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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > VW TDI Discussion Areas > Alternative Diesel Fuels (Biodiesel, WVO, SVO, BTL, GTL etc)

Alternative Diesel Fuels (Biodiesel, WVO, SVO, BTL, GTL etc) Discussions about alternative fuels for use in our TDI's. This includes biodiesel WVO (Waste Vegetable Oil), SVO (Straight Vegetable Oil), BTL (Biomass to Liquid), GTL (Gas to Liquids) etc. Please note the Fuel Disclaimer.

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Old November 3rd, 2005, 20:48   #1
BeetleGo
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Default Minnesota Insists on Standards-based bio blends?

Lesseeee... Minnesota decided to mandate a bio blend of 2% in all the diesel fuel it sells. Infrastructure ramps up, but can't even achieve universal B02 without screwing it up, so ...what? The state backs down and shugs it shoulders? Can't be done? Nope. This isn't some 80's "Oh-we-can-do-it-with-electric-cars-and-solar-panels-if-we-really-try!" volley. The issue described in the article below is not insurmountable and is not described as such. The fact that B02 is viewed as a credible target which can overcome these immediate obstacles is a huge change from how this topic was treated even just a year ago. The back pressure that is building toward alternative fuels, specifically biodiesel, is clearly increasing.

The fact that Minnesota is insisting on a STANDARDS-BASED fuel supply also conveniently draws attention to its importance and bodes well with respect to driving (automotive) product support.

One thing is certain, Minnesota will have many lessons to teach other markets, and not just domestic ones either. This is a global issue. Demonstrating that this CAN be done is huge (and exciting, isn't it?). Not only does it tackle this current issue with ramping up to a mere B02 it genuinely acts as a test case for 'scary' gelling issues in northern markets, as if B02 would ever be a problem. Buy hey, there are a lot of people out there to sell.

<font color="blue">http://today.reuters.com/investing/financeArticle.aspx?type=bondsNews&amp;storyID=URI :urn:newsml:reuters.com:20051102:MTFH81512_2005-11-02_23-45-50_N02230752:1</font>

Note how Ms. Ingwersen gets all the basic facts right - this in itself is an improvement over even a year ago. My, what a coupla hurricanes can do. (Sorry, but true)

<font color="green">By Julie Ingwersen

CHICAGO, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Minnesota, the first U.S. state to require that diesel contain a portion of clean-burning biodiesel made largely from soy, has temporarily suspended the law due to quality problems, a state official said on Wednesday.

The 10-day suspension went into effect on Friday, said Bruce Gordon, a spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Commerce. He said the quality problem involved soy-based biodiesel that was delivered for blending with regular diesel.

"It didn't meet the specifications," he said.

Minnesota in September required diesel fuel sold in the state to contain at least 2 percent soy biodiesel.

The state's move was part of a worldwide drive to encourage use of "green" fuels, and came as Americans were hit by soaring gasoline prices, which topped $3 a gallon in many parts of the country after hurricanes Katrina and Rita stalled production at the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The surge in energy costs has renewed U.S. consumer interest in alternative fuels like biodiesel and ethanol, made from such crops as corn and sugar cane and blended with gasoline to reduce tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks.

Industry experts said the problem in Minnesota was temporary. "We are in a phase of growth. We look at this as one of the typical start-up glitches you might have as an industry," said Steve Howell, technical director of the National Biodiesel Board, which promotes biodiesel use.

The problem emerged on Thursday at the Flint Hills Resources refinery in Rosemount, Minnesota. The plant, one of two refineries in the state, buys soy biodiesel and blends it with petroleum diesel to meet the state's 2 percent rule.

"We tested a truck and tested our tank, and realized it was off-spec. So we stopped selling that evening and notified the state," said John Hofland, a spokesman for the refinery.

Flint Hills Resources is a wholly owned subsidiary of privately held Koch Industries Inc.

The same problem later emerged at other diesel fuel terminals around the state, Hofland said.

"It's my understanding that it wouldn't have been a safety or a driveability concern. But the state statute sets out various specs you need to meet," Hofland said.

The soy biodiesel failed to meet a flashpoint specification, a measure of unreacted methanol in the fuel. High concentrations of methanol can cause engine problems.

By state law, biodiesel must have a flashpoint of at least 130 degrees Celsius, but some of the blended fuel reaching the Minnesota marketplace fell between 105 and 120 degrees, the National Biodiesel Board's Howell said.

A flashpoint of 100 or higher is safe, but the industry raised the minimum to 130 degrees as a precaution due to variability in testing methods, Howell said.

Biodiesel consumption by the end of 2005 is projected to reach at least 50 million gallons, double that of 2004, according to the National Biodiesel Board.

Relaxing the state requirement allows refiners and terminals to release un-blended diesel into the state, Gordon said. It also allows distributors and retailers to sell un-blended diesel in Minnesota if the biodiesel blended product is unavailable, he said.
</font>

Do we have club members from Minnesota online? Your comments should be interesting.

~BG

Edited to add question mark to title...
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Old November 4th, 2005, 06:07   #2
overbite
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Default Re: Minnesota Insists on Standards-based bio blends

I think that it is good that MN is willing to doing this with a Spec. I read about this in the paper the other day and I think they did the right thing. The only way to get people to accept this is to have high standards and to stick to those standards. No flip floping. Yeah it is too bad that for 10 days they don't blend, but that is better than sending out lower quailty fuel and rushing a product to market just to get it there(see GM diesel circa 1980's). The best part is that it will force bio refiners to have much better quality control.

Hopefully this works itself out and is seen as good press. After being estiblished here for a year or two it would be great to see other states take the same step and mandate a low % blend. Espically non-ag states. With ULSD this might be the answer to getting TDI's back into CARB states!
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Old November 4th, 2005, 10:26   #3
wheels
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Default Re: Minnesota Insists on Standards-based bio blends

Nice post and good points raised. Without quality assurance biodiesel cannot go mainstream. This experience should assist other states. Lets hope for a quick resolution and as much PR about the fix as we got about the problem.
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Old November 4th, 2005, 11:58   #4
nh mike
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Default Re: Minnesota Insists on Standards-based bio blends

I'm wondering if one of the new plants in Minnesota that just came online is the one having QC problems. One of the local distributors is I believe getting their biodiesel from one of those now, and a recent delivery a local guy had of supposed B100 smelled nasty - like turpentine. Even just not getting all the methanol out wouldn't cause that. It's also quite cloudy.... not positive though that this fuel came from one of those plants.
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Old November 4th, 2005, 15:00   #5
vikingrob
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Default Re: Minnesota Insists on Standards-based bio blends

It would be interesting to find out where Flint Hills gets its biodiesel. Ditto for the Marathon Ashland refinery as well.
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Old November 9th, 2005, 04:57   #6
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Default Re: Minnesota Insists on Standards-based bio blends


Some added perspective: http://www.albertleatribune.com/arti...news/news1.txt

Biodiesel requirement suspended
By Joseph Marks, Tribune staff writer

Monday, October 31, 2005 2:52 PM CST
State officials suspended a month-old law requiring diesel fuel to be blended with a soy-based additive, known as biodiesel, Friday after discovering impurities in the fuel blend.

SoyMor, located in Glenville, is one of the state's three major producers of biodiesel, along with a plant in Brewster and one in Redwood which produces biodiesel from animal fat. Though state officials didn't say where the impure fuel was produced, SoyMor officials say it wasn't from the Glenville plant and production is expected to continue.

“I know SoyMor biodiesel meets the specs,” said SoyMor Chairman of the Board Gary Pestorious, “because it's a new state-of-the-art plant. We have an in-house lab and all our fuel is checked and is the highest quality that can be.” THIS is what I like to see! ~BG

Pestorious said the month-old law required diesel fuel sold in Minnesota to contain 2 percent biodiesel but it did not require the fuel to be produced in Minnesota. The impure biodisel may have been produced elsewhere in the midwest, he said, and shipped to Minnesota.

“This is a very new industry,” said Pestorious, “and when an industry grows as fast as this one is going to grow, there will be problems. This will make people in the industry real sure that their fuel meets specs. And that is as it ought to be.”

SoyMor General Manager Tony Prehm, agreed with Pestorious, saying it will probably be good for the industry.


The state's largest oil refinery in Flint Hills stopped selling diesel immediately.

It wasn't clear if any service stations ran out of diesel, although the president of the Minnesota

Trucking Association said members reported problems.

“We are receiving numerous calls from our member trucking companies who are having difficulty locating loads of diesel to keep their trucks moving,” John Hausladen said in a letter asking Gov. Tim Pawlenty to take action.

Even before the quality issue surfaced, Hausladen said diesel shortages were being reported because of hurricane refinery disruptions and other problems. The shortages come at a time when Midwest diesel prices are highest in the country.

The biodiesel law was passed by the Minnesota legislature in 2002 and designed to take effect one month after the state had certified it had the capacity to produce eight million gallons of biodiesel. The Commerce Department authorized refiners, terminals, distributors and retailers to sell unblended diesel for 10 days without fear of legal penalties.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty visited SoyMor in late August as part of a fly-around kickoff to publicize the new law.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Gene Hugoson, who accompanied Gov. Pawlenty on the tour, touted the law as an economic boon to the state which would help reduce reliance on foreign oil and improve public health through reduction of harmful vehicle emissions.

(Contact Joseph Marks at joseph.marks@albertleatribune.com or at 379-3435.)
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Old November 9th, 2005, 04:59   #7
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Default Re: Minnesota Insists on Standards-based bio blends

Quote:
It would be interesting to find out where Flint Hills gets its biodiesel. Ditto for the Marathon Ashland refinery as well.
Maybe this will help: http://www.distributiondrive.com/links.html

~BG
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Old November 10th, 2005, 05:12   #8
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Default Re: Minnesota Insists on Standards-based bio blends


Here's the lastest: http://www.twincities.com/mld/pioneerpress/13116541.htm

It sounds like the flashpoint standard of 130 has been lowered to 100. As long as the blended final product (B20) still has the 130 standard, then the fuel passes muster. I guess this makes sense. The saga continues.

~BG
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