Fleet Ops: Fuel Efficiency
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Biodiesel board urges crackdown on low quality fuel
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A biodiesel "winter weather advisory" has been issued by a group of the boutique fuel's chief proponents. Fleet managers, petroleum distributors and other consumers should consider the warning says the National Biodiesel Board in the U.S. after fuel quality testing results revealed some issues with the quality of biodiesel in some parts of the U.S. "Ensuring that consumers have a high level of confidence in the biodiesel they purchase is a top priority for the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) and a key element for the industry's continued growth," said Joe Jobe, NBB CEO. "As the industry ramps up to meet the vast increase in demand for biodiesel, this growth simply cannot occur at the expense of fuel quality."
According to the NBB survey, one-third of biodiesel samples pulled between November 2005 and July 2006 were out of spec for incomplete processing. That's the same issue that caused some filter clogging problems last year in Minnesota -- which has mandated a 2 percent biodiesel blend in the state. Although fuel quality is always important, cold weather can amplify problems caused by out-of-spec fuel, says the board. "NBB views these results as unacceptable," Jobe said. "This underscores the need for enforcement agencies to take action against those who aren't producing biodiesel that meets the existing (standards)." As a result of issues in Minnesota last winter, NBB board members in June approved a comprehensive Fuel Quality Policy that directs NBB to work diligently with all state and federal agencies with authority to regulate fuel and enforce quality. The industry is urging government agencies to adopt fuel quality standards for biodiesel and enforce them. Currently, half of the states have adopted the "ASTM D-6751" specification as part of their fuel quality regulations, and an additional 13 states are planning to adopt the specification or are studying it. A Fuel Quality Enforcement Guide that provides guidance on actions for anyone who has concerns that a company might not be producing spec fuel has been developed by NBB. People can also report out-of-spec biodiesel to the proper authorities, which can be found in the State Fuel Quality Index on the NBB's website.
 
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