Dale T. Decker, industry and government relations director for Decker Truck Line Inc., has got a new pet project: testing the potential of biodiesel. Now when a company states it's going to conduct real-world testing, you rarely get an accurate control group and conversely, lab conditions offer only theoretical insights to the real world. That's apparently not good enough for Decker.
The test, which they're calling the 2 Million Mile Haul, is aiming for an unprecedented level of accuracy by testing 20 brand new trucks in real-world conditions. Half will run on traditional petroleum diesel while the other half will run on soy-based B20. To minimize anomalies, the trucks will travel matching routes and carry matching loads. Measurements and data analysis will include engine wear, mileage, fuel consumptions and repairs.

The project brings together Iowa Central Community College, the Iowa Soybean Association, Caterpillar Inc., the United States Department of Agriculture and the Renewable Energy Group of Ralston, a biodiesel plant developer. Students and faculty at Iowa Central will be conducting data measurements and analysis.

Aside from providing proof of biodiesel's potential and viability, a Caterpillar representative believes that biodiesel needs a widely accepted technical standard and that Decker's project is a step in the right direction.

[Source: Messenger Online]

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