O2Diesel Corporation, a provider of ethanol-blended diesel fuels (e-diesel) for centrally fueled fleets, has entered into an agreement with Ben Franklin Transit (BFT) in Richland, Washington, to begin testing a blend of its O2Diesel e-diesel in combination with a B20 biodiesel blend in 20 transit buses.
The new fuel is a blended Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) fuel alternative which is 28% renewable, consisting of bioethanol, O2Diesel’s biomass-based fuel technology and biodiesel.
The addition of ethanol to diesel lowers the pour point (the temperature at which the fuel begins to gel). Conventional practice for winter blends has been to mix No. 2 diesel with No. 1 diesel to lower the pour point. The use of e-diesel may reduce the need to blend No. 1 diesel into winter blends (depending upon the ethanol content and other additives).
O2Diesel first began research and development on ethanol/biodiesel blends in conjunction with the Department of Defense, and is currently doing emission testing with various biofuel blends at Southwest Research Institute (SWRI) in San Antonio, Texas. Initial observations point to a number of synergies achieved by combining the renewable fuels, both in the area of emissions as well as storage and handling.
The fuel will be distributed by Connell Oil Inc. in Pasco, Washington. The distribution agreement with Connell Oil extends the number of O2Diesel distributors in the US to 6.
Ben Franklin Transit will be testing the 28% renewable fuel throughout the coming winter months where temperatures can drop well below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, an environment where many other blended fuels have failed to yield positive performance. O2Diesel is developing what may be considered a Winter Blend additive that is formulated to work specifically with representative fuel samples from colder geographic climates, such as Richland, WA.
With the forecasted limited availability of No. 1 ULSD fuel to create the usual cold weather blends, many fleet operators are searching for new blended solutions which are more readily available and operate effectively in cold winter climates. We are hopeful that by partnering with O2Diesel we can satisfy our cold weather concerns while achieving our emission reduction and renewable objectives in the future.—Tim Fredrickson, General Manager of Ben Franklin Transit
If the fleet test is successful, Ben Franklin Transit will use the blend in all of its diesel buses.