Renewable diesel

Lightflyer1

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Biodiesel is also hygroscopic and has a different viscosity than D2. This is the biggest issue IMO and creates significant risk in using it with a HPCR system as they are extremely sensitive to both water and viscosity. Besides the inconsistent QC.
HPR is great for post 2008 emissions controlled diesels. Less soot means longer time between DPF regenerations and less EGR valve and intake fouling. You will also notice it takes longer for your oil to turn black after an oil change. As with all high cetane fuels, there is an unfortunate slight loss of power, felt as reduced low end torque and the resulting fuel economy loss.
I don’t use HPR in my ALH but it works great in my 2.8 Duramax and CBEA.
Tiny percentages of bio we are talking about (2% or less) should not pose a problem due to hygroscopic issues. QC on bio coming from the refinery and/or distribution centers in pump fuels should also not be an issue. While HPR may be cleaner and help the equipment do its job, I am not convinced the emissions coming out of the tail pipe are substantially cleaner. But I have no issues if you want to use it, I just don't think it does all that much better than regular D2 in our cars. Just my opinion. Besides it isn't really available anywhere other than California and one location in Washington IIRC.
 

CleverUserName

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Tiny percentages of bio we are talking about (2% or less) should not pose a problem due to hygroscopic issues. QC on bio coming from the refinery and/or distribution centers in pump fuels should also not be an issue. While HPR may be cleaner and help the equipment do its job, I am not convinced the emissions coming out of the tail pipe are substantially cleaner. But I have no issues if you want to use it, I just don't think it does all that much better than regular D2 in our cars. Just my opinion. Besides it isn't really available anywhere other than California and one location in Washington IIRC.
The emissions coming out of the tail pipe will be the same because that is controlled by the components and sensors of the emissions system. However, since the fuel burns cleaner you will see less DEF usage, less EGR and longer time between DPF regenerations. The most significant difference is 35% less particulate matter when compared to D2.

HPR is a brand name that propel uses but the product "Renewable Diesel" is actually called Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO). You can read about it in depth here: https://www.neste.com/sites/default/files/attachments/neste_renewable_diesel_handbook.pdf

 

biodieselboy

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That PDF document is a great read. Strange that they state HPR with a max lubricity of 500 on the quick reference sheet, yet in the document, it’s written that they attempt <= 460. Bosch rotary VE pumps were ran at this lubricity as well at their testing site. This information is a few years old at this point, and since there hasn’t been any complaints of renewable fuel grenading everyone’s common rail system, It’s probably just fine. Though, I would like to see updated tests with new fuel systems.
 
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CleverUserName

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That PDF document is a great read. Strange that they state HPR with a max lubricity of 500 on the quick reference sheet, yet in the document, it’s written that they attempt <= 460. Bosch rotary VE pumps were ran at this lubricity as well at their testing site. This information is a few years old at this point, and since there hasn’t been any complaints of renewable fuel grenading everyone’s common rail system, It’s probably just fine. Though, I would like to see updated tests with new fuel systems.
Propel doesn’t buy HVO from Neste any longer. That document just provides an overview of what Renewable Diesel is and how it’s made. Propel sources it’s HPR from smaller refineries and processors within North America so some of the specifications have changed like cetane, lubricity, etc.
 

MAXRPM

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If I ever used Bio was probably couple times in in my TDIs, I saw cancer on top of the IP of a couple friends that had ALHs and that kind of put me away from bio, although I remember that when I posted here about my experience looking at those 2 IPs, I used to get flamed from those members that were Bio oriented, now I understand why Bio is disappearing from gas stations, I knew it would be just a matter of time before they unplugged the cord,

I have always been an advocate for D2 and now I use HPR as well, so far no I'll effect fron either one, knock on wood.

i knew if I ever needed lubricity in my pumps I would use Diesel kleen with 2 stroke oil, hope I do not get flamed again now. guess what I see no more Bio in ny area so no reason to throw stone at me.
 
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biodieselboy

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I've used gallons and gallons of Diesel Kleen at this point on all kinds of diesel engines. No ill effects. It's great stuff. Perhaps not the absolute best lubricity you can get from an additive, but it does the job well enough.

I've never used 2 stroke oil as an additive, however, this is an interesting read regarding 2 stroke oil and HFRR testing. Dated 2015

https://www.fuelexpert.co.za/2-stroke-oil-in-diesel-technical-study.php
 

FiveFilter

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I've been using a combination of two stroke oil and PowerService ever since the ULSD and its questionable lubricity were introduced to the market. When I first started using it, I immediately noticed a quieter engine, and the fuel economy and power level of the engine have remained unchanged through the intervening years. I've seen that 2015 report before, but I've never read or heard of anyone having any injector or other such problems with the use of two stroke oil as a lubricity enhancer in a diesel engine. The earlier Spicer report shows the two cycle oil does provide lubricity, just as two cycle oil serves as the sole means of lubrication for the internals of a two-cycle gasoline engine. As with anything else, you pays your money and makes your choice.
 

MAXRPM

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Is renewable Diesel available on the East Coast yet?

I do not know if it is available in the east cost I know they have them all over California and Washington state, it is great stuff but the downside is that you would take a hit on MPGs approx. 2 miles less per gallon.
 

CleverUserName

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I do not know if it is available in the east cost I know they have them all over California and Washington state, it is great stuff but the downside is that you would take a hit on MPGs approx. 2 miles less per gallon.
It’s not widely available in California. You can find it in some urban areas in the Sacramento valley, the Bay Area and in Southern California. It’s totally unavailable in the northern part of the state and probably only 20 stations total in the whole state carry it.

The other downside is that it can cause fuel system leaks. Injector pump leaks are very common. I tried it in a 50/50 blend with D2 in my ‘03 golf and developed a leak on the IP return line. Stopped using it and the leak subsided.

I’d use it in any modern diesel with DPF, SCR and EGR but if you have an ALH, PD or AHU is stick with D2.
 

jerryfreak

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The other downside is that it can cause fuel system leaks. Injector pump leaks are very common. I tried it in a 50/50 blend with D2 in my ‘03 golf and developed a leak on the IP return line. Stopped using it and the leak subsided.

were you using biodiesel previously? since 07 ULSD the biodiesel swell /ULSD shrink is a known issue to cause leaks, fixed in an hour with the dieselgeek viton o-ring swap on the pump head
 

CleverUserName

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Nope never used Biodiesel. Always avoided it like the plague. Previous owner of 8 years never used it either.
 

Ton

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Regular dino Diesel is subsidized too. Someone said that renewable is subsidized in California. The oil companies get tax breaks.
 

Matt-98AHU

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HPR is interesting stuff. As some have noted here, you do lose a little low end torque and efficiency. But thanks to the high cetane, cars to start easier, idle smoother and might have a little better top end power.

The downsides are that on old VE pumps with already very old, marginal seals, the complete lack of aromatics make old seals shrink and harden worse than the switch to ULSD. That having been said, if you have relatively new seals in the pump, no need to worry. A leaking pump is not a "failed" pump.

Conventional biodiesel is disappearing, at least in 100% concentrations, because CARB has found it to produce more NOx than regular diesel. While it may be cleaner in other aspects, as we all know, CARB has it out for NOx pollution. CARB is the reason retail stations are not allowed to sell 100% concentrations of conventional transesterified biodiesel. Not to mention, it has its own negative side effects. I know of one well known biofuel station in the Bay Area, in order to keep their retail product 100% renewable, they've effectively been blending biodiesel with HPR. Retail stations are allowed to blend upto B20 still, I believe. It's just the B100 that's difficult to come by.

HPR does reduce every single regulated emissions from the testing I've seen, including NOx. And most noticeably to those running modified or otherwise somewhat smoky old diesels, the soot production is far less as well and the difference is easily visible with the naked eye. For those with DPF equipped vehicles, this means more time between regen cycles because it will take more time for the filter to get to the threshhold where a regen is started, and thus you will ultimately have fewer regen cycles through the life of the vehicle. This is not a bad thing.

For those with LNT-equipped gen 1 commonrail TDIs, this means it may go a little longer between the micro-regens required for the LNT to work effectively due to lower NOx emissions. For SCR with diesel exhaust fluid equipped cars, this might mean a slightly lower dosing rate of DEF.

There are trade offs. It's not a perfect solution. And since my corner of the bay doesn't have an HPR station, I more often just opt for D2 anyway, plus, I get better low end torque and fuel efficiency, so there's that... If there was one closer, I'd likely alternate between the two pretty frequently.
 
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MAXRPM

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I have been using HPR on my golf alh and 335d only,, ive been pumping it for a long time my golf and no IL effect on my IP, no leaks,,, but I do not mix with D2, only 2 stroke oil for lubricity for my 12 mm pump,, my jetta and passat they only see D2 from top tier gas station,
 

jackbombay

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I ran a few tanks of HPR diesel when I was in California over new years, I love the stuff. No leaks for me, no MPG hit, (I've logged every fill up since the car was new, 240,000 miles ago). My car does normally blow haze visible at night in headlights behind me, but the HPR eliminated that completely. Car sounded about the same at idle, but at 2000-3000 RPM it sounded like a gasser it was so quiet. I'll certainly use it in my sprinter and Jetta whenever I am in California.
 

JD_2012GolfTDI

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I discovered that select 76 stations in CA are also offering their version of renewable diesel. I didn't see a spec sheet for the fuel, but the claimed cetane rating is 70+. There's also savings for paying with their mobile App, and and even more if paying mobile with their card.

https://www.76.com/renewable-diesel
 
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tikal

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Lack of aromatics in RD maybe problematic (and solvable)

This is a good point Matt makes regarding "complete lack of aromatics make old seals shrink". The paper referenced in this thread has this to say on the subject:

* Lack of aromatics maybe problematic
o Use of renewable jet is limited to 50% to ensure a minimum aromatic content of finished fuel
–Minimum aromatics needed for elastomer swell to ensure sealing in

the fuel system
–Full approval for 50% blends of renewable jet from FAA and ASTM
o On-road diesel may follow suit with a limit on minimum aromatic

content of fuel

* RD100 maybe an issue for elastomer swell on fuel wetted parts


I am traveling at the end of this year to LA area and I hope to give HPR a try if a fuel station is on our way. I might add a few ounces of diesel additive for the lubricity just in case.

HPR is interesting stuff. As some have noted here, you do lose a little low end torque and efficiency. But thanks to the high cetane, cars to start easier, idle smoother and might have a little better top end power.

The downsides are that on old VE pumps with already very old, marginal seals, the complete lack of aromatics make old seals shrink and harden worse than the switch to ULSD. That having been said, if you have relatively new seals in the pump, no need to worry. A leaking pump is not a "failed" pump.

Conventional biodiesel is disappearing, at least in 100% concentrations, because CARB has found it to produce more NOx than regular diesel. While it may be cleaner in other aspects, as we all know, CARB has it out for NOx pollution. CARB is the reason retail stations are not allowed to sell 100% concentrations of conventional transesterified biodiesel. Not to mention, it has its own negative side effects. I know of one well known biofuel station in the Bay Area, in order to keep their retail product 100% renewable, they've effectively been blending biodiesel with HPR. Retail stations are allowed to blend upto B20 still, I believe. It's just the B100 that's difficult to come by.

HPR does reduce every single regulated emissions from the testing I've seen, including NOx. And most noticeably to those running modified or otherwise somewhat smoky old diesels, the soot production is far less as well and the difference is easily visible with the naked eye. For those with DPF equipped vehicles, this means more time between regen cycles because it will take more time for the filter to get to the threshhold where a regen is started, and thus you will ultimately have fewer regen cycles through the life of the vehicle. This is not a bad thing.

For those with LNT-equipped gen 1 commonrail TDIs, this means it may go a little longer between the micro-regens required for the LNT to work effectively due to lower NOx emissions. For SCR with diesel exhaust fluid equipped cars, this might mean a slightly lower dosing rate of DEF.

There are trade offs. It's not a perfect solution. And since my corner of the bay doesn't have an HPR station, I more often just opt for D2 anyway, plus, I get better low end torque and fuel efficiency, so there's that... If there was one closer, I'd likely alternate between the two pretty frequently.
 
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Matt-98AHU

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Im going to fill up with the 76 renewable diesel today i hope it wont leak like HPR
Ran two tanks of the stuff in my 2000 Beetle... Pump started leaking.

It's virtually the same stuff as HPR.

A little over an hour taking the pump apart on the car and putting new seals in, and it's running better than ever with no leaks. New o rings on the case pressure relief valve seem to help performance noticeably on older pumps. Not that they leak externally, but that lower o ring can relieve pressure prematurely and cause a loss of performance from not being able to adequately advance the timing under high loads.

If your pump starts leaking, I know a guy that can reseal it for reasonable money ;)
 

Matt-98AHU

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Does it typically start leaking from the pump head Oring? Or from under the QA? Both?
Pump head often goes first, usually starts as just a slight seep.

I see a leak from one of these, I don't bother differentiating WHICH seal is going bad. I just replace all I can with the pump still on the car, which is pump head o ring, o ring for the triangle shaped threaded plug that goes into the pump head, top and middle cover seals, shut of solenoid O ring and the case pressure relief valve o rings.

The two o rings on the timing advance solenoid don't seem to leak very frequently, they are made of that green-colored stuff that seems to be very stout and long-lived. If I were to replace those, the pump does need to come out.

Otherwise, I'm just doing the above list if I have to open it up for any leak. Just do em all. Besides, my method for doing the pump head seal involves removing the QA anyway. The pump head will come out of the body completely with the plunger and all. I don't try to stretch the new o ring around the outside of the head ala runonbeer's and dieselgeek's method.
 

NewTdi

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About the 76 Renewable what I noticed at different stations is that some diesel is marked R95 and some R99. Thank you Matt for letting me know about the 76 Renewable Diesel; it saves me from going to Berkeley to fill up with HRP.
I agree with the mileage hit (2mph) and I agree as well that I have also noticed that with my car at WOT the haze that I would customarily get with D2 is just non existent with both Propel HPR and 76 renewable.
 
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CleverUserName

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About the 76 Renewable what I noticed at different stations is that some diesel is marked R95 and some R99. Thank you Matt for letting me know about the 76 Renewable Diesel so it saves me from going to Berkeley to fill up with HRP.
I agree with the mileage hit (2mph) and I have also notices that with my car at WOT the haze that I would customarily get with D2 is just on existent with both Propel HPR and 76 renewable.
I've also noticed a MPG hit when using renewable diesel vs. CARB D2. What is more noticeable for me, is the loss of low end TQ which is the main reason I haven't filled up with RD for a couple months.

One of the research papers I read recently claimed a ~ 1.5% Fuel consumption improvement with 30% RD blended with 70% D2. This may be the sweet spot for someone willing to experiment with blending
 

NewTdi

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I've also noticed a MPG hit when using renewable diesel vs. CARB D2. What is more noticeable for me, is the loss of low end TQ which is the main reason I haven't filled up with RD for a couple months.
One of the research papers I read recently claimed a ~ 1.5% Fuel consumption improvement with 30% RD blended with 70% D2. This may be the sweet spot for someone willing to experiment with blending
I will experiment with this next time I go to fill-up. It is not going to be perfect percentage but it will be close enough as my ScanGauge II has become extremely accurate.
 

Matt-98AHU

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I've also noticed a MPG hit when using renewable diesel vs. CARB D2. What is more noticeable for me, is the loss of low end TQ which is the main reason I haven't filled up with RD for a couple months.
One of the research papers I read recently claimed a ~ 1.5% Fuel consumption improvement with 30% RD blended with 70% D2. This may be the sweet spot for someone willing to experiment with blending
Pretty much the exact same observations I've mentioned in other threads. Loss of low end torque and a small MPG hit, but starts easier, some engines even idle smoother (more noticeable on engines not using the very effectively insulating pendulum mounts, so mostly B5 Passat diesels and B4/Mk3 era cars).

I suspect it has to do with the renewable stuff simply having less BTUs. Just outright less energy than the renewable.

Very interesting thoughts with the blend, 70/30 D2/renewable. Thinking back, that is not the first time I've heard that ratio.

In the mid 2000s when Audi went racing with a diesel-powered Le Mans prototype, they were running a blend of 70% ULSD and 30% Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) fuel by Shell. The 'renewable diesel' we're referring to uses biomass that is gassified and then goes through the same 'Fischer-Tropsch' process that the Shell GTL fuels go through to make that same high cetane, super clean burning product. The difference is Shell was just using Natural Gas as a basestock whereas these renewables are, again, gassifying biomass and then going through the same GTL process. I suspect both Shell and Audi did a lot of research as to what the best combination of the two fuels would be to get the best combination between BTUs and high cetane.

Hearing that Audi used to run that exact ratio and you reading another study that uses the identical ratio makes a lot of sense.

Pic of one of those early diesel Audis I photographed at the 2008 12 Hours of Sebring:

 
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turbobrick240

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In the mid 2000s when Audi went racing with a diesel-powered Le Mans prototype, they were running a blend of 70% ULSD and 30% Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) fuel by Shell. The 'renewable diesel' we're referring to uses biomass that is gassified and then goes through the same 'Fischer-Tropsch' process that the Shell GTL fuels go through to make that same high cetane, super clean burning product. The difference is Shell was just using Natural Gas as a basestock whereas these renewables are, again, gassifying biomass and then going through the same GTL process.
While GTL aka Fischer-Tropsch process certainly is one pathway to creating Renewable diesel, I believe most all of the RD sold in the US is currently produced using a hydrotreating process.
 

CleverUserName

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While GTL aka Fischer-Tropsch process certainly is one pathway to creating Renewable diesel, I believe most all of the RD sold in the US is currently produced using a hydrotreating process.
Yes I believe RD is made by fractional distillation with an additional hydrotreating process. That's the same way they make Group III "synthetic" bases for lubricating oils.
 

turbobrick240

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Yes I believe RD is made by fractional distillation with an additional hydrotreating process. That's the same way they make Group III "synthetic" bases for lubricating oils.

That's my understanding. The palm and various other oil, grease and fat feedstocks are first run through a hydrotreatment process that converts them into liquid hydrocarbons and propane. The liquid hydrocarbons are then fractionally distilled into diesel, kerosene, etc.

There are plants I believe mostly in Sweden and Finland that are experimenting with using cellulosic biomass feedstocks to make syngas which is catalyzed into RD using the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. The fuel properties of the RD produced by both processes is virtually identical.
 
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