Anybody use Propel HPR in a BEW....

peterdaniel

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I have been using HPR in my ALH run TDi's for years and without exception the first time I used it without changing the injection pump seals, it will cause the IP to leak like a sieve. Now, I have a BEW with 220K miles on it.. I know it doesnt have an Injection pump but what could. happen if I started using the HPR? Any help from your experience would be appreciated.
Thanks!
Pete
 

peterdaniel

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222 views and no answer. this is hysterical. Why look if you have no answer?
 

Lightflyer1

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Maybe they want to know the same thing or just curious. If no one even bothers to look your chances of even getting an answer go way down. Or maybe just bored and accidentally clicked the wrong link.
 

atc98002

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Auburn WA
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2014 Passat TDI SEL Premium (sold back), 2009 Jetta (sold back), 80 Rabbit diesel (long gone)
Some might ask why I even still come here, since I don't own a diesel any longer. For me, it's simply staying knowledgeable. One never knows when a diesel might pop back into my garage. Besides, I'm interested in Propel itself, and wondering if they will ever expand outside of central CA.
 

Lightflyer1

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Living in California where they don't like diesels and with the extremely limited marketing area for the fuel and an older model year of the car, chances are good no one has the answer for you.
 

DuraBioPwr

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Location
Eastern Washington
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2004 BEW Jetta (5spd)
If the mode of leaking is the same as B100 then I think you would be fine. I run B100 in my BEW and have so for the last 45K mi. Just fine. In fact i just pulled and resealed the injectors because I thought I had an issue with them and the seals where just fine (not swollen or shrunk).

Propel is isolated to a very small area thats why no responses. I would run it and not worry about it. All the factory lines/hoses are just fine running B100 and it eats almost everything not rated for it.

If you do have a hose issue Gates Barricade fuel injection line is the best I have found. Zero weeping or sweating through the hose.
 

peterdaniel

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2003 Jetta GL 5 spd TDi, 2003 Jetta GLS Indigo blue 5spd wagon. 2003 Jetta GLS Candy white wagon 5 speed
Gotcha. Thanks! BTW Union76 stations now use their own HPR fuel and is much more easily available
 

kennethsime

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Oct 29, 2010
Location
California
TDI
2004 Jetta Wagon GL TDI 5-Speed Baltic Green
I was in San Jose about 6 months ago picking up a Subaru for my girlfriend. I filled up my BEW with Propel HPR and drove the 45 minutes home on the interstate. Seemed like a small, but pleasant boost in power. My injection pump is certainly not leaking like a sieve, though I did only use it the one time.
 

Pittdawg

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Los Angeles
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2014 Audi Q5 TDI
All the local 76 stations just switched all their diesel tanks to "R99 Biomass Diesel" which I believe is 76's version of HPR. I filled up with it for the first time the other day and maybe it's just my imagination but it does seem to run slighty smoother. Power and mpgs seem within normal range thus far.
 

mannytranny

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CA
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My local commercial fuel supplier has gone to B20 and Renewable Diesel in a 'mix of the day' arrangement. I think I read that the Renewble diesel has a cetane almost 10 points above CARB #2.


Edit: D2 has a min cetane of 40, RD has a min of 65.

 

CleverUserName

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NorCal
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2014 OZ Cruze CTD & 2010 JSW 6MT & 2017 GMC Canyon CCLB ATX 2.8 Duramax
irrespective of the marketing, high cetane fuels have lower peak cylinder pressure and make less power and torque.

Also lower MPGs than straight diesel #2. Crazy but true...
 

Phyloader

Member
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Sep 18, 2021
Location
Napa, California
TDI
2010 Jetta SW
Renewable diesel is Diesel # 2. It meets the same ASTM specification as petroleum diesel #2, ASTM D975.

So in regards to the above "high cetane" comment, irrespective of it not being accurate in premise, you can have ASTM D975 fuels with higher or lower cetane, and they are all 'Diesel # 2.'

In regards to how cetane rating affects performance or efficiency, everything I have read, and my own personal experience, insinuates that if there is an effect it is to increase mileage.

"By increasing the cetane number of your fuel you improve cold starts and reduce engine noise. By reducing the ignition delay cetane causes a more complete burn. Because of this it's very common to see a MPG increase with a higher CN. ... Hence, higher speed diesel engines operate more effectively with higher CN fuels."

In regards to Propel HPR it is renewable diesel # 2 manufactured by Neste in Sinagpore. I have used it since it has been available. 5+ years I believe in a 2010 Jetta TDi. Noticed nothing but good performance; and that it is clear as water with no odor rather than the foul smelling piss colored stuff that comes out of Valero pumps.

Renewable diesel is produced by hydrotreating oils and fats of biotic origin. Hydrotreating is a catalytic reaction that removes all oxygen atoms from the glycerides and fatty acids, resulting in pure hydrocarbons which meet ASTM D975.

The 76 renewable diesel is manufactured in Hercules, CA. I started using that too. I don't touch petroleum diesel pumps.

Given that the chemical properties are identical, as it is "Diesel # 2" just as much as any other "Diesel # 2" there isn't any reason to think plastics, or polymers; gaskets, rings etc, would react any differently to it. With biodiesel there could be this possibility; renewable diesel no.

There is really no reason not to buy it over petroleum diesel # 2. It is often cheaper or equal in price, has better performance characteristics, and according to peer reviewed sources the carbon intensity is around 20% that of petroleum. If the hydrogen used is green hydrogen and the power for the facility is also green that would come down to near 0%.
 
Last edited:

kennethsime

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Location
California
TDI
2004 Jetta Wagon GL TDI 5-Speed Baltic Green
In regards to Propel HPR it is renewable diesel # 2 manufactured by Neste in Sinagpore. I have used it since it has been available. 5+ years I believe in a 2010 Jetta TDi. Noticed nothing but good performance; and that it is clear as water with no odor rather than the foul smelling piss colored stuff that comes out of Valero pumps.

Renewable diesel is produced by hydrotreating oils and fats of biotic origin. Hydrotreating is a catalytic reaction that removes all oxygen atoms from the glycerides and fatty acids, resulting in pure hydrocarbons which meet ASTM D975.

The 76 renewable diesel is manufactured in Hercules, CA. I started using that too. I don't touch petroleum diesel pumps.
Phyloader, I also had a good experience with HPR the one time I used it.

Question, though: is there an app or similar you use to be sure that you'll be able to find renewable diesel? Is this an option is say, Gas Buddy? Or do you just know your local pumps?
 

Phyloader

Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2021
Location
Napa, California
TDI
2010 Jetta SW
Phyloader, I also had a good experience with HPR the one time I used it.

Question, though: is there an app or similar you use to be sure that you'll be able to find renewable diesel? Is this an option is say, Gas Buddy? Or do you just know your local pumps?
Propel Fuels has their own app. It's free, can find it on the app store. Getting 50+ mpg I can drive all over CA from SF to LA and still always fill up at one right off the highway. By now I know where my go to stations are; Propel doesn't seem to be adding many/any new ones.

76 I don't know if they have an app; but on their website you can toggle a renewable diesel option on their station locator so that only ones with RD show up. There are quite a few them all over both the SF and LA areas, dozens and dozens. I just see em driving down the road. Keep your eye out. I think they are selling only RD at all their stations that have diesel pumps in CA.
 

CleverUserName

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Location
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2014 OZ Cruze CTD & 2010 JSW 6MT & 2017 GMC Canyon CCLB ATX 2.8 Duramax
Unfortanely much of the hype of RD is marketing. It is a subsidized fuel which makes it profitable to sell. And it’s “green”, if that tickles yer fancy.

Most of the RD used in California is now made at the Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo. Neste was the primary supplier early when it was introduced until local production could be established.

RD meets the ASTM spec for Diesel #2 here however not in the EU. ASTM doesn’t account for fuel density which RD is lower. So you say it is the same but it’s actually not. In reality the ASTM spec is deficient.

Lower Density = Less BTUs = Less MPGs Horsepower and Torque.

It allegedly burns cleaner, however if it takes more fuel to go a certain distance then there is an offset that should be taken into consideration.

The other issue with RD and other Diesel engine fuels with low volatility and high cetane numbers (like GTL) reduce the formation of a uniform mixture inhibiting the fuel burning process causing another small loss of efficiency.

Cetane numbers over 50 don’t increase fuel economy, you reach a point of diminishing returns and even loss of fuel economy if the pressure curve peaks early relative to TDC. This is common in older fuel systems that don’t have dynamic injection timing. See diagram.



I did use RD for a number of years and kept fuel consumption logs. In my experience, CARB diesel #2, specifically from Chevron or Mobil blended with a combustion improving catalyst additive @ 400:1 is superior in power/torque/MPGs to, and rivals RD in lower soot production without any losses.

RD also caused a fuel leak on the return line on my 2003 Golf. It had the original rubber seals and lines and there was a compatibility issue that went away after I switched back to D#2. My old 2003 Jetta had updated Viton seals and it did run on RD for awhile before I sold it. No leaks.

Renewable diesel is Diesel # 2. It meets the same ASTM specification as petroleum diesel #2, ASTM D975.

So in regards to the above "high cetane" comment, irrespective of it not being accurate in premise, you can have ASTM D975 fuels with higher or lower cetane, and they are all 'Diesel # 2.'

In regards to how cetane rating affects performance or efficiency, everything I have read, and my own personal experience, insinuates that if there is an effect it is to increase mileage.

"By increasing the cetane number of your fuel you improve cold starts and reduce engine noise. By reducing the ignition delay cetane causes a more complete burn. Because of this it's very common to see a MPG increase with a higher CN. ... Hence, higher speed diesel engines operate more effectively with higher CN fuels."

In regards to Propel HPR it is renewable diesel # 2 manufactured by Neste in Sinagpore. I have used it since it has been available. 5+ years I believe in a 2010 Jetta TDi. Noticed nothing but good performance; and that it is clear as water with no odor rather than the foul smelling piss colored stuff that comes out of Valero pumps.

Renewable diesel is produced by hydrotreating oils and fats of biotic origin. Hydrotreating is a catalytic reaction that removes all oxygen atoms from the glycerides and fatty acids, resulting in pure hydrocarbons which meet ASTM D975.

The 76 renewable diesel is manufactured in Hercules, CA. I started using that too. I don't touch petroleum diesel pumps.

Given that the chemical properties are identical, as it is "Diesel # 2" just as much as any other "Diesel # 2" there isn't any reason to think plastics, or polymers; gaskets, rings etc, would react any differently to it. With biodiesel there could be this possibility; renewable diesel no.

There is really no reason not to buy it over petroleum diesel # 2. It is often cheaper or equal in price, has better performance characteristics, and according to peer reviewed sources the carbon intensity is around 20% that of petroleum. If the hydrogen used is green hydrogen and the power for the facility is also green that would come down to near 0%.
 

kennethsime

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Location
California
TDI
2004 Jetta Wagon GL TDI 5-Speed Baltic Green
Propel Fuels has their own app. It's free, can find it on the app store. Getting 50+ mpg I can drive all over CA from SF to LA and still always fill up at one right off the highway. By now I know where my go to stations are; Propel doesn't seem to be adding many/any new ones.

76 I don't know if they have an app; but on their website you can toggle a renewable diesel option on their station locator so that only ones with RD show up. There are quite a few them all over both the SF and LA areas, dozens and dozens. I just see em driving down the road. Keep your eye out. I think they are selling only RD at all their stations that have diesel pumps in CA.
Nice tip, thank you! There's a station with HPR about 4 miles from me.
 

Phyloader

Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2021
Location
Napa, California
TDI
2010 Jetta SW
RD meets the ASTM spec for Diesel #2 here however not in the EU. ASTM doesn’t account for fuel density which RD is lower. So you say it is the same but it’s actually not. In reality the ASTM spec is deficient.
This is not accurate


Here is a list of the density of all alkanes from methane all the way past C32. Biotic fatty acids are primarily C16 and C18, which is thus the carbon length chains RD is composed of. Common sense alone will tell you it is in fact lower length hydrocarbons with lower densities. In fact you go too low and they are gases, not liquids. So what is the density of C16 and C18 hydrocarbons? 0.773 and 0.776 grams per milliliter. Supposing petroleum diesel is C12 or C14, the density of those is 0.75 and 0.76 grams/ milliliter. So in fact it is inverse, petroleum diesel is less dense by a percentage point or two assuming that petroleum diesel is shorter hydrocarbon lengths, which at a lower cetane number it certainly is because cetane and volatility are inversely correlated. Cetane is de facto related to hydrocarbon length. Higher cetane = longer chain = less volatile = more dense

And if that few percent is an issue I will remind you that

Lower Density = Less BTUs = Less MPGs Horsepower and Torque.
The other issue with RD and other Diesel engine fuels with low volatility and high cetane numbers (like GTL) reduce the formation of a uniform mixture inhibiting the fuel burning process causing another small loss of efficiency.
I assume you're talking about the fuel air mixture? This argument makes little sense to me; one because the volatility difference is small, two because the engineering of these systems is designed to mix just that, and three diesel engines have much greater thermal efficiency than gas engines using a fuel that is much less volatile.

Cetane numbers over 50 don’t increase fuel economy, you reach a point of diminishing returns and even loss of fuel economy if the pressure curve peaks early relative to TDC. This is common in older fuel systems that don’t have dynamic injection timing. See diagram.
Sure, this may be true. But even if you have an older system I think the purity of RD is worth whatever small difference in mpg you may notice.

RD also caused a fuel leak on the return line on my 2003 Golf. It had the original rubber seals and lines and there was a compatibility issue that went away after I switched back to D#2. My old 2003 Jetta had updated Viton seals and it did run on RD for awhile before I sold it. No leaks.
Once I coughed and my car died. My car died because I coughed.

No one is convincing me that a C16 alkane is going to treat rubber any differently than a C14 alkane. Were we talking ethanol vs gasoline or biodiesel vs pure alkanes absolutely; but in this case I'm hearing ghost stories.
 
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CleverUserName

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Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Location
NorCal
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2014 OZ Cruze CTD & 2010 JSW 6MT & 2017 GMC Canyon CCLB ATX 2.8 Duramax
Do you think I’m a shill for the petroleum industry trying to undermine consumer confidence in RD?

Numerous people have gotten fuel leaks on older vehicles when switching to RD. You can call my experience anecdotal however when compiled with numerous posts on here of the same outcome a reasonable person would consider it a possibility.

My logs show 5-7% reduction in FE vs. RD and additized D2 from Chevron. No DYNO sheets for HP or TQ but that would be interesting to see what the differences are.

fuel densities:


Like I said. Density is lower, so is performance ex. HP, FE and TQ. I can feel the difference. If you stop drinking the RD kool-aid and try the additized D#2 uncola, you can feel it too!

This is complete nonsense.


Here is a list of the density of all alkanes from methane all the way past C32. Biotic fatty acids are primarily C16 and C18, which is thus the carbon length chains RD is composed of. Common sense alone will tell you it is in fact lower length hydrocarbons with lower densities. In fact you go too low and they are gases, not liquids. So what is the density of C16 and C18 hydrocarbons? 0.773 and 0.776 grams per milliliter. Supposing petroleum diesel is C12 or C14, the density of those is 0.75 and 0.76 grams/ milliliter. So in fact it is inverse, petroleum diesel is less dense by a percentage point or two assuming that petroleum diesel is shorter hydrocarbon lengths, which at a lower cetane number it certainly is because cetane and volatility are inversely correlated. Cetane is de facto related to hydrocarbon length. Higher cetane = longer chain = less volatile = more dense

And if that few percent is an issue I will remind you that





I assume you're talking about the fuel air mixture? This argument makes little sense to me; one because the volatility difference is small, two because the engineering of these systems is designed to mix just that, and three diesel engines have much greater thermal efficiency than gas engines using a fuel that is much less volatile.



Sure, this may be true. But even if you have an older system I think the purity of RD is worth whatever small difference in mpg you may notice.



Once I coughed and my car died. My car died because I coughed.

No one is convincing me that a C16 alkane is going to treat rubber any differently than a C14 alkane. Were we talking ethanol vs gasoline or biodiesel vs pure alkanes absolutely; but in this case I'm hearing ghost stories.
 

kennethsime

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Location
California
TDI
2004 Jetta Wagon GL TDI 5-Speed Baltic Green
Like I said. Density is lower, so is performance ex. HP, FE and TQ. I can feel the difference. If you stop drinking the RD kool-aid and try the additized D#2 uncola, you can feel it too!
I'm curious: what about R2 with an additive?
 

Phyloader

Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2021
Location
Napa, California
TDI
2010 Jetta SW
Like I said. Density is lower, so is performance ex. HP, FE and TQ. I can feel the difference. If you stop drinking the RD kool-aid and try the additized D#2 uncola, you can feel it too!
I was not convinced by that image so I found a peer reviewed publication that supports it here:
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12155-020-10183-y

However it appears the above article only used a single sample of RD and PD for each; RD is most likely going to be very similar no matter the sample because it will be 99+% C16 and C18. Petroleum diesel most likely has greater variance.

The difference in density must be attributable to cyclic compounds in petroleum diesel; for otherwise cetane number, carbon length, and energy density are all positively correlated.

Aside from that, irrespective about how you "feel" I prefer numbers if claims as to metrics and numbers in regard to HP or TQ are concerned.

And density is not the only metric that will affect combustion and the resulting power and TQ produced by the engine. Most sources I read indicate that increased cetane number is preferred for high speed diesel engines.

"Higher cetane numbers mean shorter ignition delay and at the same time a better performance of the diesel engine: The injected fuel burns more evenly and completely, which usually results in higher-quality exhaust air, especially with regard to soot, particulate matter and unburned hydrocarbons." https://www.mabanaft.com/en/news-info/glossary/details/term/cetane-number.html

More importantly, whether or not I get an extra 2-3% percent of HP, TQ or fuel efficiency either way is not my primary concern over the health of myself or the ecosystem.

Simply from the appearance and smell of petroleum diesel it is often off color and has an odor. Off color can only be impurities. Cyclic hydrocarbons, such as benzene, often have an odor and are more toxic. This is one of the reasons I prefer diesel over gas. Diesel is less volatile and thereby you inhale less of it at the pump. Unless huffing benzene is your thing of course.

In regards to additives, those are often toxic too. People thought tetra ethyl lead was great too, until they realized it wasn't. An extra 1% of anything is not worth turning yourself into a receptacle of toxic amounts of lead, or any of the other additives, for which plenty of evidence exists as to toxicity.

In regards to the ecosystem I will always prefer a product containing no petroleum. It's drilling pollutes groundwater. It's leaks destroy fisheries, peoples lives, and entire coastal ecosystems. The militancy we see in Nigeria is because the Niger River delta has become destroyed by unremediated oil spills caused by Total and Chevron. With their previously rich ecosystem destroyed the impoverished locals who never saw the benefits of those petro$ have resorted to piracy and militancy. This repeats all over the world.

And people want to drill in the arctic? After deepwater horizon I can tell you the outcome...if they can't cap a well in the gulf of mexico in decent time there will be petroleum up welling near coastal cities the world over before they cap a well in the arctic.

And aside from those social and ecological costs, then there is global warming. There is nothing anyone could do to convince me to use petro diesel over RD.

If people are willing to pay for an extra % or two of some metric refining companies will find ways to refine fuels that meet those characteristics out of the same renewable feedstocks because the inevitable truth is that eventually the petroleum drilling industry will cease to exists whether it takes 20 years, 50 years, or 100 years. And I will always use my $ to support industries which share that conviction such as to promote and accelerate that occurrence.

Chemical and liquid fuel refining will continue using alternate feedstocks such as waste and ag by-products, both of which have less risk and capex involved in their supply chain.
 
Last edited:

CleverUserName

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Location
NorCal
TDI
2014 OZ Cruze CTD & 2010 JSW 6MT & 2017 GMC Canyon CCLB ATX 2.8 Duramax
Im glad you finally acknowledge some of the facts I’ve presented. Its been fun experimenting with the two fuels over the last 4.5 years while running my own tests.

“Feel” refers the the driving experience and torque from using a fuel that has a higher energy density. There is a hill on the way to my mothers house on hwy 1 that I could not climb, unloaded in 6th gear in my Canyon Duramax while running on HPR. I’d make it 3/4 up and then downshift as I didn’t have enough torque. With diesel #2 I can climb the hill in 6th gear at 65 mph. The additional torque while under load is very noticeable.

Minimum cetane for high speed diesels is 52. CARB diesel is > 53 CN. Additized is > 53+ CN due to additional 2-EHN and organic catalysts. I’ve already posted a graph showing negative effects of excessively high cetane fuels and its effects on peak cylinder pressure relative to TDC.

I believe it’s possible to optimize an engine to run on RD by retarding injection timing to take advantage of the shorter ignition delay to increase CP and offset some of the efficiency losses. However, this would also be illegal as CARB does not allow tuning of vehicles by individuals without going through their beuracratic testing and certification process. How ironic.

I referred to RD as “kool-aid” as a joke because of the cult-like following this fuel has.
The advertisements claim:
“outperforms petroleum diesel”
“More power and torque”

Both of the statements above are false. It’s hilarious when I see members post on here about how much more “power” their TDIs have after using this stuff. They’re so blindsided by the “green” kool-aid advertising they don’t notice the reduced fuel economy and power from using this fuel.

Your car is made of petrochemicals. The engine transmission, and all moving parts are lubricated by petrochemicals. Your tires are made from petrochemicals.

We purchase consumer products made in Asia and shipped here on container ships that burn bunker fuel and use open loop exhaust scrubbers. We purchase items online from billionaire space explorers who drop ship items to our doors with his fleet of jets, trucks and vans that run exclusively on petroleum fuels (to keep profits up, of course). We purchase fruit in the middle of winter that is flown in from South America by planes burning HS jet fuel.

You really think that filling up your tank with RD once a week instead of diesel makes any difference in the big picture? Think again.

I was not convinced by that image so I found a peer reviewed publication that supports it here:
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12155-020-10183-y

However it appears the above article only used a single sample of RD and PD for each; RD is most likely going to be very similar no matter the sample because it will be 99+% C16 and C18. Petroleum diesel most likely has greater variance.

The difference in density must be attributable to cyclic compounds in petroleum diesel; for otherwise cetane number, carbon length, and energy density are all positively correlated.

Aside from that, irrespective about how you "feel" I prefer numbers if claims as to metrics and numbers in regard to HP or TQ are concerned.

And density is not the only metric that will affect combustion and the resulting power and TQ produced by the engine. Most sources I read indicate that increased cetane number is preferred for high speed diesel engines.

"Higher cetane numbers mean shorter ignition delay and at the same time a better performance of the diesel engine: The injected fuel burns more evenly and completely, which usually results in higher-quality exhaust air, especially with regard to soot, particulate matter and unburned hydrocarbons." https://www.mabanaft.com/en/news-info/glossary/details/term/cetane-number.html

More importantly, whether or not I get an extra 2-3% percent of HP, TQ or fuel efficiency either way is not my primary concern over the health of myself or the ecosystem.

Simply from the appearance and smell of petroleum diesel it is often off color and has an odor. Off color can only be impurities. Cyclic hydrocarbons, such as benzene, often have an odor and are more toxic. This is one of the reasons I prefer diesel over gas. Diesel is less volatile and thereby you inhale less of it at the pump. Unless huffing benzene is your thing of course.

In regards to additives, those are often toxic too. People thought tetra ethyl lead was great too, until they realized it wasn't. An extra 1% of anything is not worth turning yourself into a receptacle of toxic amounts of lead, or any of the other additives, for which plenty of evidence exists as to toxicity.

In regards to the ecosystem I will always prefer a product containing no petroleum. It's drilling pollutes groundwater. It's leaks destroy fisheries, peoples lives, and entire coastal ecosystems. The militancy we see in Nigeria is because the Niger River delta has become destroyed by unremediated oil spills caused by Total and Chevron. With their previously rich ecosystem destroyed the impoverished locals who never saw the benefits of those petro$ have resorted to piracy and militancy. This repeats all over the world.

And people want to drill in the arctic? After deepwater horizon I can tell you the outcome...if they can't cap a well in the gulf of mexico in decent time there will be petroleum up welling near coastal cities the world over before they cap a well in the arctic.

And aside from those social and ecological costs, then there is global warming. There is nothing anyone could do to convince me to use petro diesel over RD.

If people are willing to pay for an extra % or two of some metric refining companies will find ways to refine fuels that meet those characteristics out of the same renewable feedstocks because the inevitable truth is that eventually the petroleum drilling industry will cease to exists whether it takes 20 years, 50 years, or 100 years. And I will always use my $ to support industries which share that conviction such as to promote and accelerate that occurrence.

Chemical and liquid fuel refining will continue using alternate feedstocks such as waste and ag by-products, both of which have less risk and capex involved in their supply chain.
 
Last edited:

Phyloader

Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2021
Location
Napa, California
TDI
2010 Jetta SW
Im glad you finally acknowledge some of the facts I’ve presented. Its been fun experimenting with the two fuels over the last 4.5 years while running my own tests.

“Feel” refers the the driving experience and torque from using a fuel that has a higher energy density. There is a hill on the way to my mothers house on hwy 1 that I could not climb, unloaded in 6th gear in my Canyon Duramax while running on HPR. I’d make it 3/4 up and then downshift as I didn’t have enough torque. With diesel #2 I can climb the hill in 6th gear at 65 mph. The additional torque while under load is very noticeable.

Minimum cetane for high speed diesels is 52. CARB diesel is > 53 CN. Additized is > 53+ CN due to additional 2-EHN and organic catalysts. I’ve already posted a graph showing negative effects of excessively high cetane fuels and its effects on peak cylinder pressure relative to TDC.

I believe it’s possible to optimize an engine to run on RD by retarding injection timing to take advantage of the shorter ignition delay to increase CP and offset some of the efficiency losses. However, this would also be illegal as CARB does not allow tuning of vehicles by individuals without going through their beuracratic testing and certification process. How ironic.

I referred to RD as “kool-aid” as a joke because of the cult-like following this fuel has.
The advertisements claim:
“outperforms petroleum diesel”
“More power and torque”

Both of the statements above are false. It’s hilarious when I see members post on here about how much more “power” their TDIs have after using this stuff. They’re so blindsided by the “green” kool-aid advertising they don’t notice the reduced fuel economy and power from using this fuel.

Your car is made of petrochemicals. The engine transmission, and all moving parts are lubricated by petrochemicals. Your tires are made from petrochemicals.

We purchase consumer products made in Asia and shipped here on container ships that burn bunker fuel and use open loop exhaust scrubbers. We purchase items online from billionaire space explorers who drop ship items to our doors with his fleet of jets, trucks and vans that run exclusively on petroleum fuels (to keep profits up, of course). We purchase fruit in the middle of winter that is flown in from South America by planes burning HS jet fuel.

You really think that filling up your tank with RD once a week instead of diesel makes any difference in the big picture? Think again.
You should also take note that your source cites RD as having more energy per unit mass, eventhough it has less mass per unit volume.

The quality of petroleum diesel I believe varies widely; I have certainly used petroleum diesel in the past where I noticed decreased mileage over other fuel. In general I do think Chevron has high quality fuel compared to Valero; but Chevron diesel often runs at a premium. I noticed this using Valero vs Chevron before RD was commonly available.

Right next door to Chevron pumps HPR is frequently over 1$ per gallon cheaper. I saw it before where it was 3.00$ and Chevron diesel was $4.50 on a pump directly next to it. Why would I pay 1.5x as much for something that may anecdotally provide a few % boost on HP or TQ. Why would I pay another 50% on top of the price for even a 5% boost in mileage? Even if it weren't subsidized and it cost the exact same as Chevron I would still buy it.

To me, at the end of the day it is not about how great a contribution my actions make. It is what that contribution is at all, not matter how small. And to me there is no amount of contribution I am willing to make towards crude petroleum spills and the acts of desperation that may follow by those unfortunate enough to be in the path of those ruined ecosystems in third world countries. If that is a side effect I wouldn't take a tanker truck of petro-diesel if it were offered it to me for free. I wouldn't take a drop for free. I'd go buy RD.

Whatever marketing claims are used to market renewable diesel I could really care less about. Petro diesel quality varies widely and for the price RD is offered at I will always be willing to buy it over petro diesel.

In fact I was filling up 500 gallon ranch tanks with it for running tractors across dozens of acres. Off road red dye diesel certainly isn't primo Chevron fuel.

And in light of that, no I usually do not buy produce from out of country. Rarely even out of state. The majority of my fruit I consume comes from within a matter of miles from where I reside and nearly all the vegetables come from my backyard. 14 lbs tomatoes per plant, 14 plants in a row and that's my tomatoes for the year. They taste much better than the stuff shipped in from who knows where and comparable hierloom varieties run 4$+/ lb at the farmers market.

Also, a fun fact is that there was a period of half a year or so several years back where prices of 1,3-butadiene spiked to the point where producing it via fermentation became profitable on the open market. And that's a novel process, barely a handful of years out of infancy.

Penicillin is a fermentation product. The first commercial batches back in the early 1900's would yield mg of penicillin for hundreds of liters. Now the yield is measured in grams per liter. The product recovery per volume of fermentation vessel per unit time has increased by over 1000x.

There was a time when people scoffed at the idea of petroleum replacing whale oil. Petroleum did replace whale oil because obtaining it was simply more practical and scalable. Compared to the cost of drilling wells in the arctic ocean buying up garbage for a dime per pound will become quite attractive.

I am sure that will make OPEC mad but truth is the Saudi's already see the writing on the wall and are trying to diversify their economy because of this.
 

DuraBioPwr

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Location
Eastern Washington
TDI
2004 BEW Jetta (5spd)
Its all about btu/gal. Diesels inject fuel based on volume not mass. Been running biodiesel for years, yes it makes less power in normal calibrations. In tractor pulling where they are heavily overfueled biodiesel can offer 100hp gain due to the oxygenated nature of the fuel.

RD is the same. It has lower BTU/gal and thus will net slightly less power and economy vs. D2. Yes, there is a limit to advantages of higher cetane. High cetane fuel does minimize the combustion pressure spike and thus makes the engine quieter. Ignition starts earlier and broadens the combustion pressure curve. This helps to minimize emissions.

RD has a very very long shelf life though considering its basically synthetic fuel, much longer than biodiesel anyways. Probably is very clean from impurities as well (ash) that over the long haul will plug up a DPF on a newer vehicle. Some advantages for sure. And cold flow properties are good as well. I would like to use it for winter blending with biodiesel...
 

Phyloader

Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2021
Location
Napa, California
TDI
2010 Jetta SW
Its all about btu/gal. Diesels inject fuel based on volume not mass. Been running biodiesel for years, yes it makes less power in normal calibrations.

RD is the same. It has lower BTU/gal and thus will net slightly less power and economy vs. D2. Yes, there is a limit to advantages of higher cetane. High cetane fuel does minimize the combustion pressure spike and thus makes the engine quieter. Ignition starts earlier and broadens the combustion pressure curve. This helps to minimize emissions.

RD has a very very long shelf life though considering its basically synthetic fuel, much longer than biodiesel anyways. Probably is very clean from impurities as well (ash) that over the long haul will plug up a DPF on a newer vehicle. Some advantages for sure. And cold flow properties are good as well. I would like to use it for winter blending with biodiesel...
The difference between biodiesel vs D2 and RD vs D2 is much greater and more noticeable. The energy density of biodiesel is significantly diminished vs both RD and D2. It looks like on avg RD has about 8% less mass per volume, but about 2-3% more joules per mass. Theoretically that would result in 5-6% loss in power or efficiency because the injection system does operate based on volume, but because of combustion properties I don't think it translates directly in all circumstances. As you mentioned specific properties of a fuel can give it advantages pending the engineering it's used in, and how the engine is run, what rpms etc can give one fuel an advantage over the other in that situation. And if the RD around you is 5% cheaper than the D2, you made up any loss in efficiency with the price, so that 5% difference is lost in the noise of everything else. Fuel price, environmental conditions such as wind speed/ direction and atmospheric pressure, what engine you're running and how you're running it etc.

I think quality of D2 will have a greater impact than RD vs D2 because I think RD is a more standardized formulation by nature.

Someone somewhere has probably tested these fuels in standardized lab conditions, but I have not seen the data. I suspect if RD was tested against multiple D2's you would see quite a bit of variance in the results of D2 pending if any are already blended with additives or what the aromatic content is etc; because D2 is a soup of both straight and cyclic hydrocarbons ranging from C10-C18 with variability between brands, whereas RD is essentially only straight C16 and C18 no matter who makes it.

The cleanliness of RD I think is indisputable as a lot of people have noted. Less soot and cleaner burning. I suspect it has far fewer trace contaminants of heavy metals and other ions as well, although this is just a suspicion and I don't have data. Less crap slowly building up on the injectors, etc.

basically I am happy running RD. Hasn't resulted in any problems for my Mk6 using it for over 100K miles by now. Can't say D2 would have been any different but for me same price at the pump with lower externalized environmental costs will always be my choice.
 

Matt-98AHU

Loose Nut Behind the Wheel Vendor
Joined
Apr 23, 2006
Location
Gresham, OR
TDI
2001 Golf TDI, 2005 Passat wagon, 2004 Touareg V10.
Unfortanely much of the hype of RD is marketing. It is a subsidized fuel which makes it profitable to sell. And it’s “green”, if that tickles yer fancy.

Most of the RD used in California is now made at the Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo. Neste was the primary supplier early when it was introduced until local production could be established.

RD meets the ASTM spec for Diesel #2 here however not in the EU. ASTM doesn’t account for fuel density which RD is lower. So you say it is the same but it’s actually not. In reality the ASTM spec is deficient.

Lower Density = Less BTUs = Less MPGs Horsepower and Torque.

It allegedly burns cleaner, however if it takes more fuel to go a certain distance then there is an offset that should be taken into consideration.

The other issue with RD and other Diesel engine fuels with low volatility and high cetane numbers (like GTL) reduce the formation of a uniform mixture inhibiting the fuel burning process causing another small loss of efficiency.

Cetane numbers over 50 don’t increase fuel economy, you reach a point of diminishing returns and even loss of fuel economy if the pressure curve peaks early relative to TDC. This is common in older fuel systems that don’t have dynamic injection timing. See diagram.



I did use RD for a number of years and kept fuel consumption logs. In my experience, CARB diesel #2, specifically from Chevron or Mobil blended with a combustion improving catalyst additive @ 400:1 is superior in power/torque/MPGs to, and rivals RD in lower soot production without any losses.

RD also caused a fuel leak on the return line on my 2003 Golf. It had the original rubber seals and lines and there was a compatibility issue that went away after I switched back to D#2. My old 2003 Jetta had updated Viton seals and it did run on RD for awhile before I sold it. No leaks.
Same basic conclusion I came to without having the numbers and charts. I experience a loss of low end torque and loss of efficiency running the RD. But, it does burn cleaner and the high cetane makes for better high RPM power, easier starts and smoother idles. I even had a BHW with a dodgy injector that smoothed out if I ran it on HPR. Eventually replaced all the injectors to fix the problem... But it was pretty impressive the stark difference.

I do, however, really like running a 20-30% blend of RD to 70-80% regular D2. Runs FANTASTIC with that blend. More power everywhere, efficiency bumps up as well.

I didn't appreciate CARB ULSD diesel until I started living in Oregon...
 

AGTDI

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2021
Location
AG CA
TDI
2002 Jetta Wagon
I didn't appreciate CARB ULSD diesel until I started living in Oregon...
You are always welcome to come back.....and work on all of the central coast TDIs.
Good luck affording a decent house though....
 

Pittdawg

Veteran Member
Joined
May 28, 2018
Location
Los Angeles
TDI
2014 Audi Q5 TDI
I have now cycled through two full tanks of 76 RD; I must say it does start up quicker and runs slightly smoother and quieter. I do not notice much of any loss of power or mpgs. Seems like a good replacement so far.
 

JD_2012GolfTDI

Well-known member
Joined
May 5, 2019
Location
CA
TDI
2012 Golf Kerma tuned
For the past 2 years I've been using 76 RD pretty much exclusively. When I switched I noticed it ran quieter (less diesel clatter) and slightly better throttle response and pull through rev range. No issues.
 

CleverUserName

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Location
NorCal
TDI
2014 OZ Cruze CTD & 2010 JSW 6MT & 2017 GMC Canyon CCLB ATX 2.8 Duramax
The difference between biodiesel vs D2 and RD vs D2 is much greater and more noticeable. The energy density of biodiesel is significantly diminished vs both RD and D2. It looks like on avg RD has about 8% less mass per volume, but about 2-3% more joules per mass. Theoretically that would result in 5-6% loss in power or efficiency because the injection system does operate based on volume, but because of combustion properties I don't think it translates directly in all circumstances. As you mentioned specific properties of a fuel can give it advantages pending the engineering it's used in, and how the engine is run, what rpms etc can give one fuel an advantage over the other in that situation. And if the RD around you is 5% cheaper than the D2, you made up any loss in efficiency with the price, so that 5% difference is lost in the noise of everything else. Fuel price, environmental conditions such as wind speed/ direction and atmospheric pressure, what engine you're running and how you're running it etc.

I think quality of D2 will have a greater impact than RD vs D2 because I think RD is a more standardized formulation by nature.

Someone somewhere has probably tested these fuels in standardized lab conditions, but I have not seen the data. I suspect if RD was tested against multiple D2's you would see quite a bit of variance in the results of D2 pending if any are already blended with additives or what the aromatic content is etc; because D2 is a soup of both straight and cyclic hydrocarbons ranging from C10-C18 with variability between brands, whereas RD is essentially only straight C16 and C18 no matter who makes it.

The cleanliness of RD I think is indisputable as a lot of people have noted. Less soot and cleaner burning. I suspect it has far fewer trace contaminants of heavy metals and other ions as well, although this is just a suspicion and I don't have data. Less crap slowly building up on the injectors, etc.

basically I am happy running RD. Hasn't resulted in any problems for my Mk6 using it for over 100K miles by now. Can't say D2 would have been any different but for me same price at the pump with lower externalized environmental costs will always be my choice.
I found this document online last night. It has more information on RD than I've ever found in one place. Prepared by a consulting agency, very detailed with multiple data sources including test results with blends like R20 and R50.

Should dispel some of the myths and false marketing claims by vendors of RD. Interesting to note, not all pollution constituents are reduced in the test engines and any improvements can be negated based on engine load or duty cycle. Some engines measured higher pollution constituents running RD or blends which was unknown to me.


Same basic conclusion I came to without having the numbers and charts. I experience a loss of low end torque and loss of efficiency running the RD. But, it does burn cleaner and the high cetane makes for better high RPM power, easier starts and smoother idles. I even had a BHW with a dodgy injector that smoothed out if I ran it on HPR. Eventually replaced all the injectors to fix the problem... But it was pretty impressive the stark difference.

I do, however, really like running a 20-30% blend of RD to 70-80% regular D2. Runs FANTASTIC with that blend. More power everywhere, efficiency bumps up as well.

I didn't appreciate CARB ULSD diesel until I started living in Oregon...
 
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