Urbandale, Iowa – Partners in the Two Million Mile Haul, an over-the-road B20 biodiesel demonstration, have announced that tests to date show that a B20 biodiesel blend shows fuel efficiency and cold weather performance is comparable to that of petroleum diesel. The announcement was made at the Great American Truck Show in Dallas, Texas.
The two-year demonstration, being conducted in the upper Midwest, has about 200,000 miles (321,868 km) to go.
“This new information is exciting, because we already know that biodiesel offers a fleet of many added benefits beyond fuel efficiency,” said Grant Kimberley, Iowa Soybean Association director of market development, who helped coordinate the program. “Biodiesel acts as an engine lubricant; biodiesel offers significantly higher cetane numbers, reduces harmful emissions and adds national fuel production, and biodiesel offers a fleet the opportunity to market itself as a ‘green’ transporter to today’s environmentally-conscious corporations.”
In addition to fuel efficiency data, the Two Million Mile Haul aims to demonstrate the operability of a B20 blend year-round in cold weather situations. “Although both the petroleum and B20 groups experienced some fuel filter plugging in zero-degree Fahrenheit weather, the B20 trucks did not experience any considerable challenges, because test partners implemented proper handling and storage measures,” Kimberley said. “If B20 can work for a fleet in the upper Midwest December through February, it can run in any fleet across the nation year-round.
The two-year study is sponsored by the Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Central Community College, Decker Truck Line Inc., Caterpillar Inc., the National Biodiesel Board, Renewable Energy Group and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The study, which began in the fall of 2006, consists of two groups of ten semi-tractors running with flatbed trailers on matched routes to either Minneapolis or Chicago. The control group uses 100 per cent No. 2 petroleum diesel, while the B20 test group uses a blend of 20 per cent biodiesel and 80 per cent No. 2 petroleum diesel.