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Diesel Fuel Quality

Emergency Back-up Fuel 150 150 Star Oilco

Emergency Back-up Fuel

Do you need your Emergency Back Up generator filled?

Back-up Fuel Tank

We have drivers on the road today. If you need your generator fueled give us a call.

Spring is here and summer is around the corner.  Be prepared for an emergency now.

When was the last time you had your generator filled?

Open an account with Star Oilco today and be prepared for the next power outage.

Recent wind, snow storms and power outages could mean your generators are empty.  Are you prepared for the next emergency?  Did you fill up from the last?  Keeping your back-up generator fueled could be the difference between an inconvenience and a disaster.  Stay ahead of the next emergency and re-fuel now.

Remember that ordering diesel for your generator is a specialized service.

Getting the fuel for your generator or emergency equipment is only one part of the problem.  How you store it can be just as important.  This is why its important to work with a company that can help you.

You want to stabilize and treat your diesel for generators and other back up equipment.

Order fuel treated for long term storage!

Star Oilco is an expert at fueling back-up generators, emergency water pumps, and other long term off-road diesel storage requirements. We understand, that in the Pacific Northwest, biodiesel blending is required by state laws. Bio-diesel will need  an extra layer of care when stored as a back-up fuel.Filling a Generator in the Snow

Most off-road diesels and heating oils are ultra low sulfur diesel containing at least 5% quantity of biodiesel.  That means long term storage requires a proactive approach.  You can’t just hope it works, or wait to see if the fuel will burn after years of storage.

Proper Generator Fuel is a specially treated oxidative stabilized off-road fuel designed to store for years.

Fuel for a backup generator is a specialized product. More than just the fuel, the service itself takes a vendor who understands your needs and can keep you up and running in an emergency.

Generators take off-road diesel, of course, but you want an ultra low sulfur diesel to ensure it works with modern emission systems. Some companies may deliver a higher sulfur heating oil product that looks the same but can foul the emission systems of your equipment.

Beyond just the service provided by a truck and driver, you also want a vendor who offers a fuel stabilizer and biocide for the special long term storage needs of your backup generator. Star Oilco recommends you add a biocide and long term storage stabilizer to your fuel to ensure it is good whenever you need it.

Use additives designed to prolong the life of your emergency diesel fuel.

Biocides prevent the growth of biological activity in the tank. In scenarios whcontaminated_dieselere micro-organisms like algae, bacteria, yeasts, and other bugs are growing in your fuel, biocides can kill this growth. It is still important to remove the residual grit and other contaminants that are the hallmark of bugs growing in your tank. Usually you remove them by filtration or total turn over of the fuel. If your tank absolutely has to be clean, you can contract a tank professional to enter the tank and physically clean the tank bottom or reline the tank with either fiberglass or an epoxy resin.  We use Valvtect Bioguard Plus 6 for generators, emergency water pumps, backup boiler fuel, and other long term storage purposes. This product kills any existing biological growth and stabilizes your fresh diesel fuel for long term storage. Make sure your diesel is ready the next time you need backup power.

Water in diesel destroys fuel quality rapidly. Check your tank for water every fall and spring.

In events where water finds its way into your storage tank, that can also be corrected by pumping the tank bottom. Additionally, you want to put in an absorbent material designed to absorb water and not fuel. If your long term storage tank has water and you are not planning to burn 100% of the fuel in the near future, DO NOT add anything that removes water by distributing into the fuel. Adding a “fuel drier” that actually pushes the water into solution with the diesel will worsen the long term quality of your fuel, not improve it. That water is where bugs find their home to grow in fuel.

Star Oilco will test your fuel at no charge if you have an open account.

Feel free to call us with any questions you may have about long term storage of diesel. Star Oil can also deliver treated diesel ready for long term storage complete with Hydrotex PowerKleen Premium Diesel additive to improve the long term storage quality of your fuel. For biocide, we use Valvtect BioGuard fuel microbiocide to kill any possible biological activity and prevent any chance of it starting.

Diesel Testing and Storage in Portland

If you have a long term diesel storage tank and you are in the Portland, Oregon area, we are here to test your fuel.  Make sure your diesel is there for you when disaster strikes.

Tank Testing Form

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

For more reading on diesel fuel quality assurance:

Fight Humbug in your Diesel Tank (using Valvtect Bioguard Plus 6 to stabalize your stored diesel)

Diesel Fuel Technical Review (an easy to read and free text book on diesel fuel)

Emergency Back Up Generator Fuel Quality (designed to provide a checklist to help Facility Managers keep those back up generators ready for emergency action)

Using Desicant Breathers to keep diesel fuel dry and clean (an introductory primer on desicant breathers and how they can be used to keep long term diesel storage drier and cleaner)

Using Diesel Filters to clean up your diesel fuel quality (an introductory primer on using aggressive filtration in line with diesel fuel dispensing for fuel quality assurance)

Oregon Diesel Taxes Explained 150 150 Star Oilco

Oregon Diesel Taxes Explained

How Oregon Diesel Taxes Are Calculated

As of January 1st, 2022 Oregon is raising the Fuel Tax to $.38 a gallon. (source) The prices in this article have been updated to reflect that.  There will be another $.02 a gallon fuel tax increase set in 2024 as well.

Oregon is unique in its handling of diesel. All fuel isn’t used or taxed the same in the state of Oregon. First off, there is no sales tax for any fuels. The taxes that are charged for diesel are divided into 3 categories: dyed diesel, PUC use and everyday road use or “auto diesel.”  The big difference in pricing is how the diesel is used and the size of the vehicle using the diesel.

 

Oregon Fuel Taxes in a Nutshell

Off-road diesel:  If a vehicle is burning diesel “off-road” like a back-hoe, agricultural use, generators or similar use, the fuel is not taxed by either the federal government or Oregon State. This fuel is also dyed red to show it is for off-road use only. If you use dyed red off-road diesel fuel in an on-road vehicle and you get caught, the state of Oregon can and will likely fine you $10,000. Yes, we have seen them do this in recent history.

On-road diesel (auto diesel).  If your vehicle is below 26,000 gross vehicle weight, Oregon charges a per gallon vehicle tax.  This tax is paid at the gas pump, is collected by the retail or commercial cardlock location, and you do not have to consider any additional taxes other than buying on-road fuel.

On-road diesel (P.U.C. diesel). If your vehicle is above 26,000 gross vehicle weight in Oregon, you pay a weight mile for your vehicle’s state diesel tax.  This cost per mile depends on your registered vehicle weight with Oregon. It is anecdotally assumed at the top weights over 80,000 lbs of gross vehicle weight, this tax is equivalently more than double the per gallon cost of auto diesel bought at a retail location.  This class of diesel usage requires extra P.U.C. filings and vehicles over 26,000 GVW have special P.U.C. plates denoting their class as it relates to diesel fuel tax.

Oregon Fuel Taxes for a Layperson

A small motorhome that would use On-Road Diesel

A small motorhome that would use on-road diesel

The easiest one to understand is on-road diesel, also known as “auto diesel.” Most non-truck vehicles driving on streets, roads, and highways around Oregon fall into this category for use, or as you can see in this picture, a smaller motor home or RV (recreational vehicle).  This fuel is the one you see at a pump at a retail station. Its price includes federal tax, state tax and any applicable local taxes.

Current auto diesel taxes in Oregon for vehicles under 26,000 GVW (gross vehicle weight):

  • Federal tax rate is $.244 per gallon
  • The state tax rate is $.38 per gallon

In addition to these, local municipality and cities have their own taxes that can be added to the price of fuel. To make it even more complicated, some cities charge a different tax amount based on time of season; specifically Newport and Reedsport who charge a few more cents during the summer months. Currently the highest additional taxes are in the city of Portland, Oregon at $.10 per gallon. Source.

Example:
Fuel price at the pump is listed at: $2.989

  • Federal                =$.244
  • State                    =$.38*
  • Portland             =$.10

For a total of                =$.724 per gallon in taxes

The actual cost per gallon would be $2.265. This includes the OPIS (Oil Price Information Service) wholesale price, transportation costs, and the margin the retail station adds to pay its bills (usually $.15 to $.40 depending on the provider).

*January 1st, 2022 Oregon State Tax fuel went up to $.38 per gallon for Oregon Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax. Oregon Use Fuel Tax also went up to $.38 a gallon.

 

Dyed Diesel also called Red Diesel is used for vehicles that don't drive on public roads.

Dyed diesel, also called red diesel, is used for vehicles that don’t drive on public roads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dyed diesel, also called farm diesel, marked fuel, or red diesel, is a fuel that has an added dye in the mix. The dye, usually solvent red 26 or solvent red 164, doesn’t cause any change in the operation of an engine versus using regular clear diesel. The dye marks the taxable status of the fuel.

This fuel is intended for only off-road equipment and vehicles. Farm equipment, construction vehicles and any other vehicles that don’t drive on public roads can use this fuel. In addition, any engine or oil heater that burns diesel is allowed to use dyed diesel. Those that have heating oil delivered are purchasing dyed diesel.

The benefit of this fuel is that you save state, federal, and city or municipal taxes. Acquiring this fuel as a customer usually requires access to a commercial fueling station or hiring a fuel company to deliver the fuel. This is likely to prevent accidental use of this fuel in an on-road vehicle. Anyone found using dyed diesel in an on-road vehicle will be fined. Fines are either $10/gallon or $1000 per violation, whichever is greatest (Source). To ensure that diesel users aren’t abusing this fuel, police officers can “dip” a tank; usually by sticking a clear tube into a tank and verifying the color of the fuel.

Oregon PUC Permit and IFTA for vehicles over 26,000 GVW

Oregon PUC Permit and IFTA for vehicles over 26,000 GVW

Oregon PUC Permit – While PUC stands for “Oregon Public Utilities Commission”,  it is the Oregon Transportation Department who regulates fuel taxes and PUC plates.

PUC plates are required by vehicles over 26,000 GVW. Oregon PUC Permit or heavy motor vehicle trip permit refer to vehicles that are at this weight and up to 80,000 GVW. They also include an Oregon PUC card number and a log book that shows fuel usage. View Table “A” tax rates.

These vehicles are only required to pay the federal tax at the pump. They are then required to log the mileage they drive and pay an amount based on weight, number of axles and miles. The heavier the vehicle, the more wear and tear on the road, so the higher the tax.

Oregon per Mileage fuel tax for vehicles between 26,000 lbs and 80,000 lbs.

Source : Oregon Department of Transportation 

The fees are applied for a whole trip. Say a truck is scheduled to drive 100 miles round trip to deliver watermelons. A vehicle driving 100 miles that weighs over 44,000 but less than 46,000 would be charged $0.0907 per mile or $9.07. Trucks that are driving a full load of product and an empty load back pay for the total miles of the trip, including the miles they are driving empty. In the above example, even if half the miles were at the 26,001 rate for the return trip, the taxable rate is the full load price.

Any commercial vehicle that is over 80,000 GVW would use the Table “B”, which is similar but includes different pricing based on the number of axles, not just weight.

Oregon per Mileage fuel tax for vehicles between 80,000 lbs and 105,500

Source: Oregon Department of Transportation

As the vehicles get heavier, the amount of axles used change the price. In the chart, 5 axles at 81,000 miles is $0.2115 a mile and a vehicle with 9 axles and the same weight is $0.162 a mile.

For any additional questions about the PUC plates, tax rates and trucking information in Oregon, please contact ODOT at 503-378-5849.

IFTA – International Fuel Tax Agreement

IFTA is for the same vehicles over 26,000 GVW if they drive into more than one state or into Canada. IFTA helps simplify the reporting process of taxes, refunds and mileage for vehicles that travel in more than one state. These commercial motor vehicles are required to file quarterly with their base jurisdiction and the amount of taxes that they might have paid at the pump is recorded. Then they either pay the difference or receive a refund if they overpaid. Prior to IFTA, trucks would need a permit for every state they operated in.

 

Star Oilco is a supplier of  Fuel for NW Oregon and SW Washington.  If you have questions about fueling your fleet or your construction site we would love to talk to you.

Contact Form

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To learn more about What Oregon Requires for a Business to Use Pacific Pride and CFN Cardlock Stations

To learn more about RV Vehicles and Pacific Pride or CFN cards

Recent proposed legislation could mean more or different tax handling fees or laws in the future. We will be following these stories as they come out. If you would like to know more – Oregon Legislature proposes an end to petroleum diesel

If you would like to learn a little bit more about biofuels – Every Question We Have Been Asked About Biodiesel & Every Question We Have Been Asked About Renewable Diesel

Got questions about Red Dyed Diesel? We have answers!

What Do I Need to Know About Long Term Diesel Storage? 150 150 Star Oilco

What Do I Need to Know About Long Term Diesel Storage?

Here’s good advice if you are relying on diesel as a back up fuel in the Pacific NW.

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Now is the time to refill and treat your back up fuel tanks.

Diesel as a back up fuel

Quite a bit of our business at Star Oilco is fueling back-up generators, emergency water pumps, refrigerated trailers and other long term off-road diesel storage requirements. In the Pacific Northwest, biodiesel blending is required by state laws and you need to take an extra duty of care when storing diesel as a back-up fuel.

This means that most off-road diesels and heating oils are ultra low sulfur diesel containing a small quantity of biodiesel.  That means long term storage requires a proactive approach.  You can’t just hope and wait to see what the fuel begins to look after years of storage.

Technical advice from Government Fleet Magazine to help you with storing diesel fuel.

Here is an article from Government Fleet Magazine on the subject which runs through the specifics of long term storage and what causes fuel to degrade when stored.  Government Fleet Magazine – How to Maintain Stored Diesel Fuel.

Star Oilco has also worked up a PDF check list on how to verify if your fuel is in need of freshening or is still in emergency ready shape.  If you are a customer of ours, we will deliver a laminated card version to keep next to your back up generator. If you are not a customer (or outside of our service area) drop us a message below and we will gladly email you the PDF.

For our customers, we recommend that you check the tank bottom fuel quality on an annual basis to make sure the product looks good. If the tank has sat for years and is dark in color (good diesel is bright and transparent – you will notice if it is in bad shape), we recommend pumping the tank out at least partially and replacing with fresh fuel. Often you can also hugely improve the quality of the fuel by polishing the fuel. Polishing is when you circulate fuel from the bottom of the tank through a pump, filter repeatedly in order to remove any sediment or growth from the fuel, and then place this fuel back in the same tank.

Look at your fuel for a bright and clear color.

For stored fuel, you also want to make sure it is stabilized and contains a biocide. Stabilizers prevent the oxidation of the fuel and prevent the effect of metals like lead, copper and zinc, which can react and degrade fuel. For heating oil systems with a return line, for instance, the fuel is flowing through a copper line to the furnace and then back to the tank in a return line.

Use additives designed to prolong the life of your emergency diesel fuel.

Biocides prevent the growth of biological activity in the tank. In scenarios whcontaminated_dieselere micro-organisms like algae, bacteria, yeasts, and other bugs are growing in your fuel, biocides can kill this growth. It is still important to remove the residual grit and other contaminants that are the hallmark of bugs growing in your tank. Usually you remove them by filtration or total turn over of the fuel. If your tank absolutely has to be clean, you can contract a tank professional to enter the tank and physically clean the tank bottom or reline the tank with either fiberglass or an epoxy resin.

Water in diesel destroys fuel quality rapidly. Check your tank for water every fall and spring.

In events where water finds its way into your storage tank, that can also be corrected by pumping the tank bottom. Additionally, you want to put in an absorbent material designed to absorb water and not fuel. If your long term storage tank has water and you are not planning to burn 100% of the fuel in the near future, DO NOT add anything that removes water by distributing into the fuel. Adding a “fuel drier” that actually pushes the water into solution with the diesel will worsen the long term quality of your fuel, not improve it. That water is where bugs find their home to grow in fuel.

Star Oilco will test your fuel at no charge if you have an open account.

Feel free to call us with any questions you may have about long term storage of diesel. Star Oil can also deliver treated diesel ready for long term storage complete with Hydrotex PowerKleen Premium Diesel additive to improve the long term storage quality of your fuel. For biocide, we use Valvtect BioGuard fuel microbiocide to kill any possible biological activity and prevent any chance of it starting.

Diesel Testing and Storage in Portland

If you have a long term diesel storage tank and you are in the Portland, Oregon area, we are here to test your fuel.  Make sure your diesel is there for you when disaster strikes.

Tank Testing Form

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

For more reading on diesel fuel quality assurance:

Fight Humbug in your Diesel Tank (using Valvtect Bioguard Plus 6 to stabalize your stored diesel)

Diesel Fuel Technical Review (an easy to read and free text book on diesel fuel)

Emergency Back Up Generator Fuel Quality (designed to provide a checklist to help Facility Managers keep those back up generators ready for emergency action)

Using Desicant Breathers to keep diesel fuel dry and clean (an introductory primer on desicant breathers and how they can be used to keep long term diesel storage drier and cleaner)

Using Diesel Filters to clean up your diesel fuel quality (an introductory primer on using aggressive filtration in line with diesel fuel dispensing for fuel quality assurance)

B20 Biodiesel Heating oil provider
In-depth look at Biodiesel as a heating fuel 500 500 Star Oilco

In-depth look at Biodiesel as a heating fuel

Can you Bio diesel as a Heating Oil Fuel?

In a recent study, the viability of biodiesel – also known as bioheat – and its use as a heating oil was examined.Star Oilco an experienced provider of BioDiesel Heating Oil

TL:DR Biodiesel up to B20 and beyond do not require equipment changes or settings. Home heating systems have used biodiesel since 2000 and have shown no significant issues compared to standard fuel.

The study reviews pump seal performance, metal interactions, burner combustion and even reviews in-the-field users of biodiesel.

Use of biodiesel reduces GHG (Greenhouse Gas) by 50% – 86% compared to petroleum diesel, according to NORA.

 

In a study from Brookhaven National Laboratory that was submitted to the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA), Dr Thomas A. Butcher and Rebecca Trojanowski studied the use of Biofuels in Heating Oil and any possible issues that could result from usage.

Biodiesel mixtures are labeled as B* where the * is the percentage of biodiesel. For example B20 would be 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum diesel.

By breaking it down into 5 separate studies and a review of actual field use for nearly 20 years, they set out to evaluate the possible fail points of using B20 and higher heating oil blends.

Bio Diesel and Pump Seal Material Evaluation

From the start, the pump shaft seals were identified as the area with the most concern of failure. So, this is where the study began. They identified the most common seals in pumps for North America were nitrile material. The study then focused on this material.

For this part of the study, they took the nitrile material and immersed it in different biodiesel and No.2 fuel blends. They soaked these for 670 hours at 125 °F.  The samples were than checked to see if the hardness changed, looked at swelling, tensile strength, and compression deformation.

Results: There were no significant changes for the nitrite for fuels meeting ASTM standards. This includes biofuel up to B100. The one concern was fuel that had acid numbers above 2 could lead to accelerated degradation. B100 standards call for acid numbers 0.5 and below.

Biodiesel and the Evaluation of Oil Burner Pumps Under Operating Conditions

This second test also dealt with the same seals. The difference in this test was that the pumps were in continuous action. They set up 42 pumps to run for 11 months. A pump would run for 5 minutes and then turn off for a minute. This resulted in 80,000 on/off cycles in a period of 8,030 hours. During this time no leaks were observed in any of the pumps.

Result: There wasn’t any difference in degradation between using B0 and B20.

Exposure of "Yellow Metals" at low temperature with biodiesel

Copper fuel lines are installed in many older oil heating homes. This was due to lower cost and the fact they were easy to manipulate during installation. This could be a problem because No.2 fuel and biodiesel could accelerate the oxidative degradation of the fuels when exposed to copper.

This experiment consisted of using 10 inch tubes filled with different levels of biofuels: B0, B20, and B100. These would be stored at 70 °F  for 6 months in 3 types of tubes: stainless steel, old copper (a fuel line that had been in service for 30 years), and new copper. Most systems only would expose the copper pipes for a very limited time, so 6 months for any exposure is an extreme amount of time.

Results: An acid value of 2 was shown to degrade nitrile material in the earlier experiments. None of the fuel crossed this mark. The closest was B0 in the stainless steel. This fuel got to 1.5 from .04 (where all the fuel started). These tests were considered to represent summer shutdown of a heat-only boiler or furnace.

Exposure of "Yellow Metals" and biodiesel at high temperature

In addition to copper fuel lines, the other major source of yellow metal would be the brass nozzles. Most fuel isn’t in the nozzle long enough to cause any changes, but the fuel left unburned between firings is exposed to higher temperatures then those in the lines. It was decided to try and see if there was changes for this exposure.

The experiment was open top glass beakers with brass and stainless steel nozzles stored in B0, B20, and B100 levels of fuel. This setup was stored in an oven at 175 °F for a week.

Result: The result was a relatively small increase during this time. Even after the experiment was continued for another 4 weeks the numbers represented no significant differences.

Biodiesel Combustion Performance and Flame Sensor Response

The goal of this experiment is to evaluate the proper atomization and combustion performance of biodiesel blends in heating oil systems and to see if there was any issues with flame sensor operation and effectiveness.

The fuel for a home heating oil system requires the fuel to be pushed through a 10 micron filter and then pushed into a fire box at 100 – 150 psi and ignited. This is compared to a diesel engine that have a nominal pore size between 2 and 30 microns and then injected into the system at 20,000 psi.

According to the study, “In comparison to the… diesel engine, heating oil systems are open flame systems and excess air is used to ensure complete combustion. The amount of excess flue gas oxygen is generally between 3% and 6% excess O2 or 15% and 40% excess air to minimize smoke and ensure very low levels of carbon monoxide.” These are usually set by a technician and then re-checked on service calls every 1 or 2 years. “Since properly operating home heating oil systems burn the fuel completely in excess air and emissions are low… Due to this clean combustion, heating oil emissions are typically not measured or monitored, with the exception of smoke and CO.”

The testing was set up first for conventional No. 2 fuel and then adjusted for B100 fuel.

Result: Showed that B20 performed at the same level as regular No. 2 fuel and the bio blend could go all the way up to 50% before the need to adjust the airflow. So, the conclusion was that if the unit is running higher levels of biofuel, the air input needs to be adjust to optimize fuel combustion and reduce CO or smoke.

Review of Field Experience with BioDiesel Blends

Biodiesel blends have been used in the field for heating oil with some using B20 and above since 2005. Part of the study was reviewing customers that have been using B20 above. Of the surveyed providers, none reported a change of any burner or system components.

The report continues to talk about the levels of biofuel that was being used and the condition the fuel was in. Basically it was found that there was no difference from the standard petroleum only fuel.

Conclusion and results of BioDiesel study

  1. Fuels above a certain level of acid content can compromise seals, none of the bio blends reached this and they were statistically similar to petroleum only fuels.
  2. Long term cycling pump showed no leakages with biofuels.
  3. No impact on fuel stored in copper tubing at room temperature was found.
  4. No significant difference on fuel stored with copper at high temperatures and conventional No. 2 fuel.
  5. At higher than B50 concentrations it was found that the burner needed adjusted for best efficiency. B20 will operate at the same level as standard No. 2 fuel.
  6. Finally there appears no real difference in functional use of biofuel vs the use of No. 2 fuel.

So the good news, according to this report, is that if you want to use biodiesel up to B50 there appears no difference in settings or maintenance. As long as a reputable dealer that uses biodiesel that uses ASTM D675 for its B100.

Using biodiesel blends for heating oil reduces greenhouse gases. For more information on this see the NORA report.

B20 Biodiesel Heating oil provider

How to order biofuel as your home heating oil.

Every question Star Oilco has been asked about Heating Oil.

If you want to know a little it more about Bio-fuels and what feedstocks can be used.

 

Emergency Back-Up Generator Fuel Quality Assurance 150 150 Star Oilco

Emergency Back-Up Generator Fuel Quality Assurance

Emergency Back Up Generator Diesel Fuel Quality

The fuel in your generator is the single most overlooked item in maintaining a back up generator.  Be prepared and know your back up generator diesel fuel quality is ready with these best practices.

When the power goes out, don’t let a decade old tank of diesel be your weak link.

 

Diesel Generator Fueling Service

As a provider of back up generator fueling services we know how critical fuel is in an emergency.

Back up generators are everywhere when you start looking for them.  Rarely needed but when a storm or disaster strikes their failure to fire will be extremely conspicuous. In the Pacific Northwest where resilience planning around a major subduction zone earthquake is a monthly subject of talk.  Back up diesel will be the only immediately power source after a quake.  Diesel generators are taking center stage for emergency preparedness, placing those who maintain them in some high level policy discussions.

Avoid a double emergency when the back up power isn’t there for your need by focusing on the diesel fuel quality.

The worst case scenario for fuel quality is water getting into your diesel fuel reservoir as well as biological growth occurring in that water logged diesel. If water is present in diesel, and that diesel is in a warm dark place, bacteria will start growing in your tank. So first preventive step is watch for water.  The most likely problem with fuel you will see is the fuel aging and degrading in place over years of not being used.  That can be addressed with your routine maintenance on the tank.

CIM-TEK water absorber

NOTE: To get a small amount of water or to ensure a dryer tank of fuel, CIM TEK makes a Tank Dryer which absorbs a small amount of water in a tank. Handy similar to adding a desiccant into a closet with a slight condensation issue. 

Back up power generator diesel fuel quality.

The big rule for storing back up generator fuel is to make sure the diesel you use is clean and dry.

First ensure you are testing the generator by running it once a month.  Move fuel through the system and ensure the generator is starting right up. Run the generator for a while to use up fuel and be prepared to order a regular top off when you get below 3/4th of a tank. When checking the fluids on the generator prior to start up see if the fuel filter has a visual transparent bottom where you can see what the fuel looks like there. If it looks like dirty fuel or there is evidence of water take notice.  After cycling the generator take a peek and make sure the fuel it’s pulling into the generator is bright (not dark and degraded).  If you are seeing any water (even a small drop) that is an indication of real concerns.

If you are using up half a tank a year and adding to it, the fuel quality will usually stay within specification.  If you have worries the easiest way is to just start over. With older generators sometimes it’s a good idea to just evacuate the tank (empty all the older diesel fuel) and replace it with fresh diesel treated and stabilized for long term storage.

Most back up generators are seeing routine annual maintenance where the mechanical needs of the equipment are walked through. If this is occurring ask for a bottom sample from the back up generators fuel tank. Also ask to see what the fuel in the bottom of the fuel filter (assuming they are changing that) would give an indication if problems might exist deep in the fuel tank.

Back Up Diesel Generator Fuel Service

Sampling and Onsite Testing of Fuel from Generator Diesel Tank:

  1. Pull sample from tank bottom
    1. Use a professional “Bacon-Bomb Sampler” (google it to see one) or a small fuel transfer pump available at any auto parts store.
  2. Visually inspect it by swirling it in a beaker or mason jar.
    • Look for water and dirt fall out as you swirl.  If you see a few drops of water form you’ve got a water problem. If you are seeing coffee ground type material in the fuel, that’s biological growth. If an algal or gunk type slime appears, that’s also biological growth.
    • If clear like cranberry juice and bright – your fuel is in good shape.  If a darker cherry color yet still clear, your fuel is aging and you should consider swapping or burning fuel off in the next year.
  3. If fuel is dark in color (showing that it is aging in the tank) you can send that sample to a lab to test it. You want to ensure you are confirming the following:
    • Oxidation Stability (or Accelerated Stability)
    • Water Content in PPM (under 50 PPM is what you want, under 100 PPM is not uncommon, and over 100 PPM there is probably water in the fuel and you want to pursue remedial action.)
    • Make sure the fuel testing lab you are using (your current fuel vendor should have a recommendation or do it for free for you) is checking for:
      • oxidative stability (if it’s aging out of specification),
      • biological growth (if bugs are growing in it),
      • water content (indicating a puddle someplace in the tank causing higher water content in the fuel) and,
      • dirt content of the fuel (if there is dirt, there is probably biological growth or some other problem).
  4. Set aside sample in a warm dark place for a month and check it for biological growth occurring which will confirm if you have fuel growing inside the tank.
    • How to test diesel for biological growth In-House:
      • Take your sample that appears to be in great condition and set it aside in a warm dark place for a month (day light kills most biological growth in fuel, though day light ages your diesel in other ways).
      • When you come back to look at the sample, if a film or layer of darker color is appearing in the fuel, this is biological growth occurring.
      • If you see nothing and want to experiment further, add a slight amount of water to this sample, shake it up, and put it back in a warm dark place.
      • When you check back if there is a a new layer of darker color on the surface of where the water contacts the fuel, that’s what grows in your tank.
      • If nothing grows, your fuel is safely stabilized for storage this year. Even if water is finding its way into your fuel tank, the fuel is safe and will be ready to start.
        • NOTE: Do not leave water in your tank, even if the fuel looks good. Eventually it will be a major problem and something will grow. If you are putting biocide in your tank regularly and their is an environment for growth, something resistant to that biocide will take root and you WILL NOT be able to get it out of the tank without serious effort.

NOTE: If you are curious to see a fuel lab analysis of the diesel this is an example.  This is a lab analysis from Hydrotex, Star Oilco’s premium diesel additive provider.  They are very supportive in testing everything we send them for quality assurance. 

 

Do you have questions about generator diesel fuel storage?

If you have questions about fuel storage, Star Oilco has answers.  Star Oilco does not do tank cleaning, we still will help you figure out what you need to do in order to have the result you need.

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For more on Diesel Fuel Quality Assurance please see these other Star Oilco articles:

Desiccant breathers, dry diesel, and keeping your diesel fuel clean.

Every question Star Oilco has been asked about dyed diesel.

Keep and make your diesel fuel cleaner. 

Bioguard Plus 6, Kill and prevent biological growth in your diesel fuel storage tank.

 

BioGuard Plus 6 Stabilize Your Diesel Tank 150 150 Star Oilco

BioGuard Plus 6 Stabilize Your Diesel Tank

Fight Humbug in your Diesel Tank!

Fall weather is around the corner and moisture is depositing in your diesel tank.

 

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Treat your diesel; keep things from growing in your diesel.

Prepare your diesel fuel, heating oil, kerosene, or boiler fuel for storage.

Make sure your fuel works when you need it. If you have a bulk diesel tank, stop stuff from growing in your diesel before it starts.

Star Oilco provides complementary diesel fuel quality testing for tanks in our service area.

Valvtect BioGuard Plus 6

Valvtect Plus 6 – Stabilizer and Biocide

Use every spring and winter to guarantee your tank is not providing a habitat to fuel system spoiling microbes.

Water in diesel is a fact of life these days. Biological growth spoiling your fuel quality does not have to be. Ultralow sulfur diesel and biodiesel have water in them. Over time, water entrained in your diesel fuel can fall out of solution. Add to that they condensation that will natural develop in your fuel tank and you have an environment for hum-bug to grow in your heating oil, diesel, or boiler fuel storage tank.

 

If you are storing diesel for longer than six months you want to stabilize that fuel.

In the summer when temperatures swing at night, your tank is breathing air in and out.  If it is raining, your tank is likely also breathing in the water. With the rainy season and long after it passes, be aware that water is everywhere unless you work to seal it out of your fuel storage system.  You can use a desiccant breather as a way to filter moisture from the atmosphere from getting into our tank.

If your tank does not have a desiccant breather on it, your fuel tank can collect condensation. As air moves in and out of the tank with temperature changes, moisture will collect on the wall of the tank. Yeasts, bacteria, fungi, and algae can grow in that water which collects on the bottom of the tank. Make sure your tank is not a habitat for growing bugs every spring and winter.

Microbiological growth in diesel fuel, also known as “humbug” in fuel, can start growing and if unchecked, will wreak havoc with your fleet. Once it starts in your fuel tank it will spread throughout your fleet. If you see a random need to spin filters between services or odd fuel-related maintenance issues, you likely have bugs growing in your fuel tanks.

Star Oilco recommends BioGuard Plus 6 as a regular biocide for routine maintenance.  

BioGuard Plus 6 is the only EPA certified biocide product that has both a biocide as well as a fuel stabilizer with detergent in one product. This detergent stabilizer acts as an aggressive tank cleaner (NOTE: BioGuard available without Plus 6).

When using Valvtect BioGuard, treat first with a kill, done in your bulk diesel storage. That will spread and kill the growing bugs in your fleet. Maintenance will clean up any remaining bacteria. If you do not have a known or seen problem, a kill twice a year is a great way to guarantee it does not appear and treat the individual tanks of your fleet.

ValvTect BioGuard™ PLUS 6Valvtect BioGuard Plus 6

BioGuard® Plus 6™ is the ONLY EPA registered diesel additive that combines a biocide with a multi-functional diesel additive to prevent bacteria, algae and all other major diesel related problems.

BioGuard Plus 6 is the perfect solution for ultra low sulfur diesel and biodiesel problems; such as bacteria, algae, excess water, sludge, filter plugging, injector wear & deposits, poor fuel economy and unstable fuel.

Only BioGuard Plus 6 prevents bacteria and algae growth, plus:

  • Stabilizes fuel for up to 2 years
  • Prevents rust and corrosion
  • Lubricates pumps and injectors
  • Cleans-up injector deposits
  • Disperses moisture
  • Increases cetane

ValvTect BioGuard Plus 6
“It’s ALL Your Diesel Fuel Needs!”

32 oz Bottle treats 375 Gallons
1 Gallon Bottle treats 1500 Gallons
Also available in 2.5 Gallon Plastic Bottles, 55 Gallon Drums and 300 Gallon Totes

BioGuard ULS Fuel Microbiocide

BioGuard is an EPA registered dual soluble (fuel & water) microbiocide that effectively kills bacteria and fungi that grow in diesel fuel, heating oil and gasoline. BioGuard also prevents bacteria caused filter plugging and bacteria caused corrosion of the fuel system.

BioGuard typically works in 2-3 hours versus 24-36 hours needed by other biocide products. BioGuard has also been found to be up to twice as effective as other biocides.

BioGuard can be used in all diesel and gasoline bulk tanks and vehicle tanks, including marine, farm, truck fleet, home heat, generators, and railroad storage tanks.

  • Kills bacteria and other biocontamination quickly
  • Twice as effective as other biocides
  • Breaks up sludge and slime
  • Prevents bacteria plugged filters
  • Prevents bacteria caused corrosion
  • Bottle contains easy measuring spout

16 oz. container treats 460 gallons of diesel fuel at the initial kill treat rate.
16 oz. container treats 920 gallons of diesel fuel at the maintenance treat rate.

 

For a more in depth description of Valvtect BioGuard Plus 6 please click here.

If you have any questions about routine tank maintenance or to order Valvtect BioGuard products, please don’t hesitate to contact Star Oilco directly by email, message, or phone.

Contact Form

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For more information on storing diesel fuel please see the following articles from Star Oilco:

If you are interested in getting a Diesel Storage tank Star Oilco can help.

For a great document on everything diesel we recommend this Diesel Technical Review.

For best practices on storing generator fuel we recommend reading this Emergency Back Up Generator Fuel Storage.

If you are trying to keep your stored diesel dry here is an article we wrote on Desiccant Breathers for your fuel tanks.

If you are looking at getting serious about Diesel Fuel Quality Assurance here is an article we wrote about keeping your diesel cleaner and drier.

Farm diesel and gasoline fueling delivery service 150 150 Star Oilco

Farm diesel and gasoline fueling delivery service

Fueling of a Farm Tank with a Star Oilco Truck.

Diesel and Gasoline Rural Fuel Delivery Service.

Fill your farm, nursery, or homestead fuel tanks now.

Now is the time to order gasoline or diesel for your rural operation.  In Oregon and Washington diesel and gasoline prices risen to a recent high.  Off-road diesel and farm gasoline prices in particular can benefit from a bulk delivery order before the upcoming hurricane season causes fuel price volatility.  Hurricane season usually spikes prices in the Pacific Northwest because they cause national petroleum supply interruptions going into Fall.  Get ahead of the need for fuel.

This is the time to fill your farm fuel tank.

If you have a bulk tank now is the time to order as we are seeing stable prices for diesel and gasoline in the Pacific Northwest.  Order your fuel now, and get a great price before the market changes.  Call us and discuss your need.   We are here to help and make keeping your equipment going when you need the fuel there without a hassle.

Rural Gasoline and Diesel delivery.

Agricultural fuels for farm use.

Call Star Oilco to keep your farm’s tank full.  Whether it’s a 100 to 500 gallons of gasoline and dyed diesel or a 25,000 order of B20 biodiesel.  We are there to serve you to make things easy.  With what is going on, you will not regret having plenty of fuel next to your barn at these market prices.

Star Oilco Crest

Star Oilco is a locally owned Oregon business serving Willamette Valley farms and businesses since 1936.  Veteran owned, locally operated, and committed to your needs here in Oregon and Washington. 

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Please see these other posts if you are curious about off-road fuels:

If you have questions about Off Road or Dyed Diesel please see our FAQ

What you need to know about long term diesel storage 

How to fight “Humbug” growing in your diesel tank.

What is the benefit of Premium Diesel versus normal diesel? 900 639 Star Oilco

What is the benefit of Premium Diesel versus normal diesel?

Premium Diesel delivered in Oregon and Washington with every gallon of Star Oilco diesel.

Are you clogging filters, seeing corrosion, suffering repeated DPF regens, or fighting biological growth in your tank?

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Premium Diesel with routine tank maintenance is the solution to your problem.

Premium diesel provides real benefits to the long term maintenance cost of any diesel fleet.

Hydrotex PowerKleen Premium Diesel has a higher cetane, an aggressive detergent for cleaning injectors and tanks, pushes water out of the fuel keeping it dry while traveling down your fuel rail, as well as stabilizes the fuel to ensure it does not begin to grow algae or other biological problems in your tank.

Hydrotex PowerKleen Premium Diesel has plenty of benefit for a very small additional cost.  The most profound and not highlighted is the effect on long term storage of tanks and what your bulk storage tank bottoms look like long term. Namely that the corrosion inhibitors, moisture demulsifiers and stability benefits of Premium Diesel will pay back dividends for your entire fleet.  As time passes the bottom of your tank begins to age and collect anything that might fall out of solution.  Premium diesel will significantly reduce these danger particles that can get into your fleet’s fuel system.  Premium diesel not only improves the active daily performance of your fleet, it also prevents the long term problems that build up in fuel storage.

A first hand extreme example.  Recently we have seen where a customers sprinklers put a huge quantity of water in their storage tank and the additive kept that fuel bright, clean and not growing fuel algae.  Upon sending the sample to the lab of course water content was higher than you want, but that fuel was in great shape considering this extreme failure of fuel quality assurance. Controlling and preventing for the unforeseen is worth the effort.  What might have been a disaster costing tens of thousands in down equipment was an oddity we were able to fix for them in a few hours.  All because additive fuel kept that fuel within specification even in the most extreme of scenarios.

 

To read more about Hydrotex PowerKleen Premium Diesel and more in depth research on the benefits of premium diesel:  Hydrotex PowerKleen Premium Diesel Brochure.

Backup Generator Fuel Portland

If you have a commercial fleet and want to have Star Oilco sample and test your fuel for quality assurance please do not hesitate to ask. We are here to help.

Tank Testing Form

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Kill the bugs growing in your fuel
BioGuard Plus 6 Stabilize Your Diesel Tank 700 394 Star Oilco

BioGuard Plus 6 Stabilize Your Diesel Tank

Spring is just around the corner.

Have you stabilized the diesel in your generator?

Water and temperature changes can contribute to growth in your tanks.

Prepare your diesel fuel, heating oil, kerosene, or boiler fuel storage and make sure it works when you need it.

With the Fire last fall and the recent power outages many generators have recently been filled. If you haven’t added stabilizers and a biocide to your fuel you may not be ready for the next emergency.

Kill bacteria, bugs, and yeasts growing in your diesel fuel with Valvtect BioGuard Plus 6

Valvtect BioGuard Plus 6

Use this diesel fuel microbiocide every spring and winter to guarantee your tank is not providing a habitat to fuel system-spoiling microbes.

Water in diesel is a fact of life these days. Biological growth spoiling your fuel quality does not have to be. Ultralow sulfur diesel and biodiesel have water in them. Over time, water entrained in your diesel fuel can fall out of solution. Add to that the condensation that will naturally develop in your fuel tank and you have an environment for humbug to grow in your heating oil, diesel, or boiler fuel storage tank.

When it is raining, your tank is likely breathing in the water. With the rainy season, be aware that water is everywhere unless you work to seal it out of your fuel storage system.

If your tank does not have a desiccant breather on it, your fuel tank can collect condensation. As air moves in and out of the tank with temperature changes, moisture will collect on the wall of the tank. Yeasts, bacteria, fungi, and algae can grow in the water that collects on the bottom of the tank. Make sure your tank is not a habitat for growing bugs every spring and winter.

Microbiological growth in diesel fuel, also known as “humbug” in fuel, can start growing and, if unchecked, will wreak havoc with your fleet. Once it starts in your fuel tank, it will spread throughout your fleet. If you see a random need to spin filters between services or odd fuel-related maintenance issues, you likely have bugs growing in your fuel tanks.

Star Oilco recommends BioGuard Plus 6 as a regular biocide for routine maintenance.  

BioGuard Plus 6 is the only EPA-certified biocide product that contains both a biocide as well as a fuel stabilizer with detergent. This detergent stabilizer acts as an aggressive tank cleaner (NOTE: BioGuard available without Plus 6).

When using Valvtect BioGuard, treat first with a kill, performed in your bulk diesel storage. That will spread and kill the growing bugs in your fleet. Maintenance will clean up any remaining bacteria. If you do not have a known or visible problem, a kill twice a year is a great way to guarantee bacteria does not appear and you can treat the individual tanks of your fleet.

Product Specifications:

ValvTect BioGuard™ PLUS 6Valvtect BioGuard Plus 6

BioGuard® Plus 6™ is the ONLY EPA registered diesel additive that combines a biocide with a multi-functional diesel additive to prevent bacteria, algae and all other major diesel related problems.

BioGuard Plus 6 is the perfect solution for ultra low sulfur diesel and biodiesel problems; such as bacteria, algae, excess water, sludge, filter plugging, injector wear & deposits, poor fuel economy and unstable fuel.

Only BioGuard Plus 6 prevents bacteria and algae growth, plus:

  • Stabilizes fuel for up to 2 years
  • Prevents rust and corrosion
  • Lubricates pumps and injectors
  • Cleans-up injector deposits
  • Disperses moisture
  • Increases cetane

ValvTect BioGuard Plus 6
“It’s ALL Your Diesel Fuel Needs!”

32 oz Bottle treats 375 Gallons
1 Gallon Bottle treats 1500 Gallons
Also available in 2.5 Gallon Plastic Bottles, 55 Gallon Drums and 300 Gallon Totes

 

 

BioGuard ULS Fuel Microbiocide

BioGuard is an EPA registered dual soluble (fuel & water) microbiocide that effectively kills bacteria and fungi that grow in diesel fuel, heating oil and gasoline. BioGuard also prevents bacteria caused filter plugging and bacteria caused corrosion of the fuel system.

BioGuard typically works in 2-3 hours versus 24-36 hours needed by other biocide products. BioGuard has also been found to be up to twice as effective as other biocides.

BioGuard can be used in all diesel and gasoline bulk tanks and vehicle tanks, including marine, farm, truck fleet, home heat, generators, and railroad storage tanks.

  • Kills bacteria and other biocontamination quickly
  • Twice as effective as other biocides
  • Breaks up sludge and slime
  • Prevents bacteria plugged filters
  • Prevents bacteria caused corrosion
  • Bottle contains easy measuring spout

16 oz. container treats 460 gallons of diesel fuel at the initial kill treat rate.
16 oz. container treats 920 gallons of diesel fuel at the maintenance treat rate.

Learn more about Valvtect BioGuard Plus 6.

If you have any questions about routine tank maintenance or to order Valvtect BioGuard products, please don’t hesitate to contact Star Oilco directly by email, message, or phone.  If you would like to learn more about checking your tank for growth this is a great checklist. 

Contact Form

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Every Question We Have Been Asked About Biodiesel 150 150 Star Oilco

Every Question We Have Been Asked About Biodiesel

Every Question We Have Been Asked About Bio-diesel

What is biodiesel?

Biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that is reducing U.S. dependence on foreign petroleum, creating jobs and improving the environment. Biodiesel is commonly blended in a 5% to 20% component with petroleum diesel and can be found available at retail around North America as a blended fuel.  Biodiesel is a low CO2, net energy positive fuel which depending on the feedstock it is made from can vary from a 30% to 80%+ reduction in CO2 emissions compared to petroleum diesel.  Biodiesel is made from a diverse mix of feedstocks including recycled cooking oil, industrial non-food grade spent oils, animal fats, as well as virgin vegetable oils such as canola, soy, and corn oil. For more information see the National Biodiesel Board’s “Biodiesel Basics” page.Simple Bio-diesel chart showing how to make

How is biodiesel made?

Biodiesel is most commonly made from taking an animal fat, used cooking oil, or a virgin vegetable oil and mixing it with an alcohol (such as methanol). This process is called transesterification and it creates two products glycerin and esters (usually methyl esters or alkyl esters which is the chemical name for most biodiesel).  The crude biodiesel is then further processed to remove excess water and other impurities. The standards for commercially sold biodiesel in the US is ASTM D6751.

What does ASTM D6751 mean?

Biodiesel to be sold in the United States must meet an industry standard which is ASTM D6751.  ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) D6751 is the specifications for B100 or 100% Biodiesel.  Biodiesel is usually blended with diesel fuel for retail sale.  This specification defines the properties of the biodiesel from the refiner prior to sale to the public. The properties include things like flashpoint, water content, oxidative stability, sulfur ppm (parts per million), and other specifics that this biodiesel needs to be at in order to hit these standards (Source).

Once a fuel is within all these properties it can be blended with diesel, which has its own ASTM standards, for more about ASTM D975 and other fuel specification concerns please see the Changes in Diesel Fuel – Technicians Guide for more and very in depth information.

Can biodiesel be used in normal diesel engines? / Which cars use biodiesel?

Regardless of where you are in the United States there is a reasonable expectation of purchasing biodiesel in your diesel fuel.  Formally, B5 is supported by all major OEMs selling diesel engines in the U.S. In 2016, at least 78 percent of diesel vehicles supported B20 (Source).  Regardless of what your owner manual says about biodiesel fuel, B20 biodiesel is a proven fuel and is automatically presumed for any new diesels on the road. In many parts of the United States B20 is a commonly found fuel at retail stations, commercial cardlocks, and national truck stop chains.

In the Pacific Northwest, where low CO2 emission policy is front and center, biodiesel can be expected to be found in every gallon of diesel sold in some form.

Oregon law says “All diesel fuel sold in the state must be blended with at least 5% biodiesel (B5) if that fuel is going to be used in vehicles. For the purpose of this mandate, biodiesel is defined as a motor vehicle fuel derived from vegetable oil, animal fat, or other non-petroleum resources, that is designated as B100 and complies with ASTM specification D6751. Renewable diesel qualifies as a substitute for biodiesel in the blending requirement” (Source).  Oregon and Washington has plenty of retail and commercial cardlock locations selling above 5% biodiesel as the defacto fuel given the incentives as well as low CO2 mandates in Oregon.

Can biodiesel be used for heating oil?

Yes. Biodiesel has been effectively used as a heating oil for over 20 years. In fact an in-depth report by the Sustainable Energy Technologies Department Energy Conversion Group shows that blends up to B50 can be used without needing to change or adjust your settings. Read our blog for a summary of this report.

Can biodiesel be mixed with conventional / regular diesel?

Most biodiesel that is sold is as a blended form with petroleum diesel. In a blend, the “B” stands for the amount of biodiesel that is included in the product. For example, B20 would be 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel. Biodiesel can also be combined with renewable diesel – a blend of B20 would be called B20/R80 diesel.

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Can biodiesel be used in diesel generators?

Yes. In fact, Oregon is one of several states that require biodiesel be blended into all diesel fuels. That means this fuel has been used successfully in the fuel supply for years. As with any fuel that can sit for extended amounts of time, we recommend you take proper precautions, such as using additives, to ensure your fuel is ready to be used when needed. If this is a concern, please contact us – we would love to talk to you about your storage needs.

Can biodiesel be made from animal fat?

Yes, biodiesel refers to (according to the National Biodiesel Board) a methyl ester made from chemically reacting lipids with an alcohol to produce fatty acid esters. This is called transesterification. The lipids could be sourced from many different types of oils, such as vegetable, soybean or animal fat based oils/tallows. For a deeper dive into some of the different types of feedstocks, read our blog.

Can biodiesel be used in airplanes?

Yes and no. There have been several tests using biofuels but fuel for aircrafts is different than regular diesel. Fuel gels at a plane’s flying altitude so aircrafts can’t use regular diesel or biodiesel. Several tests with biofuels have proven successful. Read more about the use of biofuels in the future.

Can biodiesel freeze?

Gelling is the term used for diesel fuel starting to freeze. The paraffin present in diesel starts to solidify and at lower temperatures, it can start to solidify and crystallize. Some blends of biodiesel at B20 and higher will gell at a higher temperatures than petro diesel. During the winter months, it’s important to use additives that combat this or use lower percentages of biodiesel for your fuel. In low enough temperatures, even petro diesel will freeze.

Can biodiesel replace oil? / Can biodiesel replace diesel / fossil fuels?

At this time, no. While the quality of the fuel for biodiesel and renewable diesel is as high as the petrodiesel we have today, the production of these fuels can’t meet the demand that is needed. This has to do with available feedstock and infrasturcture to recycle usable wastes.

The long answer to this question, though, is YES. As technology advances, there may be a time that all fuel is derived from waste and plant crops instead of petroleum.

For an idea where the market is going and how much fuel we are using here is a little bit more information on current usage.

In the early 2000’s, the biodiesel market was about 25 million gallons. In 2016, the market had grown to 2.8 billion and it’s still increasing. The on-road diesel demand is 35 billion to 40 billion gallons. The industry goal is to be producing 10 percent of the transportation market by 2022 (Source).

Which biodiesel is best?

Biodiesel that meets the ASTM D6751 is the best. While making your own biodiesel isn’t hard, keeping the fuel filtered and free of excess water is challenging. Finding a reputable provider that uses fuel that meets specs and also filters and treats your fuel like Star Oilco helps ensure you’re using the best fuel possible.

Which is biodiesel plant/crop? What crop/plant produces/yield biodiesel?

Any plant that produces an oil can be used to produce biodiesel. The plants and crops that are most likely to be used, would produce a lot of oil for the amount of work that goes into growing them. Some of the experimental crops are ones that grow in areas that don’t produce quality food, like Camelina sativa. A member of the mustard family, it grows well in poor soil and harsh conditions and doesn’t displace crops that produce food.

Here are the blogs we have posted so far about some of the biodiesel feedstocks that have been tested and used.

Feedstock: Babassu oil & Beef Tallow
Feedstock: Borage Oil & Camelina Oil
Feedstock: Algae Oil & Canola Oil
Feedstock: Castor Oil and Choice White Grease
Feedstock: Coconut Oil and Coffee Oil
Feedstock: Evening Primrose Oil and Fish Oil
Feedstocks: Hemp Oil & High IV and Low IV Hepar
Feedstocks: Jatropha Oil, Jojoba Oil, & Karania Oil
Feedstocks: Lesquerella Oil & Linseed Oil
Feedstocks: Moringa Oil & Neem Oil
Feedstocks: Palm Oil & Perilla Seed Oil
Feedstocks: Poultry Fat & Rice Bran Oil

Which is better: biodiesel or diesel?

Biodiesel has advantages of producing lower emissions, providing lubricity to the moving parts and being produced in the United States.

Diesel is more abundant, is easily created from crude oil, and has a lower gel point.

Which is better depends on what you are looking for.

Which states mandate biodiesel?

According to AFMP (American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers):

  • Minnesota: Has a B2 requirement year round (September 2005) and a summer requirement of B20 (May 2018).
  • Oregon: Requires a B5 reguirement year round (July 2007).
  • Washington: Requires 2% of the diesel sold in Washington to be biodiesel (December 2008). This can be substituted with Renewable Diesel (July 2009).
  • Pennsylvania: According to AFMP, “2% biodiesel for on-road compression ignition engines one year after annualized in-state production reaches 40 million gallons, 5% biodiesel (100 million gallons), 10% biodiesel (200 million gallons), and 20% biodiesel (400 million gallons)” (July 2008). Renewable diesel can substitute for up to 25% of this requirement, in addition to heating oil and off-road diesel (May 2011)
  • New Mexico: Requires B5 for all diesel vehicles (July 2012).

Which countries produce biodiesel? / Which countries use biodiesel?

global biodiesel production by country
Biodiesel is produced around the world, led by the U.S., Brazil and Germany.

The US produced 6 billion liters in 2017 or about 1.6 billion gallons. This website has the exact numbers for 2017, 2018 and some of 2019 production of biodiesel in the U.S.

Biodiesel in the US is largely made from soybeans at this time.

United States Month Biodiesel Production 2017 to 2019

Will biodiesel damage my engine? / Will biodiesel damage my car?

Biodiesel can be used in any car or engine that is using diesel. Biodiesel is a solvent this means that it may start cleaning the tank or pipes that previously just used petroleum fuel, for this reason fuel filters may clog initially.

How will biodiesel help save money?

It depends! If the price of a barrel of crude rises to a high level, biodiesel can be cheaper. In addition, if RIN’s are available (basically a credit for using biodiesel), they can lower the price of biodiesel and make it less expensive to use and purchase.

How will biodiesel help reduce pollution?

Petrodiesel uses crude oil, which is trapped CO2 from ages past. When it is burned, it releases this CO2 back into the air.Average Biodiesel Emissions Compared to Conventional Diesel When you use biodiesel, you’re using CO2 that is being captured by the growing plants or the waste. This is current CO2 you aren’t adding to the net sum in the environment.

As for regular pollutants, here is a chart that shows what using biodiesel does compared to conventional diesel. There is a significant reduction to pollutants that are expressed through the exhaust.

How long will ecodiesel last? / How long can biodiesel be stored?

Diesel, including biodiesel, does go bad after awhile. Diesel fuels adhering to ASTM specification should be safe for storage up to a year without additional treatment and testing. If you are storing diesel for long term use, it is a good best practice to treat the fuel with a biocide and oxidative stabilizer to ensure that the fuel stays within specification and nothing will begin to grow in your fuel tank. The biggest enemy of long term diesel storage is water and dirt entering the fuel through a tank vent. As temperatures change, a tank will breath, pulling in air and moisture from outside. Keep your fuel within specification by ensuring there is no water in the tank and that outside contaminants can’t get into a tank.

Where biodiesel is used? / Where is biodiesel used in the world?

Biodiesel use is encouraged by many countries and usage has increased greatly since 2001. This graph from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that the U.S. used 2.1 billion in 2016 or about 22% of the total amount of biodiesel used that year. Wikipedia lists 31 countries and explains the amount of biodiesel they use each year. World biodiesel consumption, 2016

Where to buy biodiesel?

If you live in Oregon, every gas station has at least 5% biodiesel. Cardlock locations throughout the states have stations with biodiesel blends. For other locations, this site is a great resource.

Where can biodiesel be used?

Legally, it can be used anywhere although some biodiesel derived from palm oil is restricted in certain countries.

When / where was biodiesel invented?

The definition of diesel is a liquid that uses compression and oxygen to ignite without the use of a spark. Rudolf Diesel created the diesel engine in Germany. The design for engines first used coal dust suspended in water and later vegetable oils, such as peanut oil. These fuels were later abandoned when petroleum became abundant and cheaper to produce.

Where does biodiesel fuel come from?

In the United States, the primary source for biodiesel is soy beans. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the feedstocks break down as such:

  • Soybean Oil – 52%
  • Canola Oil – 13%
  • Corn Oil – 13%
  • Recycled feedstocks – 12%
  • Animal Fats – 10%

Even with Soybean oil as the primary source, the remaining meal is used to produce food for animal feed. For more information on feedstocks of biodiesel, here is an ongoing blog we have been working on to examine the resulting fuels produced by the various feedstock.

Where are biodiesel plants?

Here is a list of sites in the United States.

When did biodiesel begin?

The original diesel engine ran on peanut oil, so technically biodisesel was first used in the 1890s. Most oils in the 1800s were from bio stocks. It wasn’t until petroleum became abundant and thus cheaper that biofuels and oils were abandoned for this cheaper source.

When does biodiesel gel?

The feedstock determines when biodiesel will gel. The most common feedstock is soy, which has a cloud point of 0°C (32°F) for B100. Petroleum diesel has a cloud point of -45°C (-49°F) to -7°C (19°F) (Source). Cloud point refers to when the paraffin begins to crystallize and the fuel looks a little cloudy.

Biodiesel and petrodiesel is usually blended and this lowers the cloud point of biodiesel in the fuel considerably. In addition, additives are frequently added during cold weather that further lowers the cloud point.

When is biodiesel day celebrated?

National Biodiesel Day is March 18th, which is also Rudolf Diesel’s birthday. August 10th is International Biodiesel Day, a celebration of Rudolf Diesel’s prime model running for the first time on August 10, 1893.

Who invented biodiesel?

The diesel engine is defined by “any internal-combustion engine in which air is compressed to a sufficiently high temperature to ignite diesel fuel injected into the cylinder, where combustion and expansion actuate a piston.” Until petroleum was developed as a cheaper alternative, animal and vegetable oil was used. One of the first fuels used in the diesel engine was peanut oil, and thus biodiesel was born.

Can you use 100% Biodiesel even in the winter?

The answer is YES.  While biodiesel has a lower cloud point then petroleum diesel there is a technology by Optimus Technologies called the Vector System. This allows a truck to start on regular diesel until it gets up to temp and switch over to run on up to 100% biodiesel.  The City of Ames, Iowa is one success story of this technology. (Story Here)