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  #1  
Old 02-14-2015, 11:03 AM
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Biomass based diesel vs biodiesel

I went to fill up at what I thought was a B20 pump in Fremont, CA yesterday when I was greeted by this confusing set of stickers.
http://i.imgur.com/hV72fAY.jpg
Quote:
CONTAINS NO BIODIESEL, 98% BIOMASS BASED DIESEL
The product is called Diesel HPR.
http://i.imgur.com/h66RuaD.jpg
It was cheap. $2.75/gal when most stations are selling diesel at $3 or more. Regular unleaded at the same station was $2.79.

Labeling confusion
Well-Worth Products, Inc.: Articles - White Paper on Emergency Backup Power Generators and Fire Pumps
Quote:
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has now created labeling requirements for diesel and biodiesel. These requirements have wide ranging consequences for all diesel fuel users.
Whats the difference between biodiesel and biomass based diesel?
Biomass Diesel: Rising Star of the Renewable Fuel Standard | Bioenergy Connection
Quote:
The second kind of biomass-based diesel is called “renewable diesel” or “green diesel.” Like biodiesel, it is made from the oils of seeds, algae, or animal fats. Unlike biodiesel, it is transformed into fuel by a process used in conventional petroleum refining called hydrotreating. The resulting fuel is chemically identical to conventional diesel and can be blended in any proportion. It has a higher energy content than biodiesel and works better in cold weather. Because renewable diesel duplicates conventional diesel, Plaza acknowledges, it’s “a product that everybody would rather have.”
The sellers claims.
Propel Diesel HPR
Quote:
Diesel HPR has 40% higher cetane than typical diesel for smoother combustion and a better ride.

Refined through advanced hydrotreating technology to meet your diesel engine specifications, Diesel HPR comes from recycled tallow and oils, a byproduct of chicken, beef and fish production.

outperforms Biodiesel B20, delivering more power and lower emissions, and meets the ASTM D975 petroleum diesel specification required by diesel engines. While some vehicle manufacturers recommend limiting use of biodiesel to blends of 5% & 20% (B5 - B20), there are no limits to the blend ratio of renewable Diesel HPR. Diesel HPR does not contain biodiesel.
My impressions: Totally clear liquid, no odor as compared to conventional diesel, engine runs exactly the same. Aparently its only sold in NorCal for now. The same company still sells B20 at some stations but its being replaced by this biomass fuel.

Has anybody else tried this stuff? I'm curious to see how the fuel economy of this stuff compares to the conventional diesel I usually buy.

EDIT: From what I've read so far the one big disadvantage biomass diesel has vs biodiesel is relatively poor lubricity. The manufacturer has to add the same lubricity additives as regular diesel (hence the 98% label) in order to bring the HFRR number below the 520 micron threshold. With regular diesel I was using 1% straight soybean oil to improve lubricity and I'm going to continue to do so with this stuff. So very good cetane but only average lubricity.

EDIT 2:
Quote:
Paraffinic diesel, whether from fossil or biogenic sources, is a cle an-burning
fuel lowering exhaust emissions and local pollution. Synthetic diesel from natu-
ral gas (gas-to-liquids, GTL) is probably the best known paraffinic fuel. Another
fossil alternative is synthetic diesel from coal (coal-to-liquid, CTL), produced,
e.g., in South Africa.
Paraffinic fuels can also be produced from renewable feedstocks, through gas-
ification and synthesis from solid biomass (biomass-to-liquids, BTL) and through
hydrotreatment of vegetable oils and animal fats (hydrotreated vegetable oil,
HVO)
. Of these BTL is still in the development phase, whereas HVO is already
commercial. Paraffinic diesel from renewable sources is of special interest to
municipalities responsible for public transport, as this kind of fuel enables high
shares of biocomponents as well as reduced local pollution. Renewable paraffinic
diesel could therefore be a viable option in greening the public transport systems
based on buses.
180 page PDF Long term study of HVO diesel in Helsinki bus fleet.

EDIT 3 Propel Fuels is purchasing its renewable diesel from Nests oil of Finland (see above) AKA NexBTL. This confirms its 75+ cetane.
Quote:
Propel will be introducing ultra-low NOx, 100% Renewable Diesel/NextBTL (RD) to 31 existing Propel locations in 2015.
Moreover, Propel plans to build an additional 50 sites per year after, which will serve both RD and E85 in high volumes. We have shown these volume estimates in the attached.
PDF

EDIT 4: Cetane info for anyone mixing it with regular diesel. The stuff sold at the pumps in California is 98% HVO.
Quote:


This graph is interesting.

http://www.nesteoil.com/default.asp?path=1,41,11991,22708,22709,22710

EDIT 5: Here's where the fuel comes from and how its made.
http://www.arb.ca.gov/fuels/lcfs/2a2b/apps/neste-aus-rpt-031513.pdf
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  #2  
Old 02-14-2015, 11:54 AM
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That's cool. I believe most of it is sold in CA. Round here it just gets mixed in with the regular pipeline supply so there's no way to know what amount of "green diesel" you're getting.

It's the high science version of the biodiesel we all know with the capability to be produced from the nastiest of the nasty feedstocks.
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Old 02-14-2015, 01:22 PM
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What station in Fremont did you find this at?
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Old 02-14-2015, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudsurfer View Post
What station in Fremont did you find this at?
Chevron station at:
39707 Paseo Padre Pkwy - Fremont, CA
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Old 02-14-2015, 07:02 PM
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i came here to ask about this same product. i just filled up in oakland today where i used to get b20. i was kinda angry at first because i thought it was some gimmicky way of saying D2 but apparently its "biodiesel" made from animal fats ? i put it in a 617 which can run on anything so im not worried about that, but im interested to see whether it provides more power than biodiesel and/or if it maintains the smooth and quiet running effects.
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Old 02-14-2015, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepstar View Post
i came here to ask about this same product. i just filled up in oakland today where i used to get b20. i was kinda angry at first because i thought it was some gimmicky way of saying D2 but apparently its "biodiesel" made from animal fats ? i put it in a 617 which can run on anything so im not worried about that, but im interested to see whether it provides more power than biodiesel and/or if it maintains the smooth and quiet running effects.
Good to see I'm not the only one trying this stuff. Please update with your impressions after a few miles.

The only noticible difference is the engine is extremely smooth after a cold start. It was 45f this morning and usually I get a bit more vibration after the first minute of running at this temp. This morning, nothing. Dead smooth from the moment I turned the key. I can't seem to find specifications for this particular fuel but one web site claims hydrotreated biomass diesel is 80+ cetane If thats true it would exceed even the best biodiesel. I'm going to contact the seller for a data sheet.

I took some comparison pics of 100% petro diesel (left, yellow) and biomass diesel (right, clear).
petro diesel vs biomass based diesel - Album on Imgur
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Old 02-15-2015, 01:45 AM
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Interesting coincidence. I've been up in the Bay Area for the last few weeks and found the "Propel Fuels" vendors offering B-20, so I've been running my '98 on it for the first time ever. (I was hoping for a quick cure for the one-cylinder nailing at idle & cold start miss issue, but alas no miracle occurred.)

Before heading down to So-Cal today, I went to fill up at a different Propel vendor (in Oakland on Grand Ave.) and found this HPR stuff instead of the B-20. I filled up with it (half a tank) so I effectively had a 40/50/10 mix of D2, HPR, & Biodiesel. Ran the car HARD, and I mean REALLY FLIPPING HARD on the I-5 Autobahn to hopefully blow out as much carbon as possible prior to attempting glow plug replacement in the next week or two.

About Diesel HPR | Propel Diesel HPR

If this stuff truly has an astronomical cetane rating, it will be interesting to see how it starts in the AM tomorrow. If it helped smooth out tjts1's cold start, I wonder if it will decrease my cold start single cylinder miss & nailing. I'll revisit this thread and keep you updated.
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Old 02-16-2015, 01:34 AM
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i'm now wondering how much of the fuel is from renewable sources. i forget what the label on the pump was. if there is little to no d2 blended then this will be my fuel of choice. i know that by law B20 was the maximum they could provide at a self service pump, anything above required signing waivers. but i'm wondering since this is supposedly identical in structure to petroleum maybe they can supply 100% biomass?
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Old 02-16-2015, 02:55 AM
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The HPR pump in Fremont said 98% biomass (pic in first post). I'm really liking this stuff so far. The engine is quieter, more eager to rev and from what I can see in my rear view mirror no smoke when I floor it at any RPM. Thats with a 50/50 mix in the tank of left over conventional diesel and HPR. After I run down this tank I'll try this fuel on its own.
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Old 02-16-2015, 04:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjts1 View Post
The HPR pump in Fremont said 98% biomass (pic in first post). I'm really liking this stuff so far. The engine is quieter, more eager to rev and from what I can see in my rear view mirror no smoke when I floor it at any RPM. Thats with a 50/50 mix in the tank of left over conventional diesel and HPR. After I run down this tank I'll try this fuel on its own.
oh duh! thanks. i'm really excited about this.
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Old 02-16-2015, 06:32 PM
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Thats almost worth driving down 1 hour for.
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Old 02-17-2015, 12:38 AM
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Yes, good stuff indeed!

Update: This HPR stuff seems pretty darn good. I've had a single cylinder cold-start alternating miss/nailing that settles down into a light nailing at idle after about 20 seconds of run time.

During the last two morning's cold start, the cylinder missed maybe 3-4 times instead of 10-12 times during the first 15 seconds or so before settling down. And once it is running stably, the nailing is significantly reduced in intensity, almost to where you barely hear it. So the increased cetane rating seems to make a significant difference there.

Overall, the engine seems to be significantly smoother overall plus it seems as though it has more power too. Or it could be the placebo effect.

Although I haven't finished out the tank yet, it seems as though the mileage is too good to be true for the hard driving that took place. (I'll know when I fill & top off the tank to calculate it.)

Now how much of this is directly attributable to the 50/50 HPR/B20 blend in the tank is debatable, as the kamikaze run down I-5 to blow the snot/carbon/cobwebs out of the engine is also a contributory factor. Change more than one parameter at a time, and... well, you know.

IDK... but if the HPR were available where I live I would most definitely keep using it.
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Current rolling stock:
1992 500E 217,000+
1995 E300D 412,000+
1998 E300D 155,000+
2001 E320 227,000+
One big Japanese 4wd box on wheels. (How the hell did that happen???)

Prior MBZ’s:
1952 220 Cab A
1966 300SE
1971 280SE
1973 350SLC (euro)
1980 450SLC
1980 450SLC (#2)
1978 450SLC 5.0
1984 300D ~243,000 & fondly remembered
1993 500E - sorely missed.
1975 VW Scirocco w/ stroked, slightly de-tuned Super-Vee engine - Sold after 30+ years of ownership
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Old 02-17-2015, 02:04 AM
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i was just going to say this seems to have, at least partially, solved my injector nailing problem
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Old 02-17-2015, 03:09 AM
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Originally Posted by C.Doner View Post
Thats almost worth driving down 1 hour for.
its cheap. cheaper than diesel and i think only a dime more than unleaded at the station i was at. definitely worth filling up some carboys with it.
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Old 02-17-2015, 07:01 PM
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A few more bits of information I've been able to dig up. The manufacturer claims its "40% higher cetane than conventional diesel". If they are comparing it to CA 53 minimum cetane, that would make this 74 cetane. Another hydrotreated vegetable oil manufacturer in Europe is claiming 80+ cetane.

The end product goes by several different names depending on the market:
biomass based diesel (US FTC name)
green diesel
HVO- hydrotreated vegetable oil
reneweable diesel
paraffinic diesel

The hydrotreating process can be applied to any number of feed stocks including animal fats, plant oils, crude oil, natural gas (GTL -gas to liquid fuel) and even gassified wood. Regardless of the feedstock, the hydrotreating process yields essentially the same thing. A very high cetane, high energy density, low lubricity fuel that is clear in color and can be run in all diesel engine at any ratio unlike biodiesel.
NEXBTL Renewable Diesel vs. Fossil Diesel

Don't try this at home:
http://youtu.be/9n9223uQgiA

The downside is LUBRICITY. In the US diesel fuel has to have an HFRR of less than 520 micron. In Europe its less than 460 micron. While biodiesel has very good lubricity (less than 300 micron) the hydrotreated fuel is much worse... 640 micron. The manufacturer has to put lubricity additives in the fuel in order for it to meet the ASTM D975 standard in the US of less than 520 micron wear scar. I would suggest using a lubricity additive with this fuel just to be sure (TCW3, WVO, SVO etc).


HVO is old name for our "biomass diesel"
EN590 is Euro spec petrolium diesel similar to current ULSD
GTL - natural gas to liquid fuel usually produced through Fischer–Tropsch process
FAME - Fatty acid methyl esters, aka biodiesel

Notice that HVO has a higher energy density per KG but slightly lower energy density per liter than conventional diesel. Too bad we don't by fuel by the KG or LB. Also notice how they fudged on the lubricity by saying well they all have to meet the same 460 micron lubricity standard so theres no diff IF the lubricity additives are there. Biodiesel is in the 300 micron range without the additives.
In this PDF they buried the lubricity of the fuel in a footnote on page 15.
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