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  #1  
Old 12-18-2015, 01:19 PM
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Biodiesel in Brooklyn - Steal this idea.

Hi folks,

I have an 87 300D that I want to run B20 in, but I find it difficult to find Biodiesel in Brooklyn, NY. Tristate has it but is only open during business hours and they are up in the bronx. Not convenient.

I was thinking a cool idea might be to get a few people together, put a big IBC tote on the back of a pickup, park it in a secure lot, and have tristate deliver B20 or B100 to the truck (at a bulk discount?). Then other folks with diesels in brooklyn (so many!) could swing by and fill up.

Lots of details of course, but is this idea interesting to anybody? Anybody heard of anything like this?

OR has anyone in the area figured out the right way to get B20 around here??

Thanks all,
Ben.
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  #2  
Old 12-18-2015, 03:36 PM
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Why do you want to run B20...to save money, or save the earth through reducing fossil fuel usage?

B20 is still 80% diesel, so you're not saving much as far as fossil fuel. I would guess commercial BD is more expensive than D2 right now, given current petroleum prices.

If there is room in your secure lot to store a pickup and 250 gal tote, can you not find room to install a BD processor?

I doubt any wholesaler would give a discount to deliver 250 gals.

Having said all that, I run homemade B100 in three vehicles all year, and my home boiler for the summer months. I can't make enough to keep the boiler supplied through the winter.

If I were in Brooklyn, had space constraints, and wanted to reduce my petroleum footprint, I would consider procuring some WVO, filtering, blending with either D2 or RUG, and running it that way at 20% rate. That gets you to the same place as running B20, and is cheaper. At 20% you're probably not going to get into much of a coking issue.
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  #3  
Old 12-18-2015, 04:34 PM
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Hi Mark, thanks for your response.

Problem around here is space and time (same as everywhere I supposed). I can find the secure lot, but not a space to process BD in as easily. If I had the space for that, I would already have the tank installed! Even if I found a space for just me, I would want to share and then there might be some fueling regulations to run up against. That's my thinking anyway.

I spoke with a BD supplier here the other day and they will deliver for 250 gallons or more. It's the same deal for them as with a home heating oil delivery. At that amount I think they said the price was $1.85/gallon. I haven't checked in a while though.

I was only thinking B20 because it's winter (though it doesn't feel like it!), and it may be easier to convert some folks to join me.

My goal is primarily to reduce my fossil fuel usage. Saving money would be a nice bonus. I don't really go very far around here though and don't use a ton of fuel to begin with.

Also, if it's on a truck, it can move around to find the best location for everyone!
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  #4  
Old 12-19-2015, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenCohen-300TD View Post
Hi Mark, thanks for your response.

Problem around here is space and time (same as everywhere I supposed). I can find the secure lot, but not a space to process BD in as easily. If I had the space for that, I would already have the tank installed! Even if I found a space for just me, I would want to share and then there might be some fueling regulations to run up against. That's my thinking anyway.

I spoke with a BD supplier here the other day and they will deliver for 250 gallons or more. It's the same deal for them as with a home heating oil delivery. At that amount I think they said the price was $1.85/gallon. I haven't checked in a while though.

I was only thinking B20 because it's winter (though it doesn't feel like it!), and it may be easier to convert some folks to join me.

My goal is primarily to reduce my fossil fuel usage. Saving money would be a nice bonus. I don't really go very far around here though and don't use a ton of fuel to begin with.

Also, if it's on a truck, it can move around to find the best location for everyone!
I'd potentially be interested. Down here in Red Hook/Carroll Gardens/Gowanus I see at least two dozen w123s clattering around on a regular basis, not to mention the assorted TDIs and BlueTecs.

I've been running straight petro-diesel because, like you said, commercial biodiesel is incredibly difficult to procure on a retail basis.

Sounds like you're essentially trying to start a fuel co-op. Interesting idea!
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  #5  
Old 12-21-2015, 11:47 AM
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Howdy Strand, glad to hear you might be interested!

I think it would only take a few folks to get together to make something like this work. The main problems I think are upfront cash for the equipment and getting people organized in a useful way.

That's all assuming this isn't totally illegal to begin with.

I'll take the holiday to think about how this might work and try to get some other folks interested. I'm in Park Slope / Gowanus and every other car seems to be a TDI. Red Hook certainly seems like a w123 breeding ground. Maybe I can get a few more people together and we can grab a beer and chat in the new year?

Anyone else out there??

Ben.
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  #6  
Old 12-26-2015, 11:02 AM
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Hmm--Reminds me of what we used to do some years ago.

I worked for a cooperative that made and supplied out B100 BioDiesel and although many customers came and filled direct from us, there were a couple of eco-related Co's that had regular deliveries of 1000L in IBC's, which was transferred to their on-site storage during delivery.

IF your EPA/Local regs enforcers are looking at BioDiesel in the same way that our E.A did --As a 'Non Hazardous' substance, then you should have few issues, just Common Sense storage--such as a Commercially made Oil Storage tank of the Bunded variety, suitable for Heating Oil/fuel...

After all, Many places have Oil fired heating, the Storage requirements would be the same as those....
As to the sale of fuel--That would be entirely governed by your State/Country regulations for a fuel....

Sadly, Our Blubberment decided to remove the Duty Dispensation on BioDiesel--meaning that for every litre, we had to add the same Duty then on top of that VAT, making the (Road-Going, Excise Duty paid) fuel 1.5-1.8 times the price of std. D2....

In UK, now there's very few Commercial producers left, although there's many amateurs making their own for their own use....

TBH--Whats the point of B20?

IF you're gonna do it, Go B50 or better still, B75, which has the advantage of being the Cleanest burning fuel of either, and is an optimum mixture for vehicle usage....

The 25% D2/75% BioDiesel has the benefit of excellent winterisation when combined with additives such as Coldflow....

In the past, I used to do around 700 miles per week in the 300TD and it was all on B100, all year round...
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  #7  
Old 12-26-2015, 08:30 PM
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Hi Alastair, thanks for sharing your experiences with a biodiesel co-op. I'd be very interested to find out what taxes if any would have to be paid on Biodiesel distributed through a co-op model. I don't think we'd have much trouble form the EPA in terms of storage. I think you're point about heating oil storage is right on.

I've been poking around at the websites of some bio-diesel co-ops here in the states. The ones I've found seem to have been inactive for quite some time (though I'm only just starting to research). My interpretation is that it is either not cost effective in the end or there are some regulatory hurdles that could be challenging. I'm optimistic though that we can get some good folks together and try something out.

You make a good point about B20. My only reason would be that it (formerly??) gets pretty cold here in New York City and that we wouldn't have much of a chance with B100. That's new info for me about the B75 and Coldflow. I would undoubtedly want to run B100 during the warmer months.

Is there any reason folks with newer cars would be able to run B20 and NOT B100? This would also be a deciding factor.

Thanks again!
Ben.
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  #8  
Old 12-28-2015, 05:36 PM
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Only real issues with new/recent vehicles and say, B100, would be the vehicle's use of a DPF.

These things are like a particulate-trap used in the exhaust-systems. These give trouble--even on std diesel, if the vehicle is used only for short trips--say lots of less than 10 miles for a week or two. They coke up--and trip the limp-home mode

The regen cycle for these filters involves driving for some miles at a reasonably high speed, and the engine-management injects diesel/fuel On The Exhaust-Stroke--to burn the crap out....

These (Stupid) devices are popular in Europe and cause much trouble for recent made car owners--running std D2.

There are many users here in UK with a DPF vehicle running high % blends with little trouble--All depends on How you drive the car....

I have no idea if these devices are fitted to USA versions of Euro cars, or US built autos....
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  #9  
Old 12-28-2015, 06:41 PM
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Once you start selling fuel, even if as a co-op, you may need to register as a fuel distributor and pay Federal and state excise tax, if these taxes haven't been paid by your supplier.

https://www.tax.ny.gov/bus/gas/gasidx.htm
https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p510.pdf

As for the storage facility, I wouldn't tackle NYC business, fire and building regulations for anything. Is this really worth the time and effort?
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  #10  
Old 12-29-2015, 04:52 PM
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Hi Folks, Mxfrank those are great links! Thanks for digging that out. If we start to get serious someone with a better legal ear than me will have to go over that stuff for sure. I can't tell if we are charged tax by our distributor and then if we 'sell it again' to our co-op members if we would be taxed twice. Hmm. Alistair that DPF stuff is interesting. I haven't looked into it yet, do Jetta's in the US do this?

I just got off the phone with our local biodiesel supplier and learned a few things. They were extremely helpful. This sounds entirely doable to me.

1) Pricing. They charge tax on the fuel if they know it is for transportation and not home heating. They said that at least in NY, B99 is always a little cheaper than D2 at the pump. Cool.

B20 with tax = $2.35/gal
B100 with tax = $2.25/gal

They deliver for 100 gallons or more. It gets cheaper than the prices above if you order more than 300 gallons.

2) Handling and containment.

B20 is considered 'hazmat' and needs a double-wall containment vessel. There are off the shelf solutions for this which are very expensive. B99 is not considered Hazmat and so doesn't need this fancy containment.

If our tank was installed indoors, we would be subject to some DOT regulations. However if we put this on a trailer, even if it's inside, we would be exempt from lots of these (automatic fire extinguishers etc. If we put B99 on a trailer we would be 100% compliant and legit. Really cool. If we had a double wall fuel storage on a trailer with B20 in it we would also be 100% legit.

3) Still to work out:
What we need for equipment (cheapest options)
Where to put it (I have a few ideas, would need to ask)
How to pay for equipment (finding a fair strategy might be tough)
Contact other US based Biodiesel co-ops and see how they're doing.
Who wants to participate? (how do we get folks to sign up?)
Stable business model (that doesn't rely too heavily on any one person).
A great name!

4) Participation:

I'll keep posting here as things move a long so as not to leave anyone out, but I think if there are at least 3 people who want to do this we should grab a beer and chat. I know a non-profit art space in Gowanus whose space we can definitely meet in.

Onward!
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  #11  
Old 12-29-2015, 07:32 PM
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this sounds great!
my original idea was more of a CSA style delivery, where they would come down on a weekly or biweekly schedule, and pump out of their truck, everyone would have to come during the delivery window.

(csa = community supported agriculture, programs where you prepay for boxes of produce that get delivered from a farm, and you have to go every week or two to pick it up from the delivery location)

a co-op style would be great too! maybe we could follow the food co-op business model to a degree.
driving to the bronx is not that convenient, especially if taking the toll route. i just came back from there now.

I agree there are a lot of diesel cars I see you parked on the side of the road, and I would be excited to flyer them with basic info which points to a website with more info.

the manager at tri-state says he just puts b99 straight in his modern volkswagen...

I would hope the difference between us and the other co-ops is we would be buying commercially made biodiesel, not making it ourselves, skipping a lot of logistical and hopefully tax issues.

i feel like tri state should just spearhead this themselves but until they do, we should.

splitting 100 gallons I don't think even think would even take that many people, I buy about 13 gallons every 14 days.

i've wondered if the farmers markets would be interested in hosting a tank, the nyc greenmarket might be harder, but maybe the redhook added value farm?!

b99 makes a lot more sense to me, drivers can get petro diesel to mix with it when it gets below 32F, or use technol b100 cold flow improver.

i'm down to meet up after the new year.

thanks for spearheading!
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  #12  
Old 01-07-2016, 11:20 AM
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I don't live in Brooklyn, so I don't have a horse in this race, but I have to say that I am pretty impressed with everyone for sharing ideas and information to come up with a viable solution. I certainly hope this idea pans out for everyone because I truly believe that one of the issues that keeps people using gasoline is the convenience, and the fear that they will be stuck not having a way to get their vehicle running. Good luck!
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  #13  
Old 01-07-2016, 12:54 PM
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I think you might get an eyebrow raised by Homeland Security or LEO when they find your 250 gal container of diesel in a parking lot.
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  #14  
Old 01-08-2016, 09:46 AM
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Hunter, thanks so much for your support! I'm glad people are getting interested in this. I'll keep posting here about progress, how we decide to organize, what equipment we purchase, etc.

TX76513, I hope that's not the case! Outdoor fuel storage is, if not common, a normal sight here in Brooklyn. There is so much construction going on and the film industry has many trucks driving around with tanks of D2 to keep their generators running. I do hope to find a spot that doesn't draw too much attention though

Everyone: I'm putting together an email list so if you're interested in participating, please shoot me an email so I can keep you in the loop. I'd like to meet up sometime next week, Monday or Wednesday. Who's free??

Thanks all,
Ben
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  #15  
Old 04-19-2016, 04:15 PM
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Would love to be a part of this.
Haven't had a good WVO or BD supplier since Mean Green Trucking closed down in Queens. I'm in north Brooklyn, but lived in Red Hook for years, and would be happy to drive for good fuel.
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