
Breaking in Biodiesel
  • Install Biodiesel propaganda on bumper
  • Install a second in-line fuel filter
  • Get to know your engine (Track MPG)
  • Start with small portions of Biodiesel (B20) and increase slowly
  • Change fuel filter(s) often for at least the first 6 months
  • Change fuel lines from Rubber to Viton (synthetic) lines between 5,000 and 30,000 miles
breaking in biodiesel28
Breaking in Biodiesel
  • Things to remember about Biodiesel
    • Biodiesel is a solvent
    • Biodiesel rots rubber
    • Biodiesel gels when it gets cold
  • Things to remember about diesel engines
    • They like Biodiesel
    • They like Oil
    • They don’t like water
    • They don’t like dirt
what should you expect
What should you expect
  • Power will diminish slightly
  • Fuel efficiency will diminish slightly
  • When fuel filters are getting filled up with gunk, the engine will hesitate, starved for fuel
    • Biodiesel will clean the fuel tank kicking up sediment that the fuel filter(s) will catch
  • Rubber Fuel Lines will begin to rot
  • Fuel Injector Pump Seals may also begin to rot
  • MPGs will drop as you go over 55 mph
  • Weight gain due to increased cases of the munchies
maintaining your biodiesel vehicle
Maintaining your Biodiesel Vehicle
  • Check & drain water separator regularly
  • Changing the Fuel Filter
    • Bleed the lines of any air
    • Fill the filter with ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid)
    • Change gaskets and seals
  • Change Oil Regularly
  • Use B50 in Cold Weather – lowers cold filter plugging point from 30° F to 4° F
purchasing biodiesel
Purchasing Biodiesel
  • The different aspects of the fueling experience
  • Portland Biodiesel Distributors
  • Web Sites with more
aspects of the purchasing experience
Aspects of the Purchasing Experience
  • Fuel Distribution Type
  • Payment Type
  • Types of fuel available
  • Quality of Fuel
  • Convenience
fuel distribution type
Fuel Distribution Type
  • Retail - Small Quantity Consumer Vehicle
    • Below Ground Tank
    • 250 gallon totes
    • Delivery Truck
    • 5 gallon Jerry can
  • Bulk - Large Quantity Multipurpose
    • 250 gallon totes
    • 55 gallon drums
    • Delivery Truck
methods of payment
Methods of Payment
  • Pay at the pump
    • Pay for any amount
    • Pay for 5 gallon jerry cans
  • Cardlock
    • Pay periodically through billing
    • Pay for a specified amount ahead of time
types of fuel available
Types of Fuel Available
  • Grade
    • B100
    • B20
    • B5
  • Intended Use
    • On Road subject to $0.484 per gallon state and federal road tax.
    • Off Road
quality of fuel
Quality of Fuel
  • Varies much more than typical diesel
    • Type of vegetable oil used
    • Cleanliness of the oil if used
    • Manufacturing process
    • Age of Fuel
  • December 2001, ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) approved the full standard for biodiesel, with the new designation of D-6751 (succeeds PS 121-99)
  • Europe Rapeseed Methyl Ester Standards
  • Hours of Operation
  • Location
  • Cash/Credit/Check
portland biodiesel distributors
Portland Biodiesel Distributors
  • Sequential Biofuels
    • 1130 NW St. Helens
    • Fill up at a shell station
    • Retail Pay-at-the-pump
    • $3.10 / gal
    • 600 gal/week (1000 gal / day for normal diesel)
    • B100
portland biodiesel distributors39
Portland Biodiesel Distributors
  • Sequential Biofuels
    • 3537 NE St Helens (Hwy 30 & Kittridge)
    • Fill up at a gas station
    • Cardlock with 24/7 availability
    • Billed bi-monthly
    • $2.79 / gal
    • B20
portland biodiesel distributors40
Portland Biodiesel Distributors
  • Star Oil Co.
    • 232 NE Middlefield Rd
    • Fill up at a typical station
    • Retail Pay-at-the-pump
    • $3.10 / gal
    • 600 gal/week (1000 gal / day for normal diesel)
    • B100
portland biodiesel distributors41
Portland Biodiesel Distributors
  • Star Oil Co.
    • 4505 SE 17th Ave (at Holgate)
    • Fill up at a gas station
    • Cardlock with 24/7 availability
    • Billed bi-monthly
    • $2.79 / gal
    • B20
portland biodiesel distributors42
Portland Biodiesel Distributors
  • Industrological, LLC
    • Johnson Creek Blvd.
    • Fill up at a gas station
    • Cardlock with 24/7 availability
    • Billed bi-monthly
    • $3.01 / gal
    • B100
portland biodiesel distributors43
Portland Biodiesel Distributors
  • Albina Fuel
    • 3246 NE Broadway
    • Fill up at a typical station
    • Retail Pay-at-the-pump
    • $2.50 / gal
    • 600 gal/week (1000 gal / day for normal diesel)
    • B20
portland biodiesel distributors44
Portland Biodiesel Distributors
  • Portland Biodiesel Co-op
    • Karma Points for volunteering. $1.75 / gal
    • $50 membership dues
    • Purchase a limited amount bi-weekly
    • Fill up via jerry cans at Co-op location on Johnson Creek
    • Fuel not available at this time.
    • Volunteer hours required to maintain membership.
portland biodiesel distributors45
Portland Biodiesel Distributors
  • Private Distributors
    • 250 gallon totes (or delivered via Unamog)
    • Private appointment
    • Cash only
    • Friendly service
    • Brian Jamison (SE), Loren Fennel (North), Kris Amundson (Tigard), Kelly O’Toole (Deliver)
vicinity locations
Plan Ahead. Some of these locations are bulk only and have limited hours






Orcas Island

Vicinity Locations
other uses for biodiesel
Other Uses for Biodiesel
  • Watercraft
  • Home Heat
  • Electric Generators
  • Kiln
oregon hb 3481
Oregon HB 3481
  • Passed the House and Senate Revenue Committee
  • Reinstates the renewable fuel standard -- the requirement that oil companies blend biodiesel into diesel (2% by mid 2006; 5% by 2010) and ethanol into gasoline (10% by 2010), but only if a certain number of gallons of each of these fuels is produced in Oregon
  • Allows a property tax exemption for ethanol, biofuel (including biodiesel) and verified fuel additive production facilities
  • Allows biofuels and biomass plants, as well as equipment used to produce biofuels or grow crops for biofuels, to qualify for the Pollution Control Tax Credit (PCTC)
  • Provides tax credits to the producers of biofuel raw materials
  • Creates a Clean School Bus Grant Fund, but provides no seed funding
  • Bans MTBE and several other gasoline additives
  • Extends eligibility for expediting energy facility siting to biodiesel plants and cellulosic ethanol plants
  • Exhorts state government to use alternative fuels, but does not require biodiesel use
  • Reduces the fuel tax on biodiesel purchased for use in lightweight vehicles and farm equipment traveling on road
  • Includes several other policies to support renewable energy and sustainability (requires 1% solar in construction of new government buildings, provides lottery bonds for renewable energy R&D, allows construction of renewable energy facilities on state lands, and extends the sunset date of the sustainability board)
final comments
Final Comments
  • Buy Biodiesel. I’ve heard folks say they no longer carry it due to lack of demand.
  • Buy fuel that meets the standards - World Energy produced out of Spec Fuel (Fairfax, CA)
  • There’s a making biodiesel workshop on Sunday July 23rd at the Oregon Biodiesel Workshop in North Portland (Contact: http://www.oregonbiodieselworkshop.com/)