How can the EPA make decisions about renewable fuels if it doesn't have data?
Brazil gets to showcase two of its passions next year: biofuels and soccer. The world's largest biofuel producer is hosting the World Cup next year, and visitors will be traveling around in biodiesel buses. It should be cleaner – and safer – than hanging out of car windows.
The Amtrak Heartland Flyer makes daily runs between Oklahoma City, OK and Fort Worth, TX. It's powered by a 3,200 horsepower General Electric P32-8 locomotive with a 12-cylinder diesel engine that handles the task of pulling tremendous loads down the tracks. Back in April, the Heartland Flyer received a decal indicating that it was to be fueled with nothing but B20 (20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent conventional diesel). From that day forth, the GE locomotive, burning only B20, continued its d
The move to official automaker support for higher blends of biodiesel has been a slow one. One important step along the way were the establishment of American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards for B20 (20 percent biodiesel mixed with 80 percent petro diesel) in the middle of 2008. Last year, General Motors announced that the new 6.6-liter Duramax V8 engine would be factory certified to run on B20 sometime this spring. That time is now.
Deciphering the new vocabulary of the green car movement can sometimes be a real head scratcher. To alleviate as much confusion as possible, we would like to present our readers with a list of common acronyms and what they mean, with plenty of links for more information. If you have some TLAs (that's three-letter acronyms) that you'd like us to add to our glossary, just let us know in the comments.
2011 Ford "Scorpion" Power-Stroke 6.7-liter diesel V8 - click above for high-res image gallery
The Mini Tec AWD Mini – Click above for high-res image gallery
Manufacturers of diesel engines make it clear that small amounts of biodiesel are usually fine (most say B5, or diesel with five percent biodiesel mixed in, is OK), but they won't make any promises about higher concentrations. Popular Mechanics has a good article that explains that these companies aren't just trying to make life difficult for plant-fuel lovers: there's technology in new diesel cars that doesn't play nice with biodiesel. The Environment Protection Agency and the California Air Re
In 2009, the U.S. will use at least 11.1 billion gallons of renewable fuel. This was the pronouncement of the EPA today regarding an increase in the Renewable Fuel Standard Increased from 7.76 percent (the 2008 number) to 10.21 percent, an increase of 2.45 percentage points or about 2 billion gallons. The 11-plus billion gallons will be blended into transportation gasoline as E10, E85 and different types of biodiesel blends. The raise continues the EPA's policy of gradual increases in the annual
Back in 2007, when Volkswagen was kicking off its Dieselution tour, we asked VW of America CEO Stefan Jacoby about official support for biodiesel concentrations higher than five percent. At the time there was no national standard for B20 biodiesel blends and Volkswagen would not provide warranty coverage for engines that used higher concentrations. However, Jacoby indicated that once a fuel standard was in place, the company would revisit the issue. Last June, a B20 standard was finalized, and i
Fans of biodiesel have reason for a small celebration as this week as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) voted to approve a standard for B20 biodiesel. ASTM controls the standards for commercially available fuels (among many other things) to ensure that what is sold at the pump meets certain minimum requirements for performance and content. Automakers test all of their vehicles with ASTM standard fuels validate, performance efficiency and durability of the components. Until no
Blue Sun Biodiesel, the company that supplies B20 to the top biodiesel municipal fleet in the nation, has got at least one wealthy friend. An anonymous "private individual" has given the company a $3 million unsecured term loan for building up to ten new biodiesel blending and terminal locations this year. The facilities will handle B20 (branded as Fusion biodiesel) and B100. The $3m is not the only good financial news the company is announcing: an undisclosed amount of credit is also being fina
Drivers of diesel-powered vehicles, especially those that are still under warranty, might want to steer clear of pumps marked B20 for the time being. As we've reported before, the reason why no manufacturer will currently honor a warranty when using anything greater than B5 is that there is still no standard for B20 fuel. That means they can't validate their engines and fuel systems based on known properties. That standard is currently being developed by a Society of Automotive Engineers technic
It was just last week that Corporate Express announced it would test Isuzu's hybrid trucks in its delivery fleet. Now the Dutch-based company has said that the majority of its trucks in Kansas and Colorado are being filled up with B20. The biofuel is Fusion B20 made by Colorado's Blue Sun Biodiesel, which Corporate Express says is "an ultra-low sulfur fuel comprising 20% virgin oilseed-based biodiesel, from renewable US-grown crops, and 80% petroleum diesel." All that veggie oil in the trucks me
Nation grocery store chain Safeway has announced that they have converted their entire distribution truck fleet to running on biodiesel. The company has over 1,000 trucks in their fleet, all of which are now fueled with biodiesel. Safeway estimates that the move will cut the cumulative carbon dioxide emissions from their fleet by over 75 million pounds a year. It's unknown if Safeway is using straight biodiesel or a blend (earlier Safeway announcements about biodiesel said the company would use
Not a very exciting headline, I know, but realize what this means. With the state government offering tax incentives on soybean-based B20 biodiesel as well as E85 ethanol, each retailer can lower their price per gallon by at least ten cents, making the two renewable resource fuels that much more affordable to consumers. That, in turn, makes E85-capable vehicles more attractive to purchase, which then increases the demand for and sales of said biofuel, stimulating suppliers to churn out more go-j
So, they've made ads that are dumb, and possibly even offensive, depending on who you ask, and they just opened their first B20 station recently. But San Francisco is really putting some effort into greening their city. The newest evidence of this fact is that the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) will be collecting much of the city's waste vegetable oil (WVO) and using it as a base to create biodiesel. This biodiesel will then be used in a B20 blend to power the city's bus fleet
With the growing acceptance of biodiesel, the fuel has become more available and standards are being created to make sure that all biodiesels are created equal. With some of those hurdles being overcome, manufactures are able to do a better job of testing and ensuring that their engines will operate on biodiesel blends with a higher concentration of renewable fuels. Cummins has done exactly that, and has announced that their 2002 and later emissions-compliant ISX, ISM, ISL, ISC and ISB engines a