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  #1  
Old 10-05-2004, 08:57 AM
Alan Hamm's Avatar
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Really Biodiesel?

Yesterday I stopped for fuel and saw that a "Liberty" station was selling Biodiesel for $2.05 a gallon. This was convenient and only a few pennies more than the diesel across the street. There was no indication of whether this was B20 or B100, but I assumed B20 bacause of the price. I went ahead and filled up and then went in to ask the attendent whether it was 20% or 100% Biodiesel. He told me it was 2%.

Is that possible? Was he just misinformed? Could they call it Biodiesel?
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  #2  
Old 10-05-2004, 09:03 AM
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Yes they can depending on what regulations there are on biodiesel labeling in your state. In CA I think yhey have to state the blend percentage. On the bright side you still get lubricity benifits at 2%.

Stephen
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  #3  
Old 10-05-2004, 09:25 AM
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B20 is about $2.50/gallon on the eastern shore, Last time I filled up with B100 it was about $3.60/gallon.

$2.05 would be about right for a B2 blend - but I agree the station is kind of misrepresenting it's product if its labeling B2 as "BioDiesel"

Around here all the pumps are labled B20 or B100 - never just "BioDiesel"
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Old 10-05-2004, 09:36 AM
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I had just never heard about B2. Is this popular? Sucked me in because the the Biodiesel advertisement. I think I am going to check with the company to be sure what it was.

Based on Price, you are correct that 2% makes more sense. But I was hoping for 20%
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  #5  
Old 10-05-2004, 09:38 AM
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I've heard of such thin percentages. 2% is weak, but still beneficial. I just paid $2.09 for B20 in Denver.
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  #6  
Old 10-05-2004, 03:56 PM
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B2 is more than enough to achieve the lubricity benefits of biodiesel. It provides the highest gain in lubricity for the lowest cost. Some 'premium diesels' include concentrations as little as .15%, just for the lubricity benefit.

When you buy B2, its not good because you are buying biodiesel so much as its good because you are NOT buying extra sulfur and lubricating additives. Biodiesel lubricates great, and is a fuel in its own right. Sulfur and other additives lubricate, but are not fuels, and make bad things (like sulfur dioxide). Nearly all diesel fuel in Europe (I think) is now B2, for just that reason.

However, it is a bit annoying that the pump doesn't say what the blend is.. Less than 5% is usually just called an 'additive', its not usually called biodiesel. If someone is calling it Biodiesel at the pump, personally I'd expect it to be at least B20. You might mention this to the manager. Express your happiness that they are supporting biodiesel, but suggest that the sticker on the pump show the concentration, so people know what they are putting in their tanks.

Peace,
Sam
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  #7  
Old 10-05-2004, 06:13 PM
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Boy the internet is great. Just a few clicks and there you go: 2% is common and in is in fact what I got.

http://www.vafb.com/news/2003/june/062603_2.htm

I was hoping for B20 just to see if it made an obvious difference
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Old 10-05-2004, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Hamm
Yesterday I stopped for fuel and saw that a "Liberty" station was selling Biodiesel for $2.05 a gallon.
Is that possible? Was he just misinformed? Could they call it Biodiesel?
I stopped at a Liberty station on a recent trip, it was in Virginia, I think. I had the same thoughts, too cheap to be biodiesel.

I got biodiesel at several stations where the attendant was uninformed and uninterested in the product. They just don't know what they are missing.
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  #9  
Old 10-05-2004, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old300D
I've heard of such thin percentages. 2% is weak, but still beneficial. I just paid $2.09 for B20 in Denver.
where was that exactly? im in denver too
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Old 10-06-2004, 07:17 AM
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If 2% really has benefit, it seems like a 5 gallon bucket of B100 would go a long way. .4 gallons in a 20 gallon fillup and that 5 gallon bucket would last 12.5 tanks or about 5000 miles.

Maybe it is worth it to drive out of the way to a place that sells B100.
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  #11  
Old 10-06-2004, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy hat
where was that exactly? im in denver too
Offen Petroleum, North of I-70 at the intersection of York and Brighton Boulevard.

Blue Sun Biodiesel
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  #12  
Old 10-06-2004, 11:09 AM
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What am I missing here? I thought the main attraction of biodiesel was its lower price. Sounds to me like these prices are higher than regular diesel fuel. If you just want the lubricant quality I think you'd be better off by just adding a qt. of motor oil with each fill-up.
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  #13  
Old 10-06-2004, 11:12 AM
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I don't think commercial biodiesel is ever cheaper than regular diesel. WVO could be a lot cheaper if you don't factor in your time.
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  #14  
Old 10-06-2004, 12:31 PM
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In my experience Biodiesel is always more expensive than diesel. It may be cheaper if you make your own and don't count the value of your time. Most people value it for its environmental and social value.

WVO can be almost free. I get mine by driving behind a local ( one mile away ) restaurant and grabbing the cubes they set out for me. Really no time lost. Filtering takes a little time. I drink beer, listen to music and clean/fix/build stuff while it is filtering, it takes little attending. Start with good oil and filter it well.
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  #15  
Old 10-06-2004, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toblin
What am I missing here? I thought the main attraction of biodiesel was its lower price. Sounds to me like these prices are higher than regular diesel fuel. If you just want the lubricant quality I think you'd be better off by just adding a qt. of motor oil with each fill-up.
Potential costs of biodiesel are less than petroleum diesel. Its just economies of scale and government subsidization of petroleum that makes dino-diesel cheaper.

Think about it.. If diesel is 1.90 a gallon with all the economy of scale and government funding, and biodiesel is 2.90 a gallon without any of that, then it is doing pretty good. Considering that petroleum diesel production is orders of magnitude larger than biodiesel production, if its only 1.00 a gallon cheaper, then its not doing so well.

The main benefits of biodiesel (in no particular order, and not all inclusive):

* Better lubricity
* Lower emissions (except for NOx, which there are some clever fixes for)
* No dependence on foreign oil (and all the problems we've seen THAT cause)
* Made in the USA by American workers out of American crops (or if you aren't in the USA, then it can be made out of your local crops by your local workers, which is good no matter where you are)
* Less toxic
* Less annoying smoke
* Closes the carbon cycle (growing the plants to get the oil consumes as much CO2 as the biodiesel releases)
* Can be made at home very cheaply if you get wasted fryer oil for free, and don't mind a little effort
* Can be made commercially very cheaply as economies of scale begin to take effect

Currently 'lower cost' is not really on that list. However, in time it will be lower cost, since it will only get cheaper as production goes up, and dino-diesel will only get more expensive as oil reserves dry up and opec controls pricing. One day in the not to distant future, you'll find biodiesel costing less than dino-diesel. In the meantime, we pay a bit of a premium in order to support all the above listed benefits.

B2 (2% biodiesel in 98% dino-diesel) is a very economical way to get the lubricity benefit, as well as lower emissions a bit (because biodiesel's inherent lubricity means you can leave out sulfur and other additives from the fuel). Thats why most of Europe already uses B2. In the end, it would be great if we were all using B100, but I'm comfortable with 'baby steps' as the industry grows.

peace,
sam
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