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Motiva Provides Terminal Infrastructure for Biodiesel Blending

Biodiesel and ethanol connections at the Motiva terminal. Click to enlarge.

Distribution Drive, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Earth Biofuels announced that terminal-blended biodiesel is now available to their customers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Tanker trucks can now load biodiesel fully blended with petrodiesel at the Motiva Enterprises terminal in Dallas, thereby eliminating the need for two stops and reducing the transportation costs traditionally associated with the distribution of biodiesel blends.

Motiva appears to be the first major terminal operator to provide such a service.

Terminal blending saves time and mileage for fuel trucks that would otherwise have to make two stops, one to pick up biodiesel and one to pick up diesel. Terminal blending also eliminates splash blending in the truck by having the ability to store, mix and load the two fuels in one location and ensures correct blending of the products, providing a consistently high quality of finished product.

Distribution Drive had Additive Systems Inc. (ASI) install a 30,000 gallon biodiesel tank to store pure (B100) biodiesel at the terminal. This heated tank is connected with heat-traced pipes to the terminal’s diesel loading rack and integrates specially designed blending equipment with Motiva’s existing measurement systems.

As fuel tank trucks fill at the loading rack, ASI’s blending equipment reliably blends B100 with petrodiesel supplied from Motiva’s diesel storage tanks.

The Clean Cities Program, the Texas Soybean Association and the National Biodiesel Board have all provided support for the project in the form of a grant issued by Clean Cities in 2005.

Earth Biofuels is the exclusive distributor of the BioWillie brand of biodiesel, which is Willie Nelson’s trademark fuel.

Motiva has also led in providing a terminal infrastructure to accommodate customers’ need for ethanol. Motiva is one of the largest purchasers and distributors of ethanol and one of the largest marketers of ethanol-blended gasoline.

Motiva Enterprises is a joint venture between Shell and Saudi Refining Inc., and refines, distributes, and markets oil products in the eastern and southern United States. Company assets include three refineries with a combined capacity of 725,000 barrels per day and ownership interest in 46 refined product storage terminals with an aggregate storage capacity of approximately 19 million barrels.


Rafael Seidl

Sounds to me like a solution in search of a problem. The EPA should take its cue from the EU and simply require refinieries to deliver only diesel with small quantitites of FAME already blended in. The declared target in Europe is B5 in all 25 member states by 2007. The US could start with B1 and work its way up from there according to a sensible schedule. Several states in the north and west have already taken a lead, but it's not yet a nationwide policy.

With low blends, neither filling stations franchisees nor vehicle owners need do anything at all. That strategy will be good enough for a number of years.



Given that biodiesel production tripled last year, and there are dozens of plants under construction, I think the market is doing very well on its own. No mandates needed.


B1??? Are you kidding me? Even VW allows B3 without violating the warranty. B20 has been experimented with ad-nauseum for years. No deleterious effects, even in super cold temps. How about start off with B10 for those of "delicate constitution" and work to B20 over a 3 year period? Same for home heating oil. Mandate it, force it, roll-over the kooks who'd curse us with the status quo.

The time for "baby steps" is so long gone its ridiculous. This summer we'll see at least one more Gulf-cat4/5-oil-rig-slamming-hurricane and $5/gallon at the pumps.

Mark A

Chingy, I think you are missing the point with biodiesel. This diesel will most likely cost more, and not less. Biodiesel's supposed "attraction" is that we can make it ourselves, unlimited, and that it reduced pollution and the sulfur requirement. But keep in mind that the farmers must plant for biodiesel, while at the same time plant for ethanol, while at the same time plant for the grocery stores where we get our food. Throw in a major weather event like a major flood, drought, hurricane, or hailstorm, at the wrong time in the growing cycle, and the effects at the gas and biodiesel pumps will be shown.
I think we need to develop over the road trucks and train locomotives to DME, which should lessen the strain on current petroleum diesel. Just my opinion, though.


But keep in mind that the farmers must plant for biodiesel, while at the same time plant for ethanol, while at the same time plant for the grocery stores where we get our food.

So ... just how much acreage is planted for biodiesel anyway? (Answer, practically none, right now) Most bio is made from soy, which we plant in immense amounts mostly for animal feed, so we can have cheap Double Whoppers and Chicken McNuggets. Other ag waste (turkey guts, chicken fat, etc) also provide a source for biodiesel. The soy industry has jumped on the bio bandwagon because it's a way to sell a waste product and make it look green. In the event that we use so much that we actually have to plant for it, then we need to consider tradeoffs, like maybe lay off the Big Macs (how many billions served?) As it is, we're nowhere near that point, and not only do we grow a huge surplus of food, we pay farmers not to plant.

As far as DME goes, what do you propose for a feedstock?

Mark A

So d, you see no conflicts in the future with growing ethanol, biodiesel and food??? Get a grip! Ethanol and biodiesel are at a micro fraction of where they are being touted to become. Couple that with natural weather disturbances, the loss of much prime farm land to housing developments, and the exploding worldwide populations and shrinking farmer base, I see a potential conflict with us eating and powering our vehicles. Biodiesel and ethanol are a supplement, but are not the answer. Just as DME should be a supplement (and not an answer).

As far as the feedstock for DME, I think there is a greater source for it than biodiesel. Not being a chemist, and just reading as a layman, I see a better potential for DME feestock through synthesis with high and low grade coal, municipal waste, oilfiesld waste gas, heaby residue oil, waste plastic, manure, biomass, to name a few. Heres a link:

With that being said, I dont think any one of these is "the answer". I have always said that we need more options, and the market will determine which will fly, and which will drown. Dont regulate, or back ourselves into a corner with something which has too much potential for disruption. Thats why we are in the fix we are in today, with petroleum.


No one is suggesting that there exists a silver bullet -- biofuels are one of several silver BBs. If we get to the point where we have to start growing the stuff for fuel, we definitely need to be careful in how we do it. One track not yet fully exploited is using waste more efficiently -- we don't generally consume all of a food plant, the waste can be turned into cellulosic ethanol or biodiesel. We certainly don't need to consume so much animal protein -- that's a 90% trophic level hit right there, and would also help with the medical bottom line.

Re: DME. One reason I'm not a big fan of DME is how we would make the stuff. The DME H:C ratio is 3:1, whereas for the potential feedstocks the ratio ranges from 2:1 (biomass) to less than 1:1 (coal). Either you have to supply hydrogen (large water demand), or you remove carbon (energetically wasteful, would have to sequester CO2). Gasoline/diesel has a ratio of 2:1, so biomass conversion is more straightforward. Also, ethers are unstable and tend to form explosive peroxides, so transport is more problematic.

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