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Applications of biodiesel

Biodiesel can be used in pure form (B100) or may be blended with petroleum diesel at any concentration in most injection pump diesel engines. New extreme high-pressure (29,000 psi) common rail engines have strict factory limits of B5 or B20, depending on manufacturer. Biodiesel has different solvent properties than petrodiesel, and will degrade natural rubber gaskets andhoses in vehicles (mostly vehicles manufactured before 1992), although these tend to wear out naturally and most likely will have already been replaced with FKM, which is nonreactive to biodiesel. Biodiesel has been known to break down deposits of residue in the fuel lines where petrodiesel has been used.[8] As a result, fuel filters may become clogged with particulates if a quick transition to pure biodiesel is made. Therefore, it is recommended to change the fuel filters on engines and heaters shortly after first switching to a biodiesel blend.[9]

Since the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, biodiesel use has been increasing in the United States.[10] In the UK, the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation obliges suppliers to include 5% renewable fuel in all transport fuel sold in the UK by 2010. For road diesel, this effectively means 5% biodiesel (B5).

Vehicular use and manufacturer acceptance

In 2005, Chrysler (then part of DaimlerChrysler) released the Jeep Liberty CRD diesels from the factory into the American market with 5% biodiesel blends, indicating at least partial acceptance of biodiesel as an acceptable diesel fuel additive.[11] In 2007, DaimlerChrysler indicated its intention to increase warranty coverage to 20% biodiesel blends if biofuel quality in the United States can be standardized.[12] The Volkswagen Group has released a statement indicating that several of its vehicles are compatible with B5 and B100 made from rape seed oil and compatible with the EN 14214 standard. The use of the specified biodiesel type in its cars will not void any warranty.[13] Mercedes Benz does not allow diesel fuels containing greater than 5% biodiesel (B5) due to concerns about "production shortcomings".[14] Any damages caused by the use of such nonapproved fuels will not be covered by the Mercedes-Benz Limited Warranty. Starting in 2004, the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia decided to update its bus system to allow the fleet of city buses to run entirely on a fish-oil based biodiesel. This caused the city some initial

mechanical issues, but after several years of refining, the entire fleet had successfully been converted.[15][16] In 2007, McDonalds of UK announced it would start producing biodiesel from the waste oil byproduct of its restaurants. This fuel would be used to run its fleet.[17] The 2014 Chevy Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, direct from the factory, will be rated for up to B20 (blend of 20% biodiesel / 80% regular diesel) biodiesel compatibility [18]

Railway usage
British train operating company Virgin Trains claimed to have run the UK's first "biodiesel train", which was converted to run on 80% petrodiesel and 20% biodiesel.[19] The Royal Train on 15 September 2007 completed its first ever journey run on 100% biodiesel fuel supplied by Green Fuels Ltd. His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, and Green Fuels managing director, James Hygate, were the first passengers on a train fueled entirely by biodiesel fuel. Since 2007, the Royal Train has operated successfully on B100 (100% biodiesel).[20] Similarly, a state-owned short-line railroad in eastern Washington ran a test of a 25% biodiesel / 75% petrodiesel blend during the summer of 2008, purchasing fuel from a biodiesel producer sited along the railroad tracks.[21] The train will be powered by biodiesel made in part from canola grown in agricultural regions through which the short line runs. Also in 2007, Disneyland began running the park trains on B98 (98% biodiesel). The program was discontinued in 2008 due to storage issues, but in January 2009, it was announced that the park would then be running all trains on biodiesel manufactured from its own used cooking oils. This is a change from running the trains on soy-based biodiesel.[22]

Aircraft use
A test flight has been performed by a Czech jet aircraft completely powered on biodiesel.[23] Other recent jet flights using biofuel, however, have been using other types of renewable fuels. On November 7, 2011 United Airlines flew the world's first commercial aviation flight on a microbially derived biofuel using Solajet, Solazyme's algae-derived renewable jet fuel. The Eco-skies Boeing 737-800 plane was fueled with 40 percent Solajet and 60 percent petroleumderived jet fuel. The commercial Eco-skies flight 1403 departed from Houston's IAH airport at 10:30 and landed at Chicago's ORD airport at 13:03.[24]

As a heating oil
Biodiesel can also be used as a heating fuel in domestic and commercial boilers, a mix of heating oil and biofuel which is standardized and taxed slightly differently than diesel fuel used for transportation. It is sometimes known as "bioheat" (which is a registered trademark of the National Biodiesel Board [NBB] and the National Oilheat Research Alliance [NORA] in the U.S., and Columbia Fuels in Canada).[25] Heating biodiesel is available in various blends. ASTM 396 recognizes blends of up to 5 percent biodiesel as equivalent to pure petroleum heating oil. Blends of higher levels of up to 20% biofuel are used by many consumers. Research is underway to determine whether such blends affect performance. Older furnaces may contain rubber parts that would be affected by biodiesel's solvent properties, but can otherwise burn biodiesel without any conversion required. Care must be taken, however, given that varnishes left behind by petrodiesel will be released and can clog pipes- fuel filtering and prompt filter replacement is required. Another approach is to start using biodiesel as a blend, and decreasing the petroleum proportion over time can allow the varnishes to come off more gradually and be less likely to clog. Thanks to its strong solvent properties, however, the furnace is cleaned out and generally becomes more efficient.[26] A technical research paper[27] describes laboratory research and field trials project using pure biodiesel and biodiesel blends as a heating fuel in oil-fired boilers. During the Biodiesel Expo 2006 in the UK, Andrew J. Robertson presented his biodiesel heating oil research from his technical paper and suggested B20 biodiesel could reduce UK household CO2 emissions by 1.5 million tons per year. A law passed under Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick requires all home heating diesel in that state to be 2% biofuel by July 1, 2010, and 5% biofuel by 2013.[28] New York City has passed a similar law.

Cleaning Oil Spills

With 80-90% of oil spill costs invested in shoreline cleanup, there is a search for more efficient and cost-effective methods to extract oil spills from the shorelines.[29] Biodiesel has displayed its capacity to significantly dissolve crude oil, depending on the source of the fatty acids. In a laboratory setting, oiled sediments that simulated polluted shorelines were sprayed with a single coat of biodiesel and exposed to simulated tides.[30] Biodiesel is an effective solvent to oil due to its methyl ester component, which considerably lowers the viscosity of the crude oil. Additionally, it has a higher buoyancy than crude oil, which later aids in its removal. As a result, 80% of oil was removed from cobble and fine sand, 50% in coarse sand, and 30% in gravel. Once the oil is liberated from the shoreline, the oil-biodiesel mixture is manually removed from

the water surface with skimmers. Any remaining mixture is easily broken down due to the high biodegradability of biodiesel, and the increased surface area exposure of the mixture.

Biodiesel in Generators
In 2001, UC Riverside installed a 6-megawatt backup power system that is entirely fueled by biodiesel. Backup diesel-fueled generators allow companies to avoid damaging blackouts of critical operations at the expense of high pollution and emission rates. However, by using B100, these generators were able to essentially eliminate the byproducts that result in smog, ozone, and sulfur emissions.[31] The use of these generators in residential areas around schools, hospitals, and the general public result in substantial reductions in poisonous carbon monoxide and particulate matter.[32]
Home/Building Heating

It is also possible to use biodiesel as a home-heating fuel. If your furnace is an oil-burning furnace, then you could be using any biodiesel blend- from B5 to B100. There are currently several customers of Dr. Dan's Alternative Fuelwerks, in Seattle [see Resources], who have biodiesel delivered for home use.

Fleet [Buses, etc]

Biodiesel use by municipal fleets has the greatest potential to improve air quality in the Puget Sound region, as most fleet vehicles run on diesel. These include most buses (both city and school), garbage trucks, and delivery trucks. In some areas of the US, the US Postal Service has begun using biodiesel in its vehicles. Just imagine if UPS and Fed-Ex trucks all ran on biodiesel!
Two local examples of fleet biodiesel use3:

Olympia Transit Fleet

The public transportation agency in Thurston County, Intercity Transit, has begun using biodiesel in its fleet of 67 buses. Intercity Transit tested use of biodiesel on several of its buses in 2002 and found no operational difficulties. In fact, because biodiesel acts as a fuel lubricant, the agency's Maintenance Director speculates that it may extend the life of bus engine components. Beyond the environmental benefits of biodiesel, Intercity Transit was attracted to using this fuel type as it can be used in any conventional diesel engine without modification and stored safely anywhere that petroleum diesel fuel is stored.

Particulate levels, regulated under the federal Clean Air Act, are high in the Puget Sound region. Lacey Mayor and Intercity Transit Authority Vice Chair, Graeme Sackrison states, "Intercity Transit's voluntary shift to biodiesel use is being done to address the new federal emphasis on reducing particulate levels in our area. In the long run, this effort will benefit everyone."
Tacoma Garbage Fleet

As part of an ongoing commitment to environmental protection, Tacoma started using a blend of diesel fuel and biodiesel in its 85-truck garbage fleet in mid-November of 2001. Tacoma is the first city in the Pacific Northwest to commit an entire fleet to biodiesel use. "The City of Tacoma is an environmental leader in our area," said Linda Graham of the Puget Sound Clean Cities Coalition. "We're hoping that the City of Tacoma's commitment to using biodiesel will help spark other communities' interest in the earth-friendly fuel and help expand the biodiesel market to private fleets as well." "We've explored alternative fuels for quite some time, but most of the options cost too much to implement," said Steve Hennessey, Fleet manager. "Using biodiesel means we can do the environmentally-right thing without spending a lot of money." In addition, the alternative fuel has not impacted the performance of the trucks and maintenance crews have not run into any mechanical problems because of its use. "The City is looking into increasing the number of trucks that use biodiesel," Hennessey said. "The cost is minimally higher, but it's well worth it considering the benefits to the environment."

Biodiesel is a perfect replacement for petroleum diesel fuel in marine applications. Marine applications can be passenger boats, but also includes ferries and ocean-going ships. Some tour operators in environmentally sensitive areas, such as Hawaii, have begun using biodiesel to protect the waters that their livelihood is derived from. Not only does it keep the marine environment cleaner, but it will help make boating more enjoyable by reducing the black smoke and foul smell associated with petroleum diesel exhaust. Because Biodiesel is oxygenated, it promotes cleaner combustion. As a result, Biodiesel exhaust fumes are friendlier to operators, crews, and passengers.

Benefits of Biodiesel

Environmental Benefits

In 2000, biodiesel became the only alternative fuel in the country to have successfully completed the EPA-required Tier I and Tier II health effects testing under the Clean Air Act. These independent tests conclusively demonstrate biodiesels' significant reduction of virtually all regulated emissions, and showed biodiesel does not pose a threat to human health. Biodiesel contains no sulfur or aromatics, and use of biodiesel in a conventional diesel engine results in substantial reduction of unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate matter. A US Department of Energy study showed that the production and use of biodiesel, compared to petroleum diesel, resulted in a 78.5% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Moreover, biodiesel has a positive energy balance. For every unit of energy needed to produce a gallon of biodiesel, 3.24 units of energy are gained.
Energy Security Benefits

With agricultural commodity prices approaching record lows, and petroleum prices approaching record highs, it is clear that more can be done to utilize domestic surpluses of vegetable oils while enhancing our energy security. Because biodiesel can be manufactured using existing industrial production capacity, and used with conventional equipment, it provides substantial opportunity for immediately addressing our energy security issues.
Economic Benefits

Increased utilization of renewable bio-fuels results in significant microeconomic benefits to both the urban and rural sectors, and the balance of trade. A study completed in 2001, by the US Department of Agriculture, found that an average annual increase of the equivalent of 200 million gallons of soy-based biodiesel demand would boost total crop cash receipts by $5.2 billion cumulatively by 2010, resulting in an average net farm income increase by $300 million per year. The price for a bushel of soybeans would increase by an average of $0.17 annually during the 10 year period.
Quality Benefits
Biodiesel is registered as a fuel and fuel additive with the EPA and meets clean diesel standards established by the California Air Resource Board [CARB]. B100 [100% Biodiesel] has been designated as an alternative fuel by the US Department of Energy and the US Department of Transportation.

The National Biodiesel Board has formed the National Biodiesel Accreditation Commission [NBAC] to audit fuel producers and marketers in order to enforce fuel quality standards in the US. NBAC issues a "certified biodiesel marketer" seal of approval for biodiesel marketers that have met all requirements of fuel accreditation audits. These seals of approval will provide added assurance to customers, as well as engine manufacturer's, that the biodiesel marketed by these company's meets the ASTM standards for biodiesel and that the fuel supplier will stand behind its products.2 In addition to being a domestically produced, renewable alternative fuel for diesel engines, biodiesel has positive performance attributes, such as cetane, high fuel lubricity, and high oxygen content, which may make it a preferred blending stock with future ultra clean diesel.

Biofuels Use Tax Credit A state resident who purchases gasoline blended with 85% ethanol (E85) or biodiesel blends of at least 99% (B99) for use in an alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) qualifies for an income tax credit of $0.50 per gallon, up to $200 for each AFV that is registered in Oregon and owned or leased by the resident. For the purpose of this tax credit, an AFV is a motor vehicle that can operate using E85 or B99. This incentive is applicable until January 1, 2013. (Reference Oregon Revised Statutes 315.465)

Renewable Fuels Mandate All diesel fuel sold in the state must be blended with 2% biodiesel. The biodiesel blending requirement increases to 5% when the production of biodiesel from state sources reaches a level of at least 15 million gallons on an annualized basis. For the purpose of this mandate, biodiesel is defined as a motor vehicle fuel derived from vegetable oil, animal fat, or other non-petroleum resources, that is designated as B100 and complies with ASTM specification D6751. Beginning January 2, 2012, renewable diesel will qualify as a substitute for biodiesel in the blending requirement. Renewable Fuels Mandate Portland All gasoline sold within the Portland city limits must contain a minimum of 10% ethanol (E10), and diesel fuel must contain a minimum of 5% biodiesel (B5) and must meet ASTM D6751 standards. The diesel blend requirement will increase to 10% biodiesel on July 1, 2010. Fuel vendors must place signage denoting the type of biofuels mixture available for sale. A retailer, who offers a biodiesel blend of 20% (B20) or greater, is exempt from the requirement and is allowed to provide for sale, on the same site or a contiguous site, diesel fuel that does not contain biodiesel. (Reference: Portland Policy Documents ENN-6.02) Biodiesel Quality Testing Procedures Each biodiesel or other renewable diesel producer, distributor, or importer must retain the certificate of analysis for each batch or production lot of B100 sold or delivered in the state for at least one year. The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) or authorized agents are permitted to examine these records as necessary. The ODA or authorized agents may perform on-site testing or obtain samples of biodiesel or other renewable diesel from any producer, bulk facility, or retail location that sells, distributes, transports, hauls, delivers, or stores biodiesel or other renewable diesel. The related testing cost is the responsibility of the business from which the sample was obtained. (Reference: Oregon Revised Statutes 646.923)