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APPLIED TECHNOLOGY College for the Real World BioDiesel: What Every Fleet Needs To Know Presented By: Rich Cregar, WTCC April 16, 2008 N.C. State Fairgrounds Who’s Talking: Rich Cregar, Instructor Wake Technical Community College Over 37 years automotive experience

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College for the Real World

BioDiesel: What Every Fleet Needs To Know

Presented By: Rich Cregar, WTCC

April 16, 2008

N.C. State Fairgrounds

who s talking rich cregar instructor wake technical community college
Who’s Talking:Rich Cregar, InstructorWake Technical Community College

Over 37 years automotive experience

CMAT, L1, F1

Graduate, SAE Diesel Technology Academy

Independent Shop Owner, 17 years

Member, Society of Automotive Engineers, NACAT, EENC

Member, SAE Vehicle Fire Safety Committee

Technical Consultant to Miles Automotive Group, EV Manufacturer

u s air quality
U.S. Air Quality

Courtesy EPRI

why diesel
Why Diesel?

Graphic: Bosch

saturated vs unsaturated fats
Saturated vs. Unsaturated Fats

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


When diesel fuel is injected into the very hot compressed air in the combustion chamber, it must be able to ignite spontaneously. This quality of diesel is known as “auto-ignition” and any time lag from the moment of injection until the fuel ignites is called “ignition lag”. A numeric scale has been devised to measure a fuels quality with respect to its ability to immediately “auto ignite” and this scale is know as the Cetane index or Cetane number. Pure Cetane is the “perfect” diesel fuel because it auto-ignites instantaneously. Therefore, it is assigned the Cetane # “100”. On the other hand, methyl naphthalene is a very slow burning fuel and is unsuitable for use in a modern diesel. It has a Cetane # of 0. Refiners blend their distillate products to achieve a Cetane number somewhere in the middle of this range. A rating of 50 is considered very desirable. Most Diesel in the US has a Cetane # in the low 40’s. 40 is considered the minimum acceptable value. Pure Canola based biodiesel has a Cetane # of 63!

biodiesel blends
Biodiesel Blends

What’s wrong with blends above B5?

Problems to solve for higher blends

Fuel quality

Fuel oxidation stability

Contamination, microbe growth

High cloud point

Materials interaction

NOx increase

Fuel filter water separation efficiency

biodiesel blends11
Biodiesel Blends

Quality: Certification program for producers and marketers (BQ9000). Availability of ASTM spec. fuel.

Stability: ASTM stability working group. D6751 spec for B100 needs stability spec. W also need a stand alone B20 spec., stability additives and good practices.

B20 blended with ULSD has 5 to 10 times worse stability than blending with S-500

Contamination, microbe growth: Fuel delivery and storage control must improve, develop stability additives.

biodiesel blends12
Biodiesel Blends

High Cloud Point: Develop cold flow improver additives or blend higher % Petro Diesel

Materials Interaction with Biodiesel needs to be fully understood. Need to confirm long term B20 effects

NOx: Need to understand certification implications for Nox increase. (2 % NOx increase w/B20)

Water Separation Efficiency: Filtration materials, larger size units or additional filters will be needed

fuel quality
Fuel Quality
  • Recent study by the DOE on B20 blends from random suppliers determined that 36% of the samples didn’t meet the 18-22% blend ratio!
materials interaction
Materials Interaction
  • Degradation/swelling of elastomers (natural and nitrile rubber), Nylon.
  • BioDiesel attacks brass, bronze, copper, lead, tin and zinc
  • Example: Bosch pump overpressure valve, removal of zinc coating after 1 yr stand-by genset operation with B20 (300 hrs):
  • #2 Diesel B20 blend
nox emissions
Nox Emissions
  • Degradation/swelling of elastomers (natural and nitrile rubber), Nylon 66
  • Attacks brass, bronze, copper, lead, tin and zinc
  • Bosch pump overpressure valve, removal of zinc coating after 1 yr stand-by genset operation with B20 (300 hrs):
  • #2 Diesel B20 blend
biodiesel quality
Biodiesel Quality

6) Water

Specification: <500PPM

Good quality petro diesel has a water content in the range of 50ppm

Biodiesel will retain up to 1500 ppm of water!

Water damages fuel system components, is currently an issue with OEM’s Re: their B5 limitation

high pressure diesel technology water18
High Pressure Diesel Technology & Water

Photos courtesy of the Robert Bosch Corporation

switching over older vehicles
Switching Over- Older Vehicles

Biodiesel contains alcohol, which is a natural solvent. Vehicles that have been in service for any length of time using fossil diesel will have a buildup of lacquers and other petroleum deposits on the walls of the fuel tank and fuel lines. The alkyl-esters in biodiesel will tend to “clean” these deposits from the surfaces of the fuel system and carry them to the vehicles fuel filters, where they will be trapped and will quickly clog the filter! These same alcohols can also attack some of the “soft” parts, such as o-rings and flexible fuel lines. When B-20 or B-100 are used, Care must be taken to make sure that these components are made of materials, such as Viton, that are compatible with biodiesel!

biodiesel lubricity
Biodiesel Lubricity

Diesel injection systems have always used the diesel fuel to provide lubrication to the many small, close tolerance moving parts in fuel deliver pumps, injector pumps and fuel injectors. The sulphur in fossil diesel produces many harmful emissions and is responsible for causing the engine oil to turn black. Yet it is an excellent lubricant and helps provide the lubricating quality of diesel fuel. Fossil diesel (known as Low-sulphur Diesel) has about 500 parts per million of sulphur. Even at that level, lubricity enhancers are routinely added to the fuel to protect engine fuel systems.

biodiesel lubricity21
Biodiesel Lubricity

On Oct. 15 of 2006 Federal Law required this content to be reduced to 15 parts per million or less for on-highway fuel. This is ULSD. (Ultra-low sulphur Diesel). The removal of the sulphur from diesel fuel has a further impact on its lubricating quality. Engineers have to add additional enhancers to the fuel, or use more expensive components that can better tolerate the lack of lubrication from ULSD.

The alkyl-esters in Biodiesel are a natural lubricant. Engineers have recognized that the use of biodiesel, even in relatively low percentages such as B2 or B5 will enhance the lubricity of the fuel and thus replace the sulphur as a lubricant without any of sulphur’s harmful effects.


HFRR - High Frequency Reciprocating Rig (HFRR). In this test, a steel ball wears against a disk in high speed oscillation and the size of the wear scar is the measure of fuel lubricity.

biodiesel lube oil
BioDiesel & Lube Oil

Photo: Chevron oil Co.

biodiesel lube oils
BioDiesel & Lube Oils

Photo: Chevron oil Co.


Photo: Chevron oil Co.

Enough Said?

Photo: Chevron oil Co.

manufacturer warranty
Manufacturer Warranty
  • Using blends higher than B5 may void the manufacturer’s warranty.
current warranty status
Current Warranty Status:

Graphic Credit-ASG Renaissance

biodiesel economics
Biodiesel Economics

American Jobs Act enacted 10/04

Deals with tax credits for Biodiesel and Ethanol to offset the Federal Excise Tax on motor fuels

The FET is currently $0.25/gal on all motor fuels.

Under this law, a credit of $1.00/ gal will be given when Biodiesel or Ethanol fuels are mixed with petroleum products.

This law will expire on 12/31/08

biodiesel economics29
Biodiesel Economics


An oil company is going to blend 1000 gallons of B5.

The FET on this fuel will be $250.00

However, 50 gallons of this blend is Biodiesel, so a $50.00 credit can be applied so the total taxes paid will be only $200.00

biodiesel economics30
Biodiesel Economics

Yellow grease and brown grease (non-agricultural oil) can only take a credit of $0.50/gal

B100 is exempt from the FET

A producer selling B100 to an end user can claim a $1.00/ gal credit through the income tax system.

The Biodiesel must come from an IRS registered and certified producer

2007 biofuels legislative action

2007 budget includes $1M for Dept of Commerce grant program

30% dedicated to expanding refueling infrastructure, distribution and retail biofuels outlets

S1272-Biodiesel Tax exemption Motor fuels tax exemption for biodiesel produced by an individual for use in a private passenger vehicle registered in that individual's name

S1277- Biodiesel Warrenties: Diesel vehicles purchased by state must be warrented for B20 use

S1452- Diesel School Buses to Use B20- requires 2% diesel used by NC School buses be B20 by June 2008

2007 Biofuels Legislative Action
incentives for biofuel producers
Grants/Producer Payments

$0.10/gallon (VA)

$0.20/gallon (MS)

Renewable Energy Grants (FL)

Tax Credits

25% cost of constructing/equipping facility (NC)

35% cost of production equipment (NC)

$0.20-$0.30/ gallon to producer (SC)

75% of all capital, operation, maintenance, R&D costs (FL)

Tax Exemptions

Some production equipment exempt from sales and use taxes (SC)

Incentives for Biofuel Producers
incentives for biodiesel retailers

Given to private stations to dispense biofuels (TN)

Tax Credits

15% for refueling infrastructure (NC)

20% of refueling infrastructure construction cost (LA)

25% of refueling infrastructure construction and equipment cost (SC)

75% of capital, maintenance, R&D cost of storage and distribution of biodiesel (FL)

Tax Exemptions

All materials used in biodiesel production exempt from state sales, rental, use, consumption, distribution, and storage tax (FL)

Incentive payment

$0.05/gallon of B20 sold (SC)

Incentives for Biodiesel Retailers
state laws regulations that promote biofuel
Alternative Fuel Use Requirements

Require state fleets/employees to implement the use of biofuels when feasible (VA, NC, SC, GA, MS, KY)

Committees formed on biofuels expansion

Strategic Plan for Biofuels Leadership(NC)

Biodiesel Committee (MS)

Tax exemptions

The retail sale, use, storage or consumption of alternative fuels is exempt from the state retail sales and use tax. Applies to off road biodiesel (NC)

Alternative fuels and alternative fuel blends are exempt from the state sales and use tax. (SC)

State Laws/Regulations that Promote Biofuel