Martin Tobias, a venture partner at Ignition Partners, private investor and consultant who has a strong affinity for biodiesel and biodiesel projects, posts a report that a current NREL research project indicates that biodiesel may not increase NOx emissions compared to petroleum diesel.
On a technical session panel at the Society of Automotive Engineers’ (SAE) recent Government/Industry Meeting, Wendy Clark, Manager of the Fuels Performance Group at NREL’s ReFUEL Laboratory, reported that after extended dynamometer testing, NOx emissions from two 40-foot urban transit buses burning B20 were comparable to the buses’ NOx emissions when burning conventional diesel.
The tests on two different buses burning B-20 were repeated because the initial results were so surprising, Clark told the SAE conference participants.
According to Clark, the research team hasn’t concluded the research program yet. A formal report on the findings should be out later this fall.
There has been some reluctance to embrace biodiesel in some sectors due to what up to now has been the understanding that biodiesel combustion increases NOx emissions. The contradictory findings from NREL, if verified through this and other testing, could accelerate policy-driven adoption of the biofuel.