Tag Archives: Biodiesel

Car buyers get efficient. Diesel sales up 46% as gas climbs.

According to a recent report by Baum and Associates, diesels, hybrids and smaller vehicles are selling like hotcakes–sales have surpassed the rest of the auto industry’s overall growth for the first quarter of 2011.

2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI

The sales of diesel vehicles soared up by 46% compared to March of last year.  Gasoline prices are to blame according to Baum. As pump prices continue to climb, the superior fuel efficiency of diesel engines is attracting attention. And the best part about driving a diesel? Using clean, American-made biodiesel to power your ride. Learn more about running biodiesel.

Baum stresses: “The trends are clear: vehicle sales are strong, and consumers want hybrids, small cars and crossovers, and are shying away from pickups and SUVs.”

Source: Baum & Associates, Green Car Congress, Autoblog Green.

VW to Offer Beetle TDI for 2012

If you’ve been following news regarding the new 2012 Beetle, you may have already heard rumor that the updated styling will echo that of the first generation “bug.” New to us, however, was learning that this retro-inspired ride will now be available with a 2.0L TDI engine – great news for Beetle bums, MPG mavens (VW is touting an estimated 40 mpg highway!) and biodiesel diehards alike.

Stylewise, the 2012 Beetle doesn’t disappoint. With a lower profile and a front windshield that’s been nudged back a bit, the Beetle does more closely resemble its 1949 predecessor, while a standard rear spolier, split-folding rear seat and slightly larger footprint offer modern day form and function.

As announced at the 2011 New York and Shanghai Auto Shows this week, the 2012  Beetle will be available in the US in September.

For more information, images and video, check out the full story at Insideline.com.

“I believe in biodiesel because…”

Why do you believe in biodiesel? As this montage of video testimonials compiled by the National Biodiesel Board demonstrates, there are countless reasons to stand behind this renewable fuel. Biodiesel is clean. Sustainable. Green. American. It supports the domestic economy and creates green jobs. It’s the fuel the diesel engine was designed around. And according to biodiesel enthusiasts, the list goes on!

Do you believe in biodiesel? Let us know by sharing your comment, below — or, to learn more, including where you can find biodiesel near you, vist Propel Fuels or the National Biodiesel Board online.

USDA visits Propel, highlights 10,000 pump plan

Judith Canales, Administrator for Rural Business and Cooperative Programs for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), stopped by Propel Fuels’ Oakland, California location to promote access to renewable fuel. Administrator Canales highlighted the beneficial economic and environmental impacts of American-produced biofuels.

Administrator Canales emphasized that a thriving domestic fuel industry will benefit the US economy. “The USDA is committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in rural America and we believe a strong renewable fuels industry, including convenient access to these fuels, is critical to this goal,” said Canales.

The USDA plans to increase access to domestically produced fuels by helping to fund the build out of 10,000 renewable fuel pumps across the country over the next five years. Retailers selected to receive USDA funds have yet to be determined.

“Propel shares the USDA’s vision for quickly increasing consumer access to renewable fuels in order to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, boost local economies, and reduce emissions,” said Jim Iacoponi, Vice President of Operations of Propel. “Through a partnership between private investment and public funds, Propel will continue to build the critical link between California’s drivers and the next generation of fuels.”

More on Administrator Canales’ visit to Propel:

Diesel Hybrids Combine the Best of Both Worlds

Geneva Motor Show – Does the future of clean transportation ride on renewable fuels or electric power? As we at Propel maintain — and as these new beauties, debuted this week at the Geneva Motor Show, demonstrate — the answer can most certainly be both. The diesel hybrid dazzlers featured below can be powered by renewable biodiesel and electricity.

Range Rover Sport Plug-In Diesel Hybrid

While there’s no word yet on whether the Range_e is intended for production, Land Rover has confirmed that this unique offering is part of its 2008 plan to reduce carbon emissions by 25% by 2012. Impressively, the SUV can travel up to 20 miles in full electric mode and returns 88mpg and 88 grams of CO2/kilometer. Power comes from both a 3.0-liter 240-horsepower TDV6  and a 69 kW electric motor that can be recharged from a standard household power supply in <4 hours.

Peugeot 908 Hybrid 4

So it’s not your daily driver. But with its 3.7-liter, 550-horsepower diesel V8 — and an on-board electric motor  that uses regenerative braking technology to provide an extra 80-horsepower spurt — Peugeot’s new endurance racer certainly inspires wide appeal. Will it be ready for the 2012 LeMans racing season? If so, Peugeot claims that the clean-burning, hybrid diesel technology will allow the 908 to stay on track longer than the average LeMans vehicle. Less pitting, more winning!

Volvo V60 Plug-In Diesel Hybrid

Who doesn’t love a sports wagon? Better yet, who doesn’t love a good looking safety machine with a diesel engine, a plug-in rechargeable electric powertrain and electric AWD? With the V60 Plug-In Hybrid, Volvo delivers all that, and more. In fact, a press release from the automaker claims the V60 Hybrid to be “three cars in one”:

1) An electric car with a range of up to 32 miles (charging time is 5 or less hours at home)
2) A high-efficiency hybrid with carbon dioxide emissions averaging just 49 g/km
3) A dynamic and engaging car with a combined output of 215 + 70 horsepower, 440 + 200 Nm of torque and acceleration from 0 to 62 mph of just 6.9 seconds

While the standard V60 is available only in European markets, Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby hinted in January that the V60 Hybrid could make its way to the US. Only time will tell. Until then, we’ll keep our fingers crossed!

Nuts for biodiesel!

It’s big, it’s shaped like a peanut and, best of all, it runs on biodiesel.

The latest incarnation of the Planters Nutmobile is going green, using a biodiesel-powered modified Isuzu NPR box truck as the base for its fiberglass body. The nutty vehicle also touts a rooftop wind turbine, solar panels, LED interior lighting, recycled parts and reclaimed-wood floors.

It is fitting that the Planters Nutmobile should be powered by biodiesel since Rudolf Diesel originally designed his engine to run on peanut oil. There’s no word on if the biodiesel used will be of a nutty variety.

Read more from the New York Times.

Volkswagen puts diesel in the hybrid mix

Volkswagen recently revieled the XL1 Prototype, a diesel-electric plug-in hybrid with a mind-blowing 261 miles per gallon fuel economy.

The vehicle’s extreme efficiency is achieved using light weight parts, including a small two-cylinder diesel and electric plug-in engine. While VW will only be producing the XL1 for a very limited run, there are reports the manufacturer is working on a producing a slightly bigger, more conventional hybrid, the Up mini-car, which could achieve 95 miles per gallon.

Read more.

BMW diesel Super Bowl ad. Fueling ch-ch-change.

Waste Grease Biodiesel Plant for San Francisco

Plans for a biodiesel plant at Pier 92 in San Francisco have finally gained approval from the city’s Port Commission. The plant will produce 10 million gallons of waste-grease biodiesel each year, creating local production jobs as well as locally-produced, renewable fuel.

The plant will be in an old rendering facility run by Darling International, who has been in operation on the pier since the 1960s. The facility is already equipped to create tallow from grease and other waste products. The switch over to biodiesel production will include new odor-regulation devices and alert systems.

Read more from San Francisco Gate.

Waste fats into renewable Dynamic Fuels

In Geismar, LA, Dynamic Fuels’ production facility is converting non-food grade tallow and other animal fats into ASTM-certified renewable diesel fuel.

The production facility, a joint venture of Syntroleum Corporation and Tyson Foods, Inc., began processing fuel in early October and is currently producing 2,500 barrels a day.

Dynamic’s diesel fuel is made from renewable sources, reducing carbon emissions by  75%. What’s more, the performance specifications outshine petroleum diesel, boasting cetane rating of 88, more than twice that of regular diesel.

Read more from Syntroleum.

Propel tours San Diego’s New Leaf biodiesel production facility

New Leaf Biofuel is a waste-source biodiesel production company located in San Diego, CA. Propel had the opportunity to tour the New Leaf facility earlier this week.

Jennifer Case, CEO of New Leaf, hosted the facility tour, walking through the production process of using waste-oil and waste-grease refined into quality biodiesel fuel ready to put straight into tanks. New Leaf collects waste oil and grease from local San Diego restaurants to use as the feedstock for their biodiesel production.

New Leaf is a great example of a local producer working within a community to process waste products into quality renewable fuel.

Learn more about New Leaf Biofuels.

Study shows biodiesel improves workplace health

A recent pilot study from the Air & Wast Management Association compared diesel and biodiesel B20 exhaust, measuring the the occupational exposure to particulate matter (PM) and other air toxins. Biodiesel B20 was found to reduce harmful pollutes in the work environment.

The study was conducted at  a New Hampshire recycling facility, heavy equipment exhaust was measured while running petroleum diesel and then on B20 biodiesel.

The technical paper describe, the study “used a combination of established industrial hygiene and environmental air monitoring methods to estimate occupational exposure profiles to PM and air toxics from combustion of petroleum diesel and biodiesel. Results indicate that B20 use dramatically reduces work area respirable particle and formaldehyde levels compared with petroleum diesel.”

Read full Air & Waste Management Association study–Biodiesel versus Diesel: A Pilot Study Comparing Exhaust Exposures for Employees at a Rural Municipal Facility.

Propel announces Bay Area Network launch, 75 stations to come

During a grand opening event at the Bay Area’s newest renewable fuel station in Oakland, CA, Propel Fuels along with partners from the California Department of General Services, California Energy Commission, CALSTART & East Bay Clean Cities, formally launched Propel’s Bay Area operations, which will include more than 20 stations across the Bay, with up to 10 open by the year’s end.
The event also announced a $10.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and California Energy Commission (CEC) to build and operate 75 retail renewable fuel stations throughout California over the next two years.

From Left: Director Joel A. Ayala Governor’s Office of Economic Development. Matt Horton, CEO, Propel Fuels. Steve Sokolsky, represents both East Bay Clean Cities and CALSTART. Commissioner Anthony Eggert, California Energy Commission

The station development project, know as the Low Carbon Fuel Infrastructure Investment Initiative (LCFI3), has the potential to create more than 450 green jobs in California, while displacing 39 million gallons of petroleum and 187,500 tons of CO2 emissions per year.
Propel’s Oakland Clean Fuel Point is one of four new stations already pumping fuel in the Bay. Propel also has six locations open in Sacramento, CA–with more on the way!
For a list of locations and stations coming soon, visit Propel’s Station Locator.

Heavy-duty Ford trucks gain efficiency

With a free computer upgrade, Ford gives its 6.7-L PowerStroke V8 turbocharged diesel engines an added boost of fuel efficiency. This translates to a 20% increase in efficiency for the 2011 Super Duty diesel pickups over last year’s models.

Ford is providing upgrades free for all current owners of a 2011 Super Duty diesel pickup. The upgrade will entail a 30 minute software adjustment by a dealership service department–customers will receive information in the mail regarding the upgrade beginning August 31st.

Want another added bonus? Ford supports the use of Biodiesel B20 blend in all new 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbocharged diesel engines.

Read more from Green Car Congress.

Volkswagen BlueMotion vehicles named 2010 World Green Car brand

“The definition of the World Green Car of the Year was expanded a bit today when the World Car of The Year organization named Volkswagen‘s BlueMotion product brand – including the PoloPassat, and Golf models – as the 2010 World Green Car during the 2010 New York Auto Show. The 59-member jury’s statement declaring BlueMotion the winner took a swipe at hybrid technology when is said:

It is not necessary to add an electric motor and a heavy battery pack to achieve class-leading efficiency. Based on Volkswagen’s common-rail diesel engines, the BlueMotion models are among the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the market. In fact, the Passat BlueMotion can travel just about 1,000 miles on one tank of fuel in the European cycle. As far as internal combustion engines go today, these models are the ultimate you can get.

Even with these critical words, the organization did pick the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight as the Green Car of the Year runners-up. In other World COTY news, the VW Polo won the overall World Car of the Year title.”

Read more from Autoblog Green.

Find out where to fill up your diesel with cleaner burning biodiesel in California and Washington.

Advanced fuel test crops flourish in California

UC Davis test plot yields for advanced biofuel crops prove fruitful.

Findings from a three year switchgrass trial have shown increasing yields, from twelve to eighteen tons per acre depending on the site. Several switchgrass varieties were tested at facilities in El Centro & at UC Davis. Switchgrass has the potential to be a whole-plant cellulosic ethanol feedstock and is considered an important crop for the future of renewable fuels. The hardy grass begins its annual growth in the spring and can grow 4-7 feet tall. Leaves measure 30-90 centimeters in length.

Switchgrass uses C4 carbon fixation which means it is fairly efficient in the photosynthesis process and tolerates drought and high temperatures. The grass has low fertilizer requirements and grows well on marginal land.

Many of these hearty crops can grow on marginal lands and have the potential to produce biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol, and provide a new revenue source for American framers.

Read more about advanced feedstock research from Western Farm Press.

Biodiesel Bulletin: Biodiesel delivers sweet treats

Propel customer, Essential Baking Company, is highlighted in the latest edition of the National Biodiesel Board’s monthly bulletin.


“The Web site for The Essential Baking Company in Seattle says it all: “We’re fussy. Fussy about taste, the texture of our bread, the flakiness of our pastry, the richness of our desserts, and preserving the time-honored techniques of baking. And don’t even get us started about the importance of the pureness of what we put into our bodies or our impact on the environment.”

That commitment to the environment is fulfilled in part by using 99 percent biodiesel . . .” Read more from the National Biodiesel board.

Amtrak runs biodiesel in America’s heartland

Earlier this week, Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer train made its first journey powered by B20 biodiesel.

The Heartland Flyer will run on tallow-based B20 biodiesel for the next year with plans to potentially expand the program to the entire system. The Heartland Flyer uses over 100,000 gallons of diesel fuel every year on its 400-mile route between Fort Worth, TX and Oklahoma City, OK.

The biodiesel test program is funded by a federal government grant. Amtrak will monitor and track train performance and emission reductions from the use of biodiesel.

The majority of Amtrak’s passenger trains burn petroleum diesel. In one year, Amtrak trains use over 62 million gallons of fuel. Switching to B20 biodiesel would significantly reduce consumption of petroleum diesel and has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by almost 200 million pounds.

More about the Heartland Flyer’s biodiesel test.

Celebrate Earth Day with Propel

Come celebrate Earth Day with Propel in Sacramento on Thursday, April 22, 2010 from 9am – 2pm at Cesar Chavez Park at 10th and I Streets. Propel will be giving away FREE FUEL CARDS to lucky flex fuel and biodiesel drivers.

Enjoy free entertainment, interactive learning and celebrate the earth! For more information please call the Earth Day HOTLINE (916) 808-6525.

Find Propel Events on Facebook

Mazda unveils 43 mpg SKY-D diesel

Mazda recently announced that it plans to bring a mid-sized diesel vehicle to the United States by 2012. This will be Mazda’s first diesel sold in the U.S.–the vehicle will use the new SKY-D engine and have a 43 mpg highway rating.

Compared to the current diesel engine design, the diesel SKY-D will be 20 percent more fuel-efficient, have more torque, and have a ceramic diesel particulate filter which will meet American emission regulations.

More about Mazda’s upcoming diesel.

Enterprise’s shuttle fleet to run biodiesel

Enterprise, the largest vehicle rental company in North America, announced plans to fuel their entire airport shuttle fleet of more than 600 buses on biodiesel. Most shuttle buses will begin by using a B5 biodiesel blend, while in nine regions, buses will use a B20 blend with the intention of converting the entire bus fleet to B20 in the next five years.


By switching to biodiesel, the Enterprise fleet will reduce carbon emissions by the equivalent of retiring 40 shuttle buses and will reduce petroleum use by 420,000 gallons–in the first year alone.

In California, Propel Fuels and Enterprise have formed a partnership aimed to educate Enterprise customers on the availability and benefits of alternative fuels, and to fuel Enterprise’s rental cars with renewable E85.

Read more from Enterprise.

GM & Ford announce B20 biodiesel compatibility for 2011 models

General Motors and Ford both recently announced support for use of B20 biodiesel in their 2011 diesel models. The 2011 GM line-up of heavy duty diesel pickups equipped with the Duramax 6.6L engine and Ford’s 6.7-liter Power Stroke engine will both be B20 biodiesel compatible.

The new Duramax 6.6L turbo diesel engine will power the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, as well as the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans. Chevrolet will display the 2011 Silverado heavy-duty trucks at the Chicago Auto Show on Feb. 10.

Ford plans to identify B20 compatible vehicles with a B20 road & leaf badge–similar to the badge used to identify Ford E85 Flex Fuel compatible vehicles.

VW Diesels take 1-2-3 spots at 2010 Dakar Rally

Volkswagen TDIs, including the Race Touareg prototype, celebrated a one-two-three podium lockout at the finish of the toughest challenge worldwide in motorsport.

Read full article from AutoBlog.com.

Study affirms health benefits of biodiesel for America’s miners

The Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) has published a new report that updates the mining community on biodiesel’s continued positive effects underground. After testing multiple biodiesel blends MSHA concluded that biodiesel reduces emissions, especially when combined with the use of after-treatment devices on diesel engines. “The result is a cleaner and healthier working environment for miners,” MSHA states.

Hutchinson Salt Company in Kansas was the first mine of any kind to use B99 biodiesel (a 99 percent biodiesel fuel mix). Since 2003, the company has used up to 30,000 gallons of B99 a year.

Their employees noted cleaner air in the mines within days after the switch to biodiesel. B99 powers all their underground diesel equipment, ranging from loaders to diesel pickups to tractors. Max Liby, vice president of manufacturing, says they have seen no reduction in performance even when machines run 20 consecutive hours.

Read Report

Clean Diesel Wins Again for Green Car of the Year

For the second year in a row, clean diesel technology earns the top award from Green Car Journal. The Audi A3 TDI was announced as the 2010 Green Car of the Year at the Los Angeles Car Show earlier this month.

The diesel hatchback station wagon was select from among an impressive group of fuel-efficient vehicles, including the Honda Insight hybrid, Mercury Milan hybrid, Toyota Prius, and the Volkswagen Golf TDI.

The Audi A3 TDI touts a 42 miles per gallon highway fuel economy, “a 50 percent improvement over the gasoline A3 variant that makes the car very economical to operate with low relative CO2 emissions.” And, to top off the improved efficiency, Audi has approved the use of B5 Biodiesel in the A3 TDI.

Read more about the Audi A3 from Green Car Journal.

VW Stays Focused on Clean Diesel

VW_SportWagen_TDIWhile many auto manufacturers are looking to hybrids and electrics, Volkswagen stays focused on fuel efficient clean diesel passenger vehicles. Currently making up less than 3% market share in the US, J.D. Power forecasts the diesel passenger segment to grow to 8% by 2015. Not even close to the 50% market share seen in Europe, but Volkswagen hopes to own that 8%. Why Diesel? The Volkswagen TDI format improves fuel economy by 30% and puts out 25% less greenhouse gas emissions than what a gasoline engine would.
Read interview Mark Barnes, COO of Volkswagen America.

Green jobs for conservation corps youth

conserv_corps_propel

Propel has teamed up with Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps to provide life and skills training for at-risk young men and women at Propel’s retail fueling locations.

“Our partnership with SRCC allows us to not only help young people develop important skills that will assist them the rest of their lives, but creates a skilled workforce for the growing renewable fuels industry.” said Rob Elam, Propel’s President and Co‐Founder. “We look forward to expanding this important program on a larger scale as our network of alternative fueling stations grows.”

Involvement in the program provides corps members training in critical skills such as job responsibility, timeliness and teamwork, while exposing them to the promising industry of renewable energy.

“The opportunities that Propel has provided for the young people in our program are invaluable and offer them a positive environment in which they can channel their energy,” said Andi Liebenbaum, Deputy Director of the Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps. “The exposure our corpsmembers are receiving to the renewable fuels industry can only help them in a future job market.”

Read more about the SRCC and Propel partnership.

U.S. jets on alterative fuel

The U.S. Air Force plans on using domestically produced Camelina-based jet fuel supplied by Sustainable Oils. The Defense Energy Support Center agreed to use 100,000 gallons through 2010 with the possibility for using another 100,000 gallons in the following two years.

fromcleantechnica.com

Camelina is a non-food oilseed crop grown in parts of Oregon, Washington and Montana. In addition to the high quality of fuel produced from camelina, it can reduce carbon emissions by more than 80%.

“This is a great opportunity for Montana farmers to not only drive additional revenue, but also participate directly in decreasing our country’s reliance on foreign oil,” said Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer in the press release. “I know our agricultural community is up to the challenge to supply our armed forces with camelina-based fuels.”

Read more from Sustainable Oils.

US Postal Service Earns Top Environmental Award

USPS Fills at Propel's Citrus Heights, CA location

USPS Fills at Propel's Citrus Heights, CA location

The U.S. Postal Services was awarded the Environmental Achievement of the Year by Postal Technology International magazine. In addition to recycling and energy-efficiency efforts, the Postal Service recently announced plans to replace 6,500 vehicles with 1,000 E85 ethanol-capable and 900 gasoline/electric hybrid vehicles.

In the Sacramento region, the USPS is a loyal customer of Propel clean, American Flex Fuel and biodiesel.

Building Seattle’s Greenest Neighborhood

Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood touts the title of the greenest in the city with the most LEED buildings and is currently under evaluation for the LEED Neighborhood Development certification.

In the midst of this growth and construction, Propel’s flagship biodiesel station remains open at the busy intersection of Westlake Ave and Broad St.SLUSign

SLU1

SLU2